I am my mom's only child. She had me when she was 38 and I was born in the US. When I was 2, she separated from her husband and moved back to Canada to be near family. My mom remarried her high school boyfriend and they built a business together that they ran for over 25 years. His name was Cam and he adopted me. I refer to him and love him as my dad. I had four stepsisters through him, all much older than me. In 2013, he was diagnosed and passed away from leukaemia. I moved home to help care for him and run the family business during that time. We have since sold it and my mom has moved closer to be with me. She and I are very close. Closer than most, I'm told, but that's likely just because we've been through so much together. We are very different. So different that I often joke that I'm my Aunt Susan's child since Susan and I have way more in common.
I grew up in the country and moved to the city in my early 20s. I lived in Toronto for about 15 years. I lived in many parts; downtown, west end, mid town and North York. I loved it and it still holds a special place in my heart. It was where I wanted to be at that stage of my life. I loved all the people, hustle and bustle, the diversity and culture. As I got older and wanted to settle down, life out of the city became much more attractive. I craved more green space. More quiet. In 2017 I married my long time partner, Ben, and we purchased a home in the country, going back to my roots. It was a natural progression. Ben is a Toronto boy, born and raised, and I never thought he would leave but he is liking rural living as much as me. We currently reside in the small town of Morriston, just outside of Guelph, with our son, Trey, and our cat Missy. My stepson Kai also lives with us part time but due to COVID we don't see him as often. I'm sure we'll see more of him when we get a better Internet connection.
I'm a morning person. I LOVE coffee, especially Americanos. I probably drink too much coffee. I also love smoothies. Trey and I make smoothies every morning. He enjoys putting all the ingredients into the blender and pressing the button. Man, does he get upset if I try to do any of the tasks. He also thinks he likes coffee and tries to drink mine every morning. I promise him he can be my coffee buddy when he's older.
My favourite foods are Indian, Thai and Japanese. Ben has Crohn's disease so I don't eat these very often. He also has Rheumatoid Arthritis. I just mention this as I know what it's like to share a life with someone with an autoimmune disease. If you are living this as well, I'm happy to talk about it. I'm also happy to go for a meal with you anytime for any kind of ethnic cuisine.
I'm a bit of an old soul. I listen to jazz. I love Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis. There's nothing like cooking with a glass of wine and putting on some tunes. My happy place. I like to imagine what it was like back then in simpler times.
My favourite things to watch are true crime shows and human interest stories. I'm drawn to documentaries, biographies, or stories based on true events. We all have a story. I like hearing about other people's experiences and how they live in this weird and wonderful world. I often find that we are similar despite our differences.
I enjoy trying new things and having new experiences, like going to art exhibits, concerts, conservation areas. Not that we've been able to do much of that lately, but I like to change things up. Life gets too boring otherwise.
My Other Half
I married my best friend and we are polar opposites. He's a night person, I'm a day person. He doesn't drink coffee, tea or any hot beverage for that matter and is a "meat & potatoes" kinda guy. Ben is a creature of habit and hates change. Action and comedy are his favourite genres. Basically anything loud with explosions and slapstick that makes me roll my eyes. He's probably seen every comedy ever made and throws quotes into our conversations to keep me on my toes. He loves music. Our shared love of electronic music is what brought us together. House, tech house, drum and bass. He likes to dj and has a system set up in our living room. Trey likes bobbing to the beat too. Ben is a jokester and very sarcastic, whereas I am the more serious one. He's an atheist and I'm a spiritualist. I think we balance each other out. Somehow it just works. We're a team. We never really go to bed angry and are always laughing. We believe that humour and sleep are the secrets to a happy marriage.
I have mental health struggles. Just being able to identify that is empowering. I believe in talk therapy and have seen a therapist at different points of my life. I saw one when I was in post secondary school; another when my dad was diagnosed and passed away from cancer; and also during my pregnancy and shortly after giving birth. When Trey was around 8 months old, I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety. I started taking medication and attending group therapy for it. These things changed my life forever and for the better. I now realize I've always had anxiety and depression, not just postpartum, but for as long as I can remember. Now I finally have it under control and am living my best life. It took a long time to get to this place. A lot of confusion and missteps. I'm eternally gratefully for the family and friends that have stuck by me through the ups and downs, and for Trey who brought me to my salvation. If it wasn't for him, I probably would be repeating the same patterns. Motherhood forced me to take better care of myself so that I could take care of him. What works for me is yoga, meditation, journalling and getting outside in nature. And the greatest thing is that all of these are available at home, at any time and at very minimal cost.
I'm a very open minded and spiritual person. Throughout my life I've been exposed to different religions, beliefs and lifestyles. I don't subscribe to anyone one thing. It's my experience that we're all in search of the same thing and all paths lead to the same thing. Whether you call it God or Source or Universe. For me, it's love and connection to self. It's not outward, it's inward. You don't have to go anywhere or perform any ritual to connect to it. You simply have to close your eyes and breathe. Or go for a walk outside in nature. Or pet an animal and look into its eyes. For me, I just have to pick up my camera and observe the light around me.
Some of my closest friends are part of the LGBTQ+ community and from diverse backgrounds. All are welcome here. It's important for me that you know that. This is a safe space. As a documentary family photographer, I want you to feel comfortable sharing your life with me. I'm genuinely interested in your story and am honoured to capture it. I love to see how others live, connect and love one another.
I hope this gives you some insight into who I am. All of this doesn't really have anything to do with photography. It's just about me. I figure since you're considering opening your lives up to me, I should do the same. If you feel we would be a good fit, please contact me and we'll set up a time to meet and plan our adventure together.