Thursday, 30 November 2017

Holiday Picks with Amanda

November has been an insanely busy and tiring month. Personally, I've been tied up with work (gotta pay the bills and put cat food into Rocky & Molly's bowls!) but also feeling kind of down-trodden by the gloomy and dreary weather. Despite the holiday cheer and decorations in all the malls and stores, it all feels kind of over-the-top and artificial to me. I've been swamped trying to edit through wedding photos from last month but also feeling creatively stifled in that the weather and lack of energy after work prevented me from going out and shooting more. I was in desperate need of some quality bonding time with close friends, so how lucky for me that Amanda recently moved to Montreal, cutting the distance between us in half!

Photos in this month's fashion post are from our hangout in Montreal over Black Friday weekend. Since we spent a lot of time in stores (and most of Amanda's things were still back in Toronto), I wanted to try a different approach from the other posts. While some of the pieces featured are from Amanda's wardrobe, I also wanted to share some of her picks from our favourite local boutique, in order to showcase the different occasions throughout the November-December season. Check out the photos and outfits below!

Tie top from Forever21
Tartan skirt from Dynamite

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Fall Couple Shoot

Brr! can we trade the frost on the ground for the leaves back on the trees, please :(
I love Canada but one downside to living in our Great White North is how short autumn is and how soon winter's chill hits us square in the face!

Following my shoot with Haikang and Maycee, I was pumped up to get more photos with the gorgeous fall colours. And so I returned to York Regional Forest with Bonnie and Jimmy for a couples photo shoot. It was a short session but it went really well!

Monday, 6 November 2017

Favourite Fall Fashions

Hands down, fall is the best weather for fashion. This transitional time is perfect for playing around with multiple layers and different textures and colours. Plus, my general vicinity (aka. where these photos were taken - Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal) was fairly warm and mild autumn throughout October (although that's all over now -- brr!!) I really enjoyed putting together my Summer Fashion post so here goes another post for my favourite fall looks!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Sweater Weather with Haikang

Forget the Autumn Equinox or Thanksgiving, for me, it's not really fall until the leaves change colour and you bust out the cozy sweaters!  For October's fashion post, Haikang and I drove out to York Regional Forest to try to get some fall colours in our shoot.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Family Photoshoot and MosaiCanada

Something different for today's blogpost! I've shared family photos on here before, but they've always been of my own family :P

A little while back, I tagged along to Nick's photoshoot with his coworker and her family. They send an album each Christmas overseas to their relatives, which I think is a super sweet idea!

One of my favourite shots of David playing by the fountain! 
Another family with their little girl in the background, perplexed at the multiple cameras going off in their direction!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Lights Festival at Carleton Place

Couple weekends ago, Nick and I went on a double date with our friends Joanna and Alex to the Lights Festival. The event was held in town of Carleton Place, which really confused me because I thought the event venue was just called "Carleton Place" -- oops!

Town hall on the left

Despite being late September, the heatwave was hitting us full force! Jo dressed for the heat in some of her new threads from our latest shopping trips, so we had a mini-photo shoot by the water.  Loving her Spanish dancer vibes from the red floral skirt!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Back to School with Amanda

The heatwave finally broke and it's back to our regularly scheduled programming: hellooooo Autumn! "Second summer" was nice but the intense heat days made me wish for more seasonally appropriate temperatures, oof. Seems like I got my wish considering I was shivering in my jacket on my way to work yesterday! The drop from 40 to 15 degrees was so sudden and dramatic, it'll be a while before my body adjusts. But I know better than to wish for a third summer -- feels nice and cozy to be wrapped up in knits and jackets.

Unfortunately for Amanda, it was still unseasonably hot (in the sun at least) when we shot these photos! Props in advance for being such a trooper, but what is fashion without the occasional sacrifice of physical discomfort :P

Friday, 22 September 2017

Summer Fashion Week

After a fairly disappointing summer from June through August, Ottawa (and Toronto too) seems to have started real summer in September! Coincidentally following New York Fashion Week (which previewed new designs for Spring/Summer 2018), I decided to make the most of "second" summer by breaking out a couple of my newer pieces that I didn't yet get a chance to wear.

As I've mentioned in the past, my blogger inspirations were not photographers, but fashion bloggers (Wendy's Lookbook and Extra Petite). While most of my blog is photography focused, I do enjoy sharing out my fashion side too! So here goes another summer fashion post, reminiscent of this one that I did way back when I first started this blog :D

Friday, 15 September 2017

Sad Sunflowers & Mr Krabby Pants

For most things in life, timing plays a huge part in whether it works out or not. Shooting is no different, and this is especially true for outdoor shooting, where it can be sunny one second and overcast the next. And this is especially especially true for shooting with flowers that only bloom for like, what, a week? Miss that window of opportunity and you get what you see here:

Yep, those are some sad looking sunflowers. Honestly, I think I only missed the mark by *this* much. Check out last year's sunflower photos - gorgeous and in bloom and only a week earlier. I think I was just desperate since I missed the lavender bloom back in July, thought I could catch the tail-end of the sunflowers. Oh well, I'll just have to try again next year.

