Adventure: Opeongo Lake in Algonquin Park

Wow! Time flies! Summer 2018 has been a bit crazy, and most of my focus has gone to finishing up my master’s degree. I defended my thesis at the end of July, so there was a lot of prep work and I knew that for a little bit my brain had to be there instead of photography. But I’m always thinking about it! I am so happy to finally have time to dedicate to my joy and passion in life again, and it’s gonna start with a blog post throwback to early June. I went on a canoe trip on Opeongo Lake in Algonquin Park, my very first time going on a canoe trip! I felt like a real Ontario person. We canoed to our campsite in the lake and everything.

Let’s remember I haven’t canoed since I was in high school and it was just down the little creek in my hometown. I remember getting stuck in weeds. I do love kayaking but canoeing is pretty different. We arrived at the lake in early evening, and the sun was just starting to set. We threw our bags into the canoe and began the journey into the lake, not quite sure where we would end up, just letting the sun decide for us. I remember how peaceful it was, gliding across the lake. It was like a mirror at this point, soft and still. Nature really is good for your soul. We found a spot before the sunset and set up camp. The mosquitos were INSANE but it was worth it to hear the loon calls until 2 AM, to see millions of stars at night again. We took the canoe out in the middle of the night to appreciate them, and went to watch the loons dance and sing to each other one night. I lost track of time and it was perfect to not be checking my phone, checking the time. I just lived by the sun.

I also portaged! Yes, I lifted a canoe on my shoulders and carried it BY MYSELF through the woods, where we ended up at a smaller lake to eat lunch floating in the canoe. Guys. Canoe trips are SO fun. I can’t wait until the next one! I hope to become better at steering…

So how did I take my camera with me on this adventure? Well, I took it in my smaller camera bag that has a rain cover (actually, both of mine do, but the smaller on was better for transport). At first I also had it wrapped up in a garbage bag, remembering my scary experience of having my camera bag without cover in a kayk while I was on the Pacific Ocean (not a great idea, Kristen). However, the garbage bag ripped and I kept being paranoid, so instead I just FACED it head on and kept it only with its rain cover and always had it flipped down on the rain cover side so that if any water pooled in the canoe, it would be protected. It ended up not being a really big deal, but I was so worried about it that I think in the future I need to invest in something actually waterproof, like a Pelican case. My do-it-yourself methods (re: carrying a lens around Vietnam in a sock) are not always the greatest. Does anyone have a Pelican case? What do you do so you can take your camera/lenses on adventures without it being a burden or being paranoid about it getting wet? I’d LOVE some tips, as I hope to keep doing this in the future! 


Portraits: Vancouver Cherry Blossoms

This month has been insane, and I’m only now just settling in and able to sit in front of the computer to get some work done! I was in Vancouver earlier this month to present at a conference for my master’s thesis research and managed to find time to shoot with two of my fave people: Adri and Nathalie. I met these two ladies in orchestra in our undergrads. We’ve all managed to stay amazing friends and I’m so happy everytime I get to see them. Also they always agree to be my models, and since I was in Vancouver for my favourite season–cherry blossom season!!!–I had to incorporate them. For the few weeks these trees bloom I remember being the happiest; the sky would be blue, the air thick with the perfume of cherry and plum blossoms, and my all time favourite, magnolia flowers.

So here are some photos from our shoot–I’m obsessed with so many of them and will probably share them over at my Instagram for quite a while!

I recently took some photos of Adri when she visited me in Toronto last month as well, check them out here! 


Portraits: Adrienne in Toronto

Several weeks ago, like the day I got back from Florida, I was reunited with one of my best friends who still lives out in Vancouver. I had wonderful days exploring Toronto streets and alleys with Adri, and she loved Graffiti Alley. Naturally, as I am always wanting to take photos of people, I asked her to spend a morning with me being my model (she also used to be a crazy cosplayer so she’s basically a pro model). Of course the ONE day we picked was not the sunny 4 degree days the rest of the week but the one -3 blustery day that happened while she was here. So we sought some refuge in one of my favorite coffee places, Dark Horse Espresso on Spadina, and continued to take photos of her there cause I’m totally not annoying.

Enjoy! 


Adventure: Florida Part II

Here’s part two of my trip to Florida, which contains photos more of beaches and architecture!

See PART I here!

Want more updates? Join my newsletter! 


Adventure: Florida Part I

In February I managed to get nearly 2 weeks off to take a road trip down to Florida. I travelled through 11 new states, visited Harry Potter World (!!!!) and Disney World (and became obsessed with collecting pins, which I had no idea was a thing). It took a few days to get used to the humidity and heat but I love it and miss it already. We also drove down to Miami, where I fell in love with the art deco architecture on Miami Beach. I explored the everglades and learned they’re actually a slow draining river, who would have known? We took a small fan boat tour out in the middle of the reeds, and I saw some amazing wildlife and got to see the open skies I grew up with. Finally we went to the west coast where I got to lounge on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico and see a baby manatee! Manatees are my favorite animals, and it was amazing to finally see some, even if it was just little bits in the water on a pretty rainy and blustery day.

