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


Sunday, May 31, 2009

ON THE BUSINESS SIDE: Exposure & Twitter

One thing that I think is important is exposure. And I'm not talking about exposure in my camera. ;)

I don't have a budget for big advertising and marketing campaigns, so what I'm using are tools available to me that have no associated monetary cost. Things like:

Word of mouth
Facebook Page
This Blog
Google Maps Ad
and a few other things....

Twitter is the most recent addition. If you're a follower of my blog, you may have noticed that I added a Twitter Feed to this blog about a week ago. If you didn't notice, you can find it on the right side column, just under the Live Traffic Feed.

Twitter is an interesting thing. It's filled with SPAM and useless information. But on the other hand, I've also found useful information there (things like news related items, industry specific information, etc.). I figure I have to take the bad along with the good.

My Twitter profile name is 'PictureYourLife'. I pretty much from the beginning decided to tie it to my business.

How does it work? Well, you 'follow' people, which means that whatever they are writing about is pushed to you. Someone sees you following person 'X' and they decide to check you out. If they like what they see, they might follow you. Then they get whatever I'm writing about pushed to them. And it goes on and on. It's a slow process that seems to just grow over time. You follow people, they follow you, their followers follow you, etc. etc.

My goal in using something like Twitter is basically to get the word out about my business. I've noticed that maybe every other time or so that I post an update I get a random hit on my blog. It's also helping me become more aware of information in my industry as well.

There has been talk that Twitter might not be free to use in the future. If it does become a pay to use service, I'll have to re-evaluate if it's still worth it to use. I figure, even if I only get one or two leads from using Twitter, between that and the tidbits of useful information that are pushed to me daily, it's worth using if it's free.

I decided to try out Tweet Deck, which is an application that helps to organize the informatin you're following on Twitter. I find it quite useful. It helps me to weed out the people I'm following who I don't necessarily want instant update from.

So if you're on twitter. Follow me!!

-- Lisa P.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Ben had a friend over for a 'playdate' last weekend. She is such a little cutie and they had so much fun. They wanted to play hide & seek and pirate & shark so they had me running around outside. I figured that if I had to be running around outside I might as well have my camera with me in case I saw something interesting to shoot (surprise! LOL). What I saw were two cute kids (of course I'm biased) having a lot of fun. :D

She was wearing this really cute hat with polka dots and I loved the colours. Here are a few shots from that afternoon, dirty faces, dirty shirts and all. :)

Hiding in the Grass

Heading Off To The Playset

Love That Hat

So glad there were no 'boogers' in there!

A Compromise - Let's blow it away together

I was getting eaten alive by blackflies and had to beg them to come inside for a while. I guess better they chomp on me vs. the kids.

Thanks for looking!

-- Lisa P.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ON THE BUSINESS SIDE: Lovin' my 'new' network!! <3

So my meeting with my friend and previous colleague Chris D this past weekend was definitely eventful. :)

He got almost all of the computers in the house to talk to each other and share 'stuff'. We had one problem child and that's hubby's desktop. It's the senior of the bunch, maybe 6 years old, and it's being stubborn and not wanting to communicate openly with the rest of the group. That's not that big of a deal though as it's not used extensively anymore.

I know I could have eventually figured out how to get it all set up if I had the time to spend, but those who know me and my already hectic schedule know that there aren't many extra minutes in a day. Having Chris come over was a much better use of my time and money! :)

There are two time savers that have been implemented. I can now share files easier between computers. This is handy because all of my photo files are on one computer where I do all of my photo editing, and it was a bit of a pain when I wanted to use some of those photos on the other computer I usually do web work on. So that was step number one in my file management improvement project. The second thing that I am VERY happy about is that I can now print from my computers to my older printer that is attached to my 5yr old's computer. Sometimes I just want to print out text or draft items and I hate doing that on my dedicated photo printer.

