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Win the Ultimate Mother-Daughter Glam Session with phoTobin Photography

When I broke the big news to my mom over the telephone, I could almost hear her enormous smile through the line.

“Seriously? “Oh wow, that sounds amazing… I can’t wait,” she said.

“Now, what am I going to wear…?”

Fast-forward to a month later, our special day had finally arrived.

Without a lick of makeup and my hair in an unruly top-knot, it was go-time.

We packed the car with some gorgeous pieces we both found at Vanilla Clothing and headed for the open road.

These two Valley Momma’s were big-city bound.

During our drive, my mind was focused on what we were about to do — the Ultimate Mother-Daughter Glam Photo Session with phoTobin Photography.

I had the pleasure of being photographed and completely made-over by this dynamic husband and wife team a few years ago. It was such an amazing, life-changing experience that I decided to do it again –this time I would bring my mom along.

My mother’s last professional photos were taken at my wedding 10 years ago. There were also the super awkward family photos at Sears with the tacky backgrounds and contrived poses.

Blast to the Past


“This is going to be so much fun, I can’t believe I’m actually doing this,” said my mom.

“Mom, I thought I told you that you’re not supposed to wear any makeup?”

“I’m not luv,” she laughed.

You see, my mom is 56, but she is often mistaken as being my sister. She’s a strikingly beautiful women who turns a lot of heads when we’re out. However, she has a tough time when she looks in the mirror or sees a photograph of herself.

“I hope they can fix this, make this smaller or Photoshop that right out… oh, and I hope I don’t have to smile,” she said numerous times leading up to the big day.

“Oh you’re going to smile,” I thought to myself.

“Especially when you see the finished results. You’re FINALLY going to see what we all see.”

The minute we walked into their beautiful natural light studio on Scotia Street in Vancouver, we were warmly greeted by Sarah and Tobin.

First, we chatted with them about how we wanted to be photographed and then went through the rolling rack of clothes we brought to choose the perfect outfits for the shoot.

“Did we bring too much?” laughed my mom.

“There is no such thing as over-packing for your session since who knows what mood might strike once you’re here,” said Sarah.

Next, it was time to be whisked into the chair for hair and makeup. Warning: I look like one frazzled Valley mom.

The Before Photos

phoTobin Photography

The before photos.

My mom is always taking care of everyone, except for herself, which is why it was so nice to watch her be primped and pampered for once.

“Okay, you’re done. Go take a peek in the mirror,” instructed Sarah.

The transformation left us both speechless. I may have even got a little teary- eyed.

Neither my mom nor I are exactly comfortable being in front a camera, but Tobin was skilled at sculpting us into beautiful figure-flattering poses. Sarah also stood by to keep an eye on all the little details of our hair, makeup and clothing.

Mom’s Transformation

mom after

mom dance


My Transformation

after k

Kristyl Clark


Just the Two of Us

me and my mom 2

me and my mom 1

When it came to the big revealing session to view our photos, I was completely blown away… speechless, really.

In fact, I had to keep a stoic face to fight the big fat tears from rolling down my cheek. As I glanced over at my mom who was sitting next to me, I could see she was also in the same state.

“I don’t know what to say,” she stammered, biting her lower lip.

She didn’t have to say anything at all — I knew she finally saw what I’ve seen my whole life.

I’ll never forget this incredible experience and am so glad I was able to share it with my mom.

Now if it’s true what they say that a photo is worth a thousand words, this video is worth about a gazillion.

The Giveaway

ValleyMom.ca is thrilled to partner with phoTobin Photography to give away the Ultimate Mother-Daughter Glam Session — a prize valued at approx. $1,175.

