Saturday, 27 June 2015

When life's not fair

No matter that I believe in God and a higher plan, sometimes life just isn't fair.  An old childhood friend lost her husband to a tragic ATV accident last week.  He leaves behind his wife and three young children, ages 2, 6 and 8.  When I heard the news, my stomach dropped, and stayed that way for days.  These are the kinds of things you hear about on the news, or the kinds of the things that happen to "friends of friends" or "people you heard of."  This one just hit so close to home.

In an instant, everything she thought her life would look like changed.  The plans and dreams were shattered.  Life will go on for her and her children, but it won't remotely resemble how she thought it all would go.

I stand at quite a few big crossroads right now.  In the past year we have been making some decisions that could change the course of where we are headed.  But they have been deliberate choices, carefully thought out and prayed over.  This tragedy in my friend's life reminds me that for all my planning, for all my careful execution, in an instant things spin in a completely different direction.

Knowing this friend, I have been able to imagine the heartache she feels at a much more connected level than I usually would.  I have imagined the sobs coming out in gasps, the neverending stream of tears, the lonely ache at night, and the pain of hugging her fatherless children.  She has a strong faith and the support and love of so many friends and family, but none of that can ease the moment when you just have to cry.

I am holding everyone a little closer these days.


Things Juliette says that are beyond adorable:

"Awk-ward!" (and totally in the right context, too!)

"Last-er-night" (last night, yesterday, well - really it means anything in the past, even if it was only a few hours ago)

"I would like pancakes with syrup and a plate."  (James thought this one was really strange, until I explained that only at breakfast does she get pancakes with syrup, on a plate.  If she asks for a pancake later in the day, she can have it as a snack, in her hand, without syrup.)

"That's not the deal."  (I don't know where she picked up on how to make a deal, but she certainly knows when she doesn't like the deal being made.)

Friday, 19 June 2015


Six years ago I wrote a children's book. Then I out it on the shelf because in order to finish it, I needed to collaborate with a photographer. 

Six years later, I am a photographer. I think it's time to get that book out again. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


I have a saying:

"If I'm running, it's because something is chasing me, so you better run, too,"

Running is all the rage right now.  Almost everyone I know is doing it.  And I can't stand running.  I love biking and walking, and I choose one or the other over driving every single time I can.  When I was in university, there were some days when I had nothing planned that I would just start out walking from my east end apartment, and keep going for eight or nine hours before hopping on a streetcar back home.  I love to read about CS Lewis' weekend walking trips, when he and a few friends would walk the moors of England for days on end.

But I do not run.

That being said, this morning I did I 5K.  Speed walking, not running, but it felt pretty neat to say "this morning I did a 5K."  I happened to arrive at the trail at the same time as a group of moms I know and their babies in strollers, so I "joined" their group, graciously saying for them to go on ahead and not wait for me.  Most of the group was out of eye shot pretty quick, but my speed walking was nearly as fast as the mom ahead of me.  In fact, I only finished about 2 minutes behind that first group at the end. It's not the speed I protest, but the actual running motion.  That up and down jogging, landing on your knees, jiggling everything to no end.

Good weather is here and I like to get up and going early.  I hope to walk, bike or kayak every morning at least for the next two weeks until school is out.  The summer might prove harder, with kids at different speeds, but we all love to be active outdoors so we'll figure something out.

Monday, 15 June 2015

These summer days

It's not quite summer and these days are filling up.  Not filling up-busy, just filling up with fun.  Soccer, bike rides, in-line skating, parks, music, play dates, writing, reading, playing.  The sun is out and everyone is revelling in the sunshine.

So I might check in here a little less than usual.  (An admission after a two week absence already!)  My heart and hands are full, which has meant less spilling out onto the page.  But that's okay.  A new season will come and I will find myself here again more frequently.

Monday, 1 June 2015

To my past cinematographers

To my past cinematographers:

As a director, I spent many long hours and days on set, creating beautiful moments with my actors and making sure the camera captured the action just the right way.  I had a vision in my mind and I worked tirelessly to bring it to the screen.  I knew the importance of a talented cinematographer in order to achieve that dream and so I hand picked each and every one of you for your talent, and, more specifically, your eye.

Yet there were many times I waited impatiently as you set up lights, placed bounced boards, took meter readings, and stared at the same scene for what seemed like eons.  I heard you saying "I'm perfecting the light" but my untrained eye could not detect any difference between the bounce board this way or that, could not determine why it wasn't good enough yet.  It all looked the same to me.

Fast forward a decade as I have now translated my experience as a director and my training in film to a photography business.  And now, I see it.  Now the burnt honey light at golden hour catches my breath.  Now the sunny haze settles around me.  Now I see the illumination on the milky skin of a newborn.  Now I race for my camera when the sharpness of the light falls perfectly across the living room floor.  Now I stand, for eons, and let my eyes adjust to the subtle nuances of light on my subjects, knowing the contours that will emerge in the final portrait.

To all my past cinematographers, I'm sorry.  Now I see what you saw.  Thank you for your patience and example so that I, too, may emerge as a photographer.