Friday, November 28, 2008

Provincial Image Competition 2008

Although I was out of the country for the actual competition, I was greeted with some good news upon my return. In the 2008 Professional Photographers of Canada- Alberta Branch's Image Competition I had some great success. But first I want to say thank you to my wonderful clients for allowing me to photograph your most special days and be a small part of your lives. Without you all, none of this would ever be possible. I truly don't take your trust in me or your business for granted. So again thank you very much! I am in incredibly grateful every day that I have the best job in the world!

Now my three new awards :)

Best in Class- Photojournalistic Wedding Image 2008

"Helping Hands":

Thanks to Alicia and her beautiful (and very attentive, I must say) bridemaids for falling into a perfect form to create this Photojournalistic image.

Best in Class- Feature Album 2008

This is a category I had never entered before. It is a album of your choosing, but no wedding images/albums were allowed. Lots of people enter family albums or Commercial work and I decided to enter a engagement album into the category and happily it won.

Here are some pages from my album "Michelle & Adam":

Best In Class- Wedding Album 2008

And finally my favourite Category, Wedding Album of the Year. This year, after lots of debating I decided to enter Alicia and Cody's album into Competition. There were so many beautiful weddings this year, it was a incredibly hard choice. But I guess it was a good choice because for the third year in a row I won Alberta's Wedding album of the year!

Here is a very small peak at a few pages in Alicia and Cody's Award Winning Album:

Thanks again to my clients, friends and family for your support. I am already looking forward to entering National Competition this Spring :)


Central America

We safely arrived after a wonderful long month of adventures yesterday. It feels awesome to be back in our beautiful country again, sleep in my own bed and not have to live out of a back pack. Tim and I made lots of great memories and experienced things I wouldn't even imaged. Central America is such a diverse place and each country held it's own special charm. We experienced amazing beaches throughout, diverse & delicious food every day, unbelievable snorkeling in Honduras, gigantic volcanoes in Guatemala, abandoned political prisons in Nicaragua, breathtaking Cloud Forests in Costa Rica.... I could go on and on. One of the most amazing things was the people. For example Nicaragua had been at civil war for nearly 50 years and is only beginning to experience tourism in the last seven years. These people were nothing but welcoming and friendly.... even after living through war and with many surviving on less then 2 dollars per day. We saw bullet holes still in the some walls and extreme poverty in areas, yet they are full of smiles and warmth. I was constantly wide-eyed amazed throughout our travels and was always grateful to be a free Canadian. It was interesting to cross through the border to Costa Rica and see the extreme differences. Costa Rica was beautiful, developed and even expensive in areas... a completely different experience then it's northern neighbors and fantastic part of out trip. I loved each part of our adventure in unique way and could never choose a favourite place or part. I am sharing some very random pictures of our travels to give a little taste of some of things we experienced going on this backpacking trip of a lifetime.

Doors from the city of Granada, Nicaragua. A city with a rich Colonial heritage that escaped the damage that was done to a lot of the country in the 80's. The thousands doors in the city are a symbol of pride for the people and have been quite well preserved. A Coffee bean plant in Costa Rica. We went through a small farm and I was completely surprised to learn how sugar cane and coffee are produced. We also saw & tasted fresh pineapples, oranges, and other fruits and veggies that I had never seen before and won't even begin to try to spell :)

Walking through the Cloud Forests in Monteverde, Costa Rica. A wonder to behold and a must see. These forests are similar to rain forests except they are so high up in elevation that they receive all their moisture from the clouds. Walking through them is like walking in the clouds...misty and serene.

Tim zip-lining through the cloud forest. We zipped through the forest on 12 cable systems, the longest at 770 meters, and 130 meters high. It was not only a crazy adrenaline rush but also offered amazing views of the forest from above.

On the island Ometepe in Nicaragua. It is a unique place because it is made up of two Volcanoes: ConcepciĆ³n and Maderas, and the volcanoes are joined together by a low isthmus to form one island in the shape of an hourglass.

Another view of Ometepe from a plantation.

Some monkeys that parked themselves in front of our cabana. So cute until they start baring their teeth to protect themselves from the camera. Yeek.

Backpacking is a great way to see a lot of places on a very modest budget.... although transportation and accommodation may be a little rough around the edges. We took this local ferry out to the island. That is my bag being thrown from the dock across to the boat and as you can see it is rocking like crazy. Got a bit sick on that travel day.

This is a shot of the still smoking Volcano of Mayasa. The smell was so toxic we had to wear gas masks and I still struggled to breathe. My eyes burned but it was amazing to look over the edge and see the glow of lava.

Some chickens outside of homes in rural Nicaragua.

Trying new street food and sampling a fruit called sweet lemon...which is exactly what it is. Yummy.

The kids would make me laugh. They'd play shy and laugh but loved the attention. I'd take their picture and show them the back of the camera to their absolute pleasure. It was so fun to share that with them.

Beautiful pottery we watched being handmade. The detail was extraordinary and we wanted to take so many home.... however carrying pottery in a backpack is just asking for disappointment when you unwrap it at home.

Honduras' famous Mosquito coast.

Tim walking through Ruins in Guatemala.

Spanish Ruins in Antigua. The city was breathtaking and a joy to just walk through.

Spanish Catholic church orginally built in 1543.

Another shot of Antigua, it's most famous landmark.

So that's a small taste of my last month travels. Next time your over I'd love to share more with you :)
PS. I almost forgot one small part of our travels and wanted to to say Thank you to Kristine and Nolan for their thoughtfulness. I had mentioned we were going to drop off School supplies at a School in Central America on my blog before I left, and to my great surprise, before we left Kristine & Nolan showed up with a bag of Pencils, crayons and other goodies. I was so grateful and impressed by their generosity. I know my clients are all amazing, but that went above and beyond. Tim and I had a blast visiting a Nicaraguan School. Walking in there with our bags of supplies felt a little like being Santa Claus. The children screamed with excitement and jumped out of their desks for hugs and gifts. I nearly cried. It could have possibly been the highlight of my trip. It was slightly crazy carrying the amount of stuff we had along with us for so long, but was so worth it when we were finally able to deliver it all in person, I'll never forget it.