Masthead header
  • Do you desire a life where you know and live your inner purpose? That instead of floating through life you know exactly what your true desires are and living to your fullest potential? Do you feel like what you are longing for is just hidden under the surface and once you discover it there will be no holding you back?

    Live your desired life thumbnailDownload the Live Your Desired Life workbook and learn the 4 easy steps on how I started to live the life I always dreamed of.

I’ve been asked quite a bit recently why I don’t photograph weddings, and at first I didn’t know how to respond, but now with no hesitation I know why. I don’t want to shoot them. I used to feel really awkward saying that, almost like I wasn’t an actual photographer because I chose portraiture over weddings. I love weddings and enjoy talking about them and love love…but I love women and personal self love more!

There is something so gratifying about starting a relationship with a woman who has been beaten down by expectations put on them by the world, themselves, their church, their family, or even their work place. When a woman who originally didn’t feel beautiful according to magazines proportions finally sees what the rest of the world sees and says “Wow, I AM beautiful!”, it always takes my breath away. I was given a gift and a passion for this, and I get excited about every single day that I’m given the chance to build a relationship with a woman and have them feel more self confident, more beautiful, and giving themselves more self love.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not perfect. I don’t wake up every single morning with gallons of self confidence and I hardly ever feel beautiful. But one thing I do have, is self love. No matter how I’m feeling, if I’m feeling like my legs are attracting more cellulite by the day, that my eyes have somehow accumulated a nice set of designer bags underneath them, or that I didn’t make it to the gym the day before like I told myself I would, I give myself some self love. I tell myself today is a new day, and this is who I am. Heck, I’m not going to look like this, nor will my life be like this 10 years from now, so I better embrace it today!

So my challenge to you is, do you know how wonderful you are?! How beautiful and amazing you are to the family and friends that you have? Are you ready to accept who you are and let that shine even more then before?

  • June 8, 2010 - 4:17 PM
  • June 8, 2010 - 4:18 PM

    Lindsay - Love it! Almost didn’t recognize you ;-)

  • June 9, 2010 - 5:11 AM

    Niki - Thank you so much Lesley!! Just the inspiration I need for our session next month!! cause I am nervous :) PS. You look FABULOUS!

  • June 9, 2010 - 9:01 AM

    Rebecca - LOVE. IT.

  • June 9, 2010 - 1:06 PM

    Alanna - beautiful message! thanks for the encouragement!

  • June 10, 2010 - 10:12 AM

    Kim Spears - You are GORGEOUS !!! What a fantastic image. I loved your words in this post. I think it is awesome that you are following your passion and nothing will stop you from being wildly successful !! :)

  • June 10, 2010 - 1:50 PM

    Jason - Way to go Leslie! Great to see that everything is going well! Chat soon!

  • June 13, 2010 - 7:02 PM

    shannon sewell - soooo beautiful :) and i totally agree with your message… :)

If I was a seasonI’d be spring – full of change, colour, and hope for the future.

If I was a piece of furniture, I’d be a mirror – reflecting the best in everyone.

If I was a country, I’d be Wales.

If I was a food, I‘d be Foie Gras – I would be fat and perfect.

If I was a day, I’d be Sunday.

If I was a color, I’d be red – passionate, memorable, and stubborn.

If I was a letter, I’d be a love letter.

If I was a book, I’d be Pride & Prejudice.

If I was a political leader, I’d be someone who changes the world.

If I was a drink, I’d be a 1921 Dom Perignon – every day is a reason to celebrate in style.

If I was a man, I’d be a gentleman who has style, poise, and chivalry. 

If I could know the future, I‘d be bored – I like thinking about my options and stressing over all the paths and excitement I’ll have.

If I was you, what would I be and why?

List from Bianca

  • May 25, 2010 - 8:07 AM

    Cathy Empey - Great list! You would be sunshine. Because you light up my life! I LOVE Osoyoos. We want to move there one day!

