Posted on August 9, 2017
When Christine contacted me about updating her families photos, we brainstormed a bit on where they’d hoped to have photos taken. A lightbulb went off. Why not get the big ones out of the way and then let the kiddos play at the splash pad?
YES. FRIGGIN’. PLEASE!
When I’d taken their last collection a year ago, the twins had just turned two and it was tricky to get three kiddos to smile at once let alone sit in the same spot for more than .02 of a second but we made it work! Now that Hayden & Maddie are a little older, we had an easy breezy time capturing their love for their big sister, Julianne!
After our photos were done and we were done throwing rocks in the river behind the park, Tyler and Christine surprised the kids by pulling their bathing suits out of their backpacks and told them they were going to the splash pad! I love capturing moments that sometimes an iPhone can’t quite grab and this was the perfect time. I snapped for a while before the kids insisted I come and play too. Without hesitation, I forgot for a second I’m a 27 year old and started running through the hoses with them! I truly don’t know who had more fun!
Thanks Jules, Maddie & Hayden (and your mum and dad, too) for another SUPER FUN session! 🙂
Posted on August 8, 2017
They’re unpredictable, chaotic, usually kinda messy and it’s easier to corral kittens than it is the corral your family and make them smile at the same time for ONE photo.
Conversely, they’re adorable, heartwarming & oh SO fun.
A question I get asked most is “what is your favourite thing to shoot” and my answer is always families.
Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of capturing moments for so many families in the small town I’m based in and it fills me with the same amount of joy nine years later as it did the first time I photographed a family. I have captured a new addition within the first 24 hours of joining a family. I’ve been there for christenings, birthdays, and family reunions. I’ve been lucky to have some of my favourite families behind my lens three and four times a year and I’ve had other families who have never had a family photo and I get to take their first one. I’ve photographed multiple generations and at weddings, I get to capture two families coming together. In the past few years, I’ve also captured families facing a terminal illness who want to make sure they get a few more special photos with their loved one. These are never easy but those moments are a something to hold on tight to.
I’ve seen so much love happen on the other side of this lens of mine and it never ceases to amaze me. I’ve laughed and cried with families during sessions. I’ve been invited to dinner or in for a beer after sessions so many times I can’t count and I’ve made so many amazing connections that it makes my heart burst at the seams.
This year, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to catch those little moments that families tend to capture on an iPhone but that will likely get forgotten in a cloud somewhere. I wanted to catch the bedtime routine, days at the pool, a picnic in the middle of a hike in the woods, or a bonfire at the beach. THESE ARE REAL MOMENTS that beg to be captured and I want to be able to do that.
I was able to get The Hayne family out for a “s’more session” at sunset and we mixed traditional photos in with a super fun bonfire/messy s’mores! Here’s the incredible results! I love love love these shots so much and had a smile on my face the entire time!
Posted on July 29, 2017
When I hopped in my car in Antigonish, it was pouring rain. When I got to Smith Rock Lodge & Chalets, it was still raining off and on and the wind was relentless. For anyone who has ever attended, been in or hosted an outdoor wedding; insert instant shudder here. These are not ideal conditions when you’re on top of a mountain out in the open but if it’s any consolation, the wind did keep the bugs away!
I spent my afternoon capturing the girls getting ready and pretending I was Cindy Day as I kept a close eye on the radars to see if it was meant to clear before the wedding and by all calculations, it was supposed to clear about 20 minutes before Aaron & Dale said “I do!” Sure enough, the skies cleared and everything dried just in time for their ceremony. Surrounded by friends and family, the two shared their vows and got hitched while overlooking one of the most stunning views I’ve seen. Smith Rock Lodge & Chalets offers one of the best venues for anyone looking to host a wedding near Pictou County! I was blown away.
Posted on May 28, 2017
Aaron & Dale invited me to their acreage to shoot their engagement session. She described it to me and it sounded gorgeous but as I drove up their driveway, my jaw literally hit the floor! The property had beautiful trees, a rolling field, a massive rustic barn and so so so much more but it didn’t end there. I parked my car, got out and was greeted by a beautiful couple that have that sort of love for each other than you can just see when they look at each other!
