what am i proud of

I’ve taken some time lately to write out and think about what inspires me. What defines me. What I am proud of in myself, and what things I want to change. I believe there is huge value in setting goals and writing things down. I think there is huge value in dreaming big and always keeping those dreams in the forefront of your mind. I think there is huge value in always looking further, thinking bigger and jumping higher.
Throughout the past couple years, I am very proud of what I have accomplished. But I will admit, I can’t remember the last time I wrote down my goals and my dreams, or looked back at what they were last year or the year before. I think there is huge power in the act of writing them down, re-reading and re-visiting. Did I accomplish last year’s goals? Were they good? Should I have re-visited and re-vamped? Where did they go…
I decided to start by just perusing some of my favourite spots online for inspiration. Over I went to Oh Joy, and she sent me to this Ted Talk video. Ladies, it’s worth a watch.
Lizzie’s question in the video that stood out was, ‘what defines you?’. When she said it, I automatically felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure. And I didn’t like that. I didn’t like that I didn’t really know what it was that made me, ‘me’.
When the video was done, I wrote a note to myself that I would answer that question.
Oh Joy also wrote about Goal Setting, and as I read through her post, I made another note to write my own goals down. Starting at the top. The big life-goals that almost seem silly to write. Then the medium-crazy goals that maybe sound sort-of achievable, and then with the short term goals that even though they sound easy, are still challenging and so, very valuable.
I also decided to look back on 2012 and 2013 and write about the things that I was proud of throughout those years, as well as the things that I want to change as I move forward.

I am going to share with you some of these things. Some things I will be keeping in the pages of my journal and in the ears of my husband, as I think we all deserve some privacy when it comes certain things. But hopefully this little taste will shed some light on where my little life will be headed and hopefully inspire you to do the same in taking time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what the future will hold.

What defines me? This was my whole answer, straight up. I didn’t edit this. This is simply what came out.

My open heart. I am a listener. My passion for loving what I do. My family. My love for my husband. My new love for my unborn babe. I am a bit of a loner, and I like it that way. My passion for travel and discovery of new places/things. My love of all things sweet. My obsession with beauty and finding it in the strangest of places.

What am I proud of from last year?
I am so proud of each wedding that I was able to photograph.
I am proud of the positive energy I was able to keep on our journey to becoming pregnant and starting our family.
I am proud that we managed to sneak in our trip to California, even though we really didn’t have the time.
I am proud of how I decorated our house in Penticton. I’m no interior designer, but I think it turned out pretty darn cute!
I am proud of my new website and the way it portrays my business and my person.

What I wished I did a little bit better…
Blog – I love to write and I feel I could have shared more outside of actual photography shoots and weddings.
Always would love to travel more
Photograph more of my every day – enjoy photography for me
Boudoir/Maternity sessions – I’ve realized that I have a passion for photographing women, focusing on the simpleness of who we are and the beauty that we all have within us.
Focus and stream my business – I want to focus my business on the things that I feel are my strengths, which are relationships, love and beauty (weddings, maternity and boudoir).


As I said, this is just a taste of what I have been working on and what I will continue to work on. Thinking back on that video, it makes me realize how we need to be thankful for the blessings we have been given in life and focus on the good. I will be the first to admit, it is easy to get wrapped up in what I don’t have, or who I wish I was more like. Jealousy is an ugly thing that can blanket and camouflage all the amazing things that we can accomplish in life. Here is to 2014 being full of focusing on the good. Focusing on the positive things that define who I am.

xoIMG_1280A little sneak of our Santa Barbara trip with my huge, gooey, amazing caramel apple.

29 and counting

Thought it was about time to share my life-changing news on my little photo blog. And to make it photo-worthy, I did a little ‘selfie’ to show what is going on!
Many of you know already, but for those that don’t, this girl is all pre-e-egnant! Yes, we are having a little babe this April and are oh, so excited. At 29 weeks and counting, I can now say that I look and feel pregnant, but all in such wonderful ways.

