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Father's Day

It's Father's Day.  And there is no way I can say what I need to say in one Facebook post, so I thought I'd write a blog.

Yesterday,  Finn took out an old photo album and was asking all kinds of questions about each photo.  It was so neat to see him turn the pages and look at each photo and ask details about each one.  And then he said " You should delete this one, it's blurry."  And Michael and I roared with laughter.

When I think about my own father, I think about all the amazing photos he took of me and my sister together.  And how I can hold those photos in my hands and remember the moments.  And of all the photos of him and I together.  It's such a gift to me, and for Finn to look at those, and see my childhood through his eyes.

But here's the thing.  We hardly print photos anymore.  They are all on a hard drive somewhere, or on our phones.  One of my friends is recently diving back into film. And her photos are incredible.  Remember that?  Where you couldn't edit a photo?  You had to wait for the film to come back?  We didn't know it then, but there's a magic and a nostalgia for it that is missing in this digital world.

So, I guess I'm saying on this Father's Day, after you take the photos of your kids with their Dad's,  print them.  Don't just put them up on Instagram and Facebook. (and this isn't blame, I'm guilty of this too.) Get them up on the walls, put them in your office, show them to your kids in print form.

I took this photos of Finn and Michael yesterday morning, and the light and the moment was perfect.  And I'm totally going to print them.  So that Finn can hold and remember this moment years from now,  instead of it being deleted.

Happy Father's Day.

The inspiring women together project

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Women together

An art, photo, and storytelling project

Two and a half years ago, on a cold January evening, my lovely friend Heidi and I shared chocolate and tea, and created personal vision boards together.  We were anticipating the year ahead, setting personal goals, as well as creative ones.  In our conversation we made a decision that somehow we needed to put our hearts and visions together, and create a project.  Something to inspire others, and feed our creative souls.  I would take pictures and Heidi would write.  If you haven't met Heidi, you need to.  She is the most lovely, kind, gentle incredible person and storyteller.  Each story she tells, she draws you in.  Every detail is explained, and she takes her time.  You can't help but listen, because of the gentle lilt of her voice,  the movement of her hands, and her direct eye contact with whoever she's speaking to.  I adore her. 

So, last year we created a motherhood project, where we interviewed eight women and asked them questions about being a mother, and I took photos.  We tied it all together on the eve of Mother's Day with a party, and we shared our discoveries and photos with the women we interviewed, and their spouses.  It was an incredible night, and we decided that a new project needed to be born.  After some discussion we decided to do a project where we interviewed the same women as our motherhood project, but this time ask them to pick a woman in their life that inspires them and supports them in their lives.  We would then interview them and their friend, and have them share stories and reasons why they are each important to one another.  During the interviews, I would document and capture their conversation.

And so, this spring we spent every second Sunday afternoon, having lovely cups of tea or coffee with two women, who shared their connection, their stories, and their affection for each other.  Every relationship was different, but the themes of friendship, inspiration, strength, generosity,  and empowerment came through in each conversation. There was tears and laughter, and moments of vulnerability.  It was perfect.

Heidi documented each interview with three simple, yet detailed, drawings of the time we spent with each duo.  And then we weaved our thoughts together in a web of photos and art work. On the 12th of May, we had an intimate gathering, and shared our thoughts and stories of what we discovered, and what these women had given us. 

When I picked up a camera three years ago, I had no idea where it would take me.  I never imagined that I would still be working on developing my skills as a photographer, and venturing into the world of professional photography.  It has been life changing.  However, my time with Heidi, building and growing our creative friendship is the best and most important gift of this entire photography journey.  It fills my soul, and gives me purpose.  I am so grateful.  Thank you Heidi, for blessing me with your kindness and your talent.  I hope this journey continues. 

Thank you to all the women who let us into their homes and their lives, and gave meaning to it all.

Here's a snippet of what the project looked like:

Jen and Mike's wedding day

Jen and I met in music class with our little ones when they were babies.  I was instantly drawn to Jen's energy and her lovely smile.  When she contacted me to shoot her wedding day,  I immediately said YES!  I was so happy she had found love, and as the day approached, and the weather looked like it was going to cooperate, I knew it was going to be a magical day.  And it was!  Two families joining together can be challenging, but Jen and Mike have made it work, and the two of them are amazing parents, and very much in love.  Thank you for inviting me to be part of such a wonderful celebration.

