last week in pictures

life lately, in pictures | september - mid-november

The past few months have contained equal parts travel and settling in, of movement and stillness. Since my last personal post, I have begun to create a home in Edmonton. Every box (except one — there's always one!) has been unpacked, all the furniture has been set up, and we're starting to put a few personal touches on our place. We are slowly discovering new and cozy corners of the city that will be extensions of our home. I've met a few wonderful people already, and am excited to grow a community here.

All this nesting has been taking place in short bursts, between guests visiting us, and being on the road for many days or weeks at a time. Since we moved in at the end of the summer, I've been to Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Atlanta. Every time I unpack, I mentally prepare to begin packing again. It's been wonderful travelling, and I'm looking forward to heading out again soon, but I've come to cherish these moments in Edmonton. I look forward to the first few months of the new year when we plan to just stay put for a while!

As of yesterday, I caught up with all my editing and delivered my last outstanding collection of client images. It feels amazing! I'm busy working on album designs and print orders, and beginning to plan some big projects for 2016. I still have two weddings and several portrait commissions this year, but right now I'm trying to take a little pause before the next bunch of work kicks off.

For those who have asked, yes, I'm available for portraits in the Toronto area in December. Get in touch if you are interested in booking a shoot!

Now, to backtrack a bit, here's a little bit of what I've been up to since September.

We were lucky to have our dearest friends Jennie and Zach visit us in Edmonton as part of a very important personal trip through western Canada they took. It was a treat to have them here with us.

We travelled to Drumheller to visit the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology, and I was obsessed with the surrounding scenery.  

We drove down to Calgary to visit our friends Ian and Jen and photograph their family.

While I was back in Ontario during September, I stayed with my best gal Rozlyn for part of the trip, and we spent a sunny afternoon at a pumpkin farm with her baby and our friend (and 2014 bride!) Lesley, who is expecting her first child in the near future.

Once I was back in Edmonton, while our friend Jessica was visiting, we got our first flurry of snow of the season. I walked along the top of the river valley with my camera before it all melted away within the hour.

Last week, Brian and I spent his fall reading week down in Georgia visiting my grandparents. My parents were also there for a day on their way to Florida, so we got to all spend time together. My grandparents were absolutely amazing hosts, and we had a great time at their beautiful home. During our time down south, we visited Madison, Athens, and on our last day we took a road trip together to Dahlonega, a former gold mining town in the foothills of the Appalachians.

Wishing you a beautiful month.

life lately, in pictures and words | march-may, 2015

Well hello! Hope you're having a great week. I thought I'd pop in to share a little bit of what I've been up to in between shoots over the last while. The change of seasons has been fairly dramatic in Toronto this year, with wildly cold wind and rain blowing into the city on a whim. For a while, it felt like spring would never arrive. But then, like magic, the streets filled with blooms in myriad colours, and I've been out frolicking in the streets whenever I need a break from my desk.

My "wedding season" began in March this year, I've been photographing lots of expecting mamas, new parents and families great and small, which has been really fun in a different and refreshing way. There have also been a few cool editorial gigs I look forward to sharing down the road. In between these jobs, I've been working on about a dozen shoots for a secret photo/video project that will probably take me at least a few more months to complete. The scheduling and logistics have been challenging, but the work itself has been thrilling. I can't wait to share the finished project when it's ready.

On a personal level, I've been preparing for some big changes and long-anticipated adventures. Brian and I are moving again (more on that later) and have a few trips on the horizon for work and just for us. Our main trip this year, and one that we've been dreaming of since our last visit nine years ago, is to Scotland! If you have any suggestions for places to explore, please leave a comment or send me an email. I would be so appreciative.

I am looking forward to sharing more details about everything I've got in the works, but for now, here's a bit about what I've been up to from March to May this year.

Walking on the still-frozen beach.

The Event Room gals and I took a road trip to Alton Mill to visit the sumptuous studio of Cedar & Stone in preparation for a collaboration.

In April, I took a train trip to Ottawa for a weekend with some of my oldest friends. It was the best.

I headed from Ottawa to Montreal to photograph Mai-Gee and Adam's wedding, and extended my visit for a few days to pay tribute to my favourite spots in the city like Croissanterie Figaro, Mais, Le Jardin Nelson and was also introduced to a wonderful new spot, Maison Sociale, by our friend Dave.

At the beginning of May, I did my first ever wedding show! I had a little booth at The Wedding Co. Spring Event at the Gladstone Hotel. It was a lovely experience and I enjoyed meeting both brides-to-be and other creative professionals alike. My parents constructed my booth for me, which was so great! I couldn't have done it without them, truly.

On Mother's Day, my family all met up at my grandma's house so we could celebrate all the moms of our family together.

My aunt and grandma in matching neon :)

My grandma and her dogs waiting for my dad to put up her new flag.

My mom forcing me to trespass to take photos of a neighbour's magnolia tree.

Playing around in the mist by the lake.

My friend Paige's Kentucky Derby shower, complete with with horseshoe cookies!

