Tag Archives: personal work

Springtime Florals, From The Potting Shed

On Sunday, it finally felt like spring was about to make her debut. For months now I’d been meaning to drop in and check out the floral experts at From The Potting Shed, and Sunday, at last, the stars aligned, the sun came out, and we we able to meet the team at their monthly open house. What a breath of fresh air! Visiting this stone cottage was the perfect way to start spring 2017. Finding the location in Galt, Cambridge was a bit of a challenge, but once my husband and I arrived it was easy to see why the business has chosen to call this spot home. The abundant natural lighting alone was enough to make me swoon. Add heaps and heaps of blossoms, and I felt like I’d found a little slice of heaven perched on a hilltop in Cambridge.

My mom is somewhat of an aspiring florist and I had hoped to bring her along for the tour, but that aspect of our plans didn’t work out. Luckily I had my camera bag with me, as we were en route to my grandmother’s birthday party. After our complimentary tour, I couldn’t help but ask the owners if I could snap a few shots, and they were gracious enough to allow me 10 minutes with my camera and their florals. I’m sharing these images because they are beautiful, but also so my mom can see what she missed while she was busy hosting her mother’s birthday party. Thankfully, I know there will be lots of other opportunities to visit FTPS with her in the future.    

These folks do some great work, and I’m excited to have them make me up some floral crowns for our upcoming boudoir feature this May. Thank you very much to Elaine, Kathy, Nicole, Bill and the rest of the team for your hospitality, and especially for the little customized bouquet. My grandmother loved it.

The next open house for brides is April 8 & 9 if you want to check out this beautiful business for yourself.





















All The Colour

Well hello there! Got time for a quick story?

Emily Beatty Imagery 2016


Years ago, while preparing for one of my early art sales, my dad, in an attempt to counsel me, said, “You know Em, you like to make everything really colourful. And that’s cool, but some people don’t have the kind of house that works with that sort of art. Some people like beige.” I gave it some thought and he’s right of course, but I’m too stubborn to let it rest at that, so I replied, “Well if the people want beige, I’m sure there are 100 other photographers in town that can do a great job taking boring photos for them.” I’ve always done things my own way, and I don’t see any reason to stop now. My experiments with more frequent, more stylized mini photo shoots are going well. I want to see my work expand in exciting, more bold, more independent directions. I’m going to stay focused on creating work for clients that I really like and I’m proud of. That means its going to be joy-filled, vivid, fun and always, always, colourful.

It turns out your vibe really does attract your tribe, so in 2016 I’m putting it all out there. My art isn’t for everybody, but those who like it, like it a lot. I’m all about portraits that are packed with a ton of colour, texture, fun angles, and genuine emotions. If you like your life bright, bold and sunny side up, you’re in the right place, and you should be excited because I have a shocking amount of never before seen images coming to the blog soon. Want to collaborate on a shoot? Got feedback? Leave me a comment below, or better yet, shoot me an e-mail, I’d love to hear from you!


emilybeatty_signature for contract







A Kitchener Waterloo Portrait Photographer’s Top Shots from 2015

EBI_2798instaEDIT__Emily_BeattyWhat a year! For me and EBI, 2015 turned out to be a flurry of excitement full of extreme highs and lows, big life changes and unprecedented career opportunities.

The year opened up with elaborate plans for my own “glitter garden party” wedding scheduled for June, escalated with Easter minis, continued with the honour winning a YWCA 2015 Woman of Distinction Award, got complicated when I learned who my true friends were in the spring months, and peaked in June when I vowed (on literally the rainiest, stormiest day in 6 years) to stick with Todd forever. Just our luck.


Me and my business hit the ground running in August and the number of jobs I had on the go steadily increased until holiday minis and then the Christmas rush were upon us. After some personal tragedies and the deaths of 2 family members and my beloved bunny, Todd and I had plenty of opportunities to test the strength of our new marriage. I’m pleased to report that through all the various challenges 2015 presented us with, the two of us have become a stronger team than ever. With his support, I shot and edited more portraits for more clients this holiday season than I would have believed possible in the recent past. For weeks on end I was running on coffee and editing around the clock as Todd delivered photo packages for me all over town. I actually had to turn potential clients away in December because there just weren’t enough hours to fit everybody in before the big deadline on the 25th. I would have liked to help those families out, but I admit it also felt like a bit of a milestone for my business to have reached a point where I can afford to turn people away.ebi_0425editCrop__Emily_Beatty

At long last, it feels like I’ve got a substantial client base rooting for me, and what excellent clients they are! In a classic example of Murphy’s law, when my new husband and I finally got a chance to slow down on Christmas day, Santa blessed us with food poisoning and we both rang in the New Year in a rather disgusting state.

