Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Getting healthy + The raddest fitness trainer in Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Hey guys,

Sigh.. I promised myself to keep up regular posts, but what can I say? Life got busy. Business got busy. That’s a good thing! Now, I have so much catching up to do! So be prepared for a few blog post blasts coming your way in the next couple of weeks to get caught up on my favorite shoots and weddings of the summer!

I have to warn you. Changes are coming! Good changes. This year I have been slowly accumulating information and making small steps towards branding my business in an entirely new way for 2015. I am really excited to be announcing some new changes for the new year and the launch of my new website as well. It has been a slow and progressive process to make these changes and I am hoping (fingers crossed!) that all of my hard work will pay off.

Change is hard! It takes time! It takes perseverance! It takes DEDICATION. No one knows this better than Saskatoon personal trainer Debra Coutts. For everyone who knows me well, they know that weight loss is something I have struggled with off and on for the past few years since having kids. A few months ago, I put it out there that I wanted to make some changes and asked for names of excellent personal trainers. One name kept popping up over and over again… Debra’s name!

When I met Debra for the first time, it was like a breath of fresh air. I mean, this woman ACTUALLY cares! She wants people to be healthy, she wants people to be fit, and she wants people to be happy. That’s a rarity in this lifetime if you ask me! Not only does she care, but one look at her tells you she has a lot of dedication to her own health & fitness and it sure has paid off. Debra went on to win a 6 week ab challenge and absolutely nailed it, won it and took home the prize. The greatest prize? The boost of self confidence and some knockout abs. The first time I trained with Debra, it seemed innocent enough at first. We kept up a steady stream of chatter while she went Biggest Loser on my butt and the kicker came afterward. I couldn’t move my arms for a week! From then on, walking into the gym, I could tell just by the look on her face what she had in store. She pushed me, she motivated me, and even when road blocks like crappy knees and a bad back arose, she moved around those stealthily, coming up with new and unique exercises that fit my needs.

Debra is awesome. She is someone who I can definitely aspire to be like in health and fitness. She is a motivator and a mentor. In my opinion, everyone needs someone like this in their lives.

Part of Debra’s prize was a free photo-shoot of her hard work on camera! I was so honored and thrilled to be a part of her rewarding journey and I am sharing some of the photos from the session with you now. For inspiration, advice, tips, tricks or motivation check out Debra’s page and like her at Debra Coutts – Fitness Junkie

Stay amazing,

Martine

Credit: Hair & Makeup for shoot by Danielle Konjolka of Studio Rouge Saskatoon

Photos from 6 Pack Ab Challenge contest – Peter Carvell

Photography by Martine Sansoucy ©2014 All Rights Reserved.

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Just look at those abs!

Just look at those abs!

Laughter really does do the body good!

Laughter really does do the body good!

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Fitness trainer Debra Coutts, Saskatoon

Why I love my camera, & why it’s time to say goodbye… Ode to my camera

Sometimes it's time to say goodbye..

Sometimes it’s time to say goodbye..

PHOTOGRAPHER READER WARNING:

This blog post may cause some (and by some I mean MOST) photographers to feel uncomfortable, cringe, shake their heads, and in some cases wince. It may also cause a deep internal disagreement in regards to my slightly abusive relationship with my camera. Please feel free to post your comments & feelings in the comment box below.

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO…

I LOVE my camera..

No not just the way you love your TV, or your computer, or your mp3 player. I mean I really LOVE my camera. It comes everywhere with me. It is an extension of me. It’s flown thousands and thousands and thousands of miles across the country and half way across the world more times than I can count. It’s come with me on countless hours of road trips across beautiful Canada. It’s attended every major event in my kids lives, in my life, in my families lives. It’s been in waterfalls, oceans, and rivers. It’s been dropped, kicked, blatantly covered in ocean waves, and I have even accidentally bumped someone on the head with it. It’s seen my house messy, it’s seen my house clean. It’s seen all of my most private moments, and covered other people’s most special moments. It’s been in many different people’s homes, in different countries and it’s broken the ice with strangers across oceans. It’s sat on my lap like a baby, been hugged to my chest, zipped up in my jacket in -40 Saskatchewan weather and it’s swung carefree from my neck. It’s been in weather so hot the lens rubber fused itself to the camera and it’s been by my side through every love scene, every moment of laughter, every child temper tantrum and every tragic event I have ever witnessed. It’s also followed me to drunken parties and taken drunken photos (and no, I will not be held responsible for those), it’s been to black tie events, street parties, music festivals, car shows, put in the eye of a vicious storms, and thrown onto my car seat in a hurry. It has even seen a crashed plane in the middle of a busy Saskatoon road. It has been there to sooth my pain, my depression and my anxiety, and it has rejoiced in my happiness. It has been there through my worst moments and my best moments, and it has helped me to gain a tremendous amount of confidence with it by my side. It is NOT just a camera.. it’s my lifeline. A friend, a confidant and in some ways the love of my life. It truly is a miracle invention that in some ways has saved my life. It’s a connection between my feelings and my perspective and it allows me to share it all with the world.

I want my camera to be like my books. I don’t want to “baby” my camera. I don’t want to pick up a pristine camera, with tight dials and buttons. I want to pick up something comfortable, that knows my fingers, and the palms of my hands when it fits into them perfectly. I want to see scratches, bruises, character and I want it to look like it has lived. Used, worn, full of life. My camera is just that. It is scratched. It is bruised. It is worn. It is in fact starting to rust in some spots and it is just PERFECT. It has been through so much with me. I have treated it kind, and I have treated it unkind. I have put it through situations, weather conditions and tested the water resistant claims to the very limits. It has had sand stuck in the dials and sweat on the screen. It has been submerged in waves, covered in sand and bounced up and down on my chest during long walks in different parts of the world. I have put it in situations I have no business putting it in. I have pretty much done everything to it other than deliberately and literally beating the crap out of it.  I have taken so many photos with it, I did in fact burn out the motor. Again, it was packaged and shipped across the country for a fix and returned to me weeks later to get back to work with me. Yet, it still remains. Trusted and true. And I LOVE it.

