Fascinating Women

Sara De Raaf - model - metal worker - mom - her own woman

June 23, 2021 Sara De Raaf Season 2 Episode 11
Fascinating Women
Sara De Raaf - model - metal worker - mom - her own woman
Chapters
Fascinating Women
Sara De Raaf - model - metal worker - mom - her own woman
Jun 23, 2021 Season 2 Episode 11
Sara De Raaf

Sara De Raaf is a young woman with focus. Her go-to phrase is "Just give 'er" When she focuses on something it pretty much happens. 

She is driven by accountability and responsibility. She really carves out her own path, accepting and working with whatever comes her way. With all that, you would be surprised she is quiet and rather bashful. She works full time in a metal shop, but side hustles with a self-published magazine, models while increasing getting behind the lens in her new photography angle. In the middle of COVID, she leased studio space.. 

This mom of two has a  relationship with her two children, 21 and 11 that is open and honest. Sara cultivated the no topic is out of bounds, no judgement (although she does bit her tongue) and guidance.

Oh, and she lost the bodyweight of an entire person over the last 18 months. That changed a lot in her life.    Sara has not had it easy, doesn't really care, just pushes ahead with her dreams and plans. 

Sara DeRaaf Bio
I am a 37-year-old model from the small town of Brooks, Alberta, Canada, born and raised. I have always grown up in small towns most of my life and a few farms. So I am not afraid to get dirty. I consider myself a bit tomboy/redneck, but always have that girly side to me. Love to get out and have fun and get dirty. I graduated high school a year yearly and continued onto college after that, graduating with a Business and Accounting Diploma. And have been working since. I currently run a large machine shop in my hometown and love the hard work and getting my hands dirty and putting in any and all effort to get the job done. 

 I also have been working as a model for 6 years now and am looking to expand my modelling portfolio.  I have expanded further and taken up photography as well and have been doing that now for two years. Just recently opened my own studio located in Brooks.

 I am all inked Girl with 13 Tattoos (including sleeves) and three piercings and always adding more tattoos. I have grown to love adding artwork to myself and believe that our bodies are our temples, and I am just decorating the walls. I am plus size and tall. I am a hard-working mother to two kids, from ages of adult to just mid-school age and enjoy every minute of it. I love to work hard and keep busy. I currently run the machine shop with some modelling on the side, always looking to expand more with my modelling. I want to show others that size does not matter, everyone is beautiful and takes confidence to show the world.

 See her photography, her magazine  and her here:
Her website:  https://insonicphotography.mypixieset.com/
Instagram: @saraderaaf   @insonic_photography     @insonic_boudoir   @shazzlesmag      @shazzleslifestylemagazine     

Facebook: www.facebook.com/insonicphotography www.facebook.com/groups/Stella.Pearl www.facebook.com/theshazzles

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography. His photo studio is inner Spirit Photography. 
http://innerspiritphotography.com
https://www.instagram.com/innerspiritphotography/


Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com

Show Notes Transcript

Sara De Raaf is a young woman with focus. Her go-to phrase is "Just give 'er" When she focuses on something it pretty much happens. 

She is driven by accountability and responsibility. She really carves out her own path, accepting and working with whatever comes her way. With all that, you would be surprised she is quiet and rather bashful. She works full time in a metal shop, but side hustles with a self-published magazine, models while increasing getting behind the lens in her new photography angle. In the middle of COVID, she leased studio space.. 

This mom of two has a  relationship with her two children, 21 and 11 that is open and honest. Sara cultivated the no topic is out of bounds, no judgement (although she does bit her tongue) and guidance.

Oh, and she lost the bodyweight of an entire person over the last 18 months. That changed a lot in her life.    Sara has not had it easy, doesn't really care, just pushes ahead with her dreams and plans. 

Sara DeRaaf Bio
I am a 37-year-old model from the small town of Brooks, Alberta, Canada, born and raised. I have always grown up in small towns most of my life and a few farms. So I am not afraid to get dirty. I consider myself a bit tomboy/redneck, but always have that girly side to me. Love to get out and have fun and get dirty. I graduated high school a year yearly and continued onto college after that, graduating with a Business and Accounting Diploma. And have been working since. I currently run a large machine shop in my hometown and love the hard work and getting my hands dirty and putting in any and all effort to get the job done. 

 I also have been working as a model for 6 years now and am looking to expand my modelling portfolio.  I have expanded further and taken up photography as well and have been doing that now for two years. Just recently opened my own studio located in Brooks.

 I am all inked Girl with 13 Tattoos (including sleeves) and three piercings and always adding more tattoos. I have grown to love adding artwork to myself and believe that our bodies are our temples, and I am just decorating the walls. I am plus size and tall. I am a hard-working mother to two kids, from ages of adult to just mid-school age and enjoy every minute of it. I love to work hard and keep busy. I currently run the machine shop with some modelling on the side, always looking to expand more with my modelling. I want to show others that size does not matter, everyone is beautiful and takes confidence to show the world.

 See her photography, her magazine  and her here:
Her website:  https://insonicphotography.mypixieset.com/
Instagram: @saraderaaf   @insonic_photography     @insonic_boudoir   @shazzlesmag      @shazzleslifestylemagazine     

Facebook: www.facebook.com/insonicphotography www.facebook.com/groups/Stella.Pearl www.facebook.com/theshazzles

About Mark Laurie - Host.
Mark has been transforming how women see themselves, enlarging their sense of sexy, expanding their confidence in an exciting adventure that is transformational photography. His photo studio is inner Spirit Photography. 
http://innerspiritphotography.com
https://www.instagram.com/innerspiritphotography/


Sound Production by:
Lee Ellis  - myofficemedia@gmail.com

introduction:

You're listening to fascinating with Mark Laurie. And now, Mark Laurie.

