Monday, June 29, 2015

My Intermission

Greetings friends!

I haven't posted any professional photos in nearly a year, and although most of you may not even have noticed my absence, I thought it was high-time that I explained the intermission in my work.  (I chose the word 'intermission,' as opposed to 'hiatus' or 'time-out,' because it has a positive connotation for me; I anticipate good things to come!)

Last winter, I was diagnosed with 'frozen shoulder,' or 'adhesive capsulitis.'  I had never heard of such a condition and my practitioners couldn't tell me what had caused it, but the pain was absolutely debilitating!  Basically, I couldn't move my left arm without doubling-over in pain.  To make matters worse, I was told that it often takes up to two years to fully recover.

I immediately began an intensive series of treatments that included massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and I.M.S..  I ate healthily,  I meditated, stretched and exercised regularly, and did everything I could to keep my mind, body and spirit strong.

Professionally, I canceled the photography sessions that I had on the calendar, and had to turn  away potential clients.  I decided against making a public announcement, partly because I was hopeful that my pain wouldn't last long, and partly because I simply didn't want to talk about it!  Chronic pain is not fun!

Just as I was growing concerned about the loss of income from my photography,  the universe delivered a wonderful opportunity:  I was offered a part-time teaching job through P.I.E., (Partners In Education,) which is the Distance Learning School that my daughters are enrolled in.  I knew that I could confidently fulfill the requirements of such a position despite my frozen shoulder.  In fact, I accomplished a lot with the use of only one arm!

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but this past winter I managed to nurse my husband through his hip-surgery, maintain our household, home-school my daughters, take on a new teaching job, make, launch and promote my daughter's music CD, and take pretty good care of myself...without having a nervous breakdown!!!  TOOT!!!  TOOT!!!

And that brings me to today; this morning I had another IMS treatment from my miracle-worker/physiotherapist Kendra Mulligan at Ascent Physiotherapy, and I've made great progress.  I'm in the 'thawing out' stage of frozen shoulder, and I'm optimistic that I'll be able to accept photography clients in the months ahead.  To start with, I'm volunteering at Vancouver Island Musicfest again this year, albeit in a limited capacity.  VIMF is one of my favourite events of the summer, so you can expect to see some photos on my Facebook page in a couple of weeks.

I wouldn't wish frozen shoulder on anyone, but taking an intermission from my photography work has been enlightening.  It has provided me with several gifts:

Firstly, because I haven't booked any wedding clients this summer,  I will be spending every weekend with my family.  What a gift!

Secondly, I have become better at saying 'no.'  I have been able to accept a few photo-sessions in recent weeks, but I've been very selective.  My health comes first.

Thirdly, taking a teaching job with P.I.E. has shown me that, although I may not wish to be in a traditional classroom, there are many other ways to utilize my teaching skills and experience.

And now you know the reasons behind my intermission.  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  I appreciate you.  I hope that there will be many good things to come in my work as a photographer, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you.

I will leave you with a photo that was taken at Ruckle Park, Salt Spring Island, on my birthday.  In it, I am making my girls giggle; one of my greatest pleasures in life!

With gratitude,

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fabulous Ferences!

When I was in the sixth grade in a school in Vancouver, I had a guest-teacher named Mr. Bucher who taught a creative writing class that I'll never forget.  He immediately won me over by introducing the lesson with a song: 'My Favourite Things' from 'The Sound of Music,' and then he shared a personal story about walking through the woods with his daughters and spotting a spider's web.  He described the moment in beautiful detail and I remember thinking that Mr. Bucher must be a very cool dad.  He left a strong impression on me.

I had no idea at the time that I would grow to know John Bucher and his family very well over the years and they would become close family friends.  My first impression was spot on; Mr. Bucher is indeed a cool dad, and he's a wonderful grand-dad as well!

His second daughter, Jan, seems to have chosen a partner every bit as lovely as her dad.  Together, Jan and Dean have two beautiful kids: Paige and Quiniso, and I had the pleasure of photographing them this fall.

I feel so fortunate to be connected to this family; the love and gratitude they feel for one another just shines out of every image!

Saturday, October 25, 2014


I was recently approached by an editor at the United Church Observer magazine to capture some photos of a woman named Florence Kaefer as part of their special interview issue in November.  

Florence has written a book called, Back to the Red Road that describes her incredible spiritual journey with former student, Edward Gamblin.  Florence had taught Edward in 1954 at Norway House Indian Residential School of Manitoba.

When I first read about Florence's story, I was very intrigued and excited about meeting her.  Now, after spending just over an hour in her presence, I can safely say that she is an amazing person.  It was a privilege to photograph her.

Florence carried a gift from Edward with her for most of our time together.  It's a feather he gave to her to give her strength when she was speaking in public or in unfamiliar situations.  I photographed her in different areas around her home, and in front of a beautiful Oak tree in her back yard.  She leaned against the trunk of the tree and told me that it was a sacred place for her; it was where she liked to pray.  

The story she shared with me was inspiring, hopeful and moving.  I can't wait to read her book!

I hope you enjoy these photos. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Handsome Hotsenpillers

I love the Hotsenpillers.

I've known this family since I was eleven or twelve years old, and I find it such a privilege to watch their lives unfold.  I've seen Russell evolve from a jean-vest clad pre-teen to a proud father and husband.  It's very cool to watch a family expand and evolve over time.

When Russell's wife Marci called about scheduling a session while her parents were in town, she had a very clear vision.  "You know all the beautiful fall colours that most people use as a backdrop this time of year?"  Marci began.

"Yes," I said, picturing their beautiful piece of land near Kitty Coleman.

"Well, I don't want that!" said Marci.

Her vision was classic; a simple black backdrop with the emphasis on the subjects...not the background.  Music to my ears!

I so enjoyed my time with the Hotsenpillers and the Crossans.  Seeing everyone interact with wee Dash, the newest member of the Hotsenpiller clan, was beautiful.

You've made a spectacular choice in joining this family, Dashiel!!!  You will be well-loved!

(We missed Louise, Russell's mom, but will hopefully get some photos of her with her gorgeous grandsons soon.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Best of luck, Brooke!

I was so excited when Brooke Lamoureaux's mom, Cheryl, asked me to capture some images of her daughter before she headed off to compete in the FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championship in Hungary September 5-7th.

Brooke came to my little Comox studio to take a few shots first, then we moved to the Goose Spit where Brooke caught some glorious rays on her face before sunset.

As I write this post, I'm imagining the lovely, gentle-natured Brooke in a foreign country without her parents, preparing to represent Canada in a world class event; and I'm imagining her parents and how much they must be wishing they were in Hungary right now!

My wish for Brooke is that she has a positive experience and brings back the same glorious spirit that she left the Comox Valley with!  Best of luck, Brooke!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Matt & Amanda

When I think of Matt and Amanda, the first word that pops into my head is 'teeth.'  Not only because I met Amanda through our dentist's office, but because both she and Matt have the brightest, most glorious smiles that have ever graced the faces of two people!!!  Their smiles didn't just light up a room on their wedding day...they lit up an entire farm!!!

You'll see what I mean as you look through these images...

 I first met up with Amanda and the girls at Velvet Underground, where Matt surprised Amanda with a special delivery; a bouquet of flowers.

 Next, I made my way to the wedding site to take a few detail shots and catch up with the wedding party as they finished getting ready.

And here we have the hands of Amanda's Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandmother alongside her own.

Loved meeting the band, Boondock for the first time!

Matt and Amanda, may you always be nourished by the memory of the love and support that surrounded you on your wedding day!