This is a post that has been in the works for the better part of two years, and two weeks. Everything I’ve ever wanted to say about a home, my home, just… home, IKEA says here, perfectly. There’s one other thing I do know, and that is, home is the best place in the entire world.
Just about everything changed in one night. I soon became best friends with my bank tellers, leaving with pockets full of laundry loonies and quarters monthly. I’ve had cereal for dinner, more than once a week. I learnt, and am still learning, how to change ceiling lights, and how three way dimmer switches work. I’ve blown fuses. I’ve scraped absurd amounts of candle wax off fiber-board TV stands, and learnt that frozen wax will chip off wood, metal, and fabric at a single touch. I’ve also learnt that pouring boiling water over wax will wash it away. Cleaning glass with newspapers DOES leave streaks. Horrible streaks. No one puts up photos without a level better than me. There is no such thing as too much storage space. If you leave your sweaty hockey equipment on your balcony in winter, it will freeze. Having a friend ship you €30 IKEA roller blinds from Amsterdam IS worth it. LED lighting makes everything cooler. You can never have too many tealights. Running a Christmas light extension cord inside through your slider door does create drafts. Groceries on the bus SUCK. Groceries in the trunk of your brand new Ford Fiesta is heaven. And of course, I now plaster nail holes better than Scott McGillivray.
It’s also worth noting you can now like me on Facebook, and join me on Google+!
The old front bedroom of mine on Citation Drive.
Now what would the last blog post of the year be without my favourites from 2012.
with just hours until summer solstice, why WOULDN’T i blog about winter right? obsessed much? i just, have to tell you, how great of an aurora chasing winter is right around the corner. great things are happening in this little studio apartment to chase the northern, and southern lights, like never before. and until then, there’s LOTS of great sessions and weddings on the way. best yet, friends!
as i pack myself into the sardine canada line a couple mornings each week heading for vancouver airport, i wonder how many of us are going somewhere they love to be, for the most part. because that’s where i go. it’s not known as an enjoyable career path by many, and i wouldn’t go there myself, but i do know it’s perfect for now. it’s a place i feel really, really good, and it’s somewhere i can focus myself exceptionally well through my day.
and why carry a seven hundred something dollar phone when i’m jumping on and off equipment, throwing hundreds of 50 pound bags? because i’m obsessed with feeling good, and there are a lot of things to feel good about where i am. it’s what i choose. it’s where i want to train myself to. it’s where i want my momentum to take me. and it’s going pretty good.
here some of my favourite iphone images from the past couple months, all at work. i’d like to do this at the end of every month. i think it’s pretty cool.
Regina, you had your first snow of the year back in August, and you, Calgary, you already have a few feet of it in temperatures of -15. But you don’t matter, because I’m in Vancouver. I’m actually below sea level, and our Winters are usually survivable with strictly umbrellas, and webbed toes. So much so, that apparently naming our new public transit smart card has come down to the ‘Umbrella Card’.
But ohh, Vancouver. How I love you so much when you turn white, even if it doesn’t last past the morning. Perhaps intuitively it’s why I’m still up and writing a blog post at 4:21am. I don’t want to sleep because when I wake it wont be as beautiful. It reminds me of Tromsø. Remember February? Real Winter. Wouldn’t it be great if you could wrap up a night, stuff it into a bottle, and send it out to sea to last forever, instead of a letter. The perfect night of quiet time alone, packing up my things for my apartment, and a spontaneous FaceTime call with Jen out in the snow at the side of my house.
Oh, and mum, enjoy the 30 degree difference of the beaches in Maui right now. It’s a good thing I love you.
I’ll be back to more from the Black Sea in a couple days!
Sitting on my baggage tractor, it’s kind of neat to turn around from facing the sunset to see the observation deck lined with people, just like me, holding their cameras loving the moment almost as much as me. Some days I’m inspired to bring my 5D, others I make peace with my iPhone4. These are a mix of both.
You don’t have to tell me about image 7 (but you can), because trust me, I know. I’ve labeled it the most beautiful sunset of my life. And believe me, I’ve seen a few.
I don’t think I could have said it better than in the bigger letters above that first image. Many of our ground staff are pilots, and after a year or two on the ramp, they have their flight training and their first step into commercial aviation piloting is taken. Not me. People ask what the hell I’m doing on the ramp, and I tell them each the same thing… For the fun of it. Because I like it. Because I have access to photoshoots that are truly unique. Because I can fly to Norway for under $300. Because the people are awesome. Because I don’t need it, but because I want it. Because in the summer, sunset after sunset on the ocean never gets old.