Mark Laurie:

Hello, this is Mark Laurie from inner spirit photography. I'm hosting fascinating women this time around. And normally I'm in my studio photographing these wonderful women and occasionally discovered they had these incredible stories. And so we started fascinating women, which gets into the background and the journey that some of these women have had, which is really cool. today. I have got Sarah Raph with me. Hello, Sarah. Hi. So Sara, you've gone through a variety of stuff, but I understand your jobs are very unconventional. You kind of got into your machine shop now. But for that you're doing some What were you doing before the machine shop

Sara De Raaf:

right before the machine shop I was out up north to coil tubing hydrofracking I love doing the hydro vacuum but the coil tubing on some what is hydro vacuum you got is high pressured water, and you're exposing pipes and wires in the ground. And right so you get the big vacuum that also sucks everything.

Mark Laurie:

So how'd you wind up in this field of clearly none. stereotypical women's stuff.

Sara De Raaf:

I kind of grew up that way. Like, with my dad, he always owned a heavy duty mechanic shop. Right? I spent a lot of time with him inside the shop and working beside him. And it was just I followed in that step straight out of college, I went and worked for him for a year or so. And then after that was Yeah, bunch of different. I've always liked challenge. So I always went and found something more challenging From

Mark Laurie:

where did that desire for a challenge come from? Is that something that early on in your life that just started digging? Looking for challenges?

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, kinda, I guess it's just a drive, I guess you could say, I was always drilled in my head as a kid as you could do anything you want to do, or put your mind to and just go do it. So that was the challenge part,

Mark Laurie:

we hear that a lot. D can be anything you want to you can do anything that you wish to set up for yourself? How does that motivate you? Because that seems ingrained in your approach to life.

Sara De Raaf:

It's just Well, it's all on me. And then I make the choices, right? So if I see something I want, and why not? I'd rather fail by trying to do something then fail by not trying at all. So

Mark Laurie:

there's always that if Yeah, if you don't do it, you'll never, never never know. Yeah, there was. You live once. Yeah. So that kind of builds into risk taking as well. Is that something you see in your personality? around? Yeah, yeah. How would you define risk taking?

Sara De Raaf:

Taking uncomfortable steps, kind of stepping outside of the box doing something that you question a little bit, but yeah, a little bit of adrenaline rush at the same time.

Mark Laurie:

So what drives you, when you say you consider it's an idea of like, what, when something pops up? and goes all that scares me? I'm going to do it. Like, what's your process to decide? Because I mean, everything the course of your life, everything can come up as a challenge and a risk. There's so many things to choose from that can scare a person. How do you pick the ones that you follow your path on? I'm not even I'm not really sure. It's just instinctive, but yeah,

Sara De Raaf:

kind of I guess it's it's a drive that way. I don't know. I just I'm not really sure.

Mark Laurie:

Right there. That's wild. Yeah. How part of the whole thing of taking a risk and being you're your own person, I guess is accountability, and responsibility. How do you fit those two things into your personality? How do you see the world for accountability?

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, I see. There's always there's always risk and there's gonna be scary, they're gonna work or it's not. And you have to be willing to take the consequences that go with it. And that's kind of what comes with taking the risk in the first place.

Mark Laurie:

Well, a lot of people they're much easier to say well, actually their fault and but when you when you become accountable, I think life gets clearer when you're in accountable because you see things more options in black and white. And you you recognize that your risk, and you just kind of go for it. That's a friend of mine. Somebody one time you had a magazine that you publish, it was a real class magazine wasn't too sure what was online?

Sara De Raaf:

I still have that. Yeah. Yeah. I've been running that for three years now. It's called Shazzles Magazine. Right? So that's a lot of different themes. I do that way. Everything from casual to swimsuit, magazines, to Christmas to everything, so

Mark Laurie:

and do the subject and arching part. You're the subject of the magazine,

Sara De Raaf:

or you have other people? No, everybody else submits models from all over the world, right? submit to it.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. Oh, wow. So how did you start marketing that?

Sara De Raaf:

I, you know, the idea popped up one day somebody is like, Oh, you just make your own magazine. So the very first magazine I made was me, right? And it's the challenge again, of trying to learn and figure out how to put this all together and just kind of build from there.

Mark Laurie:

What do you what do you build your magazine with? What's the practical part of it?

Sara De Raaf:

Well, I use what I design my program there my laptop, but other than that, I put just put all the layout together and Make sure everybody's informations in there. And it ends up coming out great.

Mark Laurie:

Is it a hardcopy or a digital one?

Sara De Raaf:

Both? Yeah, I published it online, so you can get a digital copy. And then you can also get a print as well. So it's a print order kind of thing.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. Do you have a whole bunch of printed in advance? Or does it on demand?

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah. So I'll put it up there. And I'll send them the link and a lot of people will purchase it and it ships directly to them. Love. Yeah. That is so and then they take a little video and they get it. And I love that I love seeing when they actually get it in the mail for

Mark Laurie:

you. They sorry. That's cool. So you requirement is or is a request, I guess, that when they get it in the mail, they videos themselves and rapping is that process?

Sara De Raaf:

Well, no, I don't. It's not a request. Really. A lot of them just go ahead and do it. Yeah, yeah. And then they're excited for it. So I'm excited that they're excited.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. That is so cool. I've never heard of anyone doing that before. That's brilliant marketing. And then you post them as well. The others see them happening. Yeah, absolutely. That is that as well. What's in the comments you've gotten from people who've enjoyed the magazine.

Sara De Raaf:

They love the layout, and they say they love what it's all about and how it looks and comes together and they're just ecstatic about it.

