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February 12 | Victoria Tea Festival Day

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by on this February 12, 2011, which has been declared by the City of Victoria as “Victoria Tea Festival Day”! We’ll get to that in just a minute…but first, a little catching up!

If you haven’t submitted a photo entry for the Valentine’s Day Couples Portrait Session Giveaway on the Facebook page, there are some absolutely adorable stories and photos posted and I encourage you to have a look! I’ve read through each of them and can’t even believe how some couples first met, like we’re talking, their love stories are chick-flick worthy! The winning couple will be announced on Monday (Valentine’s Day) at 4pm, and you can help 1 couple win by checking the page, reading the stories, and casting your vote with a “Like” for your favourite!

Well friends, it’s been one of those busy weeks! There are still unpacked boxes aplenty, but John and I are starting to settle into our new home in Brentwood Bay! With all the hints of sunshine we’ve had in Victoria this past week, I’ve been dreaming of summertime, especially now that we live so close to the ocean!

Apart from the move, a few other things have been keeping me hopping this week, including the Victoria Tea Festival! I have always loved tea, and over the past year my tea shelf has grown tremendously, thanks to the Victoria Tea Festival! This year marks the 5th year of the festival, which exists to share the experience and love of tea, while raising funds and donating all proceeds to the Camosun College Child Care Services.

Last year I volunteered as a festival photographer and it was an event full of firsts for me: first time attending the festival, first time ever trying matcha tea (the green froth being whipped up in the image below), and the first time I really made the decision to venture into the world of loose leaf tea. I find it really funny to think that one year ago I was kind of intimidated of making loose leaf tea, when my tea shelf is now full of all kinds of loose leaf tea, but it’s true!

Following last year’s event, I decided to get on board for 2011 and joined the Marketing Committee for this year’s festival back in September. There really is so much work that goes on behind the scenes to put this event on each year and with the Victoria Tea Festival, there is no paid staff; it is all volunteer hours that make it happen!

My contributions to this year’s festival include designing any of the advertisements that ran in publications like the Times Colonist, EAT Magazine, Monday Magazine, Nanaimo Daily, and Georgia Straight leading up to the event…just to name a few! I also designed this year’s festival program, which will be handed out to festival attendees at the door; I just saw my first physical copy on Thursday and it looks great!

Today and tomorrow I will be on location, fulfilling my commitments as an official Event Supporter by photographing presentations, tea ware, and varieties of tea (as well as the people who enjoy them!); I hope as attendees embark on their own adventure of firsts that each one will discover something new to love about tea while supporting a great cause! To learn a bit more about the event, visit the Victoria Tea Festival website; if you want to join me, at-the-door weekend passes can be purchased for $25 at the Crystal Garden (713 Douglas Street). The event takes place:

  • Saturday, February 12, 2011 from 12pm-5pm
  • Sunday, February 13, 2011 from 11am-4pm

Hope to see you there! Be sure to say “Hi” if you see me!

February 18, 2011 - 7:24 AM

CAROLYN BRUCE - GOOD MORNING COURTNEY..

I WAS AN EXHIBITOR AT THE TEA FESTIVAL LAST WEEKEND AND WAS WONDERING IF YOU HAD ANY PHOTOS OF MY BOOTH..#29…MY CAMERA HAS DECIDED TO DIE AND I CAN`T GET ANYTHING OUT OF IT…SO ANY PHOTOS WOULD BE MOST APPRECIATED…

THANKS CAROLYN

For the love of love | A Giveaway

Wow! I was completely blown away to receive such thoughtful and encouraging comments in response to my first ever blog post yesterday! Thank you to each of you who made a comment directly on the blog, or offered a “Like” or comment on Facebook, or cheered me on with a mention on Twitter; it was unreal to have so many emails come in and your beautiful words made me smile. REALLY big.

Here we are today, Friday, and I will keep on blogging! And celebrating achieving new things this week!

