A mother's sacrifice.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Business aside. This post is very personal. An issue that has nagged at me for years now. I am a regular woman, I eat healthy most of the time and always try to find balance in all aspects of my life. Sure, I am not the "go to the gym everyday and burn a million calories" kind of gal but I try to keep active as much as I can. I have a weirdly shaped body, I have scrawny limbs and carry all of my weight around my belly. I always have. And apparently there are quite a few tactless people out there to remind me of this fact. We struggled to conceive the first time. Every month I would hope that THIS was the month that my dream of becoming a mother would be my new reality. It was a heartbreaking journey. Frustration. Failure. Struggle. Emptiness. All I wanted to be was a mother. Everything I had previously done had left me longing for a deeper purpose. Something was always missing. Several strangers who speak without thinking first asked me if I was expecting before we were making the difficult journey to conceive even more heartbreaking. Now 8 months post baby and I have run into more of these people. Complete strangers who don't know...When is baby #2 due...your children will be so close in age...NO, No, they won't BECAUSE I AM NOT PREGNANT! But thanks for inadvertently calling me fat. It got me thinking about the sacrifice women make to have children. My belly will never look the same. The stretch marks may fade but they will never completely disappear. I have felt nauseous every single time my son has nursed since he was born 8 months ago. I just had my gall bladder removed because of gall stone formation that occurred due to high estrogen levels during my pregnancy...Sacrifice. I loved being pregnant. Sure, I was HUGE by the end and people thought for sure I was having twins but it was all worth it. I got to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. It was so amazing to see my belly transform and see the little kicks. I loved the copious amounts of doctors visits because I got to hear his little heart beating away every time I went. I can't wait for the next pregnancy. So, the next time you think someone looks pregnant, think twice about making a comment unless the information is offered to you. No one wants to feel bad about their sacrifice. Motherhood is admirable. There is no end to how far a mother will go for her children. I know I would give my life for my baby. Don't make us feel bad about the sacrifices we make. Here is a photo of my boy, the reason I breathe, my true purpose in life.

Preserving memories: The importance of journalling and photographing your children's lives.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I am not sure what it is about having a baby that makes me grasp so tightly to every little moment and memory but it has made me a little obsessed about the preservation of those memories. My camera has never been used so much and I haven't kept a journal for years until now. Now I sit down every night after Liam is in bed and write in a journal all the things we did that day and all of his milestones. I print my pictures from the day and include those as well. I hope that he will treasure that journal someday and pass it on to his children. I think it is so important for Liam to know just how special he is and that the little things he does matter so much to me. I know my life will get even busier than it is now once the second baby comes along (in the future) but I hope I can keep up a photo journal for that baby as well. It is such a pleasure for me watching him grow and change every single day. Every day he becomes a little more like a little boy and less like a baby, which makes me sad and happy all at the same time. I wish I had kept a journal while I was pregnant with Liam. I kept a scrapbook of my pregnancy with all of the little things that happened with all of my "bump" pictures but more writing would have made it better. Documenting our lives is important. Documenting our children's lives is critical. There are so many reasons to feel unwanted and unloved in this world and it just gets tougher as we get older. The least I can do is write about and photograph my love for my sweet baby so he knows just how much I adore him when he is feeling down. I encourage everyone especially mothers to find a way to remember the little things and preserve your memories. You will never regret it and you will always remember the little things that make these years so incredible. Here is a photo of my boys playing on the floor :) Sometimes I feel like I am raising two babies :P

Sweet, sweet babes

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I have baby fever. I have it so bad it's ridiculous, just ask my husband. I can't get enough of my own baby, other people's babies, unborn babies...it is really becoming a problem. I have been very fortunate in recent months to have the opportunity to photograph some adorable newborns. Firstly, back in December my longtime clients and friends Meagan and Jeff welcomed their second son into the world, a baby brother for Gabe. Julianne and Garett also welcomed their precious son into the world before Christmas and I had the pleasure of getting to know their family in early January. I also put out a call for a pregnant mama to be a guinea pig for me and so I got the opportunity to meet Brooke, who's expecting her second in April and her family. These little bundles of joy just warm my heart and make me want another baby. Here are some photos from those sessions, enjoy! Baby Cohen Proud big brother Gabe Sweet baby Blake Here are a few from Brooke's maternity session:

Most embarassing moment as a photographer.

