Chilliwack Birth Photographer | Home Water Birth | Meet Baby E

It’s been almost four years since Misty contacted me asking me to photograph her upcoming birth. I remember being shocked that she would trust or want someone who was just starting out in their birth photography journey to capture something so big, so monumental. I had only captured two births in Chilliwack, BC, prior to her enquiry, both for friends, but despite me trying to talk her out of hiring me she insisted. I remember Misty telling me how she had saved through out her pregnancy to afford a birth photographer for this birth as she regretted not doing this for her two previous births with her sons, and nothing was going to stop her from having the birth of her daughter captured in photographs.

Misty was due the first week of January 2015 so throughout the Christmas break I checked my phone non stop, kept my ringer on high with the most annoying ringtone I could find to ensure no matter what- I would be there for the birth of their daughter. And so it was shortly before 10pm I received the text message that her water had broken earlier and the midwives were on their way and that I should come now.

When I arrived it was evident that there was no shortness of love going around. Her husband and her best friend and labor coach were by her side every step of the way. Misty labored long and hard throughout the night and by sunrise on December 29, 2014 sweet baby E was welcomed earth side. Shortly afterwards her two older brothers were brought home by the neighbours and they showered her with love and kisses and fed their tired mama her favourite snack, pineapple chunks.

Looking back at these images 4 years later I am still in awe in what I was able to capture with my Canon Rebel T4i, a 50 mm and a 28mm lens. It truly shows, that its not really about the gear, rather how you use it and knowing and understanding light. When I originally stumbled upon these images earlier this week I was embarrassed of them but the more I stared at them and truly felt them- the prouder I became. I have grown leaps and bounds as a photographer in the last four years and of course my camera bag is now overflowing with expensive equipment and all the top low light lenses on the market which of course makes capturing home births in the middle of the night just a little bit easier it is truly not about the gear, its about knowing your clients and what is in their hearts so you are able to capture that in photographs for them.

Birth is a blur. No matter how you look at it, it truly passes so quickly; as do the memories of your birth. Let’s take those raw moments of your birth and preserve them into something tangible, that can be held onto for a lifetime. I have no photography of either of my births. My son’s birth was on film and when we dropped off the film to be developed it came back super imposed with a senior citizens function of some sorts- yes friends the handful of images we took at the hospital have old people on them- much like today’s double exposures- just exactly what you don’t want. My daughter’s birth ended up being an emergency c-section and time spent in the NICU while I struggled to come out of the anesthetic. She was born Thanksgiving weekend and I was so traumatized from her birth that all I could think of was just wanting to go home. In the essence of giving back to mama’s to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have photos of their birth stories I am prepared to offer the first three births booked from this post a deep discount. I have availability to take on one birth each for the month of November, December, January and February. Message me to discuss.

Chilliwack Birth Photographer

Chilliwack Family Photographer | Back to School Portrait Mini Session | This is Kiera

I have known Kiera her entire life, in fact her mom and I met in Kindergarten and have been friends our entire lives! I have watched Kiera grow over the years and her perceptiveness and insight into the world always makes me smile as she is the perfect combo of both her parents with a good dose of her self as well. Kiera has dreams of becoming a surgeon and she has a drive that I don’t see very often in our younger generations. She knows what she wants and she has a plan to get there. She is the only kid I have ever met that has had their entire education future planned out and broken down into sizable chunks by the age of 14. I have no doubt with her hilarious personality, spunk and academic drive- this girl is going places.

School pictures have come and gone and retakes are happening now at most schools… if you aren’t happy with them lets get together and capture your children’s true personality in their school portraits. Back to School Mini Sessions- are simple-

Message me to book your child’s session!

Chilliwack Family Photographer | Back to School Portraits | This is Paris

When Paris’ mom approached me to take her Back to School portraits I was beyond thrilled. I met Paris and her mom years back at a destination wedding and we have stayed in touch over the years. As a result I have watched Paris grow from a sweet shy child to a young teenager trying to find her place in the world. This past year Paris ran in Miss Teen BC and I was so proud watching her and her voice and self confidence grow. On the evening of our mini portrait session Paris was sweet, kind and engaging and spoke of her passion to become an actress one day. I have no doubt in my mind that this girl will move mountains to obtain her goals.

The first week of school is done and gone and with that it’s time for those epic Back to School Pictures! I really don’t understand them- at all, they are always, for us at least, the worst pictures ever and don’t get me started on the odd backgrounds that they always seem to choose for my kids previews- has anyone ever actually ordered the galaxy one with the shooting stars?! So with that I have started to offer Back to School Mini Sessions- simple.

Message me to book your child’s session!

