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 | Sarah Jack + Eli

i really would have loved to start this series off with this session but it was a few days following the other two and i really needed to jump onto editing them before getting too overwhelmed.  Last year, I booked a session with Jayme Anne Photography for Mother's Day.  I loved them so much, I am booked again for the end of May!  I was so inspired by her Project Motherhood series to get MOMS in front of the camera, I decided to also contribute to getting more Moms in front of the camera.  Sarah, however, was the one that pushed me to really focus on the real deal, the maybe-not-picture-perfect-enough-for-Instagram deal.  her words, which i wrote down were:  "meeting moms where you are at, we don't need you to get dressed, clean the house or put on make up..."  this spoke deeply to me because, honestly, that is the photography i started out with.  ithe introduction of Instagram and Pinterest really changed our perceptions of normal as we were suddenly being inundated with everyone's highlight reel and strugginlg not to compare it to our normal.  we are expected to do EVERYTHING, be EVERYTHING, and never falter, never sweat, never show weakness.  that kind of expectation is debilitating and unrealistic.!  i'm trying to get back to that rawness and honesty, and what better time than in celebration of Mother's Day!  the rawest of the raw.  it has truly been a breath of fresh air!  in spite of how these first three sessions differ SO GREATLY from one another, i love how they still manage to praise the Mother and her story with equal respect and recognition that she, indeed, is doing her best to selflessly love her kids no matter how insecure she may be feeling, no matter how tired she is from whatever issues she may be losing sleep over, no matter what her current struggles may be...  i love that by showing a variety of Mothers in their everyday environment, moms will be able to relate in an honest way with one another and close the gap created by the highlight reels of social media.  by recognizing and exonerating the beauty of Motherhood's everyday imperfections, i hope to encourage a greater sense of empathy and support within community.  we have lost the village mentality.  we need to rebuild that!

this session was awesome because Sarah wanted to capture her morning with the boys.  it was an early wake-up call to arrive at 7am, but it was absolutely worth it.  as it was a Sunday, they were able to enjoy a slow quiet morning without the hectic chaos of the school routine.

eventually, as you will see, Sarah will get to enjoy her cup of tea.


Sarah, what a treat to spend the morning with you and your boys.
Thank you for welcoming me into your home and life.