Josiah and Hannah: A wedding to remember.

What. A. Wedding.

It’s no secret that I don’t say yes to very many weddings for a myriad of reasons. But when i do. Man. I’m so thankful that they get to be like this one.

Our northern town and surrounding communities have been evacuated (in turns, and for a week or a few weeks at a time) and/or been on evacuation alert since May because of a raging 300,000 + hectare wildfire. It’s intense and scary. Our skies have been filled with smoke and constant helicopters carrying buckets. This is the backstory for the reason why the location for this wedding had to be changed four days before the big day. They were supposed to get married on Josiah’s parents beautiful yard, and their home was put on mandatory evacuation four days before the wedding day. So what are a bride and groom to do? Thankfully, they have a solid family and community behind them, and with the help of an army of incredible people and a lot of prayer, managed to pull off an absolutely perfect wedding. Perfect because of the way it was infused with love and joy and resilience, and the knowledge that all that really mattered was that they were getting married in the company of their close family and friends and everything else was just gravy.

I feel so honoured that I got to be the one to document their day. I literally had no makeup left on my face by the end of the night, when i left at 10:45pm. Partly due to the fact that my eyes were burning from the smoke in the air, haha, and partly due to the sentimental tears that kept welling. So many sweet moments, so much laughter, so much intentional thought and care put into the details of their day. And note the time that I left. When you get married on June 22 in the north, you still get to dance in almost broad daylight at nearly 11pm. The best!

Thankful for you guys, Hannah and Josiah! When you handle these weeks of uncertainty leading up to your wedding with such grace and unity, I have no doubt that you will bring those lessons into your marriage and be better off for them. Wishing you two so many years of happiness and love. It was a privilege to spend your day with you.

Now. Enjoy 1 million photos of this gorgeous couple. What a day. What a perfect day.

Shawn and Miranda | Fall family session

I often get asked if I still take family photos. And the answer is: yes, I would love to take your family photos for you! BUT. There is a but. BUT they will not just be posed and "Stand here" and "Put your arm there". No. (Not that I am against those types of sessions! Many photographers I know do an absolutely phenomenal job with their portrait sessions! It's just about personal preference!) But my aim with my sessions is that the photos you get will tell a story. They will show you, years later, what your life was like in this year, this time, this day. They will show un-posed interactions and traditions and rituals. They will show the mess in your house (if there is any, not so much in this case! Miranda keeps the most organized home in the world and I am amazed every time by her!) and the honest emotions of your kids. I do not aim for perfection and "say cheese!" smiles. This kind of session feeds my soul, but I also think you will be thankful for them, especially when you are out of whatever particular season of life that you are in. I really do! 

I came to Shawn and Miranda's house while Miranda was prepping for supper with a baby in her arms and two kids at her feet, waiting for Shawn to get home from work, and kept photographing them until bedtime. Life with three little ones can be hectic and crazy, but they handle it with grace and a lot of laughter, and a whole lotta love. Oh so much love.

There is something else I have to share with you, and it is not to toot my own horn. This was Miranda's response after seeing the end result from their session:

"I just finished looking through the pictures. They are so perfect, IT MADE ME WISH I WAS PART OF THAT FAMILY, and that that was my life. Oh wait, it is. Pinch me. I'm not convinced you didn't pull these pictures out of a magazine. By far the best family session I've ever seen."
 

I share this because this was the first session where I truly shot from my heart. One hundred percent. I slowed down my shutter speed to catch the motion. I blurred those faces when I needed to capture emotion. I aimed for emotion and not for perfection. I threw technicalities out the window and just jumped into the moment and shot from my heart, the way I shoot my personal work. And SHE FELT IT TOO. That, my friends, is worth so much. Miranda, thank you for being such a wonderful client and friend, for trusting me, for seeing my vision. Photographing your family is an honour. 

 

September || Personal Work

"Strange, how the rustle of dying leaves can sound like possibility." Lori Hetteen (follow her IG account, she is fantastically brilliant.)

Photographically speaking, I am super sad that September is over. The September light is hard to beat. But I am going to do my best to soak in October in all it's unpredictability. Really dig into homeschooling, keep on growing this baby, and try to find all the ways to get through the horrid two-year molar phase. Wish me luck! :) 

2016 Harvest

A few years ago, my parents bought some farmland about an hour's drive from their home, that already had a quaint little house on it. We have since been so blessed to spend time there with them during seeding and harvest times, helping where we can and just spending time together as a family. Last week, Trevor took the week off and we hauled his brother's trailer out there and showed our kids the full farming experience. 

They absolutely loved everything about it. Going for rounds on the combine (that brings back SO many memories of my childhood!), bringing back grain to test, helping Papa test the grain ("Nana, we're just back from the field to test. I'm helping Papa test!"), pulling a neighbour's tractor out of the mud with Papa's tractor (or, attempting to, anyway), watching the auger from the safety of the pickup, going for ranger rides on the field, Cruz learning to "drive" the ranger and combine, discovering that the combine relaxes Zeke like nothing else and is totally his happy place, eating Nana's delicious meals together for every meal, camping in the trailer, adventuring in the woods, keeping a lookout for bears, and on and on. 

It was totally our kind of vacation. Almost no cell service or internet access, so it was quiet and peaceful. Crisp fall mornings and leaves starting to turn. Being able to help with the harvest and all the good memories that come with that. Spending time with different family members that came to visit throughout the week. And just good conversations with family over whipped cream-filled lattes and tomato sandwiches. Thankful for God's goodness. Happy Harvest! 

July || Personal Work

I'm neck deep in editing Fresh 48 photos from my newest nephew's arrival and decided to give my brain a little break and put together a blog post of a few fave photos from the month of July. It was an exhausting month for me, which was 100% due to the typical first trimester fatigue (yes, Wolfe pup #4 is on his/her way!) so I didn't pick up my camera as much as I usually do. But we did have a wonderful month, and here are a few photos to prove it :) 

Baby Josiah || Fresh 48

"Honey is sweet. A little baby is even sweeter." {unknown}

I have an exciting few weeks coming up, filled with birth sessions, fresh 48 sessions and newborn sessions. And I'm OVER THE MOON about it. And because I'm on call and can't concentrate on anything but waiting for my phone to ring telling me that one of the mamas is in labour (it's like I'm waiting for my own baby, you wouldn't believe the constant butterflies in my belly these past few weeks! haha) I thought I would post a throwback to last summer when I got to photograph the sweetest Fresh 48 session. I never posted it then because I didn't have my website up and running, so this felt like a good time to do it! 

Ashley and Tyrell have the cutest little family, and spending time with them in their first few hours as a family of four was just the best. The hospital room was filled with so much love and happiness, with big sister taking on her new role with pride and her tired but happy parents watching their two kids in awe. New babies are just the very best. 

June || Personal Work

I found a quote by the exceptional Sally Mann the other day, and it said this:

"Unless you photograph what you love, you're not going to make good art." 

I have been mulling those words over and over in my mind, and come to the conclusion that she was 100% right. I can take a million perfectly focused photos that follow all the rules and show everyone cheesing at the camera, or beautifully reading a book on the bed together, or whatever it is, but if it's JUST a photo to me and doesn't move me in some way, it's not good art. It might be a good photo, but it's not good art. 

I think this is why i keep shooting. All day, every day. I shoot. I shoot to get to know my heart, to know what I love, to feel what moves me. I shoot so I can make good art, not just make a good photo. And I'm not there yet, but I think that's the beauty of it. I keep striving, keep working, keep reaching. 

And with that, here's a little taste of what I loved this month. Summer, you're so good to us.