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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Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Boudoir at the Sheraton Cavalier + Shameless self promotion

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Hey guys!

It’s the weekend! It’s the weekend AND I don’t have a wedding! It feels weird to be honest. Although I don’t have a wedding I am photographing six glorious sessions this weekend ranging from engagement, to child and family and last night I even had a super awesome session with one of my former wedding clients and her horse. If you can imagine.. the sun setting, a beautiful girl in her dress and a gorgeous blue eyed horse.. well you will have to wait to see the previews!

I have to start out with a little bit of shameless self promotion and I hope you don’t mind! First off, let me say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for all of the support so far from friends, family and fans. It truly means the world to me and my endeavors would be nothing without you all. Sooo with that being said I would LOVE your continued support for these three things!

#1. I would LOVE to be nominated for the top professional photographer in Saskatoon by Planet S! You can vote for me HERE

#2. Two of my photos have made the finals for a photography award by Bride Canada! This is exciting! Your likes on the photos count as 33% towards the final voting so your help is definitely appreciated! I have put the links below to LIKE the photos so if you have just a few seconds help a sister out!

Bride Canada Engagement Finalist!

Bride Canada Engagement Finalist!

Click HERE to like this photo!

Bride Canada Engagement Finalist!

Bride Canada Engagement Finalist!

Click HERE to like this photo!

Okay! Moving on to other awesome things. Did I mention in my last post that things have been BUSY this year? haha well that’s an understatement. Before all the chaos of wedding season hit I had the chance to photograph some truly beautiful and amazing women at the Sheraton Cavalier for one of my favorite types of sessions – Boudoir. That’s right, I got all close and personal with some Saskatoon beauties and collaborated with Jennilee Cardinal Schultz from Vamp Makeup and Sara Whyte from Alchemy Salon to get them primped from head to toe.

So I am excited to share with you some of the more “tame” images from these sessions and a little flashback to some vintage boudoir sessions done a couple years ago with Makeup artist & Hairstylist Tamsen Rae!

So I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and watch out for my next blog post with my first featured wedding of the year!

Stay amazing,

Martine

Credits:

Between the sheets boudoir sessions: Thank you to the Sheraton Cavalier for their beautiful room and amazing service!

Makeup by Jennilee Cardinal Schultz at Vamp Makeup

Hair by Sara Whyte at Alchemy Salon

Styling & Photography by Martine Sansoucy ©2014 All Rights Reserved.

Flashback vintage boudoir sessions: Thank you to my mom for the amazing pillows and fabrics used for this set!

Hair & Makeup by Tamsen Rae

Styling, set design and photography by Martine Sansoucy ©2014 All Rights Reserved.

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Boudoir sessions at the Saskatoon Sheraton Cavalier

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Vintage Boudoir session in Saskatoon

Fun & simple tips on how to take professional looking photos of your pet!

Charles (Dave X Piper kitten)  Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Charles (Dave X Piper kitten) Photography by Martine Sansoucy

Hey guys!

I know it’s been a long time again! I have been ever busy with boys, photos and life. So I know I posted awhile back about sharing some tips on pet photography, and so I wanted to talk about that today!

I LOVE pets.. cats, dogs, horses, love them all! For some of us, they are just like our kids, family members and friends. Of course we want to take some amazing photos of them to remember! Pets can be tricky. They can be wiggly, squirmy and they don’t take direction overly well. Especially cats I have noticed :-D. I have put together a little tutorial for you on some simple and very easy steps to taking a professional looking photo of your pet. I would LOVE it, if you would share some of the images you take with your pet using this tutorial… In fact I might even give away a free pet session to the best one! You can send them to agasteche@yahoo.ca and I will share the top picks on my blog!

I hope you enjoy!

What you will need:

– Poster paper

-Tacks or tape

-Nice blanket or rug

-PATIENCE!

So what I start out with is locating a place in my house that has good natural light. Typically the light shines in through my window onto my couch during the day so I know I want to use my couch area. If the sun is overly bright, I might want to close my curtains or hang a solid white sheet over my window as a filter. I then decide on my color of poster board. Typically I like to try and match the pet’s coloring with the coloring of the poster board in some way. For example, a cat with green eyes, would work well with a dark forest green poster board because it would draw you into the color of the cats eyes. For a solid white cat, you don’t want to use a background that is too dark, and definitely not black because it will end up washing out some of the detail in the cats face and coat. You would want to use a nice vibrant color such as a blue, purple, or pink. Blue typically works best with white. For a solid black cat or dog you want to stay away from using a solid white background as well and use something that compliments their eyes, or highlights. Most black cats tend to have blue, silver or grey highlights naturally so I would try to use one of those colors so that it draws the color into the natural highlights that are there.

Next I take my poster board and tack or tape it to the wall or against whatever I am using as a background. Here you can see I have used a purple blanket over my couch and a pink poster board to take photos of my kitten Winifred.

Set up for pet photo session

Set up for pet photo session

Next, be prepared to have patience. Pets move around a lot, so whether you are shooting with your iPhone, a point and shoot or a pro camera you want to be on your toes! It’s good to have a little assistant who can hold up treats directly behind you or get your pet’s attention. With a simple point and shoot and even some of the professional cameras the “action mode” is still a great choice for a wiggly puppy or kitten.

Set your pet up with the poster board directly behind them and try to get them looking towards the natural light. This will instantly constrict their pupils drawing more vibrancy and color into the eye. Be prepared to keep placing your pet over and over and over again on the same spot and keep them at arms length. This can be tricky! You can also try holding a treat up for them with one hand and shooting with the other or throwing something over your shoulder to get their attention.If you have a smaller puppy or kitten sometimes using a prop like a basket or planter pot will momentarily keep them still while they are trying to figure out what they are doing in the basket to begin with! You can start to incorporate props like flowers, baskets, bowls, etc to add that little something extra to your photo too. Above all remember your patience, because you will need it! Sometimes I have lucked out with pets who will pose willingly for a shot, and sometimes it may take dozens of frames and moving the pet back onto the spot you want them in. Don’t be afraid to keep snapping when you see a yawn, or a weird face, because those are usually the best shots!

In the end you should end up with a fairly decent looking photo of your pet! I hope this was easy for you to follow and I hope you will be able to take some nice photos of your pet to remember forever!

Again I would LOVE to see the results of anyone using these techniques! You can e-mail YOUR pet photos to agasteche@yahoo.ca and I will put them up on my blog!

Love & peace – M

Winfred with the above backdrop

Winfred with the above backdrop

Richard with his two best in Show ribbons

Richard with his two best in Show ribbons

Adding props to your photos will add that extra something and might help to keep your pet still momentarily.

Adding props to your photos will add that extra something and might help to keep your pet still momentarily.

Try to catch your pet mid-play or with a silly expression!

Try to catch your pet mid-play or with a silly expression!

Dave, looking mad as always

Dave, looking mad as always

Here I have used a chair in the background and I find it distracting! Try to find props that compliment your pet, and draws your eye into your pets face.

Here I have used a chair in the background and I find it distracting! Try to find props that compliment your pet, and draws your eye into your pets face.

Here Winifred is standing on a chair which makes her look bigger than she is!

Here Winifred is standing on a chair which makes her look bigger than she is!

I love the contrast here between Winifred, the blue ribbon around her neck, her blue eyes, and the blue background.

I love the contrast here between Winifred, the blue ribbon around her neck, her blue eyes, and the blue background.