Anniversary Session - Dave & Whitney

I wanted to celebrate my sister Whitney and her husband Dave's 10 year wedding anniversary by taking them (and their sweet boys) for a sunset photo shoot. Although it's only been a decade, the engagement and wedding photography industry has grown and changed so much and I wanted their anniversary session to feel somewhat like an engagement shoot - another new beginning and exciting adventure.

Jamie and Casey came along for the first little bit, but after having refused to nap in the afternoon, Casey was not loving his auntie Jay following him around with a camera! Luckily my handy side-kick (and husband!) was their to take our nephews home while I continued with the couples' shots.

I didn't take Whitt and Dave's wedding photos (I was the maid of honour and was only using a point and shoot digital camera back then!) but I wanted to recreate a couple of their favourite shots - a "Then and Now" feel :)

Happy 10th Anniversary to one of my favourite couples in the entire world - I love you both so dearly and am grateful to have you as an example of commitment and faithfulness. XO

Min Family - Maternity and Family Session

You may recognize these faces - Elyse and Jason (and Oliver!) have been featured on my website and other social media quite a few times over the past year - I have had the pleasure of seeing these three for a number of different occasions! Family photos, Oliver's 1st birthday and now a maternity session as they look forward to welcoming another little boy into the world. 

We decided on a garden session - a magical little spot for a maternity session!

Thank you for another wonderful session, Min Family! I can't wait to meet your latest addition :)

xo J

Sarah B - Mommy and Me Beach Session

Sarah was the winner of an instagram contest I had over the Mother's Day weekend - We had to reschedule a time or two due to weather and sickness, but we found a time in July that worked for us both and seized the opportunity!

I met up with this beautiful little family on the beach near their home in Boundary Bay, Tsawwassen, and although the shells and the sand were MUCH more interesting than the crazy lady with the camera making bird sounds and using a sing-songy voice, I managed to grab the attention at least often enough to give Sarah keepsake shots of her sweet little trio. Arlo, Isla and Addi giggled and explored and played and we made them say "Cheese!" every now and then ;)

Happy mothering, Sarah! You and your husband should be very proud of your sweet little family - thank you for letting me capture this special time! xo

 

Paul and Amanda - Cammidge House Wedding

I heard from Paul and Amanda just a few months ago - they had decided on a short engagement and were hoping I'd be available for their Friday afternoon wedding in July and, as I'm sure you can tell, I was! 

Amanda is a friend of my sister, Whitney, and had asked her to be the stylist for the bridal party. I was pretty excited, to be able to work alongside her! 

The preparations leading up to the ceremony were relatively relaxed - everyone seemed to be content just to be a part of the celebration. 

One of my favourite moments of the day was when Fi (the groom's daughter) and Lou (the bride's son) arrived and were swept up into the fun. I remember, so distinctly, how special it was for me to be a part of my parents' weddings when they remarried and I could see that in the faces of Fi and Lou. 

We took some of the bridal party photos before the ceremony began (whilst carefully keeping the bride away from the groom!) in order to save on time between the ceremony and the reception. Paul really wanted to keep with tradition and not see Amanda until she came down the aisle, so we arranged a "pre-game" hand hold for the couple. The excitement on both of their faces was so lovely and I must admit, I teared up! 

The ceremony was beautiful and sentimental - the vows that Paul and Amanda wrote and shared with one another were absolutely perfect. 

And just like that... they were Mr. & Mrs.!

Family photos followed the ceremony immediately before we all headed off (in vintage convertibles!) to take some photos down at the beach and in the "Secret Garden". 

Then it was back to the Cammidge House for an outdoor reception and tacos from Tacofino! After playing games on the lawn, eating and enjoying the beautiful weather, the guests were all seated under the summery tent and listened to the heartfelt speeches of friends and family before hitting the dance floor. 

What a spectacular day! 

Congratulations, Amanda and Paul! Thank you for letting me share in your beautiful celebration - May God richly bless your marriage with love and laughter. 

xo J

Samuel and Nathan - Steveston Graduation

My little baby cousins are so grown up! A couple of weeks ago they made their transition into adulthood official by wrapping up their 5 years of high school, putting on some dapper duds and celebrating with classmates. 

They are the middle two of four boys, but their older brother had to work while photos were being taken and their little brother was busy graduating elementary school the same day! 

I'm so proud of these two gents - both are off to UBC in the fall and members of the UBC Track and Field team! Way to go, Sam and Nate! We love you!