At least I get to shoot my new dress! Check out the fullness of the skirt on this little polka dot number.

Dress from vintage H&M
Sandals from Lucky Brand

Thursday, 7 September 2017

School Daze: A Love Story

Today, I am proud yet humbled to share photos from the engagement shoot of two close friends. It's a love story that I'm sure many love stories aspire to be, and I'm touched that I was allowed to try my hand at telling it through photography.

throwback to those high school days

meeting through music 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Whimsical Summer with Perrin

Despite running around shooting my own fashion outfits and working [super duper hard] on other endeavours, I have not forgotten my commitment to my 2017 fashion project! What's I'm noticing with this latest shoot with Perrin is that my fashion shooting has gotten a lot faster and more efficient -- whoo-hoo! We cranked out these photos like *that*, at brunch and then another outfit en route to ice cream :) it's a fantastic combination of knowing what works (for both posing and photographing) and feeling the wonderfully sunny summer vibes!

Dress from H&M
Belt thrifted

Bracelets from Byward Market boutique
Necklace from Stella & Dot
Earrings from H&M

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Be Our Guest

I seem to have reached the age and season where my Facebook newsfeed is filled with pictures and posts of beautiful summer weddings. I haven't gotten to attend any myself but I know my time will come! In the meantime, I've been practicing for the eventual day, watch. Ahem.

Hi there :) Congratulations and thanks so much for having me!  Your dress is gorgeous and the venue is simply breathtaking.

Dress from Club Monaco
Nude Pumps from Prada pre-loved

Friday, 4 August 2017

Picnic Pairings

Summers are always jam-packed with events that your weekends can leave you as exhausted as your weekdays!
One low-key and cute date or hangout idea for those lazy weekends when you still want to do things but also want to relax is to go out on an old-school style picnic.

I honest-to-goodness feel so lucky that Nick likes to cook :9 Plus, I finally got to use my super-awesome picnic basket that I found for an absolutely steal at Kingston's Value Village (more on thrifty finds below!)

Picnic table spread

close up of the yummy food! 

After pigging out in the park, it's nice to go for a stroll to burn off some of those calories :)
I made sure to wear comfy flat shoes (brand new for $25!) paired with a cute summer dress ($5 steal from 613 Flea!) topped off with a matching polka dotted sun hat ($5 from H&M sale!)

Sun Hat from H&M

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Weekend Workout with Haikang

It seems that lately more and more people are becoming more health-conscious, and it's totally reflected in fashion as well with the pretty much established trend of "athleisure" (portmanteau of athletic and leisure). Basically, people want to be able to work out and still stay stylish. Who knew!

So very excited to have had this opportunity to try an athletic themed shoot with Haikang and his beautiful golden, Maycee!

Q: How do you put together workout or athletic outfits?

A: Although I like to keep my workout shorts black (more resistant to dirt), I usually pick out brighter/louder shirts to go along with it. Most of my gym shoes are also bright orange because that is usually what others will notice first and it also makes me feel faster :)

Lacing up for an afternoon run

Stretching is important!
Tee from Jack & Jones
Athletic shorts from Nike

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The Sweet Escape

Since moving to Ottawa, I've been made it a point to get away for Canada Day long weekend. I'm not great with crowds, especially after having been severely traumatized by the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai. And with this year being Canada's 150, I was having terrifying visions of the hordes of tourists pushing and shoving their way to Parliament Hill.

I pretty much begged Nick if we could escape the anticipated madness, and him being the sweetheart that he is, humoured my well-founded fears. We tossed around some ideas (Chicago, New York) before I suggested that we spend our mini vacation in nature, specifically, Bruce Peninsula, since I recall it being incredibly peaceful and beautiful, and Nick had never been before. So being the photographers that we are, we packed our cameras and a few outfits and off we went.

Day 1, we visited Owen Sound and Ingles Falls before heading to Sauble Beach for dinner and sunset on the beach.

I had picked up a vintage style one-piece just before the trip and wanted to try a "vintage beach postcard" kind of shoot.

dreaming of more vacation days

I like long walks on the beach

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Birthday Brunch with Amanda

Don't let the recent rainy weather fool you -- it is summer!! There was even a heat wave warning a few weeks back (which was a little much) but the weather last weekend was absolutely perfect.

