We owned the beach

I believe the best way to move forward, is to appreciate and acknowledge where you’ve come from, and know where you want to go. It’s felt important to reflect on what happened this past year, and even more exciting to see where it has led me to. There were some pretty tough personal moments, some amazing personal moments, many wonderful, beautiful photography moments, some sad world moments, and happy world moments.

May as well start with the tough stuff, and then we get to finish with the icing on the cake!

The beginning of last year, our little bub was diagnosed with a Juvenile from of Arthritis (JIA). Shocked and heartbroken, this took us some time to digest what this really meant. Thankfully, we’ve had some incredible doctors who have helped us understand what it all means.

I haven’t yet shared this outside of my one-on-one conversations with people, as I really just needed time to soak in what this will mean for my little girl as she grows up. But I also want to say that I feel sharing this information and putting it out to my community, will inevitably open conversations that I’m sure will help us to deal with this new challenge in our family.

I hadn’t ever heard of Juvenile Arthritis before. I absolutely thought it was something you get when your older. Not when your 2 years old. But as I’ve now learnt, there are many, many forms of arthritis at all levels of severity, and at all ages.

Thankfully, Ari has been doing so well with her treatment and is a normal little monkey again at the playground. Yes, we have a bit of a hill to climb and I’m sure there will be some hard days ahead, but she has been such a trooper though all the doctor visits, the medications, the poking and prodding.

I also lost my grandfather at the start of 2016. He lived a beautiful, full life all the way to 95 years. It was a celebration of life, for sure, but nonetheless, hard on my heart to actually see him go. But I feel so lucky that Ari and I were able to spend time with him before he left. She will still see a photo of him, and say, ‘Hey! There’s Great-Grandpa!’. It warms my heart that she has those little memories and the photos to keep his spirit alive.

With a few other challenges though the spring, we did absolutely manage to come out the other side still motivated to keep pushing and moving forward.

The summer was amazing. We took Ari camping and she connected so much to Mother Nature! She loved every minute of it, surrounded by her grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

We owned the beach this year. We literally took a picnic dinner to Skaha at least 4 times a week after work. There is no other place I’d rather be when the sun is out in the Okanagan. We even did a mini-staycation this past summer and LOVED it. We are so blessed to live here, and I promise to never take for granted that we live in a summer-paradise!

Every wedding and engagement that I photographed this year, I truly felt so connected to my clients. I am so lucky to find such wonderful people to work for, and it makes me want to do a 150% job for them. I so appreciate each and every one of the bride and grooms who entrust me to capture those memories for them.

I finished up my shooting season at the end of September this year, and had an amazing fall, focused on my own little family. Ari became obsessed with ‘ghosts’, therefore had to be a ghost for Halloween. Cutest little ghost I ever did see!

Wrapped up all the edits and albums for clients by mid-November, and then was able to focus on Christmas with a toddler! So. Much. Fun.

And now it’s a new year, and I can’t wait for it! We already have so many amazing things planned, that I can hardly contain my excitement. The next blog post I’ll share a bit about what is coming up.

Let me leave you with just a few of my faves from this past season…

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Resolution? Goal? Life-change?

It seems to be the end of the year, and thanks to Facebook, I got a little reminder that I haven’t posted on my business page in quite some time…

That little reminder encouraged me to check it out. First, I checked what my last post on facebook was. October 27th. Which also coincides with my last blog post. Oi.

2 full months.

This sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole. Next I checked how many posts I did in the full year. Can’t be that bad.

13.

Uhhhmmm, pardon?

Why don’t we dig a little deeper.

2015 – 33

2014 – 32

2013 – 75

Oh boy.

First let me preface this by saying that admittedly I am sad that I have obviously let go of my writing, which is something that I have loved to do since forever. As a young girl, I always had a journal hidden under my bed. I wrote all through highschool, all though college, all through my travels, and even though I sort of slipped and lost my journal writing at that point in my life, I started a blog!

And then something kinda life-changing happened early 2014. The best kind of life-change there is. I became a momma-bear. Even though I am sad to see how much I have lost my consistency in my writing, I have a pretty dang good (and super cute) excuse!

