Archive for the 'nature 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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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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A couple of winter scenes featuring trees.

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A prairie girl’s take on those eastern ice storms.

While I’ve lived in Toronto for the past ten (!!!) years, I’ve never experienced a bona fide ice storm before.

I was still in Edmonton back when the Great Ice Storm of 1998 struck.  While I personally wouldn’t judge anyone too harshly for, say, calling in the army for help, I also didn’t really understand it.  What’s the big deal about ice storms anyway?

But then I looked outside.  And all I could say was: Oh.  Then: Wow.

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What I saw on the news back then just didn’t compare with what I saw in my own backyard.

Everything was entirely encased in ice.  Everything.  Thick cold solid ice.  The car, the sidewalk, the fence, the power lines, even the tiniest leaf on the skinniest branch.  It was a world where, all at once, every single thing gets to fulfill its secretly-held dream of being a crystal chandelier.

It was breathtaking.

And breathtakingly slippery.  That said, because:

* I’m sometimes clumsy,

* I barely know how to skate, and

* I’m almost guaranteed to hurt myself in even the safest of situations,

I didn’t dare venture too far but here are a few snaps that I practically risked my life to take.

You’re welcome.

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Love in Paradise.

We’ve been home a week and I still don’t have the words to describe how incredible Ngaio & Wilson’s Jamaican wedding was.  It was capital “A” Amazing.

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We’d only been back from NYC for three days before we flew off to Montego Bay.

It was a bit of a shock, experiencing the extreme temperature differences in such a short span of time but, if I had to, I’m pretty sure I could get used to the jetsetter lifestyle.

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The wedding was held at Coral Cove, an intimate and lovely resort in a little fishing village near Little Bay.  It’s about 10 miles south of Negril and, apart from us, was completely void of tourists.  It was peaceful, quiet, and beautiful.

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I haven’t written anything down recently but I do have a bit of a mental bucket list going.

Before this trip, I was so excited for the wedding that I didn’t think about much else, nevermind checking things off my list.  Things like snorkeling through caves (check) or jumping off a cliff into the ocean (check).   Both of which were awesome — though the latter had me pacing in fear for about 10 minutes before making the leap (which I mostly had to do because a 9 year-old went ahead and did it just before me).

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Really, the whole trip was just awesome and full with fun times.

Like the time we flew kites on the beach.

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Or went sailing on a 40 foot catamaran.

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Or went fishing and caught a 25 lb King fish (which Raina heroically reeled in herself and had the bloody knuckles to prove it).

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But when it comes down to it, we were there for our dear friends, Wilson and Ngaio, and to see them get married.

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Wilson is a photographer (he’s the other half of the awesome Raina + Wilson duo) and Ngaio works in advertising.  Together, they make an amazing team — as evidenced by all the thought, care, and effort they put into planning their wedding.

Case in point: a significant portion of their luggage was dedicated to lighting.  They brought down string lights for the reception, coloured bulbs for the main building, gels to tone down other lights that would’ve otherwise been overpowering / ugly, to name a few.

Of course, given that Wilson is a photographer and producing is something that they both do as part of their day jobs, I wouldn’t expect anything less.  But still.  It was impressive.

And like the rest of the trip, their wedding was simply beautiful.

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It was an incredible trip, in a beautiful place, and full with beautiful people.  My only wish is that we could go back and do it all over again.

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The ethereal Pam Lostracco.

A week or so ago, I experienced a moment of synchronicity.

I’ve had this idea for a photo project floating around for awhile and, for whatever reason, now seems to be the perfect time to get started.  The idea, not to get it all crazy hyped-up or anything, is to take portraits of artists in their living and/or working spaces.  Very original, I know.  But whatever!

So, as I was wondering who I’d target ask first, my lovely friend Pam Lostracco came to mind.

She’s an artist/graphic designer/illustrator and lives in a sweet spot, just 5-minutes from mine.  Perfect.

Now.  This is the part where I check my phone and see that Pam just emailed.  She’s about to be profiled on this super cool website and would I mind writing a little paragraph about her?

Of course, I jumped at the chance because I:

(a) fancy myself to be a very accomplished wannabe writer, and

(b) would love to write something nice for someone nice.

Oh and since we’re talking, I’ve been thinking about starting this thing and how would she feel if I were to come over and take her portrait as well as some snaps around her home?  Oh em gee, she was already thinking of asking me!  Obviously there were plenty more exclamation marks in the ensuing rapid-fire exchange of emails but anyhow.

It was pretty cool.

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Anyway, if you wanna see just one more reason why Toronto is Awesome, go on and check out their profile on my dear and talented friend Pam Lostracco.

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Stef & Ian’s wedding on The Wedding Co. blog!

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All this snow makes me want to do nothing but curl up into a tight bun and sleep until spring.

So, while sunlit fairies and butterflies dance in my dreams, let me direct you to the blog of our good friends, The Wedding Co.

My photos from Stef & Ian’s beautiful, sentimental & handcrafted wedding at The Waterstone Estates are online and you can read all about it here.

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