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Monthly Archives: June 2008

i am currently in the air, somewhere between dallas and san antonio. it’s 8:14am, and i am now entering my third day without sleep. ugh. so looking forward to getting to my hotel tonight!

my flight out of seattle was delayed by a few hours, which was frustrating last night, but pretty incredible when i watched the sun rise. i didn’t want to disturb the passenger next to me by getting my camera out of the overhead bin, but it basically looked like this:

… but without the lion and the ghost and the text.

i’m pretty frustrated by american airlines. i asked for apple juice, and they proceeded to give me two little containers (think of the applesauce containers you’d bring to school as a kid) of juice, PLUS a plastic cup. how excessive is that waste?! so, when the flight attendant came to take my “trash,” i asked her if they recycled them. apparently not. she said she’s mad about it too, that they used to, but weren’t able to get that volume of recycling dealt with. now, i don’t know a thing about waste and recycling management, but how is that even possible?! i can’t imagine how much waste this airline produces. the sad thing is, they’re likely just like the other airlines. i’m going to look into this. oh, and so i told her i’d just keep my 3 plastic packages, but she said that there isn’t any recycling at the san antonio airport. :o(

ps. so far, terribly disappointed by the cowboy hat situation. still no cowboy hat sightings. will keep you posted.


while going through the photos from last saturday’s wedding, i came across this one of jackie, a photographer i second shoot for, and wanted to take a minute to mention how amazing she is. jackie is the most encouraging person ever, and is always so supportive of me. she’s a really talented and passionate photographer, and it’s always nice to talk to her about photography, but jackie’s extra amazing because i can also talk to her about anything else. i remember the first time she contacted me, she said that she knew she wanted to work with me when she read on my website that i love “good people,” and so i knew she’d be a great person. jackie, you’ve been such a factor in my growth as a photographer, and i’m so grateful to have you as a friend.

so, i’m going to san antonio on sunday and i’m currently packing, dealing with a mountain of emails, and updating the ipod’s music and audiobook selection, and thought, hey, i know, why not see what the temperature is in san antonio… big mistake.

do you see that?! it says IT FEELS LIKE 42 DEGREES!! how can people live there, year after year?! i’m really counting on the 31 km/hr winds to make it bearable, but seriously, if they die down… i will die with them.

wish me luck…


i know i’m being a big complainer about this, but seriously, i’m super excited to go. i’m going to meet some photographers i love and admire from afar, check out san antonio AND houston, and photograph a wedding with mariachis!!! oh, and an amazing couple i’m looking forward to meet… they’ll be at the wedding as well as the mariachis, haha. there’ll be a wedding, an engagement session, and hopefully a bridal session to follow, so keep checking up with me (at least to make sure i’m still alive).

also to come after my (hopeful) return from texas: photos from john and helenka’s beautiful and intimate wedding ceremony near eatonville, wa.

any time i’m talking to someone about my new raw food obsession, the first thing they ask is “but… what do you… eat?” (with a look of fear in their eyes). so, i decided to show you what i am about to have for my dinner tonight.

exhibit a:

raw tabouleh: 1 head of cauliflower, broken up into tiny bits with half a yellow pepper, juice of two lemons, 3 cloves of garlic, a handful of basil leaves, and some cold-pressed olive oil

exhibit b:

strawberry parfaits.

ok, gotta go eat it now…

i love my job. ask anyone that knows me, it’s all i talk about, think about, etc. i love being with couples who are madly in love and being able to tell their story. i love making new friends with these people. i have grown so much as a person because of their stories, and finally feel that i have a real purpose. i work harder than i ever have in the past, but am also happier than i’ve ever been. i’ve taken part in small, intimate weddings, and huge, lavish ones. but at each wedding, i’ve learned the same lesson. that lesson can be summed up by michael’s story.

at last weekend’s wedding, i met michael. michael is a gentle man who came to north america in 1994 from vietnam. he grew up very poor, and said his mother would always go hungry so that he could eat. she wanted him to be able to move to the united states and live a better life than he could have in vietnam. michael worked hard and saved every cent he could, and eventually made his way to the u.s. he’s only seen his mother once in the past 15 years, and i could tell from the warmth in his eyes how much he loves her. he isn’t even able to talk to her on the phone, so that one visit is all the contact they’ve had. but he carries the only picture he has of her in his wallet and tells everyone he can about his wonderful mother. he told me that he is saving to visit her one more time while she is alive, but the most touching part was that he said even if he can’t make it there while she’s alive, he will still need to go to vietnam to pay tribute to her and to mourn. that picture in his wallet means the world to him.