Here is what one lucky winner and their mother/daughter or whomever they’d like to bring along will experience:

– Hair styling and makeup

– 5 prints (with digital images)

– PLUS $60 towards any additional portraits

10 Runner Up Prizes

* Didn’t win the grand prize? That’s okay! phoTobin Photography would also like to give away 10 gift certificates to 10 ValleyMom.ca fans for $250 (this includes the session – $190 – and $60 towards portraits).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One of Vancouver’s top Mom Bloggers, Kristyl Clark is a work-at-home mom of two little Valley girls proving there is nothing bland about the burbs. Her adventurous family seems to always be out on some sort of crazy quest, from helicopter rides and wild river rafting, to top-secret paranormal investigations and living the high-life sampling the fine wines and foods of the Fraser Valley region. The ValleyMom.ca blog inspires her loyal fanbase through the trials and tribulations of suburban family living, guiding readers to local hotspots and hidden gems in her Canadian backyard


  • Karen paulsen

    April 17, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I cannot begin to tell you how much it would mean to me to win something like this. My daughter and I have not had photos done since she was in grade 6. Now she just finished her first year of university. We have been through a lot together and I would love to commemorate this time in our lives and how far we have come.

  • Cathy Empey

    April 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    As the person behind the camera most of the past six years plus, I would love to win this for my wonderful Mom and I!! If I could add in my two beautiful sisters that would be even more amazing! I have dreamed of this for us. Thank you. <3

    PS Beautiful photos!!!

  • Lisa Munday

    April 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    What an awesome contest <3 I would Love to share this experience with My Mother in law. She just turned 82 and is such a special lady. She never does anything nice for herself and I know she would love this.

  • cindy

    April 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    To be honest, I have no idea who I would bring. I have many mothers, as my own left at a very young age. My life has been enriched with beautiful, amazing woman, everyday, that leave me with gifts of knowledge, that I am sure that a real mother would give. Perhaps names in a hat and I would draw…LOL. Thank-you for the opportunity! *smooch*

  • Amy Libby

    April 17, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I would love to win this! I was watching a popular TV show today and they had just done makeovers. I literally was almost in tears as I have been feeling so frumpy and just blah. I work for an amazing clothing company but don’t feel that I can approach people about it because of the way I look myself. I’ve been told I’m pretty or cute or whatever but I definitely don’t feel like it since my body has changed after having my daughter. I know we can’t all win this but I would sure appreciate the chance.

    You and your mom look gorgeous. Stunning! And you can see the transformation in her!

  • KellyL

    April 17, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I have never had a mother/daughter photo session. What an awesome experience that would be. I couldn’t do it with my mother – next best thing is having this with my daughter. 🙂

  • Sarah

    April 17, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    What a fun contest!!
    Unfortunately my mother passed away 12 years ago from cancer. She was a single mom, but always found the time and resource to have mommy-daughter portraits done. I would bring my own daughter along for this photo-session….she’s 9 and just getting into the whole “glam-girl” thing. She’s always asking me to paint her nails, or curl her hair, or asking advice on which necklace matches her outfit. She’d love this kind of pampering just as much as I would!

  • Laurreen

    April 17, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I would love to bring my daughter to this photo shoot. We’ve never go to do something so special together, especially since she’s now an adult.

  • Jennifer

    April 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I would love to win this 🙂 My mum, much like yours, has trouble seeing herself as others do. She is a 13 year breast cancer survivor and I have my own health complications as well and we have been there for each other through thick and thin. Since her diagnosis, she’s been longing to have photos taken as we have none of us together nor as a family in almost 25 years. Sadly, we’ve had issues trying to get this “to-do” ticked off the list so far. I think this would be a very special and unique experience to win and share with her and help her tick off her to do list <3 🙂

  • Jen

    April 17, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    this would so amazing. I would hope to be able to bring my mom and stepmom as both have been a part of my whole life. They’re both amazing moms!! 🙂

  • Amy Friesen

    April 17, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    My mom is the best lady you will ever meet. She is so sweet and caring, always putting everyone before herself. Just recently she actually told me she thought she could of been a better mother when us kids were younger. my jaw dropped! I have no idea why she would even think that when she has been nothing but the best and supportive most loving mother any child could have. She deserves this so much! I love her to the moon and back 🙂

  • Dana Miller

    April 17, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I’d like to bring both my Mom and my daughter to have all 3 generations in the photo. I am always behind the camera so I don’t have many photos with myself and my little one. I would be grateful to win a photo shoot and quality pictures to treasure forever!

