Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Why I would rather be a HORSE than a Wife

Today’s blog is just for fun, but to be honest it really got me thinking.

Here are my Top Ten (and there are lots more) reasons why I would rather be a horse.

1. When you speak (neigh) people listen, and rush over to see what you might need – not so much when you are the wife

2. All your meals are brought to you including any special vitamins or minerals you might need.

3. Someone else cleans up after you allowing your nails (hooves) grow nicely.

4. Which means, “New Shoes” every 6 weeks – yea I love new shoes

5. You only work about an hour per day and always get time off if you are sick. No one expects you to just carry on.

6. Naps and early nights seem pretty standard practice. Not the exception

7. You not only get to smell the roses you sometimes get to eat them

8. Having your own personal trainer and style consultant is not just for the rich and famous it seems to me most horses have one. I just have a very critical 16 year old.

9. Even if you have a foal - someone else takes care of it for you – and worries about shots, doctors appointments, special diet etc.

10. Horses do get to “Retire” and just hang out with their buddies. Regardless of what happens to the economy or their stock.

The biggest reason and perhaps the greatest lesson they can teach us is the ability to “Just be what God created you to be”

Monday, January 25, 2010

Dressage is Poetry in Motion

Sharon Merkel Beattie
Canadian Dressage Candidate for 2012 Olympics – UK
I was so excited to hear that Sharon had been listed as a possible candidate for the 2012 Olympics, and wanted to support her in her journey. So I offered to be her “Official Photographer” and provide her with not only a record of her journey in picture form but also commercial images she could use in her Olympic campaign.
I had photographed Sharon many times as “Show Photographer” at various dressage events across Alberta but this would be special and I would be capturing not only all the action in the dressage arena but also some behind the scenes shots allowing a personal glimpse into what it takes to become an Olympic rider.
My first appointment was at a fundraiser event at Whitemud Equine Centre. Sharon and her beautiful chestnut Hanovarian mare Essence of Glory were to perform a freestyle dressage demonstration to music, with an opportunity to meet Sharon afterwards and ask her questions. It was a very cold Snowy day in January and despite the cold temperatures there was a fabulous turn out so see Sharon ride. Before she and Esa travel to California and prepare for the World Equestrian Games.
Hopefully the next selection if images will be in the sunshine - not snow

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Who is Linda Finstad - Anyway?

Allow me introduce myself.

My name is Linda Finstad, I grew up in small rural community in England. Where it was normal for kids to learn to ride a horse before they rode a 2 wheel bicycle and I got my first pony on my fourth Birthday.
My childhood revolved around horse shows and pony club - what I took for granted back then, in hindsight was obviously a very privileged upbringing.
As my mother bought me very nice show ponies and hunters that were fit to
win at county level.
Horses were my life and it only seemed natural to work in the industry so I studied at Wrae Green Equestrian Centre for my BHSAI - once qualified I taught riding there for a couple of years before moving on to open a saddlery store. And once again I was back at the horse shows with a trade stand selling tack and country clothing.

I came to Canada about 14 years ago and for a while felt quite lost I didn’t know where the shows were held or how to get involved in the horse industry.
So in an attempt to re-invent myself I went back to school to learn photography this was a very challenging but rewarding process but it was only when the teacher asked the class “What do you really want to take pictures of” that it struck me Horses and Dogs of course. With all my experience not only in the show ring but also as a trainer I have an extremely good eye when it comes horses. This coupled with my formal photography training makes capturing fabulous shots so much easier.
I feel I my life has come full circle, and feel extremely privileged to be the official photographer at many horse shows and dog agility events throughout Alberta.
I really do have the best job in the world as I get to photograph some amazing animals and very talented handlers, horsemen and women.

In 2008 I was given the biggest commission of my entire career
The “Equine Heritage Exhibit” a photographic study of all the breeds of horses that make up the equine population of Alberta. Once this two year project is completed it will be housed in the Provincial Archive museum. Providing a snapshot in time of what “All” the breeds not only look like but also what they are used for. A fabulous resource for future generations.