Mark Laurie:

That it lets what kind of subscription rate to have for that. To have a good number of people.

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, yeah, I have anywhere from 50 to 100 people and issue per issue.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, that is wild. And you took the leap forward wall photography. Yes. How's that going for you?

Sara De Raaf:

I'm learning I'm learning but I love that because that was always what I did as a model I've been modeling for six years and I love the boudoir part of it because the vibe you get from it the confidence you get from it so turn it into being now the photographer learning that side of it. It's a different kind of feeling but I love I love it and I get excited about it

Mark Laurie:

and risk taking you in this whole COVID economy kind of stuff you rented at a studio space in Brooks as well.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, absolutely. My first day I opened my studio and books so I do anything there from grad photos to baby photos to anything I

Mark Laurie:

I just love that. Going back to the guest the stuff that drives you Do you have any quotes that you can hang on to laundry is that you settle on really appeal to

Sara De Raaf:

I always live by it is what it is and go hard or go home so

Mark Laurie:

go hard or go home normally is like go big or go home but go hard or go home? What's the difference in that? Yeah, yeah, go hard. Give her 100% your energy out is wild. So you find the people understand you that when they meet you and you start they only get into what you're about. Do you find that people are like what the hell are you doing? Like what's what's people's perception of you? Did you care?

Sara De Raaf:

They absoultly they understand? Absolutely Yeah, it's all positive feedback I get from anybody so the they love what it's all about.

Mark Laurie:

What's your biggest challenge have been open up your studio?

Sara De Raaf:

To saw that it was the thought process at first thing What am I doing? What am I doing? I'm opening a studio like what if it's not gonna be busy is the what ifs? Yeah, and I always look at the worst case scenario, but and then opening it anyway, the worst part kinda I guess was probably the renovations but it all came together anyways, to renovate yourself. Yeah. Yeah, so we had a flooring it that was supposed to come in and do some epoxy marble flooring, and he couldn't make it because he was on another job. So yeah, my hubby went and did it for me a couple days before grand opening actually. And it came out amazing. So and now he's started his own flooring company for now. Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

Just love that. That's well. What have you changed your mind about recently? What's something you decided that was one thing and then you've changed your mind thought nama looked at this way instead?

Sara De Raaf:

I think my modeling, I know my modeling has been a lot on my mind, because I used to do it all the time. Right. And I noticed lately I've cut way back. And I'm not doing as much of it. And I'm more focusing on the photography side. But it's hard to try and give up the modeling part too, which I still would do once in a while

Mark Laurie:

it kind of drops in. So yeah. How do you define success? When you start a project, take the risk. When you say that's become successful.

Sara De Raaf:

When you're happy with what you're doing when you're you're just happy with the flow and you think things are going great. It doesn't have to be financial, necessarily there. So

Mark Laurie:

when you start one of your ventures Do you have a like a goal set? Say great, here's what I want to achieve. Here's what's gonna happen.

Sara De Raaf:

I just I mostly I just want to learn. It's all about learning for me. So I'm like the challenges I want to do newborn babies because I've never done that. So yeah, it's always something different that way.

Mark Laurie:

What do you like about newborns?

Sara De Raaf:

They don't move much. Right. But they're just the way you can lay them out when they're sleeping. And it's just looking at life brand new again, from a newborn, just some little person. So

Mark Laurie:

they're so helpless, aren't they? Yeah, I mean, these little tiny things. Yeah. They're just adorable. I've always found that my viewpoint of new mothers is they represent the hope for the future. Because my belief is if you're a mother, you wouldn't bring in a child unless you believe there's a future for them. Yeah. And I think that's for me that when I do baby photography, that's what kind of the part that I always find cool. That's you're at the ground zero with this person that's kind of growing up growing up. And it's really kind of neat. There's a whole life ahead of them. And they haven't a clue yet. What's the most spontaneous thing that you've done?

Sara De Raaf:

That would be opening my studio? Yeah. Yeah, I think so. And I like I thought about it for a while. And I'm I have he knows I'm the type of person I kind of need to push once in a while. So he did, and he went, and it just it made it happen. And we took the leap. And that was it. That was the one that was the most challenging for me.

Mark Laurie:

So you said you're used to taking risk between a push every now and then what kind of what kind of pushed you neither? What sort of, what's the button that pushes you?

Sara De Raaf:

Well, I always hem and ha, should I shouldnt I but then I always got a reminder of well, you don't know unless you do it. You won't ever know. Unless you try.

Mark Laurie:

So I've got any spectacular disasters in your life, where you tried something that just did not work out.

Sara De Raaf:

Not a huge disasters now, but you always try something and it might work for a little bit. And then it just kind of falls off on the back burner. So to say, but not so much. disasterous No. Just as it is what it is.

Mark Laurie:

But you've gone through a real big weight loss because when I first encountered you were heavier girl and now you've gone through some processes. What's happened like?

Sara De Raaf:

I it was, it's been great. I lost 170 pounds. Wow. So I think 17 months ago, I had a gastric bypass surgery. And I dropped 170 pounds. But it's been great. Even for my health. I feel amazing. My brain hasn't caught up yet, because it's happened super fast. Right? Yeah. So

Mark Laurie:

excited. That's like the next day process. You go in with one shape and come with others. That's kind of how quick it is.

Sara De Raaf:

It is Yeah, absolutely. Very fast. Like in a year and a half 170 pounds. It's a whole person. It is Yeah. And I've maintained for the last eight months. So I lost this way, even within the first year. Go through a whole bunch of changes in clothes. And it's just the way people the look of the bike, you look yourself in the mirror and I don't always see I still see the bigger person.

Mark Laurie:

How's that transition been? That's gonna be a real big mental leap to do that.

