My roommates and I decided to make apple cider from the apples growing in our yard. Esteban and Chris called themselves the Yeasty Boys.
Thousands of angry Vancouverites gathered for an emergency rally to protest the Liberal Government's bailout of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline on May 29th. Holding this protest in the heart of town, with beautiful mountains in clear view and the skytrain whizzing overhead reinforced that Vancouver is a progressive and environmentally conscious city.
I recently visited Salt Spring Island with Ayase Kay. I feel like I have been working in a tornado for the past year, so getting away to a Gulf Island was a welcome escape. As soon as I stepped on the ferry, I felt responsibilities melt off my shoulders. Plus, the added bonus of nearly no cellphone reception was fantastic. On the island, we stayed with Ayase's Dad who is an artist. He is a painter, sculptor and musician. His home was eclectic, with every corner full of art, instruments, books, photos, sentimental knick-knacks and odds-n-ends. I felt inspired and in awe, his home was like the mix of a library meets an art gallery.
We explored the property, went swimming in Cusheon Lake, had lunch at the farmers market. We danced at Beaverton Hall to electronic DJ's late into the night, barefoot while sipping cans of Yerba Matte. I had a potluck dinner on Aloha Aina Farms the next day, went swimming in Spirit Lake and soaked up a long, pink, summer sunset. I felt time move a bit slower, the sun and gravity made my foot steps a bit heavier. I left for the ferry Monday morning feeling relaxed and happy.
Stand Up to Racism
I attended Vancouver's Rally Against Racism on August 19th, 2017 at Vancouver City Hall. It was hot and summery outside, blue skies and the sounds of news helicopters beat in the distance. I walked around and shot some photos, and listened to the speakers. The Alt-Right protesters did not show up, to my relief. I was nervous about attending the rally with all of the violence happening in the world, but that also made a stronger case for myself to attend. I don't want to be afraid to stand up for equality and what's right in the world, and especially not in my own city.
The speakers were inspiring and came from all different backgrounds and perspectives. The crowd was friendly, people would apologize to me when I bumped into them moving through the crowd. I left feeling inspired and light.
I recently travelled to Kincardine, Ontario, to photograph a wedding. I managed to make some time to explore, and took some photos of Kincardine and the surrounding area. I had only been to Ontario once before, to visit Ottawa. Although Ontario is not exactly an exotic, far off country, I was curious to spend some time on the other side of Canada and see if I noticed anything different. Spoiler alert- I didn't. Except I think people are much friendlier in Kincardine than they are in Vancouver. The weather was interesting as well, very humid some days and storms with fork lightning that struck into the lake would roll in and out.
I drove my rental car outside of Kincardine, and through some farm land. I drove down an empty road, and only saw only maybe 1 or 2 other vehicles. I pulled over to take some photos and explore a decrepit farm. It was perfectly silent, I couldn't hear any buzz of city sounds- only birds and a breeze that would catch a piece of stray tin roof and make it clang gently once in a while. I'm not sure if there is a word for this, but I experienced the feeling of being completely alone. The pang of realization that no one has any idea where you are, you are completely alone in a new place. It's kind of thrilling and liberating to be completely cut off and alone. Maybe this is felt so much more from living in a culture and age of connectivity, and being glued to my phone. The last time I felt like this I was travelling alone in another country.
There was an old, abandoned farm house on the property. The yard was completely overgrown, with plants growing up to my waist. Part of me was nervous about exploring it, but I knew I would regret it if I didn't take a few photos. I walked carefully through the tall plants and carved a path to the front door. I looked through the window, and saw abandoned furniture and clutter. I went around the backside and the door was unlocked.
May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia
May 17th was International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. I was photographing a pride event when an older man approached me. He was wearing a rainbow hoodie and had been lingering on the outskirts of the event. He told me he was 62 years old, and only recently came out of the closet openly. He had been living in a smaller community in the Fraser Valley, and had been afraid to be open and participate in the LGBTQ community there. He was afraid to start any clubs or events for fear of what other members of the community might do. He attended his first pride parade last summer, and moved to Metro Vancouver. He has been open since. This story was both sweet and sad. On the one hand I was happy for him to finally be apart of a community that accepts him and where he can be himself, and be surrounded by like-minded people. But on the other, it was a reminder of the homophobia and bigotry that still permeates our society. I experienced a similar feeling when Donald Trump was elected. LGBTQ rights hits very close to home for me as many of my good friends and family are apart of it, and I think it's my job to be an ally to them and support them whenever I can.
But really, can you imagine not being comfortable being yourself, or being afraid to be yourself in your community for 62 years?
I recently visited LA with a couple friends. The sun was hot, the air was dry. The city is not a beautiful city, it’s palette is of browns and beiges, but it is a city full of energy and character. I felt thrown into a thriving and swirling current, bigger and stronger than what I’m used to in Vancouver. The stereotypes of the city were real- celebrities walking down the sidewalk, everyone pursuing their dreams and creative endeavours. I landed back in Vancouver on a sunny, mild, spring afternoon with an excitement hangover. After a couple days acclimatizing back into my routine I felt happy to be home. I missed Vancouver's green trees and clean air.
Warm evenings, late night roof tops, cocktails, a desire to be seen, palm trees, expansive highways, a city where even familiar street signs evoke excitement, poverty, celebrity and wealth, creativity, and electric energy.
Recently did a photoshoot with Alexis Cornwall for her new website. Alexis is a ton of fun and full of personality. Here are some of my favourite photos of this smiley gal
Some overdue, quick and dirty photos from my time in Mexico in December. Exploring Puerto Vallarta, old town.