  • Jaimie Gilroy

    April 17, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I would love to do a mother daughter photo session. I never had a chance with my mom as she passed from breast cancer when I was a child. I want give my daughter a gift she can cherish her whole life. We are not rich, we don’t dress up and go out. But I believe this would be something amazing for the both of us. Thank you.

  • Roxie

    April 17, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    My Mum deserves a day of pampering more than anyone I’ve ever met. She dedicated her life to raising two kids, and helping the women in her community. At 75, she’s never had a portrait taken, and I would love to have some truly beautiful photos of her!

  • Shelagh

    April 18, 2015 at 1:14 am

    I would love to have the opportunity to share this with my 14 year old daughter:) she is amazing and we never get any opportunities like this. She is beautiful and I want her to see it.

  • Tara Jensen

    April 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I would bring my mom. She’s struggled with self image so much lately and lost both of her parents to cancer this year, she deserves the chance to feel beautiful and have some cherished memories to look back on. Thanks for the chance!

  • Tamara Renee

    April 18, 2015 at 9:30 am

    It has been so long since having photo’s done with my Mom….way back when I was in highschool. She would be so surprised if we won this!

  • Joan Gibson

    April 18, 2015 at 9:51 am

    My daughter and I both live locally and are very close. She is also a mother – has 2 wonderful sons. This would be so special for us should we win. Thank You for the opportunity. <3

  • Meaghan D

    April 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I would LOVE to have photos taken with my 2 girls. One is 3.5 years and the other is 8 months. It would be an amazing Mother’s Day!

  • Brandee

    April 18, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I would absolutely bring my mom with me. After losing my dad unexpectedly shortly before Christmas, I would love to be able to gift her with an incredible experience like this.

  • Melody

    April 18, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    I would bring my daughter and together we would bring our best smiles, along with a couple of cute outfits. She just turned 19 so this would be so much fun to remember this transition in her life.

  • Anne

    April 18, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    My mother is incredible and is often the one making sure that everyone else shines. I would love for her to have some amazing pictures of herself for her speaking and facilitation work. Even though I am adopted (and Korean and she is Caucasian), we often get told that we look alike – isn’t that funny? I can’t wait to see what the camera sees… 😉

  • Anne

    April 18, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    I would love to give my mom this gift. She is incredible and often is the one making sure that other people shine. This would be amazing for her to have great headshot for her public speaking and facilitation work. Even though I am adopted, we often get told that we look alike. I can’t wait to see what the camera sees!

    If we could bring my three girls, too, that would be fun. They are 21, 2 and 5 months old. Girls!!!!

  • Tamara

    April 18, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Would be amazing to win and share this experience with my mom. The past couple of years have been tough and she doesn’t have opportunity to treat herself much. This all sounds like just plain fun! We all need that sometimes!

  • Jacky k

    April 18, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I would be my darling mother and older sister. My mother taught us to always look out for each other and love each other endlessly. #familyforever

  • Kelly Krol

    April 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    I would absolutely bring my Mum! The last photo session we did was in the 80’s at the Bay Portrait Studio! So starchy looking

  • Jessica TaN

    April 18, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    my mom passed away 12 years ago-6 months after my first Mother’s Day. I’d love to bring both my sisters to do this. But if I can’t bring both (and I can’t choose just one) I’d bring my own daughter

  • Ine

    April 18, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I would love to win this package. My mom lives in Belgium and I definitely don’t get to see her enough. What a wonderful surprise it would be to offer her something like this on her next visit!!

  • Melissa

    April 18, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I would bring my mom obviously 🙂 we’ve never had mother daughter photos done and she could definitely use some pampering after helping a daughter fight cancer for 2.5 years and doing everything possible to help me through school, including allowing me and my son to live in her house rent, food, bill, and daycare worry free for 5+ years until I’ve graduated university <3

  • Tracy Mack

    April 18, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Wow! Your photos are amazing!!! I share my Mum with my fabulous sister Kelly Krol, so it would cool to share this experience with her too! Even cooler to extend it to both our girls for a multi-generational experience.

