Family: Cara, Chris, Will, & Pups

I’m so excited to share this cute laid back beach family session! I was concerned the day of because I’d been expecting clouds (good), even some snow (I can do it!) but direct sunlight in the middle of the afternoon on the ONLY sunny day that week? I was a bit worried, truth be told! However, luckily these guys are so chill and it all worked out. It’s also fun trying to wrangle two dogs to sit still for some photos! Either way, it’s always a ton of fun hanging out with families and giving them a good experience and photos! I am definitely not a dig whisperer. It’s definitely hard to remember to get family photos consistently, especially if you feel nervous in front of the camera or you’re very busy. But time flies!! Before you know it everyone will be grown up. (I mean, you can definitely still take photos with everyone grown up!). But there’s nothing to fear! In the end you’ll finally have some of those fam photos you’ve been wanting to have and share! I can’t wait to send them their 10 free prints too, because I firmly believe in giving the gift of a physical product. It is SO important to actually use, hang, and share your photos! <3 Anyway, enjoy these cuties! 

Do you like pup posts? Check out Kathleen and Penny and Julia and Sebastian’s photos! This year is apparently the year of the dog for me, hehe.


Cuba in 3 Cameras

I was in Cuba for a week. Sure, I spent most of my time relaxing on the beach/by the pool, which was SOOOO NEEDED; did you know I haven’t really taken a vacation or trip since I graduated even from my undergrad four years ago? So this was an undergrad + master’s travel present to myself, and I’d never been to an all inclusive before. It goes against my sensitivities and desire to explore and see new places, to meet real people and eat real food and witness life and understand I am just a tiny part of it. BUT……. endless drinks and swimming in the ocean and seeing thousands of tiny fish circling around me are pretty hard to beat.

While there we did actually leave the resort a few times, and upon discussion afterward we realized that it was both of our favorite parts. So next trip we know will be a good old fashioned backpacking adventure trip. Any ideas where we’ve been discussing? 🙂

ANYWAY. I brought three cameras on this trip because I always overdo it, and I thought it’d be fun to share my faves from each kind of camera and what I liked about each/traveling with each. Okay, onwards! Oh yea, I also had my phone and took photos with that too, but I mostly tried to use it mainly as a timekeeping device and utilize my other tools! I am a big fan of phone photos but I wanted to push myself a bit this trip (we have gotten so lazy and used to taking all our photos on our phones!).

35 MM FILM: NIKON D2000
DIGITAL SLR: CANON 70D
INSTANT CAMERA: FUJI INSTAX SQUARE SQ 6
THOUGHTS

35 MM FILM

I have been using my dad’s old camera for many years, usually as a side camera and for fun explorations and to better learn manual and composition in-camera. The magic of going to get my photos printed has never worn off and I still get a thrill everytime I see them for the first time. This particular instance I was so pleasantly surprised with the results. My grain is a little high for my liking, and I think that was me playing around a lot with exposure compensation due to the brightness of the beach and the sun. However, I really love how the town ones turned out especially (and of course of my handsome dude!). I am re-obsessed with film again and went and bought more fun film, like Kodak Portra 400, so I’m excited to go take more! Now I know to always take this camera with me on my travels and I’d love to try out different ones and lenses! 

DIGITAL CANON 70D

I am currently saving up for a new digital camera (fingers crossed I should have it in the next couple months!! #businessinvestment) but this is still a great little camera that has done me well, and will be a great second camera for weddings, events, etc. I didn’t use it much on this trip because I felt film calling to me more in the nostalgic feelings of Cuba, and I kept the 50 MM lens on it so there isn’t a lot of variety. However, I loved using it to capture portraits of Sean and small things like the trees and the fruit. I should have used it more, especially on the beach, but it was definitely the least used this time. NEXT TIME!

INSTANT CAMERA

Sean got me this for Christmas and it has quickly become a love of mine. As someone who is obsessed with film and getting it printed, there is nothing more thrilling than getting the photo back IMMEDIATELY. Of course, I screwed up a few photos on this trip because of weird lighting/specks on my camera, but I absolutely love having memories instantly and writing little notes on them. There are now instant photos dotting our apartment, in the kitchen and living room hehehe. I love seeing them! They look great. I love everything about them, and my faves were again the ones we took in town–look how cool they are!! Either way, I think film wins this round, but the point is that it’s so fun to explore and test and play around! In photography you’re always learning and I couldn’t be more grateful. 😀

Interested in seeing more photos from trips of mine? Check out last summer’s trip to Algonquin here


Julia and Sebastian in High Park

A couple weekends ago there was a BEAUTIFUL snowfall. I live right beside High Park in Toronto and knew it was the perfect weekend for a couple’s shoot. We missed the falling snow unfortunately, but Julia and Sebastian and their amazing pup Rocky made it the next day when it was still all beautiful and fresh! 

