Fall Families

Leaves turning orange, crisp mornings, colourful scarves – what isn’t there to like about Fall? It’s no coincidence that it also happens to be my favourite season for photos outdoors!¬†Between babies, pumpkins, horses and anniversaries, this September and October I’ve had a handful of shoots that have kept me very busy.

This season started off with a shoot for Ellie and her little family. It was right at the beginning of Fall, and after having to schedule once due to rain (boo!), we picked a morning for photos in the park. It’s safe to say we picked a good day to reschedule, as we totally lucked out with the weather – we got a crisp and foggy fall morning!

Next was an evening fall shoot with the Skibos. Their sweet little girls were too cute in those pigtails and pink dresses! We had a fun in the last bits of evening sun, with lots and lots of jelly-beans.

Did someone say pumpkin patch? I can’t think of anything cuter than babies sitting beside pumpkins with little suspenders on! Emerald and her sweet little man met me at the pumpkin patch for a little Fall-themed shoot.

Before last month, I had never really spent time around a horse in my life; so as you can imagine, getting asked to shoot some photos of my friend Caitlin and her horse, X-Man, was kind of intimidating. X-Man turned 25 this October and Caitlin wanted to make sure this milestone year was well documented. Not only was X-Man the most gentle creature I have ever met, he was a natural in front of the camera. There was hardly any horsing around…

Speaking of 25 years, last but not least, I was able to capture some photos of the Athwals for their 25th wedding anniversary. Their daughter contacted me, saying she felt like all the photos they had in the house were of her and her siblings, with hardly any of her parents. When I asked them what kind of advice they had for the young couples out there, they told me that the key was always ‘compromise.’

I feel so much joy when I think about how many wonderful families I’ve had the chance to photograph this fall. I will always be grateful when I think about the fact that people trust me to capture these special moments for them. Cheers to fall, and all the beauty that comes with it!

Starry Night

Being from the densely populated area of Langley, even on the clearest of nights it’s hard to see the stars. Light pours into the sky from the near by cities and homes, and the stars become a subtle glow rather than bright pinholes in the sky.

Determined to see some real stars, much like on my recent camping trip this summer, I ventured up the Sea to Sky highway (well past midnight, might I add) to see what I could find.

Not only was I greeted by the night with a wonderfully clear, sparkly view of the Milky Way, but also a surprise appearance by the Northern Lights. They say that sometimes the stars align, and on Friday night they sure did!

Ieshia & Theresa Tie the Knot

Last summer, when Ieshia and Theresa got engaged, Ieshia told me what her vision was for the wedding; a boat, with sprawling views of downtown in the middle of the summer time, followed by watching the fireworks at the Celebration of Light.

During their engagement photo session back in November, Ieshia and Theresa described to me how incredible it would be to have wedding photos in front of the fireworks. At the time, no task felt too big for me, and I agreed fireworks would make for some amazing wedding photos! Leading up to this wedding though, I have to admit I was nervous. I had never photographed fireworks before; and unfortunately there’s not really a lot of opportunities to practice shooting fireworks around here. I read up online some tips and tricks and spent lots of time practicing shooting at night these last few months.

None the less, their wedding day went off without a hitch. A fun-filled day running around with these brides was followed by an evening sunset wedding in front of downtown with dinner, dancing and a spectacular fireworks show put on by team Japan at the Celebration of Light.

Their wedding day was full of love, and an undeniable sense of warmth and welcome, as 60 of their family and closest friends piled onto a boat and set sail around False Creek and English Bay. Ieshia and Theresa have a way of making everyone in their lives feel important and loved. No moment at this wedding felt too small to not try to capture. From getting their hair and nails done in the morning, to putting on their dresses together, to their cake (almost) tumbling over as they tried to cut it; every moment at their wedding was full of light and laughter.

Ieshia and Theresa’s vision for their wedding day came to life last weekend, and I am very excited to share a few snap shots of their big day! Now if only all weddings could include a grand fireworks show at the end…


Lakes & Long Exposures

Staring up at a million stars surrounding Pillar Lake, I wondered how many more there were in the sky that I simply could not see. I had my heart set on my first attempt at astrophotography and with the company of my step-dad I sat patient on the dock in the darkness, waiting for my shutter to close. Anyone who has done long-exposure photography knows that the 30 second, 1 minute and 5 minute exposures become the longest wait of your life to see if your photo has turned out the way you wanted it to.

In the time I waited for my photo to appear, I took in the absolute silence around the lake. Everyone else had long gone to bed, and was peacefully sleeping, while I was down on the dock, perched ever so carefully as to not bump my tripod as my camera captured the millions of stars above.

There’s something to be said about spending time out on a lake. During the day, it was buzzing with fishermen out to catch their trout of the day. Children screamed as their tiny toes dipped into the water accidentally. The lake was anything but still; alive with ripples of canon balls off the dock and fishing lines cast into the deep.

But at night it was a different story. At first, it seemed too dark to even fathom seeing anything other than blackness. But as our eyes adjusted, I could make out every cloud as they floated by and every star as they shone. There was no noise around us; except for the occasional splash of a toad jumping into the water, and the far off symphony of crickets singing away.

In those moments, I managed to capture my first ever shot of the stars, surrounded by clouds and the subtle glow of light on the trees from the campsites.

Our time spent camping was full of laughter and sun (and maybe a bit of beer). I will never stop being grateful that I live in beautiful BC, where we have so many naturally gorgeous places to enjoy nature.

Vancouver Views

What’s the first image that pops into your head when you hear the word ‘Vancouver?’

For me, I envision the view of the city as you drive north towards downtown; sprawling concrete and towers reaching skyward, with an almost-always snow-capped mountain backdrop.

As a Vancouverite, it’s easy to forgot how incredibly spoiled we are around here with our mountain and city views and lush greenery. Everyone likes to brag about the city they live in, but it wasn’t until recently that I truly stopped to appreciate the unique views we have around here.

Collectively, I’m sure I have spent the equivalent of weeks running around this city, camera bag and tripod in tow. I’ve laid down on the sidewalks in Gastown just to get lower angles, walked through Stanley Park well past dark for night shots (it’s spooky, trust me), and patiently waited for the tourists to dissipate around the seawall in False Creek to have a clear view of the city.

When I look at some of my favourite shots I’ve taken of this beautiful place, I realize the photos will never be as great as the real thing; however, it doesn’t mean I’ll ever give up on photographing those views. The beauty of an entire city, with all it’s minuscule parts, would be impossible to capture in one photo. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to achieve a photo of my quintessential Vancouver view that I described, but I’ve realized there are millions of views in this city and I’m so lucky to live here to be able to snap a shot of even just one of them.