Tired of those same old fall family photos everyone else has and want something different? Looking to release your inner mermaid and have a unique maternity session? Want a little WOW factor on your Christmas cards? Then these sessions are for you. On August 13th and 14th from 9:00 am-11:00 am, it’s your chance to do something different and sign up for an underwater photo session!
An exclusive event hosted by award winning family photographers, myself and my partner extraordinaire, Barb Toyama , each custom session is approximately 30 minutes in length and includes your choice of five digital files from an online gallery. Priced at just $350 plus tax, these sessions won’t last!
Call 403-608-1875 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your session today!
Calgary has had some wicked storms this summer, and the night I met this beautiful young grad, Halee, was no different. For hours before the session, it looked like we might get rained out, however we decided to try to make it work anyways, and I am so glad we did. As it turns out, the rain that came halfway through the session, was something that truly Halee loved, so it seemed fitting. Like all storms, it passed, and we were greeted with a rainbow and lovely warm sunshine by the end of the session. Now there’s a metaphor for life in there 😉
I had a lot of fun, thanks for asking me to capture some of your memories, and good luck Halee – you are a generous soul who will make a big impact in this world!
It’s officially summer and the kids are itching to get out of school (truly have they paid any intention for the month of June anyways?). Summer for me means long lazy days out on a porch or under a tree with a cool glass of lemonade, listening to kids playing in the background and taking the time to read a good book. Since this is the first week of summer, I wanted to share a few of my favourite books with you in case they inspire you to pick up a book this summer and explore. I love so much about these books, some of them recent favourites, others I have read and reread, and they totally changed my life, as well as my family’s. Books can do that if you let them. Like an old friend they wait, on books shelves, in drawers, or forgotten boxes, until one day you open them up and rekindle their magic. No matter how many times you crack open a good book, it speaks to you differently, totally relevant for that time in your life.
My top five “must read” summer books for 2016 are:
- Steal Like An Artist – Austin Kleon
A super easy summer time read, this books has some really sage advice about living life as a creative. It busts myths that there is anything like an “original” thought and offers the idea that the best creatives, “steal” from others to find their own path. Following ten easy steps to help you along to do the work , this book encourages you to embrace your influences, collect ideas, and invent your own way forward. Some nuggets which have stuck with me include the encouragement not to wait until you know who you’re to get started, make friends and ignore enemies, the idea that validation is for parking (amen to that), and keep your day job . And its got great quotes by many different artists throughout too!
Why I Love It – A great mix of the practical and inspirational, you can’t help but want to do things differently after you read it. Re-reading is highly recommended!
2. The Book of Awesome – Neil Pasricha
Written a number of years ago, this book is by far one of my family’s favourite. Based on a really popular blog called a 1000awesomethings.com, it focuses on the small, seemingly insignificant everyday miracles that really makes for a happy life. It’s witty and wise, feel good and nostalgic, all at the same time. I used this book during a time when my oldest son was focusing on only the negative. We would read it together and it wasn’t long before he was smiling and laughing and it gave us a starting point to talk about the smallest “good” things that made us happy that day. It started a tradition in our family where every night at dinner, we talk about the three things that made us happy and we were grateful for in our day. Now that’s truly an awesome book!
Why I Love It – Great reminder that the key to happiness surrounds us everyday. Re-reading is highly recommended!
3. Start With Why – Simon Sinek
This book is for anyone at any point of their lives who wants to inspire others, and really communicate the “why” of what they do, especially in business. In a world where there is so much noise and things vying for our attention, focusing on the why is really fundamental to differentiate your business and truly connect with people. Using some of our most memorable leaders, from Martin Luther King, to the Wright Brothers, this book offers a powerful framework for your business to start communicating, marketing, etc with. Read it now over summer and start up in a big way in the fall.
Why I Love It – Powerful tool to lead and communicate with.
4. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
You most likely have heard about this book as its been pretty popular, with good reason. Written by the author who also penned “Eat, Pray, Love”, this book tackles fear, creativity, and how to pay attention to the subtle signals in the universe, that “magic” that surrounds us. When I was reading it, there were many times where I got goosebumps and would text my friend Barb, to tell her about it. It got so bad that I had to send her the book so she would know what I was talking about (and not think I was crazy). Luckily she liked it too, and so often we can see it working in our lives, and now she writes me. Either that or she still thinks I am crazy and is just indulging me ;).
