Monthly Archives: October 2014

An Autumn Photography Adventure in Cambridge



Once in awhile, when the light is good, I like to bring my camera along to a friend’s place and practice my skills without the pressure of shooting for a paying client. A couple of weeks ago in early October, I saw the opportunity for a pleasant, lifestyle family photography session with some good friends of ours. My fiance and I joined our friends David and Megan and their adorable daughter Pepper for a wee hike near their home in Cambridge, Ontario. Cambridge is a particularly pretty community, and the walking trails hidden amongst the residential neighbourhoods are lovely at this time of year. Our friends led us to some of their favourite spots, and I was glad I brought the camera along when I saw how beautiful the light and the foliage were. Here’s a glimpse of our journey.


_EBI5940edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5946edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5948edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5920edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5891edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5877edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI6081edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5874edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5879edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5976edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5992edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI6023edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI6067edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5902edit_Emily-Beatty-blog_EBI5974edit_Emily-Beatty-blogLately, some of my goals have been to make more time for the people I love, to get outside more often, to live presently, and enjoy the journey. I take and edit photos for other people all day long, and I’m starting to realize how important it is to nurture my love for photography in a personal way as well as a professional way. Without documenting my own adventures and undertaking creative projects just for the fun of it, my abilities as a photographer begin to grow stale. Excursions like this one rekindle my passion for photography. Its a great feeling.

Thanks David, Megan, Pepper and Todd for a delightful walk in the park!



What Drives Emily Beatty Imagery? A Story About Passion.


Self Portrait, June 2013

This is installment #2 of Alex Beadon’s 7 Day Feel Good Blogging Challenge. If you’d like to see the 1st installment, click here. Today’s topic is PASSION. Here goes…

We were 10 years old, fishing frogs out of the pond in her back yard when my best friend, Carrie spontaneously announced that she could see me being a photographer when we grew up. I scooped up another frog and laughed at the randomness of her proclamation. Ten years later, I found myself switching my major from journalism to image arts at The University of Guelph-Humber. You see, I knew I wanted to tell stories for a living, but I had to get my hands dirty to figure out that I prefer telling stories in a visual format, with a camera rather than a pen.

Today, this love of storytelling has morphed into a passion for making people feel good about themselves through the power of a portraiture. Back in my fourth year at school, my thesis project was about how women’s sense of self esteem is often negatively affected by advertising and fashion photography. I know that seems obvious now, but in 2006 it was pretty groundbreaking stuff. Self expression is important. I believe that a portrait should do more than document a person’s features, it should give you a glimpse of their soul, and capture a moment of truth and beauty. A good portrait makes you feel good about yourself. Its a strange universal truth.

Trish photography by Emily Beatty.

Canadian singer-songwriter and performer, Trish in 2011.

About the same time I figured out that I was meant to be a photographer after all, I was also struggling to deal with a diagnosis of 4 separate digestive disorders. Having been “pleasantly plump” all throughout my childhood despite a healthy diet of homegrown meat and veggies, and constant dance classes, I had finally accepted that I would have to learn to live with my squishy, hourglass figure. Then, in university I suddenly went from a size 14 to a size 4. I was the only kid living in residence that lost weight and got money back from the campus meal plan. Of course my system wasn’t empty, my doctors had me taking meds literally 14 times a day. There was nothing healthy about it, I just couldn’t keep any nutrients in my body. I still had to make it to classes, photo shoots, and weekend adventures, so I avoided food altogether whenever possible for nearly 4 years. I was also working as a nature interpreter at the Humber Arboretum and I didn’t have a car, so I spent 6-8 hours a day hiking. I ended up with a degree in applied media studies and a diploma in creative photography, and a fatigued wreak of a body. I recall falling over from fatigue and dizziness while walking home after school one evening, and only gathering the energy to get up and get home when I realized it was getting dark. I was finally skinny. But it didn’t make me happy the way I had always imagined it would. 506WM

After my four year education in Toronto, I came back to my hometown and got a place with two of my oldest and dearest friends, as well as a boyfriend, Todd. I also registered my business, Emily Beatty Imagery, to ensure that I wouldn’t give up on my long term goals of becoming a successful professional photographer. After the stress of university, being at home with my loved ones and practicing photography and bartending to pay the bills was a welcome change, and little by little, my appetite and the weight crept back. But you know what? I didn’t really mind. The ups and downs of my dress size and the love of a good man have taught me that being confident in your body, expressing your unique traits and living joyfully are the things that make a person beautiful.