After a delicious (belated) birthday brunch with the girls, we wandered around downtown where I spotted the best backdrop for Amanda's first outfit (sleek and modern!), and afterwards, the hangout continued into a park for shooting outfit #2 and more girl talk.

I have to say off the bat that I love the two outfits Amanda picked for these shoots. They are so relateable and genuine, which is exactly what I wanted to showcase with this fashion project: the hidden (or not so hidden) fashionistas (and fashion-misters! Haikang, I didnt forget about you :P) that I feel so fortunate to know and be inspired by on a regular basis.

And so, without further ado:

Top from Express
Necklace from Swarovski
Sunglasses from Victoria Secret

Palazzo pants from Dynamite
Shoes from Call It Spring

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Belle & Blossoms

A couple weeks ago, when weather finally started taking a nicer turn, I wanted to wear one of my (many) new dresses.  The nicer weather did not go unnoticed by Nick either, and he suggested we visit the experimental farms by Dow's Lake after work for some photos.  Excitedly, I chose this vintage periwinkle blue number, but since I prefer not to be sleeveless at work, also layered a white blouse underneath.

Didn't realize my accidental cosplay until I showed up to the office and the teasing began.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Streets & Alleys

It seems I can't take a trip to Montreal without coming back with a huge batch of photos (my lame excuse for why these photos took so long to post). And it also seems that no matter how many times I go, I never run out of new things to shoot, even if I'm revisiting the same places again.

The streets of Montreal are just so picturesque, no matter where I turn, there always seems to be a new source of inspiration.

Palais des congrès

love these stairs

Friday, 26 May 2017

Tall boots with Lily

Happy Fashion Friday! Trying something a little different with this month's fashion post :)

Working with models again, I found that it's easy to fall into the mindset that if we don't have a good location to shoot, then what's the point?  And while yes, a beautiful backdrop can definitely help a photo, it's not a necessity for fashion photography. Think about commercial fashion photography (for advertisements or magazines) that are done in the studio to showcase new arrivals -- nothing but an white backdrop to put the spotlight on the items and the model (my favourite example is

And so I remind myself not to let bad weather or lack of scouting out a location prevent me from having a shoot happen.  Especially since my models all have lives outside of modeling for me, it's crucial not to call off a shoot since who knows when we'll find another time when we're both available!

FYI: both sets of photos in this post were taken outside of Simons inside the Rideau Centre :P

Leather Jacket from Forever 21
Earrings from Nordstrom

Dress from American Apparel
Choker from Aldo Accessories

Friday, 19 May 2017

Montreal Biodome

As promised in the last post, more animals! Photos are from my first visit to the Montreal Biodome over the Easter weekend. It was a rainy day out so made perfect sense to be indoors and enjoying the company of some furry friends :)

peekaboo! black monkeys

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Myles at the Museum

I've been pretty good about bringing my camera along with me to places but it's resulted in batches and batches of photos that I haven't gotten around to editing! Not sure how I used to crank out posts when I first started this blog (almost 3 whole years ago!) like a schoolgirl who rushes home to write in her journal about the day's events. But an unexpected benefit to waiting instead of posting right away is that I'm able to notice themes or patterns between my shoots and come up with some slightly more meaningful content aside from the typical, "And this is what I did last weekend and here are some pictures to prove I'm not making it up lol."

So without further ado, here's what I did a couple weekends ago, and also some pictures to prove I'm not making it up :)

staring in awe at the giant jellyfish

My buddy Adam invited me to go to the Nature Museum with him and his son, Myles. I've been to the Nature Museum a couple times already but they had a new reptile exhibit and I enjoy museums enough to go again.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Fast Cars with Haikang

Very excited for today's post for a number of different reasons: First off, this makes post #4 which means I'm already a third of the way through my 2017 fashion photography project! Each month has been so different, I honestly can't wait to see what the upcoming months will have in store.

This month features our first look at my sole male model for this project, as well as some extra shots when I tried my hand at car photography. So without further blabbing from me, let's get to the good stuff :)

Shirt from Massimo Dutti
Pants from Banana Republic

Q: Tell me a little bit about your style.

A: I prefer a clean business casual look but with a modern touch (roll up pants with boat socks)

Monday, 20 March 2017

Hints of Spring with Perrin

Happy Vernal Equinox! aka First official day of Spring :)
This month's post features the rockin' Perrin, sharing a 9-5 look as well as a weekend outfit.

Skirt - Express
Cage heels - Saks Fifth Ave
Wrap bracelet - H&M

Fuzzy sweater - Winners
Necklace - Forever21

Q: Tell me a little bit about your style.

