Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category


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Back in DECEMBER I shared Part 1 of a 3 part mini series featuring my friends Tacy + Bryn! T+B collaborated with myself and my girl Meghan from Sweet Heirloom photography for a gorgeous and meticulously crafted couples session. Part 1 was shot in their home and the location of Highberry Dew HQ. (If you have yet to check out Tacy’s online shop featuring her fabrics and paper good do so by following this link!). In Part 1 you will fall in love with their perfectly curated home (complete with laughter, lattes and a Corgi) and well, heck, you’ll fall in love with them too as you learn about how B + T became the outstanding couple that they truly are. In JANUARY, I shared Part 2 where we headed into the woods. The lighting, the moss the timbers everything in the forest was diviiiiine that early October evening! Meghan and I had such a hard time pulling ourselves away from the forest that part 3 was shot nearly in the dark! (really!). Whoops!   Here in Part 3 we found ourselves up the road from the Rockwell homestead at Zanatta Winery. UP THE ROAD. Of course it’s just, you know, up the road – pinch me






















Gathering your girlfriends together to play with beautiful florals in an inspiring atmosphere – sign me up! This weekend my friends Tina of Platinum Floral Designs and Emma of Emma McCormick Creative hosted a Floral Crown Crafternoon! We arrived to a beautifully decorated loft in downtown Victoria, treated to Macaroons and tasty bevy’s prepared by Emma while Tina lead us through the creation of our own Floral Crowns. It was a super relaxing and fun afternoon!  Next up these two creative ladies will be hosting a Mother’s Day event working with succulents and it sure to be a hit – check out Emma’s facebook page HERE for more information and to sign up.

Calligraphy by – Laura Lavendar Calligraphy + Illustration






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Last month I shared Part 1 of a 3 part mini series featuring my friends Tacy + Bryn! Tacy + Bryn collaborated with myself and my girl Meghan from Sweet Heirloom photography for a gorgeous and meticulously crafted couples session. With so much planning and inspiration packed into the afternoon/evening session it was way, way to hard to narrow the photos down to just one post.  The lighting, the moss the timbers everything in the woods was diviiiiine that early October evening! Meghan and I had such a hard time pulling ourselves away from the forest that part 3 was shot nearly in the dark! Whoops! If you missed Part 1 (an at home mini session featuring lattes and laughter) + the story of how B + T became, well, B + T please head over HERE.












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M + E – Ucluelet

March 9, 2014

Filed under inspiration



Recently M and I took a weekend off and visited the west coast! We have been back living on the island for 2 years and still had not made time to get out to Ucluelet or Tofino or anywhere even close since our return. It was time to make some time! So on a whim we booked 2 nights in a cozy little cabin complete with hot tub and great views of the inlet. I prepared a few delicious meals (as the little town of Ucluelet shuts down most restaurants and cafes during the off season) and we were off! We filled our first evening with a rocky sunset hike, taking a few fun photos and experimenting with reflections, then checked out some local property for sale. Our first full day we layered ourselves in warm clothes and rain gear and took to a soggy coastal hike along Florencia Bay. Watched some bald eagles race for their dinner on the shore line, listened to the sea lions and practiced our head stands (its a work in progress for me…more on that later!). We chowed some home made tomato basil soup and built a little fire under the  protection of a big ol’ tree and ate our soup with giant mussel shells – because we forgot our spoons! The next day we were off and hit SNOW on the pass! YaY! We made our way to Cathedral Grove (read OLD GROWTH Douglas Fir FOREST – some trees more than 800 yr old) and took the rare opportunity to view the GIANTS in their snowy coats. They dwarfed us. The massive clumps of snow falling from the branches a 100 meters up and ongoing snowfall made picture taking tricky. Hard to get a clear focus from all the chunky snowflakes getting in the way! It was GORGEOUS!! A little seafood chowder and shopping at Coombs Market to wrap up the trip! Our little getaway made me so excited for a spring and summer full of adventures with M! We have lots of trips planned so stay tuned, we can’t wait!


