Archive for Jan 2010

  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >

January 31, 2010 Bryan & Andrea

A week before Bryan & Andrea’s wedding – Andrea had a a very special delivery. Bryan arrived home from Afghanistan where he is serving. A week of wedding preparations, family arriving from as far as Hungary, and general busyness of planning a wedding in Hamilton when you now live in Ottawa… didn’t leave Bryan & Andrea much time alone together. After the ceremony, and family photos we went outside (brrrrr…….) to snap a few photos of Bryan & Andrea. When I was taking this photo here, Andrea said “This feels like the first time we’ve been alone since Bryan got home!” This is one reason I love the portrait time at weddings… weddings are all about the couple… but in the busyness leading up to the wedding the couple rarely gets time to just be together. So after the ceremony and such are done – to be able to just get away from the crowd and “be”. No decisions about flowers, seating plans, vows, or food… just be together. When I look at this photo below I’m reminded of the months of Bryan and Andrea’s waiting to see each other… and finally a moment together alone.

bryanandrea1 Bryan & Andrea

Let me share a bit about their beautiful day!

We started at Bryan’s place – great to finally meet Bryan!

000 3418 Bryan & Andrea

000 3485 Bryan & Andrea

IMG 2833 Bryan & Andrea

This made me smile when I saw this at Andrea’s hotel room…

IMG 2841 Bryan & Andrea

000 3494 Bryan & Andrea

Beautiful Andrea getting ready…

ContactSheet 002 16 Bryan & Andrea

000 3535 Bryan & Andrea

000 3528 Bryan & Andrea

What a stunning bride!

ContactSheet 002a 3 Bryan & Andrea

000 3552 Bryan & Andrea

This photo in the elevator was fun as we rode the elevator up and down until we got it…

000 3588 Bryan & Andrea

I love when I get to ride in the limo – makes for great photos! Off to the ceremony with Andrea and the girls…

IMG 2947 Bryan & Andrea

000 3598 Bryan & Andrea

The moment dad “gives away” his little girl… gets me every time.

000 3644 1 Bryan & Andrea

The ceremony was in an absolute stunning church in Hamilton – St. Joseph’s. Gorgeous!

000 3670 Bryan & Andrea

000 3679 Bryan & Andrea

I love these little stolen glances…

000 3707 Bryan & Andrea

Right after the ceremony, the newlyweds were waiting for the wedding party to pile in the limo… instead of standing around freezing, I grabbed them for a minute. ALl we did was cross the street and walk a few feet down Locke Street in Hamilton… and got some of my favourite images of the day.

ContactSheet 003 13 Bryan & Andrea

I loooove this one of Andrea looking back with the blowing veil – seems timeless to me…

000 3783 Bryan & Andrea

The beautiful couple

b9330d88 Bryan & Andrea

This photo has the feel of old film… makes me happy.

000 3931 Bryan & Andrea

IMG 0934 Bryan & Andrea

What a sweet moment of father and daughter….

000 4008 1 Bryan & Andrea

I loved all her purple details!

ContactSheet 001j 1 Bryan & Andrea

Love this bouquet!

000 3862 Bryan & Andrea

I believe my lovely cousin Kathryn who assisted me grabbed this great capture!

000 4079 Bryan & Andrea

Sigh. I love this look of adoration….

IMG 0998 Bryan & Andrea

Without further waiting… here’s their slideshow. Enjoy!

I am in Ottawa where I photographed the second celebration of Bryan & Andrea – watch for that to follow!

For now – thank you Bryan & Andrea… thank you for letting me document this new beginning for you both! I hope this week together is full of good memories before Bryan heads back to Afghanistan!

Celebrating life and love,


January 28, 2010 Bryan & Andrea

I had an amazing wedding this past Saturday… but I’m only going to share one right now to tie you over. I’m shooting their second reception in Ottawa this weekend – can’t wait! Bryan (just home from Afghanistan a week before the wedding) will be in full military attire and Andrea is wearing a funky hairpiece… can’t wait!

IMG 3001 1 Bryan & Andrea

Celebrating life and love….


