Canadian Thanksgiving

I always meant to post a blog about Thanksgiving.  Luckily for me if I’m too busy during the Canadian Thanksgiving I can just hold off until the American Thanksgiving!  Besides – who says you can only be thankful once a year? That’s just silly.  And so – here are a few things I’m feeling thankful for today:

  1. My girls.  Obviously.  They fill my world with so much laughter and fun and love.  Sometimes I sit and think about where I would be if they had never happened.  I think my life would be far less rich without them in it.
  2. My parents.  If you had asked me ten years ago how I felt about my parents you would probably gotten a less than enthusiastic answer.  But as I have become an adult and gotten a bit of a view into what makes a family work I have also developed a deep appreciation for all that my parents are.  When I was 15 I couldn’t wait to get away from them.  As a 25 year old, one of my favourite places to be is in their company.
  3. My dearest girlfriends.  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have you in my life.  I don’t think many people get to experience such deep love for their friends the way that I do.  You guys support me and care for me and laugh with me and call me out when I’m being ridiculous.  I’m so very blessed to have you.
  4. The Dearhearts.  This kind of goes in with #3, but I think it also deserves it’s own bullet point.  The opportunity to express this new side artistic expression of myself alongside two of my best friends has been life giving in so many ways.  It’s opened up a whole world to me and has given me a platform to see outside of myself and to meet so many new people.  I love traveling and singing and loving with these girls.
  5. Lauren Hamm Photography.  I was just saying to someone a few days ago that living an artistic life doesn’t always mean you’re necessarily doing the right thing.  I’ve tried all sorts of artistic expressions – acting, singing, drawing…  And while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and even found success in some of these different areas I never felt quite as right as when I started this business.  It has only been through photography that I feel without a doubt that I’m doing what I am supposed to be doing.  I love it, and I am so grateful to all of the people who have trusted me with documenting them and their families.

Below are some of my favourite images from our annual Hamm Family Thanksgiving Camping Trip.  It’s always a bit cramped and almost always too cold but every year we go anyway.  I’m so very grateful for my family (and our various tag alongs – I’m looking at you Chantal!) and that we always make time to invest in each other.


Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC (1)
Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

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Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC (1)

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~

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Impostor Syndrome

There’s a moment before I do anything big.  Sometimes the moment lasts only a second, and sometimes the moment lasts years.  In that moment I am frozen.  I can’t make a decision.  I can’t say yes.  My dad thinks I hold back because I am afraid to succeed.  That I’m afraid of the attention that might come with success.  I’ve always thought that it is because I’m afraid that people will know that I’m not “good enough”.  I’m afraid to stand up boldly and declare “this is who I am – this is my work and I’m proud of it” because I’m afraid that someone will call me out right then and there.  They’ll remind me that any success I have is due to luck, or timing, or my ability to trick people into believing I’m more than I am.  That one day everyone else will also be able to see what a fake I am.  There’s a name for this I’m told.  It’s called impostor syndrome.  And as much as I like to consider myself unique, I hear that this “condition” is actually quite common – particularly among women.  It’s unfortunate.  How many people, artists, musicians, writers,  photographers have held themselves back because they’re afraid?  Not that they’ll fail, but that other people will write them and their work off as fraudulent.  As a fluke.  And the truth is… the fears aren’t actually based in any truth.  In fact, it’s when I rally the courage to take those steps forward to face and pursue my deepest insecurities and desires that I’m met with the most encouragement and support.  

Find out what makes you feel at home and chase it.  Better yet, fight for it.  Because I think it’s only then that we are able to stand behind our work with pride and confidence, knowing we are doing exactly what we should be doing. 

Chasing the Light…

– Lauren.


Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta |YYC

~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~ 

The Mountains Bring Peace to the People

I spent last weekend in the beautiful mountain town of Canmore with three of my very best friends.  I feel confident calling them that because in one weekend I had more meaningful conversations than I’ve had in the last month combined.  These girls challenge me and encourage me to live to my full potential.  I hope I can find ways to do the same for them.  I found myself thinking about how my life has grown and changed in the last 7 or 8 years, and about how different my life would look if I had never met these three beautiful souls.  I wanted to share some of the most important lessons I’ve learned through my adult life thus far.  Most of these lessons I’ve learned the hard way, so I certainly won’t judge you if you need to take that road as well.  No preaching here – just some rambling thoughts…

1.  Seek ways to be generous.  I don’t have a lot of spare change to throw people’s way when they’re needing it.  But I can sure make a good meal for a friend, or bring them a treat when they’re feeling down, or share a glass (or a bottle) of wine.  Generosity does at least as much for my spirit as it does for the person I’m being generous with.

