Beauty and Simplicity

I was reminded of a soothing place I visited not so long ago. It's downtown at 217 McDermot Ave. It's a new photographic art gallery called Pixels 2.1 (Phone: 415-5480). Right now they are showing Rodney's nature exhibit, "Beauty and Simplicity". They are open from 11 until 6 Monday to Saturday. If you want a place to just be quiet, breathe, and take in beauty...it's the place for you. An intimate and inviting little gallery with some incredible images to see. Have a visit and enjoy...

Silent Night, Anyone?

I was coming home from grocery shopping, feeling tired and a little run-down. It's not that Christmas has been crazy, but the entrepreneurial life. Then this song came on the radio that just touched me right where I was at. Does it speak to you, too?
I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night

I've just included the chorus here, but here's a link to the full lyrics and some download options. It's by Amy Grant and is called "I need a silent night". Really beautiful. I've heard a couple of great songs by her lately. It's like she gets the life of a woman. So down-to-earth.



A very wise man I know shared with me that basically all relationships need three things to flourish:
  1. Time
  2. Truth
  3. Love

When we try to function with only two of these things, a relationship will suffer. Something to think about...


Celebrate Love this December!

Hey, we want to help you celebrate love this month. So, for 15 days, you can bring in your man and capture the close bond you share--for FREE!

Choose from a variety of looks to fit your style and your relationship.
  • Create a piece of art for your bedroom.
  • Make little keepsake albums to tuck into your bag.
  • Put your favorite image on your desk at work.
  • Hey, you could even make a calendar!
But if you want your portraits ready in time for Christmas,
you'll have to act now.

Call Rodney at 221-8413 Tues to Fri. (11:00-1:00 best)


What does it mean?

"Dwell in possibility."
-- Emily Dickinson

I don't know that much about Emily Dickinson and what inspired her to say that, but it's something worth pondering...and living. These words came into my inbox at the perfect time as I have been grappling with my own sense of feeling small in the face of a great task. Do you ever feel that way? How do move from feelings of inadequacy to possibility?

One answer that has just come up for me is to stop trying to go it alone. Sometimes moving from impossible to possible means surrounding yourself with the right people. Often, it means coming to the end of yourself so you can reach out for help.

I also think dwelling in possibility means having faith. Some people would define that as knowing yourself and having faith in your abilities. Although that is extremely important, that to me, that doesn't move mountains. I find great solace in knowing there is Someone much greater than I am who says, "Ask and you will receive". As simple as that sounds, it's not easy to ask. And it's not always easy to believe. But I think it's key to dwelling in possibility. I wonder what Emily would say?!

So, what great task are we undertaking? Creating a breathtaking art project that changes the way we view water. It's called "H2Oohhh" It will be shown in March (coinciding with World Water Day on the 22nd). 20% of all proceeds from this project will go toward providing access to fresh water for people in developing countries, and our goal is to raise $10,000. We also want to heighten people's awareness of our own local water issues and what every person can do to help preserve them. In the coming months we are finding sponsors to bring together for "H2Oohhh" to help make it a success (and that is where I need the strength of others).

Even as this post has been brewing, I have had the tremendous privilege of working with two very special people. Their wisdom, expertise, and belief in us have been instrumental in moving our project along. Just today, I also re-discovered an ancient writing that says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1) Yes, dwelling in possibility has a lot to do with faith and hope. And I'm so thankful for the people along the way helping me believe that what we envision in our minds can indeed become reality.


Simply Delicious

With the cold, blustery weather we've been having, I thought I would offer this recipe for a simple, quick soup to warm you through and through! It's the perfect flavour for autumn.

(This recipe is sized for 2-3 people. I would double it for a family).

Golden Carrot Soup

3 Tbsp. butter
1 diced onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
5 c. water
2 1/2 c. sliced carrots
1/4 c. rice
2 tbsp. chicken bouillon mix (I substituted 1 c. broth for 1 c. water)
Salt and chopped parsley (I used a bit of thyme and Mrs. Dash with the salt)

Sauté onions and garlic in butter until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 20-25 minutes. Blend in blender. Salt and parsley (or other herbs) to taste. Makes a nice creamy soup.

* just one note: be sure not to skimp on the water, and be careful not to blend on too high a speed or too long as consistency can turn pudding-like *



I was listening to the radio the other day and the question was asked are you truly happy? Can Money buy happiness? These questions really got me thinking. Part of the program was discussing a study in which over half of us answered that we would rather have money and prestige than have true happiness. WOW!!

As I think about my own thoughts on money I must admit that I often equate money with happiness; mostly I suppose because as an artist I’ve been conditioned to believe that escaping poverty is simply a dream that will never come to pass and if I could only pay all my bills and have the cash to buy some cool stuff I would in fact be happy. A few years ago I spent a lot of time photographing homeless people in Winnipeg through a local mission; I would do a formal portrait of them and interview them about their dreams and ambitions. One day I met a lady who had the kind of smile that could light up a room, when asked what her dreams were in life she said “I don’t know that I have many dreams in life, I guess it would be really nice to walk into a store someday and buy something that’s brand new, something that nobody has ever owned before, that would be a dream I guess.” Talking to these people, many of whom found happiness and pleasure in the most simple of things made me wonder why I hadn’t made the time to be happy in everyday life.

This week I’ve asked myself the question again and have come up with the answers all over again, but this time I feel as though I really am happy in life, I have family that loves me and I can love, I have friends who support me, I have work that I enjoy and I have peace with God. Don’t get me wrong, I am still looking forward to being able to pay all of my bills every month and have money left over, I’m looking forward to buying an old Saab or Volvo convertible as a date car for Sonya and I or me and by kids; but I don’t measure happiness by what I have as much as how I am living.

