The M* Family

I realized with a rather unpleasant shock today that I never did blog a rather fabulous family session that I shot in October 2014. It was an amazing afternoon with the most dreamy, golden, late-summer sunshine. We met at Castlegar’s Millennium Park, and spent an hour or so together running through the tall grass, laughing, and adventuring. It was just beautiful. Mom, Kristi, is the brilliant mind behind the inspiring home-design blog Making it in the Mountains. She is a wealth of inspiration, class, and charm. It was a ton of fun collaborating with her and her beautiful little family for this gorgeous session!

Without further adieu, I’d like to share the images with you now. Here is the M* Family:

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5 reasons you should print your photos today

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My siblings and I, on my youngest brother’s 1st birthday.

I want to talk about something very near and dear to my heart; the importance of printing photos. Not just the amazing professional photos that you have done once every 5 years, or at momentous life occasionally, but the every-day-snap-shots that you take with your phone or point & shoot camera. The moments that feel so trivial and insignificant at the moment that they barely get a mention on Facebook or instagram. Those photos are the moments that make up our real lives, yet it is becoming rarer and rarer that those images will ever make it to print.

Here are 5 good reasons why you should print those snapshots today:

Because photos make great gifts. 

You want to make your Grandma the happiest grandmother on the planet? Send her some 4×6 prints of yourself, your kids, your last vacation, your house, your garden, your friends, your life. She will bring that little stack of photos with her to church, and bridge, and the grocery store, and show them to everyone who will give her 5 minutes of their time. Carefully flipping through, explaining, and showing off every single image. Grandparents LOVE photos. So does everyone else.

Wondering what to give your sister who is notoriously tough to shop for? Find a cute photo of you guys at your recent camping trip, or dig out a photo of you two from your childhood, have it framed nicely, and give that. She’ll love it. Trust me on this; There are very few people in your life who wouldn’t be pleased to recieve a nicely framed photo for Christmas. It’s a fact.

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My incredible Grandparents. On their 3rd date.

Because nothing beats flipping through an old fashioned, basic photo album.

Remember being 14 years old, and sitting down with your ‘baby album’ in your lap, and flipping through all of those plastic-encased photos of yourself as a dirty-faced baby? Remember pulling one out of the sleeve, and asking your Mom about who the guy with the mullet was? Or where you were? And remember the answer to those questions triggering all sorts of awesome early childhood memories?

Not having photos printed of the boring, every day moments & events in our lives is robbing our children (and grand children, and great grandchildren, and great great…. you get the idea) of this experience and those memories entirely. It’s also robbing YOURSELF of that photo-flipping experience.

Look, these fancy ‘Photo Books’ are great. Having your stunning professional wedding albums done up in an $800 flush-mount album is wonderful, and certainly something you should do. But what about the every day moments that make up the other 99.8% of your life? The quick snaps of your kids in the bathtub, or the out-of-focus shot of your husband chasing the kids in the backyard where they all look so-damn-happy? Those moments are important too. Equally as important, actually. Have 4×6 prints made of all these little, seemingly ‘insignificant’ moments printed and stuff them into a cheap album from Walmart. Your children will thank you for it 10, 20, & 50 years from now.

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Because nothing makes a house feel like a home quite like framed photos.

Know what I love? I love going into a friend’s home for the first time and moving slowing from room to room, picking up framed photos. It’s similar to the photo album experience above, only you are only seeing the best bits. When people frame and hang/put up photos around their house, it’s because they feel like that moment, that person, that memory is exceptional. The photos that a person frames around their home tells you a LOT about someone.

On the flip side, have you ever gone into someone’s home and noticed that they didn’t have any photos up? Know what it feels like? A hotel room. Not having photos up makes a home feel sterile, un-lived in, un-loved. There are very few decorating techniques that immediately warm a space up as instantly as putting out framed photographs.

It makes your kids/friends/partner/nanny/mother in law and everyone else feel good about themselves.

Have you ever gone into your distant Aunt or Uncles house, to find a photo of you (usually one that you have never seen before) framed on their mantle? How did it make you feel?
Flattered? Loved? Valued?

