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

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Nothing in life has amazed me more than the roads that lead us to one another.  Through trials and tribulation…through joy and victory…through defeat and triumph; we find our way to each other.  And this never ceases to take my breath away.  It brings me comfort and peace to know that, even in the darkest corners of life, we are not alone.

The walk to parenthood is one that looks very different from one person to the next.  For some, that road is wide and vast.  A perfectly paved surface that leads directly to a place that was always meant to be.  For others, the road takes a few turns and requires a few detours.  But for others still, that path is barely even carved out among the woods.  It is nothing more than obstacles and hurt and loss and a constant struggle to a place that is entirely unknown.

Hilde and Christian walked their road and it wasn’t one they expected.  Because none of us expect cancer to come along and rip our dreams out from underneath us.  But that’s where their road led them; down a path that included incredible amounts of devastation…and a path that wouldn’t include carrying a child.

But then there is the human spirit; a force so strong and so mighty that even in the midst of the deep wilderness, it will prevail.

Right there, in the wilderness, is where they met Amy.  She met them along the way…she took their hands in her own…and she told them that they didn’t have to make that walk alone.  And together, they followed a new road; one that brought Hilde and Christian to Canada, all the way from Norway, to meet their daughter…a daughter that Amy would carry for them.

On June 29th, 2016, a tiny baby girl would come into the world and become the very essence of what love can do; it can hold our hands and lead us out of the dark woods…it can stare us in the eyes and catch our ocean of tears…it can carry our dreams and hand us the world.

In the stillness of the night…love, can bring us life…

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  • Marie-Eve - July 12, 2016 - 1:45 pm

    Amazing <3!!ReplyCancel

  • valerie - July 12, 2016 - 3:09 pm

    As a mother who has gained children through giving birth, adoption and step parenting this touched me
    .thank you…ReplyCancel

  • Lorraine Barbeau - July 12, 2016 - 4:23 pm

    Amazing! So beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Julie Beale Vaughan - July 12, 2016 - 4:28 pm

    Beyond beautiful. The last picture gave me chillbumps.ReplyCancel

  • Judie Murray Bortolotti - July 12, 2016 - 4:47 pm

    Such an incredible gift! Amazing ❤️ReplyCancel

  • Karen Cavin - July 12, 2016 - 5:20 pm

    A miracle in so many ways…ReplyCancel

  • Gwen Dunn - July 12, 2016 - 5:27 pm

    So amazing!! What an incredible gift of love!!ReplyCancel

  • Kim Borchert - July 12, 2016 - 5:58 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Valerie Armfield - July 12, 2016 - 6:10 pm

    I can’t quit crying. What an unselfish act of love! What a miracle for all involved. Beautifully captured.ReplyCancel

  • Cara Thiel - July 12, 2016 - 6:38 pm

    Beautiful …. amazing pplReplyCancel

  • Cindy Brady-Zahab - July 12, 2016 - 7:20 pm

    Beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Andrew Kellie Burkhart - July 12, 2016 - 8:08 pm

    Words can not explain the beauty of this…and thankfully, your poignant and powerful photographs do it instead. Such beauty in every way! God bless them all! ~ KellieReplyCancel

  • Julie Warwick - July 12, 2016 - 8:24 pm

    Some of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Guynes - July 12, 2016 - 11:27 pm

    Beautiful! These pictures brought me to tears.ReplyCancel

  • Antoinette Hayes - July 13, 2016 - 1:49 am

    Always and ever…the miracle of life with such beautiful, giving hearts.ReplyCancel

  • Jorid Holt - July 13, 2016 - 8:30 am

    Fantastisk nydelig- GratulererReplyCancel

  • Dianne J Cameron Chisholm - July 15, 2016 - 2:15 am

    Oh My Glory, thanks so much for telling me about this today. I’m just in awe, now I’m going to read the story. Julia was born on Paddys fathers birthday June 29. He would have been 79. It is also the date that Paddy’s brother Eddy was buried.ReplyCancel

  • Asif Masih - July 26, 2016 - 12:33 pm

    God Bless you and its So beautifulReplyCancel

  • Hayley Kew - July 27, 2016 - 4:19 pm

    Beautiful 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Cayer - July 27, 2016 - 4:35 pm

    There are so many beautiful, selfless, kind people in this world. Amy has given Hilde and Christian such a beautiful gift and it is incredible and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. God bless this beautiful baby girl and the new mom and dad and Amy.ReplyCancel

  • Michèle Simpson - July 27, 2016 - 6:45 pm

    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures ♥ReplyCancel

  • Kim Be - July 27, 2016 - 7:20 pm

    So so gorgeous! What a beautiful story!ReplyCancel

  • luce McNicoll - July 28, 2016 - 11:59 pm

    Une vraie histoire d’amour….un don de la Vie…et un don de soi….quelle grand bonheur pour ces deux mamans! Que de parents heureux….avec ce bébé.ReplyCancel

  • Luce McNicoll - July 29, 2016 - 3:54 am

    Rien de plus beau….miracle de la Vie…précieux cadeau…..sentiments profonds pour moi!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl Goossen - July 29, 2016 - 4:30 am

    Speechless ! #loveisallweneedReplyCancel

There’s a lot of things in this life that I tend to forget; the way it feels to wake up on the first day of vacation…the way the air used to smell at camp first thing in the morning…the way a certain song would change my mood the moment I heard it.  I often forget these things until I’m reminded again.

