Every summer I give myself a promise to do more outdoor photo-sessions. It's truly inspiring and refreshing to be able to create in a new environments, especially in the nature, in a magical golden light.
I hope you enjoy some images from this gorgeous session with my muse and friend Sasha, who was a natural as always. I wanted to create lively and raw portraits and I am very happy with what we managed to create in a very short time. My favourite peonies were a cherry on top!
In far 2010, when I was just starting to learn the craft of portraiture, I spent a lot of time taking self-portraits. Ideas, inspired by subjects, movies, weather conditions or mood, would come to my head rather suddenly. The hunger and passion to create were strong, and it was rather convenient to use myself as a subject. I studied lighting, angles, colours, shapes and different styles of portraiture by capturing myself in a myriad of ways.
I must add that the process of self-portraiture feels like meditation to me, I lose track of time and even space out a bit.
Between the years of 2010 and 2013 I would often create outdoors, incorporating nature or plants and even challenging myself by taking photos in complicated weather conditions.
After many years in the industry my work changed and evolved, I transitioned into studio portraiture and although it offers creative ways and stable results, I will always adore portraits in the nature.
Last week I randomly stumbled upon these gorgeous shrubs of Spirea and I knew I had to return and capture them in some way. So I went back to my roots... just me, the nature and my trusted camera.
I am sure some random passersby found me rather weird, but I had absolute blast working with such incredible scenery.
Enjoy the captures below...
I'm running this Campaign to celebrate the lives and beauty of women over the age of 40, they have so much wisdom to share and Denise was no exception!
Denise is a woman with the sweetest personality and a heart of gold. She believes that there is no problem too big to solve - and that things will always get better.
During our time together we talked, we laughed and we celebrated the good things in life, which are scarce during these challenging times, for many.
Denise have dealt with a lot of adversity and loss in her life - beginning with the suicide of her dearly loved sister. Denise was only 22 and this was the beginning of a difficult journey through grief. She have experienced many other losses through the years. These experiences have led her to to focus on the good in her life, appreciating each day, and bringing positive energy, humour, support and kindness in all aspects of her life and interactions with others.
I asked Denise to answer some questions and I love what she had to say...
Meet Lana! Yet another incredible woman who decided to take part in my "LIFE begins at 40!" campaign.
Lana didn't have to think twice before she signed up, as she is a living proof that it's never too late to try something new and to follow your dreams. Lana tried many new things just before and as soon as she turned 40; she discovered new interesting hobbies, opened her own YouTube channel about backcountry camping and traveling, called "Moose in Canoe", changed her look and even went back to school at 40, for a potential career change.
Below is Lana's story in her own words...
Meet Melody, the first participant of "LIFE begins at 40!" campaign. She is 51 years young and Fabulous!
When I asked Mel why she wanted to participate in my "LIFE begins at 40!" campaign, she said "I think it’s so important for women to celebrate who they are and what they have been through. I want to help younger women know they don’t have to wait until middle age to be true to themselves"
Meeting and photographing Melody was an absolute pleasure! She brought a great energy to the shoot, we laughed a lot, had an amazing time and the photos came out absolutely stunning. This was a fabulous opportunity to reconnect with herself, have her hair and make up done by our amazing make up artist Maria and have a variety of looks captured, including some fitness shots.
Melody, you’re beautiful inside and out and you should be very proud of a woman you are today! Thank you so much for trusting me to capture your beauty. Keep on shining!
I asked Melody to share a bit of her story and to answer some questions for me...
"I’ve dealt with mental health struggles for most of my life, depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms fully directed how I lived my life. With a lot of support, inner strength, being open and vulnerable when asking for help, I am, today, able to manage these behaviours and live fully! It’s been a long, scary, and difficult road, but today – I realize those struggles allowed me to find my strength, my voice and learn how to direct it to fight for what’s important and just.
I went into menopause quite early and unexpectedly. I didn’t know anything other than ‘menopause makes women moody and gives them hot flashes’. It is so much more than that. I would like to see younger women be educated more fully about it and not fear it. With a great doctor and education, I am able to manage it and accept it. I’m not just ‘moody’ or ‘crabby’ because I’m PMSing or in Menopause, I may simply be disagreeing or expressing my opinion about something I hold true. This goes back to being able to be who I am without apology.
Today, I’ve finally found my voice. Even though some days are harder than others, I will use my voice when I see an injustice in the system or being done to someone else (including myself). I feel more comfortable in my own skin and am less afraid or worried to show people who I really am.
To other women, I want to say: ‘Just do you’
Concern yourself only with your own behaviour and don’t worry about what others are doing. If you are doing the right thing, you really can’t go wrong. Change things and work on yourself but let go of the notion that you can change someone else. You got this! Life is so worth it! And can be beautiful – don’t give up, the best is yet to come!"
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF?
"Hold true to what you believe in and who you are (exactly as you are) – allow your values to guide you in everything you do. Don't apologize for being YOU. You are good enough exactly as you are today, change things if you feel it is the right thing to do, but not just because someone else ‘wants’ you to change."
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING YOUR AGE?
"Confidence (not arrogance) that I have developed because of the lessons I have learned and strength I have found over the years. This allows me to help others and be their cheerleader in life."
DO YOU HAVE ANY BIG GOALS FOR THE FUTURE?
"Continuous improvement . Continue working out and getting stronger in all aspects (physically, emotionally, and spiritually)"
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEAUTY SECRET?
"Fresh air, working out consistently and developing a spiritual connection – this allows me to feel grounded and therefore ‘smile so it shines through my eyes’. This to me, trumps any beauty product"
To participate in the campaign please visit
#lifebeginsat40 #over40 #womanhood #womenover40
Photography career may seem glamorous from the outside, and although I truly love what I do (otherwise I wouldn't be doing it) I can assure you there’s another side to the coin. Just as I wouldn’t know much about specifics of a doctor’s or mechanic's job, I do not expect for anyone to know about what day to day is like for a person of my profession, therefore I'd like to take a minute to lift a curtain on the matter.
So you need a photographer. You go to your computer and Google to find a local one. Multitude of names comes up. How do you choose?
It’s not an easy task, so I decided to write this post with the aim of making the process of choosing a photographer more comfortable for you. There are some vital considerations that you should factor into your decision-making process and I'll go over the most important ones below.
One of the most common objections portraits photographers hear on the daily is "I don't like photos of myself" and "what am I going to do with all of these photos"? As a result people avoid being photographed or opt to taking selfies on their cellphone, which often don't do justice to their actual appearance - mostly due to camera distortion or poor lighting.
I get it, we all know how to find flaws in ourselves and wish we looked like so and so (insert name of a celebrity). But I am here to tell you that everyone can look amazing in their portraits and here's why they're important.
1. Document your life. Ideally it's good to have your portrait taken when you're turning 16, when you go to a prom, when you start a new job, when you're getting married, when you are expecting your first child, when you become a mom or dad... etc, etc.. or for absolutely no reason - simply because you feel good about yourself. I believe everyone has a story worth hearing and everyone deserves to be captured and seen.