maddy adams

Lost Photos of Summer

I finally had my last roll of film from Summer and Fall 2017 developed. There are some remnants of hikes, Salt Spring Island, friends and small details. When I was shooting this roll, I was trying to capture details, light and moments. 

LINK October 2017 Cover

Albert Tang, Nemesis Coffee

For the October 2017 issue of LINK Magazine, I shot our Student Spotlight for the cover. Our Student Spotlight was Albert Tang. Albert is an Architecture Student and Entrepreneur (among other things, he's also a great photographer). He owns Nemesis Coffee in Gastown with his business partners. I don't really understand how he works part time and goes to BCIT simultaneously, but somehow he does and excels at it. I can only assume he stopped sleeping. Nemesis Coffee has a cool logo of an upside down heart, and outside the cafe they have a large glowing, neon sign of their logo. We wanted to utilize this for the cover. I met Albert after hoursand we took some photos around Nemesis. I wanted to capture the blue glow of the sign, and showcase the graphically interesting sign.  

Salt Spring Island

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. 

Kincardine Exploring

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.  

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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.

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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. 

Online Dating

Cupid's Cursor

Smart Phone, Dumb Dating

Words by Maddy Adams, Illustrations by Flora Brodie

Published in the January 2017 issue of Link Magazine

I’m at that age where more and more of my friends are getting engaged. With all the elaborate surprise proposals sprinkled throughout my social feeds and wedding hashtags littering every post, it started getting to me: ‘Why am I single. What’s wrong with me?’ I’d come out of a long-term relationship earlier in the year and decided to enter into the dating world again, but it can be very difficult to meet people while studying at BCIT. Joining a dating service had started to seem like a viable option. Online dating held such a negative reputation to me, though. Wasn’t it reserved for the desperate and unlovable? Or is finding romance online the new status quo? Wide-eyed and innocent, I entered this new scene feeling like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City stepping off the New York subway for the first time — only a little less Manolo Blahnik, and a bit more Sketchers.

 

My first venture into online dating started at a friend’s birthday party. Most of my friends were already online or had at least tried it, so after a couple of beers, three of them hijacked my phone and downloaded a dating app. As a team, we swiped and swiped and swiped, through an endless stream of profiles. I’d half-expected to find only mutants online—the desperate and unlovable leftovers of Metro Vancouver — but I was wrong. Most of my matches seemed really interesting, well-educated, attractive and relatively normal. The problem for me though wasn’t with the people on there, it was the environment in which we were interacting. After chatting with some guys, I started to notice how impersonal and quick the interactions were. Am I boring? Did I say something wrong? I quickly realized that getting a match didn’t mean very much, as I was probably one of 50 other matches they were chatting with. I felt like most people were simply collecting matches like trophies, without any intention to meet or talk to them. I suddenly felt the pressure to really upsell myself, and I started to overanalyze my speech. Should I add an emoji? Should I respond with “haha” or “lol”? Do I portray the best, most enhanced version of myself, or do I present my completely organized, gets-eight-hours-of-sleep, human self?  I was in the midst of an identity crisis.

florabrodie

 

I took some time to think over this new world and came to this conclusion: being a Millennial changes the way we date, especially online.

 

We Millennials just love to give our personal elevator pitch, quick to rattle off our list of diverse interests, jobs and the social causes we believe in. I think the Millennial generation was raised to believe that we can have whatever we dream of, and that we are deserving of any of our desires. Our Gen-X parents are often described as the cheerleading generation, showering their Millennial children with compliments and an abundance of support along the way. This has created a generation of young adults who are more open-minded to possibilities than generations before them, and who have developed a mind-set of: “Why can’t I have what I want?” This open-mindedness to change and progress can be great for shortcuts, creativity and efficiency, but it’s also screwing up the Millennial’s perception of relationships.