I feel super lucky that the ‘timing’ in all of this is pretty perfectly selfish for my photography. This is all going down just before wedding season starts, so I’ll be back at it this summer with all my lovely, wonderful couples. It will be different than ever before, but I have even more of a commitment to ensure I am giving each of my wedding days the attention, love and dedication they need and deserve. I can only imagine the eye-opening experience this will all be, and the love that I am about to experience, I’m sure, will only heighten my passion for love and commitment.

As the time ticks closer and closer, I am lucky to have some wonderful ladies that are sharing their tips and little bits and pieces of info from motherhood. But at the end of the day, I know Mother Nature will simply take her course. Me, babe and Ryan will learn as we go – as a team. A new family of 3.

romance inspiration

There are so many things that I consider romantic. The big gestures, the little gestures, making me coffee every morning, stealing me a piece of cake from work and bringing it home for me…

And sometimes there is something to be said about ‘setting the mood’ for romance. One simple and effective way to create a little love in the air, is by lighting a candle or two. My favorite candles being from Voluspa (my sister got me hooked on these a couple years ago when she gave me one as a gift). They are heaven-scent, they last forever, and they come in these adorable tins or beautiful glass containers. Light up one of these and add a few additional non-smelly candles around the room, and poof, romance!


Candles are also an amazing way to create a beautiful, romantic air during a wedding day. This candle-chandelier from Stew and Kirsty’s wedding this past summer was adorable, and enhanced the candles adorned on the tables around the room.


I have yet to have the opportunity to photograph this, but one of my photo-dreams is photographing a wedding ceremony outdoors, just after sunset with a candlelit pathway to the groom. One day…


Photo Credit: Christian Oth Studio

Brian + Salish engaged

After three years of getting to know one another, Brian got down on one knee this this summer and proposed to Salish…

Brian is an Albertan boy who managed to get this lovely BC girl to come live with him in Edmonton. After a while of long-distance dating, she finally was able to make the big move to the snowy city and make this thing official. They’ve been together in Edmonton for over a year now, and now with a beautiful engagement ring on her finger, they are getting ready to marry this coming summer.

S+B came to Penticton this Christmas to spend time with Salish’s family, and I managed to steal them for an hour to do a little winter engagement session. We headed to Okanagan Lake and went for a stroll along the shore. I am absolutely in awe of the joy that they have together. It is no secret they respect each other so much, have so much fun together, are ridiculous and aren’t afraid to show it! The cold temperatures encouraged lots of hugs, which wouldn’t have been a problem anyways, but they definitely kept each other bundled when possible.

Thank you two for inviting me to be a part of your upcoming wedding. I know it is going to be an amazing day full of love.

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A little bit of fun!

If you are like me, you are still a little dumb-founded that we just celebrated Christmas again. And New Year. Summer 2013 is seriously in the past, and there is no stopping this whirlwind.

The one thing I love about January and February, is that in my life, time settles a little. The peak wedding season ended months ago and I still have a few months before it starts up again.  The fabulous family Christmastime is complete, and I get to enjoy working inside the studio! The majority of my photography takes place outdoors, as I love the energy that comes when we connect with our surroundings. Most times, I feel this is where we feel most comfortable to be ourselves. With a few exceptions, of course.

One of these exceptions? I have come to love photographing the beauty that is each and every woman. To celebrate what is unique about each of us. This normally is best done between the comfort of 4 walls, and I love to have the opportunity to host ladies in my little studio to do just that.

So ladies, if there is any time to celebrate who you are, where you have come from, and where you are going, now is the time. I believe these sessions are perfect for every single woman, no matter the path of your life. Because I naturally work with couples getting married, this often can be an opportunity to create a fun, unique gift for your husband-to-be. It is also a fabulous way to celebrate an anniversary (especially the first, since the traditional gift is ‘paper’ – stunning photo album, anyone?). I also love to have single, independent women come to the studio wanting to create a book that is just for her. Something to cherish.

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If you are thinking about booking a session, send me a message at hello@janellephotography.ca and I’ll send you some of the little details…