Chilliwack River | Chilliwack Maternity Photograpaher | A Pacific Northwest Maternity Session with Anthea + Brad

I met Anthea and Brad on a typical PNW early summer evening  to photograph them together before they became parents for the first time.    It was a week before their sweet baby was due and Anthea and Brad were so excited to become parents.  Brad having grown up in Chilliwack was able to speak at ease with me about all our favourite local spots for summer fun and swore each other to secrecy upon sharing locations.  Anthea and Brad were amazing and up for anything... including climbing boulders and tackling spider webs in the forest and wading in the ice cold river.  As we finished up our session I asked them if they were up for one more location so we could get some gorgeous couple maternity silhouettes.  As we rolled up to my spot, they shared with me that they use to live just a few blocks from this location and often walked this trail, it was pure magic and had so much meaning to them.  The evening was amazing and the weather played nice and didn't let loose the rain from those ominous storm clouds till we were driving off.  Thanks so much for being so much fun and congrats again on your beautiful baby boy.  

JOANIE LOVES CHACHI| Chilliwack Party in the Park| Chilliwack, BC

Friday nights in July mean Party in the Park in our hometown of Chilliwack, BC, where live music, food trucks, the activity zone and a pop up market all meet as one in the downtown core.  When my kids were younger we never missed a Party in the Park but as they got older and our weekends got busier we stopped attending.  When Joanie Loves Chachi announced that they were playing again and would be performing at Party in the Park this year I was beyond thrilled.  

Joanie loves Chachi have been around since 2000. I have so many fond memories of listening to them jam at parties and numerous 'old school' venues in my early 20's.  This 3 piece band originally from Chillliwack has had many other local musicians contribute to their works during their career of playing extensively in the Lower Mainland.  Now that good friends Dean Young, Norm Thody and Barry Higginson are re-united they are developing new music that brings a much more mature and focused sound.  Truly excited to see what their passion and drive has in store for Joanie Loves Chachi.
 

 

Day in the Life Family Film + Photos | Langley Family Photographer | The Funk Family

I photographed Kelsey and Chris' afternoon with their three rambunctious boys in their home in Langley, BC.  I met up with them for after school pick up of their two oldest boys and I followed them home on their typical route to document through photos and film what this time in their life looks like.   We hung out at home and the boys played and showed off their amazing lego creations to me.   Kelsey spent some time sewing and I was so excited to be able to include her love for sewing as part of their session.  Kelsey is an extremely creative and talented sewer and you can see her amzing creations throughout their family film.   

This family absolutely stole my heart, especially the youngest lil' munchkin cause whose favourite thing isn't eating candy and watching TV as he explains in their family film.   Later on in the afternoon after the boys had played and done their homework we took a stroll back to the school to burn off that evening energy that boys always seem to have an abundance of as it nears bedtime.    As the boys energy winded down we settled back home for some games and pizza, a perfect ending to their Slice of Life Family Film session.

Want to book a storytelling Slice of Life Session?   Let's chat!  Contact me here.

If you would like to preserve this time in your family's life with a This is Our Life Photo + Video Session, please contact me for more information. I would love to document your family's story.

 

Chilliwack Prom Photographer| Oakley & Charlie

My baby boy and his girl. Graduated!  I can hardly believe it.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was walking you into your first day of kindergarten and here you are now, all grown up and ready to take on the world.  My mama heart is so full of love and I am so proud of you both.  Watching your relationship and more importantly your friendship develop and grow has been an honour.   

On the eve of their graduation we drove out to my childhood stomping grounds and waited out the rain storm that came out of nowhere, as a result we were thanked with epic and moody skies!  It totally suited the emotions of this time in their lives....

I am so excited to see what the future holds for you both. 

Behind you, all your memories
Before you, all your dreams
Around you, all who love you
Within you, all you need.
— unknown

Abbotsford Prom Photographer | Sydney

PROM SEASON... one of my favourite times of the year.  There is just something about Prom that makes me all giddy inside and I wish I could photograph all the seniors graduating but that is just not feasible!  Sydney's mom booked me at the beginning of her grade twelve year to make sure that this moment was captured not only for Sydney, but for them as a family.  We spent some time together in Abbotsford, BC before she was off to prom.  Congratulations Sydney, I wish you nothing but the best for your future.  

 

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Camping with Friends | Cultus Lake, BC

Our first camping trip of the season was met with unexpectedly warm weather and some more typical rain showers. This was our first time ever camping in a trailer and I may just be hooked.  

I cannot wait for summer to come this year.  With our abnormally cold winter it cannot come soon enough.  Feel free to invite me to join you on your camping trips this summer so I can capture your family making memories.   

A Birthday trip to Disneyland~ Day One

Disneyland… what can I say.  It has always been Adison’s dream and I finally made it happen for her as a surprise for her 9th birthday.  That being said I can’t remember a time in my life where I have ever felt so overwhelmed and unprepared for all that our Disney trip presented itself with.  We started off with a 5 hour flight delay as there was a bomb scare at the Bellingham airport; which had us arriving in Disneyland at midnight, instead of at dinner time.  Adison took it all in stride and her only concern was that we would indeed make it to Disneyland.  

Here is our day one film and a few pictures from our day one in Disneyland.

