Picture Perfect Beauty Guide

You like to look good on a normal day, but when you have a special occasion coming up you really want to show your natural beauty. It’s not just about putting on some makeup and slipping into your favourite outfit. You want to feel outstanding. Being a little bit bloated, stressing over an unexpected breakout, or struggling with your wind-blown doo can really have an impact on your presence. Whether it’s a friend’s wedding or a work event, you want to exude that classy mix of super hot and visibly powerful. This will require that your body, your skin, and your hair all come together with your mind in blissful harmony. Before you write me off saying, “Thanks Sophia. That’s only possible for women who don’t work, spend hours every day in the gym, and have personal stylists,” read on! It’s easier than you might think to connect your inner and outer beauty.

Jenn and Emily, one year after their first session with me. Emily is growing up to be such a beauty. She’s totally taking after her mother.

Get Your Outfit In Check

  • Start walking. Even if you walk just the week before the big shindig, you’ll start to feel a little bit firmer and stand up straighter.
  • Avoid salty and starchy foods. Dedicate yourself to some clean eating for just one week and your mind will start to feel clearer and your clothes looser.
  • Wear Spanx. Spanx will simply help even out lines and suck in that little somethin’ extra we all have.
  • Try on your clothes in advance of the event or photo op. Really move around. There’s nothing worse than wearing something that looked great in the mirror, but is so tight that you can barely move. Make sure you are comfortable in your outfit.
owen sound studio photography

Jennifer thought she shouldn’t smile in her professional headshot. She thought she should look serious. But that’s just not her. Ultimately she went with the photo of her smiling because that’s what she’s naturally like.

Make Your Skin Glow

  • Moisturize, and make sure you’re using the right moisturizer. Believe it or not your skin can get more oily and more dry when you’re using the wrong product. Speak with an aesthetician if you’re not sure what moisturizer is best for your skin type.
  • Don’t try any new cosmetics for a few weeks leading up to your big event. Not only is there an adjustment period for new skin creams and makeups, but your skin might full-on have a reaction to it. That would be terrible timing.
  • Don’t exfoliate right before an event. I know you want to. Your skin feels a little bit gunky and you want it to be clear! But wait! When you scrub the life out of your skin a few unfortunate things can happen. Yes, you’re clearing dirt out of your pores, but you’re also leaving them open to fresh gunk. This is why your skin might break out just after being exfoliated, not to mention that scrubbing too much might aggravate it and leave you with little red bumps. You might also find that your skin overproduces its natural oils after exfoliating.
  • If you’re planning to get any waxing, sugaring, or threading done before your photo op, make sure you’re doing so no less than 24 hours in advance. This will allow any redness to diminish. But don’t go ahead and do this for the first time! Your skin might have an unexpected allergic reaction to any number of the products used by your aesthetician, and the results might be a break out you just can’t cover up with a minimal amount of makeup. Yes, this has happened to me!

WAIT A MINUTE! This is a lot to digest, I know. But I have a sweet little app with all these tips which you can save on your phone and consult whenever you need it! Pop your info in here and I’ll email it to you:

Wear Just Enough Make Up

  • Don’t wear too much makeup. A good makeup application is great for emphasizing features you love and evening out your natural skin tone.
  • Be absolutely sure your foundation matches your skin tone. All too often women will choose the tone they believe their skin to be, or will wear the same shade all year round without considering how their skin might change with sun exposure. This can have some entertaining but unflattering results. Your face should match your chest, or at least gradually transition from one shade to the next so that no one can tell the difference. You should not have a recognizable line highlighting your jaw.
  • Try your makeup a few days before. Do it how you want it for your shoot or event and wear it all day! I don’t mean around the house. Wear it out and test it. Take a look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day. Is everything still where it’s supposed to be? Even just an hour into my day I normally have eye liner falling down my face and my mascara is flaking all over my cheeks. It drives me BANANAS! If you too have some makeup transfer you might need to consider eye primer and setting spray to keep your makeup from migrating around your face.
black and white photography

I just love this! Dan and Meg just being themselves and having a hoot!

