Saturday, May 23, 2015 3:35PM
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Suburbs - not city, not country.  Somewhere in between.  Few distinguishable features, and severly lacking for creative inspiration.  Drives creative types to look harder, look further, beyond the obvious. 

And I'm still looking....

Living in the suburbs does have its benefits.  Where we live is a great place to raise our kids; it's why we chose to live here and why we choose to stay here.  We have just enough space, neighbours are close (but not too close), and I like that a lot of the grocery store cashiers know my name.  I actually really like that.  I like that my kids' friends all live within the same telephone exchange.  I like that the bus ride doesn't take an hour (each way) for them.  And I love our friends who have decided to live the same life.  

I still have to drive to get to my mailbox, though.  That's a bit of a bummer.  And our resident raccoons are a real pain in the ass.  But what I dislike the most, is the way it looks.  Unfortunately, my inner creative is a superficial, shallow, snotty girl.  I want where I live to be drop dead gorgeous.  I want it to be exciting and vibrant and wild.  When I look out my window, I want to be blown away by beautiful sunsets and windy fields.  Or bright lights and the smell of rockin' parties that last all night.  Either or would be fine with me.  But I don't have that.  So what to do? 

Look for the beauty where you are.

 



Love the one(s) you're with.



Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Love is all around you - just open your eyes, Lyndsay.


All you can control is you.  It's my new personal motto.

Can the suburbs be beautiful?  Can they have a personality?  Do they have anything to offer my senses, my mind?  I'm sure the answer is yes.   Because every memory I will have of us as a FAMILY will be based here.  And that's the most beautiful thing in the world.  So I'm going to open my eyes a little wider.  Try to fall in love with what I see around me.  I already feel it in my heart, so now I'm going to work on some photos that celebrate us in our environment - the messy decks, the chain-linked parks, the minivans and the strip malls.  This is where my kids will grow up.  All their memories will be based here.  Their roots, and now mine are firmly planted here in the middle - not city, not country. 

Embrace the middle.  Embrace the anywhere.  Embrace the people, not where they are.  



Life in the suburbs.  This is it - Part 1.  Lots more to come as I explore this weird middle-land. 

    

 
Thursday, April 30, 2015 12:54AM
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**CAUTION!  Long blog post ahead!  Grab a glass of wine or a coffee and get comfy for this one**


I thought long and hard about how I wanted to approach the written part of this project.  The photo part of it became pretty clear to me right from the start, but the explanation behind WHY I'm doing this project is a little loooooong.  To be honest with you, I think it's actually a very interesting story with a few plot twists and turns (how exciting!).  So, for those who want to read the whole story, here it is.  For those who want to skip the story - please don't.  Hear me out, there's a solid message in here, trust me.
--

Winters can be long for photographers, and it's not uncommon to see photographers dabble in some personal projects or challenges during the colder months in order to keep the creativity alive.  I've always thought about undertaking some sort of personal photography project, but no great and wonderful ideas ever struck a chord with me.  Around January 1st of every year, I start waiting for the inspiration, but it just never comes.  This year was no exception.  New Year's rolled around, and...nothing.  A couple of weeks later, I decided I needed a new headshot for my website and headed downstairs into my studio to set myself up. 

I spent quite a bit of time fixing myself up - hair, makeup, clothes, the works.  I took a bunch of photos of myself and uploaded them to my computer.  Total disappointment.  So I started again.  Different outfit, more photos, upload, rejection.  I didn't like the way I looked.  I could have stayed down there all day, trying and trying to get something I liked, but it probably wouldn't have helped.  I was discouraged when I went to bed that night, but couldn't stop thinking about the "whys."  WHY didn't I like the photos?  WHY was I being so hard on myself?  WHY weren't they good enough?  There was nothing wrong with the photos, the problem was with myself.  I didn't like the way I looked in my own photos.

I'm a problem solver.  I'm good at fixing things.  And here I was faced with a problem that I didn't even know I had, and I didn't know how to fix it.  Luckily, I'm a little on the stubborn side and I like a good challenge.  BUT, I've never worked on ME before, so I knew I was in for a bit of a ride. 

One thing I do know for sure, is that there is no one way to solve a problem.  And about myself, I do know that tackling a problem head-on works best.  So I set out to work on my little "problem" the best way I know how - with a bit of creativity. 

I decided to take my own photo every day for an entire month.  Luckily, February was about to start, and I earned myself a few less days :)  I had to set up a few rules for myself though, so I didn't try to cheat.  Here were my rules:

1. The photos would all take place in my studio; same location, same backdrop every day;
2. I would take them at the same time every day, regardless of what I was doing or wearing - I chose 10am;
3. I was free to edit the photos however I chose to;
4. I would spend no more than 5 minutes shooting, and 5 minutes editing each day.

