Portraits have always been an interest of mine. In this on-going project, I meet and photograph the interesting people of Kelowna. If you, or someone you know would like to contribute to this project, by all means send them my way. ~Neil Slattery

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LEO BARTELS – LEO’S VIDEOS

Leo Bartels in his video storePin it

In June of 2003 me and my (now wife) Emily left Nelson for Victoria to open our very own independent video rental store.  On our way there we stopped in Kelowna to visit Emily’s dad and had a discussion about its lack of independent video stores (there was only one in the entire city).  In Dec we packed up our  belongings and moved from Victoria to Kelowna, having decided that it would be a better community for our business.  On April 24th 2004 we opened Leo’s Videos.

Leo Bartels in his video store

It was a struggle getting known and it took a lot to convince people that we could offer more then the mega chains with their huge advertising budgets.  We moved locations after one and a half years, expanded shortly after and conducted 3 more reno’s along with one after flood rebuild.  In 2012 things changed drastically as our competition closed their doors and we were left as the last rental store around (one independent store has come and gone since then).  As one of the largest remaining video stores in all of Canada we boast the largest stock of films (21,000+) any store in Kelowna has ever had,  and we like to attribute a lot of our success to the diversity of our film selection.  In 2011-2012 I took time off from the video store to try my luck as a farmer.  I loved it, but ultimately the store was where my true passions lay so I came back to it and have been very happy to have done so.

We have all kinds of online competition and never really know what they are going to do from day to day.  However, our business has stayed strong with occasional growth spurts and I still feel we offer the best available option for viewing films, not to mention the feelings of nostalgia parents get to share with their children (we hear about this several times a day).  This is such an amazing industry to be a part of.  Our customers are usually on their way home to relax, so we get to have such pleasant interactions, and having served over half the local population it has been an amazing way to get to know Kelowna.

Leo Bartels

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JULIE MICHAUD ~PORSCHE-ELLA

fourPin itI am Julie Michaud, the Founder and CEO of porsche-ella. I feel beautiful, from the inside out. I am proud of who I am, to be a woman, to walk this earth in this evolving body. I enjoy seeing my body and face change with years and through different experiences. Each worry, each joy, each hike or lazy day leave a mark on my body in a way or another. My body teaches me a lot and sometime reminds me of where my mind is at.

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Example of poor head-table placementPin it

I think the biggest compliment anyone could give another person would be speechlessness, followed by the slow appearance of a tear in the corner of their eye. Occasionally I get to experience just such a thing. More often than not though, I receive beautiful thank you cards; hand-written sentiments of sincere gratitude. I’ll admit, I don’t keep christmas cards or birthday cards, but I have kept every one of the thank you cards given to me by happy brides, and even happier grooms.

“WOW! Neil, these just brought tears to my eyes and huge smiles to our faces. We could not be more happy with the entire process so far. You not only took the time to meet us for the first time at our wedding venue in Kelowna, but you also travelled down to Vancouver and spent the day with us for our engagement shoot. You have been AMAZING! I don’t think it’s possible to thank you enough for these stunning photos and such a fantastic day taking them with you. We absolutely cannot wait to have you photograph our wedding day!”

~Stephanie & Travis – Vancouver, BC

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 “Neil, Greg and I can’t express how happy we are with all the photo’s! you did an amazing job! So many to love, Thank You so much!!”

~Hailee & Greg – Kelowna, BC

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“Dear Neil, Sorry this is so late! Thank you so much for the incredible photographs! We love them so much and are so glad we had you as our photographer. We hope you had lots of fun!xx”

~Carol & David – Calgary, AB

Contact form border no sides“Neil, Thank you so much! The books are amazing and can’t wait to give them for Christmas gifts! It was wonderful getting to know you. Thanks for capturing our day!!”

~Jenn & Rich – New York, NY

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“Neil, Where do we start? Our wedding day was more than we could ever have imagined. On top of that, you captured these special moments so we will have something to share with each other, friends, family, and future children. The photos are so beautiful, and it was purely because of your artistic talent AND your great, easy-going, deal-oriented and FUN personality. Thank you so much for being a huge part of our wedding day and hoping maybe one day we work together again! Love, -Natalie and Dan. xo!

Neil, Thanks for doing such a great job. You made the day look better than it actually was. oops, don’t tell Natalie. -Dan.”

~Natalie & Dan – Toronto, ON

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“Neil, Thank you and Jamie for all your hard work. The photos are amazing. We are so pleased with how they turned out. It was a pleasure to work with you and get to know you. Love, -Katie and Matt.”

~Katie & Matt – Calgary, AB

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“Neil, Thank you for your patience, wit, eye for detail and humour on our wedding day. Your photos are beyond amazing and will be cherished by both of us and our friends and family.”

~Robin & Kevin – Kelowna, BC

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“Neil, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! Our photos are way beyond our expectations. As we were looking through them, we kept saying, WOW! Words just can’t express how happy we are. Thank you again.”

~ Deni & Brad – Edmonton, AB

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“Neil, We got the pictures Friday and have spent all weekend gushing over them. Beautiful work…we love them and have already ordered 3 on canvas. Thank you for capturing our special day in such a beautiful way.”

