2016 Life Before, During and After Cancer - Langley, Vancouver, Victoria Wedding Photographer

Vulnerable and Honest summary of my 2016… I didn’t know if we’d survive you unscathed. You were the most challenging year of our lives and at the same time the most rewarding. We are changed because of you. I use to do a summary of my years with photography on my blog and I struggled with 2015 because we were in the beginning phase of testing for Ver’s cancer. I was uncertain and scared and at a loss for words. I wasn't sure what was ok to share, or if clients wouldn't feel confident with us. I wasn't sure what work looked like. This year I feel like there is one word that summarizes 2016 so well. Gratitude. I feel immense amounts of gratitude for God, for friends, for family and life. I feel so blessed to be where we are right now. We’re on the 2nd day of this new year with so many adventures and possibilities planned ahead.
I am so grateful for the people who were there for us during the darkest moments of uncertainty who made sure they checked in, stopped in, texted, emailed, and mailed us to know you were thinking of us. Thank you. I am beyond words grateful to our friend vendors, clients of 2016 and previous years who uplifted us and were so kind and gentle to us when it was hard to be ourselves. Thank you doesn’t feel like enough. I’m immense fully grateful to live in Canada where our medical system and our experience of it was incredibly fast and efficient. We asked difficult questions, we sought answers and found solutions. I am grateful that we didn’t lose our home - we don’t talk about this one but it was a very real scary possibility when Verlon was off work when we were uncertain how much longer it would be. Between trying to live the healthiest lifestyle possible and seeking the best care - keeping up with the bills on a small amount of money coming in was difficult. Money seemed to be the least of our worries when we didn’t know where things were going to go. We were humbled. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to pay just necessary medical bills and everything else on top of that - I cried when I thought about some friends we made in the US who struggled in the same boat. I struggled to stay focused with my business and I had to say no to new wedding inquiries in 2016 was hard, feeling lost and torn with time trying to make sure I kept up and was with Ver to every doctor, every appointment and quality time and still do the best I could for my clients.
I’m grateful for tears. I remember walking into our bathroom and turning on the shower so I could cry on the floor without Verlon hearing me, begging God and the praying this wasn’t real or happening. Being scared I was going to lose my husband just after 6 months of being married. Those tears were for uncertainty and fear. Then I cried in December 2016 when we left the oncologists office as they told us on the most recent scans everything was clean. Tears of joy. Gratitude. I couldn’t hold it in as I shamefully walked through BC Cancer to the elevator not wanting to draw attention to myself, knowing others have their own stories and struggles.
Admitting struggle in areas of my life was hard. Admitting my best wasn't quick but a battle threw heavy emotions (oh being an artist). I'm so hopeful and ready to dive back into creative projects in 2017 and the incredible couples we’ll be working with, and the adventures internationally that are planned (Yay photographing a wedding in Europe!!) I kept wondering if I was doing what I am meant to be doing last year or if I was meant to keep doing photography but every time I would step behind the camera and be at a wedding, or shoot - I felt so full that I was exactly where I needed to be, doing what I love and I was just shaken. 2017 marks 10 years since I photographed at a few shoots and summer weddings in Victoria, which seems crazy, and 9 years of having “Dragonflight Photography” live. From picking that name with a slight whim to it carrying on like wildfire and allowing me to be a full-time photographer. I’m so grateful and blessed to be able to live and do one of my passions for work. I like to think I have a big heart and it very much is apart of me being a photographer. My heart is feeling humbled and blessed by all of you clients and future clients. I'm so thrilled to work with you.
I have felt so many feelings and emotions and have experienced a substantial amount of growth this last year. I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’m hopeful for 2017 and what it will bring. I know we can’t ask for only highs and no lows, but I’m hopeful and full of faith that it will be a good New Year. I will not let fear and uncertainty rule it but let love, faith and hope keep me guided.

Wishing the best for you and yours in this coming year.

Here's to new adventures!