First of all, I have to start this off by saying that this post is seriously overdue but I am so excited to share it! A few months ago, on one of those lovely late-spring days that make you believe summer might be just around the corner, I got to spend a sunny afternoon in the home of local photographer Dallas Curow, the talented gal who captured the images shared below. I haven’t had a portrait done since my maternity photo shoot with the lovely Nicole Ashley, waaaaay back in 2010, which honestly feels like a lifetime ago. Although I’m in front of the camera nearly every day, let me tell you – I find an iPhone camera MUCH less intimidating than a proper camera (as Nicole may remember from that photo shoot way back when). Capturing a quick OOTD shot is very different from portrait photography and I will admit, as I headed to meet Dallas, I was both excited and very nervous!
I had my sweet little man in tow because it happened to be March Break that week, and Dallas was absolutely amazing with him. Not only did Callum immediately start bonding with her adorable Bearded Collie, Pearl as soon as we walked in the door, but Dallas also gave him the very important and fun task of creating a colourful backdrop for our shoot. He absolutely ADORED having the chance to draw (one of his favourite pastimes) anything and everything on the black paper and was even more excited when we got to bring the huge art project home. This was an unexpected but very personal and meaningful touch that Dallas added to make the whole experience truly magical for me and for Callum. The session may have been for me and for the blog, but he was part of it the whole time, and that is truly reflective of the relationship between my blogging life and my family – they are always there, always supporting, always encouraging, sometimes taking pictures or helping out, and that means everything to me. It was so special that Dallas was able to capture that, without even realizing it, to make the day even more special.
Dallas is a makeup artist as well as a photographer, so once we arrived, I sat down in her makeup chair and let her work her magic. She knows I’m very particular about my eyebrows (this was pre-microblading, when they were still so difficult to work with) so I arrived with base and brows complete and let her use my eyes, cheeks, and lips as a canvass. Having photo makeup done is so much more fun than regular makeup because you can be bolder and take more risks than any other Monday afternoon. A bit of shimmer silver shadow, a light sweep of blush, and a bold raspberry lip (I’m wearing MAC Rebel, a universally flattering and bright shade, if you are looking for a great option to create bold lip) was perfect for the photos we styled, as you can see here.
We planned our theme around my blog title, Sparkles, Lace & Sequins. Sadly, I could not find my favourite sequin pants anywhere (I had this issue at Christmas as well, and of course, I found them about a month ago, buried in a Rubbermaid container of jackets. Sigh.), but I pulled out the sparkly Stuart Weitzman shoes that started it all for the blog. I also chose a favourite lace dress for one look and pulled out some classic black pieces for the rest of the shoot.
This first look, featuring my go-to vegan leather leggings, a Chanel-inspired sweater, and my sparkly shoes was perfect for the fun background Callum created, a balance of playful and edgy.
The second look featured Callum’s hand-drawn background with a black on black look that I loved during the spring. This Zara jacket was definitely one of my favourite finds, especially when paired with a little black dress!
For the third look, we went with a simple black dress against the beautiful white walls in Dallas’ living room. Although it doesn’t directly relate to the Sparkles, Lace & Sequins title, these were my favourite portraits – I feel powerful and beautiful in these pictures, which is something I don’t often say.
And finally, for the lace of Sparkles, Lace & Sequins, I chose a bright and cheerful yellow lace dress, one of my favourite finds from last year.
Dallas is so wonderful to work with, especially if you feel the least bit self-conscious in front of the camera. Despite having my photo taken pretty much every day, I still feel very awkward when I’m being photographed. Let’s face it – it’s a bit of a weird thing to be that on display, even if you’re a blogger who does it all the time! I never know how to stand, smile, pose, where to put my hands – you name it, I am SUPER awkward about it. But Dallas makes you instantly feel like you’re a pro with her calm and kind demeanor. As an uber-talented portrait photographer, she knows exactly how to pose her muse, which lighting works, what clothes look best, so she really takes a lot of the tricky, easy-to-overthink aspects of being photographed away. I felt completely confident that every image would be a true reflection of the experience and how I felt inside and I was right – I loved all of the portraits she shot that day!
As a bonus, Callum and I got an extra-special instant pic with Pearl at the end of the session (which captured the same pose as the photo above), which he has prominently displayed in his bedroom, a fond reminder of a fun day in studio with one of Edmonton’s best photographers. We can’t wait to have full family portraits done with Dallas in the near future (though I will admit, I think part of Callum’s excitement to have them done is because he can’t wait to see Pearl again!).
Although our session was in her bright and sunny living room, Dallas has a beautiful new studio space in the former greenhouse of her backyard, which has been beautifully renovated and has the most gorgeous lighting ever. I’m dying to see the portraits she shoots in this perfect new space!
If you are looking for a portrait photographer in Edmonton who will make you feel at ease in front of the camera, create portraits that are the most perfect reflection of you (and your family – she takes amazing family shots and is a STUNNING wedding photographer) and the essence of who you are, and want to have an amazing time while you’re having them done, I recommend Dallas so very highly. Not only is she a wonderfully talented artist, she is a beautiful person inside and out. I am beyond grateful to have met her and to be able to now call her my friend.
See more of Dallas’ gorgeous work, including details about her studio space and portfolio at http://www.dallascurow.com/.
Thank you Dallas, for an afternoon Callum and I will never forget and for beautiful portraits I am so proud to share!
Enjoy the pretty things in life,