Just because my brother called yesterday and asked me to play tennis, I have to share these from our last outing (outing = front of the house). I’m sure our neighbours love us. Ha! I told him what I told you… Working all night, and have another wedding tomorrow, I’m working Sunday, and then going to Campbell River for an engagement session Monday & Tuesday, and back to work Wednesday until Saturday when I go to Victoria for another wedding after an airside shoot on Friday. On top of all that, I shared an amazing weekend with Jen a short week ago which I’m RIDICULOUSLY excited to share – but it’s kind of going to be in collaboration with Mandy, so hang tight! It’ll be worth it, I promise!
a few hours after u.s. customs chatted ever so socially and… how can i put this… ever so warmly about my eight hour visit to seattle at the border, i took maybe three steps off the bus before i looked up and saw nicole haley waving with a warm smile on her face. we hugged like we’d known one another for a lot longer than 3.4 seconds, and she introduced me to her very nice husband, eric and off we were exploring seattle for the day. we ate crepes. nutella & strawberry crepes, i will add. we ate mini-doughnuts. fresh cherries. iced coffee… and the list carries on. it was one of the fastest passing and most memorable day trips i’ve made in some time. i loved it immensely, and guys, it was a treat to have the opportunity to meet you seeing as we’re from opposite coasts in different countries. i just sort of wish we’d remembered to take more than six photos… i took five, and she has one of us together ;)
now if you’ll excuse me, i’ve just gotten home from work and i have 3 hours & 40 minutes before my alarm goes off to sleep – so good night!
these little puppies have been in the works for some time, and i’ve had them for some time now but i’ve been a little lazy to photograph them until this afternoon. it started with a 200 card order from moo, which i loved. they happened to ship a graphic designer & photographer’s cards with mine for some reason, and so upon getting in touch with moo, and shawna, i happily shipped her cards off to her and moo insisted on shipping me an additional 200 cards, which i thought was most generous, but it just didn’t quite satisfy the vision i’d created in my mind that i wanted to be sharing with others…
so as much as i loved my cards from moo, i wanted to go better still, so i took the dive over at taste of ink studios, and designed these spontaneously up in photoshop, added a few little touches to them that they offered which appealed to me – like the beautiful rounded corners & stunning spot gloss finish on all the text and next thing i knew, they were in my hands (unexpectedly) overnight from their printing lab off a fedex truck! i don’t think i need to say much more about the cards themselves ;) so happy! love these guys! oh, and their customer service? absolutely over the moon! outstanding, and there every step of the way as i created these!
heiheihei… if you happen to be passing through vancouver international airport, take a closer peek then you normally would around and see if you can spot one or two of these hidden. it’s my new favourite game of hide & seek.
It feels exhilarating to make a weekday feel like a Sunday. It’s warm, sunny and beautiful in Vancouver. Again.
It definitely is feeling like summer, except the abundance of cherry blossoms everywhere we turn. It’s a beautiful time to be alive, folks. Enjoy life where you are, it’s the best place for you to be.
I heart Norway.
When it feels as though this universe has knocked itself out in countless ridiculous ways to satisfy yet another burning desire of pure wanting from me, I wouldn’t dare hesitate taking the inspired action that follows such synchronicities. Paper tickets for standby travel are here, which means I won’t be.
This is where I’m going to spend the next little while. No, really. Literally, right there. Twisting my neck in ways that will bring excruciating pain, and have my breath literally taken from me by sheets of colour dancing across the sky. My favourite experience on this planet. So how does that all sound?
Talk to you from above the Arctic circle. Real soon.
With a real Winter. I fall in love with real Winter moments. It’s beautiful when it snows, and spirits are lifted beyond where they often are. (Unless you’re at the airport re-booking passengers because we’ve cancelled their flights) But for the most part, everything just feels even more pleasant in the snow, and I love feeling pleasant.
And then it was all washed away in less than a day of 8 degrees and rain. Gross.
Because of that gorgeous & intuitive thing, this blog post has taken me well over a few hours to even get to this stage of writing it. I finally got mine, and I’ve named her Senija. And don’t tell me you haven’t named your beautiful material things either! Seriously, Macbook Pro = love of my life.
So since just about every single one of you persuasive little buggers have bothered me for more photos of my incredibly serene & beautiful new bedroom, I have a few more for you, though missing from my walls are an abundance of prints which will be coming soon! Please tell me how off my post-processing looks because I’ve decided to move to Aperture (which I am loving so far!) but there are some pretty new-feeling differences to Lightroom. And don’t even get me started on trying to use Photoshop on a Mac. Hah! I’ll get it right sooner or later, but let me know! I think I pulled back the recovery way too much in a lot of these? And I think my walls are a lot more icer bluer than in the photos! Hah!
