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I am a custom photographer located in Calgary Alberta. Specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, children and family portraits, I provide on location and studio sessions and am available for travel. Thanks so much for stopping by! Enjoy!

Archive: May, 2011

Casting Call!!!! | Calgary photographer

Monday, May 30th, 2011

I am ready to make another change to my wonderful photography business!!!! And you may be the lucky ones to have a free photo session with me to celebrate the big step I am taking!!! Did you get married and not love your wedding photos? Maybe the day was dreary, or something happened to your photos? Would you love the chance to get photos all decked out in wedding attire and not having to worry about keeping it spotlessly clean or the *joy* of getting your photos done as a couple with all the family all around? Or maybe you just really want the chance to wear your beautiful wedding gown again?

Or are you a couple that has just gotten engaged? Ready to get some beautiful photos to go along with that new ring?

If this is you or someone you know…. READ ON!!!

So here it is! My casting call!!!

I am looking for 4 couples.

Two couples that are engaged, looking for engagement photos.

Two couples that are ready to wear their wedding outfits one more time.

I will be taking the photos in 2 locations. 1 will be urban – downtown, Kensington, Inglewood. The 2nd will be a park, out in fields, in trees, by the river, bridges. When applying for the casting call you can apply for which location you would like!!

There are some rules:

Only the couples looking for the session can apply. You can not apply for someone else.

You must be willing to shoot the session in the evening. I want to make use of the gorgeous light at the end of the day. Sessions will start at 7:30 and run approx 1.5-2 hours.

The bridal session – must be in formal wedding attire. Although a tux is not required… a suit will be great :)

Engagement session – must be in dressy clothes.

I also need consent to blog the images for your session, use as promo material, etc. I will have a model agreement for the couples to sign giving me permission to use the images for the session.

The shoot will be in Calgary, and I will choose the locations upon discussing with the couples the most suitable places.

The shoot must take place before June 20.

What do you get?

A free session!!!!

5 digital pictures free and of your choosing on a disc. You can purchase any other digital images that will be in your gallery at a discounted price.

I will also be making up albums as I will be shooting a wedding later this year and would like to get some practice in. If you choose to buy the albums I make up it will also be at a discounted price.

Gorgeous pictures to keep forever, and print over and over again any way you would like :)

So if you want to apply to be one of my couples, please send an e-mail to me kjongstra@telus.net Or leave a comment on the blog or on facebook with all the required info :)

*a perk of the bridal session…. if the bride is interested in a trash the dress shoot this would be the perfect time to roll that in too for you! Get some more creative, artistic shots with that gorgeous dress on!

Please tell me your names and the type of session you are applying for.

You have 2 days to send in information to me to enter. I will be videotaping the drawing made for the lucky winning couples and posting it on my fb page. So if you are not already a fan, go check it out and like it so you can see the draw for yourself!! I will take applications until noon on Wednesday.

So tell everyone you know that would be a great candidate for this!!! Please pass on my blog link, or my FB link to get the word out! I am so excited to start offering these types of sessions and would love to have you involved!!!!

Ready? Go!!!!!!

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when it rains day after day, it floods | Calgary photographer

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

It has been raining here for many days. I think it has been 5 or 6 days since we have seen the sun. Not sure which, and am too tired to google. Plus I can barely see out of my contacts right now. I need new ones πŸ˜‰
The rain, just keeps coming. Whether it be a slight drizzle, or shift to a down right pour it is still there.
Living in the city, in a community up on a pretty high hill, flooding doesn’t really come to mind. It’s not something I thought of, even after this many days of rain. Our sand table is overflowing, the kids sand buckets have all filled with water and are overflowing, but we have no lakes in our backyard. No huge puddles that are asking to be jumped in. In fact, the kids get bored out there playing after a while, as really what do you want to do, but jump in puddles when it’s raining!! Instead they busy themselves with helping me move the zillions of worm that show up on the driveway/sidewalk every day back to our yard.
Today on twitter I started seeing High River’s river was actually getting too high. The water was up to the bridge! Ridiculous… I have shot pictures there and you could easily stand in the water under that bridge. Probably 2 people high usually. Then I read the river in Okotoks was flooding at the playground we normally go to. Then I read about people in Calgary starting to experience flooding. And then I saw a video of 22X close to Millarville. And wow – that was some video.
So I charged batteries for my camera. I was taking Ro out for a sleepover at Gram’s, so I thought if I could I would grab some pics.
The river was much too high for me to be comfortable bringing the kids with me. I have a huge fear of water in general, but this raging river was not somewhere I really wanted the kids to be. So I dropped them at Gram’s and went back. But not too close. I discovered a few things. One – shooting prime lenses really limits you when it is pouring rain and you want to switch lenses for different shots. Then give up because it is too much work and NOONE wants water in the camera. Two – I am way too much of a scaredy cat to be one of those awesome natural disaster photographers. I did not want to get close to the water. It was cold and I was drenched. So I shot some and left :) Three – it was completely unnerving. The sound of that river was so intense, it was unreal. And seeing the power in that water…. well I was staying safe on the hill :)

I did go to a higher spot after with Kade, and she had fun jumping in some sweet puddles. And listening to the river. She couldn’t really see it, but I could. So. Much. Water.


