A new location for me online…

Oh the busy lives of us all! Such things have taken me in a different direction for a while and I am shooting more families now which is so much fun! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my weddings but am only shooting a chosen few these days due to time constraints. So…if you are looking for a more updated blog site please visit me here. You will also see many of my past weddings on this blog as well. Thanks for visiting and I hope to see you over at Tamara Sharkey Photography!
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Dartmouth power outage – Nova Scotia Family Portait Photographer

a couple of nights ago the cities of Halifax Regional Municipality had a power outage. we received a bit of a snow storm that day. really not much snow but it came quickly and with high winds so together that made for flickering lights and eventually darkness. it’s amazing sometimes, I think, how we tend to take for granted the everyday luxuries many of us have. suddenly, the power goes out and we think, “0h, no! what are we going to do?” well, it had been a nice day and somehow the snow falling in big flakes was cozy and comforting so when the darkness enveloped us it just seemed fit somehow. don’t ask me how. just expected, I guess.
so, no big. we grabbed the flashlights and got out all the big candles we had, 6 of them, I think, and lit them in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom (it’s no fun going pee in the dark!). so it was nice.
after all the hubub and excitedness had somewhat subsided by the boys as they tried to put legos together by candlelight, we decided to make the most of it and sit down and play a game. this is something we do often after dinner so why should this be any different.
Steve had checked twitter to get an expected time for the Nova Scotia Power to have our area on again and it would be a potential 4 hour wait. what better way to spend the time and make it as normal as possible for the boys than to do normal things. we don’t need to suddenly sit in the dark wondering what to do.
so, Monopoly it was! I decided what a great chance to take some shots by candle light!
as we were setting up, I somehow got into this brief explanation of why we see black and white at night and not colour as we have cells called rods and cones. the cones detect the colour. how to remember? cones start with a ‘c’ and so does ‘colour’. neat? I think they thought so, but just for a moment. it was, after all, time to play by candlelight.
it was funny because for the first part I was busy taking pics so one of the boys played my turn for me. 🙂 sometimes we had to use the flashlight to differentiate between colours in the dark: green and blue look a lot alike, as do magenta and red. but that just made the game more interesting.
it was past the boys’ bedtime and we were still playing. the boys were getting tired but they would have been upset if we stopped in the middle. suddenly, the lights came back on and it was light returning to reality. ok, the lights are on so game over, time for bed.
there was no fuss. they really enjoyed this new experience of lights out. as children we are readily available to take in and accept new experiences with positivity and make the most of it. they certainly did. we did.
here are some pics to show…
btw, thanks again, NS Power for getting things running so quickly. you under-promise and over-deliver. funny enough, the temperature was 18˚C when the power came on and suddenly, just then, I started to get cold. 🙂
oh, and I had to manual focus at 1.8 so forgive me if these aren’t tack sharp. :0 do whatcha gotta do.

Posted in Personal, Portraits | 12 Comments

the happiness project.

Day one.

“Outer order contributes to inner calm.” Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project”

I just finished Gretchen Rubin’s book and it really got me thinking. Sometimes I ‘think’ I am happy, sometimes I feel happy, sometimes I wonder if I am only thinking I am happy to feel better on those tough days as a way to be content. But I don’t want to be just content. Don’t get me wrong – I am not a miserable person. But, I think for all us creative sorts at least, we are always searching for more. Striving for that one thing that makes us who we are. But, then again, as a ‘creative’ I find that what makes me ‘happy’ or ‘fulfilled’ is getting things done, doing things. So, there is always something ‘being done’ or something ‘to do’ not just in my business but in my home life as well. I like it that way because I can’t imagine suddenly waking up and having nothing to do. Ugh. Awful for me.

