Why I love my camera, & why it’s time to say goodbye… Ode to my camera

Sometimes it's time to say goodbye..

Sometimes it’s time to say goodbye..


This blog post may cause some (and by some I mean MOST) photographers to feel uncomfortable, cringe, shake their heads, and in some cases wince. It may also cause a deep internal disagreement in regards to my slightly abusive relationship with my camera. Please feel free to post your comments & feelings in the comment box below.


I LOVE my camera..

No not just the way you love your TV, or your computer, or your mp3 player. I mean I really LOVE my camera. It comes everywhere with me. It is an extension of me. It’s flown thousands and thousands and thousands of miles across the country and half way across the world more times than I can count. It’s come with me on countless hours of road trips across beautiful Canada. It’s attended every major event in my kids lives, in my life, in my families lives. It’s been in waterfalls, oceans, and rivers. It’s been dropped, kicked, blatantly covered in ocean waves, and I have even accidentally bumped someone on the head with it. It’s seen my house messy, it’s seen my house clean. It’s seen all of my most private moments, and covered other people’s most special moments. It’s been in many different people’s homes, in different countries and it’s broken the ice with strangers across oceans. It’s sat on my lap like a baby, been hugged to my chest, zipped up in my jacket in -40 Saskatchewan weather and it’s swung carefree from my neck. It’s been in weather so hot the lens rubber fused itself to the camera and it’s been by my side through every love scene, every moment of laughter, every child temper tantrum and every tragic event I have ever witnessed. It’s also followed me to drunken parties and taken drunken photos (and no, I will not be held responsible for those), it’s been to black tie events, street parties, music festivals, car shows, put in the eye of a vicious storms, and thrown onto my car seat in a hurry. It has even seen a crashed plane in the middle of a busy Saskatoon road. It has been there to sooth my pain, my depression and my anxiety, and it has rejoiced in my happiness. It has been there through my worst moments and my best moments, and it has helped me to gain a tremendous amount of confidence with it by my side. It is NOT just a camera.. it’s my lifeline. A friend, a confidant and in some ways the love of my life. It truly is a miracle invention that in some ways has saved my life. It’s a connection between my feelings and my perspective and it allows me to share it all with the world.

I want my camera to be like my books. I don’t want to “baby” my camera. I don’t want to pick up a pristine camera, with tight dials and buttons. I want to pick up something comfortable, that knows my fingers, and the palms of my hands when it fits into them perfectly. I want to see scratches, bruises, character and I want it to look like it has lived. Used, worn, full of life. My camera is just that. It is scratched. It is bruised. It is worn. It is in fact starting to rust in some spots and it is just PERFECT. It has been through so much with me. I have treated it kind, and I have treated it unkind. I have put it through situations, weather conditions and tested the water resistant claims to the very limits. It has had sand stuck in the dials and sweat on the screen. It has been submerged in waves, covered in sand and bounced up and down on my chest during long walks in different parts of the world. I have put it in situations I have no business putting it in. I have pretty much done everything to it other than deliberately and literally beating the crap out of it.  I have taken so many photos with it, I did in fact burn out the motor. Again, it was packaged and shipped across the country for a fix and returned to me weeks later to get back to work with me. Yet, it still remains. Trusted and true. And I LOVE it.

Ahhh sigh.. but it is time to say, goodbye. It has been a few years since I brought my camera home and finally I am ready to move on. Lately it has been showing the stretch marks of it’s labor and although it is still my trusty old camera, I have decided it’s time for a trusty new camera. Now it’s not goodbye forever, and it will become my daily “around the house” camera, but it is time for it to retire it’s sore old bones and let some young little thang take it’s place doing the hard work. So in just two more weeks, I say goodbye to my trusty old camera (and the hippy strap that adorned it) and I will be moving on with a new camera. I am excited to see what this new camera has in store for me. What boundaries we will break, what adventures we will go on, and what experiences we will have.

Sometimes we just have to say goodbye to something good, to let something better into our lives.

So… farewell my sweet camera. I love you for all that you are, all that you were and all that you have given me.



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How I really feel about Jamaica.. a personal post :-)

We are outside and the heat is thick.. my hands are literally swollen to the size of small balloons (just a fun perk of being me right now). I am wiping the sweat off my brow and chatting with friends or yelling in their ears over the loud music. Despite my trying to stay still, I just can’t. I find myself involuntarily moving in my seat and wanting to get up and grind my whole body to the vibrant and sexually explosive Jamaican music. I am the only white girl in the place and my red hair and fair skin stick out like a sore thumb, attracting all sorts of wanted and unwanted attention. At times, it can be a little tiresome and all I want to do is fit in. I cover my hotel band with my bracelet and try to look casual, like being thrust into such a foreign way of life is normal for me. I run into some people I met last time I was there.. I can hardly believe I know people here already and it’s a great feeling. I want locals to consider me another local, not some tourist who’s rolling in American money.