I really confused my son the other day when I printed something on his printer. He was playing a game on his computer and I sent something to print and walk out of the room to do something else. It took a little while for the document to spool to his printer and when it started to print he started hollaring for me. "Mommy! Mommy! I was playing my game and I didn't even print any pictures or anything and my printer is printing something out!!!!" heeheehee ;)

I know for some, these are little, simple things to set up, but sometimes it's the simple things that make me happy :D

The next step in this project is to implement a dedicated file server. Hopefully in the next few weeks that will all get sorted out. Chris is working on a couple of other jobs right now, so I have to wait until he's done with those.

Thanks Chris for coming up this past weekend. :)

In case anyone is interested, here is a link to his web site:


-- Lisa P.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #3: What make of camera do you use??

Hi everyone,

Thanks for voting in the last fun poll. This week I'm interested in what make/manufacturer of cameras you are using. I use Nikon. When I bought my first DSLR camera a few years ago, I didn't really have a preference. I just wanted something that was good quality and that I could grow with for 2-3 years. I did look at a few different manufacturers and had it narrowed down to Nikon or Canon. The guys at my local Henry's answered the questions I had, made some suggestions based on what I said I wanted to use the camera for and I ended up chosing Nikon.

I didn't really understand it at the time I bought it, but I really like the Creative Lighting System that Nikon has which allows me to use off camera flashes triggered with the infra-red sensor.

I'm not well versed in all of the 'official' technical terms, so my explanation above might be a bit 'off', but I know how to make use of the functionality and I do LOVE it. Because I do on location sessions, it's been really handy because it's much more portable than my portable studio strobes. :)

If you have a particular reason why you are using the make of camera you use, let me know in a comment to this post.

I look forward to hearing from you. :)


Nikon 1 (14%)
Canon 5 (71%)
Sony 0 (0%)
Olympus 1 (14%)
Panasonic 0 (0%)
Kodak 0 (0%)
Fuji 0 (0%)
Pentax 0 (0%)
Other 0 (0%)

-- Lisa P.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


My little guy is getting bigger! Today we finally went to get him a new bike. It seems he grew quite a bit over the winter and his old bike is so tiny now! He was SOOOO excited.

The New Bike

Of course, how can you tell he has a photographer for a Mommy? Instead of rushing to help him when he falls, I make sure I get a shot of it first (of course, if he were REALLY hurt, I'd wait to take the photos...*wink*). When he's older, he'll kill me for this one. I only wish he was wearing his white Pokemon undies. His shorts got caught on the seat when he fell so when he tried to stand up, it pulled his shorts down a bit, exposing his cute little bum.

A Little Help Here Please!!

He wasn't too pleased that I took a picture of him, so off he went. The first of many short trips down the street on his new bike :)

I'm Outta Here!!

Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

-- Lisa P.

Friday, May 22, 2009

ON THE BUSINESS SIDE: Networking & Data Storage

I'm excited because an old colleague of mine is coming over tomorrow morning to help me sort out my networking and data storage issues and requirements for both my personal and business environments.

Why am I so excited? Because my hard drives are full, my backup drives are full (I over do things when I do backups because I'm so paranoid about making sure I don't lose ANY files, especially client related files and those personal ones that are near and dear to my heart) and I'm tired of not having the photo I need on the computer I'm working on when working on various client and personal projects. I see a positive impact to my workflow in my future, and that's before adding some new software tools into the mix!!

I'm not looking for a really complicated or expensive solution. Just something that will meet my needs and is also relatively simple to manage and maintain. I'm not a techie, but I'm not computer illiterate by any means. My biggest issue is just not having the time to research and set things up properly by myself. This is one situation where I can buy time for myself. And I'd much rather work with someone I know and trust than hiring a complete stranger. My client (and personal) files are REALLY important to me and I won't allow just anyone to mess around with them. We won't resolve everything tomorrow. He needs to come and take a look at my current set up first. But there may be a few small things that can be done right away that will help. :)

The downside is that I have to tidy up my office. OK....more than just tidy it up. It's a disaster. While it may sometimes appear that I'm very organized, if you look in my office you see a very different picture. I can't take all of the blame. I have to share space with my 5 yr old. He does have a small corner filled with 'artwork' he prints out along with his various computer CD's, random toys and miscellaneous articles of clothing which he feels is perfectly acceptable to leave tossed around his computer. And while I did contemplate taking a photo and posting it here, I changed my mind and will keep that tiny detail a mystery to most of you! ;)

The question is whether or not I will start tidying up tonight, or if I'll take the night off and just get up early as usual tomorrow and tackle the job then. I'm hearing a Smirnoff Ice calling my name from the fridge. Or wait....is that a chocolate martini I hear? I might just have to go and check it out. ;)

-- Lisa P.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

MY COMMUNITY: Procyon Wildlife - Can they be any cuter??

