Archive for January, 2010

So number 84 on my 90 in 2010 list was to go to Ikea and not buy anything. How is it not possible to walk into a store and not buy anything? Even something small? I don’t know how they do it. But actually, I do know how they do it because of this nifty Business Week article here.

Every visit to the city is usually comprised of 3 certain things ~

  1. Eat sushi
  2. Go for a walk on the beach
  3. Go to Ikea

And this time I thought I had really done it. We had gotten to the Marketplace area (you know the basement area where they have all those great kitchen and other household items) and my hands were empty! I was getting really excited about this and being able to take another item off of my list….until we walked past this bin full of these cool little scrubby’s.

Uh oh.

My palms began to sweat. Those are really fun and cute and functional. It’s only $1.99. I need a new scrubby anyways. I could get a red one to match my kitchen.

And so it went. I ended up dropping one into my friend’s shopping bag while my husband wasn’t looking….oops.

But seriously, it’s cool right? I mean why didn’t someone think of this sooner? Stick a little suction cup on the end of the handle…’s always in the same place you left it last, will always drip dry into the sink if you stick it in the right spot and the bristles are actually a pretty good strength to clean those tougher items. But sadly, I cannot cross this off my list.

And, um, do those $1.00 ice cream cones count as an Ikea purchase? I’m still debating that one….

I have a problem.

I am a compulsive website-changer.

You may have noticed that the look of the site has completely changed. There is a good reason for that. Let me explain.

This past week, I have been doing tons and tons of research on green media delivery - meaning how the heck am I going to give my clients their images using materials that could be reused and are made out of recycled products but still look classy, fresh and are high quality. I think I’m getting really close to making some decisions on a few suppliers for custom made USB drives made out of recycled plastics and reusable presentation tins, which I am getting really excited about. Once I finalize that, all I need to do is find some pretty details to dress up the insides of the tins and what you get is a snazzy little package of your digital images using green products from other companies that have established environmentally-friendly practices.

As I was going along this week in my research, I realized not only how much work it is to find the right kinds of products with the quality that I am looking for, but also how much more green principles could fit into the realm of photography. It’s definitely a way of rethinking how things have been done traditionally in the way of wedding albums and other things like leather DVD cases that aren’t as sustainable, but I am really hoping that others can join me on my little journey and start thinking about the products they are offering to their clients and how they could make some changes to their businesses. It’s a lot of work but I think with a little creativity and gumption, you’d be amazed and surprised at what you could find out there.

Soooo, that being said, I was beginning to analyze the current look of my brand and didn’t feel that it was appropriately reflecting “green.” So I changed it. I changed the colours to make it all feel lighter, a bit earthier and a bit fresher. I won’t be surprised if there are some tweaks along the way (who are we kidding, there are always tweaks!) but I think this will work better for the direction that I am heading in with my business. What do you all think? Drop me a line and let me know your thoughts on this new look!

On  different note, I am booking weddings for the summer of 2010! So if you are getting married or know of someone who is and you like my style of work, then pass this along! It’s almost February and summer is just around the corner!

I will be in Vancouver for the summer but am available for some travel dates so if you live further away, don’t hesitate to contact me and ask.

Happy Friday!!

I had a fantastic impromptu weekend in Vancouver…..a wedding, shopping, visiting and sushi - what gets better than that? Well, it would have been better if I got to go real shopping…does window shopping still count? Either way, it was such a great break from the cold, snowy north. I am so looking forward to moving in a month’s time when the tree blooms will just be coming out!

On Saturday, one of my husband’s closest friends got married and I was so happy that things worked out at the the last minute for me to be able to attend (thanks Brenda!). Josh and John have been friends for about 6 years now and it was an honor for my husband to be a major part of the wedding preparations and being the best man in the wedding party. It was a really wonderful day - I got to meet a lot of John’s friends that have become my husband’s friends over the past few years. Josh and I never find ourselves in the city at the same time and he’s had to spend large chunks of time down there over the past 2 years for one reason or another. People were starting to call me the “Invisible Wife” or the “Imaginary Wife” so it was great to prove to them that I do exist!

Their photographer for the day was Jacqueline Quiring, based out of Abbotsford, BC. I knew of Jacqueline through some other photographers in the Fraser Valley but had never met her before, so it was really neat to connect with her. Alas, I just couldn’t stay away completely and had to take a few for myself. I go to a wedding and I just want to get all up in there and take pictures of everything, but I limited myself and tried to enjoy the moment as a friend supporting the union. It’s tough being a wedding photographer and attending as a guest!

Here are a few from the grand union…..

Jacqueline in action. Photographers rarely get shots of themselves doing what they do, so I thought it might be fun to sneak a few of her in the set.

29 weeks.

