lifestyle photography

Photographic Art Exhibition

A Collected Work

Monday, February 12 to March 2, 2018, at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery in the Spruce Grove Public Library, I will have the pleasure of exhibiting a collection of my photographic artwork from the last few years. 

A couple pieces in the show have travelled throughout Alberta and even made a couple stops in the United States while part of the Celebrating Alberta Exhibit a few years ago. They were taken at the Westlock Tractor show, a very enjoyable event to bring both big and little kids to. 

For the past few years, we have had the opportunity to spend Canada Day, just a few hours north of Edmonton, at Slave Lake, where my brother-in-law and his wife have a cabin just off the lake. When Slave Lake is calm and the weather is sunny, it is beautiful and fun, but when a storm rolls in, which happens quite often, when we are there, it is another kind of beautiful. I have been fortunate to capture a few images that tell a story of what is going on during some of these storms.  

As a mother of three beautiful, carefree, loving children, they often become subjects in my photography. Sometimes they know I'm photographing them and sometimes they are so busy experiencing their world they are not aware of the camera. Children grow so fast, having the opportunity to capture photographically even small glimpses of there lives, I feel blessed. 

So head on out in this gorgeous February weather, to the Melcor Cultural Centre located at 35-5th Ave, in Spruce Grove Alberta (the Spruce Grove Public Library) and head to the gallery which is to the right of the front library desk towards the back. It is a lovely little gallery with a variety of artwork on display run by an awesome group called the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove.   

Perhaps I will even have the opportunity to visit with you on February 17 from 1-3 pm, as I will be at the gallery receiving guests and providing snacks ;) 

A special day for a beautiful couple. Congratulations Matthew and Zara!

13+ years and 4 beautiful children later they have tied the knot! It was a gorgeous, if not slightly temperamental, Alberta summer day.  There was loads of sunshine, a little breeze now and then, and a few tiny showers that you could have gotten away without an umbrella for.  Being an outdoor wedding at the brides’ childhood farm, kids were able to run around, adults got to enjoy the gorgeous (award winning) gardens.

While people arrived from both near and far Zara kept well hidden in the house and Matthew greeted guests outside.  When you share the same building, playing hide the bride can be difficult, but they managed well.

getting ready

The groom patiently waiting for the bride to make her quick trip around the expansive vegetable garden.  


The family was involved in nearly every aspect of the celebration, Matthew and Zara's children preceded her down the aisle with her sister. Zara's mother was her escort, giving her away at the end. 


The wedding went on as weddings do, there were tears and special words, smiles and a couple laughs. It was perfect. 


The ring bearer did his job famously well, so the neverending circle of love could be placed on each others fingers.


The flower girls got right in there and decorated up the grass for their parents.


A beautiful family!



There are a variety of opportunities for formally posed images at weddings, but sometimes you just need to toss in some variety. Matthew wanted to get his teams socks in the picture, and why not catch the sisters photo bomb in the back? everything is a memory.


Let the celebration continue with supper, drinks cake and toasts


Baking Day with Gram

Gram loves to bake! Paige is interested in learning to bake, so together with the help of a crazy minion they take on the cookie challenge.

Getting right in there from the start the minion lets his presence be known. "What did you put in there? can I do it? when's it my turn?" he asks.... "don't worry, you can help put things in later" says Gram, as she shows Paige the special technique of putting the butter in. 

Decisions, decisions..."which one is the 1/2 cup?" asks Paige, "oh, I see." smiling when she understands how it works, moving seamlessly into the spoons to measure the vanilla. 

"now we use the back edge of the knife to level off the flour, getting a precise cup" explians Gram.

You can't keep a good minion down, he persisted and got his turn! The happiness of being a "big boy" and getting to help with the cookie construction certainly made his day....for a little while anyway. 

Paige diligently working to get every bit of yummy dough off the beater. "That's an entire cookie or two right there!" exclaims Paige.

I have to admit, those cookie scoops are pretty great for kids to use, easier than the two spoon method. Paige gets them all placed in nice even rows, Ryder jumps right in placing the very necessary m&m candy on top, which of course made his day...again! 

Into the oven, Gram took full control of this part. Safety first. 

The excitement mounts for tasting as the first batches are cooling on the rack.  Paige is a pro at transferring them over.

"Now Gram?? please, can I have one now??" ask Ryder impatiently, as he stares at the cooling yumminess laying on the table top, goading him with their delicious smell. 

"Yes," says Gram, "It's time to have a cookie."  This was it, right here his day was definitely made, no topping finally getting to go from minion to cookie monster!  So Paige, Gram and Ryder - and myself - enjoyed...a few cookies. 

Grandma’s never run out of hugs or cookies
— Authour unknown

Happy spring! may you find the time to bake some cookies this coming Easter holiday and create memories for a lifetime. 

Malissa Lea

Back to film continued

The journey continues on re-learning how to shoot with a film camera, adjusting settings based on how images turn out.  My kids continue to be subjected to my experimentation with this process, but they don't seem to mind to much - for now anyway. 

Fall, leaves are turning, kids are exploring. Throughout Spruce Grove and Stony Plain a person can find piano's placed in different public locations for people to play a tune or plunk on the keys. We found one of the pianos at Stony Plain's Rotary Park, the kids enjoyed a few minutes of piano fun before heading out for a walk.  A different day we pulled out popsicle sticks and challenged the girls to build a house or some type of stick building. That was an entire weekend project. 

So each fall the kids love raking up leaves and jumping into them, really who doesn't enjoy that pastime. Here are a few of my favourites from that roll. 

Following fun with leaves is Halloween! Thanks to the kids grandparents we had pumpkins to carve this year, unfortunately last year there was a shortage and no carving happened. Pre carving was a little twister game fun and some cheeky Ryder pictures.

And the snow starts falling....the poor rose bush bending under the weight of new heavy snow. Another indoor day for the kids so more game playing, this time some battle ship.

So we do at times venture outside for some snow play...these are the most recent in the film journey, just this past March in fact when we get crazy swings in weather and snow quite often.  Why not use a big rubbermaid tub packed with snow to build a "castle".

So still lots for me to remember and take into consideration when shooting with a film camera, it is an exciting journey and I am looking forward to its continuation.  I'd like to give a shout out to Canadian Film Labs for the development and scanning of the images. They offer a custom experience and have great educational information to help their clients succeed in shooting film. 

Looking forward to Summer

Every summer I make it a goal to take my kids out on as many adventures as we can with out going to crazy. One of those is a trip up to their uncle and aunt's cabin located at Slave lake. We have all kinds of fun playing in the lake, going for walks, rides on the boat and helping build something to improve on the experience. 


One of the other things the kids enjoy about heading to the lake is the chance to play with Cembra a beautiful husky.

For my self enjoying being with the kids at the lake is of course great fun, but it also gives me a chance at some personal photographic time. 

At the end of the weekend the kids had an aura happy exhaustion. For a more extensive look at our fun filled weekend...  

I love making lifestyle images of my families adventures and would love to help capture the adventures of other families. All to often we involve ourselves so much in an activity or event that we forget to snap a couple pictures to reminisce by. Covering events such as birthday parties, special outings, regular outings or just day to day at and around home so you can enjoy your family, your experience and your self are all lifestyle services offered here. We want you to make memories, and we are here to capture you making them.