Archive for the 'documentary photography' Category

Digging Deep.

I’ve been undergoing a bit of a transformation lately.  And what I’ve learned is this: change is messy.  In that line between the before and after photo, therein lives chaos.

So, like seemingly everyone else around me, I’ve become mildly obsessed with (or possessed by) Marie Kondo and her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

I admit it.  I’ll see those picture-perfect homes online, with their styled bookshelves and immaculately made beds, and I’ll want to move in.  I have a vision for the kind of life I want to live and, for awhile there, I’d sit at my desk and not see anything remotely like it.

I used to think open shelving would be perfect in my studio.  I’d create all these lovely little tableaus and everything would be carefully considered and artfully styled just so.  But it didn’t turn out that way.  My beautiful open shelves were quickly overwhelmed with sloppy stacks of books and unread magazines and ugly plastic bins overflowing with paper, bursting and poking out all over the edges.  While I create things to be seen and experienced, the birthplace of those things isn’t always pretty.  Nor does it have to be.  My sweet home-based studio is supposed to be a safe space for creative chaos and I’ve since learned that sometimes the process is better left behind closed doors (read: buy cabinets!).

After enduring weeks of total mayhem (trudging through the tediousness of unearthing and discarding all the joyless things I’d hoarded, while simultaneously berating myself for letting this happen and hating Marie Kondo for inciting this awesome-slash-terrible disaster of a process), I’ve since discovered peace.  Now I love my office space.  I wake up earlier, I’m back to writing daily and I’d even been able to make a few collages again — something I hadn’t done or even felt inspired to do in a really long time.

On that note, I’ll leave with you some photos I’d recently rediscovered from a writing retreat I went to a few years back.  I’ve always wanted to recreate the quiet magic I’d felt on that trip here at home and now I think I just might be able to.

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More resolutions plus a few favourites from 2014.

Back in November, I got together with a few other wedding photographers to talk shop.  So much of what we do is done in isolation so it’s really nice to hang out with folks who really speak your language.  Without an agenda, we mostly just sat around and chatted about real hot-button topics such as photo printers, photo software, photo books, etc..  You know, stuff you can just talk about for hours.

One of the other photographers, the awesome Catherine Farquharson, was showing us some books she’d recently made.  It just was the tip of the iceberg.  In addition to all the books she makes for her clients, turns out she also makes a book every time she goes on a trip and each year she makes a yearbook with her Instagram photos too!  Mind.  Blown.

For years, my own photos have lived on hard drives.  And that’s it.

In retrospect, it does feel a bit crazy to think that I went through all that effort.  Carrying all that gear or constantly pulling out my phone, here and everywhere — just to capture those perfect, precious moments.  Then, once nabbed, they can just live on as mere pixels, buried under tera-mountains of other pixels.  If I was never going to look at these photos again, why bother taking them in the first place?  Do I really enjoy all this endless scrolling on my phone?

Catherine’s stack of photo books left me inspired.  And galvanized.

I’ve since decided I’m also going to make a book of every trip I go on.  And I am going to start making my own yearbooks too.  There are so many photos that I love but just had nowhere to live.

Now I’m building them a house.

I’ve started sifting through the archives, pulling out all my favourites.  Doesn’t matter if it was from a job, a vacation or a late Sunday afternoon spent on the couch with our dog.  As long as I loved it, it made the cut.

I saw some photos that I’d totally forgotten about.  But luckily for them, I’ve decided now that I want to remember.

(Here are a few photos from my still-in-progress 2014 yearbook!)

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Goals for 2015: Blog More (With added BONUS: Vacation Photos!)

Happy 2015!

I love this time of year.  All those brand new months in the calendar, unmarked and unknown.  Everything is fresh with promise.

Of course, I’ve spent plenty of early-Januaries feeling energized and inspired, only to spend the following late-Februaries wearing the same sweatpants for three days straight and eating a lot of chips.  I even went on a “resolution boycott” for a spell because I thought such things were just setting me up for failure.

However.  I’ve since changed my perspective.  It wasn’t the resolutions that set me up for failure, it was my lack of a plan.  Thanks to Ishita Gupta, I’ve recently developed a plan for 2015.  And while it is admittedly very early in the year to know if it’s working or not, it definitely feels like it is!

One such resolution (of the common “has-definitely-failed-in-the-past” variety) was to blog more often.  I never wrote it down, I just kinda… thought it. “Blog more.” And judging by the number of blog posts I made in 2014 (a whopping nine), I didn’t do so well.

But this year is a new year.  I have a plan.  And — nerd alert! — it even includes a spreadsheet.  The goal is to post every two weeks.  Bonus points if it’s even more than that.

In short, you will be seeing me again!  Soon!  (In two weeks!!)

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Until then, here are a few photos from our recent family trip to the beautiful Dominican Republic.  As our clan is split between Toronto and LA, it is rare for us to be under one roof at once.  So to have enjoyed that time together over the holidays was utter bliss.  (Also, staring at photos from warm and sunny places can make one feel warmer, right?  Me and my long underwear really hope so!)

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Coachella (the vacation recap edition — part two)!

While this was my second Coachella, I’d still consider myself to be pretty new to the whole music festival thing.  The sheer scale of it all, plus the sight of tens of thousands people together in one place just amazes me.  Not to mention the almost-spiritual sensation of surrendering to the music.  I just love it and only wish I’d known about it sooner!

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Plus there’s amazing fashion and larger-than-life art installations to see everywhere.

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But really, what I think is best about Coachella are the friends you’re with.

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Beautiful music, well-worn dancing shoes and big belly laughs really are some of the best things in life.

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California love (the vacation recap edition — part one).

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So we’re back from California (again).  It’s really hard not to love it there.  With the sunshine, ocean, and beautiful people — seriously, what is not to love??

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Speaking of beautiful people, here’s a couple snaps of my favourite California girl, Gemma (whom I just adore to bits — but mostly because she’s willing to share her crayons with me).

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Alas, our time in LA is never long enough.  So, a heartbeat and too-few-photos later, we were en route to Palm Springs where we met up with even more cuties, Adele and Preston (who was just 8 weeks old!):

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While it’s lovely to be surrounded by such sweetness, I can’t lie.  The real reason we were there was this: Coachella!!!!!

(To be continued…)

 

Lisa & Joel on Blush & Bloom’s blog!

Last week, the very sweet and talented Becky of Blush & Bloom fame shared some photos on her blog from Lisa & Joel’s fabulous Casa Loma wedding.

Becky created such prettiness that I can’t help but sigh whenever I think about it.

But don’t just take my word for it — go visit her blog and see for yourself here.

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Kate & Mark & their wedding in Today’s Bride!

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If you hadn’t guessed by now, it’s a goal of mine to blog more often.  Maybe not everyday, but at least more than semi-annually.  I know — that’d be a HUGE improvement.

That said, because of my poor posting of past (bad blogger, BAD!), I do have quite the backlog of things that I should’ve told you about.  Like, Kate & Mark’s wedding that was featured in the latest Fall/Winter issue of Today’s Bride!  They also did a lovely little bit online and you can peek at that here.

In the meantime, and since it is seasonally appropriate, here are a few of my favourites from their wedding that took place on that oh-so-brilliant & bright winter day.

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