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Posts tagged Freedom
Life is Happening! On Being Present at Your Wedding
Being Present at your Wedding
Being Present at your Wedding

You may wonder why I care so much about all this “being in the now” stuff for your wedding.

The busier we get in life the faster it goes. No one ever laid on their deathbed and said “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.” ...But what if “the office" was truly delightful? I spend a lot of my life on my clients' wedding photography experience, so I want the process to be meaningful both for them and for me. I want us to look back on the years working together and remember our time laughing and being inspired.

What this is getting at is How to be present in your life, how to connect with the people around you, and how to experience joy – in its fleeting moments.

I practice this myself and, just like finding a good book or a fabulous restaurant, I want others to experience it too. Especially for those big moments in life like a wedding!

I wont lie to you – this is a work in progress.

Last year I sat in a coffee shop with a client-turned-friend after her wedding and she told me “I was so obsessed on my wedding day – I must have driven you crazy! All I could think about was the photos. I just wanted everything to look perfect.”

We discussed this and realized that the ceremony was the only part of the day when she was completely present in what was happening… and you can see it in the pictures. We looked through her wedding photographs and commented on the images from the church – “they look so holy” she smiled a secret smile at the memory.

And she looks so serene. She looks like she’s come home; this is the place where she is supposed to be, and this is the man she is supposed to be with. All is well. All questions are answered in this moment. It shows.

After that conversation I vowed to make it a goal in my business, for my clients: presence. It’s an ongoing effort for all of us. If we can be awake and be together then we are living.

How do you stay in the moment? If you have tips or comments, please share them below!

Soul Food: the Arcade Fire Reflektor Tour!

One of my recent goals has been to do something that feeds my creative soul at least once per week. For me this means exposure to other creative beings through the arts, science, and even politics. So a few weeks ago I went to see the Arcade Fire Reflektor Tour at Toronto's Air Canada Centre. I haven’t been to a big arena show like that since wearing purple to Prince almost ten years ago - and it was wonderful!

Jasper & Kate Arcade Fire Reflektor
Jasper & Kate Arcade Fire Reflektor

Oh, the night... Everyone was dressed up ~ the Music ~ the Lights ~ the Energy ~ the Crowd ~ It was magical, and exactly what my soul needed. We were high up in the stands, dancing dancing dancing all evening, and it was amazing to see the whole stadium from above cheering and singing.

I have always loved the Arcade Fire. Their music is truly the kind that can relate to your life – and when you hear that song you’re taken right back to where you were the first time you fell in love with it.

~ One of my most vivid memories of this "flashback" experience was from 2006: walking into a tiny seaside bar in Ecuador, salty and sunburnt and happy, and hearing Arcade Fire playing on the stereo - music from home.  A later album reminds me of going through a break up - when one of my best friends played me an Arcade Fire song to cheer me up. I ended up listening to it on repeat for weeks... It’s that kind of music – a real life soundtrack that gets into your bones. ~

What are you doing this week to feed your soul?

Are you Free?
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There are some times in life when I’m honest with myself – maybe I’ve had too little sleep, or it's low blood sugar or PMS – whatever it is… But something clicks over and I let my barriers down enough to be honest. And I hear this voice in my head saying, “I just wanna be free." I ask myself, “Am I free?”

Why do I feel this way? I have all my rights and freedoms. I’m a middle class, white Canadian, university educated, blah blah blah… what do I know about not being free?

But my soul has this craving for liberation, and all I want is to fly high up into the sky and scream at the top of my lungs.

Skydiving, Barrie Ontario
Skydiving, Barrie Ontario

Once in 2005, I went skydiving (okay, I went three times but that’s another story). I stepped out under the wing of that plane, and flung myself into the sky at a measly 4000 feet. All by myself, alone. The static line jump. After the shoot opened and I found myself peacefully floating above the breathtaking view of the greater Barrie area (if you detect a slight hint of irony here, you’re wrong and not wrong all at once – everything looks perfect from far away), I was actually and literally speechless for moments. Moments and moments and moments. Like, whatever – I have no idea how long it takes to do a 4000 foot jump – probably not long. But anyway, I was free. I floated silently for some amount of time and then suddenly remembered that this was worth celebrating.

So I started to scream! I whooped and hollered, and hooted and howled, and felt like I was Jonathan Livingston and that nothing could stop me.

As I mentioned, it’s a whole other story about how I got my feet back on solid ground… But let me ask you right now:

Are you free? Are we??

Because there’s something inside you that needs to be let out; let go; let be; and set free.

Ask yourself at this moment, “What can I do to be free for just one second, right now?” And do it.

'Cause when that craving fades you’ll be back in the Matrix and, not that there’s anything wrong with that but, wouldn’t you rather be alive for just one second (and have everyone around you think you’re a weirdo) than let that feeling pass for another day?

If the answer you said is 'no', just ignore yourself and listen to me instead: yes! Go and strike a victory pose, or howl at the moon, or call your fiancée and tell her you freaking love her, or dance a little jig, or buy that plane ticket. In two seconds you’ll convince yourself back to conformity and you’ll have to wait until tomorrow (/ next week / next month / next year) for freedom to present itself again.

Written from an open place.

Love,

Kate

hello@sweetheartempire.com

Kate & Ben Around Town

Kate and Ben had the first half of their engagement shoot last spring, at their sweet apartment, when the weather was still cold... For the second half we took advantage of the fantastic weather to wander out and about. We explored Toronto's colourful Christie Pits neighbourhood of Bickford Park and Korea Town. Apart from my highly technical instructions of "Jump like you're in the 70s!" most of the photo shoot consisted of this gorgeous pair hanging out, shooting the breeze, snuggling and laughing, and me capturing it all.

Can't wait for next week when we photograph their wedding!

Birckford Park Engagement Photo
Birckford Park Engagement Photo
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_003
Jumping Photos Graffiti Wall
Jumping Photos Graffiti Wall
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Garage Doors Background
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_007
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_008
Laughing Couple in Black and White
Laughing Couple in Black and White
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_011
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_012
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_013
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_015
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Christie Pits Engagement Photos_017
Hello, and Welcome!

Wow. It's my first ever blog post in Sweetheart Empire... What to say? I didn't plan to write anything at all until I was "ready". Ready with what, you may ask? Oh I don't know: some photos, an announcement about the "launch", an actual website that's got content or even a logo? Nope - I've got none of those, yet.

But someone recently told me to Start Before You're Ready. And I was just sitting at the kitchen table on this bright, wintry day, working away at the preparations, when I was overcome with excitement (most likely caffeine-induced) and decided to write RIGHT NOW.

So I'll tell you what I know:

It's 2013 and after 8 years of shooting weddings with my amazing friend, Rudo Vacula, I've taken the leap and am starting my own wedding photography company - one that embodies the personal care that I feel for both people and pictures!

Rudo and I will continue to shoot together often. Yet the time has come to fly higher, try something new and try something on my own.

I hope that what you will see before you, this blog, will be an expression of my passions and inspirations:

  • Creating genuine, caring connections with people
  • Living life in the present moment
  • Being honest and human, with both brilliance and flaws
  • Photographing other people doing the same

It has taken me 32 years to learn that the freedom I crave in life comes when I am open and accepting with myself, with my heart, and with my fears. I know this may sound cliché, but that is honestly what I am going through.

I hope that by taking the step into the unknown with me, you will also see the beauty and feel the caffeine-like surge of anticipation, possibility and wonder, that life holds for us - whether you're in love, learning to dive, singing on stage for the first time, or taking any leap that requires hope, faith, adventure, risk, and trust > all at once. HERE WE GO!