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“I will always lean my heart as close to your soul as I can.” ~Hafiz~This past weekend I had the honor of photographing a renewal of vows between Jessica and John.  It’s only been one year since they first uttered their original vows and exchanged rings, but it was on their hearts to renew the moment and to include a few more personal elements.  Like for instance their beautiful newly fashioned, handmade wedding bands that they had made from Le Lou La.

I’ve photographed a few vow renewals now over the years and I have to say, I am so into them.  In this busy, fast paced world we live in now,  we are faced with so many choices all day.  There are so many things competing for our time.  Being able to steal away with your love, to slow down, to remind yourselves and each other what it is that drew you to one another and why you love them so much and to renew the commitment and promise to each other, is such a beautiful thing to me.  In fact these two have inspired me to do the same.  Thank you both, for trusting me with your day and for being an inspiration.  Congratulations on your first year of marriage and I wish you many many more to come. xox 

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is ONLY ONE OF YOU in all time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”  ~ Martha Graham ~ (dancer)I met Kayla long before I ever had the idea for this Artist series.  We have been friends for over 10 years now.  We are like soul sisters.  Having someone who knows what I’m thinking before I even say it, is pretty special.  She is a beautiful and creative soul who lives a life full of grace, empathy, generosity and love.  We have spent many moons talking into the wee hours of the night and probably just as many (or maybe more) hours dancing.  She has been a gift in my life and I’m so so thankful for her.
Now let me set the stage a bit for you.  I had always wanted to photograph Kayla with her hoops at sunset.  Even before this project.  It had been something I had been envisioning for a long time.  However with us not living in the same city, it made it a little more challenging to arrange, especially when I was also hoping for a perfect sun set .  Well, we managed to pull it off.  In fact I got two sunset sessions.

The photos you’ll see below are actually over the course of three separate visits.  This first set of photos happened in the middle of the Summer, on a gorgeous evening.  There was Kayla and myself as well as two other beautiful friends of ours.  We packed up Kayla’s hoops, music, some wine and a big blanket and we ventured out to the most perfect location.  The evening was warm and the sun golden.  Although each of us 4 mom’s had lives full of much responsibility with many ups and downs as life tends to give us, that evening felt so care-free.  We danced, we hooped, we laughed, we truly felt like 4 big kids!!!  It felt amazing.  I even put my tripod to work a couple times and joined in on the photos.

The second visit you’ll see here was later in the year.  The Summer was nearly over but the sunset was just as rich.  It was just Kayla and I this time and she wore her beautifully handmade headpiece.  She looked like a strong and beautiful warrior.  We decided to just head across the street from her place to the river’s edge.  Another perfect location.  I brought my film camera with me on this visit and shot off a roll of film, double exposing it.  The results were stunning.

The last small section of photos you’ll see happened at yet another visit.  It was one of those nights I mentioned where we sat up and talked and laughed into the wee hours of the night.  We were on her roof top deck listening to music, enjoying the night.  She pulled out her light-up hoops and I pulled out my tripod and camera.  I experimented with long exposures while she danced with her hoops.  The results were so fun!

I know I could go on and on about how much I love Kayla and how much fun we always have when we’re together, but I’ll let the photos speak now.  Thank you Kayla Raye for letting me photograph you.  You are a shining ray of light in my life. xoxoDown by the river’s edge…Rooftop deck  –  Dancing  –  Light up hoops  –  Long exposures…
Lastly, the double exposed film photos that I took of Kayla down by the river.  She had her beautiful headpiece on and looked strong and beautiful.  Because most of the artists in the series so far have been painters or have produced some form of tangible art in which to photograph, Kayla’s film roll was a little different.  Her movements were the art.  So for these double exposed photos I simply photographed her dancing for both layers.  Such a beauty.

I met up with Julia and Jake while they were vacationing here from Ontario.  The sun shone perfectly for us on the day of their shoot.  It was a photo session simply put, to celebrate their love.  I’m so happy for the opportunity to photograph the two of them!!! Here’s a little peek at some of the photos…

I don’t often get to photograph many Winter weddings, but I imagine that when the decision is made to have a Winter wedding here in Canada, the hope is that it will snow and feel all the more magical.  Well this is exactly how it unfolded for Mareena and Shane.  The snow started and it just kept on coming that whole weekend.  They were married in the Kootenays at the beautiful Revelstoke Mountain Resort.  The day was relaxed and fun just like this gorgeous couple.  xox

Make Up by the lovely Saara Labib

“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”

Meeting Aj has been a huge source of inspiration for me.  It was mid-summer when we met and about an hour’s drive from my place to hers.  The drive was absolutely beautiful and I remember being so curious along the way about the project that Aj would be sharing with me that morning.  Aj is a mixed-media artist who specializes is multi-media collage and metal works.  She was in the beginning stages of creating a huge installation piece that was to go up in the Satellite Space of the Kelowna Art Gallery, which is located in the Kelowna International Airport.

I always enjoy paying full attention to how I feel when I walk into someone’s creative space and meet them for the fist time.  My initial feeling or impression that I got when meeting Aj was her strength of personality.  She was confident and secure.  As she welcomed me in and we got settled into her studio, she began pulling out these giant hearts and the materials she was using to create them.  Wow! I saw then, one could not be timid or hesitant to come up with such an impressive concept.  Each heart was at various stages of completion.  Metal.  Canvas. Tree branches.  Paper.  Wool.  Super8 Film Reel.  Cloth.  7 individual hearts, made up from 7 unique materials.  It was very impressive, to say the least.

Aj continued to share with me the story of this beautiful and mighty art project which she titled “Wanderlust” and how it evolved, layer by layer in her own heart.  She also shared little bits about her own art journey.  I soon began to see the parallels between the two.  Aj has that striking strength and confidence like the metal she fashions as well as a playful and colourful side, like the bright wooly heart.  She is smart, with a depth of insight that she’s learned over the years but remains grounded and so comfortable to be around, like the heart formed from the tree branches.  Her story like a reel of film, is one of curiosity and courage and she has inspired me to always be learning, always be trying new things and to be fearless in the pursuit of what sets my soul on fire.

Today the HEART is honoured as it is Valentine’s Day, and what a perfect day to share with you Aj and her heart.  Her exhibit is up now at the Kelowna Airport and will be showing until May 8th 2017.  I encourage you to check it out if you have the opportunity.  It is well worth the trip.  You can find out all about Aj Jaeger on her website at angelikajaeger.com  Enjoy and have a Happy Valentine’s!!!  xoxoxAnd now, for the always fun and surprising element of the series, my double exposed 35mm film photos.  This first one here is a favourite.  Love the colours that the layers produce.