Where are you on the happiness scale, I hope you are well.




Cherishing Yourself

Do you find it easiest to focus on the needs of others? You are likely in tune with your children, your friends, your spouse. You tend to be a likeable person. You're quite adaptable. When you start to become irritable or snappy, you feel out of character and uncomfortable.

Women are geared to excel and flourish in relationship. But when we overlook our own needs and desires, we may find resentment and stinginess creeping in. Our levels of joy diminish. Our giving comes out of an increasingly shallow pool. And if left long enough, our body or soul will finally scream at us or we will find ourselves screaming at the ones we love. But with regular time to care for ourselves and recharge (wellness strategies), we won't get so desperate.

Do you know what feeds you? Do you know what you love? Do you know what drains you? Two simple ways you can get more in touch with yourself are:

  • Morning pages/stream-of-consciousness writing - Start with a blank sheet of looseleaf or a notebook of similar size and write whatever comes into your mind for three pages. Don't stop to think, process, or censor. Simply put down on paper whatever enters your mind. You do not have to "be" a writer. You just write. First thing in the morning is ideal, or whenever you really feel off-centred, need to make a decision, or whatever. There is something about committing our thoughts to paper that make them more concrete.

  • Collage - With back-to-school-sales everywhere, now is the time to pick up one of those coil-bound Hilroy scrap books. Take your magazine stash or ask a library for some old ones, pick a topic or theme, and rip out images that you are drawn to. Put them into an envelope or ziploc bag and when you have time and enough images, glue them into your scrapbook. You may choose a theme of interior decorating (things you love) and find your style emerge. You may just pull random images and find a theme emerge. If you are grieving something or have unprocessed emotions, collage can be a powerful tool as well.

If these ideas sound good on paper, but you have no idea how to actually incorporate them into your life, here a few more tips:

  • For collage, pick one evening for "me-time" and start.
  • For morning pages, go out and find a nice journal or simply buy some 20-cent looseleaf at Superstore, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and just do it. (Hint: finding a pen you love using really helps!)
  • But the important thing is to decide to do something that's good for you and then do it!

Another way to cherish yourself is to find things that help you feel beautiful. One way I recommend (of course), is to book a consultation with Rodney at our studio. You'll have a chance to get to know one another, talk about what an Eve Session might look like for you, and look at some albums of women much like you, who have chosen to do something special. It takes a little time and a little courage, but it's so worth it! Call 221-8413 or see our website for online contact.

One other thing: our fall promotion (Sep. 1 to Thanksgiving) is here.

  1. Every outdoor session booked will also include in-studio time free of charge. Outdoor sessions are $300 plus GST. It's a beautiful time of year, so don't miss it!

  2. Every person who orders a regular-sized album (starting at $495) will receive a free itsy-bitsy album (value $159) for free. You will love how easily they tuck into a pocket or purse.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will "Join In" or find us on Facebook (see sidebar), so we can stay in touch!


Saying Goodbye to Summer

A Meditative Walk at the Beach on an August evening

As summer comes to a close, I begin to anticipate the coming of autumn. It's one of my favorite seasons. Maybe it's because I'm a bit of a homebody and love the feeling of nesting, making hearty soups and stews, and using my oven again. Maybe it's because I love the changing colours, the falling leaves, the warmth and aroma of a fire when the air is a bit nippy, and the feel of jeans and a sweater.

Even though the earth is moving into a season of decay and dormancy, I always feel like it's a time of new beginnings. Perhaps that's largely due to the school calendar (I was a perpetual student for 25 years). Perhaps there really is something in the air that causes me to think of new visions and goals. Certainly, as I look forward to fall, the concern for my children's growth and wellbeing factor into how I want to shape my time and their lives.

What are your aspirations as we approach a new season? What have been the roadblocks in the past? What resources and skills do you possess to bring your ideals into reality? What small steps can you take to move in that direction (thanks, Alfa Life Coaching for these reflective tools). We'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment here or email Sonya or Studio at EveStudios.ca (just avoiding spam here by writing it out...please change to email format).

Check back soon for our fall promotion. Until then, remember that you have until the 31st to make use of our crazy summer promotion where studio sessions are $50 and outdoor sessions are $75 (a savings of $150-$225).


Seeing is Believing...

As women, we can go through life, gaining wisdom and experience, growing softer and stronger, taking care of those closest to us, becoming more of who we're meant to be, and still be blind to how beautiful we are. Perhaps it's due in part to the fact that, as we grow older, that beauty looks a lot different from that rather narrow category of beauty "out there", but still it's our beauty. So many people around us see it: in the way we smile, the way we love and laugh, the way we bring out the best in people, or whatever it is that makes us uniquely us. We may even have a partner who adores us and the way we look, but still we have our doubts. Here is the story of one woman who, shortly after turning 50, came into our studio.

Gale, 50
Business owner

I was in your studio in April, and did a photo shoot with the idea that I wanted a gift for my husband for our 30th anniversary. Another motivator for me was my husband was always telling me how beautiful I was, and I wanted to be able to see what he was seeing. Having turned 50, I think I was needing a bit more assurance.

The trip to the studio was a bit nerve racking, as I really didn't know what to expect, and this was something very "out of the norm" for me to be doing. Rodney made me feel very comfortable very quickly, and spent time getting to know and understand me. The day was a very special one for me, and one that I will never forget. Reviewing the photos was a wonderful experience. The private slide show really made me focus on the images that were taken, and see myself in a new light.

I am very happy with the end result, and am so glad that I made the decision to visit the studio. My husband was also very happy with his gift. He keeps my album on his dresser, and changes the page every couple of days -- my portrait on the wall greets him each day, and he has commented time and again how special it made him feel to have such a personal gift. Whenever I glance to the photos, I always leave with a smile and a little more bounce in my step.

