For the eyes. For the heart. For the ears. For the feet. For the soul.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I've had the time of my life.

I don't know about you, but there are moments in my life that are so distinctively vivid, I almost feel that I'll never forget where I was, what I was wearing or the smell in the air.

I particularly remember a lonely period in my life when I lived in a basement apartment in Toronto with no land line, no computer and no family near by. I had stupid boyfriends, random friends and an unfulfilling job. Sure, on the surface everything seemed okay but I was speaking with my girlfriend the other day, talking about life, and said I can remember sitting outside on my front stoop, smoking a menthol cigarette (how I crave those still some days!!) and staring at the stars wondering what the hell my destiny was and when it was going to be my time.

I never gave up hope because I always knew that something great was bound to happen; it was just a matter of time. Years later, I wonder what ever possessed me to make the choices that I did. I always felt as if I was travelling through the world with no exact plan or purpose like a drifting gypsy. Days would meld into nights and before I knew it, years had passed me by.

I'm not saying that I regret my past. My 20's were exactly what they were supposed to be: irresponsible, fun, confusing, reflective and above all evolutionary. I would leave the house at 11pm to go dancing until my toenails would fall off (not kidding). The sun would rise on a Sunday morning and I would find myself wondering where my weekend went, and who these random people were that I spent it with.

I always tell my younger friends not to take life too seriously. You spend so much time looking into the future that you truly can't enjoy the present. You cannot re-create your 20's in your 40's so my advice is to live your life like a madwoman who was just given 3 months left to live.
Find your inner gypsy and dance to your own frickken beat.

For me, I know that I've had the time of my life.

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Glamorous Gams

I've been slacking on my blog posts due to my obsession of all things photography. It's fall, and judging by today's chill in the air, winter is rapidly on it's way.

Turn on the fire, have a glass of full bodied red, and put on a cute pair of textured tights to keep warm.

A dose of Amy Winehouse always helps to heat things up!

Here are some images to inspire:

Monday, November 22, 2010

The art of improvement.

I came home one day after my first day in grade nine typing class in absolute tears. How in the hell was I supposed to remember "home row" without looking at the keys? I hated that stupid course with a passion. My baseball coach made me stay one practice until the sun went down, or as long as it would take for me to hit one ball. I bought my convertible Honda Del Sol without knowing how to drive standard. I didn't drive it for months because I was sick of stalling it.

Years later, I still hate baseball but I'm a pro at typing and driving manual.

I feel this familiar frustration creeping in with my photography. It is such a huge monster to master and takes years to become accomplished. I bought the camera less than two months ago, have filled my brain with as much information as I can, pestered photographers for tips and even had a few paid gigs.

In order to take things to the next level, I know I must first stop trying to be a 20 year veteran in 2 months time. I joined a forum today and posted some of my photos. The comments ranged from how I shouldn't be charging for photos as an amateur, to people doubting that I'm new and not tech-savvy based on my photographs. The latter was flattering as there were actually current photographers asking me questions about my style.

The truth is, you can't fake the passion, but the technical training I do feel is important for inner confidence and self approval of the final product.

So, I embark on this journey with the love of storytelling in mind and the reverie of stalling my red convertible in front of a car full of cute boys.

Only time will allow us the ability to reflect on where we were, and just how far we've come.

Here is my first photo with my new camera and one of my last so far. I've got a long way to go but at least I can this far see improvement.

Friday, November 19, 2010

You light up my life.

When I was little, my mom used to sit me on her lap in her rocking chair and sing Debbie Boone's Light Up My Life. It's always been our song and has special meaning.

When I was in University, I met a special young lady with whom I reconnected with a few years ago. We had dinner, caught up on the decade gone by and had a personal discussion that her and I both agree will never forget.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of photographing her two little angels, Nikolina and Lukas. Nikolina has a little personality of her own and had me laughing the entire time. She instantly took to me which I was nervous about as I had never photographed a two year old before. I did learn that you must be quick with the camera, because two year olds will not re-pose for you no matter how much chocolate you bribe them with!

Her mom really wanted to see her in a girly sort of outfit but she didn't take kindly to things being put in her hair or a pink tutu which was mine. Later, after lunch and a break she decided that she in fact was ready to cooperate and her mommy was so very thrilled. She pranced around in her mother's red high heels and we both stared at her in disbelief as her tiny feet were able to maneouver the shoes. Lukas was a doll and like most babies, sat however we positioned him. I read Nikolina a story and she leaned over and said "Teta Wendy (Aunt in Croatian), I love you!"

