Where did 2014 go and how I feel about 2015! + My jam list

Editorial Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Editorial Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Yup. As always at the beginning of every year I am determined to keep up with the blog. Write every day I tell myself… okay, maybe once a week, I could probably handle once a month. And here it is folks, my one blog post for the year! haha not quite, I did have three or four…

So this year I am just not going to make any promises. Things are busy, I am NOT going to lie! That’s why.. some sacrifices (like writing in a blog), have to be made. 2014 was in the door and out the window. I don’t really know where the year went! My boys and I had many summer adventures including our once a year camping trip including grumbling and moaning as we went for nature walks, many many games of Apples to Apples, delicious food that I actually had time to cook, naps, sunset photos, tons of trips to the corner store, lots of my hair falling out, etc, etc.

I also took a trip to BC to visit my dad with my one of my boys and stocked up on incense from China Town. I painted my kitchen yellow, then, I painted my living room light peach (which looks more like pink admittedly), and we FINALLY got new flooring put in our living room. I read many, many books. Business books, fictional books, non-fictional books, self help books, health books, and pretty much any type of book that you can think of. Oh yeah, did I mention I like books?

I watched a LOT of great TV.. I blew through some shows pretty quickly that I became obsessed with. They included Orphan Black, Broadchurch, Homeland, Mr. Selfridge, Broad City, Masters of Sex, Tyrant and Outlander. All totally ridiculously good shows. I listened to a LOT of music. Especially Jamaican music and Hip Hop. I did a LOT of laundry. Because three boys generate an atrocious amount of laundry, but at the same time have an invisible vortex where all socks disappear to.

A lot of things really came together for me. I have been reading, staying inspired, feeling motivated. To do this, I really had to cut people and things out of my life. Sometimes it involved housework. Most of the time it involved cutting out negative people, or people who were draining on my energy. Let me tell you…this helps! I learned a lot about industry friendships in 2014 and some of those lessons were… harsh to say the least. I got stabbed in the back, burned, cheated, and hurt. The bottom line? Trust no one but yourself and be careful with friends in your industry. I make a list every six months of people or things that are negative in my life or drain my energy and I try to eliminate as many on the list as I possibly can. It came with some tough choices and losses last year, but in the end I am a much happier and healthier person!

I photographed some weddings. Scratch that, I photographed a LOT of weddings. I saw some really beautiful dresses, I met some really amazing couples and I had a pretty amazing year! I also won Planet S”s Best Professional Photographer of 2014 and was I ever surprised! What an amazing honor and so humbling to receive. That was a huge boost for my self confidence and has been keeping me motivated to push forward in my career. I always want to continue to push my boundaries, try new things, improve, improve, improve… I still have SO much to learn!

I took the boys to Mexico for a Christmas vacation and my mom came too! It was AHHMAZING to finally be in Mexico with my family! I have admired Mexico on destination weddings for so long, wishing I could share my experiences with my family and I finally got to! We did one excursion too many (totally my fault for over planning) and I probably had one too many shots of Tequila with my mom (it doesn’t take much for me), resulting in a rather wobbly ride to the airport. OOPS!  It’s definitely something we plan to do again and we all had such a blast!

To sum it up, my year was one busy place to be, and let me tell you it came with it’s real challenges too. Raising three boys on your own is NOT easy. The one thing that is always tiring and never-ending is trying to explain to people why I’m tired and just want to chill out when I finally have a moment of time. They think I just have my business and my editing, but are forgetting I have a family at home, a rather large one, that I am 100% financially and emotionally responsible for all of them and I am on my own. It’s not personal, I just have priorities. The boys are getting larger and smellier, my Costco bill is getting higher, the smell of their feet is getting ranker, the never ending piles of laundry are growing and my house is shrinking more and more every day. It’s definitely been a constant balancing act between work and kids, but it’s something that improves every year. It takes a lot of practice but it can be done!

So what’s up for 2015? I just have this feeling… that it is absolutely going to be an amazing year! So many exciting things happening, so many opportunities, amazing clients, plans, travels, and road trips with the boys.

GUESS WHAT!? It has been over a MONTH since I had my last Pepsi.. (almost 40 days to be exact!) I completely quit pop (with the exception of a little cup on the plane), and I can honestly say it’s probably been 10 years since I went even close to a month without Pepsi or pop. So I am pretty darned proud of myself!

I am ready to shove 2014 out the door. Slam the door in it’s face and never look back. I have some new plans that do not involve things in 2014 and I’ve never been one to linger in my past. Every day, every week, every month I have goals, lists, plans and actions to make it happen. Guess what? I have already been crossing things off my lists. This is the year people!

