Sunday, June 04, 2017

6 months into a new life.

This month marks half a year living in Canada. Life is fuller than I could have ever imagined. Full not in the sense that it is chaos, but in the sense that each day feels more whole. Every day feels more and more like coming home to myself. As I adjust to the rhythm of a new life, everything falls into place. The love I have for this country and the people I've met will never leave me.

Our story started in Vancouver, touching down on the 15th January. We drove from Vancouver to Jasper to Canmore in February, encountering many a closed highway (read the full story here) and getting a very quick lesson on driving in the Canadian winter. We moved into a house of 8, with views of the mountain ranges out our kitchen window, and have since become friends & family with the people who have come in and out of our home. Our house of travellers has been inhabited by Germans, Czechs, Australians, Canadians, Kiwis, an American and two dogs.

As the seasons (slowly) transitioned from winter to spring and now, summer, friends who have become dear to us have left to begin their travels. In the last few weeks we've still had a few random days of snowfall, but within hours it melts away. The tips of the mountains become less and less white as the sun beats down on the snowpack and the mountain faces become exposed to sunlight from 5:30am until 10:00pm. Lakes have turned from ghostly ivory to their glorious turquoise; hiking has gone from being an icy endeavour with microspikes, snow-boots and 3 layers of clothes to being able to wear merely a shirt. Every weekend we try to visit a new place, a new lake, a new mountain, usually bringing our housemates' dogs along. The summer now means picnics, more hiking and summit-bagging, more outdoor climbing, and hopefully some canoeing, paddle-boarding and camping. Trees went from being bare and brown to teasing us with lime green shoots and now, they burst with flowers in full bloom. As the wind blows, the petals and the dandelions dance across our streets. Prairie dogs poke their heads out of their homes in the late afternoon, peeping loudly and scattering quickly as you approach. It's something else, to see the seasons change so clearly. To be able to appreciate the warmth of spring and to soak up as much time outside as you can, knowing the winter will be bitter and harsh. When I'm not adventuring, I learn to make great food and coffee at a cafĂ© and specialty food market in town, I climb, I keep up my yoga practice, or I spend time with Martin and our new friends.

I shoot mostly for the pure enjoyment of documenting our life; to return to the art of everyday storytelling. I've let go of worrying about whether or not I'll “make it” as a photographer, or if I'm getting any bookings, or if this is somehow going to reach my target audience. Photography is and always has been something I do for me; a way in which I can communicate how I see the moments around me. It is so much more important for me to photograph what matters to me, as well as finding the balance between documenting the every day and experiencing it. I'm no longer spending as much time on Instagram or Facebook, trying to put myself out there, because when my life comes to a close, how I chose to enjoy my life and the stories I'll be able to tell through these photographs will be what matters most—not my organic reach or the number of clients I've booked or whether the numbers say I'm successful.

This is a small selection of the favourite moments I've chosen to capture over the last 6 months that I haven't yet shared. The rest of the moments I chose purely to live in.

Scroll back or click on the links to view some of my other photo stories from Vancouver, JasperCanmore.

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