FAQ /inspiration

This seems like a fitting post for today because I feel like I've been inspired from all directions lately! I'm not sure how to condense inspiration because for me I'm inspired by people, places and things, and they inspire me emotionally, spiritually and creatively. It's hard to separate these because when I'm inspired emotionally and spiritually it kind of flows into my creativity. So I'm just going to throw out all the different avenues of inspiration in my life, in random order.

1. Ikea. I love Ikea. More specifically, I like their catalogue and the rooms they have set up in their stores. "Fresh" is one of the words that I use to sum-up my photography style and I feel like everything in the Ikea store and catalogue fit into this style! I was browsing through their catalogue last night, coming up with so many new ideas of how to redecorate my house and that same inspiration comes out in my pictures and post processing. One day I will have an office that looks like this as far as organization goes. It's true. I've already made plans in my head!

2. Along those same lines, I love the brochures you get at the paint store with the different room colour ideas and stuff. Again, always fresh colours and decor! I'm currently thinking of re-painting my living room, something in a grey tone. We'll see what ends up happening! I got these rooms from Benjamin Moore.

3. My husband introduced me to a British show a few years ago that I actually quite enjoy. It's about cars. Yes, I enjoy it. It's quite humorous. It's called Top Gear UK. I just love the videography in it. The contrast, the angles, the lenses. It's all so beautiful.

4. I also get posing inspiration (as well as clothing inspiration) from magazines or clothing store ads, like Vogue and Banana Republic. Movies are actually good for posing ideas too.

5. My friend has a blog that is definitely uber inspiring. Her words, the imagery that her words evoke in my mind, her dreams and goals, her photos. I love reading her posts and think you should too!

6. I have a massive list of photographers that have and still do inspire me, but I'll keep it really short for right now. These two photographers were my biggest inspiration to start my own photography business. I could go on and on about all the things I love about them, their images, and their businesses but I'll let you just see for youselves... Jasmine Star and Jamie Delaine.

7. And last, but most certainly not least, I'm inspired by my family, and my daughter more specifically. I think having a baby and taking lots of pictures of her has definitely made me a better photographer. I can see life through her eyes, somewhat, and love trying to get that on camera. I don't know that I would have the same "eye" for my images if I wasn't a mom yet.

That's a brief summary of what inspires me. If you want to hear more you can take me out for coffee and I'll fill you in then! In the meantime, look for inspiration all around you.

Life has been a little non-stop for me lately, hence the lack of consistent blogging. Tomorrow I plan to take time to bring order and routine to my life so that this state of chaos and over-stress-edness will end and never return!


Check It Out

This post will be short. It will be informative. Yes, short yet informative. I've put many, many hours into updating my website this week. I wanted to make it a little bit more user friendly, which I hope I've been able to accomplish. It's still not perfect, but I like it enough to show the world already! A few minor tweaks to come, but for now feel free to peruse, admire, and let me know what you think! =)


And enjoy the rest of your weekend! I sure will, starting with Pizza Night!



My Everyday- Magnets and Messes

My daughter just had a super short nap and I didn't get around to blogging so I'm going to quickly post what I had planned on posting awhile ago but just didn't.

Cheyenne likes the magnets we have on our fridge for her to play with, but more-so she likes flinging them off the fridge and having them strewn all about the kitchen floor. It's quite entertaining for her. I can tolerate it until I step on an 'T' in the dark.

I've had a fabulous week so far, meeting with other photographers and friends over tea. On Monday I met with Jamie Delaine, and on Tuesday I met with Lyndsay London. We had a fabulous evening, talking for over 2 hours about how we got to where we are in our businesses. Lyndsay started her business the same time as me so it was neat to see her progress! I love meeting with other photographers and gaining wisdom and insight into their businesses and how I can better my own, and just encouraging each other in this process.

Ok, Girlie's done with being in her crib! I have to go!


Langley Newborn Session /KARALYNN

Karalynn was about 10 weeks old when I met her at her home for a little photo shoot. I'm pretty sure that still classifies her as newborn! She was still so tiny so I think it's ok! She was such a little sweetie. Julia's mom and sister gave her this photo shoot as a gift - what a perfect way to remember your  precious baby at this time in their life!