C&C Beach Grove Reception

If you haven't checked out the previous blog about Carolyn and Cooper's Tofino ceremony, take a second and do so! ...and here are some highlights from Carolyn and Cooper's reception back in their hometown of Tsawwassen just a few days later! 

Carolyn & Cooper - Tofino Ceremony

I love Tofino.

It's official.

I had never actually been, despite growing up in a ferry town my whole life! So when Carolyn and I had discussed her and Cooper's upcoming wedding in Tofino, I was SO excited - and for good reason! What a whimsical and romantic place for a wedding ceremony. 

The setting was magnificent - Long Beach Lodge, sunshine and the sound of waves and wind. The truth of the matter is that Carolyn and Cooper are the type of people that could make a back alley look beautiful, but they just happened to find a location as striking as they are. 

In order to calm nerves and have a more intimate setting, Carolyn and Cooper decided to do a first look in the wooded area in front of their parents cabins at the Lodge. 

What a beautiful moment to be a part of. 

After a beautiful (albeit, windy) ceremony, we all headed into the Lodge for a champagne toast. Everyone was windblown, slightly sandy and extremely happy! 

I snuck the wedding party out between champagne and dinner in order to snap a few shots out on the beach - they were all such troopers! Carolyn and Jackie were game for anything, despite their full length dresses and windblown hair - and, of course, Cooper and Brett were perfect gentlemen, escorting the ladies over the rocks and tidal pools! It was almost like an adventure session... haha. I should also mention that Matt (my husbandito!) was along for the trip to Tofino and assisted throughout the day (so I ALSO was assisted over the rocks and water!)

Mr & Mrs Watts - I am SO thrilled for you! Thank you for letting Matt and I share in your special day. We had a lovely time and I can't wait to share about your Tsawwassen reception :)

May your marriage be defined by love and laughter. 

xoxo J

Grads of 2017

June is an exciting time - Summer is finally at our doorstep, the weather is warm and cheery and it seems like there are celebrations everywhere you look! As the school year comes to a close, many students are prepping for exams, planning holiday adventures and ultimately looking forward to the next year/grade. For those students who have reached the end of their journey through high school, this is also a time of celebration for the chapter of their lives that is now complete as well as a time of anticipation for the world of possibilities that awaits them; an end and a beginning. 

There are always mixed emotions at graduations. There is often elation over the fact that the "task" is completed - no more homework assignments or group projects (for the time being) and a chance to branch out from the seemingly "small world" of your local school faction. There is also often a sadness over leaving the comfortable familiarity of the world you've known since Kindergarten, perhaps even having moved through those 13 years with many of the same students. There is joy and sorrow, intermingled. 

HOWEVER, the day of a graduation banquet, although sometimes tear-inducing, is much more about the JOYFUL side of things! Everyone looking their very best and creating memories to last until the next reunion... not to mention a myriad of adoring family and friends coming out to see their grads at their finest - quite a day! 

It was a real privilege to celebrate this milestone with some wonderful young people. Thank you for having me as a part of your special day and may you always strive to be people who make the world around them a better place. Congratulations to the Grads of 2017!

Zander, Kalia & Malachi - Fort Langley

I met Malachi just less than 6 months ago - he had just recently entered into this grand world of ours and had become, in no time at all, one of the most popular members of his family! Parents, grand-parents, aunties and uncles alike were thrilled at the arrival of this precious little dude and, based on posts I've seen over the past few months from the aforementioned family members, his popularity is only increasing! 

I was privileged to be asked by my sweet cousin (and Malachi's mommy), Kalia, to take some newborn photos back in the Winter and happily agreed, approximately half a year later, to capture some photos of the Cellarius family as well as some 6-month portraits of Mr. Malachi. 

Who could say no to this crew?

I live in Vancouver, but I always enjoy venturing out to Fort Langley for photos - there is something so quaint and pleasant about it... everyone seems to be at least a tad bit more relaxed! It was a beautiful, sunny Spring day and we were surrounded by bikers and hikers and families heading out for picnics - doesn't that sound idyllic for a Saturday? 

It is always a lovely day when you spend it in good company, but I just happened to luck out with good company AND great weather. Thank you, Kalia and Zander (and Malachi) for a wonderful Saturday outing! Happy six-month milestone to the little man. Xo

Moments for Moms

My sister is involved in a wonderful "mothers group" out in Tsawwassen that meets up every second and fourth Tuesday of the month - it is a chance to visit, share personal experiences in parenting and connect with other women/mothers that are walking a similar journey. This group was established 50 years ago and continues to be a much needed "sanctuary" for local moms to this day.