All in the all, this was a fantastic experience, and I would highly recommend a session at your studio to women of all ages, shapes and sizes, not just for someone else, but most importantly, for themselves. I came away with a new sense of confidence in myself, and here months later, the experience continues to have a positive effect.

If you even think you would like to experience what we do at Eve Studios, I encourage you to give Rodney a call at 221-8413. Today. Or fill out the contact form on our website, http://www.evestudios.ca/


Celebrating Milestones

As I get closer and closer to my 40th birthday, I (besides frequently forgetting how old I am) am curious how I will feel as I enter that decade. My thirties have been a time of intense motherhood, discovering and developing my talents, and becoming more comfortable and in touch with who I am. What will my forties bring? How will I celebrate that milestone in fitting fashion?

I hope I will have friends and family join me in some way (I think a goal of mine over the next three years will be strengthening those relationships). I hope I will take time to reflect on who I've become and where I want to go. I hope I will take some time for me, doing what I love. I hope I will take some time and do another shoot with my hubby. Hmmm, with all that on my list, maybe I'll have to take a whole week to celebrate!

What about you? Are you approaching some milestones in your life? Have you just celebrated one of those "big" birthdays? Make sure you take some time to reflect and to celebrate. I hope you'll decide to include Eve Studios in your plans!

Why do a session?
Do it for yourself...Do it for your partner
Do it because it’s fun...Do it because it’s important
Mark a milestone...Make a mark
Celebrate your beauty...Celebrate your worth
Celebrate your love...Celebrate your life
But do it...you’ll be so glad you did.

Call 221-8413 today.


The Beauty in Every Woman

After our third child was born, I got the idea of starting a photography studio completely centred around women. I had been reading a book called, "Captivating", which talks about how women are uniquely designed. The main idea I took away from the book, was that every woman is beautiful. Every single one of us has beauty to unveil. And yet so many of us have been or still are out of touch with our beauty. Maybe we've been taught our beauty is dangerous, or something to downplay. Maybe we've been so busy taking care of other people, we've neglected ourselves. Perhaps we've been so caught up comparing ourselves to others, that we don't appreciate the beauty we do possess.

I've decided to republish my "Beauty Story" as an example of how we can fail to see our own beauty, and how photography can help us uncover it for ourselves. Enjoy.

"Behind all the doubts of my skill and worth lurks a beautiful woman who is rarely aware of her beauty. In fact, all her growing up years she only saw her intelligence as something of value. Many years of ugly hair and glasses coupled with a natural shyness left her feeling rather unalluring.

Now in her thirties, she is starting to recognize her own beauty. Some of it has come from expected sources like her husband. Some of it from unexpected sources like comments from friends and strangers on the beauty of her daughter followed by, "She looks just like you". But she can hardly believe it. And yet her daughter, breathtaking at times in her natural beauty, is before her every day as a reminder.

And then there are the photos taken at a beach in Cuba after she worked out for six weeks. Wow! She had a great-looking body with abs to envy! Never before had she believed that exercise could have such a noticeable effect on the look of her body. It made her feel confident; so strong and yet so feminine--sexy, actually. The images of her jumping the waves in her bikini, strolling in cognito in her beach hat and sunglasses--these images are forever etched in her memory.

Now, even as she looks at her body after having a baby seven months ago, she still feels that confidence and looks forward to recreating that look once again.

At Eve Studios, we believe every woman has beauty to be uncovered. Every woman is on a journey of revelation and discovery to find the beauty she's been given. Whether you've found it and want to celebrate it or whether you'd like us to join you on your journey, we want to make your experience a truly satisfying one."

Please visit our website, http://www.evestudios.ca/ You'll notice that beauty is truly found in every woman!

If you'd like to get started with a session of your own, please call Rodney at 221-8413.


The Strength of a Woman

A woman is a unique combination of soft and strong.

If you love feeling strong and alive through yoga, bicycling, dance, working out, or any other way of moving your body, consider capturing that feeling in a work of art.

Call Rodney at 221-8413 to book your consultation.


Mirror, Mirror on the wall….

One of my favourite movies for my kids to watch while I’m working in the background or watching with them is Shrek. I think that there are many reasons that I like it so much but one of them may be that sometimes I feel as though I look like Shrek and act like Donkey, quite the combination I must admit.

In one of the scenes a magic mirror is found and brought to the king, he asks the question “Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the greatest king of all?? (Or something like that.)” The Mirror who is painfully honest and a bit of a smarty-pants tells the king that he really isn’t a king after all as he has no queen.

I think I often look into the mirror expecting it to be somewhat magical and tell me something that is not true when reality often is what I’m faced with. I spent the first twenty some years hating my body and wishing it was something else, Bigger, Stronger, better looking, more defined muscles and the list goes on; now as a much more matured person (and 50 pounds heavier) I am finally at a place where I really appreciate what I had.

I’m on a journey to better health and that includes running several times a week which ironically is morphing me back slowly to the body that I had many years ago which I am thankful for; although I still wish I could completely be satisfied with who I am and how I look. Life is a journey and I’m finding that it’s a lot more fun while I’m running.





What are you doing this summer? Will you be away on holidays? Are you vacating at the cottage on the week-ends? Or are you looking for things to do in the city? We haven't planned out our summer yet, but I imagine it will be a bit of a mix.

I took a creative journalling class soon after my first baby was born. One writing exercise that was suggested to me was finishing the phrase "A great summer would mean..." Think a little outside the box--write everything that comes to mind without censoring. Once you've got your list of ideas, you can leave it as that, simply ideas, or you can go through the list and pick the things that are most important and focus on those. That way, you're less likely to get to the end of August and wonder where the time went.

