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Upload from July 14, 2011

laurenandrob200x.jpgWe’re Rob + Lauren, and we’re super excited that you’re here! We’re a portrait photography team from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We love shooting happy portraits of super fun people. Families, newborns, couples, and individual folks—we adore it all. 

***Take a moment, and check out the details on how we can create happy portraits of the people you love***

*Scroll past this post to see all the new awesomeness!*

Lila 2010

Well, I think this is a pretty good post to kick off 2011 with. It’s one of those posts that I’ve known I’d have to write for quite a while, but even right now I have no clue how this is going to come out. I get nervous so I just don’t think about it, and go with my gut. I’m sorry in advance. This is going to be long. I talk a lot when I’m nervous. :)

First off, you need to know about Lila. If you read this blog a lot, follow me on Twitter or are my Facebook friend then you’ll know about her. I talk about her a lot. That’s because she’s pretty special to us. She’s our goddaughter, and for us that’s a mega big deal.

Confession time: I’m that person who whips out her cell phone to show off baby pictures. Even at the club. During a bachelorette party. True story. If there was a contest for most obnoxiously proud godparents, Rob and I would be the frontrunners. 

If you’ve met this little monkey you’ll know why. She’s incredible. Every moment with her is awesome, and we get lots. We’re spoiled. 

This past year we’ve really gotten to know her. We learned her language and what she loves to spend her time doing. We learned which toys are her favourites, and what she enjoys eating. Most of all, we learned that she is absolutely fascinating. And, quite simply, inspiring. 

We’ve photographed Lila from the first time we met her. She was just over 4 months old. Rob had just got his 5DMKII and took some video. He recorded her first laugh. 

Since then we’ve photographed her many times. At her birthday parties, in more structured portrait sessions, and in the simple moments of every day life. She motivates us to get our cameras out like nothing else. And when so much of our time is spent working for clients, we pay close attention to those things that energize us to keep shooting even in our off time. 

When people see our work of Lila they sometimes say “She’s lucky to have you guys there to photograph her”. I’m going on the record right now saying that it’s the complete opposite. We’re lucky to get to spend so much time with such an inspiring little person. We’re lucky to get to photograph her.

With that said, I am very very excited to share with you the latest work Rob and I created for her. Here’s the story.

Lila turned two in November. Soon thereafter we spent a Sunday morning with her and her parents. (Sidenote: her parents are the best people ever. Okay, moving on.)

During our time together Rob and I were quiet observers. We shot as they just went about life. Playing, eating, sharing time. I took stills. Rob took video. Here’s what we came up with.

First, my stills. They went straight into an album. No online galleries, no digital proofs. The first Lila and her parents saw of the photos was this.

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It was unique for me. It was a style of photography I’ve never seriously done before, a style of processing I’ve never done before, and a style of album design I’ve never done before. I’ve never written words to my images before. I’ve also never created an album for a client without any of their input at all.

Did I mention that I was nervous for this shoot?

I was extremely nervous. I’m not usually, but this time was different. How should I prepare? Should I study? Brainstorm? Practice? It was on my mind for months. But when it came down to the wire, the night before the shoot, I figured it out. If I was simply *present* while shooting, it would work out. All I could shoot was what was happening in front of me, so there was no point preparing. My mindset was the most important part.

I don’t know if artists should have favourites, but if that’s allowed, these are mine. 

Click here to check out the entire album design: http://www.robandlaurenphotographers.com/albums/lila2010/

Now, that was the morning through my eyes. At the same time Rob was doing his own thing. And it was so different from what I created, and so incredible. I’m very partial to my book, but I am obsessed with Rob’s video. I watch this regularly. 

Music: Agaetis Byrjun by Sigur Ros and Glimpse by Helios

My favourite thing about this video is that you can tell that Lila is crazy about Rob. She looks at him so much and so directly. She smiles at him throughout the video. There is so much interaction between them. It’s because they are buddies. If I show up to her house alone she immediately asks “Where’s Rob?”. They’ve been great friends since the first time they met, when he worked so hard to entertain her as I chatted with her mom. He adores her expressions, and smiles so big every time we watch this and he sees her fishy face.

So. That’s our session with Lila in 2010. But get this. The crazy thing about kids is that they change all the time. Which means that if we’re going to keep an accurate record of this awesome goddaughter of ours, and her wonderful family, we’re going to have to do this every year. I’m excited already for Lila 2011. 

I’ll end this with a note for the photographers, and the people who just love to take photos. If you have a camera, use it. Every day. Shoot your life. The more you look, the more you find those incredible moments that happen every day. They deserve to be captured. It truly doesn’t matter if you do this professionally or not. Shoot with love and you’ll take great shots. Promise.

