Merry Christmas! Vancouver Wedding Photographer

I hope all of you are enjoying your time with your families and celebrating your Holiday traditions. Over on this end Verlon and I with friends have been watching all the Christmas movies, decorating, putting lights up, wrapping our gifts and we even baked gingerbread cookies. 

Christmas gives off a feeling like no other. It brings people together and fills the heart with a sense that is so hard to put into words. Family means more during this time than any other time of the year. And I feel the need to be around the ones I love more than ever. 

Tonight I'm going to be with my siblings, and parents on the island and we'll enjoy our dinner tonight, church at midnight and then sit around and open gifts after church in the night. I'm so excited for my little niece to open her gifts and play in the boxes & bags. 

Enjoy this time of year, cherish this time with loved ones, and make some great memories :)

Hades says "Merry Catmas", the photo of Boo didn't turn out... she ripped the hat off...

Stay Focused.

It was the big day on Wednesday -- the day that I thought everything would change. I thought a big dream would come true. It was the BC Wedding Awards. The whole day was rather anxious and I just wanted to get it over with from the morning time. I had a good friend of mine Rikki come over and we visited then got ready for the awards. Dayne and Verlon later joined us for some take out *yum sushi* just what I wanted, okay and some tempura - hope my PT isn't reading this ;) Telsea. It was an awesome day, had a girly morning - heck I even got my nails done. If you know me at all, my nails never get further than filed or cut. Somehow paint isn't attracted to them. When Verlon got home from work he brought home a dozen roses to pre-congratulate me that I already had won so much. This year was my busiest year to date and there was so many amazing weddings.

On Facebook there was loads of supportive comments - thanks Fatima :) which really had me convinced tonight was THE night. Well, unfortunately it wasn't. Maybe next year. The event itself was a lot of fun. There was a red carpet, with a celebrity back drop for photographs, H'orderves to try and I had wine. Everyone was dolled up in their own glamourous personal style. The Wedding Belles hosted the evening adding bits of laughter in-between each award. Lucky for me, I had run into Maclean & Erin from Hello Tomorrow Productions - best videography <--- check them out.... product placement alert.... do it.

We sat and waited to hear our names be potentially called up. Unfortunately it didn't happen. And not gonna lie, it sucked. The winners were amazing, the photographs were unreal. How did I simply think I could win? When you want something so badly and it doesn't happen that's when you have to watch out for the FUNK. And it hit, at 10:49pm the funk hit me. The white flag was raised, and was ready to throw in the towel. My next mission was an ice cream sundae... from McDonalds.... with fudge. And it was not as amazing as I thought it would be. When I got home, put on my PJ's and sat on the couch thinking -- wow, so this is what it feels like. I still have the photographs I submitted on the wall. I was thinking maybe the law of attraction would make it happen. And went to bed.

I woke up the next morning still infected with this nasty infection called "The Funk". That feeling of mopey, moody, blah feeling. Pulled myself together put on my gym clothes and proceeded to not go to the gym but shopping. I said to myself "a quick little trip won't hurt before I try to go to the gym". Ended up at a store picking up little things for Christmas for my niece Aliza. Little Roxy hoodies, booties etc and smiles came to my face getting excited for Christmas. I love that little girl so much and was she ever changing my day. Thinking about how she's just started walking and tumbling around - was so excited for my next trip back to the island to see her at Christmas. The highlight of the shopping was finding a little tee that said "Awesome, is how I roll" and it hit me. The not funked out Ashley would be saying "better luck next year, anyway Awesome is how I roll and I'd throw up some sort of whud'up sign" (see photos below, head bows in shame). Immediately thanks to a toddler's t-shirty by Roxy I proceeded to the gym to do my works out and I left feeling 110% better. I didn't turn on the iPod to listen to music I just had a conversation with myself and went over all the things I had achieved this year and why was winning just 1 award more important than the journey I've been on. Why did I feel like I had to just "check out" because I didn't win?

I am living my dream. I don't think any award is bigger than that. I wake up every morning and work on projects, shoots, and photographs that I am so incredibly passionate about. And I am so very lucky to have some amazing people to give me that shift kick in the a$$ when I need it or a refresher on how privilege I already am. The biggest thanks is necessary to all my clients that make it possible. Without you I'd be an empty shell - Thank you for helping me keep my dream going. This year was huge in that I was published in Print earlier this year in Real Weddings Vancouver - it was 4 pages! That's a HUGE deal! I've been published online 6+ times and so much more. I lost sight of the journey and I needed to recalibrate. I thought back to an article I read by an awesome Photog - Chase Jarvis. Get Used to Hearing "NO"

In the article he writes:

"Let “no” serve as a motivator"

"Let “no” keep out the other people who don’t want it as bad as you do. Remember, when you’re hearing “no”, so is almost everyone else. When other artists hear “no” too much, they quit, defeated, never to return again. Don’t let that be you. When you hear “no”, let it remind you of this little post." --(( Thank you Chase, for the reminder.))

