AHH! I am so excited to FINALLY be introducing SOUL Sessions! This is something I've wanted to do for quite a while, and after starting my Health and Wellness program I knew it was the perfect time to introduce it to the world. This is just the beginning of something beautiful, and I can't wait for all my SOUL session plans to come alive.
Writer. Journalist. Creative
Not only has this girl been killin' it as a writer– with some of her best pieces published in Thought Catalog, Legacy in Action Magazine, and Western Canada Fashion Week– but she is also one of the kindest souls I have ever met. She is an amazing creative and helps businesses thrive with their writing, editing, and social media. Her vision for a Boho session came to life in the most magical way: simple, but epic. It truly brought out her infectious personality and beautiful smile. She was confident, bold, and had fun every step of the way. Here’s to celebrating you!
"My soul session with Julia was incredible! She made me feel so confident & comfortable the entire time. (Not to mention she had me crying laughing!) If you want to feel like a million bucks, let Julia get you in front of her camera"
Get to know Mariann!
2019 was the year of growth. A lot of amazing things happened this year for SapsOriginals and it has been such an incredible ride. A huge goal for me in 2019 was to find my style and aesthetic. I definitely feel I nailed that down and found a look that really represented the images I wanted to create. I've always loved Fall and the colors that make it so beautiful. Therefore, I wanted my aesthetic to be inspired by Fall. Something about warmer tones is so flattering on everyone, and I feel like it brings a sense of calmness.
I had so many returning clients and met so many more of you this year. My heart was so full. I had two beautiful weddings this year, a surprise engagement, a Sweet 16 birthday, and thats just some of the incredible highlights. I also got to photograph some amazing families and couples.
In 2020 I really want to provide more for my clients. I have some projects up my sleeve for this year that I'm excited about. I hope that 2020 is the best year yet and I'm looking forward to meeting a lot more of you! CHEERS!
So excited to share more about this incredible surprise engagement!!
Originally, Marie messaged me to book a Fall Mini Session for her and Josh. I’ve known Marie since High School and I love that I can connect with people even years down the road, and capture their amazing stories. A couple days after we booked, Josh reached out to me to ask if he could propose at our session. I was super excited, and did not hesitate to say yes!
I met with Josh the day before to plan the whole session around the proposal. The sign you see in the photos is a huge part of their love story and so it was so important for Josh to have it part of this special day.
On the day of the photo session I was full of adrenaline. I was super excited, but nervous because I wanted to make sure she didn’t find out anything before hand. I played it cool, shook Josh ‘s hand and introduced myself as if we never met. As we headed over to the memorable train tracks, I “conveniently” forgot the blanket in the car (which we never used haha) as I went back I collected the clip board and ring in my bag from Josh’s car and made my way back over to the train tracks.
After a couple photo poses. I told them that we were going to do something super fun for the next photo. I told them that I brought a sign in my bag and each of them would have to write something funny to each other and hold the sign with out the other one looking (so clever Julia….). Then when they received their pictures they could laugh at them together. We got Josh to go first and little did Marie know it was time for her to get engaged. I gave Josh the clip board, the ring, and took some pictures of him holding the sign behind her. Moments later josh proposed and it became one of the happiest days of their lives.....and mine haha.
In all honesty, it was so beautiful and I was so grateful I got to be part of it. It was truly one of the best things I’ve done this far in my photography journey. Cheers to you guys, and I wish you nothing but the best.
So excited to finally share Erin and Phil’s special day!
This was one of the most unique, and intimate weddings I’ve been too. Once again, I was so happy I got to capture these special moments for this couple.
They say that rain is good luck on your wedding day. With all the downpours this summer you can bet there was rain on this day as well! However, Nothing stopped us from getting beautiful photos.
Both the ceremony and reception took place at The Parlour Italian Kitchen in downtown Edmonton with Erin and Phil's closest family and friends. If you haven’t tried the food at the Parlour, I totally recommend! The day felt so relaxed, genuine, and was full of love. I am so grateful I got to be part of it. So thank you to Erin and Phil and I wish you both nothing but the best ♥️ cheers!