I take a cab back home in the darkness. I am crammed in a small car that sounds like it might explode if it moves too fast with a tall dark Jamaican man on my right and a cheerful voluptuous looking woman on my left. They chatter with each other sometimes in Patois (the Jamaican language) and I struggle to understand… if only I had bought some books before I left! They start to chatter with me and within 5 minutes we are exchanging numbers and Facebook info, hoping to connect if I should ever be back in Montego Bay. The general vibe is they just want to show me a good time here in Jamaica and they are always so interested to hear about the weather where I am from. It’s nearing the end of my ride and I hand the cabby $200 Jamaican dollars, which comes to around $2 American or Canadian. No doubt I would be paying an upwards of $30 or $40 American if I had taken the “safer” and registered taxi’s that come straight to the front of my hotel. Again, I don’t want to be some rich bitch perceived by the Jamaican’s, I just want to be treated like everyone else even though my face is white as the moon.

The security guys at the gates of my hotel are by now used to my comings and goings. When I left the first night I was there with friends, they were sure to document my room number, name, the name of the person who was picking me up and the location of where we were headed. By the third day, they just smiled and waved me off as I ran off across the street. One of the security guys later told me him and the other guys were concerned about me, but after watching how I waved away certain cabs and chose specific ones they knew that I knew what I was doing. I was really flattered by this and it made me feel happy to know they no longer just thought of me as some “tourist” – confined to the prison walls of a resort. Don’t get me wrong, my way of travel isn’t for the faint hearted or just anyone, but I question the people who fly all the way across the country just to listen to American music and eat American food at resort buffets, and stay trapped in a bubble of at-home luxury without ever experiencing anything real. I ask myself, what’s the point?

I found myself often moving to Jamaican beats in my head, even when there was no music playing. I felt vibrant, alive, energetic! My skin was also literally starting to glow.. my pimples were disappearing and I felt less self conscious about being a bit bigger than I would like to be at this time. The Jamaican men were quite forward about letting me know how they felt about my appearance. It was always positive and I was flattered at most times. It was a self esteem boost but could also easily get tiring. My nose had cleared up.. I slept like a baby, the best I have slept in so long because I could finally breath. Back home my nose is constantly stuffed up and I often wake up not being able to breath. The only downfall was the sweat… ohhh the sweat. I don’t mind sweating during a workout I’m killing, but to sweat all the time every day for no other reason then just because you are hot and uncomfortable is unattractive to say the LEAST.

My friends are gems.. I made some real connections I feel so good about. There were other people I met and the general over all consensus from a lot of people was that a friendship could be bought and paid for. After all I am from Canada and I MUST be loaded with cash and have plenty to give away at leisure. I am not. My money is worth just as much as theirs is back home and it’s not cheap to live here in Canada. Not cheap at all. I may make more, but I sure spend a hell of a lot more on the necessities of life. There were times I felt taken advantage of and merely used for the hopes of receiving my money. It didn’t feel good and it didn’t feel right. That was the one biggest negative that I have about being in Jamaica. All the more reason fitting in as a local was so important to me. Now let’s be fair… not ALL Jamaican’s are like this. On the opposite end of the spectrum I was treated the best I have been treated by anyone in a long time by my friends, who are all amazing and wonderful people.

The last night in Jamaica my friends took me to a street party… Yes, a real street party in Jamaica. The type of party that would not have been legal anywhere here and totally shut down immediately. Honestly, sometimes I had to take a step back to realize that I was actually there and it was real and this was happening. The sweet smell of pot wafted around and drinks were flowing. The music was sick. I had begun to pick out my favorite songs and move my body freely when they came on. Kartel, and I Octane, Mavado and Lady Saw… have all become household names for me now. Suddenly at some point, the party went from seeing space between people to crammed and jammed up against one another.. in a sea of dark faces I was the only white girl at the party yet again and the guys walking around with video cameras seemed to be attacking me with bright lights. Being there was amazing though, and the feeling was humbling and surreal. I never wanted it to end.  I was feeling good but the last couple of days had exhausted me. By the next morning I was feeling emotional and heavy with regret at the thought of leaving this beautiful tropical paradise. I felt like perhaps I had let myself feel too fast and too much for some of the connections I made and didn’t want it to end.

Yes, I do believe I made real connections and also a couple friends for life. The number one question I am being asked by all is did I find love in Jamaica? Well the answer to that is simple. No. But I believe I could. It would be easy and effortless and it scares me to death. There are some things a girl doesn’t need to share with the world either. What I really need to do now is fall in love with myself.

What are the things I brought back with me that are the most treasured? First and foremost, the memories and the friendships. After that, I would have to say the mixed CD’s of music I bought from random guys selling burnt discs from their cars and on the streets. I still feel like dancing and it has me motivated to start dancing once again. Overall I brought back a sense of myself.. a longing for change and self appreciation. Yes Jamaica will change you and affect you in many ways if you are willing and open to let it in.

Will I be back to Jamaica? I have no plans as of right now to be returning to the beautiful country, but sometimes fate has a way of intervening and whatever is meant to be will be. For now I am studying up on learning some Patois and dancing around the house in my underwear to these ripped Jamaican beats , feeling more free and irie than I have in my life.

*Stay tuned for a mega blog post on the AHHMAZING Wedding I shot in Jamaica and all the fun details behind it and other shoots I did while there!*

Good friends and good vibes

Good friends and good vibes