Ahhh sigh.. but it is time to say, goodbye. It has been a few years since I brought my camera home and finally I am ready to move on. Lately it has been showing the stretch marks of it’s labor and although it is still my trusty old camera, I have decided it’s time for a trusty new camera. Now it’s not goodbye forever, and it will become my daily “around the house” camera, but it is time for it to retire it’s sore old bones and let some young little thang take it’s place doing the hard work. So in just two more weeks, I say goodbye to my trusty old camera (and the hippy strap that adorned it) and I will be moving on with a new camera. I am excited to see what this new camera has in store for me. What boundaries we will break, what adventures we will go on, and what experiences we will have.

Sometimes we just have to say goodbye to something good, to let something better into our lives.

So… farewell my sweet camera. I love you for all that you are, all that you were and all that you have given me.

xoxo

Martine

Follow me on Instagram at MartineSansoucy

Follow me on Twitter at MartineSansoucy

Like me on Facebook at http://facebook.com/saskatoonphotography

Check out my website at http://martinesansoucy.co.nr

Contact me at agasteche@yahoo.ca or 306.371.1332

AND

Please comment below!!!

 

The most common misconception about Mexico…and Universal rules of safety for travel!

Small town in Huatulco Mexico - Android photo!

Small town in Huatulco Mexico – Android photo!

Hey guys!

At the moment I am feeling very good and very positive because I am on some very strong pain killers for my passing kidney stone… at least let’s hope it passes without issue! So I apologize in advance if anything I say sounds… out of whack or otherwise strange. It’s probably just me talking, but I will blame it on the pain killers anyway.

So IT’S A WRAP! I just returned home from my last destination wedding of the year (so far anyway!), and it was in beautiful and lovely Mexico! Now this wasn’t my first time to Mexico, or even my second time in Mexico. I have now been to Mexico a few times and I have to say the people who think they know what they’re talking about when they talk of Mexico really have no clue what they are saying. Unless you’ve visited Mexico and immersed yourself into local life with the Mexican’s please feel free to shut your mouth at anytime. I am always blown away by the kindness, generosity and overwhelming sense of feeling welcomed every time I visit Mexico, and despite obvious and significant language barriers they are just wonderful people who are proud of their country and want you to enjoy your stay so much so that you will return.

After visiting a small town in Mexico with my clients for some unique and off the grid wedding photos, I decided I wanted to spend a day in that town. The locals were so friendly and curious about our being there, that it made me feel both welcome and in safe hands. So on my last day in Mexico I caught a cab back to this lonely little town enveloped in road side huts with plastic chairs offering none other than cold Coronas and the Universal drink; Coca Cola. When I told the driver to drop me off by the side of the road, he raised his eyebrows a little and asked me in broken English if I knew where I was going. I just looked at him and smiled with one word, explorar. He just smiled and told me he would be there at the same spot to pick me up in a few hours and I went off to do exactly that… explore.

The roads were a mixture of sand and dirt, dispersed with rocks every now and again and I felt my feet grow easily tired with my really cute but obviously cheap sandals. I kicked them off and ended up walking bare footed down the roads. I must have walked for at least an hour. Stopping to admire the lush tropical gardens filled with plantains and cactus, the happy children running around chasing chickens and roosters that were randomly ambling across the roads. I was tempted to pet one of the many stray dogs that wandered around homeless and starving, many with hanging nipples from no doubt having litters of puppies who would also end up wandering the small town streets homeless.  Along the outskirts of the town, there were little farms. Huts made with palm leaves and fronds where inside sitting on a broken down looking stool a round bellied Mexican leaned up against a table snoozed lazily in the hot sun. Almost every Mexican I passed, smiled with such sincerity it reached their eyes and welcomed me with an “Hola” or a “Como estas?”

As my luck would have it, I saw the same yellow broken down bug car in the middle of a lot fenced with barbed wire. This was close to where my clients and I had ventured off for some photos and I instantly recognized the simplistic and minimal playground beside it. As I took a few photos with my phone (yes I really do take photos with my phone), some friendly voices trailed off behind me and I turned around. A woman I recognized stood there with a child on her hip and four other children crowding around her smiling broadly at me. “Hola!” I said, happy to see these familiar faces once again. This family had followed myself and the bride and groom around while we took photos there a couple of days earlier and had even led us to a beautiful spot by their local river for some nice shots. For the next few minutes, we tried and mostly failed at making some awkward small talk with each other and I then continued on my way. They waved me off with enthusiasm and a friendliness I would be hard pressed to find from strangers anywhere here in Saskatoon.

As I made my way into and across the town, I was greeted by several other friendly strangers and realized at one point that I was being followed by a little boy around the age of ten. He kept staring at me and smiling as I walked along, sometimes catching up to me and sometimes falling behind me. We wound up in a small downtown area where I stopped at a small gated store and bought Cokes for both myself and him and sent him on his way with a stick of gum from my purse. Eventually the heat caught up with me and I wound up back at a little restaurant my clients and I had visited a couple of days earlier and sat down letting the cool taste of a Corona travel down my throat and send warm fuzzies right down to my toes.

