come as you are | Joon + Callum

i just could not be happier about these sessions.  i knew i would be providing something special for these mothers, but the impact it has had on me was unexpected.  i could say that it's been an honour to photograph the most deserving moms, but the truth is that each one of us is so very deserving in our own way, each session serving as a reminder of the grace and love we are capable of providing for our children, especially on our worst days.  we all have our story and our challenges that deserve reverence.  no matter what our journey has been, what we lack, what we yearn for, these photos prove without a doubt that our daily toils are not in vain.  there is beauty in the ordinary of the day to day. 

i am so grateful to have Joon be part of these Come As You Are sessions.  first of all, they are moving and it would be such a shame to not have some fond memories to take away from this beautiful home.  second, and more importantly, the heartache and hell she has gone through for and with Callum deserves to be recognized and celebrated.  it's been a long journey with health challenges many of us take for granted everyday.  whether you were born to be a mother or not quite so confident in this new and terrifying role, we can all agree that the adjustment period is difficult enough without the universe throwing your 3.5 month baby a curveball in the form of a rare congenital liver disease.  after his first surgery, Callum would suffer liver failure at 18 months and would require a transplant.  nevermind the typical worries of whether or not you are capable of breastfeeding or going back to work in a year, suddenly having to worry if your baby is going to receive an organ in time (or at all) or survive the surgery puts everything else on the backburner. 

today, you wouldn't be able to tell from the beams of sunshine radiating from his face, but 4 year old Callum has been one of the lucky ones to have received a successful liver transplant.  he has gone from 14 medications a day down to just 1 with monthly bloodwork to monitor his new liver.  you also wouldn't know Joon's heartbreaking struggle from her confident smile and dry humour, but you probably know now that you'd probably lose to her in a fight!  these stories are a perfect reminder to be kind to all we meet because we don't always know each other's story and the struggles we've had.

i'm so happy i managed to get Joon to do this session!  she was worried it might be too cheesy, as well as too vain, but that is neither my style nor the intention of these sessions!  after the battles you two tiny warriors have fought through, your love, your courage and your perseverance absolutely deserves its spot in the limelight.  you both are going to look back on these through the years and love me, HA!

Click Here to read more about Callum's story.
You might even recognize his sweet little face from on the back of Transit busses around the city encouraging all of us to become Organ Donors!


come as you are | Saara Leila + Millie


These are the most beautiful pictures.
You captured every mundane moment and pulled every ounce of beauty from it.

Nick and I both got so emotional over these.
It's like, all the worrying and sleeplessness and feeling pathetic ARE worth it
when I see it from your eyes, from their eyes.

This is beyond anything I could have imagined.
You just gave me so much.  Again.  To be able to give these to the girls one day.

You've seen me at my worst.  And now to see these moments, to share them with you.
Thank you from the deepest part of me, with so much joy and gratitude.

~ Saara C.

It sounds like I did my job.

This session was very close to my heart.  There are so many women that I have become friends with in our little town, all of which I would love to honour with these sessions, but I have to admit that receiving the text request to do Saara really made my day.  She was the first Mom I met when we moved back here in 2009 when Moses was 5 months and her daughter Leila was 11 months.  We were both first time moms, desperate for company, visiting one another's homes numerous times a week for sanity.  In the last 7 years, I've witnessed her struggle as a single mom, seen her through many ups and downs.  To see her now, remarried to a truly wonderful kind-hearted soul and blessed with another gorgeous little child, it means the world to me that she has found happiness.

At the end of this session, I acknowledged all this, and we both had a good cry and a hug on the bottom of her stairs in her new home.

I love you, Friend.
You deserve every last drop of this love + happiness.