We drove in Verlon's car like we do most weekends and I hesitantly thought in my head - do I bother with a "Year in Review" posting? I wanted to start picking my favourite images of the last year but then realized it would be a 100+ photo list so I decided to write. I wasn't sure what to post about but thought it would be a good opportunity to do a personal post as our Wedding Season for 2013 - truly only ended at the beginning of December. Having a bit of a break was necessary! And my feet may have been dragging about blogging the last couple of weeks. Social Media felt like it was sucking my goal and a passionate love affair that I'm addicted to still. So, I signed off during the holidays and it was exactly what I needed. To come back in 2014 refreshed, energetic and ready to share - ideas, photographs, thoughts, write, musings and love.
So, Let the Year In Review Post Commences in writing!
The highs - lows - in-betweens
- Firstly just want to put a profound amount of love out there to our family, friends, colleagues in the industry for understanding, offering support over the past year when very little free time was available. The life of business' owners isn't always Gatsby Glamour & vacations. It's long hours, not a lot of free-time. Thank you. Thank you x100.
- Verlon, what a year it's been for us. Besides the obvious 'proposal, be my wife, yes, shiny ring' - I love you. This year for us has been such an adventure. We're getting married!!!(next year). Finding someone so incredibly passionate and full of adventure has been such a blessing. I have found the man of my dreams, who shares the same dreams of believing, faith, creativity, expression, self-awareness, love, giving and passion. We drove this weekend to a session together out of town and I couldn't help myself looking over to this man with goggly eyes and how I could be so lucky to share my dreams with him and him wanting to add to them. I love that your always ready for adventure, let's hope 2014 is filled with it.
- To our couples of 2013 - Wow.
You all have been so incredible. Sharing your love stories with us and choosing us to be apart of your big day is such an honour. Learning about you all, enjoying our meetings with you and keeping in touch. All the 'Thank You' cards are pinned in the office and I can't help but smile as we walk by them. Without you - we wouldn't be able to be wedding photographers. Thank You. Your support this past year helped us donate proceeds to BC Children's Hospital, and The SPCA. Thank You.
-Being consciously "GREEN"
This past year Verlon and I did our best to eat mostly Organic, non-gmo, unprocessed foods (without going nuts). Which help me lessen my footprint by eating more vegetarian meals, less meat and working towards healthier living with food. I never thought about it to much as I felt my body could run on anything - but why would I feed it crap? Then I had the analogy thrown at me about my car. My car takes premium gas, would I give it regular or mid-grade to save a couple bucks? No, I don't want to ruin the engine, so why was I doing it to my body? Why was I using "whatever" soaps, shampoos etc? My body will be affected. And I need to value it, and treat it with the respect it deserves.
- Whistler, Toronto Weddings & Maui
We were very fortunate to have some amazing clients (friends) - Kelsey & Tristan, Vruti & Dave (who just found out their expecting!!!) that took us to Whistler, and Toronto for their weddings. Travelling for Weddings always excites us as it's a different surrounding and the creative juices start flowing like crazy! Toronto made it possible for Verlon to meet my family in Toronto and then after the wedding we decided (due to geographical location) take time to hop over to Portugal. Also another huge thank you goes out to Bill & Maria for taking us with them to Maui as friends but we still had fun bringing our cameras with us and enjoying their first year anniversary as guests.
Verlon met my extended family, my grandmother and saw where my parent's grew up and where we spent a lot of time growing up when we visited regularly as a kid. It was so profoundly special for me to see my grandmother & the rest of the family again as it had been 2 years. Portugal has always been my 2nd home.
- A Hard Loss
When I first moved to Langley (2006) going to University, I needed a companion, que my fur baby 'Hades' the cat. I adopted him and he was my little office assistant and roommate during the days when I was home alone. This past summer during wedding season he past away and it was the first pet I ever had to go and leave at the Vet, while sobbing. The house has felt empty without him around but I treasure that special relationship I had him and all the cuddles. Animals can be very intuitive and it's very special to have that with an animal. I am very thankful.
- Welcoming 'the twins'
Our family welcomed Lydia & Landen to the family this past August to my brother Marco and SIL Kristi, and their first born - Aliza. Having a house full of babies and kiddos this past Holiday was so amazingly special. I am so grateful for being an auntie. Watching Aliza grow up has been profound - and hearing her say "I love you, Auntie" gives me the warm fuzzies. I love being an auntie!
- December's Random Acts of Kindness
In December during the busy, stressful end of year, hustle and bustle of Langley, I wanted to make an effort to try and make someone's day better or easier. Between simply holding a door open, sending a thankful message, acknowledging that their presence to me has had meaning (especially within our industry). The funnest of these was at the drive-through. Okay, it's not original but I've done it before, you've probably heard of someone who has done it - but paying for the car(s) behind you. The woman in the car behind me literally starting yelling out of her window to thank me and said "Bless you". Who thunk that $10 would really mean that much to someone.
When we were driving on the weekend talking about our year and what are hopes would be for 2014, we didn't make resolutions but hopes and goals.
- Continue to living clean, green, exercising & consciously, reading related literature & films
At the top of our list this new year we want to live as sustainably as possible with products, food, with everything. We want to continue and try more often to support local business' and new inventors, investing in our community. Continue to eat as Organic as often as we can and I'm going to be growing veggies again this year. I'm the cucumber queen (ok, it helps they're super easy to grow).
- Family Time, Scheduling, Relaxing
Taking a time out helps our creativity flourish and so every year we try to do so by trips (I love Hawaii!), mini trips (Whister, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Victoria) and gl-amping (drive to camping with air-mattresses, and coffee. Off a logging road in the middle of no where to ensure to cellular coverage). Taking time to recharge as a couple is really important for us. We plan to continue to take trips every year, small or big. Family and Friends: Try to spend more time with them, visit regularly, and help when we can. Especially my mom, here's hoping her surgery goes well this January *fingers crossed*.
- Silence Please, I'm Reading
When your reading, you cannot multi-task. This is why few people continue to read books where as technology allows us to do 50 things at once. Our plan is to read more often. Verlon so far is winning at books, where I prefer articles (Vogue count?).
- To refrain from outsourcing our Editing, & Limit our weddings per year
We choose not to. I am A-Type therefore I want to have control and give personal touches on each of the images so it is still at the end of the day, our images and keep it consistent. We will continue to make time to do so and keep our awesome (realistic) time line of delivery going:
-Massively awesome teasers in 1 week ((see any session blog post)),
-then 4-6 weeks during peak season for the rest of the images)
while maintaining a personal touch on every image delivered.
Limiting our weddings ensures we can a.)- do the above b.)-maintain relationships with all your awesome people c.)- be effective with the business so we don't go crazy and maintain quality
Last year we had the chance to set up a fantastic styled-editorial in Portugal and I want to continue to make time to let my creative juices flow! This year Verlon wants to do the same so stay tuned for his photographic-editorial shoot. We have big plans for 2014 on the creative-end.
- Cooking like my momma Maria
I'd like to cook more meals at home - meaning 'I'. Verlon cooks most of our meals and I'd like to turn a little bit more like Momma Maria - the portuguese chef. My mom is such an awesome cook and I'd really like to say I inherited her skill but I haven't. I'm not a creative genius in the kitchen but I'm going to do my best to be better at it this year.
That was a peak at some of our goals - let us know about yours! comment below or comment on Facebook.
Here's to a Happy New Year!