going coastal

Let the back logging begin!

I saw a great meme a few days ago that said, “This week has been the longest year ever”, and it made me laugh…mainly because the past few weeks of homeschooling and toddlerhood-ing has been r.e.a.l.

Are we oscillating between Martha Stewart level crafting and wearing no pants for 48 hours? Yep. But we’re also slowly… s l o w l y getting this daily rhythm thing.

Currently, am I showered? Laughable! No. Have I eaten a properly prepared meal? Also, a big zero. BUT, while my youngest napped a deliciously long nap and my oldest Minecrafted his heart out, I managed to plunk my butt down and sort and edit folders and folders of media. And it was amazing! Could I have been deep cleaning our abusively neglected master bathroom? You betcha. But this right here is how I self-love, and after the past year of a week this mama chose to go with it.

Enjoy these images of brighter, warmer, freer days from our trip to beautiful Oregon, where we were blessed to take an impromptu road trip and hit up Portland and Haystack Rock at Canon Beach over a two day period while visiting BC. These images definitely make staring at the same four walls a little bit easier to cope with, and they give me something to hang on to for a future beyond social distancing.

I hope everyone out there is staying healthy and safe. And for all of those who know our McKinnon clan personally, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support or help if you need it. We are all in this together.

Concert in the Country

THIS is something to be excited about.

This past weekend I had the absolute privilege to attend the first annual fundraiser for the Terminator Foundation, hosted by Stacey & Garrett Janzen.

The not-for-profit Terminator Foundation was founded by Vanisha Breault, a powerful and passionate motivational speaker.

“Vanisha has been a pillar of strength in her Community and coined a “Social Justice Warrior”. Through her efforts she has received recognition, most recently, The Nadine Stirling Memorial Award in 2018 from the Canadian Mental Health Association of Alberta, the ‘National Every Day Hero’ in 2014, and also the recipient of The Wild Rose Award in 2016.

The Terminator Foundations vision is to reach all youth and young adults who are impacted by addiction and mental health and radically transform their lives through sports coaching, peer support, team training, endurance and triathlon participation while supporting efforts to terminate the shame and indignity of addiction with education,awareness and understanding. Terminator Foundation is a collaboration of integrated health care systems who support youth and young adults in their effort to recover from addiction and mental health issues. Our goal is to strengthen recovery through a continuum of care model that incorporates physical exercise in the sport of Triathlon training, personal coaching, and community engagement. The Terminator Foundation brings effective action in the areas of education, awareness and compassion to make a difference in the lives of youth, their families, our communities, cities and across the country.” (source: terminatorfoundation.com)

This private event was open to all first responders, and was held in beautiful Rocky View County. And in perfect Alberta style, we were dumped on with snow that lasted all through the event (and didn’t let up all weekend. Um, where’d fall go?!)

The night was warmed with roaring bonfires across the snowy acreage and the massively talented CPS band, FrontLine, blessed us with some seriously good live music. The night boasted a BBQ, a silent auction with some incredible donations, and ended with several inspirational speeches from Vanisha, and her daughter, Eden, who spoke of their personal transformations and the value of this foundation + its incredible impact on the lives of young people fighting addiction and mental health challenges.

It was an honour to be a part of this night, and I’m so excited to see this foundation continue to grow and impact lives.

And a huge thank you to every first responder for all that you do daily + behind the scenes.

Enjoy the images!

For more information about the Terminator Foundation, please visit https://terminatorfoundation.com

seasons

Transition can be tricky. Transition can take you out of your comfort zone, it can grow you, and you can’t always see your safe landing. As we grew from our family of 3 to our family of 4, it felt like the season of transition would never end. There were new responsibilities to take on, new routines to start, new emotions to be felt (by our son and us, alike), a new school year and some scarifies to be made. But as we transitioned through this new season together as a family, what stood out to me was the commitment to each other. Us. This little crew that we get to call our own.

I have said it before, we have been so greatly blessed along this journey, and there are no other people I would rather do life with than these crazy humans. As summer comes to and end and we move toward autumn, I’m reminded again how much I have to be thankful for. Discomfort or not, each and every season of change in my life has brought me exactly here with these people. And I am forever grateful for the love, the support, the encouragement, the laughter, the sloppy wet baby kisses and the tickle fights that happen each night on our living room floor.

And I’m extra thankful for a husband who says, “sure”, when I tell him it’s been too long since I’ve had time behind my lens and I need to go out and capture some love to fill up my bucket again.

So, this is us. I hope you enjoy the images!

Mark & Merrick

Well people, it’s T-minus 10 weeks until baby McKinnon arrives (gasp!), and I have been so fortunate to spend my last few weekends exploring (read: waddling) around some beautiful Calgary park grounds.

