Rome in a day | vancouver based men’s {contemporary portrait} studio

As you are most likely aware, the majority of our portrait sessions are women having the modern glam experience, but once in a while I get a guy in on his own, which means I do a lot less hip-popping and a little more slouching.

The other week I had the pleasure of having Rome in for a contemporary portrait session. He joked before coming in that his shoot would be very different than a lot of our women, in that he would most likely be keeping his clothes on (a lot of our sessions end up with boudoir set-ups by the last few outfit changes, as people find themselves so comfortable with the relaxation and professionalism that Sarah and I present). Well, ironically, Rome ended up offering up his shirt a lot sooner than most, and deservedly so. He has been in a personal transition this last year and wanted to celebrate the new him, that includes some new ink.

The variety in our set-ups was awesome and the laughter we shared throughout, lent to the fun time we had.

I’m excited to be sharing with you a small selection of images that embody just some of the variety he and I created that day.

Rome, you are a great guy and I’m glad to get to call you my friend.

from professional head shot to hip hop gansta' phoTobin photography's men's {contemporary portraits}

what a month! | vancouver commercial, wedding and {modern glamour} photography studio

So we haven’t blogged in several weeks. (editors note: this was written 2 weeks ago on October 8th) Sorry about that. I know we said we’d keep you all up to speed on what’s happening. It’s been busy… wonderful… and exciting.  We’ve returned to a little bit of commercial shooting for a lumber company, we shot a magnificent wedding and we attended a big Women in Biz Network Conference and met some great people, but the biggest thing we were working on… well let me tell you a little bit about that.

Last Friday we were preparing a BIG announcement. We were signing the lease on a NEW STUDIO; however, Sarah had to go to city hall before the renovations began to get some permits and such to be sign off…. And they said ‘no’. She appealed it, but for zoning reasons (they didn’t think our business was related enough to the business that is running below– a hair salon), and since we were a shared space and entrance, they would not permit it.

While we were disappointed about the decision, we are sure there is a greater reason than just the city saying no and we are excited to resume the search for a new studio space for our little business to grow. While the city may have denied the zoning, the woman Sarah met at city hall was helpful and did try to make it work for us and has given us some very helpful information. Plus, having met the fabulous owner of the hair salon we were going to be working with… I’m sure some great things are in store for future collaborations.

We do love the space we are in and look forward to welcoming many of you into it for your own {modern glam} experience. And with a little assistance from a great company that makes portable ‘window light’, our days will continue to be bright throughout the winter.

Plus since we are staying in our space, I don’t have to make any new experience videos quite yet 😉

So let me leave you with one of our more recent ones we did with Chef Maribel-


Thanks for checking in. We are working on our content to get back on our blogging cycle soon.

man, oh man | vancouver modern men’s portrait studio

We share many images of the amazing women that have come through our little studio, but as I was doing a bit of archiving last week, I re-realized we’ve had some men come through as well and man, oh man, have I enjoyed those sessions too.

If you’ve been in one of our shoots, you know that I mirror the poses, which with women includes popping hips, smiling with my eyes, weight on back foot and so forth.  It often gets at least a few giggles (including some from Sarah who has been watching me do this for some time now, so obvious watching a 6’5” man hit feminine figure flattering poses doesn’t get old fast). I do ask Sarah to please book some gentlemen in at least once a month so that I can do some more masculine mirroring.

Here is are some of the men I have photographed a while back. We’ve joked, we’ve laughed, we’ve kicked a soccer ball and yes… a few have also giving me those smiling eyes as they put their weight on their back foot 🙂

men's contemporary portraits

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shift happens | she said

This is a very exciting time for us!  Right now I feel like every egg that I have had in my basket is up in the air and I am just waiting to see where they all land.  Our home is in a major state of shift, our business is in a major point of shift and me, well, I’m shifting all over the place.  I feel like, with all this potential and all these unknowns, that I have been given a pop quiz in regards to my ability to surrender and stay in a state of surrender.

