Wild Mountain | Chilliwack | with Inhale Floral Designs, Montana's Bridal Hair, and Joelle Marks (Family Management)

This day was cold, and awesome. I pretty much drove into the ditch, but I pulled myself out (through strength of will and only small, well hidden moments of panic) and the sky was blue and perfect and Chilliwack Lake was like a storybook winter wonderland. It was freezing. Like, it was really really cold, which makes model Joelle even more of a champ - she braved that cold in a dress and fur blanket and never complained once. 

We shot quick, we shot cold, and I feel really lucky to live in this lovely place surrounded by such awesome creative people.

Beautiful floral creations by the talented Haley Marks for Inhale Floral Designs 

Hair (I am in love with that braid) by Montana Bullied (Montana's Bridal Hair

Model: Joelle Marks from Family Management 

Assisted by super champ Audra Coton, and Utah Jack

Year in Review, in 2017

I was sick through most of this December, which really didn't stop me from running to the mountains to shoot in freezing conditions, driving into snow-covered ditches (no tiny Versa Notes were hurt in the process), or eating no less than 4 Christmas dinners. However, it did mean that I crashed pretty hard after Christmas and came down with the flu through New Year's. Jamie and I changed our plans to spend the night in Vancouver, and instead we stayed home and watched terrible/awesome sci-fi movies like Space Hunter. (It was awesome, even if I was sick.) 

My New Year's resolution is to find more time for what I love, and to make my space a happier one. At the end of November I wrote 6 papers (everyone I know has heard this fact many times and are super sick of it, but I keep repeating it because I WROTE SIX PAPERS.) and ended up spending a lot of time in my tiny office between writing and editing. Let me tell you: my office is a mess. I did that semester-end thing that people do where I basically let everything go, let things stay where they've dropped, and as a result this office is now a cluttered, dysfunctional mess. Fast forward to today, where I went and bought an amazing mid-century dresser, which I plan to use to dress up this space, along with some Cathy Terepocki / Kilnhouse planters and new wall prints (pictures to come, it's now officially my Sunday plan). 

Back to those six papers I wrote though, one of them was on the use of visual language in dementia patients and it was SO interesting. Thinking about communication in terms of visual language is fascinating anyways, because I think art can convey the inexpressible, help us create visual aids to convey meaning and emotion without confining us to words. This is also something I've been trying to bring into my own work as well: moments over poses. I want to capture those candid, beautiful silences that exist in between our words. 

So 2016. It was a year, hey? I did a lot of travelling this year, which is surprising considering I didn't plan on going anywhere. Instead, I ended up road tripping to Fort St. John with Brittany, then through the prairies with my Mama, and down to Iowa with Jamie to see my BFF Crystal get married in a tiny, darling American town. 

I spent time with my cousins, I saw an elk chilling on the side of the road, I sang Eagles' songs at the top of my lungs down lonely BC highways, drove through my second set of funnel clouds in Alberta, ate a hot dog wrapped in a donut (nope.), and visited the lonely empty school I attended as an awkward preteen. 

My brother got engaged! I did another year of my Masters. I started my internship. I made the cover of Louden Singletree. And I shot almost every single day. 

Thank you to everyone who chose me to capture your memories this year. I photographed my last few weddings, and I couldn't have asked for more fabulous couples. My friend Jen and I got to shoot together (which is always awesome), I photographed proud mamas, babies, families, couples, artists, and beautiful, fabulous women.

Thank you everyone for trusting me with your stories. 

Here's to a fabulous 2017. 

 

Ever After Princess Party Events | Chilliwack Princess Photographer

Who is your favourite princess? I've always been really partial to Ariel. I was that kid who would push myself out of the water at the side of the pool, and flip back my gorgeous blonde mullet, likely spraying everyone around me with water, thinking that I looked exactly like Ariel. AND THEN I WOULD SING. I saw the movie when I was 7, after getting my ears pierced for the first time, with my cousins, and despite her evilness, have always held a soft spot in my heart for the fabulousness of Ursula. This is partly why I was SO excited when Emily and Pauline added The Little Mermaid to their list of available princesses - my 7 year old heart was feeling pretty happy. 

