Archives for posts with tag: photography

Thanks to my friend Mark R. for showing me this photo! Quite inspiring! =)

THIS is exactly what it is. We are too scared to leave our comfort zones to truly experiment, and learn what’s out there and what we are capable of. This isn’t applied to just our jobs or hobbies, it’s applied to every little thing in our life.

Our comfort zone is very seductive. It tells us “Don’t leave me, you know you’re always safe with me. Nothing bad can happen~“, which is true, but that means you are sticking to a routine, the same thing over and over again.

Why NOT risk it? What do you really have to lose?

I came across this blog post recently:

This made me stop and think. I’ve always put the safety of my camera first no matter what (at least that’s what I tell myself, even though I’ve been through some crazy stuff with my camera in dangerous places and my baby was still fine!). But at the same time, I’ve been holding back on trying something new, something bold. I’ve been telling myself that this summer I’m going to try as many types of photography and photo’s as I can. How can I say that when I freak out with going out in the rain, any bad weather, pass up opportunities to take initiative and set up more photo shoots because I’m not use to photographing and directing people? How hypocritical right?

Beautiful photo’s truly come from taking the risk. There’s an adrenaline rush knowing you were able to put yourself out there to get that shot. This can work with anything, applying for a job, talking to people, improving upon yourself, YOU NAME IT!

Well no more of that! I AM going to risk it. I AM going to put it on the line.

… Now, if only I knew sooner that it was raining 2 hours ago … -_-

xoxo Dana

I believe that documenting has become a huge part of my life permanently. We’ve all done it unconsciously, or maybe just didn’t realize that we were doing it.

  • We were doing it when we took photos of the birthday surprises that were successful.
  • We were doing it when your baby cousin started talking and we were rushing to record it.
  • We were doing it when we were secretly writing in our journals in the middle of the night about how we talked to our crush.  
  • We do it when we’re taking a photo of your friends when we’re having the time of our lives.

Why? To remember. To look back on.

Ever since I was given my small point and shoot digital canon camera in the 10th grade for my birthday, as soon as I took a photo, I realized I was holding onto a moment in time. A captured moment. Something I know I could look back on 20, 30 years from now and remember because I had taken this photograph. Sometimes the best times aren’t photographed, and that’s okay. It makes it even more special. Over time, we DO forget these things. We will forget the things that we did, or said, but I think that’s why documenting it in SOME way is so helpful.

Nothing changes when that single photograph is taken, or when those feelings are documented or recorded, no matter what happens after that. You have preserved that single moment forever and it’s something you can always look back on, no matter how you felt.

It’s a great way to sit down and reflect. Reflect on how much has changed. Reflect on what hasn’t.

I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder, but now I definitely am with my photos. I just can’t bring myself to throw away a memory, or delete a file that I still remember. It may not have a single shred of meaning to someone else, but if it does to me, then that’s all that counts. Several years from now, I won’t complain when I have a billion photo’s stored on my backup drive, because it just means that I have a billion memories stored away.

So why not make documenting a trend in your life? There’s nothing stopping you~

xoxo Dana

I think everyone should be a “model” at one point in their life. No, I don’t mean going into a huge fancy studio and spending a whole load of money (although a bunch of friends saving up for a long period of time and going together seems like more fun)! But seriously, have someone take your photos’ for no specific reason. Do it just because you can.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned when actually taking portraits, is that everyone can enjoy having their photo taken. When I realized someone’s face will light up when they see a photo that they like, it just dawned on me. This is what makes it so worth it. That was why I let myself dive into portraits more and more.

I’m sure plenty of people would like it, even if it was only once in their life, who wouldn’t? Girls love to dress up when they go out and “cam-whore” because they feel good. Guys too have their days where they feel extremely great, practically on top of the world. Letting someone get dressed and take their photo and just have a good time seems like more than enough reason to do it. Don’t you agree?

Wouldn’t you like to have those few photo’s to look back on of yourself just showing that you are at your best? You know you feel good, you had fun, and you got a fun experience out of it to tell someone about when they ask “hey, that’s such a nice photo! When did you do this?

xoxo Dana

“Inspiration or Desperation?”

As soon as I read this, it’s been stuck in my head. It’s always constantly reminding me whenever I’m doing anything art/photo-related.

It’s not supposed to be easy. But, sometimes I think that’s what some people think; “Gee, if you love it, why would it be hard for you?” That’s where you want to ask them to do what you do and see what they think.

It happens with anything that you’re truly passionate about. It’s like a trial and a phase. It’s both a blessing and a curse. You sometime’s NEED to hit that wall, that writers block, in order to rediscover WHY you fell in love in the first place. Understand where you came from; what your starting point was, and how to go about it.

This is what I’ve decided to do. Start from the beginning before moving forward recklessly.

