Caitlin Cleveland Photography » Caitlin Cleveland Photography Blog

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I adore this little baby girl! She was a treat to photograph both while on the inside and on the outside! I met her momma for the first time at her maternity session and loved every second of it. We started at Fred Henne, a favourite meeting place of mine- easy to find, easy to park. And from there went on a wonderful adventure photographing a beautiful, kind momma and a gorgeous baby bump while the tamaracks were gorgeous vibrant yellow! Fast forward a few months into snow and cold, and this family, now a family of three, treated me to a wonderful afternoon of perfect baby snuggles. Beautiful Baby H was snuggly perfection with incredible cheeks!   All the very best!  BOHNET005 copyBOHNET013 copyBOHNET019 copyBOHNET035 copyBOHNET041 copyBOHNET060 copyDSC_2819 copyDSC_2792DSC_2903 copyDSC_3196.1DSC_2948 copy

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“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known—and even that is an understatement.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Happy second anniversary Tara and Scott! I cannot believe it has already been two years since your incredible destination wedding!

Tara and Scott were married in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, at the fabulous Ocean Blue resort where they wined, dined, and leisured with 68 of their favourite people before their long-awaited very special day. Here are just a couple of my favourite images.

 

 

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I have only just met Brendan, but have known Meagan since a few days shy of my fourth birthday. We shared a childhood of northern bush adventures of make believe, fort building, slushies, park playdates and both have the same first cabbage patch doll- that’s serious. Today, Meagan is a budding entrepreneur and strong-handed, tender conversationalist behind Ethanda Day Spa. A few weeks ago I was honoured to celebrate a new kind of adventure with Meagan- her beautiful wedding day! On July 5, on the shores of Great Slave Lake here in Yellowknife, Meagan married then man that captured her heart, complimented her soul, and gave her the best gift just two months before their big day- a beautiful baby boy!

Thank you Meagan and Brendan for inviting me to photograph such a wonderful day; the forest fire smoke cleared, the sun came out, and both of your ear to ear smiles made for a perfect day! I wish you both all the very best with your gorgeous boy with the most fabulous epic hair!

Here are a few of my favourite images from Meagan & Brendan’s wedding day.

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2014 has been an exciting year so far. We welcomed our third baby boy and life has not slowed down at all. Growing our trio of gents has happily taken up much of our time. Making sure I am getting them out, mastering finger painting, and working on my own fears of admitting my middle dude is ready to take off his training wheels. To keep things interesting, we are in the process of building our very first detached, stick-built home, with a natural light studio on a northern lake surrounded by incredible neighbours. And somewhere in the mix of keeping up with my equally as busy clients and friends, I realized that this July is my tenniversary- ten fabulous years of photographing northerners in their element, with their most precious people. Ten years of love, laughter, tears and wonder. That’s 120 months or 522 weeks or 3652 days or 87648 hours or 5 258 880 minutes or 315 532 800 seconds of experimenting, dreaming, creating and learning- and I cannot picture another ten without it or any of you! During that time I have gone through 3 camera bags, 4 flashes, 4 computers, 6 cameras, a few dozen memory cards and an obscene amount of shutters releases.

I feel so blessed to spend my days capturing and archiving such incredible people doing what they adore with the people they love. I feel honoured that my clients walk through my doors, sometimes for the very first time and trust me with their brand new one week old bundles of joy. I feel humbled when a woman bares her soul to me during a boudoir session and trusts me to capture her timeless beauty. I still can’t make it through a wedding without a few tears as if  I am witnessing the nuptials of my own best friend- and the father-daughter dances, well don’t get me started. I feel inspired when I pitch a crazy sounding idea and a client responds, ‘anything you want, we trust you’ and it is the freedom of limitless cretivity that keeps this job as inspiring as it is challenging.

When I first came home from post-secondary, excited to dive into the wonderful world of photography, I decided to call every photographer in town and introduce myself. I felt nauseous. Terrified. Clamy. At that time I did not have too many phone calls to make. I called a couple of people. Some answered the phone, some did not. Those that answered were very clear with their message: don’t do it. I was abruptly informed that I would never make a career out of it, that I would not last and that I would not succeed. I was shocked. Photography up until that point had been such an exciting world of trial and error, but when trial ended in success, words could not describe the excitement I felt. Then I made a phone call to the only female photographer on my list. Evelyne Straker of Straker Photography who had started her business while I was away at school. Evelyne answered the phone and was cheery and welcoming and then got right to it to decide if I was in or out- ‘do you watch the new show Survivor?’ Evelyne is still a friend today.

When I think back to my photography start, I was green. Oh my was I green. But with any profession there is always a starting point. Luckily, I have always known what I like and what I don’t. It seems as though I have just spent the last decade learning how to try to express what it is that sits within my creative soul. Learning exposures, depth of fields, colours, lighting that suit my style. I have not gotten “there” yet. I don’t know that I will ever arrive to a place of pure content satisfaction. Maybe that is what continues to drive people- a constant desire for something more, something new, and something greater. For me, with a continued air of nostalgia that lies within the people we get to capture- same subject, different view, brand-new capture.

I remember where my creative journey really began. I was a summer student for the Department of Education and met a group of teachers. They were all welcoming their first babies. Almost a decade ago I approached one of their wives and mentioned maternity photography. I was sweating. My heart was beating out of my chest. Casually she responded yes as if I had asked her something as easy as if she wanted a glass of water. It was the first time I ever pitched an idea to a client that required them to expose some flesh. Seana was incredible. She kept telling me to just tell her what to do. Then and there confidence was balled up and stuck inside me. And, for that I am forever grateful to Seana! Once Seana and her husband, Todd, welcomed their baby girl, Seana brought her over so I could continue to learn. They named their baby Kaitlyn. And teeny tiny Kaitlyn was the first creative newborn session I ever photographed. From those two sessions my confidence and creativity were ignited. I was giddy with excitement and almost a decade later, Kaitlyn and I reunited for some sunset magic and I am giddy again.