Here are some of the moments captured from Nancy and John’s amazing day! Congratulations to both of these amazing human beings! I was so happy to be part of this day.
The wedding ceremony and reception took place at the beautiful Chateau Louis Hotel and Conference Centre in Edmonton, AB. The Bridal party photographs were taken on the Northside of Edmonton at Patricia Lake in Griecbach. It was definitely the sunniest day Edmonton has seen in awhile with it being 27 degrees with very little clouds. Although it was hot, we did not have to worry about any rain. The hall was beautifully decorated, and had amazing little details that tied it all together.
Everything from the sunshine, to the heartfelt speeches, to the delicious meal, and all the love shared, couldn’t have made the day more perfect. All the best to both of you.
Want to know more?
As spring finally approaches us, I thought I would take the time to share some tips for preparing for your next photoshoot. Photo sessions can be overwhelming if you worry too much about how the photos will turn out. It can take from the experience and the fun of it. However, there are ways you can prepare for you photoshoot that will make you feel relaxed and excited for the day. Below I answer some common questions about photo sessions and some tips to make you feel at ease for your upcoming photoshoot.
2. Picking a location
If you have a special location that you and your family go to all the time, maybe consider having it as a background to your family photos. Whether its a park or your home, work with your photographer to find the perfect location. If you are unsure of where to go, ask your photographer for suggestions and google some top places for photoshoots to get an idea.
3. Communicate your vision for the shoot
At any point of time between the booking process and during the photoshoots communicate the type of photos you want, especially if you have any specifics. I always let my clients know that although i have poses and ideas planned, to let me know anytime if they have a certain picture in mind. In addition, I ask my clients if they find any photos they like online on Pinterest or Google to forward them to me so I can make sure to plan for those shots during the session.
4.Don’t worry about everyone looking at the camera all the time
Sometimes the best shots are candid ones. So feel free to laugh and talk amongst each other, because as a photographer those shots are golden. The silly and fun photos really capture families in their element. This also allows kids to feel more comfortable being in front of a camera, because they don’t notice it. As photographers, we want to capture who you guys are as a family and candid images are the best way to do this.
I am really excited to share with you Erin and Phil's winter engagement session! After a year or so, I caught up with Erin at Sportchek after finally getting scheduled the same shift. Naturally, we talked about our lives and what we've been up too. I found out she was getting married and she found out I was a photographer. I was super thrilled when my long time co-worker asked me to take her engagement pictures. Without hesitation, I said yes!
This session took place at one of my favourite places in St.Albert, Red Willow Park. I have shot many photos here, and it never disappoints. The weather could not have been any better and the golden light of the sun was perfect.
Erin and Phil were totally down to laugh and have fun. They didn't mind my overexcitement, weird jokes to make them laugh, and bursts of energy every time I caught a photo that was jaw dropping beautiful (which is like every photo, as you can tell...).
It was a such a pleasure to spend an afternoon with these amazing people! Thank you for trusting me and letting me capture all the love. I wish you two nothing but the best in the future.
Paris was the last stop on my Europe adventure and the best way to end such an amazing journey. Although, we stayed for only a short time, we tried to see as much as we could for the time we had. We spent four days in the city exploring many iconic monuments and shopping. I feel that we went to a lot of popular spots in Paris in which many will be familiar with. However, if you are there for a short period and deciding what to do, here is my advice.
1. Effiel Tower at night
We arrived in Paris in the afternoon, but spent a lot of the day finding directions and getting settled at our BnB. However, we did see the Eiffel Tower at night, and what a beautiful site to see. Not only was it cool to see it lit up but the vibe in the area was really fun. Everything from little pop up shops, to food, and music. There was a DJ at one point that got everyone in the vicinity up and dancing. Although, the Eiffel Tower is beautiful to see at anytime, its definitely the best at night!
