Fifteen:Fifty-One Photography | The Blog » Fifteen:Fifty-One Photography | The Blog

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When I first moved to Ottawa, there were only two people that I ended up knowing for any length of time; my father…and my new hair stylist! I stumbled upon this girl one beautiful fall evening when I was in desperate need of a trim and from there, I was hooked! I ended up following this girl from salon to salon as her career progressed until one day, I received a phone call letting me know that she was moving to another country.

Honestly, I don’t know that anything induces an identity crisis of such serious proportions as losing your hair stylist!!

So the hunt was on for someone new…and the hunt led me from one disastrous experience to another. Until, nearly three years later, I found Caitlin; this gorgeous little bundle of amazingness that has helped make me feel human again for the last number of years!

Here’s what’s so amazing though…

We never just “stumble” upon people without a reason. We come across them with purpose. And Caitlin has become this beautifully uplifting and soothing soul in my life. She has become my friend…my shoulder to lean on…and more than she will ever know; my inspiration. The amount of grace and ambition and courage this woman possesses is beyond stunning.

Then there is Kyle. Her other half. Her equilibrium. Her love. And together, they are pure magic.

We seldom become the people that we are all on our own. We become those people through love and support and encouragement along the way. We become those people because of those that open their arms to us when we are finding our way.

Caitlin and Kyle get to take credit for the people they have each become and the couple they have grown to be; a couple so deeply rooted in commitment, respect, loyalty and all things the world needs a little bit more of.

And my beautiful Caitlin, well, she gets sole credit for making me presentable enough to be seen in public!!!

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When I was pregnant with my son, my first baby, the anticipation of his arrival nearly drove me crazy.  Time seemed to go by so fast and all the while, he couldn’t get here soon enough.  Waking up each morning knowing that day could be the day was such a surreal feeling.  And on the Wednesday night when my husband and I went to bed, there is no way we could have prepared ourselves for the feeling of knowing that it would be our last night together, just the two of us.

The arrival of our second child brought on a very different feeling though.  A more aware feeling.  The feeling that came with understanding how fleeting our time alone with our son really was.  Due to complications, our daughter would come into the world via scheduled c-section, which meant that not only did we hold on to those last moments with just our son…but we knew exactly how long that would be.

And on that last night before our daughter was born, I looked at him in a way that I never had before because I understood that we were experiencing a moment that we would never have again; his last moments as our only child.

Our beautiful friends, Marie-Josee and Mat, are in that time right now as they count down the weeks and days until they enter into a whole new stage of their lives.  But first, there is now.  The time in which they hold on to these moments that are uniquely theirs; two parents and their beautiful only child…

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Laughter.

It’s what I remember most about people and what I remember most about moments.  It’s the invisible thread that weaves its way through my memory and connects the best parts of my life.

Laughter is also what I’m going to remember most about Julie and Vasanth’s wedding.  Two people, so loved and so perfect for each other.  Two people who smiled and laughed through the entire day of their wedding.

I’ll remember the way all of the guests cheered as the groom walked in for his ceremony.  I’ll remember the way the bride couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear.  I’ll remember the way the entire group happily stood out in the deep cold for a picture they knew the couple would love.

I’ll remember the way it didn’t feel like a wedding…it felt like the beginning of a marriage…

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So, one of the best parts of being a wedding photographer is that you often get to follow along with some of your favourite couples as their family starts to grow. It’s such a privilege to document them through the various stages of their relationship and be a part of something as amazing as bringing children into the world.

As a result, one of the best parts has been all of the baby names!

During my time as a photographer, I’ve been asked my opinion on baby names, I’ve been asked permission to use our own baby names, and I’ve even contributed to the selection of various names. It’s really one of the better perks of the job!

I have a very special attachment to this little guy’s middle name and am very anxiously awaiting the great reveal of his soon-to-be sibling’s name. These parents have currently proven to be some of the best baby name givers ever and they don’t take the responsibility lightly!

And just to make sure I’m not left out of the process…I made sure to send a whole bunch of suggestions along the way!!!

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I just love a good story.  Especially one that weaves through our lives in unexpected ways!

Let’s jump back nearly eight years.  I was just trying my hand at photography back then when my husband walked down the stairs of our townhouse one evening and said “Gen, you got an email…your very first email!”  I looked back at him with confusion.  “Are you sure?” I asked.  “Absolutely” he replied “congratulations”.

Now, getting an email in and of itself isn’t really that big of a deal.  But just a couple of days earlier, we had a made a website. My very first website.  With bright pink font all over it and a couple of photos I had recently taken.  We’d set up an email account and had some business cards made.  It was the tiniest step in something that felt really huge…really far away…really out of reach.

But I got an email.  An actual email.  From an actual person other than my mom!!

So I ran up the stairs and read through it with more excitement than I could handle.  It was an inquiry about doing some family photos and after a couple of exchanges, it also became my first official booking as a photographer!  I photographed this amazing family of eight while I was pregnant with my son and instantly made new friends!

I have since had members of that first family shoot in front of my camera six more times!!  We’ve added extended family members two more times.  And now we have a beautiful wedding to add to the list!!!

There’s just something amazing about coming back to where you started…about holding on to the people that helped you get there.  It’s the kind of reminder that I love best and the kind of people I enjoy the most.

Isabelle and Graham, thank you for keeping me in the family!!!

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