Care For Your Hair

  • Properly wash and condition your hair.
  • Don’t wash your hair too often. It might seem a little bit counterintuitive, but washing less will allow your natural oils to do their job and moisturize your hair. So rather than washing once a day, try once every two days. If you absolutely can’t stand the feeling of unwashed hair, try using a dry shampoo.
  • Wash your hair the day before your special event or photo op. This will help take care of a lot of that frizz, and your hair will be easier to style.
  • Weather test your hairstyle. This is important for any of those outdoor weddings or on-location family photo shoots. You might be dreaming of having long, beautiful wavy locks, but when the wind kicks up your hair might turn into a rats nest instead. Straightened hair might puff up and curled hair might fall flat.
  • Come prepared with clear hair ties in case you weather gets a little hairy.
owen sound studio portraits

Lisa thought long and hard about what she should wear, and ultimately landed on a simple black shirt. Because that’s her.

Be Your Natural Beauty

That’s the big 3! By getting your clothes, your makeup, and your hair together, you’re bound to feel super confident. Because, well, you look darn good! All of these simple instructions will help make you look good, and feel better! You’ll feel nice and trim, your skin will feel silky, and your hair will be a little bit more cooperative.

Links In This Episode

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10 Ways To Make A Bad Day Better

Having a bad day? Everyone does. And frankly, life would be boring if it were stress free. Still, it’s a good idea to have some easy and effective strategies to turn a bad day into a good day when you’re feeling like you just aren’t going to make it.

Here are 10 things I do to fix my brain when I’m having an off day:

1) Take a bath

When I’m really feeling down, I take a bath. I fill the tub with hot water and throw in some Epsom salts, light some incense, and put on some relaxing tunes. Truthfully, this is probably the last thing I try, because it really relaxes me. And I mean, really relaxes me. After a good bath it’s normally time for bed.

2) Go for a walk (outdoors)

Exercise is a great way to improve your mood. Everyone knows that. But for people like myself who can be a bit high strung and anxious at times, a hard workout that spikes my heart rate might not help calm me down. In cases like these a walk is perfect! I queue some good podcasts and walk around the concession (anywhere from 5 and 12km). It’s a great way to clear my head and work out anxiety.

In addition to being great exercise, the sun and fresh air will have a great, healing impact on your mood. If you work in an office setting, use something like BreakTime to notify you ever couple of hours that it’s time to stand up, and walk around the block. You might be surprised how refreshed you feel when you get back to work.

3) Listen to a favourite song

One of my all time favourite upbeat songs is Make a New Dance Up by Hey Ocean!. It makes me sing. It makes me dance. My mood totally shifts when I listen to it, no matter what state of mind I’m in. Have a listen for yourself and see if it doesn’t make you want to shake.

4) Have a good meal

When I say good, I mean healthy. Many people eat comfort foods like salty treats when they’re feeling down or anxious. I have myself, but the truth is those foods tend to leave us feeling bloated and tired. That’s not a good way to feel when you’re trying to turn your day around.

I’m not saying you have to eat a carrot (although that would be a good choice), but some tuna or chicken on leafy greens or a hot bowl of oatmeal with some banana would be great choices. Each time I eat a good, healthy meal I feel like I’m starting anew.

5) Take a nap

I love naps. If you’ve listened to my podcast or ever talked to me around 2 in the afternoon, you know I like naps. Having a little lay-down mid-afternoon really helps me feel alert later in the day. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly stressed I’ll feel like totally shutting down and sleeping for 10 years. But a quick, 20 minute nap can quickly turn that around.

6) Clean up

When my desk is cluttered or I have unfolded laundry my entire life can feel scattered. I might find myself procrastinating by making my bed, tidying up my laundry, and clearing and organizing my office. The truth is that by cleaning up my physical space I’m (somehow) simultaneously making more brainspace so that I can deal with work and life more productively.

If you’re feeling totally overwhelmed and there’s stacks of files piled a mile high on your desk, take 10 to 20 minutes to tidy them up and organize them. You might find while you’re making your workspace more functional that you’re also finding outstanding tasks which need to be dealt with.

7) Hug someone

There’s all sorts of research on how physical touch like hugging can release oxytocin in your body, which will make you feel all warm and fuzzy. I’ve also read compelling evidence that tightly squeezing children with autism and anyone with anxiety can diminish episodes of panic. These are all great reasons why you should snag a great big hug when you’re feeling overwhelmed. But moreso, hugs feel amazing! So hug more!

