I was super excited to learn I was chosen to be the event photographer for the launch of Bethenny Frankel’s Skinny girl margarita. For those of you who aren’t a fan of talk shows or reality TV, Bethenny Frankel is an American reality television personality, former talk show host, author, and an entrepreneur (and also one of the richest women in the world, being on the cover of Fortune magazine). Though it was one of our more challenging shoots, working with a number of Bethanny’s assistants who all felt she would want different things (and in all honesty, it is not every day I am working with one of the most famous women in America) it was an incredible experience. It was amazing to see how many people were out to meet Bethenny, people rushing out as far as Hope BC, and stopping at the mall on the way, in order to buy her daughter, Bryn a gift ..only to find out they JUST missed her as she had to go catch her flight, with a stop at Holt Renfrew along the way to the airport.;) The event was in 2 parts, both held at my favourite local wine shop, Legacy liquor store (they have a fabulous selection of amazing wines by the way;) and in the afternoon we were at a downtown BC liquor store location.
Andrea and Vince, Vancouver wedding photography of their lovely, rainy day wedding in October.
I am super excited to finally be able to blog about this beautiful Vancouver wedding! Real weddings magazine wanted to feature Andrea and Vince’s black and white themed wedding on their website, so we had to wait till it was posted! On Andrea and Vincent’s first date they discussed how neither of them did not wish to ever get married and then one fine day in Cuba they woke up and decided that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and arranged for a ceremony to be held that day on the beach-in their bathing suits. Having more traditional families, and them wanting to share their love for each other in front of all their friends and families, they decided to have a more official wedding ceremony in Vancouver, so this is what they did! I was super excited to work with Andrea and Vinny because from the first moment we met, we knew we were the perfect fit! We all got along like we have known each other for years, and I could see the passion between these two. They chose an elegant, black and white wedding and held their ceremony at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Vancouver, before celebrating with a reception at All Saints Parish & Banquet Hall. While trying to do our wedding photography in Vancouver the skies somehow opened up and it poured! Thank you to all the amazing wedding party for rallying to get the photo session done! You all look fabulous! Andrea and Vinny, you two are amazing and thank you for choosing me to do your Vancouver wedding photography. I look forward to a great friendship with you two from this point on.
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This is a post that I have been meaning to do for a few weeks now. After all my posts on facebook and social media about a man by the name of Josh Dueck, many of you have asked what these posts were all about, and who is Joshua Dueck. Many of you who have been following the recent paralympics have probably already figured it out however, I thought I would take a moment to write a post to those who still have not been introduced.
Who is Josh Dueck? To me, one of the most inspirational people I have ever known.
As a child I was very fortunate to have grown up in a small town by the name of Kimberley, B.C. and even more fortunate to have my life touched by an amazing Man by the name of Josh Dueck. Growing up in a small outdoor town, it is by default that you get to know everyone, but some of my favorite moments as a child were going to visit my mom’s friends who lived just outside of town, neighbours to Josh. It was great going to visit Connie and Mike on weekend afternoons, running around in the forrest, playing in the back yard, and getting to know Josh over this time. As we got older Josh became an incredible skier and I found myself watching his career through his years on the BC ski team, and him later becoming a coach in Penticton BC.
Shortly after March 8th of 2004 I heard the news that Josh was in a bad accident when he overshot a demonstration jump while coaching in Penticton BC. I heard through a friend that he will spend the rest of his life as a T11 full paraplegic. When I heard the news, I felt sick to my stomach. No one wishes this on their worst enemy, let alone a friend. Like anyone, I went through the motions of feeling incredibly sorry for Josh and a whole lot of sadness for him.
Two weeks after the accident, I decided to go see Josh in the hospital. I felt incredibly nervous, what do you say to someone who has just experienced this? Can I stay strong enough to not show emotion? I need to stay positive. I thought I would be walking into a depressing hospital room with a heavy heart, and a sad Josh. Instead, it was the exact opposite. Walking in to the hospital room, I saw Josh sitting in the hospital bed with a very lovely lady by his side, a lovely lady by the name of Lacey, whom I got to meet for the very first time. While talking to Josh and sitting in a brightly lit room with the sun shining in, Josh said to me: “no worries Dawn, I am going to be back on the hill skiing by the end of this year”. Ten years later I still remember these words. That day, I left the hospital surprised at Josh’s incredibly positive attitude, and a little dumb-founded, did that just happen? Amazing!
Sure enough, by the following year Josh was rocking life in a sit ski! In his words he “got his ass handed to him every weekend” he didn’t like this very much. Hard work and perseverance kept him going to win the 2007 Canadian championships, 2008 winning a spot on the Canadian circuit, and 2009 World Championships! Bringing us to 2010, I was super excited to go watch Josh at the 2010 paralympics where he won a silver medal in the men’s slalom sit-ski event. Here are some photos from this amazing moment:
I have no idea who to credit for probably one of the worst pictures ever taken of me, but thank you for taking it! This was us as Josh crossed the finish line, as of then, in first place! Oh the emotion in our faces watching Josh do so well!
Just when I thought it couldn’t get much more inspiring, I was wrong. Of course I was, what was I thinking? Would Josh ever stop there? Hell no! His next endeavour would be the first person to do a backflip on a sit ski.. just because (to Josh) that seemed like a great idea. If you would like, you can see it here:
I am positive I have missed many accomplishments along the way, but I better not miss his most amazing accomplishment of all. Remember that lovely lady by the name of Lacey I was talking about, sitting by his side in the hospital room ten years ago? well she stuck by his side, they got married (atta boy Josh) and together, brought a beautiful baby girl into this world. Her name is Nova, and she is adorable! You guys make great babies;)
Bringing us to March of 2014, I, and many other friends and family sit here very sleep deprived because Josh is racing in the 2014 Sochi winter Paralympics. This time change is very un-kind but worth it! Here, Josh adds more hardware to his collection with a silver in the men’s sit-ski downhill (ten years almost to the day after his accident), as well as Gold in the super combined (sitting). Josh was also chosen to be the flag-bearer at the closing ceremonies.
Joshua Dueck, thank you so much for always pushing the limit, for showing the world that everything is possible with dedication and hard work, and being an inspiration to so many people (including me). When life gets tough and we feel something is not possible, please take a minute to remember this incredible man’s story and get back to the drawing board and try again!
**If you enjoyed reading about this incredible person or felt inspired, please feel free to like this post, or even more generous, leave a comment. Thank you so much for stopping taking the time and stopping by!**
At the Westin Bayshore Vancouver this past summer, I was very excited to be chosen to document the love between two of my closest friends, Patrick and Tobias. I loved their choice in location and all the small details they put together. The venue was the beautiful master suite on the top floor of the Westin Bayshore. Usually occupied by the famous, this suite was perfect for an intimate 60 person event. Tobi and Patrick own a boutique dog store on west broadway called Bow wow Haus their lovely little dog Pixie, was the front and centre of their event, and all the details from place holders (cute little dog tags made by Tobias) to their ceremony were reflective of their passion for dogs and the love they share for Pixie. Their ceremony was coordinated by the amazing Karen Ell (she is always one of my favorite officiants). Thank you Tobias and Patrick for making me a huge part of your amazing day. I Love you guys to bits!