-Why did I fall in love with photos? Why did I take photo’s the way that I took them? What was it that made me want to pursue it?

Sometimes you do have to ask yourself, are you getting inspired because you WANT to, or because you NEED to?



When we aren’t careful, if desperation is knocking at our door and we answer it, then what are we left with? We’re left with a routine. A lifeless, empty routine.



That should be your goal! To NOT let it get to you. To avoid it. To destroy it.

I want to start over with my photo’s. I need to remember that I do like taking them because it’s something that I enjoy, not because I feel like I HAVE to. It’s hard to be inspired to take photo’s and NOT be desperate about the style or it’s level of originality of it. It’s easy to take a pretty picture, but it’s harder to make it your own. And no, I don’t mean just sticking a watermark or logo on it.


xoxo Dana

Maybe you’ve seen photo’s of long streaks of light, perhaps on a highway or people writing words with light? Yup, long exposure (sometimes double exposure depending)

Well, me and my girl Dj decided to do an experimental shoot indoors. Lately she’d been experimenting with her scanner, iPhone, & Mac. This girl is amazing with what she came up with! I was so glad she asked to do this, it was just nuts! We had very interesting results, so I thought I would share some sneak peeks with you guys!

©DJ Grewal DESIGN 2012


Just one more thing crossed off my To-Do list, but something more to look into and try.  Always be willing to experiment! =) Any feedback is greatly appreciated! Shot with the NikonD5000 (aka Nikki!) using the Shutter-Priority setting.


Just thought I’d share some goals for this weekend’s posts because I’m so booked I won’t have much time to actually take some photos’ and sit here reading all your posts for hours. Yes, I wrote and planned out my posts two days early before I actually AM posting them JUST to make sure I meet the whole “minimum-one-post-a-day” routine! ^^”

Summer has been around for about a month for the university students who finished early (like myself), and it’s quite weird to have almost 4 whole months off! That’s a lot of time to occupy! I figured doing photoshoots, blogging (no, not Vlogging), and documentation would keep me in check when I’m not working.

Thankfully, I have friends, like artsy-hipsters, whom like myself come across concepts to attempt. I’m hoping to cover as many areas of shoot’s & types of photography that I can! So far here’s the list:

  • Long (double) exposure
  • Fashion
  • Editorials?
  • Magazine layouts (promotion)
  • Make up
  • Scenery
  • Forestry
  • Macro
  • Beach
  • Shadows (Black & White)
  • Vintage
  • Group shoot
  • Lookbook
  • Dancing (bboy, ballet, ect)

It’s a cruddy list, I know. But, I am trying. I’ve done a few, so I don’t see what’s stopping me from trying them all! If there’s anything you know of, or want to recommend, feel MORE than free to leave a comment below! (Any tips or feedback is also appreciated & welcomed with open arms)

Here’s some collages of what I have done so far that I”m beyond happy with! (iPhone behind the scenes!)


“Bigger isn’t always better!”

Take that as you will, but I’ve learned a bit from this. Or rather, I realized it through my favourite aspect of life, photography.

Now, me and my wonderful partner in crime, Nikki (Nikon > Nikki. Get it? I know, it’s lame) have learned a few things about equipment. When I first purchased my camera, I bought both the standard lens (18-55mm), but also a specialized lens (55-200mm). Now, the reason for this was because at the time, and even now, I’ve fallen deeply in love with macro photography. It’s the main breakthrough that made me go into photography to begin with.

(My smaller lens is all about focus, while the bigger one is all about zooming in as well as focus.)

Later on, actually about 10 weeks ago, I was at Henry’s and ended up buying a beautiful teeny tiny 35mm lens. Now, I always have an open mind, but when I saw this little baby, I thought “so, this small lens can create beautiful photo’s like the bigger lens … ?” I was slightly worried about investing in it, but Richard (the guy selling me the lens) along with a common customer of his actually reassured me. Having a lens like this is something that once you get past the painful parts of it, it will create wonders for you.

Boy, was he right! The quality, the focus, was simply stunning! This really proved me wrong! I almost never touch my macro lens much anymore because I’m so fascinated with this new one.

Yes, I still miss actually turning my lens to zoom in.

Yes, I still miss the extra length that I’ve grown so accustomed to.

Yes, I still do go back and shoot with my old lens surprisingly.

But on the plus side:

I like that I can be close to my subjects.

I like that the quality is on a whole ‘nother level.

I like that the bokeh is more of what I’m aiming for.

So I guess “big things coming in small packages” meant my adorable little 35mm lens! Never judge a book by it’s cover & never judge a camera by it’s lens! (No matter HOW intimidating someone else’s camera is because the lens is bigger than yours!)

