A Personal Update

I’m sitting on the porch drinking my morning coffee – my favourite time of the day and coincidentally the time when I get the most thinking done. It’s a rainy day here at the cottage, but I’m thankful for the surrenity I feel at this moment.

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Recently I was playing 20 questions with a friend (I know, we’re adults, who still plays that right?!) The question came up “What is your dream job?” and without hesitation I responded with “I’m doing it.” I don’t take that for granted for one second. I know how fortunate I am to be running my own business and even better, running that business doing what I love. I am thankful for every family that hires me to capture their portraits, without them, without you, I could not continue on.

I have had a lot going on in 2016 and my blog posts have taken the brunt of the neglect. They’ve become “here are the photographs from my recent session” mashed with “look how cute this baby is” – don’t worry, I’ve noticed too! I’ve been meaning to write an update for a while, filling you in on what’s going on in my life. No better time than the present right?

During the Winter, as many photographs can attest, it can get very boring. Days are short, leaving the house means shovelling 2 feet of snow off your car (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but it sure feels that way!) and self-motivation reaches an all time low. With the exception of newborn sessions, sessions are few and far between, you don’t want to be outside for an hour and neither do I!

In January a job opportunity fell into my lap. It was also doing something I love – working with plants in a nursery. The timing was perfect and I couldn’t picture myself doing any other part-time job (fast food, no thanks!). I debated for a very long time; should I accept the job? Does that mean I’ve failed as a photographer? I’ve worked so hard to get people to respect my career choice, what will they think? After 3 years of being a full-time photographer I would no longer be able to answer the “do you do this full time?” question with yes.

After much deliberation – and tears – I accepted the job, with one condition, the moment it started to interfer with photography, I would say goodbye. It was a long couple of months getting back into the swing of waking up at 6am and working 5 days a week. Not to mention my body was in constant pain – if you ever thought working in a greenhouse was easy work, you were wrong!  Once Spring came my “part-time job” became a little more time consuming. I worked 60 to 70 hour weeks shipping plants to get stores ready for May 24 – Sunday’s my only day off – was spent shooting, catching up on emails, editing, throwing together blog posts and to top it off – tax season! Now the nursery has slowed down again, I’m back to 40 hours a week, half day Friday’s and weekends off (can you say everyone’s dream job?!)

When I started I had no idea how much I would fall in love with this place. I’ve made some great friends, I’m learning Spanish from all of my Mexican Amigos, if you follow me on Instagram you know how proud I am of my newly acquired muscles and as much as I make fun of my AWFUL tanlines, I’m proud of those too.

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I never thought I’d make it past my first few months of pain but I did. Then I didn’t think I’d make it through the 70 hour weeks, but I did. Now I’m not sure I’ll make it through the heat this summer – but I’m going to give it my all. If or when the time comes that I need to say goodbye to the nursery, it’s going to be a sad day, or week, or more – because I truly love it there! But for now I am putting all my energy into doing both. It makes things a little more difficult only being available 3 days a week for sessions, but I appreciate your patience and flexibility.

I smell bacon, which is my que to wrap this up.
Until next time.

Jewels for Jules | Rare Genetic & Neurological Disorder Awareness

Jewels for JulesSome of you may recognize this beautiful happy little girl as Julia, or Jules to her family. Julia’s parents have been my clients since she was born – and my friends for longer. Julia is honestly the happiest little girl I have ever met and it breaks my heart to be writing this post.

At a few months of age, doctors noticed a developmental delay in Julia. Recently, her doctors and specialists have finally confirmed a diagnosis and it’s devastating – a very rare seizure disorder. So rare that Julia is one of six documented cases in the world with this specific disorder and at 3 years old she is the oldest survivor.  Few things are known about Julia’s disorder, but what is known is that her seizures will become more frequent and harder to control through medication, her skills will digress and there is a high risk for cardiac arrest and apnea attacks.
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Over the last 3 years I have watched Julia grow. Her smile is so contagious you can’t help but be happy around her. And oh my gosh, her giggle – AMAZING!  Evie, the youngest but the “big” sister, loves brushing Julia’s hair and giving her kisses – they are always holding hands. The love they have for each other is so strong, they’re the perfect little duo.

Sitting on her own, standing with her leg braces and walking help of her specialized walker is such a beautiful sight.  She is such an inspiration to myself and everyone that knows her. With the help of her therapy team, the hard work of her mom and dad and of course Julia’s perseverance, she has come so far.

Julia’s mom has begun making “Jewels for Jules” to raise awareness for Rare Genetic and Neurological Disorders. Julia is just one of many living with Rare Genetic and Neurological Disorders.  Jewels for Jules aims to shed light on the struggles of all those and their families affected by these disorders.

