Jenna and Chris have been together since high school, which is a very impressive feat in today’s world. We got together last Saturday morning for a little downtown adventure engagement session! We walked around the city, and hit up a couple of their favourite places to go. The phrase I hear most often at the beginning of engagement sessions is “we’re so awkward having our photo taken!” – and I totally get that. So, if you are a little nervous at the thought, make a date of it instead. Pick an activity you both enjoy together – whether it’s hiking, grabbing a beer, lounging at home playing your favourite board game – and I promise, you’ll feel (and look) 100% like yourselves. For proof, take a look at Jenna & Chris’s photos; just try not to smile.
Towards the end of 2017, I decided I wanted to try a photography project in 2018. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do, and what type of duration I wanted this project to have. I knew I loved people, and portraits; a huge part of why I love photographing weddings so much is the faces and emotions I get to capture. I decided my project would be a portrait project and run the whole length of the year, one person a week; 52 portraits in total.
I knew I needed something else though. I wanted it to be a little more original than just 52 images of people I chose. I thought about themes, colours, situations; and again I thought about what I loved about photography and photographing people. It’s the storytelling. As documentary photographers, we’re hired to capture full events or days as they transpire. Only a small portion of these days or events are posed and planned; the rest unfolds as it will, and it’s our job to capture that. During my job, I talk to people a lot. I listen to them, and what they have to say, and I love it. I decided my project would be called 52 Pieces of Advice. Each of the 52 people I photographed throughout 2018 would provide me with their best, favourite, funniest, saddest, or most heartfelt piece of life advice.
Initially, I wanted to gain experience and knowledge from this project. I wanted to better my portrait skills, and get used to bringing my camera with me on more day to day outings. While I did learn those things, I learned a lot more too. First and foremost, in general people are inherently good. I photographed 52 people. This sample was made up of family, friends, acquaintances, clients, people from my past, and total strangers. They ranged in age from 2 to 90, and geographically were from all ends of the island. Out of all of the people I approached, I was never received negatively; even when I was politely declined. Of the advice I gathered, while it’s quite a range; many of the quotes were centred around kindness and doing good by others. While some were sad, not one person spoke with anger, bitterness, or resentment. All of this surprised me; in a good way.
I loved every minute of this project, even when it got real hard to keep up with (what’s up wedding season); and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Just not this year 😉 2019 will focus on weddings and personal creative projects, but I’ll bring back another portrait project in the future. In the meantime, here’s 52 Pieces of Advice in its entirety. You can also see each individual post in full on Instagram under #52PiecesofAdvice. THANK YOU, to everyone who lent me their face, time, words, kid’s face, or space for this project. You guys rock.
1 // “Always smile.” – Jacob
2 // “Don’t waste your life when you’re young.” – Derm
3 // “Life is full of ups and downs; make sure you don’t throw up.” – Matt
4 // “Don’t alter who you are to fit someone else’s opinion of who you should be.” – Courtney
5 // “Don’t fall off the bed.” – Anna
6 // “The more you travel, the more the world will be opened up to you.” – Val
7 // “Be sure to mitigate life’s risks.” – Dad
8 // “Travel!!! Travel a lot!!” – Blayre
9 // “Don’t walk the line.” – George
10 // “Do what you love, and love what you do.” – Shawn
11 // “Always say yes to the dip.” – Costa
12 // “You only have one life to life; don’t waste it.” – Ashley
13 // “Always smile and say hello.” – Margot & Sylvia
14 // “Life’s better when you’re laughing.” – Tash
15 // “Don’t psych yourself out.” – Nicole
16 // “Stop tumbling on the couch.” – Kevin
17 // “It’s important to stay hydrated.” – Tim
18 // “Drink a lot of beer.” – Ed
19 // “Make a decision to be an unstoppable force. Let nothing in this world stop you from achieving anything you want to. You’ve got this.” – Hasan
20 // “Ducks!!!!!!” – Henry
21 // “Watch yer bobber.” – Dave
22 // “It’s never too late. Find the courage to be yourself, ask for what you really want, and never settle for ‘good enough’.” – Carla
23 // “I’m not going to tell you to smile more to to just ‘be happy’, because that isn’t the world we live in. Change is inevitable. The only constant is change. Embrace the ups and downs in life, they are what make it so beautiful.” – Kayla