I had at least another hour before the driver would come back to the town to pick me up and I decided to have one more walk around the outskirts of the town, where I admired the many beautiful tropical gardens. As I was walking along a back road covered in canopies of trees and lined with widely dispersed little tiki huts and half houses with tin sheets for roofs, a woman and her teenaged son approached me with some amount of eager shyness and held out a bowl for me. Inside the bowl was a medley of grilled vegetables including cactus, carrots, potato and what I later researched to be something called chayote. It was lightly spiced and had been grilled in butter. They smiled and nodded as I took the bowl and tried some of the delicious veggies, thanking them. They really were delicious! It didn’t take long before the woman took me by the arm and had me in a large wire fenced yard sitting in a plastic chair eating a full meal with them. The silence at times was awkward but was filled with the laughter and chaos of her other four young children, three boys and a girl. One of the little boys excitedly ran to a tree by their yard and started kicking something around until one of his brothers ran and kicked it back to him. I sat and reflected. This is one of the first stories I told my boys when I got home. The thing he was kicking around was a dirty and beaten up empty YOP bottle and it was hanging from a tied bit of rope to a tree. Yet this simple thing brought these two boys so much joy and laughter. My boys were probably fighting over the wii back at home and complaining that they need more Lego sets (even though they have enough Lego to supplement a small country). The woman spoke little to no English and I struggled to find the right words to say with my small but every day growing Spanish vocabulary. However just like Coca Cola a smile is always Universal and so basically my chicken and hot bean dinner was accompanied by many many smiles and words of gracias. Would this act of generosity by a stranger happen in Saskatoon? No… most likely not. Even though the chicken was slightly dry and beans really aren’t my all time favorite, it was hands down the best meal I had eaten while on my trip to Mexico. Not for the food, but merely the kindness and sweetness of company I shared, as quiet and mis-understood as it was. Before saying good bye, the woman and I hugged and the warmth in her eyes sent me away from this little town feeling like I just won the lottery. By the time my driver came around the corner of our meeting spot I was grinning from ear to ear like a doped up idiot.

As the day turned into night, the driver and I chatted between broken English and Spanish and he ended up taking me out for a beer and to see some beautiful look out points around Huatulco. The sights were spectacular and wonderful and as the sun set over the beautiful city below I reflected on my experiences in Mexico. I have been to some of the crummiest and most poor areas of Mexico and also some of the most beautiful and touristy spots in Mexico and it always remained the same. I saw such beauty in all of my surroundings and the locals proved to me time and time again that they cared for my safety and welcomed me into their country with open arms. I can’t say the same for a lot of other countries out there that are supposed to be “safer” and “better” countries to visit according to a general consensus. In fact the overall attitude from a lot of people makes me angry and bitter when it comes to my protective nature of this country and others like Jamaica. You can go to Mexico and be shown into a complete strangers home for supper, or you can come to Canada and see news of 5 completely innocent people being stabbed to death in a senseless murder, followed by more stabbings the next night in Regina. Right now, Mexico is looking decidedly safer. Now I know that was a loaded statement that a lot of you might not appreciate. However I think it’s important to remember that you can certainly get yourself into trouble ANYWHERE that you go. There are acts of human cruelty and senseless crimes that happen ANYWHERE in the world. The fact is, just as we should always try to leave our judgement of a person to personal experience rather than third party word, I do feel that you should be extending the same courtesy to visiting Mexico.

I have come up with a list of UNIVERSAL rules of safety that you should be using ANYWHERE that you travel to. Heck you should even use these rules in your OWN city. They are all common sense and all completely practical!

1. Always ask permission before taking someone’s photo. I am sure you would not appreciate some random stranger on the street taking YOUR photo without asking. It’s rude and obnoxious and just because someone might not speak the same language as you doesn’t give you the right to snap away. So always ASK.

2. If you see or witness an altercation, do NOT get involved. This is common sense anywhere and it’s how people get killed.

3. Don’t buy drugs. Just don’t.

4. Don’t walk around alone at night in questionable areas. Heck I don’t walk around on 20th street in Saskatoon alone at night, so just use your brain.

5. Don’t flash your money around like some sort of millionaire, because you are most likely not, and people might consider this an invitation for petty theft. Similarly, don’t go to a sketchy neighborhood, set your bags down and walk away.

6. If you are in questionable surroundings, wear a shoulder bag, and always keep a little something extra tucked away on your body somewhere (for girls a bra or the inside pocket of LuLu’s or workout pants works perfectly, for guys you are on your own with this one).

7. A smile is better than a thousand words. If I see anyone who is looking suspicious or giving me an uncomfortable look, I smile and nod. It instantly softens them and they typically smile back. Smile often and stay safe.

8. If you see any sort of political protest, war, debate, speech, etc, stay the eff out of it. Because really.. it’s none of your business.

9. Respect dress codes. If you visit a country where no one is wearing a tank top, then you probably shouldn’t either.

10. Be friendly and open. No one likes a stuck up snob. No one. If you go into a country feeling insecure and scared, then negative energy is what you will attract. If you go into a country and are friendly and open with people, then those are exactly the type of people and experiences you will attract. If in doubt, always smile.

I love travel and I believe you are in control of what your experiences will end up like no matter where you go. I love Mexico and I WILL be returning 🙂 I hate the common misconception that the country is dangerous and should not be visited. I don’t think anyone will be warning Mexican’s against visiting Winnipeg, even though it’s been labeled the murder capital of the country. Just use your common sense.

I would love to hear about YOUR positive experiences in Mexico and would love for you to comment below!

Stay posted for more photos of Mexico and also some wedding posts about the last two Destination Weddings I had. For now, I will be recovering from my kidney stone and working on some edits.

xoxo – M

Drinks with my new amigo!

Drinks with my new amigo!

How I really feel about Jamaica.. a personal post :-)

We are outside and the heat is thick.. my hands are literally swollen to the size of small balloons (just a fun perk of being me right now). I am wiping the sweat off my brow and chatting with friends or yelling in their ears over the loud music. Despite my trying to stay still, I just can’t. I find myself involuntarily moving in my seat and wanting to get up and grind my whole body to the vibrant and sexually explosive Jamaican music. I am the only white girl in the place and my red hair and fair skin stick out like a sore thumb, attracting all sorts of wanted and unwanted attention. At times, it can be a little tiresome and all I want to do is fit in. I cover my hotel band with my bracelet and try to look casual, like being thrust into such a foreign way of life is normal for me. I run into some people I met last time I was there.. I can hardly believe I know people here already and it’s a great feeling. I want locals to consider me another local, not some tourist who’s rolling in American money.