Well, you throw all those things together and you don’t have a hard time snapping photos by the dozens!
Aaron & Dale, thank you for inviting me to your home. I’m incredibly excited to shoot their wedding at the end of June!
Posted on May 28, 2017
With ten little fingers and ten little toes, those tiny lips & cute little nose, Kelly, Steve, Phoenix & Shawnn welcomed their newest little addition, sweet baby Flynn to their family! Welcome to the world, little man!
Posted on April 3, 2017
Oceanstone Seaside Resort can be found nestled along the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean not far from Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. If I could describe the property in three words it would be charming, relaxing & perfect.
I took my mum for a little mother-daughter retreat. We checked in and were given our keys for the Periwinkle Cottage – a sweet little spot featuring two cozy bedrooms & a deck close enough to the ocean that you could throw a rock off into the Atlantic! The cottage had cute features like barnboard throughout, driftwood accent furniture and a beautiful wood stove. When we arrived, there was a cute little customized package waiting for us that included trusty tide charts as well as close-by hikes to check out!We found the guest log that dated back to the early 2000’s – it was sweet to see little love notes from others who had enjoyed their stay in the Periwinkle Cottage.After settling in, I took mum for a drive to the picturesque Peggy’s Cove which is a quick two minutes down the road from our cottage. It doesn’t matter the season, the weather, or who you’re with, this place is always beautiful. Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Nova Scotia. Tourists flock year after year to take in the stunning coastline she guards making it one of the most photographed lighthouses around! Mum said the coat made her look fat. We laughed pretty hard at this moment. I thoroughly enjoyed being touristy in our home province. I also enjoyed spending some one on one time with my mum. It can seem hard sometimes between work and having other siblings to really scrape out time for just the two of us but I think we both enjoyed the bonding session. For dinner, we headed for our 6:30pm reservation at Rhubarb Restaurant. I’ve enjoyed several meals here in the past, each surpassing the next experience to the point where I know I’d devour anything placed on a plate in front of me as long as it was made by the talented folks here! We probably could have been rolled out by the end of our delicious meal! As the night wore on, we caught a beautiful sunset from the back step of our cottage – a view of the sky that anyone would stop and stare at. I threw my onesie on and stepped outside to watch it. It’s been a while since I’ve just stopped to take in a sky like this. Life gets in the way. Time slips too quick… It’s hard sometimes to give yourself the time you really need and deserve to unwind. I came away from my evening at Oceanstone completely relaxed and recharged and for that, I’m grateful!After the sun set, I made sure to stargaze from our deck as well. It’s hard to believe we were so close to the capital yet it felt so far from everything. The only thing you could hear was a slight breeze and the waves kissing the shore. The later it got, the wind picked up a little more and the sound of the waves crashing harder was like a sweet lullaby that put me right to sleep.I made sure to put the s’more kit to good use! I love a good ooey gooey s’more before bed! If I could say anything about my stay other than that I love love loved staying here, it’s that you should bring your coziest clothes you’ve got so you can completely unwind here. Wear those ratty sweatpants you’ve had since high school and bring the softest blanket you’ve got so you can snuggle up and de-stress. My other advise: don’t set an alarm! Those beds are too comfy to get out of – stay in bed as long as you can, honey!My kind of wakeup looks exactly like this: rolling out of a cozy bed well rested, into my warm flannel and checking out the new day in front of the ocean with a hot cup of coffee! A massive thank you to the folks at Oceanstone for inviting my mum & I to stay at their GORGEOUS accommodations. We were treated like royalty and would highly recommend Oceanstone for a stay. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Posted on March 20, 2017
My phone lights up. More likes. More followers. Good. I repeat this process more times than I’d like to admit. I get my fix every time another one comes in. I empty scroll throughout the better part of my days from the second I open my eyes to the minute I start flickering out for the night. It’s sick. Why do I care? What happened to creating work for myself? When did my creative outlet get the best of me?
