& this was 2016 - vancouver lifestyle photographer

It's a bit overwhelming to go through all my images from the past year.  This is especially true when I'm limited to the rare moments my toddler is reading by himself (and yelling from his bedroom every two minutes, "I reading!"), which are quickly interrupted by his urgent potty breaks/questions about animals/requests for food. Being a mom is, of course, my most important job - and that's why my year-end photo review is coming a month into the new year.

[He just ran into my room and is testing gravity by letting his storybook fall on my keyboard. Over and over again. This is what happens: ui.iy|{!?>EWADFGK&$( This also explains why I have to mend the bindings of his books so frequently.]

2016 had some very exciting moments. I got to meet and be inspired by fellow photographers throughout the year.  I had an article published in Click Magazine and several articles on different wonderful blogs. I started to focus on commercial children's work (which I LOVE). I also decided to cut back a little on work, since my little family comes first, and that was also inspiring because it gave me the chance to focus on clients that really understood and loved what I did, the real moments, the real things. And that was wonderful. I'm so grateful for all the people who chose me to capture the love and light in their lives in 2016.

& here it is!

{vancouver photographer} Elle et Lui

This is the story of how ze internets make crazy things happen.  (You have to say it like that. 'Ze Internets.'  Using a heavy, unidentifiable foreign accent is a bonus.)  

One early spring day, I took a photo of two friends who were crazy in love, as she jumped into his arms on the cobbled streets of Gastown. I sent it to them and I put it on my blog.  And that, I thought, was that.

Suddenly, it exploded and was reblogged thousands and thousands of times.  It was a little exciting, but mostly just an amusing social experiment, and occasionally I would do a reverse image search to see where the photo had ended up.   (A few examples: a dating website and a Huffington Post article about the power of hugging.  Not to mention numerous tumblr blogs devoted to teenage love, longing and despair, in equal quantities.)  

A year ago, I was asked to use it for the cover of a self-published e-book.  Then, a  few months ago, another author emailed me asking if he could put my photo on his book cover. Since I am clearly not up-to-date on French novelists, I googled his name.  Turns out Marc Levy is the most-read French author in the world.  GULP. And Steven Spielberg made a movie of one of his books. GULLLLP.  So I said yes.

This week, I received copies of the book and saw the cover in real life!  I can hold it in my hands.  My name is there in tiny print and everything.  And if you search under the #marclevy hashtag on instagram, you will see numerous photos of the book lying next to cups of coffee or delicate china plates holding muffins lightly spread with butter.  (You know how it is.  On instagram, you can't simply post a photo of the book you're reading.  There must be food involved.  And latte art, if at all possible.  These are the rules.)

So that was it.  The crazy story of ze internets.  And here is the photo, and here is the book cover.

{vancouver couple's photographer} - cheesy cheesy love

I loved photographing these two.  Henrique is my husband Jorge's coworker at Giant Ant, where they create really cool moving things on screens.  (That's the simple definition, where I describe what they do and forget to describe almost everything that they actually do.  Ask Jorge if you want to get more technical.)  Fernanda also works in animation (talk about a creative couple!) and paints adorable illustrations as well.  For Fernanda's birthday, Henrique asked me to photograph a morning in their lives - and we happened to choose a sunny Saturday!

Henrique & Fernanda are Brazilian, and Brazilians have invented the most delicious food: Pão de Queijo.  That means cheese bread, but the name is such an understatement.  It's delicious and chewy and very very cheesy and I find myself craving it at the most inconvenient times.  (It's also gluten free - using tapioca flour - which is cool.)  So when I was in Brazil recently, I bought some tapioca flour and managed to get it home without any customs officials getting suspicious (it looked like white powder in an unlabelled plastic bag, so that was a relief) and made pão de queijo myself.  AMAZING.

Anyways, that was just to let you know the identity of those little round biscuits they are eating in many of the photos, and partly just because I wanted to talk about cheesy bread because I'm craving it yet again.  Also, Henrique & Fernanda's apartment is so awesome and unique and so very "them" - filled with art and light and delicious food and quirkyness.  I had so much fun this day - thank you again, Henrique and Fernanda, for letting me document a tiny moment of your lives :)

    & this was 2014

    What happened last year?

    Everything blurs together and then suddenly focuses.  Our son was born, and that was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of something full of blessing.  This is our Matthias, our gift of God, a few hours after he was born.  Every time I look at this picture, I remember the pain and exhaustion of standing up, of holding my camera steady in the low hospital light, but the knowing that I would want to have taken this photo.  And every time I look at this picture, I am so glad that I did.  He's not wrinkly anymore, or red, and his hair is much lighter and he's twice as big, and sometimes this photo makes me want to cry.  So maybe this is my favourite photo of 2014.

    But that's not it.  In 2014, I met so many amazing people, so many happy families that laughed together.  I captured so much joy, and that is what I want to share with you below.  

    (Disclaimer: I tried to choose just a few favourite photos of 2014.  Truly.)