November 22, 2020

Adjust the Settings

My husband gifted me a camera for Christmas in 2012. Just four months earlier I had attempted suicide, and one month prior to Christmas I had closed my beloved business SimpLee Serene, leaving behind being a well-known Public Speaker advocating for Mental Illness, Author of an International Best Selling book, clients who I had coached through depression and anxiety, and countless late nights doing suicide interventions on Twitter.

After some coaxing, I started going on adventures with my camera. Exploring so many beautiful places right near our doorstep in Calgary, AB. I found myself in awe of the wide open prairies, the majestic Rocky Mountains and the abundance of wildlife. I found hope and inspiration in nature, it was also a place where I found peace. Long drives would give me an opportunity to reflect and heal.

Photography gifted me a distraction from the pain I was feeling from leaving behind what I believed to be my life purpose. It also gifted me a metaphor for life:

“When there is darkness, I adjust the settings and there is light!”

With photography, I find healing, life lessons, a way to fuel my creative mind and spirit. It plays a significant role in my mental health and coping with depressive episodes and anxiety. So when friends, family and my Professional Photographer mentors started encouraging me to share my work, I was scared, I didn’t feel that my work was good enough, I didn’t think I was good enough.

“My work doesn’t even come close to the many talented photographers out there, why on earth would I set myself up for failure.”

This a common response in my life, to compare myself to others, and to feel not good enough and fear failure! Comparison and unworthiness are thieves, they steal my confidence, creativity and opportunities to thrive.

During a lovely fall evening around a campfire, one of my Photography mentors and friends, Dave Brosha – was quite persuasive in encouraging me to share my photography at the next level. A couple of nights later, around the same firepit, another one of my mentors and friends, Kahli April and her husband Leo, inspired me with their new venture and encouragement. My time camping with and learning from John E. Marriott on his Jasper Wildlife Photography Workshop was the icing on the cake – the last layer I needed to take inspired action.

Not only did the encouragement come from my Professional Photography friends, my family, friends, husband and daughters were on my case as well.

“Surround yourself with people who encourage you and support you.”

With all that being said, I am so very excited and proud to announce I have created a photo site and gallery that displays my photographs for you to enjoy. I have intertwined my passion and love for Photography and Philanthropy by celebrating this huge step with an online auction to raise awareness and funds for a non-profit that I’m deeply passionate about – EXPOSED Wildlife Conservancy.

You can bid on some of my favourite photographs, whether it’s for yourself or a gift for someone you love – Christmas is just around the corner!!! All funds above the minimum bid (to cover a portion of costs) amount will be donated to the Conservancy to support projects such as: 

  • Protecting Canada’s Grizzly Bears from proposed Trophy Hunts
  • Banning Killing Neck Snares
  • Protecting Canada’s Wolves 
  • Protecting Big Cats

If bidding or photography is not your thing, no worries at all, you can donate DIRECTLY to the Conservancy right HERE!!!

Auction Start Date: Monday, November 23, 2020 at 9:00am MST