Thursday, January 1, 2015

Creating Space

Holy Dina, it's been a while since I last stopped in for a chat with you, Blog.  I've thought of you often; alas, life has given me a little more than a gal can handle all at once and so you have had to take a backseat.

In mid-2013 I was handed a personal blow that left me, well, broken.  I have spent the past 19 months adapting, learning, loving, crying, and living...and I managed to fit some beloved portraiture into the mix too!  2014 was all about getting my feet back under me, and I'm happy to report that things feel a lot more peaceful these days, and I am ready to dream again.

Every once in a while we all have to 'take stock': what's working, what isn't, what do I need to do, what do I WANT to do, how do I wish to live my days, and so much more.  I've been seriously pondering these questions for some time now and, although I don't have all the answers I'd like (not even sure I can articulate all the questions?!), I do know that I am ready to shift my work-life balance, and that it will require some sacrifice. I also know that 'dreaming' things into fruition also requires some 'space' to think, create, fumble, succeed...I am on a mission to make 2015 a lot more pro-active in the dreaming/creating category!

December 31, 2014
As we made our way from Chicago to Calgary, and to a new year with new possibilities.
iPhone 5
In March 2014, I was invited to become a member of IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta, which I accepted.  The mandate of our non-profit is to use photography as a tool to build bridges between communities, people, groups, cultures, and beyond.  It has been an honour to participate in activities through IRIS and I am incredibly excited about an upcoming project that I am involved with - more on that in a later post!  

Then, a few months ago, I was approached to participate in a collaborative project, 'The Birthday Book Project', and I was and am STOKED about it - more to come later, but there are a few details below! ;)

So, between my work (I provide 25 hours/week to a wonderful small business doing admin work; Bella Faccia Photography; Bella Forza Portraits), my family (I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to be a full time mom still - putting the kids on the bus in the morning and picking them up at the end of the day), and everything else that life asks of us...I'm feeling a little burnt out.  I recognize that it is all perspective and perhaps, at another time in my life, all these things would engage and inspire me...but, given my shell shocked existence over the past year and a half, I am tired.  I know that I have to make some changes and, although it is very difficult, I have come to a major decision in this so-called 'balance' we all desire, that I desire...

I am closing Bella Faccia Photography for (at least) 2015.

I have a few portrait sessions already booked and I will happily meet those engagements; however, outside of 'one-offs', I won't be booking any Bella Faccia portrait work this year.
What will I be doing?  
  • I'll be concentrating on being present with my family and taking time to choose soul-nourishing activities for me (I think I'd like to try painting!)!
  • I'll be travelling to Kenya, Africa, with my family on a voluntour with Free the Children! (insert - squeals of delight - here!)
  • I'll be continuing to provide, what I hope is, wonderful administrative work for people I feel honoured to work for and with!
  • I'll be providing portrait services through Bella Forza to women (and their families) who are facing or have faced serious illness...Bella Forza feels like my 'life work', from which I can't imagine taking a 'sabbatical'.
  • I'll be participating with passion in IRIS endeavours, exploring wonderful ways that we might use photography to ignite understanding, passion, and connection!
  • I'll be looking for, and photographing, 30+ individuals for The Birthday Book Project (visit to enter your email address so that you can be the first to know what we're up to and maybe even participate! :D )
  • and, amidst the fun, I'll be consciously creating 'space to dream'.
I won't lie, this post has been exceedingly hard to write...that said, I know that I am following what feels like my 'best path right now'.  I have loved the work I've done over the past five years and I have ZERO intention of quitting...just need to shift my shutter to new horizons for a while.

I think many of my tears are for the opportunities I know I'll be giving up this year, but I am also so incredibly excited for what this new 'space' will allow.  May this new day, and year, bring you too closer to your 'best path'.  It might take a deep breath, but it's so worth it!  

Life may not always be easy, but it sure is ALWAYS beautiful...we just have to look a little deeper sometimes.

