Eager to have one last photo opt in her wedding dress and take advantage of the beautiful caribbean beach, Lindsay requested we do a “trash the dress” shoot. She wasted no time b-lining it into the ocean, squealing with delight the entire way. Admittedly, some brides would be appalled at the idea of getting into the ocean or rolling around in the sand in their pristine white wedding dress, but not Lindsay. To her, the dress had served its purpose and now it was time for a little fun. I admire her carefree spirit and her willingness to relinquish attachment to “things” in pursuit of experiences. We had a lot of fun and attracted quite a crowd of spectators – including Lindsay’s niece, Kennedy who happily posed with her for a pic.
Infants at a photoshoot can be likened to Jennifer Lopez on a music tour – they are a bit diva-ish. However, instead of demanding that their coffee be stirred counter-clockwise and their dressing rooms contain all white items, their demands go something like this – Feed me, change me, cuddle me, feed me again, change me again – nap in a 45 min rotation. This means that as the photographer, I have a very small window of opportunity to get them when they are awake and content. Much like a diva, you must not push them into something they do not what to do or suffer the consequences. You can only hope that once their list of needs are met, they will cooperate. But, the difference between babies and divas is that babies are still adorable subjects irregardless of their mood, while divas are not.
Take Abigayle for instance. Whether she’s crying, yawning, sleeping or cheering for her favourite (Dad’s favourite) hockey team – she is adorable by default. And for some reason, when you put a baby in basket it ups their adorable factor 100%.
Less than a month after shooting my brother’s wedding, I was excited to be flying off to the Dominican Republic to photograph another family wedding (my husband, Ian’s sister, Lindsay). Twenty three of us boarded a plane for a week’s vacation at the Gran Bahia Principe resort in Samana, DR.
It was a long, stressful journey to our destination. We arrived at the resort late at night – tired, cranky and hungry. In this state, it’s difficult to be impressed by anything, especially when it’s dark. Hustling ourselves to the buffet before it closed, everyone wolfed down some food and immediately dispersed to our rooms, where I am quite certain we all had our own versions of a meltdown that went something like this: “I hate it here! I want to go home!”.
Luckily, these feelings dissipated by morning. It’s amazing how one’s mood can change with a good night sleep…and of course, the sunshine and palm trees definitely helped nurture good moods in all of us.
For me, the days went something like this: breakfast buffet, beach, lunch, beach, nap, shower, cocktails, dinner, dancing. I must say I got accustom to this schedule and admittedly since returning home I’ve been missing my afternoon Mojito. The routine of doing nothing for a week was immensely satisfying. I highly recommend it.
But getting back to the reason we were there – Lindsay and Brian’s wedding. Ah, the wedding. It was beautiful. Family and friends gathered. Blue sky. Bright sunshine. Beach ceremony. Handsome groom. Adorable ring-bearer. Stunning bride. Need I say more – or just show you some pics.
I had the extreme pleasure of meeting a fabulous couple, Kim and Matt (and their adorable pup, Miley) this passed weekend in Point Pleasant for an engagement shoot. While the sun was shining bright, there was definitely a chill in the air reminding us that autumn is here and winter is just around the corner – ick! Matt and Kim didn’t seem to mind the cold one bit though – they took the opportunity to cuddle up close and really have fun with their shoot. I wish them a long, happy life together.
Nothing beats a photo shoot with people who can be themselves in front of the camera and have a sense of humour to boot. Nat and Adam are definitely that couple! I had a lot of fun with them – goofing around with some silly props and poses (including shots of them creeping through an old graveyard – so funny!). Nat insisted that her and Adam are notoriously “un-photogenic”, claiming that there are no “nice” pictures of them – only ones of them being silly. While I’ll admit traditional posey portraits may not be their forte, I disagree that this makes them “unphotogenic”. In fact, they are very photogenic (as you can see), not to mention charismatic. I loved that they were willing to show off their fun-loving and quirky selves at this shoot. It really conveys their genuine excitement and anticipation for the arrival of their baby girl, next month. I’m so honoured that they invited me to capture this very special milestone.
Amanda and Dana are high school sweethearts, expecting their first child – a boy – any day now. They are a super down-to-earth couple who wanted a casual and relaxed maternity shoot. Some of their family, who are equally excited about their first grandson and nephew joined us at Point Pleasant Park for the shoot. It was a great day and we got some great shots!
This passed weekend I shot my very first wedding…and not just any wedding…my brother’s wedding. Since photography is a side gig for me, I prefer to take on small, simple shoots – avoiding weddings because, well…they’re not simple. But when Jessica and Justin asked me to shoot their wedding, I was compelled to say yes. After all, they are family, they are the most easy-going couple (thus, there would be no wedding day drama), and I knew they were planning a small, intimate gathering. I convinced myself it would be simple. However, as the day approached, I started having some doubts and anxiety, albeit a normal pre-shoot condition suffered by many photographers that is usually eradicated by some rational thought processes and preparation. But I couldn’t shake the worry that I might miss out on the experience of my brother’s wedding by being the photographer. I tried to put this worry out of my head because my gut told me I wanted to do this. Nevertheless, I’m not always completely trusting of my gut.