I had the pleasure of capturing some of the fabulous women involved in this group at their annual Mother's Day Tea at South Delta Baptist Church. 

I have such admiration for these women - soldiering through years of limited sleep, dirty diapers, sticky hands, endless laundry and fights over bathtimes and bedtimes. I know that there are many joys in motherhood as well - admiration and affection from children who consider you to be their sun and stars, but the patience and love required to put your children's needs ahead of your own on a daily basis is quite remarkable. 

So, well done Moms! You are admired and appreciated! 

Outside Mullingar - Pacific Theatre

As some may know, I love many different forms of art. Music has been a major part of my life since my earliest days and Theatre/Performance has been a passion of mine that I have pursued alongside my photography. I've had the privilege, over the past year, to be involved as a performer in a few projects with Pacific Theatre - "Sideshow" (Improv), "Testament", "The Wolves" and "Problem Child" that will be going up in July. I love this Theatre Company and what they stand for and was thrilled, therefore, to be able to also be involved with "Outside Mullingar" though this time as a photographer! 

This show, written by John Patrick Shanley, is a heart-warming, surprisingly comical tale of two neighbouring families in Mullingar, Ireland. With a superbly talented cast and a delightfully witty script, this show is an absolute treat. 

The show runs at Pacific Theatre until June 10th - Catch it if you can! 

The Woeste Family

As a photographer, I have the pleasure (and privilege) of meeting some pretty fantastic people. I had met Victoria before she booked her family session with me (as she is a good friend of my sister) but it's lovely to see people in different settings. For some, a windy, chilly day that resulted in a quick change of photo location may have thrown them into a bit of a tizzy, but this family was quick to laugh, happy to follow me wherever I thought was best and to even venture through some mud with me - Cody (Dad) just scooped up Isaac (the youngest) and trudged on through!

The boys were sweet and silly - my favourite! I think that Vicky and Cody were mostly just wanting to get through the experience with everyone a) happy and b) clean! Luckily there were no muddy jeans or grass stains for the half an hour we spent together (which is a small miracle with 3 boys!)

Spending some time in the sunshine with this crew was a lot of fun - Brady, Samuel and Isaac were little gentlemen and I could tell they had practiced their "model smiles" at home :) 

I wanted to make it at least a LITTLE fun for them, so I snapped a few photos of them running, jumping and just generally enjoying being kids.

Thank you, Woeste family, for a lovely time! xo

Tori - Headshots

Almost 16 year ago, I was blessed with another sibling - Victoria. She was sweet and sensitive, creative and kind. It wasn't hard for me to fall in love with my adorable little sister and we shared an instant bond. 

I've tried to ensure that, despite our busy schedules and different stages of life, Tori and I stay close. I love hanging out with her and Elise (my youngest sister who arrived on the scene 3 years after Tori!) and the time we spend together is always full of silliness. 

When my Dad and Stepmom were heading to Vegas for an anniversary trip, I jumped at the opportunity to spend a few days with Tori and Elise - we saw "Beauty and the Beast", ate Thai food, went for walks, had some good chats, ordered Pizza, sang karaoke and played "Life". Just three gals having fun :)

I brought my camera along because I knew that Tori needed some new headshots for her upcoming production of "The Little Mermaid" with Delta Youth Theatre and, not to brag or anything, but this girl is a stunner...

It was a lot of fun - she's an easy subject! Love you, Tori. 

xo J

Debbie & Gilles - Couples Session

Spending an hour walking around Granville Island with Debbie and Gilles was one of the highlights of my weekend. It was pouring rain... not a great start. HOWEVER, umbrellas were made for a reason! Besides, a little rain never hurt anyone! 

This lovely couple ventured out to the city from Langley for our photoshoot and were absolute troopers despite the chilly weather conditions. 

And now it's off to Mexico for these two lovebirds! Have a fabulous vacation and enjoy the sun and sand for me! 

xo J

Carolyn&Cooper - West Coast Engagement

When Carolyn contacted me about their upcoming wedding in Tofino, I clapped with giddiness at my computer! Tofino - I've never been! I can't WAIT to go on an adventure to one of BC's most treasured spots to celebrate Cooper and Carolyn's wedding. 

It was obvious, when having coffee with Carolyn to talk about wedding plans, that these two are going to be a lot of fun to spend some time with in June. I knew Carolyn in school (and fast-pitch!) but hadn't seen her in years. She was so easy to talk to and always quick to smile and laugh - my favourite kind of person! haha

In honour of their upcoming oceanside nuptials, we met up at the beach in Tsawwassen (our collective hometown!) to snap some "West Coast, Best Coast" engagement shots. 