I work at the airport. I’m one of those guys you see way down on the ground running around your aircraft making sure your bag & cargo arrive safely with you. I drive those funny looking machines in impossible spaces pulling up to multi-million dollar aircraft. I’m one of those guys, but as people find out I do a little of that job and have been for some time, they often say “Well you are, but you aren’t really one of those guys. You aren’t like that.” …And it’s true really, it’s not the sort of work you see a delicate, romantic souled photographer involved in. In fact, is there a more odd mix around?
And since I started at the airport a few years ago full-time, I’d take my camera with me everyday just in case there was that one special aircraft coming in, or some extraordinary sky. So while now when I go in for my few days every month at the airport, I rarely bring my camera. Without a doubt since I returned home from Helsinki about three weeks ago, I’ve had any inspiration escape me completely – I left the house for work on Monday, and when I got about a minute from the house I had the irressistable urge to turn back and grab my camera. If you know me at all, I always give into any inspired action, so I turned back, threw my camera in my bag and marched off to work…
It’s an extraordinarily powerful universe when you open yourself up to listening…
That is why the blog posts started off slightly slow while in Helsinki… how was I supposed to work when all she wanted was love. I couldn’t possibly say no to that could I? Adorable & enlightening though, I love cats, and Anna’s cat – Mimi. Or at least that’s what I grew to call her after becoming only very slightly annoyed at the finicky Finnish pronunciation.
I know, another video, but this one is for sure the cutest I’ve ever taken. I promise.
Travelling isn’t a vacation, it isn’t just easily leaving everything behind at home to go lie on a beach with your biggest worry getting sun burnt, or what type of drink to order from the poolside bar. Travelling, to me, has always been about exploration and gaining all the experience in the world that working a day job, or sitting in a classroom will never teach or gain you.
And while posh hotels, fancy cuisine, and walking cities are all great things… Being invited into locals homes in the countryside for visits is much more rich an experience than any of that will ever be to me. Seeing the smile on their faces while filling three buckets full of berries from their fields is something I’ll never forget, along with having a meal that was made literally from just what grows in their garden, or exploring the museum upstairs that has been there for the past sixty years. These are the payoffs that make leaving the comforts of home to sleep on a best friends floor for a month entirely worthwhile. And as long as those trade-offs still feel more like a payoff than a sacrifice, I’ll know that life on the road remains my calling.
On my last evening in Helsinki, Anna & I decided to really make it memorable and celebrate an enormously successful trip overseas by finding the most posh restaurant in the city centre and spending an evening dining on the patio overlooking the white Lutheran Cathedral, which I’m sure you remember from my previous posts.
The past month and a little bit was a remarkable time spent exploring, discovering, and rendezvousing with all the right places, circumstances & people imaginable, so… thank you. Thank you, Anna. And thank you to each person I had a magnificent rendezvous with!
Sometimes life on the road can be… well, not far from that – life on the road. Living from a backpack, as cliche as it now sounds, doesn’t always feel so luxurious, but there’s nothing like a backpack full of clean clothes. One of my favourite quotes on travel is something like this… “Some days the shine of the travellers life isn’t so obvious, and you just need a clean pair of knickers & a good cup of tea. And since you can’t always rely on getting a proper cup of tea, decent underwear is critical.” So what better way to spend a day in Helsinki than watching the washing machine go round, and round, and round…
This is going to be an extremely quick post because A) It’s 03:01 B) I’m absolutely knackered, and so I am… dropping… life for a while, and exploring some new options as they come forth. I wont give away all the details here, because naturally I want you to come back and follow some exciting little travels I have juuuust around the corner. So departure from Vancouver in a little over twelve hours with only the things you see below, and ohh, this is going to be so delicious!
It must be incredible to travel and not be a photographer. Why does camera equipment weigh so much?
Yeah, I seriously wish this was the case. Don’t you hate how you can’t pack toilettries until right before you leave because you need them in the morning. Not to mention the laptop. And whatever else I’m forgetting. Ohh, and someone please talk me out of going back to Future Shop tomorrow morning before I leave to pick up a 13in Macbook Pro. I knew I shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place yesterday. Granted, it’d be a lot lighter and more portable than this 17in PC. Stupid computers!
As you read this, don’t feel bad because I laugh as I type this out. All is well. Lets go back to Swiftsure weekend one more time yes? The same weekend I left my tripod on a BC Transit bus.
