Enchanting the Lens – Shelley


I get to work with THE COOLEST people! These images were taken not long after a pretty incredible article about this gal was published in the Yukon News. I was immediately taken with her motivation and commitment to her craft and was in touch with her right away to see if we could work together. Since then, we’ve brainstormed on a few projects with one particular project that is very dear to my heart. We have collaboratively designed beaded wrap bracelets that I am making by hand to raise funds for the Kihembe Environmental Learning Center that was the reason for my trip to Tanzania this summer. The bracelets will be listed for sale very shortly and will be available for holiday gifting. I couldn’t have done it without Shelley’s help. Her talent and ability to produce an incredible quality product is rarely found. You can find some of her jewelry in local Whitehorse shops  like North End Gallery, Rambles and Bella Home Decor. You can also find a few pieces in her new Etsy shop.

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Aromatherapy and Cancer

AROMATHERAPY AND CANCERimage copyright singyouonelastsong

Nobody likes that word. Cancer.

Everyone is affected by cancer and even if you aren’t the patient, it can and does still affect your life.

I was recently asked by a friend for suggestions about which oils to use during cancer treatments and after some thorough research, this is what I’ve come up with. Please note, I am not a physician and none of what I’m about to say is intended to replace the advice given by medical professionals. The suggested individual oils and blends are for therapeutic use and are intended to be supplemental to what your team of doctors are recommending. If you are unsure about the use of oils (because they are still medicines, just naturally derived) please check with your medical peeps. I would suggest using your oils in a diffuser rather than topically until you are sure that there are no contraindications with your medications although it is still going into your system so please be careful.

The National Cancer Institute says, “aromatherapy is used by patients with cancer primarily as a supportive care agent for general well-being” so while your doctors are on the war path to kick cancer’s ass, let’s get down to be business of taking care of you.

Preparing for medical appointments

Sleeping well is key to your body’s ability to heal as well as cope with the difficulty of Cancer. Lavender is a super powerful relaxing agent and can be used in the bath (6-10 drops) as well as a few drops on your pillow at night. Both of these uses together can help get you chill and off to la-la land any night you wish but can be great when preparing for hard medical appointments.

Dealing with fear and uncertainty

My favorite way to use my oils is in my diffuser. They smell heavenly and are best enjoyed while relaxing in bed or on the sofa – often with a book.

  • 3 drops of Sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 drops of Myrrh essential oil
  • 3 drops of Geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops of Frankincense essential oil

You can also use these oils as a massage oil but you need to combine them with a carrier oil for topical use like Jojoba oil or Fractionated Coconut oil.

Here are some handy tips for incorporating Essential Oils into your life if you are dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

If you have cancer there are some points to keep in mind when using essential oils and aromatherapy:

  • Keep massage light, and avoid deep massage over muscles as well as near the lymph glands.
  • Do not massage areas that have been irradiated.
  • Do not massage areas that have skin cancers.

(source – http://www.essentialoils.co.za/cancer.htm)

This valuable list is a wonderful reference for selecting oils to avoid during your cancer journey.

Essential Oils to avoid if you have cancer

Essential Oils to avoid if you have Estrogen dependent cancer

Essential oils to avoid if you have skin cancer

(source :: http://www.essentialoils.co.za/cancer.htm)

If you wish to purchase oils and are in Canada, you can visit my DoTerra site and pick up the oils, the carrier oils and diffusers as well as unscented lotions and hand soaps to make your own scent blends. Please comment below if you have questions or ideas to share. Recipes are always encouraged!
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Hair Stylist Extraordinaire

williams-39 copyRecently, I was asked to create some new and edgy headshots for one of my favorite hair stylists so naturally, I jumped at the chance! This is Victoria and she currently can be found styling Whitehorse’s most on-trend and fashionable folks at the Color Bar Hair Resort. She hails from Yellowknife but calls Whitehorse home. If you are looking for a fabulous date-night style or a full on fresh start for your tresses, she’s your gal!