I hope you enjoy these photos and that they will last forever as memories of your little girl! Thanks for letting me into your home, it was nice to catch up with you!

On to the pictures...


My Everyday - New Lens

Buying new lenses is very exciting. It makes me feel like my world just got a whole lot bigger! I have more options for lenses to use during photo shoots and weddings and get even more creative than I could be with only one good lens!

I bought the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens yesterday. My husband and I knew that this would be our next purchase, and soon. Ever since I got my 35mm 1.4 I haven't touched my 50mm 1.8 (my husband was the last one to use it at the wedding that he second shot for me). I like crisp focus in my pictures and the 1.8 never met my expectations. It was a great starter lens with a wider aperture and definitely fit my style and feel for my images that I wanted that the kit lenses couldn't produce.

So now I have two lenses that I will love! Aside from the softness of the images produced by the 1.8, I still do love the feel and closeness of the 50mm in general. I'm excited to do a photo shoot using both lenses!

I took these today with the new lens. It's gross and rainy outside so I couldn't take my daughter outside for more creative shots but I just had to test out the new 50mm!!

I'm trying to plow through my to-do list today. Start crossing off some tasks. I've got a busy week of work and coffee dates with some fellow photographers! I met with Jamie Delaine yesterday and we chatted over tea, and we hardly talked about photography at all! (Jamie was one of my biggest inspirations when I decided to start my own photography business and I still stalk her blog daily and love being inspired by her work and her faith in God. God is going to use her in BIG ways for his Kingdom.) When I meet with someone who is also a follower of Christ the conversation tends to revolve around Him and our relationships with Him. It was great. I have another coffee date tonight and hopefully I'll be able to schedule a few more in yet! If you're a photographer in the Lower Mainland and would like to meet for coffee send me an email!! I'd love to meet you and talk with you!! =)


English Bay Portrait Session /MARILISA

This is a bitter sweet blog post for me. On one hand I got to photograph one of my good friends, but on the other hand we kind of did this session because she's moving away. Boo. Dislike.

I have known Marilisa for 9 years or so, ever since she moved to Vancouver from Winnipeg. Luckily God brought her to my home church and she quickly and seamlessly fit in there and settled there for the rest of her time here. M and I were on the same music team for many many years. We were friends almost instantly, I think our not-so-subtle laughs bonded us from the get-go. M is also a key component to my husband and I meeting, seeing as she and him are second cousins.

M wanted some pictures taken of her and asked if I could help her out with that and of course I said yes because we're family now so I have to. HA. Just kidding!!! I was thrilled to do it!!! Seriously, M, love you! =) She wanted the pictures to have a very Vancouver-esque feel to them so we drove to English Bay and used the water and Burrard Street bridge as our backdrop. The sun was low which made for some awesome lighting.

I was going to write you a card yet, M, but I think I might save a tree and write it here! And then I'll show you pictures from her photo shoot.

Dear M,

I'm not in love with the fact that you're leaving this week. I'll miss hearing your laugh often, and your easy-going and spirited demeanour. I know this isn't Goodbye. It's not like we'll never see each other again. But it's kind of like the end of an era, you might say. (I hope you caught the Friend's quote there!) I'm excited that we'll get to see you whenever we come visit Manitoba now! We can do all the touristy Winnipeg things that we haven't really done before and you can be our tour guide! If James thinks it's lame then we'll leave him at home! It'll be a new way of hanging out but I'm actually excited for it! If only those times weren't going to be so few and far between!

But I know that you're in good hands. God has a plan for you, my dear. I will be praying that he will blow you away, that he will do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine. I pray that he will place you in a church and setting that is so purposely for you, just like he did when you first came here. I will be praying for you. I'm excited to hear about the new endeavours you'll embark on and the blessings that God will pour over you and into your life!!

Thanks for being a great friend. I especially will never forget our last visit, talking for hours upon hours and never feeling like it was too long. That's how you know a friendship is deep. Thank you for so much! I can't even start listing everything! From introducing me to James, to helping us organize our wedding to-do lists, to helping me on music team, to all the invites to your place to hang out, for all the random drives and touristy outings. There are a lot of years of memories with you! And I'm so thankful God brought you into my life and I'm even more thankful that you will be in my life forever! This is not the end, my friend, it's just a curve in the path. No big deal.