Photography used to be a means of burning stress. I used to go out with my camera and not only shoot, but I’d document everything along the way. I’d come home with hundreds of images from one little outing at the beach knowing I hadn’t missed a detail. It was just my camera and I showing off our days together. After a while, I began doing it for a living. While I can admit being a photographer is fun, it’s hard when you turn your hobby into work. As we all know, it’s hard to keep work fun no matter what your work may entail. It can become tiring. It can become stressful. Once those things happen, it’s no longer something you enjoy but it’s more of a chore you know you just need to finish. It isn’t always this way. I find it comes and goes in waves but there are always tough times to keep you grounded through the exceptionally great times.
A few years ago, I joined Instagram. I used my feed to post food images, cute posts of my boyfriend, my cat, my cars among other things. It slowly morphed into a showcase for my professional work. I was posting my best images and the feedback that I received was so encouraging and supportive. That part hasn’t changed. What has changed is the way I produce my work. I got to a point where I was trying to post only my best content but this didn’t make me feel my best. I made efforts every morning to get out and get at least one good shot that I could post and get the likes for the day. Only one shot. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out and only come back to upload about ten images from my camera. Ten shutter counts. That’s nothing compared to the hundreds I’d come home with during my earlier years. I lost the feeling I’d initially loved and traded it for likes. What the fuck?
Recently, I’ve identified this issue and addressed it by taking a step back from my social media to see if I could rekindle my love for photography and reassess the way I share my images. I know this might seem very stupid to some of you but I believe its equally relatable to many people I know.
I started by taking the notifications off of my phone. I still get my calls and my messages but those are the only notifications I allow for the time being. I rarely check my phone since disabling most of notifications. It’s incredibly peaceful not to have notifications distracting me from daily life. It’s also nice not to be prompted to open the apps that I would waste endless hours “creeping” though after a notification would pop up. Now, let me clarify: I love seeing the work my fellow peers share. Instagram has connected me with some INCREDIBLE humans who support me and constantly push me to produce greater content. I’ve become friends with people through Instagram and for that, I couldn’t be happier. There are so many talented humans out there that I’ve grown to admire and respect; especially locally. That internet thing has it’s perks, I’ll admit!
For the next few weeks, I’ve decided it’s best that I don’t scroll endlessly. It’s best that I don’t try to create if my heart isn’t into it. It’s best if I just recharge and take a minute away. Like the ocean, these things come and go just like the tides; high and low. I intend to ride it out and see where the waves take me!
Posted on November 1, 2016
Do you want to drive with no destination and not worry about setting up a tent in the dark? Are you the type of person who enjoys having all their gear with them at all times? Is camping without getting soaked in the middle of the night important to you? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, I suggest you give car camping a try!
In May, I traded in my ultra sporty ’14 Jetta GLI in for a ’16 Tiguan Highline R-line. When I initially test drove the Tiguan, I folded the back seats down and proceeded to lie down in the rear cargo area while the salesmen looked on with great confusion. When I explained to them that my intention was to camp in the back and not tote around dead bodies, they seemed to comprehend my actions a little more. I discovered that a person under 5’8″ can fit lying straight in the back area of a Tiguan. Pleased with my findings, I decided I’d go ahead with purchasing it and cancelled my order for a GLI Autobahn. Since May, I’ve slept in the back of my Tiguan countless times and it now has 33,000kms on it. Here are my must haves when it comes to car camping.
- A comfy sleeping pad. Unfortunately, the floor of any vehicle is not very forgiving and therefore quite uncomfortable. Grab a sleeping pad that inflates and deflates easily and that stores conveniently. I have tried a few but I find the single inflatable ones tend to work the best! Keep in mind that with sleeping pads; sometimes less is more! The bulky ones can take longer to inflate and take up more room in the long run!
