Photo Albums Boost Happiness (Winnipeg Photographers)

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A recent editorial by Robert Alison in the Winnipeg Free Press talks about the things that have been found to boost happiness. We have all read articles such as this,but this article points to one that I have never read about; looking through a photo album. Here are some of the happiness boosters that Alison talks about and how much they have been found to boost happiness:

wine 14%

chocolate 8%

smiling 58%

thinking about a recent positive event 66%

Looking through a photo album 63%

I have no idea how a researcher would quantify these items or set up this kind of research, but it is interesting that even smiling will make us feel happier! It is also reassuring to me that wine and chocolate boost happiness. But the surprise is that someone included looking through a photo album in the study.

The research was done by Peter Naish at Open University.  Alison quotes him as finding that:

“Looking through photo albums elevates all measures — sense of relaxation, calmness, alertness and sense of being valued,” he says.

I often tell people to be sure to make prints of their digital images. Hard drives crash, and nobody really knows how long a DVD will last. So safety is one reason to make prints. Now we see that looking at them in years to come will boost our happiness.

I see 2 issues here.  Are you preserving those precious memories from when your children are little by having pictures taken and are you getting prints made.

My First Year Club includes a free 8.5 x 11 photo book at the end of the first year.There will never be a year in your child’s life in which your child changes so much. Imagine the high you will get 30 years later when your child is grown up and you look through this book.

I offer digital images from all of my sessions. Please be sure to get prints made from this DVD. Prints last and are so easy and fun to share, besides being wonderful to look back on.

So keep smiling and get those pictures taken of your child. You will never regret that kind of investment!

My Vision Board (Winnipeg Photographer)


I’ve thought about making up a vision board ever since hearing about them from the authors of The Secret and The Law of Attraction. I remember seeing these two women on Oprah and hearing them talk about vision boards.

The idea behind a vision board is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.  So today I made up a vision board by cutting and pasting images from the web. And this is it!!

So this is how I want my life to go. First of all, there is the photography. I can’t ever imagine my life without my camera gear. I defines me in a way that very few things ever have. I love taking pictures. I love holding my camera. Then there is the teaching. Teaching has been a part of my life for so long I can’t imagine not being with kids and helping them to learn and to grow. I love being with children, whether photographing them or teaching them, or just hanging out with them.  I want to take pictures of more places in the world. I especially want to go to Peru and to China. I hope to get to those two countries in the near future so they are on my board. My dream is also to have a house with a lot of window light so that I can have a window light studio. That’s why I picked the house that I did. The men I picked are all from my favorite tv shows. Did you notice that 3 of them are doctors? A coincidence? Not sure but even grumpy Dr. House is kind of cute! And what is there to say about McDreamy? WOW!! And John from Lost is very heady, but I like how he looks into the meaning of things and how he perceives the world. I did miss one thing. My dream car is a Honda CRV; candy apple in colour. I forgot about that and I don’t want to redo the collage just now.

So there you have it. My vision of my future.  It is possible. It is even likely. But the important things are the love and the joy and the fun. Without love, joy and fun, the rest would be meaningless.

I don’t have pictures of my family or friends on there. I think I’ll do a network board with them.

Anyone else do a board? Want to share? Would love to see more boards.


Christmases Past

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Do you have any special Christmases that stand out from all the rest?  I think most of us do. I have two that are very special to me. They are as different as day and night but equally memorable.

The first one is the funnest Christmas ever. It happened six years ago and can be described as the McWilliams version of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We had 22 people for Christmas Eve and then 22 again for Christmas dinner. My in-laws were with us from Vancouver and our son and his wife came with our grandson, who was 2 at the time. There were 4 generations in our house. Not only was it fun to have so many people, we also had a lot of glitches. One of them was that there were so many lights on the house, that every time anyone went to the bathroom and turned the light on, the house went into darkness. Yep, the breakers were screaming, “Overload.”  Our turkey, unlike the Grizzwalds’,  which was overcooked, was undercooked, and we had to wait an additional 3 hours for dinner. Then there was the matter of the fire that I started in the kitchen when toasting pecans.  I think the glitches added to the memory of that Christmas but it was also the fun of being with family, the late night Scrabble games that we fixed so that Kay, my mother in law would win,  and  the joy of having a two year old running around.

The other Christmas that stands out for me is the one where we only had one person for dinner.  That was my grandmother. My grandmother is not with us anymore and that Christmas will always be special  because I was able to sit and talk with her for the whole day. My grandmother was a story teller and that day, she told a lot of stories to me.  She had a lot of stories to tell. Stories about her mother dying when she was 12 and having to go out to look after other people’s children to earn money, stories about the war and after the war when she and her two daughters were in a prisoner of war camp, stories of survival in the camp and eventually escaping from it.  Stories of coming to Canada and making a life here while leaving her son behind. My grandmother was very special to me and I miss her a lot but that Christmas she had my full attention and I am so grateful for that.

