Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Man on a Wire
Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free
Man on a Wire
(this post contains affiliate links which means if you click on it and buy this lens, I will earn a small commission. It does not cost you anything extra)
I get asked a lot what gear I use to photograph my portraits. Before I answer the question, it’s so important to remember that
However, certain cameras will make it easier and allow you to add more customizations.
When I started photography a decade ago, I realized that I was naturally zooming in and loved getting tight shots on people’s faces + emotions. Not to mention my long heavy lens was not easy to trek around with - especially when traveling. I wanted a discreet camera that didn’t scare people away.
When I first started out I spent most of my money buying the Canon body so I wanted to find a lens that didn’t break the bank but capture those beautiful portrait shots that I was working so hard to photograph.
I swear by my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 .
To this day I still travel with my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 - and guess what? It’s only $115 USD - which is pretty amazing considering my other lenses cost 10x more! And the best part? They do exactly what I want!
All the photographs you see are shot with this beauty —> Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 !
Thanks friends, happy shooting!
Sometimes you must trust in what the world offers you. Last year I found myself on a music panel at Queens University and only months later was asked to be one of the musicians for the one of a kind SKEYE PROJECTS. Skip ahead a few months I will now be directing this new project that may take us as far as Malaysia and other international cities to perform.
Am I a little in over my head!? No pun intended...
Skeye is a continuing experiment in altering our visual experiences and perceptions. Imagine a huge floating screen supported by helium filled weather balloons, the audience is enveloped by the screen images floating overhead. The screen is dynamic, gently shifting and billowing in the wind, enhancing the film experience and making the viewer aware of the material onto which the images are projected. The audience observes images and ideas in a new and unconventional way; viewers have the opportunity to stand, sit, lie down, or even move through the crowd and in so doing they change their perspective and their experience of the event.
I've always believed those who leave their comfort zones will find an unexpected beauty, a new opportunity, a connection that leads them to something greater. A happiness that is found outside the worlds of mediocrity.
Traveling has always forced me to push the barriers of comfort and interact in a new way with the world. The nooks and crannies I find, strengthen my sense of curiosity and in return, heighten my creativity.
Push your boundaries of comfort.
If you’ve answered yes, well heck, you’re not alone!
On a regular basis I find myself in situations that make me squirm in discomfort. The fear of the unknown is unnerving. And more times than not, this fear has been created within my own mind.
Over the last few years I have been doing cognitive behavioural therapy. I have started to pay closer attention to my thought processes. It’s incredible that with a little self-discipline we can retrain our thoughts to create healthier mindsets in order for positive outcomes.
In order to do this you truly need to see the value that you bring to the world. Whether it’s on a global platform or within the comforts of your hometown friends, you truly need to appreciate who you are and what you will become. Once you have trained your mind to think in this positive wave, you will then be ready to take on the next chapter of growth.
1. Surround yourself with people that you trust, that challenge you and that are kind
2. Write down a small goal every morning. Check in at night to see how you did. Slowly build your self confidence. An awesome daily notebook to help you: https://goo.gl/WZggiR
3. Set an hourly notification on your phone. Take 5 seconds and slow your breathing while saying one positive thing to yourself. Refocus your thinking to a healthy place. Best time is when you’re brushing your teeth in the mirror.
4. Be authentic. Tell your story. You have a package that no one else can wrap the same way. Celebrate your strengths and share it in a way that works for you.
5. Have a sense of humour. Come on we are all a little weird, a little messy, a little crazy, etc. Learn to appreciate and laugh at your humanness. Hey, we’re all in this together after all.
And of course, continue to go out and...
Last night I had the chance to listen to Shari Hughson give a talk on the importance of taking care of ourselves – particularly for female entrepreneurs. Shari, at the age of 18 built her first business, became a nurse, received her MBA, lived off the land for 7 years, built a multi million dollar business(es), traveled the world and today she is currently inspiring young entrepreneurs at Smith School of Business at Queen's University for the Master of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Her talk made me cry, laugh and brought to light so many beautiful parts of being human that we fail to talk about with one another.
The one big take away that I want to share with all of you today is:
1) Find a place where you are OK
2) Everything is temporary
We live in a world where there is constant pressure to be way UP on TOP but that’s not realistic or sustainable. Life is an adventure of big mountains and deep valleys. If you feel you’ve fallen in that deep valley – don’t push yourself trying to get to the top of the mountain. Find the flat terrain where you can walk easily and be OK. It’s OK to be OK.
The extra climb up to the top will only happen when you’re in shape and ready.
(*Disclaimer: I was wheezing quite heavily in this photo)
Everything is temporary. No matter where you are right now – on the mountain top or in the deep valley – this IS temporary. Allow this sentiment to liberate you in the tough times and motivate you in the good times.
Friends, be kind to yourself, be kind to your neighbour and continue to Spread Your Awesome.
In just a matter of ten minutes, I felt as though I had travelled the world.
This past year I have worked closely with the Kingston Community Health Centres, Kingston Immigrant Partnership and the City of Kingston to celebrate the "Meet Your Neighbour" Project. This project allowed me to spend time connecting and hearing stories from individuals that have immigrated to Kingston. The project was created so that we could highlight individual residents of different backgrounds through personal profiles and portraits.
This photographic journey opened me up to several new and inspiring members of our community and I am so excited to share each one with you.
Here is a sneak peek of the beautiful individuals I was able to spend time with. The full collection is hanging in the Royal Way at Kingston City Hall for the next two weeks. This is open to the public and all are welcome :)
A special thank you to Paul Robertson, our City Curator, for working so closely with me on this project. Thank you to Sunita Tayal Gupta, facilitator for Kingston Immigration Partnership and Ruth Noordegraaf, manager of immigrant services at the Kingston Community Health Centres for bringing this project to our Kingston community and showcasing the beautiful pockets of diversity.