But as with every New Year, I love to take time to think of what sort of things I hope to work on with the coming year. And I think this needs to be one of them! Writing has been a part of me as long as I can remember. It’s how I organize my thoughts. Deepen my thoughts. Work through the tough ones, and also, it acts as a memory bank so I never forget the good!

I have no idea if people out there like to read my words or not. But I have come to a point in my life that I don’t really mind either way. Writing is something that makes me feel more whole. And in a world that is so huge, if there is anyone out there who can connect with my words/stories/struggles/wins, then I feel that helps to make our world a little less ‘big’. Connecting us together. Building community.

I’m going to put it out there that my writing-goal for this next year is going to hit 36 blog posts, which is just 3 a month. I can do it, and I’m excited to do it. And maybe somebody will read them, and maybe not. Either way, I’ll be happy to be back at getting my stories and thoughts back onto the page – er – keyboard. hehe.

And just so you understand the reason WHY I’ve swayed from my writing, here are a few of the out-takes of Ari’s Christmas photos I tried to do this year. Yes, she is in a variety of outfits and locations because this took me THREE TRIES. First time was my fault. Second time was her fault, and third time I brought my ever-faithful assistant (aka – her dad, my hubby, the best assistant ever) and we nailed it.

Here’s to 2017 and all it will bring!

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And this was the winner photo! Light of my life. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! xoari-2016blog-final-9

Amanda + Derrek Engaged

“I have so, so much love for him, and he is seriously the most important thing in my life…” Admittedly, Amanda was referring to her beautiful pup Titan at the time, but trust me when I say, she’s got all sorts of love for both her boys, Titan AND Derrek.

It was such a special treat for me to do these photos for Amanda and Derrek’s engagement. Amanda and I went to school together once upon a time. And to see her now, looking so gorgeous, so full of joy, and getting married to a guy who is a perfect fit for her.

We walked around downtown Kelowna, and enjoyed talking and catching up with each other. And of course, taking a few photos here and there! Titan joined us for the first few minutes, and then waited patiently as I did a few more of just A+D at the waterfront, taking advantage of that gorgeous Okanagan light at the end of the day.

Thank you two for inviting me to be a part of this ‘getting married’ journey, and I hope you love these photos and they become a beautiful reminder of this special time in your lives…

xo

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Amanda’s beautiful hair done by: Courtney Scott at The Beauty and Shave Parlor

Amanda’s beautiful make-up done by: Jenny McKinney

 

Sheryl + Steve Engaged

One of my favourite parts of an engagement session, is the moment when I feel like I have finally ‘seen’ the couple. It always takes a few minutes of photography before the walls come down, but it is always my goal to make sure that before I leave, I have gotten photographs that truly represent who they are. How they love. What they look like together in those simple moments.

For Sheryl and Steve, I would say I had a bit of a leg up. We started out the session in their home. In their every day. In a home that they had designed together to be their sanctuary. And it was so fun to be invited into their space… I felt like it really allowed me to connect with them in a space they already knew. Their home.

And then, of course, we ventured out into Mother Nature. Sheryl, having some country roots, had her eye on a gorgeous little barn. One of the oldest barns in Calgary, which was a perfect backdrop for a few photos of S+S. And to finish off, we found a little creek – a beautiful corner to find those last few quiet moments of the day.

Thank you two for asking me to be a part of this journey. I absolutely loved meeting you both, and can’t wait to be there to help celebrate and capture the moments of this very exciting year to come!

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Bree + Nathan Married

As the final touches of the ceremony site were put together, the girls were inside, preparing for the day ahead. The house was in full swing with details, snacks, dresses and everything else wedding. Guests were beginning to arrive outside and gather under the wedding  barn.

Soon Bree was walking down the aisle towards Nathan, they said ‘I do’, and they kissed for the first time as husband and wife.

Their story began so many years ago, as their families had been friends since Nathan + Bree were just little. The sparks didn’t fly until much later into highschool. But eventually their paths crossed enough, the door opened, and a whole lot of love came in.

They celebrated throughout the afternoon in the company of their brothers, sisters and best friends. We then joined up with the rest of their guests over good food, good conversation and a lot of fun.