Anyway, we love you lots, we'll miss you lots, but we'll be seeing you again in no time at all!!!!!!!!!

Love, Vess

PS: Moist ;)

Love you!


Baby Rylee Sneak Peek!

I was SO thrilled when Anett and Robert invited me to their home to take pictures of their newest addition! I had the privilege of taking their maternity pictures so it was so exciting to meet the little one that was nestled in her belly! Rylee was so adorable and a treat to work with! She never stopped looking at the camera and even told me lots of stories in between. What a joy! Here's a quick look at Rylee's photo shoot this afternoon...

I wanted to take her home, she was so adorable!!


Being Still. Knowing. Exalting.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10

This week has been a quiet week. I haven't blogged since Wednesday but I haven't had words to write. My days have been filled with quiet, deep, constant worship to my God and Saviour. I haven't been able to fall asleep at night, reliving the events of this week, these months, and even these years. So many moments becoming exposed, moments that, until now, I never saw as answer to prayers or a stepping stone in my faith. I've spent many hours this week being still. Soaking in the wonderful experience of God's healing.

I've always known that there was a God and that He loved me and that He had plans for me, but only this week have I come to know Christ and know that He really does know me and love me. I found out after I blogged about my healing that the girl who interrupted our prayer at Life Group was told to do so by God. While the other girl was praying for me God spoke to her and told her that she needed to get everyone to lay hands on me and pray specifically for healing for me. He said my name. He knows me. I'm not just one of a few billion people on this planet, I am His child and He called me by my name. That moves me beyond words could express. My God, the creator of all this beauty that we see in creation, He knows me by my name. Wow.

And so I exalt His name. I praise Him and worship Him for He is worthy. I praise Him for the way He has already used my story to further His kingdom, to encourage others, to show His love. And I'm encouraged by all of you. For those of you that prayed for me, for healing, this story is now yours as well. Thank you. I'm so overwhelmed with joy, and love, and thankfulness, and awe, and humility.

Some of you have shared my story with others, and I love that. This is not something I want to keep to myself. If you know someone who you think could be encouraged by my experience, or know someone who has yet to admit and accept that there is a God who loves them and can really work miracles, then please share this story with them. It's our story, not just mine.

Thanks for understanding my lack of blogging this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Immeasurably More

That is the only logical title for this blog post. For so many reasons. It comes from the Bible verse in Ephesians 3:20...

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

This verse has come up again and again in my life in the last few months, and even years. I've come to think of it as the theme verse to my life, or at least it's my biggest encouragement, if nothing else.

I'm not sure where to start with this post. The event that took place last night was so life changing for me that I need to take my time and write this so that you can understand the significance of it all. I want to document my experience so that I can always look back on it and be encouraged and reminded about God's faithfulness. I don't take what happened yesterday lightly, and I pray that you will see God's love and presence through my experience.

It's funny how we live our lives everyday going about our day to day tasks as if each little event is only in and of itself and has no impact on how the rest of our lives will play out. After what happened last night I couldn't fall asleep, and I woke up early and just thought. I let God point out all the small, minute details of my every day life that, unbeknownst to me at the time, had a significant role in the big picture. Let me share some of those with you so you can understand more of my story...

-First, we had our accident, which is what this whole post is based around. The accident was terrible; the aftermath, not so good either as far as my physical well being went; but we were safe and we were alive and our daughter wasn't in the car with us and it was at the end of our weekend away and the people in the other car were safe and alive. Amen to that. The accident itself was a really sucky situation, but it happened and it is what it is and now we get to see God use it for His glory. I've always known that that's what He would do with that situation. He would use it for His glory, somehow, someway, but I knew that He would.

-My husband and I were looking to join a Life Group in our church to meet new people and get connected with the church in a deeper way. Ideally we wanted to be part of a group that met on Tuesday nights because it worked out better for us and our babysitter. Well, we were a little late in replying and were told that only the Wednesday night group was available, so we said we'd join it because we really wanted to be part of a Life Group. Turns out there was some misunderstanding and we were really joining the Tuesday night Life Group. Perfect. We've really enjoyed it thus far and the people in our group are fabulous and we've really been able to connect with them.

