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
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
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
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
Having a photographer in the room while you're in pain, while you're facing your biggest fears (because let's face it - for me, the impending pain of labour was my biggest fear), while you're vulnerable and naked and possibly passing gas from strain... for some people it's just too much.
But there there is the flip side...Read More
Go grab a handful of mud and plant a tiny seed. A bean, a pea, a cherry tree; and mark it with a stick.
Then watch it grow and weed it so. And eat it when it's done. And tell the world about your seed, and give them all some mud.Read More
That's the best bit about documentary photography, I suppose: being welcomed into lives as they unfold, trying my best to do them justice.
That whole bit about being a fly on the wall - who knows if that is true? Flies buzz around in your ear and unnerve you. A documentary photography experience normally has the opposite result: it calms and grounds people, and makes them thankful for the lives they live.Read More
I photographed the Sunflower Festival at Kricklewood farm again this year. There is a tasting alley, where chefs prepare small bite-sized dishes to load up on a plate. There is a barbecue, music, artisans and craftspeople, tons of local vendors, a silent auction, and of course - GOATS! (and a few pigs and poultry, too). (And sunflower fields, though those weren't quite in bloom this year because of the rain)Read More
The Murrays are one of those families that you want to have living on your block.
Though we were never actual neighbours, my kids went to school with their kids, and my daughter counted their daughter among her besties. And whenever I saw them around, they simply brought energy and fun and goodness to the community. In short, the Murrays are good people.Read More
Running, grinning, posing without prompt, a golden fidget spinner in the hand and plastic leis as vibrant crowns.
You’ll find all that and more, perhaps, should you be invited to photograph an 11th birthday party in the middle of July in Ontario.
And a photographer sitting in the grass, as a giant water balloon falls right on her crotch: risks of the trade.Read More
After watching her work her magic for a little while, I naturally assume Audrey was a chemistry whiz in school. This artisanal chocolate business is part art, part science. But no, she says. She didn’t take chemistry in school. Her counsellor told her that she’d be no good at science. He suggested she’d do something more suitable. Like being a typist.Read More
Spending this afternoon at the Toronto shore... It makes me miss the city. The scent of shawarma wafting through the summer air, the hum of traffic, the hiss and chimes of street-cars rounding corners, opening, and closing. Children somewhere, yelling, planes overhead, the pavement hot, the air - sticky.Read More
Before I became a family photographer, I was a parenting researcher. I was interested in how parents behaved, and how their children developed.
However, most of the hands-on data collection and family visits were not done by me. They were done by research assistants who would collect the data and hand it over to us, the researchers.Read More