2. Champs-Elysees/Arc of Triumph
If you love shopping, you can’t miss all the shops down the Champs-Elysees. There is also, a number of restaurants down the strip where you can try some authentic French cuisine. Just to note, that Paris was the most expensive place on my trip so if your wanting to spend some money there make sure to set a little bit more a side. Down the Champs- Elysees is the well known Arc of Triumph where you can take great photos for instagram. You can also climb the Arc of Triumph to see the view from above.
3. Notre Dame/city exploring
The last iconic monument that we visited in Paris was Notre Dame. Dress code applies to go inside, if that is something your interested in doing. We just took the opportunity to visit Notre Dame on the outside, and spent the rest of our day walking around the city exploring little shops and eating delicious crepe’s.
Paris was a short journey but I honestly did not think that I would love it as much as I did. However, one piece of caution I recommend is being aware of pick pocketers and using a money belt to carry your belongings. Keep important documents such as your passport in the BnBs or Hotels because they will be safer there than with you. Although, its important to be cautious all around Europe, Paris is one of the top places for theft, especially for tourists. Other than that, Paris is beautiful and I recommend checking it out if your planning a vacation around Europe.
To finish off this travel series, I am so excited to announce that I am offering my Europe Photo canvases up for pre sale coming next week. More information will be available when the next blog is posted, so stay tuned!
Bongiorno Tutti! Today I am talking about my experience in Italy and some of the amazing things you can do there. If you don't know, I am full Italian and it was great to finally see the country my grandparents are from. Although, we explored northern Italy and my grandparents are from the south, it just means I will have to go back very soon to see the town they are from. I would have loved to do all around Italy, it just didn't quite fit in our travel route and it definitely a trip I would love to do on its own. This trip I got to see the oh so popular Rome, Tuscany, and Cinque Terre. I am going to break down all the activities and highlights in each place, to get an idea of some of things to check out in those places
1. Colosseum Tour
So if your traveling to Rome, seeing the iconic colosseum is an absolute must! If you do your research you can find some awesome walking tours that take you through the colosseum and Palatine Hill . We found one that was fair in price, and the only downfall was the day we booked it on. This was completely out of our control as there was a bike-a-thon happening in the area and they shut down all entrances to the Colosseum besides one for all the tour groups. So unfortunately there was a lot of waiting in line. Besides that the tour was enjoyable and we had a great tour guide. A recommendation is to research events that are happening before booking any excursions so that you can avoid the chaos we went through.
2. Trevi Fountain
This was something on my bucket list ever since I watched Hilary Duff make her wish in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Depending on the time you go this place can be VERY crowded. It definitely was for us. Rome is a very touristy city with more than 30,000 visitors a day, so crowds should be expected. My recommendation is to see the Trevi Fountain at night, where there is less crowds and its lit up. Especially for those who get easily claustrophobic, this will be the better option. There are also cute little shops around the Trevi Fountain and ice cream in every corner, so make sure to check those out as well.
Entering the Vatican can be quite expensive, however walking outside in the vicinity is free. This is definitely an option for those that are price sensitive on activities. When we looked into getting into the Vatican it was close to 40 Euros a person. if your set on visiting the inside, I recommend buying your tickets at home instead of there because you might score a cheaper deal. Also, there is a dress code that some people weren’t aware of but they are strict about clothing in entering all the churches. You have to make sure your shoulders and knees are covered before entering the church.
4. Iconic Monuments
There are so many other monuments and museums to check out in Rome, so just spending a day roaming the city is fun to do. We spent a whole day just taking the train to different places and exploring the area. We also ate A LOT of ice cream and pizza, as expected. The best pizza place was definitely just outside of the main area of Rome where are BnB was. It was called Pizza e Abbracci, and it was basically there version of fast food or “midnight food.” The place opened around 7pm and you could get a full pizza for only 4.00 Euros. It was honestly super cheap and amazing!
