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Posts tagged Live in the Moment
Pre-Wedding Consultation: FIsh Tacos, Cocktails, Gelato
Ed's Real Scoop, Game of Cones
Ed's Real Scoop, Game of Cones

10:30pm and I just got back from a dinner meeting with Ervin and Grace. I have a strong opinion on why it's important to get to know your wedding photographer. I often try to meet with a couple before their wedding to review their questionnaire together. I call it a "pre-wedding consultation" - very professional and official. Sometimes things are too hectic so we do it over the phone… But other times the gods smile, the chemistry is right, and white wine spritzers and chocolate get involved.

Grace and Ervin came into Leslieville and we went to a local bistro for fish tacos, burgers, and bangers & mash. We spread out on the comfy bench seat and made ourselves at home.

Recently they each travelled out of the country (separately). The cutest: they both documented their travels including everything they ate, on their iPhones, to show one another. Whenever my friends travel one of my first questions is “How was the food – did you find any good restaurants?” So of course when asked, Grace whipped out her phone and started describing delicious berries with their explosive taste – perfect for waffles with whipped cream; Ervin showed us the rare selections of Japanese cuisine that only those more daring foodies would taste…  Much ooh-ing and ahh-ing was heard from our table.

“I don’t usually take pictures of food – actually I think it’s kind of silly,” Grace explained. “But for this, since we weren’t together, I wanted to show Ervin everything.” Um, so sweet.

What a fine evening! After dinner we walked down the street to Ed’s Real Scoop and indulged in some ice cream and gelato goodness. It was a warm evening, with a nice breeze, and we sat on the bench outside chatting about work, life, following your passion, cute dogs, food, Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy (specifically around the topic of yelling at one's television set in shock/scandalization)...

I am so excited for Grace and Ervin’s wedding, but also in this very moment I am just grateful that I’ve found a path where I get to share and enjoy some life with human beings; celebrate, laugh, connect, make friends.

Wedding photography is not just about shooting, editing, printing. It is sharing in a rite of passage with families, hopeful and proud parents, and friends. It’s also often a collaboration with couples who have found an outlet for their own creativity and passion to emerge. It is the prime of life, no matter their age. It is humbling and simply a blessing to be a part of.

While you're waiting for the wedding, feel free to check out Ervin and Grace's gorgeous University of Toronto engagement photos.

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!

Travel Adventure to San Francisco: A Love Letter to Maya & Ben

Arrived home this morning from San Francisco, one of my favourite cities in the world. I feel so much – so many things - but don’t know how to say them all at once, or properly. I “met” Maya and Ben on Skype, after we had been e-introduced by their awesome wedding planner Jodi Gagné. Living in California, Skype meetings are routine for these two. We had instant chemistry. There was a lot of laughter, which I now realize is a huge part of this couple’s life (being that they’re both hilarious and Maya is a constant joker). Somehow we group-fantasized that I’d go to the Bay Area and shoot their engagement session,,, and then somehow we made it happen.

I’ve just arrived home.

Palo Alto Engagement Photographer

Talk about adventure: Ben and Maya invited me – effectively a stranger from another country – into their home, and I accepted. We spent the weekend hanging out, eating delicious food, exploring San Francisco and Palo Alto, shooting pictures, telling stories, and laughing our heads off… it was beyond great.

What’s more, I found myself personally inspired by Maya and Ben. Not only as individuals, professionals, and inherently artistic beings, but also as a couple. Now, hold on before you go getting all judgey about how cheesy I am – hear me out.

Ben and Maya see, hear, and encourage one another with remarkable enthusiasm, care and interest. One’s happiness excites the other as if they’ve just met (and they haven’t). And the best part, is that the world is theirs; they have no self-consciousness about feeling this way and expressing it openly. I’m not talking about PDAs (though I have no problem with public displays of affection) – I mean that this love is just 100% out there, no apologies.

We all develop barriers in life, to protect our hearts and our egos from getting hurt. Maya and Ben are brave and confident and passionate in many aspects of their lives, and it is this that I find so incredible.

Thank you Maya and Ben for opening your home and your life to me. I can't wait to share your engagement photos in San Francisco, and I’m so excited to see you in Toronto for the wedding!

Congratulations, and Cheers, and Cheers again! Love, Kate

Baker Beach Engagement Photo
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?

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.