Even though my camera friend told me to get a 50mm lens because it can create a background like this:  I’m glad I stuck with my 35mm because it actually still gives me that quality! =)

What did you learn about your own camera? What did you look for when buying/investing? What’s your favourite lens? I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories & opinions!

Ps. I’ve noticed my posts started turning into rants and therefore becoming longer! Oh no! I’ve been trying to keep it short & sweet so I don’t make any readers fall asleep! My apologies =P

xoxo Dana

-Edits 500+ photoshoot photos for 3+ hours-

-Realizes there’s no natural light to take photos for a post-

-Goes to bed-

-Stares at the ceiling-

-Guilt arises. Sneaks out of bedroom to get laptop & write a post-

So that’s how we came to this point. 2:02am. I’ve been posting everyday since I started this blog. I can’t help but feel unfaithful if I don’t post. Because if I forget ONCE, that’s all it takes end up not blogging at all.

Thank you Hamda for telling me you’re a faithful follower! This is for you hun =)

About 2 days ago, on my 19th birthday, me and my artsy friend Brem did a photoshoot (white lace & forestry concept). It turned out better than I expected. I really loved the results.

(Not this photo. This was a personal fav for both of us, only the curve was touched.)

When going through the photos, she asked if I could just touch up her skin in 2 or 3 of them before posting. This made me pause.

… Touch up … the photo … the actual subject … the actual PERSON!? WHAT?!

I’ve NEVER done that (well ONCE, but for a Skills Canada competition). Sure, I’ve finally become comfortable with using photoshop to edit in terms of just adjusting the curve and changing the exposure. But actually making slight changes on the model?! No way!

Now, I might sound really childish, but I truly believe in natural beauty. I shoot in natural light and I’ve never bothered to change anything about the people I photograph.

I figured only professional photographers do this, but I would try to stay away from it as much as I can. To me, Brem is such a beaut on her own. I didn’t see any reason for it. This all links back to the Imperfect Insecurities post.

I’ve accepted that Photoshop is a tool, if not an extension of my Nikon. It’s meant to help ENHANCE the beauty of the photo’s I take.

… However, I always think of the billboard models.  A strong example is the Dove photoshop time lapse commercial:

I get this feeling that once I start learning to edit and do touch ups on my actual subjects, I won’t be taking photos the way I do now. I’ll always be in the mindset that says “Oh, no worries. I can just photoshop that”. I REALLY don’t want it to come down to that. I like keeping my photo’s as raw as I possibly can. Yes, I admit I edit with settings built into my camera and tinker around with filters on photoshop like sephia and saturation, but I would rather keep it like that.

I know, I must seem like such a hypocrite, it’s okay if you think I am. I’m just very confused by the concept of actually altering natural beauty. Everyone is photogenic. Why not show it naturally?

What are your views? If you disagree, let me know. I would love to hear what you think.

This is a very slow process for me to grasp and work with, but I am; slowly. Well, I think I now have both this unfaithfulness off my chest as well as this topic! I can possible sleep peacefully for the next 4 hours before getting ready for work! Good night wonderful bloggers! Keep blogging away!

xoxo Dana

So apparently turning 19 today is a milestone for me. Go figure. They say these things when you’re born, when you turn 16, graduate highschool and whatnot. But I like to treat it like any other day. Not badly, but I just maybe go out and hang with some friends. Anyways– on to le outfit!

White is a really popular colour this spring/summer! Strips are also quite a growing trend as well! Combining the two was a lot of fun!

I actually tried out this outfit yesterday & I fell in LOVE. It has a nautical let-take-a-walk-along-the-boardwalk feel! I actually felt really photogenic, so I took a million shots & deleted a darn lot after!

  • Striped dress- Old Navy ($18)
  • White denim jacket- Old Navy ($25?)
  • Floppy hat- Gift from my mom

Have a wonderful Wednesday~

xoxo Dana


I’m sure you’ve all experienced that movie moment in real life, right? Where that moment feels like something directly out of a big production film, so perfect it’s almost unreal. It’s like the setting was created as a set specifically for this moment, and the cameras are secretly hidden, filming what you do, your movements, emotions and all.

This is just yet another reason why I enjoy taking photo’s so much. You really never know what’s in store for you! The possibilities are endless, and that just leaves so much room for creativity, spontaneity and potential! This is one of my favourite photos of this trio because of the natural expressions and the poster-like feel. Black and white was just a beautiful plus to give it even more sophistication~

I have the most beautiful (and handsome aha) friends in my life. I’m glad they are so willing to let me take their pictures and volunteer to let me have a couple photoshoots with them! They really aren’t afraid of my camera, so what more can I ask for?

You can check out my lovely model’s blogs too~


Hamda (one on the right):

Lamia (one on the left):

Xoxo Dana

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