I believe that with acceptance of age comes wisdom and empowerment. 
I believe the best things in life contain chocolate. 
I believe in singing in the shower. 
I believe OLD is beautiful and Green is better. 
I recognize that our lives are made up of little simple moments which arrive unexpectedly, but come to be the special ones. 
Join me as I attempt to capture and celebrate the true happiness these tiny simple joys bring every day.

image 2012

" Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was named after my parents' favourite French singer Sylvie Vartan. It may partly explain my deep love for Art. Born in Bulgaria, I call Toronto home, where I live with my smart and kind teenage son, my thoughtful and caring husband and our handsome and mischievous Chocolate Labrador. And if the e-mail doesn't exist, you'd probably say I am a kind woman with a European English accent. 

Explain what you do in 100 words or less:
I photograph, I write, I teach, I learn, I parent, I travel and try to live in the present moment, paying attention to the small joys in life. I photograph food, people, places and all kinds of pretty things as I participate in different projects as well as write articles for magazines.     

What is your background? How/when did you become interested in photography?
I hold a Master’s degree in Education and have devoted years of teaching and lecturing in the strong belief I was doing what I was born to do. One day, under the right set of circumstances, I guess, it struck me – the classroom appeared too “tight” and noisy to fulfill my creative and spiritual needs. In January of 2011, I began to write a blog about life’s simple pleasures and since I am an extremely visual person, I wanted to visualize my thoughts so I started shooting. Something began to shift in me. My sense of time changed. I was absorbed by the activity of capturing and expanding the tiny whispers of all kinds of beauty that was available around me. I was in my element.  I was challenged again. I was hungry to learn. The support and encouragement I received from family, friends, and readers were astonishing. Since then I have attended numerous photography courses and workshops, and have fulfilled with Honours the required program of study in Digital Photography from the School of Media Studies & Information Technology – Humber College. 
Food and still life somehow naturally have stood out as my favourite photography. This is probably because it greatly involves styling, props, and romantic light. It is a process that begins long before the click of the shutter button and extends beyond it. How I am going to interpret the muffins for my son’s bake sale, or my mom’s tomato juice into an intriguing, inspiring image endlessly fascinates me.

What emotional reaction are you hoping for when someone sees your imagery?
To be honest, I am not motivated by the reaction of others. I shoot because it moves me and makes me infinitely happy. Photography gives me a tool to materialize my inner feelings, thoughts, and ideas for life. I know that a piece of art can speak differently to people since all perceive it in their own way, so in the end, judgments of this kind are purely subjective. Having said that, I am also aware of the fact that if an artist knows who he is, stays honest to his true self and follows his aesthetic sense, people respond to it in a very kind and positive way.  Artwork as such inevitably affects others, makes them feel good, and encourages them to look closer and create. In Picasso’s words, “ The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls”. I like his definition; yet, if my photography possesses the means to cause viewers to give pause, reflect and rejoice in the simplicity of ordinary, everyday moments, it would be more than enough.

Where do you take your inspiration from?
As cliché as it may sound, inspiration can be found everywhere; as long as my heart and mind are open to let it in. I am inspired by books, art, nature, sun’s light, and places but most importantly by people who tune in to their most authentic selves and live their best lives. 

How would you describe your photographic style?
I am not very sure I have developed my photography style yet. This is so because I believe it is a journey that takes time. It is an extension of your personality; the way you see things, the choices you make, what is important to you, and your perception of beauty is presented through the images you take. Since I am constantly changing, learning, and thus evolving, I believe my photography style undergoes corresponding changes as well. However, no matter whether I am capturing the emotions of the human face, the food I have just prepared for my family, or a part of the world I have never imagined I would find myself in, I am always aware of the fact that there is a story to be told. For example, every time I style and shoot food, I aspire to create an honest, organic, unpretentious, friendly and approachable representation of the subject when the eyes are drawn to the food and the viewer is inspired to expand the beauty of the food to his own. I use natural, soft light, subtle colour schemes, simple composition and styling using vintage pieces as props. 

 What about that style appeals to you?
This style creates an idyllic atmosphere, yet, natural and accessible. The photo is ordinary, rather spontaneous with a casual everyday feel that inspires, touches, evokes enjoyment of preparing and eating food, and eventually motivates to put on the apron and run to the kitchen. Even though I like glossy, sharp, stunningly beautiful images with dramatic (studio) light, but they seem too perfect and “museum-like” to me that they often distance the audiences in an “I-am-not-able-to-do-that” way. 

 Are there certain “props” you use to help you convey your vision?
I am passionate about all things vintage and own a substantial collection of vintage items. I predominantly collect old china teacups and saucers, white ironstones, silver spoons and forks, kitchen gadgets, mirrors, old postcards, and books. I also inherited gorgeous hand-woven European linens from my grandma, which I tremendously cherish. Every other Sunday is devoted to antiquing and flea markets, looking for new finds.

What do you do when you feel uninspired? Where do you look to recharge your creativity?
The primary fuel of my creativity is nature with the rhythm of the seasons. Walking with the trees or on the country road, in the woodland, garden or on the beach, I take in the sights and sounds, smells and textures of every leaf, flower, bird, stone, and sunset… The divine artistry of nature always brings me back to the essence of being, to the oneness of all things and somehow the balance and inspiration gracefully returns.

When you are at your best possible version of yourself, who are you? What does this person want you to put your energy toward?
I tend to believe that the self-aware, more simple, yet sophisticated, humble, grateful and ego-less me is the best version of myself. Sylvia like this is open to communicating with others and sharing her love, vulnerability, appreciation, and enjoyment of life. My energy is put toward creating prose and images, which I hope would help me and others to live simple and meaningful lives, to dig deep down to find this sense of “I” that is disentangled from things, labels, opinions, expectations, social roles, race, profession and past times.

How do you handle setbacks in regard to your artistic work? How do you implement changes?
I have come to a point in my life where I accept difficult situations without deep fear. I have seen failure, disappointments, and rejections. Being an optimist by nature, I try to keep in mind that a setback is only temporary; after all, setbacks happen to all of us. My strong roots are in place and I trust my judgments. I keep going on creating by giving the best I am capable of because taking photos is what I love to do and I have to be willing to accept what it takes. I read. I visit exhibitions. I try to be familiar with everything that is going on in the field of photography and art in general. I am still working on making uncertainty and imperfection my friends, though. Teaching taught me to be flexible. Photography has also shown me that I cannot always control the outcomes. Things do not always work out the way they are planned. With such an attitude, implementing changes regarding my artistic work is quite easy and normal, but never at the expense of my aesthetic sense. ..."

(the entire interview is published in the Summer Issue, 2014 of Scarlet Pink Magazine)

Bella Grace Magazine Issue 1 /2014


I am available for editorial assignments, photography projects, product photos, portraits, family sessions and small events. 

I create sponsored posts that resonate with the audience of my blog while also authentically promoting the brand message. 

Send me an email using the contact form at sylviasimplelife@yahoo.com 
You can also contact me via Facebook
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To get a better overall view of my photography work, go to http://www.sylviasimplelife.com

Thank you for your interest.