Wandering around High Park to see the cherry blossoms with my friends Christina and Kate.

A visit with my sister-in-law, who was in town from Vancouver.

Exploring hidden corners of the University of Toronto with my best friends.

Long walks at night.
Last weekend, to finish off the last day of my favourite month, I took a rare full 24 hours off! I went for drinks at Cold Tea, dim sum at Rosewood, played shuffle board at the Dock Ellis. In the morning after a leisurely tea and some reading, we walked around our neighbourhood in the rain, and stopped in at Bake Shoppe for treats. Being away from my desk for that long was a really great feeling, let me tell you!

Wishing you a wonderful week!

under the winter sun

The first quarter of the year has gone by so quickly, hasn't it? I've been working away in my office, spending time with some dear friends, doing my taxes, finishing longtime projects, making preparations for wedding season to begin and dreaming of creative ventures for the year ahead. I've been trying to live as simply as possible during this time. That means that while I lived vicariously through all my friends who visited tropical locales, I stayed close to home and took my breaks here in the great white north. Here are some of my favourite snowy moments with family and friends from the past few months.

Snow party at our cottage on what had to have been the coldest day of winter.

Visiting the otherworldly frozen tundra that is Sauble Beach in February.

Wandering with Jeremy and Alex on a rare bright winter day.

Day tripping to Hamilton with my siblings and our significant others.

And spending at weekend at my parents place during the spring equinox.

I'm excited that, though it may not feel like it, spring is here. Oh, and one last thing! When I posted the photo below on the left on Instagram, Sue, the mother of Alex (my little brother's girlfriend, second from the right) saw it and was inspired to make a print of it. So the next day, from the other side of the world, she created first an aluminumn print etching (centre image) and then some silkscreen prints. How amazing is that? I love the internet.

life lately, in pictures and words

The first part of 2015 has been very low-key for me, for several reasons. I started the year vowing to stop thinking about the things I wanted to change in my life, and start really making changes. This is where my focus has been:

Family and friends. Moving back to Toronto means I am close to 80% of my family and friends who I didn't get to see as often when I lived in Montreal and in Wisconsin. I am really loving any chance I get to spend time with these nearest and dearest folks. I am particularly grateful to be around for life milestones and to be physically close to people during difficult times.

Living simply. As longtime readers will know, I've moved eight times in the last two years, and all this change has at times taken its toll physically, emotionally, and financially. It is challenging to run your own business as a sole proprietor, and those challenges are heightened by constant change. I'm not saying any of this to complain, because I am immensely grateful for my life and my career, but I'm just being transparent and saying that my circumstances have necessitated a change in my lifestyle. I am living frugally and trying to make wise choices. I am sacrificing some things so I can do others. I'm focusing on health and fitness and financial planning. I'm stripping away anything superfluous and sticking to essentials. But this pared down existence has helped me find clarity in my daily life, and treasure the indulgences I choose to take. Life is simple, but it's rich.

Dreaming together. A few months ago when someone asked what was new with me and Brian, I explained to them where we've been lately and what the future might hold for us. In response, they said, "I hope he appreciates all the sacrifices you've made for him." This sentiment is something I would never hear from someone who knows me (or us) well, but I understand why someone else might say this. On the surface, maybe it might seem like my career has taken a back seat to his. The truth, however, is that Brian and I have always been partners who make decisions together. Yes, his career has taken us to some new and different places, but I love adventure! I would rather life surprise me than bore me, and I abhor the idea of routine as some shiny, ideal kind of existence. Most importantly, every choice we've made about our lives has been the result of a long discussion (usually over wine) and carefully weighing our options. We dream about our future, and the kind of life we want together. We believe in risks and short-term struggles for rewards down the road. We're playing the long game, together.

Accelerated growth. When it comes to art and business, I never want to lose momentum or just coast. This year, I've vowed to push myself to get a lot better at certain things. I started by taking an inventory of weaknesses or general frustrations in terms of my own technical and creative abilities or the gears of my business. It was tough love! I made a list of all the skills I would like to acquire or improve upon, and I created an educational curriculum for each month. I've been reading like crazy and filling up full notebooks with ideas. I've been revisiting old equipment and testing out new techniques. I signed up for a workshop that I'm ecstatic to attend this summer. I don't cut myself any slack. I'm pushing myself in order to hopefully, eventually thrive.

Leaping before the net appears. Everyone has a list of things they want to do. Things that could revolutionize their life. Things that seem too frighteningly ambitious to even begin. I've got that list too. This year, I'm actually starting (one by one) to do those things and go after those goals. I haven't had a safety net since I became a full-time photographer, but I've never looked back since taking the leap into this career. It's scary and it's wonderfully thrilling. I want to continue to leap towards seemingly unreachable things and organize crazy projects in order to do so. The casting call I announced last week was related to some of these projects. I'm so touched by everyone who wrote to me, and though I'm still in the process of assigning potential models to projects, it's well under way. Thank you so much to everyone who volunteered their time.  

The images in the collage above are from instagram, where I've been documenting my everyday life and professional projects.