Category Archives: Photography Workshops

deb schwedhelm

I am still pinching myself.

It was four years ago that I came upon Deb Schwedhelm on facebook. I had only started photography about six months prior. I instantly fell in love with her unique style of photographing people. But even more than that…..I fell for her as a person. Deb’s online presence was positive, genuine and uplifting. She supported. She inspired. She led.

I remember a handful of times when I would leave random messages on her fan page. One in particular after she had posted something that inspired me as a human being. I told her to keep being her. That she was a gift to our industry. I often think to scroll back through the comments left on her page to find the ones I left so long ago.

I remember the first time I saw a posting for one of her workshops. I knew that someday I wanted to meet and learn from her. So I made that happen. Last fall she had posted that she would be in Chicago. I reached out to her to see if she would spend a day with me. Long story short…we ended up meeting in Michigan. She invited me to see Sally Mann speak. A rare opportunity. We spent a day together talking and sharing. She was every bit the same person in front of me that she was online. I knew she would be.

We kept in touch. And when we booked our family vacation to Florida this April I messaged her right away for family photos. I made my Mother’s Day gift very easy for my husband and two children. We drove to Tampa to meet her at her home. We were able to meet Deb’s family (pretty cool after seeing her kids so often in photos)  and had an unforgettable session on the beach. It is an experience that I will always remember. I won’t have to look far to recall these memories either as the photos on my wall will be a constant reminder of the beautiful photographer, mentor and now friend that stood behind the camera.

I have been very fortunate to have met and learned from the people I admire  and respect most in this industry this past four years. People that I have followed and have inspired me for so many different reasons. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. I believe you get the life you want and I have loved the time I have spent taking courses, meeting new people and learning from such talented photographers. Outside of the time I spend with my clients, these experiences have made my career in photography incredibly exciting. If there is someone you admire or that inspires you – in any industry – I encourage you to reach out to them. You never know what might happen.

Having a photography session, for me, is so much more than the photos. It’s the whole experience that gets you to the finished photo that will hang on your wall and become a part of your life’s mark. Deb will always be a huge part of why our family photos make me so happy when I look at them. From the bottom of our hearts Deb…we thank you. xo See our family blogpost here!

It doesn’t end there. Deb is coming to Ontario in June! She will be leading a two day workshop that will inspire you beyond words. This in an opportunity you do not want to miss. You can find the details here. The workshop is almost full so don’t wait to sign up. You never know what good things might just happen:)

Dreams really do come true. 

Much love, 
Hilary xo

Deb and our girlies!

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Shannon Sewell – New York City Workshop!

Hello to everyone!

This is one exciting post….for so many reasons!

First. Let me introduce Shannon Sewell. Instead of attempting to convey to you her incredible visionary talent and photographic abilities – I would suggest you visit  her website here….shannon sewell. I think her work will tell you very quickly who Shannon is and what she is giving to the world of photography.

I had a last minute opportunity to meet Shannon and take one of her courses when a very kind photographer, Ms Nicole Mayhorn, said she would share her mentorship day with me. And the workshop…in New York city of course! How could one not take this opportunity to work with Shannon in one of the coolest cities in America? This also gave me a special chance to spend five days with my mom and sister in New York. Shannon, Nicole and myself spent the day together discussing all things photography and a few things about our own lives. It was FFFFFrreeeezzzing in New York that weekend but there was something about shooting two beautiful twins in Times Square that made the temperatures bearable. Here are some of my shots from the shoot that Shannon stylized and arranged for us! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Nicole, for being so generous and to Shannon for sharing your time, talent and gentle soul with us.

And the best part…a workshop in ONTARIO yes ONTARIO is in the works!! Shannon will be doing two – one day workshops this fall…did I mention here in ONTARIO?!:)  I am honoured to be hosting Shannon here for this exciting workshop. The sign up list is now open! You can message me at to be put on the e-mail list for this incredible opportunity. The workshop will be held an hour from Toronto (heading towards cottage country) this fall.

I have to mention that my Mom, sister and I sat front row on the View show taping while in NYC. One arms length from Barbara Walters, Whoopi, Joy, Sheri and Elisabeth!! And the special guest that day…BRAD from the Bachelor. It was my lucky day:)

Much love,


isn’t it fun to photo in NYC?? LOVE that last photo! great work!


These are outstanding! Some of my very favourites that I have seen! The one with the umbrella when she is looking to the side is amazing!!! Also…love the shots with the balloons! How stylish are those kids?!

Love these – pure perfection!

Love these – especially the umbrella shots! Perfection!

i’m speechless…these are SO gorgeous!

WOW! Your skills constantly amaze me!

Fantastic Hilary!! Love the vibrant colors! And how lucky of you to spend the day with Shannon, I’d love to meet her!

These are gorgeous! I love, love, love them. Beautiful work.

Really, really beautiful images. I love that umbrella – how creative! Fantastic work, as always. :)

Michelle R

Adorable photos! I LOVE that 1st big one!

PERFECTION!!!! I think these portraits are awesome in the city!!!!

PERFECTION! I love these portraits, these are so awesome! :)

So fun and creative

These ROCK Hil..I can’t even pick a favorite!! So fun for you!!

Love them all! So fun, warm, imaginative, totally Alice in Wonderland meets Times Square – just perfect! Great work, Hilary, really great!


what a fun shoot!

LOVE these!! Love all the color and the vibrant color!

you lucky lucky girl! what an amazing opp’ty!

These are awesome! Love love love them!!!! :)

OMG! These are sooooo fun! I love them! :)

Lucky you! Love Shannon Sewell. These are all beautiful!

love love love these!! so fun seeing everyone’s different take on our day… that last one. there was just something about her look in those- perfection :)

can’t wait to meet up again!


Love these!! Love the balloon photos!

These are fabulous! I need to get me one of those umbrellas. Looks like an amazing mentorship!

Beautiful! I love the last one!

SO gorgeous… all of them! I love your work.

These are SO cool! I love them. Love the colors, the life, the fun you captured. Wonderful job!

these are gorgeous!!! loooove the fabric raindrops– such a creative idea! great job on these


you are an AH-MAZING photographer and friend, Hilary! These images are stunning!

that series with the balloons rocks my socks off! love!

I would love more info for this worshop…..sounds wonderful:)

Love, love, love the second shot you took with the bird balloon and cab in the background – fabulous! I can’t wait to here more about the upcoming workshop.

Gorgeous photos!
Would love more info on the workshop!!!

That’s my favourite too! LOVE!

Oh my gosh! The one of the little girl under the umbrella looking to her right (our left) is my FAVORITE!

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