Full disclosure: I did not take this picture. This is not my dog.
My dog looks like this:
See… Totally different.
My house is alive with the sounds of Christmas today.
No, we’re not listening to Christmas music.
And no we’re not re-watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” for the 37th time.
We’re playing Just Dance 2015.
What does that have to do with Christmas, I hear you ask?
Nothing at all.
And at the same time, absolutely everything.
My girlfriend came home with an early Christmas Present yesterday… my daughter was the first to shriek when she saw it; Just Dance 2015.
Just Dance 2015??!
Heaven on earth to 6 year old girls, I tell you.
Since then we have been swaying, dancing, jumping, hopping, grooving to our favourite music from 2014.
I even managed to get my son to join in (once he was properly sugared up on hot chocolate, of course).
And as I sat here watching all of the excited faces I suddenly remembered: This is what Christmas is actually about.
It’s about spending time with the people that you love.
It’s not about how many presents you buy each other.
It’s not about how much money you spend.
It’s not about how nice a meal you can make or how pretty your home is with decorations.
It’s about this, right here.
I think I needed that reminder because too often I find myself getting a little frustrated with the Christmas commercials I hear on the radio. “I want what I want and I want it now!” Really Toyota? Really?
I mean, I get it… businesses need to make money. They need to sell products. They sell products and services that people need (and want!) and there is nothing wrong with that. But sometimes I think we get so caught up in the price tag that we forget that even if there wasn’t any money to spend on a Turkey dinner or brightly wrapped gifts… this, today, right here… would be enough.
More than enough.
The best part is this Christmas Season I get to spread the love just a little bit further and it is 100% because of you.
So I want to say a huge Thank you! Thank you to all of you. Thank you to couples who got married, engaged, who just wanted couple photos, those who had new babies, who had family shoots done, boudoir shoots, glamour shoots… those of you who spoiled each other or spoiled yourselves… those relatives who chipped in for Wedding Photography… the couples who did it all on their own… all of you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart Thank you.
As I said last year 5% of all proceeds made by 2Bride Photography in 2015 will be going to the LGBT Youth Hotline. So because of you we get to reach out to a fantastic organization that is spending day after day making a difference in kid’s lives. You’re making a difference.
So thank you.
Together we’re making the difference in someone’s life. Who knows but this little bit may be enough to save someone’s life one day.
And it’s because of you.
There is no better Christmas gift than that.
Because we all need to be teased once and awhile, I thought I would post a little teaser from one of my last engagement shoots.
Like unless I wear a suit and tie or shave one side of my head, the world misses who I really am.
I go to parties and its the men that are hitting on me. I smile and play nice when I say no. But it sometimes becomes taxing to be invisible. To feel invisible. To feel like a part of you is breaking apart before your eyes and floating away and no one even notices.
So a little while ago I started trying to capture that feeling on camera. I took photos of beautiful, femme women breaking apart. Their delicate nature, their strength, their inner beauty, what makes them unique breaking apart and flying out of frame.
But as I talked to these women, these amazing, charismatic women I realized that I was rather narrow-minded. This isn’t a phenomenon that’s unique to we femmes at all.
We all go through it, don’t we? Moments were we feel the world has missed who we are. Where we feel like who we are on the inside is not who is portrayed on the outside.
Moments where we feel invisible.
Like we are fading into the background.
Like smoke, our hearts and minds are evaporating and no one notices.
We are unique, strong, beautiful individuals that have something amazing to offer the world and each day, despite sometimes feeling invisible we go out into the world and fight to be heard.
And as I sat looking over the photographs I had taken, the ones I meant to lament a loss of vision could actually mean so much more.
Alone we crack and fall apart.
But together, we can be strong.
Together it is our insecurities that dissipate.
Our lack of confidence that breaks apart.
Together we are seen for who we are, we are heard for what we have to say, we are who we are meant to be.
We are reborn.
I first met Sai and Helena online. Sai was in search of the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and my website happened to make it’s way onto the radar. We started planning, but life, and the bitter cold winter we had last year had other plans. Things got put off. Until finally on November 7th, I found myself in Crother’s Woods with this amazing couple, while they were tossing leaves and stealing kisses.
I first met Mel & Beth over Skype, their lives a blur of thesis statements and wedding plans, left no time for consultations.
So we met for the first time in the comfort of our own homes, face to face by iPad video cameras.
Even though there was distance, I didn’t feel any of the distance.
I grabbed a cup of coffee and curled up on my coach and we shared stories about each other like we were old friends sitting in eachother’s home.
Mel & Beth weren’t really fancy people. They didn’t like a lot of attention (even though that was kinda inevitable on their wedding day!). They’re laid back. They’re friendly. They’re relaxed. And that was what they wanted their wedding to be like; a giant party. No big to-do. Just friends and family getting together.
They decorated with family photos, fun sayings, oragami storks, and jenga blocks as their guest book so in the future they could play a game that would remind them of the support of their friends and family.
It was a chilly, snowy November day when we met at the George Brown House in Toronto Ontario.
There was a little bit of snow on the ground and a little in the air, but that didn’t stop these two from playing inside and outside the beautiful grounds.