Printing and putting out photos of the people that we care about tells the world “Hey! I care about this person enough to dedicate 5″ of real estate in my home to them!” It is one of the countless small ways that we can show people that we love them. It makes them feel wonderful… and I am all about making the people I care about feel wonderful!

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Because technology is volatile & ever changing. 

This is the most important reason. If the above reasons were enough to convince you to run out and print every photo off your iPhone TODAY, I hope that this it:

iPhones get lost and stolen. iPhones fall into water and get destroyed forever. Servers crash. Home computers get lost in fires and floods and robberies.

You know all those photos you have on CDs, sitting on a dusty shelf in your office? Do you realize that computers today aren’t even being made with CD drives? Within a year or two (if not already) you will not be able to read those discs even if you wanted to because the hardware require simply will not exist anymore.

This is serious and real, you guys. We are losing precious memories and moments of our lives permanently on a daily basis, and we won’t realize until it’s too late. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to print off photos of your baby’s first birthday in a year or two. Don’t assume that in the “year or two” that you are waiting technology won’t change, or your device won’t somehow be compromised.

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4 generations of matriarchs. My mother is the infant.

So, what should you do?

Create and album in your iPhone & Desktop called ‘Prints’. Every few days, go through the images that you have taken and move your favourite shots over into that album. Wait until you have 50-100 images, and then mosey on over to Snapfish.com and have a stack of 4x6s printed.

What will you do with this steady stream of 4x6s? Well, you don’t need to keep every photo for yourself– you can mail some to your Grandma (see above), or anyone else you love. Stuff the ones you keep into a cheap album from Walmart. Or! If you can’t do that, just toss the prints as-is into a small, plastic bin. It doesn’t need to be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. You don’t need to spend 100 hours scrap booking these memories (though you can if that’s your thing). The point here is to simply get PHYSICAL prints of your favourite snapshots while you still can.

Put your albums/boxes of 4×6 prints onto a shelf where your dusty bin of photo CDs used to be… And sleep soundly at night knowing that 80 years from now, your great/great great grandchildren will be able to hold in their hands these every-day-memories that have since become priceless family heirlooms.

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Sara and Bergen {Rossland Engagement Photographer}

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I knew I liked Sara and Bergen before my bum even hit my seat during our initial consultation.

We met at Rossland’s ‘Flying Steamshovel Pub’ one grey day in October. I walked in, scanning the room for people I had never ever met, and my eyes immediately fell on Bergen– waving & smiling broadly from a table in the middle of the room.  Like I was a long lost friend. The 3 of us clicked right away, and we proceeded to have the best conversation over yam fries.

As I do at all my consultations, I left them with a copy of my Wedding Agreement, with no pressure to sign or commit on the spot. I am always happy for couples to go home, think on it, meet with other photographers, and do whatever feels best for them. We parted ways in the parking lot with hugs all around, and my wedding contract in their hands. I got in my car, sat down, and wrote a text message to my husband, “Consultation went great! This couple is rad!”

HONK HONK!

A car horn. I look up. Sara and Bergen have pulled their truck up in front of my car. I step out. Sara is leaning out of her rolled down window, smiling that million dollar smile. Bergen comes running around the front end of his truck, waving a check.

“We love you! We want you to be our wedding photographer! So why wait?! Here’s a check!”

And that, my friends, is how I met (and fell in love with) Sara and Bergen. They’re enthusiastic. They’re decisive. They’re energetic and fun. Oh, and they’re gorgeous. 

As lovers of winter, Sara suggested a ‘Winter Wonderland’ type engagement shoot. I’d never really shot in this much snow before (before from Vancouver and all!) but I was up for a new adventure. We donned our snow attire & met at Redstone Golf Course just a couple of days before Christmas. After wrapping up there, we headed up the hill for a few shots in downtown, absolutely-adorable, Rossland. What a fun shoot!

Sara & Bergen will be tying the knot at RED Mountain Resort this coming summer. I absolutely cannot wait!

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Steve and Kumiko {Granville Island Engagement}

Steve and Kumiko reached out to me early in 2015 about shooting their September wedding, which would be taking place in Vancouver, BC.  I am from Vancouver, and I started my business in Vancouver, but I no longer live there. However, that doesn’t stop me from seizing every opportunity I can to go back and work/see friends and family/eat sushi! So obviously, I eagerly agreed to be their photographer.

