this is life. // JESSICA DYCK: on facing multiple barriers

Social media can be a huge time suck for me. Hands up, who’s with me? And, I often find myself wondering what is really genuine these days. Particularly on Instagram when I get a like or a follow from someone I admire or an awesome company… is it really them?

But there is a wonderful side to social media. As a self-described nosey person I love to see what family and friends are up to in their day to day lives, especially when I don't get to see them often. It allows us to stay connected, and in some cases allows you to re-connect with someone you may not have otherwise. 

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It was thanks to Facebook I was able to reconnect with Jessica from elementary school. As a child she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which impacted her balance and limited her mobility. It was suggested she use a wheel chair, but her family - who encouraged and treated her just the same as her twin brother and older sister - opted for the walker. I actually remember decorating this walker in class one day! I also have memories of writing and acting out a play with her and going with her mom on a field trip to White Rock. 

Langley Headshot Photographer
Langley Headshot Photography

After almost 18 years in physical therapy and countless surgeries she moved from a walker, to crutches to the canes she uses today. Even though we know her to be outgoing and talkative, behind the scenes there were struggles of self confidence. Thats what made achieving some amazing goals even more important to her: a great career, buying a home, and learning to drive! Like I mentioned, being nosey, it was wonderful to see all this unfold. Especially around the time I started seeing posts of Jeremy. It was 2012 when she met the love of her life. Jessica said “He treated me well, and made me laugh, I was an equal. I finally felt entirely content with my life and who I was.”

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Langley Photographer

But in 2013 her world changed. 

At the young age of 28 she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She describes it like a punch to the stomach. 

“How could I have cancer? I was angry and felt like this must be a joke. It wasn’t”

Langley Photography

Jessica received chemotherapy, and both internal and external radiation. Eventually she was hospitalized because the treatments were taking its toll. It hit close to home for me because we were born the same year. It just didn't seem right, it never does. It was a long road for her. But I am relieved and happy to report that she just celebrated 4 years cancer free!! Also 6 years with her man :)  

So this is life, for Jessica. 

She has faced obstacles and has come out with a positive outlook. The words she shared with me are powerful:

“Through everything I have learned that nothing is concrete, nothing is set in stone. For my story my family stuck by every step of the way. My boyfriend loved me during the good, the bad, the really ugly. My true friends are still here. Change is unavoidable through. Some friends drifted away and my immune system will never be a good one. On a devastatingly sad note, cancer took my Nana from me just before I was cleared.None of us are without heartache but it important to allow happiness even among your darkest of days.

In the future I hope to find an outlet to speak with those professionally or personally on the journey of facing multiple barriers. I feel we cannot foresee our struggles, but we can definitely control how we respond to them.

Some of us may be thrown a few more curve balls than others, but we are ALL out on that field called life. Give it your best shot!”

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I felt so honoured to capture Jessica and social media allowed for that to happen. Together we can all use these platforms to create awareness. Her recent Facebook status could not be truer: “For all you reading this, for the love of life get checked” It was thanks to a routine check up that her cancer was discovered. So please heed her advice and make sure you are going for regular check ups. 

Thank you Jessica, for allowing me to share your story. 

 

Business Spotlight: Teri Holland // Langley Headshot Photographer

We love spotlighting and supporting our client's businesses!

Teri Holland is a Trainer of NLP, Hypnotherapy and Time Line Therapy® and a Master NLP Coach. She came to my studio in Langley to update her headshots with a personal branding session. Clean backgrounds, whites, blacks and one of her signature colours - purple - were incorporated into the shoot. We wanted to showcase her confidence with some authentic moments. I just love that she is already using her images in different marketing materials - Facebook Covers, Course Advertisements, and a nice fresh image for each social media profile. These days the one standard corporate headshot is not cutting it when you are the face of your business. 

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Teri is multi-talented and when I asked her what she does I was so impressed with her clear and concise answer: I help people to move from where they are to where they want to be in a short period of time so they can get the results they want. I work mainly with entrepreneurs and executives. 

We also asked her a few questions about her business:

1. What are you currently offering? 

  • 1 on 1 coaching in my Personal Breakthrough Sessions
  • online group coaching through my new program "Power. Purpose. Prosperity."
  • Workshops- Secrets of The Empowered Life, Empowered Sales Communication, Empowered Relationships
  • Training- NLP Practitioner, Hypnosis, Time Line Therapy® Practitioner, 
  • Corporate Training- Sales, Strategies, Communication, Values
  • I'm also creating a new Mastermind Program

2. What would be one of your favourite tips for clients?

This is your life. Create it the way you want it.  

3. Tell us a bit about your hopes and goals for 2017

My goals are for massive expansion in my business, specifically through public speaking. I have big goals to be on big stages. 

4. We were so thrilled to update your recent branding photos at our studio. Can you share some of your experience and why you feel updated photos are so Important?

I work in communication and to me it's so important that the images I put online communicate the right message and reflect the work I do. I had photos taken previously and although I loved them at the time, I felt I out grew them. They no longer reflected me and how I want to connect to my audience. In our increasingly visual society, I think it's so important that we, as business owners, have images that clearly communicate who we are and what we do. As I evolve in my business, I want updated photos to reflect that. 

I have been fortunate enough to hear Teri speak a few times and have always been blown away with a bunch of 'ah-ha' moments. I encourage you to connect with her and discover more about what she offers:

www.teriholland.ca

www.theempoweredlifeacademy.com

www.facebook.com/terihollandcoaching

https://ca.linkedin.com/in/terihcoaching

www.instagram.com/teriholland

Langley Personal Branding Photography

ROB ENGELQUIST // this is life.

