60 years of marriage!

Family is #1 + 60 years of marriage

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

Family is and always will be number one to me. There are no exceptions and there is no other way I would have it. I think we all learn this at one point or another in our lives!

Recently, my grandparents celebrated their 60th anniversary… 60.. can you believe it? Better yet, can you imagine being married to your special someone for 60 years? I hope so. Marriage is about love, understanding and communication, but it’s not just that. It’s about building a community, a family and a bond with the others you bring into your life. It’s also HARD work. I think too many people bail on marriage too easily. They think it should be easy and should feel those sparks still flying 2, 3, 4, 5 years later but that’s just not realistic. You might lose the sparks, but what you gain is the comfort, security and ease of being yourself and knowing what you are coming home to.

I don’t consider myself the marrying type but if I was, I would look to my grandparents for inspiration. It has NOT always been easy for them. They have went through times of severe poverty, heart-ache, loss and tragedy. Throughout it all they have stuck together, stood by each other and came out on top. Now, even in the last 10 years I have seen their love for each other change! It used to be complacent, it used to be of responsibility and respect. It is still all of these things, but I now see a deeper bond that has developed between them in the last few years. They still have humor. They crack really corny jokes and share intimate moments. They understand each other more than anyone in the world and they can sense when the other is not feeling well or needs a nap. (To be fair I think that everyone needs a nap. In fact.. I should be taking one right now!). The point is, they have most definitely had struggles that could have torn some couples apart, but they persevered and now I believe they are happier than ever!

It seemed only natural that Grandpa’s guitar should come along. He has shared his gift and love for guitar with our family since as long as I can remember. It’s one of my favorite memories growing up. Not only that but he legitimately sings my Grandma songs with his guitar and that’s exactly what I asked him to do on the day of the shoot (which was the day of their 60th anniversary). Now that I think of it, I should have got Grandma to bring some buns and borscht and feed Grandpa because feeding people delicious food is most definitely her thing. I loved this whole shoot from start to finish and getting to see them in a whole new light with each other was refreshing. Their relationship and their testimony to marriage is constantly evolving and leaving the other marriages in my family a lot to live up to.

Love you Grandpa & Grandma!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

60 years of marriage!

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 ยฉ2014 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

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

 

 

A week of insanity and a frosty little engagement session preview!

Hey everyone!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter and were able to spend time with your family & friends!

Sooooo the boys are out of school this ENTIRE WEEK…. I hope I can stay sane through it all. I will just be continuing on my with my spring cleaning and clearing out massive amounts of props. I am trying to make an entertainment area in the basement so we will see if I accomplish that this week! I am also painting my boys bedroom and looking forward to have some brand new paint for them to draw on and for me to clean haha.

What else is new!? A LOT. I have been doing a lot of photo sessions as the weather is FINALLY coming around to the idea of spring. Thank goodness, because I was really going to wonder if we were ever going to see a blade of grass again! I got some fantastic new business cards made from ProPrint here in Saskatoon and they did an amazing job. They are working on the second set as well and after that I have one set left to go! I have some exciting news coming up in about three weeks and also expect a post soon about my newly redone website ๐Ÿ™‚

So I thought I would post a few shots of a sweet little engagement shoot I did recently with couple Lauren & Dan! I am excited to be photographing their wedding as well and I had fun with them on this wintery frosty day!

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

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 ofย  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! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Adventures in Jamaica pt 1

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Jamaica Destination Wedding Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Hey guys!

Well the last couple of weeks since I have been home, I have had a lot of time to think. Mainly because I am confined to being stationary with massive headaches, congestion, searing pain through my blurry eyes, hearing rushing wind through my ears (which isn’t nearly as romantic as it sounds), and coughing up a lung every few minutes. Yes, it seems I have come in contact with one of the worst sinus infections I have ever had and it shows no signs of leaving me any time soon. I know.. I sound attractive!

Amidst my sleepless nights (due to interruptions alarming me to the fact that I can not breath), I have come to the following conclusions.

#1. The Biggest Loser makes me cry.

#2. I have so many books in my library that I have a mental break down trying to choose just one to read.

