Tuesday, September 24, 2013
It's approaching. That familiar decrescendo of wedding season. It's been a great year, but an exhausting one. We are looking forward to an annual trip up to Ottawa and the Laurentians in Quebec. In the daily world that I live, it's sensory overload and I need a chance to reflect, to relax and to breathe. I was in an adorable local store the other day and chatting to the shop owner. He suggested this coffee table book entitled Wisdom. Chalk full of portraits and advice of the famous, but here's the thing, they are all over the age of 65. In a world that praises only the young and beautiful, it is refreshing that the Gen B (I call this the Baby Boomer era) get some light shed on the wonderful words of wisdom they have to offer. I'll admit that I was torn between this book and an $80 book with 3 decades of Guess models. The visuals seemed far more appealing in the latter, yet I couldn't ignore what I felt as I flipped through the pages of Wisdom. So I bought it.
5 weddings left to shoot, 12 under our belt, 3 caribbean destinations this year, multiple engagement, maternity, real estate and family shoots and months of editing, workshops and meetings have left me craving the crisp air of fall. For me it's not just a weather change but rather an indication that down time is approaching, a chance to take stock of who and what is important and an opportunity to shut down for a period of time. It's exhausting being "on" all the time, and disheartening when my weddings come to an end and the constant communication with my brides dwindles and eventually ends.
Such is the life of a wedding photographer. One where we make everyone else's world beautiful but often are left wondering, that when the "job" ends and we have real life problems that we don't flaunt in photographs, who the people are that really care for us, versus care when we can do something remarkable for them. There really is a difference between a client and a friend, and so there should be as sometimes, when the two worlds collide, you end up with blurred lines.
I'm approaching 6 years of knowing my husband. I've really become fond of the life we've built, the team we've created and the business we've developed. There are so many things ahead of us, so many ideas swirling in infancy, and plans to be made. He lights up when he talks about his job. I've never seen him like that with his boring sales job. I know we've made the right decisions, even if at one point, not too long ago, we had to scratch out a living in our late 30's. It's odd to me how in one month, we could barely afford to pay our bills. The 1-800 phone calls would start and I would dance my usual avoidance jig and not answer the phone. I knew they were coming for us and it was time to pay up. And yet, here we are in the month of September, with a revenue of over $20,000 in one month. We must be doing something right because the bills are paid, the phone calls have stopped and our bellies are full. I no longer lose sleep at night, wondering if we will be okay. I will no longer worry about our future because I know that, even in times of struggle, we will figure it out together.
We've been burned; oh have we been burned. By so called colleagues, so called friends and even worse, so called family. And yet here we are. Still smiling and happy. I've learned to stop and think before I lash out. I've stopped to consider the source, most of which have hatred and bitterness in their hearts for whatever reason. I've taken accountability for my wrong-doings. We've rubbed elbows with people who have more money and success than I could ever dream of having and alternatively booked clients who's entire wedding budget is our photography fee and taken a loan out to hire us. And I've noted to myself which of the two to really put on a pedestal.
And the beat goes on.
They say that with age comes wisdom but I'm hoping that it also comes with experience. Experience with the grit life dishes to us, the grief and the tumultuous times. If that is true, I will surely die wise. And maybe if I'm really lucky, someone will benefit from my words one day. Even if they are not published in a sleek little 10x10 beautiful coffee table book.
Friday, September 20, 2013
Things have been crazy around here both personally and professionally. I have so much to blog, have been working on editorial submissions and trying to catch up on this summer's weddings so I can shoot this fall's.
Dreaming of the beach today, despite this gloomy fog.
Happy Friday everyone!
Friday, September 13, 2013
Our engagement session with Reanna and John was probably the hottest day in the history of ever. And they didn't sweat it, pardon the pun. So why should I have been surprised when, on their outdoor tented wedding day, it was pouring rain and the couple could have cared less?
It's because they are the type of people who focus on what's important. The love between two people. The well-being of their family and friends. And nothing was going to spoil all their hard work and carefully planned wedding day.
After their beautiful ceremony, friends and family gathered out front of their gorgeous Ancaster church and offered well wishes, shrieks of pure joy and congratulations. The celebrations continued at Knollwood Golf Club. The tent was a sea of nautical blues and whites. The bridesmaid dresses classic navy with pearl jewellery. There was the most magical overcast fog a photographer could ever ask for.
We get to know our couples by spending time with them during their engagement photo session. We went for drinks with Reanna and John downtown Toronto and they graciously invited us to have some wine with them in their condo they would soon be leaving behind. John has an extensive wine collection and we discussed our love of robust reds.
It was no coincidence that at the head table, stood some of the most amazing bottles of red wine we have ever sampled (Yes, our generous groom pulled us aside to offer us some of his stash...who does that?) The couple dined at the head table, surrounded by their loved ones and toasting with Cristal. It became even more evident to us the kind of people Reanna and John are through the speeches of others. At the last minute, John asked me to video tape his speech. Forgive the shakiness as I didn't have my tripod ready, but I've attached a link at the bottom with his special tribute to Rea, via Rick Astley. Both sides of the family were so warm and welcoming. John's mom sang a touching song to the new couple that had me in tears for those who have lost their mom. What a special moment. At one point during the dancing, Reanna and I were standing aside and I witnessed her soak it all in. It made her so happy that everyone was dancing and having a great time....all because two people fell in love.
You know, we have truly been blessed with our job. Sometimes, we just leave and go home. Other times we gain lifelong friends. We could easily be friends with these two. At the end of the night, I hugged Reanna and let her know just how blessed we were to be part of their day. And we were.
Rea and John, thank you so much for your faith in hiring us to document your amazing day. Thank you for making our job feel anything like a job. We wish you the best of luck in your new life together! Here are some photos that will hopefully bring a smile to your faces, the way you bring to others, simply by being you.
And a little video of John's speech can be found here :)