Sara De Raaf:

It's definitely a struggle on the mental part of it, for sure. Because it happened so fast. And then being self conscious with being overweight has now flipped over to being self conscious, because now I have the extra skin that then you know, I have to deal with for now too. So it's a struggle kind of either way.

Mark Laurie:

How's people's reaction? Because, again, happening that quickly, that's got to startle some people.

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, absolutely. People don't recognize me on the street. The reactions have been kind of hilarious. It's been great. So the shock can look in people's faces.

Mark Laurie:

share some of the reactions with this kind of stuff. Have you faced

Unknown:

will people walk right right by me in a double lock can be like, wow, like, is that you? Yeah. So it's been it's been nice.

Mark Laurie:

When you because in the modeling role you're sort of known for for larger type of modeling. Did you find some reaction from that as well?

Unknown:

Oh, for sure. I did. Yeah, it was as I was even a plus size model and brand ambassador for coolcat lingerie, right? So I was getting a lot of their plus size clothing and doing a lot of good work shoots with that. Right. And they stopped sending that to me as soon as I started losing weight. And then of course, a lot of fans because I have a huge follower base. Right. A lot of them too will make comments. So I liked you when you were bigger and but but I looked at it the other way too. There's going to be those people that I'm going to lose because of the weight loss. But then there's going to be those people too that I'm going to gain because of it

Mark Laurie:

like Stratos, isn't it like now this person likes his size as you move around inside that you find a whole new fat? Yes, yeah. And it's their own opinions. That's fine. Yeah. That's good. Because a lot of people they struggle with somebody else's opinion. I'm gathering that you probably don't care so much other people's opinion. You're really your own person.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, not so much anymore. Yeah. When I was bigger, I kind of I noticed I cared more about what people thought of me but

Mark Laurie:

not so much anymore. No. So did losing the weight. Great. That mental transition for you. Yeah. And how did that happen?

Sara De Raaf:

I think it's just a lot of to the way people started interacting with me and talking to me, but it's not always the confidence. I did gain confidence from it for sure. And then you get to the point where this is all for me anyways, it's not for anybody else, right? I can do this for anybody else. It really doesn't matter what anybody else says. And I've had, of course, people ask questions, a lot of people are positive about it. Of course, you can have always somebody that's negative about it. We didn't have to lose weight and stuff like that. I'm like, Well, I didn't do it for you. Thank you for your opinion. In adelphia,

Mark Laurie:

you're always kind of puzzled how people sort of seem to think they have a say, about a person shape from being physically fit to not everything and they don't really know what forces are behind that person's condition. conditions or long term shape, I suppose, always amazed me that they just pop up and say I get to have an opinion about about you. I think why would you ever have that right to do that always puzzled me. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. It's weird. Does it matter? What personality trait that most proud of

Sara De Raaf:

personality trait I probably got the softest heart ever, which sometimes is not always great. I'm pretty easygoing person I'm easy to get along with. And I find that I gain a lot of friends and everybody who meets

Mark Laurie:

this is easy. That's an asset when you just walk through without big agendas, isn't it? That you know that you kind of fit into it, and it's not a problem.

Sara De Raaf:

For today, tomorrow, that 100 days.

Mark Laurie:

That's, that's living in the moment too hard thing for people. Like they're either in the past, they can't give something up. Or they're living the future. Usually, I found a lot of people in the future live in the future in fear. They're afraid of something. And then you get the people who want to live in the future on a planning basis, like they live in the moment, but they see the future Do you have any goals that you're working towards?

Sara De Raaf:

I just went the other day, I kind of want to be, I would, it would be great to not have to my full time job and just be a photographer. That's tough to live off right now. But at the other day, be nice just to enjoy life and at my own pace, and the photography, and the magazine. So

Mark Laurie:

there's, the photography is a funny chiasm. Like, there's there's no middle ground, people are doing really well at it. And while that's coming from marketing and insights, but people are leaving to people's The biggest thing with photography, but it's not so much the hardware gear, word of mouth. And once you get a good reputation, and you had a smaller center, that helps a lot of ways it's brought back and up in at the same time. But easygoing personnel really kind of kick you through that. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. What do you find the most challenging for your photography,

Sara De Raaf:

learning it, learn, and especially the lights, and because I just picked up the camera one day, and I just learned from there, I'm a hands on person. So learning manual has been a struggle for me indoor outdoor, what this and what that goes together. So it's a learning process.

Mark Laurie:

It's a big idea ever, and I'm doing it for 40 years, and it never ends. Yeah, keeps on keeps on changing. So ever got any resources that's helped you that you turn to for, for guidance, or to build your skill set on any level?

Sara De Raaf:

That's a much No, I follow a lot of people when I kind of see get inspiration from some of their work that way, and I'm like, oh, that would be nice to kind of recreate but that's about it. Oh, you know,

Mark Laurie:

recreating another person's concept is so hard.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, cuz you don't want to do the same, because you don't want it to be your own copy. But you want to do kind of the same idea. But your own idea. Yeah. And everybody's got a different look.

Mark Laurie:

So yeah, they define it I one of the things with with trying to mimic as a starting point. So that's we get your skill set is the person that often has done that it was a spontaneous moment that they even they probably couldn't recreate they get the lights in place, but something magical kind of happened. You know, so you're trying to recreate something that's not recruitable in many ways. It's a special kind of moment. And then it gets kind of like it's kind of wild. And you've got two kids? I do. Yes. It's quite an eighth grader at once to 21 and 10. And

Sara De Raaf:

my daughter will be 21 in September, right and my son is 10 so that was a huge gap started all over again. I had my first one when I was young and raised her graduated high school actually graduated early so I was with her so

Mark Laurie:

that she in books or she's in branches. He acts as well.