I take a cab back home in the darkness. I am crammed in a small car that sounds like it might explode if it moves too fast with a tall dark Jamaican man on my right and a cheerful voluptuous looking woman on my left. They chatter with each other sometimes in Patois (the Jamaican language) and I struggle to understand… if only I had bought some books before I left! They start to chatter with me and within 5 minutes we are exchanging numbers and Facebook info, hoping to connect if I should ever be back in Montego Bay. The general vibe is they just want to show me a good time here in Jamaica and they are always so interested to hear about the weather where I am from. It’s nearing the end of my ride and I hand the cabby $200 Jamaican dollars, which comes to around $2 American or Canadian. No doubt I would be paying an upwards of $30 or $40 American if I had taken the “safer” and registered taxi’s that come straight to the front of my hotel. Again, I don’t want to be some rich bitch perceived by the Jamaican’s, I just want to be treated like everyone else even though my face is white as the moon.

The security guys at the gates of my hotel are by now used to my comings and goings. When I left the first night I was there with friends, they were sure to document my room number, name, the name of the person who was picking me up and the location of where we were headed. By the third day, they just smiled and waved me off as I ran off across the street. One of the security guys later told me him and the other guys were concerned about me, but after watching how I waved away certain cabs and chose specific ones they knew that I knew what I was doing. I was really flattered by this and it made me feel happy to know they no longer just thought of me as some “tourist” – confined to the prison walls of a resort. Don’t get me wrong, my way of travel isn’t for the faint hearted or just anyone, but I question the people who fly all the way across the country just to listen to American music and eat American food at resort buffets, and stay trapped in a bubble of at-home luxury without ever experiencing anything real. I ask myself, what’s the point?

I found myself often moving to Jamaican beats in my head, even when there was no music playing. I felt vibrant, alive, energetic! My skin was also literally starting to glow.. my pimples were disappearing and I felt less self conscious about being a bit bigger than I would like to be at this time. The Jamaican men were quite forward about letting me know how they felt about my appearance. It was always positive and I was flattered at most times. It was a self esteem boost but could also easily get tiring. My nose had cleared up.. I slept like a baby, the best I have slept in so long because I could finally breath. Back home my nose is constantly stuffed up and I often wake up not being able to breath. The only downfall was the sweat… ohhh the sweat. I don’t mind sweating during a workout I’m killing, but to sweat all the time every day for no other reason then just because you are hot and uncomfortable is unattractive to say the LEAST.

My friends are gems.. I made some real connections I feel so good about. There were other people I met and the general over all consensus from a lot of people was that a friendship could be bought and paid for. After all I am from Canada and I MUST be loaded with cash and have plenty to give away at leisure. I am not. My money is worth just as much as theirs is back home and it’s not cheap to live here in Canada. Not cheap at all. I may make more, but I sure spend a hell of a lot more on the necessities of life. There were times I felt taken advantage of and merely used for the hopes of receiving my money. It didn’t feel good and it didn’t feel right. That was the one biggest negative that I have about being in Jamaica. All the more reason fitting in as a local was so important to me. Now let’s be fair… not ALL Jamaican’s are like this. On the opposite end of the spectrum I was treated the best I have been treated by anyone in a long time by my friends, who are all amazing and wonderful people.

The last night in Jamaica my friends took me to a street party… Yes, a real street party in Jamaica. The type of party that would not have been legal anywhere here and totally shut down immediately. Honestly, sometimes I had to take a step back to realize that I was actually there and it was real and this was happening. The sweet smell of pot wafted around and drinks were flowing. The music was sick. I had begun to pick out my favorite songs and move my body freely when they came on. Kartel, and I Octane, Mavado and Lady Saw… have all become household names for me now. Suddenly at some point, the party went from seeing space between people to crammed and jammed up against one another.. in a sea of dark faces I was the only white girl at the party yet again and the guys walking around with video cameras seemed to be attacking me with bright lights. Being there was amazing though, and the feeling was humbling and surreal. I never wanted it to end.  I was feeling good but the last couple of days had exhausted me. By the next morning I was feeling emotional and heavy with regret at the thought of leaving this beautiful tropical paradise. I felt like perhaps I had let myself feel too fast and too much for some of the connections I made and didn’t want it to end.

Yes, I do believe I made real connections and also a couple friends for life. The number one question I am being asked by all is did I find love in Jamaica? Well the answer to that is simple. No. But I believe I could. It would be easy and effortless and it scares me to death. There are some things a girl doesn’t need to share with the world either. What I really need to do now is fall in love with myself.

What are the things I brought back with me that are the most treasured? First and foremost, the memories and the friendships. After that, I would have to say the mixed CD’s of music I bought from random guys selling burnt discs from their cars and on the streets. I still feel like dancing and it has me motivated to start dancing once again. Overall I brought back a sense of myself.. a longing for change and self appreciation. Yes Jamaica will change you and affect you in many ways if you are willing and open to let it in.

Will I be back to Jamaica? I have no plans as of right now to be returning to the beautiful country, but sometimes fate has a way of intervening and whatever is meant to be will be. For now I am studying up on learning some Patois and dancing around the house in my underwear to these ripped Jamaican beats , feeling more free and irie than I have in my life.

*Stay tuned for a mega blog post on the AHHMAZING Wedding I shot in Jamaica and all the fun details behind it and other shoots I did while there!*

Good friends and good vibes

Good friends and good vibes

For my boudoir babes: How to prepare for your boudoir session!