11 or so more to go until my husband and I get to meet the best thing ever.

Which has gotten me thinking a lot about new life and photography and how to document this time in our lives that hopefully will happen again, but not quite like this. Every pregnancy is unique and different and I want to make sure that I capture all those monumental moments along the way.

I have a great respect for those photographers who specialize in newborns — it’s not easy! They cry, they get cold, cranky, fidgety, hungry and pee all over the place (so I hear) during those bare bum photoshoots on sheepskin rugs and cozy blankets tucked into baskets. They’re a tough crowd to be sure. But soon enough, I’ll have my own and the little tyke won’t have a chance escaping the camera, especially since he won’t be able to run for at least a year. I’ll get lots of practice in then!

Maternity and newborn sessions have been around for some time now, but something that I have been noticing more and more lately is specialized photographers getting into birth photography. For myself, I had partially made the decision to have a photographer documenting the process a few years ago after seeing a photograph taken by one of my husband’s friends that looked as though it belonged in one of those news journal magazines. It was a colour photograph shot in a wide angle of the hospital room his wife was giving birth in — nurses scattered about the large and spacious room, various machines and overhead lights, the place where his wife was lying. All of these fairly typical things that you might see in a typical birth procedure. And in the middle of this picture was the doctor, holding the brand new baby up slightly into the air, arms and legs waving about with a healthy set of lungs screaming its first protestations into the world. There is nothing typical about new life.

So now I find myself in those shoes — what kind of pre-natal vitamin to take, packing away my “normal” clothes for an entirely new set, how to deal with the knocks and bumps that get stronger every day, thinking about strollers, baby carriers, bottles, nappies, toys. I look at my many friends who already have children and am always finding myself getting surprised at how fast they do grow. I can only imagine wanting so badly to hold on to those tiny days, but that’s why I love photography so much. And that’s why I’d like to have the birth of my first child documented — not only because it will probably be one big blur for me, but I want to remember the very first day we got to hold our baby.

It’s not for everyone. And that’s fine. Just putting the thought out there for any mom’s-to-be who might be considering this kind of thing. I feel very fortunate as a photographer to be connected in such a way with wonderful photographer friends like Emily Hoskins of Liberty Tree Photography, who will be doing this for me at the end of March. She does not specialize in birth photography, but I do know of a few other photographers in the Lower Mainland and Smithers who are keen to be a part of your birth. I personally don’t know how they do it but I sure respect their desire to freeze the moment of ushering in new life, abilities in co-ordinating their businesses in the midst of the unpredictability of labour and artistic vision to capture one of the most unique days of a couple’s lives.

To get an idea of what this looks like, today I found a photographer located in Seattle, Washington who specializes in newborn, maternity and child portraits. Emily Weaver Brown Photography has an entire page dedicated to birth photography. To get to it, go here.

Other photographers that I know of who are doing birth photography:
In the Smithers area — Kristie Larsen Photography
In the Fraser Valley area — Roxanna J. Photography
Again in the Fraser Valley area - Photography by Alanna Clempson

And because a posting is always better with a photograph……

I had been meaning to work on these for a very, very long time but when things get really busy, it’s easy to let photography for fun slide a bit. But now I’m getting to that to-do list (one of many!) and am happy to present them to my friend who has been patiently waiting since, oh….well, let’s just say a while.

These were taken in one of the most wonderful summer spots in Smithers, the hayfields en route to Malkow Lookout, a popular summer/winter trail minutes from town. Actually, I’m not entirely certain this particular field gets hayed, but others in the area do and where there are hayfields, there is Indian Paintbrush, tall grasses, weathered barn buildings and lots of beautiful light on a late sunny afternoon. Lisa is a photographer as well and it’s always a good time to get together with other folks in the business to practice some new skills or share ideas. She, her family and her business, however picked up and moved to Kamloops at the beginning of September (which made me very sad) where she is now forging ahead in a new location in a new year. She’s got some exciting things coming up this year and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does in 2010! To check out her work, you can visit her website at Aspect Arts Photography.

Here are some photos of her zany kids and Schnauzer, Maia, as we played in the summer sun. And gives me hope that summer will come around again soon!

On my daily walking commute to and from work, I pass by a beautiful 1920’s house converted into a luxurious boutique full of decadent household and kitchen items for the stylish Smithers home. I have to admit, although my house is quite simple and I don’t own very many beautiful display items, I have an incredible weakness for pretty things. I don’t care whether it’s a set of 500 thread-count bed linens in a beautiful, fresh colour or a sparkly item to display on the bookcase, I love it all.

