Monday, November 12, 2018

Calgary Photographer Offers Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Fin Style Fishing in the Pond Portraits

Ok, I have to admit, one of my favourite outings with my family of 5 brothers and 3 sisters was fishing in the creek! We dug in the garden for earthworms that we put in a can of dirt to keep them healthy. Gathered our rods, lines & hooks and got up very early to make our way up the creek looking for pools where the fish would be biting. The best part? Pan fried trout when we got home, hot, sweaty and usually covered in mosquito bites! That was many years ago, but the memories are fond and the inspiration for the sessions this Calgary Children's Photographer now offers to families.



I love photographing children and it seems I have a lot of little girls come in for the fairy, princess and tea party portraits but I haven't had as many young boys so I'm thrilled to create sessions that boys will love. Watch for more Limited Edition Sessions to come. I know that having these portraits to show their children will be so special so I've developed a set with all the props to make their session an experience to remember!

If you have young boys, or grandsons (of course girls are welcome too!) and are interested in learning more go to my SVP Photography Facebook page and click the "sing up" button.  Make sure you include your email address so we can send you a welcome package and our calendar to our next Limited Edition Portrait Weekends.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Calgary Fairy Portrait Weekend

Shelley Vandervelde, a Calgary Photographer loves creating Child Portraits that reflect the innocence and the magic of childhood. 

This spring, SVP Photography hosted a Fairy Portrait Weekend.  Over the course of a day, the studio became an Enchanted Forest, with birds, nests, a fox, frogs, turtles, and even an owl. Now I know you will be searching for all of these in the photos below... The forest was not complete without the buzz of fairy wings. The fairies had wands and lanterns and crystal balls for a magical experience! 

We weren't sure how young we could photograph in this set.  Although a shorter session, this little guy did well with grandma close at hand to ensure he was safe!  

His big sister could have stayed all day she was having so much fun! 

Both Mom and the little gal were excited to see the Enchanted Forest. She really enjoyed dressing up and playing with all the props. She was even more excited to see "the magic" show up once the photo was enhanced. 

This little fairy's eyes lit up as she dressed in her chosen outfit. When she looked in the mirror after adorning her wings, her mouth fell open and she was silent for a few moments. Her Mom can attest that is a rare occurrence. Then WOW! Seeing herself in the mirror she was ready to make the forest her home where her Sing Dance, Act classes became obvious!

One can never be too old to be a fairy. This young lady emerged like a butterfly. She has an elegance that truly reflected that moment between childhood and womanhood.

And, of course, Mozart had to get in on the show.  He was curious about all the props, but especially the little fox!

We had so much fun, we want to do it again!  We have a Fairy Portrait Birthday Party booked for Victoria Day and will have the Forest set up for the weekend prior, May 19 & 20, 2018.  If you missed our last weekend, don't miss this one!  We are not sure when we will be setting up the forest again. 

Call (403) 281-8429 for more information. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Beauty & Fashion Tips for Your Grad Portraits

Fashion, Hair & Makeup Tips for Your Grad Portraits

Will you be having multifaceted grad portraits created (casual, sports, hobbies, formal). If so you will want to plan your hair, makeup and wardrobe for each.

Obviously, you want to look like the best version of yourself for your grad portraits. After all, these photos will be seen by your friends, family and peers for many years to come. Here are a few tips and tricks where beauty and fashion are concerned.


First and foremost look after your skin in the weeks leading up to the prom or your photo session and don’t pick (If we are your grad photographer we do blemish touch ups on every portrait ordered). Don't use any new products the days prior to your photos or your prom. This applies to you guys as well.

No faux tans that have the potential to convert you to oompa loompa status. If you are tanning, avoid tan lines that will show with your prom dress!

Makeup reads differently on camera than it does in real life. If you book with us, you’ll be in the informed hands of a makeup artist who knows just what to do. If you are on your own, make sure you use a foundation that matches your skin tone well and blend, blend, blend. 

Don't over powder as a bit of shine on the tip of the nose and the cheek bones and chin creates a three dimensional look to your photos. 

