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Taken this morning as I tried to get him out of bed…no luck. He’s still there. I am sure this is the last birthday that he will wake up surrounded by his stuffies. I keep wondering when that will stop. Love my boy. Happy Birthday Jack.

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What Our Summer Looks Like

by admin on August 22, 2013

Calgary Family Photographer (Photo by Dana Pugh) shortandsweetphotography.ca

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Love

by admin on August 21, 2013

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Slow Motion Water Balloon Fight

by admin on August 19, 2013

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The 5 Minute Project: Daddy Daughter Swim

by admin on July 24, 2013

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G: There is NOTHING to eat!!!

Mom: yes, there is…there is tonnes of food.

G(after shuffling around the pantry and fridge for 30 seconds): ugh. I am STAAARRRVING!

Mom: Well, let me make you a sandwich.

G: ugh. no. Sandwiches are boring.

Mom: okay, well…how about some fruit.

G: I’ve already had an apple.

Mom: Well, how about some strawberries?

G: no.

Mom: blueberries? grapes? pineapple?

G(as she finds chips in the pantry): no.

Mom: cherries? watermelon? banana?

G(beginning to walk away with the chips): no. yuck.

Mom(grabbing the chips): so, what you mean is there is no treats.

G…heavy sigh.

Mom: shall I make you a sandwich?

G: okay. Pineapple, too?

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Okay

by admin on June 24, 2013

I shared these images the other day on my business blog…I thought I’d share them here and let everyone know that we are doing okay. Great actually…better than great. We are feeling beyond fortunate living in Okotoks. High River feels like a sibling to our community to me and so my heart is a wee bit broken for them, but we are awesome.

We were in High River last Wednesday. I had a meeting at the School Division office. Jack played ball there that night. When I tell you that we are shocked at how high the water went, that is just not saying enough. It doesn’t even seem possible. Seeing the military at the local coffee shop, the families camped out across our small town, hearing the stories of people who couldn’t get home even though they were in the town…people who just had to get OUT. Our heart breaks.

But, my heart also swells…it swells when you are turned away from volunteering at the shelters because they are overwhelmed with the number of volunteers. When they ask for 600 volunteers and thousands show up. This is what defines this area of the world. Helping your neighbour. I am so happy to live in an area where this is a part of our culture.

This morning, I joined my friend Gabe McClintock in announcing a need to help families affected. We have been overwhelmed, but not surprised, by the number of photographers willing to step up. We know it is early days and that those affected have LOTS on their plate, but we are anticipating a large number of requests. The night I took these photographs, we met a number of families from High River. They didn’t know that I was a photographer, but I listened to their stories. Without exception, each of them mentioned the loss of photographs. The loss of family momentos–things passed down from generations. Given the history of that area, it is not surprising that there would be so many things that are simply not replaceable, but it is a reminder that in every family these irreplaceable things exist. And, they are often photographs. It really struck me-more than EVER before-how important photographs are…and, I am hoping that we can help some families create new memories to start replacing the old.

Some photographs from Okotoks last week.

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Friday’s Favorites

by admin on June 7, 2013

I get asked all the time what camera apps I like for my iPhone.

It’s funny because I haven’t really become one of those photographers who use their iPhone for all of their personal work. I’m a bit shocked actually because I’ve been reading a lot of Facebook and blog posts about picking up their big camera again in favour of their iPhone. For me, my iPhone has always sort of been about taking snapshots of my kids. Yes, I’ve got a few good ones on there, but I always prefer my big camera to my phone. Personal preference.

That changed a wee bit when I upgraded my operating system. It always takes me ages to do this…I fear losing all of my contact info or some weird change to the way I like things. But, I upgraded this time solely to buy the Pic-Tap-Go app.

It is put out by the wonderful people who brought us Totally Rad Actions and presets. I don’t really use those(with the exception of the web sharpening–that action rocks), but I kept seeing images with the hashtag #pictapgo in my Instagram feed so I knew I had to have it. And I freaking LOVE IT. Here are some of my favourite images taken with it:

Before I had the Pic-Tap-Go app, I used the VSCO cam app which I loved, but I was a fickle lover and jumped to Pic-Tap-Go. Well, yesterday, they announced a new upgrade to the VSCO cam app…and, I may be jumping again. It is pretty awesome. So, if you start following me on Instagram(or you already do), I’ll be using this app this weekend….


I know that there is a tendency to think that buying a great big camera will mean for great images of your kids…well, I gotta tell you…I think that the best camera is the one that you always have on you. And, I don’t know too many people who don’t have their iPhones with them at all times. It truly is the best camera you have…so use it.

What are your favourite apps?