I remember being a kid, and in the impetuous way of a child asked my mom something to the effect of, “Hey mom, even though I know you’re fit, your legs and your bum are much thicker than the rest of your body. Doesn’t that bother you?” Her answer was perfect, because I remember it to this day. She told me, “I’m grateful my legs are strong and they allow me to get around and do my job as a nurse and take care of my family.” Having grown up a bit, and accepted that my body is imperfect, I now know that its much more fulfilling to enjoy the capabilities of the body you have, rather than lament the qualities it lacks. When you feel good about the body you’re in, you have the confidence to reach for your dreams, and ultimately that is what makes a person attractive to others. couple's portrait by Emily Beatty

I know that its my calling to help people celebrate their unique qualities and capture joyful moments through unique, heartfelt portrait and wedding photography experiences. Can I just mention here that just last week a bride sent me a thank you card that literally included the words, “You were a dream.”   Nothing feels better than hearing from a client how happy their new pictures make them, and how they devote time every day to look at their images and reminisce about the time they were taken.

Think back to when you got your high school yearbooks. What’s the first thing EVERYBODY does? They check the index to find all the pages where their picture appears. I don’t care who you are, everybody is happy to see themselves looking natural and looking good in a photo. Its just a fact of human nature. For some reason, as social creatures we care about the way we present ourselves to others. I’m super excited to spend the rest of my days creating fun, fresh photos that make all different kinds of people feel good about being themselves.POMBA and Multiple Births Canada photography by Emily Beatty.

I also really enjoy working with young adults, and I regularly visit a local high school photography classroom to inspire the grade 11 students. I also routinely work with the Cambridge YWCA to teach groups of girls in our community about body image issues, how Photoshop works, and how to create their own photography and mixed media art. The school program we’ve developed won awards last year. I’m so grateful to have found a career path that allows me to pursue my interests, meet all kinds of different people, and fill my working hours with a huge variety of fulfilling experiences.

Thanks for taking the time to find out why I’m so passionate about my work as a portrait and wedding photographer. Have a great day!

Get To Know A Fun Portrait Photographer Serving Kitchener-Waterloo and Southern Ontario


Well hello there! This is the 1st installation of Alex Beadon’s 7 Day Feel Good Blogging Challenge.

Welcome to the blog for Emily Beatty Imagery! I know there are about 3 zillion other ways you could be enjoying the Internet right now, so I’m really thrilled you’ve made your way here. I’m Emily, a colourful, glass half full, quirky and laid back portrait and wedding photographer, operating out of my home studio in quaint Belmont Village, right smack in the middle of Kitchener and Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. My mission is to create an environment where my subjects feel completely at ease being themselves, so truthful and genuinely joyous moments can happen in front of my camera.

I love all sorts of photography, but photographing faces is the common theme throughout my portfolio. Whether its documenting a newborn baby’s first days, dreaming up a vibrant new series of creative head shots, building a boudoir set, or capturing every moment of a couple’s first day as a married pair, I always strive to bring out people’s unique beauty. I am at my most fulfilled when I see somebody reacting with visible emotion to a photo I’ve taken. Long term, my goal is to open a luxurious studio designed especially to give women a once in a lifetime, pampered portrait experience.

Now they say a photo is worth a thousand words, so kindly let me share a few images of myself that will give you a much better idea of what my personality and my photography business are all about.

Photo credit: Amy Foster of Fostered Photo

Photo Credit: Amy Foster of Fostered Photo

Photo Credit: Amy Foster of Fostered Photo

Photo Credit: Amy Foster of Fostered Photo


If I had to put it into words, I guess I’d say me and my brand are all about being yourself, living life to its fullest, and celebrating the unique traits that make you you and me me. I believe we all have the potential to be beautiful human beings because beauty is more of an attitude and a feeling than a series of physical traits. I also believe happiness is a choice, and something we can all achieve with the right perspective.

Want some fun facts?

~My fiancee Todd and I have been together for over 8 years, and love nothing more than reading in bed together on a Sunday morning.

Photo Credit: Amy Foster of Fostered Photo

Photo Credit: Amy Foster of Fostered Photo

~ My own mother probably couldn’t tell you my current hair colour, because it changes literally from week to week.

~My heart lives in Algonquin Park, where our family is very luck to have a cottage on crown land- even though I only get to visit for a few days each summer.emily_beatty_1dipdip&swing

~ My bunny Ebenezer Rorschact Bunnicula lives in our kitchen and is spoiled beyond belief. He’s a brat and I love him._EBI6858_edit_Em_Rory_web

~Despite my love for bunnies, my favourite animal is the giant anteater. Hands down. They are totally under appreciated for a creature with so many fascinating adaptations. There is an anteater hidden somewhere in every piece of art I produced during 4 years of high school art classes.