So, the phrase I started this post with is one of Gretchen’s Secrets of Happiness. It hit it on the nose for me or the nail on the head. I like to have things to do but I need order and then I am happier. I am not crazy anal but when things get done I feel accomplishment. That’s huge for me. Our home is what some call a clean home – we don’t have garbage strewn around, nor are there toys all over the ground. It’s just a good rule of thumb to clean up after yourself and it’s something we all do. But, being a very visual person by nature, knowing we still haven’t painted the moulding on the new windows (well, the widows were installed years ago, but the moulding only two!) drives me crazy!

There are always things to be done.

Being a photographer, and it being my main ‘creative’ love, you would think I would have my walls covered in framed images. Not so. I have three images total that are mine on the walls and one from a friend and another from a former art photographer professor of mine. There are frames waiting to go on the walls. Waiting for images to be placed in them first. They went from the closet to the floor in our bedroom and that is as far as they have gotten. I tried. But, hey, there are so many images to choose who has the time?

So, while reading Gretchen’s book one of the things I realized was that in the midst of always having things to do there is not much I am getting done. I am spreading myself too thin. I even took up knitting again so I had something to do while I sat down to decompress at night in front of the tube! It’s so meditative though I just could’t help myself! And I am still working on the same scarf from about 6 weeks ago and I really want it finished so I can start something else. See, too much to do and nothing getting done!

I realized that I really had too much going on so I needed to start laying some ground rules because I was overloading myself. On top of business work I have all these other things going on: I home school, am dedicated to my yoga at least once a day, must get out of the house at least once a day which takes me away from doing things at home (but the fresh air is so rejuvenating for us all!), I am determined to adopt at least a 70/30 raw diet so I am always dehydrating something or soaking nuts or beans or using the blender or food processor or checking out a raw recipe book while having a quick meal in-between home school lessons (breathe). I have to sleep, too. Not something I am good at. And there are about 300 photos yet to be put in albums and these don’t include any from the last three years!

So, after finishing the book I decided to check out Gretchen’s site and do my own Happiness Project as a way to get my life in order. Order for me is what I now believe is my path to happiness. That is why the opening quote struck home so succinctly.

It’s just co-incidence that it’s also the first day of 2011. That was not planned but perfect, I think. I am not one to do resolutions because I think we shouldn’t have to use January as an excuse to change for the better. Now, is a good time to change for the better! But, if I follow Gretchen’s way of doing things, I go month by month with my resolutions as she did, starting in January, and that way I won’t feel overwhelmed and will be forced to pace myself, which is something I am not always that good at doing. Then, after a year, it will be like a new lifestyle of sorts.

I already have some ‘Tamara Rules’ or ‘Tam-isms’ put in place and so far so good:

Only read one book at a time. I am horrible at reading about five at a time and I found I wasn’t finishing any of them. So, the first one I decided to stick to and finish was The Happiness Project. Good thing!

Don’t complain if you aren’t going to do something about it. Better yet, don’t complain, and do something about it!

If you say you are going to do something do it or don’t talk about it. (Pet Peeve and I think this is becoming a house rule.) This one is kind of like the previous but isn’t based on complaints.

I am off to a good start and as far as only reading one book goes…it feels so good to complete something and focus on it until it’s done! I am now reading ‘Yoga and the Quest for the True Self” and it’s so enlightening and a great read before bed. After that, maybe a novel…or The Dancing Wu-Li Masters…or a business book…

Which brings me to this ‘Tam-ism’:

•Read every day. Even if it’s just for two pages or fifteen minutes before bed. Reading fills my mind with new life and besides, I have a lot of books I want to read and finish so I can read more! 🙂

So, all in all, I debated internally about starting a new blog for this project but then thought, nah, I will add it to my photographer’s site and this will make me buck up and keep my resolutions. Remember, goals are something set and achieved, resolutions are ongoing.

I will post next when I have decided what my January resolution will be. I can’t decide between ‘exercise more’, ‘get the house in order (including frames on the wall!’, or as I am switching from shooting weddings and portraiture to only portraiture maybe just ‘getting business in order’. Then again, I could do it all because as we all know, outer order contributes to inner calm. Then I say, one thing at a time, Tam. Remember, getting things in order doesn’t mean doing it all at once. Because then, really, nothing gets done. Right?