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I am excited to announce a giveaway via the Courtney Clarke Photography Facebook page! I will be giving away one custom portrait session to a lucky couple! As we are in February, this giveaway is just for “the love of love” and is geared towards couples! It doesn’t matter if you and your sweetheart have been dating for 3 months or have been married for 30+ years, this giveaway is for any couple that lives in the Victoria, BC or lower Vancouver Island, BC areas.

All you need to do to enter the giveaway is visit the Facebook page, upload a picture of you and your Valentine together, and share a couple of things about your love (please include this info in your photo’s caption line)! I want to know:

  • How you met and how long you’ve been together
  • The 3 things you love most about your special someone

Photo submissions don’t have to be anything close to professional quality, your photo could even be taken with a cell phone, or a computer camera! The photo with the most “Likes” as of February 14th at 4pm will be the winner of a custom portrait session with their sweetie, as well as a DVD of images from the session, so be sure to recruit your friends to vote!

I’m so excited about this giveaway; I can’t wait to see your photo entry and hear your love story!

The photo above shows what my weekend includes: packing, packing, packing! John & I are moving from Sidney to Brentwood Bay!

February 5, 2011 - 10:48 PM

Caitbee - Hey Courtney,
Such a neet idea. I’m very excited for the blog!
Awesome work, best of luck with the move, I’m tackling that project myself.
? Caitlin

And then there was one…blog post!

How excited am I to introduce to you the newest addition to the Courtney Clarke Photography family?! Well, the two new members actually: the blog and the logo! After many months of thinking a blog and logo would be the next step, it’s finally coming together and look what’s happening! Big thanks to anyone who’s supported and encouraged me in my business so far, or pushed me in the direction of my dreams!

As a first-time blogger, where do I start? I think it’s best to begin with a couple of people you can find at the core of what I do, and who I am!

Hi! I’m Courtney Clarke, the owner & main photographer with Courtney Clarke Photography. My heart belongs to Victoria, BC, but I’m often dreaming of other places—just to visit, of course! If you know me, you might say I:

  • smile. A lot!
  • try to live my life God’s way.
  • love all kinds of tea.
  • like to attend all the annual festivals in Victoria (film, tea, fringe, music, uno, the list goes on…) and I’m pretty big on community events.
  • am super-tight with my Mom & Sister; they are my best friends, and lucky for me, they are built right into my family!
  • love meeting up with friends (new & old).
  • talk about photography. A lot!
  • want to do great things through my photography. Yes, I want to photograph memories for you, but I also want to help you create them!

Meet John, my handsome husband of just over two years! He is my love. He is my friend. He is my biggest fan! And occasionally, he joins me for a dance party in the kitchen! Not only is he my “financial backer” (as I so often say), surprising me with a new lens for my birthday or encouraging me to purchase the best gear out there when lesser equivalents are available, but he’s also the one who picks me up when I’m having a down day, and celebrates with me when there’s new and exciting things going on. He holds my hand when I am afraid and reminds me to not be so serious sometimes. I couldn’t imagine brushing my teeth next to anyone other than John every night. His belief in me has given me the courage to make a career doing what I love; his consistent encouragement means more to me than anything. Even just today, after asking John something as little as if he liked how I rounded the corners of the photos for this first ever blog post, he responds: “Courtney, I like everything you do.” John, I am so, so blessed by our marriage! Thank you. Over the past year, John has been working tirelessly on home renovations (which I am so grateful and appreciative of), but sometimes he makes an appearance at engagement sessions to help me with lighting, so if you’re one of my 2011 couples, you just might get to meet John!

Meet Rachel, the beautiful, witty, and fabulous sister who I am so truly blessed to have in my life! You know the kind of friend that whips an offhanded, quirky something (whether it be a funny face, comment, or ridiculous-full-body-action-move) out of the blue? How about the friend who, when she laughs, you might not even know what she’s laughing at, but her laughter sends you into all-out giggle-fits? Well, that friend for me is Rachel! Incredibly stylish, Rachel has been known to assist me at weddings; she’s an incredible time keeper, she keeps me sane in the nth hour of photographing a wedding (when my hair is no longer looking cute and photographing in the summer heat has made me just a little loopy), and she’s getting good with a camera. Like, really good! Just a bit more training and I would be happy to designate Rachel as the official Courtney Clarke Photography Second Photographer (as long as she promises to remain my time and sanity keeper too)!