The water has gone so far – past the walkways, the parking lot and into the campground. It is a sight to see!

See? Still raining.

This is from the fall last year. I had no pictures from the bridge, but you can see the river is ver shallow here. There is normally a very shallow part, then some bushes with this huge tree that has been there since I have known the park, then another section of river that is deeper. You can see that tree is close to being taken away a few pictures up.

This is a pic I took right beside the tree last fall. Everyone would walk through the shallow part and walk around by the tree.

Again. Such a fashionista πŸ˜‰ She was over the top happy to get a new outfit today. The skirt is a little big, but to her it’s perfect :)

Lot of water where there normally isn’t!

Everything is so colourful and pretty though :)

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bugs, rain suits, soccer and more | Calgary photographer

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

5 year olds. 5 year old boys. Oh my, boys WILL be boys.

While we were out cleaning out the car the other day, we found a bug. Kind of like a caterpillar, kind of like a worm. What does it matter really. No matter what it is, it is disgusting. Unless you are a 5 year old boy who thinks bugs are pretty cool. Especially if you are a 5 year old boy that loves bugs AND wants a pet hamster very badly. And will settle on smuggling said bug into his room to keep for a pet.
Yep. He did. Smuggled him in. So the next morning when I found out instead of flinging it out the door never to be seen again and going back to my relatively bug free life, I helped him make a little box with dirt, grass and water. Oh the things we do for our children. And this little bug, I even googled. I think it is a cutworm. Even if it isn’t that is what it is now known as. The reason for that? I told Rohan it was a cutworm. And now he will correct anyone that calls it a bug. Or just a worm. It is a CUTWORM. Oh and in case you are wondering… it is a girl. I have no idea if bugs have gender, but this one had a baby. So, of course, it is a girl. Heaven forbid you call it a ‘he’ in Ro’s presence. And Ro treats it like a pet. It goes on car rides with us. Visits Grandma. Has gone to school for 2 days. He gives it new grass, sprinkles water on it to be rain. He pets it, talks to it, and has gotten to know the little bug quite well. Especially the signs it is about to poop. That, at least, freaks Rohan out lol. He did get rid of the baby, it kept trying to sneak out. The ‘mom’ is quite content in the box and doesn’t really try to climb up. But it is tightly sealed at night as it freaks me out.

Today is the third day we have spent with this cutworm. This cutworm named Art. Ro knows he will want to turn into a moth. And that we probably don’t have the right set up for him. So tonight he dug deep and said maybe we should release him into the wild so he could go and turn into a moth. He had such good intentions, and it was really hard for him, but he took it outside. THEN, he said, you know what mommy? I think he needs a sunny day. He might get cold in this rain. Oh my Rohan. You are one sweet boy. So the bug is back on his shelf. Waiting for a sunny day.

Yesterday, upon reading the forecast of one week of rain, I decided to get the kids rain gear. They LOVE playing in water. They love being outside. Poor kids were out that morning in winter jackets and shoes. Hot on top, soaked and cold on the bottom lol. So as we were on our way to Gram’s I thought we would pick some up on the way so they could go puddle hopping outside while we had coffee.
Let’s just say that was a bust.
Superstore Calgary – sold out. We found a cute coat for Kade in the clearance rack. Which made Ro very upset.
Met Gram at Payless in Okotoks. They were closed. Don’t open till 10.
Canadian Tire Okotoks – had boots for Rohan. Made Kadence mad.
Walmart in Okotoks – one windbreaker jacket Gram spotted. That will have to do Ro. 2 almost happy kids. Just needed boots for the girl now.
Payless in Okotoks – no rain boots.
Winners in Okotoks – sold out.

Gave up and had coffee at Gram’s. And some delicious homemade chicken noodle soup. Everyone was happy :)

Back to Calgary to drop Ro at school. Then back on the hunt.
Winners Calgary – no kids rain boots
Canadian Tire Calgary – ended up buying rain boots one size to big. Closest we had seen to fitting all day and we were exhausted!!!!!! Then I turn around, and they have these suits. Rain suits! Pants and jackets for 12.00. SWEET!!! I get 2, one small and one medium. Left the store to pick up Ro from school. He was so excited to get home and get the suit on it was hilarious!
Get home, pull the suits out…….. his is missing the pair of pant. SERIOUSLY!!! Get in the car and go back to Canadian Tire. They are now SOLD OUT. They have 2 jackets in medium, but they are also missing the pants. BUT, they show them at the location by southland. It is now rush hour, and we are on Macleod. Super awesome. Get there. Find a complete suit (with another jacket missing pants in the only other bag they had left lol) came home, got the suits on. Kade’s fits super. Rohan – the jacket is perfect, pants a little tight, but they fit over his jeans and boots so we figure it will be fine. Now, I have the aha moment. No wonder pants are missing from the packages, the pants are too small for the jackets they match up! Go out and play for a few minutes in the rain….. and boom. Ro split the pants. Can you believe it?????? You can imagine how overjoyed I was by this point. So whatever… just let him keep playing. They had fun. That is what matter right???

