Tag Archives: muskoka

Photography Newbie

I must confess part of the reason I have stayed off the blog for such an extended period of time is that I wanted my photography to be perfect. Even though I use a DSLR and edit in Lightroom and Photoshop, I felt like a fraud not shooting in manual. Not to mention the level of aesthetic was not where I wanted it to be.

I recently confessed these feelings to blogger Blare June during a media dinner at the resort I work at. She said if I looked at it that way I would never post a thing and that I should just start writing and learn as I go. With these words of motivation ingrained in my mind, I decided it was time to share my thoughts, ideas and images with you all as I continue to work on my skills.

Earlier in April I met up with local photographer Evelyn Barkey to do a mini workshop on shooting lifestyle images in manual. Just sitting down and figuring out the different aperture settings and shutter speed for certain situations helped immensely. We drove out to Algonquin Park and set up a bonfire but Evelyn soon discovered I needed to learn photography basics for manual at home with good ol’ pen and paper and test on my own. I upgraded my lens at Henry’s to a 35mm and could finally lower the aperture past 4, which made a HUGE difference. Now it is up to me to get out there and test what I have learnt by shooting in manual at every opportunity.

I would highly recommend any new blogger or photography newbie to search out a local photographer on Instagram that they admire and set up a half day workshop. I have downloaded online tutorials and purchased how to books yet it never sunk in as well as the in person tutorial did. I believe that in the field experience is incredibly valuable because you see how the different manual settings function.

Below are some of my favourites from my recent photography adventures, enjoy!



I’ve been off the blog grid

It has been approximately 1.5 years since my last post.

It is safe to say I have been off the blogging grid before I even got started. As you can imagine, a lot has happened in that time span. I challenged my anxious thoughts, switched jobs and moved from the GTA to beautiful Muskoka. Probably one of my greatest decisions.

I now work in the tourism and hospitality industry and boy is it ever fun to do media relations for! I am even fortunate enough to photograph for social media, so to catch you up on what beautiful Muskoka has to offer take a look at some of my favourite captures from all four seasons.

I’ll be back blog word, I haven’t forgotten about you!


Winter doesn’t stop an avid cottager

My family are avid cottagers.

What does this mean? It means you can find us rain or shine, slush or snow, fog or ….I think you get the picture. We love to cottage no matter what the season and in doing so we have some pretty great adventures.

Of course summer is one of my favourite seasons, and fall is a second runner up, but winter has some pretty spectacular scenery that actually makes putting up with the -40 temperatures seem all worth it when you head north for the weekend.

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Wanderlust: A strong desire or urge to travel or wander

Lately I’ve been feeling the call of wanderlust. This prompted me to go through some of my hiking photos to see what I could share with you in a photo gallery on my wanderlust page.

Hiking, cottaging and enjoying nature is an essential component of my life. I find that by getting out and exploring what mother nature has to offer, has the most calming effect on my never ending thoughts. Lately, I have been trying to explore what Ontario has to offer since I do not have the finances or vacation time to explore further. Some of my recent adventures this past summer and fall in Ontario included:

Elora Gorge, Ontario.

Elora Gorge, Elora, Ontario.

Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Track and Tower hike, Algonquin Park, Ontario.

cheltenham badlands

Cheltenham Badlands, Caledon, Ontario.

I already know I will be adventuring in Muskoka and Collingwood this winter, and I can not wait! Bring on the snow because it’s sled and ski time for me! But as soon as I get some vaycay…HELLO WHISTLER!

Where is your wanderlust urging you to go?

Are You There Blog World? It’s Me Lauren

After months of thought and internal debate, I finally took the plunge last night and made a blog. Now you may ask, what took me so long to do this? Well it all comes down to finding that inspiration that gives you the final nudge for motivation. Maybe that sentence doesn’t quite make sense, but please let me explain.

With a BA Honors in Popular Culture you can most certainly bet that I am no stranger to the world of social media. I had dabbled in Tumblr blogging from time to time, but hardly kept up the maintenance because in university your perfect excuse is “I don’t have time!” In retrospect I certainly did have time, I’d waste weekend’s binge watching The OC and recovering from the gnarly hangover caused by last night’s rowdy game of flip cup.

Upon graduation in summer of 2012, I treated myself to a six week west coast adventure with good friends. And that is where my love for Instagram intensified.  Banff, Jasper, Kelowna, Penticton, Whistler, Victoria and Vancouver were a scenic non stop world of natural beauty that can only be described as majestic. I had the perfect back drop for any photo, so of course my IG game stepped up a couple of notches. When I returned home I was in love with capturing the perfect photo, the photo that film theorist André Bazin so accurately describes as able to capture an imprint of reality…like footprints in the snow.


View from the summit at Sulphur Ridge in Jasper.321

With my love for Instagram I soon found myself scouring my IPhone religiously at all times of the day being inspired by the lives of other Instagrammers I had followed. Some were nature enthusiasts, some were professional surfers and some were my favourite brands with surfer laid back Cali vibes. Essentially, I’d look at photos and think wow I would love to be doing that, to be taking photos, to be writing content, to create the lifestyle brand.

Flash forward to September 2013-August 2014 where I completed a post grad in corporate communications, I now had the hard skills to back up my theoretical knowledge. As I carried out the final months in my communications internship I began to narrow in on popular fashion bloggers Instagrams. How did they do it? How do they get their photos to look so perfect? Wait… what they make money off this? So let’s just say I was INSPIRED and have begun setting up pretty blog photos…my quest for the perfect DLSR camera will soon commence.


And that’s where the inspiration starts, I began seeing creativity all around me. I began to apply my art skills to hand drawn mugs with inspirational quotes and positive sayings and even have my first craft sale coming up, because I decided the time is now to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do!

Recently I’ve crossed paths with those that are beginning to make their dreams a reality. I’ve met with old friends or heard stories about acquaintances that have taken action and become entrepreneurs, turning their hobbies into full time jobs, because these people are not afraid, they are inspired.

So my hopes with this blog is to inspire, to create, to motivate. And with that I say, “You know all those things you have always wanted to do? Well it is time for you to go do them”, because the time is now, and the positive vibes are flowing.

xo L

Ps. The first post is always the longest.


My inspiration, Raven Lake, Muskoka. The lake is always apart of me.