8) Dress up

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Sophia, you’re pretty much the least fashionable person ever! You wear sweatpants, like, 80% of the time!” And you are correct. But darn, if dressing up doesn’t make me feel put together! Sometimes I’ll have an appointment but really not feel like leaving the house. When I do my hair and makeup and force myself into an outfit that makes me feel like a million bucks, suddenly I feel more alert. Those meetings tend to be some of my best. When you’re feeling low, try putting a little more effort into your hair and choosing the right outfit, and stand up tall. I bet you’ll feel a little bit better.

9) Wear sweatpants

“Are you kidding, Sophia?? You just said–“ No! I’m not kidding. Sometimes we just need to kick back and relax. My family jokes that it takes me all of 5 minutes to change into my sweats when I get home. (Which, for the record, is true.) If you ever find yourself going a mile a minute for days on end, throw on some sweats and sit in front of the TV with some of your new healthy comfort food. Running yourself into the ground won’t make you feel great, so be sure to maximize on what downtown you do have.

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10) Do something nice for someone else

Have you ever paid for someone else’s coffee just for fun? Congratulations, you’re a great person! It feels awesome, doesn’t it? It might not be truly altruistic (you know, because you’re doing it to make yourself feel good), but random acts of kindness can really restore faith in yourself.

Try it out! Especially when others are making you feel down, do a little something nice for someone else and see how you feel. It can be as easy as telling someone on the street, “Hey! I like your top!”

There you have it! These are my 10 favourite ways to turn a bad day good. Try each one on for size on their own or mix them up. For example, going for a long walk followed by a refreshing meal and an Epsom salts bath might be the perfect way to spend a relaxing Sunday. And remember your sweatpants.

Links From This Episode

The Bekers

Ah, the Beker family! I remember their session fondly. I had left home early for these Goderich family photos, and it was a good thing I did. As I was nearing Kincardine it looked like it would storm. And about an hour before their session I got a text saying it was definitely going to rain. I was only about 20 minute from their cottage so I slipped over early. It immediately started pouring rain. We all looked at each other a bit stunned and flustered. But we quickly decided to clear the covered deck and do all of their photos there.

30 minutes into their session the rain stopped and I pulled them all out onto the beach. It was the perfect setting for this family. It was a special place to the family because all of the grandkids have spent their summers growing up there.  I should also note that overcast makes the best lighting conditions for photos. And so, the weather was perfect! I left so inspired and excited by their photos. Their session was filled with smiles and laughter, and everyone looked so natural in a place they’re so in love with.

Have a look for yourself…

goderich family photos

goderich family photos

goderich family photos

goderich family photographer

ontario family photographer

goderich family photographer

goderich beach photographer

goderich beach photographer

Contact me to book your family portrait consultation. For your consultation we’ll sit down and discuss why it’s time for a new family portrait and how you’d like to document your growing crew.

goderich beach photographer

goderich beach photographer

toronto child photographer

ontario family photographer

toronto child photographer

toronto child photographer

toronto child photographer

toronto child photographer

bluewater photographer

bluewater photographer

bluewater photographer

bluewater photographer

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kincardine photographer

kincardine photographer

kincardine photographer

kincardine photographer

ontario family photographer

ontario family photographer

The Holdens

When they say “Girls Rule” they’e talking about the Holdens. In this family, the girls rule the roost! And when I met them in Lora Bay for their family photos this became increasingly clear!

Just have a look for yourself. You’ll see it. This family is filled with so much sweetness and wit! Each little girl’s personality is unique! And they fit together like puzzle pieces. See for yourself…

Lora Bay family photos

Lora Bay family photos

Lora Bay family photos

Lora Bay family photos

Thornbury family photos

Thornbury family photos

Thornbury family photos

Thornbury family photos

To set up your family portrait consultation please contact me. When it’s time to fill your home with your favourite memories, those memories should be filled with smiles and memories like these!

Thornbury family photos

Collingwood family photos

Collingwood family photos

Collingwood family photos

Collingwood family photos

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Marlee & Dan

It rained! It poured! There was even a tornado warning… But Marlee and Dan’s backyard Stayner wedding went off without a hitch. Actually, it was beautiful and hilarious. There was so much love and laughter that I’m still fighting back giggles when I look through these photos.

Marlee and Dan don’t need any luck from me. They’re absolutely enthralled with each other, and it’s beautiful to see. Have a look for yourself…

As you scroll through these photos, take note of all the laughter. Goofy comes naturally to this family, and I love it.

