Monthly Archives: September 2015

Beach Cottage Family Portraits in Grand Bend

For years now, Carol Anne has been saying to her children, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have family photos done here at the cottage?” As summer 2015 began to wind down, her youngest daughter (who happens to be dating my brother) organized just such a shoot as a surprise for her mom’s birthday. I put together a pretty gift certificate and all three of Carol Anne’s children and their partners drove to the cottage especially for an afternoon of fun family photography.

(Plus a pizza party.) 

We decided to shoot in the yard at their cottage in Grand Bend, and at the beach just a few minutes walk away. Our theme was simple beach chic with classic neutral outfits so that their portraits will be appropriate to hang on the walls of their homes and the cottage for many years to come. Luckily, the weather was very pleasant for the end of September. As an added bonus, including lots of blacks and whites and stripes in their outfits like they’ve done here means their images will look great in black and white as well as in colour. I brought along one blue vintage suitcase full of props for sitting on, one folding chair and some marquee lights that spell LOVE leftover from our wedding last June, plus my camera bag, of course. That’s all it took for a great shoot!

As I suspected, this family was game for every silly suggestion I flung at them, and we managed to do a family shoot with 8 people plus four mini couples shoots in just over 2 hours. They’ve yet to pick out their favourite shots, but I got all excited by the sand and sky and the smiles and edited up a big teaser gallery right away to get their order started. Here’s a wee sneak peek for you, happy birthday Carol Anne!

P.S. I captured the MOST amazing Ontario sunset on my drive home from this beach shoot. More on that later.

EBI Has A New Boss

Emily Beatty Self Portrait 2015 Hello dear readers, and welcome to the next chapter of EBI! That’s right folks, Mrs. Lister is in effect. My name has changed, but my vision hasn’t. I’ve been slacking in the social media department, but I’m here to tell you that ends now.

Last week I found myself having coffee with a close friend in my living room, and saying something to the effect of, “I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long without a big creative endeavour on the go. I feel like I haven’t produced anything cool in a year.” My friend laughed, because she was seated in the opposite direction, facing a brand new gallery style wall chock full of crafty and colourful photos taken at our wedding. Now I’m looking back on the preceeding months and trying to figure out if this has been the most or least prolific period of my career.

If you ask any of our close friends or extensive family members, it was a crazy vivid year of glitter art, party plans and whimsical expectations. There was a month or two where you literally couldn’t get into our home without tripping on some kind of spray painted, decoupaged, sparkle encrusted wedding craft. I busted our vacuum by exceeding its sequin and glitter capacity. Seriously. All my life I’ve loved making pretty things, and as I recognized the early stages of photography related burnout, I decided to embrace party planning like it was my job. It was a new way to channel my creativity within an industry that I’ve been a part of for several years now. The trouble was from my clients’ perspectives, I’m sure it looked as though I was just hanging out. While my personal contact list was getting tired of seeing so many images of cakes and dresses and tablescapes, those of you who have always supported my art and my business saw a dramatic decline in my engagement with social media as I allowed my focus to drift away from EBI in favour of more romantic pursuits.

I didn’t shoot anybody during July. And that for me, is a big deal. It was a decision I made many months previously, a decision to slooooowww things down and get my bearings. For awhile there you see, I was charging forward, camera in hand, digging myself deeper and deeper into a pile of projects I couldn’t begin to imagine my way out of. When Todd proposed, all of a sudden my creative to-do list doubled. I guess you could say I spent the majority of the past year in over my head. Thank goodness I had my mom and my sister and my partner’s fantastic family keeping me organized and focused when it came to planning our big day.

I was awake for what felt like a week solid during mid June as I scrambled to get everybody taken care of so that I could go well and truly off the grid for a week or two following our nuptials. I sent off the final client photo gallery an hour before we had to go to our rehearsal dinner. Then somebody told me the forecast for our wedding day. Oh boy.

Worst summer storm in six years. Perfect day to get married. Our devoted friends and family members pulled together to throw us the garden party wedding of our dreams in teeming wind and rain that never once let up. The party was confined to a tent in my parent’s backyard, but oh the marvels we had crammed into that tent! At the end of the night we were all very cold and wet, very tired, and very glad to be married and moving on from all the matrimonial mayhem that had dominated the last year of our lives.

I’m so glad I had the sense to step back and enjoy the bridal period of my life. It was a whirlwind that I was thrilled to revel in at the time, but now I’m more than ready to get back behind the camera where I belong. To kick off this new era in my photography career, I challenged myself to put together a self portrait featuring as much Emilyness as I could pack into one small faux-wallpapered square. This was also my first attempt at making floral crowns with fresh greenery, and I have to admit I’m rather pleased with the result. I think I see more DIY tutorials and more self portrait projects on the horizon. After all, I’m the only model I know that works night shifts for free with absolutely no prior notice, and the crafty component is something fun and unique that I can bring to photo shoots. Its worth all the effort, because nothing feels as good as capturing an idea out of thin air, translating it with a camera, and eventually watching it roll out of my printer in real life. At long last I feel recharged and reinvigorated to pursue my passion: connecting with awesome individuals by photographing life’s best moments in vivid colour. Thanks for sticking with me!