If you want to feel a little verklempt, I would fully suggest watching a kid's face when they meet a princess. I've been lucky enough to work with Ever After Princess Party Events a few times now, and seeing the excitement and occasionally overwhelming joy on a child's face when they meet Cinderella doesn't get old. 

This past spring I was able to do some promotional photography of all of the Princesses, and here are a few of my favourite images from that session. 

If  you'd like to book a princess for your child's birthday party, or for an event, Ever After Princess Party Events is run out of Chilliwack by two truly fabulous people. Get in touch with them for rates, questions, or to book. 

 

 

That's when the rains came

Um, hello rain! This weekend has been so cozy for me, holed away in my little office, editing, working on projects, and realizing I haven't watered my windowsill cacti for like a month. I hope you all have been staying dry, and safe, with piles of books and tea (maybe some of New Moon Tea Co's?) 

Here's an image from a recent shoot I did for Kilnhouse Studio, featuring some of my new mugs from her. The Swan one is my new all time fav. 

I've done a few updates around the site: added a new gallery, and looked at my submission contact form. It *seems* to be working, and tests are going through - but I've added a little blurb there just in case to let people know that I answer everything in 48 hours. I'm also looking into a contact form like the one I had on my old Wordpress site eventually - it logged all the entries in two places, so if I didn't receive an email I knew right away. Hopefully I can find something similar to SquareSpace!

Stay cozy, friends!

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PS: If you're looking for a few cozy books to read during this storm, might I suggest: Watership Down, The October Daye series by Seanan Mcguire, or Stephen King's "It"? 

The Yosts | Chilliwack Family Photographer

I have been photographing this family since I first met Georgia, a million years ago, at our job in a video store. We spent long shifts talking about movies, making jokes, and eating all the candy available in the store, and I've watched her family grow from a family of four to a family of six (plus two adorable kittens). We got together again this fall to shoot in the beautiful Community Forest (off of Annis Road exit) and the light was absolutely perfect. 

You haven't seen pure joy on a child's face until you let them scream "Diarrhea" in the woods several times. Everleigh's cooperation on the shoot is directly related to that. There is also a certain amount of magic that happens when you just let kids squish together and jump up and down and be goofy and ridiculous in the forest - this is something I love doing so much. As a photographer, I'm not much for posing - I love squishing people, making them laugh, and capturing the genuine expressions that result. Sometimes photo shoots are messy, but sometimes the emotion is in the mess.

I'm so thankful to know this great group of people, and looking back through all of my shoots with them, I can't believe so much time has passed so quickly - but I'm grateful for every minute of it. 

 

Movies for Halloween that are amazing*

*Amazing being a totally subjective term. 

Every Halloween I break out a few movies / specials to watch, usually while editing, burning gingerspice candles and thinking about how much I loved Halloween as a kid. The movies below are all ones I watched when I was little, but may not be for everyone - I think I had nightmares about Mr. Boogedy for years. But honestly, that's fine because I also thought that Blair Underwood from the Facts of Life was a monster who lived under my bed. Does anyone remember the murder mystery episode of Facts of Life? Because NOPE. (Also, writing this post, and realizing that not everyone may get my Facts of Life reference... makes me feel super old.) 

Halloween 1990: a beautiful princess, Donald Duck, and me, an awkward, mulleted cat in sweatpants. 

Halloween 1990: a beautiful princess, Donald Duck, and me, an awkward, mulleted cat in sweatpants. 

So here's my go-to list for Halloween movies that (might) make you feel super nostalgic!

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The Watcher in the Woods. I love this movie! It's classic, unsettling Disney AND it stars Bette Davis. Full movie here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0owgDMDBg4

Bride of Boogedy. Also categorized under movies that terrified me as a child, this movie is a super weird (and not necessarily for super young kids) Disney classic. Wax museums, magic cloaks, movie monsters, it's got it all! You can actually find it (and the original) on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLVBidR-8cU

Ernest Scared Stupid. The trolls are so, so, so gross. Jamie can't watch this movie while eating. Trailer here.