24 // “Always wait two hours after eating before going swimming.” – Rob
25 // “It’s not the end of the world, it’s just the end of the artichokes.” – Alex
26 // “Make sure to fill up a bucket of kindness wherever you go.” – Bonnie
27 // “Enjoy your life now; don’t wait ’til you’re 65.” – Ron
28 // “Be kind to everyone.” – Reg
29 // “Don’t fall asleep with a smoke in your mouth.” – Junior
30 // “Follow your heart, but take your head with you.” – Joy
31 // “You don’t need no car.” – John
32 // “Live each day to the fullest.” – Debbie
33 // “Try and know which cook is in the kitchen before you comment on the food. This is true for life and for lunch.” – Justin
34 // “Be wary of people in suits; they’re trying to sell you something. Be friends with people in t-shirts; they’re trying to build something.” – Adrian
35 // “Be generous, and not just with yourself.” – Jess
36 // “Don’t give up until you find what makes you truly happy.” – Allison
37 // “Be honest.” – Joe
38 // “The pursuit of knowledge keeps you relevant. Besides career development, I believe there are many other benefits. It allows you to understand change, to be tolerant of others’ actions. Never stop your pursuit of knowledge.” – Derek
39 // “Every twist, every turn, can challenge our sense of direction. But it’s the choices we make when we reach a fork in the road that define who we are.” – Janene
40 // “If ya feel like giving up, take a look in the mirror and tell yourself you’re awesome.” – Linda
41 // “No matter how far you’ve gone on the wrong road, you can still turn around.” – Julie
42 // “If you’re feeling tired, make sure to rest; but not to quit.” – Brittany
43 // “Life advice? I’m still tryin’ to figure out life myself. I like this job though; it’s outside, and the dead don’t bother ya. Find a career ya likes.” – Chad
44 // “Be patient with life, confident in yourself, and kind to others.” – Vanessa
45 // “Follow your interests. Let them fuel your creativity, and help guide you through an inspired life.” – Steve
46 // “Oh Jesus, that’s a real hard question. I don’t know about advice, but listen here; just do good by people.” – Dale
47 // “Advice? Like to go with this picture, or in general? Stay in school; that works for both.” – Shawn
48 // “Learn that sometimes it’s okay to say. no.” – Ray
49 // “Say what you want out loud. Career ambitions, relationship needs, or wild ideas..share, and share often. People want to help you – and will help you – more than you think.” – Anna
50 // “Be true to yourself.” – Grace
51 // “When you get an opportunity, say yes.” – Dave
52 // “In our world of digital instant gratification, make sure to not lose sight of what really matters.” – Me
Maria & Graham were married on one of those perfect fall days, where the air is crisp and the lighting is golden. Their ceremony was at Wesley United church, where they had seven of their closest family surrounding them. Their reception followed, and was full of friends, family and energy; not to forget a hilarious screech-in ceremony. When I met Maria and Graham the week prior to discuss their wedding, they said the magic words: “we trust you!”. As a huge lover of both the outdoors and this province, choosing photo locations is one of my favourite parts about my job; and I can definitely say it’s not every day you get a couple willing to hike Sugarloaf on their wedding day. Congrats guys, thanks for including me in your deadly day!
Wesley United Church // Rocket Bakery // The Ivory Suite // Tip Top Tailers // People’s Jewellers // Mobile Hair by Allison // Allison Best // Color Me Bronze // Affordable Limousines // The Flower Studio // Butter Bakery // MAK Events
I met Melissa & Wayne in early 2017, when they booked me for a maternity session. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph some of their special moments; most recently their wedding. I’m often asked why I love being a photographer so much, especially a wedding photographer. It’s having clients like these two; families whose happiest moments I not only get to witness, but am also entrusted to document.
Melissa & Wayne had a small and intimate ceremony with family, followed by a reception at the Geo Centre. Their day was super laid back, stunning, and full of laughs (and obviously, Landon stole the show).
Congrats guys, thank you so much for having me!
Geo Center // Classic Carriage // Kathy Evans Bridal Studio // Rodney Philpott Designs // Olivia’s Bridal // Lacy Rose Design // Charm Diamond Center // People’s Jewellers // Coffee Matters // WMW Cake Design // Meraki Hair Studio // Danielle Michelle Makeup Artistry // Mr. Music
Amy & Darryl’s gorgeous, intimate Newfoundland wedding is visual proof of why I love my job so much. Everything about their wedding was so personal and laid back, it felt more like I was spending the morning with a few friends. While Amy was getting ready, Darryl picked a wedding bouquet for her from Bonavista wildflowers; the music for their first dance was a beautiful tune performed by a close friend and her guitar.