Avoid sparkles or white highlights on your eyes as they will reflect the light and be brighter than you think. And remember BLEND...

False eyelashes create a beautiful look if properly applied. If these are not an option or you are unable to get them to sit properly invest in a new tube of non clumpy mascara and apply two coats. you will be glad you did!


Practice your hairstyle in advance. Try to keep your true essence and don’t wear a hairstyle that’s “not you.” For example, if you wear bangs on the regular, don’t pin them up on your photo shoot. If we are creating your portraits we work with hair stylists who can create a more natural look for your casual photos and a more elegant look for your prom dress. They can also create a great look for the guys. Don’t make any major changes in the weeks leading up to your session. Don’t go from black to bleach blonde, no major haircuts that could incite tears, etc.


Don't forget about your nails...ensure they are clean & evenly trimmed. If you opt for polish ensure the colour goes well with your outfits.  You may want natural for casual photos and  glue on nails that can be added for the formal photos. If you’re wearing open toes, spring for the pedi, too.


If you want VOGUE or GQ style portraiture, keep accessories to a minimum. This is a milestone were you want to present who you are as you move into the next stage of your life. Select outfits that are YOU but also select a few classic outfits that are simple and timeless. We recommend you select colours that work with your skin tone, hair and eye colour and that you avoid patterns such as, stripes, checks, polka dots. Tone on tone patterns can add texture to your portraits but be sure sweaters are newer or have had all fabric pilling removed.

Ensure your socks are colour coordinated and that you have shoes that work with each outfit.  White socks with black pants and black shoes doesn't work in photos.

We would love to create gorgeous, fashion style portraits of you that you will be glad you had created in the years to come.  You can try out our hair & makeup artists and may even want to hire them for your prom day! 


If you are having casual portraits created this is the time to bring in items that speak to your interests and personality (musical instruments, sports gear & clothing, dance attire, books, etc).

If you know someone who is graduating please share this post with them.

Friday, February 16, 2018

February's Portrait Day at Adoniaa Beauty

“Take Time to do What Makes Your Soul Happy”

~ Unknown ~

February’s Portrait Day at Adoniaa Beauty is the perfect day of self-care.  Gather your friends, take a sneak day off and then plan a girls’ night out because you will look & feel amazing!

Click here to reserve your time!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why I Love being a Portrait Photographer

I'm going to be transparent about why it is I love my "job".

I lost my Mom in a car accident back in 1993.  We didn't have many flattering photos of her, let alone portraits of her, our family or just the two of us. I was a Speech Pathologist back then, busy with my own life and didn't think about having portraits created.

In 2001 my husband underwent a quadruple bypass. At that point, I retired from my career and picked up a camera.  I had always loved photography but didn't want to photograph people. That changed and I found myself beginning a whole new career.

In 2003 my husband began radiation and chemotherapy. Once he stabilized following treatments I insisted that we have portraits created. We had not done professional photographs since our wedding in 1986. I'm so glad I did, as those portraits got me through those first few years after he passed.

I was then faced with my sister having significant health issues and my fear of losing her.  I knew I wanted portraits with her! They are in my consultation room and I'm thrilled to say I love them and I still have my sister. She is 100% healthy!

I joined the Professional Photographers of Canada in 2004 and have never looked back!  I now have the honour of creating portraits for other families. I love photographing babies, children, families and siblings, but especially sisters. I guess because I don't know what I would do without mine!

It provides me with so much joy knowing that these families have these portraits to enjoy and share with the next generation. I know that they may not really know the value of the portraits I create until some time in the future.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Unleash Your Beauty!

We are excited to announce 
our first Portrait Day at Adoniaa Beauty
Executive Portraits with Style

January 26, 2018
By Appointment Only
Only 5 Sessions
Email or Call 403.281.8429 for more information

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mommy's Time Out

The Art of a Baby, a division of SVP Photography a Calgary based Portrait Studio is super excited to share the new session that is just for those Moms who need some time out.  If you are new - or not so new - to mommyhood, you know the feedings, diapers and sleepless nights all take a toll on your energy.  You need your energy to be there for your little one(s) and your big one(s) too! So we created a special session just for Moms!