I am truly blessed to spend my days capturing the beauty of Horses.
www.imagineitsold is where you can see my work

Friday, January 22, 2010

Live life like you nail polish color

Live life like you nail polish color
Wild berry is the name of my favorite nail color polish, to me is says - bold, exotic, bodacious, and it simply makes my nails look good.
Now I am a hard working girl and not the kind to enjoy beautifully manicured finger nails , they just wouldn’t stand up to my life style so when I say this delicious Wild berry color makes my nails look good I am referring to my toe nails. And you will just have to take my word for it as my toes are always jammed in work boots.
Just saying the name “Wild berry” makes me tingle with excitement and conjour up images of treking through a hot steamy rain forest in search of exotic creatures to photograph. Escorted by my own personal guide who just happens to look like a George Clooney and is devoted to my every need. Ok I am getting a little carried away now.
Don’t worry I am not losing it, I know just painting my nails wont magically create this fantasy life, but allowing your color to inspire your fantasy is a great starting point to making it a reality. Until I really thought about the name “Wild Berry” and allowed myself permission to daydream I had never even considered the possibility of visiting the rain forest. But now I have had those thoughts there is no turning back.
Living like your nail color can be a conscious choice so ladies choose carefully.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you Dr. Phil

I was really excited to watch Dr. Phil yesterday because there was a lady on the show who’s BIG problem in life was her obsession with Farmville.
I too am struggling to justify the time I sit at my computer tending virtual crops and worrying about collecting eggs and milking make believe cows. My husband has told me on numerous occasions to delete the bloody thing and get a life. But its not that easy - then there is the guilt of killing off all those animals, or worse I could just block access to the game then I my farm would still be there but no one would visit or care for the place – I really don’t know which would be worse.
So I was excited to hear what Dr. Phil had to say – guess what he shared my husbands thoughts and told her to delete the bloody thing and get a life, well he didn’t swear but that was his sentiment.
Now this lady had it bad she started farming in the early hours of the morning and neglected her family and home in order to sit at the computer ALL day playing farm.
I really don’t want to become her so I am taking steps to cull my addiction. I have sold off lots of my animals and am planting crops that take 4 days to harvest this means I can take a few days off and who knows in that time I might find a new distraction. If only I could become obsessed with house work and cooking.
Unfortunately there millions of people out there who think Farmville is the best thing since sliced bread, and don’t see a problem with wasting their precious time on Earth tending a virtual farm. Hopefully one day there will be a 12 step program to make the transition back to reality easier.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Help – I don’t know what to wear?

If you have ever thought about getting some publicity shots taken that you can post on your web site or business cards and break out in a cold sweat trying to figure out “What to Wear” here are a few tips that might help.
Business / Publicity Portraits
Clothes & Colors, keep in mind that you want to appear professional but friendly. When in doubt about what to wear, a slightly conservative look is best. A jacket in blue, navy, grey, burgundy, or black are always safe choices. Avoid light pastels, bold stripes, bold patterns or anything that is too distracting, a subtle pattern is fine. Also avoid short sleeves if a jacket is not worn, upper arms always tend to photograph wider than they are in real life. Darker colors are "slimming.” Corporate portraits are just head and shoulders so don't worry about your shoes. Keep jewellery simple unless you are a rodeo queen and then bling bling bling!

