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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Reasons I love AND hate Saskatoon.. and stuff I have been up to lately!

So what have I been up to these days? Sitting here bitterly cursing the Saskatoon weather for one. Isn’t this ridiculous?! For all my fans out there who live in India, Mexico, Jamaica I want you to picture this. Snow whipping at your face in -35 below (with the wind), nasty wind so bad its blowing cars off of highways and roads combined with the sheer iciness. Deadly combinations. Not exactly photo session weather either, unless you want phenomena or just to look very red (and really, who wants that?). I met this pretty cool guy in Cuba and I told him that we needed to plug in our cars in the winter time, otherwise sometimes they wouldn’t start. He was blown away! “Where would you plug it in?” he asks. Haha yes, we are one COLD province.  With Days like these, I hate it; I’m not going to lie. Seriously, I question myself all of the time why on earth I still live here. I can never really come up with a good answer. Today I did think of some.

-We have some of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises in the world because of our big wide open prairie skies. Our skies are one of my most favorite things to photograph!

-Yes we are a very flat country, but it has its very own beauty. There is something about being able to see everything for miles ahead of you on the open road.

-We are not close to an ocean so we lose the risk of tsunami which is pretty awesome. I am not going to say we are not at risk for flooding since the run off from this years snow should be interesting!

-We are not close to any mountains so we not at a great risk for earthquakes, volcano’s erupting or anything like that. This is also pretty awesome.

-We are actually known as the sunniest city in Canada here in Saskatoon (It’s true, even when it’s cold, windy and frozen outside the sun will generally be out.)

-We have a great community, with good people and businesses!

I am going to have to remind myself more of these things on days like today when I question why I am still here. The weather is just gross. I am not impressed and I really, really want to do some shoots annnnd other things!

Otherwise I have had a lot on the go. The boys are super busy and obsessed with the Wii. It’s ridiculous! I am getting a gym membership sometime during the week and planning to try out some new recipes. I started a project planner book a couple nights ago and wrote out all of my plans for the year (photography plans, car plans, house plans, décor plans, etc) and ideas I have for shoots and concepts. Sigh… I just LOVE organizing. I just finished watching Call The Midwife (season one) and I am totally in love. I can’t wait for the next season to start. I also love the start of the new season for The Client List…..guilty pleasure…yum!

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I just finished up another wedding set and I am working on a couple more! I am excited to put up more shots from the Jamaica Destination wedding! I have been working hard on updating my portfolio and newly designing my website and I am really looking forward to uploading it! I have so many positive things happening for me in the next few months and I have been so happy about all of it. I have a feeling it’s going to be an amazing year!

Okay so here are some of the things that I have been checking out lately!

GUYS: You probably should just skip past this.

Ladies…isn’t this just the most awesome idea? I’m not going to lie, I would consider getting this. Haha it might actually give you something to look forward to around that time of the month.

http://www.leparcel.com/

Also, I have finally discovered Jenna Marbles on YouTube and I am pretty amused by her. I especially like her Drunk Makeup Tutorial… wow.

http://www.youtube.com/user/JennaMarbles

I also have to say I am now crushing on Jeff Gordon after seeing how he drives this car! Mad skills.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YR9UeZKI78

The boys and I made up an awesome little chore chart today which I am pretty enthusiastic about. Hey…less cleaning for me? What’s not to get excited about? Check them out! I found them on an awesome little site called Money Saving Moms

http://moneysavingmom.com/downloads/household-management-forms

Well I picked up my business cards from Pro Print and I LOVE them. I got two new wedding cards made, each with a different photo (one a Destination Wedding and one a local wedding!). I can’t wait to start distributing them and giving them out. I am going to be getting one done for Fashion & Concept work as well and one for general and life photography! Now I need to find a really cool little business card case for them 🙂 Anyone have some suggestions?

I have also been doing a lot of reading lately. I have a gigantic photography book full of projects and tutorials that I am going through and I am also reading “Some Girls – My life In A Harem” by Jillian Lauren… so far it’s been pretty good! I am also excited to start reading the third book by Lauren Destefano “Sever”. Seriously, I really need to make a list of ALL of the great books I have been enjoying these days. There are just too many to even count.

As always I love to dance around my house in the evenings and when I’m cleaning. My latest guilty pleasures in music are the song “Bright Lights” by Gary Clark Jr. and “Do Your Thing” by Jensen Reed… now those are two songs I could put on repeat and be happy about it. I also love the new Macklemore and so thrilled to finally see him on the radio. I am still a loving fan of Bob Marley’s chill style, Buck Cherry and Wax & Herbal T. Really could it get any better?

Cleaning up a storm today and enjoying a cup of Chai tea…. Still wishing I lived somewhere warm and daydreaming my life away.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and are staying cozy with someone you love.

Xoxo – Martine

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