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Enchanting the Lens – Robin

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When women come to me to book their glamour portrait, nine times out of ten it is something they want to do as a gift to themselves. Sometimes, it is to celebrate a milestone birthday or to show off a new figure after committing to weight loss. Other times, it is just because they want to see their beauty from my point of view. When Robin came to me, she was quiet, shy and definitely a fish out of water. While in the studio, we worked together to build her comfort level and to help her sparkling personality come through. This image is one of my favorites from that day.

I love everything about this image. Her cheeky smirk, her incredible hair color and what you can’t see is that she brought along her amazing John Fluevog boots. Super funky, super cool.

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Introducing Juliann and the inspiration for *SHINE*

The light which shines in the eye
is really the light of the heart.
the light which fills the heart
is the light of God. ~Rumi

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This remarkable beauty is my friend Juliann. She is one of the moms I met through our community of home educators. Truthfully, we’re very new friends. But when I first met her, I knew immediately that there was something uncommonly captivating about her. I knew that the sense of kindness and warmth when I was near her was something I’d like to experience again. Some people just do that to you. Their energy, their magnetism draws you in and only in the most sincere and authentic way. This is what my first real exchange was like. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to see her again and know her better. This was full-on friend-crush territory. I love that feeling. I’ve not had it since Brooke and I first met.

When I explained to Brooke how Juliann fit into  my life, I said that before meeting her I felt as though I had already cashed in on the friend lottery win of a lifetime with Brooke who is the Yin to my Yang, the Salt to my Peppa. She is the Garth to my Wayne. We are two halves of a whole. That hasn’t changed. But. With Juliann, she’s like the bonus scratch on a scratch and win ticket where you ACTUALLY win the prize. Winning twice. Yay!

fraser-91 copyJump cut to last week. I drop my kiddo off at their house for a play date. We chat about logistics and the plan for the day. Then she pulls me aside. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” It had that ominous tone. I had no idea what to expect. “I was just diagnosed with cancer.”

Fuck. What?

The few details she knows are disclosed. Breast cancer. Surgery is next week.

Inside I die a little. My mom instincts kick into overdrive. I want to fix it but I know that’s not possible. I want to hug her and protect her and make it all go away. But I can’t.

“Can I photograph you? Before your surgery, after, anytime you want. I don’t know what to do but I do know how to do that.”

Jump cut to yesterday. Hair at 9. Pre-op appointment at 10:45. Makeup at 1. Photos at two. Surprisingly no tears but lots of laughter, hugging and jaw dropping, honest-to-god beauty.

Tomorrow, this woman will have her body altered to spare her health. But clearly, her beauty, femininity, woman-ness is not in the sum of her parts but in the whole of who she is.

fraser-141special copyfraser-162 copyThis brings me to the next part of my post. *SHINE*.

*SHINE* is a project that has been on my mind for a very long time. Up until the writing of this post, it has remained unnamed but in light of my session with Juliann and in memory of some of the most beautiful women I know who have fought Cancer (Maia Elderfield, Jen Thompson, and countless others) as well as survivors with varied outcomes. You have inspired my project to photograph women fighting cancer. To give them a day of total celebration regardless of life’s sometimes shitty hand of cards.

I am looking for corporate sponsors to partner with me on this project to make these sessions available at no cost to the participants. The cost to sponsor starts at $2800 which will give the participant a day of professional hair and makeup with partnering professionals, a fully styled studio portrait shoot and corresponding products. Partnering sponsors will receive mention on the blog post, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media streams with the sharing of each individual image from the shoot (typically three images, shared individually). Tagging on Facebook will occur when the sponsoring partner has a Facebook page.

For participants to be photographed, they need to be nominated by someone who has obtained their consent to do so. Nominations must include the full name, phone number, email and mailing address of the participant. the participant will agree to have a portion of their story disclosed in blog posts and on other social media streams. There will be ZERO cost to the participant.

At this time, interested partners can email me at info@vanessafallephotography.com with their full contact information as well as a brief 500 word summary of why they wish to be a sponsoring partner in this project. Not all who apply will be approved. This is a cause that is very dear to me and it is my highest priority for this to be a beautiful, effortless alliance.

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