happy 4th anniversary mer & bri || vancouver wedding photographer

some of our dear friends, brian and meryl, got married 4 years ago estevan, saskatchewan. who would have thought we would have moved out to BC together hey!? :)

our little 4 year old rosie was their flower girl (just had to include that photo!!)

congrats guys! 4 great years! this year will continue to be yet another year of adventure! ;)


rachel & paul || second shooting w/erin gilmore || vancouver wedding photographer

for monday's wedding swan e set was the venue..and we got the outdoor portraits done JUST before the rain started.. SCORE! and rachel and paul had THE most amazing was absolutely stunning. and i failed to mention before that rachel's! the lace was sooooo incredible..and the cut was gorgeous!!

here's a few pics... and of course, there are more on erin's blog.

the floods in the philippines - they need our help || vancouver photographer


my sister in law walked thru this.

my hubby & i are sending out a quick message regarding the floods in the Philippines. his parents and older sister run a medical clinic/educational foundation for the poor and birthing clinic for under privileged mothers.

i am sure you have watched the news regarding the massive and incredible flooding in the Philippines. it has fully devastated the capital city of manila.

the nine-hour deluge across Manila submerged houses, washed away shanties and turned roads into raging rivers on saturday, forcing terrified residents to seek refuge on top of homes or cars, where they waited for more than 24 hours. the entire expected rainfall for september fell in 9 hours.

"I am calling on our countrymen ... to please stay calm,"
President Gloria Arroyo said yesterday as she set a deadline of nightfall for the military and other rescuers to save those who remained stranded.

The downpour from tropical storm Ketsana left some areas of Manila under six metres of water, and the storm's ferocity shocked a country that is accustomed to typhoons.

"This is the worst that I have seen," Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said of the extensive flooding that also severely damaged other parts of the northern Philippines.

below is a message written by j's older sister, charity, yesterday.

They are in a state of crisis in terms of trying to help people already poor, recover. I am asking everyone I know to give. How?

We looking for:
2 people to give $5000
5 people to give $1000
10 people to give $500
50 people to give $100

please let me know how you want to be involved and i will send you options for sending money.
we can even provide you with a tax receipt.

if you have questions, let me know.

tracey & jonathan


Aftermath Of Floods in the Philippines

I watched people walk away from the flood. Their faces were tired, drawn. Their eyes staring straight ahead. The lady with one slipper on. The man carrying a plastic bag with only an empty water bottle inside. Caked mud on their feet, some up to their waist. Most carrying nothing.

Thankful, maybe, to have their lives. I do not know why but my eyes well up with tears and I am so sad. So sad.

Our guard at Gentle Hands lost everything but the shirt on his back. His eyes are full of tears as he tells his story. He watched his cinder block house slide into the river. He saw his neighbours family seeking refuge on their roof. He couldn't reach them. Their house was ripped away by the current of the raging waters. They were still on the roof. He watch them disappear downstream. He is exhausted, still unable to rest as there is not enough food for everyone taking refuge in the school rooms. He is left with nothing. Nothing.

Our cook and her children, though they only rent the house they lived in, lost all their earthly possessions. Everything was ripped out of their home by raging flood waters.

One of our other staff members, had all her belongings destroyed. She has worked so hard to save and buy that little TV and her little fridge. Months of saving and sacrificing to have material things for the first time in her life.
These people have no savings account, no back up plans, no insurance, nothing. Life here is day to day for most people, not just the for the poorest of the poor.

We are doing what we can. Malabon is our focal point at the moment. The people who live on the very edge of our island, right beside the ocean, are used to flood waters. But they are stuck in the local school. They still cannot go back to their homes. The water is still waist deep.
We grieve for those who have lost so much. We grieve for those used to having everything. They will be given help by the government for sure. But the poor. They are used to having nothing... does that mean they should not be given anything?

Help us provide food, water and blankets, for our people, please. Help us restore our staff. Help us be the hands and feet of Jesus. Please.

Gentle Hands is on the front lines of this disaster. To do your part, please give generously.