With gratitude to each person and client who has trusted me, supported me, encouraged me...I hope to see you all soon!

Life - and change - are beautiful!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

NEW: Guest Blog Series!! Starting today with Leslie Stein

I am excited to be starting a new guest blog series, both here and over on the Bella Forza blog too! I have invited individuals, whom I think have great things to say, to share their wisdom and experience here, with us! My goal is to spread optimism, encouragement, empowerment, and hopefully some laughs...after all, life IS beautiful!
First up is the fabulous Leslie Stein. We met on-line when we both participated in the Boudoir Body Challenge, organized by another fabulous lady - Stacie Frazier. I was immediately drawn to Leslie's down-to-earth, passionate, and optimistic attitude toward life and I'm thrilled to have her kicking off this new endeavour!
Leslie wrote this guest blog just for us (love you, Leslie!) and I hope you enjoy her 'voice' as much as I do!
Life is beautiful!  
...and now over to you, Leslie...

Heroes & Villains
It’s been coming up a lot lately...the fact that I am pretty much a superhero. I’re impressed. Or wait...maybe you’re not. Maybe you think it’s silly for an average girl to see herself as a superhero. But I do. I am a superhero and not afraid to claim it!
In my own life. In others’ lives. In the work I do.
But I don’t do it just for the cape (yes, really...I have a badass cape! I also have a magic wand. Tools of the trade. Don’t be jealous.). I do it to bring out the superpowers in those around me.
I inspire people to transform through the facilitation, training & speaking I do inside corporations and the personal growth work I do with individuals via coaching & life adventure retreats. All of it is in service of one thing...helping people become their own superheroes.
I’d like to say it’s purely altruistic. But it’s not. My motivations are kind of selfish here. It get’s lonely being the only one in a cape. I want a world full of happy, connected individuals who loooove what they do (and who they are!!) so I have people to play with. My very own justice league!!
And so...I create spaces where people metaphorically go into phone booths, rip off the masks they wear (in the form of roles + responsibilities at home, work, & in their communities), and become the superheroes they’ve always been deep down inside.
Fortunately or unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let go of their masks and become a hero. So it’s also been coming up a lot lately that I am a villain. Disrupting the status quo. Saying things some wish were left unsaid. Disappointing people. Not living up to their expectations. Having the audacity to call myself a hero.
How dare I, right?!
Wrong. Me not claiming my awesome doesn’t make the world a better place. In fact, it makes it a sadder place where people think it’s ok to hide their talents. To stifle their dreams. To play small. All for the sake of what...not making other people uncomfortable?! Holy horse manure, Batman!
Guess what. Life happens in the uncomfortable moments. In those times when you challenge the status quo & it actually CHANGES! On those occasions you step up & say, “That’s right, I’m a badass. I got this!”
You can make magic happen. You can bring out the best in others. You can change the world. When you are willing to dream. When you are willing to risk. When you are willing to fail. When you are willing to
And so perhaps the real path to becoming a superhero is to realize that along the way you must also be willing to play the part of a villain in someone else’s story. Because when you have the audacity to dream, risk, fail, and be YOU...someone’s not gonna like it.
But maybe...just maybe...that is the first step on their path to becoming a hero too. And you made it possible.
For more information on how you can work with Leslie to uncover your special superpowers & learn how to use them in creating the life you’ve always wanted, visit or e-mail her at

Sunday, April 20, 2014

...and they said, "Welcome to IRIS!"

I am really excited to announce that I was invited to become a member of The IRIS Photographic Society of Alberta and that I accepted!
Some lovely irises gifted by Kerry for the 'new members meeting'...she thought them fitting, as did I!
IRIS, which is an acronym for Inspiring Respect through Images and Stories, aims to promote connection and respect between our communities, segments of our population, cities, cultures, and even countries, depending on the project.  The mandate is to use our passion for photography (all IRIS members, of which there are now 11, have a love of photography) as the platform to engage conversation between people and groups of people, to foster a heightened level of understanding of one another, and to provide some photography tips and tricks along the way to anyone interested!