And thus ends a truly epic, in the literal sense of the word, post. Happy New Year my friends! Thank you so very much for listening. :)

Cheers, and happy photographing.

Rob &Lauren

The 2010 Holiday Card + Bonus Behind-The-Scenes!

Happy Holidays! Omg so exciting!! This year we sent out a pile of very awesome/ridiculous postcards to all our friends! In case you didn’t get a chance to sign up for one I figured I’d share it here! AND BONUS ROUND! As my gift to you, here is a little behind-the-scenes peek at how we created it! 

First off, the finished image. HOORAY A KITTEN! Best present ever!

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Now the making of. First off, we picked the image we’d use of me. But Rob looked a little crazy. Please note how wonderful those gifts are wrapped. Class.

He looked good in this one! But I looked insane. No biggie, just going to use Photoshop to combine them!

Then we needed a shot of Scooter. Rob tried putting him in the gift box. It was tough.

Scooter wasn’t having it.

He made an escape.

We got wise and bribed him with some treats.

And, just as the memory card filled up he looked straight at the camera. Woo!

Then I fired up Photoshop and made the magic happen. First off, combining our two expressions. That was easy since we had it set up on a tripod, it was just a matter of masking one of us in.

Then time to add in Scooter. Not quite as easy, since he managed to move the box as he flailed. So I put him into the image, but the lighting wasn’t right and you could see the very masterful wrapping job.

Fix it up! 

And finally it needed a little extra sparkle. Because of the lighting the tree ended up looking pretty lame. We took a shot of the tree without the light, with just a long shutter speed to get the glow. I masked it in as the background and BAM! Pretty!

And that’s how we did it! And, since I’m POSITIVE you are wondering, those are definitely adult onesies and you can get one for yourself right here. Do it. They are wicked comfy!

Happy holidays my friends! Looking forward to sharing LOTS with you on this blog in 2011! 

Lauren :)

Happy Holidays! Ninja Tourtiere!

Happy Holidays everyone! Hope you are having a wonderful and relaxing time, filled with lots of friends, family and food!!

You might know that Rob and I really like food. Pretty much all food. And the holidays are the perfect time of year to eat lots of it. 

This year we had a rather quiet Christmas day dinner, with just the two of us and my sister. A big turkey dinner wasn’t really in the cards. So instead we decided to do up a tourtiere, which is a traditional French Canadian meat pie. YUM! Since my sister is a vegetarian we created this masterpiece with veggie ground round (which, if you haven’t tried before, is truly fantastic!). It was insanely tasty, and perfect on a cold day.

You can grab the recipe here if you’d like to give it a go!

I’m going to give a shout out to the people who made this, the most awesome tourtiere ever, possible:

Steph, my sister, who has mad baking skills, and made the crust. It’s a difficult crust to make, but is seriously the best pie crust in the universe

Rob, my husband, who did an amazing job of mincing the onion. :) He also has incredible patience, and happily waited until nearly 11PM to eat this, since we weren’t so good with our timing. 

And Andrea, my friend, who knew of my affinity for both cooking and ninjas, and gave us the best cookie cutters in the world for Christmas. Without those this would have just been a tourtiere. And not a ninja tourtiere. And then I probably wouldn’t have blogged it :)

Lauren :)

Brock // Newborn Moving Portrait

A couple weeks ago we were lucky enough to spend a morning with Brock and his parents, to capture a bit of that newborn magic. This is the Moving Portrait that Rob created. I agree with Leslie, Brock’s mom, when she describes it as “Love in video form”. Enjoy!

Want a Rob & Lauren Holiday Card?

Well, we may be a wee bit behind schedule, but last night Rob and I created our annual holiday card. There is a fair bit of pressure to top last year, when we unveiled this masterpiece:

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I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that photo. Makes me laugh every single time! So this year we tried to bring just as much ridiculousness to our card. I think we might have done it…Maybe. Last year was just so epic it’s tough to beat! 

So, you want one this year, don’t you? Well, if you got one from us last year you’ll be getting one again. I have the list, so you’re safe. And if you’re a client I’ll be pulling your mailing address from our records (if you’ve given it to me). So you’re safe. (For the record, cards will be on time within Canada, but the rest of you will probably get these gems a bit after Christmas. Thems the breaks.)

If you are neither of those, however, you better get your address to us ASAP! Hit up our contact form, and send me your mailing address. If you could format it in the message box properly, including your name, postal code, and all those things, that would be splendid!

And, since I have your attention, would you mind being a pal and taking a minute to comment on our Coins for Comments post so we can give money to the food bank? Thanks friend!

