What happened when I tried to become a wedding photographer

As I’ve mentioned in some posts below, I used to have a couple here-and-there jobs before I had gotten pregnant with my first little one. Reminiscing about these are some of the few things that help me stay sane and get the kiddie songs out of my head for a little bit!

One of my absolute favourites was in Calgary as a wedding photographer. I was quite young at the time and wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing a thing! I had done the whole nine yards when it came to learning everything. I researched cameras and learned how everything worked in the newer DSLRs, took some photography classes, and spent hours on end practicing with my family and friends as subjects. I did a fair bit of prom photographs and similar milestones for friends of friends and even some new faces of whom I had just met. It was so great and so rewarding starting out!

Once I felt comfortable with my skills and had a good portfolio put together, I started advertising to do wedding photography in the Calgary area. I was kind of surprised that I had little to no calls or inquiries for a few months after I started advertising. It made me feel kind of sad! I decided that I’d pretend I was looking for a photographer for my wedding (even though I wasn’t even engaged at the time!), and I came across a huge amount of other people who did exactly what I was doing! The market was so saturated with people just like me, that I wasn’t standing out at all. This got me thinking…maybe I needed a fresh style or a unique trademark? I put together some new edits and took some new photos and gave them my own, rather unique look. I felt so proud of myself! Once I posted and advertised with these pictures, I actually had 3 calls within the first week! Three weddings to photograph throughout the later summer and early fall.

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous. I had never covered an event this big before and I didn’t want to miss ANYTHING. Thankfully, two of the weddings had another photographer because they wanted to make sure we both weren’t overwhelmed and therefore able to catch all their precious moments. The other photographers and myself worked very well together, and we managed to pull it off with flying colours! The new happy couple was so pleased with the results.

Unfortunately, the third wedding I was left to take care of by myself. The ceremony, newly-wed pictures, family pictures, reception, cake, guests, everything. It was a lot of work. I had a bunch more like this that I attended during the fall season and it really started affecting my performance and quality of work. I decided I either needed a partner, or I needed to take a break and decide if this is what I really wanted to do.

It was a super great experience and I learned so much, but after about 6-8 month of stressing too much, I decided that was it for me. I still love looking back at the pictures I’ve taken and the moments I’ve captured! I ended up selling my camera and equipment, which definitely helped out with money at the time! I can’t deny that I made pretty good money from each wedding shoot as well, haha! Too bad it just wasn’t for me!

Thoughts on my friend’s wedding

So I went to a wedding in chilly Calgary this past weekend. I haven’t been to a wedding in ages. In fact, I’m pretty sure the last one I went to was Dan and Brenda’s wedding in 2004. How time flies!

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Had weddings changed much? My friend Amy, the one getting married, is the type to want a sort of ‘normal’ wedding, so I thought that whatever I encountered would stand as an average wedding for me to base my judgment on, to see if there was much changed.

As a matter of fact, not much has changed lately from what I remember! Of course, things are slightly more clean and crisp and modern, but isn’t that always the case when looking at a time period when still in it?

The colors were light blue and cream white – really quite lovely choices for a winter wedding. They were soft, slightly chilly, but not uninviting. Overall, the way they pulled it off was excellent. And really it was nice to see the groom in something a bit masculine. That’s one thing I didn’t like about the last wedding I went to. Seeing Dan in pink was horrifying! This one was much more dignified.


Isn’t this cute??

I’m ‘just a friend’ I suppose. Not a best friend, not an old friend…’just a friend’. As such, I wasn’t front and centre for any of it, which is just the way I like it. It meant I got to watch everything!

The pictures were gorgeous to see as they happened. They’ll be so happy when they see them!

There were a lot of group shots since each side has an enormous family and many friends (there were over 400 people at this wedding, I was frankly shocked – the price of it all…can you imagine?), and the Calgary wedding photographers seemed to do a good job of making use of the surrounding area. They even hurried along to make sure nobody had to be outside in the frigid winter air for longer than absolutely necessary. Also impressive to see that she did the pictures with the most elderly people first so as to allow them to get inside as quickly as possible.

It wasn’t really too cold, but anything below freezing is uncomfortable. All things considered, for a January day in Calgary, it was splendid!

It has been so long since my wedding, but watching two people get married still tugs my heart strings and makes me think of how happy I was on that day.

I wonder if there are any more weddings scheduled for this year? We don’t have many friends, especially those in the ‘getting married’ phase of their lives, but I certainly do love going to marvel at all the splendor that so many people have obviously spent so much time (and sometimes money) putting together!

Bottle Thoughts

These are what I used this last time…Playtex Baby Drop-Ins. They’re much cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else, but that’s besides the point, I guess.

The picture is of the gift set, but it doesn’t make a difference. I find that they were much better than what I used before. Of course, much of the things I didn’t know the first time around I know now, which makes things a bit easier in the actual day to day ‘grind’ of things. These ended up working better due to the ease of use and ability to get cheap refill packages easily.

Playtex is a solid brand, too (check out their website).

I wonder what everyone else is using?

I don’t know how long we want to keep her on bottles, but for now when she is so wee, it’s nice to be able to just drop in a liner, fill it up and go. Takes some of the washing and worry away.

Anyway, just a short post today…I’ll be sharing some small things like this from time to time (usually it’s all I have time for!) but hopefully they will help you if you’re wondering what to do or need some guidance in a situation. I’ve been through it (and am going through it!) so I hope my sharing is of assistance to some of you! -Celine

Challenges of being a stay at home mom

Like I mentioned on my About Me page, I am a stay at home mom. I didn’t say much more, but I’ll get into that here.

I have an 18 month old and a 3 month old (boy and girl, respectively). We’re really lucky that I am able to stay home, because I absolutely love it. My husband makes enough and we are thrifty enough for me to be able to do this.

The title of this post might be misleading…it’s not all a chore! I don’t hate it! It’s so rewarding and I love being able to do it, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t challenges, and a lot of times when I feel like my brain is melting.

brain melt

This is sometimes how I feel. Someone’s opening my head and about to remove my brain!

What did I do before?

Good question! (Thanks, self! hehe)

I worked at various jobs, nothing I really loved. However, I love working. Being the best at my particular job is more important to me than what the job actually is. The harder I have to work, the better. I seem to thrive in chaos and go a bit nuts if I can’t have it.

There was a point when I worked the cash register at a local super market. After that I sold dresses in a high end women’s shop down the road (little boutique place, closed down after about a year, unfortunately). Before I had my first child I was in a temp position at a marketing agency in town. I had only been there for about a month before I got pregnant…I had originally hoped that I could stay for a year and get my contract turned into real employment instead of temp work.

Well, needless to say, I lasted another 7 months and after settling for an agreement to pay me the rest of my 1-year contract with an understanding that they wouldn’t be saving a position for me when I was ready to go back, I started prepping for arrival at home, out of work. Continue reading