~ I look 10 years younger than I am. In a town with 2 universities I am constantly mistaken for an art student, and at nearly 30 years old, I still have to have my ID ready when I visit the LCBO._EBI2489EDITforwebsite

~ I long to live in the tropics. I love Canada with all my heart, but sometimes I think I was meant to live in Hawaii._EBI1430edit1 For now, I make due by dressing like I’m on a tropical vacation 90% of the time.

~I’m a really lousy housekeeper. I have good intentions, but my constant crafting means there are always stacks of scrapbook paper and picture frames and half finished paintings and jars of glitter invading our living space.

~My goal in life is for Todd and I to retire to a country estate complete with a library, a turret, a photo studio, and a water feature out back. I’ll spend my time with family, and creating completely unique portraits, and I’ll go swimming every afternoon. It will probably take me decades to get there, but I’m excited for the journey._EBI1563edit!_blog

About This Blog

So what am I doing here writing about my hopes and dreams on a photography blog? Well I suspect that the only way to attract the kind of clients that will love and appreciate my work is to put myself out there. I know my work isn’t for everybody. Its very bold and bright and not for the faint of heart… or people that exclusively enjoy beige. I also know that the people that like my work, like it a lot. I take the time to retouch each and every portrait I share, and once you get used to having a professional editor on your side, its hard to go back! Furthermore, its not just the photos that keep my clients coming back, more importantly its the experience of having a custom photo session, and the way you feel when you see yourself looking polished and perfect in print.

It’s a bit of a leap of faith to hire a photographer. You’re putting your image in their hands, and you’re probably going to give up a chunk of change in the process. If you’re going to trust somebody to create memories of your family that could last a lifetime, you want to know you’ve got something in common with that person. Establishing a rapport with your photographer can go a long way to creating, relaxed, genuine portraits that reflect your true personality.

A year ago I started being a little more colourful with my online presence, and the more personality I share, the more I like the kind of clients that are finding me on the Internet. Now, the people that seek me out are almost always a good fit right from the get go.  I feel fortunate to have turned a number of clients into true friends in the 6 years since I launched my business.

The people that hire me are often other young professionals with an eye for design, fashion, or some aspect of the arts. Many are people that are falling in love, getting married, and beginning families. There are also a wonderful little group of clients that tell me, “I love how bright creative your photos are, but I just don’t have an eye for that stuff. I have no idea what colours go together or how to coordinate props- so I need you to come up with something cool for our shoot.” Regardless of background, all my clients come to me because they have something to smile about, and they want to document somebody or something in a way that is fun and fresh.

What really makes my heart happy is working with other offbeat and quirky souls. If you live life differently, if you’ve ever been called eccentric, or alternative, if you’re covered in tattoos or spend half your time immersed in some strange subculture, I’d probably love to work with you to make some one of a kind memories.



Back in March, I turned 29, and as 29 has always been my favourite number, I created a “Lucky Birthday Sale” to celebrate. Over the next 3 months, I was fortunate to work with close to 20 families to plan, shoot, select, edit, print, and deliver unique portraits for them to decorate their homes with. This sudden influx of new clients was one of the busiest times of my life, but also an excellent opportunity to gather feedback from people about what they really wanted out of a photo shoot, which products are the most desirable, and what the average young family in our community are willing to spend on a custom photography experience. Now its time for me to implement some of those lessons and take my business to the next level.

New individualized business cards, branded stickers, and most exciting of all, wall art samples are all going to help me increase the level of service I can provide for clients. Once people have seen their lightly edited proof pictures, they’ll select their favourite digital files to have edited and keep for future use. Even more fun, now they’ll be able to pull product samples out of a case during their sales session, and examine different mediums to find the perfect way to display their new photos. My photo products are all produced by independent, local, Canadian companies that know me and my work, and take care to get every single order just right.aug29thportfolioORDER-Emily-Beatty

I feel particularly good to finally have in my hands a standout product that I’ve been imagining for years. I’m proud to be the only photographer in town offering round acrylic prints. When I first requested these from my printer, the owner kind of looked at me funny and said they’d have to look into the logistics. When we looked at the finished product together all present agreed that the crisp, sharp, bright and modern acrylic format complements my style of portraiture perfectly. round16inch_acrylic_EBI6294edit

My round samples are 12 inches and 16 inches in diameter, and they come ready to hang. A round piece of custom photo art might become a treasured focal point in any room. One day, I’d love to see a wall of these round “bubble prints” on a client’s wall. Round or rectangular, wall mounted or table top, wooden, canvas, metal or acrylic, EBI now has high quality photo products available to suit every client’s personal style and home decor. At last I’ve got everything in place to take people through a custom photo process from planning to presentation to printing albums and installing wall galleries.

