Lifestyle Shoot with Creations Behind The Lens Photography

Lifestyle Shoot with Creations Behind The Lens Photography

An Introduction to my mama friend and creative genius;

Sarah Rowland

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Sarah and her beautiful daughter Elena aka Bean

 

I came across Sarah and her photography business because she’s a HUGE fan of the reality show, Big Brother and did a gorgeous family shoot with my brother in law Bruno Ielo (who was on Big Brother seasons 3 and 5) and I knew I wanted to book her to take pictures of my new family in the fall. Not only did she completely exceeded my expectations with the actually photos she took of my little family, they were so perfect as seen on the blog post, Memories & Moments, but she has the sweetest personality and soooooo easy to work with. You know when your not a professional model and it feels really awkward to get your pictures taken, well she made me feel MORE then comfortable and took away all that weird awkwardness with her awesome, fun loving personality. Throughout that shoot we got to chatting a bit and in asking her some questions about her business we found out about all the misfortune that her and her husband went through right after moving to Ottawa and before giving birth to their first child.

The photography business is very competitive and it can be especially hard to gain new clients to shoot and make a living, when you first move to a new city, where your portfolio doesn’t match the locations in that said city, and on top of all of that being a normal reality for a photographer and business owner, Sarah had to combat a lot of bad luck that was flung her way when she first moved to Ottawa and was in the middle of her first pregnancy.

The most admirable quality I that Sarah has, is no matter what miss fortune was thrown her way (throughout her entire pregnancy!) she just keep moving forward with the most positive attitude, putting in the time and effort needed to grow her photography business in Ottawa to provide for her family. If that’s not the definition of BOSS.ASS.BABE I don’t know what is!

After chatting with Sarah more and more online we started becoming real life friends and we did more shoots together, again all featured on the blog, and everytime she shoots my family I’m amazed by the end product. For me to say that I’m in love with her work is a huge understatement!

I was hoping that Sarah would share with my followers and with the women in Ottawa her story, all that she faced and went through while being pregnant and a first time mother. I think it will inspire other women who have faced misfortunes in their lives that remind you that no matter what happens you are able to re build your life from the ground up and eventually rise from the ashes so to speak, and achieve everything you set your mind to.

I’m a person of the belief that if you’re a hard worker and a good person that good will come to you and I know for a fact that Sarah is truly a wonderful person and an incredible mama and provider for her family!

I HIGHLY recommend you hiring Sarah to capture your families most  precious moments at all stages and seasons of your lives. You wont regret it!

Sarah is also have a promotion for the rest of the winter season that most shoots (outdoor, family, maternity, newborn, engagement) are $60.00 until April and family shoot in home are $85.00 until April as well!

Sarah’s Story

My first pregnancy with my daughter Elena (aka Bean) was the craziest experience of my life to date, and I’m sure most mothers can agree. Everything is new and exciting, with it comes ups and downs, and I spent the majority of it eating my weight in dill pickle crispers and Greek yogurt every night.

However the events experienced in last few months of my pregnancy were truly life shifting. I was in a car accident a few days before Christmas, we were thankfully all uninjured but the car on the other hand was a right off and it was just really bad timing to have that happen, especially during the holidays. A few weeks after the accident at 22 weeks pregnant I went to the ER as I wasn’t feel well, they thought that I had HELLP Syndrome ( A potentially life-threatening disorder that’s usually associated with preeclampsia, a condition that occurs in 5–8 percent of pregnancies. Most often after the 20th week of pregnancy. HELLP syndrome is a disorder of the liver and blood that can be fatal if left untreated.) and that I would need to deliver ASAP. I was admitted and kept in the hospital for over a week to be monitored and have constant testing done to make sure the baby and I were okay. In the end everything seemed to be ok and I got to go home at last.

We were fully nested and SO ready to meet our little girl at 9 months pregnant, when a evening my husband and I were at the movies for date night I received one the worst phone calls of my life. My neighbour had called to tell me that our home, along with many other (they were Minto row homes) had caught fire. She was telling me that our home was gone. I was frantic in the 20 minute car ride home having full on stress induced contrations and all I remember is pleedy to my neighbours on the phone to safe our pets. Our neighbour was a hero and managed to get our dog out safetly but our cat was missing finally found in the rubble 3 days later in the -25 degree weather. March 12, 2017 you were a real pain in my neck!