"Do one thing every day that scares you" ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

How's that for a goal this summer? Okay, maybe it doesn't need to terrify you, but have you thought of summer as a time to try new things, be a little more adventurous, or just do something especially for you. Last summer, I flew to Ottawa with my sister. Being away from our kids for five days was actually quite a scary idea! But it was so invigorating and fun to get away, explore someplace new, and just be sisters.

What would you like to try? What summer festival have you never attended? What beautiful Manitoba destination have you never visited? Maybe you could make a point of visiting every ice cream or gelati spot in Winnipeg...or farmer's market...Or maybe you'd like to try outdoor yoga (see http://www.thelifestylepass.com/ for places to try it for free) or perhaps something like tai chi. I'm thinking of heading to Fort Whyte Alive tomorrow to celebrate the birthday of a friend by taking a photo-nature walk. Might even bring a sketch book.

By the way, if you're thinking that the scary thing you need to do this summer is to show yourself how beautiful you are, you're in luck! For the months of July and August, we are doing all sessions at 75% off (a savings of $150 for studio and $225 for location). It's a little crazy maybe, but you'd be crazier not to do it at that price!

And just so you know, if you or someone you know wants to do a family portrait or is expecting a new addition to the family, the discount applies for all types of sessions.

Have a great summer!


What to do??

I was watching TV yesterday and saw that this weeks lotto jackpot is 50 million with around 50 additional prizes of 1 million each up for grabs and I started thinking… What would I do with 1 million (Let’s dream small right.)

For quite a while now I’ve been dreaming of the day when I can go to sleep without wondering if I’m going to loose my studio and home next month or the month after that so I guess I would start by paying off all of my debt, then put a little bit away for old age. Now comes the good stuff; I’ve also spent a lot of time in the past few months dreaming of being able to build and fund an orphanage in India, a school in Nepal and funding a local guy who does work with inner city at risk youth. As I thought about these things I was amazed by how little money they all require although after doing all of them my million would actually be a much smaller number.

I have to admit I would spend some of the money on other things as well, My studio still needs some roofing work done and In the neighbourhood we live in a garage would be a real asset and of course I would claim back the insurance money from My classic truck that was torched last year (Again, a garage would have been helpful) which went to pay for the first book we published (Just As I Am) and buy a used convertible “Date car” for me and Sonya or the kids.

I’ve been reading a book on living the life of your dreams and one of the suggestions is to live like you are there already; so I’m planning on doing that. I have no money to support anything but I can take more of my time and support charities and causes within my community more than I am currently doing, that is step one, step two is if any of you have a million and are wondering what to do with it, feel free to steal a few of the items on my list starting with India, Nepal, or the youth worker, feel free to contact me for more info on these things.

We have all been blessed with so much, lets all start living like it and we can change the world, one million at a time.



My Grandmother was Right

As I think of Father's Day approaching, a day when we honour some very important men in our lives, I am reminded of the advice my Grandma passed on to each of her five daughters:

"Never put down your husband in public".

If her daughters started complaining about her son-in-laws, she didn't want to hear about it. If they had a problem, they should discuss it with their husbands, not the rest of the world.

The more I know about men, and the more I've lived with one, the more I love my Grandma's advice. Men need respect and affirmation in the roles they play in life, as much as we need to know we're beautiful and wanted. Where our question is "Am I lovely? Am I captivating?", a man's question is "Am I capable? Am I enough for the job?" I don't think we realize how we are actually attacking his strength/his core, when we put him down, especially in front of others.

Here's another quote I just recalled, from a book I perused once (it won't be exact, and I can't remember the author):

"Too often we end up serving our children and training our husbands, when it should be the other way around"

So, let's all take a few minutes and figure out some ways to show the men in our lives how we see them accomplishing good in their workplace, their family relationships, and their world.

The Real way to Prevent Bone Loss

Just read an excellent article on how to prevent osteoporosis with more effectiveness than calcium supplementation (from my favorite women's health author, Christiane Northrup). Read it here...



Some of you may know that on May 1st I went out and bought a pair of running shoes with the intention of doing something good for my body.

Just over 10 years ago I went for my last run; I needed to because I was applying for a job that had a physical requirement so I trained for two weeks and did my testing….and never ran again. It wasn’t always this way, in high school I was one of the best in the city in my age group in distance running; I was lean and loved to run. Now in my mid to late thirties and 60 or so pounds heavier than in high school I felt the need to start running again.

I actually starting running for two reasons, one was that in the last year I was feeling my weight run away from me; I had put on about 20 pounds in just over twelve months and it wasn’t looking or feeling good. The second reason was that my wife was starting to get concerned with my overall health, and I was finding myself hiding health concerns from her (Always a bad sign).

My goal as of May 1st was to loose 10 pounds in the month of may but I changed that goal after talking to a doctor friend who suggested that a healthy level of weight loss was 1.5 pounds per week or 6-7 pounds a month. As of June 1st I now weigh 207 lbs and my waist looks and feels better as well as the side benefits of my skin looking great and heart liking me a lot more.

My first run was a killer, I think I let my left lung on the sidewalk at the 1 km mark but continued on for another 1.5 kms. Now a month later I can run 4.5 km in about 22.5 mins and I have a goal to get that time down to 20 mins.

I have learned many great lessons in the running process; put one foot in front of the other, put the other foot back in front of the first, now repeat the last two movements again, and again, and again. If Oprah and I can do it, you can too.

Have a great day.



Time to be Outside!

With the beautiful weather and lack of mosquitoes, it's a great time to be photographing outdoors. Whether you want to celebrate your beauty in a natural setting, grab the love of your life and capture your connection, or gather the family (your own children or your parents and siblings) in time for Father's Day, we are offering outdoor sessions for 50% off (a savings of $150) until mid-June.