The Standeven's with baby Benjamin

One of my favourite kinds of sessions is coming a home freshly after a new baby has arrived.  There's a quiet magic in the air, and a special energy that is like no other time in your life. This is how it felt when I walked into Kim and Kevin's house.  Baby Ben came a little earlier than planned, and was oh so tiny, but the love for a new brother was evident immediately.  I love spending time with families as they go about there day, and I'm just there to capture those moments that we so often forget in the fog of parenting in those early days. 

Easter with Melissa and her family

When Melissa contacted me to capture her family traditions on her family farm,  I had no trouble saying yes.  This family was amazing to spend time with, and participate in their annual Easter celebration.  There was an egg hunt,  playing ball in the grass, a trip to the barn to see the cows, and a new stuffed bunny for a sweet boy.  There is so much love in this family, and I was honoured to be there. 

The Coutt's Family

It was a cool evening when I met up with the Coutt's family at their BEAUTIFUL home.  The children were finishing off a snack, so I was able to capture a few photos of their life.  They showed me their rooms, and they all danced in the light bouncing off the glass table in their living room.  We headed out to Cultus lake, threw rocks and sticks in the lake, and watched the sun set.  It's my favourite thing to capture love and connection,  which was easy to do with this happy, high-spirited family.

The Lacoste's

It was a BEAUTIFUL fall morning, and I found my way to Fort Langley, to hang with this lovely group of people.  Their home was right by the river, and the light that morning was stunning. LOVE was in the air, and you could feel it from every angle and every moment.  I could have spent all day with them.

The Lyon's

This is the second time I have been lucky enough to spend time capturing this lovely family, and their spunky, happy children.  One of my favourite ways to get to know a family is to take photos in their home.  It's a safe and comfortable place, and everyone relaxes and is content to be themselves.  This is where magic happens, and it's really what life is about.  I believe it's these moments that we want to treasure when we look back on life. 

The Gleeson's

When you meet up with a family of four boys, you know it's going to be a fun session.  These boys kept me on my toes, and I loved every minute of it.   We played games,  sang songs, and explored.   There is so much love in this family, and I was honoured to capture it.

The Goertzen's

I had soooo much fun with this amazing family!  We spent time playing dutch blitz, twister, basketball, and just hanging out in their beautiful new house.  There is so much love for these three boys, and I have to say they are the coolest.  There was so much respect for each other, and I was honoured to spend time with them and capture their connection as a family.

 

The Braun's

It was a lovely evening when I met up with this gorgeous, (and tall!) couple at the Popkum wetlands.  The sun was setting and we spent some time laughing and sharing in the anticipation of the new little one about to join there lives.  I really have to say that these two are so in love, and there will be no shortage of love for this new baby.

 

The Davis-Fisch family

On a lovely early summer morning, I met this wonderful family at the Blue Heron reserve, and I spent some time running after the most adorable little two year old, who kept me laughing and on my toes. 

Nolene and Family

It was a cloudy, windy but beautiful evening when l met my friend Nolene and her extended family at Harrison Lake for a fun family shoot.  They were celebrating the anniversary of her lovely parents, and you could just feel the love they all had for each other.  And I must say, there are some pretty adorable children in this family.

Breanne and Dallas

It was a rainy rainy day on Granville island in Vancouver but we still found ways to capture the love of this beautiful couple.  I was honoured to capture their special day and the joining together of two lovely and joyful families.    A candlelit ceremony and a group of amazing friends and family came together to witness a magical evening. 

Courtney and Colin

It's been a crazy few months since this session, but I'm catching up on my blog posts. These two were such a hoot and so excited for their little one to arrive.  Courtney is an incredible E.A where I teach and Colin is a wood working teacher and both are amazing with children.  After this session they were blessed witha beautiful little boy and he is so lucky to have such wonderful parents.

Annie and Alex

It had been raining all day, but as soon as we stepped outside, the sun peeked through the clouds, and it was a perfect afternoon for a walk through the forest.  This lovely couple are expecting their first baby, and you could feel the love as they spent time in a secret forest they walk every week.  I was honoured to tag along and capture their excitement as they wait for their little one to arrive.

The Braun's

On a blustery cold day, as the sun set,  I met with The Braun's to take some photos.  We bundled up, and braved the cold.  Despite the wind, it was a beautiful late afternoon,  and the warm winter light danced through the trees.  It was magical.

Mallory, Glen and Weston

Mallory contacted me in October to set up a photo session, and it took us a while to make it happen because of the crazy rainy weather we've been having.  But on Monday, we headed out to find the last of the colourful leaves.  This lovely family of three has recently moved to Chiiliwack, and they are making this beautiful place home.  It was fitting to join them on a walk in their new neighbourhood, and capture their connection and love.