2.  But also – be generous with yourself.  I can be so incredibly hard on myself.  Sometimes it’s a good thing.  It forces me to work harder to achieve my goals.  But it can be a huge hinderance.  I was convinced I would never be “the best” singer, so I just didn’t do it.  I was convinced I would never be “the best” photographer, so I just didn’t do it.  It’s held me back in so many areas of my life, especially artistically.  Strive for greatness but be gentle and generous with where you are at.

3.  Listen.  Don’t just hear the words people are saying to you.  Really listen.  It’s the biggest gift you can give someone and the biggest gift to receive when you’re in need.  It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives, and in our own problems.  But if we can take the blinders off and tune to our friends and neighbours I think everything starts to seem more manageable.

4.  Be slow to anger, but get angry when it matters.  I honestly believe that there is nothing wrong with healthy anger.  There are things in this world that absolutely deserve our anger.  How we choose to express that anger is what actually matters.

5.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Forgive.  Goodness.  I’ve struggled with the learning of this one.  But I’ve come to understand that bitterness and resentment hurts me far more than the person I’m angry at.  And usually the anger is just a mask for my hurt anyway.  Learn to forgive.  Do it every day.  And watch how the heaviness lifts.  Seriously.  It’s a weight on you that actually physically lifts when you can achieve this.

6.  Live with courage, not with fear.  Sometimes people tell me I’m “brave”.  I always say thank you but mostly I just want to laugh.  “Me? Brave?”.  No.  I find myself so often making decisions based in fear.  Fear of hurting people, fear of disappointing people, fear of being hurt, fear of failing, fear of being rejected.  But when I manage to shake off that fear for long enough to make a decision based in courage, that’s where the magic is.  Say yes more often and see if your life becomes richer.

There.  That’s all for now.  I’m sure there are hundreds of other lessons I’ve learned, and maybe I’ll find times to share some more of them.  These are the few that have been sitting on my heart this week.  And these are a few pictures that have been sitting on my computer.  


Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

Lauren Hamm Photography | Lifestyle Photographer | Calgary, Alberta

~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~

Lauren.

King Of The Road

Lately when people ask me how I’m doing my go-to response is “exhausted”.  I’m in the process of packing up for my 8th move in 7 years and I’m completely wiped!  I recently read something – I can’t remember where (let’s be honest, it was probably a meme on Pinterest) that caused me to consider what my summer will look like.  More specifically, how I can make a concentrated effort to fill it with wonderful memories that I can look back on and cherish.  This will be an unusual summer for me.  I live in this tiny hamlet that I absolutely love and is crammed full of people that I couldn’t do without.  And when I say crammed, I mean crammed.  When I found myself in the position of needing to find a home at the end of May I wondered how I would be able to do it.   So [due to all this crammed-ness] without giving you all the nitty gritty chaotic details, I will be spending the summer essentially camping.  In an authentic 1970’s Winnebago.  Now, I could approach this in one of two ways.  I could get super stressed; panic about the increased chances of running in to moths and mice, and the tighter quarters.  Or I could see it for the adventure.  An opportunity to connect with my family, and with my inner outdoorsman.  Make it more of an outer outdoorsman.  See what I did there?  Anyway.  Because I am an optimist – choosing to chase the light, I want to take a few moments to publicly make some promises about how I will spend my summer.

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I will seek out opportunities to practice living what I love.

I will nurture my relationships and take initiative in them.

I will play my instruments every chance I get, and work to take significant steps forward musically.

I will take photos every day.  Even if it’s just with my iPhone.  But preferably not.  I will take the time to capture this amazing life I’m living.

I will do laundry once a week.  It’s my least favourite chore, but there is only so much space in a trailer…

I will spend time outside exploring the world around me and teaching my girls to love it too.

I will actively work to grow my business, and work at networking with other artists.

