new york

lovely moments video

Good morning! I'm taking the day off today to take some much-needed time away from my computer. But before I go, I just wanted to share a little video I've been working on. I realized at some point this month that I had a year and half's worth of video clips that were just sitting around. so I wanted to give them a home. These are some great memories from July, 2013 up until last month. The footage was shot in Madison, New Glarus and Spring Green (WI), Chicago, Toronto, New York, Vancouver and Owen Sound.



Thank you to all my family and friends who are featured in the clips. I'm looking forward to working a lot more with video in 2015.

last three weeks in pictures | october 14-november 2, 2014



The last three weeks have been a heady mix of very low-key days working at home, exciting days of shooting, quiet days of setting up house, and slightly frenzied days of travel and celebration.  Two weeks ago, my brothers came to visit me so we could attend a friend's Halloween keg party. It was the first party of that sort I'd been to in years and I had an absolute blast.

A quiet brunch at Me & Mine with some of my favourite guys was just the ticket.

Last Friday, Brian and I caught a flight to New York to attend the weddings of our friends Jenn and Pierre.

We spent Friday walking endlessly around the city, then met up with some friends for a cozy dinner and an impromptu Halloween pub crawl.

While we were having drinks in the lower east side, I met another photographer who laughingly said "I love that you bring that camera out with you." The truth is that while I know it's a bit much to bring my full-frame dSLR in my purse, every time I don't I am devastated about the photos I could have taken. So along she comes, every single place I go. I've never regretted bringing it along, even if it means I have to carry a huge bag. It just does the best job of capturing things the way they look in my head.

On Saturday, we slept in and then went for brunch in Brooklyn, then spent over an hour at a fabulous fragrance shop called Twisted Lily. I was astounded by the wonderful customer service offered by Anna, the charismatic fragrance encyclopedia who helped me and Brian find perfume and cologne respectively.

Shortly thereafter, we hopped in a cab and headed to the wedding.


Being a wedding guest as a wedding photographer is a completely different experience. It's always really refreshing and fun. I would say the biggest difference is that my makeup and hair looks a lot less bedraggled as a guest since I'm not constantly squinting into my viewfinder, doing lunges, and laying on the ground! In all seriousness, it was such a treat to be there with my friends and observe the union of two beautiful souls. Congratulations, Jenn and Pierre! I hope your honeymoon is glorious.


Then back to Toronto. Wishing you a beautiful week!

last week in pictures: april 7-13, 2014

Late last night, I returned from a weekend in New York with some of my dearest friends. Brian and I met Mark, Jessica and Peter when we were all in the same MA program at Concordia University. Throughout the years and many moves and travels, I'm so happy to say our friendships have grown even stronger and more meaningful. We try to get together whenever possible, coming together from our various cities for what is always a hilarious and awesome time. I cherish their friendship and marvel at the ways in which they inspire and surprise me. I blame more than half of my smile lines on these people, as any time spent with them is full of convulsive laughter.

We flew in Thursday morning and met Mark at the airport. After checking into our rental in Bushwick, we headed to Manhattan to wander around in the sunshine. Mark introduced me to Strand on this trip, which was the most expansive and well-stocked bookstore I've seen. It was heaven.

Later that evening, Peter and Jess arrived and the group of us headed out for dinner and drinks in Williamsburg. Can you tell they used to be roommates?



The next day, we hopped on the subway and spent the whole day exploring. It was Jessica's first time in New York, so we tried to see as much as possible. We started in the Lower East Side and walked up through the East Village to the West Village.


Then we hopped on the High Line and walked up to Midtown, which is always one of my favourite things to do in the city.



Note to self: always wear lipstick!

We spent the evening exploring, grabbed some dinner, then went to meet up with some friends of Peter's in the East Village.





We wrapped up our night with a visit to Katz's Deli, a place I hadn't been before but have always wanted to visit as a big fan of late-night diners!

The next day, while Jess went to get a new tattoo in Coney Island, the rest of us continued our epic walk around Manhattan. 




At Night, we stopped by our friend Dev's birthday party/housewarming in Boerum Hill, then went to Williamsburg to meet our friends Jenn and Pierre in Williamsburg. I've known Jenn since my second year of university, and it's always so great to visit her when we're in the city!

Our last morning was a sleepy one, but after packing up and Peter finishing up one of his weekly columns, we were able to grab a final meal together in Bushwick.






After the gang had left (silent tear; until next time!), Brian and I still had a few hours before our thrice-delayed flight, so we went back to Boerum Hill to spend more time with our friend Dev at his new place. Can you believe how amazing his bookshelves are? He found his carpenters on Craigslist and worked with them to create the perfect design.

We went for a quick meal at Rucola (so good!) and then made it to LaGuardia in time for our flight. We packed so much walking and action into the long weekend that I can barely move today. It's wonderful being exhausted from fun.



As usual, here are few more moments from Instagram!



We're back in Madison now and are happy to relax before we begin the process of moving back to Canada in just over a month! I hope you guys all had great weekends and that the days ahead will be lovely :)

brian's birthday week

Happy Friday, friends. The month of September is one of my favourites, because I love fall and because two of the best men I know were born this month. In fact, one of them is celebrating his birthday today. Happy birthday, Dad!

