Posts Tagged 'travel'

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!)





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!!)


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!)










Brooklyn-bound… and Back – Part 3


While in NYC, we stayed with my lovely childhood friend Suzy and her family.  They were living in Toronto previously but moved to Park Slope in Brooklyn ’bout a year and a half ago.

Back when Suzy was getting ready for the big move, I peppered her with questions about everything.  The visa process.  Moving costs.  Living costs.  The whole 9.

While still happy and comfortable in Toronto, I dreamed of New York.


Aside from the sketchbook tour, we only had a few plans.  At just 4 days, ’twas a short one and I didn’t want to stress out by having too much on our plate.  So we mostly just went with whatever.

We enjoyed some great eats (at Talde, Parish Hall, and Sky Ice) and also went to the Brooklyn Flea — all of which I’d highly recommend.

We also checked out Sleep No More — which was amazing.  (And if I could give just one bit of advice, wear comfortable shoes and do NOT read anything about it.  At all.  Except maybe a Cliff Notes book on Macbeth.  But seriously — the less you know, the better.  Admittedly, the show has been running for a while so there’s tons of info out there — but if I could do it all over again, I’d go in knowing nothing.  Nada.  Zip!)




One thing I realized early in our trip was that this was my first time visiting the big city while living in another big city.  Coming from Edmonton or Victoria, the difference is stark.  But coming from Toronto… this was different.

We already have art and artists and street noise and music and great food and culture and things to do every night of the week.  I’ve been here 10 years already and am still just scratching at the surface.

Of course, there is a vibrancy of spirit in New York that is unparalleled.

But Toronto is pretty awesome too.

And in real terms, the amount we pay for our house essentially would get us a teeny-tiny studio far out in the boroughs.  So there’s that too.


Anyway, near the end of our trip, Suzy asked if New York was still on our radar.  And I paused.


If we could afford to “do it right” in NYC, I’d still move there in a heartbeat.  But if and until that happens… I’m actually pretty happy, right now, right here in Toronto.


I’ve been thinking a lot about what this trip has meant for my relationship with  NYC and for our future together.  I’ve held on to the dream of living there for so long; I no longer know if it’s passion or habit.

But the one thing I do know, if it weren’t for New York, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  Living in a big city, doing work I love to do.

And for that reason alone, big and beautiful New York City, a part of me will always be yours for the taking.



Brooklyn-bound… and Back – Part 1

So the Sketchbook Project 2013 tour has officially begun and I’m so happy that we were able to see it all kick off.




We left Toronto under gloomy grey skies.  And then rose above to one that was a brilliant blue…



…on our way to New York City.



I became a photographer because of New York City.

When we first met in 2000, I fell in love.  And I know you know what I mean.  It’s a special place.

At the time, photography was something I already loved but, after New York, it became a dream.  New York City showed me what was possible and, after that fateful trip, I never looked back.


Even in 2003, when I made the cross-country odyssey from Victoria to Toronto, it was New York that pulled me eastward.  Toronto was supposed to be a pit stop.


Given all this, it’s surprising that I haven’t been back in 10 years.  It’s a super-short plane ride from Toronto and just 8 hours by car.  In the same amount of time, one can reach Edmonton from Saskatoon and for many, that’s an easy long weekend.


But as the date of our trip loomed closer, I felt myself not wanting to go.  What if I fell in love all over again, casting my current life in Toronto as second-rate, a compromise that I’ve settled for out of complacency?


Ready or not, I was about to find out.


Snapshots from LA.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, it’s totally not my intention to turn what started as a “photo a day” blog into a “random post once a month” blog.  It’s just kinda… happening that way?

Life has been especially hectic lately and, truth be told, 2012 is turning out to be a challenging year.

But, as a perennial optimist, I’m choosing to look at the bright side.  Remembering the good times and being grateful for all that I have.

Speaking of good times, our little family vacation in LA was amazing.  That California sun really does work some magic.



I miss you LA.  Hope we see you again soon.

Coming home.

Visiting with my Montreal family.


En route.



Looking West


Tomorrow I’m gonna board a plane and fly home — sorta.

I’ve got a job in Calgary and will be working hard, prairie-girl style.  I’m not sure what that means exactly, except that I’m a girl from the prairies and I’ll be working hard.

I don’t think I’ve ever made a trip to Alberta without visiting my hometown of Edmonton so it’s gonna feel strange to be so close to my old stomping grounds without getting any closer.

But on the plus, it’s a big goal and huge dream of mine to be able to travel and work or travel for work or do work involving travel.

Sure, it’s never exactly a vacation but at least the scenery is different and sometimes that’s all I care about.

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