East Van Summer Days

Welp, I survived my first blizzard here in Southwestern Ontario. It was a little shocking to see my car completely buried under a snow drift. Dorothy, we’re not in Vancouver anymore.

So here’s flash back post of sorts to thaw these chilly days. These are from one of our last days in Vancouver, soaking up the last of the summer. Missing these boys so much, as well as their mama, my “sister wife” Liz. My life became so much richer when she became my neighbor. The groggy coffees in our housecoats, naked kids running wild in the backyard, the neverending piles of laundry that we always tackled together, the communal dinners, fresh from our shared garden, ciders on the front steps on warm evenings after the kids were asleep… there’s nothing in life as good as friends like these. It’s sad the kids won’t remember these days as well as we will, there is truly nothing that compares to these summer days we had together.


I miss seeing these faces together every day.

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Wake Up Call- David

I had never met David before. He had heard about the Wake Up Call project through a friend and sent me an enthusiastic message about being a part of it and the next morning I was sliding a key from under his mat and creeping into his house. As usual I held my breath as the old floorboards creaked under my feet, as always they do in old east vancouver houses. The cat nearly tripped me twice as I climbed the stairs and each time I stopped breathing to listen for sounds of awake from the bedroom. I found his room at the top of the stairs and paused for a moment enjoying the silence before waking him with the sound of my shutter.

I’m so grateful for the few moments that David let a complete stranger share with him as he woke up.


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Snowy Days

Cold noses, cold toes, warm hearts.

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Wake Up Call- Cheena Jean

I knew Cheena wouldn’t really be sleeping, even before I left the house. She texted me during the walk over to her apartment and confirmed what I had already known. I teased her that she needed to go back to sleep before I got there but when I made it to the door of her apartment, the keys stuck and she had to get up and let me in.

I watched her pretend to sleep and drink her tea. She told me the long complicated story about the book of poetry she was reading and insisted I borrow it. I still have it.




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New Years Pinky Promise

I suck at writing these days. I have nothing to write about. I’ve really feel like I’m in limbo. But at the same time I feel like I should keep this blog up, because it’s been such a big part of my life for the last 6 years. So please forgive my lack of words but I think I’m going to let my photos speak for me for a little while.

The only resolution I have this year is to pick up my camera more. These past few months have been such a switch for me and brought on a totally new routine, but there hasn’t been much time for photos, or maybe in this new routine the mundane is getting to me and I’ve lost sight of the magic in the little moments.

This year I resolve to explore the artist, stop making excuses, welcome my camera back into my daily routine, and see the magic again.

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Obligatory Holiday Update (and all those emotions)

It’s been a bit quiet around here. In true Taryn fashion, I must’ve tried to write about what I’ve been feeling a million times but couldn’t seem to find the words. Not only was it not being able to articulate those feelings but having trouble putting those emotions out there, putting my crazy on a platter.

It hasn’t been easy for me. I’ve definitely had a few ‘woe is me’ moments (aka kicking and screaming tantrums), especially missing my family and amazing collective of friends and their babies who aren’t babies anymore all of a sudden and the huge bellies that are about to be babies. ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY right now during the holidays.

It’s also been a very strange adjustment going from shift work to working 9-5 and having to drive 45 minutes to work to get there. It eats up a lot of my days and I REALLY REALLY hate not being able to take Hanna to and from school or do projects with her class. I always imagined being able to do those things, because that was the beauty of shift work. It’s also a totally different role to take on, with a lot more administrative responsibilities and leaves my brain just reeling at the end of the day for all the paperwork and number crunching. I miss the craziness of the ER, no job will ever be as interesting as the night shift at St. Paul’s.

On a more positive note though, there’s so much to look forward to though, hopefully we will be in a house of our own soon and will be much closer to my work. And the girls jumped right into their routines. Hanna left for school on her first day of Kindergarten and hasn’t looked back. Armenie has a blast during her afternoon adventures with her dad. Syx is finding his place in photography community here, and seems to be getting calls and emails every day for different opportunities and is working on some really wonderful personal projects.

Things are really looking positive and I’m excited for the New Year and all the promise it holds!

I can’t believe how fast this season has crept up on me, it doesn’t even really feel like Christmas yet.

I kept these cute photos that I took at the Windsor Art Gallery a few weeks ago off of facebook because I was going to use them for our Christmas card but since I totally failed on our Christmas Cards this year —

From our family to yours, Happy Holidays!

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Wake Up Call – Hanna Panda (first day of school)

When the alarm clock rang I had already been awake for 15 minutes. I let it ring anyway, needing something to drag me from my internal thoughts and out of bed. I looked at my myself in the mirror while I brushed my teeth barely recognizing myself. Sometimes it feels like that all this time has passed in the blink of an eye.

