Non-stop laughing, high fives and thumbs-ups. The bride in Birkenstocks. Midday McDonald’s break. Doing the Blue Steel. A shared towel for sweat and tears. “Home.” S’mores and sparklers. Writing messages for happy future anniversaries. Sunset with an amazing view. Hula-hoops and mini putt putt. Sneaking away for some quiet time. Blowing everyone away with a surprise gender reveal of the little Clarksonault to be. (“It’s a…!!”)
Another month that flew by… indeed, six months that flew by! I can’t believe that as of tomorrow we’re already in the back half of 2015. Time to consult the year’s to-do list and panic!
I’m now entering the heart of wedding season, with Sarah & Mike’s destination wedding to PEI on the blog, and two more celebrations – in Moncton and Charlottetown, but fun fact, each went to McDonalds – still to come. Plus anniversary sessions! Ebony & Craig celebrated two years together, while Stephanie & Tyler (again, still to come!), celebrated their first.
AG & I got started on our third annual summer fun list, and enjoyed plenty of kayaking, soccer & baseball matches, beer and the Bard at Romeo & Juliet, a family BBQ, snuggles with cat and nieces, even a long walk on the beach. We dipped our toes in the “buying a house” pool and quickly got our hearts broken, so who knows what’s going to happen next… but all in all, a pretty good start to the summer!
When I’ve needed an additional shooter to join me in the past, I’ve called on Ebony… so I was really happy that to celebrate her 2nd anniversary with Craig, she called on me! We battled killer mosquitos, reined in crazy dogs, avoided some suspicious three-leaved plants, side-stepped fishing children, and did some major pothole-avoidance on our country bumble. The reward at the end: ice cream!
Summer is officially here! That means it’s time for the third annual summer fun list, wherein AG & I attempt to strategize how we’re going to spend our few free summer weekends and luxurious evenings. It’s an ambitious list and we never manage to check off everything (in fact last year we didn’t even hit the half-way point), but the fun is just to try. This year we even got a head start, knocking some actions off our list before I managed to publish it!
take a paddling course(May 23-24) see a FIFA Women’s World Cup game in Moncton(June 13, 21) catch the Fredericton Royals in action(June 5)
Romeo & Julietand/or Hamlet at Shakespeare in the Park (June 22)
- kayak at Hopewell Rocks
- catch a movie at Under the Stars Classic Film Series
- play tennis in the park
- Fundy Trail Parkway
- Campbell Carriage Factory Museum
- hike the Maliseet Trail
- hike the NB Internment Camp trail
- check out the Moncton Flea Market
- walk to the top of Odell Park
- visit the Beaverbrook Art Gallery to see the Masterworks before they leave again
- walk the full length of the 12km Bouctouche dune (pack a picnic?)
- visit our friends Christine & Dave at their Harrier Hill farm!
- Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews
- take a whale cruise from St. Andrews
- see Riverside Consolidated School
- visit “my land” in Maine
- hike Mt. Katahdin
- hunt for salamanders
- Joggins Fossil Cliffs (NS)
- Advocate Harbour (NS)
- visit all of the NB Provincial Parks we’ve yet to visit (a long-term goal)
- visit îles de la Madeleine (another long-term goal)
- (Northern New Brunswick? Maybe someday!)
- go on our honeymoon!!
A destination wedding to the gentle island. Black cats that did not cross our path. Last minute change of venue, to Anne of Green Gables Museum! Champagne & chocolate. Getting blown away at Cavendish beach. Talking to a man about a horse. Seeing or not seeing creatures in the harbour, depending on who you ask. All the seafood you could possibly eat. Sneaking out for some moonlit portraits. “Like A Star.”
As I write this, I’m bundled in three layers. Two pots of tea deep. I was wearing a toque at one point. Maybe I jumped the gun on the whole “weather creeping toward warm” thing, but all the same, May definitely had its moments. The beginning of wedding season, for one! Megan & Steve’s joyous celebration at Kingswood Lodge was a great way to kick off the year, and I can’t wait to share Sarah & Mike’s destination PEI wedding tomorrow! Another fun-loving session was Jill & Dan’s engagement on the trails, and needless to say, winning a Junebug award was one of the highlights of the month.
AG & I finally took the kayaking skills course we’d hoped to do last summer… it was intense, we kiiiiind of hated it at the time, but now we’re really happy to have done it, and anxious to get back on the water on our own terms soon. Also? First ride on my new bike, plenty of long walks, first visit to the camp, I tried (and failed at) a 30 day yoga challenge, and we rolled the odometer to 100,000. A clean slate and fresh adventures await.
I got amazing news last week! One of my images from Kimmy & Dennis’s downtown Fredericton engagement session was chosen from over 6000 entrants to be among 50 winners of the annual “Best of the Best” engagement photography contest hosted by Junebug Weddings.
The collection is a truly stunning set of images from photographers around the world (including Nordica Photography, who have shot André & I!), chosen by an amazingly accomplished quartet of successful and renowned photographers. This is my first proper peer-reviewed image award and it makes me proud.
Of course, almost immediately after discovering this news I read a response that basically said “awards are bullshit and will give you a huge ego and stifle your creativity and make your work look like everyone else’s”… (of course, the photographer who said this gives workshops…). But still. Ouch.
I’ve been ruminating on that for a week now. That photographer might be on to something: awards are a little bit bullshit for various reasons, and I’ve certainly been on the losing side of a competition more often than not.* For every photo in this collection, over a hundred more didn’t win, and I’m sure most of them were pretty great. (7 of the losers were mine as well.)
*literally every other time. *cough.*
When I first looked at this collection I felt like my image stuck out like a sore thumb. Part of that was probably imposter syndrome, and part of that was that it actually is different. You can see the faces of both subjects! The colours are vivid and the contrast is high! No spectacular landscapes or gorgeous light here, just a sidewalk in downtown Fredericton. I love the other images in the collection, but I never thought in a million years that one of my photos would be alongside them because of how off-trend my work can be. So not only am I proud, I’m reassured that us small-market, geologically-bereft photographers still have a chance. All it takes is a great client, some serendipity, and a true connection. Make ’em laugh. Make pictures the way you want to want to make pictures, then risk rejection and keep submitting, because you never know.
(My ego IS huge now, though. They were right about that.)
Earring admiration. Bratzoid. Picking up every leaf and twig in Odell Park with 50 pounds of tulle. A blind-folded, be-sunglassed first look by firing squad. Dodging disc-golfers during portraits. Ranking PDA. “You Are The Best Thing.” Mother-son choreography.
…and the flower girl “high-fived” me right in the crotch. It was a party.
Jill & Dan made the drive from Moncton for their engagement shoot. I did the Fredericton Hospitality thing of taking them on a guided tour of some walking trails… we got 10,000 steps and just about as many laughs.