These guys are so laid back and it was so much fun tromping aroud High Park with them! Rocky loves them so much that if we tied him up outside of the frame for some human couple photos he would WHIIIINE and it sounded so sad so I snapped photos so so fast because he was making me too sad!! Then when we parted ways he started crying again so clearly I am a dog whisperer (just kidding, Julia told me he would do that because he does it to everyone). 

These two are so fun and photogenic and I hope you enjoy these cutie little photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!! 


My Three Goals for 2019

Welcome to 2019! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (or… my newsletter??) you may have noticed that I’ve been focusing on a new year and what that means creatively for me. It’s not goals of numbers or bookings. My goals this year are solely creative, educational, and all about what I love to do: take photos. This little blog post will summarize my three big dreams for 2019 and what that means (for me and you!).

PS: I usually keep these to myself in a notebook that never sees the light of day. However, by making my goals public, I’m hoping it’ll make me a bit more accountable. Will you guys help me stick to it and follow through?! I hope so haha, I’m sometimes kind of hopeless on my own. Aside from these I have so many other goals this year so I gotta stay focused!

 

1. attend a workshop

I would looove to be able to attend a photography workshop this year, one of those ones where you all camp and drink and sit around a fire and take photos and have a wonderful time and experience. There are so many amazing people in this industry that it can be really intimidating sometimes. I wonder… why bother? But then another part of me thinks “but you can learn so much!!”. So I’ve got a few ideas of some I’d like to attend, but of course that requires $$$ and when you’ve got student debt it puts a halt on your creative pursuits sometimes. Alas!

Any recommendations from my fellow photographers out there? What are some workshops you liked? Who are some photographers that you really admire?

 

2. learn

Well that seems vague, you’re thinking. “Learn”? You can say you did that no matter what! No no. I have some specific things I want to learn.

a) Lightroom classes! I can get my way through Lightroom, and understand how it works, but I’d loooove to be so familiar and comfortable with it that I could run it with my eyes closed. I’m mostly going to do this through online tutorials (cause I’m cheap) but can anyone recommend any good Lightroom classes/teachers that are FREEE and online? 🙂

b) Another thing I want to learn is a bit bigger: different mediums! I want to stretch my creativity! Different formats! Different cameras! Different lenses! Darkrooms again! I want to push what my own idea of photography is, what creativity is, what a story is in an image (you’ll notice all the photos in this blog post are from my latest film scans… and I always remember how much I LOVE film when I get them back!!). So I’m hoping to play around with a lot of different cameras this year, OR at least… learn about them! Because that’s good too when you can’t afford crazy gear.

3. photographers without borders school

This is something I’ve been obsessed with for over a year but requires lots of planning and prep work and I have been really bad at it. Photographers Without Borders is an amazing organization that chooses documentary photographers and sends them abroad to shoot for NGOs across the globe. You submit your portfolio, get feedback, pass a system of approvals, and then you can apply to photograph certain jobs, help them send their message out there, and you get more potfolio photos out of it. Of course I’ve been letting my freelance documentary stuff go and it is NECESSARY that this year I build it up, so I can a) get a bigger portfolio and b) take amazing photos for an NGO someday!

Before I can get there I think I would need to attend one of their “schools”, where you pay (of course!) to go on a trip and take photos with them, see what they look for, etc etc. That OR I just need to build up my portfolio and apply without the school. What do you guys think? Should I apply anyway and see what happens?

 

And there you have it! Not small goals by any means but ones that are really important to me that I’ve been ruminating on the last year or so, but you know–as I always say–master’s degree came first. But I’m done now, so yay! I can try! Do you guys think I can do it? Haha… I firmly believe that by continuing to follow my interests and dreams in this field, I can become a better photographer for my weddings and clients too! I really do believe in the ability of a photographer to be adaptable and that all skills come in handy for cross photographing.

Anyway, leave your ideas, suggestions, or affirmations (I need them!) in the comments, and let’s goooOOO 2019! Maybe in June I’ll do a check in on these and see how they’re going….


