One of the amazing and wonderful women who made it that much better during my PhD was Jen. She was doing her post-doc at that time, and we quickly grew close. (At first, I just talked too much, while she tried to get her work done efficiently so she could go home to her then very young daughter).Read More
I grew up in communist Bulgaria, which means I really do not like to break the law, or any rules. I get nervous around police-officers, or border-crossing people, or even security guards (perhaps especially security guards). One time, as a teenager, I got pulled over for speeding, and asked to hand over my license and registration. My hand shook so terribly that I had to lean it against the open window when handing the office my license….Read More
I didn’t realize it back then, but this was one of the sessions that would shape my career in photography. It was after this session - during which I didn’t once glance at whatever lighting equipment I had brought - that I realized I probably do not NEED all that equipment I had planned on acquiring.Read More
When I was nine, a boy who liked me (he was 13) trekked through half of Sofia in the pouring rain to knock on my apartment door and hand me a bouquet of soggy purple irises. I looked at him suspiciously, I took the flowers... and I said
"Thanks for the flowers. That was really nice of you… but you shouldn't have wasted all your time."
WHY is documentary photography the best way to capture family memories?
The straight forward answer is simple: because there is CONTEXT. (there is also a secret reason that I’ll tell you about in a moment)Read More
I often introduce myself to people as a documentary photographer. I put that right on my bio, on my website, everywhere.
The catch is that I have made a mistake in assuming everyone knows exactly how this works! 😱Read More
Over the years, you have learned - without realizing it - that your real life is ‘ordinary’. You have learned that the everyday moments, those regular things that happen daily, are less than ‘special’.
What you have learned is a lie.Read More
I just know, that as she grows, Selena’s daughter will come to view this special time with her mother as irreplaceable and magical. I’m sure it will leave really positive memories for decades to come.Read More
The transfigurative moment that flits in with just the smallest change in circumstances - a baby descends a few inches through the birth canal into the open world - is a wondrous thing. One moment, there is no one there and the next - there is a being that demands all your attention. Of course that being was there all along, but it was encased, enveloped in warmth, and quite undemanding of his parents' time and efforts.Read More
Behind the jokes and shooting the shit, Andrew seems to have a very solid vision for his shop. I get the sense he's naturally got all the components of successful entrepreneurship in a relatively small city: He's friendly and light-hearted with clients and friends, humble and supportive within the community, and steadfast in his approach to artistry and business-ownership.Read More
The Elm Café is more than the sum of its (perfectly awesome) parts: it is a tiny hub of activity and community on the otherwise nondescript corner of Montreal and Charles St. If I'm having a dramatic day, I might liken it to the floodplains of the Nile amidst Egyptian desert. If humanity is what you seek, you can always find it at the Elm, lodged deep in a diverse community of hard-working people trying to pursue dreams or make ends meet, or both, in the Inner Harbour, who don’t often have the time to wish for things like this, but who very much yearn for them anyway.
As a young teen in the UK, I found a photo in a magazine. I cut it out and stuck it to the wall of my tiny bedroom and gazed at it every day. It was of the Twin Towers in Manhattan. I drew an arrow toward the very top of one of the towers. It was meant to depict where I’d stand one day, overlooking the entire world, arms out, free as a bird. That was 1993.Read More
The images and stories and songs I yearn for are somewhere between beauty and dream. They don’t need to be coherent, in the same way dreams don’t need to be. Ever try to tell someone your dream? Yawn. Even if you’re a damned good storyteller, you’ll induce some snoozes. The thing that compels you to tell someone your dreams is the feelingyou’re left with when you open your eyes. It’s the emotion that grips you, but that's attached to an ineffective or half-baked story. That emotion is hard to put into words. But could it be done through music, sound, or pictures?Read More
Two years ago, I walked away from academia. After pursuing it relentlessly and devotedly for some seventeen years (if you count my undergraduate degree), I walked away.
It wasn’t a dramatic, flailing arms and hair-pulling act...Read More
Insofar as social media exacerbates social isolation because of feelings of inadequacy (think of all those ‘perfect’ people, places, lives), documentary photographs offer a way forward. They offer honesty. They tell a story of each person and each family just as they are, in all that makes them human, flawed, relatable.Read More
When I first got into photography, I was fairly daunted by the mental image of setting up a studio in my unsightly aged farmhouse. But wasn't studio family photography the way it was done? The only way?Read More
You've heard me say it before and I'll keep saying it just as often as I can: every family is different, and the activities that fill your days are unique to your own family, and you should never ever try to compare yourself to any other, because comparison is the thief of joy. But all strong families have one thing in common and that is...Read More
I made the trip back to Mississauga last weekend, during some kind of migraine-inducing pressure system that drove temperatures in mid-October to 24 Celsius. It was just as well, because Isabel's son was recovering from croup and the warm humid air was probably good for him. (Just guessing. I'm not a doctor.) They'd moved in to a new house only two weeks ago. Grandma and grandpa were visiting from Colombia, and they were hoping for some photos to take back with them. So, a busy time for them, and yet they made time for me.Read More