Beautiful hotel room – one bedroom suite with a pull out bed, we’re spoiled being treated to this suite which includes a full kitchen so we’re enjoying the early evening sunlight with the balcony door open, the breeze blowing gently through with the NHL playoffs on TV in the living room. We mess about, take a few photos inside our room – the light is nice, we love to play. Life is good.
For whatever reason, I decide I’m going to take the most awkward route to get to where I want to be on the other side of the room… do a half hop over the bed in the living room, with my camera in my hand – naturally, stub my toe against the bed post, half trip but stay on my feet and in ultra slow motion, watch my 5DII & 85 1.2 depart my hand for the carpet floor with clearly no underlay. Sly, Sean. That was good. I look over at Anna, she doesn’t know whether to laugh until she cries, or just cry. Just about as slowly as I seemed to drop them, I pick my babies back up off the floor and find my settings reset on the 5D, and a really, solid, handsome dent in the barrel of my $2000 85mm f/1.2. The auto focus? Just fine. Manual focus? Well… a little stiff in certain places really. But all is well, because with about as much force as it takes to throw your 70lb bag onto an aircraft when you fly – I can still get my lenscap on. Please don’t ask why I didn’t have the lens hood on.
My poor darling girl.
Ohh, and my toe was fine. Thank you for asking. So that’s my two thousand dollar story.
One of BC Ferries newest ships in their fleet, the Coastal Celebration.
A coastal celebration indeed. Indeed. Spent a couple days in Victoria knocking out some photography for the 2009 Swiftsure International Yacht Race. Timing was excellent having my first go at sailing photography a week prior during Jamie & Cathy’s wedding day, so I was experienced here – how much, however, is completely irrelevant. Swiftsure is a pretty huge deal over here on the west coast of North America as far as sailing races go, and the entire city had a buzz to it all weekend long. My most gracious thanks goes out to Jamie & Alex for getting me involved and having me so well tended to all weekend.
Here I am (front) on my little boat for the day, using a zoom. EWW!
All our photography from Swiftsure 2009 is now available here.
I’m still thrilled Anna decided to join me for the event, she has some spectacular photography of her own from a press boat she was taken out on, and trooper she is – rocked just the 135L on the water. She also is one of those people who love to deny any sort of talent for being in front of the camera, at all, so I’m on a mission to prove her wrong until she leaves in a week. Check out the HD video of her on Coastal Celebration rockin’ the west coast. LOVE IT! And please, Canon, just release the firmware update for manual video controls already, it’s killing me!
Ohh, we had a joyous, fun evening out for Mother’s Day dinner tonight. We found the most beautiful golf course country club restaurant to enjoy some wonderful food, with some of the most amazing window light to top it off. So certainly in harmony with who I am, at the end of the night I come home with dozens of photos freezing more ever pleasing memories and a great appreciation for such an abundance of such great things in my life. My mum absolutely one of them, but smaller things like coincidentally bumping into old friends, hard laughter, incredible food, being able to dine out for nice meals as we wish, stunning weather. I’d happily continue, but presumably you’ve come here for pictures as well at some point.
Cheers to a dinner of appreciation. Mum spoke of how proud she felt of her two sons who have come so far in the last year. It touched me gently because I understood exactly how, and where she was coming from but not only from an inward view, but also viewing outward to others. There is nothing more pleasing to me than staying in a feeling place of pure and positive peace. Feeling appreciation & gratitude for my current surroundings keep me content. While imagining & exploring keep me full of feelings that best match exhilaration & joy. To find feelings of love in every raw moment is why this ‘here’ feels so good. A rampage of appreciation.
Cheers to family. Skål to friends. Fisehatak to health. Serefe to joy. Zivjelito to love. Vashi to appreciation. Kampai to creating. Noroc to you.
Well, it’s 1:33am right now and I’ve been thinking out this post since about midday Wednesday. Everytime I’m somewhere in a position unable to write, thoughts flow perfectly to me. Ever run across this phenomenon?
So, after I photographed my first wedding back on 3rd January – I knew two things for sure. One, that this was something I wanted to do, probably well into my immediate future. And two, that I was going to have to face the music of dealing with artificial light/strobes/off camera flash and every single thing that made me want to avoid this very subject for pretty much the rest of my life. Few things in my life have made me more uncomfortable and feeling powerless than having to wrap my head around with what seem(ed) to be an entirely foreign language. I’ve been comfortable, and relatively confident working with natural light and general ambiance – however I was starting to feel it’s limitations shooting in a near pitch black glass house reception.
