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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Kailey & Jeff - Elopement @ the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC

What an awesome way to start the New Year!

I had the pleasure of doing a portrait session with Kailey and Jeff following their elopement ceremony at the Empress Hotel on January 1st 2014.

Even though I only spent a short time with this couple - I could tell right away that they were amazing for each other. Typically it takes a little "warm up" before people are totally comfortable in front of my camera - So I always find elopements particularly interesting due to the fact our time together is so much shorter than usual. With that being said however, These two had zero issues whatsoever, and were instant naturals!

We stayed at the Empress for the entire time - which I had no problem doing since I never seem to run out of inspiration in that building. The shoot itself was one of those sessions that feel more like "hanging out" than "working" to the point where I was a little sad when it ended. Thanks for having me be a part of your day you two, it was great getting to know you!

Congratulations Kailey and Jeff! I wish you all the best in your lives together (and on your trip to Europe when Jeff finally gets some time off work!)

-K


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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Shaden Maximus Lyric Gower, and the first 1,000,000 Seconds of his Life (a Photo Essay).


At 12:27pm on November 30th, 2013 - My entire world stood still as I watched my first born Son, Shaden Maximus Lyric Gower, enter this world.

As a photographer by trade, I have been fortunate enough to witness many beautiful acts of nature through my lens. They all, however, pale in comparison to this.

Watching my son begin his life has been nothing short of incredible, and while those first few moment may have seemed to last forever - the following few weeks have been a total blur. Luckily, I have an insanely itchy trigger finger (and an extremely tolerant family), so regardless of how quick these past few weeks have gone by I can rest assured that everything has been documented in meticulous detail. This experience has been a constant reminder of why I hold photography so dear to my heart, and I am so excited to be able to share it with everyone.

I have always been drawn to the power of a well composed photo essay (pho-to ~ es-say: A group of photographs arranged to explore a theme or tell a story). I spend a lot of my down time enjoying essays created by some of my favourite photojournalists, and as a wedding photographer even get to dabble in the art myself when I put together blog posts for this website. Rarely though, do I get the opportunity to create a photo essay inspired purely by passion and love. Words can not even begin to describe the joy I've found in documenting Shaden's birth story, and the idea that one day I will be able to share these precious memories with him through my images alone is absolutely priceless.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my partner Sasha for giving birth to this little dude. I think you are an amazing Mother to Tayla and I couldn't be happier that Shade has you as well. Additionally, I would like to thank you for your unmeasurable tolerance of photography - I know how much you despise having a camera in your face, and truly appreciate you allowing me to invade your privacy with mine. I promise one day you will be glad you did.

I have gone through and selected a few of the images that I feel tell the best story of Shaden's first million seconds of life. I also randomly included a few portraits I've taken of him along the way (the portraits are from two separate shoots - one at two days and one at two weeks).

If you dislike babies, I suggest you stop reading here :)

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Sasha woke me up at 7:30am to tell me that she'd been having contractions for the past few hours and that the midwife was on her way over to assess her progress. The midwife arrived at 8:30 and immediately determined it was time to head to the hospital - I guess Sash was further along than we realized! I was able to grab this shot of her leaving the house.

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I probably should have gotten the door for her...

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This is our awesome Midwife Beth (from West Coast Midwives).

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Sasha was informed that since her water hadn't broken on it's own, it was more or less up to her when the delivery would start. And 12:25 Sasha gave the Midwife the go ahead and it was game on.

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This champ had the kid out in only two pushes! At 12:27  my beautiful Son was born. To say I was suffering from shock would be an understatement... It all happened so fast!

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Momma's first look at Baby.

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Meet Shaden :)

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Sigh of relief.

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Look at the hair!

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Here is something I wasn't prepared for... cutting the Umbilical cord.  Luckily I was still in too much shock to turn down the opportunity, I'm so pleased I got to do this! I love that picture.

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Shaden, meet Mom.

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She made that look so easy!

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So crazy to think I was born on this same hospital ward (Sasha too!)

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lol

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My first time holding him.

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Aunt Amy was first on the scene (surprise, surpise)

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-Shaden 2 days-

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Kung-Fu grip, That's my boy!

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-Shaden 2 weeks-

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Just over an hour after Shade was born we were packed up and headed home. So crazy! He was brought home in the same outfit that I was brought home in :)

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-Shaden 2 days-

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Sasha entering and leaving the hospital down the same hallway. These photos were taken only a few hours apart!

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-Shaden 2 days-

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Arlo investigates the newcomer. Future bff's.

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Shaden meets his Grandpa

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Proud Grandma Jacks :)

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-Shaden 2 days-

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Tayla's first look at her new brother. What an awesome big sis he has!

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Nanna and Poppa come to meet their newest Grandchild

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Apparently "Big Sister gifts" are a thing. Tayla got an Ipad... Spoiled brat! It has actually turned out to be a great call, and yes, I know you "told me so" Sasha.

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Mortimer!

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The left Is Shaden being put down for his first nights sleep in the family bassinet (the same one I slept in as a Baby, as well as my Mother and the rest of our family for that matter). The right is Shaden just after he woke up from his first nights sleep, how cute is he!?

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-Shaden 2 weeks-

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The return of the Midwife. She stopped by to see how his first day was, as well as do a basic check up.

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Big Guy (My Grandpa) Meet's his newest Great Grandson :)

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My Aunt Liz and Uncle Jim say hello to the latest addition to our Family

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My good friends Rob and Cecilia stopped by to meet the little one. It was great to see them!

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Your move Anne ;)
-Shaden 2 days-

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Shaden's first bath!

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Our neighbours Wes and Kellie stopped by for an evening visit

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Shaden, meet soother.

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-Shaden 2 weeks-

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Aunt Amy brought over her new boyfriend Quintin to meet Shaden AND us for the first time, at the same time. The fellow has got guts, I'll give him that!

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Christina (one of my favourite people on earth) came by to meet him as well!

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More visitors! My Aunt Joanne and Uncle Don on the left, and our good friend Brenna on the right.

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My Cousin Tara stopped in to say hello :)

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Alison (another cousin)  has been a regular. Here she is during both round one and two of her visits.

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First bath with Mom.

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The Aunts! Sasha's sister Jennifer is on the right.

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Gift from Nana

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Shaden and Tayla hanging out with their cousin Claire (photo shoot outtake on the right, haha)

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Thanks to Tracy Bruno for this adorable knitted baby sleeve!
-Shaden 2 weeks-

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Midwife's second visit. he had a blood test done AND was weighed during this one.

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At long last Grandma returns from her trip and gets to meet her first Grandson! She'd spent the past few days in a great deal of distress waiting to meet him.

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Three generations :)

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Grandma knitted him a horse hat!

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Shaden being compared to a picture of myself when I was a newborn. I must admit I think he has me beat in the looks department - it's so hard to compete with that hair!

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Sue brought Sasha a Chicken back from the States. Sasha loves American Chicken.

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-Shaden 2 weeks-

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Sasha's friend Allison, her mother, and her daughter Grace all came by to meet little Shade

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-Shaden 2 days-

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My Cousin Avery and Friend Mike came by as well. Mike brought me a bottle of Bourbon!

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First Family photo!

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Shade and my two favourite cameras. Look at that smile! Can you say 'future photographer'?

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Thus concludes this blog entry. Thanks to all the friends and family who have congratulated us and spoiled us/him with gifts! He is very fortunate to start his life with all of you in it.

Happy Holidays!