The Psychology of Color:
• Green is the “Don’t trust me” color
• "Cheap Image" color is Purple
• The "Unsophisticated or Slob" color is Brown, avoid it!
• Navy says "Success”
• Earth tones appear friendly and approachable
• Black is for the very stern and serious
• Yellow appears positive and friendly
• A dark dusty pink is calming and non threatening “soft”
According to various sources I researched on the internet, so you might want to take those suggestions lightly
Many of my clients are horsemen and women so a formal business attire would really not send the right message.
My best advice is to go for a classy country look, that doesn’t mean what you would wear whilst mucking out the barn - But a nice fitting pair of jeans and boots, avoid white socks and running shoes, teamed with a clean well pressed long sleeve shirt, you might want to team it with a nice vest or lightweight jacked – remember to keep patterns to a minimum. Your portraits will look more authentic if taken outdoors and maybe leaning against a fence or holding onto a horse.
A word of caution regarding hats – they create a shadow over your face, so if you absolutely must wear a hat try to try to wear it slightly further back to allow light to reach your eyes.
Hands: Ladies hands are often included in portraits, they add femininity and elegance. Having your nails done is important. If you have work hands a pair of nice leather gloves will cover up a multitude of sins.
Makeup: Remember to bring along some makeup (lip-gloss and powder) for touch ups. A more natural look is better than heavy make up.
Think about the image you want to project in your portrait, conservative, sporty, professional, friendly, artsy, approachable.
Contact Lens: Some people who wear contact lens tend to blink on a high percentage of photos, it might be a good idea for contact lens wearer to wear glasses and take them off for the portraits.
However The most important thing you can wear is a smile
Last but not least: remember to get a good night sleep for that fresh look.
If you would like help creating a “Sharper Image” in your business or promotional pictures I can help. www.imagineitsold.ca

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wild Mongolian Horses in Alberta?

When I first started work on the Equine Heritage Exhibit - I had a mandate to locate – photograph and document all the different breeds of horses that make up the equine population in Alberta. I was given 2 years in which to complete this project
The initial list included 40 different breeds, however I photographed 43 in the first year and the list just keeps on growing. I can’t take credit for locating all these horses I had lots of help from people within the horse industry. What would typically happen whilst on a shoot they would suggest people they knew who specialized in a certain breed and owned either a stallion and a few mares or in some cases large herds. Some of these suggestions were of breeds that were not even on my list, which made the whole project very exciting. As I really don’t know exactly how many breeds are represented here in Alberta.
Last week I went out to photograph Zebras at Calgary zoo - although it was a bit of a stretch, I know they are not horses but they certainly are equines. Plus it was an excuse to get up close and personal with two very cute female zebras and capture unique images of them in the snow - after all most Zebras should never see snow.
Today I discovered there is a small herd of wild Mongolian horses in Southern Alberta. In all the years I have been an equine photographer I have never seen a Mongolian horse so I am very excited at the prospect of meeting them, and truly fascinated to find out why they are here. Hopefully I can arrange a photo shoot soon – I would like to shoot them in a winter setting.
I wonder how many different breeds of horses there are in the World?
If anyone knows of an official list or unofficial for that matter I would love to see it.
I think I will make it my personal goal to photograph as many of them as humanly possible.

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Thought Sweat Shops were illegal

I Thought Sweat Shops were illegal

All the experts tell you when starting a business your decisions must be based on facts and figures NOT emotions.

So I broke all the rules right from the get go when I started my Business “Hats By Emmanuel”. You see, my desire was to make a difference and help ladies suffering with hair loss due to chemo therapy. I thought my creative styles coupled with soft luxurious fabrics could help them through a very difficult time.

I had no business plan or idea where I wanted the business to go either short term or long term. 12 years ago I just knew there was a need and I wanted to fill it.

Now the experts also tell you when you fail to plan you “plan to fail” but sometimes when your heart is in the right place and you don’t mind working really hard the plan just unfolds as you go along.

I went from creating a couple of dozen pieces per week and selling them down at the farmers market to providing a full line of specialty headwear to hospital gift shops and wig stores all across Canada. Now production is around 8 – 15 dozen per week. So I got my wish, I am making a difference and reaching lots of ladies in what is probably their lowest point.

However I never planned on running a sweat shop and certainly didn’t plan on doing all the sweating. Maybe a business plan wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Should I give away the Farm?