"Let “no” remind you that this job isn’t for everyone, especially the uncommitted."

"Let “no” turn you into a better artist. "

"Mario Andretti once famously said, “If everything feels under control, you’re just not driving fast enough".

 I guess what I'm trying to say is don't quit on YOUR dreams. I'm living mine. With the support of amazing people around me who believe in me. You can do the same. When I felt like I needed to throw in the towel, what I really needed was a momentary breather, refocus and listen to those who care around me. I couldn't imagine doing anything else but this. So why shouldn't you follow your dreams too?

No idea, why this always feels right... makes awkward seem cool right? See I too get nervous in front of the camera!

Your 2nd Shooter - Dayne

And my man, who keeps giving me endless support & love. Thank you love!

In finding Nemo (yes I went to Disney references, don't hate) - Dori says "Just keep Swimming, Just keep Swimming".... I say "Just keep dreaming".

Photograph's that I entered into the awards only submissions from Jan 2011 - September 2011 were allowed:


Leila - Working on..

Just editing sessions from this past weekend and had to post this adorable photo of Leila! More to come soon!

Kayden's First Photo-Shoot - Langley BC, Newborn Photography

Kayden was just a little one this summer when I had the chance to photograph him and his big sister Celina. You may have recognized these two as their parent's Lydia & Daryl are related to my October bride Rebecca! Celina was a flower girl in the wedding.

Here are some photos from Kayden's newborn session earlier this summer. They've seen the photos now it's your turn!

Ricardo & Nicolette, Cancun Palace - Mexico Destination Wedding

I have never been so nervous for a wedding like I was for my older brother Ricardo's wedding to Nicolette aka Rico & Nicky, and if you aren't familiar with my family they have a little one... a little Yorkie named "Niko" a mix of Rico & Nicky. 

The group left from Victoria and headed to beautiful sunny Cancun for the wedding. We stayed at the beautiful luxe resort of Cancun Palace. I'm not sure if it was just the whole adventure of travelling to the wedding or the fact the pressure was on for their wedding -- but it was definitely a rush. We were very tight on time of the day of which added to the pressure. 

When I was younger I was constantly under Ric's feet. I would follow him and his friends (i'm sure they remember that vividly). If anyone was going to hang out at Ric's and well, play video games - I was always wanting to play too. Usually I was the 4th player in Mario Kart or Soul Calibur. Yes, little video game geek here! In someways I think I was pretty much raised by my two older brothers Marco & Rico -- hockey and video games was the norm.

When I saw Ric & Nicky after their return trip from Disney Land last New Year's and they said they were engaged -- I thought it's about time! After 5+ years, I was waiting for the day for Nicky to become my sister in law. On the day of, when it really sunk it that they were meant to be was when I saw Ric tear up as Nicky walked down the isle. I have never seen my brother tear up, this moment was so big. After the big wedding celebrations Ric & Nicky decided the evening wasn't done, so we all went up to our rooms to change and go for a walk on the beach at night. Lucky for us, we witnessed 3 - 4 momma Turtles laying eggs on the beach. It was so unbelievable to watch these massive Sea Turtles coming up only at night to lay their eggs. There were conservation officers on the beach to make sure no tourists disturbed them and no photography was allowed as the flash is unnatural and scares them.

Destination Weddings are a completely different experience. Close friends and family travel with you for one of the biggest moments of your life. It's a whole week of celebration and visiting with those people close to you -- I think I love that aspect the most. I live in Langley while my whole family lives in Victoria and although they are close, I don't get to see them as much as I'd like. Spending time with my whole family everyday for a week was such an amazing time -- I wish our family would travel more together. The reason why this Cancun trip meant so much to me is life is precious, and we can't always make time for each other during everyday busy life. While we were in Cancun, there was no work, no other priorities just quality time and a time to celebrate Ric & Nicky getting married. 

I'm so very happy for my brother Ric and his new wife Nicky. Welcome to the family Nicky!

Verlon took these of me during cocktail hour (above)

While I snapped these of Verlon -- poor guy was sick on the day of the wedding.

my other brother Marco stealing the 2nd camera - he likes to think he's a photographer at heart too. 

my brother Rico and me. Thanks Verlon for this photo.

Uncle Rico, Daddy Marco and baby Aliza - she likes to steal the show...

yum, baby "mum mums"

my sister in law Kristi, Marco & Aliza. 

At the end of the evening, we all went up to our rooms and changed - to go for a walk on the beach to watch the Sea Turtles laying eggs.