P.S. We love holiday cards too! If you feel like sending us one just tell me in your email and I’ll send ya our addy. SO MUCH FUN!

Lauren :)

Coins for Comments and Fine Art Travel Prints for the Edmonton Food Bank

Update: Thanks to everyone who left a comment, we really appreciate your participation! We ended up donating $2 for everyone who left a comment.

In 2008 several photographers (ourselves included!) worked together in order to raise donations for their local food banks during the holiday season. They used a strategy known as “Cans for Comments” where each comment received on their blog within a certain time frame would equal one can purchased by the photographer for the food bank. 

We really love the concept, especially at this time of year! But this time we’ve decided to do things a little differently! Instead of donating cans this year we’ll be donating money. The reason being is that Food Banks often need money in order to purchase food that isn’t donated, as well as cover operational expenses. 

So for each comment this post receives we’ll donate $1 to the Edmonton Food Bank. You can leave any sort of comment you like. Or you can answer a question we love hearing the answer to:

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Rules! 

  1. One comment per person please! (multiple people per household is fine!)
  2. In order to easily track comments, only comments made on this post will count.
  3. This blog post will be left open for the entire month of December, but we’ll be tallying things up and making an initial donation on December 17th in order to help people through the week of Christmas. 

Fine Art Travel Prints

In addition to Coins for Comments we thought it would also be a good time to make a few of our travel prints available for sale and raise even more money! We’ll be donating $25 from the sale of each print to the Edmonton Food Bank. These could be really cool Christmas gifts for the photography or travel lover!

Details:

  • All the images were made during our recent trip to Peru.
  • Each print is titled, signed, and has a story about the photo.
  • All prints are created by Rob on our own professional printer. He put a lot of love into creating these!
  • The prints are made using beautiful, naturally warm toned, fine art bamboo paper and archival pigment ink.
  • Images are a mix of digital as well as film photography as indicated in the description
  • Image dimension measures 6x9 inches and is printed on 8x10 inch paper. You could custom mat and frame to just the 6x9 image and hide the title, story, and signature or you can use any 8x10 frame to display the whole thing.
  • Prints are $60 CAD + 5% GST (and include shipping to anywhere in North America, e-mail rob [at] robandlauren.ca if you’re located elsewhere on Earth and we’ll sort any additional shipping charges) 
  • $25 from the sale of each print will be donated to the Edmonton Food Bank

To purchase a print vist our secure online checkout page, enter the total with GST ($63.00) and in the comment field below enter the name of the print you’d like shipped. If you would like to order multiple prints at once just put all the titles you would like to order in the comment field and adjust the total appropriately.

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White Horse. Cuzco, Peru. 2010.

One day we hired a local taxi driver to take us on a ride through the Sacred Valley. Only a few minutes into the trip we called for the driver to pull over. We had spotted a llama! We climbed out and began to walk towards the llama, when we were surprised to see a single white horse standing alone in the field. Our favourite images always seem to happen unexpectedly. (Film)

 

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Banana Truck. Pucallpa, Peru. 2010.

We were near the port of Pucallpa, where bananas are brought in from boats, and then transported by truck around the country. As we were standing on the sidewalk a three-wheel banana truck came speeding down the street towards us. I began taking photos, they noticed, and right as they passed they smiled at me and waved, making this shot one of our favourites of the entire trip. (Digital)

 

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Corn Drying. Pucallpa, Peru. 2010.

Corn is a big part of Peruvian life. The country is home to a variety with unusually large kernels, which are often eaten dried as a snack. Walking along the road in Pucallpa, we found thousands of kernels being dried out on the road, using the uncomfortably hot sun to do the work. (Film)

 

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Bananas. Pucallpa, Peru. 2010.

Pucallpa is a major port city, and moves tons of bananas every day. Walking around the port brought us right into the thick of the action, and we watched for a long time as men would carry back breaking bunches up from the river, then pile them high into trucks, ready to move them further into the country. (Film)

 

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Typewriter. Pucallpa, Peru. 2010 .

On our last day in Pucallpa we went for a stroll around the main square. We came across a row of typewriters set up beside the road. We watched as the locals would bring their documents to the typewriters, and would sit as they punched out the messages. The tapping of the keys mixed with the sounds of motorcycles zipping by, creating the typical din of busy life. (Film)

 

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Houses. Iquitos, Peru. 2010.

Iquitos is a city on the Amazon. Inaccessible by road, it has a distinct visual appeal thanks to a major rubber boom in the 19th century. The city has the most incredible palette of colours of any place we’ve ever visited, and was truly a photographer’s dream. (Digital)

 

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Grazers. Peru. 2010.

