here. we. go!

January 31st, 2011 by sharaleep | 176 Comments »

i am SOOO excited that this day is finally here.  the official launch of my brand new, all grown up, “i can now call myself a real deal photographer” website.  for a long time i felt like my crazy old blogger blog served me well, and it did.  but i was just starting to feel its limits and was realizing that i really wanted/needed a place of my own with my own name and my favorite pictures on the wall and some good music…all those things that make it feel like home.  i wanted to be able to welcome YOU into my home.  and i feel like this is a really good start.

so to kick it all off, i want to give something away that will make your house feel more like a home!  i’ve invited all of my beautifully faithfully lovely customers from 2010 to submit their favorite picture from our session together.  i’m posting them all here so that all of my wonderfully loyal readers can vote as to which one is their favorite!  the picture receiving the most votes (winner is #5 – amber & bonner!!) will be turned into a flawless 16X20 canvas print for the winner.  i’m also offering one lucky voter, a new customer, the chance to win a FREE session with me to be redeemed sometime in the next three months (winner is jordan hughes!!).

here’s what you have to do!  leave a comment on my blog noting the corresponding number from the picture that you are voting for.  for an additional vote, go to my facebook page under the album “new website contest” and “like” the picture there as well (please note that you have to “like” the facebook page before you’re able to vote).  i’m giving you 2 weeks, so call your friends and family and get them to vote, vote, vote!  i will announce the winner sunday, february 13th and will draw for the free session at that time as well.

i know which pictures i love, but i always adore seeing which ones are YOUR favorites!  here are the nominated photos:

#1 (Luke & Joanne Haidle)

#2 (Gwendy Gravelle)

#3 (Cindy Dueck)

#4 (Laura Menagh)

#5 (Amber Funk & Bonner Wolf)

#6 (Jessica Cool)

#7 (Aaron & Katherine Douglas)

#8 (Greg & Laura Vegt)

#9 (Simon & Tammy Nash)

#10 (Paul & Carol Dyck)

#11 (Brenna Sullivan & Brad Mueller)

#12 (Karen Janzen)

#13 (Lois Brhelle)

#14 (Sara Saberi & Majid Hosseini)

#15 (Josh & Natalie Nicholson)

#16 (Fred & Amy Chan Kin)

#17 (Keith & Martha Richmond)

#18 (Scott & Jen Cadwell)

OK!!  that’s everything…comment now and go visit my facebook page for an extra vote too.  and while you’re here, take a look around and see what’s new.

Posted in baby pictures, engagement pictures, families, maternity, weddings |

“one” concert

January 26th, 2011 by Sharalee | 6 Comments »

i had the distinct privilege of being the “official photographer” for my first concert this past weekend!  our good friend, kevin boese, was releasing his new cd and hosted the best party i’ve been to in awhile in the process.  it was an amazing evening…the atmosphere was warm, the people felt like family and the music…well, it speaks for itself.

duncan africa is an amazing organization which is helping to empower students in uganda, not only by teaching them how to build guitars, but also by providing them with other life skills that will enable them to start their own businesses and be agents of change in their own villages.
kevin has surrounded himself with incredible friends, not only in life but in music and it was so sweet to see all the people who had been involved in the album on the stage throughout the night.
one of those friends happened to have a bright red keytar.  can you say “wicked awesome”?
my husband also happens to be a friend of kev’s and he kept the mood light by royally roasting kevin, the gaither band and anyone else who dared heckle him.  ahh, the life of a comedian’s wife: a good balance of pride + mild embarrassment.  thankfully kevin was amused. 


here’s a shot of him singing “mary did you know” ( i can hear you saying “no he di-n’t”, but i can assure you.  he did.)


thank you for inviting me to be a part of this evening.  it was and will continue to be an honor to watch as you step into all God has for you and is calling you to be.  i have a feeling all your friends would say the same.

