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

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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

 

 

Adventures in Jamaica Pt 2- My near (camera) death experience with waterwalls!

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

Ahhh finally I have come out of my coma of exhaustion and sickness! What a relief after over two weeks! So what have I been up to? Mostly editing, and also trying to clear out my house for a mega-sized garage sale. Time to clear out some of my hoarder style collections and some of my precious photography props. I hate to see them go, but I really can’t keep everything!

So I hope everyone in Saskatoon has been keeping warm, in this deathly horrid weather we have been having. It’s been … epic to say the least. It doesn’t help that my trusty old van left me stranded with the boys at Safeway yesterday and has basically been acting like a piece of junk for the last few weeks. Great.

So let’s talk about my experience with Dunn’s River Falls, which was where we decided to end our day taking photos in beautiful Jamaica! What a fun/scary time! Basically what happened was, I thought I could handle being in the waterfalls as well, with my camera around my neck. However, what I didn’t think about was, how slippery the rocks were, and how it might have benefited me to bring water shoes for this whole scenario. So a few minutes into our session, I stepped off of a log under water and realized that I was tumbling/falling/tripping/slipping deep into a rocky waterfall grave. As I sunk lower and lower and fell more and more I raised my camera higher and higher. Boy, it must have been quite a sight. It might be exaggerating to say that the only thing you could see out of the water was the top of my head, my arm and my camera… but no it was actually pretty close to that. The groom said afterwards he just wasn’t quite sure who to save; the photographer or the camera! When in doubt.. ALWAYS save the camera! I can definitely survive whatever outcome there is from a fall like this, but my camera would not be so lucky. We had a good laugh about it afterwards and we had a lot of fun! So it just proves to those of you who may think my job is all fancy and frills.. I am in the business of taking risks, putting myself in awkward and potentially dangerous situations (I have done everything from laying on my stomach in the middle of a highway, to getting knocked over by strong stormy ocean waves). Is it worth it though? 100% and I will only continue to push my limits AND my camera’s limits until one of us breaks haha hopefully it will be the camera.

I can’t wait to share more of my Jamaica adventures with you all and more great images from this fantastic wedding!

For tonight, I am going to cozy up with my book and maybe even make myself a cup of hot chocolate (if the boys haven’t completely raided the mix already). Get some good zz’s and work like a maniac tomorrow.

Love & peace – M

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography

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