I have some serious business goals.. I write them down. I have vision boards, I am determined. I have some serious personal goals. I even use stickers like a child to mark my accomplishments. Seriously. I am excited about the year! I am excited about life! I have connected with some amazing people already this year, people that could change the direction of my career and lead to much bigger things! 2015 is the year to hustle and grind. Wake up and hustle. Hustle till you make it!

I’m calling on everyone to make this the year you hustle and make shit happen!

I am still ever growing obsessed with music and I have to admit it’s my favorite part of driving. I am loving so many artists and so many different genres of songs that it makes me crazy sometimes. Even though some of these are sooo old school I wanted to share my ever so clever list of songs that I have been putting on repeat lately! P.S I have to admit I omitted a few songs with especially explicit lyrics

1. Aluna George – You Know You Like It

2. Kelly Rowland – This is Love

3.The Weeknd (Kygo Remix) – Often

4. Birdy – Shelter

5. Popcaan – Unruly Rave

6. I-Octane – Love Di Vibe

7. Davido – Aye

8. ZZ Ward – Last Love Song

9 .Sevyn Streeter ft. Chris Brown – It won’t Stop

10. Elley Duhe – The Little Things

11. Miguel – Simple Things

11. Tinashe – Feels Like Vegas

12. Wilkinson – Afterglow

13. Make It Burn Dem – Skrillex ft. Damian Marley

14. Glycerine – Bush

15.The Fly’s – Got you where I want you

16. Michal Jackson – The way you make me feel

17.Wax – Music & Liquor

18. Akon – Don’t Matter

19. Nelly – Just a Dream

20. Childish Gambino – Sober

I would love to hear from you! What are YOUR hustle plans in 2015? Are you using vision boards, writing lists, keeping a Pinterest Board, etc? What are YOU doing to make it happen?

Love, peace & chicken grease (only sometimes though because it’s fattening) – Martine

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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

Role calls, photo plans, car dreams & interesting sunglass experiment!

Hey guys!

Well my desire to be posting more is seriously being compromised by how busy I have been these days! I have been up to just about everything. I have recently had some fantastic shoots happen, and I have some really exciting concept work coming up as well! Really really pumped to be working with some talented people & friends in the next couple of months.

I have some serious role calls I want to bring to your attention and I will re post most of these on Facebook as well! If you think you fit the description, OR know of someone who does, please send a photo, name, age, height, measurements, and a way to reach you. I want to see what you look like so please…don’t forget to include a photo! Send them to: agasteche@yahoo.ca

ROLE CALLS 2013

I need a male model with long dreadlocks, fit, with or without facial hair age 20-30

I need an East Indian female model slender with long hair between the ages of 10-20

I need a short petite with long red or strawberry blonde hair between the ages of  8-15

I need a female model with about shoulder length blonde or light red hair petite between the ages of 15-25

Okay so those are a few so far, and I will definitely be posting more throughout the year! Thanks for your patience with me getting this up!

Eeek I just feel like so much is happening for me right now! I have some big plans and some exciting things happening soon with publications. It’s really overwhelming and all of the support I have gotten from everyone always astounds me … I am still so in shock sometimes when people like my work, it’s just so crazy! So I guess what I am trying to say is THANK YOU.

Today was a great day. I spent most of my afternoon photographing Treena Wynes author of Eating Myself Crazy and it was really inspiring. Here are a couple shots from that shoot! Definitely check out her page [Eating Myself Crazy] on Facebook!

Author Treena Wynes - Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes – Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes - Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes – Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes - Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes – Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes - Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Author Treena Wynes – Photography by Martine Sansoucy

I`m not going to lie. I`ve been daydreaming a lot these days… about buying a house, traveling the world, terribly inappropriate car dreams, and photo-shoot fantasies. Ahhh I just can`t wait to put some of these dreams into action. If anyone in Saskatoon knows how I can get help with a down payment loan or grant PLEASE send me a message at agasteche@yahoo.ca

I am STILL attending boot camp.. as much as I loath it. It’s getting easier though, and I am happy with that! I am always trying to quit Pepsi.. I swear it’s the worst drug out there. I get such massive headaches, shaky, cranky, etc when I go too long without one. It’s ridiculous. If I quit.. It has to be for good. No more of this one a week rule, because it always gets me hooked again. I’m a sucker for a nice cold Pepsi in the worst way.

What else is new? Well life has just been busy. I am still trying to clear out props, and I can’t believe how many things I have for photo shoots! I need to make some of these shoots happen so I can clear out my basement haha.