Cory and Kayla’s Wedding: Part II

Here is part two of Kayla and Cory’s wedding! It was an intimate affair, with the couple’s friends and family gathered for a night of memories, laughter, and dancing late into the night. It was so much fun and I was so honored to capture it! Thank you again to Kayla and Cory for one of the best days a wedding photographer can ask for!

And a few parting shots,with my true favorite at the very end. I hope you enjoyed reliving Kayla and Cory’s wedding with me!! 


Cory and Kayla’s Wedding: Part I

Here is the first blog post about Cory and Kayla’s day! I’m really bad at selecting only a few for blog posts, and why should I? It was a great day full of stuff! So I’m gonna share it! 

Here are some thoughts from the bride, Kayla, literally one of the most laid back people I have ever met! “Having my baba be a part of our wedding meant the world to me. She didn’t think she would be able to be a flower girl but I think she pulled it off quite nicely! I was so happy to have all my friends and family help with setting it up and making all the desserts. My aunts are savages in the kitchen when it comes to cooking! Overall I definitely felt the love of friends and family on that day, especially Cory. Super happy I got to marry my best friend amongst everyone. Even though Cory lost the ring on the big day… it was one for the books in that I had a handy fake one ready to go!”

Yes, the ring was lost… but it just goes to show that it’s not not the most important part of the day! Love of family and friends is all you need, and these guys definitely had that!

Vendors:

Flowers — Loriann’s Floral Design

Hall — Demmitt Hall Cultural Society

 


Cory and Kayla’s Wedding: A Sneak Peek!

Kayla and Cory got married at a lovely hall in Demmitt, Alberta, surrounded by trees, fields, and loved ones. The whole blog post will be out soon, but for now, here’s a lil peek to get you excited! 🙂


Portraits: Tabitha & Chung

It finally happened! 

Tabitha, Chung, and I have been trying to get together for photos since January. Luckily life kept getting in the way because we ended up going and doing it a few weeks ago and it was beautiful! The flowers! The sun! A lot of photographers hate shooting in the middle of the afternoon–the light is harsh, there are shadows everywhere, sometimes a face gets covered by a leaf shadow. But there is something about what we call “harsh” light that I love: it is direct, it is life, it is two people enjoying the sunshine together. I like to utilize these shadows and lines and just have fun with it! Sure, the photos aren’t magazine perfect that way, but I really love them! 

These two are simply a delight. Chung was the most laid back person I think I’ve ever had in front of the camera. They’ve been dating for 7 years and are a lovely example of a strong bond just bursting with love. I was lucky to witness this relationship at work, their kindness to each other and total strangers, and just hanging out with two friends. We even took some sweet selfies that made their way to my instagram

Tabitha was actually the graphic designer of my new logo and my business cards!! She is crazy talented and can be found over on instagram too!

We wandered through Cabbagetown, Allan Gardens, and down to Massey Hall. It was a busy afternoon in downtown Toronto! So I hope you all enjoy a snapshot of a day in the sun with these two! It was truly a delight. 


Adventure: Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Photographing the Toronto Santa Claus Parade

It’s almost Christmas! So it’s time for a sort-of Christmas themed post!

A few weekends ago I went to my first Toronto Santa Claus Parade! It was actually the first one ever created. It started in 1905 and is still going strong! It was pretty cold and by the end my toes were numb but I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the marching bands and drumlines–I am a huge marching band/band/drumline dork so that was great! We were in a perfect spot, not too many people, and so I got to play around with my camera.

It’s so important as photographers to also shoot for yourself, and I like sharing these types of photos as well as the photoshoots; these are just another facet of my photography! Enjoy! 🙂 Remember to go out and take photos for fun too!

 

 


Family: The MacLellans

Family Adventure in Grande Prairie

Oh man! This day was hilarious and fun and a little crazy. I arrived at the house to start a walk with the family at the exact moment Erin and Pete had discovered a squirrel in their bathroom. The girls were amazed. Erin was desperately trying to find an exterminator in GP. It turned out we only had an hour and had to stick close to the house for when the exterminator came to take the squirrel back to the wild. So we had a 50 minute session that mostly took place in the back alley and the forest trails just behind the house. You might think it was a bit too short to get all the photos you need, but I think we did a great job under squirrel pressure! It was a blast. In this family, everyone is hilarious, even little Molly and Cara. I could’ve hung out with them all night! Thankfully, the squirrel is safe and happy back in the wild somewhere (or as wild as squirrels get).

How long has it been since you’ve taken family photos? Do you get them done every year, or do you keep it a special thing for every few years? I’d love to hear your thoughts on family pictures!