Sara De Raaf:

She's doing great. She doesn't her own she's manager at Walmart. So she's doing great climb, whole thing

Mark Laurie:

not to do and still your risk approach to world to her. Yeah. Oh, yeah,

Sara De Raaf:

absolutely. She's my carbon copy. She is exactly like me right now. Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

How's that feel having somebody hold your ideals the same way?

Sara De Raaf:

It's kind of surreal. Yeah, you look at it some days. It's like wow, this is like this tree. To me, but and scary at the same time is you're just letting your your your person out in the world, right? Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. 21 I guess that's she just started off in the world, isn't she? Yeah, when I was semi legal everywhere How you feeling as a mother because that's opens up a whole different

Sara De Raaf:

it is. And it's it is I noticed every time it's like it's the same feeling you get when you send your kid to kindergarten the first time, right? When you're and some parents are emotional, some? You know, it's scary. It's like my little kids going off sets. Yeah, same thing every time.

Mark Laurie:

Because there's an urge to protect them all the time, isn't there? Yeah, kids. So you haven't that the two vastly different areas for them? Yeah, but you got to let them go. But you still got to keep them close to them. But how do you find that balance?

Sara De Raaf:

I just was like me, I just let her be, you're gonna learn the hard way. Right. That's the best way to learn. So I can't teach her everything is kind of get let go of the rope a little bit

Mark Laurie:

and let her learn gifts, given them the tools is a big thing like walking is Yeah. Do you find she comes to for advice? As she does? It's the most common advice thread that she winds up looking for.

Sara De Raaf:

Mostly her struggles relationship stuff. Yeah. See, we can talk about anything. So if she's stressed out at work, any friends that are stressed or old issue she's having, we'll go sit down and have a meal and chat about it. So I just did that the other day. So

Mark Laurie:

that's a hard relationship to have, like we talked a lot of parents and they're they haven't gotten past the authoritative role where there's they've somehow they've don't have that doorway where the kids can talk about anything, or they see them as a, as an open venue. How'd you accomplish that?

Sara De Raaf:

I just I wanted always wanted my kids to be able to come to me and talk to me about things, right, not hide things or talk to somebody else. And I didn't want it to be a battle that way. So I just made sure that they always knew they could talk to me about anything. And I wasn't going to be judgmental, and I wasn't going to be mad about it. So I'd rather them tell me things and hide it.

Mark Laurie:

How'd you communicate that to them?

Sara De Raaf:

I would just tell them how the time Yeah. And just let them know, like say, hey, it's fine. You can talk to me as the struggle with my son now because he spends the most time with me. But then he spends time with his dad and back and forth. And I say you can talk to me about things at home and I won't be running back to anybody to tell them you're safe to talk to me get it off your chest.

Mark Laurie:

When they come to you with prickly things, that stuff that you almost have an urge to step in, or how do you deal with that?

Sara De Raaf:

That was tough. That was tough, especially with you know, like relationship stuff with my daughter. Because as a parent, like I get it now how my parents are I totally get it. So when I see something that's not good for her, right, and I want to take it out of her life, but I can't because at the end of the day, she's old enough to make good decisions for life. Yeah, and she's responsible for the decisions she makes. The only thing I can do is be there to consoler support her whichever so it's tough so I bite my tongue.

Mark Laurie:

A lot I've been I've when you're when they ask for advice on something how to deliver that because it's you've got to give it in a way I'd imagine that they can internalize like what's your process for giving advice when they ask for it?

Sara De Raaf:

When they ask for it? Well, my daughter will messaged me up and say Hey, Mom, can we chat? So no, let's not miss out already. And we'll just go hang out she'll be like so can I like ask your question Mike? Absolutely. Go for it. And it just comes up kind of

Mark Laurie:

floating Yeah. If she were more of a sounding board for her or is there times that she just really needs your valued opinion?

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, there's just no sometimes she just really needs mom's opinion. Yeah, kicking them but she's just like me so she she knows before she gets to me what I'm going to say so I think sometimes she does avoid that because she knows the advice is going to get but at the same time she still needs that chat sometimes

Mark Laurie:

that's just that's gonna be the hardest thing is to have that open door and and have things we had a client that came in that talked about she said we see the single mom has died and she was telling them that we'd always be honest like if that any question come up to her for the kids to her approvers and she was saying the times that was so hard because the the the urge to to skirt around something was was quite strong but chill was a barrel hidden Do you find the same thing you just go right into it? Yeah, yeah, just go for it. Do you find the kids are equally honest you back and you can ask them questions as well.

Sara De Raaf:

Oh yeah, absolutely there they'll struggle with it but my 10 year old is dealing with that now he's like struggles with my DD it's fine like need to tell me the truth right? Cuz then you better off Tell me the truth and try and hide out so

Mark Laurie:

you start learning young age that the Anything doesn't work. Yeah, no track of what your stories are anticipate you're

Sara De Raaf:

going to get in more trouble in the long run, than if you're just gonna say.

Mark Laurie:

The trick is, I would imagine I got this from the client is, there's lots of different ways you can tell the truth. And some are means some are blunt summers are carefully worded. What's your approach for telling the truth?

Sara De Raaf:

I have a really bad approach myself. Sometimes I just blurt it out. I noticed that in my own relationship, sometimes I'm like, Okay, well, this is my issue. So, and it's out and it's, I there's no easy way of putting it or opening that door. So

Mark Laurie:

that is, has got to get you in trouble. Sometimes. Sometimes.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah. Because I'm not so great at expressing it. Sometimes it comes out really rude and ignorant and cranky. So and then sometimes that alone will just start more

Mark Laurie:

do you find because you've got an approach. So this is your approach? Do you find that people are comfortable because of that they've sort of tuned into into Okay, this is how she always brings stuff don't take offense by is that a way that some people? Absolutely.