January 23, 2010 Show and Tell

As a kid, I loved show and tell. My mom didn’t.

One time in kindergarten I forgot my show and tell when it was my turn. So I ate a napkin.

Another time I forgot again. My mom asked what I showed. I told her “my underwear”. She was horrified! I assured her I only meant my “long underwear” – and that I had simply pulled up a pant leg to show off my new flowered long johns. When she asked me what the kids said I told her: “All the girls said niiiiiiice (in a sing song voice) and all the boys said YUCK.” ha ha. We still use that line a lot.

So, without eating a napkin or showing off new underwear… I thought I would offer you some show and tell.

First… I received a great package in the mail recently from today’s bride. She lives in Ottawa and so we haven’t met in person to go over the final details of her wedding… so she sent me a great outline of the wedding, her invitations and even a sneak peek of her dress! All colour coordinated – even the folder it was in. This made me so happy.

IMG 2756 Show and Tell

IMG 2763 Show and Tell

ContactSheet 001 23 Show and Tell

And the second thing I wanted to show and tell are albums!

I LOVE albums! I think every wedding needs an album.. to walk away with something complete, finished and of a high quality that will last for your 50th anniversary… and 60th and…

I adore our albums. We get them made by a company in Italy and they’re stunning. I like to show people them… but in case we haven’t met in person let me show you a couple here, dear Internet.

A gorgeous 16×12 leather cover embossed with their names. Clean, timeless cover.

IMG 3030 Show and Tell

IMG 3034 Show and Tell

The pages lay flat – making for amazing panoramics!

IMG 3037 Show and Tell

We like clean designs that are timeless.

IMG 3039 Show and Tell

Parent albums are offered in the exact same album design… just smaller! Here is the 16×12 leather album, with an 8×6 parent album with dustjacket.

IMG 3041 Show and Tell

And inside you can see they’re the same albums – just different size!

IMG 3044 Show and Tell

Enough show and tell for one day. Maybe next time I’ll eat a napkin. Or not.

Celebrating life and love,


January 23, 2010 Happy Birthday!

Sixteen and a half years ago, my good friend Monica came to visit me as a college freshman. Walking through the student TV lounge there was a group of students watching a movie. One of them laughed harder than anyone else there. Actually was laughing harder than most people ever do during a movie. He just didn’t care what people thought.

After we left the TV area I pointed him out to Monica. “See that guy who’s laughing so much?” Yeah. “If he asked me to marry him tomorrow I’d say ‘yes’!” She begged me to introduce her. “I can’t introduce you… I barely know him. I just know that we would work well together.”

Boy! Was I right!

Today that laughing TV watcher is still my favourite boy ever. I am so happy he chose me and continues to put up with his flighty wife. I definitely got a way better husband than I will ever deserve.

So “Happy Birthday” Mark!! Love you heaps!

I didn’t take many pictures of the birthday celebrations… but had to share these two.

Eden wrapped up her favourite “blanky” – the one I had made her as a baby that she likes to sleep with – and gave it to Mark for his birthday. She was so excited to share that she gave it to him a day early. Such a sweet memory!

ContactSheet 001 24 Happy Birthday!

And Madi wrote Mark a story all on her own. The spelling is…. well something only a mother can read. ha ha.

Then the girls made Mark a cake each. The icing was about an inch thick and sloppy. But they were so proud! Here is Mark right after blowing out the candles – beaming at his girl, Madi.

IMG 3401 Happy Birthday!

Celebrating life, love and Mark,


January 19, 2010 Something Exciting

As a parent, my job is not just to feed and clothe the girls but to train them for life. Some days that’s easier said than done. Okay, most days.

One thing Mark and I have deliberately tried to teach our girls is joy in the small things. Learning to entertain themselves. We have tried banning the word “bored” from our house as our philosophy is there is always something to do – use your imagination!

Yesterday Madi got off the school bus in a foul mood. She’s not five steps in the driveway before she starts, “Are we doing anything exciting tonight? There’s nothing to do. I want to do something exciting.”