Call the studio at 221-8413 to set up a time. Rodney will guide you with clothing choices, finding the right location, and all that good stuff. Limited evenings and Saturdays available, so book now.


The Question of Men

I realize that Eve Studios is all about women. At the core of all females, is this question, "Am I beautiful?" (if that sounds really lame to you, think of the tremendous role that beauty plays in our world). We've all twirled in our dresses as little girls and hoped that someone would notice. And how that question is answered and whether we've been seen and valued as we grew up, especially by the father figure in our life, does a great deal to shape the women we become.

Lately, I've been reading and thinking about men. They've been on my heart for quite awhile, in particular since reading "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge. A man's question is very different. It's "Am I capable?" As boys, they looked for someone to say, "You can do it...you have what it takes" and to have a man come alongside and teach them skills and pass on what it means to be truly strong. Unfortunately, our society's focus on economic strength rather than relational strength leaves the foundations weak, and our media's message of "men are fools" (just look at advertising and comedy) only serves to topple whatever strength remains.

That's why I was so delighted to see Will Smith (and his family) interviewed on Oprah, and be completely inspired by his leadership, his insight, his strength of conviction, and the legacy he's leaving to his kids (in conjunction with Jada of course...). And a few days before that, Rod was telling me how Tom Cruise has an amazing vision for his kids and what he is doing to accomplish that. (We now have them on DVD...it's just made that much of an impact).

I'm so glad that Father's Day is coming up, because it just gives me the perfect excuse to talk about men and the importance of their role. I'm not sure where this will take me, but discussing our relationship to men and how we can help them be truly great is something that's on my heart. We can see all around us what happens when men's strength goes bad or goes passive. But how powerful it is when we encounter a man fully functioning in his strength, and controlled by his conscience.


Rodney The Dreamer

John Lennon once wrote a rather well known song the chorus of which went something like this:

“You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope some day you will join us…”

I feel very much like John; except for the problem of have a kajillion dollars to deal with and of course the dead thing. I too am a dreamer, I dream of a day when we all can look in the mirror and like what we see. I dream of the day when we can look at each other and instead of judging them, lusting after them or being suspicious of them we can simply look and wonder what their story is. I dream of being a lover and forgiver. I dream of a world where homelessness and addictions are a thing of the past. I dream of a world where we can all love and honour each other even when we disagree with each other… I dream of a world where I can eat Chocolate, drink Pepsi and still have a perfectly chiselled body.

If you are a little like me and have such dreams please join me in doing a few little things to change the world that we live in; you might want to start by buying our book ‘Just As I Am’, help someone who needs help, simply smile at someone, tell someone they are beautiful, tell someone something you love about them, Buy the book ‘Just As I Am’ as a gift for someone (That always makes me smile), look in the mirror and tell yourself you are special, and/or live life to the fullest.

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you will join us

And the world will be as one.


Spring--Time to Freshen your Business Image

(Erin Postle, life-coach specializing in weight loss)

As everything goes through a time of rebirth, we tend to look at what needs life in our lives. Maybe we get rid of clutter in our closets to make room for clothes that fit us well and suit our needs...or come in a colour that lifts our spirits. Maybe we wash the grime off our windows to let the sun shine in brighter.

If you're a business woman (and we are an ever-growing segment of entrepreneurs), you may want to look at the business image you have out there. Does it reflect the current you? Does it portray the feeling/personality that reflects what you bring to people in your business?

We can help you create what you're looking for. Rodney takes the time in talking as well as in shooting to help you feel comfortable and natural in front of the camera, so that the image that emerges is one that you love--because it's YOU!

A basic headshot session is $249 and includes the time you need and one retouched image that you have full rights to use for print or web. Additional images are only $49 each.

Call 221-8413 and talk to Rodney. This month we're including an 8x10 print with the session as well.


Announcing our First Winner!

My three-year-old son was so kind to assist me in drawing a name for a $50 Rituals gift card. The winner was Kim Drazic, who heard about us on the Sustainable Fitness website.

Congratulations, Kim!

(Come to think of it, I think I'm going to call them up for some pampering...)

Keep your head up kid

I recently spent 4 hours of my life watching a CBC movie “Keep your head up kid” the Don Cherry story. We all have highs and lows in life but I was struck by how low life got for Don. I’d always seen Don Cherry as a loudmouthed commentator with an eccentric style, I’d never seen who he really was.

As I watched I couldn’t help but think that we are all at a place in life that is very far from where we could be; some of us feel hopeless and others feel helpless. Don Cherry said that it was when he was at rock bottom he said a prayer and very clearly heard the voice of God giving him direction. Things quickly changed and now years later Don Cherry is recognised as one of the greatest Canadians in history.

If you are going through a tough time, “keep your heard up kid” there is a plan for your life and it’s a good one.

Have a great day.



Easter Reflections

As I look back on this week-end, I remember hearing heavenly music wafting in from--the street(!)--as our studio's neighbours (Holy Ghost Church) filled our street with parishioners and led us in the Lord's Prayer on Good Friday. What beautiful sights and sounds to grace the North End. I spent much of the day in bed with a fever and sore throat. Then the bittersweet mix of the arrival of Rod's parents from Saskatoon and the news that our van's back window had been smashed and a couple of important things for us (but useless for anyone else) had gone missing.

Saturday was a low-key day of travel to Winkler to pick up some local cheese (and lots of reading for me: Success Principles by Jack Cansfield) and then some egg-dyeing. We enjoyed some amazing BBQ'd pork tenderloin courtesy of Rodney.