Saskatoon Boudoir Photography

Saskatoon Boudoir Photography

Can you BELIEVE how cold it has been here in Saskatoon? Seriously, like what is happening with -50 weather? I have to say, the way the sun has been coming out these days and the dirty disgusting slushy melting roads have me doing a little happy dance. Could it be that spring is finally around the corner? Well. It better be. (Shakes finger at my window!)

I am SOOO excited about some very fun and very interesting little projects and specials I have coming up! One of them is… a boudoir special! Most of you who know me, do not know me to be a boudoir photography specialist. I consider myself to specialize in all things love photography related like weddings, engagement, families and of course the wild and crazy editorial & fashion stuff I love to kick out when I am feeling particularly inspired and have some free time. HOWEVER… it may shock you to know that in my first and part of my second year of photography I had a little empty character home to use for dozens upon dozens of boudoir sessions and mini glam sessions and I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVED it! What’s not to love about making a woman feel as beautiful as she is? However, as of these late years my time has been eaten up by all of these love sessions and other fun stuff, so I am very excited to be teaming up with makeup artist Jennilee Cardinal Schultz and hair stylist Sara Whyte to do a weekend special in May for some super lovely ladies! Before you ask, it is completely booked up, but it never hurts to contact me of course about future specials just like this one (which I do plan to do more often). In fact I have a GRUNGE ROCKER/SEXY GLAM special in the works for September with Makeup artist and Hairstylist Danielle Konjolka from Studio Rouge which is guaranteed to be pretty kick a$$!

So initially, I was going to make this “post” a private letter to all of the boudoir babes who have booked with me for the weekend. I think it is SO important to be properly prepared for your boudoir session to make the MOST of what will be an amazing photo-shoot! I decided what the heck? I might as well make this public as I know there are so many woman out there getting boudoir sessions done that could benefit from this information!

So without further ado… here are my best and finest tips for prepping yourself for your boudoir session!

1. Hire a makeup artist.

If you’ve booked with me, this is already a big CHECK on your list! Hiring a professional makeup artist is important. Why? They are professionals! They know what colors are going to compliment your skin tone and the color of your eyes just perfectly, and they know how to blend in or airbrush on that foundation to make you look flawless and cover up unsightly blemishes! They know what kind of makeup will compliment you in front of a camera and they also know the fine line between going darker for photos and trashy. Point blank, the end product of your photos is greatly impacted by whether or not you have a professional makeup artist and I can honestly say it’s 100% worth it. *Bring your own false lashes for your makeup artist to put on please, because that is also 100% worth it. If you don’t have any or don’t know what to get, bring an extra $10 and our makeup artist Jennilee will have some provided for you!

2. Flawless hair.

While your at it, make sure you book a professional hair stylist! Again a big CHECK on your list if you’ve booked with me! Beautiful hair helps frame a beautiful face and it can make a world of difference in your photos! Do you ever find yourself almost skipping with glee out of your Salon after a fresh cut and style? Taking endless selfies and Instagraming that sh$t  for the world to see because you feel so gosh darned good!? Well don’t you want to feel this wonderful for your photo shoot? Remember that the sexier you FEEL the sexier you ARE and the more that is all going to translate through the camera! Hairstylist Sara Whyte would like you to wash your hair the day before and have it dried for your shoot! Don’t go near it with a straightener that day and leave the rest up to the pro!

3. So you think your blonde.

Shave. Wax. I don’t care what you do… but get rid of it. You think you have a blonde little stache going across your upper lip that no one notices? Well, my camera notices all the small details. Especially when I am up close and personal! Wax it. $10 at almost any salon, done, gone, vamoosh. Legs… shave, wax, gone! Bikini line.. please do! Armpits, please don’t forget these or any other areas that you think might be seen through my lens. It’s hair, and we ALL have it. There is nothing at all to be ashamed about, but unless your a hippie who’s totally down with rockin that stuff please do some maintenance and you will feel & look smooth and sexy for your shoot!

4. Eyebrows.

Don’t go too thin or invisible, but don’t rock the uni-brow either or go around looking like your surprised all the time. Maintain and get them done professionally before your shoot. Again a $10-15 adventure at any local trusted salon.

5. Water. Hydrate. Drink!

I think makeup artist Jennilee Cardinal Schultz said it best “Drink lots of water in the days before the shoot. (even 2 weeks prior would be ideal!) Like way too much water. It seriously makes the biggest difference in skin.” Ladies, we already know of the many many amazing health benefits of water (including weight loss holla!), so there is just no reason not to be utilizing this amazing and relatively free (from the tap!) tool.

6. What NOT to wear:

Sigh… the most commonly asked question. What should I bring/wear to the shoot? I bet you think I am going to say “Damn girl, bring your sexiest bikini or bra and panties set!” WRONG. I know, and you know that unless you FEEL sexy, you are not going to LOOK sexy! If you feel sexiest in your man’s oversized tee.. bring it! If you feel sexiest rockin some jean shorts and a bra, bring it! If you feel sexiest wearing a little pink teddy bring it on! If you feel sexiest wearing a wife beater and a pair of bikini bottoms, I am not stopping you! Honestly I have seen girls look hot damn sexy wearing nothing but an over-sized off the shoulder SWEATER and so let me make clear; You are not required to bring the latest and greatest lingerie set off La Senza’s rack. I am asking that you bring WHATEVER it is that makes you FEEL hot damn sexy! That feeling will translate through my camera and your confidence levels are going to soar! I am here to help you feel as comfortable as possible during your shoot and I will be gently nudging you outside of your comfort zone to get the sexiest out of you. But please, don’t feel as though there are any obligations to rock something you are absolutely not comfortable with. Some “suggestions” are:

-Ripped jeans

-Cowboy boots

-High heels

-Fishnet stockings.. or stockings

-Your man’s favorite jersey or an oversized tee

-Flirty sundress

-Bra/panties

-Corset

-Lingerie/teddy set

-Flowing feminine nightie

-A sexy piece of fabric (like silk or sheer)

-Sexy costume … (hot nurse, maid, school girl.. )

-Swimsuit or bikini

-Jean shorts

-Bouncy or pleated skirt

-See through top or wife beater

-Your mans tie

-Your mans coveralls, carhartt’s or work apparel

– Baseball, football, basketball, your man’s sport of choice

-Football or baseball socks

-Loose plaid button down shirt and a cowboy hat with rope

-Apron, heels and cooking supplies..