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Stayner Wedding Photographer

Stayner Wedding Photographer

Stayner Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Stayner Wedding Photographer

Stayner Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

Collingwood Wedding Photographer

If you’re just gushing love, contact me to set up your wedding photography consultation in Stayner, Collingwood, and The Blue Mountains.

Caledon Photographer

Toronto Photographer

Vaughan Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Stayner Photographer

Toronto Photographer

Toronto Photographer

Toronto Photographer

Toronto Photographer

Toronto Photographer

Caledon Photographer

Caledon Photographer

Caledon Photographer

Caledon Photographer

Caledon Photographer

Caledon Photographer

Vaughan Photographer

Vaughan Photographer

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Lisa & Chris

Sometimes families aren’t huge. Sometimes they’re small. But being small isn’t any kind of problem! Take Lisa and Chris, whom I photographed at Inglis Falls just outside of Owen Sound, for example. This mother-son duo might make a small family, but as you can see below they’re not lacking any of the love.

owen sound

owen sound

owen sound

owen sound family photographer

Book your family portrait consultation! Click here to contact me.

owen sound family photographer

owen sound family photographer

owen sound family photographer

owen sound portrait photographer

owen sound portrait photographer

Callaghan’s Family

Children are so curious and inquisitive. Take Callaghan, for example. When I met him at nearly 2 years old he’d already learned how to mow the lawn and tend to his garden. But he was curious about me. He knew something was up. When I arrived for his Grimsby family portraits he showed me all over his yard, introduced me to his dog, and taught me how to water the tomato plants. It was so exciting to see!

We only had a few moments which resulted in tears, but they only lasted a few seconds. Callaghan quickly returned to showing off and laughing after he got his snuggles from Mom and Dad.

Grimsby family portraits

Grimsby family portraits

Grimsby family portraits

Grimsby family portraits

Grimsby family portraits

Grimsby child photographer

Grimsby child photographer

Grimsby child photographer

Grimsby child photographer

Grimsby child photographer

Niagara family photographer

Niagara family photographer

Niagara family photographer

Niagara documentary family photographer

What do you do when your child erupts in tears at your session? Don’t panic! Click here to find out how to prepare your kids to be photographed.

Niagara family photographer

Niagara portrait photographer

Niagara portrait photographer

Niagara portrait photographer

Niagara portrait photographer

Toronto family photographer

Toronto family photographer

Toronto family photographer

Toronto documentary photographer

Toronto family photographer

Toronto portrait photographer

Toronto portrait photographer

Get in touch with me if you like what you see, and we’ll set up your portrait consultation! I can’t wait to learn all about you and your family. Click here to contact me.

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Copyright Law And What It Means For Your Family And Wedding Photos

Copyright law is a little bit convoluted. I admit it! As a photographer I care a lot about it, but even I find it difficult to decipher. In fact I had a heck of a time reading the Canadian Copyright Act when researching this article. So for you, someone who might not have a reason to think about it ever, I imagine it’s absolutely baffling.

It’s a question I often receive from clients as we discuss my process and our contract. When we get to the copyright clause there are understandably questions about who owns what, and what my clients can do with their photos. After all, you are contracting me to create photographs for you. So when you read that I own the rights to all of the photographs I produce you might rightly be surprised. Being that this is an important and significant investment, you should understand why your photographer owns the copyright to your photographs, what it means for you, and what you should look for in your photography contract to be sure you’re absolutely covered and protected.

Canadian Copyright Law

According to the Canadian Copyright Act, photographers are the original copyright holders of all of the images they produce. This means that every photograph I take of you technically belongs to me. Here’s how it reads in Copyright Act:

2 In this Act

… artistic work includes paintings, drawings, maps, charts, plans, photographs, engravings, sculptures, works of artistic craftsmanship, architectural works, and compilations of artistic works;

… photograph includes photo-lithograph and any work expressed by any process analogous to photography;

And here’s the important part:

13 (1) Subject to this Act, the author of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright therein.

For the purposes of my portrait and wedding contracts I’ve broken this down into much more simple language.

I keep the copyright to all photographs taken by my team and myself. No reproduction is permitted without my written authorization. I will also use your photos to promote my business in print, on my website, and in wedding magazines and blogs.

If you’re feeling a bit weirded out about your photos being owned by your photographer, stick with me, because there are a couple important reasons why.

Wedding photography copyright.