Sara De Raaf:

And I'll tell people to I'm okay, this is, you know, I might come across really badly, but that's just who I am. So sometimes I'll pre warn a lot of my friends just know who I am just from experience.

Mark Laurie:

So it's gonna come out. Yeah, absolutely. Now, are they your friends? Are they equally as bluntly honest with you, too? Oh, yeah. Sorry, conditioned them to just to respond to you that way?

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, yeah, I have a very select few friends. So I'm small circle that way. They're the same that way. And that's the reason why it's hard to trust people. So when you can have that honest communication back and forth, and it's just a whole lot better for friendships.

Mark Laurie:

How do you gauge your friendships? Like how do you decide this person is good enough to produce good up strong with this person will fit in my inner circle, what's your

Sara De Raaf:

first off, I get a vibe, I get vibes off of people either right off, like I met a woman a couple weeks ago. And we've been just kind of great friends the last few weeks. And it's just like, I've known her forever. And it's just the vibe you get with somebody. And sometimes it just works. And you get to know them a little bit and say, Okay, let's open the door a little bit more.

Mark Laurie:

Do friends go through stages of stuff they'll share with them? You start to get to know them better?

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, very hide at first. And then once they open up a little bit more, it's a lot easier to talk about anything or any problems that are having.

Mark Laurie:

Do you have because I'm thinking of you in two ways, like you've got this tight circle of friends that collect your support system for you. And then you've got this whole sea of people from your magazines and your modeling days and so on. What's the biggest difference between the two groups in terms how you relate to them?

Unknown:

When groups like a while because they're my friends are more gentle, they're genuine, and they are the most supportive. And they're the ones that are involved in my life. I appreciate everybody else especially on social media. But a bigger fan bases. It's hard to kind of think everybody here for everybody, right? So I try and do the best I can that way and appreciate any comments. But at the end of the day, the most important people and opinions that matter to me, it's my circle, my family

Mark Laurie:

that getting a tight circle of who you're friends with you for a long time, because again, a tight circle is a hard thing to get, like, not so much. No, I've

Unknown:

been in books almost eight years. And I think I just didn't really get to know him. I kept to myself for five years of that. So it's only the last two, three years, three years I guess that I've had pretty close friends and open up got to know though.

Mark Laurie:

Do you have any friends that we've had for a long time to go back to your childhood?

Sara De Raaf:

I do. I still talk to them once in a while I see them going back to high school and stuff like that for sure. Yeah. Up to many, two or three of them. I

Mark Laurie:

was reading a study they said on the average friends go through a seven year cycle. And for person who has has friends have longer than seven years now you probably haven't had that because you've been broke through time. But it's it's a it's the the rhythm I guess the most of friendship. It's been it was a bit of fast. I've got friends that go back 40 years. It's they're very treasured. They know more about me than my family. Yeah. What's the best advice you've ever received? Hmm.

Sara De Raaf:

I'm not even I don't know. It's just kind of do it. Go for it. Like you don't know unless you try. Really? Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

It's almost your Mantra Who? Who would have instilled that who How would you first gotten that viewpoint because when kids come up, that's not their normal direction to take.

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, my mom is a hard worker drawing and she'd have two or three jobs. She's the same way. She's a die hard, did everything just made sure. We were taken care of did what she had to so I was always seeing the hard work and where I was working at the age of 14. Go for it.

Mark Laurie:

So if you're for mums got several jobs, what was your childhood? Like? How that shaped you today? I'm

Unknown:

a little bit rough. I guess my dad left when I was two. So he wasn't in the house. And there was a lot of time I didn't see him, but then they wouldn't see him. And then my mom struggled and made sure she worked because single mom with two kids. So other than that, like it wasn't horrible. I did have a lot of friends, a couple schools. And then I got into my bad phase when I was living with my dad and went back and forth between my problems and my dad's. Got pregnant at a young age.

Mark Laurie:

That's part of your bad phase. Yeah, yeah. So what kind of things that you would do back then to define user I guess more like rebel, I got seemed like the age that most teens are starting to just be a rebel and

Sara De Raaf:

the bad kids and I was in junior high, and then it'll hang out the high school kids and I'd be sitting there smoking and you know, start drinking and that kind of stuff, for sure. And then you start skipping school

Mark Laurie:

and you go down that path yet you went off to college, you take a college,

Sara De Raaf:

or you got a diploma in office administration and bookkeeping. That's the beginning is not what I wanted to do. I think I just I wanted a diploma and I liked numbers. So bookkeeping, was it. But at first, I wanted heavy duty mechanics and I wanted to stay with my dad's company. I just kind of went through a party phase and grew? I don't know grew out of that. I'm not sure.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, we tend to if you survive it, you tend to grow out of it and discover that there's things of more long lasting value, I guess that kind of kicks into it.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah. At the end of the day, I don't think I want to be I don't want the stress of owning a company on my own, like photography in a studio. Yeah, one thing but to run a company with employees and stuff. I know that's going to be stressful. So I would rather not.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah, it's critical to growth, though. Like when you you'll find this organic, but you you're, you limit yourself if you so I've got to do it all. You just as you grow become successful, it's not economically viable. It just burns you out. Yeah. You seem that's probably the biggest reason for it most any small company staying small is that they don't they don't learn the discipline of delegation. And we had one guy have so much fun, he came, he's so frustrated, and with the staff because they're delegating upwards to them. And we're This is with a group called I take so many coaching courses. It's insane. And we're talking to civil union Really? Like why did you hire in the first place? This is a good one to the job. Oh, that's brilliant. So he goes back in we talked to him later, he went back from that meeting at the office you call big company meeting. He said, like, all you guys, I've hired you. Because you're doing a job I don't want to do and when you ask me about it, and set it back up the thing I'm having to do the job I don't need you. So do your job. He says, Oh, right. We want to keep our jobs we will do our job rather than have him do it. It was a big big change for Yeah, it was pretty pretty massive for it. Definitely personally heroes and people look up to you want to emulate

Unknown:

my mom was one for a long time just because she worked hard. I know my dad to I guess that's where I got all my hard work ethic from

Mark Laurie:

my question I drive. It's like both your parents were pretty hard working stand their own two feet kind of people. Oh, yeah.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, they were. They did what they had to, to make sure they put food on the table and everything else.

