Friday, 31 August 2018

Travel Luggage & Outfits



I can't believe it's the end of August!! It's been a good summer this year but part of me can't help but feel the FOMO. Soooo much of my Facebook newsfeed is a constant reminder of all the places I haven't been, but the one that hits super hard is the fact that I've still never been to Europe! I'm packing for the long weekend in Montreal but my imagination likes to pretend I'm going to Italy or Spain.


One thing I noticed is that ever since I picked up my new DvF luggage set, I've enjoyed packing a lot more! I remember reading this article that builds on Marie Kondo's concept of only keeping/buying things that "spark joy", and the author of the article talks about buying a $50 rose gold stapler (wow!) but how the simple act of stapling piles of paper together now brings her joy.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Vintage Finds of Summer 2018


It's been a good summer for thrift shopping, both at the monthly 613flea markets and my local thrift stores so I wanted to dedicate a blog post to my summer vintage finds. I especially enjoy vintage items in the summer because they're a lot of fun to wear: big full skirts perfect for twirling, whimsical prints and colours to match the cheery, sunny weather.

I also wanted to share some tips when shopping for second-hand vintage that I like to call: How to tell Vintage Finds from Old Crap. Read on for my tips + outfits from a weekend trip to Niagara!

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Peach & Lavender

From my last post, visiting the lavender farms really inspired me to appreciate the fruits and flowers currently in season. A quick google search for fruits in July turned up not only cherries and strawberries, but peaches! I've never been peach picking and unfortunately there aren't any farms nearby. However, I still wanted to take this post to pay tribute to the "fresh picks" of the month.

basket full of peaches!

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Quebec City & Lavender Fields


As per tradition, last weekend for Canada day, we packed up our bags and headed out of town. It's been a busy year so far, and the last two major trips we both took were super action-packed and tiring. We decided that for this trip, we were going to take it easy and relax and drive to Quebec City. We both have been before so there wouldn't be as much pressure to do a bunch of the touristy things. The only thing on our list was to each delicious French food. And boy did we!

The Food

Our first stop was Ophelia for a quick lunch. We each had clam chowder (not pictured), octopus carpaccio, and fish accras (fritters). Nick really enjoyed the carpaccio but it had olives in it (which I don't like) so I steered clear. The fish accras were very fluffy on the inside and the flavour was yummy too. I think we both liked the clam chowder best, they were quite generous with the clam.

octopus carpaccio

fish accras

For dinner, we tried to go to L'Affaire Est Ketchup but it was booked full. The reviews mention they're a teeny tiny location (8 seats??) but highly rated so we'll have to try again next time! They referred us to a restaurant down the street called Patente et Machin which was another small hole in the wall. It was dark and gritty, with big hearty French dudes who translated and described the French menu in their fun French accent. I didn't get too many photos because of how dark it was but we had two appetizers ("machins"): the ceviche and mushrooms, and for mains ("patentes") we shared the piglet shank, which was incredibly tender, and a custom scallops dish since they ran out of pork belly for their usual scallops + pork belly.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Summer BBQ & The 70s

One of my most anticipated activities for the summer is having a barbecue. It's always a good time with friends gathered around, relaxing with the patio door open, drinking refreshing beverages and chowing down on some good ol' fashioned comfort food. So when my super talented home chef friend Charlotte reached out to collab on a ribs & summer bbq concept in the spirit of Ribfest, I was all too happy to accept! Charlotte has cooked for me twice before, Korean stew and brunch spread with dutch baby pancakes. This shoot was a much larger operation as the she made an incredible amount of food that also took much longer to cook. It really was a whole day affair (not to mention the prep work she did the night before!) Plus, more dishes meant more moving pieces to arrange on the table. It was a definite challenge for me, but one that I was eager to take on!

Our shoot was actually indoors, but drape a gingham tablecloth from the dollar store and you could believe we're outside on a picnic bench in a park, right? :P

full spread! including fresh picked daisies :)


Friday, 22 June 2018

2018 Summer Fashion Trends



Hooray it's summer! Even though it only just became official yesterday, I felt summer-like weather as of the very first day of the month! The winters in Ottawa are so brutally painful and long that any glimmer of summer vibes is cause for celebration. Last year's summer almost passed me by but it's resurgence in September actually triggered new photography and blog ideas. My 2017 Summer Fashion post being the kick-off post, followed shortly by a Fall Fashion post and a whole monthly fashion component to my yearly project. However, summer (and likely fall again later this year) deserves its own spotlight. This year, I noticed some fun trends in popular fashion that I somehow am keeping up with! I'm not usually a subscriber to current trends although I do like to observe them and it's just a happy coincidence when I happen to be on trend! Without further ado, here are the three trends I seem to be on board with this summer :