It truly was a crazy year, full of far more challenges, joys and sorrows than I ever could have anticipated. These are the images, personal and professional, that stick out for me after the last 365 days of living life and pursuing my dreams at full speed.


Fun kids portrait photographer in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Elmira area. _EBI9790_ZOE__Emily_BeattyEBI_4840e__Emily_Beattyebi_6710edit__Emily_Beatty_EBI0108CropEDIT_montage_Emily_Beattyebi_6496edit***__Emily_BeattyEBI_4955cropEDIT**__Emily_Beatty_EBI4286edit*__Emily_Beatty_EBI7921edit*_montage_Emily_Beatty_ebi2261eCROP*sqEBI_3341eebi_3200edit_montage_Emily_Beatty_EBI4480edit__Emily_Beatty5385edit_montage__Emily_Beatty30th_EBI_4783__blog__Emily_Beatty_EBI6015edit*__Emily_BeattyEBI_3523edit__Emily_Beattyebi_0425editCrop_montage__Emily_BeattyJ&B-412__Emily_Beatty

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Thanks so much for being here and for taking a few moments from your busy day to glance at my pictures. Wishing you love, peace and joy in 2016.



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!




Cake Face

For the past 5 years, “Cake Face” has been my favourite extra curricular photo project. Its also the series that I get the most questions about. “What is that???” “What do you mean by cake face?” “Why are you doing these?” I figure the debut of emilybeattyblog.com is the perfect time to address some of these popular queries.



Cake Face began almost exactly 5 years ago one June afternoon at the house in Uptown Waterloo where I lived with my two best friends. Susan had an oversized magazine featuring work by all kinds of talented commercial photographers. Paging through, I stumbled upon a series where models with comically huge, teased hairdos were posed on a neutral grey backdrop with some sort of tiny crystals all over their faces. I’ve always been drawn to gradients, and loved the way the makeup, whatever it was, blended from one shade to another in a dramatic, super-textured way. We all went from bored to inspired. I enlisted my other roomie, Britt, to model for me, and we started dreaming up our first crazy fashion/makeup/concept collaboration.

Step 1 was was to go to the Bulk Barn and buy a whole bunch of coloured sugar crystals. The kind usually used to decorate cakes and cookies… get where the cake face title came from yet? Next, I went digging through my craft supplies, and found an orange wig, a bunch of feathers and a glue gun. Britt had incredibly short hair at the time and I knew this look would be more dramatic if it included a crazy hair piece of some kind. We decided on a warm and sunny look with fiery colours blended together.

Shoot day, I spent about 2 hours painting sections of Britt’s face with water based face paint, then carefully sprinkling the sugar crystals onto the wet paint, and pressing them down. The makeup is delicate, and sprinkles coated the apartment before we headed our to our backyard to make use of the late afternoon sunlight outside. We tried a few full body shots, but quickly found that focusing on Britt’s face, and the texture of the cake sprinkles was the most interesting angle. Cake Face 1 continues to be a personal favourite.


This first backyard shoot generated so much interest that I decided to make it the first of 4 seasonal themes. Next would come Winter, which we shot in my living room with borrowed lighting equipment. emily-beatty-imagery-cake-face-2


Wondering how I got her hair to stand up like that? Shaving cream. And a liberal application of glitter, naturally. We were going for a Jane Frost kind of look this time around. I wanted even more texture on Britt’s skin, so this time we tried white acrylic paint as a base. It worked in the sense that the cake sprinkles clung nicely to the paint. However, Britt was less than pleased when she had to spend 45 minutes in the shower scrubbing her face to get the paint off. Lesson learned. Use face paint for faces if you don’t want to piss off your model. Next would come spring.

Spring would prove to be quite challenging for reasons I never expected. The morning of the shoot, I went to my friends’ house to snip some little blossoms from their tree. It was a good start, but I needed some bigger blossoms to surround my model’s face. I saw the perfect magnolia tree at the edge of my friend’s apartment complex, pulled my car into visitor parking and got out my super sharp kitchen scissors. First snip. Something was not right. I looked down and saw the tip of my middle finger in the dirt. Gross, I know. Then I looked at my left hand. Bad idea. All I thought was, I need to get home before I pass out from blood loss. I drove home with one hand on the wheel and the other clutching some Kleenex above my head. My mom is a nurse, and luckily when I called her she came running with her gauze and bandages in tow. An hour later I was still bleeding- but mom had patched me up, and my friends had arrived. I could barely hold my camera- but we decided to proceed. We also decided that 1pm was an appropriate time to start drinking wine– in light of my injury and all. By the time we had Britt all set to go for this shoot, it was mid afternoon and all the neighbours had gathered to watch the ridiculous photo shoot happening on my deck. It didn’t go exactly as planned- but it went OK, all things considered.