At this point, I think I am doing pretty good, but I guess we shall have to see how things play out.  Until next week…

Thanks and have a beautiful day!

yup! we’ve become “those” people | he said

healthy life!Wow. Every once in a while I re-realize what a shift our family has made in such a short time.

We’ve done morning smoothies (fruit smoothies) for a number of years, but in the last year we have become green smoothie folks. Yes, the entire family. 2x per day. Our fruit smoothies have become accompanied by kale, carrots, spinach, cucumber as well as a number of ‘super foods’ like hemp hearts, chia seeds and flax seeds.  Shortly after that began, it quickly spread through our kitchen.  Organic fruits. Brown rice. Black rice. Kale. More kale. Organic carrots. More spinach. Organic tofu… and local when possible.

Today at lunch Sarah looked at the bag of chips on the table… made with chia, flax, kale and quinoa and said “We really have become ‘those people’ haven’t we?”

Yes. Yes we have. And wow do we all feel better for it!

I still get confused by all the ‘nutrition information’ that we get bombarded with… but I’ll save that for another post.



Christine’s {modern glam} experience | vancouver portrait and posing studio

Christine Nielsen of Ms Pixel shares her {modern glam} experience on her blog,  Whine and Cheese. Click here to read it!


subtle and beautiful transformation with glamour photography transcending the everyday to see how beautiful you really are

Thanks and have a beautiful day!

engagement by the sea | vancouver modern portrait, engagement and wedding photographer

Amy and Brett found us by blasting out Facebook messages in the middle of the night looking for their ideal photographer and when we sat down with them we just clicked (yes, pun totally intended!).  These two are so in love and Tobin and I got very excited as they talked about their day.  In two weeks these two will walk down the isle and into their happily ever after and we are excited and honoured to capture all the planning, details, and love that is going into their wedding.

Here are a few shots from their sunrise engagement session down by the sea at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver.  The very place Brett asked Amy to be his forever.


West Vancouver sea side sunrise engagement session by Tobin Smith of phoTobin photography



Thanks and have a beautiful day!

true surrender | she said

So, about 12 years ago, I went to a friend who was a karmic astrologer and I we did a little trade. I created his logo and he did gave me a couple of readings. While he was doing my reading he told me a lot of very interesting things but the biggest thing that stuck with me through all these years was that he said, “you’re life is meant to be easy. you are the one who is making it hard. all you have to do is surrender and everything will be easier for you.” Between his reading and a scarily accurate psychic I saw only a few months before who told me that, “after having children, you will pursue your passion, you will travel, life will be easy and money will never be an issue.” Well, that left me feeling very optimistic and with 2 big questions.

What is my passion?
How the heck do I surrender?

So, after the first 10 years of trying to figure out what my passion was and declaring to the world, with a white flag in my hand that I surrender, nothing happened. No closer to knowing what I was passionate about and, unfortunately, giving up and surrender are not the same thing, I started to think that somewhere along the path I altered my destiny and life would never be easy or completely fulfilling. Then, everything changed one day when I found my passion. Glamour photography. (insert record scratch sound here. EEEERRRRRKKKK) Wait?!? What!?! Glamour photography. Isn’t that a super cheesy trend of the 90’s with big hair, boas and satin gloves? Not the way we do it! I’m sure I will go on about this in great length over time but it boils down to; Tobin took a Glamour photo of me and it changed EVERYTHING! At first I allowed myself to see myself the way others must. I am not a hideous monster and I was slowly believing I was actually beautiful. This gave me a boost in confidence, my posture improved, I could make eye contact again, I was okay with being noticed. My light began to shine brighter and now I wanted all my friends (especially my mommy friends who had also lost themselves) to have this experience. I was and still remain changed!

So, it had looked like I had found my passion (and it was the last thing I would have ever expected it to be!), now, onto surrender. HOLY CRAP! The true act of surrendering is the hardest thing I have ever done and I’m sure I’m only at level 1 Surrender and there are infinite levels:) .  The true act of surrendering for me was like slowly tearing away painful layer after layer of objections, other peoples beliefs that I made my own, feelings of worthlessness, default reactions, to get to actually making the decision and choice to be happy, to forgive the list of those who have “wronged” me, to actually step back and see, again, from the outside, not just me but my life and how amazingly blessed I am and how grateful I am. This all culminated last week when I wrote my SHE SAID blog and in that moment of true surrender things… scary (in a good way) things started to come together.