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Summer Saturday Hangout with Joan

Working a regular 9-5, I try my hardest to make time to just hang out and catch up with friends weekend. Some days it's easier said than done! As much as I love photography, it can sometimes take me away or alienate me. I mentioned in my last post, I spent a lot of time shooting the bar, which meant I missed out on some conversations with the girls. And while I was taking pictures of the food, I also missed out on most the group selfies (although they were sweet and made sure to get one with me as well!)

That's why I really appreciate solo one-on-one hangouts. Especially when the friend is also down to be bossed around for some fun casual shoots hehe. I find it's easy to keep a dialogue going and the photos I snap up actually add to the conversation, rather than take me away!

Which brings us to today's post, photos from my casual shoot on Saturday with Joan. We spent the afternoon at 613flea hunting for vintage treasures, followed by some girl talk (clothing, jewelry, and prosecco, duh? :P), then a cup of tea and sunset at the beach. That's what I call a great Saturday!



Friday, 8 June 2018

Montreal Weekend: Fashion, Friends, & Food

Happy Friday everyone! As with every trip I make to Montreal, here's the corresponding giant blog post filled with photos :P It was Amanda's birthday last weekend so myself and a couple of girlfriends from Toronto all met up at Amanda's to celebrate. Brace yourselves, if you aren't hungry now, I'm thinking that might change...

Cheers to the weekend! 

Friday, 1 June 2018

Lace Dress at the Beach


It's the first day of June and it hit 31 degrees today! I don't want to jinx it but it looks like it'll be a promising summer this year. Not going to say much in this post because I have lots of pictures to share! And y'know, equals a thousand words, yada yada :P  Without further ado, here are my favourites from a beach photoshoot with Lily.




When we were reviewing photos on the camera, we both noticed that her sunglasses give off a GUESS Jeans vibe. I only have these two in my cut but I'm really digging the magazine style!
We took the sunglasses off for the rest of the shoot. Here are some more classic portrait-y shots:

Monday, 28 May 2018

Teacups & More Teacups!

By now, I'm more than a third of the way through this yearly project and it's funny how it doesn't matter how far in advance I start to plan the shoots, things always seem to be continuously changing up until the very last minute. I had a completely different concept in mind for this month but that's all put on hold for another month now!

If my Tea Time at Tiffany's shoot from my vintage project was any indication, I love tea. At work, I drink at least 3 cups of tea a day. For this post, I picked my favourites from the shoot I did with my high school classmate who who recently started her own home decor company, HomeJourney.


Monday, 30 April 2018

Preloved Luxuries & Millennial Pink

It's been three weeks since I've returned from my China trip and I was out of commission the first two of those three. I don't know what it was (although at one point it was definitely bronchitis – oof) but it sure knocked me on my butt! It was pretty awful and I’m finding myself scrambling to try to catch up for all the lost time. With this post, I can cross April off my to-do list and get a move on the *hundreds* of China photos I’ve been neglecting.

I've been wanting to shoot accessories for a while, and after the few when shooting outfits with Haikang, I realized the main struggle was finding the right surfaces to shoot on. Luckily, while shopping for housewares in Simon's, I found a bunch of neat place mats (for like $4!) and thought they'd be a great hack for those blogger flat lays on gorgeous marble or wood counter tops. Here goes my first try shooting with the marble one (with $1 fake flowers to complete the blogger aesthetic :P)


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Haikang's Spring Lookbook

Even before the final post of the 2017 Fashion project, I knew I wouldn't actually be done with fashion photography. And while I'm enjoying the fashion challenge of my 2018 personal lookbook project, I do miss the fun dynamic of shooting with others. So I reached out to my fashionmister buddy to see if he'd be interested in more fashion shoots and building a lookbook. If you couldn't tell, he agreed! And with the perfect spring-like weather finally pulling through this past weekend -- I love it when everything comes together :)

I tried some more graphics-y styling on some of the photos, just playing around but I think I like the effect!


Friday, 23 March 2018

Details & Dates & Spring Florals

I'm going to come out and say it -- spring is my least favourite season (that's as harsh as it gets, I'm Canadian and we're nice, sorry :P) Knowing my trip to China was going to cut March into a month even shorter than February, I was in full-blown panic mode the second I hit publish on the February post.

