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

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.