A: I have a few style personalities. I work in an office and strongly prefer a classic look, but I do like to add edgy or modern touches. I like to experiment with ethnic and boho trends a bit, as well. Outside the office, I prefer an edgier look to my casual wear. I would almost kill for a pair of Valentino moto booties I saw at Nordstrom!!!  (Note: I feel quite the same way! Those booties are insanely killer *drools*)

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Photoshoot: Red Dress & Snow White

I didn't realize it until I was trying to come up with a title but it's actually been a while since I've had a pure photoshoot post.  Since starting the 2017 Fashion Photography project, I've gotten a fair bit of positive feedback, so huge thank you for the support!  It really means so much to see that people enjoy my photos.

Part of that feedback was being able to work with the lovely Serena, who is featured in this post :)
This shoot was a fantastic learning experience for me in that not only was it the first time shooting with Serena (since shooting with someone new is always a learning experience in itself), but it was the first time for me shooting with someone that has considerable modeling experience.

first warm weekend! no need for parkas :)

heart shaped earrings

Friday, 24 February 2017

Winterlude 2017

Happy Friday everyone! Sharing some photos from the recent winter festival that just concluded in Ottawa.  Although this wasn't my first winter in Canada's capital, it was my first Winterlude!
Previous years were deemed too cold to venture out and attempt to take photos, but I'm really glad I got to go this year.  I actually managed to go to more than one location (yay!) so pat myself on the back for that :P

Jacques Cartier park in Gatineau

Got there a little later in the afternoon/early evening so there wasn't much natural light, but a lot of the activity areas had stadium lights so I still managed to snap up a few photos.

happy family coming down from snow slide

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Valentine's Date with Amanda

Hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day!  So very excited to share this set of photos :)

This month's post features the vivacious Amanda.  This shoot means a lot to me as Amanda was actually my first fashion photography model, many many years ago.  Seemed fitting to me that after explaining what re-invigorated my interest in fashion photography that I share a little more about what (or rather, who) got me started in the first place.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your style.  

A: I go through phases where I like to try new styles and I lean in certain directions. I find overall my style is very girly and classic. I stick to things that work for me and have worked over time.

Cardigan - Zara
Trousers - Dynamite
Oxford Heels - Aldo

Bag - Charles & Keith

Monday, 30 January 2017

Musée in Montreal

It's kind of a commonly-made joke that the best part about living in Ottawa is the proximity to Montreal :P Not going to comment on whether or not I agree, but I will admit that it makes weekend trips much more convenient compared to Toronto.  It was an artsy-fartsy trip and I'm pretty excited to be sharing some photos from my visit last weekend to see my best friend Eliza.

We started off the day with a slight detour over the Victoria Bridge across the St Lawrence:

Bridge in fog
...but eventually made it to our intended destination, Premiere Moisson Bakery.
They had the most adorable looking desserts and pastries that looked too good to be food. I was particularly enamoured with this one:

strawberry rhubarb tart

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Fall Walks with Lily

Super excited to share the first post of my 2017 Fashion Photography project!  January post featuring the fabulous Lily :)
I've been eager to share these photos for a while.  As I'm sure you can see from the autumn leaves, they were taken a little while ago #tbt :P

Jacket -
Top - Dynamite
Skirt - J Crew

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

2017 Fashion Project

First official post of 2017 whoo!  As previously alluded to at the end of my last post, with the end of the 2016 Vintage project, I'll be starting a brand new project for 2017.  Specifically, I'll be looking to focus on phasion fotography -- ahem, fashion photography (doesn't it look so fancy in italics :P)

There's a couple of reasons why I want to pursue this project.  The vintage project was great in pushing me to explore specific ideas and concepts that I had in mind, creating something that only existed in my imagination, and trying out self-portraiture.  Oh, not to mention the totally justified shopping sprees and playing dress-up hehe.

However, I realized that I want to focus more on being behind the camera again.  There's a timing issue with self-portraits that relies heavily on a iterative process of reviewing and adjusting, and I found that I really missed the level of "in-the-moment" artistic direction I would have if I were behind the camera.

Additionally, I think this renewed focus would build me up to potentially transition to other kinds of photography that I might be interested in in the future (maybe weddings/engagements? imagining all the pretty white dresses!)

Similar to how I did the 2016 project though, I'm looking at a year-long commitment with monthly deliverables (some office lingo coming through here, bear with me).  As mentioned in my reflections on the vintage project, I believe it's important to have some sort of structure and consistent outputs to keep myself in check, otherwise it's much too easy to procrastinate or fall off the wagon.  So my goal for this year is to have at least one post every month featuring two different fashion outfits -- just to make it a little bit harder than last year.

Without further ado, let's take a sneak peek at the faces that will be featured in my project (some might seem familiar):

As I'm sure you can tell, everyone's really different and so I'm super excited for the variety of styles I'll get to shoot!

Stayed tuned for January's post to come out soon :)