Today I met up with an amazing and inspiring woman, Morgaine Owens. I have been following her blog for awhile, but we recently connected on Twitter and we met up so that I could show her samples of Wall Blanksprints (if you’re looking for beautiful printing options, check these people out!!). What at first was a quick meet up turned into an amazing morning of exchanging thoughts on fine art, school, photography, business, dreams, and our childhood.

We talked about how when we were younger we would beg our parents to put us into dance or music classes. My parents always said it was too expensive so I never attended, but it’s something I always wished I had the chance to learn. Deep down inside I knew I would have excelled at it…more than anything else. I confessed to Morgaine something that I don’t know if I had told anyone else before.

When I was younger I so desperately wanted to know how to play the piano that whenever I had the chance to sit in front of one I would. I would sit on the bench, put my foot on top of the damper petal, and lay my fingers so softly on top of the keys and….wait! I would sit there waiting to know how to play. Eventually I would play a key and wait some more. So many times I remember sitting in front of all these pianos just praying that God would teach me how to play the piano, and that I would play the beautiful music that flowed through me.

It never happened, of course. But one day my parents blessed me with a little keyboard and for the next 3 months I stayed up till the wee hours of the morning teaching myself how to play and I was so happy. My soul filled with joy and I was excited anytime I could sit in front of a piano and play something. Eventually I taught myself how to play well enough that I was asked to play in my church worship band, and helped lead music for our youth, and sunday services. I don’t think you’ll understand how excited and blessed I felt to have the ability to do that.

I have never learned how to read music, but I can play by ear, and to this day sitting in front of the piano is what fills my heart with joy and I cannot wait for the day I can afford to have a baby grand piano of my own and fill my own house with beautiful music.

We both discussed that you need find something that fills your soul with happiness! Whether it is art, painting, playing music, playing a sport, doing yoga, hiking, or making coffee…do it! It doesn’t have to become your profession (I know I will never be a concert pianist) but I know that my heart yearns to play the piano almost everyday, and when I visit my family who live on the North Shore, you will most likely find me sitting in front of their piano playing something that makes my heart sing!

  • May 17, 2013 - 8:22 AM

    lily - Lesley, you are AMAZINGLY talented!!
    I can only read music and until today have failedto learn to play by ear! :( ReplyCancel

I like honesty, truthfulness, and logic; it’s one of my favorite combination of emotions! So I’m going to be honest with you…I jumped head first into this, with maybe a pair of baby wings attached to me hoping to goodness they’d help me fly!

Between 2006 and 2007 I had a few friends at the time who were professional photographers and I
would recommend blogs or locations that I saw during my outings. I
faithfully followed photographers like Jasmine Star as
well as my friends because I was inspired by every single photograph
they took. The emotions they were able to capture and stir inside of me
made me eat up every single blog post they wrote.

The summer of 2008 I purchased a used Canon 30D camera for Mister for his birthday and I was so excited to give it to him! I threw a joint family birthday party and we sang him Happy Birthday while I brought out the ice cream cake and a big box wrapped and decorated. He ripped the wrapping off and was so surprised that I had purchased something that was way out of our gift budget – but I knew he would love it and I was so excited to watch him learn how to use it!

I never dreamed I would pick up his camera, the thing was huge and black; it was very intimidating, but eventually I wanted to learn all the different settings. So we would sit at home and walk around downtown and go over the different settings of the camera, what aperture was, how to expose correctly, how to decide which ISO setting to use, and the difference between RAW and JPEG. I have a note book full of notes that I took trying to soak it all it.

Again I jumped in head first, I didn’t want to learn what the Program setting on the camera did, nope, I wanted to learn how to use Manual first. Try and wrap your head around that one when you’re just learning about ISO. Let me tell you, the first rounds of photographs…SUCKED! But I was determined!

Later that summer Mister and I took a trip down the Oregon Coast before he switched jobs as our final vacation that year, and this is when I could feel my feet reaching the edge of the ledge. We passed by all these beautiful locations that I wanted to photograph. But I didn’t want to photograph landscapes, I wanted someone IN it to photograph. I wanted to capture the same kind of emotions that I had been inspired by the photographs of my friends. I had had enough of passing by these beautiful locations when I told Mister to turn the car around and head towards a red barn that I had seen. I wanted to capture it, and he was going to be my model.

