Portfolio Video Slideshow - Play in 720p when viewing in full screen. **UPDATED JANUARY 2013


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PHOTOGRAPHY FOR FUN: A Photo Walk With Ben - His 3 Best

A little while ago I wrote about the photo walk I went on with my 5 year old. We finally transferred his pictures onto his computer and I showed him how to do some basic editing (crop, adjust contrast, hue and saturation). So without further hesitation, I present Ben's first edited and posted pictures:

He wanted a picture of the bird at the top of the tree so badly. He zoomed all the way out with his camera and then cropped to get this.

He seems to be developing his own sense of editing style already. ;)

This is the same bird house I took a picture of. Same bird house, two very different looks.

He was very excited to share his pictures with you and I think this definitely won't be the last time we see his work!

-- Lisa P.

Monday, March 23, 2009

MY COMMUNITY: Procyon Wildlife Trade Open House

On Sunday, Dr. Cynthia Post held a trade open house at Procyon Wildlife. As I mentioned before, I'm doing some photography related volunteer work there. I took photos during the open house and perhaps Procyon can use them in upcoming newsletters, etc. There were quite a few volunteers there and the place was buzzing when I arrived.

There aren't many animals at Procyon Wildlife at the moment. Apparently within a couple of weeks, the babies will start coming in. Once the busy season starts, I'll head over there more frequently to take photographs. Hopefully I'll be able to provide suitable photographs for marketing purposes as well as for me to sell prints with some proceeds going to Procyon Wildlife. We may even do some sort of book project together, so that would be quite exciting and fun as well. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

CONTINUAL LEARNING: A Daytripper Photo Event

So last year I was in my favourite Henry's store in Newmarket, spending money on camera equipment (of course), and I met Bryan. He organizes photo events where people can learn more about various aspects of photography. It's a great way to practice techniques with models who actually don't mind sitting/standing for a long while since that's what they're there for! :)

Last week he held another session. This one was about studio portrait type photography as well as macro. We got to play with some lighting equipment, try out some lenses. I got to take a few shots with the camera I'm saving my pennies for (Nikon D700). It definitely felt nice to hold!!

I didn't get any model releases for the people shots I took, so I can't post any here. I was more interested in just practicing some shots, etc. I did take a few flower shots. Here's one of them, just for fun.

The next Daytripper venue is Algonquin park in April. I can't wait!!

If you're on facebook, check out Bryan's Daytripper Photo group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14833074303

GETTING ORGANIZED: 'Final' Site Customizations

I've finally gotten my customizations done for my new site. Of course, the Picture Your Life Photography web site will always be evolving, as I can never keep things the same. I have a few tweaks here and there that I'd like to do, but for now, I'm happy with the overall set up and I'll tweak those things over the next few days.

The DGRIN customization forums are where I've lived the past several weeks and I especially want to thank Allen and John for helping me over the past couple of days to sort out some of the finicky things. This stuff is enough to drive anyone crazy I think. Here are the link to their sites. Not only are they amazing at helping us all on our site customizations, they're great photographers too!! Check out their sites.

Allen's: http://www.photosbyat.com/
John's: http://jfriend.smugmug.com/
Anthony's: http://www.brandolinoimaging.com/

So check out the site. Just click on the 'Home' button up top. Feedback is always welcome. Leave a message in the guest book. Click click click!! :))

I've also created a Facebook page. You can find that here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/pages/Tottenham-ON/Picture-Your-Life-Photography/68608509154?ref=ts

The scarey part of all this is that I might even know how some of these CSS and HTML codes actually work now!! ;)

Monday, March 16, 2009

ON THE BUSINESS SIDE - Tax Consultants, Lawyers, Oh My!!

Making sure the business side of my photography endeavour is set up properly is as important as continually improving my skills as a photographer. It doesn't matter if I'm the best photographer around if I'm not managing my affairs appropriately, have no idea what my costs are, don't target my marketing and advertising efforts in the right direction, have poor contracts, etc. etc. The list is pretty long.

The way I see it, overall, I should be spending about half of my time on 'being a photographer' and the other half 'being a business person'. I think that in the first year or two, it's probably even more emphasis on the business side. Of course, I'd love to just spend all of my time 'being a photographer'. That would work out alright if I had people 'on staff' to take care of the business side of things. But, unfortunately, I can't afford 'on staff' people for that. So it's up to me to sort it out.

Since part of 2007 and all of 2008 was spent slowly laying the foundation for formalizing my business, it's important that I spend time with a tax expert. Figure out the right way to keep track of things now so that I don't have to worry so much about it later.

Not only do I have tax items that need to be looked after, I also have things like contracts and model releases that need review, to ensure consistency and appropriateness for my intended use. The phrase that's always in the back of my mind is 'you don't know what you don't know'. That's why there are people who specialize in just these areas. You most likely wouldn't hire your plumber to be your wedding photographer and you probably wouldn't hire your photographer to fix your plumbing.

One of my goals is to establish a long term relationship with professionals such as a tax expert and a lawyer. This way there is someone I can go to who does know.

Not being able to dedicate my full attention to this means that it is a long, slow, frustrating process. But regardless how painful it is, it is absolutely necessary. So now I spend hours organizing my documentation in preparation for meeting with the experts.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

MY COMMUNITY: Procyon Wildlife

Being involved in the community is something I've always wanted to do more of. Having moved to the Tottenham area almost 3 years ago now, I finally found one way to be involved that seems to fit in with where my interests have been taking me for years.