#3. My boys know that my defenses are down and therefore are ready to take full advantage in any way possible

#4. I need a new oven, because currently mine is caked with 48 butter tarts that when being taken out crashed face down into the depths of the bottom (don’t ask, it was tragic)

#5. Jamaica was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

So naturally I feel like talking about Jamaica. It has been on my mind since the day I came home. Despite having two very unfortunate incidents in this magnificent country, I really do love it. In fact it’s my favorite of all of the countries I have been too so far (including Canada). Honestly.. I don’t know why anyone lives here. -40’s with the windchill, are you kidding me!? Unfortunate incident #1 was the loss of my luggage which was snatched up at the airport by another lady from Saskatchewan who didn’t bother to report it as the wrong bag until TWO DAYS later! So quite honestly I was freaking out… My camera bag is so heavy that they won’t allow me another carry on, so EVERYTHING I had was in the bag. Hard to feel sexy on the beach in 3 day old black pants, a black shirt, no deodorant, un-brushed dry frizzy hair and the knowledge that I may never see my makeup again. I spent the better part of the first couple of days holed up in my room locked on the Jamaican music channel waiting for a phone call about my luggage. Finally, with enough pushing on my part, another rep stepped in and made some calls to locate it. Thank goodness for that!! It felt great to be in some fresh clothes again!

Incident #2 happened on my last night in Jamaica and honestly… I don’t want to go into too much detail because I fear it will paint a negative picture of the time I had. Really it was one bad situation amongst 1000’s of great ones. I will say though, I did at one point fear for my life a little bit, and I do urge anyone to be aware of cabbies anywhere…because honestly I have had more than one horrifying situation with cab drivers even here in Saskatoon.

What can I say about Jamaica? If I had to use just one word to describe it, I would have to say SEXY. I was thrilled by the music that seemed to be everywhere once you hit the streets of Montego Bay. Especially at night when the streets are lively with speakers on almost every corner pumping out Kartel, beat infused reggae, hip hop and my new favorite tune (which shall not be mentioned for fear of offending anyone). I happened to stop at a couple of different places downtown during my stay to buy some burnt discs with collections of some pretty rad music. I will admit, I listen to them quite a bit and it still makes me feel energized and alive. Music was definitely one of my favorite parts of Jamaica. You may ask why I use the word sexy. It’s hard to dodge around the subject without saying both the men and woman are absolutely without a doubt freaking gorgeous! I felt a little bit obnoxious because I couldn’t help but check out the wonderful curvacious and booty-delicious bodies of all of the beautiful women, and the smokin hot muscular but lean builds and seriously awesome dreadlocks, cornrows and braids of the men. To top it all off, they all seemed comfortable with their bodies, sexually aware of themselves and above all friendly.ย  I felt comfortable and welcomed everywhere I went. There was always someone smiling at me or wanting to get to know me.. and heck I even got a marriage proposal haha!

I was so fortunate to have such amazing local friends in Jamaica. I was super excited to meet two of the girls that I met over Facebook close to a year ago for some fun photo-shoots, which turned into drinks, chatting, nights out and many many little adventures I would not be wise to share ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can honestly say, I know I have made some friends for life and I can’t wait to start planning my next trip to Jamaica to see them again. I miss them dearly! I am so thankful for the great times they showed me and for making me feel so at home!

One of my first nights out I was invited to a local fashion show with Nicole (an amazing model & one of my local friends), who led me to one of her friends who I fell in love with instantly! The fashion show was amazing and I sat with my drink transfixed on the vibrantly colored skirts, tops & dresses, the heels, and of course the totally rad music accompanying it. The whole experience was surreal. The night continued on until late hours and I blissfully ran back to my room after being dropped off to sink into my bed and a field a music infused dreams.

I also was pretty blessed to have the opportunity to see my amazing new friend Anjaine sing in their local Karaoke joint “Mobay Proper”. She was… AMAZING. If I closed my eyes and listened to each and every one of the singers who got up to preform I swear I could have been listening to Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Rihanna…. WOW. The talent in there was off the wall! I told Anjaine they definitely needed to video this stuff and post it on YouTube. It was a great night of music and dancing and drinking and I was able to see my wonderful model and new friend Walleisha one more time before I headed off back to the icy coldness that is Saskatoon.

Ahhh just talking about it is making me so euphoric. What can I say, I soaked up every opportunity to be out in the community, meeting people, getting three random braids done in my hair by a nice old lady who told me her life story and welcomed me into her home. The experiences I had were bar none some of the best ever, but the people I met… hands down the BEST part of my trip.

Nicole & I in Jamaica

Nicole & I in Jamaica

Well folks.. the other best part of my trip is yet to come. Because I am a photographer, I am hoping you can guess that it was the wedding, the photo-shoots, and the photos! I can’t wait to share some of my amazing experiences with the bride and groom and also some of my fun experiences photographing my gorgeous new friends & models!

So with that being said, I hope all you lovelies out there have a great night..

XO- Martine