For love of the poor,

Charity & Evan Graff
Gentle Hands


karen & george || second shooting w/erin gilmore || vancouver wedding photographer

saturday's wedding - two engineers - was much fun! we started with the ceremony at the greek orthodox church, then headed to locarno beach & granville island before going to sutton place for the tea ceremony & reception..

check out more on erin's blog..

the philippines is in a state of calamity..and you can help || vancouver photographer

as many of you know, we lived in the philippines for almost 6 years.
both of our children were born there.
some of our dearest friends are there.
jonathan's parents and oldest sister & her family still live there.
the philippines will always be a place close to our hearts.

and these floods we have heard about on the news channels has
been said that it is equivlant to the US's Katrina.

here are some photos and a video to bring you up to speed before i

most concise story to sum up the devastation i found this morning:


(CNN) -- Downpours subsided temporarily in the Philippines on Sunday, a day after Tropical Storm Ketsana pummeled the capital Manila with its heaviest rainfall in more than 40 years.

Flood spawned by the rainfall killed at least 75 people with at least 21 others missing, the government said.

More than 80 percent of the capital was under water that swallowed whole houses and buses.

Manila, in the island of Luzon, and the nearby province of Rizal bore the brunt of the storm. People huddled on rooftops Sunday waiting on army helicopters to pluck them to safety. Others used ropes to wade through waist-deep muddy waters.

Power and water supply failed in some areas. Roads were rendered impassable, making rescue efforts challenging. Are you there? Share your story or pictures

"Right now the challenge is to find out how many people have actually died and how many people we have to take care of in terms of people who've been displaced," said Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippines National Red Cross.

"We're really talking about maybe hundreds of thousands of people," with about 280,000 to 300,000 displaced in the island of Luzon alone, he said.

Though the Philippines is no stranger to floods, Saturday's downpours approached a record, with a month's worth of rain falling within six hours.

The average rainfall for the entire month of September is 391 mm (15.4 inches), said Gilberto Teodoro, secretary of national defense and chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

The capital experienced 341 mm (13.4 inches) between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., he said.

Officials worried that if the rains return, they could bring more floods if reservoirs burst.

"We're hoping that there will be no more breaching of the dams," Gordon said. "That's one of the things that are very disconcerting to many people right now."

Mike Anthony Catuira spent Sunday retrieving valuable belongings and seeking cover on higher ground. Overflowing rivers in the municipality of Tanay in Rizal province had inundated shops and homes, he said.

"The storm's local name 'Ondoy' is really a powerful storm, and this is the most severe storm in my whole life," he said in a report to iReport, the CNN Web site that allows people to submit pictures and videos.

the photos i found on the web are disturbing.. my sisterinlaw and her husband have a non-profit organization, GENTLE HANDS, in the philippines where many of their "own" and their employees are devastated from the floods.

charity ( my sisterinlaw) wrote this about the floods yesterday:

September 27, 2009 - FLOOD

We went to Malabon despite the rain and the fact we suspected some flooding in the streets. There is flooding every week so we weren’t too worried. The rain didn’t stop and by the time we were done checking on our patients and handing out meds and feeding children, we were drenched. Soaked. (Don’t ask me why we NEVER have any umbrellas.)That didn’t bother us much. The flat tire that had to be changed was nothing. We have learned to be flexible with all things. HaHaHa.

On the way home we were shocked to see the water so high and flowing so far. Knee deep in some places we laughed and sang and didn’t think much. When we got to the main road, we knew we were in trouble. Traffic was crawling. The streets were totally flooded. A trip that normally takes 45 minutes, took 2 and ½ hours. Suddenly the streets became a parking lot. Through texting and calling, we found out that the Metro Manila Development Authority told everyone to abandon their vehicles and get on the LRT to get home as soon as they could. So EDSA was full of abandoned vehicles.

