Can’t I shoot something other than hockey? That thought came to me when I looked on my stats page and saw someone actually googled “canucks alana”. Yup.

I wish I could say that was a legitimate problem…But it’s not, but I seem to be only shooting hockey and while I wish that was a career of mine, I unfortunately have to stick to my day job.

With the season underway, I’ve somehow managed to see two games already and the photo’s below are of the most recent one last week against Colorado (It was a great game to watch live seeing as they got a shut out..). It was fun taking my big camera and standing at the front for warm-ups. For some reason a few of them got a kick out of trying to scare me while I was looking through the camera shooting by shooting the pucks at the glass instead of the net. Jokes on you suckers, I still got some great shots! Image

I didn’t see the irony until I edited this.

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Oh captain, my captain.

Some good news on the photo work front though, my good friend got engaged over the Christmas break to a lovely girl and last week he asked me if I would be interested in photographing their wedding. I was really honoured that he asked, that he has that much faith in me to shoot his wedding. I really want to but there are so many things that could go wrong, and then it gets awkward…Plus theres the battle between, do I want to sit an enjoy my friends wedding as a guest and party with my friends while celebrating an important day, or do I want to work at doing something I love to do with a good friend of mine by capturing his special day. It’s a toss up. And I’m still thinking about it… I tend to over think these kinds of things, so I’ll be at it for a while.

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The future Mr. and Mrs. Finch.

While I’m trying to fight off round two of this winter flu that’s been going around I’ve been trying to keep busy, but it’s hard when you have so little energy. The last month has been trying to prepare for the exodus of our Youth Pastor Grant. 18 years, he’s beenthe Youth guy at SDBC, and now he’s leaving. Not by anything you would normally assume (if you’re an SDBC member at least). After 18 years he realized in order for the ministry to grow, and for him to grow, he needed to move on. It was honestly the most grace filled exit I’ve ever seen in my 13 years being a part of a church. Since I found out back in October, I’ve been trying toprocess what his leaving means to me. I know it’s weird for a girl to take that long to process something, but with Grant it was different. The whole reason I stepped foot inside South Delta Baptist Church was because of Grant. Going to that youth program called Gap he led for 18 years was a huge reason why I became a Christian, and Grant is a huge reason why 13 years later I still strive for a relationship with Jesus. I grew up in youth group since I was 14, became a youth leader, interned in ministry, and now I am his co-worker, his peer, and have always been his friend. There are a lot of people in the community that can say that they’ve met Grant at some point, that they’ve come to Gap at some point in their youth. There are not many people that can say one negative thing about this guy, he’s so great. His heart for Youth ministry is inspireing. It’s what made me love youth ministry so much, and I have him to thank for the many relationships I’ve build over the years with some pretty amazing kids. It’s weird to think that he’s no longer a part of that. And it’s scary to think what the youth ministry is going to do now. I mean they have excellent leadership taking over until we hire a new Youth pastor, but change is always a little scary in the beginning, especially when you don’t know what the end result will be.

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The big man himself, Grant. Photo by me of course.

And finally, last week marked the two year anniversary of loosing Nana. Every day I still think of her, whether it’s a memory or something that I do or say and I remember that I picked it up from her. All of us still grieve and remember her in our own way, I keep trying to tell myself that when I hear a new crazy story about a family member, I also try to picture nana rolling her eyes and mumble “Christ almighty” in her scottish accent. God, I miss her. 104

Instagram and Hockey

It’s a new year. How many of you have broken your New Year’s resolutions already? I loosely said I’d save more this year and in an effort to do so, I’ve held off on spending (with essentials being the exception). But with the NHL lockout over and the season starting on Saturday my self control might slip with the purchase of tickets to a game or two 🙂

I was happy to see that two photos I entered for an instagram charity showcase where chosen and put on display at what I think is one of the coolest parties in the city a couple weeks ago, called the Instagramorama (Seeing as I don’t go to many city parties, I don’t have much to go on). It was definitely a confidence booster to see my photos printed and on display (with a few likes too!).

Unfortunately, the slump is still present, I just don’t have the creative drive to go out and shoot anything right now. It’s not helping either that I haven’t been hired (that’s partly my fault, part of my responsibility is to sell myself and my work in order to gain more customers and I’ve been lacking). I guess that should be part of my New Years resolution, to get out and shoot, in the middle of it something might come up. Right?