The other is my husband, one of the best humans on earth. For his 30th birthday, I wanted to plan a lot of stuff, to extend the celebrations as long as I could. I wanted to show my gratitude for all he does and remind him how much he is loved. I coordinated a whole week of surprises for Brian, and most of them went well. In a few twists and turns of fate, however, it was the completely unplanned (and very stressful) surprises and that ended up making the week even more memorable. Brian's reaction to the unplanned surprises reminded me once again what a fantastic person I have by my side.

Now, where to begin? I suppose at the beginning of the birthday week. This post is pretty long, so read on with a snack in hand!

Since we actually didn't have a home all of August and were staying with various family and friends, I arranged for us to rent an apartment through AirBnB for his actual birthday weekend. I told him to pack for a weekend, and I read out the turn-by-turn directions from Google maps, but he had no idea where we were going or when. We arrived at our rental, and the names on the buzzer were his first hint — our friends Jennie and Zach were joining us for the weekend from Ottawa.


The rental was seriously perfect. If you ever need a great place to stay in Toronto, I'd be happy to recommend this amazing two-floor apartment.



We chilled out for a bit and gave Brian his gifts (like this so-hideous-it's-great jersey, complete with typo) that Zach ordered Brian from China.


At night, we headed to The Libertine for dinner and drinks, but as it's a speakeasy hidden behind a tarot reading place, I easily tricked Brian into thinking he'd be getting his cards read before we met up with friends at another location.


But when he saw the tarot reader was absent from her seat, I suggested we hang out in the waiting room. I opened the door beside us to reveal what was decidedly not a waiting room, but definitely a party in waiting. 




We then headed to a favourite bar in the same neighbourhood, the Emmet Ray, for dancing and a round of Chumbawumbas for the gentlemen.


On Sunday we celebrated his official birthday with his family, which was when I told him to pack his bags again because we were going to New York.

On the first night, we had dinner with Jenn and Pierre at Balaboosta, which was perfection.


We spent the second day walking, drinking, eating and shopping — the four best things to do in any city. We stopped for tacos and micheladas (extra spicy) at Tacombi.







We returned to Le Labo after falling in love with that shop last spring, and each left with a little bottle.


Then we met up with our friend Dev, who took us on a rambling bike ride/bar crawl through Chinatown, SOHO, the Lower East Side, the West Village and eventually, Brooklyn. My favourite stops along the way? Ditch Plains for dinner and the Anyway Cafe for a Bloody Romanoff









The next day, it was unspeakably hot, but we kept walking anyways. I was relieved to have packed this breezy onesie, because it just about saved me in the 95 degree sun.

What it didn't do, however, was make me look any kind of cool during fashion week, which was a pretty intense scene.






As the heat slowly started to recede with the sun, we hopped on the M train to head to Brooklyn to visit Jenn again, this time with Paige, who was in town for fashion week.

And I fell in love with her apartment.





Jenn made us some seriously world class negronis, then we headed out for dinner at Lighthouse.

.......

The next day, after squeezing in a visit to the American Museum of Natural History, we headed to the airport for what we thought would be our flight home. Nope!

Thunderstorms grounded all Porter flights that night, and with a backlog of the previous day's worth of passengers, the chance of making it home at a reasonable time the next day seemed risky.

Now, being a wedding photographer comes with a fair amount of pressure, both on the day itself and in the way you have to run your own life as a result. Because it was Thursday, despite the fact that I'd scheduled us a day of travel buffer, making it back to Toronto for Saturday's wedding was weighing heavily on our minds.

So, Brian called a car rental company and made us a reservation. I waited to retrieve our baggage that had never even left the tarmac. And I waited... and waited. And out of all the luggage from three cancelled flights, only one bag was misplaced—ours.

Hours later, when they finally found our bag, I rushed to the car rental agency and we began the long drive home through the night. By we I mean Brian, who drove the entire way with not a single word of complaint and only two coffees. We arrived back in town just as the morning commute was gearing up.

With our own car stranded an hour away and the rental drop-off location in the opposite direction, it was shaping up to be another day of travel nightmares. But when Brian called his sister to see if she might be able to help us out, she didn't blink before taking some time off work, then driving to get us where we needed to be. Brian's family is amazing.

The next morning, the day of the wedding, Brian woke up with the stomach flu. Two of my worst fears surrounding wedding photography (travel drama and the stomach flu) had surfaced in less than 48 hours! While I made some phone calls and weighed my options, Brian somehow pulled himself together and insisted he would help me photograph the wedding.

It was one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever photographed and Brian was there by my side every minute, doing some of his best work. I couldn't believe it. As I looked across the table at him during dinner, fighting a fever and still smiling, my eyes filled up with tears of gratitude.

How, of all the people in the world did I find this wonderful man? The man who doesn't believe in complaining, who is always true to his word, who would do and has done anything for those he loves. How did I get so lucky? I feel like it was my birthday, not his.

Brian, it makes perfect sense that your strength of character showed itself so strongly on your birthday. This is who you are as a full-grown man now —a stand up guy. I am so excited to be adults together, and to stand by your side through our thirties, having adventures and smiling through every twist and turn.

........

These photos were taken with both my Canon 5D Mark II and phone, and were all processed using Replichrome, which I was recently sent by Totally Rad. A full review to come soon!