You know family photographs are important, but you hate being photographed. Le sigh.

You know family photographs are important, but you hate being photographed. Le sigh.

Here’s the honest truth: It’s not as though when I first arrive at someone’s house for the first time, they’re doing a little excited jig, eager to get their photos taken for three hours or a full day.

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Documentary vs. Lifestyle Family Photography: What is the Difference?

Documentary vs. Lifestyle Family Photography: What is the Difference?

Documentary photography enters with a bang. She is the youngest sister. She has forgotten to wear shoes outdoors, so that her youthful feet are caked with mud when she steps into the dining room. She has a tangled mass of flowers in her hair. She reminds you of the fire in your heart.

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A day in the life: a photo-diary of my friend and former colleague & her family

A day in the life: a photo-diary of my friend and former colleague & her family

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).

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The family I broke the law with: photography in High Park

The family I broke the law with: photography in High Park

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….

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How one photography session altered the course of my career (sort of)...

How one photography session altered the course of my career (sort of)...

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.

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On grand gestures of love & all other things overrated.

On grand gestures of love & all other things overrated.

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."

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The biggest misconception about (my) documentary family photography

The biggest misconception about (my) documentary family photography

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! 😱

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Life is anything but ordinary

Life is anything but ordinary

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.

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Kingston Birth Photography | When the photographer weeps, and a bit about the value of birth photography

Kingston Birth Photography | When the photographer weeps, and a bit about the value of birth photography

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.

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The Foundry Tattoo: a small town shop with big city heart

The Foundry Tattoo: a small town shop with big city heart

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.

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Why The Elm Cafe will win your heart <3

Why The Elm Cafe will win your heart <3

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.


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The Thing About the City: On Inspiration Found in Concrete Scapes

The Thing About the City: On Inspiration Found in Concrete Scapes

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.

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Between beauty and dream: On memories and the case for emotion over story.

Between beauty and dream: On memories and the case for emotion over story.

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?

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I'm not a quitter, but I quit.

I'm not a quitter, but I quit.

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...

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