Ok - I am not talking about “Farmville” what I am thinking of doing is giving away all my trade secrets.
Allow me to explain!
If anyone has ever tried to take pictures of their animals it doesn’t matter whether they are horses or dogs you will have realized that there is a certain amount of expertise needed to achieve those beautiful animal portrait you see printed on calendars.
For many many years I have worked with horses and dogs - honing my skills as a Professional animal photographer, and I feel it is time to pass on all those gems of information that will ensure other people can capture stunning images of their pets.
So I have designed a one day “hands on” workshop on How to shoot horses like the pro’s – Photographically of course. This workshop will include live animal models and cover things like understanding natural light and how to pose – style and prop using whatever you have available. I am still working on the accompanying workbook, but with just a few more hours at the computer it should be ready to launch.
My husband - Tom – thinks I am crazy to share all my hard earned secrets, he says I am training my competitors. However I don’t agree – I know everyone has digital cameras and if they have animals - whatever size they are - they like to take pictures of their fury friends so I feel it would be unfair not to share my knowledge. Not only that I feel there is plenty of Sunshine for everyone and if I can also help an amateur photographer take the leap and launch themselves into a career of photography – that is OK with me too.
I have one riding school interested in hosting a Photo workshop so it looks like this new venture will launch very soon.
The work book will be available on my web site www.imagineitsold.ca
As soon as it is completed, I will keep you posted

Friday, January 15, 2010

From Boring to Brilliant

I want to encourage you all to embrace boring chores – you know the ones you procrastinate over but know you have to do.

In my specialty headwear business “Hats By Emmanuel” there are lots of very boring repetitive steps to producing turbans and scarves. The fact that these items really do help ladies undergoing cancer treatments feel better about the way they look helps – but only a little. There are still hours and hours of repetition.

Until I discovered that boring is a door way to brilliant - now I welcome the tasks I used to avoid. Allow me to explain;

As you do mindless repetitive jobs it fee’s your mind up to think very creatively – its all about your attitude and willingness to allow creative thoughts and ideas in.

The best way is to before you start your job, to think of a problem or situation you need solving – then begin your tasks with an open mind.

That is the key if you are saying to yourself - things like I hate this job or are wishing your time away your mind is full of negativity and is blocking all the potentially brilliant ideas.

Ps. Keep a pen and paper handy to write them all down.

Or use this time to daydream about desired outcomes - one of my dreams is to be an official photographer at the Olympics in 2010, so I would visualize the whole thing from buying my plane ticket, and packing up all the equipment I would need to standing on the rail waiting for the first dressage rider to enter at “A”. This little daydream allows me to see areas that need work – and steps I can take to move closer to my goal.

I hope this helps get you through the dull day-to-day stuff

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are Zebra's Equines?

Are Zebra’s Equines?
A Horse a horse my kingdom for a horse cried Richard 111 in Shakespeare play, but would he has been happy with a Zebra?
Probably not! But I certainly think they deserve a place in the Equine Heritage Exhibit.
The criteria of the project are to locate - photograph and document all the animals that make up the equine population in Alberta.
Like all the other breeds of equines I have had the privilege of photographing they too came from somewhere for some reason. Plus they are very cute, this mother and daughter pair live at the Calgary zoo and form part of the African savannah display, they have a lovely enclosure that they share with a few ostriches and the giraffes during the summer Although the zebras have adapted very well to our cold snowy winters and only stay inside if the temperatures dip below minus 15.
They will be bred to a stallion in the spring and hopefully produce some new members to the herd. Mona Keith - their keeper explained that the male zebras are very territorial and aggressive so they are kept separately at another facility and the mares will only travel to visit him at breeding time. I was curious to know how keeping a zebra would differ from keeping a horse, Mona explained – Not much really they eat the same foods are wormed regularly and have their hooves trimmed, she did say their temperament was more like a donkey than a horse, and at the zoo they do not try to tame or handle the “wild” animals. But as I followed Mona into their enclosure to take pictures and get up close and personal, they were just like all the other equines I have photographed - inquisitive and sure I was bringing them a treat. Did I mention incredibly cute.
If you would like to see more pictures of the zebra’s and track the progress of the Equine Heritage Exhibit please visit my web site www.imagineitsold.ca and click on Heritage

