Archive for Jan 2012

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January 12, 2012 El Salvador

I am going to have to break my visit to EL Slavador into a few posts – the engagement session, a family session, the wedding, the Children’s Home I visited… but first let me introduce you to the country.

I am embarrassed to say that I knew next to nothing about El Salvador before I visited there. I even had to pull out the globe to figure out exactly where it is (it’s beside Guatemala in Central America if you’re wondering). I adore latin america culture so I was excited to go! I was asked to go just a week before Christmas (and about 3 weeks before I left) so I didn’t have much time to do research on the country ahead of time.

El Salvador is a gorgeous country. Flowers everywhere, volcanos and mountains, gorgeous black sand beaches, and warm, friendly people. I love to visit places that are not a major tourist stop and to see how people really live. I especially love it when – as on this visit – I have people with me who know the culture and language!

El Salvador has also been named the most dangerous country in the world (more on that in this article). Their gangs are a serious problem – and how they extort innocent people. I never felt in danger though – perhaps because every single place you go it is gated and there is an armed guard (or guards) with very visible guns. Never seen so many guns in my life! A bit disconcerting chatting with a guard carrying a big gun with ammunition strapped to his vest. But at the same time comforting. Walking down the street between the guard stations at the Children’s Home and their school – a distance of a couple hundred meters at most – I was told that they don’t usually let “gringos” (white people) walk there as the gangs had tried in the past to extort the home and their kids. The kids now have to take a new more guarded route.

And then on the flip side, El Salvador has some of the best surfing in the world and in October 2011 they hosted the World Masters Surfing Championship (found out after the Australian team stayed in the villa we stayed at! Kind of cool).

It is a country of contradictions – some of the friendliest people on earth contradicted with the stories of gang violence. Beautiful flowers and trees contradicted by the signs of poverty all around. People who work from morning to night contradicted by the laid-back, surf culture. And so on….

I loved my time there and would absolutely recommend El Salvador to visit – I would just suggest you be smart when you travel, and if at all possible have someone with you who knows the country and it’s language!

Here’s a glimpse into the country…

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Watch for more posts from this great country soon!

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

I am here in El Salvador and so in love with this country. Like so many countries it is such a mixture of sheer beauty (black sand beaches, volcanoes, surfing, amazing vegetation, beautiful people) and sadness (poverty, crime, etc.). I will be blogging about my adventures in this gorgeous country when I get home – but for now I will leave you with one photo from David and Beatriz’ wedding yesterday – high up on a mountain at a coffee plantation.

IMG 8245 2 Greetings from El Salvador!

Check back soon for more or visit my Facebook page HERE to see a few more images!

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

January 3, 2012 Invaluable

This morning on Facebook, a post was going around that really touched me. I encourage you to read it HERE. It is a letter from a woman who passed up getting portraits done because they were too expensive… and then how she found over the course of a few days she spent the money she could have spent on portraits on this and that… a manicure, a dinner out… things that come and go. Not knowing that this same woman was to be diagnosed with cancer and soon pass away. She ended the letter saying “Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it. If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth. I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.”

This afternoon I received this email from a bride from a few years ago along with this photo.

“Hi, Krista.

Jamie’s Opa just passed away, and this picture is the “grand finale” of the slide show. It is a wonderful capture of his spirit.

Also, I love that my Oma that passed away 2 years ago is in the background. They are now both in heaven.

Thanks again for these beautiful memories. They are invaluable to our families.

-Becky”

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I might add that the above photo was in response to this moment. icon smile Invaluable

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This is why I pick up my camera.

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

January 3, 2012 Year in Review

One thing I believe is that if I hope to photograph your life and love… I need to celebrate and live my life to the fullest! If I’m empty, stressed and neglecting my family – it will show in my photos of my clients. A piece of me goes into every image. What I value and cherish is what I strive to capture.

So as January creeps in – I sat back to look at 2011 on a personal level. I thought I’d share a quick year in review of my personal life…

January 2011…

I went to a great photography conference in Mystic, Connecticut with some of my favourite girlfriends. A great time of learning and laughing! ANd I had a great time exploring the sights of Connecticut for the first time!

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On the way home – we all went to New York City together. So fun!

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Then the gals went home, and I stayed by myself for a day before my family came up to join me. It was so fun to share NYC with my girls for the first time.

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ANd they even got to meet the Naked Cowboy in Times Square!

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February 2011….

We are very fortunate to have Mark’s parents winter in Florida – so we try to o down each year to visit! They spoiled the girls again by taking us to Disney as part of our Christmas gift!

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I also flew out to Northwest Ontario for a winter wedding. Was fun to get on snowmobiles for an engagement shoot!

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March 2011…

We saw lots of snow! We love tobogganning in our back yard and playing in the snow!

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April 2011…

One of my highlights of the year for sure was a trip to Haiti to volunteer in an orphanage. I went along with my sister, my good friend Jodi and her mom. Life changing experience!

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We started to thaw out from a VERY long, cold winter and looked forward to hanging out in our treefort and yard. This photo was taken April 27…

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And this was taken the very next day after a wicked storm! As bad as it was – after being in Haiti days before – it didn’t seem so major!

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May 2011…

Spring may be my favourite season – after cold days, to see signs of life and warm temperatures!

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June 2011…

We made a big family trip that we all loved! We went to Iceland as a family for a week with my sister and a good friend of mine. It’s very hard to choose a couple favourites from this trip – I can not recommend Iceland enough! Such a magical place!

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Summer 2011…

We had a great summer of nothing-ness! Enjoying sunshine, friends, camping, and life!

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And Eden turned 7 – celebrating with a “Christmas in July” party!

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And our family grew with our pet goat Juliette (unfortunately she ran away/disappeared late Fall/Winter… we really miss her!)

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September 2011….

Back to school! The girls love school and got great teachers – they were eager to get back!

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Madison turned 9 – and asked for a surprise party with family. She was really surprised!

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After 4 years, my dad completed his plane he built himself! AFter he flew solo for 25hours he was finally able to take passengers – we all went up for a spin! SO proud of him!

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Fall 2011…

We got to spend time with some of our favourite people…

Mark’s family…

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Lots of friends including the Goodyears…

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One of my best friends rode bike across Canada to raise funds for children’s cancer research!

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And of course – Halloween!

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Madi cut her hair to donate for cancer – so proud of her and love her new look!

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December 2011…

On December 6 Mark and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. Love this guy!

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And Christmas!

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Can’t believe how fast 2011 went! As I looked back over images, I was reminded of so many great memories and all the people in my life. My heart feels full.

I look forward to 2012 and all it may hold!

Celebrating life and love,

Krista

January 2, 2012 Stone Family

This is one family I adore… and it has been so fun to document their growth from their anticipation of baby, to Isabella’s arrival – and to her now as a growing baby! We have always documented their family in and around their country home and barn – telling part of their story in the images. And news is there is soon to be another new Stone in the family next year! So excited for this amazing family!

We created these images back in November – but we wanted to wait until after Christmas to share. Enjoy!

Miss Isabella absolutely steals my heart. Look at this muffin!

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These three are all so smitten – love watching them interact.

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I loved the light inside this part of their barn!

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We found this old window frame on the property – made a fun prop! As does the old bike from the barn you’ll see in some images!

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I love this following set…

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And I’ll sign off with one we did for their Christmas cards… Kris and Sarah are both music lovers and musicians so we had to incorporate their interests!

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Celebrating life and love,

Krista

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