  • Bonnie Way

    April 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Wow, these are FABULOUS pictures of you both!!! If I could talk my mom into coming out from Alberta, I’d totally do it with her!!! Otherwise maybe I’d take MY daughters. 🙂

  • kim

    April 22, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I don’t know. I may bring my Mom, but I also may bring one of my step daughters I just reconncected with after 10 years of not seeing them. It would be nice to pamper one of them.

  • jackie brown

    April 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    What a wonderful day for a mom & daughter to share.I would bring my daughter of course because she always puts everyone before herself. 🙂

  • Pamela Shah

    April 22, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    My mom, Dorothy, and I would love to do this together. We need some glam girl time, as I have 4 brothers and it’s just not the same 🙂

  • Larissa

    April 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

    I would definitely bring my mom! She’s been begging for new photos of us since 1999! We definitely could use this – it would make her Mother’s Day. 🙂

  • Michelle S.

    April 23, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I would love to do this with my daughter, she’s in high school and doesn’t always feel confident in her own skin. I think it would be a great boost for her to see what we all see that she is beautiful inside & out.

  • Sarah

    April 23, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Your contests are always wonderful and Sarah and Tobin have done an amazing job as always!

    I would love to bring my mom but she would never come!

    As I prep for my upcoming wedding, I realized that in over 7 years together, my camera shy fiance and I have literally 5 photos together, so I would probably have to bring him for this amazing experience!

    • Tobin Smith

      April 26, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Sarah, have you seen our ‘little black book’? It’s a little something to give him on your wedding day. Message us if you haven’t and I can share the slideshow of it with you 🙂

  • Zuri

    April 24, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Oh my word, does my mom ever need this! She is so beautiful inside and out, but she has struggled with her body image for as long as I can remember. The added challenge of aging and health issues over the last decade has not helped matters at all. I would definitely bring her to this as well as my younger sister. Keeping my fingers, toes and everything else crossed! 🙂

  • Teri-Lynn

    April 28, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    My Mom & I would love a makeover! This would be an once in a lifetime experience we wouldn’t forget. I would bring my Mom or daughter to experience lots of giggles and good memories.

  • Cindy L

    May 1, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I would love to be able to bring my mom and my daughter and have a 3 generation shoot! Barring that, I would absolutely bring my mom – as, like you, I want her to see what everyone else sees…just how beautiful she really is!

  • Anna R

    May 2, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Wow – what amazing photos, and what a great opportunity. I am not a fan of being in front of the camera, but for photos as beautiful as these I wouldn’t hesitate! And what an amazing memory keepsake for a mom and daughter 🙂

  • Deanna

    May 4, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I would bring my mom because she never gets photos taken and is long overdue! She deserves to have photos where she feels pretty!

  • Tiffany Wilson

    May 5, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I would totally bring my mom. She’s had a hard year and this would be a wonderful way to bring out her inner glam side.

  • Bev burr

    May 5, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    This would mean so much my grandaughter as diagnosed with leukemia in December,and we have been dealing with the heartbreak of that she also had a newborn early March and just is so strong. She so deserves a treat

  • Nicole Conklin

    May 5, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I would bring my mom because she has been truly inspiring and loved me through everything I have put her through! She is the best mom I could ask for!

  • shannon grochowski

    May 6, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    I would love to bring my mom but she might not be able to make it. Otherwise I would love to bring my oldest daughter. I think it would be soo special to look back on when she gets older.

  • Kimberly

    May 8, 2015 at 9:39 am

    I would bring my mom who does all she can for my my family and son and if I can bring two also my completely selfless sister/mother of my niece.

  • Malinda Kelly

    May 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    My daughter is expecting her first child, my first grandchild. So it would be nice to win and have our pictures taken. I would also bring my mom so we could get a 4 generations picture, I am not sure how long my mom has left to be in this world.

    • Tobin Smith

      May 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      Wow, Malinda, how precious that would be for your granddaughter to have that 4 generation image as a legacy portrait to see where she came from and for you to have with your mother.

  • Linda

    May 9, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    My mom lives across the globe so can’t make that happen….but would bring my three little children who have made me the best and luckiest mom I can be for them!


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