The journey to Puno included some of the most stunning vistas we’ve ever seen. We spent the entire trip running back and forth in the bus, shooting out of both sides of windows, in complete awe of what we were witnessing. These cows were absolute dwarfed by the hills behind them, exquisitely patterned with geometric terracing. (Digital)

 

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Shepherd Women. Peru. 2010.

We were on our way to see Macchu Picchu when flood rains washed out the train tracks. We hopped into a bus to drive back to the town of Cuzco, winding through the mountains of the Sacred Valley. Our bus roared past in a hurry as we captured this quiet moment. (Digital)

Samples of the actual prints!

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Note: Frame and mat are not included. 

Again, to purchase a print vist our secure checkout page, enter the total with GST ($63.00) and in the comment field below enter the name of the print you’d like shipped. If you’d like to order multiple prints at once, just put all the titles you’d like to order in the comment field and adjust the total appropriately.

(P.S. If you’re running a cans for comments or coins for comments program leave your blog address in the comments and I’ll add it to the end of this post!)

 

Angie, Jordan & Owen // Portraits

Without question, our favourite part about being portrait photographers is getting to work with a family as they grow. So getting to meet little Owen, and see Angie and Jordan as new parents, was a serious treat for us. No exaggeration.

We started our Angie & Jordan journey way back in July 2009, when we shot them as two young lovebirds, engaged and ready to get married. I still remember that session vividly, which might not seem like much. I guess that was just over a year ago. But honestly our years tend to become blurs, so for me to remember much about a particular session is a big deal! I remember just sitting in the grass, hanging out, and chatting. It was a perfect summer evening (Canada Day in fact) to spend with two very wonderful people. It still remains one of our favourite engagement sessions ever.

Then, we stepped it up a notch, and shot their wedding. By this point we were realizing that we were in love with all things Angie & Jordan. Their wedding was quintessential. Love, laughter, friends, family, and just a darn good time. It was perfect. It was also the first time Rob shot with his 4x5 film camera, and the first time I shot Polaroid images at a wedding. So many milestones with these two!

So, when they told us they just had a little boy, we knew we would be there. And that we would love every moment of photographing them together. And we did. It was pure magic to spend an afternoon with them, watching them take care of Owen. As you can see in the images, I don’t think they stopped smiling for a moment. They are the happiest parents I’ve ever seen, and I really can’t wait to see them grow as a family. Owen is going to be so very special, because his parents are so very special. 

Thank you, guys. Truly.

Lauren :)

Gentle Hands Art Auction

Rob and I are very excited to be part of a very wonderful art auction that starts in just a couple days! So I wanted to share some details with you all!

Our friend Tracey is working hard to help needy children in Manila, Philippines. So hard, in fact, that they will be moving there soon to help more. Beyond amazing. When she asked if we could help raise funds for the project, we were in.

So if you are looking for a Christmas gift, or some amazing art for your home, this is the place to go. Make a difference with your purchase. Awesome. Bidding starts on November 28, so you have a couple days to decide which prints catch your eye, and then have at ‘er! There is some truly amazing work in this auction. We’re very proud to be part of it with so many other great artists. 

Happy weekend everyone! And click on the graphic below to check out this awesome auction!!!

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The Hlushak Family // Portraits

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These guys take approximately 10 seconds to completely charm you. True story. They stepped out of their car and we were smitten. Adorable kids, fun parents, a warm fall evening with great light, and lots of room to play. Heaven.

Let me share a moment from this session that I think will always stick with me, as a perfect example of the awesomeness of this very wonderful family.

We began the session with a stroll. There was a hill at our shoot location, so naturally the boys wanted to go up it. Jacob, the older boy, scaled the ascent with great gusto. 

His mom called out to him, “Are you a mountain goat?”

He quickly replied, “No, I’m an explorer!”

And then, after giving it a moment’s thought, he added, “I’m a gentleman explorer.”

Yes. Gentleman explorer. And now, reflecting on the images of him from this session, I can see he was right. He is exactly that. If this next photo is any indication, I think there are some incredible adventures in his future.

And while he’s off on his adventures, his brother will continue to be the most adorable little boy I have ever met. 

Thank you guys for such a fun evening! It was a true pleasure to photograph you!

Lauren :)

Owen // Newborn Moving Portrait

Last year we photographed Angie and Jordan’s beautiful wedding. A couple weeks ago we had the opportunity to photograph and create a Moving Portrait of their adorable little guy, Owen! It’s pretty awesome to see Angie and Jordan as proud new parents. It was also pretty awesome to see how much personality little Owen already has - keep an eye out for it in the Moving Portrait!