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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Through time and tears

Isn't it amazing how life has a funny way of working out? Sometimes, you find yourself in a rare situation of balance and contentment. Hold your breath, don't breathe because it will probably be gone in an instant. But for this rare time in my life, through time and tears, I've found inner peace.

Why is it so much easier to believe the people who say you're shit and hard to comprehend the ones who sing your praises?

For now, as summer comes to a close, I reflect on the blessings 2011 has brought to me. I'm grateful for my family, my friends, my health,  my home, my photography and for being able to wake up in the morning and excitedly go to work.

I'm grateful for all the lovely things you have all said to me. It truly outweighs the shit.

As always, love over hate wins. I choose love. Always.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What makes it so worth it.... when a bride brings you to tears with their appreciation.

I'm rendered both speechless, assured and touched.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Krysta & Andy: Angels watch over you.

Our day started out like a typical  day in my life: getting lost, noticing a flat tire and my equipment not operating the way it's supposed to. The animals are always climbing on my clothes. On any given day, this is just par for the course. On someone's wedding day, this is a recipe for disaster.

I did what any normal person would do in this panic-stricken situation. I prayed. I swore a few times. And I carried on. Because what else is there to do, right? Thankfully, I was able to quickly scoop up the cats who got into the room where the wedding dress was hanging.

Back in the winter, I met with Krysta and her mom who had recently been turned down by another wedding photographer. She was deflated and didn't seem to care about the photography component of her  planning. Her mom on the other hand, knew better. I had no website or portfolio to show them, only a few bound books of some of my very amateur work. Krysta sat across the table from me and told me I should be more confident and that they thought I could shoot their August wedding. At that point, I hadn't even shot or second shot a wedding. I was headed to Punta Cana to help Charity shoot my first wedding in April but I couldn't imagine doing it on my own. I agreed to shoot the wedding in my style, but convinced Krysta to hire a "real" photographer to cover the ceremony and formal portraits.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with Melanie Murray of Brantford's Box Photography. Michael and I watched her relaxed yet assured personality in action. She was hired for a few hours during the day and I'm glad she was. I love capturing candids but posing for portraits add that extra level of thought into your day which can sometimes detract from the creative moments I so pang to capture.

Krysta ensured that every detail of her wedding, reflect her sister Shannon who passed away 8 years ago. Her favourite colour was purple so that hue was weaved entirely through the day. She got ready in her sister's room. She had a photo of her attached to her bouquet. Everyone wrote a message on a purple balloon and let them sail high in the sky over the mountain brow. To our complete and utter amazement, the balloons started to form an "S" in the sky. It was a beautiful moment. "Wind beneath my wings" was sang at her wedding. Her sister's best friend who has now become one of Krysta's best friends was in the bridal party as well. Her mom mentioned that Krysta didn't feel she did enough to incorporate her sister. I'm quite confident that Shannon was by her side the entire day. You could feel the love in the air.

Everything ran smoothly in the morning. The girls were fun and relaxed. The guys had strict instructions to NOT get drunk. Michael was sent over to photograph them and secretly keep them in line. The church was a typical Catholic ceremony however I didn't know that there was a cue for the bride and groom to kiss. Thankfully, I was up front and centre and was able to capture the kiss. Melanie, Michael and myself moved around the church ensuring that the bride and groom had every angle covered. I love team work.

We left Sam Lawrence park as the family portraits were being taken and headed to the hall to set up our lighting. Of course, the setup wouldn't cooperate the way it did the night before during the trial run. Isn't it always the way? We were able to figure it out (throughout swear and prayer yet again). The speeches were hilarious. I'm always shocked when I hear something new at a wedding. One of Krysta's best friends got up to sing a customized song to the bride and groom that had everyone in the entire room in fits of laughter. Seriously, this song needs to be found on Youtube. I need to hear this again!

Andy's dad wanted to honor their portuguese culture and had a surprise lined up where it seemed a hundred people dressed up in typical portuguese dancing clothes came running through the doors with flags waving. It was probably the biggest surprise of the night!

Krysta's dad's speech had me in tears. Her parents couldn't have been more proud. He recounted how nothing she could have studied for during her nursing education could have prepared them for the death  of her sister. Krysta stood up and I had to wonder how someone so young, could be so poised, wise and confident. She recalled the memories growing up with her mom. I felt myself lost in reverie at my own young years with my mother. Don't we all go through it? She apologized for not always taking the path most travelled and for sometimes being downright mean to her mom. I've been there. They've grown from being a mother and a child to complete best friends. I can relate.

I sat at a table with a truly fun group of people. One of the girls in the bridal party had a boyfriend who sat with us. He was fascinated that I had only been doing photography for such a short time. At the age of 25, he is also ready to leave his career in finance and do something that he loves. He's not sure what that is at this point. I told him, wherever there is a void in this world, and you have something that fills that void and makes people respond...that is what you are meant to do. Whatever you do in life, let it make your heart soar.

Krysta has obviously found what she is meant to do. She is meant to be a nurse. She is meant to be a daughter. She is meant to be a wife. She is most definitely meant to be a mother and a friend.

To the newly married couple, thank you for taking a chance on someone new. Thank you for entrusting us to capture all of your intimate details with free reign on creativity. You said that you'll have to make an excuse to come over once the wedding is over. No excuses necessary.

Our door is wide open to you both.
God bless your new life together.


This song was mine when I was walking down the aisle with my mom. I felt it fitting to share with you to describe your day. For you, the sun will always be shining.

Much love,


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I shot the sheriff (and the sheriff shot back!)

Last night, I photographed a couple in love. Robin and I are sort of related. Is that what you call it when your uncle who marries into the family has a niece? Her and I reconnected a few years back and shared some drinks and laughs at her sister's house in Toronto, reminiscing about the time gone by. She came to my wedding. She said my story with Michael inspired her to continue her search for love. She contacted me recently to ask me to capture her and her special David in love.

I'm not sure if we were in a crazy part of the neighbourhood last night, but it seemed that every person who passed us by were either drunk or shouting something at us. I watched David for his reaction and noticed his stoic presence. Later, I asked him about his career and that's when I found out he worked for the police force.

This was no hard-nosed cop. He was offering creative suggestions for shooting poses and locations and even took some photos of Michael and I.

Robin and David did not stop smiling all night. There really was no posing involved. I love nights like this where I'm fading into the background while my lens captures the natural unfolding moments.

I love it that passerby's automatically congratulated them, assuming they were engaged. I love that there was no special occasion to take photos. Sometimes, love is reason enough.

God bless you two. You've found your match. David told me that Robin has restored his faith in women. Robin told me that nothing has ever felt so right.

The proof is in the pictures.