Saturday, August 29, 2009

Elvie & Jayesh Engagement (Teaser)

Life has slowly become routine again, albeit a little more quiet'll just take some time to get used to.

But I'm getting back into the groove of shooting & processing. With that being said, I definitely wanted to post a teaser from a great engagement session I had last weekend:

What can I say about this couple? They're awesome, they rock my socks off, and they're a BLAST to work with! Stay tuned for their full engagement post :)

Oh, and I just had to include a solo image of their puppy Sheba because, c'mon, just look at that tongue! So stinkin' cute:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jasper Remembered

I just want to thank everyone who called, e-mailed and commented their condolences regarding Jasper's passing. I miss really means a lot to me that so many people loved this crazy little guy. I'm sure he's meowing his appreciation somewhere up there - if he's not tearing the place up that is!

As a personal request from my Mom, I thought I'd share this video of Jasper when he was still a baby and at his finest - HA!

Thank you again. I love you guys.

***To my clients: I apologize if you're waiting anxiously for your images. I have not forgotten you! Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Final Farewell

Jasper (June ?? 2008 - August 20, 2009)

This will probably be my last post about Jasper, since there's nothing left to update. I just want to take a moment to thank all those who were a part of Jasper's life - no matter how brief the time - that it made his short life all the richer. Thank you.

I'm sure this news may come as a great shock to all of you who knew him, or at least knew of him. Jasper showed no sign of illness so when he got sick - it felt sudden, it looked painful and especially on my part, was unexpected.

It started only 2 days ago. He was still fine and being his little sh*t self Tuesday morning....until I came home that night and found him not his usual self. Instead of the loud 'meeeoowwww' and 'mews' I get when I open the door, I heard nothing. Huh, strange...that's never happened before. And so I waited for him to greet me...and waited...and waited.

So where was he? I found Jasper in his carrier (his security blanket). When he heard me coming, he poked his head out and studied me, then slowly limbered out to finally say 'hello'. However, his 'hello' was more like intense breathing, a large scowl and quiet wheezing.

It didn't take me long to figure out that there was some wrong with him. I mean, something terribly wrong. A few phone calls later, I drove Jasper to the closest 24 hour animal clinic and waited to see the vet so he could give me some news about Jasper being okay - that this was a bug and he'll be just fine.

What I got instead was anything but. The vet told me that Jasper was possibly suffering from fluid in his lungs, which explained his painful breathing, and thyroid issues. My heart sank to the floor and I cried as I watched the vet take him away as he was admitted into the animal hospital for diagnosis. I whispered to Jasper for him to be okay and drove home with a heavy heart. The next morning felt like an eternity as I waited for news about his condition.

It didn't take long for the vets at the hospital to diagnose Jasper with HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy), which in layman's terms meant that Jasper was born with a small heart that over time, couldn't sustain his ever growing cat body - he just wasn't getting enough blood through his system, which then affected his lungs that slowly filled up with fluid. August 18 was the breaking point and Jasper's body started to severely deteriorate.

Jasper spent 2 nights in the hospital in an oxygen room with too many types of medication pumping through his little body to help him breathe and get his blood moving. I went to visit him the first night and man, he looked terrible. Drooling, purple and stoned out of his mind, he wasn't my cat in that oxygen room. My Jasper wasn't there and I was left staring at this shell. So his condition was the pretty much the same as the night before, if not worse. Then I was asked to wait. Wait to see the next morning whether there was any noticeable improvement - most importantly if Jasper could breathe comfortably on his own.

In the morning I got the dreadful call that his condition had not changed. He still couldn't breathe on his own and the only thing keeping him alive was being in the oxygen room and the medication. His ultrasound also showed that a valve in his heart wasn't functioning at all, so if Jasper was removed from the oxygen tank and meds, he could crash at any moment.

Given my options, I was left with little choice but to put him to sleep. As his Mom, I just couldn't let him continue living in an oxygen tank for the remainder of his life, drugged out and miserable. Or for him to come back home with me and have to painfully swallow 4 pills each day for the rest of his life (however long that might be), then drop dead from the blood clots forming in his heart.

