Creative Year Challenge

February 17, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Once I got settled in on the Island, made a few contacts and had been SO inspired by the area I made a plan to challenge myself to one creative shoot per month. Even if I missed a month I pushed to get two done in the next month. I just wanted at least 12 complete within the year. The Creative Year Challenge was born!

Some shoots were not totally what I had envisioned and some were better than I imagined they could be! I used a mix of experienced models and subjects that had never done any modeling before. I put out model calls in the community and hit the jackpot! 

My first session I had originally thought would feel a little more vintage. I put it together quickly and used wardrobe on hand. While it didn't end up looking very vintage my model and I made a pact to be BFF's for the day and we wandered Oak Bay Avenue and had a blast! 

MODEL: Ella 


For my second session of the year I just happened to be heading back to Alberta for a visit. My cousin, model and actress (check her out on Blackstone ) had been asking me when we could shoot again so I asked her if she was up to shooting in the dead of Winter....AGAIN! The last time I photographed her it ended up being -30 degrees outside and the forecast for my visit wasn't looking any warmer this time. We met at my parents acreage in Sherwood Park where I knew there would be an abundance of snow and a horse to work into the shoot! Jordyn is also an accomplished rider so I knew she would have no problem working with a giant animal! 

MODEL: Jordyn White 

MAKEUP: Cookie Munroe

I met my next model at a hair salon. She was the cutest lil thing with an adorable personality. I spoke to her and her mom and we decided that she would be a part of the next session I was planning. I originally had a different theme planned (which you will see later) but when her mom mentioned that she LOVED dragons I knew I had to plan something that incorporated one of the things that she loved and that would be an expression of who she was. There are some amazing locations on Vancouver Island and I immediately knew I needed to shoot this at Hatley Castle. I put together some wardrobe from mall finds and hand me downs that in a very simple way transformed her into a Medieval Princess! 

MODEL: Charlotte 


By now we were heading into Spring and one of the things I adore about Victoria are the pink blossom trees! They can be seen lining the streets and parks! I was obsessed and absolutely could not let the season pass without getting some photos! I decided on a Mommy and Me type session but ended up having a model reply to my call that had a little sister that could join her for this shoot. 

MODELS: Sian and Jordan C. 

MAKEUP: Emily Reese Makeup Artistry


I have been lucky enough to meet some very talented hair stylists here in Victoria. When speaking to this hair stylist she mentioned that she knew the perfect location for the concept that I had been sharing with her. This model is also one of her very own clients. I also teamed up with my talented daughter for the makeup design. I know I'm probably a little bit biased but she always delivers great work! It's always so exciting and I get giddy when concept, location, model, hair and makeup all come together and bring what is in my mind to life! 

MODEL: Reina G.

HAIR: Hair by Alanda

MAKEUP: Emily Reese Makeup Artistry


I have been fortunate enough to have found a networking group of like minded people to collaborate with. On this occasion I met up with another photographer and three models. I always have a suitcase of wardrobe with me so that we can get a variety of looks. These models came prepared with dresses that coincidentally coordinated and looked great in our location. We met at Clover Point and had some really pretty evening light on the edge of the ocean! 

MODELS: Molly Green  Briellen Lockhart Sophie McIntosh


My next session is the original theme that I was going to use for Charlotte. I always say "everything for a reason." As it turned out this model suited this theme better and had the perfect hair to wear with a top hat! We had a fun afternoon shooting on location at a local schoolyard that had these great brick walls! 


MODEL: Nevaeh

MAKEUP DESIGN: Emily Reese Makeup Artistry

MUA: Shannon Paul


I took a couple of months off and then I had some catching up to do! This next session was inspired by the incredible amount of redheads I had apply for my shoot in The Highlands. I felt bad that so many girls had applied and I could only choose one. After visiting Fisgard Lighthouse and seeing the cute boathouse; The Rosina I saw all of my red haired girls at this location! I planned wardrobe and contacted them to pull it together. I got a special permit from Parks Canada to use the location and everything was a go. On the day that we were scheduled to shoot we got a huge rainstorm and we had to postpone. The thing was...the rowboat was being packed away for the season after that weekend so we had to wait a whole year before we could shoot it again. Once we were ready again I had changed the wardrobe and one model dropped out but it turned out amazing anyway. It's always such an incredible feeling when something you have had in your mind for so long comes to life! 

MODELS: Melanie, Mara, Lily, Karis


I am a sucker for vintage! I attend a wardrobe sale every year hosted by the Langham Court Theatre. I get amazing items and support a great charity at the same time. I was now in October and I was feeling a little moody without being full Halloween theme. Melanie's mom contacted me saying how much she loved shooting the Rosina session and she was eager for more experience. I thought she would be perfect for this theme. We set up a wardrobe fitting because I knew this was THE dress that had to be used and wouldn't you know it....the dress fit!! 

I called on my friend Alanda for more incredible hair and my daughter Emily for beautiful makeup and we were set. I had discovered Uplands Park in Oak Bay and thought it would provide enough interesting spots to give many great shots to add to the mood! 

MODEL: Melanie E. 

HAIR: Hair by Alanda


I think at some point in our lives I had expressed interest in the desire to have an old ladder. My husband was out on a construction project and spotted one in the garage. After speaking with the owner it was determined that it should be mine! haha It has made an appearance in one other shoot and was jammed into the uhaul to make the trip to BC with me! I found this cute white dress at the Langham Court Theatre sale also but it was chilly out so I added this cute fluffy jacket to keep her cozy. I put a model call out for a tiny model and it was total fluke that I ended up with another redhead. I am simply blown away by how these little models pose so easily and so well! 

MODEL: Molly 


I realized that I really do tend to have visions for shoots with female models. I wanted to expand my thinking and my portfolio. My thought was to mirror a shoot I had done earlier in the year. I went back to the stream near Mount Douglas Park and stayed with the tribal theme. My model was game for whatever we had in mind. He was all in

for the makeup and fur vest! Another chilly fall day on the Island but he toughed it out and we got beautiful shots! 

MODEL: Tyler Rozendal

MUA: Emily Reese Makeup Artistry


The year was coming to a close very quickly and I had still not planned my last shoot to complete all 12! I was thinking that I wanted to do something with a Christmas theme but I wasn't coming up with any ideas that didn't involve snow! I told myself I had to twist my Alberta Girl thinking and turn it into something coastal. We shot this in the very last week of December, just in the nick of time! 











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