~Etienna & Shaun – Edmonton, AB

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“Hi Neil!! I want to thank you for doing such a beautiful job of our wedding photos. I didn’t realize how stressed out I was till I can now look back on the day… You did a great job of hiding that fact when obviously I couldn’t! Thank you again for your skill & patience. As usual I wish I could do it all again only not stressed! Hope you have had a lovely summer & happy fall to you. What a delicious time of year!! Take care!”

~Robin & Graham – Kelowna, BC

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 “Hi Neil, Eric called me at work to tell me the pictures arrived. He said they looked great. I have to say, he down played it by a 1000 percent. The pictures are amazing!!! So many beautiful ones. I was so worried about that tent at the ceremony, but you made it look wonderful. I can’t thank you enough! Thanks Neil. I will definitely recommend you to all my friends!”

~Rebecca & Eric – Chicago, IL

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This was my second maternity photo session ever, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I often got sidetracked and forgot the whole point was to embrace the fact that Kyla is pregnant. It’s Kyla’s fault though; she wanted a winter scene, and to involve her horse…. So much to consider. This woman is such a joy to work with. Despite being thirty-four weeks pregnant, Kyla was squeezing through fence rails, hoisting herself up onto her horse – with nothing but a blanket on, mind you – and even laying in the snow.

You’re going to make an awesome mom Kyla. If your baby turns out to be anything like you, she’ll be strong-willed and brave. She’ll be beautiful and smart. And she’ll be that kid ever other kid wants on their team. This was truly a pleasure.

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Kyla - November 27, 2014 - 4:48 pm

LOVE, I wish there was a stronger word than love! It’s everything I could
have dreamed of and more!!!!!!!
(I love that you say her even tho we have no idea what the baby is haha)
You are a remarkable talented man and I can’t thank you enough!!!

Tracy Sharpe - November 28, 2014 - 5:49 pm

really beautiful

Maggie Bannerman - November 28, 2014 - 7:54 pm

GORGEOUS!!! I love them.

Amy-lee Russo - November 28, 2014 - 7:57 pm

Gorgeous photos! Love them

Melissa Sword - November 28, 2014 - 8:11 pm

Amazing!

Jasmine Clark - November 29, 2014 - 12:43 am

Love them! Wow!

Charlene Clark - November 29, 2014 - 1:23 am

Beautiful pictures!

Deona Thorpe Dynneson - November 29, 2014 - 3:49 am

so beautiful!!!!

Amanda Gasall - November 29, 2014 - 6:37 am

Really lovely Kyla & Neil!

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As I was driving out to Vancouver, (in the rain) I was thinking of all the indoor locations I know of where I could take Stephanie and Travis for their photo shoot. You see, Stephanie and I had emailed back and forth discussing a date which would be good for all three of us to do their shoot. It was a game of date-tag to say the least, and the week leading up to my departure, Vancouver was experiencing some heavy rain days and dark skies. We all had our doubts, but we decided to go ahead on the only date I had available until Spring.

All that worry was for not, as it turned out to be a gorgeous Autumn day and Vancouver was spectacular. Of course, when Vancouver experiences a nice day, everyone has to get out and enjoy. From the pictures you might be inclined to think that Stanley Park was devoid of people, but you would be mistaken. There were a lot of people out and about, and as a result, a lot of waiting, so my hat goes off to Steph and Travis for their patience with me. The result was worth it though. At least I think so.

Stephanie, you are going to make a beautiful bride. I can’t wait! Travis, you clean up nicely. Love the bow-tie. Thank you both for dinner at the Cactus club in Coal Habour. That was very sweet of you! See you guys at Cedar Creek winery in Kelowna for your wedding next summer. I’m looking forward to it!

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Nicole Simpson - November 12, 2014 - 1:13 am

OMG Steph……. Such gorgeous photos

Stephanie Halliday - November 12, 2014 - 1:36 am

WOW! Neil, these just brought tears to my eyes and huge smiles to our faces. We could not be more happy with the entire process so far. You not only took the time to meet us for the first time at our wedding venue in Kelowna, but you also travelled down to Vancouver and spent the day with us for our engagement shoot. You have been AMAZING! I don’t think it’s possible to thank you enough for these stunning photos and such a fantastic day taking them with you. We absolutely cannot wait to have you photograph our wedding day!

Phyllis Vandervort - November 12, 2014 - 1:45 am

What gorgeous photos! You look beautiful Steph! :)

Steve Halliday - November 12, 2014 - 3:17 pm

Beautiful !

Neil - November 12, 2014 - 4:45 pm

I’m humbled Stephanie.

Barb Halliday - November 12, 2014 - 8:29 pm

Neil your photography is Stellar! Vancouver’s beauty and romance were captured in such an intriguing way!
Steph and Travis you both look so in love and make such a beautiful couple.

Paula Wurth - November 19, 2014 - 6:17 am

Beautiful pictures Steph! Congrats!

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Sanctuary Gardens is a neat little spot in West Kelowna which is quite close to Okanagan lake, but you wouldn’t know is was there unless you had reason to visit. I had a great reason; Hailee and Greg were getting married. They had an intimate little ceremony and then it was off to the Gellatly Nut Farm for some fun before heading to the Laurel Packing House in Kelowna for their reception. It was an awesome day!

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