My heart melted. Sandi and Nick, you have a beautiful family and are very blessed with two wonderful children. Nikolina and Lukas, you truly light up your parents' lives.

Thank you for the opportunity.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Simply, Red.

Yesterday, I had some formalities to take care of in Niagara Falls, before I start to embark my journey on a new career path. Once this was wrapped up, my husband and I took the opportunity of a free day finally spent together and headed to the wine county of breathtaking Niagara-On-The-Lake.

I love these kind of spontaneous, under-planned getaways. We stumbled upon a cute little vintage spot called The Moffat Inn and checked in. We spent the remainder of the day touring wineries, sampling delectable wafts and tastes of sumptuous wines. We braved the freezing wind and rain to tour the Hillebrand estates. Our favourite was Peller Estates and all it's offerings. On a cold and damp day, we were met with a warm fireplace and amazing staff as well as delicious red wine.

After a long day of driving, sampling and cold weather, we were famished and looking for a local restaurant. Again, we strolled (rather, huddled and scurried) through the streets in town for the perfect restaurant. We ended up in the pub of the basement of our Inn. It was perfect. Dark, warm, great food and amazing company. The best part of the night was that we brought the remainder of our food and drinks to our room and didn't have to leave the warmth to go home.

We plan on returning, next time, to a referred spot in town where we can purchase used wine barrels for 50 dollars. Wouldn't it be cool to have some bar stools or a table made from the very container which brings us so much silky smooth enjoyment on a cold winter's night?

Fabulous time Niagara. Thanks for the memories.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Light & Dark

A friend and I decided to get together to do a fun photo session, switching roles. It's hard to believe that this stunning beauty who shone in pale pink, was once a goth. I suggested doing her makeup and dressing her up in pink if I promised to vamp it up a bit with heavy dark makeup and a black wardrobe. We lugged all our bags, camera equipment and tripod through the S.C. Johnson trail in Brantford and these were some of the results. A few people have noted a resemblance between us so our next adventure may be some reflection shots, although I need to lose 20 pounds, grow my hair for 3 years and gain a few inches in height to mirror this natural beauty.

I have met a woman who is extremely talented in photography, has a heart of gold and glows from the inside out...and doesn't even know her own loveliness.

Here are a few images from our dark and light session. It was a lot of fun but as unglamourous as it comes. We changed in the forest, surely got burrs up our asses and trekked through the bush with our heavy bags. We looked around for someone to bring us snacks or beverages, but we realized we weren't big time and went and got ourselves a $5 pizza afterwards.

Who needs super stardom anyways??

Thanks again L.B.!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

KC is for Kisses & Cuddles - A story in photos

A while back, a package arrived at my door from Dermalogica, a thank you gift for blogging about their amazing skin care line. It's a small world when you realize your husband used to date someone who now works for a company and their marketing system recognized their name being used in a blog. The GM put two and two together and realized that I was Michael's wife.

Melissa and her fiance Patrick just bought an adorable new french bulldog puppy named KC, which Patrick lovingly refers to as "Kisses & Cuddles". Melissa much preferred the given name which was "Saucy Mynx". She was looking for an amateur photographer to come to their Toronto home and take a few family shots for Christmas cards.

We showed up yesterday to their gorgeous home on Richmond Street in Toronto. I snapped pictures of every detail I could. The natural light filled every room with bright warmth. For a downtown home, I must say, the outdoor space they had with at least 3 terraces was a beautiful addition to their already stunningly decorated home. Patrick and Michael walked ahead and reminisced about highschool as Melissa, KC and I lagged behind and chatted. We walked through a graffiti covered alleyway where transexuals turned tricks behind tucked in doors. God, I miss Toronto!

The saucy mynx picked up a cigarette with her mouth and before she had a chance to drop it, I snapped a couple of hilarious photos. We walked down Queen West where almost every crazy person stopped to talk, pet and kiss the dog. Patrick and Melissa bought us a delicious organic hot chocolate and I gazed into all the funky store fronts that attracted me to this vibrant city years ago. We crossed the street to Patrick and Melissa's favourite park, Trinity Bellwoods and snapped a few more photos.

This session was especially touching for me for various personal reasons and the love that Melissa and Patrick have for their puppy and each other is so evident. She's destined to be a mommy.

Melissa, thank you for the experience yesterday. You are a world class act from running a company, your hilarious British humour, your amazing English accent, your home decor and a great heart and spirit. Here are some photos from our action packed day yesterday.

I finished the day off at The Drake Hotel, took a sip of my $7 half pint and mused to myself how much I loved this city and all it's offerings.

Toronto, I'll be back to visit soon!