I was going through some photos the other night from camping and remembered I was just being silly taking photos of the kids one night. I took different frames. One with sunglasses over my camera lens and one without.. check out the cool effect! I will definitely being trying this again!

Without sunglasses

Without sunglasses

With sunglasses

With sunglasses

Without sunglasses

Without sunglasses

With sunglasses

With sunglasses

What a neat little effect hey? And even easier than Instagram! 😉

Well I am up on a Saturday night doing what I actually really love. Editing, blogging, reading, writing, watching YouTube, listening to the latest Wax & EOM and enjoying life. I am really looking forward to posting some tutorial type things for you all in the near future, but I would also love your suggestions! I have been getting a lot of messages lately on what programs I use and what equipment I use, lighting questions, etc so I am going to be putting together a FAQ page on my website for you all!

I’m really enjoying Saskatoon weather right now. Still lots of snow, but nice outside. Which is very rare. I will not miss our freezing cold temperatures when summer comes, but I must admit I will sort of miss sliding around in the snow when I’m driving haha.

Well everyone, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! xoxo M

To new beginnings!! Starting off 2013 with Inspiration, Motivation and Determination!

Searching for you in a sea of faces..

Searching for you in a sea of faces..

Good morning lovelies!

So I wanted to start the new year off by starting a new blog! Why you ask? It’s true I have at least three blogs started, updated and sadly… abandoned and unfinished. The reason I believe is because my focus for the blogs I have done in the past is BUSINESS. Pure and simple uploading photos and pumping out general business information. This time I want to start fresh, and I want to make this blog more PERSONAL. I don’t want to look at it as just another chore to do on my work list. I want to feel excited about posting personal stories, information, tutorials and above all letting my fans and people get to know the REAL me. I think it just may work out!

So some things I plan to change in the New Year…

For those of you who know me, know that I have been struggling with health and weight issues for awhile and while I am generally a pretty up beat, positive vibe person,  when it comes to body image issues I am nothing but a negative Nancy. Which is silly because I love promoting body beauty awareness through my photos and I can honestly say some of the most beautiful people I have photographed are NOT skinny minnies or have your stereotypical model-type bodies. I see beauty in all shapes and sizes and I wish I could feel the same about myself! So I have made a vow to myself that I will bring my A game to get in shape this year.. not necessarily by dropping a few pant sizes (although let’s face it, that would be AWESOME), but just to get healthy, feel healthy and start living the way I should! I hope too that by sharing my journey with you in bits and pieces on this blog it will hold me a little bit more accountable to make these changes. One of my favorite things to do is dance around my house in my shorts and sports bra to some outrageously awesome music. I plan to do this every day until I work up a sweat, and I have also joined a boot camp to get my butt in gear. I am ready to make this year the best yet… after all I AM turning the big 3.0 this year!!! Aaaahhh!

Something else quite big coming up this year… In May it will be FIVE whole years since I started in photography, and honestly I am stunned, shocked, in awe, loving it, emotional, etc when I think about how far I have come and how much I LOVE what I do. I am truly so fortunate to be doing something that I love. I NEED to make this a memorable year but stepping up my game in photography, learning more, always expanding and trying new and different techniques. I am also dying to do something epic. I don’t know what yet… but I know I want it, and I have plans to make it happen!

Family time! I need more of it. My boys are my whole world and I want to spend more and better quality time with them. If this means re-organizing priorities sometimes (like taking on a little less work) than so be it! I want to grow with them, travel with them, and perhaps even teach them a thing or two about photography. I am excited for some adventures we have planned this year and also excited to share these adventures with all of you. I also want to take more photos of my family. I look through all of the photos I have done and often realize I have more photos of other peoples children then of my own! I guess that’s the way it usually goes in any profession, but photos are not something I want to be lacking of with my boys. In this digital age, I also find most of my photos are always online but never in print. There is still something about being able to HOLD a photograph in your hands and I want to make this a priority as well. To get more of my family photos printed and put into albums or hung on the wall 🙂

I’m not going to lie, I am a FACEBOOK ADDICT! This needs to change! I have come up with a nice little schedule for myself to become effective immediately. It allows me two 1/2 hour slots during the day to check up on Facebook, respond to comments, e-mails, update photos, etc. Other than that I am going to try my very hardest to stay away from Facebook. I find it eats up wasted time on basically NOTHING!

So with that being said those are just a few of the things that I am aching to get my change-on with this year!

I just arrived home from Jamaica a few days ago.. and I have to say, it has changed my life. I can’t wait to tell you why, but you will have to hang on until my next post!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog.. I hope you come again soon and I also want to say I welcome any photography related questions to agasteche@yahoo.ca or through my Facebook

Peace & love – Martine