The thing was, Steve & Kumiko didn’t live in Vancouver either. In fact, they had NEVER lived in Vancouver! And none of their family lived there either. They had simply visited the city once, years before, and had enjoyed it so much that they figured it would be a great place to get hitched. Planning a wedding from afar is never easy, but it’s particularly not easy when you have almost zero ties to the location at all! These are some ambitious folks!

With neither of us living in Vancouver itself, I was not able to meet with Steve and Kumiko in person until we were both in the city for their big day. Fortunately, Steve & Kumiko agreed that working together once before their wedding celebration was super important. So even though we were pressed for time, we managed to squeezed in a very last minute engagement session the day before the wedding. Thus proving that it’s never too late for an engagement session!

Despite a forecast for rain, weather was absolutely gorgeous and we had such a wonderful time. Getting to spend that hour with them before the excitement of the following day was so beneficial. We built up a really good report, which made everyone’s lives (and the photos!) easier on the wedding day itself. Plus, they got to take home some pretty rad images (if I do say so myself).

The G Family

I was in Vancouver recently for a week, and had the pleasure of catching up with one of my favourite little families while there.

I met Becca & Alex back in 2012 when we got together at Fraser River Park to shoot their Engagement. We had a great time wandering the park and getting to know each other. In the fall of 2012, I met with them again to shoot their beautiful wedding at Burnaby Village Museum. A year after THAT I returned to their home to welcome (and photograph, obviously) their new baby boy, Eli.

(I am realizing with horror right now that I never did blog that session! Shame on me!)

While I was in Vancouver this most recent visit I was able to meet with them AGAIN. This time to mark their son’s 1st birthday. One year of life for Eli. One year of parenthood for Becca & Alex. Everyone survived! Here is to many more happy years, and hopefully many more photoshoots to mark the occasions.

Love. Marriage. Baby Carriage —-> I get to be there for it all. I have the best job.

Welcome Eli! {Castlegar Kootenays Newborn Photographer}

Welcoming a new baby, whether it’s #1 or #4 is always special… But there is really something extra special about getting to see older siblings welcome a new baby into their clan. The G* Family had me over to mark the occasion of baby Elliott’s grand arrival when he was just 7 days-new, and I could not be happier for them.

Elliott will grow up with two fabulous older brothers, and one doting older sister to turn to for advice, help, encouragement and fun! Not to mention, two thrilled (but, perhaps, slightly overwhelmed at the moment!) parents.  What a lucky little guy, and what a wonderful family!

Congratulations G* Family, and Welcome Little Eli!

Sweet Little Lana

Carolyn and Ross are long time clients of mine. I had the honour and privilege of shooting their STUNNING Hycroft Manor Wedding back in the summer of 2013. It was a perfect day, at the perfect venue, with the perfect couple. Then, in September 2014, just over 1 year later, I met with them again. This time to photograph Carolyn’s growing bump… and again everything was perfect. (Almost ridiculously so! I’d hate these two for being so damn perfect if they weren’t so fun, and down to earth, and genuine!)

One thing you should know about Carolyn and Ross is that they are straight-shooters. Despite their hollywood good looks and their fancy wedding- They don’t like frills. They don’t like gimmicks. They don’t do ‘cutesy’ or ‘posey’ or ‘gaze at each other lovingly while thinking about buttercups and faery-dust‘. From the very first day that I sat down with them over a beer to chat about their upcoming nuptials, they have been VERY clear about what they don’t want in their photos– cheese.

I have to admit, when they approached me about maternity photos this past fall, I was a bit surprised. Maternity photos? For Carolyn and Ross? Surely that’s too “cheesy”?! They were quick to add that they would never have approached ANYONE but me for the task, because they knew that I ‘got it’ and would keep the session down to earth and true to them. It was flattering to be trusted so implicitly. It is refreshing to work with clients who understand & appreciate my style so well… and vice-versa.

So, now here they are. Welcoming their newest addition a (…you guessed it) absolutely perfect little girl. Lana. She’s full of life, vivacious, & endlessly charming…. not unlike her wonderful Momma.

Welcome, sweet Lana. I can’t wait to watch you grow.