Now we had completed 3 of the 4 seasons, with just fall remaining. We were beginning to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to Cake Face. Moving forward, we agreed that it was essential to have the cake sprinkles covering as much of the face, neck, ears and eyelids as possible. We also wanted to be consistent about completely covering the model’s hair in each scenario. I also wanted to be more meticulous with the layers of paint under the sprinkles, and to plan my shots before the camera got involved. Working with studio lights for the winter shot went really well– but for fall, we would have to make due with natural light one more time.



It took us two years to complete the initial seasonal series. Four cake faces in, we had no intentions of quitting this project. Britt and I continued to plan concepts for future shoots, even though we worked very different hours and had a hard time finding enough free time to shoot. The cake face look takes between 1-2.5 hours to complete, and the photo shoot lasts about a half hour. By the time you factor in getting supplies, reviewing sketches, discussions, makeup application, lighting tests, shooting time and showering time + cleanup, you need a good 6-8 hours to pull off one of these looks. It would be awhile before I was sufficiently motivated to attempt a new look.

Cake Face 5 was completely inspired by the handmade wool scarf Britt is wearing in the shoot. I love visiting the One of a Kind Show in Toronto once or twice a year. Artisans from all over the country congregate to sell wonderfully unique handcrafted items from soap to silver jewellery, photography prints to pepper mills. At the 2011 show, I fell in love with the scarf the instant I saw it. It’s the only one like it in the world. It reminded me of Tim Burton and corpse flowers and Alice in Wonderland and all kinds of warped but beautiful things. It can be shaped and styled in 1000 different ways. I paid a shocking amount of money to own it, because I simply had to photograph it. Come to think of it, I should really come up with another way to utilize it in a shoot. Anyway, I had a model and a red and black scarf and a big red bed sheet to use as a backdrop. For maximum contrast, we settled on a colour scheme of just red and black. (Black cake sprinkles were hard to find, but I eventually paid like $7 for a little jar at Michael’s.) For red details, we found dramatic false eyelashes in the Halloween section of Value Village. The rest is history.

emily_beatty_cakeface5 2

This shot marked the first time we allowed Britt’s natural hair to show in a cake face photo. We sprayed some red-orange temporary colour on her hair, and I used Photoshop to make it appear much more red. We ended up with a very strong, androgynous kind of look that I find very eye-catching. This image was displayed at the Silicon W gallery on Duke St. for quite a few months.

After the the drastic red and black colour scheme we used for the previous shoot, we decided that out next attempt should feature a rainbow of colours. I went back to the Bulk Barn and bought a gigantic bag of “hundreds and thousands” and cake face 6 was born.


This shoot was the first one we did with my brand new Alien Bee lights. What was unintentionally interesting about this shoot was the way our model’s features all but disappeared into the pattern created by the sprinkles. Where did her nose go? Perhaps we should have painted her lips a different colour- but the result is certainly interesting. Again, we sprayed her hair and used Photoshop to exaggerate the hue. Though she was utterly covered in hundreds and thousands, I did spend quite a bit of time in post production adding extra individual sprinkles to fill out the pattern.

By now Britt and I had collaborated on 6 different unique shoots and while she will always be the original and best cake face model, I wanted to explore some different faces for my project.

I would end up going back to Susan to model for my first non-Britt cake face project. This one was simply motivated by a recurring attraction to purple and gold. I wanted to incorporate both the traditional sprinkles, and other textured sparkles in to this new concept. I also wanted it to look rich and exotic. I handmade the purple black and gold lashes that Susan is wearing using craft feathers, an exiting pair of falsies, and a glue gun. We had a hell of a time getting them firmly attached to her face, but I think they totally complete the look. We took this photo with my lighting equipment set up in my basement. My model is lying on her back on a purple paper backdrop.



By this point, people were starting to take notice of our little pet project. Musical artist Trish was visiting Silicon W in early 2012 and was intrigued by the cake face images she saw displayed there. We started talking about the possibility of a shoot together, and in May of 2012 Much Music provided the funding for us to work together for a day. For the first time, I had Britt with me as an assistant and co-makeup artist rather than a model. We spent 11 hours creating a series of different looks for Trish. That will have to be a whole other blog post! For now, check out the partial cake face look that we created for her at the end of that day.


And then there were eight. Eight is a good number, but I think it is just the beginning. When I started this project, it seemed completely unique. Nowadays, there are plenty of photos floating around the Internet with models with candy stuck to their faces. I like to think we pioneered the concept. Ultimately, I’d like to see cake face become a coffee table book. A big, heavy volume with huge, detailed prints of 40 or 50 different faces on glossy pages.

Would you be interested to see such a book? Give me your feedback so I can continue to make this project more awesome!