I was getting texts already from one of my staff, M’lou. Their whole first floor was underwater, just a block from GH. I called Evan. M’lou had 3 kids with her and the street was a raging river. Evan had gone to look and there was no way to get them out.
Meanwhile, some of the boys were really sick of being in the van and decided to walk home. I thought they were crazy. I had Kuya Al, a tuberculosis patient who was not doing very well, and little Patrick, too little to walk in the rain and in that distance. In groups of 4 and 5 they slowly piled out and began the trek home. Little did we know…

Minet, my social worker texted. “Our house is flooding. The streets are knee deep already. There is no way to get out. Ate, help.”

As we sat in the van, not moving, the texts came from the boys with panic. “The water is up to our waist. To our neck now. We’re scared. The roads are all flooded. There is no way to get home.”

Soon, we knew there was no choice. After 2 more hours of sitting, we needed to find a way to get out. The rain was pounding. It was cold, hard, relentless rain. We wrapped our cellphones in plastic, locked up the our van and off we went. Aries, in his muscle shirt and army pants, Ryan with my expensive guitar, I holding little Patrick’s hand, 6 ft tall Mark Anthony, who would prove to save me from the rapid waters, little Vincent, and Joed and poor sick skinny weak Kuya Al.

Teeth chattering, and shaking limbs, we were shellshocked as the rain pelted us. It was only after about 5 minutes that I realized just how far we would have to walk.

Hours of passing through knee deep, then chest deep, then finally neck deep water.

The current had swept one woman away. They had put her body in a sack.

Mark carried Patrick on his shoulders. There were soldiers and barangay officials all along a long thick rope tied through the flood waters so people could pass. Cars were underwater. Just the tips of the roof peeking out. It was cold. We almost lost Al twice. He was white as a sheet. I screamed over and over for them to hang on to him. He was sick and weak. The men grabbed him on both sides. Vincent went under. Aries grabbed him by his shorts. Mark held my arm like a vice grip. For over a kilometre it went… on and on and on… by the end, I didn’t think I could go any more. “Mark, I’m tired”, I sighed. My legs were shaking. There, just one more block, I could see we would be through the water. We reached the end and Al collapsed on the ground. I wrapped my arms around him. He wasn’t breathing. Oh Jesus. “Al, you can make it. We’re almost there. Almost. Please.” Mark Anthony picked him up and put him on his back. I could have cried.

Patrick gripped my hand and we picked up the pace. Almost home. Almost. The rain just wouldn’t let up. We weaved through stopped traffic. There. Our street. There. Our home. I sprinted the last half block. I needed to get into the ICU. Al was in hypothermic shock. I yelled for Ezekiel and Evan. Mark Anthony put him in a chair and he fell on the floor moaning. I threw blankets over him and yelled for someone with dry clothes to hug him. The boys had only just arrived too… in motley groups. Wet and traumatized, all.

Evan had been holding the fort, with our own children and Edu, and had been out every 30 minutes to check the raging flood by M’lou’s house, and was quick to send one of the boys to buy some brandy (a very old remedy for hypothermia). It did the trick. Al perked right up and given the circumstances, I’m sure God understood.

Slowly, we changed, showered, and sat down to our waiting lunch of freshly fried fish and rice which was now our supper. Believe it or not, wonderful comfort food.

The rain still didn’t stop. Winner still couldn’t get home. We still hadn’t heard from Minet.

At 630pm, the river had gone down several feet and Evan and Aries went to rescue Mlou and Jenny’s kids. At least they were now safe.

Our cook lost her entire home. All of Jenny’s possessions were destroyed. Our boys house was flooded and all their beds, and things were destroyed. Our guards house was washed away. Other staff didn’t show up for work. So many questions. Thankfully, the boys stepped into action. Nursery duty, toddler duty, kitchen cleaning. We will just have to wait to hear from the others.

the philippines needs your help. ANY amount of help.

please think about how much you can contribute today to help rebuild lives.
every dollar helps.

for secure, online donation, see my sisterinlaw's website where you can make
a contribution today.

be blessed today, friends.. xoxo


happy 1st anniversary kerri & russ || vancouver destination wedding photographer


a year ago today we were in the castle...on the cliff... wow.. time flies!

