Dear Portland

Dear Portland,

Call me predictable. Everyone always said that you and I were meant for each other. I'd heard that you are everything I look for in a city - full of art, good food, great drinks, and super chill. Everyone was right. You're not too far away, and it feels like every summer we would try to make it out to see you, but never quite get there. This time was different. Something about you feels like home. I'm not sure if it's plainly the PNW vibe or something about the way your streets and buildings make me think of certain areas in Vancouver. You feel small and big and never once did you feel daunting. 

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Thank you for welcoming my family so warmly! Thank you for the family friendly little food joints and the pleathora of food carts. Thanks for one of the most chill zoo's I've ever been to. Not going to lie tho - seeing the giraffes in that tiny space made my heart ache. 

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I'll never forget walking down the street and seeing Powell's for the first time. The genuine excitement pulsing through my body as I realized that it was a full city block. All bookstores should have their own parking lot. I could write a full letter to this place, and I'm sure one day I will. 

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I regret not seeing more of you, but I know I will be back. Thank you for being the background to our family vacation and for giving us new memories that we get to hold on to forever. You are all kinds of wonderful, and I can't wait to see you again.

x J

 

Workshop Wednesdays: Macrame & Floral Centerpieces

Crafts + Wine + Friends ... what else do you need?

Crissy Tioseco, of Papecuts by Crissy fame, came up with the simple idea of creating monthly workshops to learn new crafty skills. A natural creative herself, she was always in search for ways to learn new skills but found them all to be a tad out of her budget, a little too much pressure, or not exactly what she was looking for. We all have that moment where we think to ourselves - if it isn't out there, I should just make it for myself! - but few of us actually go through with it. Crissy created Workshop Wednesdays for people, just like her, who were searching for a fun way to learn new things, sip on wine, and chat. 

It's been one of the projects I'm most prideful of being a part of since I jumped into freelance photography. I'm so happy that I've been able to shoot every single workshop so far (and DEVASTATED I'll miss my first one this month). I've watched this humble little workshop turn from a gathering of family and friends to the burgeoning bud of a real community. It's great seeing women from past workshops come together and check in with each other after a month. And yes, we love seeing men take part too! 

But, since I'm a slow poke when it comes to blogging, let's throw it back to the inaugural Workshop Wednesday!

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The first workshop was with Charlene, the founder and bad-ass macrame queen of Fox and Flicker. The coffee shop was full of expertly chosen driftwood and rope of all different lengths. From the safe distance behind my lens, I stood in awe as rope was knotted, turned, and looped to become pieces of art. Once the first few knots were taught, everyone hit the ground running and created some beautiful pieces!  

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The second Workshop Wednesday featured Nicole of Ever Red Fresh Designs. It was so exciting to see her bring in all the fresh flowers and little knick knacks that made the centerpieces just scream Christmas! Though everyone had access to the same flowers, it was amazing to see how each one looked vastly different and showed off everyone's personality! 

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Workshop Wednesdays is still going strong, and eventually I will catch up on my insane backdraft of blog posts so that you can see what we've been up to. Dreaming of learning a new skill? Want to turn hump day into craft day? Come join us for an upcoming workshop, it's hella fun. As an introvert, I fully endorse this evening of fun, creativity, and connection. When Crissy first pitched Workshop Wednesdays to me, she kept describing it as "chill, chill, chill" and we've managed to keep that vibe alive and thriving! Come by & have fun, and you'll see me lurking in the corners capturing the magic we create. 

Charlotte Deng

Charlotte & I were both in the right place at the right time to make this collaboration happen. She was in Vancouver for a short trip, and I happened to have an opening at the perfect time to squeeze her in. We were ambitious with four outfit changes in mind, but we found the perfect spot in Gastown to show off different Vancouver vibes. Still one of my favourite shoots to date, Charlotte gave me full creative control and brought stunning outfits that were truly inspirational. 

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Dear Whistler

Dear Whistler,

You are special. A short drive away from the bustling city, yet within your arms, I feel relaxed. Most of the time you are ours - a haven that Mike and I crave - but when you're not, we share you with our best friends. You are the perfect escape and every chance I'm with you, I feel refreshed. 

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I feel most myself when I am with you, despite our differences. You provide just the right amount of adventure. I love exploring your hidden gems and getting lost amongst the branches. Masterfully, you simultaneously feel vast and intimate, like a friend you've known for years, yet there are still innumerable things to discover. 

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You are the middle ground. In one trip, we can enjoy the fresh air and blue skies that Mike needs to recharge and give me the urban comforts and artistic intrigues that I need to stay interested. For us, there is no better place than you. There's a reason we choose you year after year for our anniversary. 

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Thank you for giving us solace. This new year's was more challenging than I expected, but being in your comfort helped more than you realize. Thank you for never judging how much I sit and read in your sunlight and for being our constant. I hope you know how special you are. Our story wouldn't be what it is without you. 

with love,
J

Faye + Rory

I will forever jump at the chance to shoot my family. It is a special honour to get to photograph people you know, you don't have to spend time figuring out their story or their vibe - it's already ingrained in your mind, it's just about translating it through the lens. 

 

 

 

The last time I was in Calgary, my cousin and her hubby were also in town for California and we all jumped at the chance for a quick shoot around town. The shoot was about capturing their silly, sweet, and deep love, but also about capturing the city that my Ate Faye calls home. We drove around town looking for the best spots to get the skyline of Calgary, the notable landmarks, and to fit their style and aesthetic. 

As always, it was such a joy to shoot with them and we laughed all along the way. My cousin, Faye, is also killing the game with her Instagram all about fashion, food, DIY's and her sweet pup and hubby! Take a minute to check it out at @sofreshandsofaye, trust me - it's #goals. 

Meg Lewis-Schneider: Summer

When people ask me questions about my photography, it inevitably leads to a question about this lady! It's not surprising since we shoot consistently and I'm lucky to be able to create kick-ass content with her.

In case you didn't know, her instagram @rungirlmeg is full of beautiful Vancouver landscapes and all you need to motivate you to get outside and run! She is always an absolute pleasure to shoot - never a complaint as I ask her to run past me (over and over again). Meg is every bit as lovely as you imagine her to be. She is kind, warm, and incredibly inspiring. Through the months, we have grown to know each other and I am so proud to call her a friend! 

Since we shoot as often as our schedules allow, I decided to write one blog post about our work per season. Summer lended itself to gorgeous running shots! The blue skies and bright sun allowed us to pick almost any location in the city to create the right vibe. We tried to mix nature with urban landscapes to show the beauty of our city. 

These are a few of my favourite shots from this summer! 

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