I will be easy on myself, and give myself permission to be exactly where I am, without the pressure of needing to always have it together.

I will live “for now” and worry less about the future.

 

What will you do this summer?  I’d love to hear.  Message me here or email me at laurenhammphotography@gmail.com.

 

~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~

Lauren.

Let Me Count The Ways

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  Literally.  Let’s count them.

1.  You are the most mercurial human I have ever met. (I define because I care) 

2.  You exude light and life.

3.  You love to laugh, and to make others laugh.

4.  You are thoughtful, and intelligent, and you question everything.

5.  You are generous, yet you are cautious.

6.  You are tough and hardy.

7.  You are gentle and sensitive.

8.  You are incredibly sassy.

9.  You love passionately and completely.

10.  You are beautiful, inside and out.

Happy Birthday, dear Bria.  I was hoping I would get a Bria like you.

 

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren HammAlberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

 

~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~

Lauren.

In Honour of Mother’s Day

May is a good month.  Both of my daughter’s birthdays happen, with Mother’s Day sandwiched right in the middle.  Not to mention the smell of may day trees in the air and the “barely there” beginnings of a summer tan.  Everything starts to get green and the earth smells like growing things.  I get a lot of opportunities to think about what it means to be a mother and to have a mother in May.  Being a mother teaches me about patience and sacrifice.  It is unbelievably easy to be selfless when you have two tiny humans looking to you for everything.  But they also teach me how important it is to chase my dreams and work for what I love.  Because I want them to know when they grow up that they can achieve whatever they put their minds and energy to.  And I want them to know that they have permission to try and fail at something that may not always seem like the most economical or logical choice.  I want them to always know that it’s better to try.

My mother is the backbone of our family.  She is gentle, but fierce about her love for her children and grandchildren.  She is generous, but taught us from a young age to grow up and become independent adults.  She has a wonderful sense of humour, but knows when to be soft and sympathetic.  I’ve been blessed with the most wonderful family.  They are incredibly protective, compassionate, loyal, understanding, and supportive.  My favourite way to spend a day is in their company.  Happy Mother’s Day.

 

 

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren HammAlberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

Alberta Lifestyle Photographer Lauren Hamm

 

 

~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~

Lauren.

In Support of a New Year’s Resolution

2014 caught me completely off guard by presenting me with the opportunity to play music with my two best friends in a band called The Dearhearts.  It opened my eyes to a world of possibilities.  Suddenly something I never knew I wanted has become so exciting and important to me.  And it has shown me that sometimes passion and drive and a dash of natural ability can be enough to launch you into a life that is bigger than you initially intended for yourself.  It is with this newfound understanding that I move into the next year.  It will be a year dedicated to taking dreams and turning them into plans.

All my life I have loved photos and photography.  I love what you can do with a photo.  I love that you can take a moment that is full of emotion, be it joy, sorrow, love, anticipation, contentment, or excitement, and preserve it forever.  I’ve spent a lot of time these past few months thinking about how I want to spend my life.  Then a little while ago a friend asked me: “if you could be anything, and there was nothing holding you back, what would you want to be?”  I paused for a moment then answered somewhat timidly and quite fearfully, “I would want to be a photographer.”  And before you say it, I know what you’re thinking.  Everyone with a DSLR calls themselves a “professional photographer”.  I’ll admit I’ve rolled my eyes at the claim more than once.  But still, this is what I love.  Few things make me as excited as the idea that I could build a career doing something that charges me and makes me feel like I’m finally doing what I’m supposed to be doing.  I am afraid.  Taking something that has always been a dream and turning it into a plan means I have to accept that I might fail.

But maybe not…

Welcome to the blog of Lauren Hamm Photography.  I’m starting small.  I’m taking whatever advice I can get.  I’m moving forward with passion and excitement.  I’m diving into the unknown.  I’m choosing to live with courage and not with fear.


In case we’ve never met, here are a few things that I love:

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Photo Courtesy: Kelsey Krogman

Photo Courtesy: Kelsey Krogman

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~If you enjoyed this post, or know someone who would, please feel free to share it using the buttons below! And don’t forget to like my Facebook page for updates on Lauren Hamm Photography! Thanks for spending some time with me!~

Lauren.