This past week has been a whirlwind of decisions, like big life altering decisions, and I am full to the rim with joy, gratitude and faith that those 2 people over 12 years ago, who planted a seed of hope and worth in my mind and heart, were right and with passion being aligned with true surrender I will be fulfilled.  I am serving my purpose.

Thanks for listening!  Have a beautiful day!

ok, I’m going to gloat! | vancouver award winning modern portrait photographer

So I had a different blog post set-up for today, but then got an email that an image I’d entered in the “shadow & light” category of a photo contest had won. (it’s actually even an image that I was going to include in my other post, oddly enough)

I think the reason I am most happy about this is that I have entered 2 other photo contests before (which I did win), but they were both for genres that I don’t really photograph much (one for newborn and one for pets)., where as this one is for a portrait!

This has certainly encouraged me now to want to look into more photo contests.

Here is the winning image. Simple, clean with contrast and a kind, warm hearted subject.

natural light modern portrait of a tattooed man in black and white


Thank you for letting me gloat a little. I’m excited about these little things that are happening for our studio.



casey’s {modern glam} experience | vancouver glamour and maternity portrait studio

Casey found us through a contest we ran with Sex and the Suburb.  She won a runner up prize back in February and was so excited she booked right away.  Then she found out she was pregnant and wanted to postpone her {modern glam} experience until she had a nice little bump.  Fast forward 6 months and we had the pleasure of having Casey and Mitch in.  These two are SO in love and can’t wait to meet their newest family member.

Here is Casey’s {modern glam} experience in her own words:

I’d like to share a special experience with everyone that I feel very fortunate to have had. After booking a photo shoot with phoTobin I was extremely excited. Being 6 months pregnant, you don’t get out much let alone feel sexy, or look much better than mascara and hair thrown up in a messy pony tail for the most part. For me, applying makeup or doing nice hair were never a strength of mine so getting dolled up is an extremely rare occurrence for me.

When it came to that magical day, I had become very nervous. Yes I was going to get all glammed up but did I know what I was doing?  Would I be able to take a picture without a double chin or grinning funny (thoughts that crossed through my mind all morning) Fortunately, after about 5 mins of meeting Sarah and Tobin I chucked all of those thoughts out the door. These two could not have been more warm and welcoming and downright comfortable to be around.

We started with my “before shot” which is a brilliant idea because it is so nice to see how much you can evolve. Next we went through my outfits that I brought, and then Sarah turned this no makeup, pony tailed mom-to-be into a beauty queen. Confidence level rose about 100%.

As Sarah was making me up, Tobin was setting up the shoot, mapping out in so much detail, what I was going to wear, how I was going to pose, what back drops or props were needed. He had so many great ideas; it was like creative genius at work. You can tell Tobin puts so much thought into his work, that everyone’s photo shoots are designed specifically for them, not everyone is going to have the exact same experience and photos.  Basically all I did was show up, literally, and the professionals took over.

When it was time to shoot, he guided me and gave me great tips on how to take the best photograph. It was so smooth and comfortable and I had Sarah at my side helping with the minor details making sure there were no wardrobe malfunctions and that everything was perfectly in place.

Getting to know them, the whole time, seeing this couple and how happily in love they were, it made them the best team I could imagine. They really know how to capture a moment. I took a few pictures with my other half, and I don’t know how they did it but I could just feel the love pouring out of these pictures.

They captured some really precious moments for me. I would definitely recommend them to everyone. Like I said, all I had to do was show up and they did all of the rest. I felt like I had such a high when I walked out of the studio at the end of the day, I felt like a million bucks. Not only did I have a blast but my boyfriend did as well. For a guy who bores easily, I couldn’t believe how into this he was. He and  I would definitely love to do this again.


vancouver based modern glamour portrait studio maternity shoot

Thanks and have a beautiful day!