For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Monday, January 31, 2011

WTF ~ A monday rant about life.

I explained to a makeup artist yesterday, that the title of my blog was in reference to the crap that life dishes out and my spin at turning the crap into something positive. For a very long time, I have been of the pessimistic school of thought, or as I like to refer to it as, being real. Sometimes, the reality of being real is that you simply cannot ignore the shit. I get so annoyed when I'm having a bad day and the cheerleaders chant "Be positive! Be positive!"

WTF. What the f*** is going on in this world? Sometimes I am so conflicted. Do you ever want to just pack up your family and move somewhere simple? Have a garden, write in your journal, and possibly a couple of goats? Okay, that's a bit extreme but do you know what I mean?

How are we to stop the cycle of madness going on? Teenagers are under so much pressure to be model-thin and wear celebrity status clothing. Real models are so young, so lost and honestly seem so sad. There is a void in their eyes that screams "help me, I'm drowning" as they are poked, prodded and picked at before the cameras are ready to roll. The real women look to them with adoration and sometimes jealousy. What a life one must live, to be a teenager, on a yacht in Brazil, draped in millions of dollars worth of jewels and designer clothing. Meanwhile, they have no place to call "home", have jet setted around the world, only to discover their model roommates are not their true friends and when they come back to visit family, all their highschool friends loathe their success. They have no idea what normalcy is but long for the concept.

What's even worse is when a woman in her 40's, is so tanned, tucked, teeth whitened and thin that you wonder what she looks like naturally. Then, sickeningly enough, she is prompting her daughters to smile, suck it in, turn to their good side of the camera, and freeze their painted on and forced smiles.

There was a horrible movie I watched on the plane returning from my honeymoon in the Mayan Riviera. It was called "Post Grad" and if nothing else, sent me a message about a life that you entirely plan out. Nothing ever goes to plan, and just when you think you want something, you get that dream and you realize, this might not be for me.

I am trying my hand at photography but realizing where I do and do not want to be. I don't want to be around prima donna brides who ask, if the vendors really expect to be fed on the wedding day? I don't want to be in the "scene" of a rock star life that goes hand in hand with photography. Just like the bar scene where the bartenders, promoters, bouncers and DJ's all roll in the same circle, there is a world of photographers, stylists, hairdressers and models that, if you choose to become part of, you can network to skyrocket into a variety of places including opportunities to be on television and high fashion shoots.

This all sounds very glamorous until you're actually a part of it. Don't get me wrong...there are some amazing people in the industry however everything these days is about image, perfection, shmoozing and getting ahead.

I'm really not into that. I see a real problem with the way things are headed for our generation of can they possibly succeed in a world warped with such distortion about image and status?

After a very long weekend of 13 hour days of shooting in various environments, all I really wanted to do was come home, put on my comfies and hang out with my family. Instead, I fell asleep and woke up to kiss my husband goodbye and wonder aloud where the weekend went.
You can only get as far as you push yourself and I have pushed myself so hard for the past 4 months but I can understand how photographers can burn out very quickly. Sometimes, saying yes to everything is not the wisest decision.

Just as the beautiful models transformed back into regular girls by changing out of hair, makeup and wardrobe and putting on Uggs, track pants and hoodies yesterday, I myself have quickly transformed from a success hungry budding photographer, to someone who wants to be with her family first, and equally find joy in taking photos.

Life is all about balance. The expectation that we all put on ourselves, especially women and teenaged girls at that, is so unfair and sets us up to fail, every single time.

We have to learn to love ourselves, enjoy the simplicity of our lives and try our best.

At the end of a hard and long day, we really are all the same. We want to come home, cuddle up in our most comfortable clothes, wash the stress of the day away from our face and be with those that we love.

It's time to trade the makeup and I-phones in for a hug, because quite frankly, that simple world I long for, with the goat and journal, don't seem at all possible.

If you find that island, please let me know. I'd like to invest in that piece of real estate for my future.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A different corner.

In a world full of struggle and strife, I have often found that my own tribulations have led me to this journalistic path. Grief and sadness encourage me to write and that is how I heal. I've been quiet lately with words and it's safe to say, that life has never been better. I'm wise to know that nothing in life is perfect, and that just when things seem great, some other area of your life falls apart.

But for today; gratitude.

Gratitude for the most wonderful man I could ever ask to choose me as his wife. Thankful for friends, artistic passion and good health. Grateful for those who have scorned me; when once I thought it would never be possible to heal, they have given me a strength one could never find in a life laced with privilege and shelter from the real world.

I love this song by George Michael.

"Turn a different corner, and we never would have met."


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays.

Monday, January 24, 2011

One hot mess.

My friend. She is amazing. She shall remain nameless. She is my hero.
She is a pillar of strength. Her life story is incredible. Her heart is even more so.
We had a visit. We laughed. We cried. We hugged. We laughed. We took photos, went for dinner and had a sleepover. We talked. We took more photos, packed my luggage and took more photos.

She thanked me for believing in her. She thanked me for giving her the confidence of capturing moments that were entirely out of her comfort zone.

Years later, we are both on the happy track. It's funny how life works out sometimes, huh?

Last night was one big hot mess of jokes, cold, lipstick and laughs.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The information highway

Lately, we have been talking about what we used to do without the internet. My SD card was not working the other day, so I googled it, and sure enough found out why. My dog has itchy ears and has been scratching like crazy. I started searching for "my dog...." and sure enough, multiple scenarios popped up. Not only did we figure out what is wrong with the dog's ears, but there were home made remedies listed to help ease his pain.

I wonder when I lived in Toronto and needed to put on windshield wiper blades or find out ways to get rid of raccoons in my garbage, if I would have had a much easier stint had I have had a computer.