-Vintage netting headpiece, smoke and black corset with stockings

You get the idea ladies.. be creative and try to customize the shoot either to yourself OR your significant other.

8. A mirror is a girls best friend.

Gather inspiration. Hit up Pinterest (and yes I am on it! – Search Martine Sansoucy) and pick out your favorite photos and your favorite poses. Practice them in front of a mirror and get to know your angles. What side do you look best on? Print off and bring some of your favorite photo inspiration to your shoot! This will definitely help myself and you in knowing what kind of shots you would like and what you are looking for during your shoot.

9. Accessorize!

I love love LOOOVE accessories! If you don’t, it’s time you did. Bring them, and bring lots. Earrings, necklaces, shoes, belts, bracelet’s, rings… bring it all. I find that longer dangly necklaces tend to work better for boudoir sessions as it draws the eye downwards and doesn’t suffocate the neck and chest area.

10. Relax.

It doesn’t hurt to say a little “om” the morning of your shoot and do a little meditating, yoga or spa-like activity before your shoot. I will be bringing a lovely little speaker system and I encourage all of my lovely little boudoir babes to bring their very most favorite music to jive to or get sexy to for our shoot! If you don’t have any, I have plenty but I can’t guarantee you won’t be rockin out to Bob Marley or random soundtrack music (because I am a soundtrack Nazi). Just breath. Relax. And prepare to have fun!

With that said, it’s time for my nightly podcast and bedtime for me,

I hope this has helped you ladies in getting ready for what will be an amazing experience!

xoxo – M

Content by ©Martine Sansoucy 2014 All rights Reserved. Please feel free to PIN this post and SHARE it on FB!

Photography by Martine Sansoucy – http://martinesansoucy.co.nr

http://facebook.com/saskatoonphotography

306.371.1332 or agasteche@yahoo.ca

Adventures in Cabos Mexico & websites I am following and loving!

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe this weather is FINALLY starting to warm up… after the deep freeze we have been having here, we no doubt deserve it!
Nonetheless I hope everyone has been staying warm and fuzzy during the cold times and enjoying these last few melting days!

WELL… I just got back from Los Cabos Mexico and it was in one word. Fantastic. I finally got the chance to relax a little bit, read some books, go for a swim or two, and soak up the awesome photo locations around me. Do not be mistaken though, there was some good hard work involved with my trip! I was blessed enough to have two of the kindest, nicest and let’s be honest super good looking clients while away on this destination wedding and their wedding day was a success! We started by driving into the town of San Jose and doing some photos with the wedding party around town, and wound back up at their beach resort in San Lucas for a beautiful ceremony at dusk overlooking the beautiful view of Lovers Beach. Afterward, the couple and their friends & family celebrated and partied at their beach house and danced to a mariachi band who totally livened the party up! It was a great night and at the end of the day when my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.

We also stuck around San Lucas for some fabulous engagement and family shots with their sweet little 3 year old daughter who wasn’t a fan of my camera, but warmed up to me by the wedding day when she realized I had a purse full of candies as bribes haha! After our engagement shoot I was walking down the beach looking for a water taxi, when I noticed a Pelican that had washed up on the shore and was laying in pain, struggling to stay alive. I was instantly very concerned and heartbroken for him as when I looked closer, I realized he had swallowed something that was too large to pass through his throat and it had gotten stuck in his throat. It was now painfully cutting right through his throat and sticking out. It was incredibly sad to watch him struggle for his life, trying to bring this large bone back up without success. When I knew that he was going to allow me to touch him and help him, another tourist and I held him and I tried to slowly work the object back up his neck and un-lodge it from his throat. Then yes, I actually reached in his throat and removed the item, which was a hideously large and very sharp animal bone of some sort. Unfortunately our efforts were too late, and he died seconds later right in our hands. I am sure the cluster of Mexican’s that had been watching thought we were some crazy Canadians for trying to save this Pelican’s life…. but I am a sucker for animals and I just hate to see them suffer. I water taxied it back to my hotel with tears in my eyes. I know I can be such a baby sometimes!

I also had the amazing opportunity to work with a model I had connected with almost a year earlier, and we planned a creative shoot! Crissty Santana is a gorgeous blonde who has done modeling several times for Maxim and other magazines like FHM. I was so excited to have the chance to work with her! Through her, I also got to meet Lupita, who is one of the most talented makeup artists and hairstylists I have worked with! What a blessing to have such a fantastic team of talented woman to spend the day with. I had originally planned for a different kind of shoot, but when I put the outfit I had made for her together, we realized that she looked more like a magnificent bird than anything else. We decided to agree that she was a beautiful black Crow. My brother is a huge fan of Crows, so I was pretty excited about this concept! Absolutely personally loved the outcome from this shoot, but more than anything the chance to meet such kind and amazing people from different countries is what excites me the most and makes me happy! Now I just have to pray that someone else takes me with them to Cabos soon so I can shoot with these lovely ladies again! Here are a couple of shots from our creative shoot in Cabos!

