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Meet Paula Sword. Paula is from Quesnel but has been in Kamloops for four years. This sharp woman enjoys hiking with the family in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
I lived in Quesnel, BC for most of my life and moved to Kamloops 4 years ago.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
I have some amazing people in my life but have to give the obvious answer. My husband, Clint. He makes me laugh, he inspires me and he indulges my coffee habits!
What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
I am not a big shopper, but I love to visit Far and Wide downtown.
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Italy. I have wanted to visit Cinque Terre for a long time. My parent had a painting of the village of Manarola in our living room as a kid and I want to take a photo of the same spot.
What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
Hiking with my family and dogs in the summer or snowshoeing in the winter.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Falling up the stairs and smashing my face this past winter. And there was no ice or snow on the ground...
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Having to close my brick and mortar scrapbooking store in Quesnel. Due to circumstances out of my control, we had to close. But because of that experience, I made room to sign up for a photography course I had wanted to take for several years. 7 years later I can look back and not feel like a failure. It was a sign that there was something bigger and better out there for me.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Traveling around BC and Alberta on summer road trips with my family in our little camper van. My favorite part was sitting up front in the passenger seat and getting to be in charge of the music on the 8-track player (yes that ages me...) and listening to my Dad tell me stories as we drove late into the evening.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
In Kamloops I have volunteered with the JDRF, photographing the Walk for the Cure as well as running photo booths for the Kamloops Arts Council during Art in the Park and the Children's Art Festival.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Body shaming. It is something I am very sensitive to personally and in my work. I would want people to spend less time worrying about fitting in and looking one way and spend more time celebrating our differences and uniqueness
Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
I really don't seek out alone time, but I really love hanging out at my studio. Its cleaner than my house. And quieter!
Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why?
I love the artistic movement in the back alleys downtown. I hope they keep it up.
What do you think makes Kamloops great?
A lot of things. The short winters are probably the one thing I appreciate coming from the Cariboo.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
Go to Italy. (And luckily for me I am heading there this year!!) Go to Nova Scotia. I was born there but never lived there and would love to explore that side of the country. Go to Haida Gwaii. Another part of this country I want to explore.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I was the stage manager of a community theatre for 10 years.
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
On Facebook - I have 2 business pages, one for boudoir and one for general photography. @paulaswordphotoheart and @photoheartstudiosboudoir. I also have IG, @boudoirphotoheartstudios, and @paulaswordphotoheartstudios.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Why did you get into/start this business?
I started out taking photos of my family, but they just got tired of me. So I moved on to other peoples' families. But now its evolved into something quite the opposite. I mostly photograph boudoir now, as well as personal branding for female entrepreneurs.
What is the goal of your business?
I love to help women see themselves the way the rest of the world already sees them. I also love to work with other entrepreneurs.
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
Balance with work and family. I love to work, but I love being home for my kids after school. And keeping up with technology. I still don't get Snapchat...
What do you always find yourself saying?
"Let's go for coffee."
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. Do what makes you happy. - Sometimes I need to remind myself to take my own advice.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Annie Leibovitz. She is a portrait master. To learn from her in person is a dream.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Besides supporting a local economy, having diverse goods and services available makes a community attractive to tourists as well as its own residents.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Of course being a Mom of two amazing humans! But also self-publishing a book called 'Toes to the Front' written by the amazing Janice Butler that featured many of my first photographs as I started out my journey.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
My husband Clint Sword. Without his support, I would not be able to do what I do. And he builds pretty much anything I ask him too!
My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Ryan W. Smith
Some general comments I would like to share are:
Check out my website at www.photoheart.ca. It is going through some changes but a fresh new look will be ready this Fall!
We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kamloops.
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great!