After the fire destroyed our home and all of our posesstions, we were living in a hotel with literally NOTHING. Still thinking back to that time its so surreal to know that we had everything ready and we were so prepared for our little bean to join us to not knowing where we would be living when she arrived. We spent the next week in the horrible dead of winter weather having meetings with Minto to try to find a home to move into and trying to put together some things to have ready for the baby. We needed to buy a car seat, clothes, diapers, just even to have some necessities for when she was born. I know how lucky we were to not be home when the fire happened. It started in the home directly attached to ours and they went up so quickly that a few neighbours almost didn’t make it out with their lives.

We thankfully got a place, moved in and that same evening I went into labour. Life wasn’t going to give me a break quit yet, my birth included horrible kidney stones, an emergency C-section and intense pain, but I’ll never forget the moment hearing her first cry’s and seeing that perfect little face was the craziest most beautiful moment that I’ve ever experienced in my life. March 22nd, 2017 our little Elena was born.

We not only lost every sentimental piece ( like photos , hand knit clothing and blankets from my childhood that I had for Elena, etc) but I lost everything that was my livelihood. I lost all of my photography props and equipment that I collected and invested in throughout the years, I lost my lighting tools and my camera equipment that the money from the insurance settlement wouldn’t even come close to covering.

The first 6-8 months after Elena was born came with its own set of first time mom and motherhood challenges. My family was far away and we were kinda figuring things out on our own starting our life from scratch. But in the last year I’ve been working hard at replacing all that I lost business wise. I’ve invested a lot of time and money re-branding my business, and rebuilding my cliental, and all the hard work this past year has really started paying off as it has been one of my best years in business since I’ve moved to Ottawa.

I truly feel that loosing it all was a bit of a blessing in disguise, in that it forced me to push myself to limits I didn’t even know I had in me in order to rebuild my life and make it what it is today. My husband, daughter and myself are happy and healthy and that’s all that truly matters.

I really look forward to what 2019 has instore for me professionally and for my business and I looking forward capturing the moments that matter most in peoples lives. I truly love being apart, capture witness people, couples and families at their happiest most precious moments in life.

Please feel free to contact me at  http://www.creationsbehindthelens.com/ for any photography shoot inquires 🙂

Sarah Rowland

 

My Families Lifestyle Shoot With Sarah

These photos are were really important for me and my husband to capture for many reasons.

  1. I wanted to capture Amadeo’s true crazy personality in pictures and I knew we could do that where he is most familiar and comfortable, in our home.
  2. I really wanted photos to capture our family in the house that Amadeo lived in when he was born. My husband and I completely gutted and renovated this home top to bottom, inside and out, a lot of literal blood sweat and tears went into this home together and while I was pregnant and we are selling this home and moving into our newly built home in August.
  3. I’ve mentioned before that its realllllllly important to me to document Amadeo’s growth throughout his first year and with Sarah’s affordable prices we are able to do that every couple months and beautiful display these photos in our home.

 

I hope you enjoy these beautiful photos of my family and if you book with a family shoot with Sarah please share with me, I always love to see the beautiful shots that Sarah takes of my friends and followers!!!

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The best part of a lifestyle shoot is Sarah is truly capturing you in your real life. While Amadeo was finishing off his morning nap I rinsed off some bottles and my husband came to give me kisses. I kid you not people this is my every day and to be honest 99% of the time it drives me nuts but I know I need to cherish and apricate moments like this more. Also side note while he washes the dishes I usually go behind him and air hump him to make him laugh, not as romantic. In the second picture is our first son Luca who is our forever puppy and protector of Amadeo !

 

My husband is truly my bestfriend and partner in all thing life and I couldn’t be more thankful for him. Cheers to forever darling, you’re stuck with me.

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I’ve been working a lot in therapy on investing time and putting effort into my marriage, after a baby it really gets put on the back burner. You are both tired and burnt out that by the end of the day there is nothing left forever after you seem to both give it all to baby. We now practice daily, ten minutes of mat time as a family , checking in with each others feelings and thoughts after we put Amadeo to bed and take a moment to just hug and kiss each other. A little physical contact with your spouse can be all it tacks to feel a bit more connected to one another 🙂

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Let him sleep, for when he wakes, he will move mountains

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One of the MAJOR bonuses to bottle feeding our son from birth is the bonding that my husband and Myself both get to experience equally 🙂

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I constantly go between wanting you to be my baby forever, to being excited about all the amazing things I’ll get to witness you do in this life. 

