Wednesday, April 6, 2016

You were supposed to grow old. Reckless, unfrightened and old.

Apart from the obvious, I’ve noticed two main differences about living in the country verses living in town. The first is that your neighbours are not just the people who happened to live in the house beside you. They’re the ones who will clear the snow out of your half mile driveway, help you fix your roof, or lend you a truck or tractor or lawnmower. They’re people who are out at 1:00 am after an ice storm clearing broken branches off of roads and driveways. Or filling up jugs of water for you when the power goes out. Your neighbours are not just your neighbours. They become more like family.

The second big difference is that life in the country comes with a lot more difficulty and potential danger. There are animals with tempers, field vehicles, old and unstable out buildings with bad wiring, huge rotting trees threatening your house or barn or garage, and very powerful farming machinery just waiting for a loose sleeve to grab onto. As a kid growing up in the country I was taught to be aware of these situations. It became my biggest fear to come home and find that some terribly devastating accident had taken place... And it happened. It happened about three weeks ago when my mom and I came home to find our neighbour’s barn reduced to rubble and engulfed in flames, and later learned that that fire had claimed the life of our friend and neighbour, Ken.

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent a great deal of time trying to understand the situation. It took several days before any of it felt real. There were detectives at my house, there have been countless phone calls, and rumours, and people stopping by the house. We spent the first 24 hours making up scenarios in which Ken wasn’t home because we didn’t want to accept the devastating possibility that soon became our reality. Then several more days I spent just sorting out the remorse and frustration that has shadowed our little hamlet and Ken's family. I've gotten maybe 3 or 4 good nights of sleep since the fire. This is not just a sad accident that happened to somebody I kind of know. Death is confusing and difficult to comprehend. But when it happens in a small community out in the country, we all mourn. We all grieve.

So I shot this in memory of a friend and neighbour whose life was ended far too soon. I created the shell of a house where his memory can safely stay - in the gap of the fence between our property and his where the rails had to be taken down so that when Ken accidentally took a rather large piece of machinery swimming in his pond we could get an even larger piece of machinery over to his place to pull it back out. In the words of my Aunt Kate, every day an adventure, and every adventure worth the grand telling.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Burial of the Past

This photo shoot was an incredibly emotional process. The concept of laying the past to rest came to mind because when I decided to end my engagement, my ex told me that he didn't want the ring back. So I told him that I would bury it. Well I didn't get around to it immediately so eventually I decided that I would bury the ring on the day we had originally planned for the wedding - which I had wanted to be this Halloween. Originally I had planned for this to be my Halloween self portrait for the year and that I would also shoot it ON Halloween. 

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was too personal of a story for me to feel comfortable telling it myself. So I enlisted the help of my dearest soul sister, Britt. But I still had a lot of anxious feelings leading up to this shoot which took place just a few days ago), and the morning on the shoot I decided I couldn't wait any longer to get rid of this engagement ring. So we did the shoot and at the end of it I buried the ring in the hole we dug and I resolutely parted ways with that piece of my past. 

I'm just so grateful I have a friend who was willing to take time out of her life and travel several hours just to help me tell my tale.

Summer elements


They say photography is about capturing the perfect moment.. And while I often create those moments rather than wait for them, this shoot was full of genuine love and playful spirit without any creating on my part.

I shot this back in July.. And because I'm still horrible at keeping up with life, I'm just posting it now. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I am just the worst at keeping up with life this year! These photos were from Halloween of 2014 and I so regret not posting them earlier. My life has been slightly chaotic, exciting, frustrating, and a million other things in the past 8 months. As some of you may know, my day job is working as an educational assistant for a local school board. Throughout this school year I've gotten two different long term positions that have gone back and forth from part time to full time. And in the midst of all that I my dear and lovely boyfriend somehow convinced me that I should give this teaching thing a go. Now, that means going back to school, finishing a degree, and then completely two years of teachers college. I found working full time and trying to shoot anything at all was definitely a challenge. Now I've added more schooling on top of that. 

There is a part of me struggling with the fact that I seem to have moved further away from my passion as a photographer, but I'm constantly reminding myself that what I like best about photography is to create on MY terms, and the reality is that just doesn't happen if you're trying to make a living from you photography. So I've had to accept the bitter sweet fact that while photography won't likely ever be my bread and butter, it will always be my sweet dessert. 

The good news is that if/when I do get to the teacher stage of my career, there's a chance I can use my education in photography to my advantage. Media Arts classes do exist in high schools. 

The other thing I've realized is that I don't want to ever cut my photography out of my life completely. While photographing to the tastes of others may not be my thing, I have had some success selling images of my own making to publishing companies for book covers. And that is a creative outlet as well as a source of income that doesn't require that I compromise what I want to shoot. Perhaps this will be an avenue I explore a little further this summer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Here's to those of us with secrets. 
Haunted, bewitched, and enveloped by the peculiarities nobody sees.

Monday, October 20, 2014

And the Halloween photos begin.