Capturing dance


Every photographer has a favourite "type" of photography. For some, landscape, wildlife or still photography is where they feel most at home. For others, sports, architecture or micro photography of plants and insects is most interesting. 

For me, it's anything involving people. I love fashion shoots, portrait, family and baby photography, and photographing events where people's faces and interactions are the focus. This is why I was so excited to photograph my friend Breanne Hearsum's fundraising event in support of The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Breanne’s event was a two-day dance-a-thon called Dance 4U that took place at two elementary schools in Winnipeg. More than 200 kids participated, collecting pledges from family and friends for The Heart and Stroke Foundation.

During the dance-a-thon, the kids learned jazz, hip hop and Zumba from volunteer dance teachers. All the kids had so much energy that I spent most of the time running from one side of the gym to the other to capture them laughing and smiling as they danced with their friends.

It was a successful event all around, with the kids learning that dance can be a fun, heart-healthy activity and the two schools raising more than $13,000! 

Well done Breanne!

Winter shoot


One of my favourite courses this semester is photography. I've been dabbling in photography for a couple of years now, but this course goes beyond the basics. I'm now starting to fully understand ISO, aperture, white balance and shutter speed, and able to get the most out of my Canon 6D.

For our first assignment, our instructor told us to take a head shot of a person in natural light and not to alter the photos in Photoshop. My good friend Bre and I headed to the Forks for our shoot on one of the coldest days this winter. Our hands were freezing and we had to run inside for warmth every few minutes, but it was worth it. We had some good laughs and captured some great photos.

Good Reads


Over the winter holidays, I got back into something I absolutely love to do — read.

When I was younger, in elementary, middle and high school, I spent a lot of my free time reading. I'd read in the car on the way to skating or dance lessons, or stay up way too late finishing "one more chapter". My favourite Sunday afternoons were spent reading next to my two siamese cats as they sunned themselves in the light streaming through my bedroom window.

I've been busy the last couple years, but I'm not complaining. I love the program I'm taking in school, the people I'm taking it with and what I'm working toward. But there's not a lot of time for reading books for pleasure when you're on the fast-paced track to graduating college and building your career. But, I'm fine with that. As I said, I picked up some books on my bucket list over the holidays and three of them were simply too good not too share.

You may remember the news coverage from 2008 about a young female journalist kidnapped in Somalia. That young woman was Amanda Lindhout from Calgary, Alberta.

Taken by anti-government Somali terrorists, Amanda was held hostage for 460 days along with a photojournalist from Australia. Amanda survived rape, torture and countless days on the edge of despair as her captors left her in complete darkness for days with hardly no food or water. Five years later, Amanda has written a memoir that is unbelievably riveting and inspiring all at once. She is truly one heck of a woman to write about her experience, and find forgiveness in her heart.

Alice Munro is simply a master-writer of the small things in life. She has a remarkable ability to make the details of any ordinary relationship interesting. Her latest collection of short stories, Dear Life shows us how the most seemingly small decisions can truly alter a person's life and the lives of those around them. 

I love this collection for bringing me back to my childhood with rich descriptions of what ice cream tastes like on a hot summer day and at the same time, propelling me into the lives of characters who I've never met anyone like in real life.  

The Giver meets The Hunger Games in this breakout novel by Veronica Roth. The first of a three-book series, Divergent takes place in dystopian Chicago, where society is divided into five factions. At 16-years-old the main character, Beatrice Prior is now considered an adult and forced to choose which faction she will live and work among for the rest of her life.

There's plenty of thrill and action in this page-turner as Beatrice navigates her way through this oddly organized world and negotiates her place among others in her faction. If you've never read dystopian fiction, I highly suggest reading this book as an introduction to the genre. 

Bell Let's Talk Day


If your New Year's resolution involved getting active, volunteering, or spending more time with family and friends, than I have the perfect opportunity for you to take that first step toward your goal.

On Jan. 28, the Canadian Mental Health Association Winnipeg is holding a community skate event in celebration of Bell Let's Talk Day — a day dedicated to breaking the silence around mental health. For every text message sent, long-distance call made, tweet using #BellLetsTalk and Facebook share of the Bell Let's Talk image, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives across Canada.

CMHA Winnipeg's local community skate event is a fantastic way to support this larger Bell Let's Talk initiative and there are many ways you can get involved. From joining in the skating activities to helping the younger kids tie their skates and make ice sculptures, the event will be a fun time and is in support of a great cause. 

Visit for more details.

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