Yeg Photographer

Mac

Mac at 8 mos.

Mac at 8 mos.

Someday Mac will grow up. It's something I turn over in my head every time I take photos of a baby. Will this be the picture that gets copied 30 times and every aunt and cousin gets one in the mail? I better get an honest moment, his true expression, in case it ends up being the picture that defines for him what he was like as a baby. Maybe it will pop up over and over in every photo album... until all of a sudden he's 30 and it doesn't anymore. After everyone has cleared out their albums and he's finally found a desire to reconnect with his past he might ask his mom what photos she's got stashed away. Maybe she'll pull out one of mine and he will realize that it's one of the images of his childhood that gives definition to his personality in some small way... "You were always such a pensive baby, with flashes of joy between looks of deep thought."

I can't wait for the babies in my photos to age, to photograph them again and again and see how their personalities evolve and if there are remnants of their baby-selves bundled into those personalities. Will Mac be a pensive person with flashes of joy? Or will he evolve into an out-going joker who smiles all the time?

Watching someone grow up is one of our chief life lessons. It is only after doing so that we can understand our own beginnings, and the way that our parents see us.

Mac, just a few weeks old

Mac, just a few weeks old

The Art of Seeing Each Other

The art of seeing each other every damn day. I don't just mean getting out of bed in the morning and glancing at each other while we think about what we'll eat for breakfast, or what we are going to wear to work. I mean looking at each other and seeing the joy in your partner's triumphs and also the pain in their struggles. It means knowing when they need you to leave them alone, and when they need you to get in the way... and finding the energy to act accordingly. Every. Damn. Day. If you've found a person you want to make that commitment to there is joy in it, but also responsibility. You're not just taking care of yourself anymore. You're taking care of a relationship that brings meaning to who you are and what you do with your life. As Carl Sagan said, "For small beings such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love." Don't forget to look at each other and really see that.

Fabiana + Joseph

One of the most inspiring weddings I have to share with you was that of Fabiana + Joseph. Their story in itself is an inspiration, hailing from Mexico and England, and meeting in Asia before getting hitched in New York City in 2012, these two had a wedding that made it's own rules from beginning to end. Fabiana arranged for us all to have rooms at the Gershwin Hotel in NYC, and travel together to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens on the day of the ceremony. She hid her colourful dress under this black coat until we arrived. Her husband Joe painstakingly crafted their ring boxes out of origami, and most impressively - Fabiana's entire bouquet! They got married by a pond of Koi fish to the gentle strumming of Beatles music and afterwards took a stroll down Cherry Lane for photos in the blooming cherry blossom trees.

This wedding was a major inspiration to me when I was planning my own 3 years later. Fabiana had shown me that a beautiful wedding doesn't need a white dress or a certain number of bridesmaids. It can be whatever you want. It is, after all, YOURS!

TGIF

To wake up each day and meet the challenges and rewards of the world without judgement or weariness is to live our lives as a life-long child. I challenge you to go out this weekend and discover something new with an open mind. Go to the museum, start a new book, sit under a tree and dream... No matter how small, what do you plan to do to ignite the child in you?

Terrain Musings

I've heard it said that there are types of people who feel most at home in a certain place. Mountain people, prairie people, ocean people, that are shaped by a certain terrain and cannot fully live without it. For me all places are paramount. I need the mountains to feel strong and humble, to be reminded of the majesty and measure of the earth. I need the prairies to feel grounded, still, cradled and secure. I need the ocean to remember the freedom in uncertainty, and endless possibility.

Each of these places shapes my relationship with the earth. In the mountains I am a part of her - united with the wind and the rock. In the prairies I may borrow a piece of her to do with as I wish - a partner with a privilege to grow and harvest, and a responsibility to return what I cannot use. Where the ocean meets the land I stand at her mercy - small and exposed.

I need all places to feel whole.

Nick

From Nick's graduation photoset, that we shot at the University in April. 

From Nick's graduation photoset, that we shot at the University in April. 

Today Nick graduated from University. It's funny how well you can know someone without really noticing who they have become or how they have changed since your friendship began. I just read an article written for the University of Alberta with a feature on Nick, about his honours project, and while reading it I learned new things about my friend, after knowing him for 12 years. They weren't things that surprised me, but they were things I'd never put into cohesive thought before. The writer described him as someone with a, "fluidity of mindset that allows for serendipitous opportunities..." and it took me reading it in someone else's voice to recognize that yes - my friend is very spontaneous! This is the guy that decided to spend a weekend at Coachella with me when he had mono, and dragged me off to Montreal on a whim for his 25th birthday. Someone who basically wrote the book on taking a year off to do something completely different. I gather the interviewer listened to his story and knew right away that Nick was a free spirit, going in whatever direction he detects the strongest pull. I've known Nick for so long that he has grown and changed into this more refined version of himself, and I didn't notice he was any different than the guy I met 12 years ago. Today is a good lesson for me to remember that the people I love are not one-dimensional, frozen in time once my brain has done what it does best and categorized them away in a certain place. They are fluid, they change, they grow into themselves. I need to pay attention or else I might miss the opportunity to see something in them that will make me love them even more.

When your subject is your best friend you get to share the cutaways! 

When your subject is your best friend you get to share the cutaways!