Side Crop Jewels-44Here’s an excerpt from Julia’s mom:
“By supporting “Jewels for Jules” you will be helping us say thank you to our amazing Genetic and Neurological teams from McMaster Children’s Hospital, who worked tirelessly to find answers for Julia and our family, and in turn, may help to benefit another family like ours somewhere down the line. These ladybug keychains symbolise a number of things. They are a symbol of love, strength and courage. They represent understanding and acceptance for the simple fact that we were not all made the same, but that we all have a lot to give. And last but not least, let them be a reminder that no matter how tough life may get, that we can all find a reason to smile and be thankful each day that we are here together.”

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I have my ladybug on my keyring and every time I look at it I am reminded of Julia’s strength, pure joy and happiness in life. If you would like to help support Jewels for Jules you can purchase a ladybug for $5 from myself (905 931 4893 | liz.czinege@gmail.com) or Katie (text 905 321 8369)

Much love,
Liz

Behind the Lens with Liz Czinege Photography

On Friday I released “Behind the Lens with Liz Czinege Photography”. It’s a short little video with a bit of fun, a bit of talking and a lot of newborn sweetness.

All I can say is wow. The response that I have already received from this video is surprising – thank you so much! (If you haven’t seen it yet the video is embedded at the bottom of this post.)

This video has been a long time in the making. About six months ago I decided that I wanted to put together a little video that showed what went on during a newborn session. I found the perfect mom willing to let me bring a videographer to her baby girl’s newborn session. Five months and 45 hours of labour later, we were ready to film!

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I was completely in my element photographing 8 day old Madilynn, it truly is my happy place. But as it turns out, I am better behind the camera then in front of it. When it came time for the one-on-one interview, ouch, painful! It took half an hour of uncontrollable laughter (I couldn’t even say my name… awkward.) before I was able to talk – I guess I never really got over being shy!

However painful the process, I love the result! Here it is!

(Ps. I’m new to Google+, be my friend!)

Does Anyone Read These Things?

A few weeks ago I was deciding whether or not to offer Easter Minis. They have never appealed to me; plastic eggs, live unsanitary animals (however cute!), AstroTurf. Whether you know me personally or follow my photography, there’s a good chance that you know those things are the furthest from my style. “I solemnly swear never to use AstroTurf..”

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I pride myself on capturing natural, timeless portraits. There have been hits and misses along the way (everyone starts somewhere). But as I continue to grow and evolve, like any artist, my style has become more distinctive and more “me”. It is about what makes me happy and my creative freedom, rather than worrying about what other photographers are doing or what people will think of the photographs.

Liz Czinege Newborn Child Photographer Niagara Hamilton07It wasn’t until a someone told me they liked my style that I realized I had one, and then proceeded to have this revelation.

I’m not sure if anyone even reads my blog posts but these personal (albeit rambling) ones are my favourite to write. They’re raw, they probably have spelling or grammar mistakes, but they’re very much me. I love when I discover a new blog and after reading a few posts I feel like I have gotten to know the writer. That is what I aim to do with all of my posts. And if you are reading them (I hope you are!) I’d love for you to leave comments and feedback. You’re getting to know me, let me get to know you!

Till next time,
Liz

(Oh ps. I am offering SPRING Mini-Sessions on March 29th, my last minis until Halloween. Email me at liz.czinege@gmail.com for more information.)

Is it Spring yet??

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Is anyone else wondering if Spring will ever come? The groundhog told us six more weeks of winter, which means that this cold, dreary time should be coming to an end soon. But as I sit here in my bulky sweater and wool socks I can’t help but wonder when.

I long to walk outside and not have profanities spill from my mouth involuntarily due to the bitter cold. (C’mon, we both know you do it too.) And I can not wait for the orchards to start to bloom. When that happens I will definitely be taking the back roads from Hamilton to Niagara – windows down, radio blasting some country tunes. Ahhhh..

As a natural light photographer (and a country girl), I much prefer photographing outdoors over a studio. There’s just something about photographing families and children outdoors that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the ability to play with the light, or the fresh air, or the open spaces – whatever it is, I sit here writing this with a twinge of excitement because soon I will be out there doing what I love, surrounded by so much beauty and beautiful people.

Hi Aussie Fans!

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WordPress sent me statistics from my 2013 year. Perhaps I should move to Australia, it seems I have some fans over there!

I definitely wouldn’t mind the Aussie heat while I freeze my bum off over here in Canada!

To all of you – in North America or across the world – who take the time to read my blog, thanks for the love!

Are they here yet?!

As you may, or may not know, I am a huge believer in getting photographs printed. Last week I photographed my niece and ordered some of her portraits for my family and I. As I sit here waiting for the photographs to arrive from my supplier, the excitement is unbearable. Knowing that these photographs are mine to keep makes waiting for them to arrive so much worse!