I really liked how last post's product and fashion shoots were related, so I kept going through my closet trying to find an item that would trigger the brain blast I needed to get the ball rolling. But for the first full 2 weeks of the month, I made absolutely zero progress - no ideas, no inspiration, nada. And suddenly I was a week out from my trip and guess what, I also didn't managed to pack anything  for my trip! I looked up weather in the cities in China that we would be visiting, and they would have actual spring weather, with sunny rays, some rain (understandable), and lots of flower blossoms! Nothing like the second winter we get in Ottawa (I swear we got more snow in March than in February) -- which lead me to my first epiphany: I don't have proper spring clothes because Ottawa (or even Toronto really) doesn't have a proper spring! I mean, sure, I have clothing items of the correct warmth and thickness, but in greys and burgundys and other more autumnal hues and patterns.

Now I was faced with two problems: nothing to shoot and nothing to pack. I was complaining about this quite annoyingly to my super supportive girlfriends when one pointed out, why don't I do the blog post on how hard it is to dress for spring? And she's right, that was the whole point, wasn't it? Not to show easy outfit pairings, but to challenge myself and help me break through mental blocks.

Once the idea was in my mind, I had to write it down in my photography notebook, which led me to my product/lifestyle shoot:


Monday, 19 March 2018

Lights Lately

2018 has been off to a pretty busy start in terms of shooting! In addition to my monthly projects, I have a noticeable backlog in addition. But add regular work and the recent preparations for an upcoming trip (more on this later!) it's been a constant game of catch-up! One thing I did manage to get up on the website are photos for a Muay Thai event called Art of War at the Canadian War Museum. Was my first time seriously shooting this sort of content but I'm pretty happy with some of the shots I got! 

This post is another chip at my backlog, first up couple photos here from the Toronto Light Fest. Not to be confused with Lights Festival that I attended in Ottawa last September, with the lanterns. The Toronto Light Fest is an annual temporary art installation in the Distillery District.



Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Vintage Perfume Bottle & Velvet

I feel like I say this a lot (maybe too often?) but I am honestly so incredibly excited to share out the photos in this post. I've had this idea brewing in my brain for quite some time now but I delayed executing, partly due to logistics, but also a little bit out of fear that it wouldn't live up to the image I had built up in my mind.

Still, when I headed back to Toronto for Chinese New Year and Family Day long weekend, all the pieces were finally together, there was no more room for excuses.

Here's my little product shoot inspired by Valentine's day:


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Charcuterie Board & Burgundy Plaid

I can't believe the first month of the new year is already done! It's been an pretty packed month with lots going on but that will likely be the case for the rest of the year. I have lots of exciting things planned and can't wait to share it so take this super lengthy post as a preview of what's to come!

In the moments of the impending wrap-up to a pretty successful 2017 project, I struggled with ideas for my next project. I didn't feel done with fashion photography but at the same time, wanted to pursue something further. I sifted through old photos from both Vintage and Fashion projects and realized I wanted to zero in on the props shots -- some examples:





Shooting with models, going to various locations, and trying to work with what's provided to me was challenging in it's own way. But it'll be really cool to create the sets and have complete control over what comes out on camera. Kind of a throwback to my traditional pencil + paper days, creating something from nothing. A totally different challenge! From the little taste I got from shooting the few props shots in the vintage project, I know this won't be an easy undertaking, but it's definitely an area I want to develop. I haven't focused on this area before so I'll try my best to push myself to create magazine-esque shots of product and lifestyle photography. Here's an example of my aspirations: release the kraken.

It'll be a while before I reach that level but I got an early opportunity to try my hand at a small get together with friends. They brought out the charcuterie board and champagne and I helped arrange it nicely -- but it didn't actually occur to me to take photos until they all pulled out their phones for their Snapchat stories. After laughing along with the many filters, I decided to snap up some shots of my own.

"Alright, move aside ya filthy casuals." -cue more laughter-



Friday, 19 January 2018

Winter Wrap-up with Perrin

Please excuse the lateness of this post! Perrin and I actually did shoot this back in December when this post should have come out but the entire month was insanely chaotic with work and holidays and then I left for my trip (more on that later!) but better late than never right? Plus, winter is like, the longest season in Ottawa, so these outfits are still relevant even now!


So herreeeee we goooo!