I picked up my camera and went back upstairs to where HP was still slumbering. I watched her sleep for a moment before I woke her. She smiled for a minute and said “I’m not ready yet” before she turned around and tried to ignore me. I don’t think I was ready yet either but up she got and off she went and so we both just had to be.

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Wake Up Call – Malloreigh

I walked the 40 minutes to Malloreigh’s relishing in the silence of the morning. The sun was coming up over the mountains and it warmed my back against the chill of the cool morning air as I meandered through alleys and empty parks. When I arrived at her house, the quiet of the morning on her porch was juxtaposed with the usual chaos at home of two small children screaming for breakfast and I breathed it in. She had left the door unlocked for me and it creaked loudly as I nudged it open. The old hardwood floor groaned under my feet with each careful tiptoe towards her bedroom door. In a gentle reverie, the early bright bathed her space in gold. She woke slowly as I started shooting, smiling and making sleepy conversation with her eyes still half closed.

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Wake Up Call – Jackie & Dan

Shortly after I decided to actually commit to the Wake Up Call project, I met Jackie. Jackie is also a photographer, a wonderfully creative woman who is always eager to help other creatives achieve their vision in anyway she can- a true example of building community. Most people thought the idea of someone taking photos of them waking up was strange, most were reluctant… but Jackie jumped right on board also volunteering her new (at the time) boyfriend Dan (also a photographer).

That morning, I quietly slipped into Jackie’s apartment building. At her front door the sharp click of the lock resonated down the hallway, the vibrations staying with me for a moment before I turned the knob slowly and entered. I held my breath and tried not to make a sound as I walked through the door. It reminded me of my grade school days of altar serving, being alone in the vestibule, slipping on my alb in silence before mass. The word reverent comes to mind.

The sound of my shutter was overwhelmingly loud in the stark silence of her apartment and I paused a moment, not ready for them yet to stir. As I watched them sleep, bodies intertwined, toes touching, the intimate energy of their new relationship overwhelmed me. I watched them move together delicately as they woke, in a comfortable but unfamiliar dance.

I had to smile at their smiles as they woke up beside eachother laughing. I laughed with them for a minute before I snuck back out and left them to their coffee.

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Ch-ch-ch-changes (a bit of truth)


I keep on opening the browser, writing a sentence and then closing the browser. I have 7 drafts saying things like “I’m overwhelmed by emotions.”, “There are lots of changes happening.”, “I don’t know if I’m ready to talk about this yet.”

And so I’ve walked away.

Some of you already know this but mostly I’ve kept my mouth pretty shut (if you don’t talk about it, you don’t have to deal with it, right?). For the past two years or so, Syx and I have seriously considered a move to Ontario. Over the past year the talk has turned to plans, and over the past 4 months, those plans have turned to action.

It sucks and it doesn’t suck. My heart is completely on the fence. It’s agonizing to leave the place I’ve grown up, the place I call home. But on the other side, we have friends and family welcoming us with open arms and over the past few years, I’ve found a second home in that place and in those relationships. I’m still scared shitless. I’m scared I won’t be able to find a job in my field, I’m scared we’re being over-optimistic about Syx being able to run photography workshops, I’m scared we won’t be able to break into the wedding photography market in the area.

But I look at the things we do have, the things we’re guaranteed, that’s what keeps me going. More family support and affordable child care, real homes, DREAM homes we can afford to buy, in another year, Armenie will have full time kindergarten available to her at age 4…. not to mention every. single. thing. costs significantly less than in Vancouver.

I’m not trying to diss you Vancouver, I’m really not. God knows how much I love your summer nights on the stoop that last well into September, your amazing population of weird and wonderful people, our days spent on your beaches with that view, and the millions of other intangible things that aren’t even possible to put into words. If a reasonable family home didn’t cost 1.3 million dollars, I might stay with you forever, but we ALL know that’s not the case.

So like I said, my heart is teetering on the fence here, but I’m opening myself and taking a chance. At this point my life, our lives – this is what’s best for my family. It’s sink or swim – now or never… we can’t keep treading water forever. As lovely as our little home on garden and grant was, it wasn’t ours… The truth is, we have dreams that are bigger than Vancouver and living here means this little family can’t afford them. We want to travel together, we want to have our own studio again, we want to be able to give our daughters the opportunities that they deserve. That we all deserve.

So for the next two and a half months we’re in Delta, living in my parents house with all our belongings in storage. I’m feeling a little displaced to say the least. We’ll be making the move at the end of August to have Hanna there in time for her to start kindergarten. Big changes coming, big changes have already happened.

Please send us your positive energy, we’re going to need some light and love on this new stage in our lives.

/end sigh.

Leamington Ontario – here we come!

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