Oooh, I was excited!  I had a project in place that would allow me to practice shooting a bit during the off season, try my hand at some new editing techniques, and I would also work on some posing ideas that I had floating around in my head.  The ultimate goal was that by forcing myself to look at myself on the screen every day for an entire month, I would {hopefully} learn to tolerate, or even LIKE the way I looked in photos.  Really, it was an experiment in self-confidence.  Let's DO THIS!!!

By day 3, I hit a road block, and by day 7, the project was over.

Completely OVER.


(Dramatic pause...)

There were two main reasons I feel this project was a bust.  1 - I felt vain.  The project ultimately didn't suit my personality.  A cop-out?  Maybe.  But during that first week, I actually had a *moment.*  A moment where I felt a strong pull in a completely different direction, which brings me to my next reason that my project was sure to fail.  2 - I stopped wanting to edit or alter my face or body.

Think about that for a sec...

I didn't want to change the way I looked.

I didn't say I liked the way I looked, I said I stopped wanting to change the way I looked.  A small step toward a greater self-acceptance?  Perhaps (remember my New Years Resolution to work on myself?) And that small step excited me very, very much. In that moment, a lot of things changed for me. It was a lightbulb moment. I started asking myself questions (again with the "whys!") and excuse me while I get a little profound here, I think when I decided not to alter the photos of myself, I felt my confidence rise a bit (um, can I get a high five here?!)

The photo that changed everything was one where I almost forgot about my own project.  It was 10am and I had just gotten out of the shower, had a towel on my head, no makeup on and decided to go for it anyway, knowing full well that I had the skills to change anything I didn't like about myself on the screen.  I opened up that photo on my computer and stared at it for a long time.  My brain immediately goes into autopilot mode when I'm adjusting my photos (a little tuck here, more shadow there, even the skin tone, touch up blemishes, etc, etc, etc.) and I sat down to make a few adjustments to myself.

And I couldn't bring myself to do it.

It must have been some sort of mood I was in that day, because I immediately felt dishonest, like I was cheating on myself.  I left that photo alone and tucked it away in a folder.  I continued on for a couple of days past that, but kept coming back to that unedited photo and tried to harness what I was feeling about deciding not to change the way I looked, knowing full well that others may see this photo someday.  Surprisingly, I felt good.  I felt nervous. But I felt good.  It was a combination of confidence, vulnerability, pride and excitement for myself.  Like I had just experienced some type of therapeutic breakthrough that I wanted to share with everyone I knew.  I felt like I was "good enough."  And it led me to ask myself one final question:

Do other women feel this way too?  Was stripping down to a bare face to show the world that you're 'enough' just the way you are, a teeny tiny building block in the foundation of personal self-acceptance?  Would women let me shoot portraits of them, totally makeup free?

Ok, that was three questions, but I really, really, really wanted to find out the answers.

The next day, I put a post on my Facebook page asking for women to take part in a personal project I was working on.  I didn't release any more details than that.  I specifically asked for women around my own age, since I thought they were the most likely to, a) regularly wear makeup, and b) be at a place in their lives where they felt as though they weren't able to take as much time for themselves as they would like to.  No strict rules, just a shot in the dark.

I immediately received about 35-40 inquiries from women, excited to see what I was up to and offering to come over to help me out with whatever I was working on.  When I told them what I was working on, I instantly lost about half.  Several women told me they would rather take their clothes off than their makeup (it was around Valentine's Day, so I think many assumed I was doing boudoir portraits).  A few flat out said, "I don't look good without makeup."  And I almost cried.  By the time April rolled around, I had about 10 still interested, and 6 showed up on shooting day.  Honestly, it's about 5 more than I was expecting :) 

That's what put me on a mission to rock this project.  Us women, we're pretty hard on ourselves, aren't we?  We're never good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough.  Ridiculous-ness.  When I think about this, it makes me angry, but I get it.  I live it every day.  And now I want to change it.  I can't change anyone else, but I can change myself.  And I choose to be strong and awesome.  Smart and beautiful.  I want other women to feel this way too.  I see all of those traits in every. single. one. of the women below.  They are brave.  And I DARE any one of you to tell me they are not all incredibly, stunningly, awesomely beautiful.

Janine, Emily, Amy, Rachael, Krystal, and Tanya - thank you.  Thank you for showing up and trusting my idea.  Thank you for your conversations and your confidence.  You glow. Check them out below.