So here’s the thing, I’ve been known to be all about the ladies. Because let’s face it, we ROCK! lol. Between my beauty & boudoir lines the focus has been on creating an empowering experience for any and every woman. That was until Robbie. 

Rob reached out to me for a headshot and I was glad to do it thinking we’d get a few simple & classic images. I’d say we got more than that. He is the inspiration for me starting my blog series: this is life. So much of my work features women and I love this opportunity to include the gentlemen. It means a lot to start it with Robbie because I know he has such an important story to share. 

I’ve know Rob since high school where he was well-known, the life of the party and an avid hockey player. Never did I realize at that time what was going on in the inside. Now at 33 everything he has been through has brought him to be the phenomenal writer, rapper, stand-up comedian & aspiring actor we know now. With all these achievements under his belt and many future dreams it may be surprising to learn he doesn't even like leaving his own house. Rob has schizophrenia. Diagnosed at age 18 and on a journey ever since. 

“As a child I heard strange and distorted voices inside and outside of my head, I also suffered from vivid hallucinations that left me feeling possessed and extremely scared.”

His struggles began much before the age of 18, with the voices beginning as early as 3 years old. As it progressed so did his anger and rebellion and his parents were doing everything possible they could to help. He turned to drugs and alcohol and lost all respect for authority which eventually got him expelled from school. It got the point of being so overwhelming and suicidal he was admitted into RCH Psych ward and later spent 3 months in Riverview Hospital.

“The mental pain that I endured in the day followed me into my dreams, the demonic screaming that I heard when I was awake stayed with me when I fell asleep”

 

So this is life, for Robbie.

 

Even though he was given the diagnosis of schizo affective disorder, he’d like you to know that's not who he is, rather something he has. I have always admired his willingness to share about his struggles and the incredibly powerful things he has done to help spread awareness. At 21 he became a comedian in a group called ‘Stand up for Mental Health’ and did over 200 shows in a span of 8 years. After that he was able to record some of his songs on a few albums and loves to spend his day writing and listening to vinyl records. He now teaches police officers at the justice institute about mental illness, and his purpose in life is to spread the love this world so desperately needs. 

Although I already knew much of this story, I learned many new things (read the full interview here). The most exciting was to hear about the autobiography he has been writing. Living with a mental illness can come with some stigmas, and we need to change that. When I see Robbie all I see is a talented individual who has the most unconditional love for his family & friends. He is so great with our kids, and excited to be an Uncle himself soon…and I can’t forget - an unreal cook! That’s his passion and joy and he cooks every single day.

If you, or someone you know is struggling, and ever need to reach out you can contact Robbie on Facebook or email: robakamantis@gmail.com. He says getting help can be trying at times, but don’t ever give up. It’s important to express yourself to someone you trust. 

I’ve been passionate about every woman deserving beautiful portraits for years. During my sessions we have fun and my goal is to have you leave feeling uplifted and empowered. When Robbie saw his images I was blown away to hear “wow, I have never seen myself this way”. In that moment I realized every PERSON deserves amazing portraits of themselves. 

Do you have a story to share and a desire to be photographed? 

Reach out to me at: hello@kristypowers.ca

Freshen up your image with #GivingTuesday Headshots // Langley Headshot Photographer

I'm excited to launch the first of our signature headshot days happening at the studio and with this time of season its the perfect way to team up and give back. Megan Parker, founder of Fraser Valley Boss Ladies, and marketing & event specialist herself has joined forces with Kristy Powers Portrait to bring you Headshots for a Cause with GivingTuesday. 

What is GivingTuesday?
The first time I heard about this day was at the last chamber meeting we attended and we knew we wanted to be a part of this initiative.

GivingTuesday is a National Giving Day

Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday  …now GivingTuesday is coming to Canada on November 29, 2016.

It is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others. Check out more on their website: www.givingtuesday.ca

Half of the sales from this day will be going directly to causes close to our hearts (more info below) and the remaining proceeds will be reinvested back into the community to support local businesses in Langley! 


HEADSHOT DETAILS

When: Thursday November 24 + Tuesday November 29 // 9am - 3pm *LIMITED SPACES*

Where: Kristy Powers Portrait // Downtown Langley // Address + Parking instructions will be emailed

Who: Everyone + Anyone who needs a headshot! Professional Hair + Makeup can be added on

Whats included: $150 - 20 minute session with one look (you can add/remove a tie, scarf, glasses, blazer etc to sneak two 'looks' in one, different background options) your choice of two fully retouched images with print/share release. 

How to Book or for more info: Email hello@kristypowers.ca or call 604-454-4468. $75 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot. Payable by cash, cheque, e-transfer or credit card.

BONUS: all of my signature headshot days come with an invitation back to credit your $150 to a full portrait session in my studio! This can include full personal branding session for your business, boudoir, glamour/beauty portrait sessions, etc. 

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What are we supporting?

Megan and I were able to select two causes that are in line with both our companies visions. A lot of my photography work focuses on empowering women through portraits and Megan's Fraser Valley Boss Ladies group does the same by supporting female entrepreneurs through networking and collaboration. Our businesses are based in Langley and we are both advocates for supporting the local community.

$50 from each session booked will be donated to the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. By supporting the LMH Foundation we can make an impact on the healthcare in our community. For me personally, I had my son Evan at this hospital and I love to be able to give back. 

$25 from each session is going towards The Gift of Giving 2016, organized by Danielle Wiebe. This represents the cost of covering 1 gift for a woman in need this holiday season. I was fortunate enough to help out in the promo photos last month in Fort Langley with all the gorgeous fall colours. It really represented the beauty of this initiative. Check out more info here