This fall I collaborated with my best gal Tacy from Highberry Dew – A design house to create a west coast holiday feast! The custom styled shoot was conceptualized by Jean Crowder, MP and her support team for her annual Holiday card. Styling provided by the lovely Tacy the shoot features local pears, hazelnuts, holly berry, cedar plank salmon and some treasures from her private collection.  Look for more styled collaborations to come in 2014!


My friend Sidney has an UH-amazing opportunity to travel to Rwanda + Kenya this spring to offer help to a country that is in great need. See Sid is a student at Bible School at Word of Life church in Red Deer, AB. She will be working with an organization called Home of Hope and will working on a number of interesting projects including feeding and caring for babies in an Orphanage rescued from the local 30 acre dump.  Yes, the poverty is so bad women literally throw their babies in the dump… but Home of Hope is working hard to change this harsh reality.

Home of Hope is a non-profit, Red Deer based organization dedicated to helping desperate children in Haiti, Rwanda, Kenya, Congo, and India. Through a monthly sponsorship program, Home of Hope is helping hundreds of children and orphans. Many children are going to school for the first time,  they have dozens of orphanages in each of these countries so that kids are no longer living on the street, and they are feeding over 2200 children daily who would otherwise be digging through dumps to find scraps to eat. They are also helping widows and women with microloans to start small businesses in order to provide for themselves and their families. Sidney’s heart for these children is so big and her realistic outlook on the support she will be able to provide to the lives of the childern she will care for in Africa is honorable. She is working hard to raise $4000 that will help her get to Africa and help thousand’s of children that Home of Hope is involved with. Any extra funds that she raises she will be able to distribute where she identifies a need! For example, she is raising money to buy pigs. These pigs only cost us $35. However, to the people in Kenya and Rwanda, one pig will literally change a whole family’s’ lives by giving them a way to make money for years and years to come. Also, for every $1 given she will personally be able to give a meal to 1 child. Therefore, $100 can feed 100 children who would otherwise be digging through the dump to find something to eat!

Mission work is something that Malcolm + I have felt a calling to do for a very long time. We are waiting and prayerfully seeking the right opportunity for us. In the meantime we happily GIVE AND SUPPORT our friends in the field as we know that the assistance that they lend to other’s will help make another’s life a little brighter.

Sidney has less than ONE MONTH to raise just $1200 more to meet her minimum goal of $4000. Every little bit helps and every bit of excess will go directly to a child in need – hand delivered by Sidney.

In closing a little word from Sidney + info and how you can help : )

“I am so excited for my trip to Africa next month. There’s so much need in Africa and though I can’t change a whole country I am so overjoyed to go and make a difference in the lives of the people and children that I come in contact with while I am there. It is such an honour to give what I have in order to make someone else’s life a little better. All I can ask is that you would be able to support me as I go, knowing that your gift will have a gigantic impact.  To send your support make out a cheque to Home of Hope with my name (Sidney Pankratz) in the memo and then send to: Home of Hope RR4 Site 4 Box 50 Red Deer, AB Canada T4N5E4 . Again, thank you so very much for helping me get to Africa and making a difference!”

Spread the word! Let’s send Sid to Africa!



phew what a week! I was so happy to have an element photography styled wedding shoot chosen as a feature on the ever popular wedding chicks wedding blog! So thankful to have such an terrific group of talented artists to work with to turn the vision into a reality. So happy to call them all friends too  : )

You can check out the full feature HERE.



Mikone Farm sale

August 27, 2012

Filed under inspiration, just for fun

FARM SALE ya’ll!! This weekend element collaborated forces with one of my most favorite stylists/designers and junking partners Tacy at Highberry Dew. One of my very best gal pals who just happens to be a very talented interior and graphics design artist! And if she can’t find you the perfect piece she will make it herself. Really guys you should see her console + harvest tables. to-die-for!  Her sense of vintage style with touches of mixed media makes my heart go pitter-pater! Together we have worked on projects such as our styled wedding shoot at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm earlier this spring, her custom made packaging for my wedding clients and a few other styled weddings on the go for next season (fingers crossed!). When Kiona at Maven Creations invited us to participate in her annual farm sale – we looked at each other and JUMPED at it. This was our very first farm sale as vendors! We pulled out all kinds of bits-and-bobs for sale including such things as reclaimed wood caddies + trays, harvest tables, Roosevelt elk antlers naturally shed (Vancouvers own + largest in North America), old chairs, frames, chalkboards, antique dishes, linens, palette tables, bags + pillows. oh MY!  The tolix chairs were a big time hit – pick yours up at Bird’s Eye Cove farm.

