Angela Sundby has turned her life-long love of photography into a picture-perfect career. The American, who moved to Sarnia from Pennsylvania 16 years ago with her husband, opened Angela Sundby Photography 10 years ago. “Photography has always been my thing,” Angela says. “When my daughter was born, I wanted to be at home with her, so I just decided to give photography as a career a go. My dad was a hobby photographer and he got me into the love of it.”

Though Angela is mainly self-taught, she is constantly looking for inspiration and connecting with other photographers. “If there is something I don’t know, well, YouTube is a really wonderful thing,” Angela says with a laugh. “You can find education just about anywhere nowadays.” Early on in her career, she concentrated on birth photography. “I had studied to be a birth and newborn doula (professional support person trained in the needs of the family during pregnancy and childbirth), so when I started my business, my focus was on birth photography. That is not as popular a thing here as it was in the United States. I get the odd birth story here, but the business kind of evolved into newborns and weddings and things like that to pay the bills.”

Like most artists, Angela is very specific about what she likes and dislikes. For instance, she is a big fan of natural light versus studio lighting. “Also, I love candid moments. The things that get me most excited are things like birth moments and weddings and lifestyle sessions when I capture the moment rather than try to make moments happen. I like ‘directed candid’ so I will give them prompts and pull clients into situations so the photos I get are not posed. My photos are of things that happened between the poses.”

Being a professional photographer has not been without its challenges. “We are in a very oversaturated market, for one. I don’t begrudge others from doing it and it is a very easy thing to get passionate about, but it’s also very difficult to be a professional photographer when there are so many others trying to do the same thing." The weather can also be a show stopper. "I like moody skies and if a rainstorm is coming, I have been known to stick it out. But sometimes we have to cancel sessions because of an ice storm or if it’s below zero.”

Angela is particularly proud of a rather new segment of her career, something she calls All About The Face, which she does monthly. “It is always delivered in black and white and it’s almost like headshots but instead of serious faces, we capture all their silly faces and goofy looks. The kids love kicking mom out of the room and never once hearing, ‘Smile…say cheese.’ We go through all of the emotions and silly faces and the kids love it. The parents love the end results, too.”