Why I Love It – A simply powerful and inspiring book that really spoke to me as a creative. Re-read to take more away with you!
5. Furiously Happy – Jenny Lawson
Jenny Lawson is the genius behind one of my favourite blogs The Bloggess , a brilliantly funny (think dark humour) blog about her life and where she deals very honestly about mental illness (disclaimer – don’t click this link if you are easily offended), and the brilliant book “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened”. I got both of these books for my son and I to read as we both love her blog (no judging my parenting either ;)). Delivering a powerfully inspirational message to be happy, despite everything, this book encourages you to be unique and really embrace who you are. And its so funny that most of the time I have tears streaming down my face when I read it, while my husband shakes his head saying, “oh no not that book again”. Read both of the books in fact, but maybe not while in public….unless you’ve already embraced the “furiously happy” mindset ;).
Why I Love It – OMG. So. Funny. AND she mentions Neil Gaiman and Brooke Shaden in the same book.
Those are few of my favs for this summer and ones which I will be reading again. What are your favourites? List them below to share!
Happy reading makes for a happy summer in my books (so many puns). Take the time to read a new book, or reread an old friend.
There are a few things that are worth getting up for so early in the morning, but to me, a horse is one of them. I love horses and used to own and show them a long time ago. I was thrilled to bits when Erin asked me to photograph her gorgeous big horse Riggs. We really lucked out and had a beautiful morning in early May, and that morning sun really brought out the fire red in Riggs’ coat. He is a ham too – most of the pictures had to be from further away, or he would be searching through my pockets (or camera) for some treats!
He is an incredibly beautiful animal and a gentle giant. I really was stuck by how closely bonded they are and hoped to convey that closeness though the pictures we made that morning.
A few of my favs below…
And finally, I leave you with one that really says what Riggs loves to do beyond anything else….
Thanks Erin for inviting me out to photograph your bond – it’s something special and he is an incredible horse :).
Its been a while since I shared a family session, well really, since I shared much at all! Its been a busy season so far, and I am feeling blessed :). I loved spending the time with this family where we spent a morning together playing dress up, reading, going to the park and being silly….there was a lot of that.
Mostly from Mom ;).
I had a lot of fun too. Thanks for having me.
I completed this session on a freezing winter’s eve for a good friend of mine just days before she welcomed her little one into her arms. Hard to believe all that has happened since then, and how much her little daughter has grown. When I look back at the pictures we made that night, and was deciding on what would make sense to post, these three simple photos really stood out to me as moments, really the last few as a couple, before two became three and their lives changed forever. Having a child, especially one as longed for as their little one, really is momentous and time pass so quickly. It’s amazing how one becomes two, becomes three…
Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.
I can hardly believe it! This year, I am celebrating my fifth year in business!! It seems like just a little while ago I nervously clicked “publish” on my first of many blog posts, and I can hardly believe all that has happened in that short time!
And I have YOU to thank for it! If it wasn’t for my clients, my friends and my family, this little dream of mine would have remained that. Just a dream.
So as a small “thank YOU“, I am inviting you to help me “Giveaway the Month of May”! From now until May 22, as a celebration of five years in business, I am giving away a family session and would love your help!
I’d LOVE to help, how do I do it??
It’s super easy. Light a spark for someone else.
- Share, tag, comment or simply email me the name of someone else you know who would love to win a session with Jennifer Kapala Photography along with five reasons why they deserve to win!
- Because you are kind of awesome and generous, YOU will be entered to win a session fee free ($200 value)!
I can’t thank you all enough for the past five years.
p.s. Enter the giveaway below!
Ever feel as a creative that you have an abundance of ideas, but sparking them into action is the hard part? Light your spark, ignite your ideas and take action through coaching!
Why Hire A Coach?
In a world full of easy access to the same information and in an industry which has many different perspectives and advice to offer, it’s a challenge to get clear of on what works for you and your business. In the end, the only true competitive advantage which you have, is you. Wouldn’t it be great to get some clarity about what works for you and your business?
But I have taken a lot of classes and have been “coached” by people before. How is this different?
Where you once a kid? Did your parents ever tell you, “clean your room now!” How did it make you feel? More importantly, did you do it willingly?
