Treasure Board Progress

Maybe you remember the treasure board we started about two years ago? I was looking at it the other day and realized I hadn’t posted at updated pictures of what it looks like now.

It’s been so fun collecting these little trinkets over the past couple of years. It never ceases to surprise me the things I might pass over if it weren’t for little hands snatching them up and bringing them to my attention. You truly never know where you’re going to find a treasure.

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Hanami 2014

The thing I love most about springtime in Vancouver is the cherry blossoms. For a couple of weeks in April our street is lined with cotton candy trees and when the wind blows through it rains pink.

Things have been a bit crazy with the little house we live in going up for sale but we took a few moments today to bask in our sunshiney front yard and truly breathe in these last moments at the corner of Garden and Grant.

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No matter where life takes us, for the rest of my life I’ll remember spring time in East Vancouver.

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A Retirement Portrait

A couple of weeks ago one of my co-workers asked if I could enlarge a print of my boss from the staff Christmas party photobooth as a retirement present. I giggled a little bit, because who REALLY wants a 24×36 photo of themselves- let alone a cheeseball photobooth picture? BUT of course I obliged anyway. As luck (or something) would have it – there were no RAW files to be found of this particular photo ANYWHERE- making the enlargement impossible. So instead of blowing the whole idea off, I decided to bring a little lighting with me to work and see if I could come up with something a little better than I had before.

I really wanted to show Tom in front of the nursing station of the area he coordinates in an attempt to bring a sense of environment to the portrait. I used one light (my SB 910) on a Joe Mcnally lastolite 24″ inch softbox and positioned it directly of my subject, slightly to the left. One of my weaknesses when it comes to lighting is not getting close enough to the subject with my light source, so I made sure to get uncomfortably close with it.

I think it worked!

What I love best is that even though this is shot in a hospital, it doesn’t look clinical at all. It has this soft warm glowy quality that is VERY unhospitalish.

This photo below, was taken at the same location with only the available light. Gross right?

It really is amazing the difference that ONE little light can make to your portraits! So I guess at least if you’re going to be gifted a 24×36 portrait of yourself, this is as good as it gets! HA!

Enjoy your retirement Tom, you deserve it!

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Nan’s Birthday

Hanna and Armenie helped me make this surprise for my mom’s birthday today.

Hanna also helped annihilate the chocolate lava cake we had for dessert.
It was hard to make out because her mouth was full but I think she was saying,
“And then the volcano exploded and the dinosaurs all got extinct and died and there was a lot of blood.”

Uh.

Happy Birthday Mom?

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Sunday’s Child

Still wearing that dress, even riding her bike.
Still have to use every ounce of energy to get it off her body every night and into the washing machine.
Sometimes it’s easier not to argue, and she just sleeps in it.

That smile gets me every time.

The baby fat is slowly disappearing and in it’s place appears this mischievous little girl is left.

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Truly independent.
She goes where she wants.
I never worried about losing Hanna in a crowd, she was always right there clinging to my knees.
Armenie is gone as soon as you shift your attention.
Checking it out on her own.

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Wake Up Call

Interested by the idea that we are extremely honest first thing in the morning, I started photographing people in the time between them waking up and getting out of bed. When people first wake up, there’s no putting on airs, there’s no hiding. You’re a little bit exposed, a little bit raw, a little bit vulnerable. A real, intimate moment in the day to day life.

And in turn, being a bit more vulnerable and open and sharing more of myself, like I keep on talking about – I wanted to share a few samples from this project, which is something I’m really excited and nervous about and can’t wait to explore more of.

This is an ongoing project that I’d like to keep photographing on a weekly basis, so please get in touch with me for more details if you’re interested in posing. This project is not limited to couples and open is to anyone and everyone willing to share a few moments with me.

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A Hot Chocolate and a Prayer.

Everything has been really heavy lately. I feel like I’m doing the limbo with my eyes closed. Feeling more than a little lost, stuck in that cold harsh stormy place when it’s at it’s absolute ugliest, just before the rainbow appears. Waiting for the rainbow. Trying my best just to wait for the rainbow.

Last night, it felt like it was about to snow when I stepped off the bus into a small group of people who were huddled together with their head bowed slightly in solidarity. As I moved toward them on the sidewalk they broke from their huddle and turned toward me.

A tall man with a dark hat that came down over his face and half covering his wet brown eyes, smiled warmly and raised a steaming paper cup, offering me a hot chocolate and a prayer. I chuckled lightly not able to remember the last time I had prayed, trying to think of exactly when it was that I had stopped believing in God. I normally would’ve smiled politely and kept walking, I’m not really sure why I even stopped.

A woman came to my side and touched my arm lightly and asked me quietly what she should pray for. My brain searched for a moment and my heart ached for all the things that were going on in my life- the overwhelming financial burdens, the day to day stresses and the constantly draining fatigue of just trying to hold all the pieces together, just trying to get through the day. But none of it seemed important in that moment, none of it seemed worthy of prayer.

I was self conscious as I lifted my head and my eyes met hers.
“For my daughters… for their health, for their safety, for their growth.”

She took my hand in hers and started, “Oh Heavenly Father..” and as she spoke, I could feel her energy and the warmth of her hand in mine, incandescent in the bitter cold. And then we were both praying, gently swaying back and forth on that busy sidewalk together, And it didn’t matter what we each believed in or which god we were praying to. We were just praying, praying with everything we had, praying for what was important, for these two precious girls.

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And as I walked down the sidewalk away from them, still with my steaming paper cup of hot chocolate, I smiled as I sipped it – feeling strangely lighter and amazed at just how good that hot chocolate could taste.

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A Sufficient Amount of Amusement for One Day

I’m not sure how I convinced them this was a good idea.

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But I’m glad I did.

HA.

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A Few Minutes with Hanna

Because sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable to be a cat that has a blue nose, and orange ice cream on your chin because “MOM, that’s just the kind of cat I am.”

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She refuses to cut her wild blonde tangles but always reluctantly lets me carefully tame the snarls. (She tells me how to style it and I have become proficient in many types of braids, at her request.

She is changing so much faster now, her body long and lean and her mischievous smirks and eyes that already tell stories of the woman she will become. I am amazed often by her grammar and diction, the way complicated words role off her tongue with ease and pride and how she looks up shyly at me, waiting for my praise. Sometimes I have to look at her twice when an expression I haven’t seen before spills across her face. Who is she? I know her better than I know myself, and at the same time – she is a stranger.

Such a little stranger.
XO

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Toddler Makeover

It’s totally different feeling for me, having such a girly girl. When Hanna was this age she was all about the skeleton tee shirts and jeans with ripped knees and well.. obviously Armenie is not. I’m still tearing the pink (‘purple’) dress off her while she’s kicking and screaming – even if she’s just dumped her breakfast/lunch/dinner all over it. I try to wash it while she sleeps, but some nights she even wears it to bed. And if I’ve managed to convince her that it needs a wash while she’s in bed, the first thing she does in the morning is run to the laundry room to pull it on over her pajamas.

And I caught her again yesterday morning giving herself another makeover.

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