So tonight, I signed the paper authorizing the injections, cried for a while and waited to see my Jasper for the last time. When he came up from his oxygen tank all wrapped up in a towel, I spent the next hour with him. The sad thing was, Jasper was quite himself the entire time, which made it that much harder to bear. He looked a whole lot better than the previous night!! Surrounded by his family and friends, Jasper enjoyed our company until his breathing started to become laboured. It was time. At 11: 35 PM, I held my Jasper and watched him nervously and cautiously leave this world. It took 10 seconds. I stayed an extra hour afterwards to keep him company, cleaned him up and prayed to his free spirit to come find me again in his next life - and that this time, he would be healthy and stay with me for the remainder of my life, and not the other way around.


I miss Jasper more than anything and words can't even describe the pain, guilt and sadness I feel right now, but I know it was for the best. I look around this empty room and it's hard to believe he's gone. I miss his collar bell ringing through the halls, his lone howling and high pitched mewing, his constant rebellious/stubborn/needy self, his "no hugs, not ever!" embraces, his nuzzling (into my armpit...don't ask), his sleeping on my chest and suffocating me with his butt, his crazy toy mouse and laser beam chasing, raccoon tail....everything. I just miss him. But he was loved with every ounce I could give that little cat and I was blessed to have had him in my life, even if it was for just a year.

So lastly, I want to thank you Jasper for being with me and letting me love you. I hope you're well wherever you are and creating a crazy ruckus all the while ;) Then come find me again when you're done. I'll be waiting :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ron C.

A teaser from a shoot I did a couple weeks ago for Ron, who hails from D.C. (hey!) - thank goodness we were indoors because from what I can remember, it was raining cats & dogs!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I thought I'd share one more image from Iris & Marcelo's wedding :) Meet Carolyn (Sandra's daughter) - she was my little helper during the group photo session and one mean dancer! I would completely lose in a dance-off against her ;)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Iris & Marcelo Wedding (08.01.09)

During the long weekend, I shot a beautiful & intimate wedding for the two most fun, easy-going and down-to-earth people I know :) During our first meeting, they made me feel like I was one of their closest friends and I could already tell they were fantastic people. Seriously when a bride tells me that she hates posed pictures because she's "allergic to cheese" - ahhh, right then I knew the wedding would be awesome & they were a couple after my own photographic heart ;)

Surrounded by their closest friends and family, Iris & Marcelo were married at Oakview Terrace (a tiny dream of a location!):

The handsome groom - Marcelo, you're such a ham:

Iris, you're stunning:

Iris walking down the aisle with her Dad:

Marcelo sneaking a peek at his bride for the first time (love, love, love):

OMG, I haven't been to a wedding where there were so many babies present! Cute-gasm all over the place:

I adore this next shot that J took:

I was joking with Marcelo that I should call him 'Soulja Boy' because he was kind of stiff when it came to portrait time. Haha! But once he loosened up, it was easy peasy from there.

My favourite portrait of the day:

All the flowers at the ceremony & reception (Regal 16 Chinese Restaurant) were lovingly made by Iris' sister-in-law Jane. Seriously, are you kidding me with this gorgeousness:

Marcelo's from Brazil, Iris' from Canada = a perfect cake:

I have to say that Iris' family is such a blast to photograph! I couldn't stop laughing all night:

Iris & Marcelo, thank you for letting me create these memories for you. I hope you guys have a great time in Brazil in December. I'm so jealous! ;P
Funny story:
Iris & Marcelo were referred to me by Cheryl (a previous bride & friend). I knew that she worked at a school, but at which one? I never asked. She didn't know where I worked either.

Anyways, I deal with teachers on occasion at work and over the years, some have become great friends :) One day, one of those teachers asked me whether I was shooting the wedding of one of her colleagues - her colleague being Iris. Whaaaaaat?? Evidently, Cheryl was their budget secretary - this mystery budget secretary that I've been hearing about and giving me PO's to use!! Whhhhhaaaat??? And apparently, Cheryl had seen my name sticky-noted (yes, I totally made that word up) somewhere at the office before but never really too thought much of it. 1 + 1 clicked and huhhhh! Small world, right? ;)