Want to get involved?  See below the photos for how you can get in on this goodness.  Come drink my Kool-Aid...... :)

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--

I can't say enough about these six women.  It is my hope that they will spark some discussion about how women view themselves, and how they're more than enough, just the way they are.  To me, these photos stir up a lot of good emotions about the direction we're heading.  I'll drive the train :)

Would you like to join me on this journey?  I'd love to see where we end up.  I'm opening my studio one day each month for the remainder of 2015 to shoot portraits of women, makeup free.  Free of charge to those who are interested in keeping this conversation going.  Get on the email list for full details and scheduling, by emailing me at: info@lyndsaydoyle.ca

Thanks for listening.  I promise the next blog post will be much, much shorter.  Although I should know better than to make promises like that...I have a lot to say :)

Lyndsay 
   

 
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:57AM
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Well, almost.

We are the luckiest people in the world, and managed to sneak away for a family vacation to Florida a few weeks ago.  It was amazing.  After the winter we've had here in Nova Scotia, I can honestly say that I've never looked forward to a vacation as much as I did this one.  We've had near record-breaking snowfalls this year (it's STILL snowing as I write this!) and many, many dreary, gray, COLD days. This getaway was very well timed. 

When vacation time rolls around in this house, I usually have my camera gear packed up way before any shorts and sandals - it's just the way it's always been.  Not this time.  I'd love to say that I chose not to bring any camera gear on this vacation because I needed a creative break - a chance to recharge my inspirational batteries (or some other "artistic" crap).  But that's totally not true.  The truth is, there are many reasons why I chose not to bring a proper camera with me.  One: it was bloody hot down there, and I knew that well in advance (thank you, Weather Network!).  I pictured myself dragging my sweaty self through thousands of people at Disneyworld, pushing a stroller with one hand, holding a little hand in my other hand, backpack full of water bottles, hats, snacks etc.. on my back, and a big old camera around my neck?  Um, no thanks!

That's not the only reason though.  Honestly, I wanted to be present.  I wanted to hang with my kids and my family (there were 10 of us there).  I wanted to get in the pool with them, get on every single ride I could, and watch my kiddos through my eyes, not my lens.  Almost everyone in our party had their own camera, and Disneyworld employs their own photographers who do a great job - props to them.  We were more than covered.  I had my iPhone with me, but honestly, I probably only took about 30 photos the whole time.  And you know what?  I'm totally cool with that :)

We had fun.  So much fun.  We unplugged and connected (funny how that happens).

Parents, you do not need to document every. single. moment. in your children's lives.  Sometimes it's best to just sit back and watch.  I'm learning as I go :)

  

 

Kids deserve your attention.  And they happen to LOVE smartphone selfies, that is a fact.  Do it their way once in awhile.

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Lyndsay Doyle is a family, children's and small business photographer based in the Halifax area of Nova Scotia.  She thinks children are the best travel companions.

 
Friday, February 27, 2015 9:39AM
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I'm so excited to finally let you in on a little secret! 

In an ongoing effort to keep my business as "local" as possible, I'm constantly on the lookout for supplies and products that not only lessen the impact on our environment, but also keep as much business in our community as possible.  As a business owner, it can be quite challenging to balance the desire to offer great products to my clients, while attempting to shop locally, a concept growing near-er and dear-er to my heart everyday.   This year, I'm committing to only offer products that have been sourced and/or crafted locally here in the Halifax area.

Here's the first new product of 2015; hello, Beautiful!  

Archival-quality canvas printed in Halifax, and made from reclaimed wood salvaged right here in St. Margaret's Bay.  All assembled right here in the LDP studio.

These pieces are now available in various sizes, and are sold separately, as an add-on to your photo session.  Insider tip: one is included in the Premium Family Photo Package!

Aren't they great?  They look amazing on the wall.  I LOVE reclaimed wood, and not just because I think it looks awesome, but because it tells a story.  It has a history.  These particular pieces came out of a century home here in St. Margaret's Bay.  I love seeing every knot and every nail hole.  Each piece in one-of-a-kind and unique, bumps and all (just like us).

Thoughts?  Questions?  Your feedback is important to me, so let me have it! My goal is to serve you to the best of my ability, with products and services that you will love forever.  My inbox and comment section is always open :)

Have a great weekend!

Lyndsay

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Lyndsay is a family, children and small business photography based in the Halifax area of beautiful Nova Scotia.  You can contact her at info@lyndsaydoyle.ca with questions, comments and love letters.

 
Friday, January 30, 2015 3:51PM
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Doesn't it always feel kind of nice when January is over?  Although there's all kinds of awesome-ness in this month (*cough* my birthday *cough*), I find it always feels as though we've jumped the cold, dark, winter hurdle and spring is on the horizon.  According to my 7-year old, with Groundhog Day coming up, we'll know for SURE if spring is coming (it's just science), but I don't know, I just kind of feel it, don't you? And it totally makes me happy.