Every mom wants precious portraits of their sweet babies and it puts one more thing on the to-do list. When do you look after YOU? When do you get some Time Out?  We would love to pamper you while we photograph your little one!  Kerry, who is a Mommy Pro with many children and grandchildren of her own and Shelley, who worked with young children from birth to 6 for over 20 years prior to becoming a professional photographer, will create precious images of your little one while you either enjoy a full body massage or have a mommy makeover with one of our amazing stylists.  

We showcased this session at the Fall 2017 Baby & Tot Show. Our draw included the session and one beautiful desk art portrait with duplicate gift prints for the grandparents and a web-ready file to share on social media.  Jocelyn was our grand prize winner.  Her little one was just wee, so she opted for the Mommy Makeover and being included in the portraits at the end of the session.  She also joined our Baby's First Year Program so stay tuned for her baby's next portrait!

Jocelyn wrote this about her experience. "Thank you, Shelley. Your team pampered me with a wonderful day of hair and makeup that made this new Mom feel human again. Then photos with my baby girl and a wardrobe that made me feel beautiful!  You directed me to ensure my last few baby pounds stayed hidden and I felt truly beautiful and so blessed to share such beautiful moments with my baby girl. The photos are so amazing and really capture our mother/daughter love."

Monday, November 13, 2017

An Early Goodbye

As a Calgary Portrait Photographer and Artist, I usually photograph people.  And as the owner of Mozart, a standard poodle I know the bond between a dog and their human. We often intend to have portraits created of our loved ones and usually life is just too busy to make that happen.  Sometimes we know in advance when we will lose a loved time and sometimes we don't. Brenna and Ben learned that Cajun was ill and that she would not be with them much longer.  Brenna had seen my pet portraits in the Veterinarian office and reached out while Cajun was still up for the session.

I was honoured to have been a part of Brenna and Ben's journey with Cajun and to provide them with lasting wall art of her beautiful spirit!  It was heartwarming and heartbreaking to create these portraits of Cajun as I was told she would be undergoing chemotherapy to reduce her pain and make her last few months more comfortable.

Brenna & Ben wrote "The entire process has been great"

"We felt very comfortable and the photographs are amazing!" 

"We cried when we saw the enhanced portraits"

Thank You So Much Shelley!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Are you camera shy?

As a Calgary Professional Photographer, I understand being camera shy. I developed the syndrome from my annual school photos that seemed to amplify every flaw, especially my teenage acne and certainly did nothing to bring out my beauty or personality. I learned the power of the camera from that experience and from the experience of being photographed by one of North America's top Portrait Photographers, the late Darton Drake. Darton had an ability to see light and to use it to enhance the features of those he photographed.  He was also the first Master Photographer that I studied under and one of the last.  

I understand the vulnerability that one feels in front of the lens. I know the power a photographer has and I take that power very seriously. I set aside time prior to my clients even committing to having a portrait taken to get to know them. I also limit the number of sessions I do to one per day. I never have someone nervously waiting for their sitting nor being hurried out the door with another client waiting.  

I know that more happens in my camera room, or in the following case, outside under a tree, than just taking pictures. The following was an impromptu portrait that changed a life.  This is Syl Vie and I saw a photo of her on facebook. She was wearing a bathing suit, standing in a pool & looking towards the camera, fully aware of being photographed and standing in her power.  I commented on how proud I was to see her putting herself in front of the lens.

"Do you remember that day at Satyen's house -- dear Shelley Vandervelde, I had sheepishly asked you to take a photo of me and I put my faith in you. I hated my body and the thought of a picture of myself. I needed a head shot for my skype account --- you are so amazing and I immediately felt comfortable. No make up, no made up hair --- oh natural --- Was so wonderful !!! I felt my whole being had been captured. Thank you --- yes that day was definitely a pivotal moment for me. LOVE YOU sweet sister!!"