-About a week ago I had a conversation with someone that initially I only meant to ask them a standard question, but it turned into something so much deeper and spiritual that I know it was the work of the Holy Spirit. During this conversation I gave them some advice for their current struggle. I told them that when those struggles arose that they needed to eliminate Satan out of the situation first and foremost, then all that they'd be left with was the Truth and they could deal with that knowing there was nothing in the way that wasn't from God.

-I read another photographer's blog recently who said she was going to pray for healing this year for certain food allergies that she had. She believed God would heal her. This stayed in the back of my mind ever since I read it.

-I was very aware of my pain this last weekend. Yes, the pain has been there since the accident, but for some reason I was very aware of it this weekend, and noted where exactly I was hurting and which movements cause the pain. I was sitting at a table with some friends, more than once, this weekend and noted that it hurt to turn my head to the side for more than short periods of time. I noted that leaning over the counter to get closer to the mirror to put on mascara or my contacts really hurt my neck.

-On Saturday night I randomly got this severe pain in my shoulder that went up my neck. It lingered over the entire weekend and into the week, but wasn't as severe by Tuesday.

-Just this last weekend I had started thinking more and more about my lingering injuries from our accident. I realized that I really hadn't prayed for healing very much, and not with much faith when I did. I don't know why I didn't, it just never crossed my mind, and I think that I didn't want to be disappointed with God if I didn't get healed. See, I've had some issues with praying for specifics which started shortly after my daughter was born. That's another story altogether but I've come to fear asking God for specific things because I had done that in the past and those specific requests never got answered and I hated being disappointed in God so I figured if I didn't ask then I couldn't get hurt because he wasn't not answering my prayers, make sense? So, this weekend I felt convicted of my lack of faith. My lack of prayer. My doubt.

-On Sunday morning we went to church and I had this nudge to go into the Prayer Room and ask someone to pray for healing for my injuries. But I didn't. Something was stopping me.

Queue Tuesday night.

I went to our Life Group get together and everything was normal. We talked. We drank tea. We caught up on our lives since we'd last met. We went around the room talking about our weeks and days since our last get together and I shared that that day was the six month mark since our accident and that I was still hurting and just wanting prayer for my injuries and also prayer for wisdom on where to go from here, what treatments to try, if I should or shouldn't get a lawyer involved, etc.

We started praying, lifting each other's request before God, and one girl prayed for me. As soon as she was done another girl interrupted and suggested that they all lay hands on me and pray for me specifically and intentionally for healing.

I have never been prayed over before. I have never felt the Holy Spirit so present as I did last night. I have never felt the closeness of so many (yet not that many at all) believers unite the way they did last night. I don't remember what everyone prayed because I was crying and so overwhelmed with what was happening, with the Holy Spirit, with God's presence. People always say you need to listen closely to God because His voice is often only as loud as a whisper. Well, last night He was yelling into a megaphone right into my ear. There was NO denying HIS presence and HIS work within me.

When the prayers were finished I was in a different place. All I could focus on was what was happening in my body. I'm not making this up. While I sat there and the prayers for others continued, I could feel the Holy Spirit heal me. There was this warmth and almost like a slight pressure on my upper back, at first I thought it was just whatever and that if it was God healing me then it would be up in my neck too. I doubted too soon. The warmth moved from my upper back, into my shoulders, into my neck, and up to the top of my head and then it was gone. In about a 10 minute span or so. I went upstairs to dry my eyes and face from the tears and I thought I'd see if what just happened was what I thought it was. And it was. I could bend my neck in every direction (there is still some tension but I couldn't bend my neck back at all before). I could roll my shoulders without a wince. Bones were cracking that up until that point had not been able to budge. I cried. I have never experienced a miracle, but that's exactly what had just happened.

I went back down and sat in awe. The couple that was sharing their testimony was sitting to the far right of me so I had to turn my head that way the whole night. Never once did it hurt. Never once did I have to look straight to loosen it up. Miracle.