So, off I go to check out Gretchen’s Happiness Project Toolbox

~here we go!~

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braving the cold when you only get one day to do it!

just a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being the ‘fly on the wall’ for Devin and Jayme’s wedding. what a great day it was! Devin and Jayme are a great couple and so much fun. this was my last wedding of the season and what a way to end it! there was much silliness and laughter. you could feel the closeness of the friendships of those in the wedding party and it radiated in the cool air. ah, yes, the air. it was not really cool. it was cold. these lovely ladies and men were toughing it out that day in the drizzle and I think the temperature was around 5˚ Celcius. Brrr…! Even the men had on their coats between shots to keep warm and they had on three layers of suiting! we all had a good time and here are some pics that are my faves from the day.
Jayme and Devin, you guys rock! congratulations!

the ladies took off their shoes for the 'jump shot' and I couldn't help but document their brevity

Posted in Fine Art, Weddings | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ladyshark portrait give-away winner!

thanks for everyone who contributed! I loved reading about your favourite part of Christmas and it seems family stacked up there pretty high. Gotta like that! (oh, egg nog too!)
I picked the winner using random.org…
congratulations, Roy! you are the winner!!
I will contact you soon about details. 🙂
Posted in Contest, Portraits | 2 Comments

ladyshark portrait give-away!!!

I am so excited to be offering this give-away! as the wedding season is almost over for me (one more to edit and how fun it was!!!) I am getting into the Christmas spirit already. Now, I know that Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet in the States, but here in Canada, that holiday is long gone and although Halloween is just around the corner the Christmas decorations are in full display at many stores. so, to join in on the spirit of things I thought, what better way than to have a give-away (yay!).
the giveaway is a free 1/2 hour portrait session and a set of 25 kewl christmas cards. the session will be within the halifax/dartmouth area (otherwise travel extra) on Nov 6 or 14th. (value of $140)
so, here’s what you need to do:
1. join my facebook page and mention this give-away on your fb page
2. follow me on twitter and tweet about it
3. mention whether you fb’d or tweeted me
in the comment section of this post tell me what you like most about Christmas whether it be the movie ‘white christmas’ (I watch it every year), bailys and egg nog (yum!), chilling with family (totally!) or new socks (gotta keep the toes warm up here in Nova Scotia!).
the contest will end Sunday, Oct 31st and I will announce the winner Monday. So, don’t forget to leave a link for me to know who you are! And, if you love me (or even like me) but don’t live here any longer, you could still fb and tweet about the giveaway (lil blog luvvin) and then someone you know may win and that’s okay too!
~go get your spirit on!~


Posted in Kewl stuff, Portraits | 8 Comments

I think I may need to get my hands on some of these!

I get newsletters from greenerphotography.com which has great products and great ways to help photography companies/businesses be more earth-friendly. I already use recycled cd/dvd cases and printable labels. that’s one step. I also use recycled paper from whcc for my cards and my event cards are from willow paper works which are eco-conscious as well. it’s so exciting as so many companies are realizing that in this day and age, it’s somewhat of a responsibility to do what you can to make the world a healthier place to live. it may be a trend but if that is what it takes I am all for this trend. none of us are perfect but we pick our battles. I know I do – I am a vegetarian turning raw foodist (20/80 I hope) but I do have leather boots. but, my lovely kelly moore b-hobo bag which I am almost crazy with anticipation for (it should be here soon!!), is leather-like.
so, greener photography has showcased these life-boxes in their latest newsletter. Paul Stamets presents  the Life Box, a special cardboard laden with seeds and mychorrhizal fungi. it has elm and pine trees alden in the box which you just replant so to speak and watch it grow. wowsers! seems like an ingenious idea and I may just need to try them out. the world could use more trees…
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NotL, a wedding and a tractor…