- Blankets, pillows & sleeping bags. This goes without saying but if you’re going to be sleeping anywhere, you want to be sure you’re going to be comfortable and warm! I tend to bring a few blankets with me wherever I go. Nova Scotia’s climate changes so frequently that you’ve always got to be prepared!
- Mini lights (as seen above) – I managed to score a set of battery powered ones at Superstore over the summer for $12! They run on 3AAA batteries and give off so much light. These ones are on a little wire so they can be strung easily and stay wherever you put them. You can also get a solar powered set!
- Warm socks! I can’t stress enough to keep a pair of socks handy when you go to bed. I keep a fuzzy pair in my sleeping bag so when I’m finished up from a big hiking day, I take off my wet, sweaty ones and put on dry, warm ones for the rest of the night. No one likes damp, cold feet when you’re trying to fall asleep!
- Water. I always keep water close by. The easiest thing to do is keep all the things you might need in the middle of the night like cell phone, flashlight, water bottle, toilet paper, etc in the door holder in the back so you’re not fighting to find it half way through the night… In the dark…
- Garbage bag: this goes without saying but it just makes life a lot easier if you have a designated bag that you can dump at your next spot with facilities!
- Build a bug protector. Ventilation is key but bugs are not! If you’ve ever been trapped in an enclosed space with just one mossi, you know it’s bad news. My vehicle is equipped with a “sunshade” that slides across the panoramic roof at the click of a button. This sunshade is made from an airy material that allows a breeze to come through the roof but keeps pesky little critters out at night!
Tip: If it’s not raining, I usually take one or two of my floor mats out and put one under the hatch and another by one of the back doors so I don’t have to keep my muddy shoes in the car. This also means I’m not dragging dirt into my sleeping bag!
I’ve been able to learn a lot over the past few months about how to car camp and each time I go, I learn a few more things that make it easier for me! So far, I’ve only been able to venture out during the warmer months but I’m looking forward to testing out winter camping not only in the car, but also in the hammock (this will come in another post!)
Posted on October 11, 2016
I first met this adorable couple a few months back when we did their engagement session. Like many couples I meet with, this was their first time getting professional photos taken and like most, I think the experience was much less painful than expected! We had planned a sunset session but our sunset was a bust! Luckily, we still managed to get some great portraits that really show their love for one another. And just like that, Liesel & Robert’s big day snuck up on us. They had the most beautiful October day with sunny skies, a great breeze & perfect temperatures. Surrounded by their favourite people, the two exchanged vows at St. Andrew’s Church and had a few hours to do some photos. I’m so happy for the two of you! Thanks for letting me be a part of your day!
Posted on September 13, 2016
Dear Tom & Sarah,
Thanks for making me cry a thousand times at your wedding. For good reasons. The profound love you share for each other is so heartwarming that your feelings become contagious. The words swapped between you during your vows were so genuine and beautiful that I know there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Your sense of humour as the day progressed made every ounce of your wedding day one of the most fun days I’m sure not many will forget. Thank you for allowing my to be a part of your day! May the love that you share for each other never ever fade and I hope you keep the jokes flowing!
Your sappy little wedding photographer.
Tom & Sarah’s wedding date got changed around a few times. When we finally settled on a date, the day started out beautiful and quickly progressed into downpours that you couldn’t see through. In case you didn’t know, a downpour isn’t optimal for an outdoor wedding. About 10 minutes after the ceremony was scheduled to go forward, the sky cleared up and it was go time for this beautiful couple. I meant it above when I said there wasn’t a dry eye in that yard (and maybe not a dry bum either as the chairs had been left out in the rain). Tom and Sarah’s words they exchanged were so captivatingly beautiful that everyone was deeply touched. It was absolutely beautiful!
We didn’t have much time after the ceremony to catch sunset BUT what we did catch was spectacular! The sunset that poured through the dark clouds at the top of Beech Hill was one of the most stunning I’ve ever seen. I was in my little happy place playing with the gorgeous light that glowed through the dark clouds!
Thank you so much, Tom & Sarah for including me in your day! It was truly a pleasure!