Over that week I learned how to shoot my model back lit and fell in love with the sun. I shot in the wide open sun, at night, at dawn and dusk, in a moving car, out on the water – everywhere. And Mister was my model. At one point I could feel his enthusiasm for being my model dwindling so I told him I was going to ask my windsurfing instructor to be my model. As cute as she was, he didn’t want her to suffer in front of my camera so he sucked it up some more while I played with my settings and asked him “Just 2 more?!”.

When we got home from our vacation, I was hooked and knew exactly what I wanted to do. A few weeks later I headed to the Small Business centre and applied for a business name and did all the paper work so that I had everything in order. A few weeks after that I set up my blogsite specializing in Children and Adley Studio was born. I jumped head first into this, with maybe a pair of baby wings attached to me hoping to goodness they’d
help me fly! Thank goodness those baby wings sure flutter fast!

  • April 14, 2010 - 3:29 PM

    Anny Chih - Beautiful new business cards & website! :)

  • April 20, 2010 - 8:06 PM

    shannon sewell - these are beautiful! congrats!!! :)

  • May 17, 2013 - 8:18 AM

    lily - Goodness, reading this was SO inspiring. It’s exactly what i’ve been feeling lately, to want to capture images like you and our amazing wedding photographer just so to REMEMBER it, them, then. Thank you for this old post!ReplyCancel

It’s been on my mind for a long time, constantly there…lingering, knocking, persisting, never letting up. I would try and push it aside telling myself that I couldn’t do it, that I’m not smart/knowledgeable/cool/old enough, that I wasn’t the right person. But it was persistent pushing even harder against my heart telling me I should, that I must! Eventually I knew I would have to give in. One night I wept. Wept my tears of fear and soaked Mister’s shoulder, he had no idea what was going on. I was sobbing so hard I could hardly formulate a sentence beyond “I just..” sob “I don’t know if….” sob “I want to but…” sob. He eventually pulled me back and said “I believe in you, that you can succeed in anything you put your mind to, but you just have to do it”. Even after crying about it I still didn’t even know if I had the courage to really pursue it.

This past weekend while lying in the snow and staring at the winter wonderland that God created, I knew, I could and I would! Without sobbing this time, I told Adam and formulated an actual sentence, actually, more like a monologue, and told him my dreams and what I wanted to do! And once again he smiled and said “I believe you can do it, you have it in you and I think it’s a great idea, you just have to do it”!

So hear I am, putting it out there and putting all my fears aside and going for it!

I’d like to meet up with 4-5 women (any age) who have been possibly thinking of starting something new (whether its a business, a hobby, a lifestyle change…anything!) and would like to meet up once every two weeks to talk, encourage each other, and inspire to be. Be greater, to be who we were created to be, to be the best version of ourselves!

I’m scared that this is going to fall flat on it’s face, but I’d rather say I tried then just hide it inside and not do anything at all. So, if you’re interested, send me an email and let me know what you’re thinking of doing and which days/evenings you’re free and I’ll set something up for us all to meet within the next two weeks!

  • April 9, 2010 - 11:02 AM

    Marta - Great idea Lesley! Someone recently told me that there is scientific evidence that women get the same positive chemical reaction going on in their bodies from talking to other women as they do from eating chocolate. Who knew!

  • April 12, 2010 - 10:03 AM

    Melissa Montgomery - Great idea!! Best of luck in this new adventure, you can do it! Great shots too!! :)

  • April 13, 2010 - 1:06 PM

    Tracie - Lesley, I am so into your idea, there is nothing better than peer mentoring and encouragement. Also knocking ideas around with different people can really help solidify a tiny thought into a great idea. You can count me in if you are still looking for someone. :D

  • April 14, 2010 - 8:24 AM

    Tracie - Looking forward to it!