 

Online dating platforms emphasize the discovery of people, not developing strong, committed, and lasting relationships. In the traditional dating method, you’d meet all potential partners face-to-face. Relationship building and strengthening occurs naturally when you are spending time and investing effort in one another. This has given way to the modern user experience of online dating, where there is an endless pursuit to discover the “perfect” partner. Online dating platforms are designed to keep users swiping and browsing. This abundance of choice mixed with the belief that Millennials can have whatever they want in an easy-to-use mobile app, keeps us on the hamster wheel, swiping endlessly through profiles.

 

One of the first dates I went on with someone that I’d met online was with a gentleman I’ll call Mr. L. After a few exchanges online, Mr. L asked me out for a drink. I’d had a busy week , so I hadn’t thought much about the date until I was on my way to meet him. I remember sitting on the bus and thinking to myself: What the hell am I doing? I barely know anything about this guy. Why did I agree to an evening to him? We met at a trendy brewery in Mount Pleasant, and as we drank craft beer, surrounded by succulents, I quickly realized that we did not have much in common. I scolded myself in my head; I should have screened him more before agreeing to a date. He gushed to me about his love of red meat, and teased me for being a vegetarian. He laughed as he told me how much he loved travelling through Spain, and “how entertaining it would be to watch a Picador kill a bull.” Being a vegetarian, I tried not to look too disturbed by this, calmly trying to explain how terrible I thought killing animals for entertainment was, seeing if I could evoke some empathy from him. He chuckled like I had told him an adorable anecdote. Afterwards, I had plans to meet my friends and he offered to give me a lift. As we pulled up, I was so preoccupied looking for the entrance to my friend’s apartment that I didn’t notice him leaning towards me. I turned, surprised, as he went in for a kiss. My response? I somehow ended up petting his head awkwardly. We were both mortified, and I hurriedly jumped out of the car. We never spoke again.

 

Is this online dating? Meeting strangers and seeing if you get along? Throwing a dart and seeing what sticks? I thought the whole experience was unnatural, spending time with near-strangers to see if anything sparks. Had Mr. L really felt chemistry between us, or was he just as lost as I in this whole online dating world?

 

I think I should have spent more time getting to know Mr. L before agreeing to an evening with him. We didn’t put any effort into laying the groundwork and getting to know one another. If you meet someone traditionally, you would chat for a bit, then only if you get along and have some things in common, would you agree to spend more time together. When meeting online, a lot of the pre-screening takes more effort, and I think is often skipped or minimized. I got caught up in the online dating race, talking to and meeting many people in quick pursuit. But in reality, Mr. L and I didn’t know anything about each other, we didn’t have anything in common, and we didn’t put effort into getting to know each other. We swiped, met at a bar, and moved on. Granted, many dates will never make it past the first, however I think minimizing the shopping aspect would reduce the amount of disappointing first dates, and increase the quality of people you meet, with more chemistry and more common interests.

florabrodie

 

Of course, online dating is not all bad, or at least it doesn’t have to be. For certain personality types, or smaller communities of people it can be a huge benefit. For instance, online dating has been found to be more successful for middle-aged people, marginalized groups in the LGBTQ community, or those with niche interests/kinks who may have smaller dating pools. Having control over your profile, who you meet, and who you interact with gives you a lot of control in your romantic life, which can be really radical for someone who may be tired of waiting to meet someone “organically.” Being in full control of how you portray and market yourself also allows you to meet people you may have never crossed paths with traditionally. Online dating can be a great advantage for people who are shy, or have a hard time meeting people in person. With less self-awareness involved compared to in-person communication, you can get to know each other more comfortably, quickly, and form deeper connections faster than you would have traditionally.

 

I think if you keep the inherent flaws of the online social environment in mind while using these apps, you can adjust your expectations, or maybe even your attitude while swiping. Everyone knows a success story (and everyone knows a horror story). So, flaunt those sketchers while you step off your comfort curb, and ask yourself this: why not find a romantic partner online?