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The lovely vendors that made up the day:

Ceremony Site: Private Residence

Reception and Catering: Rockridge Canyon

Hair: Josie Kranabetter and Eikonic Hair Salon: Kayley and Jenni

Make-up: Tia Tolmie + Abigail Hiebert

Florals: Creations by Mom & Me

Cake: Alycia + Ruth Chan

Robes: Etsy Shop Gentle Sateen

Adam + Lauren Married

As she began to open the gift he had left for her, you could feel her emotions cut through the air. Trying to control her tears, her love, her joy and her pride for this man, as he had, once again, given her something she would cherish for a lifetime.

It was on their first anniversary, when Adam took Lauren on a flight that would end in a proposal. Being a pilot for the Canadian Armed Forces, Adam had fittingly first met Lauren after a long flight coming back from across the world. A flight he will always be ever-thankful arrived ‘on time’. Just in time for him to meet the love of his life.

And now here they were, getting ready to marry each other. Ready to start this new chapter in life. Together.

The day began at Summerland Waterfront Resort, where Adam and Lauren had their first look on the pier overlooking Okanagan Lake. They were swept away to Poplar Grove to solidify their vows to each other. And then they celebrated over amazing food, amazing drink and the laughter and love of good friends and family.

Thank you two for inviting me to be a part of this journey. It has been my honor to know you and to give you these photographs, that will hopefully be the constant reminder of how special and beautiful this day was.

xo

guibat-1 guibat-3 guibat-4 guibat-5 guibat-7 guibat-10 guibat-12 guibat-13 guibat-14 guibat-15 guibat-17 Such a perfect first look. Peaceful, emotional and full of admiration and love.guibat-18 guibat-20 guibat-23 guibat-24 guibat-25 guibat-26 guibat-28 guibat-30 guibat-31 guibat-33 guibat-34 guibat-35 guibat-37 guibat-38 guibat-39 guibat-42guibat-43 guibat-44 guibat-46 guibat-48 guibat-49 guibat-50 guibat-53 guibat-56 guibat-60 guibat-61 guibat-63 guibat-64 guibat-65 guibat-67 guibat-69 The most stunning of backdrops at Poplar Grove.guibat-70 guibat-72 guibat-73 guibat-76 guibat-77 guibat-78 guibat-79 guibat-81 guibat-86 guibat-87 guibat-88 guibat-89 guibat-90 guibat-91 guibat-93 guibat-97 guibat-102 I have to quickly explain this moment! One of my many favorites from the day. One of Adam’s fellow pilots sang You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’ to Adam across the dinner table. An amazing Top Gun moment that was perfect dinnertime entertainment.guibat-104 guibat-105 guibat-107 guibat-108DJ Alex Bird started the night festivities with an emotional first dance, and kicked off a party that would head into the wee hours of the eve. guibat-112 guibat-114 guibat-115 guibat-117 guibat-118 guibat-119 guibat-120The amazing vendors that made up the day:

Ceremony + Reception venue: Poplar Grove Winery / Vanilla Pod Restaurant

Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Jenny McAlpine Weddings

Make-up and Hair: Melissa Craven

DJ: Alex Bird

Cupcakes: Cupcasions

Macarons: Sandrine French Pastry

Florals: Carl’s Flowers

Assistant Photographer: Mandy Glinsbockel

Commissioner: Teri Chambers

Niki + Chase Married

They stood overlooking Okanagan Lake, promising to spend the rest of their years together. It felt just about perfect watching Niki + Chase say ‘I do’, surrounded by the beauty of their hometown, supported by the love of their family and friends.

The day could not have been any sweeter. As we left the open field of their ceremony, we headed to Intrigue Winery to celebrate with a bottle of bubbly and a few photos overlooking the valley and the vines. And to finally kick the celebration into high gear, we made our way to Lone Pine Ranch. The barn doors were opened, the cowboy boots came out from underneath the tables, and the party went into the wee hours of the night.

The beautiful details, the funny, sweet speeches, the first dance under the lights of the chandelier, and the love and joy of their family made for one fabulous celebration.

Thank you two for entrusting me to document this day for you. It was my honour to be there, and I wish you so much love for what I know will be a beautiful life.

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The amazing vendors that made up the day,

Reception venue: Lone Pine Ranch Event Centre

Catering: Country Manor Catering and food services

Florals: Adrienne Klettke

Hair: Mod Salon

Make-up: Krista Kemp-Allan

Dress and Bridal Hairpiece: Bliss Bridal

Cake: Country Bakery

Winery: Intrigue

Ceremony musician: Joshua Smith

 

 

 

Candacy + Trevor Married

My heart always leaps in my chest when the moment comes, and the groom sees his bride for the first time. For Trevor, he looked  so proud to have Candacy walking towards him. His love was overflowing, and it was one of the most joyful, happy ceremonies I have had the pleasure of witnessing.