at weddings, i see all kinds of people — introverted, extroverted, laid-back, perfectionists, positive, negative, you have it. but each of those people are there with those that love them. each of us, no matter what we do, have families and friends that love us.

i have only visited my friends and family in ontario once in the past few years, and i feel really bad about that. i’m hoping to go there this august, and tell all of them how much i love them. it’s important to me that i get to photograph all of them to keep for the rest of my life. because even though i sometimes forget to tell them, and even though we go years without even talking, they mean the world to me.

the raw food situation is going strong. i absolutely love it and feel great, for so many reasons. i now have a dehydrator and a new food processor, which will make life easier and produce better, more delicious foods. (although, the $250 grocery bill at whole foods was tough to swallow. did you even realize you *could* spend $30 on avocados?!)

i had one cooked meal on wednesday, day 9, just to see how it made me feel, and didn’t get sick, which is good. it tasted really good and everything, but it just felt so heavy… it’s hard to describe. i ate less than half of what i would have eaten in the past and felt completely satisfied. also, i had one third of a coffee drink i used to have occasionally… i don’t actually like coffee, so i used to add vanilla syrup for sweetness and a bit of new flavour… but this time, it tasted sooooo sweet. i had to stop after one third of it because it was giving me a headache. i’m sure our taste buds are completely screwed up from all the chemicals and sugars we overwhelm them with, and i feel great about the entire situation.

here’s the main reason why raw food rocks: guilt-free desserts. here’s a picture of the organic mango-coconut pudding in a nut crust from gorilla food

oh, and just because these ladies were adorable…

the big deal in vancouver is the birth of a baby beluga whale last tuesday, so yesterday, i had to check it out. they have tried to keep the baby somewhat isolated (they removed the other beluga whales from the tank, and just left it with its mother), which is obviously the best for the baby, but not the best for photos. if only i had brought a different lens! oh well, this long distance shot will have to do.

it was soooo adorable and tiny. you can see half of the mother in the upper left corner. the baby was born at just 1.35 metres in length. so cute, eh? i’m looking forward to being able to see it a bit more up-close, at least in the underwater part of the tank, but i’m glad they’re doing the best they can for qila’s new calf (who i don’t think has a name yet).

here’s the video of the birth…

and if you’re as obsessed as i am, you can view qila and her calf on their own reality show here:

the aquarium was packed. i mean PACKED. i’m so glad i have a membership there and get to use an express check-in, otherwise, it looked like it would take about 30 minutes just to get in. plus, walking around the place was incredibly frustrating, so i only spent about 20 minutes there in total. every time i go, i need to take photos of the sea otters…

and the dolphins…

i first met linne and tony the day of their engagement session, just three days before their wedding. it’s a strange thing, working for/with someone you’ve never met, something arranged pretty much entirely by email. you don’t really get a true feeling for someone’s personality. even i, who wear my heart on my sleeve 100% of the time, can be tricky to interpret via email. i tend to rely on intonations and gestures, and without those things in emails, am slightly terse and to-the-point (don’t take it personally if you find this in my emails, i just have a more difficult time communicating like that). so anyways, i had no idea what to expect from these two, but let me tell you… at the engagement session, we were together for umm… a long time for an e-session… like 5 hours. yeah. nuts. but seriously, when it was over, i was actually a bit sad, because i felt like i was leaving my friends, and i kinda wasn’t done hanging out with them, you know? i loooovveee tony and linne.
furthermore, i loooovveee their friends and family. i actually just want to tell you a bit about a few of the ones i got to talk with the most, and that you’ll be seeing in a lot of the photos.

connie. Connie is so sweet. there was one tiny thing that I did, and connie pretty much pulled me aside to say she had noticed what I did, and that it was appreciated by everyone. that truly made my day.

kristine. you are so classy and sweet and even though I didn’t talk to you too much, you made a definite impression on me.

the minister. ok, right after the ceremony, the minister called me over. i was kinda nervous, because i thought maybe I was going to get in trouble or something, but i laughed so hard when he said, “is that a Gary Fong Lightsphere on your flash?” haha. turns out, he’s a talented photographer, with amazing equipment to boot. (umm… can I pleeeeeeassssseee have your 85 1.2 lens??)

beautiful, aka kiki, aka kiersten. you make me want to pack up my things and move to rochester, minnesota, just to be with you (and the accomplished husband you said you have waiting for me there).

jackie. jackie’s been cutting linne’s hair her ENTIRE life. isn’t that awesome? it was so clear that you’re a huuugggeee part of linne’s life, and it was so touching to see you two interact. plus, I love your take-charge attitude. linne said that one time, when everyone else was doing it, she wanted to get a perm sooooo badly. she went to jackie and jackie flat-out *refused* to do it. she told her it wouldn’t work on her hair, and she’d look ridiculous.