They had SO MUCH FUN in those suits. I am so hapy they are kids to really value the little things. Out examining the grass. Playing train station in the rain. Looking for bugs. Having a spectacular time out in the rain.

So while they played… I took pics of water droplets. It was pretty dark out to get any really amazing shots.. but this one I just love.

And I got this too… very pretty!

Today we were very productive. Cleaned the bathrooms. Cleaned the bedrooms. Vacuumed the beds, washed the bedding. Visited with Aunty Mel. Tomorrow is steam cleaning day. Myra is sick again, and has seriously thrown up about 20 times in 2 days. My carpet…. is in rough shape :( Having dogs adds on SO MUCH work. Well these dogs at least. I can’t believe how much I have to clean up from 2 dogs. And how much her medication is. That is making her sick. UGH. We also played soccer in the rain. No really… the 5 year old played in the rain. While the parents were all wishing we were warm at home πŸ˜‰
Rain = Daddy being able to come to games!!!

I love watching him play. He gets SO excited. And he smile and jumps around like crazy. Total fun to watch.

Good grief. I love this picture.

And this one.

Good day. I. Am. Tired.

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don’t mess with these kids ;) | Calgary children’s photographer

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

It’s warm. No wind to speak of. Kids are RARING to go. Me? Not so much. Β I am suffering a migraine in a bad way. Trying to keep it at bay long enough to get the kids in bed so I can get in bed myself!! Migraines are a fact of my life. Some worse than others, but if I can’t rid of them they all have me in the same place. Sick and in bed cursing the slightest noise. A water dip. Someone walking. A door 2 blocks away closing… you get it I’m sure. It’s always been a struggle, but with kids…. ooooh the noise. And the pain.

Anyways… that is my sob story of the day!

My kids DID give me 15 minutes. 15 minutes to drink pepsi (believe it or not pop helps), take some advil and close my eyes.

Then it was water time. I did promise after all πŸ˜‰ So happy the kids are getting some sweet outdoor time. Between one of our dogs being sick AGAIN and dealing with that, trying to clear spaces for my mil to paint, cleaning out all our cupboards, and taking care of everything else we all needed something fun.

So they had fun and I took pictures. Win win.

Notice anything similar about their faces?

We went croc shopping today. Poor Rohan broke his last year and has been alternating between trying to run in flip flops (hello blisters, sore feet and complaining) and his SLIPPERS in the backyard lol. Finally has some crocs. But he picked reg old crocks. Kade got some super cute ones!!! I asked for a picture of her after I took some of the shoes…. ya this is what she gave me.

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they grow so fast | Calgary children’s photographer

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Yesterday I had a baby. I swear it was yesterday. He wanted me, he needed me. He wanted suggles, love, attention. 1/2 a day a go he was running up to me for everything. Kisses, hugs, he didn’t care who was around. The other day I was a big deal.

Today I am the one who he will hold hands with after he makes a quick check to see if any of his friends are around. Today he tells me I can NOT kiss him at school. Today friends are in. Mommy is out. Unless, of course he is hungry, thirsty, or hurts himself.

Today I watch my little boy and am so proud of who he is becoming. But sad that he has to grow up so fast. Because every tomorrow seems to come too fast these days. Now the worries have moved from when to change a sippy to a cup, when to lose the soother, when to stop holding them and let them soothe themselves to how to be responsible. A nice, kind and caring little boy. How to get him to learn to play with others. To get him to learn patience. To be nice to his sister. To STOP saying poop every 2 minutes. Life becomes more difficult every day. But it is the absolute BEST to sit back and watch him do something he loves. And know that he is still going to hug me tightly before bed, and smile and say ‘good night mommy. I love you.’

Agility and Dexterity. Things we have to work on. Look at him doing jumping jacks.

Look at this kid’s face. He is so happy to be out playing.

They sit around cracking jokes. Absurd jokes to us. But they laugh like crazy all the same. Funny stuff.

There is a puppy dog that one of the girls on Rohan’s team has. Kade is in love with Finnigan. She spend most of the game petting this puppy. Today he was late. So she spent a bit more time standing in front of me while I was trying to take pictures. Who can resist a face like this!!!