Mark Laurie:

Keep my thing live here. So what was the biggest pain point in your life? Something you bumped into the office was really really painful. How am I going to get through it?

Sara De Raaf:

Most of the time is my some of my health issues. I've had two back surgeries and I've had a hysterectomy and I've had a gastric bypass and I've had gallbladder. The back stuff is the worst because I ended up being completely crippled for almost a year. I couldn't walk I couldn't dress myself and I couldn't do anything.

Mark Laurie:

I had to get through that.

Unknown:

I still got up every day and went to work and I'm really not sure how because I would have crutches and I would have people come in and dress me and helped me get up into my car and I still went to work every day. And then I ended up having a back surgery the first surgery for not because I had a bulge diffs that was compressing on my nerves. So I had the first surgery and then three months later they found out that they didn't fix it. So another five months after that I was back in surgery again. And now I'm they're looking at it a third time right now. So that's the biggest part is is dealing with actual pain.

Mark Laurie:

How do you deal with pain like I I'm luckily I'm more or less pain free so I have a hard time grasping that.

Sara De Raaf:

You just kind of don't have a choice to deal with it. You still got to get up and You still got to go to work and you still got to do stuff and it is tough. You try and put your mind on something else, but it's always there.

Mark Laurie:

What's the How do you most effectively distract yourself from the pain of keeping

Sara De Raaf:

myself busy? Work? photos, magazine stuff? Just Yeah, trying to keep busy. Go go go all the time that I don't have time to think about it.

Mark Laurie:

Do you ever take a moment though, to look at your future? Look at your life reflect?

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, yeah, sometimes you look back and be like, well, is this is this my life? Isn't this the rest of my life? How I don't always want to be sitting in the machine shop. I want to be in a cabin in the trees and just enjoying stuff, right and retirement. But that's so far fetched right now. It's hard, because you never know what tomorrow is either. So it's hard to plan and then look ahead. And I think

Mark Laurie:

it is a tough balance my dad's phrase that he wanted to live a life that when he had the two phrases, one is that the car he was driving would would hit the curb and dump his coffin out. And the second one is check would bounce the corners check would bounce. Yeah, that's what he said, Hey, find that right balance where you've, you've you've you've gone through just enough amount of money that you've enjoyed it. And you save just enough that you got to something in case you saw the future. Yeah. Yeah, it's a balance. we've encountered some guys that we've talked to in the show. And they go Yeah, I didn't expect to live up at this point. So I've got to work with the money aspect of it. So it can become challenging. What kind of future to see with your photography? Do you see it becoming larger blossoming?

Sara De Raaf:

Absolutely. I want to get into doing weddings and anything, anything I can I want to learn newborn stuff, and I want to learn lighting techniques and dark and light then yeah, I can see. Just being big and traveling with it, too. If I can, I don't know. What kind of travel Would you like to do? Well see, I'm not very I've never really been a traveler. I've been in Mexico once and that's it. I've never been anywhere else. It's a busy schedule in Alberta. So I would like you know, I would like to go to a beach somewhere one more time. Mostly I travel within Alberta. I'd like to go to BC.

Mark Laurie:

Like the cameras, a friend of mine can will take you everywhere. It's just a powerful thing. event that's Hannah was just on the dearest guys before he passed away. He always looks scruffy. He was the most scruffy photographer I think I've ever seen. Loved spending time with horses, but he's to do with his camera. I'm not a bum. If I went to the place and did the things I did was that my camera has to be bumped. I got the cameras. I'm a photographer. Take some places. Great. Exactly. Yeah. And it will like I've been over my career. We photographed in 16 countries that photographs another space. haven't done that in the Northwest Territories yet or Newfoundland, but I photographed everyplace else. And it's been it's been just a really a big blast the and there's a there's kind of a, I guess the Brotherhood in photography, especially if you get into some of the associations. The connection and the support is just phenomenal. Yeah, it's really, it's really, I've entered contest yet. No.

Sara De Raaf:

Oh, I did once I couldn't make it. I won. Yeah, that was years ago. Right. But I couldn't make it because I think I had my son that weekend. And yeah, I didn't make that show. That was too bad. Yeah.

Mark Laurie:

That was before your photography, then? Yeah, it was some time ago. Yeah. That was a few years ago. I was just modeling on and he got into it. Do you find your modeling career has given you a different angle? Absolutely your approach, what would be the thing that sets you apart from other photographers,

Sara De Raaf:

I can see I understand the other side of the camera differently when it comes to posing and lights and I see it the way that I would be as the model. This is how I want it to look. But at the same side, like as a model. You never know what the photographer sees through the lens. But now I know what both sides look like right? So I see it a little bit differently. And I pick it up a little bit differently. I think we had

Mark Laurie:

a model in the most skilled model I've ever had. And she asked about the lens I was using which had to be fairly wide angle lens at that time, and she'll consider looking at the light and she'd adjust her body to maximize the impact with my lens and her lighting on room. airtime is like a shot, she would change yourself into something completely different. So I'd take 10 shots tend to move into 10 body positions, each one in alignment to my lens. This is the most inspiring thing to see some photographers to see this person who's so had also a three dimensional vision of themselves within the environment. He was just inspiring for me it was really, really, really wild to play with. What would be your life highlights? If you look back on a writing doing a book on yourself what would be the five highlights of your life? The stuff that you were found or forks in the road and you took a different fork each time

Sara De Raaf:

I think my grip my graduation at first having to grab a drive You're early with the baby. So that first of all was a new major struggle anyways. I did go through an addiction phase. And I've been that was 18 years ago. And just say walked away from that. And I've been fine with that ever since. That was a bit. Yeah, that was a bit tough.