Lastly, a special thank you to all the individuals that shared your story with me. I feel so blessed to have worked with each one of you.
Keep on and continue to #SpeadYourAwesome!
But, there are people that do. And that is what is important.
Understanding this can profoundly change the role you play in this world.
Over the past year, I have had the chance to work with some incredible innovators and game changers in the creative industries. One thing I have learned is that each one of these leaders shares one thing: authenticity.
They have a beautiful ability to be confident - both personally and publicly - in what they have to offer the world. These individuals of impact have accepted and embraced their blemishes and failures. Yet they continue to push, improve, be grateful and share their process with those that are willing to listen.
These are the people that are spreading their awesome. These are the people that are positivity changing our world.
These people are happy.
Don't Hide in the Noise.
How fast are you moving today?
It’s incredible when we s l o w down our lives, we have the chance to immerse our senses into the small yet beautiful moments around us. It is within these moments, innovation and clarity will be presented.
Give yourself five minutes today.
Find the serenity in being still.
I remember when I was 5, I would cry at the kitchen table before going to bed. I was scared that I would never wake up and miss out on everything in life.
What a sad and silly thing for a five year old to think, right? However, I have realized over time that these worries at a young age are normal but they can easily manifest into bigger things, bigger problems when we get older… UNLESS we learn to admit and embrace these worries, embrace these struggles, embrace who we are at the very core. Let’s be honest, we all have a little mess. We all have our battles. We all have our misfortunes. We all have moments of loneliness. We all have hurts somewhere tucked away.
To my family, friends, therapists, counsellors and mentors, you have given me strategies and tools to take life one day at a time. But most importantly, it has been your love that has been the greatest gift of all. Thank you.
So, today and everyday, make a special goal to embrace your pains and allow yourself to be open to others’ love in your life. Rejecting suffering will only make your pains stronger.
Together let’s talk.
You are never alone.
I love you.
How is that those with so little are so happy?
We might not have what we want or what we think we deserve. Let your mind leave those thoughts and choose to focus on the awesomeness of your life. Celebrate in the simple yet beautiful parts of your day. Be grateful for what you DO have and share it with those around you.
There may be days when you feel like this abandoned farm.
There may be days when you feel alone.
There may be days when everything seems to be falling apart.
But remember it is through these struggles that we find our strength to overcome our obstacles and discover solutions. Solutions that will beautifully impact the next chapter of our lives.
Embrace the fallen down farms in your life and continue to find and share your awesome with the people around you this weekend!
It is interesting how easily we take our health for granted. However, the minute we become sick, our world stops. Our sole priority is to nurse ourselves back to being healthy. So we try to patiently rest and give ourselves the best care. Nothing else seems that important when our health is being jeopardized.
One of my greatest fears has been to get sick for an extended period of time. I'm terrified of the thought of not being able to be out in the world creating, connecting, collaborating. However, this past holiday I got one of the seasonal bugs and have spent almost 8 days cooped up in my loft. Each day I wake up praying that I will be back to my healthy self. In the grand scheme of life, 8 days is but a blink of the eye. However, when you're use to being on the go, one week feels like eternity.
But for the first time, I don't feel so bitter and stressed about being sick. Of course I'd like to be healthy but, I've also realized that it will not last forever and that I will be back to my old self. My body is telling me that I need to slow down and take a step back. Hours of laying around and resting have brought me a great sense of reflection and surprisingly enough, peace. I would love to enter the new year feeling vibrant and energetic yet I am somewhat grateful for this calm and peaceful entrance into the new year. It has given me a full week of reflection and solitude - allowing me to calmly make goals for 2017.
Perhaps you are reading this and are going through a seasonal sickness too. Know that it is temporary and this time could be used to reflect. Allow yourself to appreciate your healthy life and set goals that will make your life less chaotic, less distracted and more about the important things in your life. These moments are reminding you that you are human and that sometimes we need to slow down.
Use the still moments of your sickness to find your peace.
And keep spreading your awesome...
Death, heart breaks and others’ misfortunes can take a major toll on our lives. The sadness and disappointment can make it almost impossible to be motivated to celebrate any of the good things. Last week was a particularly hard one for me – despite all the wonderful moments. It’s incredible how easily the sadness and loneliness can creep in and demotivate you. Weaken you. It’s hard not to play victim and think that the world has it out for you.
There will be sad times but we do not have to be sad people.
We have a choice to stay sad. We have a choice do something about it. I have a wonderful mentor in my life that would always say, “Don’t wait until you feel like doing something. Do something to change the way you feel”.
So simple yet so hard.
But oh, so effective.
There will be ups and downs and more ups and then downs. But remember, we are human and we are all in this together. We’re here to help one another. Thank you to all the beautiful souls in my life that continue to remind me of this.
Continue to spread your awesome and know that you are truly awesome!
It might feel like you might not make it.
It might feel like the world is crashing on top of you.
Keep fighting. Keep pushing.
You're almost there.
...but with a little caution.
Sometimes we focus too much on trying to perfect everything.
Perhaps we need to just focus on getting it done.
Set a goal for this week to complete something that you've been working on.
It's all about getting outside your comfort zone, jumping in the car and driving down the road. You will discover some of the greatest adventures right in your very own country... AND on a low budget!
I am so grateful to have spent a weekend with a group of wonderful women as we explored and enjoyed Montreal on a budget.
Continue to be creative, curious and remember to keep spreading your awesome!