That bad attitude is not allowed in the house. So, I know if I let her have her way she’d pick sitting in front of the TV or playing computer games. I need to get her outside and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

I give her a list of options for something to do:

-go for a walk outside with Mom and Eden
-wash dishes
-do laundry
-do homework
-clean your room

Guess what she chose? icon smile Something Exciting

Off we set on our little adventure of exploring the great outdoors. And you know what? Our boring old stupid walk turned into the “something exciting” Madi had been wanting. At the end I asked her if she had fun and if it was exciting. “YES!!!!!” She squealed while giving me a big squeeze.

My hope is that my girls will be learning, that you do not need to be entertained 24/7 to enjoy life. Look at the trees and how it loos like a person waving. Listen to the sound of the ice crackling beneath your feet. Close your eyes and feel the wind on your face. Run, sing, dance with abandon. Celebrate life and love.

And we’re off!

IMG 3309 Something Exciting

When Eden smiles – her entire face – right to the tip of her ears – smiles with her. I just love this kid to pieces.

IMG 3318 Something Exciting

Madi’s toothless grin and big belly laughs warms my heart. She is emotional – laughing (or crying) big and with her whole being.

IMG 3362 Something Exciting

We played tag… Eden is trying to catch me here. So hard to run backwards, while taking a picture with a crazy 5 year old on your heels!

IMG 3331 Something Exciting

Madi looking for any leftover corn in the cornfields.

IMG 3338 Something Exciting

Eden is so random.

IMG 3366 Something Exciting

Madi taking full advantage of the situation.

IMG 3367 Something Exciting

Which leads to how far can I jump. (which leads to the boots getting stuck in the snow and Madi coming out with only her socks on).

IMG 3369 Something Exciting

Trying to skate on any patch of ice we can find in the fields

IMG 3356 Something Exciting

A cool tree

IMG 3379 Something Exciting

And then when we got home – girls discovered the joy of the spotlight on the house.

IMG 3383 1 Something Exciting

IMG 3384 Something Exciting

Celebrating life, love and simple pleasures,


January 14, 2010 Pick-Me-Up

After my previous heavy blogpost regarding Haiti – thought you might need something light. Here is a photo of Olivia the Flying Wonder Dog.

IMG 3098 Pick Me Up

Got her dog tags ordered today (finally) and they looked at me a bit funny when I wrote down her full name: Olivia Queen of Dogs.

About a hundred times a day I look at her and think “this is the happiest dog alive!” She’s taller than Madi when she stands now – and gives hugs like a person does.

Celebrating life and love,


January 14, 2010 Heart for Haiti

Yesterday the word “Haiti” kept popping up in people’s Facebook statuses.

“Mark, do you know anything happening in Haiti?” I hollered.


And so I googled Haiti. “Oh, an earthquake happened” I told him. Then closed that window and went back to Facebook or whatever trivial thing I was doing.

Today, was a bit of a crazy day – the snow decided to throw my car in a ditch (we’re fine) and Madi was home sick and just life happened. Finally tonight as it approached midnight I thought… hmmm… I should google that Haiti thing again.

My word.

I can not remember the last time I felt physically sick over news. What I can’t wrap my head around is how I can be here at home wasting time – well there are 100,000+ people dead. Gone. Hospitals – gone. Jails – gone. Schools – gone.

In case you – like me – are going “Haiti what?” let me share some of what I just read.

As survivors of the magnitude-7 earthquake prepared to spend a second night on the streets, Haitian President René Preval said the destruction was “unimaginable.” Up to 100,000 people are feared dead, including at least 16 U.N. peacekeepers. “Parliament has collapsed,” Préval told The Miami Herald. “The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed. There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.” Prisons also have been destroyed and inmates have escaped, adding to the chaos.

The quake affected roughly one in three Haitians — about 3 million people, the Red Cross estimated.

None of three aid centers run by Doctors without Borders in Haiti is operable, the group says.

From Anderson Cooper in Port-au-Prince: “The only thing to compare it to is Hurricane Katrina. But in the last 30 minutes — or the last hour that I’ve been driving, I’ve seen probably 20 to 25 bodies on the streets. And that’s just on the main avenues in downtown Port-au-Prince.”