He had a really great game tonight. He was going after the ball and most times getting it away from the other team. *insert mushy proud mommy momment*

Just wanted to say. Spring is here. I have the mosquito bites to prove it. And the buds on the trees too!!

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don’t want to jinx it…..

Friday, May 6th, 2011

‘Go play outside’
The words I am dying to say. No, I do not think I am a bad mom. But my kids are driving me CRAZY! Everyone, EVERYONE in my house is suffering from spring fever. Hardcore.

The fighting. OMG the fighting. He hit me. She stuck out her tongue at me. He looked at me. I want to watch Barbie. I hate Barbie! I want a movie. I want to play the Wii. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! You’re the meanest mom EVER!

This is my life.

So I am looking for the signs of spring. Anything really. The snow is finally melted. The grass is well trampled from the zillion pounds of snow that covered it. There are miniature mountains of gravel outside from all they put down this winter (totally weird), so the dust coming into the house is a nightmare. Not to mention all the rocks the kids collect πŸ˜‰

I am going crazy. I just need summer. I know…. quit whining right? But, this has just been the WORST year weather wise. We miss my sister and her family TONS. Dion has been working like a mad man. I just need a little bit of happy. So I searched the backyard for some.

Know what this is from? Rain!!! Not snow. Never have I welcomed rain more πŸ˜‰

And then… one of the lilac bushes has some buds!

The kids are so excited to be outside. They literally go out first thing, in their jammies and coats until it’s time for a shower. There was frost on the ground when they were out here. And little hail pellets still on the ground. However… check their shoes lol. They want summer as bad as I do! Β That is my little piece of happy :)

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Soccer season begins again! | Calgary event photographer

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Wow… it’s here already!! Frost this morning and soccer this afternoon :) Ro was so excited to get going to his first game. I had been a little slow to register him… they play during the week in the evening. RIGHT when we are normally putting them to bed. So I was a little hesitant to be signing him up. But eventually he resorted to begging and which meant I gave in. The kid LOVES soccer. Who could say no! So I was a little rushed to find out at 3:10 he would be playing tonight! Especially when I had to buy the cleats and Β shin guards, get him from school, have supper, and get there. Gram thankfully drove Kade in from Okotoks (she was visiting today. Yes – that means I had 2 solid hours of kid free time today!! Thanks Gram :) ) so I didn’t have to worry about that. And Wendy’s cam through for supper tonight πŸ˜›

Before soccer Rohan told me a few things. One his jersey number they would give him would be 6. He also told me he wondered if he would remember how to play, cause he had forgotten. He also said he was going to have friends on his team. Stay tuned. I also got a phone call from the coach to confirm we would be there. I turned to Ro and said hey, you have a lady coach! His immediate reply…. ‘Is she pretty and beautiful mom?’ OH MY.

When we arrived on the field we immediately sought out blue jerseys. Finding his friend from school (also went to preschool together) in blue Ro was SO EXCITED. But it was not to be, there were 2 blue teams! Then when he saw another friend from his class on the team he was really disappointed. BUT… we found someone on his team not to far away!! Remember this girl from last summer ? It turns out she is on his team! While she didn’t remember me, she remembered him! So, he had at least one friend on his team!

When the coach arrived she gave him a jersey. Number 6. What are the odds? His friends parents joked we should definitely have him pick the numbers for a lottery ticket tonight :)

So on to the game…. he loved it. Every minute. Even though it was late, and he was tired he kept asking the coach when it was his turn to go in again. Not like last year at all…. there was no end of practice too tired to get back out on the field going on today!

We all enjoyed the game.. Kade wore Daddy out playing soccer as well.. that kid is pretty good, she’ll be playing next year!

It was worth the temper tantrum Kade threw at the end. Although, we’ll cross our fingers there won’t be another one any time soon.

The light is much prettier in the evening than those noon practices πŸ˜‰ And look at him…. hello Mr.Happy!

Look at his hands and face. Mushy proud moment.

Daddy teaching Kade some moves.. I don’t know who played harder. Ro, Kade or Daddy.

Words can NOT describe how much I love this picture. Unreal.

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Protected: 1st birthday party proofs

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

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1st birthday party

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

It’s one of those HUGE milestones for parents and babies. They’re turning one. Starting to walk. Assert their independence. There is nothing better than a birthday party when you are turning one.

I was so grateful to be included in this little sweetheart’s first birthday party. It was quite an amazing experience to be there as a photographer. And to piece together the party afterwards in photos. Absolutely amazing.

Some of these are from a recent sneak peek here , I put them in because I wanted to get some practice on my new storyboards :)

The details….

The birthday princess

Some birthday family and friends to celebrate with

What’s a party without presents?

And….. the cake.

Beautiful girl, Wonderful family, Most excellent party!!!

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