“may the peace of christ go with you wherever he may send you.  may he guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.  may he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you.  may he bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.” 
northumbrian celtic prayer
buy kev’s album here and here.  if you’re super old school, you can also find kevin in parking lots across abbotsford…rush concert t-shirt on, trunk popped, stereo blaring just waiting for unsuspecting worship music lovers to sell to.
one more note: this will be my last post on this blog!!  by this time next week, my new website should be up and running.  good timing too because google just informed me i was going to have to start paying for more space here.  i’ll be posting the official “switch” link soon, so stay tuned and get ready to change your bookmark…

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Posted in corporate photography |

american beauty

January 23rd, 2011 by Sharalee | No Comments »

i can’t even tell you – this girl is amazing.  totes gorge (for those of you who are unfamiliar with abbrevs, that’s “totally gorgeous”).

i don’t know how she does it, but in approximately 2.2 seconds she’s able to go from “i’m super hot”…
…to “i’m the cutest person on the planet”.
you inspire me.  your positivity, willingness to learn and ability to see good in people…you’re wise beyond your years, honey.  maybe i can be a little more like you when i grow up.
we spent the afternoon under the overpass and anticipating that we might be intruding on someone’s winter home, brought some fresh chocolate chip cookies along to share.  we were sad not to encounter anyone, but pleased to see that abbotsford seems to be doing its job in taking care of those with no homes in these cold months.  thank you to places like the food bank and cyrus centre – please continue to support these services with your time and money.  they can’t do it without us!

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Posted in head shots |

random.

January 21st, 2011 by Sharalee | 2 Comments »

i recently realized that amidst the hub bub of christmas and the busy-ness of business, i’ve hardly taken any pictures of my kids in the past few months.  none worth sharing at least.  we also live in a dark basement and with the wet and cold weather we’ve had lately, my poor littles’ skin hasn’t seen the light of day.  so as soon as the rain let up for a few hours, i got my older two outside and actually remembered to bring my camera.

we all know how important toddler style is on the playground.  thankfully, my daughter loves her “fancy star shoes” as much as i do.  and since she will only sit still for about 10.2 seconds, the half ponytail would just have to do today.

traffic can get a little hairy at the park during rush hour.

i love that my kids haven’t figured out that they still look cute when they make funny faces to get me to stop taking pictures.
and this one gently reminds me that i’m a bad mother.  notice the red cheeks.  in my haste to get out the door, i kind of didn’t realize that it was freezing cold outside and the kids were not dressed properly.  don’t worry…we hurried home to cups of hot cocoa and the sniffles were gone by the next day.
i’m thankful to mi esposo for my children’s amazingly long eye lashes.  why is it always the boys that get them?  tell me why?! 
this was his “i just got caught heading towards the national geographics with my fake plastic doctor scissors” look
the only way i could get a real smile out of her on camera was to squeeze her head between my knees.  unfortunately, it didn’t last and turned into this.  still cute, though.  still cute.
for those of you who know me, you know i’m a word maven.  so naturally, my only prerequisite for marrying/naming children was that our names could be scrabbled.  and they can, just in case you were wondering.

Posted in my family |

in print.

January 17th, 2011 by Sharalee | 1 Comment »

i love my clients.  not only are many of them great friends, they’re super creative and fun to work with!  such can be said about this lovely couple.  they will be my first wedding of the year in march and i just got my official invitation!

it’s hard to see here, but bonner had carved their initials into the tree in the foreground.  and if that’s not romantic enough, open it up and…
…they’re staring lovingly into each other’s eyes.  love you two and am super super pumped for your day. praying for NO RAIN!!

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Posted in engagement pictures |

a little evening rant

January 13th, 2011 by Sharalee | 4 Comments »

ok.  so i’m not super into bandwagons.  and i’m not super into soapboxes either.  what i am super into is people.  and when people are being hurt or treated unjustly, it kind of ticks me off.  to put it lightly.

every year, the lovely people at the international labor rights forum publish a “sweatshop hall of shame”.  it basically highlights some of the major companies who either directly or indirectly violate labor rights, whether it’s in their own organization or in their suppliers’.

and we’re not talking about not providing ergonomically correct chairs.  we’re talking about people dying because of unsafe work environments.  we’re talking about people being beaten or harassed for trying to start a union.  we’re talking about children as young as 7 years old being forced to quit school and work in cotton fields or as cocoa harvesters.

