One Year!

Today marks one year since my Etsy store, SportyprintsbyMBM, went live. I am not going to lie, it was a nerve wracking day for me. For years I had been creating these prints for my own children and their friends. People kept telling me I should sell them, and I would just laugh it off. More and more I would hear from people whom I gave these to as gifts that I really should think of selling them. As I made the decision to get out of wedding photography and start helping my husband with his business it seemed like the right time to actually throw caution to the wind and see if anyone really, truly would buy these pieces. And much to my surprise and delight, people did. I have sold prints all over the world…France, Italy, California, Alberta, New York, Nova Scotia and so on. I’m always thrilled when I hear the little cash register ding on my phone (that’s my notification from Etsy that I made a sale) and I am always excited to see where in the world one of my prints is going to next.

Since opening my store on Etsy over 20,000 people have visited my little business and I’ve been so pleased with the kind words and positive responses from everyone that has either stopped by to take a look and to those who have actually purchased prints. I remember saying to my sister, “I’ll be happy if I even sell one or two prints a month”…well I can tell you, I have sold a lot more than that and I am truly grateful to each and every person who has supported my venture and ordered this art for their own walls.

So thank you. Thank you to my friends and family who pushed me to open this store. Thank you to any one who has taken the time to comment on my work with their kind words. And thank you to those who have purchased my work. I am truly grateful for the support.

Happy Anniversary to Me! It’s been a great first year. Here’s to growing my business even more in 2016!

To see more of my store, follow this link:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SportyPrintsbyMBM

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Play Ball {the Maxwell Brewjays}

A couple weeks ago my brother sent us all a group text asking if we wanted to play slow-pitch for the Grandview Homecoming weekend. We all came back with a resounding yes. Fast forward two weeks later and my two brother’s pulled their hamstrings, I suffered a line drive to the arm and my brother-in-law twisted his ankle. But honestly, it was worth it. We had so much fun playing in the tournament. It’s the first time we’ve ever entered our family in a tournament like this and none of us have any regrets. We all wore #14 (it was my Dad’s baseball & hockey number) and we had shirts designed by Keystone Sports in Portage la Prairie with our team name on them. My Dad managed, and played and my Mom helped watch the little kids and cheered us on. We came away with a win, a loss and a tie. Well done family, it was a great weekend and I’m so glad we all had this chance to show off our stellar baseball skills {insert sarcasm}. 😉

I can’t take credit for all of these pictures. Photo credit goes out to my sister-in-law Buffy who took a several of these pictures, as well as my son Jack, who almost gave me a heart attack when I looked at the dugout from the outfield and there he was taking pictures with my good camera, but they actually turned out great.

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Play Ball!

For years I have been photographing my kid’s sporting moments and quietly creating inspirational photos for my friends and family. I have been told for years to “sell my prints” but I really didn’t know how or where to market them. And quite honestly, I wasn’t sure anyone would want to buy them. One day I posted a sample of the greeting cards I had made on my FB page, and all of a sudden had several people interested in purchasing them. I only made these greeting cards as I always found it difficult to find an appropriate card for my son’s coaches and friends. Anytime I wanted to purchase a thank you card for their hockey or ball coaches, they always had a bouquet of flowers or a cartoon of some sort, never appropriate for a coach. That’s where this all started. From there I started making prints that I would give to their coaches as a thank you, or prints for their friends for their birthday. After much encouragement I decided to throw caution to the wind and set up an Etsy store at the start of the new year. I have been so pleased with the interest and kind words from people literally all over North America. I have sent orders to places as far as North Carolina, New York, Wisconsin, etc. These are places I would never have been able to market to without the global reach of Etsy. It’s been so fun running this little store. Will I get rich on it? Likely not, but I do find joy in sharing these images with others who share my love of capturing the moments and being inspired by a quote.

I recently convinced my son to let me photograph him one evening so I could create some more baseball images to use in my store. He happily obliged. I have finally figured out how to get my kids to cooperate for pictures – you let them carry a ball glove and incorporate their favourite sport into the picture! 😉 Of course the first picture of this group is not for sale, it’s for me, but the following are all in my Etsy store and the link to my store can be found here:
https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/SportyPrintsbyMBM?ref=hdr_shop_menu

I would like to thank everyone who has shown an interest in my work, who have encouraged me to take this leap and put my work “out there” to be seen. I’ve been truly touched by the kindness of strangers and the encouragement of friends and family.

Winter is over, so Play ball!

Dylan

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Everyday Life {2014}

At the start of last year I challenged myself to take more everyday life photos of my family instead of the posed shots that seemed to be reserved for birthdays and special occasions. I wanted to capture more than just important days, I wanted to capture our day to day life. I recently sorted through all my images (and thankfully, there were a lot) and I have to say I am pleased with what I captured personally in 2014. I am going to continue with my little project in 2015 and keep focusing on telling our story through photographs. I challenge all of you to pick up your camera in 2015 on days other than birthdays and holidays. Capture your everyday ~ and moms ~ get in the pictures. I’m pleased to say I stepped out of my comfort zone of being behind the camera this year and actually asked to have my picture taken with my kids and I’m so glad I did.

Here is a little peek into my everyday life from 2014.