And Sunday, the celebration day, found me doing what I love: dancing and playing with colour. Our pastor had an incredibly moving talk, weaving the pain and sorrow, the love, and the life and power that were at work during the events of Easter. After a nap, we had an Easter egg hunt with little symbols of the Easter story inside each one. To finish off the week-end, I drew an Easter mural on our livingroom window and Rod's Mom cooked a chicken dinner. (And in the evening, we watched "Fireproof" and I cried way too much).

A very rich and full week-end.


Crushing News and my Thoughts on Relationships

It was only a few weeks ago that I was ready to blog about Sandra Bullock's interview with Barbara Walters prior to the Oscars. I was so moved by the way she spoke of her relationship with her husband. How she has grown and become better and stronger because, as she said, "He's got my back". And I could totally relate because that's how I feel my relationship with Rod is. I am so fully accepted by him, I have been free to be who I am. And I have grown so much in the past fourteen years.

So to hear how betrayed she has been was shocking. I just can't imagine what she is going through right now. It's like the rock she has been standing on has been yanked out from under her. Not only that, but she likely can't believe how she thought he was a rock all this time, and she will question all the good she experienced with him: was it real?

When I hear things like this, my heart aches. What went wrong? Why do men turn to mistresses and pornography and "love" affairs? Why do sexual addictions begin? Is there any hope for healing and lasting change once a pattern like this begins? How is our society contributing to this problem? What is the message to boys and men? What is it they are looking for and not getting?

When I hear things like this, I ache for women. How does a woman rebuild her life? How will she recover from this emotional wounding at the core of her being--this abandonment and betrayal of trust and intimacy? Is there any hope for healing or reconciliation in the relationship? Is there something in the way our society thinks--in the way it approaches relationships between men and women--that contributes to breakdowns in marriages? What is the message to women and girls? Are women being set up for broken marriages by how they view themselves, choose a partner, or what they expect of themselves or their mate?

These kinds of stories bring me to realize what a sacred trust I've been given, to be in a relationship where I am to know and be known in an intimate way. Where I have a responsibility to build into and protect my man's sense of strength and vulnerability. And he has the responsibility to affirm the beauty of who I am and give his strength to protect and love me. And we are each uniquely created and a gift to each other. How many times I take that gift for granted. How long I can go without truly connecting on an emotional level in the busyness of life. How easy it is to tune into some "virtual reality" or "connect" on facebook with some distant acquaintance and not pay attention to the soul of the one in my own house.

If you are recovering and trying to rebuild after a devastating divorce, I ache with you. If you are married and find yourself drifting, I encourage you to take stock and commit to being present in your relationship, being grateful for your spouse, and finding one way each day to communicate your love and respect in a fresh way. It is a challenge, but the rewards are great. And if you're not yet in a committed relationship yet, I encourage you to find ways to love and appreciate yourself. To really know yourself, and to grow in your relational skills.

This has been a rather long post, and perhaps a bit deep for such a sunny warm spring day. Thanks for sticking with me.

(Praying for you, Sandra...)


Body Image--How we Lose Sight of Ourselves and What to do About it

How many women reading this have become so focused on certain parts of your bodies,
that you have completely lost sight of your beauty?

Do you think of yourself as a:
- stubborn number on a weigh scale
- a collection of bulges, sags and dimples
- a lack of curves or too many curves
- a size

You are not the sum of your parts. You are a whole person, uniquely and amazingly designed.
Your body houses your spirit. It carries you through life. It expresses all of your emotions.
It speaks your mind. It shows your love for others. It helps you transform the world.

Just As I Am is an art project currently showing at the cre8ery in the Exchange.
It takes ordinary men and women of all shapes and sizes and shows the art in them.

Rodney had been at a loss for how to help our clients realize that they were not the only one with a certain body type. It wasn't until a friend of his challenged him with a story of his high school art class, that the idea came to him to create a gallery and book of images capturing the beauty of real people.

This many-layered project touches on much more than body image,
but it was one of the initial reasons the project came to be.

Here is what one of the participants had to say following opening night:

"I must say that I was struck nearly silent by the beautiful images hanging on those walls. Reading some of the descriptions that people wrote about themselves nearly brought me to tears in some cases. I noticed an energy in the room last night that was...what? Awe?....Reverence? Perhaps a mix of both, but it seemed almost like that hush that comes over you when you know you've entered a holy or sacred place. I believe that everyone that was there when I was there, was feeling the same things.

Rodney and Sonya, you have managed to do what should have been done a long time ago and that is to bring to light the beauty that is in every one of us. We are so bombarded with media images of thin, beautiful, "perfect" people that it's not hard to start comparing ourselves to the artificial photos we see, and soon enough we start to believe that because we don't look like them, we are ugly, fat, and not worthy of..well...anything.

I find it terribly sad that it has come to this, where we as humans have lost our ability to see our own greatness, our own beauty and our own perfection. Beauty is everywhere and your project has helped us to find that again. In the eyes of some of those photos I saw survival, healing, humour, and for some an awakening. It's like a weight has been lifted off of us. That weight of striving to be what society says is the perfect person. What we are discovering after this project, is that we are already perfect people. We are exactly what God meant us to be, in all our different sizes, colours, backgrounds and opinions. Everything about us is right where it's supposed to be, and who are we to argue that?

I feel privileged and blessed and grateful to have worked on this project with you. The changes I have seen and felt, and the emotions that your photos evoke, are something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I think if you ask any other participant, they will tell you the same. This has been life changing. You have changed our lives and for that we are all grateful. Thank you for showing us our own beauty and perfection. It was there all along.
Thank you, thank you, thank you."