But some things, I never forget.

I never forget the way my babies smell when they first come out of the bathtub.  I never forget the way my husband looks in his ripped jeans and white t-shirt.  I never forget the way hearing “I love you” sounds at the end of the night.

And I never forget how much love prevails.

Shannon is from Canada.

Patrick is from the Netherlands.

They met on vacation in South America.

They fell in love.  A love that surpassed time and oceans and everything in between.  Until one beautiful afternoon, their love conquered them all and they made their lives one.

Some things, we forget.  And some things, never let us forget.

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  • Roland Legge - July 5, 2016 - 11:44 pm

    Stunning photos. You catch the love and joy of this couple.ReplyCancel

  • Roland Legge - July 6, 2016 - 3:43 am

    What beautiful photos that express this couples love for each otherReplyCancel

I think I must have read in twenty different articles already: be sure to have engagement photos done with your photographer so that you can “test them out” ahead of time.  And honestly, it’s a very valid argument.  The problem is, there are a hundred other reasons that I would argue before that one!

Maybe it’s just me…but I feel like our work, as wedding photographers, should be relational and not just “transactional”.  I mean, really, it’s someone’s wedding day…it’s important…it matters!

So, when I meet with people for their engagement session, it’s never just about testing things out…it’s about getting to know each other.  It’s about the amazing little details that brought two people together and the details that will be there when they say “I do!”.  It’s about getting to know them as individuals and as a couple.  It’s about making sure our Netflix compatibility meshes and most of all, making sure that come the big day, it feels more like a friend standing on the other side of the camera instead of someone you’ve just hired to be there for the day.

Jen, Mark and I chatted for wayyyyyyyy longer than we should have when we first met over coffee so many months ago!!!  And very little of it was even about their wedding!  So meeting for their engagement session (which doubled as a maternity session!!  Yay for babies!) already felt like everything you hope to gain by the end; it was easy…it was fun…it was friends meeting up for a walk on a gorgeous summer night!!!

Jen and Mark are the first of my 2017 couples to appear on the blog and I couldn’t be more excited!!!  Especially considering that there will be an addition to the family for me to adore just as much!!

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I don’t know, guys…call me a hopeless romantic if you must, but I totally love when things are just meant to be.  It gives me that little shiver down my spine when all the odds seem against you and then things just magically work out.  No matter how big or how little, I just adore the Universe’s way of bringing things together.  And honestly, those are some of the moments I remember most in life!

The week before Julia and Raouf’s scheduled engagement session, two things happened; first off, I felt this sudden need to visit my old stomping grounds from my single days and secondly, the weather in our city took a wretched turn for the worst.  Truly.  It went from beautiful summer to cold and rainy.  One after another, all of my sessions that were booked for that week were getting postponed and rescheduled.

Given that Julia and Raouf’s wedding is next on deck, we had one date to fit in their engagement session and it happened to fall right into Mother Nature’s temper tantrum!

We decided to go ahead anyways.  And not only did they decide that they would brave it no matter what…but they asked if they could do their session in Strathcona Park, which was right next to the old building I lived in for most of my mid-twenties.  From that exact moment, I just knew it was meant to be!

I wish I were lying when said that the rain was still falling when I parked my car to meet them.  It continued to sprinkle down as I waited for them, and just like that, they arrived and the clouds parted.  For about an hour!!!!  We walked through my old neighborhood…talked about our collective stories…and laughed about all the things that brought us to where we now stood.  When we were finished, I got in my car and before I could even turn it on…the sky cracked open and POURED!

I’m telling you, meant to be.

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Confession: I haven’t actually touched my wedding dress since the day that I got married!  It’s in a box somewhere in our basement in the exact filthy state it was when I took it off nearly thirteen years ago!  And to think that I was so careful the entire time I was wearing it!!

I actually knew a group of girls once who would get dressed back up in their wedding attire once a year and go out for dinner!  I thought it was the most amazing idea and ever since I became a photographer, I’ve been telling myself to dig my dress back out so that it can be loved a bit more.

But nothing has convinced me of this more than my recent session with Angie and Dehrig.  Just a month after their wedding in Jamaica, we met once again to take Angie’s gorgeous dress for a little dip in the Ottawa River!  And it was the most fun I’ve had behind the lens in a long time!!

All hail the girls who truly love their dress!

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