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

To continue my adventures, I was very excited to do a extended bride and groom session with Katrina and Dustan and we headed to one of the poorest areas of the city first for some photos! I personally LOVE seeing these parts of the country, because most people like to stay trapped in this little Americanized resort bubble and don’t seem to realize what’s REALLY out there. As always the people in Mexico are some of the most genuine and nicest people to be around and we were lucky to have an awesome cab driver that day who even stopped and bought some cerveza’s for us in the middle of our shoot! YUM! It sure hit the spot. From there we went to a beautiful resort location where you could get down to some rocks by the ocean… Let me tell you! Climbing on these rocks was no easy task! There were hundreds of sea urchins in the little pockets of water all over the rocks so you had to be extremely careful where you were stepping. When I saw Katrina and Dustan approach the edge of a rock, there were dozens of extra large and very creepy looking crabs that started skittering out of the rocks and into the water! Ugh. Not to mention the rocks were sharp and jagged and just not that much fun to walk on. All in all… worth the photos in my opinion. We ended our day with the sun going down on Lovers Beach. I still can’t get over the gorgeous rock formations on this little island and I couldn’t have been more blessed with these fantastic photo locations! Here are a couple of photos so far from this Destination Wedding!

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

 

By the end of the week though, I was more than ready to come home to my boys! I had been missing them like crazy! Since I have been home, I have been doing never-ending amounts of cleaning, finishing up on edits from some recent shoots and weddings and catching up on tons of emails, messages and Facebook activity that I missed while I was away. In the midst of all of this, one of my favorite things to do is read from some of my favorite websites and blogs of people that I follow. I would love to share some of the websites/blogs that I am following right now that inspire me every time I open them!

1. Mind Body Green

SOO great! Chalked full of healthy articles and info. I always find an article that’s interesting or informative every time I open one of their emails and one of my favorite parts of the day is reading through their website while I drink my tea in the mornings.

2. Skinny Taste

What can I say? I love to cook good food and I also love healthy food. This is just a food porn website that I love to follow as often as I can. Everything looks pretty delicious and it gives me inspiration for my cooking!

3. Women’s Health

I Love this magazine. So it comes as not surprise that I love flipping through there easy to navigate website and short informative articles. It’s a website I have been frequenting for years!

4. Allison Braun – The Business Joyologist.

Seriously. I love this woman. Not only because she is a dear friend and I have known her for years, but because she is one of the smartest most business savvy woman I know and I am always inspired reading her newsletters and blog posts. It’s something I always welcome and look forward to seeing in my inbox!

5. The Pioneer Woman

EEK! Love this woman and have all of her cookbooks… Not only is she a great food photographer (which we know I love too!), but she is packed full of great info, little tidbits of fun and super awesome recipes. This is why I love this woman and have to visit her blog at least once every couple of days.

So there you have it! A little bit of my daily reading and inspiration.

Well after such a great trip, it has me all pooped out and I must go continue tackling the never-ending laundry that comes with living with three boys. I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous week with many great blessings!

xoxo – M

 

 

Get Results From Your New Years Resolutions! +Free daily planner & monthly resolution planner!

It's time to change your life!

It’s time to change your life!

Can you believe it is already 2014!?

I can’t. Seriously. 2013 flew by and I feel like I didn’t get the most out of it at times! I definitely do not want to feel that way about 2014. Are you with me?

Firstly, I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and a super awesome fantabulous New Year! I spent my holidays with my family and nothing could be better. Instead of a ton of Christmas presents (that would eventually end up all over my floor, and broken), my boys and I decided to start a new tradition this year! We took ourselves to Las Vegas for an early holiday vacation and it was AHHHHMAZING. So amazing in fact, that it is a tradition we are carrying on in 2014 and bringing extra family with us! It will be exciting for us to plan a trip somewhere new and inspiring each year and at the same time that we are getting in our “family time” we will be exploring the world and making MEMORIES, which are MUCH more important than any gifts in my opinion. I have always been a traveler and my kids have always loved our EPIC family road-trips so this just feels like the perfect fit for us!

2013 was wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I had some real highs, some real business successes, some real love, some real life changes and some real revelations! I also had some real lows, some real disappointments in people and things, some real failures as a person and in my business, some real heartache in my personal life, some real self confidence SMACK DOWNS. Through it all, my goal for staying positive kept me above the water and I believe my positivity is what gets me through MOST of my real lows.

Guess what? I want MORE out of 2014! I want MORE successes, more maintenance of a fantastic self confidence, more learning AND teaching moments, more LOVE, more closeness with the people around me, better bonds with my children, better relationships with my clients, better organization in my life and my business, and above all a BETTER quality of life! I think this is what everyone wants … and needs!

I have always been a little on the crazy side when it comes to my organization and books full of inspiring information, client forms, details, wedding forms, wedding clients, taxes, receipts, etc, etc. What my life has been missing is LIFE organization though. So in the past few weeks, I have been implementing an organizational challenge for myself. It includes sitting down and WRITING down all of tomorrows tasks, schedule and mini-goals.

EVERY YEAR I sit down and write out some hair-brained scheme New Years Resolutions and every year that piece of paper never resonates with me and it gets lost in the shuffle of life… possibly being thrown away and never to be read again. This year I propose NO MORE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!!! Yes, I said it… NO MORE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS! Instead, I am writing NEW MONTH RESOLUTIONS. Just like when you develop a dream board, you need to be looking and dreaming over that board on a regular basis, I think it is JUST as important to re-visit your resolutions and goals as often as possible! So I thought, why not once a month. Here are the rules and measures you need to take in order to be MORE successful with your monthly resolutions!

1. WRITE IT DOWN!

Writing down your goals and dreams will dramatically increase your chances of achieving your goals, and subconsciously work their way into your brain. It helps your brain memorize and that can’t possibly be a bad thing, can it?