~ Dana

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Mistakes I’ve Made

by admin on June 6, 2013

No…I didn’t buy this for myself. Now THAT would have been some mistake…

I bought this for Georgia. For our trip to Belize…in my head, I had visions of taking photographs of her underwater wearing this amazing swimsuit. I bought the matching shorts. And, big white sunglasses…I had high hopes. Photography is a funny thing. It gets me to do things I wouldn’t normally do–true story…and sometimes that is a good thing, but this time…well, I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a gorgeous bikini for Georgia. All with the hopes of getting amazing pictures.

Then, she swam in it once. ONCE. That was all it took. She is a practical girl at heart. Not to mention that she is very particular about her clothing due to some sensory issues she has(yes, my generation has a NAME for everything our children experience…that is just a fancy way to say that she doesn’t like it when her clothes bug her). I should have known that she wouldn’t actually want to swim in it. It bugged her. It wouldn’t stay put. She looked ridiculously cute…I mean FREAKISHLY AWESOME in it. I was so excited because I knew it was right. Every day, I would ask her to wear it. Every day, she would refuse and put on her boring black and white bathing suit that I bought at Superstore. SUPERSTORE! I got more and more frustrated…frustrated at the missed opportunity of said incredible picture and frustrated at myself for thinking it was a good idea to spend that much money on an 8 year old’s bathing suit.

Truthfully, a part of me knew she would never wear it. That she would think it was cute, but that she would want to be in the much less fussy suit. But, I bought it anyway. It’s funny because before we have children…before we know who’ll they’ll actually be…we all have this amazing picture in our heads of the things that they’ll do. Little girls in tutus excited to go to her first ballet class(don’t even ASK ME ABOUT BALLET or I’ll lose it). Little boys playing street hockey with the other boys on the block(Jack couldn’t even name 3 hockey teams if you asked him). And, then you meet the people who will be your children and you realize how incredibly stupid and naive you were. Your kids are nothing like this storybook version that you dreamed up. In fact, they are way more awesome and interesting….and, that is why having them is so amazing. But, from time to time…even though you know who they are now, you slip back into this fairytale version of who you thought they might be and you buy a silly $60 bikini. For an 8 year old. Who you know will never wear it…

I think her 16 year old self will be dying over this picture…she’ll be like ‘why didn’t you make me wear that? It’s so awesome.’ ~sigh~ Another storybook version I’ve yet to meet…

~ Dana

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Julia and Jack

by admin on May 23, 2013

This evening I watched Julie & Julia with the kids. When we decide to watch a movie, we take turns deciding what movie to watch. Tonight, it was Georgia’s turn. Jack spent a great deal of energy trying to convince her to watch something he might enjoy.

First attempt–The Hobbit. We watched the trailer. She looked mildly interested in some parts, but I think we all knew that was a no go. Soooo…Jack decided to play it cool. ‘Ya,’ he said,’That one is probably too scary for you.’

Second attempt–a brief mention of The Lord of The Rings. Georgia rolls her eyes and I say…if you think ‘The Hobbit’ is too scary…Jack relents.

Third attempt–Jurassic Park. We watch the trailer. Jack takes the ‘whatever I don’t really want to see this approach’….which almost works until he details how some kid in his class had told him that a T Rex eats his way through the ceiling of the bathroom before chomping a character sitting on the toilet in half. It is a no go.

I then see that iTunes has a section called ‘Food Movies’. Georgia has always wanted to be a chef, so I think we might find success in that category. Right away she eyes ‘The End of the Line’. A documentary about overfishing. She says she has always wanted to watch that one. A documentary…Georgia loves them…it’s true, but I say to her…

‘There will be real life killing of fish in this movie.’

I sense her hesitation.

‘How about Julie & Julia?’ I ask. Really just hoping to find a movie that we can all tolerate and that will, at this point, finish before 9:00pm.
‘Is it a real story?’
‘Yes’ I say(she LOVES real stories). I explain who Julia Childs is and how she went to cooking school in France(which is a sometime dream of Georgia’s, but one that I have selfishly put in her head so that I will have a daughter who I can visit in France).

So…we set out to watch this cute little movie about food and blogging and life. Georgia is sort of interested, but about half way through she ends up prancing around the playroom in her own make believe world as she normally does. Making things fly through the air. Muttering fantastical phrases about cooking lobsters and beef bourguignon. Jack, on the other hand, is mesmerized.

‘So,’ he says….’this is a movie about an optimist and a pessimist.’

He often talks the whole way through movies which is annoying to us all, but this time it was amazing. Listening to him describe in detail the aspects of the two main characters that made them either ‘optimistic’ or ‘pessimistic’. In the end, he decided that Julia Childs was an ‘optimistic realist’ and that THAT was a wonderful way to be. She never let anything get her too down. She didn’t care if people didn’t think she couldn’t do it…she just did it and had a good time doing it.

‘She was quite inspirational’ he said when the movie finished. ‘And, I love that ‘never apologize, never explain’ quote. I’m going to use that one.’

And, he marched off to bed.

Life is pretty great in these little moments. These little moments that seem so big.

~ Dana

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