Mark Laurie:

How do you like when you've got an addiction? You're gonna walk away from it? How? What happens, it may just say, this can't continue. But do you suddenly turn away from it?

Sara De Raaf:

I was sitting there one day, and I just kind of looked around and seeing what life was like, for me. And then I see what my friends were like. And I'm like, Well, no, this is not this is not kosher. That's not what I want. Right? And then I just the next day, I walked away, put myself through rehab and moved away. Removed cuz I don't get rid of the friends and they're not my friends anymore. It's a different different world.

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. So you started over.

Mark Laurie:

So you physically left that whole world, and then started a new place. And then went back. When you when you graduated as a new as a new Mum, when you graduated? Was that high school or college?

Sara De Raaf:

high school, high school? She was my daughter was eight months old when I graduated high school.

Mark Laurie:

What was it like going to college or going to high school reading spectrum.

Sara De Raaf:

With that was actually decent because the school I was in? I was in Campbell River BC, right? They actually had what they call the young parents program. So they had their own classroom for young parents, kids, you know, it's like, correspondence kind of thing. So when I found out I was pregnant, I just ended up moving into that classroom instead of my regular classes. And because I work well, on my own, I did all my work as hard as I could do. And it was great. And I had a daycare right on site too. So even after I had taken a daycare and go see your lunchtime, and

Mark Laurie:

do my schoolwork, that's like such a civilized way to approach it. I love to hear that.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, it was great. It's extremely supportive.

Mark Laurie:

Oh, that I wish there was more of those kinds. Yeah, we've had different clients that come through, and they and that was a very, very hard point in their life as they're trying to navigate through that. And that's, that's to what the other third fork in the road that you've taken.

Sara De Raaf:

I've had to you know, though, I guess relationship thing. Bad the bad relationship part of it and being able to walk away from it and start all over again, is the starting over is definitely the biggest sport.

Mark Laurie:

Yeah. Because when you're starting over, I mean, there's a point where you leave, but part of the thing is leaving is you got to imagine some kind of future. How did you organize that in your mind,

Unknown:

I didn't have a plan. I'm not one to plan, I just knew I had to leave. And I ended up in a woman shelter for a few weeks and a different phone number and kind of hiding and I felt actually actually excited because now I'm free, and I can do anything I want to do so. And I did it. Three weeks later, I had my own house and I was getting the job and starting over again. So I'm trying not to think about the past.

Mark Laurie:

So you're very much a forward person. I gather you don't dwell much the past. It's like learning lesson from it. Move on.

Sara De Raaf:

Yeah, pretty much. Yeah, I believe everything is a lesson. So everything happens for a reason. That is so true.

Mark Laurie:

What kind of lessons if your back and relate three lessons that you picked up from your different restarts?

Sara De Raaf:

You're on your own pretty much, I guess you make you to look out for yourself. At the end of the day is that's all you got. So and trust is a big one, a big lesson for me to learn to not I guess be wide open, set boundaries and be able to stand up for myself and say, No, this is crossing the line for me. So when you see trust, that's you trust yourself. Are you trusting other people, other people? Yeah, I have a hard time trusting people in general. Because you always find the ones that make it harder to trust somebody else and struggle with that sometimes, but

Mark Laurie:

what kind of process you have to overcome that.

Sara De Raaf:

I try and just bite my tongue and be able to open up a little bit, but I still have a barrier. And then I need to see how this person responds and see what kind of vibe I'm going to get and see kind of along the way what they're like before I open up even really so.

Mark Laurie:

Imagine it's like a friend is the same way. And I've noticed with her, she has become a very astute observer of people. And she matches what they say and what they do. Actions speak louder than words. Yeah. So you find yourself actions do speak up more than words, but you find yourself matching the two of them up. Like you're saying this. How often do you follow through like, what kind of process do you have that you

Sara De Raaf:

I I'm a thinker that way and I way to overthink things. So I'll be I will put right Put two together. It's like what you said this. But over here, this is a little bit different than I started questioning things. And that makes me that's where the trust comes in. Because I'm like, oh, something's not lining up here. But at the end, then I'm like, wow, is that just me kind of overthinking something here? So it's it's a struggle between my thought process and and actually trusting somebody. So it takes a while.

Mark Laurie:

It certainly does. I thank you for your time today. It's been it's been really interesting. Yeah. I appreciate I know, you're kind of nervous coming in. This is I think, yeah, one of your leaps into the unknown, because we haven't actually we've done some correspondence, but we've never actually connected to various things. And so you're sort of walking into this unknown person? Do I get to trust him in front of this microphone? My challenge was, let's do it. Perfect. So this is Mark Laurie from inner spirit photography hosting fascinating women. We're going to have in the comment sections, there'll be some pieces about how to reach and and some history on Sarah, thank you for joining me and look forward to next one. Bye now.

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This has been fascinating women with Mark Laurie. Join us on our website and subscribe at fascinating women dossier fascinating women has been sponsored by inner spirit photography of Calgary, Alberta and is produced in Calgary by Leo's and my office media.