I never understood why bloggers had photo shoots of themselves until I became one. Photography plays a very important role in lifestyle blogging because it helps engage with people in a fun and creative way.
Lets face it.
We are living in a digital age where life is curated from the perfect “OOTD” to the impeccable glamour shot of your bagel. I was a little apprehensive about booking my own photo shoot because the last thing I wanted was to come off feeling a fraud. Or a narcissist. But I eventually fell further down the rabbit hole and started to plan my first photo shoot. But I still wondered: was it possible to balance a curated persona with the everyday messy realities of life? Here are three people who not only helped me answer this question but also played a special role in this shoot.
My Fairy “Blog-Mother”
Flashback to the fall of 2017. As I was planning the launch of my blog, I reached out to Casie Stewart, one of the top lifestyle bloggers in Canada and a highly respected online voice in the blogging world. While I’ve been following her blog for a few years, what really pushed me to contact Casie, was her Tedx talk entitled “Being Human on the Internet”. Casie taught me that yes, the internet can sometimes be a web of lies but it’s still possible to be real, emphasizing the importance of balance. “You don’t want to curate something that is not the real you because chances are, you’re going to go back and not be happy with yourself.” On the other hand, she maintains that “there are going to be certain things we don’t share online and the fact that we have the power to choose is a good thing”. So even though I can, at times, be an over sharer, I’m starting to make more conscious decisions about what I choose to put out into the universe.
The Miracle Worker
Flash forward to a few weeks ago. Holding on to Casie’s advice, I immediately booked Laura Clarke and we met beforehand over coffee to discuss ideas. Aside from the fact she is so passionate about her craft, the thing I love most about Laura is that she took the time to get to know and make me feel comfortable with the process. We agreed that the main goal of the shoot was to try and capture images of the things I love to do on a daily basis. While I love to be out and about, at heart I’m a homebody. We decided shooting at home would bring out the best in me.
The Beauty Queen
As for hair and makeup, I needed a real life beauty queen to help me get prepared. Enter Vanessa Nash-Dawe. I have known Vanessa for a few years so I really couldn’t imagine having anyone else by my side through this shoot. As the reigning Miss Fuller Woman Canada and a force to be reckoned with, Vanessa has mastered the art of balancing glamour with authenticity. I happily gave her the reigns and she did her magic.
The Final Product
So here’s the thing: my modeling experience is limited to some cute baby pictures of myself wearing funny fur hats, my bat mitzvah and my wedding. For someone who loves the spotlight, it takes me a little while to warm up. Luckily with Laura’s eye for capturing the perfect moments and my friend Vanessa’s modelling experience, they helped me get into my comfort zone. PS – I love these coffee mugs from Rae Dunn. Check her out.
Vanessa got me giggling with stories of her childhood in Newfoundland with one in particular involving her cousin and a deceased whale. A true Canadian story.
When I’m at home, I’m either working on my blog, spending time with my family, writing in my journal or snuggling on this couch and watching netflix. You can be sure that my house is never this clean. Uh, hello, #toddlermom.
While this photo shoot was “all about me”, the blog is all about my life. And my family is my entire life. Laura caught some gorgeous shots of my beautiful baby boy.
My husband Adam is my biggest cheerleader. His love and constant support inspires me to follow my dreams and it only felt right to share him with the blogging universe.
What I love most about these last photos is how real and candid they are (one clear example is Ethan grabbing at my shirt). Overall, I’m so happy with how these photos turned out and can’t wait for the weather to get nicer so we can plan my next one!
A special thank you again to Casie Stewart, Laura Clarke and Vanessa Nash-Dawe for all of their advice, talent and wisdom.
What did you think about the photos? Any suggestions for a summer photo shoot? Please leave your comments and ideas below!