An example of a recent project was when IRIS members conducted a workshop at an Edmonton seniors' centre, putting cameras in the hands of a few of the residents.  The workshop was then followed up with an exhibition of those residents' cool is that!

I am incredibly honoured to now be part of this group, a group who have been humbly and generously endeavouring to make our world a little better since inception a year and a half ago, and I am fundamentally moved that I now have the opportunity to participate in deciding on projects and then executing them (we decided on some wonderful initiatives this past week at our meeting...stay tuned!).  

As a non-profit, IRIS relies on a few revenue generating projects each year and also on donations from people and organizations who believe in what we are trying to achieve.  If you are interested in supporting IRIS please visit: and click the 'donate' button on the right side!

Over the past few years I have been afforded really amazing opportunities and, on each occasion, I've wondered, "have they got the right 'Lori'?"...alas, I am learning that this is how we grow:  by being a little scared, by reaching, by stepping outside of our comfort zones, AND by choosing to be in the midst of people we admire and respect, people who desire to help in building a more compassionate world.

Life - and opportunities to make a difference - are beautiful!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's The Little Things

Don't ya' just love finding things that make you smile, things that make your life a little better?!  I sure do, and the following are a couple of things that made me smile today...

I love visits to the local drug store...I can often find a lil' something to perk up my day without spending a lot.  I have really fine hair and so "Fat Hair Thickening Spray" was an awesome find (note: I ONLY think the word fat is okay when you are speaking of hair! ...when my son saw me pick it up he said, rather dramatically, 'you're not buying that!' lol - yes, my kids know it's a dirty word! :) )...I love this product!  I equally love Maybelline's Falsies Volum Express in Black Drama - this stuff is great and inexpensive!

On my bathroom counter sits a photo of me, taken in '94 by an aspiring photographer in Natal, Brazil.  When I look at this photo I am reminded of how I felt back then (and still feel!)...that life is full of promise, opportunities, friendship, and adventure!  I love having this visual reminder every morning, it instantly puts a smile on my face and a hop in my step!   It also provides a great place to keep the three necklaces that are symbolic to me and that I wear most often...

one was gifted to me by my beautiful friend at her wedding=FRIENDSHIP, 

one represents my lil' family and my acknowledgement of my own personality and nature 
(I'm one of 'those' who thinks astrology is meaningful)=LIFE, 

and one I just brought home yesterday and is intended to protect me whilst encouraging peace and compassion=STRENGTH.

My last fave to include is a Facebook group called The Boudoir Body Challenge.  This group was started by Stacie Frazier, an awesome woman and boudoir photog out of Las Vegas, and has blossomed into the coolest and most motivating group I've found in a long while!  Ladies, look it up...I'm there with plenty of other women who are simply looking to better their own health, with the awesome added benefit of encouraging everyone else in the group at the same judgement/110 motivation!  There have been MANY tips shared on BBC that have inspired me and two of them I want to share with all of you:

1) when eating out why not ask for them to bring you a takeaway box before your meal; this allows you to halve your meal ensuring you don't overeat (com'on, those portions are out of control and I guarantee you I'll eat it all if it's A) yummy and B) right in front of me!)

2) MyFitnessPal is a free online resource that has an accompanying app...did I mention it's FREE?!  Yep, free & awesome!  I am relatively new to using it but I am really excited about the difference it will make in me having a better sense of my caloric intake/expenditure each day!  (I'm not sure how reliable the exercise module is for calculating calories burned, but just knowing how many I've eaten is a terrific first step!)

So, what made you smile today?  What little thing can you introduce or be grateful for in your daily routine to make your life that little bit better EVERY DAY?  Feel free to share in the comments and, if nothing else, go out and find a's good for your health! :D

Life - and the little things - are beautiful!

xo Lori

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Yin-Yang and other is personal!