You may recognize this lovely family from a few of my past sessions. The Hill’s are the best kind of people, and I’m always so happy to spend time with them (with out without my camera in hand!)

We weren’t sure what the weather was going to do, and it was a little more chilly than we anticipated, but we found a great little spot in Carburn Park to wander.

Despite the enormous amounts of snow this city has been recently dumped with, this weekends melt and plus temperatures actually felt like fall. And it was lovely!

Enjoy the images.

 

The Campbell’s

Happy Winter!

I mean, happy…fall? Right, this is fall. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s not Christmastime yet whenever I look out the window at the wall of snow Calgary was hit with a few days ago. We broke records you guys! And not the good kind! But now that Snowmageddon seems to have passed and the white stuff is melting down, I’ve been looking forward to getting outside and seeing those amazing autumn colors saturating the trees. And today did not disappoint!

I got to spend my afternoon with this beauty of a family. Meet The Campbell’s. It’s been years…YEARS since they have had family photos taken, so I was honored to capture some memories today.

The weather was perfect, the scenery was amazing, and this preggo mama got to spend the day behind a lens, so I’d say today was a success! And to top it off, I even got to hide away and edit all evening, so these images are super duper fresh. Like, five hours fresh, you guys!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed capturing them.

Wayne + Nina

Love is in the air… Ok- so this past weekend was crazy. Crazy busy, crazy loud and crazy filling for my soul. I jumped in a packed SUV and drove for 10+ hours into the Fraser Valley with my kiddo to spend the weekend soaking up sunshine, old friends and family moments. Among the busyness, I was able to sneak away with one of my favorite people, my big brother, and his b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l bride to be. These sweethearts are getting married this coming September and I cannot wait for the day to arrive. So in the meantime, enjoy these engagement photos- they sure do make my heart happy.

Jake + Jaclyn’s Wedding Day

It sure didn’t feel like an entire three months went by between shooting this sweet couple’s engagement photos and their wedding day, but it came at last and it was beautiful! This vintage inspired wedding was hosted entirely on the grounds at Heritage Park Historical Village and the details were perfection. From the bride’s hand made floral fan to the flapper style bridesmaids dresses that were designed and created by one of the bridesmaids herself, to the Dairy Barn where they danced the night away- this was one lovely day to remember. The bride and groom also decided they wanted to have one last “meeting” before they met at the ceremony aisle, and guys, it was full of emotion! I was holding in tears as this couple held hands, separated between a wall, and I’m so honored I got to be a part of this. Jake + Jaclyn, I wish you a lifetime of blessings and a home full of joy in your future. Congratulations, newlyweds! Enjoy the images.

jake + jacyln.

I love to photograph love! And I love it even more when I get to spend my afternoon with a couple like this.

Meet Jake and Jaclyn. I have the privilege to photograph this sweet couple again in just three short months and it was a pleasure to spend some time with them in front of my lens for their complimentary engagement session.

These next few months will be gone before you know it, so until then, happy planning all things wedding (eek!) and enjoy the images!

 

 

 

celebrate.

When did life get so busy?! I’m sure these have been some of the busiest summer + fall seasons I have seen in years, and I’m still a little shocked that Christmas is next month…umm, what?! But what was even more surprising, was my email from the lovely Tamara who asked me to do one year photos for sweet baby R.

Wait, what???

That’s right. This little lady is already ONE and it seems like just yesterday that I met her for the first time and did a newborn session in this beautiful family’s home.

SO much changes in a year, and this sweet girl is one big handful of sweetness and sass! It was such a pleasure (as it always is) to join in these lives for a brief time and capture some candid moments of love and laughter. These images are a perfect glimpse into the “adventure” that is 1 (and she’s not even walking yet! Ha).

Enjoy!

And happy birthday (not so baby) girl.

simple life.

I’ve lived a lot of places.

I’ve seen the city.  I’ve tasted the salt air of the ocean while I ran through my childhood back yard. I’ve hunkered down in basement suites in suburbia and curled up to read books on concrete stairs. I’ve laid on hay bales, I’ve hunted for frogs, I’ve taken the city train through downtown metropolises and sipped cocoa from mountain tops with frozen finger tips. But what really fills my heart up, is this; these fields. This country life. And the absence of everything else. The escape from traffic, from deadlines, from hot tarmac and tall buildings. What fills me up, took me thirty years to find. It’s the places that I’m free inside, where I can sit under the hot prairie sky that stretches for days. Where I can walk barefoot through tall weeds and hear the endless chirping of crickets. It’s sunsets over open plains and water bugs dancing on their own reflection. It’s the simple moments where I can think and feel who I truly am and the beauty all around me becomes undeniable. Beauty that reminds me why I am so blessed to be alive in a universe so much bigger than me.