With hockey back on, I’m hoping to find a little inspiration out of that. In the 6 games I went to last year, I came out of it with a few cool shots and a few of them are floating around tumblr (Edler seems to be a popular one). Other than urban/street photography, Sports has to be one of my favourites to shoot. My friend and I have been taking advantage of the free public training camp this week. We went and saw the practice on Sunday and then went to the scrimmage last night. I didn’t realize how much I missed hockey until last night when I was in Rogers arena with the other 12,000 fans cheering as if it was a real game. Sadly, I left my camera at home. But I took one or two pictures with the trusty iPhone (That’s Higgins, he’s a little blurry I know, the phone can only do so much…). A lot of people are still angry about the lock out and truthfully so am I, it sucked that we had to loose half a season, and the fans lost out, but I’m not going to punish myself more by boycotting hockey, because one, it wont matter, and two why punish myself even more, I love watching hockey, and hockey is back. End of story. Now go get that cup!

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Here we are again

We’re at that time again when the air is getting crisp, the days are shorter, and summer is just another memory. I don’t mourn for summer as much as I used to, simply because I love this time of year. I love watching the leaves turn and the air cooling down and my favourite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. This year flew by, a lot happened, a lot of up’s and down’s, and a lot of growth was had. I was in a reflective mood last week and looked back to the post I wrote last year ending off the summer remembering I made a list of goals to check off.

Pass Stats (HA!) Got a B-!!

– Get that damn diploma and kiss Kwantlen goodbye It was a tearful goodbye…not really though but three months later that little piece of paper came.

– Have one of my photos published Of Jeremy Johnson the BA Christian Rock star

– Book at least one photo shoot before Christmas (anyone want their photo taken?) Thank you Finch and family

– Finish Weathering Heights I couldn’t it was to much. My attention shifted to Fitzgerald

– Make my own backdrop (too cheap to buy one) In true Gentile fashion, why buy something when you can make it for cheaper 😉

– Get a tattoo Does a sharpie count? I’ll get a real one soon enough…

Last week mom and I took a little road trip down to Portland for her birthday and as a little vacation seeing as I never really took one this summer. Since my dad’s head office is in Portland my folks are down there every three months but I’ve never been, so I was pretty excited to see the sights of a city I’ve never been to. I’m always excited to explore a city I’ve never been to. Portland is sure interesting. It’s such cool city, a friend of mine described it as being a city that never really let go of the 90’s mainstream culture. I’d agree with him to a certain extend, it definitely has a cool vibe and I’ll admit I was a little nervous going fearing I wasn’t “hip” enough, but somehow I managed. I’d say I I might like Portland even more than Seattle, and that says a lot seeing as Pike Place Market is one of my favourite places on earth, but the Portland Saturday Market and  SW Ankeny St gave Pike Place a run for it’s money. And Powells Bookstore came in close second, I have never seen a bookstore like that, I went in wanting to buy Fitzgeralds, “The Beautiful and Damned” and I got lost in it’s color coded rooms and somehow ended up on the otherside of the store which ended up being two or three blocks away from where I started (it’s THAT big..) but it was inspiring and comforting being in such a huge place filled with all those books, stacked from the floor to the ceiling. Other than to take in the city and take advantage of the tax free shopping I was happy to spend our mini vacation not thinking about life back home. And I came back rested but a weekend wasn’t enough and now I regret not taking a longer holiday this year, but my lesson is learned. While I was there I was also fighting another slump of creativing and didn’t take a lot of shots but here are a few.

Clearly, most of them were taken from my phone. I’m still trying to kick this slump I’ve been in since the end of July which explains the lack of photos and posts. If anyone has any tips they can lend my way on beating a creative drought I’m all ears.

Oh technology

Finally! I can write blog posts from my phone!

I like to think I’m a little more tech savy than that.

Anyways, went out to see the wee ones play a battle of the bands last night and made my best effort at concert photography but I was lacking my camera and the coveted media pass so I had to do my best with what I had…my phone.

