Monday, February 12 to March 2, 2018, at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery in the Spruce Grove Public Library, I will have the pleasure of exhibiting a collection of my photographic artwork from the last few years.
A couple pieces in the show have travelled throughout Alberta and even made a couple stops in the United States while part of the Celebrating Alberta Exhibit a few years ago. They were taken at the Westlock Tractor show, a very enjoyable event to bring both big and little kids to.
For the past few years, we have had the opportunity to spend Canada Day, just a few hours north of Edmonton, at Slave Lake, where my brother-in-law and his wife have a cabin just off the lake. When Slave Lake is calm and the weather is sunny, it is beautiful and fun, but when a storm rolls in, which happens quite often, when we are there, it is another kind of beautiful. I have been fortunate to capture a few images that tell a story of what is going on during some of these storms.
As a mother of three beautiful, carefree, loving children, they often become subjects in my photography. Sometimes they know I'm photographing them and sometimes they are so busy experiencing their world they are not aware of the camera. Children grow so fast, having the opportunity to capture photographically even small glimpses of there lives, I feel blessed.
So head on out in this gorgeous February weather, to the Melcor Cultural Centre located at 35-5th Ave, in Spruce Grove Alberta (the Spruce Grove Public Library) and head to the gallery which is to the right of the front library desk towards the back. It is a lovely little gallery with a variety of artwork on display run by an awesome group called the Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove.
Perhaps I will even have the opportunity to visit with you on February 17 from 1-3 pm, as I will be at the gallery receiving guests and providing snacks ;)
The day started out at State & Main with a VIP event featuring Ron MacLean and attended by many Spruce and Stony "celebrities" including our Mayor Stuart Houston and other city Council members.
Following the VIP event, we headed over to the main event site at Stu Barnes Agrena, the activities were locatied outside and also in some heated tents.
As the event photographer, I had the opportunity to photograph kids having fun dressed up in sumo suits and rolling through a Dodge Caravan, kids and adults spinning the Rodgers "wheel" to win a variety of prizes, young hardcore hockey fans playing ball hockey in the mini outdoor arena, along with many other activities.
Ron MacLean was on site with Tara Slone to do a live broadcast of an afternoon game played in Vegas, as well as an evening game played in Edmonton. Event attendees had the opportunity to watch the games on a few different screens both outside and inside some heated tents.
"The Northern Pikes" band took the stage to bring us a few of their songs to celebrate the evening, in -25 playing instruments is difficult, but they did awesomely.
Throughout the day a person was able to visit with and have items autographed by both Kevin Lowe and/or Ryan Smyth.
Before the evening Oilers hockey game began, there was a Parade of Champion of our young Spruce Grove Hockey players.
Mayor Houston and family and many other proud parents and supporters came out to cheer on the parade, some braved the cold long enough to catch the beginnings of the Oilers game.
As evening started to roll around the temperature was dipping around the -30 mark, The Northern Pikes came out to do a couple more songs, we got to see Nathan Dempsey in the crowd, and people were having a grand time.
As the evening came to an end, only a few die hard fans stuck around outside, Ron took a few minutes to chat with them and sign some autographs.
I hope whoever made it out to this local event had a great time and also had an enjoyable New Years Eve! Happy New Year and my wishes for you to have a awesome 2018!
13+ years and 4 beautiful children later they have tied the knot! It was a gorgeous, if not slightly temperamental, Alberta summer day. There was loads of sunshine, a little breeze now and then, and a few tiny showers that you could have gotten away without an umbrella for. Being an outdoor wedding at the brides’ childhood farm, kids were able to run around, adults got to enjoy the gorgeous (award winning) gardens.
While people arrived from both near and far Zara kept well hidden in the house and Matthew greeted guests outside. When you share the same building, playing hide the bride can be difficult, but they managed well.
The groom patiently waiting for the bride to make her quick trip around the expansive vegetable garden.
The family was involved in nearly every aspect of the celebration, Matthew and Zara's children preceded her down the aisle with her sister. Zara's mother was her escort, giving her away at the end.
The wedding went on as weddings do, there were tears and special words, smiles and a couple laughs. It was perfect.
The ring bearer did his job famously well, so the neverending circle of love could be placed on each others fingers.
The flower girls got right in there and decorated up the grass for their parents.
A beautiful family!
There are a variety of opportunities for formally posed images at weddings, but sometimes you just need to toss in some variety. Matthew wanted to get his teams socks in the picture, and why not catch the sisters photo bomb in the back? everything is a memory.
Let the celebration continue with supper, drinks cake and toasts
Gram loves to bake! Paige is interested in learning to bake, so together with the help of a crazy minion they take on the cookie challenge.
Getting right in there from the start the minion lets his presence be known. "What did you put in there? can I do it? when's it my turn?" he asks.... "don't worry, you can help put things in later" says Gram, as she shows Paige the special technique of putting the butter in.
Decisions, decisions..."which one is the 1/2 cup?" asks Paige, "oh, I see." smiling when she understands how it works, moving seamlessly into the spoons to measure the vanilla.
"now we use the back edge of the knife to level off the flour, getting a precise cup" explians Gram.