Happy because there's so much to look forward to.  As I alluded to in my previous post, this year will be different for me.  I'm taking more time to think before I act, refine some skills (personal and professional), and to look after myself.  As I figure out what that means for me professionally, I've been trying to come up with ways to use this blog to push my creativity, and to purge some of the ideas that build up inside my brain.  I've got big plans for this year :)

The thing is with me, is that I've never wanted to be like anyone else.  When everyone goes right, I automatically want to go left.  From the outside in, that's a great thing.  But from the inside out, those who are of a similar personality know how difficult it can be, when we're often told to "follow the rules".  I don't really like rules, so I'm going to mix things up a bit around here.  I don't want to have a traditional photographer's blog - I want to be different.

So, you'll start to see a few fun changes to the blog, and to my work as the weeks go on. I'm still going to post lots of photos, because that just makes sense.  I'm going to start incorporating some more writing, which, believe it or not, was my first love, long before photography.  How they come together and how things evolve will be a bit of a mystery, but I'm looking forward to seeing where things go.  Letting my ideas fly freely is part of me taking control over my life and my health.

I want to prove that it's ok to be different, to stand out from the crowd.  Tina Fey says our "personality dust" doesn't start to settle until our thirties, and I completely agree with this.  As I turn 35 and start to figure out who I am and where I'm going, I'd like to invite you to follow along with me as I start pushing my photographic limits, try new things, succeed, fail, and learn.  I'll blog about it all.  I promise I won't sugar coat anything, and I'll try very hard to dish it up with a dose of humour and a lot of kindness (my personal buzz word for 2015)

Are you ready?  I am. 

Let's start with an update on what's been going on around here.

--

JANUARY

January is always what I call "hibernation month" where I try to spend as much time as possible under a blanket, avoiding any real work.  December drains me, and January recharges me.  I purposely put the camera away for awhile and let my brain rest a bit.  By the end of the month, I find myself starting to look for inspiration again.  I watch movies; new ones and old ones.  I read books with vibrant imagery that I try to translate into my own work.  I reconnect with old friends, and open my heart to new ones.  Other people inspire me immensely.  I love listening to their stories and hearing about their triumphs.  I find out where they've traveled and what funny things their children have said to them.  All this inspires me. 

Obviously, this gives me lots of time at home, which I love.  It gives me more time with my family, and my own kiddos become the subject of many of my photographic experiments.  They're pretty cute, so I'm fine with that!    



 

And a little self-portait at the end there :)

Until next time.  xoxo

Lyndsay

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Lyndsay is a photographer based in Halifax, NS area.  She specializes in photographing families, children and small businesses.

 
Monday, January 05, 2015 1:25PM
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Whoa - where did 2014 go?!  CAUTION: LONG POST AHEAD!

The last few months of 2014 were a whirlwind; although that may be a bit of an understatement.  I've had to do something recently that I didn't want to do, and have never actually done before.  It was very difficult, but I had to sit down and do the unthinkable - make some New Year's Resolutions :)  I know, I know.  You're probably thinking "duh, I do that every year," but I never really have, because things have always been...well..nice and easy.  The crazy busy-ness that is my photography business is kinda booming, and I've now got the privelege to make some decisions as to what direction I'd like to head in (that's a good thing!)  I've made 5 New Year's Resolutions for myself.  But I'll get into that in a sec...

2014 was the fifth year for this business (very part time for the first three or so, and now moving into "full time" hours).  If you'd have asked me five years ago where I'd be in this whole photography thing, I wouldn't have had an answer.  Business is a little like a marriage in some ways.  It takes years to really know your partner.  You have to live with them for years to fully understand their inner workings, their habits (both good and bad) and if you're a perfect fit for each other.  I'm pleased to say that this business and I are a perfect fit for each other, and we're going to survive many, many more years together :)

You're going to notice some changes with Lyndsay Doyle Photography going into 2015.  I'm very excited to be able to announce these changes as I roll them out slowly over the next few weeks (Resolution #1 - Slow Down).  You'll notice some new services, namely in regards to offering photographic services to small businesses (Resolution #2 - Focus On My Passion For Helping Other Businesses).  You'll also notice the removal of certain services, like weddings (Resolution #3 - Focus on My Favorite Things, And Do Them Really Well).  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE weddings, and I'm continuing to shoot them - as a second shooter for another photographer (yay!)  However, in order to be the best at what I do, I've had to choose to focus on the things I love most: families, children and business. 