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Virtues of Virtual Friends

If you were one of those popular kids growing up - you wont be able to identify with my story so you can stop reading now.
I was very lucky as a child and learned to ride a pony before I could ride a two-wheel bicycle. Now you would think owning a pony would score some popularity points with the other kids. But mine was a show pony so I wasn’t allowed to have friends down at the stables. So I got labeled a snob.
Plus I had to feed my pony on the way to school which was nice for me as I got to see her first thing every morning and felt her warm breath nuzzle me for the treats I kept in my jacket pocket. Our really morning visits seemed to have a lingering effect that the other kids on the school bus didn’t react too kindly too. I guess I always smelled kind of funky and had bran mash under my fingernails. Which never helped me make it into those popular kids circles.
But the computer has changed all that - our virtual friends have no idea if we are wearing the latest fashion or thrift shop hand me downs, we could be groomed to perfection or looking like something the cat dragged in. In our virtual world of face book it really doesn’t matter and even the funky smelling kids are accepted and can gather a following of friends.
Another plus for technology
Oh and if you were wondering I am wearing polka dot PJ’S and bunny slippers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dare to Dream BIG

Dare to Dream big

I born in a tiny village called Elswick, a Hamlet so buried in the English countryside, one has ever heard of it.

Growing up my world was very small there were only 5 other kids in my class at elementary school and we very rarely traveled more than 10 miles and any direction, to the closest town. In the village seasons came and went crops grew and were harvested and the whole process started again, nothing changed much from year to year. Everyone knew everything about everyone.

So back then my dreams were very small and the thought of going on a long (2 hour) road trip needed lots of planning accompanied with a flask of coffee and large packed lunch. And my biggest dream was to own 3 acres of land and a 4 x 4 vehicle.

Although I have been in Canada for over 14 years I am still trying to overcome “island mentality”.

Since my integration into Canadian life I have overcome my fear of traveling farther than 10 miles but it has taken a little longer to have the courage to dream big.

And it was a TV commercial that gave me permission!

The ad was part of a volunteer recruitment campaign for the Vancouver Olympics and they told the viewer

“You too can go to the Olympics – Just not as an athlete”

Really I thought, I too can be a part of the Olympics – then it hatched the biggest dream I have ever had for myself.

I would like to take pictures of the Canadian Equine Olympic team in 2012 when it will be held back in the country of my birth England.

Now I just have to get accreditation and start saving for the ticket – hey but those are just details.

Wish me Luck

Monday, January 11, 2010

Achieve 20 times more

I read a little story the other day that really resonated with me and made me take a long hard look at how I live my life.
I want to share it with you

There was once a busy shepherd girl, she spent her days rounding up stray sheep – her farther had taught her that if she focused on the strays the sheep would be safe.
One day her sister went out to the pasture to help her with the endless task, Her sister asked - do all the sheep stray?
No answered the shepherd girl only 16 ever stray.
Why don’t you build a little fenced area in one section of the pasture for those 16 – then you’ll never have to chase strays again.
She followed her sister’s advice and the shepherd used her time watching the docile sheep and trading commodity futures by cell phone and increased the family fortune manifold.
This solution allowed her to achieve 20 times as much in the same amount of time with much less effort.
So I began to ask myself a few questions regarding how I spent my time last year.
1. What did I learn to do better?
2. Which activities take up more of my time than I would like
3. Do I allocate enough time to enjoy family and friends
4. What would I like to be doing but don’t find time for
5. Can I think of solutions to make MUCH faster progress in any of these areas.
I sat down with a pad and pencil and started to write lists - what I discovered was quite amazing.
As a photographer I spend hours and hours processing and editing images - if I come home from an event with around 800 – 1200 images it means I have at least 2 full days work on the computer to get the pictures ready to up load to my web site.
This is an area where I could certainly use a very creative solution
My options - were
a. take less pictures – to reduce processing time
b. Employ someone to help me
c. Post all the images on the web site “as is”
d. Buy and learn “Apature” a pro editing software program that many wedding photographers use
So now I have not only a few options but also a choice of solutions
I am going to go with C and buy and learn the new software.
But there are lots of other areas of my business - that I will apply the same method to.
Maybe the story of the shepherd girl is one you can identify with - it certainly struck a cord with me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 Reasons to Promote your DOG to CEO

