Thursday, February 27, 2014

Livin' The Dream :)

As many of you already know, last weekend was my first time exhibiting at The Artist Project Toronto. It's an amazing show, and actually what inspired me two years ago to begin my own collection of personal work, so just getting accepted and being part of that felt like a big hug from the Universe. The experience itself was so great.. I met lots of lovely people, saw many friends both in the crowds that visited and in the booths around me, and had beautiful conversations. Someone cried in my booth (the second time that's happened), which I took to be the highest compliment. People asked me questions that ranged everywhere from "how do you do that?" to "where did you stay when you were in Nice?". People saw things in my images that I'd never noticed or thought of, which was inspiring.

And I basically got to spend 4 days surrounded by images and telling stories about art, photography, love, and the magic of chance. Because if you haven't had the chance to see this collection in person yet, I'll let you in on a little secret: it's about beauty, and colour, and texture, and layers, and all that good stuff. It's about the South of France, and Paris, and a trip that I took by myself just over 5 years ago. But for me, the collection represents something bigger..

The Absolute Magic of Chance.

What happens when you go as far as you can out on a limb, and then just jump. Without really knowing what you're jumping into, or what will happen, or if it's a good idea. But having a gut feeling that it's the right thing to do.

Because as well as taking about a million pictures in my 3 weeks in France, I also met a man. A handsome fellow with a great accent. He was from Belfast, and was in Nice to go scuba diving. We were staying at the same hostel, and met in line for dinner. That man is now my husband :) Those images have grown up to be my first collection of personal fine art pieces. That trip changed my life, and I could never have seen it coming.

So even when things are not working perfectly, or are much harder than I think they should be, deep down in my heart I feel so blessed at how things are turning out. At how the adventure of my life is unfolding. So if you see me in a booth full of images that look a bit like fairy tales, it's because that's how I feel about that trip. To see my work is to see how I feel about Love, Adventure, and Romance.

I hope that each and every one of you follows your dream - even if you don't know what it is yet :)


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Baby Kayla's 9 month Valentine session :)

I've been photographing Kayla's mommy Kym since my first year of photography school about 17 years ago (!), and had the honour of photographing Kym & Adam's wedding almost 7 years ago - so even though she's just turned 9 months, I sort of feel like I've known baby Kayla for much longer than that. We were lucky enough to catch her *just* before she started crawling, and she was kind enough to show off her shiny new teeth for us :)
 In her little red tutu and heart-speckled top, baby Kayla was the perfect little Valentine :)
One of my favourite things about photographing a baby is watching the huge smiles on her parents' faces when they're playing with her :) 

I can't believe the next time we photograph her, she'll be 12 months already! Time flies when you're having fun ;)
Kym, Adam, and Kayla - can't wait to see you soon and show you the rest of the images from this super-sweet session!
Jessica + Norman

{If you know or have an adorable wee one, we'd love to capture this amazing time in their life :) Please get in touch and we can chat about ideas!}

Monday, February 3, 2014

Getting ready for The Artist Project!

It's now less than 3 weeks away - my very first indoor show - so I'm busybusybusy finishing up some new pieces and designing my booth. This would be pretty exciting no matter what, but The Artist Project holds a bit of a special place in my heart and here's why..

Two years ago, my friend Carolyn and I heard about this art exhibition at the CNE called The Artist Project. We decided to meet up and spend an hour or two checking it out. We spent six hours there - eyes lit up and imaginations set on fire. We're both creative people, but at the time neither one of us would have dared to consider ourselves "artists". Since then, we've both set up studio spaces and started devoting time to explore creatively. To make pretty things for the sake of making pretty things.

One of the most touching moments in my life was at my first show (the Queen West Art Crawl), when Carolyn walked into my booth and started crying - because she was there when the seed was planted. When I realized that it was not only possible, but really important to me, to create and show (and hopefully sell!) personal work, it literally changed my life. Don't get me wrong - I love photographing weddings, and tiny babies, and kids being kids, and locally designed fashion, art, and craft - but all those things are other people's creations. And I wanted to make something that was just mine. To ask for advise and opinions and be able to completely ignore them if I wanted. To take the love and joy I have for colour and texture and line, and make it into something that someone else can love too. To take the thousands of images that I have from years of travelling, and turn them into pieces that capture the way it felt to be on those trips.

So - here we are - two years later. I applied for The Artist Project months ago, and held my breath. I feel so honoured and fortunate to have been selected to hang my work among a crowd of such talented artists. I feel excited. I feel terrified. And it's all awesome.

And to honour the occasion, I've been working on some new pieces - collections of sets of 3 small pieces that go together - which I'm totally in love with :) They are the cutest and most colourful pieces yet, and I predict that they'll be crowd pleasers. Each and every one of the "birch panel" pieces that I've made are one of a kind (because I hate how reproducible photography sometimes is), so if you love any of them be sure to grab them before they're gone!

Bonus: I have two pairs of tickets to The Artist Project show in Toronto February 21st-23rd - if you're interested, just mention this on facebook or twitter and be sure to tag me so that I know to enter you in the draw (here I am on facebook, and here's me on twitter) - like my facebook page and follow me on twitter to get 4 bonus entries!!

Thanks a million for all the support and hope to see you at the show!

xo Jessica