The list of photography and web projects I have on the go is far too long for me to be blogging at the moment. But while editing a few more of the Procyon Wildlife animal shots last night for use on the web site, I knew I wouldn't be able to resist posting these two for long.

Sleeping Baby

"Who are you?"

Just look at those eyes. Animals can really say a lot with their eyes.

The time is flying by and I have to soon call it quits for the night. How I wish I could spend a few more hours on these projects. But 5am comes way to soon and I'll soon have to switch gears away from photo edits, web updates and photography business related items, back to my day job and contracts, revenue reports, financial system upgrade verification. But I'll be back in less than 24 hours!! :)

Thanks for reading. (and don't forget to vote in the just for fun poll at the right)

-- Lisa P.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #2: Why do you take pictures?

Thanks to everyone who participated in last week's poll. The results can be found at the bottom of last week's post about the poll.

This week, I'm curious about why you take pictures.

I take pictures for multiple reasons. Some of those reasons are:
  • preserve personal memories
  • photographs for clients
  • I just love taking pictures!!

So for this week, tell me why you take pictures.

-- Lisa P.


I just like taking pictures 3 (75%)
I like to preserve memories 2 (50%)
I'm interested in the technical aspects of photography 0 (0%)
I take photos for clients 1 (25%)
I sell stock photography 0 (0%)
I sell art photography 1 (25%)
Other 1 (25%)
I don't like to take pictures 0 (0%)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WEEKLY POLL #1: What type of camera do you typically use?

I love polls. So I'm wondering why it took me so long to add the 'Weekly Poll' category!?

If you look just to the right of this post, you'll find the weekly poll. It should be the third section from the top on the right hand side. Go ahead and vote. I know you want to click. :)

This week the poll is asking 'what type of camera do you typically use?' I'm curious to know.

At the end of the poll I'll edit this post and add the results for future reference. Then I'll remove the poll and post a new poll topic. My plan going forward is to post a new poll every Monday.

EDITED May 18, 2009 - Poll Results:

Film Camera - 0 (0%)
Point & Shoot Digital - 2 (40%)
Digital SLR - 3 (60%)
Video Camera - 0 (0%)
Other - 0 (0%)

-- Lisa P.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MY COMMUNITY: Procyon Wildlife - Another Visit

I've had the opportunity to visit Procyon Wildlife a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. The purpose of these visits has typically been to take photographs of the animals, however today I needed to take photographs of the Board members for use on the new Procyon web site.

Of course, since I was there and was told that a new animal had been brought in, I couldn't resist trying to catch a glimpse of it. I think this is the first time Procyon Wildlife has been brought a weasel.

The Weasel

It's difficult, sometimes, to get really good photos of these animals as I don't want to disturb them too much. This is an example of one of those not so great photos, but I couldn't resist posting it. This little weasel was about 3-4 inches in length and its eyes weren't even open yet. So cute. I think it has sharp little teeth already though!

Most of the animals being cared for at Procyon are raccoons like this little fella.
Baby Raccoon

There is always a hub of activity at Procyon whenever I've gone to visit. It's amazing the amount of work involved to take care of all of the animals there.

I've been able to take quite a few photographs that we will hopefully be able to use on the web site and in various marketing materials. I just need to get some time to go through and process them all!

-- Lisa P.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

MISCELLANEOUS: The end of another very busy weekend

No photos to post along with this entry unfortunately. I'm too exhausted.

I often wonder how people managing photography businesses part time in addition to 'day jobs' and family obligations do it. During the past couple of years there have been times when things have become very overwhelming.

But at the end of the day, as I sit and reflect on this weekend (and even on the past couple of weeks), I'm reminded why the many, may hours are worth it.

