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.


Kathleen & Penny

Wow! Way back at the end of March I finally got to photograph Kathleen and her beautiful dog Penny. I absolutely LOVE that we took photos just because they are bffs and adorable! I feel so lucky being able to say that I actually get to photograph people (and pups!) just because it’s fun to get your photos taken!! Anyway, enjoy beautiful Kathleen and hyper psycho Penny! Haha. But seriously she just wanted to play, we took the photos where Kathleen works, at the Scugog Museum outside of Port Perry! It’s such a beautiful area and home of the oldest grain elevator in Canada… now I know! 

Do you like posts with pups in them? Make sure to check out Julia and Sebastian’s High Park cutie session which includes their adorable dog Rocky! 


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


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….


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. 


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: 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!

 

 


My Favourite Photographers: Fred Herzog

It’s been awhile since I managed to write about another of my photographic influences (like… 5 months). As I say in almost every blog post: school is crazy! Life is crazy!

Just to recap: I started these blog posts because all photographers have their influences. For me, it’s important to talk about and share those people throughout history who have inspired me. My first post about Vivian Maier explains my feelings in further detail!

 

Who is Fred Herzog? 

Fred Herzog was born in 1930 in Germany, but had to be evacuated as a child during WWII. His parents died during the war and he found work on ships until he emigrated to Canada in 1952. He moved first to Toronto, then Montreal, and finally Vancouver. He primarily took photographs of Vancouver, BC; this might be why I feel such a strong pull and connection with his photographs, since I lived in Vancouver for 6 years! He is a street photographer and I love his ability to capture remnants of Vancouver that are no longer around, particularly the infamous neon light signs on Granville Street.

Photography

Fred Herzog’s street photography focuses on working class people and their environment, primarily the city. He worked with slide film, in color, which somewhat limited him from exhibiting since most photographers were shooting in black and white. He hasn’t been recognized really until the 2000s, despite his prolific work since the 50s. Unlike Vivian Maier, who I talked about last time, he did not include himself in his photographs or take many self photographs.

His photos do not need people in them; he also takes photographs of buildings and streets, the echoes of humans and their movements in all of his photos.

A lot of his photographs are portrait, or vertically shot. I find this absolutely fascinating. It helps in numerous occasions: to define the height of the buildings and make the photographs feel like you’re walking down the street; to get most of the body of a person when he shoots; and captures most of posters, windows, etc. Going through his photographs you’ll definitely notice an affinity for vertical photographs. Just a little tidbit!

Why Herzog is a Favourite

I find that Herzog is an astute photographer, able to capture and see humanity no matter where he is or what he photographs. These shadows, these traces, these small glimpses, are what draws me in to Herzog’s photography. He also takes many photographs in Vancouver’s Chinatown, which is my favourite part of the city!

 

I love when he photographs people but just as much I enjoy his photographs of light, shadow, and color. The way he uses architecture to create photographs is something that I am fairly certain I’ve taken and run with in much of my street photography. There is nothing I love more than a good staircase or doorway that tells the story of a neighborhood or building. Herzog’s photography makes me see and feel just how important location is to a photograph. His work also makes me yearn for an older Vancouver I never knew, but feel like I do at the same time… somehow?

The colors are so rich (Kodachrome!) and I love how even when he takes photos of empty street corners it feels like someone has just turned the corner, their arm or leg disappearing just out of frame. Herzog has a natural ability to capture the bones of a city, the essence of a time. Going through his photographs is like going back through time. I can’t get enough of them! I even have some of them hanging up on my wall and they act as daily inspiration.

 

Who are some of your favourite photographers? Who do you find inspiration from to take photographs or to appreciate a good view? Let me know in the comments!

 

All photographs taken from the Equinox Gallery website.

More resources on Fred Herzog

Books:

Fred Herzog: Modern Color