nicole. i was sort of mesmerized by nicole’s beauty. She’s STUNNING. and to top it off, she’s obviously the greatest friend a bride could ask for. she helped clean up linne’s kitchen so linne wouldn’t have to go home to a mess after her wedding, and was a huge part of getting the family photos done. she knew who everyone was, and wasn’t shy about bossing people around (but in a nice way). She had a great eye for detail in making sure linne looked perfect, and it was nice to see her try so hard for things to be perfect for linne.

tyler. tyler cracks me up, as did all the other kids. near the beginning of the day, Tyler was keeping an eye on my equipment, and while i was changing lenses, he said: “so… you’re from canada….” me: “yep.” tyler: “so… do you… like… have fun stuff to do there?” me: “uhh…” Tyler: “oh my gosh, i’m terrible at small talk. I’m so bad at breaking the ice.” That pretty much made me fall head over heels for this kid. he told me he wanted to be an actor, so we took a few headshots for him.

dion: thank you for bringing me to the salon. and you have the nicest, most genuine smile ever!

i couldn’t keep all the names of the kids straight in my head, but i know they were all good italian names for good italian kids. even though i can’t remember which name to put to which face, i am crazy about all of them. and seeing them dance… pretty much the funniest thing i’ve ever seen. especially the break-dancing.

and the main attractions…

tony. i love that by everything you do, you show that you’re a good man. it was clear that Tony was involved in a lot of the planning, and throughout the day, he just sort of stood back and watched linne shine.

linne. You are beautiful every day, but i mean it when i say you were the prettiest bride ever. in every photo, my eyes are immediately drawn to you, because of your huge, gorgeous smile. you were literally glowing, and i have the photos to prove it. i can’t wait to see again the next time i’m in vegas!

ok, i said what i have to say. now, the photos.

this is always one of my favourite parts of the day… when the bride first sees herself in the veil. i don’t know what it is, but as soon as that veil is on, they realize it’s actually their wedding day.

linne’s adorable grandfather, having a rest while the girls get ready…

this is my favourite picture of linne. she just looks so content.

you know i’m canadian when i freak out over all the palm trees. at the engagement session, linne and tony must’ve thought i was such a weirdo because i got so excited over them. but i mean… come on, getting married under a palm tree?! so awesome. and they’re so lucky, because they live like a block away from here. so jealous.

i can’t explain why, but this is possibly my favourite photo from the day, even though this was just a test shot while adjusting my camera settings. tony just looks so proud.

such great eyes…

a little alone time…

and an out-of-focus version (which is my favourite)…

oh, did i ever tell you why i’m a wedding photographer? yeah, it’s for the food.

for all the wonderful guests at the wedding, the gallery with all the images is up at and the password is tony’s last name.

linne and tony, you two are so fantastic. i wish you all the best, and hope to see you again someday!

did you know that you can make a delicious chocolate pudding out of fruits? well, you can. mix 2 bananas, 1 avocado, some raw cacao nibs and a bit of water in a blender, and you’ll get this:

ok, i know there’s been an absence of “real” entries the past few days, but i’m just so involved in this raw food thing right now! it’s such a fun and educational challenge… not to mention healthful. however, there will be more regular entries coming up soon… i’ll be writing about linne and tony’s lake las vegas wedding tonight or tomorrow, and i have a few weddings coming up in the next few weeks… one being in san antonio, texas! this will be my first trip to texas, (excepting the times i’ve been to airports there) and i’m really getting excited to be in a new and different place.

{day four}.

if you are in vancouver, you must go to gorilla food (on richards st) now. well, not now, because it’s 1am, and i’m sure they’re closed. but tomorrow. you must go tomorrow.

i had take-away lunch from there today with one of my friends, and although it was pretty pricey, ($46 for the two of us) it was well worth it. the food was sooo good. and it’s 100% organic, vegan, raw… and all their packaging is completely biodegradable. they’re running a seriously ethical business there, and it’s wonderful to see.

i had a slice of the vital ital pizza — really good, especially considering it’s completely raw and vegan. i also had an order of the thai fresh wraps:

the wraps were amaaazzzing. who knew vegetables were so good!

definitely check out gorilla. they’ve moved a few doors over from where they were before, and instead of just being a take-away hole in the wall place, they’re a real restaurant with tables and stuff. it’s a really cute restaurant and the people there were super friendly and genuine. i love good people, and will be returning soon and often.