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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A beautiful mess

© Wendy Alana Photography

You've got the best of both worlds
You're the kind of girl who can take down a man,
And lift him back up again
You are strong but you're needy,
Humble but you're greedy
And based on your body language,
And shoddy cursive I've been reading
Your style is quite selective,
Though your mind is rather reckless
Well I guess it just suggests
That this is just what happiness is

And what a beautiful mess this is
It's like picking up trash in dresses

Well it kind of hurts when the kind of words you write
Kind of turn themselves into knives
And don't mind my nerve you could call it fiction
But I like being submerged in your contradictions dear
'Cause here we are, here we are
[ Lyrics from: ]
Although you were biased I love your advice
Your comebacks they're quick
And probably have to do with your insecurities
There's no shame in being crazy,
Depending on how you take these
Words I'm paraphrasing this relationship we're staging

And what a beautiful mess this is
It's like picking up trash in dresses

Well it kind of hurts when the kind of words you say
Kind of turn themselves into blades
And kind and courteous is a life I've heard
But it's nice to say that we played in the dirt oh dear
Cause here we are, Here we are
Here we are [x7]
We're still here
What a beautiful mess this is
It's like taking a guess when the only answer is yes

Through timeless words, and priceless pictures
We'll fly like birds, out of this earth
And times they turn, and hearts disfigure
But that's no concern when we're wounded together
And we tore our dresses, and stained our shirts
But it's nice today, oh the wait was so worth it.

~ Jason Mraz ~

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Life and it's trickery.

Why does life play cruel tricks on us? Do you ever find yourself at the right place/wrong time or vice versa?

Take solace and reverie in your own thoughts, close your eyes and just breathe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

No ordinary Love

Sometimes things happen to you that are so extraordinarily wonderful, it's hard to put into words. My friend Charity says it best when she says that there is not enough vocabulary in the English language to describe certain moments in life. If I were to describe how I'm feeling right now, the only word I know that would not diminish it's meaning would be Heaven. I've had a reckless life full of reckless decisions but to get to this moment right now, it's all been worth it. I've learned that the path less travelled is often a lonely one but this week I've discovered I have not been alone on this path. Only the people who step stride by stride with my footsteps this week could truly understand the momentum of how I'm feeling. I'm thinking about starting a movement. Would you like to accompany me? This movement is nothing spectacularly new. It all comes down to the basic laws of human decency. Wouldn't it be wonderful to join forces with like minded souls, hand in hand trying to see life and all its goodness? Instead of the tainted things we have been forced to feel from life's cruelty such as jealousy, hatred, spite and greed, why not lend a hand to someone you would rather make fun of? After all, you are probably laughing at their expense for a reason you can secretly relate to I have met two individuals on this life changing trip that have forever changed my life and the way I see the things in front of me. Similar to me, both have wandered through this world feeling like they were outsiders looking in. Both were tortured souls just panging and yearning for love, belonging, acceptance and above all the truth. When you seek the truth and find it, and inner peace comes upon you. My cynical self has now been retired to a believer. I have hope and I have faith in the human spirit now. There indeed are people out there who are willing to put their ego on a shelf and willingly give and give and keep on giving. I have been blessed from the powers above to have collided with these two beautiful angels who, like me were probably born in the wrong era. Two people who just want to matter, be accepted and make a difference. Two people who have been often misunderstood and have been searching for their place and purpose in life. This threesome has an electric energy unattainable to most. It's hard to comprehend but three is always better than one. I will always stand by you and you'll always have a friend in me.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sail away with me honey.

Happy Sunday! I hope you've had a great week. I'm leaving for Punta Cana to second shoot an ocean side with the amazing Charity Swords and I'm excited/nervous/anxious, all rolled into one. This will be an amazing experience but at the same time, Michael and I will be apart for the first time in 3.5 years. We travel so well together and I know there will be moments of this trip that I will wish he was with me. He is also taking an interest in photography so who knows, maybe one day him and I will team up to do a destination wedding.

I'm wishing the bride and groom to be nothing but the best weather and a gorgeous wedding day with family and friends and I can only hope that I don't drop my equipment in the sand or ocean.

I've traded in packing my shoes for camera gear. It must be love!

Cassandra and Nick, we'll see you tomorrow!!

Have a great week everyone, and sail away with me honey.


p.s. I'm taking both cameras so Michael's food photos will have to be put on hold this week. Kindly check out his ever growing food blog here:

Friday, April 15, 2011

This charming man.

An enchanted forest with a charming man is all I need to get by. There is magic everywhere.

Just open your eyes.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Michael has written me a lot of poems since we've met. I kept his chicken scratched, hand written scrawled pages all together with an elastic band for safe keeping and the night we got engaged, he presented me with a bound book of all his poems. The romantic, old soul in me still loves the originals.

He writes them in minutes and I gaze at him in amazement. He is so talented, wonderful, gifted and kind. Oh, and he loves me so.

Here is one from a couple of years ago. Most don't rhyme. This is a rare one that does.