I used to get my eyebrows threaded for $5 in Toronto. On every corner there was a Persian or East Indian salon that did this. In Brantford, the closest place to get your eyebrows threaded is in the mall in Burlington. It dawned on me that maybe I could learn to do this myself. So I typed in "How to thread my own eyebrows" and was directed to a You Tube video that showed me how to get those perfectly angled brows you see some women with.

I have the same red marks on my face that I get when I go to the salon and get it done. It takes time and practice but I sure have figured out a way to save money, gas and time by doing it myself.

The power of the internet is extraordinary. I just don't understand what we did before. I do remember in school, having to get my mom to drive me to the library, try and rent out a book before someone else took it, and stand there photocopying pages to bring home.

I struggle with technology yet try to embrace the changes that are happening. You can't fight it so you may as well use it to your advantage.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My new website

Hello! My website is now launched. It's crazy to think that I bought my camera in October and now it's spun into this whirlwind chain of events. The spring and summer are booking up with engagements, family sessions and weddings and I honestly don't know how this all happened so fast.

People say that my biggest downfall is that I don't believe in myself so I better start. I'm a perfectionist to a fault in most areas of my life, however in photography, this can only propel me to learn, absorb and do better.

They say that in order to better understand someone, you must first walk in their shoes. I truly never knew all that went into the photography business; I was just concerned about the end result. I now know that, like a mother who must wear many hats to juggle her family, a photographer must also act as many; a stylist, accountant, graphic designer, marketing associate, researcher, editor, assistant, gopher, and sales agent; all the while putting out fires along the way and keeping up with industry standards and trends.

I am new. I am not experienced. I can't "fake it until I make it." It's just not me.
But what I am is hungry for knowledge. Eager. Determined. Passionate.

In University and throughout my career in finance, I would always find my mind drifting in and out of meetings and training. I took a course the other night in photography and my ears were perked right up. Not only did I listen inherently to every dry word regarding theory, I put up my hand and asked for clarification which is something I would never do in the past.

My husband said I'm a different person behind the lens. I take charge. I'm not shy or insecure. I am alive and full of electric energy. I stay up for hours on end reading and learning and researching and editing and when I get frustrated, I don't quit. I wake up the next morning and start all over again.

People said I was brave to leave my job. That struck a nerve in me and I started to worry.
I'm not worried anymore. My aunt said to me that when you love something, the logistics will eventually come. I'm sure there will be hurdles along the way. There always has been for me.

But I always land on my own two feet.

Thanks for the support! I have the best family and friends in the world. xoxo

Here is my new site. Logo still in progress:

Wendy Alana Photography coming this week. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Random acts of kindness.....

In a world of doom and gloom on the daily news, it's so touching to experience the random acts of kindness of strangers. I always say, if you feel a certain way about someone, or have heard great things, what's the use in keeping it to yourself? You may as well share that information with the source. This week I've had people help me with my website, offer me editing tips, phone me to walk me through the photography process during their work day, call just to say I was thinking about you, email me to let me know that our wedding was featured on a blog, and offer me a chance to assist at a wedding next Saturday and the majority of these people I do not even know nor have I ever met.

World, thanks for allowing us to taste the sour so we can most certainly appreciate the sweet in life. Pay it forward, and do or say something nice to someone you know or have never met. It's a great feeling.



Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday mornings are for.....

....drinking your coffee from your favourite mug, lounging around with no makeup and snuggling up in your favourite robe on a cold, winter morning. And of course, photo shoots.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The time is now.

Put on your party dress and head for the slopes! People will think you're crazy...but aren't you?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sing it sister!!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you've all had a great week and are ready to enjoy the weekend.
I'm excited to head to Toronto to spend some time with a special girlfriend, have some dinner and drinks downtown and then do a family photo shoot with her on Sunday.

To the girls in my life of past, present and future, thank you for helping shape the person I am today.

Go put on your heels, have a few laughs and sing it loud, sister!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Take a chance on me.

Last night, I had a consultation with a couple who were looking to meet with me regarding their wedding photography in 2012. The bride contacted me based on some recent photos she's seen of mine. I met with her and her fiance and explained my deep love and passion for all things photography. We chatted and laughed about the joys, trials and tribulations of planning a wedding and by the end of the conversation, it felt as if we were old friends just having a fun discussion.

A wedding is a huge responsibility and undertaking to document and photograph. This is not something I take lightly so I asked them to really think about who they would like to select for this day and to shop around. Like my husband and I when we met with our wedding photographer, they already had their mind made up before the meeting, and told me they were sure they wanted me.

I am so honoured and blessed that someone has chosen me to capture one of the most important days of their lives, and took a chance on someone new. If they love my photos now, then I can only imagine I'll get better in a year from now. What I lack for now in theory, I will learn in the months to come. I believe I'm good at what I do, because I see through my heart, and not just through my eyes.

Being invited to share in the private and sacred moments of someone's wedding, and then document it from my own perspective, has to be one of the biggest honours of all time.

Lindsay and Scott, thank you for taking a chance on someone new. I promise you, you won't be disappointed! I'm looking so forward to your engagement session in the spring, where we can get to know each other like friends, and do a trial run of your special day.

Warmest thanks,


Monday, January 10, 2011

Lula Magazine - Issue 11

I got the call. A year after trying to hunt down my very own copy of the fabulous Lula Magazine, a bookstore in Waterloo called and said they had 2 copies and that one was mine since I had asked to be put on a waiting list. The hefty price tag was well worth the indulgence. The thick glossy pages, whimsical images and fairytale stories and font was worth the splurge.

Here are a few images from one of the most popular yet hard to find magazines out there.

Issue 11. Lula, girl of my dreams.