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Yasmine Hardcastle

Yasmine and I met at a Christmas shoot (more on that later, probably in December!) and luckily, she kept me in mind for future projects! 

Our first shoot together was to capture her learning to create two cocktails at a Yaletown bar, The Distillery. I had never been to the bar before and I instantly fell in love with the vibe and atmosphere in the place! The dark walls, tall ceilings, and beautiful chandelier was the perfect setting for her blog post. She learned how to make two drinks - a Blood and Sand 2.0 and an Old Fashioned. I learned how intricate these recipes are and will never complain for how long a cocktail takes at a bar again! 

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Yasmine was a natural behind the bar and handled each challenge with ease. You can read about her experience from her point of view and see the recipes for these yummy drinks on her blog post here

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Our next adventure brought us to New Westminister. Vancouver was being her normal fickle self and presented us with a wet, scattered showers day, but Yasmine was still game and so was i! We took shelter under the container W and took some cool yoga shots using the umbrella and rain as our props! She used some of the shots on her blog on a post about conquering her debt.

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I feel very lucky to have met women like Yasmine and to help be a part of their story. She is always thinking up of exciting and creative blog posts and activities in the Vancouver area and is truly a pleasure to photograph and chat with! 

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You can find Yasmine on the internet on her blog (www.westcoastcitygirl.com) and Instagram (@westcoastcitygirl). Please go show her some love and check out her work!

Papercuts by Crissy

I can't draw a straight line to save my life.Whenever I see a piece of Crissy's work I become entranced in the lines and wonder how she cuts such beautiful, perfectly straight lines. Photographing Crissy's work was a blast. She gave me free reign with artistic direction and odd angles. While shooting each delicate piece, we talked about life in the creative lane. The fears, anxieties, and self-doubt that goes alone with choosing to make art a bigger part in our lives. We bonded over the quiet struggle that all artists feel and how it is always outweighed by the need to create in order to maintain balance in our lives.

I've known Crissy for all of my life. Our paths have brought us in and out of each other's lives, but out bond has always been simple. We are like sisters. Miles and time will never break that bond because we also seem to fall right back into a comfortable state. She has always had a creative soul, and when she started to express herself through her papercuts, I knew it was magic. I was over the moon when she let me photograph her brand new collection!

Crissy's work is currently showing at Kafka's Coffee Shop on Main and Broadway. On her opening out, all the fam came out to support! Her father and mother were beaming with pride, along with her sisters and those who feel like she is a sibling. Most people stared in awe at her work - asking themselves the same questions I asked myself when I first saw the new collection: How long does it take to make one? How does she cut so straight and precisely? How does she come up with these designs? It was a surreal feeling to see her work framed and placed on the stark white walls.

Crissy's work is both awe inspiring and beautiful. Take a few minutes out of your day to check it all out at: www.papercutsbycrissy.com You won't regret it - seriously. You can now buy her prints at https://society6.com/papercutsbycrissy As always, supporting local handmade art is always a YES!

 

With love, xx J

Shiri's First Birthday

By far, my favorite type of shoot are these ones.Mahla and Jeremy graciously welcomed me into their home to help capture and celebrate little Shiri's first birthday. They gave me full creative reign to capture the tiny moments that mostly go unnoticed at these type of major events. I came to their home early to spend time with the birthday girl and watch immediate family play with this cheerful little lady.

A lot of my favourite moments from this day came in the quiet moments. Watching Shiri's family climb into her ball pit and FaceTime her aunt, the moment where I watched four important women in her life laugh out loud and relish in her smile, and the speed with which she walked around (with a little bit of assistance, of course!)

The party was a hit! I wish I could include more photos here, but most of them were of other guests attending the party! Mahla is a true hostess and had quite the spread of sweet treats, and healthy ones, for everyone to enjoy and Jeremy is quite the entertainer with his guitar in hand!

What struck me most about this family was their emanating joy. The room was filled with so much love, not only for Shiri, but for each other. Mahla and Jeremy were simply beaming with energy. Happy first birthday, Shiri! Here's to many more!

x Jana

Erin & Jillian

I'm not a "on the fly" kind of person.I'm the type of person who feels lost without my planner. I am rarely doing "nothing" and if I am, it's because I planned it that way. I especially despise people who encroach on my rare and beloved "me" time. So, a couple weeks ago, when Erin called me to see if I was free for an impromptu press photoshoot of her and Jillian, I was shocked to see it all work out so perfectly. I happened to have no plans that evening. I guess it's that thing they call fate.

We met on Commercial drive to shoot her and Jillian the director and artistic director of Verses Festival. They were full of energy and beautiful movement. The ladies were game for anything - "Hey, jump on that tree!" "Okay!" "What about that slide?" "Let's do it!". It was a race against light! We had about an hour to play with and we ran with it - literally. Erin and Jillian are obviously working hard to get this festival together. They are giving it their all for the love of art and poetry. It was refreshing to see their relationship in person. They are two women who are working seamlessly together to empower an entire community and a world of young women who dream of achieving what they have.

If you're curious about these two lovely ladies, as you should be, you can read this interview with Jillian or check out the Verses Festival website!

 

The Simpson Brothers Band

A few of my favourite muses were looking for new shots to go with their new music. The Simpson Brothers Band recently released a new EP named Always on Your Side (yeah, you can find it on iTunes! Go get it! The cover may look familiar!) and are currently working away on a new LP. Their sound has grown up and matured alongside of them. The last time we shot photos was about three ago when both them and I had a different feel in our art. We drove down to Point Roberts and Tsawwassen to find some interesting backgrounds and I got to try my hand at styling a bit! They were patient and kind as I tried out new looks and even more patient as I played with new editing software to put the finishing touches on their photos.

The best part by far was ending the evening with the ever-kind Simpson family (and the stunning Becky) who invited both myself and my PA for dinner after the shoot. They opened up their home to us not only for photos but for a walk down memory lane as the boys reminisced about high school days. It is in these moments that I feel so blessed to have talented friends around me who support me not only by coming to me for photos, but letting me experiment too.

& who knows, maybe a few years from now we will be shooting a whole new set of photos and you can all watch us grow in our craft.

To years of friendship and evolving art!

Mark & Vanessa

They say friends are the family that you choose. Well, maybe family chooses family.A few months ago I was lucky enough to meet Mark and Vanessa - two friends of my cousins. They welcomed me into their home instantly and even genuinely to their wedding. Though we had just met, we laughed and spoke as if we were friends for years. It was my honour when they allowed me to photograph a few casual shots for their engagement.