A lot of what I have learned as far as photography has come after my formal training. Sessions like Seana’s taught me little things that have gone a long way, like newborns need to be warm. I know… should seem simple. But it has all been a journey. And one that I am happy to say is still very much a work in progress. Many (not all) old school photographers seem to have had a protective bubble of steel that surrounds their knowledge, business and “club”. Some of this aura seems to still plague some southern photography industries. But over the last decade or so positive change has happened. Photographers are excited to share, inspire, challenge and love one another! Yellownife itself has seen a surge in creative camera toting folks: men, women, teens, husbands, wives, teams- you name it. And it is wonderful. It creates diversity, shared inspiration, shared knowledge and a great community of colleagues. To be honest, it was even one of these colleagues whose one small sentence, or nudge, I will never forget. Ironically, I ended up working in the desk right next to friend and fellow photographer Dave Brosha. At the time Dave was just ‘the other guy’. But after a few days of getting to know one another, we became quick friends. For those of you that know Dave, you know he could make best friends with a grizzly bear. After a few days of testing me out, he approached me and asked if he could be honest. I’ll admit I was a little nervous- did I have an irritating work habit? Was I being too loud? As I wondered what I had done to bother my new co-worker, Dave sat on the corner of my desk, looked me right in the eye and said, ‘what… are you doing here?’ And then threw a couple compliments my way that I will never forget. That year, Dave and I both left the corporate world and the world of two full-time jobs to become full-time Yellowknife-based photographers with our own unique ventures. Not once, have we ever told the other our dreams were an impossibility. Yellowknife is jam-packed with crazy fabulous artists of all kinds. And I love the collaboration, encouragement, and nourishment that happens under northern lights and midnight suns.

I am so thankful for ten years of encouragement from a community that has fully supported my desire to create and capture, so as I celebrate 10 years of photography, I want to spend the next 10 months celebrating with my wonderful clients and community. Let’s celebrate ten with the word ten. I have ten words that contain “ten”. And each word brings with it some exciting opportunities. July’s tenniversary word is content. So, every package, session, product, gallery, etc. purchased during the month of July will be entered into a draw. The winner will win their entire purchase. Payments must be made in full to have your name entered into the draw. This includes all products and services, including weddings. Yes, you read that right including weddings. Every client for July and August is automatically entered into the draw, and every person who purchases their products or services- even if the product or service will be redeemed at a later date- will also be entered. Hopefully that will make one very lucky person quite content!

No blog post is ever complete without images. So I would love to share with you a little before and after. Baby Kaitlyn during her newborn session and Kaitlyn almost a decade later. And yet again, Seana insisted, just tell us what to do. Thank you Seana, for always believing in me.

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Yes, it sure is time. One whole year to the day since my last post on my poor lonely blog. But with good reason. Last year started at a sprinters pace. With 13 destination weddings booked for 2013, a collection of incredible northern brides, my My First Year clients growing steadily, and some brand new clients to add to my list of new friends; I was delighted to ring in 2013. My husband and I started 2013 and decided it would also be a great year to end off with a third and final addition to our family. Why not?! Last month we welcomed number three to our nest and our Sweet Baby Dalyn will most definitely be our last little bean.

My maternity clients all seem to gracefully walk into the studio with a magnificent glow. I, however, spent 39 weeks throwing up every.single.day. I was dehydrated, riddled with migraines as a result, exhausted from spending most of my nights cradling the porcelain thrown between the hours of 1am and 5am. Some days I got by lucky and was nauseous for a small portion of the day, was sick quick and continued on. Others I spent the greater part of the entire day in the washroom- with my pillow and water bottle… laptop in tow. My husband took days off work to travel to destination weddings with me to help me carry gear and entertain my clients while I snuck off to be sick so my clients wouldn’t notice. As the months went on and the ‘morning’ sickness got worse my turn around times lagged and my face got greener! Luckily I was blessed with a fabulous husband to listen to my morning tears, friends who reminded me it was possible to be thankful for a baby but equally frustrated by his growing process, and clients who assured me they were happy to wait.

As soon as this little one came out (plus 24 hours!), I felt like a whole new person! I have spent his first five weeks exploring his perfect fingers and toes, gazing at his gorgeous blue eyes and wondering who in the world came up with the misleading saying ‘sleep like a baby’! In the evenings while we paced the halls, I have enjoyed planning my sessions to come with new found inspiration and fresh perspective and cannot wait to jump back into my love of capturing moments in both my own family and within the families of my clients.

I feel the excitement of 2014 running through my body and look forward to loving every day of this year with all of you! So a very Happy New Year and Happy Love Day to all of you. Today felt like a fitting day to spread a little love and revive my blog. I love sharing my experiences with clients and friends, and also unique perspectives of their lives on my blog so it needs to have some life breathed back into it! Wait a second-what is a “re-launch” without some added love and a little promo?! For the rest of February, all love birds who book a full-day wedding will receive a complimentary engagement session! Not getting married in the near future but still want to feel the love? Take advantage of 15% off all custom frames! Our custom frame retailer creates beautiful frames to hang and display your family as art for your gorgeous home. We have 12 different shapes and 42 colours for clients to choose! See more information on February promos here!

Happy Valentine’s Day! (In our house that means pink pizza day!)

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