Top 10 reasons to promote your dog to CEO
Yesterday I explained my top 10 reasons for living the self employed life style.
Today I am going to share with you why you should promote your dog to CEO of your company.
1. They are “The Perfect YES Man” always agreeing with whatever ideas you put forward.
2. Dogs totally endorse frequent “Power naps” – these are proven to add energy and enthusiasm to your next task. Have you ever watched how quickly and vigorously your dog can go from napping to hurling himself at the front door when the postman comes?
3. They realize the importance of fresh air and exercise – in fact they insist on regular walks - which really help clear your head.
4. Dogs don’t allow time stealers like e-mail , facebook, texting and chatting with friends on the phone to detract them from their main duties.
5. Dogs are always pleased to see you - even when you are really really late, in fact the later you are the more pleased to see you they are – I love how that works
6. Dogs don’t need you to “Dress for Success” in fact they will let you work in your PJ’s
7. Along with unlimited coffee breaks will be time slots for hugs and tummy rubs.
8. Most CEO’s don’t have a clue to the day to day running of a business so your dog will do just fine.
9. Your dog will never fire you - no matter how incompetent you are.
10. He doesn’t need huge bonuses or company kick backs – regular food and an occasional doggy treat and he is happy.
So I would like to introduce you to the CEO of my company - Muffy

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Top 10 Reasons for being Self Employed

My Top 10 Reasons for being self-Employed
I really like being self-employed, and not for all the reasons they tout in those “get rich quick scheme ad’s” like only work when you fell like it, take holidays whenever you like – enjoy the good life.
Which for anyone out there who is self employed knows what a crock that is.
Here are my top 10 reasons for choosing this life style
1. You can wear odd socks, and outrageous hats
2. You can change company policy or rules without going through at best a committee or at worst a firing squad
3. You can take as long as you like to get the job done – hey for me 12 – 15 hour days are the norm.
4. There are no Hitchhikers and Couch potatoes otherwise know as team members
5. No long bill shit mission statement to memorize – in the world of the self employed its simple “Sell or Starve”
6. Creativity versus crazy is all relative – usually it’s the relatives who call you crazy
7. Unlimited access to the company funds – if the pot is empty review number 5
8. Corporate headquarters are very conveniently located in my spare bedroom.
9. If I succeed - Yea me if I fail its probably due to the economy
10. Best of all no matter how badly you screw up its impossible to get fired

Friday, January 8, 2010

How to Achieve Excellence

How to Achieve Excellence

Ok maybe Excellence is a slight exaggeration on the advice I am going to share, but if you follow this simple tip you will defiantly be well on your way.
Some wise old sage once said the definition of stupidity is to repeat the same actions and expect a different result.
But for most of us we get stuck in our ways and it is very hard to change or even recognize that we need to change. This is especially true of people like me, who are self employed and spend a lot of time working by themselves.
So I have devised a strategy – major corporations hold “Brain Storming Session” in fancy board rooms.
But when the board meeting just consists of you and the dog.
This is what I do.
After each job I conduct Evaluations.
Its just two pieces of paper one marked “What went well” and the other “what would my ideal outcome have been”
I am a very optimistic person so I try to focus on the positive opportunities of what some might call mistakes.
Then I write down everything I can think of - and I mean everything
Sometimes ways to improve and achieve excellence are hidden in the small stuff.
One of my greatest revelations on an evaluation excersise was after a miserable rainy 3 day event. – taking pictures in the rain is no fun.
So what would have been my ideal outcome from this wet weather show?
A dry place to take pictures from
• So if I took a small “easy up tent” and put it up by the rail I could work in the dry and my equipment wouldn’t get damaged.
• Plus I will make lots of new friends and contacts as people share my “Dry space” allowing me to hand out cards and sell more pictures.
• I capture “All” those thrills and spill shots that bad ground conditions result in
• Have a small case packed with a change of clothes and light weight waterproof pants, and a towel.
If I hadn’t done my evaluation – this solution would not have been thought about.
Very often the most simple changes reap the greatest results.
I hope this helps you in your quest for excellence.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Overcome your Fears

