I'm a wedding and portrait photographer living in Vancouver, BC with my husband Randy. I photographed my first wedding when I was only 17 years old - and I've photographed over 200 weddings since! I am an avid bookworm, lover of green tea, pretty nail polish & my Labradoodle Harley. Thanks for visiting!
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Our Love Story
Welcome back to Question and Answer! A few weeks ago (okay like… two months ago) I asked “what do you want to know about me?!” on social media. It could be anything! I’m working through the questions ten-by-ten. If you have any others for me, feel free to comment or email.
11. Eyeliner! What’s your fave?
I’m not the girl to ask for makeup questions (I keep it pretty simple!) but if I do want the look of eyeliner, I use black or dark brown eyeshadow with a slanted brush. No idea if that’s what it’s called but it’s a super narrow brush that you can draw a line with!
12. What’s in your camera bag? What is your favorite lens to use?
Oh, how convenient! You can find that list of “What’s in my camera bag?” right here. My favourite lens for engagement sessions is the Canon 35mm f/1.4 L.
13. What are some of you and Randy’s life goals over the next 5 years? Career wise, relationship, spiritually, etc?
Ooh wow. Hmm. My life goals! Career wise – I’m not too sure what life looks like. I love what I do and I hope to continue shooting as much as I can in the next 5 years. I really do love weddings and don’t see myself switching to anything else. I’d love to consistently pursue blogging/writing/online business a little more in the off season, though. Relationally, I know we both are committed to becoming a stronger couple. We want to set a “solid” marriage foundation before children that we can grow on in the years to come.
14. How do you stay organized & self-motivated as a business owner?
I can’t think of another answer besides… you have to? If I wasn’t self-motivated, I’d get a job working for somebody else. Nobody tells me to get up and work in the morning – but I do it – because we need money to live! Hahah! Staying organized is a weekly task for sure – daily life messes up my systems but I try to leave every week with things “in their place.”
15. What advice to you have for girls who are not yet dating but who want to one day?
Oh I love this question! Cultivating healthy friendships in group settings with guys. Friendships without flirting, friendships one-on-one time, friendships without texting (texting meaning small talk – like “what time is the party?” is okay, hahaha) etc. Literally just friendships with awesome guys around you. Let a relationship grow out of that. Of course, I can’t move on from this question without talking about faith. If you have a relationship with God, let that be your focus. Dating, engagement and marriage won’t fix any of your insecurities or issues… absolutely, your spouse can play an important role in your development as a “whole person” but they can’t fix you! There’s no time in your life ever again like “single life.” I love being married but not even for a second do I wish I was married any earlier than 23. (And that’s pretty young!) Those years have such a place.
16. What advice do you have for people who are getting married/or are newlywed based on your semi-recent marriage?
Be prepared to make mistakes. As an engaged couple, it really is hard to picture the first year of marriage… you’re not in that season yet! But it comes and marriage is different than dating and second year of marriage may be different than first and every life season is different than the last! Over communicate. Don’t resent the time you need to “waste” in seemingly fruitless conversation. It’s not fruitless. It may take you six conversations over one month to get to the issue – but it’s there – and you’ll find it. Communicate.
Pray together and pray individually when you’re frustrated. Read books! I loved Love & Respect especially. Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason and Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller are other great reads. Most of all – remember it’s NORMAL. No major life transition is smooth as butter.
We had an amazing first year of marriage. I’m so thankful for all we learned and I’m excited that you’re starting the journey, too! I really believe the disagreements and frustrations are simply peeling away layers of each partner so you can be even more “yourself” with that person.
17. Do you shoot digital or film? I love the look of your images! What are the steps you take in editing to give you that look?
Digital! I bought the first film pack of VSCO way back in the day when it launched. I tweaked one colour preset and use that on everything.
18. Can you share any resources that you have found helpful regarding dealing with suffering in the world? I recently have been challenged (again) as I think about God’s love in situations where bad things happen (seeing sexual assault of children, natural disasters, etc) and wanted to know if you have found any resources particularly helpful as you are so involved with The School Sessions.
Oh goodness, I want to ask this question to somebody else! Seriously, I don’t know. I’m much too “sensitive” for my own good. I refuse to read any articles that appear on Facebook and I don’t watch the news at all. I hear little clips of what’s what from Randy to stay informed so I’m not under a rock but that’s all. I’ve made the mistake of reading even a paragraph on what’s going on in the Middle East or another mass killing… and I literally cry.
Sometimes three hours later randomly while we are on our way out to dinner. The image (even if I didn’t see one! Just from the words) plays over and over again in my mind and it wrecks me. I don’t understand suffering, I truly don’t. All I know is God’s goodness. He’s good, He’s righteous, He’s faithful and I’m so glad I’m not only living for this live here on Earth.
19. How do you stay driven with your business but not let it drive you? It is so hard at times to stay on top of things, without feeling like you’re editing/replying to emails/social media constantly?
Ah, it is SO hard. I especially found it impossible when I was starting out in my business. There’s this crazy adrenaline that kicks in when you’re starting something new. I worked around the clock, it seemed. Even if I was out for the evening, I’d answer emails at eleven at night when I got home. It’s exhausted me – but addicted me. I couldn’t stop! It was a problem.
Honestly, things mellow out after a few years. You realize your business isn’t going to die if you take a break. You realize you need a thing called life/work balance. Most of all – you have to have faith. I really do believe (some days it’s easier to believe it than others!) that God holds my business. He is in charge of my finances, how much work I receive every year (of course I work as hard as I can during business hours!) and ultimately, my life. I don’t need to answer an email on a Saturday the minute I get in, in fear the client will hire somebody else. No. My weekends are not for emailing. They are for resting.
I really do try to set work hours. I don’t work in the evenings (unless I’m shooting!) and when Randy comes home from work around 5:30pm or 6:00pm… I’m off the computer. I am not a fan of screens, so waiting until the morning comes sounds a-okay with me.
20. What pressures have you felt personally as a married woman? (ie. having kids)
I’ve absolutely felt pressure from myself! Pressure to make sure I was doing things right – pressure to cook an amazing meal every night, meal plan like a pro, have the toilet spotlessly clean. The biggest adjustment was going from my one-bedroom, one-bathroom at home with my parents to an apartment ourselves. I had time to keep my room clean and dusted and my bathroom spotless because it was just me! Throw in a bigger bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, and now a DOG – and you can’t do it all.
It’s okay to clean the bathroom just once a week. Yes, it may look dirty on days 5 and 6. That’s okay. It’s okay to not have a meal plan – just make sure you have meat and veggies in the fridge/freezer and boom, dinner. And it’s okay to learn as you go!
The only “external” pressure I would say we feel… it’s not directly from an individual but more society… is to buy a home. Of course we’d love to buy a house but we live in the most expensive area in North America (true story) and we refuse to rush into the purchase of a house just to “own” when it’s smarter to rent. So we rent and we’re happy. And maybe one-day soon we can figure out a way to get into a house.