If there’s one thing I’d like my readers to know, its that I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve found my life’s calling in making people smile. I think its very important to love what you do. Being a professional photographer in this day and age is anything but easy, but it is incredibly rewarding. Watching your families develop and grow up in front of my lens is a pleasure. Thank you so much for taking an interest in my work. I feel so lucky to have your support.

May your day be filled with sunshine and smiles!




Join EBI For Spooky Styled Halloween Minis in Kitchener!

Halloween is without a doubt, my favourite holiday. I just can’t resist all the cozy fall traditions, costumes and dressup opportunities, tricks and treats. To celebrate the season, this year I’m once again hosting spooky, styled Halloween mini photo shoots for children at my home studio in Belmont Village, Kitchener.
EBIhalloweenminidetails2014webChoose a 15 or 30 minute session, and bring the kids in a costume or a cute outfit involving black/white/green/orange/purple. We’ll have some fun, snap some photos, and each child will leave with a little painted pumpkin souvenir and maybe a treat or two. You’ll have super cute digital photos to share with family and friends, and revisit every fall as your little one gets bigger and bigger._EBI6281editweb
BenhamBoyCard1To book a mini session, e-mail to say hi, let me know how many children you have and how old they are, and share your top 3 choices for time slots. (Scroll down for options.) I’ll write back within 24 hours to confirm your time slot, and share more info about what to expect.
These are some of the accessories that will be available for you to borrow for our minis.
You can stay up to date by joining or visiting the HALLOWEEN MINIS EVENT PAGE ON FACEBOOK.
2014HalloweenAnnouncementweb*Hope you can make it!

Becky & Sean’s Geek Chic Rainbow Themed Backyard Wedding in Elora

_EBI7499edit_WEBThe first time I met with Becky and Sean to discuss wedding photography I tried to play it cool… but secretly I REALLY wanted to work for them. Of course it was the rainbow theme that piqued my interest, but getting to know the bride and groom made me even more excited for their summer 2014 backyard wedding in Elora, Ontario. The two of them are always fawning over each other, just two perfectly matched nerds in love. Sean is warmhearted and jovial, and Becky is sweet as can be, soft spoken and very intelligent. We sampled cupcakes and French macaroons at Honey Bakery in Waterloo, and talked about wedding plans while simultaneously bonding over our love for Harry Potter, music, and the great outdoors.

Right away, I could tell these two had a totally fresh take on wedding planning. They knew immediately that the center piece for each table should be a plasma ball, the draping for behind the head table would be colourful mosiac tapestries painted by the bride’s sister and best of all, every member of the wedding party would wear a different hue from the refracted light spectrum. If you ask the groom where you get a formal rainbow striped vest, he will happily tell you, “My mom made it for me!” When asked why they chose a rainbow theme, they will happily shout, “Because rainbows are awesome!”

Well I’ve gotta say, their wedding was even more awesome. Yep, even more awesome than rainbows. Not even the rain could dampen our spirits. It was a day filled with love, laughter, and light sabers. You have to see it to believe it, but at dusk every single guest participated in an epic, once in a lifetime light saber battle.

Sean and Becky, your wedding day was as unique and special as the two of you, and I wish you both a lifetime filled with all kinds of quirky romantic adventures. Thank you for being different, you rock!



Such  great night! Thanks to my second shooter, Stephanie Canada, for having my back throughout Sean and Becky’s wedding. Although I’m only sharing my own photos from the wedding here on the blog, Stephanie contributed plenty of great shots to our collection of images from the wedding. Hope you enjoyed these pictures, thanks for visiting!

Half A Year Later… 7 Things I Learned From My Lucky Birthday Sale

_EBI9383EBIblueinstaxmini_WEBThere there, poor, sad, neglected blog, I know you’ve missed me. I’m back, and its time to get you all caught up.

Back in March, I held a Lucky Birthday Sale to kick off my last year as a twenty something, and because I’m convinced this is the year my business will finally start to really take off. Nearly 20 families signed up for portraits within 24 hours, and just like that my next three months were booked solid with shoots, sales appointments, editing and deliveries. And when I say solid, I mean SOLID. I was shooting every single day for all of March, 30 working days in a row, and I was sleeping maybe 3-4 hours a night for the entire 3 months it took me to complete all the shoots and orders. By the end of it I was thrilled to have met so many awesome new clients, but oh man was my body run ragged. I happen to have 4 different GI disorders, so lack of sleep and high stress meant I was getting ill (let’s leave it at that) nearly every day for all of April and May.

