We headed out early this morning to the Chilliwack Tulip Festival to beat the crowds, however we arrived to hundreds of people all thinking the same thing. But we made the most of it, by dodging the selfie sticks, and avoiding the line ups to the designated photo areas. It was lovely to be out in all the colour, and the glorious sun.
It’s weekends like this past weekend where I know childhood memories were made. This boy spent almost the last two days outside, between dyeing Easter eggs, and getting prepped for Easter dinner. The laughter, the giggles, and the simple joy of chalk, bubbles, and scooting around the block a million times was the focus of the last 48 hours. As I stood out in the back alley and watched these children play and be kids, I couldn’t help but think about ten years from now when they will all be teenagers. What a difference ten years will make. And this is why I take photos. To remember these fleeting moments of joy and pure play.
It’s pouring rain. But we’re keeping it colourful and bright inside as we get ready for Easter. Which involves putting all the mini eggs in the big eggs for our Easter egg hunt on Sunday. We’re hoping the rain will stop and the Easter bunny won’t have to swim through the puddles.
The beauty of these flowers need no words.
This boy loves animals. He just wants to be with them and get to know them. Pretty much how he is with every living thing, including the two snails who are living in the front flower pot. Today, he was at a birthday party, and in between bites of pizza and cake, he was off to visit the horses. He refused to ride them, although I know he really wanted too, so in the end he chose to lead the horse. He was tickled pink. In the car, on the way home, he said, “Momma, I feel bad for the horses that they can’t run free.” I wasn’t sure how to answer him, so I simply said “ then they wouldn’t be able to hang out with you.” And he was happy with that answer.
This March, our family of three headed down to San Diego for a week holiday. It’s very rainy over the winter months and we are always needing sunshine by the middle of March to brighten our mood. Funny enough, this year, it was 26 degrees at home, when we took off for sunny California. But going away always soothes the soul and uplifts the spirit. We had beach time and family time, and many an electric scooter ride. Sunsets were also an evening priority. These photos are a taste of our time together.
A few months ago, my beautiful and talented friend Cali wrote me to come out and spend time with her newest addition. I hadn’t seen Cali for many years, and I was so excited to spend time with her in her beautiful condo in the heart of Vancouver. Cali and I go way back, when we were drama students together in University. She is the kindest and warmest person, and also so so funny. I’m always laughing and smiling when I’m around her. When I arrived, it was like no time had passed. I was laughing instantly, and her little boy just warmed my heart. It was lovely morning to spend with a beautiful family.
Oh B.C, as much as I love sunshine, the rain in April makes everything so beautiful. Everything is sprouting and growing, including my boy, who is mastering the skateboard. And finding worms and putting them in the sewer drain. :)
It’s April in B.C, and that means everything is green. The cherry trees are blossoming and in between rain showers the sun peeks through, and it makes the forest magical. We live in a beautiful area, and today we headed out with some friends to hike Teapot hill. Along the way, people have placed teapots and cups in the forest and so the kids love finding them all as we hike the hill. It’s great motivation!
It’s day four of my social media break, and it’s been amazing. It’s been so valuable to not feel the noise and distraction of constant scrolling, and I honestly feel like a different person. I even cleaned my kitchen pantry, which was filled with crackers and pasta from 2017. :) I’ve realized that avoidance and procrastination is so easy when you are constantly stimulated with others people’s lives. It was so wonderful to be in nature and not think about checking for messages, finding the teapots, while connecting with others. In real life.
Lately I have been feeling the creative urge to write again, and having decided to take a social media break for 30 days, I thought that writing for my blog would give me the chance to discover new ways to share my work, and fill my soul in a different way. At the moment I am completing a 365 project where I take a daily photo and learn as I go about my life, my life as a mother, my life as photographer, and how I see the world. It’s a challenge, but it’s also a gift, because it makes me stop and see the beauty in the every day. Today I captured my son as he played hockey after school with his friends in the back alley.
As I look through the photos, I can’t help seeing them as teenagers in ten years. It seems like it will be forever but I know that in the blink of an eye they will all be taller and handsomer, and faster, and won’t want to be photographed. They’re growing up. And as hard as it is to know that they won’t be little forever, I take comfort in that in ten years they will still be the essence of who they are, just older and hopefully a little wiser - still neighbourhood friends, playing hockey and enjoying the beginning of spring.
I want to say a huge thank you to all the families and clients who welcomed me into their lives and homes this year, to capture their love and connection. I am grateful to have spent time with you as you shared a small slice of your lives with me, and allowed me to take photos of those precious moments. I love what I do, and it gives me great happiness to take photos of such wonderful people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to 2019 and all that it brings.
It's been a busy summer, but early in July, while visiting family, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Fairbain's. And of course their dog. We had a blast. They played cards and had ice cream and then we headed out to meet the evening prairie sky. There's nothing like a Saskatchewan sunset. It's pure magic. There is so much love and laughter in this family. It was an honour to spend time with them and capture their joy.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.