after taking a gander at this year’s list, i’m not overly surprised by some (ahem, walmart) and am seriously discouraged by others (ikea – hits me where it hurts).  by posting this list, i’m just giving you the chance to make informed choices.  it’s easy to be ignorant (believe me, i know) but now that you know, you have the incredible opportunity to be an agent of change.

i’m not going to tell you what to do.  but i’d love it if you would check out the list (and their whole website for that matter) and pause to think about whether there are adjustments, big or small, that you can make in your own purchasing to try and ensure that you’re not supporting the people who are taking advantage of those who can’t (or haven’t been allowed to) speak up for themselves.

and just so you know i will be the first one to admit that i have, on a regular basis, shopped at places I KNEW had poor business practices when it came to labor rights just because i wanted a deal.  but here’s my commitment: i will buy used/secondhand/handmade as much as possible.  i will try to buy local, for both produce and other goods.  i will do my best to have an understanding of where the store bought products are actually coming from.  i will not shop at walmart (i actually try and throw out the flyer right away so i’m not even tempted to look).

here’s a little token “pick me up” so you don’t leave this post feeling depressed.  this is cliff, josiah and our housemate brittani posing with the handsome snowman they made on jojo’s first official snow day!  he actually loves school, so he was pretty bummed to stay home, but we had fun anyway.

stay tuned for more pictures from my sweet little fuji instax camera – it’s coming out in full force in my engagement and wedding sessions this year.  which are booking up fast, by the way, so be sure to give me a shout soon if you’re tying the knot this summer!

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Posted in my family |

new chair

January 8th, 2011 by Sharalee | 3 Comments »

guess whose mama felt so bad after reading this blog post  that she bought her daughter a brand new office chair?!?

merry christmas to me.
i know.  i’m a dork.  this is what friday nights at home will do to a girl…
here’s an old photobooth picture of my little man that will hopefully redeem this entire post:
…or not.  thank you mac for creating a way that i can so thoroughly embarrass myself.  happy friday!

Posted in my family |

honorary

January 5th, 2011 by Sharalee | No Comments »

so, i got peed on again.  i’m going to swallow my pride and take it as a compliment…like he really wants me to be an honorary part of the family or something so he was just marking his territory.  i think i’m going to start bringing a change of clothes with me to shoots, though, because he peed so strategically that it sure looked like i had wet myself.  thanks buddy.  it’s a good thing you’re cute.

and tiny!  2 weeks old and not even 7 pounds yet.  can you say “peanut”? 
and no shoot would be complete without some pictures of the big sister…she’s also cute, but not quite as tiny.  or quite as human.  though i’m pretty sure if you asked her, she’s insist she was.  human, that is.
congratulations, you guys!

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Posted in baby pictures |

a new year

January 2nd, 2011 by Sharalee | 2 Comments »

to ring in 2011 (that feels so weird to write!), i figured i would unveil my personal favorite family picture from our cross-canada/u.s. adventure.  i just love children.  we’re sitting in front of freaking NIAGARA FALLS…one of the natural wonders of the world/top honeymoon destination/something most people don’t get to see in their lifetime…and my kids are chasing pigeons.  and whining.  and playing with the stroller buckles.  and refusing, no outright rebelling against even looking at the water.

and so, we embrace our fate.  and while cliff and i have our little romantic moment under the double rainbow, our children can do whatever they please…including playing dead.  because we are at niagara falls, for goodness sake.

happy new year, everybody.

Posted in my family |

post christmas drizzle

December 29th, 2010 by Sharalee | No Comments »

when this family asked me to come on boxing day morning, i thought “wow.  sacrificing all those great post-christmas deals to honor mom’s request for a family picture and come together in love and unity”.  can i get a collective “awwwww”?  turns out it was the only time over the whole christmas break where they could all fit an hour in between work, birthday parties and other family gatherings.  but what an hour they picked!  what was supposed to be a soggy sunday morning turned out to be a very overcast sunday morning and we were gifted with about a half an hour of clear before it started to pour!  which gave us just enough time to get these:

check out these eyes!
these two cuties have been married for ten years and still have quite the spark…the rest of the family suggested they get a room.  clearly they already have 🙂
thanks for braving the elements with me, ritchies!

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Posted in families |

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