We really enjoyed our day + had so much fun chatting with shoppers and making friends with the other vendors. Can’t wait for next year!

Have a look at the goods – and contact us if your interested in any items we have a few larger items left!


















happy friday! its happy friday because I just returned from a relaxing week in Osoyoos with friends and happy friday because I get to finally share this gorgeous styled shoot with you compliments of Blue Lily Event planning and Bird’s Eye Cove Farm. This February, Tam from Blue Lily and I got our heads together and started to dream up an elegant yet rustic styled wedding shoot (a first for the both of us) to showcase the premeire of Bird’s Eye Cove Farm – the location of Cowichan Valley’s newest event barn. Built by local timberframers MacDonald & Lawrence, no detail was overlooked in its construction. The impressive barn sits nestled against the lush green countryside protected by towering cliffs in beautiful Maple Bay. Bird’e Eye Cove Farm holds a very, very special place in my heart.  I started visiting when I was 10 years old. I spent many a summer as a young girl exploring every corner of the property with my best girl Sara (book your wedding here and get to know her – she’s pretty much the greatest!). She introduced me the love of my life in the summer of 2004 at they very first barn party in the original barn to celebrate her Uni graduation! Six years later we married in the very spot we met and dance the night away in the old barn! 

Many, many thanks to all the local talent, as well as our two happily married models Anna + Isaiah for helping to pull the concept together. Bride’s plan your weddings at Bird’s Eye, its a magical place. trust me. You should think about hiring Tam. And all of these other talented vendors too. enjoy!

planning  -  Blue Lily Event Planning

design + decor – Highberry Dew – A Design House

florals – Platinum Floral Designs

cake – Twisted Sifters

gown – The Bride’s Closet

hair piece – Dove Tree

hair – Katie Mcreesh

makeup – Natasha Winters

twigaleer + furniture – Highberry Dew + Smiling Rain Prop Rentals + Belongings

venue – Bird’s Eye Cove Farm

photography – Element Photography

graphics – Starling Memory Graphic Design

favors – Wood & Grain

bride + groom – Anna + Isaiah


good read

March 11, 2012

Filed under inspiration



i’ve been told about a bazillion times as a business owner and manager that the “purple cow” by Seth Godin is a must read. I must say, they were right. The front cover reads “transform your business by being remarkable”. I like that. I like being remarkable. I find that the more of myself I put into my business – as a unique, and quirky as I am the more successful I am and the better I feel about everything. From what I blog about, to the types of clients I attract it’s a better fit from the get go when Im true to myself.

What the heck is a purple cow? Purple cow’s are something remarkable. Something worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Something you want to update your facebook status and tweet about, at the same time.

The concepts I learned from this book can be applied in so many different aspects of my life. weird. Maybe? but true!

I’ve learned that only I can be the best me. No one else can be the best Erika Walter. It’s true isn’t it? So I try to pour myself into my business being the best that I can be. ‘Cause no one else can. And that’s one small way I try to keep element photography – remarkable.

my take home ideas are:

-”the purple cow is so rare because people are afraid. if you are remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise — ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.” so don’t take it personally!

-”Doing nothing is not as good as doing something (great). But marketing just to keep busy is worse than nothing at all.”

-”if you weren’t afraid of failing, what’s the most audacious thing you would try?”

-”Remarkable isn’t always about changing the biggest machine in your factory. It can be the way you answer the phone”

-”ideas that spread, win.”

-”copy. not from your own industry, but from any other industry. find a industry more dull than yours, discover who’s remarkable (it won’t take long), and do what they did.” only better!

-”what’s missing isn’t the remarkable ideas within your business, its the will to execute them”

-”Ask yourself, why not?”

There’s so much to learn on this topic but I felt that the “purple cow” really got the gears turning for me.

Did you read it??? Did you apply any of the purple cow concepts to your business??