Photo shoot jewels…


Phew! It was a busy week. I did three photo shoots with four models, and my fabulous makeup artist and buddy, Alana Agerbo (you may know her as writer and blog author Hazy Shades of Me). I literally shot thousands of photos, so you can imagine how long it took me to sift through the collection to find the jewels I was looking for. It’s a process that I absolutely love. I’m building a website and launching my professional photography business as soon as I can–I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, here is a little preview of my shots (you can see more here. Please let me know what you think–good or constructive 🙂 Sorry for all the “jennifer findlay” nonsense. It’s just a precaution so that unscrupulous types don’t reproduce my photos.

JANE_1_BLOGJane Findlay


EMILY_2_BLOGEmily Hannaford


CHLOE_5_BLOGChloe Case




ALANNA_6_BLOGAlanna Wood


EMILY 2_BLOGEmily Hannaford


CHLOE_1_BLOGChloe Case


JANE 3_BLOGJane Findlay




fresh-faced beauty…


It’s Sunday, and I get to sit on my couch with my coffee and my laptop doing my favorite thing ever–editing photos! The photo shoot was so much fun yesterday. The models, my daughter Jane and my niece Emily, were spectacular and my makeup artist is a genius (Not to mention that she’s one of my dearest friends, and a very talented writer. Check out her blog…Hazy Shades of Me). Every time I download my camera’s memory card, it’s just like Forrest Gump says, opening a box of chocolates to see what treats are inside!

In case you’re wondering, I used my Nikon 35mm F1.8 lens for this shot.

say cheese…


I’m soooo excited about tomorrow. I’m doing a photo shoot with two very beautiful models, who graciously agreed to work for free (They had no choice. They’re blood relatives, who regularly eat my food!!!!) I’ve got my backdrops ready to go, and I’m just working with my equipment to make sure the lighting is all set up properly and my lenses are clean! If the weather cooperates, I’m going to head outside to a couple of spots I’ve got lined up. One is right outside the windows of our local gym, which has the most amazing architectural features that I can use as a backdrop. My ethical dilemma is whether or not to tell my models ahead of time, or just sort of spring it on them when we’re walking up to the gym. You see…it’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE GYM WINDOWS…and there will probably be about 2,000 sweaty, muscly men pumping iron while they watch a couple of pretty girls getting their pictures taken!!!! I don’t anticipate any reluctance at all. Maybe I can even market myself as a photographer/matchmaker!

say cheese…


When your teenaged daughter says, “Okay. You can you take a picture of me,” you choke on your coffee, leap to your feet and run upstairs to get your camera bag…STAT!!!!!!! Please tell me that this wasn’t some freak of nature due to a head injury. Hopefully it’s a breakthrough that will last and I’ll be able to keep shooting her photos.

Over Christmas, I managed to make some time to fool around with my new prime 50mm f1.4 lens. I’m finally getting used to the manual focusing, which is good ’cause I’ll have to make due with it until I can afford a much better camera body.


just stop already…


I know what she’s thinking…

The other day I received an invitation to be interviewed for an awesome blog called Coffee With A Canine. I agreed wholeheartedly. I thought to myself, “I got this. I’ll blow them away with my stunning shots. I’m a pretty decent photographer after all.” So this morning, I started taking pictures with two of the worst models I have ever worked with….Daisy and her evil minion, Stella!

Both scoundrels copped an attitude and shunned the camera. I cajoled, used treats, spoke sweetly, got down on their level, crawled on all fours, scratched behind ears made whistling noises…NOTHING. I have NEVER come across anyone less interested in having their pictures taken.

I swear….they do it on purpose. Is it payback for not taking them out for a walk in the torrential downpour yesterday? Probably. They’re like that.

Daisy’s eyes say it all…

Sun wherefore art thou?

Okay…this isn’t funny anymore…I’m not impressed. WHERE IS THE SUN? The look on my daughter’s face at Crescent Beach yesterday says it all for me. Not. Impressed. Seriously people…I’m thinking of moving to Arizona!!!!!! Lush green lawns be damned. Give me dust and sage brush if it means seeing the blazing ball when I wake up in the morning. I’m getting old.