First day at Disneyland

Our first day at Disneyland had me beyond frustrated with the crowds and the 100 minute ride and character lines.  I had never dreamed it would be that busy and was totally unprepared for the chaos that Disneyland is.  Adison on the other hand was able to ensure I kept it all in perspective.  She loved the rides, fully and completely, the joy just exuded out of her. Who knew she would be a roller coaster kid?! All in all it was a great day and we left feeling optimistic that we would be better prepared for day two. 

disneyland family photograph
meeting winnie the pooh for the first time at disneyland
walking back to the hotel

The Hunt for Martin...

Last September I was the lucky photographer to spend an afternoon photographing Martin at Video Tonight in Chilliwack, BC as part of The Bookman’s Cat Charity Calendar that they do every year to fund Ena's Community Cats, a non profit organization devoted to the welfare and health of underprivileged cats and dogs in the Community of Chilliwack.

Martin and I had an instant bond especially after I snuck him some whip cream from the coffee bar, Starlight Café.    This past weekend I saw that Video Tonight had closed down and I immediately contacted my dear friend Amber, owner of The Bookman to see if she knew what had happened to my dear cat friend Martin.  After numerous messages back and forth with nothing turning up any leads we took to Facebook and our calls to Where do I find… Martin… were heard by local journalist Jess Peters at The Progress- http://www.theprogress.com/community/393145131.html .  

Please help us find Martin as Amber would love to have him come and live at The Bookman with fellow cat calendar model Nietzsche if he is in need of a home.  Leads are trickling in with one being that possibly a customer may have adopted him and another that he was relinquished to the local SPCA.    We all just want to know that Martin is in a good place so if you know anything about Martin and where he may have ended up please contact Amber at the Bookman at 604-792-4595.

UPDATE:  Apparently Martin was adopted by a customer but was then relinquished to the SPCA in Chilliwack who then shipped him out to the Surrey SPCA... and this is where the trail runs cold...

Chilliwack Prom Photographer | Chris & Alexa

Chris' mom and I grew up together in Chilliwack, BC, in fact we attended kindergarten together!  We were silly little kids and rowdy teenagers together.  We've grown apart and close together numerous times over the last 35 years but no matter what she is the one friend that I know I can always count on.   I have watched her and her husband raise Chris to be the upstanding young man that he is; an outstanding athlete, a hard worker, and a good role model.  He is just an all around awesome young man to be around.  To say I was totally honoured when she asked me to do his formal portraits with his girlfriend Alexa on his prom day is an understatement!.   Chris and Alexa were total and complete rock stars during their session and didn't complain once despite the heat, the sun and the mosquitoes!  I had so much fun with you both and am so proud of all your accomplishments Chris.  So excited to see where you go from here.  

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have always imagined.
— Henry David Thoreau
Chilliwack Prom Portrait Photographer
Chilliwack Family Lifestyle Portrait Photographer
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Chilliwack Lower Mainland Prom Portrait Senior Photographer

Chilliwack Family Filmmaker| A Trip to the Bookman

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.
— Kurt Vonnegut

My daughter's favourite activity to do on the weekends is a trip to our local used bookstore, The Bookman.   As a young girl and teenager I loved to read and spent many, many hours in this very same bookstore, they had the best selection of Margaret Atwood and Tom Robbins books!   I began reading to my daughter as an infant and passed on my love of reading to her.  She loves to read out loud to me and to our cat!   She is just slightly obsessed with the Warriors series by Erin Hunter right now but only has two books left and she has read them all! As a family filmmaker is just seemed fitting for us to make a family film of her love of reading, cats and our favourite Chilliwack bookstore. 

The Bookman is an amazing bookstore and is the second largest used bookstore in the Province of British Columbia!  We are so blessed to have this locally owned and operated gem of a bookstore within walking distance from our home.

 

Chiliwack Family Photographer| Easter on the Fraser River

This was the first year in as long as I can remember that neither of my parents were in town for Easter.  We are so routine in all the things we do for special occasions, so this definitely threw myself and my kids for a loop this year.   I knew if we had Easter like we always do it would be very weird without my parents so I surprised my kids, our dog and my borrowed middle child (aka our neighbour) with Easter hotdogs and a campfire on the Fraser River... sunshine, campfire, skipping rocks, some lifestyle family pictures and no stress, it was an amazing evening.   After dinner an old friend from highschool joined us and he taught Adison how to shoot a slingshot.  To say she was thrilled is an understatement.  Happy Easter.   

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Chilliwack Family Photographer| 3rd Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Well once again the sun came out in full force for the Garrison Crossing Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Ever since our favourite local Easter Egg hunt at the duck pond was replaced with a egg drop in a large field I have  longed for a good ol' fashioned Easter Egg Hunt.  Three years ago a friend of mine pulled it together and we have made it a yearly tradition ever since!  Here are a few of my favourite photographs from this years Easter Egg Hunt...