With gratitude,

Laura (and Ella)

If accepting your body is something you struggle with, come out to the cre8ery at 125 adelaide st.
Admission is $10. For more info, see www.justasiam.ca or the cre8ery's website.
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 12-5 pm, Monday and Thurs. 6-10 pm

(Show closes March 9th).


joy, ache

It’s been a while since I stepped into the blogosphere and shared my heart with you all, the truth is the last few weeks as well as the last few months have been an emotional rollercoaster like I never imagined.

When I decided to do the Just As I Am project I did so out of a profound sense that a project like this was necessary and that nobody was doing it. I knew going in that the idea of nudity would be somewhat controversial but I also knew that nothing worth doing is ever easy, I just never really knew how hard it was going to get.

We set a date for this project to start almost exactly a year ago, my vision was simple, we will put out the idea that anyone who wants to come to my studio for a 10 min photo session can sign up and we will take a week off of work at the studio and put together this project. We would have an online gallery for the images and maybe a gallery would be interested in taking us on to put a show together. We made up some posters, sent out some press releases and went to work postering as many places as possible to get the word out about what we were doing, but would anybody come?? What if we took the week off and only had 1 person come? Would anybody in Winnipeg really say I believe in this as much as we did? So many questions. The next questions were just as valid, what would our families think of us for doing something they probably wouldn’t understand, and almost more importantly what would those who know our families think and how would they communicate that with the ones we love so much? Would I be ruining my career and reputation by being labelled as “that guy” that did the naked thing? How would this project affect my relationship with friends and family members, or more directly, would I lose friends over this? How would those in my church community react to this?

It’s a year later and I have a few answers. Firstly I have been able to walk with those of you who have been a part of this project as models. I have heard the pain you have felt as friends or family members looked at you with “the look” and made comments that made you hurt or cry; know that I too have felt your pain. I have also had the honour of hearing the other stories, the stories of how being a part of Just As I Am has brought healing to many of our participants, and how viewing it has brought healing to many of you who have taken the time to view this work; and my heart is filled with joy. As I stated at the beginning this has been a crazy ride for us, we have always been forced into asking ourselves over and over again how much we believe in this project. This has been a year of reading faces for me: I have seen the looks of disappointment in the faces of those I love and respect, I have seen the look of disgust in the faces of those who realize I’m “that guy”, I’ve seen the look of bewilderment in the faces of those who simply don’t get it. I have also seen the look of peace in the faces and eyes of those who finally feel “normal”, the look of victory in the faces of those who have faced their demons, and the look of healing in the faces of those who are on a new journey of self-acceptance.

Instead of this taking a week of our lives it has morphed into taking over about 5 working months away from my business. We have also had to make the decisions of how much we believe in this gallery and resulting book and in the end it has meant completely draining all of our bank accounts and signing over interest in our house and studio to the bank to produce this book. I have learnt again that God is my provider and that I’m incapable of taking care of my emotional and physical needs and in the end I feel a peace about being “all in” to a project that I’m proud to talk about.

As I got ready to go and hang the prints in the gallery I got an email that someone I’ve never heard of has sent a message to the Ellen D show telling her of the impact this project has had on her life and asking her to feature this project on her show, I’m deeply touched on a day like this to hear news like that. Thank you all for your support, I wish you all the very best in love, life, laughter and tears if need be, and I look forward to seeing you at the gallery this weekend.


Just As I Am – Exhibition and Book Launch

Presented by Rodney and Sonya Braun of Eve Studios

Opening Reception: Friday, February 26, 7:30 to 11:00

at the cre8ery

125 Adelaide Street, 2nd floor

This exhibit and the book it inspired is a celebration; a celebration of our diversity and the different ways we look at ourselves and each other. It also celebrates the beauty to be discovered in accepting ourselves "Just As I Am".

Almost a year in the making, "Just As I Am" is a portrayal of over 80 individuals, who desired, for their own unique reasons, to honor their body, unclothed and unencumbered. For many it was an exhilarating act of acceptance and courage; a statement of being comfortable with who I am, just as I am.

Each participant in this amazing compilation is primarily self-posed. There are no contrivances, only the individuals themselves with Rodney’s skill and desire to capture the beauty and the spirit of each one. He, and all the participants in this powerful project, have been truly successful.

Share in the freedom, the courage and the unique beauty of
"Just As I Am"
Book Launch and Exhibition, Friday February 26, 7:30 to 11:00
at the cre8ery, 125 Adelaide Street.

Tickets $10.

Cash bar.


Celebrate all month!

We're extending our Valentine's Promo to the whole month of February. So, if trying to make it in for one day is making you stressed, you can breathe a sigh of relief...

I just saw the cute little pocket albums that we're offering free with our regular 5x7 albums. Love 'em!

And you can get your choice of one image or three to put on your wall. Great for over your bed or on one wall in your bedroom.
Tell your guy we promise it will be painless and fun...


Valentine's Day--make it special!

Did you like the images I posted last time? On February 12th, we're offering free sessions to our clients and anyone else who would like to come out and do something like this. Set aside 90 minutes on Friday (some evening appointments available) as part of your Valentine's week-end activities. There will be a half-hour of relaxed & fun shooting, a half-hour of hanging out with munchies while Rodney uploads your images, and a half-hour to see them and choose your package. Packages start at $295.

Call 221-8413 to set up your appointment time or use our web-form on http://www.evestudios.ca/.