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love, and be loved in return."

All things Wendy
is alright with me.
you see....
I had it every other way
every other day
when I kept to myself
because I was all by myself.
And those were the days I'd sooner not remember
from May through December
the dark nights kept me awake
and for my sake
I'd rather let those memories fade
all until that one fateful day
more like a moment...
when my heart was stolen and I allowed it that way
since it was her who took it
Then October changed months
and I had a hunch
And have had one ever since
Consider that my hint
Because for it to be all things Wendy
she needs one more thing
Some call it love
others reckon it a ring
So here I am
on bended knee
and this is my plea...

To my love, a love for the ages
A woman who changed my life
I ask if you'll continue to amaze me
to make me smile and continue to change me
from this day on, I want you to be
my wife.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I dare you to move.

This past weekend was jammed full of activities but during the in-between, I watched and re-watched Jasmine Star's live 2 day photography workshop. So much of what she personally spoke about resonated in my soul. She gave great and specific advice of how she made it to the top. She spoke of her failures candidly and although I took away and absorbed some amazing detailed tips for how to approach a business, clients, marketing, post-processing, costing and workflow, I was left alone with another thought.

Jasmine was discussing how, like most photographers starting out, began to realize that she didn't know which way was up. She was working part time and doing photography part time. She spent every waking minute learning, shooting and editing photos. After leaving law school because she was not happy and pursuing photography because it engulfed her entire soul, she started to discard other things in life that did not make her happy. It was a hard journey and like all of us, we do what we have to do with the tools that we have. She mentioned how she took the same photo of a pair of running shoes in front of the fire over and over again until she learned every different shot she could possibly take.

She figured that at 20 something years old and spending about 5 years unhappy, she concluded it was pretty depressing to have spent 1/4 of her life not happy. I mention the word happy several times in this post because it's such a simple term and yet so many of us spend a good chunk of our time and years being anything but.

You have to cut out the things that bring you down. The hard part sometimes, is figuring out what that is. I've learned through my body language what makes me unhappy. If I walk away feeling drained from something or someone, it doesn't make me happy. It's different if you're tired or just having a bad day but time after time, if your job, friends, family or something else is making you feel like a 10 thousand pound brick is on your shoulders, it's time to make a rapid move in the opposite direction. I'm not saying it's always easy and you may say impossible. Money, children and jobs may dictate what luxury we may be able to afford. But you find a way to manage.

I worked in a job that I liked but didn't love for almost 9 years. The people in my office were sort of my family and my best friend and I spent every day together there. I came home every night okay. I wasn't elated but I wasn't a wreck either. It was time to move on and that was a natural progression. Some things progress naturally. Others you need to halt screechingly. I absorb other people's negativity like a sponge. I try to do my own thing, be kind and stick to myself. Sitting in an office with unhappy women who complain daily about their miserable marriages and children and weight drains me. Being around people who constantly talk shit about others instead of ideas or life drains me. Giving to people, whether its relatives or friends, time and time again, only to realize when you need something, they have only used you, drains me.

My mom was in a relationship with someone for 20 years. Clearly, the two of them were not happy. I had moved to Toronto and started my journey as a young adult and my mom called me on New Years Eve and I'll never forget the sadness in her voice. I told her that she had to do something about it and she responded that it wasn't that easy to pack up 20 years together. Oddly enough, when she finally made the decision to leave, we had her packed and ready to move within hours. Sure, she spent the next couple of years struggling and sad but guess what? As Dr. Phil would say, the only thing worse than staying somewhere for 20 years unhappily, is staying 20 years plus one more day. For the record, my mom has been remarried for the past five years and is living her dream life. Sometimes the grass is indeed greener on the other side.

Things used to get under my skin. Little people with little minds used to bother me through the night and would interrupt my sleep and lovely dreams. Michael used to shake his head and chide me: "Wendy, you're letting these people/things/situations get to you when they are really nothing or nobody in the grand scheme of things." I would go on Facebook and be irritated with what you KNOW is an intentional jab but the cowards would never have the balls to tell you so.

Things are just so different now. Life is not perfect, far from it. I've walked away from miserable and crappy people. It's amazing how bad you can feel about yourself when in the wrong company. I just sit back, do my own thing with great people in our lives and watch the events and karma unfold as it should. It's not my job to wish bad karma on someone nasty. As sure as the sun shines in the sky, what goes around always comes around. You know this. If, in the pit of your stomach you know something isn't right, leave. This applies to all circumstance in life. It's funny how human beings are the only species who don't trust their instincts. The animal kingdom fight or flight with their natural instinctive behaviour and yet as humans, we rationalize, muse, ponder, flip flop, make excuses and ignore our gut feelings.

