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As a year comes to an end, it’s natural to look back on everything that has happened. In 2016 I marked my fifth year in business and came to a realization that my true love is lifestyle photography. If you’re not sure what that means, it’s simply capturing real moments instead of poses. Have a look through my work this year to see what I mean. I put a lot of heart into my work and spend my sessions searching for connections. So this year, I tried to make my sessions more than just about getting some pretty photos. I wanted those photos to reflect the love between parents and their children, husband and wife, siblings.

In January I put out a model call for in-home lifestyle sessions. I wanted to spend time with families in their home, photographing their everyday lives. I have a strong belief that the most important moments in our lives happen when we are just living day-to-day. I make a conscious effort to document my own family, so it came naturally to me to want to do the same for my clients. I was thrilled with how those sessions turned out, and this year I want to do more like that.

Even when it came to extended family sessions where posed shots are the standard, I worked hard to find the moments in between the poses. I see now that this is something I do every day. I see light in the most mundane places, and beautiful images in the most simple of moments. I’m proud that I was able to see that in myself, and I hope that my clients appreciated it too.

You see, this is so much more than a job to me. I didn’t start my business to make money or win awards. I started it because I loved taking photos, and that has never changed. I joke sometimes in my Instagram posts or on Facebook that I can’t help but look at the photos from a session before I can even get a chance to upload them to my computer. But I’m not really joking. The joy I get from looking at those images, realizing I was able to do what I set out to do, is no joke. It’s everything to me. I take pride in my growth, in learning how to do better and take better photos.

This year, I was so lucky. I met some incredible people and had the honour of freezing their memories for them. And you know what? They are now my memories too. I spent days preparing for weddings and got to watch four couples get married. I got to know them and became a part of their love story. I spent time with families on their special occasions. I was able to give the gift of photos to a family who needed it. I helped celebrate my own family’s special moments, including my grandparents’ 60th anniversary and my own nephew-to-be. I was there for milestones – grads and first birthdays. And I met brand new babies.

But I want more. I want 2017 to be filled with more of all of that. I want to do more of what I love and create more beauty for my clients. If I could do it for free and photograph everyone I know, I would. I love it that much. But unfortunately, that’s not how I help support my family. I know not everyone can afford the luxury service that I provide, but I believe that we invest in the things that mean the most to us, so I know there are people out there who see the value in it. If you are one of those people, I would really love to hear from you.

I don’t know where I will be a year from now, but I know that if the past is any indication of where I’m heading, it will be good.

Thank you to everyone who put their faith in me, who trusted me with their memories and who supported me. Without you all, my passion would just be a hobby instead of my dream career.

Here are some of my favourite images from 2016!

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