just last month I had the privilege of photographing a friend’s wedding back home. it was perfect timing as my husband had a photo shoot of his own to art direct at Fort George in NotL (Niagara-on-the-Lake) which is my favourite place to go when I visit Niagara. I think I visited NotL a total of five times and bought two hats from Beau Chapeau, had a wonderful dinner date with my super-awesome husband at Corks, a dinner and beer get together with an old friend who just finished his second season at Shaw (hi Craig!) and a nice dinner at Corks (so good I had to go twice!) with two of my bestest girlfriends for many years.
there were many highlights of my visit home including seeing my mother and step-father, various family member and friends, eating home-made perogies (!!!) and of course, spending a day with good friends and family for Dave and Amanda’s wedding.
it was a full day of shooting and I have many faves. Dave and Amanda were great and I love their sense of humour and I think their personalities stand out in the photos we took that day. we had the wedding party shoot at Kurtz Orchard which I had no idea was so beautiful. there was an old tractor just on the other side of the bridge and we all knew we had to include it in our shoot. glad we did!
for all those waiting to view the full online album, I hope these will help satisfy some curiosity for now (it won’t be much longer!).
~congratulations, Dave and Amanda!~


one of my faves - love the look on their faces!



yet another favourite. tractor on the shot list!



it not often there is a pic of me and I have none on my blog yet so here I am at the top with two of my bestest friends and two of the sweetest most beautiful children (miss you all already!)


Posted in Weddings | 5 Comments

super-excited purchase!

Okay, so after probably a year of dream and drool, I finally put my foot down. I ordered a Kelly Moore Bag. I guess I gave myself some time make sure it was what I wanted, plenty of time really and certainly more than the 24 hour rule! But, that’s good. I usually see something online and want to buy it yesterday. I have been practicing long-term gratification and it has made me feel better – although I don’t think my VISA company is too thrilled!
So, if you have’t seen or heard of the Kelly Moore bags then you must check them out. must, must, must. Well, you should anyway. 🙂 One of the biggest sales points for me as I am a big veggie myself for over a decade, is the fact that the bags are made from a water-resistant man-made material. Sweet. And they stand up on their own. The B-Hobo bag is like a ‘purse’ but you can have your camera body and a couple lenses in it and no one would ever know the difference. Love it!…this would have come in handy when we just recently went home to Niagara Falls for a visit/wedding shoot. I had my iPhone but that’s just not the same when you try and get a pic of your child feeding a giraffe! I got the tongue of the giraffe in the pic (it’s something like 18 inches long…) but no child. Hmpf.
Note to self: it’s time.
So, when we returned I hopped on the computer all excited to order and they were out of stock. Merde. But a good sign. These babies are hot! Got my email today saying I could now pre-order and voila, the deed is done. Ooh, I can’t wait.
Okay, maybe I sound just a little excited but after waiting this long, don’t I deserve to be at least a little elated?
Here she is:

To see more pics go to the Kelly Moore Bag site here and dream, drool and do the deed yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
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a conundrum perhaps with such pretty things!

hello, my name is Tamara and I am a Google Reader addict. trouble is I rarely get a chance to keep up with all my blog loving and inspirational websites and my (one) financial page. but when I do, I have some favourites that I check first and one of those is The Savvy Photographer. this woman is amazing and through just recently moving half way around the world Marsha has still managed to keep it all together online and have a fantastic new site and blog. there are great items for sale like the Barnwood flooring and frame collections. being a consumer (although I must admit I have cut back on my ‘consumering’) it’s hard not to just click and buy! there is a giveaway on her site and to get something free (fingers crossed) I need to pick my favourite item. oh, to choose…just three maybe? if you’re looking for a little consumer torture as a fellow photographer or just a fellow consumer, you may find what you do so desire here. or…at least help me decide! 🙂
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