Monthly Archives: December 2011

Anne + Haran — Wedding Day

Anne and Haran had a Vietnamese-Pakistani wedding, which was a delightful blend of two cultures with their own traditions and costumes. Included in this day were three tea ceremonies, four dress changes for the bride, and one giant roasted pig.

When Haran first told me the funny story of how he asked Anne’s parents for permission to marry her, he was sure to include the detail that Anne’s father was ex-military. This fact made him very hard to read, and Haran didn’t know how he was taking the news until Anne’s mom started firmly rubbing his shoulders, and this iron-grip massage ultimately lead to him giving the approval. After hearing this, I thought it may be a challenge to capture emotion from Anne’s father, but now I know a daughter’s wedding can bring out the emotions in any man, and he wore many tender looks that day.

it is impossible to stop the motion of snow at night

I got what I wanted for Christmas.

Piles of it. Sheets falling from the sky, melting instantly on your windshield, forcing the traffic to 20kph on the highway. So much that you have to brush off your car if you leave it parked for more than a minute, but the sky glows orange for you to savour every second.

house in the snow

Not that I celebrate Christmas, but I do enjoy the trappings of the season. The lights and the decorations and the spirit and the snow. I’m just sick of the consumerism. It seems perverse to see all this fancy paper wrapped around a box only to be torn off and thrown away. To see people scrambling to buy things just to have something to give. I’ve got it just right, where I don’t exchange gifts with any of my friends cause I don’t want either side to feel obliged. I’d rather give a present when the time is right for both people, and save my money so it’s something special every now and then. The last thing I want is to be a scrooge, but the older I get, the more I feel like that’s what I’m turning into.

The holidays are the only time I truly veg out. I watch more TV on Christmas day than in the entire year combined, marathon reruns of Dog the Bounty Hunter and Parking Wars and Cake Boss. Shows that are fascinating in short bursts with the right company and snacks, but never good enough to make a point to watch on my own.

trees and night

I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with a cheap electric guitar. The body was dusty, the strings were dirty, and the intonation left something to be desired, but the action had me feeling like all the time I’ve spent with a stiff steel-string acoustic has paid off. About a month ago I put down a $200 deposit on the nylon-string beauty I’ve always wanted (with the promise that I’d get my deposit back if I didn’t like it) so I could wrap my arms around the body, run my hands across the glossy finish, and feel the fretboard beneath my fingers. Guitar has been my only therapy lately. The only thing I can throw myself into and forget about everything else, the only part of myself that I can tangibly tell is improving, something I need to be feeling right now.

I’ve never been this uncertain about the future, and it’s freaking me out. I already had a feeling 2012 was going to be a new start. My projects would be done by the end of the year, I’d have a nice little break, and I’d be ready to begin again. Now I’m forced into that reality, and life is soon going to be very different. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it, but I suspect I won’t have much of a choice.

suddenly everything has changed

I know you can’t save me from what’s about to happen, but I’m tired of being strong for myself. Tired of not having you in my life. Tired of trying to not think about you. And as terrifying as the future is now, you know I’m not a hypocrite, and I know it wouldn’t be fair to either of us.

Sometimes I take the bus, walk our paths, sit in our old haunts. Hoping to catch you at a distance, so I can see how you’re wearing your hair and know you’re okay. Strangers on a train, hoping in my head that you’d sit and talk to me so we can laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all.

Sometimes I find these pictures of you I don’t remember taking, in glasses I don’t remember you ever wearing, in places I don’t recognize. A strange gap in my mind in an otherwise vivid set of experiences, and I wonder if on that day our bodies ever touched.

And while I’m sure some would blame these thoughts on the season or the breakup, the simple truth is I never realized how alone I was until the phone rang today, and I haven’t taken a breath since.

Elizabeth and Jane promo video

I was very excited to be working with Liz again when approached me to shoot a promo video for her photography business. Since she does engagements, weddings, and pet portraits, we decided to film all three types of sessions.

Liz lists some of her favourite things as her hubby, her pups1, her shoes, and her Apple products, so I included little bits of each to give it a personal touch. I also kept the grading crisp and clean with colours that pop out of the screen to match Liz’s style of vibrant photography, of which I’m a huge fan. My main goal, however, was show how fun it is to be one of her subjects because she has a perpetual smile and bubbly personality that puts anyone at ease.

  1. She’s Ottawa’s own dog-whisperer, and it may be safe to say that she loves dogs as much as I love cats, perhaps even a little more. []

Jenny + Dave — Wedding Day

A special film for a special couple.

I was given the chance to film the wedding of Jenny and Dave on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Everything about the day was gorgeous, from the tropical weather to the burgeouning centrepieces1 to the torchlit reception. It all came together to create an atmosphere of sublime charm, and I had so much fun capturing it all.

I make each wedding film as accessible as possible, so anyone can get a sense of the day even if they weren’t there. But I also include certain things that would be understood by only the people involved. In this film it was shots such as an uncle doing an hilarious bump-and-grind on the dance floor, or the bride tearing up while writing her speech, or the father-in-law saying a few words while firmly holding the groom’s hand during the tea ceremony. Details such as the latter may not seem like much to an outsider, but family and friends at the wedding would understand how such a small physical display of affection can mean so much.

This was by far my most challenging wedding film to make, but it was well worth it. For a while, it became my reason for living, the one I wanted to be remembered for, and my goal was to deliver this film before I died. There’s a piece of my soul in it, so I can’t say how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity to create this for Dave and Jenny, and how I happy I am to know they deserve it.

(A big thank-you to wedding photographer Mike Adrian, who was a delight to work with, and taught me a thing or two about how to pack for destination weddings.)

  1. The Four Season’s now has a rule that limits the size of the centrepieces, because they would sometimes catch the wind and fall over. This was the last wedding at the Four Seasons to have such massive ones, the rule being grandfathered in, as Jenny and Dave planned the wedding right before it came into effect. []