The Art of Photography

Your iPhone photos are fantastic. I’ve seen them. They’re cute as heck. But smartphone photos are not the same quality for a couple of reasons, and I’m not talking about how many megapixels they have. Yes, amateur equipment (including your smartphone) produces much sharper and brighter images than ever before. However there is a lot of style, math, physics, and even chemistry behind every amazing photograph. (That’s right, I said science!)

By working with a professional whose style you love, you’re capitalizing on their experience and talented eye. This is how you get those images which take your breath away, make you laugh, or make you cry uncontrollably. If you take that photographer out of the equation, there are no photos.

Additionally, no two photographers see a scene the same way. We have a vision for your photos and edit them in a meticulous manner to reflect your energy. That is why photographers like myself include a clause in our contract like the following to ensure that your photographs are always presented in the best way possible:

I put a lot of time and effort into producing beautiful photographs for all of my clients, and I want you to share them with your family and friends. However, you agree that you will not alter the photographs I give you in any way, including applying any digital filters (like on Instagram).

The Service of Photography

Though this might all seem like it protects the photographer and hangs our clients out to dry, that is not at all the case.

I have a question for you… When was your last vacation? Did you take your camera? Did you take hundreds of photos? Where are those photos now?

I bet they’re sitting on your computer, aren’t they? Or maybe they’re still on the memory card. Or maybe you have no idea where they are. I’ve seen so many people take hundreds of photos on a family trip, but so few have ever looked at them, and fewer still have had them printed. When they do the colour is often off and the size of the image is quite small.

Enter, your photographer. Not only do we create your photos for you, but we take the headache out of choosing the best photos, editing them, and dealing with the print lab. I could go on about the convenience of it, but there is an issue hidden beneath the surface, and that is that without copyrights to the images we produce we literally cannot perform this service for you. That’s right! If we do not own the copyright to the images we produce we are legally unable to modify your images and get them printed for you, and you’re saddled with the responsibility of handling all of that on your own. And I know you don’t have the time for that!

Canadian copyright

Second Shooters

You might be thinking, “But Sophia, you’re bringing a second photographer to our wedding. Do they own the photographs they shoot of our big day??” And that is a great question! The answer is no. I have my associates sign contracts prior to your wedding releasing the rights to the photographs they produce to me. This means that I own the copyright to the images they produce for me of your special day.

Your Rights

So if I own the copyright to your photos, then… what do you get?

Simply put, you get artwork. Photographers like myself provide our clients with high quality printed artwork. Because I truly believe that you deserve the best experience and product there is, I provide the full package from planning your session to hanging your favourite pieces. When you work with someone like me, this is what you’re investing in; beautiful, amazingly finished pieces for your home. It’s as custom as custom gets! These are your images to enjoy forever.

Your Photographer’s Liability

If you’re wondering, “But I paid for my photos, and that means my photographer could up and disappear and I’ll get nothing,” take a deep breath and count to 3. Take a good look at your photography contract. There should be a liability clause in your contract outlining what happens if your photographer fails to deliver your artwork. Here’s mine:

Although I will always treat your photos with care, my liability for loss, damage, or failure to deliver photos for any reason is limited to a full refund of any money paid.

Digital Files & Reproduction Rights

Along with printed artwork I provide my clients with digital files for social media and smartphones which you can keep and share forever! This means that I do not give out printable digital files. I’ve watched my clients in the past struggle to manage their files and get them printed, and the results were always unhappy people and bad printing. Here’s how this appears in my wedding and non-commercial portrait contracts:

It is my job to make sure you get the absolute best artwork possible, which can only come from me. Therefore I will keep all the printable digital files. All artwork and albums must be ordered from me.

However, if you are purchasing high resolution, printable digital files from your photographer you will want to receive a signed document outlining your reproduction rights. This document will give you permission to to have these images printed and also describe any restrictions (for example how many photos you can have printed and in what size). If you take a USB stick to a good printer without it they might turn you away. Your reproduction rights might be found in your contract with your photographer if digital files are included with your package, or might be included in a separate document. You can even have your photographer include this document with your photographs on your USB or with your downloadable files.

Photography copyright in Canada

That’s It Folks

You should be aware that your photographer owns the copyright to all of the photographs she creates for you. But there is no need to worry. This is how we ensure that we are providing you with a quality service, and allows us to create the best artwork possible for you. Be mindful of your contract with your photographer and review her liability clause. Also, if you are purchasing printable digital files remember to get written permission to reproduce your photographs to save any future headaches.

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