If you know me at all, you would know that I am constantly hurting myself or spilling things. It is one of the things that I dislike about myself. The thing is, I come from a long line of clutzy Johnstons. My aunts are all like that, my dad is like that, pretty much everyone in recent history is like that. I have fallen down stairs numerous times and usually wipe out on the ice at least once a year which usually results in a useless arm due to a sprain and considerable hip pain for several weeks. Now that you know my unfortunate history, you may not find it surprising that my most embarassing moment as a photographer involves me being yet again less than graceful. In front of hundreds of people. Clients included. If you know me as a photographer, I LOVE different angles. I have been known to dress up in a full blown snowsuit just so I can get the underside of a bridge in the background of some winter engagement photos. Last year when I was about 7 1/2 months pregnant (and big as a house) I agreed to do some grad photos for a former boss of mine whose son was graduating. He was well aware of my condition as he had offered me my landscaping job back that year to which I declined. In an attempt to block out some intense sunlight and capture the grad class I kneeled down on one knee, not two, just one. I was fully aware of my increased size but in an attempt to regain my standing position I toppled over. Embarrased, oh yes. Red as a lobster, oh yes. The worst part was trying to get up again. I did not regain my composure quickly or well, gracefully. I just sort of rocked back and forth on my butt and eventually gained enough coordination and balance to stand up and brush myself off. The moral of the story? Pregnancy and different camera angles DO NOT mix. I will probably cease taking photos for clients the next time I am pregnant. Here is a photo of me last summer closer to the end of my pregnancy.

Top 5 things I have learned as a mom

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My little baby boy has been a part of this world for 6 months now and I can hardly believe how the time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital. I have got it easy. This kid virtually slept through the night from day one. He is the happiest baby I have ever known. He only cries when he is hungry or tired. Easy. Some things have not been so easy however. Here are a few things I have learned in these short 6 months that I have been a mother. 1) Adjusting to receiving unsolicited advice from EVERYONE, even complete strangers. When it comes to kids it seems everyone and their dog has an opinion. They aren't even helpful opinions most of the time. They are usually outdated and they usually get offered up at inopportune times...like when your baby is crying...relentlessly... I have to say, I have had to bite my tongue more than a few times when my stress level has reached a maximum and I hear some little comment from the peanut gallery. 2) Continuous sleep is a thing of the past. Even if your baby is sleeping soundly, it is really hard to turn your brain off, you are constantly worrying about everyone and everything. 3) Babies grow SO fast. Never pass up an opportunity to get on the floor and play with them. Snuggle them. Love them with all of your being. The moment is fleeting. 4) It takes a LONG time to get back to feeling like yourself again. Be patient. Be good to yourself, it really is important. Happy, healthy moms make good moms. 5) Don't expect your partner to just "get" it. They need guidance. Lot's of it. I don't know if it will be different the second, third or fourth time around but it certainly is the case for the first baby. Mothers only hear the cry of their babies, nobody else hears it. We are hardwired that way for a reason but it can be frustrating when no one else hears it and reacts accordingly. Here are some photos of my little munchkin that I absolutely adore. He is growing so fast I can barely keep up. Luckily I never leave the house without my camera and therefore I will always have photographs the remind me of the miracle that is my little boy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I have wanted to post pictures and write a post on the birth of my son for a long time now but I haven't been able to put into words just how life changing it really was. All of a sudden your world is so much more than just you. Nothing else matters except this tiny little person. I remember thinking the first time I saw him that I knew nothing about this little creature but he looked so familiar to me. I guess that is because he is the perfect combination of Ryan and me. After four months of motherhood I remain humbled and in awe of the miracle of birth. You spend the nine months leading up to the moment wondering what he will look like and who's personality he will have among a million other things and then all of a sudden the moment is upon you and I have to say it is an experience I will cherish forever. And I would do it again in a heartbeat. In that instant I knew what I was meant to do and that everything I thought I was meant to do was so incredibly insignificant. I have a deeper purpose now, a more meaningful existence. Now I find myself looking at the world in a whole new way, through the eyes of a precious child. They way Liam looks at his mobile turning above him in complete awe at the colors. The way he instantly stops crying when his grandpa plays the guitar for him. The way he gazes at the lights on the Christmas tree. And how a small toy can amuse him for hours as he explores every inch of it, touching, tasting, watching with complete wonder. Through my childs eyes I have gained inspiration for my photography, a new way to view the world. With that, here is Liam Alexander on the morning he was born and since I was in no condition to be taking photos, these are courtesy of my husband <3
Here is one from when he was about 8 days old:
Here we are as a family of three, in our new home which we moved into a week after Liam was born. It was a crazy summer filled with all sorts of real estate stress among other things. But it ended in the best possible way!
Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wow! It has certainly been awhile since I last posted on my blog! It has been a busy, remarkable year. We sold our house in Prince George and moved to Quesnel. My husband and I welcomed our baby boy, Liam Alexander into the world on August 11th. So needless to say it has been a whirlwind summer and just now things are beginning to slow down. I have been taking a zillion photos of Liam and I am trying to accomplish creating a scrapbook with a photo for each day of his first year :S The taking a photo a day of him is not the tricky part, scrapbooking all of them has proven to be difficult if not impossible. Somehow with all of this going on I have managed to squeeze in some client shoots since Liam was born. It is refreshing to get back behind the camera and not have a giant belly restricting my camera angles! Here are a few photos from the most recent shoots in Prince George from some of my favorite clients!