You can't keep a good minion down, he persisted and got his turn! The happiness of being a "big boy" and getting to help with the cookie construction certainly made his day....for a little while anyway.
Paige diligently working to get every bit of yummy dough off the beater. "That's an entire cookie or two right there!" exclaims Paige.
I have to admit, those cookie scoops are pretty great for kids to use, easier than the two spoon method. Paige gets them all placed in nice even rows, Ryder jumps right in placing the very necessary m&m candy on top, which of course made his day...again!
Into the oven, Gram took full control of this part. Safety first.
The excitement mounts for tasting as the first batches are cooling on the rack. Paige is a pro at transferring them over.
"Now Gram?? please, can I have one now??" ask Ryder impatiently, as he stares at the cooling yumminess laying on the table top, goading him with their delicious smell.
"Yes," says Gram, "It's time to have a cookie." This was it, right here his day was definitely made, no topping finally getting to go from minion to cookie monster! So Paige, Gram and Ryder - and myself - enjoyed...a few cookies.
Happy spring! may you find the time to bake some cookies this coming Easter holiday and create memories for a lifetime.
The journey continues on re-learning how to shoot with a film camera, adjusting settings based on how images turn out. My kids continue to be subjected to my experimentation with this process, but they don't seem to mind to much - for now anyway.
Fall, leaves are turning, kids are exploring. Throughout Spruce Grove and Stony Plain a person can find piano's placed in different public locations for people to play a tune or plunk on the keys. We found one of the pianos at Stony Plain's Rotary Park, the kids enjoyed a few minutes of piano fun before heading out for a walk. A different day we pulled out popsicle sticks and challenged the girls to build a house or some type of stick building. That was an entire weekend project.
So each fall the kids love raking up leaves and jumping into them, really who doesn't enjoy that pastime. Here are a few of my favourites from that roll.
Following fun with leaves is Halloween! Thanks to the kids grandparents we had pumpkins to carve this year, unfortunately last year there was a shortage and no carving happened. Pre carving was a little twister game fun and some cheeky Ryder pictures.
And the snow starts falling....the poor rose bush bending under the weight of new heavy snow. Another indoor day for the kids so more game playing, this time some battle ship.
So we do at times venture outside for some snow play...these are the most recent in the film journey, just this past March in fact when we get crazy swings in weather and snow quite often. Why not use a big rubbermaid tub packed with snow to build a "castle".
So still lots for me to remember and take into consideration when shooting with a film camera, it is an exciting journey and I am looking forward to its continuation. I'd like to give a shout out to Canadian Film Labs for the development and scanning of the images. They offer a custom experience and have great educational information to help their clients succeed in shooting film.
Every summer I make it a goal to take my kids out on as many adventures as we can with out going to crazy. One of those is a trip up to their uncle and aunt's cabin located at Slave lake. We have all kinds of fun playing in the lake, going for walks, rides on the boat and helping build something to improve on the experience.
One of the other things the kids enjoy about heading to the lake is the chance to play with Cembra a beautiful husky.
For my self enjoying being with the kids at the lake is of course great fun, but it also gives me a chance at some personal photographic time.
I love making lifestyle images of my families adventures and would love to help capture the adventures of other families. All to often we involve ourselves so much in an activity or event that we forget to snap a couple pictures to reminisce by. Covering events such as birthday parties, special outings, regular outings or just day to day at and around home so you can enjoy your family, your experience and your self are all lifestyle services offered here. We want you to make memories, and we are here to capture you making them.
Fall, well this year it was a couple weeks long and we seem to have jumped right into winter. Before the snow fell though I had the opportunity to do a quick session with my cousins and their families. What a way to commemorate a 60th birthday for my uncle - their dad - then with an up to date family portrait.
Digital photography is great, I love it, but recently I have been missing the challenge of film. Framing it right, focusing and exposing properly (or I hope anyway) and not being able to see right away if it has turned out the way I wanted it! Waiting a week or more to have the prints come back from the processing lab.
My old canon AE-1 is a great camera, takes wonderful images with only one tiny downfall....its manual focus, for some types of photography this is not an issue - for photographing children who squirm and just can't sit still not matter what posed quite the challenge. I went online and searched for a newer canon film camera and discovered the Canon EOS-1V! the word excited doesn't cover how I was feeling. It was a film camera used by pro sports and magazine photographers all over the world. It was compatible with my EOS 7D lenses!!! huge selling point there! I found one for sale and jumped at the opportunity to buy it.
Ryder giving me grins, such a cheek boy.
Now a couple weeks later and a few rolls of film used up, I love it! So far my children, yard, neighbourhood and in-laws have been subjected to my new, film, auto-focusing, adventure (yes the auto-focus is a game changer). The film is not "pro quality" it's what ever I have been able to find still available at one or two stores in my community, but the prints, the grain and texture - it's wonderful.
What a great time I had doing some Artist Headshots for the Allied Arts Council a few weeks ago! Some of the members came out and let me try out a lighting set up in exchange for a headshot to use in social media, website profiles and other needs. We had some laughs as I directed them in what can only be called "odd" ways to achieve the desired results. Visit the Allied Arts Council Website to see all the great things they are doing.