Doctors Without Borders has about 800 staff in Haiti, many of whom have not been accounted for.

Having gone down to New Orleans a couple years after Katrina and still so much was not done and this within the United States!!…. makes me worry about what will happen to a country that went into this crisis poor and broken. This is a crisis that will last for many, many, many years. I think what comes to mind is the need to remember. Remember Haiti in our prayers daily now. Remember Haiti in a year. And then a year after that… And a year after that. It’s so easy for us to forget. To close our eyes, and go on our merry way.

I’ve cried until my eyes hurt. I looked at the images and read the news until my stomach threatened to revolt. I long to do something. I sit here and pray – for what I’m not even sure.

And remember to give. Any little bit helps. A few of my favourite charities who are reputable…

World Vision

Salvation Army
and I just got 680 News’ Newsletter in my inbox and they had a link to other charities...

Today let’s not complain about out clothes, our home, our kids, our food, our car, our extra pounds…

Instead let’s be thankful we have clothes, a home, kids, food, car, and life.

Tonight more than ever… celebrating life and love,


January 13, 2010 Ask Me Anything

I get emailed a lot of photography questions – which I love! But when I saw this “formspring” kicking around people’s blogs and Facebook – thought it seemed like a fun way to answer your questions! So go here and ask me anything – anonymously or logged in. And it doesn’t have to be a photography question – I like random.

And because everyone likes to see pictures…. here’s some of three of my brats.

Look what I found in my freezer the other day.

IMG 3025 Ask Me Anything

My dog and cat are just like siblings – fight, fight, fight…. and then cuddle up and sleep together.

ContactSheet 001 22 Ask Me Anything

And two cute stories. My girl’s always like to tell me their dreams in the morning. Today they both had “really good” dreams.

Madi – “I dreamed I supported a child [through World Vision]. And I bought her a house because she didn’t have one.”

Eden – “I was Sabre Tooth Tiger Girl and saved Canada. I went to where there was a war and people were being hurt who weren’t in the war and said “Why are you picking on them?” and they stopped fighting.”

If only it was that easy…

Celebrating life and love,


January 13, 2010 Showing Off

As we left the girl’s piano lessons tonight I happened to glance in my rearview mirror. Behind us was the most amazing sunset I have seen in months. (I was starting to think there were no colourful sunsets in winter this year) The colours were so vibrant and the whole sky behind me was pink, and purple and blue and… amazing. I got the girls to turn and look.

How can I go home and cook and set the table and do homework duty with this sky calling my name to stop. To pause.

So, I turned the car around and the girls and I chased over hills and past farms until we found a good farmer’s field to stop. To pause.

We sang. Quietly at first in awe. Then Madi rolled down her window and jubilantly sang out!

We drove on and as we headed home we looked over a group of trees and the sky was filled with black birds. The treetops were full and the sky looked like it was showered with a confetti of birds. Amazing.

“What’s that?” Eden asked.

“That’s God showing off” I answered off the cuff. Then we started a game… where else can we see God showing off?

All the way home the girls would yell “stop! There He is again!” as they would point to a field of untouched snow, a forest, a crooked tree or some other piece of God’s artistry.

My kids often frustrate me, wear me out… but more often than not they inspire me. To stop. To pause.

You may notice no photos. This was one of those moments I just needed to savour with my eyes, heart and memory.

May you take time today to stop and pause… enjoy the artistry around you!

Celebrating life and love,


January 11, 2010 Good Morning

I don’t want to get up.

5 more minutes.

My blankets are calling me.

Just 5 more minutes.

Don’t make me get up.

Girls can get ready on their own, can’t they?

Oh…. what’s THAT out my window? Let me grab my boots and camera – I’m up and running!

Good morning!!!!

IMG 2988 Good Morning

IMG 2999 Good Morning

IMG 3001 Good Morning

Celebrating life, love and morning light,


  • Page 1 of 2
  • 1
  • 2
  • >