thank you so much for allowing me to come to germany to photograph your was so fairytale! :) love you friends!

happy 1st anniversary!

big hugs,

happy 4th anniversary mel & sheldon || vancouver wedding photographer


four years later, with a little one and their love still going strong.. your little wedding in the almeida church, right? :)

bless you guys. :) it was such an honour to do your fall wedding in 2005.



vino-making has begun.. || vancouver photographer

our dear neighbours who HAPPEN to be italian (thats for all of you followers who know how much i love italy.. ) have begun the process of making wine.

on sunday morning, bright and early - 9am is early for sunday, no?! - they began the first process..

rosie, who was involved last year, and i watched while the battison-graham gents hand turned the "squisher" as i call it.. :) the squished up grapes then go into the big bins for 4-5 days, Nono said. this year they are doing two kinds of red.. very cool.

here's some pics from the morning... enjoy. CIAO! :)

newborn session...presenting taylor! || vancouver photographer

if you follow my blog, you will remember their maternity session.

well, rebecca contacted with the news that their little baby girl had arrived! i couldn't wait!!

last week i headed down to was a warm day, i recall! but not as warm as the love that was oozing in their home. :)

here are some of my faves from their session.. little taylor is, may i simply say.. AMAZING. :)

hugs and congrats again guys!! xoxo


happy birthday my dear jeanie friend!! || vancouver photographer


when i first met jeanie it was on a dark fall evening outside of the blue olive studio lobby doors on our way out... liz and her chatted, introduced myself, and that was that.

honestly, after that i think our friendship began to grow out of facebook scrabulous!!! hahaha.. the things that bring people together!

that was almost 2 years ago..and i can't tell you how fun a journey we have had! we went on a road trip to seattle...have eaten far more indian lunches to count...shot some weddings together (finally this year!)...have had one major "kurfuffle", which i think is quite outstanding considering all things.. :) ..we even went to a turkish massage spa together!!

yes we have some great times, that jeanie girl and i. and i wouldn't trade them for the world!

if i was to sum up how our friendship works, it's constantly a giving friendship..we never look to see what we can "get" from being with each other, but yet, i always "get" so blessed every time i hang with her. i just love her to bits.

so i celebrate you today my dear jeanie friend.. you are amazing. you are beautiful. and you are your own.

happy birthday friend. :) xoxo

vancouver wedding photogs - [b]ecker is coming to vancouver BC || vancouver photographer

so the group michelle libby & i started over a year ago, vancouver wedding photographers & second shooters, is hosting a workshop in jan 2010. our guest photographer is christopher becker, also fondly known as [b]ecker in the wedding photography industry.

we are so excited about him coming! he'll be doing his workshop for 2 days; you choose which day suits your schedule best. it will be a full day of intensity. to put it mildly, he says, "crash course in kicking ass". couldn't have said it better myself. :)

i will be attending the workshop in calgary in november, the same weekend i am doing calgary portrait sessions...totally looking forward to it!

if you want more info, head over to the vancouver photogs blog...

andrea & craig || second shooting w/erin gilmore || vancouver wedding photographer

what a fun, gorgeous day to have a stunning wedding!

we started out at twassenn, then headed to richmond to mayfair lakes for the ceremony and then we headed to steveston to the britannica shipyards to do portraits.

one phrase - i LOVE it there. totally going to just shoot "stuff" one day.. love it!

then we headed back to mayfair lakes for the reception. angela from reflection events and angela from vancouver photobooth were also there - good times had by all!

here's a few photos..and of course head over to erin's blog for a whole lot more goodness! :)


my fun branding continues..

so if you have noticed, on my website, i have the "travel" sort of feel in regards to my logo - the stamp with the stamp post marks. business cards have just arrived and i'm soo excited!

they are about 2 inches square. kinda like a big stamp really. :)
and they are on recycled paper, that is so fabulous!
and they are brown..cuz i HEART brown. :)

here's a few shots.. :)

next up for my branding - new client delivery stationary and delivery items.. yay!!

business cards designed by jason of art of apparel. he ROCKS. :)