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Wedding | Steven and Holly

Almost two months later I am still trying to process the day but to sum it up, it was great. It was a huge learning experience and while it wasn’t easy I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to photograph Holly and Steve for my first wedding. I remember back when I first met with them I was so nervous and the first thing I told them was that I had never photographed a wedding before. Holly smiled with a light shrug and said, “Everyone has to start somewhere”. I was so happy I got to photograph them, it’s easy to photograph them, every time they looked at each other it was like they were seeing each other for the first time. They had fun with each other and wanted to have fun on their special day. I went into the day terrified, the days prior were spent preparing and I probably sat and analyzed every possible situation that could have happened and wondered if I was in fact talented enough to shoot the wedding. And then, when the day came I woke up to the sound of pouring rain. But that was ok because it was one of the hundreds of possibilities I envisioned of happening. I wasn’t happy about it but there wasn’t much that could be done and prayed that the rain stopped in time for the portrait time outside. I was prepared for the long day ahead though in spite of my confidence still no where in sight, but when I got there and saw Holly getting ready my nerves were starting to ease. It was fun being a fly on the wall prior to the ceremony, seeing the girls (and Benjy the Bridesman) getting ready and hanging out. Having not been a bridesmaid (which sometimes I think is a good thing) and not yet a bride (also a good thing) I’ve never experienced the “getting ready” part of a wedding. It can really set the tone for the day, and Holly’s time was so relaxed and fun no one noticed the rain outside. A reoccurring thought running through my mind that day were my insecurities, am I going to produce great photos for the couple? Can I make a living out of this? Is my camera going to break at one point today? Am I going to have a nervous breakdown? Am I having a nervous breakdown right now?! And just as I was standing in the banquet room where as the ceremony started, I saw Holly walking down the isle and I started snapping away my confidence finally showed up and I felt right doing it. And yes it was a long day and yes there were challenges that i had to face but as we were driving home that night after pulling an 11 hour day I was energized, everything went by so quick, time always flies when you’re having fun.

When I met with the couple yesterday to give them the photos, Steve asked me if I would do it again. I smiled saying absolutely! I love working and interacting with people and I love taking photos and I can only hope for more opportunities to do two things I love to do!

Full Steam Ahead

It’s crunch time.

This week is shaping up to be a pretty crazy week. Maybe even crazier than finals. And I’m not going to lie, I’m terrified.

I’m photographing my first wedding this Saturday. All the preparation, all the time and energy I’ve spent learning and practicing being a better photographer will be put to the test in front of a paying client on Saturday. Not a lot of room for error. What makes it stressful is that this week leading up to the wedding is busy. Rehearsal Wednesday night, Social gathering Thursday, Friday is my “lets get all my equipment without having a nervous breakdown” day, all in addition to my full time job.

I am really excited for the challenge, don’t get me wrong. This is something that I’ve been working towards for a year now and I finally can get some expereince under my belt and build some contacts, but there’s that one little fear that seemingly tends to run my life. Fear of failure.

I know I’m a decent photographer, and I know my stuff but until you jump right into the task at hand, there’s no way of telling whether or not you’ll sink or swim (good thing I bought my dad water wings for fathers day….long story). I have played out tons of senarios in my mind of how the day could go, which probably isnt helping me stay calm about this whole thing. But there are a few things that are still wondering through my head. Them being:

  • That little button on the side of my camera I have yet to figure out. What the heck does it do??
  • What am I going to wear – Don’t make fun! It’s a valid question – When I go to weddings (as a guest) I go with a dress and cute but uncomfortable shoes. I’ve photographed in  dress and heels before but wondering if the wise choice might be to stick to pants and comfy shoes.
  • Will my second shooter/assistant pull through – this one is always a gamble. It’s the first time I’ve ever used someone else
  • How do I deal with a crazy drunk uncle or distant cousin if they try to photo bomb every picture
  • Can I be organized enough to know where and when to shoot and how to direct my assistant
  • Will the clients love the photos in the end
  • and lastly, will I in fact have a nervous breakdown the night before.

Bottom line is I’m equal parts excited and terrified. The postive thing about all this is gaining the expereince, whether I do well or not, I will have done it. That’s all I can really ask for. The first time you do anything is always going be terrifying just because you don’t know the end result.

Through it all I’m learning a lot. Not only just about Photography, but business as well. I studied Business for three years and it’s one thing to learn and study it all, and it’s another to put it into practice which is what I’m trying to do. How to carry myself and turn my name into a brand essentially. How to negotiate with clients and sell myself to potential ones. How to deal with assistants and second shooters.

On a less stressful note. A few days after the wedding, after I’ve settled down from the adrenaline i’ll be running on. I will be going over to Salt spring Island again the youth kids to photograph the trip. It’s something I try to make time to do every year and I love going. I wasn’t exaggerating that it was going to be a crazy week but i’ve heard you are at your most creative state when you are stressed.

A wonderful lady that attends my church always used to say to me “Hang in there baby” when I would tell her any stressful situation. I’m hanging in there baby.

4 Weeks have flown by

My last class is tomorrow night. Above are just a few of the MANY photos I took last week. Some models like Bella here were around for us to shoot and even some classmates got to stand on the other side of the camera (I even did as well!). All I can say is that this class has taught me so much about Photography and it’s given me so much confidence and it’s made me love the art so much more.