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Welcoming Lidiya – A Birth Story

You know you have a pretty amazing job, when you wake up to a text like this – “Good morning, heading to the hospital, contractions 2-3 mins apart, will keep you posted.” I hopped out of bed, got dressed, grabbed my camera and headed out the door. I was greeted with snow… lots of freshly falling snow. It was beautiful and I thought what a lovely day to welcome a baby to the world.

When I arrived at the hospital, Leanne and Felix were in one of the triage rooms. It seemed a lot of babies had decided that it was a good day to arrive and there was a little bit of a bed crisis. We spent the first two hours of the morning, wandering the halls, chatting between contractions and hoping a room would be available soon.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Felix and Leannne have such a lovely connection with each other, they emanate love and trust for one another…with a healthy dash of humour thrown in!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

So much love and support.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

At one point, we got upgraded to the Education room! This meant Leanne was able to sit, rest and have a small bite to eat.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Not long after that, she was finally into a room of her own and what a beautiful view it had!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Getting hooked up to the monitor, to make sure baby was happy!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

After being in the room for about an hour, the doctor came in to check on Leanne and it was decided that they would break her water.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

That was all Leanne needed and her contractions started to come fast and furious.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

A short time later, Lidiya was born to two very happy and excited parents.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Leanne looks so peaceful here.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

It wasn’t long until she was feeding like a champ!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Getting weighed in… 7 lbs 7.5 oz!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Some skin to skin cuddles with Daddy!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

And meeting Grandma for the first time.

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

So much love between these three. Lidiya, you are one lucky little one!

© Katrina Stewart / Kalem Photography 2016

Leanne and Felix, thank you so much for your trust. It was an honour to be a part of your journey yesterday. I wish you a lifetime of happiness with your sweet Lidiya. With gratitude, Katrina.

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Sweet Ella is Seven

Time is a very interesting thing. It seems to move faster when you want it to slow down, but at a snail’s pace when you’re waiting for something important. This phenomenon seems to be so much more pronounced after having kids. It seems that the years fly by and now I have a 7 year old!

Ella’s birthday was last month and although I did the photos right away, I wanted her permission to post them. She gave me the green light a little while ago and I’m finally getting around to writing it! For her birthday this year, Ella wanted to get her hair cut and donate it again! Just over 8″ this time.

We did a few photos of her before the hair cut… she was being a bit of a ham.

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And then ham #2 wanted to join in the fun

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But it meant that I also got this sweet image of the two of them. They have so much love for each other, it melts my heart every single time!

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As we were walking to her hair appointment, they came across this chicken bike rack… so, of course, they needed to ride it!

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Off goes the ponytail!

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And let the trimming begin. I’m so grateful that Rianne from Moz Hair studio is willing to cut my girls hair, she always does an amazing job!

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And of course, she had to ride the chicken again with her new do!

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A few days later, we celebrated her birthday with a few friends and family. When looking for ideas for her cake, I came across this cupcake flower, and she loved it!

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This image. It makes my heart happy. We stopped in the park on the way back to the car from her hair appointment. The light was gorgeous and she actually gave me a smile!

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My dear sweet Ella. You are such an amazing little girl. You are kind, generous and thoughtful. You love with your whole being and give the most amazing hugs. You face challenges with a silent determination and you never give up. You fill our lives with such joy and I’m so so grateful to be your mom. Thank you for being you. Love, mom

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Chris & Shannon – A Kamloops Wedding

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Our lives are made up of a series of moments. Moments that are fleeting. Moments that are lasting. Moments that leave indelible marks on our hearts. Moments that lift us up and shape who we become. One of my life moments was going to Camp Goodtimes. It was there that I met Chris 17 years ago and we became friends. And on a beautiful day in June, I had the immense pleasure of watching him marry Shannon, the love of his life. A union that made me smile and reminded me why I love what I do. Here’s a little peek at their day.

I quickly learned that Chris and Shannon love to surprise each other. Chris bought this beautiful bracelet for Shannon and had a groomsman deliver it just before the wedding ceremony. It was a matching piece to the earrings and necklace he’d given her for Christmas and her birthday. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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I’ve always been struck by an absurdity of wedding days… while the ladies spend time getting their hair and make up done…

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The boys get to go golfing…

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And then the girls still have to get dressed!! (I guess the boys do too, but it takes them WAY less time!)

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There is, however, always a moment for a selfie, especially with the person responsible for introducing you to your future husband!

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Chris and Shannon had lots of special details in their day… this was the bear for the ring bearer to carry down the aisle… with the rings securely attached!

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I love how focused Shannon is on Chris as she walks down the aisle!

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We did it!!

