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Shirleen “sprinkles”

My daughter, Isis, at the age of 10, understands completely what makes her special.  Her word for it is “Isis sprinkles” and, with much animation, mimes sprinkling something…fairy dust?…with her hands as she says it.  Like it’s magic.  And it is. It’s her special magic that she adds to this world.

I think having the mind of a child, unhardened and full of fascination, is necessary to discovering the flavor of your own “sprinkles”.  I asked my daughter what makes “Shirleen sprinkles” and she said ” You know, mom, you’re crazy, like your hair. You make things fun and you’re kind of a goober, like a happy emoji. You’re always smiling, and you make everyone feel good.”

O.K., perhaps I wouldn’t have described myself as a “goober emoji” but Isis does understand me. Appreciating the beauty of life, being happily relaxed, a bit irreverent and endlessly optimistic, is a big part of who I am. 

Everyone has something beautiful to add to this world.  I’m particularly good at drawing that “something” out, making people feel sexy & special, happy about their life, and then, capturing those emotions in pictures. I’ve been told that is one of my “superhero powers”. Who am I to blown against the wind?  😉 

Being a photographer is not a “job” to me.  It’s my passion.

Photography fascinates me in every way.  I have a totally nerdy side that loves all the technical details: the cameras, lighting equipment, software and computer programs.  I eat it up!  It’s the tools of my poetry.

 

 “Create Like a God, Command like a King, Work like a Slave”

—Constantin Brâncuși, Romanian sculptor.

To that I say, “hell, yea.”

 

Why Photography?

Great images— images that move and inspire us— should be a part of our lives.

They are our memories and heirlooms to pass down to our families.

We owe it to ourselves to make these images special.

It pains me to say it, but we are surrounded by thousands of mediocre images.

The pictures most people take throughout their lives… of their children, their vacations, etc. are crap!  

Most people don’t invest enough in quality professional photography throughout their lives.

I get it. Photography isn’t cheap, but consider this—there are certain times in your life where having even 1 beautiful image that moves you, that evokes the emotions you were feeling at that moment in time, will be priceless to you.

The Two Events That Most Shaped My Life in 144 words.

I grew up in a family of modest income. We didn’t have professional portraits taken. I’m sure my parents were struggling to simply make ends meet. Unfortunately, my dad was not to last long in this world. He passed away from cancer at the age of 47. I have one photo of him that was taken by a professional, the rest are a sorry assortment of crappy snapshots. He looks great in that photo. To me, he is that photo. It is the image that comes to my mind when I think of him.

Flash forward 15 years in my life. My sister, Jo-Anne, was diagnosed with cancer too.

Do you know what my mother did?

For the first time in her life, she booked a professional portrait session for our family. The images that photographer made are beautiful. Jo-Anne died 2 years later.

What do you think those images are worth to us now?

This is the portrait that was made before my sister, Jo-Anne (on right) died.

It is priceless to me.

My Soap Box Take Away

Do not underestimate the value of beautiful images in your life.

Selfies are fun and snapshots have their place, but there are certain unrepeatable times in your life when you will be glad that you did—or wish that you had —invested in the skills of a talented photographer.

Your wedding day is one of them.

I adore photography because I prize the images that chronical my life. I cherish them more than anything money can buy.

I am a wedding photographer because weddings are one of the most significant days you will ever experience. I understand that your wedding pictures will be one of your greatest treasures EVER, so I bust my ass to make sure that the images I create for you are worthy—that they evoke nostalgic tears when you see them, be the first things you grab if your house is on fire and the things your children will fight over having when you are old & gray.  That’s what goes through my mind when photographing your wedding day.

Here I am coaching a bride & groom on posing on location in Canmore, AB.

We like to get our clients to really “smoulder”!  

Troy “sprinkles”

*Disclaimer: Troy is the fortune in my cookie. After 12 years of marriage, I’m still terribly in love with him. Everything I write about him is undoubtedly biased by this. In the interest of not making you sick, I’ll try to stick to just the facts.

I don’t think anyone would describe Troy as a “goober emoji”. He’s more like an athletic, brawny, walking encyclopedia.

Imagin Mr. Clean with a camera and 30+ years of advanced education and you’ve got Troy.

Troy graduated with a PhD in geography and economics from UCLA. He moonlights from his day job as a professor of geography at Mount Royal University to complete the Burnett Photography team.

Like myself, Troy is a bit eccentric.  He talks about himself in the third person and calls himself, Adonis MoneySpot” (the “s” in Adonis is silent).  

He has a long list of accomplishments to his name— he’s an expert on natural resource conflicts around the world, author of the books, Natural Resource Conflicts: From Blood Diamonds to Rainforest Destruction Volumes 1 & 2, and director of the Wildlands Studies Banff National Park Wildlife Corridors Project . He loves to answer questions about the region while we are shooting so feel free to ask away.

(Be warned, however, he may test you at the end.)

“Adonis MoneySpot”, aka Troy Burnett, at work in the Dominican Republic.

Troy’s also an amazing telemark skier, a great dad, teacher and pretty much the “ass for my saddle” as my mom likes to say. But don’t get me wrong—I’m the brains of this operation!!!

Troy and I are fiercely competitive (in a loving way ;-). My winning awards has him chomping at the bit to do the same. You can be sure he will provide you with hours of hard work to achieve this goal, not to mention sheer entertainment. This alone could be added to the list of Why Couples Like You Loved Working With US as reason #11.

banff photographers, Shirleen & Troy Burnett.

 

“Troy & I look at each wedding with unfailing optimism to create an adventure of a lifetime for our clients”

If you want to have KICK ASS, award-winning photographs that you will love forever, that your kids will fight over when you are old & grey and that will test your relationships since your friends will be green with envy, then contact me via email, shirleen@shirleenburnett.com,  use the short form on this page or call 403-678-4127.

 

 

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Proud member of the following industry associations who promote excellence in the field of photography andin the wedding and live events industry:

Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI), Master Photographers International Organization (MPIO), Fearless Photographers, Calgary Bridal Alliance, Professional Wedding Photographers of Canada, Iternational Live Events Association, and Calgary Bride.

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