You may have even had a reaction of some sort, after reading that. Makes total sense. You were told what to do. That in a nutshell is mentoring, and what a lot of classes offer. While it can be extremely valuable to connect with someone who knows a lot more about a subject then you do, mentoring doesn’t always “stick”, especially when used to set goals, because you were told what to do.
Coaching is designed to help facilitate your own thinking, and solutions, and most importantly, your own ideas. See ideas are like kids, you tend to like your own better. And when you have your own ideas, you have skin in the game.
And what we know about your success when you have skin in the game?
You are way more committed and likely to follow through on the goals you have set. Its that simple.
How do I know it works?
About three years ago, using the same methods I use in my coaching sessions, I set a bright and shiny, wildly impossible, goal.
And using the same methods, shifting my thinking from the impossible to the possible, I achieved this…
Interested to hear what others have to say about the coaching they have received?
Interested in finding out more and possibly winning a session to try it out yourself? Join me to help “Giveaway for the Month of May”. Now that you know what you know, leave me a note on five things you’d like some coaching on!
Light your spark and ignite your ideas. Anything is possible when you do.
p.s. Winners will be selected May 22nd!!!!
Enter the contest below!
The mountains are calling….
You wake up every morning and glance at the majestic mountain range to the west as you drive to work. You’ve seen the pictures and post cards that promote their beauty and magnificence. You hear the wild call of the mountains and say to yourself, “one day, one day, we will make time and go”. Make one day today. Experience and capture the beauty of the Rockies forever with a mountain session your family will never forget.
Whether you are traveling to visit the Rockies, or live in the Foothills, these limited sessions in the Banff and Kootenay areas offer a wonderful way to capture your family session in one of the most spectacular parts of the world.
The mountains are calling….will today be the day you answer?
I very rarely post before and afters, mostly because its my belief that post processing isn’t the answer and there is a lot that goes into making an image appealing that no amount of “fixing” it in Photoshop will cover. Getting it right in camera is far more important that spending hours in front of a computer. That being said, I wanted to share the series of pictures that I took last night of my son playing his violin with you, to illustrate how I use Photoshop and Lightroom to put the final touches on my vision.
The first photo is straight out of the camera (SOOC), with no editing. Because I photograph in RAW files, my SOOC are flat and unappealing, but you can see that really, not much was changed on the picture, but the editing. Compositionally, I pretty much nailed it right away (this was the third picture I took), and I waited until my subject had the movement in the shot I was looking for – feet placed a certain way, bow up so it caught the light and echoed the lines of the fence, the head of the violin not breaking the line of the fence, leading lines to my subject, subject placed perfectly using rule of the thirds, etc. The only small change I made was the decision to crop it using the golden ratio right where the bow hit the strings to strengthen the viewers eye and my subjects gaze to the same spot.
Let’s take a look.
Yup, see what I mean. Flat and gross. But what did I see in this location that I knew would contribute to the final picture in my head? Tones play a lot in my work, and I love to play with the tonal harmony. I stopped by the road here because I knew the red tones of his hair, his red shoes, and the red bushes in the field, as well as the mahogany in the tree line and the violin would be something that would all help to create the tonal harmony. Truth be told, his shoes were a little too red for me, but they went well with the ripped jeans which gives the subject a little edge. Another big factor for me was the light. It was dusk and the sun was low, but I saw from the way the light hit the fence and wrapped around it that it would be really quite lovely to work with and wrap around my subject the same way.
Edited in Lightroom.
I always do global edits in Lightroom and make the most changes there. Right away, with only a lens correction, white balance, tonal curve, lifting the shadows, and slight changes to the HSL sliders, you can see a big difference. All the tones I saw in my final vision (and in reality that were there) are brought to life in a few seconds of work.
For my finishing touches, I always pull my images into Photoshop where I take off small “flaws” (like all the dog hair I found on his coat!), stray hair fix, a few curves and levels adjustments, skin tone check, a little softening of the tree line in the background, and I took out the body of water barely visible to the left of him because I found it distracting.
There you have it. Most of this wouldn’t have worked if I hadn’t looked for and used elements in the environment or known what to look for in lighting or composition. Editing simply brought out what was already there, and really didn’t take long at all.