Cactus Sun Studio: Blog en-us (C) Cactus Sun Studio (Cactus Sun Studio) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:35:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:35:00 GMT Cactus Sun Studio: Blog 86 120 Create the Incredible - Fine Art Portraiture I know it's been ages since I've last done a blog post!  I've been spending some time "recalibrating" my photography.  While I still LOVE LOVE LOVE photographing maternity portraits and of course I can't get enough of the amazing newborn shoots, I've been shifting gears a touch.  I've been very inspired by some amazing photographers I've been following lately - Sue Bryce, Lara Jade, Brooke Shaden, Lindsay Adler - to name a few.  I really want to kick it up a notch with a focus on fine art portraiture.  Recently I watched an incredible three day class on CreativeLIVE called Create the Incredible (with Sue Bryce and Lara Jade).  Sue Bryce took a photo of a beautiful model and then challenged everyone to take that photo and create something incredible with it.  The photo below is my attempt at doing just that.  It's not perfect and it certainly may not be to everyone's liking - but I'm INSPIRED!  And inspiration feels so incredibly sweet these days.  I hope to continue to learn, continue to grow, continue to be inspired with my photography and I hope to share more of these types of photos with you in the future.

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) art beautiful creative fine photography portrait Thu, 31 Oct 2013 19:00:16 GMT
Floral Photography It's been ages (and I mean AGES) since I've done a blog post.  As many of you know, my husband and I spend winters in Arizona.  While in the U.S. I do not take any paying clients (a. I'm not allowed to and b. I do not want to risk being banned from entering this beautiful country every winter!).  But I do continually take photographs - they just are all for my own enjoyment! 

I've been a member of a fantastic forum called Rock The Shot ( 

I've learned so much from this forum (and have been so inspired by all of the wonderful members).  The March Challenge on Rock the Shot Forum is a floral still-life.  It's been quite some time since I tried my hand at a floral shot, so this challenge was just the kick in the butt I needed!  I hope you like the shot (and the way I processed it).  I had great fun putting it together!


]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) art beautiful fine floral photography picture still-life Sat, 16 Mar 2013 23:34:55 GMT
Panorama Photography Every summer we spend up to 2 glorious weeks hiking in Willmore Wilderness Area.  It is a beautiful setting.  It's hard work getting my butt up onto a ridge (particularly given the fact that I'm lugging my camera gear up as well!), but the stunning views always make it worthwhile.  This year I took a panorama up on one of those ridgelines and I'm so happy I did.  The photo below is actually eight separate images that I then "stitched" together.  You can see my husband, Peter, on the far right hiking up to the top! 

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) Wed, 12 Sep 2012 23:27:48 GMT
Another new love - creamy dreamy waterfalls! So my last post was about my newly invigorated love of macro photography, and already that love has been pushed aside for another!  I sound like I have a problem with photography-infidelity :)  Ah well... variety is the spice of life.  My new love?  Soft and creamy and dreamy waterfalls!  It has been great learning how to take these photos - particularly on bright sunny days (when it's much more difficult to get the result I like).  The trick is a long shutter speed, but you have to balance that with what the natural light level is.  If not, you'll have a nice soft water effect, but everything will be much too bright and over-exposed.  So, what's the trick?  A variable neutral density filter, that's what!  This way I can trick the camera into thinking it's much darker outside than it really is and hence a long exposure won't blow everything out.  Cool eh?  These "waterfalls" I was photographing are really only creeks, so I'm looking forward to hunting down and shooting some of the big ones!  Ahhh... so much photography to play with and so little time...

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful nature photography picture water waterfall Mon, 03 Sep 2012 22:29:55 GMT
A new love for macro photography I am just back from two weeks of hiking in the beautiful, yet rugged, Willmore Wilderness Area in Alberta, Canada.  It was an adventurous couple of weeks, but of course I found time to pull out my camera and tripod.  One of the great outcomes from this trip is a new found (or maybe newly invigorated is a better choice of words) love of macro photography!  I had a great time hunting down suitable subjects and then working to try to get some interesting shots.  I love the photograph of this mushroom for exactly that reason... I find it interesting!  I'm used to looking at mushrooms from a height of 5'3" (yes, I'm a shorty).  With my macro lens I was inspired to change that up.  This shot was taken when I was laying flat on the ground.  In fact I had to scrunch myself down as much as possible to get the angle of looking up into the mushroom cap.  I love the ripples and waves ~ it almost looks fluid!  Seeing the world from a different angle is inspiring to me.  I hope to share more macro photography with you in the future!  In the meantime, I'm also going to share this macro shot with my friends at  They have a great contest going on right now for macro photography; check it out!

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful macro mushroom photography picture Thu, 23 Aug 2012 16:54:38 GMT
Time Lapse Photography I have always been drawn to time lapse photography videos.  I think it is so cool to put a bunch of still photos together and have them play and look like a video.  It reminds me of being a kid and flipping through the pages of a book with a drawing in the corner of each page and having it look like the drawing was moving.  Remember those???  I was enthralled by them!  Haha - okay maybe it's just me...

Yesterday I shot 600 photos over 2 1/2 hours as the morning mist rolled in and then I put them together into my first ever time lapse video.  That's 600 photos and 2 1/2 hours condensed down into 1 minute!  I can see some things I would do differently and there definitely were some lessons learned, but overall I'm pretty darn happy with it.  Not only am I pleased with the outcome, but I really enjoyed the process and look forward to doing many more in the future.

I call the video "Morning Mist" and I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I do!