I didn’t take as many official photographs as I might have intended; as the days went on it got so busy, and I was so focused on whatever I was doing, that I didn’t manage a ton but still a few! So the next few blog posts will be photographs from my little vacation, and all it does is give me the itch to travel and photograph more and more and more! This post also contains photos from some of the other states we visited: West Virginia, Virginia, North & South Carolina, and Georgia. 

See PART II here!

Want more updates? Join my newsletter! 


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!

 

 


Engagement: Cory & Kayla

Grande Prairie Engagement

While I was back in Grande Prairie, Alberta this past week, I got to do an engagement shoot with Cory & Kayla, who are getting married next summer! Kayla is a lady who knows what she wants and even booked us some time at Serenity Acres, an acreage just outside of town that had a GORGEOUS lookout into the creek valley and, in the foggy distance, the Wapiti River. We also got to play with horses (note: keep camera bags away from places horses might just walk!), and then we went out to one of my favourite old barns. There is nothing quite like exploring the prairies with a couple! It is so much fun to catch people just laughing and enjoying their time together in such a beautiful place. Cory is constantly making Kayla laugh and they are so comfortable and adorable together. It’s so great to capture those moments. Cory and Kayla have been through some crazy times the last year and a half, and it is so great to see them come out of it all strong and fun and awesome!

  

  

  

 


Adventure: Canada’s Wonderland

Last weekend I visited Canada’s Wonderland for the first time with some friends. Although roller coasters and scary rides terrify me, it was still fun! I went to the water park, got a sunburn, and enjoyed the amusement park atmosphere. Best of all, I brought my camera with me and got to explore while my friends rode said scary rides. A bonus of living in Toronto is going to this place!


Engagement: Sarah and Mark

Grande Prairie Engagement

Well 2016 ended (literally, the last day of the year!) with an engagement session for Sarah and Mark in my hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta. It’s a bit of a neat story. Sarah and I have known each other since we were probably 3 years old through play school and our older sisters being Kindergarten pals in school. We grew up making elementary art projects together, gallivanting around school playgrounds, and swimming in the pool (Sarah, being an actual pro swimmer, made her lap around the deep end much easier than me, flailing and bobbing like I did).

As time passed, we went our separate ways and haven’t really spoken for many many many years. So what a pleasant surprise to hear from her about photographing their wedding in 2017! I was so touched and excited and managed to meet up with them over the holiday, which was great! Sarah and Mark are so cute and lovely and were game for anything I suggested, even being jacketless in crazy falling snow and jumping on the spot to stay warm, sitting in the snow and wandering around in the forest. They bounce off of each other so well and are both so sarcastic which is honestly the funniest. They had me laughing like crazy! Hearing them tell me their stories was the best because I could really see and feel their love for each other and did my best to capture that in their photos. Here are some shots from their December 31st engagement session.


 

 


Adventure: Toronto Islands

Several weeks ago I managed to get a day off to take a few hours to go to Toronto Islands! Toronto Islands are a chain of islands just off of the shores of Toronto itself! You have to take a ferry to get out there. It has an airport, summer amusements, beaches, yacht clubs, and get this, some pretty cute old squashed houses! I wasn’t expecting them, for some reason.

I decided to go on one of the chilliest days in late October. I took a ferry across at 3:30. Despite the cold I made sure to stand outside and watch the wake of the boat and the giant city behind me getting a bit smaller as we got closer to the island. Because it’s the off-season, there isn’t much shelter there. So after 3 hours of wandering a bit (I only got through half of the eastern islands because I was taking so many photographs!) I was so cold it was time to hop on a ferry back! I wanted to make sure I got the sunset, and I definitely did. The Toronto skyline is a gorgeous site, I took too many photos! I will definitely be back to the Toronto Islands to check out all the sites I didn’t get to see.

The best part: walking around the back of the island and seeing Lake Ontario look like the ocean, a peaceful still mirror of the sky with giant maple trees dropping their leaves gently into the water.

untitled-3

untitled-4

untitled-6

[envira-gallery id=”1600″]

untitled-9

untitled-14

untitled-26

untitled-28

untitled-36

untitled-30

untitled-32

untitled-33

untitled-38

[envira-gallery id=”1601″]

untitled-45

untitled-44

untitled-47

untitled-53

untitled-70

untitled-78

untitled-89

untitled-67

[envira-gallery id=”1603″]