At least I can keep dry on my verandah! But I still have to wear a winter jacket and clutch my glass of Chardonnay with a gloved hand. Ridiculous. Don’t tell Mark that I dipped into my inventory for a new cushion to lift my spirits. Chartreuse & black just makes me happy.

There. That feels better. I’ve now dumped my bad mood into the universe.


if you can't be in Paris, just eat like it…

My pal, Patty, and I started a new photography course at Focal Point.Know what that means? You guessed it…more reviews of great little eateries in Vancouver!!!

We were starving by the end of the brain-draining class today (F-stop, Shmef-stop), so we headed over to the leafy Kerrisdale neighbourhood and spotted this little gem called Faubourg Paris. It’s a french boulangerie cafe, which specializes in the most exquisite petit fours and french bread baked five times daily to ensure freshness.

Of course, my eyes were bigger than my stomach (hard to imagine, really), so I ordered the Parisienne baguette AND a chocolate caramel tart. Although it was delicious, I only ate half of the baguette ’cause it was so big. Next time, I’ll come just for the dessert.

Here are the deets on the tart: One word…bliss! The tart pastry was lovely. The ganache on the top was divine. The ever-so-gooey caramel was heavenly! Wait a minute. I just realized I didn’t eat the chocolate triangle (gasp). Head for the bat-mobile…I’m going back to get it!!!!

In case your mouth isn’t watering enough yet, here’s a peak in one of their glass cases! I’m going back for one of these next time 🙂

Overall, not bad shots for an i-phone n’est-ce pas mes amis?

lentil love…

Don’t you just love your friends? I do.

One of my besties, Sarah Johnson, is a vegetarian, and she agreed to go in front of the camera to teach me one of her favourite recipes–Napolitana Lentil Stew. Truth be told, I wore her down with my whining and sniveling about the pressures of blogging, and that as a fellow blogger (Year of Austere, check it out) she should support me in my insatiable need to post.

I’m well aware of the audacity of my request, considering that she, like me, is completely photo phobic, and runs screaming at the thought of her picture being taken (I know, stupid).

Sarah was a tireless model, and the reason the next photo is blurry, is because I had a ridiculously long F-stop, and she had to hold the pose perfectly still forever–FAIL. It was just such a cute shot of her that I had to use it. Watch out sexy Nigella!!!!

Sarah, you had me at sauteeing onions!!!!

Hard to believe that this mess…

…becomes this aromatic concoction of deliciousness. Can’t you just smell the antioxidants, vitamins, proteins and fibre all co-mingling into one amazing dinner? It really didn’t take long at all either.

This is Sarah at the end of the photo shoot. Hmmmm…wonder what’s going on in that pretty little head. Knowing her–as I do–she’s about to tell me, in her most sarcastic voice, “You’re an idiot,” and then tilt her head back, close her eyes and laugh hysterically! Love her.

Napolitana Lentil Stew

from “Market Vegetarian” by Ross Dobson

½ cup green or brown lentils (Sarah used canned lentils and made sure to rinse them)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

a small handful of fresh oregano, chopped

1 tsp dried hot pepper flakes

1 ½ tbs salted caperberries (rinsed) (Sarah doesn’t like them, so she didn’t use them)

2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (Sarah doesn’t like them, so she didn’t use them)

1 cup passata or tomato puree (She used canned tomato puree)

2 oz. small black pitted olives

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

crusty bread, to serve

Serves 4

(If you’re using canned lentils, you can skip this part) Put the lentils in a large saucepan, add sufficient cold water to cover and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender, but retain a little “bite”. Drain and set aside until needed.

Put the oil in a saucepan set over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook for 5 minutes stirring often, until the onion softens. Add the capers, tomatoes, passata, lentils, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spoon into warmed serving dishes, top with the olives and crumbled feta and serve with crusty bread on the side for dipping into the rich sauce.

stupid printer…

You know what irritates me? Highly finickity printers who (that’s right…I said “who”) choose not to work, exactly when you need them to. I have witnesses (Tracy & Kim), who can attest to the spooky, spoiled childlike personalities of my printers (I’m not drunk)!!!

I’ve been trying to get my printer to work all morning, so I can pack and ship some orders. And this is what I have accomplished…

That’s right. PHOTOGRAPHY!!!! I decided to pick up my camera, instead of smashing my printer with a hatchet and burning it in the back yard.


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