This wedding was very special for me. The maid-of-honer/sister of the groom is not only a good friend of mine, but also my second photographer this summer. She had asked me a few months prior if I could come and photograph the ceremony and portraits for her brother’s wedding, as she would obviously be otherwise ‘engaged’ during those times of the day. I was honoured to be asked to come and be a part of this day with her family. It was such a special treat for me to see so many familiar faces from my childhood, as Mandy and I have been friends for forever.

With just a handful of their closest family all sitting at the edge of Okanagan Lake in front of their family cabin, Candacy and Trevor said their ‘I do’s’. With their little guy sitting front row and centre, it was the perfect setting to solidify the bond between this beautiful family of 3.

Here are just a few of the photos from their ceremony and wedding day…

xo
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Beautiful florals and floral crown by: Enterprise Flower Studio

Bridal Hair: Chatters Hair Salon – West Kelowna

Make-up: the bride

Commissioner: Stu Pike

Leah + Brian Married

Whether it was the rain, the sun, the wind, or all of the above, nothing was going to stop this amazing celebration. Leah + Brian were married this past Saturday on the bluffs overlooking the beautiful summer-town of Penticton.

Even though the sky was threatening all day, we ended up with a gorgeous day being a mixture of everything. Yes, there were a few sprinkles just as the appetizers began to arrive, but everyone snuggled a little closer under the rooftops for a few minutes, and then the rainbow appeared, setting the stage for an incredibly special evening.

The intimate celebration was held on the gorgeous lawn of Leah’s parents’ home, overlooking Okanagan Lake. Leah looked stunning with a delicate floral crown and amazing Truvelle gown. She and Brian said yes, while surrounded by their closest family and friends.

With fabulous food, good drinks, tasty doughnuts, laughter, and a few tears created the perfect recipe for a night to remember.

Thank you two for inviting me to be a part of such a special day, and I wish so much love to you as husband and wife. xo

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A little ‘fuzzy peach’ energy to get the day started right!

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And we couldn’t NOT steal a quick photo of their adorable little pup! So excited to see his momma…MenziesBlog-20 MenziesBlog-22 MenziesBlog-25 MenziesBlog-26 MenziesBlog-27 MenziesBlog-30 MenziesBlog-31 MenziesBlog-35 MenziesBlog-38 MenziesBlog-41 MenziesBlog-47 MenziesBlog-51 MenziesBlog-54 MenziesBlog-57 MenziesBlog-58 MenziesBlog-60 MenziesBlog-61 MenziesBlog-65 MenziesBlog-66

The cutest palette bar you ever did see!MenziesBlog-71 MenziesBlog-73 MenziesBlog-76 MenziesBlog-77 MenziesBlog-78 MenziesBlog-81 MenziesBlog-83 MenziesBlog-84 MenziesBlog-85 MenziesBlog-87 MenziesBlog-88

Catering: Flambe Catering
Ceremony _+ Reception: Private Residence
Hair + Make-up: BeYoutiful Beauty Artists
Florals: Betwitched Floral Design
Bridal crown: Lisa’s Flowers
Dress Designer: Truvelle
DJ: Classic Mobile Music – DJ Alpha
Officiant: Evelyn Blaine
Rentals: All Occasions Rentals (barn wood tables & chairs)
Singer: Nikita Afonso
Videographer: Lindsay Gee
Assistant Photographer: Mandy Glinsbockel

Brianna + Nathan Engaged

From high school sweethearts, to fiance, and soon-to-be husband and wife. Brianna and Nathan are one of the sweetest, loveliest couples I’ve had the pleasure to photograph. There was a lot of giggling throughout the entire session (which you can definitely see throughout the photos…lots and lots and lots of laughter), along with so much love and beauty. Bree is this stunning young woman who has found a man who adores every bit about her. And Bree is clearly head over heels for Nathan. With so much of life ahead of them, I can’t wait to see where they carve out their path together. Step one, wedding in September! xo

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