On Valentine's Day

Flowers. You don't need a romantic suitor to get these. Although that is definitely wonderful. I was feeling a need for something cheery and healing, and a symbol of forgiving myself. So, for $4 at Superstore, I picked up a little bit of beauty and inspiration. This photo I did with my little point & shoot is perhaps a bit on the moody side, but that was the kind of light I had available yesterday (and perhaps reflective of my emotional state!)
As women, some of us likely regularly buy flowers for ourselves, and some of us wait for flowers. For those who wait, some have a chivalrous man in the picture or perhaps a supportive friend that knows the power of flowers. And some of us likely keep waiting, perhaps mostly oblivious to the idea, but perhaps with growing disappointment or resentment.
I think the idea of romance in our lives as women is a lot like what I've just talked about in relation to flowers: some of us are waiting for it (single or in a relationship) and some of us are choosing it (ironically, single or in a relationship). One year, I asked for two books from Rod (or did I just subtly mention them?!). Whatever the case, I obtained two lovely books called "Romancing the Ordinary" by Sarah Ban Breathnach and "Living Romantically Every Day" by Barbara Taylor Bradford. The first one is more about finding the romance in daily life and the second is more for fostering romance in a long-term relationship. Although I go months and months without much attention to them, I find myself returning to them every once in awhile.
I didn't start this post with the intent of digging out these books, but it now seems that their contents need to be heard. I've been wanting to talk about relationships more this year with Eve. And I also love to talk about finding ways to live life with more intention, colour, and interest. I am curious to see where all of this leads!
For now, I just want to say, with Valentine's Day approaching, that our studio can fit in with wherever you're at. It's not too late to do a session as a Valentine's gift for your lover (that word always sits funny with me). Valentine's Day can also be a good time to be good to yourself...to see yourself in a new light and appreciate who you are and the body you're in. Valentine's Day is also the perfect time to celebrate your love. We're working on a great promo "For Two". We wanted you to be able to bring your guy and have a fun little "date" together, celebrating your closeness through simple, skin-to-skin images with the casual-ness of jeans. We'll be posting samples of our ideas shortly.
In the meantime, here's a little quote from B.T. Bradford's book:
"Seize the day--and the hours and the minutes. Spending time together is essential to living romantically every day. Don't wait for perfect moments. You have the power to create them yourself. I believe that all it takes is a spirit of giving from the heart--and some creative thinking--to find time for romance to thrive." (p. 28)



As I am working in the studio, I like to have different types of media on, today I had the movie Venus on. Peter O’Toole said something that made me stop and think; it may do the same for you. He is walking through an art gallery with a young lady and they are looking at the Venus Painting. He says “For most men a woman’s body is the most beautiful thing they will ever see.” She asks “What’s the most beautiful thing a girl sees; do you know?” “Her first child.” He responds.

Just something to think about.


Tired and Excited

It has been a crazy couple of weeks which culminated in a couple of 15 hours days before finally getting our book off to the printers. Just As I Am should be delivered to the studio here in mid Feb with the gallery opening being on Feb 26th. This has been a crazy month so far and it doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down, we have a birthday bash for Eve Studios on Tuesday the 19th (We are turning 2) and then there is the valentines day rush followed closely by giving a lecture at the Manitoba Camera club and our book launch open to participants and their families only tentatively scheduled for Feb 11th.

The past few weeks have been a time of trying to put onto paper the thoughts behind Just As I Am; I’m afraid I didn’t do it justice. The themes I always end up coming back to are this, 1. We are more similar than we are different. 2. God has made us each beautiful and each very unique and there is a great deal of beauty in our diversity. 3. We are so much more than what meets the eye; and if we can learn to see each other as the people we are as well as bodies we live in we will much the richer as people for it.

I’ll talk more soon,




Magic Moments Misprint

We recently received copies of "Magic Moments"...a handy little wedding guide that we decided to advertise "Gifts for Grooms" in. We had to laugh when we opened it up, because the article I had written from a third person feminine perspective (because I didn't know they would credit us) and that did a fair amount of bragging about Rod (what I do pretty well), was credited to ROD! I had to tease him a little for being so "metro".

So for all of you just joining our blog for the first time after hearing about us at the wedding show, please know that Rodney is neither arrogant (well, except for regarding his good looks), nor flowery. He does, however, have a great eye for what looks good and a knack for seeing and bringing out the best in people.

Hope to hear from you soon!



What's an Eve Session?

An Eve session is a photography session focused on capturing your beauty and building your self-esteem. It is done in a fun, relaxed atmosphere with a photographer with expertise, professionalism, and warmth.

Do I have to do nudes?

Absolutely not. Though many choose the honesty and focus that an art nude photograph brings, there is never any pressure to do anything you're not comfortable with. The clothing options you bring along can also show off your style and personality, convey a mood, or create a look. Feel free to express yourself how you like.

How do I start?

Everything starts with a consultation. This allows you and Rodney, the photographer, to get a feel for each other, plan the session a little, and build anticipation towards your shoot. This is a great time to ask questions and find out the answers you need. Go to the contact page on http://www.evestudios.ca/ and fill out the form, or better yet, just give Rodney a call at 221-8413. He can't always answer the phone, but he will be sure to return your call.

What happens after the session?

After your session, you'll book a time to see and order your images. This allows you to set aside time to focus on you, as well as get assistance in choosing which ones to keep and what to do with them. We offer a wide variety of wall portrait options and albums, with the option of custom-design work added in to make them extra-special. We're always updating our product line to offer you interesting ways to display your beautiful pictures.

What kind of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, cheque, debit, Visa and MasterCard. Session fees are due at the session. Costs for the order are due at time of ordering...although we can accept a deposit with the rest due at pick-up.

Where are you located?

We are in the North End of Winnipeg, so it's fairly central. Once you call, we can give you more specific directions.

Why should I do an Eve Session?

That is something you only can know. We each have our own reasons: perhaps we have some insecurity with our bodies that we want to overcome, perhaps it's been a long time since we've done something just for us, perhaps we need a little boost in confidence--a little more sparkle, perhaps it's been awhile since we've felt sexy. Whatever the reason, don't hesitate to call and find out more. Take the first step. You'll be glad you did!