How I overcame my Fear with the click of a button

I have always loved to watch the National Geographic channel on TV and was in awe of those brave photographers who captured such stunning images of dangerous animals. Traveling to unmapped areas in the quest to reveal their hidden mysteries.

How dull and ordinary my suburban life seemed by comparison, and it was every day was the same old same old.

Until one day I spotted an ad for a photography course at our local college, without a moment’s hesitation I picked up the phone and enrolled.

Then the panic set in – you see the college was right in the city centre, and I have a serious fear of driving down town – now what was I to do. The thought of driving in all that city traffic brought me out in a cold sweat.

I considered taking the bus or a taxi cab but I decided that at 45 years of age it was time to face my fears.

My desire to learn photography was stronger than my fear and I set off to my first class. When I arrived at the parking lot I had to peel each frozen finger from the steering wheel I was so scared. But as the weeks passed it really did get easier and easier. I loved the photography classes and was hungry for more and more information so I took all the courses the collage had to offer both beginner and advanced. It turned out I had a natural eye for both light and composition. So I decided to couple my love of animals specifically horses and launch an Equine photography business – A Sharper Image – Photography a year later.

Once again I had to face my fear of driving into unknown territory as I traveled across Alberta to equine events working as the official show photographer, plus private shoots at farms and ranches. I don’t know what was more difficult, figuring out which lane I was supposed to be in downtown or deciphering range roads and township roads that all looked the same?

It was only my love of photography that forced me onward and forward.

To my ultimate adventure – when I finally conquered my fear of driving.

I heard of a wildlife guide in Montana, who would take out small groups of photographers in the hopes of getting close enough to capture images of wolves, bears, foxes even mountain lions.

This was my chance to live the life of a national geographic photographer all be it for a little while.

Full of excitement I called the number and booked a wilderness trip with him.

Then the reality struck me - how an I going to get to this remote spot in Montana. Driving was the ONLY option.

Once again my desire was stronger than my fear and planned my route. To make the 900 kilometer journey seem less daunting, I broke down the journey into 20 kilometer segments – after all I was comfortable driving 20 kilometers – all that was different was I just kept going.

Eventually I arrived at the lodge, tired but exhilarated I had done it – I thought if I can drive all the way from Edmonton to Montana I can drive anywhere. I was finally free from my fear of driving.

All it took was the click of a camera button and the desire to capture National geographic style pictures

To see more pictures from my “Big Adventure” and discover how a loud middle aged English woman could capture such amazing images.

Visit www.imagineitsold.ca

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Year - New Ideas and New Opportunities

I have a good feeling about 2010
But then I am an eternal opptomist and like to start each new year with new ideas and big plans for the future.
Well this year is no different.
The New idea I am most excited about is
a brand new service I am adding to my Equine photography - it is called
"Fun n Friends" Photo Party
This will be an experience you and your friends will never forget - you will even have stunning photos top prove it. This is the perfect activity for Brithdays, graduations or theme / costume parties that include not only all your friends but also your horses or dogs.
I will be posting all the details on my web site
If you desperatly want to book a party but the updates are not on the web - Please feel free to drop me a line and I will explain how it works and available dates
I am very excited to offer - Fun n friends photo parties for only $25 per person - min 6 participants to my clients who are lucky enough to live in Alberta.
But this is not the only New idea I have for 2010 - there is more to come, and I will be sharing them all with you.
One of New Year's Resolutions was to post daily to my blog