1. Full Wine Day Tour- Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni
We explored other cities and towns in the Tuscany region through this tour including Siena, San Gimignano, and Monteriggioni. This tour included wine tasting a full authentic Italian meal. IT was beautiful to see these small towns, however I do wish we had more time in each place. The best part of the tour was definitely the meal and wine tasting in Siena. The tour was quite short and the tour guides weren’t the greatest, however the beauty of the towns and the food made up for it. This tour was about $60.00 per person, which was quite reasonable compared to many of the other wine tours in Tuscany. If you have some money to splurge in Tuscany I’ll leave some other recommendations for wine tours that we looked at, as well as the one we decided to book. Again, depending on when you are traveling prices can range. If your going to go on a wine tour, I definitely recommend somewhere in the Tuscany region!
2. Florence - Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and more!
Florence is another place full of places to see, so it was hard to do everything in a day. We only had one full day in Florence, and spent it exploring as much of the city as we could. Highlights to check out were definitely the Duomo, which was my favourite and absolutely beautiful. Again, if you want to go inside dress code does apply. In addition, Ponte Vecchio which is one of the oldest bridges in Florence was amazing and makes for beautiful photos. Lastly, we saw the famous David sculpture made by the one and only Michelangelo.
3. Leather Market/Shopping
The leather market was one of my favourite things in Florence, where you can score amazing deals on beautiful European handbags. So all my ladies, this is definitely somewhere you want to check out if your heading to Florence There are many vendors at the market selling identical bags but be careful because some might be fake leather. Also, be open to bargaining so that you can score an even better deal.
4. BnB in Rigano Sull’Arno
We had a total of five days in Tuscany, and had two days for exploring. The other three days was spent relaxing as our vacation was very go go go until this point. I wanted to talk about the beautiful country house we stayed in because it was my favourite BnB we booked. The only downfall about this place is its on the outskirts about half hour way from Florence. There are also no trains by the place so I recommend having a vehicle if you plan on staying here. The closest town would be Pontassieve which is about a 10 min drive down. Since it was on the outskirts we decided to spend majority of the time relaxing by the pool and enjoying the panoramic views. I loved the quietness of the area, and the beautiful views I was waking up to. Bernardo was a great host and I would 10/10 recommend his place. I will leave a link below of his Air BnB.
1.Hike from Monterosso to Vernazza
This beautiful hike will expose your to amazing views and photo opportunities that will not get any other way. The the short hike is about 3 hours and full hike is about 9 hours. Both will give you great photo opportunities, you will just get more on the 9 hour hike. We did the shorter one and didn’t actually expect it to be as intense as it was. We thought it was more of a walk, however it was definitely a hike where you should wear good runners or hiking shoes and dress athletically. Its a great workout, and really worth it. This was the only hike we did in Cinque Terre however, there are hikes to the other towns as well. Due to time, we decided to just take the trains to other places. However, if you have the time and love hikes I would definitely do all of them.
2. Fried Fish In Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore which is the closest tow from La Spezia had the best fried fish to go. The food in Cinque Terre was more on the pricier side but the fried fish was decent and you got a lot for what you paid for. The place was called Il Pescato Cucinato and If you love fish, this would be a great place to try.
3. Monterosso Beach
One of our last days in Cinque Terre was spent at the beach in Monterosso. The water here unbelievably blue and beautiful. There are many shops and restaurants near by for lunch, but you can also bring your own like we did. We just packed some sandwiches and snacks for lunch and had a gelato for dessert. This would make for a great relaxing day during a busy vacation
If your planning to head to Italy I hope you found this helpful, and decide to check out these amazing places. Next week I talk about my last stop of my Europe Travels in Paris. <3
Greece was one of my favourite places to go to! Athens was incredible with all the rich history and Santorini has been on my bucket list for years. I had amazing experiences here that I am super excited to share. Today, I am going to be sharing my top 8 things to do in Athens and Santorini.