The Monster Squad. Maybe not for little kids (although that's totally when I watched it), this movie is like a movie-monster themed version of The Goonies. My favourite line will forever be: "My name... is Horace." Trailer here

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The House on Haunted Hill. This is the original movie, with Vincent Price. When I was a kid, my parents wouldn't let me rent Nightmare on Elm Street, etc (with good reason) but sometimes I'd be allowed to watch the old classics. I watched a ton of Abbott and Costello + monsters movies. This one still probably isn't great for kids, but it's definitely tame in comparison to the most recent version! 

Return to Oz. I think a lot of people thought when this came out that it would be a direct sequel to the Judy Garland Wizard of Oz, but it's really, really not. At all. Nope. The Wheelers are basically handcrafted straight out of nightmares, as is Princess Mombi's gallery of heads. Trailer here

If you're looking for something really scary, check out Nightmare on Elm Street, It Follows, Insidious, The Conjuring, and the Shining! If you're looking for more specials (that you're likely to find on YouTube), check out Garfield's Halloween Adventure, The Real Ghostbusters: When Halloween was Forever, and the Tower of Terror.

If you have a favourite Halloween special, or something to add about the ones listed above, please leave a comment below!  

The Maybelles - November 26th, 2016

Check out the event on Facebook here: Welcome to the 60s featuring the Maybelles

Let The Maybelles take you back to one of the most musically iconic decades of all time, the 1960's. We will be playing many of the girl group hits you love, mixed with some Motown and rock n' roll. This is a concert/dance, so feel free to cut a rug on the dance floor, or sit back and enjoy the tunes. 

The details in a nutshell:

*Date: November 26th
*Located in the hall at St Thomas Anglican Church
*Doors open at 6:30, the show starts at 7
*Tables and seating are first come, first served
*Limited capacity. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door
*Cash bar
*Dessert and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided complimentary
*19+ admission, no minors
*There will be a loonie/toonie prize table and the opportunity to purchase baked goods to go
*Door prize
*Prize for the best 1960's attire
*There will be an optional complimentary dance lesson before the second set lead by our choreographer, Katrina
*Live band!
*Tickets are $18

To purchase tickets: 
*Private message The Maybelles facebook page or your favourite Maybelle.
*Email britwaslen@gmail.com
*Phone Brittany at 604-703-4818

Cash and email transfer accepted.

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Iowa Magic!

Hey Friends! 

I will be away starting TONIGHT! Tuesday September 20 until Tuesday September 27th, in order to head to Iowa and see my BFF get married! I will respond to all emails once I'm home. Have a great week everyone!

 

 

Cozy Rainy Day Finnish Pancakes | Chilliwack Photographer

This recipe is straight from one of the loveliest ladies I’ve ever known, Mama Pirkko, who would whip up a batch of Finnish pancakes in the morning after sleepovers at my best friend Melissa’s house. Basically we needed sustenance after marathon bouts of Super Mario Bros. 3, Dream Phone and dreaming about our future husband, Jonathan Taylor Thomas. If you’re ever in Thunder Bay, head to the Hoito – it looks like a dimly lit church basement, has barely changed decor since it opened, and is always jam-packed with people requiring pancakes to live, but it’s a Northwestern Ontario Finnish landmark and serves the closest thing available to Mama’s pancakes. The pancakes that you’re about to make, from the recipe below, are best served with all the butter available in the Fraser Valley, with bacon wrapped inside, syrup, and viewings of The Goonies in your pajamas during dismal rainy days.

Ingredients:
You will need –
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

That’s it! This is a great recipe because it kind of hits in the middle – it’s easy enough for someone like me who once set rice on fire, to make, but delicious enough for people who love good food and cooking to whip up in minutes. Add all the above ingredients into a bowl, heat up a pan with butter, and then begin frying up each individual pancake. They should be thin (like crepes), and each individual pancake shouldn’t take very long. This recipe usually makes about 3-5 pancakes, so just double or triple the recipe for more. My adorable measuring cup is courtesy of Kilnhouse Studio, who makes pretty things that substitute for measuring cups when you forget to do dishes.