I believe that there can't be anything without its opposing force (or complimentary force if you're a 'glass half full' kind of person!): day-night, water-fire, man-woman, yin-yang; therefore, I must also accept that for a person to experience true joy they must also face grief.

I have been consciously and sub-consciously contemplating this post since late May when I experienced a great personal loss.  This will NOT be a post detailing what happened or why; rather, I simply want to address a couple of things that I hold very dear, and I also wish to express, in writing, that I am Just.Like.You.

I have been 'feeling my way' on the social media platform for the past three or four years.  On November 7, 2010, in my second blog post here (and second of my life), I wrote this:
"As this blog-thing is new to me, I have spent a lot of time over the past week or so contemplating just what to share, and the possibilities are, obviously, limitless.  So, I've decided on some parameters which, when written down, seem to be best encapsulated by 'general goodwill'.  I want to share what I am learning, to show what I'm working on, and to elevate the conversation (hopefully) to a tone of positive attitude and caring.  So, we may go on tangents (Lord knows I am good at that!), but you may rely on this being a place you can spend a minute during your busy day without hearing me whine, complain or lay blame."
I have believed since day one that social media can inform, uplift, and entertain...but the opposite of all those wonderful impacts is true too.  I am proud that I have chosen, and continue to choose, the path of light, goodwill, and generosity everyday (with the occasional slip when something really pisses me off!) :)

All that said, these past few months have been exceedingly difficult for me and my family.  However, the reminders of all that is beautiful in my life and in the world have absolutely buoyed me.  I pay great respect to the path I've led, through Bella Faccia and now Bella Forza, over these past few years as I believe that my daily choice to be positive and to encourage women to feel empowered/beautiful/strong has helped me immeasurably in overcoming what has been the greatest heartbreak of my life.  


Obviously I'm human and suffer moments (or a tad longer) of acting in a way that is, shall we say, less than graceful; but we learn, we grow, we improve, and we step forward...and we needn't apologize for being 'works in progress' as every individual on earth is learning as they go too!

A few months ago I received a private note through Facebook from someone I haven't met in person, but who is known to me through friends.  I am going to believe that the message was meant to be inquisitive, based on this person's support over the past few years, regardless of the crass way it was written.  Essentially, this subscriber of mine on my personal page, who also receives updates from both of my Facebook business pages, had learned of my loss and wrote to me asking why I was being 'so disingenuous' with my posts, citing that they had been "too positive given what you are actually living"...the fact is that I am not disingenuous, in fact I feel extraordinary joy that I have been able to see the beauty around me whilst also suffering sadness.  I value the quality of sincerity as highly as I value trust, integrity, and goodwill...I wish to express, publicly, that when you read a post of mine - whether it is my written word or something that I've shared - I MEAN for you to read it and for us, collectively, to feel uplifted. That was my goal when I started and I am only more fervent in my pursuit of 'beautiful' now!

I recently read this quote by Rumi: 
"Learn the alchemy true human beings know.  The moment you accept what troubles you've been given, the door will open."  
Indeed, I do believe that masking pain, hiding from truth, and living a lie are all terribly unhealthy and unhelpful in living your best life.  We should be able to answer truthfully when someone asks us how we are; that said, I also hope that we choose to answer with infinite hope.  So, friends, I can say that I have been sad and hurt, and I can say that some days have felt heavy in ways I cannot adequately articulate - not unlike what every human being faces at some point in their lives;  however, I can also say that I am full of hope, optimism, and joy for the blessings I experience each day.  I am truly grateful for so much that I couldn't possibly list it here.  
I really wanted an awesome shot of me and my kids from yesterday's adventure...
and I got one; this picture makes me smile every time I look at it!
© Bella Faccia Photography/Lori M. Maloney
I do believe that LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL and I am happy to share why with any of you, on any day, and in any venue!  In the meantime, let's keep celebrating each other, our talents and foibles!

With gratitude, 


Monday, May 27, 2013

SuperMom to SuperModel!