Amy & Darryl were married on the puffin site in Elliston, just after sunrise, surrounded by close family and friends. A gorgeous location, with a gorgeous couple (and gorgeous weather!); I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face while I was editing this one. Congrats guys, thank you so much for including me in your perfect day!
Photography: Victoria Jean Photography
Venue: Puffin Site, Elliston
Reception Venue + Catering: Mifflin’s Tea House
Officiant: John Norman
As a photographer, it’s easy to get tied up in your work and the business aspect of things. It’s important, though, as a creative, to keep your passion alive- the reason you started all this craziness in the first place. I love taking photos. I love concepts, ideas, capturing emotions. So this winter I took it upon myself to try a handful of personal projects; taking the style and ideas into my own hands. For this shoot, I wanted to try a styled session based loosely on an old favourite fairytale of mine. It helped having a killer model + makeup artist to carry out this vision; here’s a few of our favourites.
Model: Ashley Danielle
Hair + Makeup: Kayla Gilkinson
You may be wondering; why invest in professional photos of myself and my partner? It’s not like we’re getting married/we’re already married! What’s the point, when the latest iPhone is basically MADE for high quality selfies?
Well, you aren’t wrong if you’ve noticed that the latest smartphone models do, in fact, have pretty impressive image quality. But, there’s something entirely different in both the look and feel of professional photos. Having someone who knows exactly how to make you both relax, and pay attention to just each other instead of the iPhone photo live view; not needing to be concerned with your own angles or lighting or ability to smile just right; having a professional there to capture those real, raw moments between you and your partner that are impossible for you to capture on your own when you’re paying attention to a smartphone.
Sure, you may have (or already have) your professional wedding photos, and those will be beautiful. But, what about your day to day life? What about the fact that on most Saturday mornings, you and your partner like to chill at home in lululemon leggings and drink coffee? Or take a walk on the beach on a mild afternoon with your dog? These are the things that make up your relationship, and your life together. Capturing these natural, unposed moments of your life are what you’ll be able to look back on and smile at; remembering exactly how you spent your days, your quality time together.
Get in touch today to chat.
Mallory & Dan were married on a gorgeous fall day in October. Back when I met these two over coffee to discuss their wedding, I knew it was going to be a great one.
There was no bridal party; no party bus; no emcee; no speeches. Instead Mal & Dan spent the day just the two of them, driving to our photo locations in their car. They laughed, and cried, and sang a duet for their guests as a thank you speech. It was perfect.
Bridal parties are amazing; the party bus is a laugh; and speeches are always great to hear. But if you don’t want these things, you don’t need them to have your perfect day. Just do you, and you’ll have the best day ever; whether it’s a full-day fairy tale wedding or signing papers at City Hall.
Thanks guys, for absolutely killing it on your best day ever.
Dress: Ever After Bridal Boutique
Suit: RW & Co.
Rings: Golden Tulip (engagement ring) People’s (bride’s wedding band) Bogart’s (groom’s wedding band)
Bridal bouquet: Rock Paper Flowers
Hair + makeup: The Studio Makeup & Beauty Bar
Venue + catering: Rocket Bakery
Fogo Island is one of the most beautiful places in our province, and naturally has become one of the most popular destinations for Newfoundland couples to tie the knot. But, it’s not every day you get to photograph a couple who both grew up and met on the island. From the moment I first sat down for coffee with Samantha, I knew this wedding would be nothing short of unique; and I wasn’t wrong. Both her and Shawn were laid back, easygoing, and fun; and made their wedding (and my first visit to Fogo) absolutely amazing. Here’s a selection of my favourite images from the day. Thanks guys for bringing me to your gorgeous hometown, and making this townie feel like family 😉
Dress: Ever After Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxes: Tip Top Tailors
Decorating: Bride & Beau
Catering: Deanne Bowering
Venue: St. Patrick’s Parish Club
Floral: Bouquets for Less
DJ: Stephanie Wells
Bride’s Hair/Make Up: Maid of Honour
Bridesmaids’ Hair/Make Up: Chantal Oake
Rings: Bogarts (groom) People’s (bride)