2. BE SPECIFIC & WILL not WANT!

It is not enough to just jot down something like “Lose weight”. WHY? Why do you want to lose weight? How will that make you feel? How will it change your life? Be as specific as possible. ALWAYS write it as a WILL not a WANT, because you know the saying; “Where there’s a WILL there’s a way!” It can be anything from “I will make a healthy home cooked meal at least 3 times a week” to “I will take a 10 minute walk outdoors every morning” to “I will drink 8 cups a water of day and cut out sugary drinks like pop and juice.” OR you can give a more generalized goal that you want to achieve but make sure you say WHY. ” I WILL lose weight because I want to feel healthy, have more energy, fit back into my skinny jeans, and I want to play with my children without getting so tired!”

3. MEDITATE ON IT!

Meditation has factually proven to have so so many health benefits, including lowering your heart rate. It is also what I believe to be one of the most important steps in making your goals and dreams a reality. REALLY visualize yourself achieving your goals and dreams and what it would look and FEEL like. Keep that feeling going and really focus on that feeling for as long as you can. Do this as often as possible, once a day is ideal!

4. RE-READ IT, OUT LOUD!

Re-read your resolutions often (every couple of days!) before bed, or when you first wake up in the morning. Keep your resolutions beside your bed, or posted on the fridge, or somewhere for easy access. Read it. Read it OUT LOUD. There is some sort of crazy power in reading your own words. I read one time in a magazine that when you place an object somewhere (like your keys for example), tell yourself out loud “Keys on the coffee table” and it will greatly increase your chances of remembering where you put that object. Seriously, I am forgetful when it comes to certain things and I can not tell you how much this little trick helped me! SO, read your resolutions out LOUD!

5. PLAN OF ACTION!

Make a plan of action. This may BE even MORE important than the actual goal itself. Once you make your goal you need to make a plan of action! What is the first small step you need to make? This is something you can write down on your DAILY memo until you have gotten that action down and then you can move on to the next. This is seriously, seriously important. I can not stress how important. Remember that BIG results are achieved by making little changes and you will have more success with small steps, than large leaps. Large leaps can often cause falling, failure and disappointments. Small steps build self confidence, break habits and lead to ultimate success. (Unless you need to take a big leap in your business or because of a health related issue – these are times when big leaps are necessary to make these changes FAST!)

6. STAY POSITIVE!

Positivity is KEY. You must believe you can achieve anything you want to in life… because it’s TRUE. People have dug themselves out of terrible illnesses, cured themselves of depression, gotten themselves out of dire situations and mended things in their lives with the power of positivity! I can not express enough how I believe in the power of positivity and the ability to view things in a positive NOT a negative light. In fact I don’t even like saying the other word! Stay positive about your goals and always always believe in yourself. YOU CAN DO THIS!

7. REWARD YOURSELF!

Always reward all of your goals achieved! Big or small, making changes in your life is not always easy and you deserve the rewards of your hard work! Your reward may simply be fitting back into those skinny jeans, or making another person smile, or a new dress, or dinner out with your spouse… the list could go on! Sometimes the reward will automatically come with the win, and it’s important for you to also write down how you will reward yourself, or the personal rewards you will FEEL and experience.

8. DOWNLOAD MY FREE MONTHLY DREAM/ASPIRATION/RESOLUTION PRINT OUT PLANNER!!! It’s 100% FREE!

FREE MONTHLY RESOLUTION PLANNER TO PRINT by Martine Sansoucy

So if you skimmed past all of these important steps and got to this point, I highly recommend that you read them! I have made my own monthly resolution sheet that I have already filled out for myself and keep in my “inspiration binder”. I go through my inspiration binder at least once every couple of days so I know I will be checking out my list on a regular basis!

I have started by listing 5 goals that I would like to start working towards THIS MONTH! Remember to be specific and replace the word WANT with WILL!

Next I have made a plan of action for each one of my goals, enabling me to take the right steps to achieving my goal! Remember that small steps achieve great things!

I have then listed all of the ways that I will be emotionally, physically, materially or spiritually rewarded when I achieve my goals!

I believe your learning is NEVER done! I am a fan of bettering yourself as much as possible in every way you can! Choose one thing you can go out and learn this month, whether it is learning to have more patience, or learning 100 words in Spanish, or learning to care for a plant. Go out and educate yourself and GROW!

Lastly, I have listed one DREAM that I will make reality this year! This is my chance to get wild and crazy with my dream, put it into my subconscious and meditate on it!

Repeat this and fill this out EVERY month!!! It’s so en-lighting and inspiring, I hope that you will want to get out of bed in the morning and start working towards and achieving your goals! If you don’t meet a goal one month, REPEAT it… REPEAT your yearly goal or change it. Remember that repetition and writing things down are important tools in working these goals into your subconscious to get them going!

Free goals and dreams print out!

Free goals and dreams print out!

Click on the link below to download your FREE printable dream & goal planner!

 FREE MONTHLY RESOLUTION FORM TO PRINT

And JUST FOR KICKS, I have downloaded my own personal DAILY PLANNER!

Remember to plan your day out for the next day every night and wake up feeling in control of your day!

FREE DAILY PLANNER!

FREE DAILY PLANNER!

To download my own personal FREE DAILY PLANNER Click on the link below!

FREE DAILY PLANNER TO PRINT

Remember to PIN this good stuff on Pinterest people and FOLLOW me at

http://www.pinterest.com/martinesansoucy/

Well everyone, I really hope this helps you all out! I want you all to have a happy, healthy, prosperous and successful year in 2014! Embrace your true self and let go of any negatives you have lingering. Take small steps to achieve great things and always look up and ahead!

As always you can LIKE me on FACEBOOK

FOLLOW me on TWITTER

FOLLOW me on PINTEREST

CHECK out my WEBSITE

FOLLOW me on INSTAGRAM

I would LOVE to hear from you! Let me know if you have had success with your resolutions and what you did to achieve them! Also if you are using these planners, let me know if and how they have helped you to organize your days and your dreams! PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!

xoxo – M