I met beautiful Karma a few years ago, when our sons bonded over dinosaurs in kindergarten, and it wasn't long before we were friends too!  It was also fun to discover that her husband and I attended school together...such a small world!

Karma is mom to four active kids who range in age from nearly three to 17...with an always clean house, fresh baking and cooking on hand for her family and friends (she showed up to her shoot with a family portion of homemade spaghetti for us!), and seemingly endless energy, Karma definitely epitomizes the term 'Super Mom'!

Over the past few years Karma has pondered the idea of a shoot with me...I was beyond thrilled when she bit the proverbial bullet and booked her session.  As you can see, Karma is beautiful without a stitch of makeup; but being a girly-girl meant that a morning of getting her hair and makeup done and then playing model was right up her alley!  

I loved how excited and engaged Karma was in planning her shoot.  We had a pre-session consultation a few weeks before her shoot to discuss details (something I always schedule) and she also had compiled shots she loved on a Pinterest board as inspiration for us both.  In fact there was one shot, which I believe was taken by a Russian photographer Litvak Oleg (the Pinterest file didn't have the artist's name; however, a fellow photographer helped me locate the information), that she and I both LOVED and she asked me to recreate.  Here is that shot...

Other ideas for the shoot included a new pair of boots she had; some french netting I wanted to try out; and some sassier shots for her husband...all I can say is that I have been hard pressed to pick my faves as there are just too many!  Alas, here are a couple more from our shoot that I LOVE!

Karma told me that she walked up the front steps with a bit of a gulp in her throat!  Flash forward to this afternoon (the day after her shoot) when she texted me saying it was the experience of a lifetime!  Show her some love as she is simply beautiful, inside and out!

Karma, your infectious laugh, easy going demeanour, and fun loving attitude are all reasons I enjoy being around you in general, and you brought all that AND pro modelling moves to your session!  Thank you for your trust in me; having the opportunity to photograph you was so much fun and I hope we'll do it again ;)!  

Life - and moms you meet at school - are beautiful!


Friday, May 3, 2013

'You Are Here'...and 'Here' Is Beautiful!

I was recently at a museum with the kids when I noticed a "You Are Here" sign on the floor in front of the museum's map...and it struck me as profound.  I took this photo on my iPhone and have been mulling over the seemingly simple statement ever since.

My blog and Facebook posts are a mix of business and personal, and this one is no different.  The fact is that life is busy, which I know does not come as a shocker to any of you!  I try hard each day to find some semblance of balance between my health (why does fitting in a workout seem so challenging?!), cleaning the house, having groceries at the ready, chauffeuring two kids to myriad activities, supporting a  husband who has a demanding job, seeing friends & family, playing with the dogs, AND running Bella Faccia (and now Bella Forza as well)!  Now, I don't claim to be as busy as many; however, aren't we all trying to find our own 'best balance'? 

There have been many days over this past year when I felt overwhelmed and found myself subconsciously wishing things were different somehow - more time, more energy, more help (I do daydream of a housecleaner nearly daily :) ); but then, I thought, "no, I don't wish things were different...I'm loving my life...I'm loving 'here'"!  So, 'here', in this moment, I am letting go of what I thinkshould be doing, accomplishing, etc....I am letting go of any self perceived guilt...and I am going to step back from work (with one exception) for a few months to allow me time to be a (nearly!) FULL TIME MOM to two pretty awesome kids.  

That one work exception mentioned above is Bella Forza!  My commitment to the women whom Bella Forza can be of service to have my commitment and I will not turn any Bella Forza client away.  If you are wondering what Bella Forza is all about please visit the FB page at and the blog at  I'd love to have you click 'like' or leave a comment if you are so inclined; it not only helps get the word out about Bella Forza but it also buoys the women who come to us!

So, during the summer months, from June 1 to September 15, I will only be taking clients for Bella Forza.  I will still be on-line and will happily be taking session bookings throughout the summer for dates after 09/15!

Life - and loving your 'here' - are beautiful!