On the day of the wedding, I was nervous. I arrived at Jessica’s parents’ house (where the wedding was taking place), early and well prepared. I was 98% confident that it was going to be great but there was still that little voice saying “what have you gotten yourself into”. Luckily, I didn’t have to sit with that doubt for very long. People had begun arriving and the ceremony was going to begin soon. I walked outside just as my brother was arriving. He stepped out of his truck and flashed me a big smile. I knew at that moment I was doing exactly what I needed to do.
Needless to say, I didn’t regret saying yes. Quite the contrary, every time I clicked a picture of my brother and his gorgeous bride, I felt honoured to be the one capturing their special day and contributing to the memories that they will cherish for years to come.
This passed weekend, I had the extreme pleasure of photographing a 50th Wedding Anniversary party for Rod and Olive Henman. The weather was rainy and dreary when I first arrived at the couple’s home (where they have lived for 50 years I might add). While rain can be disheartening to some, I was charmed to see that Olive, upon greeting me at the door was so enchanted by this momentous occasion that she seemed completely aloof about the rain. Throughout the afternoon, numerous amounts of people cramped into their quaint little home in Eastern Passage to congratulate the couple on their inspiring fifty years of marriage. Consequentially, the rain had subsided by the time people began arriving and by late afternoon the sun was shining through the clouds. At one point, I overheard Rod whisper to Olive how beautiful she looked – just like the day they were married. Being in awe of such a relationship, I playfully commented to the couple how remarkable it is to see two people so in love after fifty years, especially when I’m just trying to get to year four. They chuckled and responded that yes it may seem like a long time but in fact, it passed so quickly that it hardly feels like fifty years.
I had just completed my second year of university and had started another stint at the local tire plant in their summer student work program. The pay was great but the labour was dirty and painstakingly boring – twelve hour shift passed by like a snail in peanut butter. To get through the time, I fantasized about my prospective apartment in the city. I hadn’t secured myself a roommate yet or an apartment for that matter but these were just minor set-backs in my mind. The smart thing to do in this incidence would have been to make steps toward these two gains or at least start scrounging up some second-hand furniture to prepare but all I was focused on was the cat I needed for my apartment in the city.
Shortly after I had moved back home, my mom and my youngest brother (who was only 7 at the time) were driving on one of the many back country roads near where I grew up when they came upon a tiny grey kitten in the middle of road. My mom immediately stopped the car and got out to approach what she assumed to be a single orphaned kitten. His cries were small and squeaky but he meowed with such conviction that he seemed to have a message. As my mom got closer to him, she saw that indeed he did. In the ditch behind him were three more orphaned kittens huddled together. Around this time, another driver had pulled over, gotten out of her car and was approaching the scene as well. They managed to wrangle two of the kittens – the grey one surrendered much easier than the others as they scattered into the woods out of fear. My brother small and limber managed to catch the other lucky soul. The woman who had stopped after my mom offered to take the kittens to her house up the road. My mom called to check on the kittens a couple of days later, learning that the woman had caught a third kitten who now joined the other two.
I heard about these kittens around this time from my brother who enthusiastically recalled the story and his chase and retrieval through the woods. According to him, the kitten that he caught looked exactly like a pure bred siamese cat. I was skeptical about this detail but regardless of what they looked like, I needed to see them and my mom agreed to take me.
As we pulled into the woman’s driveway, all we could hear was a loud, large dog barking. We walked around the side of the house and the woman met us there. She hauled out of the garage, a box, 3 feet tall and only about a foot squared. Peeking over the sides, I saw three small fur bodies piled on top of one another and a small food dish that took up most of the bottom surface of the box. I’ll never forget the look they gave me as I peered in at them. Their eyes covered in goop and their little bodies so frail. In the state they were in, it was hard to make out their coat colourings – but my brother was correct – not just one, but two of the kittens looked like siamese. I was dumbfounded as to why they were living in a box in the woman’s garage and not at a shelter receiving treatment. My mom hid her outrage better than I, politely telling the woman that we would take the kittens and bring them to the local shelter. The woman didn’t object and seemed happy to get them off her hands.
Unfortunately, given the time of day it was, the local shelter was not open. Their tiny meows were becoming more weak and frantic. Without hesitation, we quickly shuttled them to the veterinarian clinic. We explained the situation and they graciously took them in – the veterinarian explained the severity of their conditions. They had serious ear and eye infections. They were dehydrated, extremely emaciated and in finally stages of starvation. We were told, they would do all they could for them but the vet warned us, they may not make it through the night.
My mom and I returned home completely disheartened. Neither of us slept well that night and when the phone rang early the next morning we both raced to answer it. Sadly, one of the kittens did not make it through the night. She was too far gone. As devastating as it was to hear this news, our spirits were lifted to hear that the other two kittens had responded well to the treatments. There was hope for them but the clinic would need to keep them for at least a week for further treatment and monitoring.
It seemed like the longest week ever – working those long 12 hour shifts and worrying about the fate of these two little kittens. I remember the excitement I felt when I got the call that the kittens were cleared to come home.
By this time, I had accepted that my wanting a cat had resulted in the universe giving me two. Orphaned and sickly yes, but I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. A measly $50 vet charge and a bag full antibiotics and I was on my way – with my two ditch kitties, who were named, with the help of my little brother, Boo and Phoenix…
Ten years later, there have been additions made to my animal family but these two little cats still hold a special place in my heart and no doubt, each others.