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{10 on 10} ~ June Edition

Well not only is this my busiest month photography related, it is also my busiest month as a Mom to three boys. Yes, hockey is over and that was a gong show winter, but at least I wasn’t doing any sessions all winter so I had time to simply run with my boys and work at my husband’s office. For parents of school-aged kids, June is crazy! And I mean C.R.A.Z.Y. There are tons of field trips, track meets and year end activities that you have to be organized for and then there is extra-curricular sports. Two out of three of my boys are playing ball this year which means three nights a week at a ball diamond and then Saturdays at tournaments. Top that with my crazy schedule of grad/high school senior sessions and weddings and it makes for a very busy, crazy month. Have you noticed I have used the word ‘crazy’ three times in one paragraph? I knew {10 on 10} was coming up so I took my camera to my son’s baseball tournament in Morden with the intent of getting at least ten good pictures to showcase this month. I knew there simply would be no time for anything else.

So here’s my {10 on 10}, one of my three favourite boys in the whole world playing a sport he absolutely loves {and the good thing is, I love this sport too}.

Play ball!

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Now please continue the blog circle by heading over to my friend Jana from Photography 2204 and check out her 10 on 10!
http://www.photography2204.com/10-on-10-canadian-edition-june/

More Everyday Life…

Well it seems that Spring has finally arrived in Manitoba and now our “everyday life” seems to be centering around another sport – baseball. Even though it hasn’t been super warm out, we’ve still been enjoying bonfires with friends and taking some time to just enjoy being outdoors. My busy season starts in June with weddings and grad sessions so I am making the most of my time off with my kids on weekends and it has been great to actually do “nothing”.

Here are a few more of my everyday life shots from my project. I have been more inspired lately to actually pick up my camera and shoot more now that Mother Nature has finally settled down and allowed Spring to arrive.

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Life with Boys…

When I was growing up I was the girliest girl you’d ever meet.  I absolutely LOVED Barbies. I played dress-up and “house”, and I was always the Mom, and I always loved nothing more than to find the frilliest, pinkest playdress I could find and twirl around the yard.  I lived on a farm, but I never was a tom-boy farm girl, instead my friends and I would steal our Mom’s high heels and clomp around the gravel roads in our Mom’s old lace slips with bright red lipstick.  I always pictured my future, married with children….who were likely going to be girls.  Yes I grew up watching my brothers and Dad play hockey – but I never played.  I also watched them play baseball and do “boy” stuff, but I was content with my Barbies, my dolls and my dress up clothes.  It never really crossed my mind to play hockey, play football or ride a dirtbike.  It never crossed my mind until I became a Mom…of boys.  Three of them.  The Barbies I had as a kid have been stashed away somewhere.  My porcelain doll collection is also stored away in old apple boxes in my basement.  My Princess Diana collectables are also tucked away ~ seriously, can you imagine if I wanted to show any of that stuff to my kids?  They’d run to the farthest hill!

I sometimes find myself doing things and I chuckle away to myself that the little girl in me would never have imagined a future where I go quading and dirt biking.  I play floor hockey.  I make a great back catcher and I have a wicked arm for throwing a baseball, and even a football.  I know all the Marvel Superheroes, all of them.  I have seen every Marvel Movie made, more than once.  And for the record my Favourite all-time superhero is Captain America.   And I know that DC Comics is not nearly as cool as Marvel.  Really, it’s not.  I know everything you need to know about Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Spiderman.  I can tell you who won the Superbowl, the Stanley Cup and the World Series for the last few years (I may have to cheat and ask Danny, but I could find out in a split second).  I have been to more hockey games in the last eight years than I ever thought humanly possible.  I love nothing more than watching my sons play their sports and ride their dirt bikes and quads.  And yes, when I see a little girl in a mall, at a park or skipping through the halls of a school I stop and wonder what would it have been like?  And then I pause and think “I can’t even imagine”.  As adorable and sweet as it would have been to have my own little girl, I just know it wasn’t in the cards for me.

I used to get annoyed after I had two boys and was expecting my third and people would say “maybe you’ll finally get your girl”.  By that point in my life I was hoping that Jack would be what he is – A boy, and a healthy one at that.  Since my first son was born, I never really longed for a girl.  Having a boy always just felt right.  It felt like that was what I was destined to be, a mom with sons.   And I am sure a Mom who has all girls feels the same way when she imagines having a boy.  One thing I know for sure is I am good at being a Mom of boys.  It sounds conceited, but what the heck, I don’t say I’m good at much, but I am a good mom.   And there is something to be said for being the only girl in the house.  I don’t feel outnumbered.  I don’t feel like I was ripped off because I “didn’t get my girl”.  Becoming a Mom of boys has changed me, for the better.

Tonight as they were all out playing football, and quite frankly tackling each other harder than I thought was necessary, I was sitting watching them and thought to myself, geeze, am I ever lucky to share my life with boys.

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Play Ball

We spent the weekend in Hamiota, Manitoba watching our son and his friends play Provincial Ball. Dylan played on a different team than he played on all regular season so it was a great learning experience for him. He had a ton of fun and we made it to the semi-finals! It looks as though Baseball is over for another year for us, but we’ll definitely be back on the ball field again next year. Thanks to Dylan’s amazing coaches from the regular season and this past weekend. He learned a lot, and had so much fun. He definitely has a love of the game thanks to his coaches and friends. Congratulations to Hamiota on winning Gold this weekend.

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A Sure Sign Spring is Finally Here {Baseball!}

After what seemed to be the winter that would never end, Spring is finally here! And a sure sign that it is here to stay is watching my son’s ball game last evening. He’s played soccer for the past few years but this year decided to go back to baseball (hallelujah!!!!). We have one more weekend of hockey and then the Spring will be filled with baseball, swimming lessons and golf! Life with boys…

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