Now, in retrospect, and after plenty of rest, I have no regrets. I do have some ideas about how I can make my clients’ experiences with EBI even better.

Blue and white family photos in Kitchener, Ontario.

One of the motivations for my sale was to gather feedback during in person ordering sessions. I wanted to know if it was genuinely helpful to visit people in their homes after their shoots to review the images and choose which photos to keep. I also wanted to see what my target market was willing to spend on portraits, and which printed products were the most popular. Fortunately, this turned out to be a very informative exercise.

EBI confetti themeweb

And so, without further ado, here are 7 things I learned from the busiest 3 months of my life:

1. There’s a very good reason the minimum turn around time most pro photographers promise is 3 weeks. I told people 10-14 days, not thinking I would have nearly as many bookings as I did. I was working seven days a week, just as many hours as humanly possible, consuming wayyyyyyy more coffee than my stomach could tolerate, and still every order was completed the day or night it was due with not a moment to spare. I wasn’t willing to compromise on editing time or quality, and so there was simply no time to sleep. Never again. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. From now on, my official turn around time is approximately three weeks.

2. People almost always bought more images than they planned to. In some cases, clients told me they expected to end up with just a couple of shots to frame on the wall, but ended up loving 20-30 pictures enough to keep and pay for them. This is good news for me and my clients. It means I can afford to lower my shoot fee, with the confidence that most people will choose to buy more images than the bare minimum.

3. Photographing multiples is pretty cool, and something that might just become a specialty of mine. My dad is a twin, some good friends of mine have twin daughters, and I had the pleasure of working with I think 10 sets of twins in the first half of 2014. There’s something so unique and beautiful about the relationship that twins have, its kinds of fascinating to see it in action. I would love to collect enough twin portraits to make a book someday. Secretly, I kind of hope the old “it skips a generation” thing is true… maybe one day I’ll have twins of my own. Can you imagine how many photo shoots there would be???

Yellow and white behind the scenes kids photo shoot.

4. Making a client pay for rush processing is not mean, on the contrary, it ensures that other clients get their orders on time. I didn’t ask any of my lucky birthday sale clients to pay extra for rush processing. And wouldn’t you know it, the majority of them had some kind of deadline in mind for the photos that was less than 10-14 days. I recall Mother’s Day was a big one. Because I already had deadlines scheduled every day, when somebody suddenly e-mailed with a request, it meant I was scrambling to get everything done on time. I had to push regular orders back a day or two, then pay the printer for rush fees (up to 50%) out of my own pocket to stick to the delivery dates I originally promised people. A good chunk of what little profit I made on printed products disappeared in those missed rush fees.

5. I need to get a Square reader so I can accept credit cards on the go. I looked into it years ago before it was a common product in Canada, but nowadays I hear from other local vendors that its very reliable, and totally worth it. Up until now, clients needed money in the bank to pay for portraits via e-transfer, cheque, or cash. With Square, clients will be able to pay using credit no matter where our session occurs.

6. People are hesitant to commit any amount of money to a shoot before they know what their images look like. They also don’t want to waste time wading through 20 different package options. There are so many factors that need to align for the perfect portrait shoot: well rested participants, clear skin, good naps, snacks on hand, bad hair days, it can be nerve wracking! Better to pay just a little upfront, knowing you’ll get a handful of good images for sure… and then go from there depending on how well the pictures turn out. Beginning fall 2014, you’ll see new, simplified EBI portrait packages that make life easier for clients.

7. In person ordering sessions save a lot of time in the grand scheme of things. It really does speed things up to go through the proof images together, pick out which ones should be edited, and discuss products tailored to your shoot, face to face. An hour long session is often 3-4 times faster than you trying to make all the decisions yourself, and e-mailing back and forth until your order is confirmed. Its also the best way to ensure that clients end up with actual tangible printed memories at the end of our time together. In some cases, when clients live a ways away from me, it will still make sense to send proof galleries via the Internet and submit orders online. For local families, I’m going to continue to recommend the in person ordering session as a follow up to every shoot.



And so there you have it, seven lessons learned.  Although they aren’t the only seven lessons I learned.

Working my tail off for the first 3 months of my 29th year also helped confirm something else for me: this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I know I have room for improvement as a photographer, and especially as a business owner. I also know that nothing feels as good as seeing somebody’s face light up when they see their own images for the first time. I’m good at making people feel comfortable being themselves in front of the camera, and the smiles I’ve captured are genuine. I think I’m on the right track.