Saturday, December 31, 2011

riah's 1st birthday

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. When Shawna does something...she really does it up right.

Riah's first birthday, or should I say... Riah's Sweet Shoppe Birthday Extravaganza, was no exception. This party was, in a word, fabulous.

Happiest little girl in the world? Or happiest little girl in the be the judge!

Knowing Shawna, she's probably already working on a theme for Riah's 2nd birthday...

Friday, December 30, 2011

the favourites bar

I've come to realize that it's something I took for granted.

Morning after morning, week after week, I arrived at work, made a coffee, and started reading. I know, I know...I was a bad employee. But the day just wasn't "right" when it didn't start out with my morning routine.

First thing's first: e-mails.
I respond to them, I fill in my clients addresses as they provide them, adding them to a big excel chart that gets saved every 10 minutes and rarely closed. If the unsorted emails hit 30, I sort them.

Next up: calendar.
I scope out the day, and the next day, and the next day. I check to make sure I know exactly where I'm going for my upcoming shoots. I refresh my own memory about the people I'll be meeting in the new few days.

And before I can hit the daily dose of reading material, it's coffee time.

So here we are: the favourites.

The favourites bar on my work computer started out small. RBC Banking Sign-In, OC Transpo Travel Planner, Countdown to May 26, 2011 (something I used to check every day to see how many days before we moved in to our place! Now I look at it every once in awhile to see how long we've lived there. Let's just pretend that's not geeky).

But then, an interesting thing happened...I started a business. And with that, came lots of reading. Lots of new resources to make use of. And tons of inspiration.

I started collecting links to blogs from other photographers around the world, who have a similar love for photography, as well as a similar style. Every link was nestled under a tab in the favourites bar, perfectly organized to make my morning routine efficient and satisfying at the same time.

Every password was saved to avoid annoying login screens. Every text field had my address, phone number, postal code, even mother's maiden name saved for the rare occasion that I had to fill in a form.

It seems I'm writing this on Friday, December 30th, after having just realized that I'm going to have to completely recreate my morning routine...and more cherished favourites bar.

engagements to love {2011)

Here's a look back on my favourite engagement sessions from 2011!

Melanie + Michel

Michelle + Brandon

Danielle + Adam

Jess + Chris

2011 has been a year of documenting love, memories, new additions, and figuring out my next move as I go. 

I'm so honoured to have met each and every couple above, and I can't wait to meet my couples for 2012! ♥

emma + erik | YOW engagement

While we walked through the airport, Erik told me about how their friend-of-a-friend introduced them at a pub. I had heard this one before, from a few other couples (and even went back to that very pub for an engagement shoot!), but there was a little twist.

"There was no Facebook back then, I didn't know if I'd ever see her again."

Picture me, walking beside the two of them, practically bouncing up and down with then-what! then-what! then-what!

"She rear ended me in traffic."

Okay...well that's a new one. It might have snagged them the award for originality thus far, in my opinion! So the rest of the story goes something like this...

They become friends, both go away to schools out of province, and one fateful Christmas break, Emma came to meet Erik at the airport, and they had their very first the bottom of the escalator. You heard me, that straight-out-of-a-movie-totally-dramatic-escalator at our very own Ottawa airport.

A little re-enactment anyone? The best part of this was watching Erik BOOK IT up the down elevator while trying to dodge security. 

Emma, you're SO easy on the eyes...


I simply cannot wait to see you both again at the wedding in August!'re going to make a stunning bride ♥

Thursday, December 29, 2011

'tis the season!

I grew up with the saying, "Christmas isn't a day, it's a season."

And this year in particular, it felt every bit like a season, as the events stretched from December 23rd all the way to the 27th.

There was beer, wine, Christmas decorations, and many minutes spent staring at the french fries spinning around in the ActiFry (a new addition to our kitchen this year).

On Christmas morning we were joined by both families for a hearty brunch buffet. (And who doesn't like having two moms in the kitchen to putter around after we ate?) 

My mimosas were refreshing, and Beans' stories were dynamic.

On boxing day...well...there might have been a lot of wine and vodka crans and not a lot of picture taking. Merry Christmas to meeee!

The next afternoon, Ryan and I drove to my parents house to spend the day with Scott and Rebecca (and of COURSE Ivy, our very favourite little girl!) who were visiting from Mississauga.

Yup, looks about right.

I mean really, who could ask for a better Christmas holiday?