My girlfriend and I used to roll our eyes at each other about 10 times daily at my old job. We couldn't stand being in such a rotten environment and dreamt aloud of one day doing the things that we loved. She quit shortly after I did and is now a successful real estate agent. We met a while back to do a fun photo shoot and she mentioned she had to go back to that office to pick up her tax information. She said everything was still the same. The lobby was dark and depressing. The receptionist still had the scowl on her face. She got dirty looks when she went in there. We shuddered at the thought of still being in that hell hole. Photography is enjoyable but oh my God, so painful at times. The learning curve is so steep and technology changes every day. Just when you've received many compliments, someone equally critiques you. That's okay. Life is about diversity and a variety of opinions and I'd rather be in immersed in this struggle because of my choices, than be stuck in the alternative.

Although on days I muse to myself that I don't like where I am at that particular moment, I marvel at how far I've come. If you're not happy, you have to do something about it. Stop complaining about your lousy marriage or weight or annoying family or frenemy or crappy job or unfair circumstances and do something about it because if you don't, who will?

I dare you to move.

It's your move.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We are man and wife.

Isn't it amazing when you meet someone for the first time and you hit it off as if you've been friends for a lifetime? Today has been planned for sometime and back in the winter we were anticipating this April afternoon with the spring-like weather of sunny skies and lush grass.

I awoke with a pit in my stomach as it was chilly, damp and dismal. My batteries were charged, gas in car and directions in order but nothing ever prepares me for what a photo shoot will encompass. Weather, personalities, moods and every other thing that you could think of can affect how the photos turn out.

I first heard from Josie a few months back. She worked with a dear friend that I shot fun photos of and fell in love with my style. We corresponded over email and I asked her some key questions that would allow me the opportunity to paint a picture of how today would unfold. I would later find out that both Josie and her husband Joe are both teachers and wanted a family photo shoot with their adorable and well behaved dog Pluto. This wasn't just any family photo shoot; there is a bundle of joy on his way from the warm womb to the big city. Josie shared with me that she always had a love of photography, way back in the dark room days.

Today was perfect in every way. There was zero traffic in an otherwise two hour drive. The weather was warm and slightly overcast. The sun shone at dusk and provided the magical light photographers coo over. Old and new friends alike, shared some laughs, some hopes and dreams and in turn some beautiful still memories to one day reminisce with their son.

Josie and Joe, I felt a connection with you straight away. It's amazing what you can tell about a couple in a short time spent together. You respect and love each other immensely. You are kind and generous people. The excitement of your first child is so evident, that it made me drive home with a smile, warm heart (and of course full belly after our meal). It hasn't been an easy journey for you, but you are living proof that everything happens when it's supposed to.

Thank you for trusting me to capture this precious time in your lives. More photos to follow this week!

God Bless.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Watch me fly.

I had a nice visit from some extended family yesterday and a cousin who is a smart and successful business woman in the literary world. She lives in the electric city of Calgary and came here for a short work related trip. She mentioned that she thinks it's great I'm getting into photography but not to lose my love for writing as she sees a flare for my style.

I think that writing complements photography immensely; both tell a story playing into our senses using images and words to paint a picture in our minds and draw up to the surface, a possible deeply hidden emotion from our hearts.

After watching an inspirational webinar yesterday, I've realized more than even that even if what you want is a slow and painstaking journey, you have to keep going every day.

"Watch me fly" as Jasmine Star says it best, in describing the haters and nay-sayers.

Watch me fly.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweet Child O' Mine

It's all things babies around this house lately, and no it's not me having one. This week I spent a little time with a precious boy taking photos of him at bathtime, and then had the pleasure of a trial maternity shoot with his parents, as they are expecting their second child.

The weather was frigid and windy and the sky flirted with sun, rain and snow all in a few hours.

This Sunday I am excited/nervous to shoot a lovely couple's maternity session and their adorable dog Pluto. I'm hoping the weather will hold out so we can get some indoor and outdoor shots around their Toronto home.

She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain
Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder
And the rain
To quietly pass me by

Sweet child o' mine
Sweet love of mine

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Second Chances

Back in the summer when I was working in an office, a lovely lady was proposed to in our lobby and presented with flowers and an engagement ring. I was just getting into photography and she asked if I would photograph her lakeside wedding in May of this year. Back then, I was terrified at the thought of being responsible for such an important day and explained that I was inexperienced.

Pauline and Brian came to my home a couple months ago and chatted about the details of their outdoor ceremony which overlooks a gorgeous sparkling lake here in Brantford. I offered a casual engagement session for them to get comfortable with me and also to have a photo to display on their wedding day.

Friends of ours were so kind to lend us their camera which surely is an upgrade from ours so Michael came along to shoot some candids. We learned three things that morning. One, we are buying a new camera and lenses pronto. Two, we actually work really well together as a photography team. Three, you can find love at all ages and stages in life and there is always a second chance for everything.

Here are just a few photos for now. We took over 400 yesterday! The weather cooperated and although it was a chilly one at 7 am, our bride and groom to be were troopers! We headed back to their home to snap a few photos with their 4 rambunctious dogs.

Pauline and Brian, I wish you nothing but the best in your new journey together and thank you for trusting me to capture your special day.