Walking into La Petite Maison Decor & Design Inc., I just want to touch everything! The entire store is a feast for the eyes, every item is perfectly and thoughtfully placed by its owner, Kate Trampuh, and every room in the heritage house is full of beautiful, high quality items to decorate your home with. Kate carefully hand picks all her merchandise and knows each piece personally, which is very impressive because there is a lot in the store to look at. La Petite Maison has everything from beautiful, sparkly chandeliers, unique knitted children’s stuffies from Kenya, country-modern pieces of crackled furniture that will make your living room sing and a kitchen full of tasty teas, bread mixes and candies.

This was my first commercial opportunity and it was such a lovely, relaxing experience. So much different than the crazy of a wedding day, that is for certain! I went on a Saturday morning and it was fairly quiet, which gave me a lot of opportunity to move from room to room and focus on some key pieces in the store that really caught my eye. And there was a lot. It was difficult to limit myself from taking photos of every single thing in the store!

If you ever find yourself in this part of B.C., a visit to this little slice of eye-candy is a must and say a big hello to Kate who is a really kind and sincere shop owner. Here is a small sampling from my hours of shooting bliss in the shop.

Shop: La Petite Maison Decor & Design Inc.
What: 1920’s Style heritage home turned chic shop for home decor.
Who: Kate Trampuh
Where: 3891 Broadway Ave, Smithers BC
Website: La Petite Maison Decor & Design Inc.

I have a few favourite photographers that I come back to time and time again. Their work, energy and vision inspires me to push myself harder, try new things and go into realms that I find rather scary (like all that business-related stuff). One of my absolute top photographer favourites is Jasmine Star, based out of Orange County, California and her main focus is on fabulous brides and their husbands-to-be. As you may have noticed, one of my 90 in 2010 is to attend a seminar of hers in California…..I’m not sure how possible this will be this year, but one day….one day I will go there and soak up every single piece of learned wisdom she can offer! And take photographs of some of the fabulous models she arranges for the seminar, of course.

I found this gem on her blog today, an hour-long podcast interview of Jasmine with Lens Flare 35, a weekly show hosted by Dave Warner for Canon DSLR users. For any photographers out there, I highly recommend listening to this; it’s informational, instructional and inspirational. How the woman can teach and inspire all at the same time is astounding! To listen to the full podcast, click on the picture below.

Well, the first few things off the list.

I wasn’t anticipating to do this now, but I decided to do it sooner than later…to much Facebook avail….my page is mostly broken so hopefully that will get sorted out eventually.

There is a little icon at the bottom of each blog posting, which is for sharing the post on your Facebook wall. Or you could just click on the icon below to go there directly.

Also, I decided to publish this site sooner as well. How fitting for the new year, I thought. I love fresh starts. It’s still being worked on, but the framework is there. I’ll be adding things as I go.

Thanks for all your support!

In lieu of the new year and actually another fresh decade, I decided to try something I haven’t done before.

Make a list.

Well, I certainly do make a lot of lists, but this list is a little bit different.

My inspiration for this comes from another favourite photographer of mine, Melissa Jill, who is based out of Arizona. She made a 101 in 1001 list that she posted to her blog and has been working through and documenting. I thought that would be a neat thing to do for 2010, so I made my own 90 in 2010. I condensed it to one year because I at least know for certain I will be in Vancouver for much of that year and made it slightly less than 101 things to do. Perhaps one day down the road when things settle out a bit more, I’ll do a 101 in 1001 which is a longer term to-do list.

Looking at this list feels a little overwhelming and I know I won’t finish everything on it. But I am OK with that (and that is a big thing to say from someone who likes to tick off every single item on a list). Sometimes there is something that comes up that I would like to accomplish or learn and forget about a year down the road. I wanted to start remembering all these things and putting these desires down on paper to help me remember some of my goals.

So, without further ado, here is the 90 in 2010 list.

