Jeff and Melissa's wedding at Westwood Plateau - Seconding for Jody Nay

Jeff and Melissa's son laughs during the middle of the reception dinner.

Jeff and Melissa's son laughs during the middle of the reception dinner.

I've been to a number of weddings at Westwood Plateau. In fact, even my own wedding and my brother's wedding has been there. I love the venue and I love the food there. It's a great little hidden gem in Coquitlam. 

Last year, Jody Nay asked me to second shoot for her. While it did take place at Westwood Plateau, it was the camaderie of friends and the closeness of family that made this wedding amazing. 

Seaside Oregon Vintage Dress Photoshoot

Last year, as part of going on vacation in the beautiful place known as Seaside, Oregon, my wife and I decided on trying a photoshoot that involved a vintage dress and getting it utterly wet. Yup, we took this very beautiful dress and tossed her with it out to sea. 

Kidding. Well, not really. See, we had this inspiration from an article we had read about a vintage find of some amazing photographs:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3181283/Who-mystery-1950s-girls-surf-Photographer-launches-hunt-women-vintage-photos-Virginia-thrift-shop.html

While our lighting wasn't as good (we got the typical PNW cloudy sun) and while both my wife and I were freezing cold in the water, we managed to get a few photos. Before all that, though, we had to find a dress!

Simply Vintage Boutique (located in Portland, OR). This is where we found the dress after walking and driving around Portland.

Simply Vintage Boutique (located in Portland, OR). This is where we found the dress after walking and driving around Portland.

One of the ladies helping us find a dress. It wasn't easy! The Canadian dollar didn't help either. haha.

One of the ladies helping us find a dress. It wasn't easy! The Canadian dollar didn't help either. haha.

Wet and cold, my wife still tromped onwards towards the large waves.

Wet and cold, my wife still tromped onwards towards the large waves.

It was quite an effort but in both our minds it was totally worth it. Most importantly, it was fun and the results we obtained are (at least to our eyes) amazing.

Dana and Family Documentary Photosession

I remember having a train set like this one. I guess Brio is still a thing!

I remember having a train set like this one. I guess Brio is still a thing!

Being a documentary photographer means being a part of people's lives. I've found out over the years that cameras, film, technology and other things really have little to do with a photo... although, of course, you need these items to actually make a photograph. Yet, much of it is about connecting with your fellow human and relating on a personal level. Too many times I find myself hiding behind a camera to take photos only to realize that the best ones I take (at least to me) are ones where I've connected with people.

When I met Dana, she introduced me to her two boys and her husband. One of the boys, like my nephew, is autistic. I automatically connected. Dana realized that getting two boys to sit still for posed photographs was going to be next to impossible and so, after looking at my work, she contacted me and we arranged a date for a photoshoot. 

When I gave her the 4x6 prints, she mentioned how she loved the photos but also how she was glad that I was able to create something that they could not do on their own. 

This photoshoot was not orchestrated at all. Other than a few location suggestions, I was hovering around the family and their dog in the backyard and even in the bedrooms. From the moment I stepped into the house, I started photographing and after a few minutes of some slight awkwardness, Dana and her family eventually let me document a day in their life.

Further into the photograph set,  you'll see a photograph of one of the boys crying. This is due to the boy falling through the crack that separates the two beds (the boys were jumping on the bed). Dana later told me this was a pretty common occurrence for them. Fun fact: There's a video of me back when I was a kid jumping on the bed and, of course, falling over the side and onto the ground. Tears ensued. I was 29....er.... 2 years old or so.

While I tried to get some time for Dana and her husband together, it was only a few moments before we heard the boys rush into the room and start jumping on their parents' bed. All the moments in this photoshoot were real. Life is real and never really perfect... but it's in that imperfection that we find love and we find what makes families.

That One Time I Took My Leica Into The Woods And the Rain

In early 2016, a few friends, my wife and I went adventuring around Lighthouse Park and Horseshoe Bay area. Despite it being pouring rain, I took my Leica out and proceeded to take photographs of our hike. Thankfully the trees around us blocked most of the rain but it was still a bit slippery (wearing shoes with little grip = bad idea) and very moist. Through it all, I felt like I was able to get some neat photographs of an area that is normally not captured in black and white.