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And then it was Shannon’s turn to surprise Chris. Without him knowing, she found this beautiful car to take them from the ceremony to the reception!

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I think you can safely say, Chris was pleased!!

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And so were we, because it was a great backdrop!

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As was the golf course, where the reception held.

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This. I love this image. Simple and filled with love.

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Shannon’s adorable niece and nephew, who did an amazing job as ring bearer and flower girl.

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Isn’t this cake topper adorable?

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First Dance filled with so much love.

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Just before we left, we took Chris and Shannon outside for a few more photographs… These two were my favourites…

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Chris and Shannon. Where do I even start? Thank you. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for sharing your day with us. Thank you for being so easy going and fun to work with. Thank you for coming over the other night and allowing me to share these images with you… it was fun to see how much you love them 🙂 Thank you for being the amazing, wonderful people you are. It was an honour to be a part of your day. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together. With gratitude, Katrina

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20 Years…

In May 1996, I graduated from a small photography school in Vancouver. I had a base of knowledge and set up my business and for the last 20 years I’ve photographed a wide range of special life events… everything from births to babies to beautiful children to weddings and lots of corporate head shots mixed in for good measure. My photography style has grown and changed, as I’ve learned new techniques and found my groove. It’s been something I simply love to do.

One of my very first images taken after I graduated!

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An image from my latest engagement session…

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As I look back on the last 20 years, I’m so very grateful. Grateful for every single session and the trust of each and every one of my clients. Grateful to have lived this dream. Grateful to have been able to share my passion with all of you.

Some of you may have noticed that for the last year or so, the blog has been very quiet, and I wanted to take a moment and explain why.

Some of what I’ve been sharing has been my challenges of parenting while working on my business. As my girls have gotten older, it’s been harder and harder for me to share those experiences, as they no longer feel like they just belong to me. I need to allow my girls the opportunity to have their privacy and to choose how much they want to share with the world. So I’ve stopped sharing about that side of life here as often as I once did. It just felt like the right thing to do.

The other reason is my passion and focus have been elsewhere. Two years ago, when I learned how to spin, a whole different world opened up for me. A lot of my creative energy has been focused on designing knitwear patterns, spinning, knitting and crocheting. I’ve started business with my mom and we recently launched a new website and blog. You can find us here: Crafty JAK’s. It’s still a work in progress but I’m excited about where it’s going.

So I guess that leaves the question… what’s happening here? I’m still here. I’m still going to be photographing families, babies, weddings and other special life events. I’m just going to be blogging less and less. I’ve noticed that a lot of my sessions lately have been ones where people prefer to keep their images private, which I will always respect 100%. So I’m letting the blog “go”. I no longer want to be feeling guilty for not blogging regularly, like I’m “letting people down”. The posts will still come…just not as frequently as they once did.

This post has been very hard for me to write. I feel like I’m saying goodbye… when I’m really not. I’m just freeing myself from one part of my business that I no longer have the creative energy to maintain. I plan to continue to photograph all the special moments in your lives for a long time to come!

As always, thank you for reading and thank you for sharing this journey with me.

With Gratitude,
Katrina

Posted in Blog, Personal, Photography | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chris & Shannon – Vancouver Engagement

Every day, I wake up feeling so lucky to be able to do something I love. This is especially true when I get to capture moments for people who are dear to me. Chris and I first met at Camp Goodtimes almost 20 years ago (yikes, does that make us old??). We’ve stayed in touch over the years and I was so delighted when he approached me earlier this year to photograph his wedding this summer. A couple of weeks ago, Chris and Shannon were in town from Vernon, so we took the opportunity to do some engagement photos. It was so much fun to meet Shannon and hear about their plans for the future. Here’s a little bit of what I captured that evening.

We started off in Gastown. I love the old lamp posts and brick sidewalks. There’s just something about it…

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From there, we headed over the Stanley Park. We were hoping for a beautiful sunset, but it wasn’t looking like mother nature was going to cooperate with us, so we went with what we had, and just hoped the rain would hold off.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how much fun they are having here.

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A beautiful view, even if the clouds meant no sunset!

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Isn’t the ring gorgeous??

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After we finished up at the lighthouse, we decided to head for home… but as we rounded the corner at the Tea House… there was a break in the clouds and a beautiful sunset starting. So we stopped and I’m so glad we did.

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These last two images are my absolute favourite from our session. The silhouettes, the sky, the rocks out into the water. All were just perfect.

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Chris and Shannon, thank you so much for spending the evening with me. I had a blast and I hope you did as well. I’m so looking forward to the wedding in a couple of months. It’ll be here before we know it! With gratitude, Katrina

Posted in Blog, Photography, Weddings | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments