My heart has always yearned to create. As a kid I loved to draw and write stories and craft. Even now, I love to knit, paint watercolours, and I've never lost my love of writing stories.
Photography gave me a different way to tell stories, while creating something beautiful and special. It gave me a way to capture and document my own life, my own story, my own special moments, while fulfilling my need to create.
And when I started photographing others, it took that to a whole other level. I could create beautiful images for other people. I could help tell other people's stories. I could create something that would give them memories and make them feel all kind of wonderful emotions. I could make a mother cry with joy and love at a photo of her baby. I could make parents laugh with a photo capturing their child's silly smile. I could give grandparents who don't get to see their grandchildren often, a way to see them every day. And I could do it all in a way that also created something beautiful and special that could be hung on a wall or put in a book and cherished for a lifetime.
That's why I do photography. That's why I love what I do.
Photography has always been something I have loved. I can even remember the first photo I ever took by myself. I was probably about seven or eight and we were at a Family Days event for military families. There was a pipe and drum band, and being a little highland dancer, that was something I got very excited about. I asked my mom for the little disposable camera she carried and snapped a really horrible photo from entirely way too far away. But, I was hooked. It started my passion for photography and took me one step closer to what would be a career I love.
In high school I purchased my first DSLR camera. I started out using it on Auto. While my favourite subject was my dogs, I was definitely snap happy and photographed anything and everything that I thought was interesting.
The final push toward photography came when I discovered that I was pregnant with my first child. It was at that time that I decided I really wanted to learn to use my camera properly, if for no other reason than to capture the lifetime of memories that were about to come my way. Unable to afford any kind of expensive photography courses or equipment, I took it upon myself to learn what I could on my own with my little entry level DSLR. Through a wealth of amazing resources, and lots of trial and error and experimentation, I learned. And in May 2012 I was setting my camera in between contractions and photographing my own birth.
In July of that same year, I photographed my brother in law’s engagement photos, and in August his wedding. And from there I created Cherished Memories by Elizabeth Marie. After a few months of doing some portfolio building and soul-searching, I knew it was the journey of pregnancy and motherhood that really captured my heart, so I created Cherished Memories’ sister business, Beginnings Maternity and Newborn Photography. I wanted a special place just for my maternity and newborn photography, separate from the weddings and engagements that I continued to do. I wanted to build a business and a name around what I loved most.
A couple of years later I would retire Cherished Memories by Elizabeth Marie, and make the big, exciting jump to exclusively shooting maternity, birth, and baby.
This past year, I made the decision to include Families back in my sessions. As my clients’ families grew, I wanted to grow with them. I wanted to carry on photographing their special moments, their journeys through motherhood (and fatherhood), and life as a family. I also made the very big decision to become a storyteller, not just a portrait photographer. The sessions I loved most were the ones that were unposed, unscripted, and full of emotion. I wanted to help capture and tell a piece of my clients’ lives, their personal stories. This led me to lifestyle and documentary photography.
So, here I am, with Beginnings Photography - by Elizabeth McFarlane. Shooting my beloved babies, the mamas who so beautifully carry them, and the families that grow and love them.