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The bromance between these too is my favourite, the love this kid has for his Dad is beautiful!

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I wished for a girl and man do I ever love being a BOY MOM it just goes to show you sometimes you truly don’t know what you want until the choice is made for you. 

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Out of all of our accomplishments daddy and I both agree, you’re our best one!

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Don’t worry little guy, Daddy and Mommy will spend the rest of our days giving you kisses!
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Sarah capturing my daily brainwashing ritual of embedding the word MAMA into my sons brain so that will be his first word, I mean reading time!?

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The day we did our lifestyle shoot we had a doctors appointment were we got the go ahead to start him on solids! As you can see from his face in the first picture he was SUPER PUMPED, I mean we only tease him everyday eating our delicious big people food in front of him while he enjoys yet another bottle. And after the first weird bite , he was hooked! YUM FOOD! 

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We moved to the island for the last bit of his cereal and gave him the spoon, he is my independent Leo after all. I’m so happy Sarah was there to capture these amazing pictures of this first!
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Thank you Sarah for being the talented women that you are and being a huge part in capturing our families most beautiful moments. We are forever Grateful!

Amadeo’s Baptism

Amadeo’s Baptism

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Photos by the amazing Sarah Rowland from Creations Behind the Lens Photography

There are two reasons that I wanted to post and share with you pictures of my sons Baptism, first is that I love any and all moments that Sarah captures for my family, they are beautiful and stunning and her work must be shared, and second because I wanted to talk about parental choices.

I’m a classic overthinker, I always have been, and the moment that I found out that I was pregnant this overthinker in me somehow doubled in size, and once I gave birth to my son its grew times a million.

I find myself in any and all moments that I have to myself overthinking EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. From the mundane to the really important things, it really doesn’t matter, I’m defiantly dedicating a lot of extra brain power, that I don’t have at the moment ( thanks mommy brain ) to thinking about or researching about any and all things. The decision to Baptize our son was no different.

If you are VERY religious and don’t enjoy reading other peoples views on religion that may not 100% match your views I suggest you bow out on reading this post or just skip ahead and look at the beautiful pictures of my son getting Baptized.

I was Baptized, had my first Holy Communion, and my Reconciliation,so has my husband. We are Catholic but in no way are we practicing Catholics. We go to church to see people get married, unfortunately to give our condolences at funerals and some years go to Christmas Eve midnight mass. I would not describe my husband as a man of “faith” but he goes through the motions and is 100% a man of tradition. In our culture these religious rights of passage are tradition.

I describe myself as a Catholic Atheist, because I am Catholic, I have received all the sacraments, however until the Catholic Church changes a lot of their views and opinions pertaining to pro choice, LGBTQ rights, medicating for mental illness, and the list goes on, I really have no desire to take any part in practicing this religion.

So here’s my personal parenting dilemma and my over thinking starts. On one hand I have very strong views on the Catholic Church and their teachings and I don’t want my child exposed to any sort of hatred towards anyone. Before you say theirs no hatred well in the last two years I’ve had two priests and deacons tell me to stop taking anti depressants that its not right and I should just pray, not to take birth control for my endometriosis pain, hey men how about you stfu about women’s reproductive organs if you don’t have them you have no business giving us your opinion on them, and I’ve had to listen to huge rants about abortion. But I’m not parenting my child on my own, my husband does count and he wants our son to be baptized for tradition.

I know how I want to raise my son, I want him to be a kind human being, to actually live life like the golden rule and most of the ten commandments but I want it to be applied to all people. I want him to be open minded and know that everyone deserves kindness, respect and love.

When we were doing our interview so to speak with the priest that would be baptizing my son he asked us why we were choosing to baptize him and what I said to him is in the end the true reason why we chose to baptize Amadeo. I want to give my child every opportunity available to him in this world. I don’t want to close doors for him because of my beliefs, he may grow up wanting to find solitude and comfort in this religion. I know that I will be doing my idea of parental due diligence of exposing my son to all different cultures and religions in this world but I had to take a step back and just know that this wont hurt or damage him.

My son is at his purest time in his life, without any sin or wrong doing to anyone in this world, to me that is something that I can get behind celebrating with family and loved ones and I know that as a women it will be my responsibility as his mother to help guide him through his life to be the best human he can be moving forward.