I'd say I'm about 90% healed from all the pain and discomfort that I've had since the accident. I can only feel one spot on my neck that is tight and still hurting with certain movements, but overall I am healed. If you're thinking that 90% isn't 100% so it doesn't count, well you are greatly mistaken. For the last six months I haven't been able to tilt my neck back; look to the side for any length of time; lie on my side; properly shoulder check. For the last six months I've had pain in my upper back and shoulders all day, all the time. Holding my daughter hurt. Lying in bed propped up on my elbows to write in my journal hurt. Sleeping hurt. Waking up hurt.

This morning I woke up without a single knot or twinge of any sort in my shoulders. Last night I could lean toward the mirror to take out my contacts and not a wince of pain. I can bring my chin OVER my right shoulder which I haven't been able to do since the accident.

People, this is a miracle! This is the work of God. This is the power of prayer. This is the life that God died and rose again for so that we could have life and live it to the full. This is the love of the Father for His children. This is not an event that can be broken down by scientific equations or reason or logic. This is God. This is MY God. My Father. My reason for being, for living. He is what gives me purpose.

If you've read this to the end I pray that God will use my story to encourage you today. When you're doubting, remember that...

"[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine"

So start imagining. Start asking.

Today is a day of praise. And all praise and glory and honour go to my Heavenly Father.



My Everyday - Tea Time

I was originally planning on featuring something else for today's segment of My Everyday. But this seemed much more fitting given the circumstances which I will outline below.

1. I'm drinking tea right now. I often drink tea while blogging or working in my dungeon in general. (Side note: I just realized that I should take a picture of my office so you can actually envision me in this so-called dungeon and understand why I refer to it as such. That will be another segment of My Everyday.)

2. I love tea. I love many kinds of tea.

3. One of my favourite teas is Tazo Zen. But the list of faves is quite long. I won't list them to save time.

4. High tea is one of my favourite outings! Never been? You must! It's fabulous. I went again this weekend. I'll explain it in my next paragraph that outlines my weekend for you.

On Saturday I celebrated a friend's birthday with another friend at Tracycakes for High Tea. They have three locations but we went to the Fort Langley one. All of the locations are decorated so quaint and cute and antique-y but really modern-ish. Make sense? The walls and ceilings are white and they have crystal chandeliers and large mirrors and old china tea cups and saucers displayed. So cute. You have to make a reservation for High Tea and you get to choose a tea and then they bring out a 3 tiered platter with bite size goodies on it. From egg sandwiches, to sausage rolls, to fresh fruit and scones, to mini cupcakes! When you first look at it you think there's not much there, but then you start eating and by the end you're loosening your belt a few notches and roll out to the car because you're too full to walk. Seriously. Fabulous.

I, of course, did NOT bring my camera because I'm lame and debated bringing it for so long and ended up not and then I highly regretted my choice. So, these pictures will have to do. A cup of one of my favourite teas.

We had many parties this weekend, and some much needed grown-up time without Girlie. Love her to bits, but it was nice to go out and dress up and not worry about getting cheese smeared on your outfit or having snot on your shoulder. Paints a pretty picture, doesn't it? =)

Saturday = birthday celebration extravaganza. High tea, a little shopping at Winners, and pizza and games with more friends!

Sunday = good bye party for a dear friend, also our cousin. Fabulous wine, more appetizers and yummy goodness than you could imagine, catching up with friends I haven't seen for a long time, and enjoying a few more moments and memories before Marilisa heads back home.

Today marks six months since our accident. Unfortunately, I'm still feeling the pain. I'm praying for healing this year, and preferably sooner than later. But I'm alive and well so I'm not complaining. I just didn't realize the after effects could last this long.

That got long and random. Thanks for pushing through to the end, if anyone did! Enjoy the rest of day!


Precious Little Family Sneak Peek

It's been a busy busy weekend for me! Saturday morning I was able to take some photos of a new little family. It was a great session and I got some great photos. I loved that both Ken and Julia where there so I could get the shots that I've been envisioning in my head. There was definitely no shortage of love for Karalyn between the two of her parents! So precious. Here's a peek from their session, the first image makes me heart melt...