It’s that time of year. We make resolutions, name our intentions, buy gym memberships, commit to minimalism and, in some cases, tell 2018 to go die in a fire. And actually, I love all that; I love starting out the year in a haze of determination and optimism. I love seizing this energy and using it to create a life I am proud of.

What I don’t love is all the people telling you what size you have to be to have achieved success. That a “bikini body” or flat stomach is your goalpost, that numbers on a scale are your scoreboard. That pisses me the fuck off. I get it; telling people they aren’t good enough is a billion dollar industry. But we don’t have to buy in anymore.

Size: Irrelevant

Did you know that there’s an increasing body of research that says that being “overweight” has NO negative impact on your health?

Did you know that the seeds of our obsession with skinniness dates back to quacks in the 1800s?

Did you know that it turns out those people who have made you feel like crap over the years are actually just assholes?*   *citation needed  *j/k we all know it’s true

Healthiness: Important

The truth is, being HEALTHY matters. Exercise is the number one most effective thing you can do to improve your mood, fight anxiety, be more alert and productive, beat depression and live longer. But the size you are when you’re exercising? Pretty much irrelevant. And you don’t have to be a crazy fitness nut to get all of those benefits. Research says that 20 minutes a day- which can be 5 minutes 4x a day, btw- is all you need to feel better and live longer.

Another key component of healthiness is community. Humans are wired for connection, and when we don’t get enough positive social interaction, when we don’t have friends we can count on and a community that makes us feel valued, it has a profoundly negative impact on our mental health- which in turn impacts our physical health.

Happiness: Worth fighting for

Here’s your prescription for happiness in 2019:

  • Get healthy. Find ways to move your body that feel good to you, and eat food that makes you feel good.
  • Get connected. Volunteering is one of the best ways to connect to your community and feel great about yourself. Joining classes that interest you and talking to your classmates is bound to net you new friends if you allow it. And those girlfriends you keep meaning to make time for? Do it.
  • Challenge yourself. Get out of your comfort zone, try something new, take a risk.
  • Get mindful. Mindfulness is a scientifically-proven way to improve your happiness, concentration, relationships, and, well, life. And there’s an app for that! There’s no excuse, take 5 or 10 minutes a day and make that brain of yours a little better.
  • Clean up. Let go of things and people that don’t bring you joy.
  • Trust yourself. You are enough. You are worthy. You have nothing to prove. Own your joy and take up space.

Let’s make this the year we believe in ourselves, shall we?

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This spectacular shot came together organically, as many things do on the Fearless retreats. We’d walked home from dinner (the restaurants in Revelstoke are AMAZING) and as I dallied to enjoy the night air before going inside, I glanced up and saw a silhouette cross an upstairs window. Inspired, I ran inside and told Colette (my Fearless assistant and BFF) to take off her clothes and go stand in the window.

(For us, this is pretty much normal)

Then I stood on the roof of my car and took some pictures.

(A little less normal, but I needed the angle)

Then I went excitedly inside to show people, and from our discussion this photo was born. The next night, Colette did a brief art posing demo and then took each woman and arranged her in the window while I moved lamps and cleared backgrounds. Then I went outside, stood on my car, and called instructions to Colette and Michelle (in the doorway) so they could call them up into the house- “a little to the left in the top right, arch a little more on the banister…”

The result was this spectacular photo, and more importantly, also a lot of late-night laughter the memory of being daring for the sake of art- exactly what the Fearless Women’s Retreats are all about. <3


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  • Peggy

    A stunning photo filled with amazing women taken by a spectacular photographer!ReplyCancel

  • sharon Leney

    Absolutely love this! Great job ladies, I’m hoping to attend next year. 😉ReplyCancel

Bali was nothing like I imagined.

I don’t exactly know where I got my ideas about Bali from, or even why I decided I needed to go. But I had a clear emotional picture of the place- serene, with lush vegetation, cool morning breezes (?!), and quiet people with peace in their hearts doing yoga. I, too, would learn to love yoga while I was there; I would become mindful, and, soothed by the island’s gentle palm fronds, finally learn to meditate without going on wildly impatient ADD adventures in my head while I waited for the gong to release me.

Obviously, it was none of that.

Paradise, writ LOUD

Ubud, where our gorgeously paradisical estate was located, was- outside the quiet perfection of our gardens and villa- colourful, raucous and friendly. The uneven streets were brimming with people, motorcycles, taxis, and religious celebrations. Children with drums and tinny shakers and long snaking dragon costumes roamed the narrow sidewalks collecting donations in what seemed to be the Balinese equivalent of a lemonade stand. There were offerings everywhere- no, EVERYWHERE, watch where you step- little woven bamboo boxes with incense and flowers and candy for the gods that were refreshed several times a day by smiling women in ceremonial dress.

I don’t think I’ve ever visited a city that felt so welcoming and yet so utterly foreign. Religion and spirituality were woven seamlessly into everyday life; wherever you were, at any given time, you could see an offering, or smell incense, or hear the music of a ceremony or celebration. It seemed as natural and expected a part of life as eating or dressing. There were temples on every street, and sometimes more than one- sometimes a garden with a fountain that you could just glimpse through an ornate gate in a high wall, sometimes great stone edifices with grand staircases, richly carved walls, and statues. I got the impression that in Bali skills like stone carving, sculpture, painting and woodwork were more widespread, kind of like being a good cook in Canada; noteworthy but not unusual, every family has at least one.


