Sep 30 2012

the wedding singer.

Guys.  I can’t imagine many things cooler than getting to sing jazz, wear a dress like this…and get paid for it.

Last night Courteney Rodda and the Other Guys had their first wedding gig.  I was pretty stoked.  It was a small wedding in an old retro hall outside of town.  As I was driving out, I passed an old gas station and convenience store (that look like that haven’t been updated since 1948) and felt a little like I went through a time warp.  And with our band playing music no older than 1960 (and looking the part too), I hoped the guests also felt like they went through a time warp. ;)

We got a lot of really good feedback from the wedding guests, but more importantly the bride and groom were over the moon delighted with us which, of course, is all that really matters in the end.

Seriously though…I can’t even believe I’m lucky enough to get paid to sing jazz to people.  It’s beyond cool.  I should also mention (speaking of beyond cool) that our band was recently competed with the addition of our stand up bass player, the super talented Mr. Brent Friesen.

Not to brag (ok…actually I’m totally bragging)  but the band is a total class act.  If you know someone getting married (or if you are getting married) I (and the rest of the band) would be tickled pink to play music at your event.  If you want more info, give us a shout at Or take a listen to the tracks we have up online on our (very bare looking) website:

PS: I have officially fallen in love with this dress.  Oh. My.  Last night when I came home from the show I was about ready to collapse into bed and I thought…”Must. Photograph. Dress.”  So I pretended to look awake while I posed for the camera.  I need more occasions to wear this thing.  Can someone invite me to a fancy party?


May 31 2012

1940′s inspired hair tutorial

I love wearing my hair in retro hairstyles, but most days I don’t have the time (or patience) to do anything very fancy.  My hair is very thick so complicated pin-curl styles take more effort than I want to put out at 7AM.  I get a lot of comments on my hairstyles, with a lot of those being that people think I must spend hours on my hair.  Very much not true. Unless I am going out to an event or performing somewhere, I can’t justifying spending more than 10-15 minutes on my hair.

This style is one of my go-to styles for retro.  It’s more of an inspired look than era-accurate, but it does the trick.  The time it takes me to do this is about 10-15 minutes (bear in mind, my hair is very thick too, so curling would probably take less on a normal head of hair.)

1 + 2:  I start by curling my hair loosely around the bottom with a small curling iron.  I curl about 4″ up my hair.

3: Pin the crown with a small amount of the side.  I take about 2″ from my hairline and back, and then twist it and push it forward slightly to get some volume.  Then I pin with a couple of bobby-pins.  4: Pin the side, leaving some hair down to cover ear.  Twist the hair, and push forward the same as the other side.  Pin in place.

5 + 6: Brush out with a medium round brush.  Brush the curls in the direction that you would like them to curl.  In this case, I wanted my curls to curl inward.

And we’re done!  Simple as that.  I will spray the pinned part, but I don’t normally spray the curls (I hate hairspray) and my curls will last the whole day.

If you are looking for amazing tutorials for retro hair, I’d highly recommend checking out “Vivid Makeup“s YouTube channel.  She shows how to do all the pin-curls, victory rolls, hair sets that one could ever want to learn about.  She is probably the best that I’ve found in terms of clear teaching and style accuracy.


Feb 22 2012

a hobby.

I have this…er…hobby…(if you could call it that). I am bent on recreating styles of photographs from years past. With that comes a lot of watching of youtube tutorials for hair and makeup, studying old photographs, memorizing poses from that era, and recreating the right lighting and post processing (obviously I am not doing actual film, so the last bit is just work in photoshop). I find it fascinating.
Lately (haha, actually, just in general) I’ve been feeling like I’d like to look like I belong in the 1940′s. Today was a relaxed day for me, as I got a lot done earlier in the week. So I cleared our dining room, set up lights and shot away.

I ended up taking about 200 photos to get it just right. (The pose is actually rather awkward…and I was staring right into the light). In post processing I started off by fixing some stray hairs with the clone brush, as well as editing out my nose ring (believe me…it’s easier to edit it out in photoshop than to actually take it out) I also added a vignette – which was common in this style of photograph (which would have happened naturally if I was using more lights, but…I was too lazy to set them all up) I also cropped it, so you wouldn’t see my hand holding the remote. ;)

After that, I changed the photograph to black + white, darkening the red tones in the image (to make the lips stand out more). Because I wanted the tone of the photograph to have that hand coloured feel, I painted in all the colours in layers and set them to either soft light, or multiply (depending on how light or dark I wanted it) I also changed the colour of my top to green (because I like how green looks with my new hair colour)

And lastly, I ran the photograph through a custom film filter I’ve made in Alien Skin Exposure 3, so that it had some grain and texture. Et voila!

PS: I don’t always have to take pictures of my myself, you know. If you’d like to do some pictures like this…let me know! I love doing it.


May 22 2011

this afternoon {may long weekend}

First things first: I am insanely impressed by the quality of image the iPhone 4 takes. I am blown away by how well it focuses. Seriously. And then with all the sweet photo editing apps you can get…I mean really, if you are looking for a simple camera, and are also in the market for a phone… buy an iPhone. No joke.
This weekend was the May long weekend. To be honest, it felt pretty much the same to me. Except that Dave and I went and got ice-cream on Saturday and then went Antiquing. Maybe tomorrow it’ll feel like we had more of a long weekend, since Dave is off.
Today we went to Aldergrove Lake (*ahem* Aldergrove concrete-lined-hole-in-the-ground). Concrete lined hole aside, the rest of the park is actually quite lovely! I plan on taking clients there in the future to do photos. The biggest attraction for photos being the nice quiet trails where subjects won’t get weirded out by passers by. Important.
Ok, but for serious…I was taking pictures of bees in apple blossoms with the iPhone. I even got a picture of one mid-flight. For real. And it was easy-peasy.


Sep 20 2010

day 57: {blasted batteries. what a load of crock.}

I had big plans to blog about some off camera flash work.  I had big plans to play around with that this afternoon.  But none of my batteries seemed to want to participate in that action.  Thus, my flash did not flash, leaving me…in the dark. :S

So I leave you with: A picture of my crock-pot!  We had a games night with my brother and his wife, so I made apple cider.  Mmm.

I’m terribly sorry that this picture is not very exciting.  If only I could find batteries that liked to be used…

PS: This is a sweet 70′s (80′s?) crock-pot we got from the thrift store.  It was virtually unused when we bought it, and even came with the instruction book still in a plastic sleeve.