Even though we're at the end of February (and any Canadians outside of the Lower Mainland in BC are going to roll their eyes at this) it was SO VERY cold! What's our argument usually? "It's a wet cold, so it's worse!" - but seriously, it was FREEZING and Carolyn and Cooper just persevered like champions. Matt came along to help carry bags and act as a second shooter, so he deserves a pat on the back for surviving that weather as well!

These two were so cute together: comfortable and cozy. It's always so fun to see how loving couples look at each other - it makes a freezing cold day seem a bit warmer :)

I'm so happy for you both - thanks for letting me join in on the celebration! 

xo

 

 

Lea turns 1!

You may recognize the following beautiful family from a Family Session I did back in the late Spring - these are The Lerners. Fun, friendly and fabulous. It's no surprise, then. that they would have a "Magical Unicorn Forest" themed birthday party for sweet little Lea - it doesn't get more fabulous! 

Although none of us would have predicted a weekend-long snowstorm, that didn't keep anyone away (except the pony who was meant to make a special appearance!)

The snowflakes slowly fell outside and lit the rooms so beautifully - it was quite fitting for the magical event :)

It is clear that miss Lea is adored - she was surrounded by loving friends and family who seemed to be completely smitten with this precious girl. She has been walking on her own for a little while now, so she confidently strolled (sometimes wobbled!) her way around the room, playing with her fellow toddlers and soaking in the admiration of her Parents, Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, etc. 

The party details were absolutely adorable - Stephanie (Lea's mom) has such a wonderful eye and set the room up with pinks and whites with little accents of greenery to create a feminine and fairy-tale-like atmosphere. 

I had such a lovely time celebrating with these wonderful people - happy birthday, sweet Lea!

Casey the Brave - 1st Birthday.

If you know me, you know that I absolutely adore my nephews. I have said to my sister "how do you handle loving something so much? Don't you just feel like you're constantly about to explode?!"

Casey is the second child to my sister, Whitney, and he is known to our family (and hundreds of loving, supportive friends) as "Casey the Brave". He was given this title just one month after entering the world when a simple cold caused him to go into Respiratory and Cardiac arrest. The amazing, loving, tireless staff at Richmond General Hospital spent 50 minutes resuscitating him - longer than would ever be recommended. 

On the Prayers and Support page that we created for Casey, Whitney wrote (on March 3rd, 2016):
"Thanking God for this MIRACLE!

On Monday evening (February 29, 2016) at Richmond hospital, we witnessed Casey suffer respiratory failure and go into cardiac arrest. It took them nearly 50 minutes of resuscitation to get him stabilized. When we arrived at children's hospital by the infant transport team, we were sat down and told that he would almost certainly have extensive brain damage and even if he recovered from the virus while on life support, he wouldn't survive without a ventilator if he was brain dead.

Casey began to show us that he was not giving up anytime soon. God has been gracious and our brave boy has battled back.

Today, at 2pm, Casey had the CT scan that would allow the doctors to see the extent of the damage.

We watched him go into the CT room and with trembling hands we prayed and asked God boldly for a miracle. We asked that this scan would not show any signs of his cardiac arrest whatsoever.

Within 15 minutes, our Doctor interrupted us and came in to say that there were NO SIGNS of abnormality in his brain. They could not see ANY damage.
One Doctor said "Well, your baby defies all logic."

We want to be clear, we believe that this is God's hand in the life of our baby boy and we want to give Him all of the glory.

Now we are heading into more days of stabilizing him while the virus finished its run, and then we will be slowly getting him back to full health before we can take our boy home.

The nurses and doctors here are amazed. They have been incredible in caring for Casey and they are rejoicing with us.

Thank you Thank you Thank you to the hundreds of you that have been praying for our son. We can say without a doubt that they have been heard and answered!We continue to pray for his complete healing and strengthening after this virus runs its course. Casey the Brave is well on his way!"

This was our little man at BCCH

Casey was in the ICU for 22 days and then spent an additional week in another ward of the hospital. He was able to come home to celebrate Easter weekend, but had to be admitted to the hospital a few more times because of breathing difficulties caused by a 75% closure in the airway just below his vocal chords. His first stint procedure was April 8th and the second on April 21st.

He is our miracle man. God showed His goodness and power in the life of this little guy and we are forever changed.