This leads into my next resolution (Resolution #4 - Provide Amazing Customer Service).  This means different things to different people, so I'll try to explain what it means to me.  It means booking less sessions each month so I can concentrate on providing my undivided attention to my clients.  It means being able to answer emails and phone calls in a timely manner.  It means returning your products to you quickly so you can share them with your family and friends while you're still super excited about them!  It means taking time to advance my education and my skills in order to continue to provide top-notch artwork to you.  In 2014, I spent more than 80 hours in the classroom (2 certificates, thank you very much!), and countless hours online, researching and learning in order to get better at my craft.  I will continue to learn in 2015, this is my committment to you.

And the last resolution?  Well, it's all about me (Resolution #5 - Look After Myself).  Again, open for interpretation, but here's the thing.  At the end of 2014, I wasn't feeling great.  A quick trip to my family doctor and a few tests revealed a few surprises about myself that I wasn't expecting.  Don't worry, nothing major.  But the point is that I was neglecting myself and my personal health.  With my 35th birthday right around the corner, I decided it was time to make some changes to my lifestyle (better sleep, better diet, less screen time, more family time...) before I lead myself down a path I don't want to go down.  And if I can figure a way to preach this to everyone I know, and make you all get yourselves healthy in body and in mind, trust me, I will :)  I may need your support along the way on this one!

So there you go.  That's my New Year's blog entry to get you all up to date on what's happening around here.  In summary:  I'm going to be even more awesome this year because I'm finally figuring out my direction in business and in life. I'm going to look after myself better so I can look after you better.  And the reason I do all this?  My kiddos.  Here they are:


Cute huh?  Thanks for listening - you guys rock!  Call me anytime, I'm available for long chats about life, business and family.  I'm available for photography too :)

Wishing you the best in 2015, in your personal lives and in your professional lives too.

Lyndsay

 
Monday, September 22, 2014 7:56AM
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Um, wow.  Was that summer?  Maybe it's because we were blessed with the never-ending winter this year, but summer seemed so short this year, didn't it?  Of course, that doesn't mean I wasn't crazy busy photographing Halifax's most awesome families. 

But, you know what?  It's all good because I love fall.  And I love winter.  And spring too.  I love them all.  And just because the warm weather is fading, doesn't mean the photos end.  I'm all up for interesting family shoots in all kinds of weather, so don't let the cold keep you inside.  I'm here all year round.

Here are some of my recent favourites that remind me of the few hot summer days we had this year.  Beautiful sun, and bright, cheery, jacket-free images.  Ahhhh.....

 

 




 

Can you feel the warmth?  Gotta love it!

--

Lyndsay Doyle is a photographer based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  She specialized in organic, free-range photography, and likes to coin new terms relating to her work.  Contact her at info@lyndsaydoyle.ca to schedule your gluten-free photo session (too much?) 

 
Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:51AM
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**UPDATE**  All time slots for the October mini sessions are full!  If you'd like to be added to the cancellation list, please let me know by emailing me at: info@lyndsaydoyle.ca

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Fall is right around the corner, and so are our mini sessions!  Registration is LIVE right now, and will close when all spots are full.  All sessions take place on October 18th, 2014 (3-6pm).

Here's the info:

Sign up here:

http://www.lyndsaydoyle.ca/fall-mini-sessions

A reminder that payment is due in full to secure your time slot, and sessions are booked on a first-come-first-served basis.  All sessions will take place at my home in the Tantallon area on the afternoon of October 18th.  Rain date, October 19th (but that won't happen :))

Looking forward to seeing some new faces this year, as well as some of my most favorite "regulars!"

Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time: info@lyndsaydoyle.ca 

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Mini sessions not for you?  I'm still booking full family sessions for the remainder of 2014.  Contact me at info@lyndsaydoyle.ca for full details on family photo sessions.

 
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 8:28PM
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It was a crazy foggy evening - and it was absolutely perfect for a family visiting from Toronto looking for a true Nova Scotian look for their family photos. 

We had SO much fun.  Lots of laughs, lots of running.  Miss Ella is a bundle of energy, and I loved every minute of chasing her down and trying to make her smile.  My efforts paid off and I am completely in love with this session.  Did I mention they are all ridiculously good-looking?!

 

Tee hee!  I love this one :)  Those big blue eyes....

...and those curls, *sigh*


Love you guys, xoxo

--

Lyndsay Doyle is a family photographer based out of the Halifax area of Nova Scotia.  She specializes in photographing children and relationships in a natural, fun, and relaxed style.  Contact her at: info@lyndsaydoyle.ca to book her for your family photos.

 
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