Morning Mist

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful photography picture video Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:42:45 GMT
Family Collage After a fun filled evening in a local park with this amazing family, I couldn't stop smiling!  The love between the three of them is all encompassing.  It just oozes out everywhere :)  We got so many great shots I just had to try to put them all together into one "snapshot".  Sometimes these collages are just the ticket for highlighting all of the fun and giggles and personality and love.  This was one of those times.


]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) Wed, 13 Jun 2012 00:15:52 GMT
A new adventure with night photography I have spent many years studying photography be it through College courses, on-line courses, workshops around the world, you name it... but a recent course I took totally intrigued me.  The course was in Night Photography.  I fell in love with it!  It is so much fun running around in the middle of the night trying to create as a photograph the image you have in your minds eye.  It's not easy I tell ya!  More than once did I head off in the wrong direction and actually lose where my camera was perched.  Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it and I know I'll be doing more of this in the future. 

Here's a peek at one of my night photographs - an old Valiant - which I painted with light.  It appears to have come alive after all this time neglected out in a field. 

I'm sure you'll see more night photography from me in the future.  It's a new creative outlet for me that I'm itching to get back to.

Let me know what you think!

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) Thu, 24 May 2012 23:36:04 GMT
An AMAZING Opportunity with Crave Photography!!! There is an AMAZING contest going on over at Crave Photography!  Not only can you win a FREE all expense paid 2 day in-person workshop and a FREE 50mm 1.4 lens, but there are a whole bus-load of other wonderful vendors giving away prizes as well.  You can check out the details at

Winning this would be a dream come true for this girl!!!

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) Tue, 15 May 2012 22:22:39 GMT
Reflection of a Mother's Love I've titled this photograph "Reflection of a Mother's Love".  I don't take any credit for the idea behind the photograph - I have seen it done by other wonderful photographers.  It has been a photograph I have wanted to put together for some time and I'm so happy with the outcome.  Little Mr. J did NOT want to lay nice and still on his Mom I'll tell ya!  He was ready to crawl right up her!  For a newborn he was incredibly strong and wanted to be on the go.  Nonetheless, as I've learned, it only takes one good shot and I think we captured him.  And Mom was so beautiful with her baby bump in the reflection, don't you agree?

All in all - it is heartwarming to reflect on love and that's what this photo does for me.

Reflection of Love

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful maternity newborn photography picture portrait pregnancy reflection Tue, 08 May 2012 20:28:56 GMT
From Bump to Baby Collage I so so so wish I had done this kind of thing back in the day when I was pregnant with my two beautiful daughters.  What an amazing way to remember and cherish such an exciting and sweet journey.  This beautiful mama popped into the studio once a month for us to photograph her growing baby bump and then we finished the series off during the newborn session.  I loved getting to know her over her pregnancy and with the arrival of beautiful Baby G, you can see the absolute love that blossomed.

Bump to Baby Collage Bump to Baby Collage 2

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful maternity newborn photography picture portrait pregnancy Mon, 30 Apr 2012 22:19:20 GMT
Daddy's Baby Girl - Edmonton, Alberta Newborn Photography This newborn photography session was such an incredible joy.  Baby G was the perfect model!  She's the first newborn ever in my studio to not poop or pee on anything!  Seriously... that NEVER happens!  I'm ALWAYS getting peed and pooped on :) And her Mommy and Daddy are just gorgeous people inside and out.  The LOVE in this family is so evident.  It makes me smile just thinking about it. 

There's just something about a Daddy and his newborn baby girl that screams LOVE. Can't you just tell that she already has him wrapped around her little finger?!?! 

Daddy's Baby Girl


]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful newborn photography picture portrait Sun, 22 Apr 2012 17:53:59 GMT
Little Girl Full of Fun Collage This beautiful little lady was so much fun to photograph!  Not only is she gorgeous (look at those adorable curls for crying out loud!), but she has such a fun personality ~ so full of spunk!  Just check out those awesome dance moves!  I loved every minute of capturing this sweet time in her life.  Thank you R & L for sharing Little Miss M with me!

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful children photography picture portrait Fri, 23 Mar 2012 19:45:36 GMT
I entered the Epiphanie Camera Bags Picture It photo contest. On occasion I enter photography contests.  Win or not, I think they help me to grow as a photographer.  The contest sponsored by Epiphanie Camera Bags (their bags are gorgeous by the way) has the theme "Green".  I just couldn't help but think of this little pea in a pod!  Isn't he just the sweetest little green veggie ever?!?!

Newborn, photography, beautiful, greenPeas in a Pod

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful green newborn photography picture portrait Wed, 14 Mar 2012 00:20:50 GMT
A Simple Silhouette | Edmonton, Alberta Maternity ~ Newborn ~ Family Photography I find that so often with my photography, it's the simple photo that reaches out and grabs me.  It's not "styled" - It's not "posed" - It's not full of props.  Silhouettes can tell such amazing stories - and they are basically just all black against all white.  Granted this one does have a little bit of light spilling around the pregnant mama, but it's not much.  You are essentially just looking at a colored in outline!  How cool is that?  I love this photo for it's simplicity and the story it tells.  It grabs me!

Silhouette - Maternity


]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful maternity photography picture portrait pregnancy silhouette Mon, 12 Mar 2012 23:21:02 GMT
My New Blog! Starting with a Maternity photo I love! Such a beautiful mama for my very first blog post! 

A maternity photo session showing off her beautiful baby bump.2016_05_20_LU4572

]]> (Cactus Sun Studio) beautiful maternity photography picture portrait pregnancy Thu, 01 Mar 2012 23:35:30 GMT