The Boudoir photo shoot last weekend was an absolute blast. It was and exhausting 5-6 hours of shooting and testing lighting, etc. but was so worth it in the end. The ladies were fantastic and while not all shots turned out the way I had hoped, I was very surprised at how many proofs for each woman I was able to provide them with and was equally surprised at how many of them they like! :) And the feedback from some initial post processing has been very positive as well. Oh how I love this job! :)

My 5 year old asked me if we could do another 'Photo Walk' so he could take pictures of the sun coming up. How cool is that?! So we were out the door shortly after 6am this morning. I didn't take many photos this time. This was his trip and I was the chauffeur. It's interesting the things he wants to photograph. I can't wait to buy him his first DSLR one day. I'm having troubles trying to show him how to use some of the not so automatic settings on our old Point and Shoot that I gave him. Would be so much easier on me if he had an entry level Nikon (like the D40 or D60...or anything similar)!! haha He even commented today that he would be able to get the entire pond in his shot if he had a big one like mine (as he said pointing to my lens which has a wider angle than his camera does). He asks questions and wants to know what the settings are for and can't wait to see his pictures in 'big' on his computer. While we were having breakfast at McDonald's, he told me it was the best day ever! :D

This afternoon I must have spent almost 4 hours (over two trips) at Procyon Wildlife shooting pictures of the animals there. Was a great experience and I'll write more about it in another post. I think I've definitely found the right place to volunteer my time and give a little something back.

So yeah, I'm still exhausted and can barely type because my arms are so tired, and I must still have somewhere close to 1000 photos that still need to be reviewed and processed (between personal photos, client photos and volunteer work photos), but it's all sooooooo worth it!! :D

Thanks for reading and next time I promise to include some photos! ;)

-- Lisa P.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

CLIENT SHOOTS: Boudoir Photo Shoot

I was finally able to schedule a Boudoir photo shoot last weekend. My 5 yr old son was disappointed that he wasn't able to 'help' at this photo shoot. How do I explain Boudoir Photography to a 5 yr old? Well, I told him that I was going to be taking pictures of some women in their underwear and that they were too shy to have boys see them in their underwear. After the giggling stopped (he's at the stage where underwear is funny to him), he seemed to understand and moved on to the next thing in his life.

As the weekend got closer, he told me that he told his teachers that his "Mommy was going to be taking pictures of Mommies in their underpants in the basement". The simplified definition of Boudoir Photography! haha :)

What is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir Photography is photographing a woman in her bedroom or private sitting room in various stages of ‘undress’. Boudoir photos can be revealing, but they don’t have to be. Sometimes what you don’t see makes the photograph that much more sensual than what you do see. Some people are more comfortable revealing a little more of themselves than others. Boudoir photos are very personal to the woman being photographed.


My goal is to help each woman portray herself in the way in which she feels her most sensual. This is done by providing a comfortable setting (whether that be in my studio or in her own home), ensuring communication throughout the shoot and allowing the client to view a sample of the images along the way to ensure that the proper look is being achieved.


I've found that processing/editing Boudoir photos is more involved than with regular portraits. I want to make sure that I simply enhance the beauty of each woman that already exists and not over do things. Lighting tends to be more dramatic and there is typically more skin exposed. Balancing skin colour from face to body can sometimes be a challenge, especially in the cooler months where the body is typically covered up.


Aimee - High Contrast

I absolutely love it! I can never get through the raw photos fast enough, as I can't wait to show the client her proofs. And once she has chosen her favourites for editing, I can't wait to publish the finals to her private gallery. It is so rewarding when a client is as excited to see her photographs as I am to take them. :)

In addition to individual Boudoir sessions, I'm really hoping that I will be able to book Boudoir Photo Parties. I will be posting more about this in the near future once I update the Boudoir Photography section of my web site. They are sure to be a lot of fun and what better thing to do for a 'Girls Night In'.

I want to thank the 3 beautiful and sexy women whose photographs are featured in this blog post. It was an honour taking your photos last weekend and your patience as I tested various lighting placements was very much appreciated!!

-- Lisa P.