Why I’m writing this, is because I always believe in being transparent and honest in my life and I promised myself to carry that into my blogging world for you all to read. This is the truth, that in life and our parenting life there will be choices that we make for our children before they start making their own and as a team with their other parent you have to way the pros and cons. I weighed my pros and cons about getting my son baptized and in the end it wasn’t a pros and cons decision, it was the fact that I truly felt like it wasn’t something I needed to really fight for. I will be saving that for future, for things that I feel very passionate about or that I feel like would hinder my son in different ways, this isn’t one of them.

So on that note, I’m truly sorry if I offended anyone, but its just me being me and me being honest my intent isn’t to hurt anyone.

I feel like I share this at any opportunity and I cant even help it but if you want all of your families moments beautifully captured by a wonderful, warm hearted, talented mama photographer, Sarah Rowland is your gal! Thanks for the beautiful Memories!

In our tradition its customary for the God Parents to come and dress the God Child in their Baptismal gown. Thomas and I chose his sister and brother in law to be Amadeo’s God parents, because they are two people who we know will always be there for him and love no matter what, he is so lucky to have them both in his life. We were so thankful that Sarah came to our home to capture these moments and the love that our son has for his Zia and Uncle Kevin.

 

Amadeo was Baptized in my husbands gown that his God Mother gave to him. She told us that she added all of the blue bows so everyone would know he was a boy.

 

Thomas and I are both  truly blessed with a wonderful boy that has completed our family. To watch him grow before our eyes has been our greatest adventure yet.

God Parents, Zia Anna and Uncle Kevin, Bella and Cameron Amadeo’s cousins and of course his furry brother Luca got in on some family pictures.

 

The takeaway that I have from the ceremony was Amadeo did amazing considering he was starving and it was in the middle of nap time. The Mass was short and sweet, had some confusing but comical moments I guess, but its done and over with and was pretty painless so win, win.

This is the part that I can get behind. We went to have a reception with our family at Sala San Marco, the banquet hall that we were married at, for a sit down meal ( Italian style ) and yummy desserts by the talented Daina Dunker of Daina’s Bake Shop. Beautiful Desserts that taste even better then they look!

 

Thank you to all of our family that came to share this day with us and for your generous gifts for Amadeo, we are so lucky!

 

 

Eric Carle Baby Shower

Photos by David @Cesoirstudios 

When Thomas and I were getting married I really wanted to skip the bridal shower. We had already been living together for almost three years and had everything we needed so it was a bit of an added stress trying to figure out logistics of a party between our four families.

Our baby shower on the other hand I was VERY excited to plan and decorate for!

We ended up hosting an Eric Carle themed party with around 100 people at our home for a co-ed BBQ with the help of our parents. Thomas’ mom and dad provided the mains and sides and my mom provided the cake and desserts. It truly was a picture perfect day filled with the spoiling’s of all our favourite people. We are blessed with wonderful loving families and friends who showed up to support us and celebrate the next wonderful chapter in our lives, we can’t thank you enough! Amadeo is the luckiest boy!

I wanted the Dessert table to be the star of the show at our Eric Carle themed shower. We rented the greenery backdrop and dessert table from @Pearldecor (they were our wedding decorators and now decorators for life!) Rasha is a DREAM to work with from start to finish and love and respect her as a creative and fierce entrepreneurial mother of a gorgeous little girl! I highly recommend looking into Pearl Decor for any of your party decorating needs!
This three tiered Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake was Salted Caramel , Vanilla and Chocolate.  Desserts by @dainadunker 

Daina makes such amazing Desserts that we had only two cupcakes and a bit of cake leftover after the shower!I’ve never seen guests enjoying baked goods like these before and we will never order from anywhere else again!! Highly recommend her services and expertize!

Very Hungry Caterpillar cake pops by @Dainadunker
A lot of our paper decorations I ordered off of Oriental Trading, usually I’m all for DIY projects for my parties however being 8 months pregnant this was the way to go!
Favor and Candy Buffet table 

We had a lot of children attend our shower and so I wanted activities and fun things set up for them to do and eat. Along with the take home pineapple cutting boards guests were encouraged to bring home lots of candy as well!

Food!!! We had a cooked pig, BBQ sausage’s and hot dogs, Pulled Pork, and about ten different salads to pair with veggies, chips and fruit! There is never a shortage of food at our parties (after all we are Italian) but there’s even more when our parents are providing and organizing the food!

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The Most important part of our special day was sharing it with the people who mean the world to us and I know will mean the world to our son!

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“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is a story about hope. You like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future.” – Eric Carle