Procyon Wildlife is dedicated to providing skilled care to orphaned, injured and otherwise distressed Wildlife. Animals are cared for by veterinarian, Dr. Cynthia Post and their trained staff of volunteers. The animals are released into their original habitats as soon as they are healthy and able to fend for themselves.

Dr. Post had an article in the local newspaper several weeks ago that talked about what she did and how they were looking for volunteers. Of course, realistically, with a full time 'day' job, about 30 or more hours a week on photography and a 5 year old, for a few seconds I thought I must be crazy. But that did pass and I decided to go to the meeting and see if the ideas floating around in my head would even be of interest to the Procyon Wildlife team. There must be a way that I'd be able to put some of my skills to good use on projects that didn't have time restrictions I wouldn't be able to commit to. I love taking photographs of wildlife and nature and being able to do that and at the same time use those photographs to help raise money for this organization seemed almost too good to be true :)

And that's how I ended up on the fundraising & administrative volunteer team headed up by Pauline English.

Today I went to my first meeting with some of the other volunteers. There are so many ideas and so much work to be done. It's all very exciting. The Procyon Wildlife web site is not yet operational, but when it is, I will definitely post a link to it.

Keep a watch out for more posts about my adventures with Procyon Wildlife under the 'My Community' category.

-- Lisa P.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

GETTING ORGANIZED: More Customization

I've been working on site customization forever! OK, OK. I guess it hasn't been forever, it's been a few months now. It just feels like forever.

My problem is that I'm very stubborn and I want to do it all myself! haha I know I can ask for help on the DGRIN customization forums, but I really don't like to bother people unless I absolutely have to and there is so much information there just waiting for you to search for it. So search for it is what I did.

I had done a bit of customization a year or so ago on my personal smugmug photo site. And up until recently, I was using that site for personal as well as business photography. But late last year I knew it was finally time to separate the two.

I've spent hours, days even, searching the DGRIN customization forums and smugmug tutorials. I'm no HTML or coding specialist by any means, but I'm pretty good at following instructions and I'm good at 'copy & paste'. :) One of the most exciting things was matching up this new blog to have the same look and feel as my site. (Thanks Denise!! http://denisegoldbergplays.blogspot.com/) I also found a few neat 'gadgets' and things on Sheba Wheeler's blog (http://www.pictureyourworldphotography.blogspot.com). I love reading through Sheba's blog. She's a great writer and is always posting useful info.

I'd like to thank everyone on the DGRIN forums who contributed to the tutorials as well as thank those who help the people like me who are attempting to make their sites their own. Even everyone who asked the 'how do I...." questions helped me out, as I was able to find answers to my own questions quite easily most of the time.

I searched for a few things of my own and added them as well. I really LOVE the internet. It's so easy to find things. I couldn't imagine doing what I'm doing way back before the days of the internet. I'd be more exhausted than I am now and not as far ahead!

This weekend will be spent rearranging a few things on my main site. I'm very picky, and I always want things to be 'just perfect' before 'showing them to the world', but I've discovered that if I wait for total perfection, I'd never have moved out of the starting gates. ;) And since people already have business cards and contact information, I'd better get moving and 'finish' the main things I want to finish.

Finish is such an interesting term, as I don't think I'll ever be truly finished. This blog will be forever evolving with each post I make and my main site will hopefully grow in content as well.

On the surface, if you look at my workspaces (ok...don't laugh those of you who know me), I really don't appear to be very organized. But amongst the chaos is my sense of organization. I wouldn't be sitting here writing this entry right now if I wasn't organized. So for that I'm pretty pleased. :))

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I like to just go out sometimes for a walk just to take a few pictures. The cool thing is that Ben (My 5 yr old) often likes to come out with me. We recently gave him our old Olympus digital point & shot camera. It's old, but wasn't cheap when I bought it several years ago. He knows he has to be very careful with it, as it's not as durable as his Fisher Price Rough & Tough version.

We went out on Sunday together. Was a lot of fun :)

Here are a few of the photos I took. I'll try and post a few that Ben took later this week.

Enjoy and remember, these are just for fun. :))

Taking a picture of the 'hole' at the bottom of the toboggan hill.

Our Number

Just a tree

Is this thing on the right setting??
Always time for posing
I wonder if anyone is living in that bird house?
Surveying the damage created by the fallen trees.
Clean up to be done. I usually use that tree beneath the broken ones as a backdrop for photo shoots.
Another posing opportunity

To view the entire gallery: http://www.pictureyourlifephotography.com/gallery/7575922_ViyM8#489693780_eFLQv

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Welcome to my photography blog. I still have much work to do on both my web site and this blog, but I feel I've accomplished so much towards that goal already. It's a slow process, as I'm not able to dedicate my full attention to it, and it's frustrating at times, but even slow progress is still progress. :)

It feels like it's been forever since I started down this path. Who knew that I'd finally figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. It should have been obvious to me, all the hours I spend on photography and web related activities, but perhaps I was too close to realize that I was already doing it!

So fast forward a few years and now I've registered my business after months of searching for that perfect name. I think I've found it. 'Picturing your life' is the main reason I love taking photos. It goes by too quickly to not stop and capture the important moments and events and places you've been.

The purpose of this blog is to keep those of you following along, as I travel down my photography path, informed and entertained.

Feedback, both here and on my web site, is always welcome. I'm continually looking for ways to improve my photography, my writing, my design skills.

Thanks for looking. :)

-- Lisa P.