Arriving in Bali I expected serenity. When I left, it was with new friends, a fresh sunburn, the ability to bargain skillfully for a sarong (and FAR too many colourful sarongs), hundreds of incredible photos, and memories of standing naked in a rainstorm in a national park surrounded by brave, extraordinary women.

I did not, at any point, do yoga.



Looking for more? Check out blog entries about our past destination boudoir photography retreats




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  • Lauren D. A.

    I’m sorry that I just read this now. It is a beautiful, clear description of travel at its best.
    Your talents are certainly not limited to photography. Thank you for this beautiful post.ReplyCancel

My favourite part of being a boudoir photographer is showing people their photos. The gasps, the shocked “Is that really me?!”, the excitement, the relief, the tears… the part where they finally start to believe in themselves. I also hear a lot of stories- sometimes hard stories- about the things that brought people to me. Here’s one of them.

Don’t Call Me Cute

Growing up a chubby girl, all people ever called me was cute. “You’re so cute,” they’d say, or “Look at your cute round cheeks.” Pretty was for other girls. Skinny girls. Girls with long legs and lithe bodies. My mom was the only one to ever call me beautiful, and every kid knows their mom doesn’t count- not in that great tally of voices that tell you what your body is worth to the world.

As they grew, those girls with slender waists and graceful limbs became beautiful and sexy. I stayed cute. Cute is a word for children and puppies, not for grown women, but no one but me seems to notice that. Sometimes, searching, they compliment my smile. That’s allowed, fat girls can have a nice smile. Friends and lovers, meaning well, continue to draw me back to childhood with that one word- cute. No one has ever called me sexy. Beautiful. Sensual. And I know it shouldn’t matter, I know mine should be the opinion that counts, but knowing it doesn’t make it true. How am I supposed to feel sexy when no one has ever seen me that way?

Making the appointment to do these photos was hard. Not bailing was harder. Believing I was worth it was the hardest yet. But looking at these photos I can finally see myself as sexy. Beautiful. Fucking HOT. And I wonder- why did nobody tell me?


Edmonton Boudoir Photographer Curvy Plus Size


Edmonton Boudoir Photographer Curvy Plus Size


Edmonton Boudoir Photographer Curvy Plus Size



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  • Peggy

    Knockout! Drop dead gorgeous! Those eyes are stunning, and those curves are killer!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon

    WOW….. JUST……. WOW!!

    How no one ever told you that you are drop dead gorgeous is mind boggling…… don’t ever look down on yourself, with anything other than pride.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa


  • Aimee

    You are a fucking goddess. My God, you’re absolutley stunning. Society is fucked. I feel your anguish, honestly I do, from experience. You are nothing short of spectacular. Sexy, sultry, exotic, and just a little bit naughty.ReplyCancel

  • Barbara

    You are stunning I mean absolutely stunning! So proud of you for sharing your story and for having the guts to do this shoot! You Rocked this Shoot! You go girl and don’t ever look back! You are Not CUTE! You are STUNNING and SMOKING HOT!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie

    One word…. DAMN.ReplyCancel

By now you know my basic philosophy- if it’s fun with your clothes ON, wouldn’t it be even more fun with your clothes OFF? So when Priyaa Ravi of Herbal Henna Arts approached me with the idea doing a nude henna body art shoot, I was all in. It’s always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to do something like this- I love the way henna or body paint can add complexity to nude photography. So we arranged an art shoot to test and see if this was something I could start offering my clients.

The Artist

You never know what you’re getting when you are approached by other people for collaboration, so I was thrilled to find that Priyaa is a true artist, who has been dedicating herself to creating beauty through henna for many years. Our model (who did her first boudoir shoot with me a bit over a year ago because she had “never seen herself as sexy,” would you believe) was very patient throughout the painstaking application of a complex design- and the results are just spectacular.

Priyaa spent a lot of time researching full-body henna body art ideas and inspirations before the shoot, and came with a variety of design ideas. Together she, the model and I decided on a sweeping design of flowers and leaves that incorporated small clear gems into the dark henna:

The Art

We did our best to create Facebook-friendly images, but in the end found ourselves with breathtaking henna body art that was clearly and beautifully nude. So while I can’t show the full photos on Facebook, here they are in all their stunning glory.


The Coach

So how do you transform someone from a shy first-time client into a fine art model? Getting people to relax and look great in front of the camera is one of my favourite things to do, but sometimes for special projects I will also bring in my favourite professional model/BFF Miss Alexia Day to consult, and that’s what I did here (she’ll also be teaching fine art posing at our retreats this year!). Check out this behind the scenes photos of her coaching:

Be Brave, Make Art

Want a shoot like this yourself? I now offer collaborations with some of my favourite henna artists, and costs start at just $750 for both the spectacular henna AND the finished art for your wall. Email me at for more details!



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  • Vivienne

    Wow this is phenomenal ❤️ReplyCancel

    • Star

      Thanks Vivienne! We have an incredible team. <3ReplyCancel