1. Hop on, Hop off Bus
As in Berlin, we decided to get a 2 day Hop on, Hop off bus ticket in Athens. We also had limited time here and a lot to see so we thought this would be the best option for us. Just like the bus in Berlin, it took us all around the city and showed us all the iconic monuments. In addition, it also took us in the outskirts to check out some of the beaches. This is a great way to travel around the city throughout your trip for a really good price. Its about $30.00 a person per day, but you can literally ride all day. The last bus, I believe comes around 7pm. I would recommend to check out this bus especially if your heading to Athens for a short time or because your not sure what to see. This gives you an idea of all the activities you can explore, so that you can hop off to check them out on your next ride. Even if you wanted to just stay on and ride the bus, there is an audio system that explains the rich history of Athens and its iconic monuments. So a lot of options are available with this bus, and its worth checking out if your going there.
2. Zeus's Temple
Something to check out is definitely Zeus’s Temple. Its crazy to see structures that have been here for centuries. This is a must see, especially if you enjoy looking at old monuments. There is a cost to get into the grounds, around 15-20 euros. Depending on what time you decide to go, there is special discounts around low season for tourists. In addition, there is a package you can buy that also includes a vist to Acropolis. I will link the full website that explains all costs associated. Although, it can be a little costly to see these places, its honestly worth it if your heading to Athens.
In my opinion, this is the best place to check out in Athens. It can be expensive to get in because of the popularity, but the views and structures you see are indescribable, and worth it. For every structure that you visit, you can read about the history that explains how and why each were built. I will leave a link with some deals to get your tickets at a cheaper price. If you buy them there its around 25 euros per person.
4.The Greco’s Project
If your looking for the BEST gyros in town, you have to check out The Greco’s Project. My friend and I got a full Greek salad and gyros for 7.00 euros each. So its definitely reasonably priced and is absolutely delicious. Easily my favourite gyro in Greece, and trust me we ate a lot of them! This is perfect for a nice lunch thats really affordable or a nice dinner in the evening. If you love trying traditional cuisine, this is definitely a place you want to check out.
1. Wine Tour Canava Roussos
This was one of the oldest winery’s in Santorini where they use traditional wine making methods with authentic Santorini Installations. The great thing about this wine tour is that it is FREE! You get to learn all about the winery and how they make the wine traditionally and modernly. The only thing that costs money is the actual wine tasting, however you can learn all about the winery and are free to roam around. Definitely, a great winery thats affordable and unique to Santorini.
2. The Santorini Brewing Company - The Donkey Experience
If you like beer this is great place to check out as this particular beer is authentic to Santorini. I’m not the biggest beer fan, but my group found it enjoyable and thought it was a unique experience. So if you love beer, this is definitely a place you want to check out in Santorini.
3. Black Beach
There are many Iconic beaches in Santorini to check out, we decided to see Black Beach in Thera. We spent a day at Black beach where we enjoyed the sun, and the fantastic views. The reason why its called black beach is because the sand is black due to the volcano lava flow and the sea water. This is the only beach we spent a day at, however, we did drive by and see others. I would say to check out as many as you can because they are all so beautiful. Especially Red Beach! That one is breathtaking, and we had the opportunity to see it on our catamaran cruise, which Ill be talking about next.
4. Oia Sunset cruise
This was one of my favourite experiences in Greece. Oia is the most beautiful and iconic place in Santorini. ITs the place where you see all the amazing white buildings, and amazing views. As beautiful as the pictures are, it does not do it justice! This is a place I think everyone would love to see. We walked in the town of Oia, as well as, took a sunset cruise to see the whole town from the ocean. What an experience this was! The cruise started around 3 and went to about 9pm. They took you to the hot springs, red beach, and the perfect view of the sunset in Oia. The price might range depending on what time of the year you decide to go. However, dinner and drinks were also provided, which made for a relaxing and fun experience. I will link the sunset cruise we took down below!
I am definitely going to be coming back to Greece, especially Santorini because I fell in love with that place. I hope if you are planning a trip to Europe to strongly consider making your way to Greece and checking these amazing places out. I am excited for next week, as I’ll be talking about Italy and the AMAZING gelato!