A lot of times I only have the prints for a day or two before I present them to my clients to love and cherish. I always get very excited to see my photography in print – something tangible that I can hold in my hands – regardless of if they are for my clients or myself. I know what I am feeling is only a fraction of the happiness and excitement that they have when they see the professional portraits of their new baby or their family in print for the first time. There is something special about being able to give my clients such beautiful portraits and knowing that every time they look at those photographs, they are going to get the same feeling they got when they saw them for the first time.

Knowing that these feelings are going to last as long as my photographs, I have my photographs printed on museum quality archival paper using a chemical process and then mounted on 3mm mat board – so they are incredibly durable!

Photograph | Liz Czinege Niagara Hamilton Newborn and Child Photographer

During the portrait session, I arrange for my clients to see their portraits the following week. And baring any backup’s with my supplier, within a month of their session my clients have tangible products to show to their family and friends. Having had professional portraits taken of my family in the past, I know first hand how hard it is waiting to see your images – no matter how short or long! It is important to me that my clients get their photographs as soon as humanly possible!

And on that note, my dog is going crazy – they must be here!!!

Exciting Announcement!

If you follow my Facebook Page, then you know that for several months I have eluded to some exciting news.

As some of you may, or may not know, I have been spending a great deal of my time in Hamilton and have begun to expand my business there. I am very excited to begin this next chapter of my career. I’m incredibly grateful to my clients in Niagara, and am excited to continue to photograph their growing families.

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Along with expanding my business to Hamilton, I have decided to focus on photographing what I am passionate about – newborns and children! I will also be creating maternity portraits and portraits of young families. While I love photographing every genre, children truly inspire me.  If you are getting married, not to worry, I will still be booking a few weddings per year. But be sure to get in touch with me early to avoid disappointment.

Over the last few months I been very busy; I have created a unique Maternity Experience that I am very excited to launch next month! And I have created stylized portrait experiences that truly capture each child’s personality and interests. I cannot wait to create portraits that are unique and meaningful to each one of you.


And now, the time has finally come to share my big news!

Allie 1 Year | Liz Czinege Photography

I am pleased to announce that as of July 1st, I have officially partnered with Springy’s Tot Shoppe in Hamilton! If you are in the Hamilton area, head over to their Upper James Street location to see my in-store display and receive a special discount! Along with these exciting advertising opportunities, I will be doing several in-store Mini Portrait Sessions – it’s a great deal for those of you in the area. (More details to follow!) I cannot wait to photograph all of those smiling faces!

If you would like to get in touch with me, I’m available at 905 931 4893 or via email at liz.czinege@gmail.com. I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer – I look forward to hearing from you!

Eliza | Niagara Child Photographer

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A few weeks ago I came up with an idea for this shoot when I was inspired by a huge field of wild flowers. When I went back to look at the location to make sure everything was ready to go, I found that the City of Port Colborne had cut down the field of wild flowers – the worst feeling for a photographer. So after a few days of heartbroken searching, I found this location, not as good as the first but an adequate substitute.

Not wanting to miss the opportunity again, I bought a dress for Eliza, painted her nails, made her hair ‘pretty’ and headed to the spot.

And now – my wild child niece.

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I love her eyes in this one!
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This Miss is very expressive. She definitely gets that from me.. whoops!Liz Czinege Child Photographer Niagara Hamilton08

I would give anything for her curls, so beautiful!Liz Czinege Child Photographer Niagara Hamilton07 Liz Czinege Child Photographer Niagara Hamilton04

I am in LOVE with this photo. So natural! Just admiring the flowers..Liz Czinege Child Photographer Niagara Hamilton05

This is what happens when the photographer tries to be in a photo – uncooperative kids! This is about the best I can expect from them, but I love them all the same! Liz Czinege Child Photographer Niagara Hamilton09

Since my niece was born 3 years ago, I have photographed her twice a year. (A little over due on this one..) I love capturing these portraits of her, because along with watching her grow, I’ve also been able to watch my photography grow and develop into my own style. These photos and the ones I took of her last May are definitely my favourites to date!

Eliza

What will you have?

©Liz Czinege PhotographyWhen our parents and grandparents took photos it was to document. But it recently occurred to me that today’s generation take pictures to share, on facebook.. on instagram.. but these photos never seem to get printed.  They’re snapshots that scream “Hey, look at my food!” (I’m definitely guilty of doing this.)  Our photos have turned into a way to share – with complete strangers – exactly what we’re doing at that exact time, rather then documenting the people we’re doing it with and the special times in our lives.

Recently my Grandmother passed away and when we sat down to look through photos, all of those photos meant something. They all had a story and through a sequence of a few photos we could figure out what that story was.

God willing, in 50+ years from now when I pass away, how will people look through my digital photographs? On a computer? There’s just something different about holding a photograph in your hand and passing it around the table – gathering around – laughing, sheading a tear; remembering.

What is going to happen to your photos when Facebook inevitably goes down the drain, or your computer crashes, or when CDs go the way of the floppy disk? Will you still have photos to hold in your hands?

Photographs are best viewed in print.