the best of 2008...

with 2009 now upon us, I found myself reminscing about what a great year 2008 has been.  it was full of adventures and travel and wonderful people and beautiful weddings... a truly successful year in so many ways. on that note, I would love to share with you some of my favourites images of 2008.

last December, I had the good fortune to find myself on the big island of Hawaii, photographing the wedding of Dean & Angie.  it was the perfect opportunity to bring along my family and make a vacation out of it, so we did just that!  one day, after some heavy rain and bad weather, we were driving around the island and exploring.  I couldn't get over the landscape and how unique it was... the lava fields had created almost a moonscape with these beautiful weeds growing miraculously out of it.  at one point, the skies parted and the sun peeked out and I asked my husband to stop the car and pull over so we could take some photos (the story of his life!).  my daughter Maddi and I got out and we cranked the music and she just started dancing and singing.  it was one of those magical moments I will always remember and I was thrilled to have my camera with me to capture it.

February came and with it, the wedding of my beautiful cousin, Keli.  she and her new husband, Marius had a gorgeous winter wedding in Chelsea, Quebec on one of the coldest days I can remember ever shooting in!  the temperatures dropped to -27 degrees celcius and we all braved the cold outdoors at Winterlude in Ottawa with the incredible ice sculptures.  I'll never forget warming up in the limo and celebrating with champagne and authentic French Canadian poutine on the way to the reception... 

March brought a very cool moment at the engagement shoot of Carole & Derek at the Vancouver Aquarium. they had chosen it as a special place they went together and decided it would be a fun place to begin our shoot!  I had the idea of photographing them in front of the beluga whale tank and placed them on the bench and told them to keep looking at each other until I saw a whale come into the frame and then I would ask them to kiss.  sure enough, after a few minutes, a beluga came down to investigate what was going on and even after they kissed and I got my shot, he stayed floating there... looking at them, curiously.  then he began rubbing his head up against the glass in front of them as if to say hello!  they reached out to touch the glass and the beluga stayed there for a few minutes... it was an incredible exchange between this wild mammal and two humans and a huge thrill to be there with my camera.

in April, I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Amy & Jim.  I love this image in particular as it completely captures her as a bride looking radiantly happy on her wedding day!

one of the things I really wanted to do this year was travel and in May I joined my good friend, Patricia Lyons, in Georgia to photograph the wedding of Ali & Michael.  they were married at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel which is located on one of the tiny barrier islands on the coast of Georgia.  Georgia was just as I had pictured it... massive old oak trees draped in spanish moss, with tons of history at this incredible resort.  I would highly recommend adding it to your list of places to see.  

the summer brought not only weddings, but lots of baby and family shoots as well.  this little cutie is named Keeley and she was such a sweet, happy baby and a joy to photograph!

speaking of families, I was asked by my friend and fellow photographer, Kathryn Langsford, to photograph her and her family while they awaited the arrival of their new baby.  while I considered it an honour to be asked to document such a special time, it also brought along some pressure with it!  fortunately, Kathryn and I have been friends for years and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with them.  they are an incredible family and have now added a beautiful baby girl to bring their family to four!

July also brought the wonderful and emotional wedding of Darlene & Eddie.  Darlene was one of the happiest brides I've ever had (I loved her favourite expression of the day, "Yay me!").  this image stands out in my mind as I remember Darlene having a quiet strength about her.  we were in the middle of her bridal portraits when I asked her to take a moment and think about something special.  she got quiet for a moment and I raised my camera and took this image.  she told me later she was thinking of her mother, who had passed away but was very much with her in spirit that day.    

purple is my favourite colour and these delphiniums were so beautiful I couldn't stop shooting them! Corinne & Sean got married at a private garden in Maple Ridge and the grounds were so lush and beautiful, I was completely inspired.  I ended up hiring the landscape designer to come and do my own house!  

speaking of colour, this image is from the wedding of Cynthia & Prem at Van Dusen Gardens.  Indian weddings are such a feast for the eyes and the variety of colours are absolutely stunning!  I was standing at the back of the tent to shoot the ceremony from a different angle and this little beauty caught my eye.  she smiled at me as I raised my lens and clicked the shutter and got one of my favourite images from my weddings this year.

loyal journal readers will recognize the wedding of Rachel & Geoff from August.  these two had a very tender, loving way with each other and it was a dream to be following them all day with my camera.  I couldn't just choose one from the wedding, so I've included the first, which I love for the carefree, happy feel and the second one for the genuine emotion and love these two convey together.

speaking of awesome couples, Emily & Devin's wedding in August was nothing short of breathtaking.  this image of them coming out of the church following the ceremony at St. Andrew's Wesley Church is one of my favourites as they were so incredibly happy!  stay tuned for some very exciting news about this wedding...

September was a busy month for me... one weekend, I was crazy enough to shoot two destination weddings back to back!  on Saturday I was up at the top of Whistler mountain to photograph Stacey & Sheldon, who had come all the way from Toronto to be married in Whistler!  the next day...

I was lakeside in Kelowna to photograph the gorgeous wedding of Leanne & Matt!  it was a busy weekend, but the weather was spectacular (as you can see!) and both weddings were a blast to be a part of.

this young beauty is one of my daughter's best friends, Siobhan.  she a free spirit and a beautiful girl, both inside and out.  she came along on a family weekend to Orcas Island, Washington and I got this shot of her while walking on the beach one afternoon.

Siobhan collects heart shaped rocks and I love this shot of our collection from a weekend of beachcombing!

and last, but far from least, is one of my favourite images of the year of my two favourite people.  my husband and daughter who make my world a beautiful place.  I love you guys.

I'd like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!  I look forward to another year of fun, fabulous photos and wonderful adventures in 2009!