Fast forward to January 28th, one day before his 1st birthday.

Family and friends gathered at a Lumberjack party to celebrate Casey the Brave. Although every person there had contributed to his life in a significant way, two very special guests were in attendance - a nurse from the team of medical staff responsible for his resuscitation (she was the one giving him oxygen for 50 minutes) and an ICU nurse from Children's who spent countless hours caring for Casey as he fought to recover. To these two women, and the countless others who tirelessly serve children and families at our local hospitals, we cannot thank you enough. Your job is not an easy one but it is so incredibly meaningful. You have given us a gift and we can never repay you.

So, here are some images from the party that celebrated a most spectacular life. 

Casey, you are silly and happy and all-together wonderful. We love you entirely, brave boy.

Danielle M - Portrait Session

I'm lucky enough to be friends with a wonderful gal named Danielle. We met years ago in the Theatre department of UFV and she has been nothing but a kind, encouraging, gracious friend to me - one of those people who you feel adds positively to your life rather than draining you! Yay for those people! 

She is still adamantly pursuing the arts and I'm always so encouraged when I see her posts about upcoming shows - totally challenges me to keep at it too! 

Last weekend she came out to Vancouver to do a portrait session with me as a final "hoorah!" and celebration of her loveliness before some big changes take place. She has already been on a weight loss journey but next week she will be having a Bariatric surgery which will significantly impact her look. She had said to me that she didn't want to take the typical "Before" photos that people usually portray as being the worst version of themselves. She told me, "I love myself and even how I look today. So I want to celebrate that and take before pictures that look lovely and can be done similarly in a year or two." So that's what we did!

This is lovely Danielle. The next blog I do about her will probably look a bit different, but you will see the same sweet, lovable, infectious young woman rockin' it. :)

Go get it, girl! Proud of you! xo

Maria & Will - Vancouver Engagement

I had the pleasure of meeting Maria and Will just after Christmas when we all met up at a coffee shop in Kits to discuss their upcoming wedding. We chatted easily and I was surprised at how many connections we had! Maria is from the East Coast (PEI, specifically) which holds a very special place in my heart as my Mom and Matt's mom are also East Coasters! Maria and Will also met in their parish choir - Matt and I were also in choir together back in high school and continue to be involved in music at our church.

The time sipping hot beverages and discussing photos went by so quickly! I was really happy, therefore, to have another chance to spend time with these two when we met up for their engagement shoot this past Saturday. 

Taking photos in January is always a bit of a gamble - especially in Vancouver! Would it rain? Probably. SO, we watched the forecast and rejoiced when it said that we would be narrowly missing the rain! Hoorah! 

Here are a few of my favourite images from our time together...

I'm so excited to celebrate with these two in July - Congratulations again, Maria and Will! May this time leading up to your wedding be full of joy and excitement! 

xo JL

The Glasgows

Stefanie Glasgow is one of my favourite photographers. If you see a fabulous photo of me somewhere, Stef probably took it. She is creative and fun, fashionable and inventive and has been THE BIGGEST help to me when it comes to all things photography related. I could not have asked for a better mentor in this journey and I can only hope to someday be as patient and generous with another artist as she has been with me.

Did you ALSO know that she has been my friend since elementary school? She was in French immersion and I was in English, but we still hit it off. Some of my favourite memories with Stef are from our high school choir days - I remember ironing each others hair before a dance at a competition up in Whistler... with an actual iron... on an ironing board. I also remember goofing off in MANY of our rehearsals (and even concerts...). We were hilarious. Or so we thought.

Fast forward a few... ahem... many years. Grown ups, we are! In the Summer, Stef and James (her fabulous Nova Scotian husband with a killer sense of humour) had their first child. Harrison was an immediate sensation - an absolute cutie from day one. Now that his personality is really starting to show, he is almost TOO much to take. Editing photos of him had me in an absolute tizzy. I kept saying to Matt, "LOOK at this child! Look at this face! How will they ever say no to him? He's the most precious thing I've ever seen!" Haha. Good luck, Stef and James!

As Stef and James (and Harrison) are now living on the island, it was a very special treat for me to have the opportunity to see them and do a photo session here in Vancouver. 

I will also add that I was THRILLED to still have a bit of snow on the ground. I think it made for such a lovely setting - wouldn't you agree?

What a lovely time I was able to spend with some of the loveliest humans! Thank you, Glasgow family, for trekking on down to Granville island with me and starting my New Year off so wonderfully! You three are simply the best. xoxoxo