    1. Finish all the recipes in Rebar.
    2. Go to Rebar in Victoria.
    3. Finish Reading Lolita in Tehran.
    4. Have a summer patio dinner in Vancouver with fairy lights, candles and lanterns.
    5. Throw Josh a birthday party in May.
    6. Take a cooking class.
    7. Take Spanish lessons.
    8. Run at least twice a week (after the baby is born!).
    9. Take a 2 month trip to Baja in the car with Josh and baby.
    10. Join Fitness World.
    11. Get dressed up and go to the opera.
    12. Make Josh GF lemon opera cake for his birthday.
    13. Hike up to Garibaldi Lake with Josh and baby and stay overnight.
    14. Go to the BC Home Schooling convention in June.
    15. Take 2-3 Small Business BC seminars a month for 6-7 months.
    16. Take a photo course on using natural light.
    17. Take a photo course on using flash for indoors.
    18. Go to a Jasmine Star seminar in California.
    19. Shoot a food session for a restaurant or catering company.
    20. Read one book a month relating to my business for 12 months.
    21. Become CPR certified.
    22. Finish Josh’s wedding present book.
    23. Take photos of Omi.
    24. Go to the Richmond Night Market.
    25. Take my parents out for dinner.
    26. Go to Saltspring Island.
    27. Cook a dish with a new ingredient from the grocery store.
    28. Find a bulk grocery store in Vancouver that sells reasonably priced GF staples.
    29. Have a high-school reunion night with all my old buddies.
    30. Source out a book-maker in Vancouver for wedding albums.
    31. Develop new packaging materials for Simply Rose.
    32. Visit Barb and Steve in Washington.
    33. Go to the Oregon coast.
    34. Visit Phil and Clare in Portland.
    35. Visit Jess in Olympic Peninsula.
    36. Go to the Olympic Peninsula.
    37. Donate blood.
    38. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
    39. Volunteer at A Rocha on volunteer days.
    40. Find a backyard garden-share in my neighbourhood and have a summer garden.
    41. Learn how to sew something….properly.
    42. Try the diaper-less baby method with baby.
    43. Take a baby sign language course and teach baby some basic signs.
    44. Refinish a piece of furniture.
    45. Visit the Yarrow Ecovillage.
    46. Do the 100 mile diet for 3 months (as much as possible with Josh’s diet).
    47. Launch the WP blog by the end of February.
    48. Dress baby up in a funny Hallowe’en costume.
    49. Go the pumpkin patch with baby in costume.
    50. Go to North Arm Farm in Pemberton for their yummy butter tarts.
    51. Go to Meager Creek Hot Springs.
    52. Start to take classes for the distance ed web design program at BCIT.
    53. Start a Simply Rose FB page.
    54. Go to the Farmer’s Market at Trout Lake.
    55. Go to the Festival of Lights at Van Dusen gardens.
    56. Get involved with the arts council at 10th Ave Alliance Church.
    57. Join the choir at 10th Ave Alliance Church.
    58. Join a Mom’s group at 10th Ave Alliance Church.
    59. Learn more about Jacob’s Well and get involved somehow.
    60. Have a garage sale with my dad.
    61. Go canoeing in Deep Cove with baby.
    62. Take baby cross-country skiing in a pulk.
    63. Buy something from Etsy for baby. Something that has owls on it.
    64. Buy original green Hunters.
    65. Work on English garden-punk maternity leave photo shoot.
    66. Clean up everything in iTunes.
    67. An iPod for both Josh and I.
    68. Design birth announcements for baby.
    69. Go antiquing on Main St.
    70. Eat a breakfast at Bon’s Off Broadway.
    71. Go to a Bard on the Beach show.
    72. Have a picnic.
    73. Update Twitter at least once a week for 3 months.
    74. Compost kitchen waste.
    75. Become a member of Greener Photographers.
    76. Learn how to play a new board game that is not Settlers of Catan related.
    77. Visit the Novakowski’s in Kamloops.
    78. Learn how to make paper.
    79. Learn how to do stained glass.
    80. Source out a local letterpress company in Vancouver for business cards.
    81. Go to one bridal fair.
    82. Get rid of that dry patchy skin on my elbow.
    83. Take the new Canada Line into Richmond.
    84. Go to Ikea and not buy anything.
    85. Go to Clayburn Village in Abbotsford and get a candy stick from that heritage candy shop.
    86. Go to a tulip farm.
    87. Go see the Symphony of Fire at least once.
    88. Do a photoshoot day in the city with Aspect Arts Photography (Lisa!)
    89. Make a list of technical things I would like to work on photography-wise.
    90. Begin to network with other photographers in the Vancouver area.

I have been trying to decide what to do since May about the next moves in my business….summer got real busy and then things started to change around mid-August when I found out I was pregnant. It’s pretty amazing how your life can change in the blink of an eye.

This is the decided result for the time being. It’s a portfolio site without being a portfolio site. It’s a blog but more than a blog. And there are some big changes!

I changed my name to simply rose. It’s something my husband came up with a while ago when I was trying to brainstorm new names for my business. I tossed it out the door initially but came back to it a month or so later, beginning to like the resonation of it. And it just sort of stuck.

Rose Dykstra Photography is evolving into something different, I am hoping over the next year and years to come. Not only is my life changing in many big ways, but I am hoping to take this year and push myself in new and different ways. Even though I have scaled my business back considerably and will be going on maternity leave in the beginning of March, it doesn’t mean that I will be stopping altogether. If you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me. My email address is [email protected] or you could drop me a line here. I’d love to hear what you are interested in doing.

I will be adding more to this site over the next while; some pages still need content and some galleries still need more slideshows in them. There are also a few more tweaks I need to do to the look of the site, so don’t be surprised if a few things look different over the next bit. Not drastically, just some minor updates.

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