And so, while I love what a nice ambiance and high ISO can pull in, I definitely needed to throw myself off that familiar cliff and expand myself just a little more. I’m always, and especially lately for whatever reason, really pushed myself to be better. Better than I used to be. Really hit stride with the potential that has to be there, because if it wasn’t – where does the desire come from to continue up the ladder to that next level? So I’m about to drop a pretty penny, or maybe two, on some off camera lighting equipment and start to play, play, play with light! If I said I wasn’t excited about it, I’d be lying. And if I said the thought of this didn’t make me a little bit physically sick – I would also be lying.
Within the past week, I’ve launched an extremely powerful morning ritual I emerge myself into before I set my little toes onto the hardwood floor of my room from this bed of mine. Gratitude. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. One thing that, every single morning, makes the top of a several page long list are my blog readers, and your comments & appreciation for this little space I’ve created here. Just within the past few weeks I’ve seen such an abundance of comments come flooding toward me (out of nowhere!), and I couldn’t be any more thankful for this.
I’ve been in touch with some wonderful people like Laura Ivanova who has such a well developed natural gift with her camera. Earlier I touched upon being better than I used to be, and knowing that is really whats in true harmony with ourselves. It’s not about being better than any other photographer, it’s about getting to this stage of constant development within ourselves and Nicole Haley is all about just that. She’s so filled with passion for work, and is always producing something new & remarkable. Becoming better than I used to be is made so simple when I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by the breathtaking work of Jamie Delaine & Courtney Reece, both of whom are my greatest sources of inspiration. Wow! And Anna Jarske… a wonderful & budding photographer in Helsinki, Finland, she’ll be joining me here in a couple weeks for two May weddings that I couldn’t be more excited about! Her & I have been wanting to shoot a wedding together for well over a year now, and the timing was right so she’s bringing herself over here to make that happen!
Thank you for visiting here and taking the time to read, and view, and enjoy. I couldn’t be more appreciative.
There is never a dull moment when our family comes together from across Western Canada, and thank goodness for that! It would take far too much effort to even begin to convince me that family gatherings are supposed to be boring & dull, so forget it! Apparently the story behind this Easter get together is something of the following: Auntie Brenda (Vancouver): Hey guys, it looks like there’s a seat sale on YYC-YVR. Wanna come out for Easter long weekend? Grandma & Grandpa (Calgary): Hey, that sounds terrific! We’re in!
I know eh, brilliant isn’t it?! I love spontaneity. And so the weekend was born. Saturday – Canucks clinch Northwest Division title (Flames finish 5th? Can anyone from Calgary confirm this?) …this is really the most important part of the entire weekend. In all seriousness, we laughed until we cried through about the entire three dinners ending tonight. Personally, I haven’t cried that much since I watched The Notebook for the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth times. Much gratitude to our family from Kamloops & Calgary (Flames finish 5th in the West) for making the journey out here to Vancouver this weekend for such an amazing time! HUGE kudos to our hosts BBC (No actually, it’s the lingo and not the British Broadcasting Corp.) for the food was fabulous, and company a hoot! And I said hoot, not toot, for those of you with the iFart app. on your iPhone! Did I really laugh until it severely hurt listening to that at the dinner table on Saturday? Thanks, guys – very mature.
Okay, so I totally see her as a teenage girl in the one on the left!
Pure, natural, and with abundant ease are the phenomenal ways of the universe and mother nature combined. I love nothing more than observing it’s extraordinary ways of life. Effortlessly, it deserves my deepest appreciation.
18th January, and my first Canuck game in a few years down at the Garage – I was excited! So early this afternoon, I climb up into the old attic and dig out one of my fourty hockey jerseys – my home ‘skate’ jersey with McLean stiched on the back on it is! We arrive nice and early and to catch the warm up, and get nicely settled in. I hadn’t been to GM Place since they put in the new screen, and gave the arena it’s makeover - amazing difference! What an atmosphere to watch our ‘Nucks in!
Standing against the glass during warm up had me feeling like I was ten years old again when I’d go watch the Kings come into town. In total & complete awe of the players, their agility, size & speed – I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. What a terrific feeling!
So despite going 0-4-1 on this five game home stand, and flushing away another point in the shootout tonight, I think this team has turned a corner. They looked better, they played with a lot of heart & determinaton, and they stood up for one another. They look good, and I think we may be in for a pleasant surprise this second half of the season!
As I may have, at one point many, many years ago first mentioned, I have a soft spot in me (and my wallet) for extraordinary hotels. This weekend I took a little break to Victoria and stayed at the Fairmont Empress. I’ll let the hotel speak for itself.
Welcome to my suite.
Almost as if they knew I'd needed renewed inspiration – they pause unannounced in my frame, shared this together, and continued on. I then knew this was my final frame that night.