I can’t wait for all that 2011 has in store for me and my photography and I am so thankful for you! Thank you for choosing to be here and be a part of the adventure!

February 3, 2011 - 11:20 AM

Lara Eichhorn - I love the way the logo turned out, and I’m so glad you finally got the blog set up. Can’t wait to see your posts! I love this one. So sweet.

February 3, 2011 - 11:20 AM

Kari Burgess - Congratulations Courtney!!
Beautiful blog, beautiful logo, beautiful photographers :)

February 3, 2011 - 11:28 AM

Jesse Holland - Welcome to the world of blogging! Yeah!

February 3, 2011 - 11:46 AM

Stefanie Dudley - I just wanted to say that I think this is the Best first time blog I have ever read. You are such a wonderful person and I hope you are very successful in your career and of course life.

February 3, 2011 - 11:53 AM

Dara Ashton - Looks%20awesome%20Courtney!!%20

February 3, 2011 - 12:00 PM

Jessica Frey - Beautiful!! Congrats Courtney…love the logo and love the look of the blog! The rounded corners are fabulous, good choice! See you soon! Keep up the amazing work and blog often so we know what you’re up to!! So proud of you :)

February 3, 2011 - 12:06 PM

Poly - Love love love it! The logo is awesome and you did a fabulous job with the look of the blog! Can’t wait to see you!

February 3, 2011 - 12:18 PM

Emmy - It’s about time!!! Welcome to blog land :)

February 3, 2011 - 12:31 PM

Deanna McCollum - This is such a fun first post, your personality shines through. Makes me excited to see the rest. And I love the logo! Totally suits you.

February 3, 2011 - 1:04 PM

Tamara Poppitt - I love it and the personal connection you are giving.

February 3, 2011 - 2:18 PM

Kait Richardson - Love it Courtney– this blog gives us such a good idea of who you are and I think people really want to connect with their photographer. Lovely work– keep it up! I always look forward to seeing what you’ve been working on :)

February 3, 2011 - 2:20 PM

Ashley - Courtney! I love this post, and I’m so happy I decided to check in on your business today while everything is fresh and new, how exciting! I just wanted to congratulate you on your new blog, logo, and your ever growing skills! Amazing! Oh and… I’m always a big fan of rounded corners 😉

I love seeing your smiling faces on here! Keep up the good work.

~Ashley

February 3, 2011 - 3:17 PM

Laila Brown - Wonderful Courtney, you’re first post is oh so sweet. You’re an inspiration : )

February 3, 2011 - 3:21 PM

Tammy Mooney - Wow Courtney. This is beautiful…Congratulations. Love it!

~Tammy

February 3, 2011 - 3:55 PM

Em - Yay!! I love the logo and way to go YOU for starting the blog! I can’t wait to see where this year takes you, my friend :)

February 3, 2011 - 7:41 PM

Angela - It looks great Courtney! Best of luck in the coming year, I’m sure you’re going to be very busy. You’ve put in a lot of time, energy, and passion and it is bound to come back 10-fold!

February 4, 2011 - 9:33 AM

Kathy Paton - well done C!! love the look and most definitely love the personal touches! Great post!

February 4, 2011 - 9:44 AM

Anne McKinnell - Hi Courtney! Congratulations on this step, now we can all keep up with what you are doing all the time. I really like your personal approach and your new logo. Did you design the logo yourself?
– Anne

February 8, 2011 - 1:15 PM

Brooklyn Greig - Hi Courtney! Your blog and logo are amazing and I’m so proud of you and excited for all the adventures this company is going to bring into your life! Love you! P.S. I love the personal touch of getting to know you and your family:)

February 14, 2011 - 5:14 PM

Lauren - I could have sworn I left a comment when you first launched, but…nope! The blog looks awesome, and I can’t wait to see more! :)