What strikes me is that both Christmases are special to me because of connections with the people that I love.  And to me that is what Christmas is about, seeing your friends and family and making those memories that will remain special in years to come. I hope that all of you connect to the people that you love this Christmas and take the time to realize just how special those moments are.

The little girl in the card is my great niece Sarah, a very special girl in my life, and my dog Taylor, who will sit for pictures and even let me dress him up!

First Year Video (Winnipeg Child Photographer)

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Watch this video of a really cute little guy as he grows. The video is of him  from birth to one year of age.  This First Year Video is an amazing keepsake for any family to have. It is a compilation of the 4 shoots that I have done with M since his birth.  A baby changes so much in its first year!

Watch M as he changes and grows in this video.

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Busy, Cold and Sore (Winnipeg Photographer)

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Yes, I am behind in my blogging. The reason is that I’ve been shooting, subbing, editing, socializing and then more shooting, subbing, editing and socializing. I’ve had a blast. I hate winter and I hate the cold and guess what? We have winter here and the cold and has come with all of its hardness and bitterness. And sore, that is my back, from all the shooting. So I am so glad that I had a breather today to rest my back and use heat pacs and Advil and not do the cleaning like I had planned to. Also time I caught up on my sessions. These pics will not be previews but catchups.

First of all, I had a family of 3 boys, one grown up but all really fun to work with and very cooperative. Here are a couple of those. I love the candy cane face pic.

Next was a family with 4 children, 3 boys and a girl. The guys were very cooperative and fun but their little 21 month old sister had other things in mind besides sitting for a picture. By the end of the session she was having fun and I did manage to get some really great shots of her. Here are a few of those:

The kids asked me if they could make faces and I love the result.

Next came this super cute one year old.  I had already done M’s picture 3 times and it’s been so much fun to watch him grow. I love his big brown eyes and his sweet temperment.  He even posed naked with my Santa hat. Too cute!! He could be a baby model! I will be using them for sure on my Christmas poster for next year.

I love the sense of wonder in this one.

Louie came along for this shoot as well. My dogs made a lot of noise but were otherwise okay with it.

And then yesterday, I met a very charming 4 year old.  E was not only charming, but as cute as a button as well. I really enjoyed meeting this little guy and his mom.

This shoot was done in the studio. The snow is a filter in Photoshop. I love the effect. You would really think that he is walking in the snow!

That was the end of a great week of shooting. So many fun, cooperative kids. Tomorrow I have another couple of sweeties coming over. I can’t wait.

Church in Morley, Alberta (Winnipeg Landscape Photographer)

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Yes there is a church in Morley, Alberta. When I hear of the name Morley,  I always think of the guy on CBC radio, who tells stories and one of the people in his stories is named Morley. I love his voice but I can’t think of his name. What is his name? Anyone out there know?

Anyways, here I am in Calgary looking after my grandson, who turned 8 years old last Sunday at exactly 10:04 a.m.  And that’s the exact time  we started to celebrate. It was a crazy and very fun day.  My son and his wife are in Las Vegas so I get to do what I like all day while my grandson is in school. Since I love to take pictures, I’ve been taking field trips every day to photograph things around Calgary. My most successful day has been the first one when I went to take pictures of the church. This church would make anyone’s pictures look great. The church is neat but it’s the log fence in front of it that gives the pictures  that extra punch. Have a look.

And one postcard type picture taken at Bragg Creek today.

Gift Certificates: the Perfect Christmas Present (Winnipeg Children’s Photographer)

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What is the perfect Christmas present?  What would someone most like to receive? I think those are questions that we ask ourselves a lot at this time of the year.

I think that buying someone who has children a gift certificate for a photo shoot is a gift that keeps on giving. It is not consumable as the pictures that the giver will receive will be treasure for years to come and help to keep those childhood memories  alive. And it’s easy too. If you are concerned that all you are giving is an envelope, why not also buy a picture frame to wrap and put the gift certificate inside. A note could be put inside the frame that says,”Fill me with an image of ______________.”

Give me a call at 962-3424 or send me an email if you would like to avoid the malls this Christmas and know someone who would appreciate a gift certificate.


Newsletter #One (Winnipeg Family and Wedding Photographer)

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I’ve spent quite a fit of time in the last week trying to get a newsletter done and I am pleased to say, that I was successful! It was fun too. I enjoyed the writing and the creativity. I did have a couple of friends help with the content and would like to thank them for that. If you would like to read my newsletter, click on the link below. Let me know what you think.


november 20, 09

Blue Eyes times two (Winnipeg Children’s Photographer)

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Today I had the pleasure of meeting the two beautiful children that I am featuring.  A, the little girl is 4 and her brother, also A, is 11 months. Both were a lot of fun but the little guy was not really too enthusiastic about sitting.  I got him to stay still for short periods by putting him inside of a tub and then a sled and that worked. Big sister was in charge and tried really hard to help with her brother. I will be done editing these in a couple of days but here is a sneak peak at two very cute kids!

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