Tag Archives: family

Farewell to a brave soul

Marjorie (Butland) Snow 1933-2016 RIP

Marjorie (Butland) Snow

My mother passed away this morning taking her brave soul to wherever such souls go. Like the rest of us, she wasn’t perfect. But she tried her best to be a good person, especially in the face of tragedy after tragedy throughout her life including the loss of a baby to SIDS, an adult daughter to an accident, her first husband to an accident, a beautiful grand daughter to illness, her second husband to cancer, her own mother and two sisters, friends and relatives, and repeated battles with her own cancer. Through it all and much more she just kept going, doing her best. And what more can one ask of anyone?

She left a legacy of family members across the country – four generations at last count.

There were many moments of joy too. The thrill of finding a daughter given up for adoption 42 years previously. The delight in the marriages of her grandchildren. And later on the birth of her great, and great great, grandchildren – populating the country from coast to coast! In the 24 years that I’ve been a part of this family I’ve collected a few photos at various event. Many are just snapshots grabbed with a point and shoot camera or a cell phone, but they are just a few of the tangible memories of laughter and smiles I will carry in my heart. Rest in peace, Mum.


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Four generations

Last Monday I had the pleasure of photographing four generations of women, albeit some quite small, in one family. The day was perfect for an outdoor photo shoot and the ladies were all in fine form with much laughter going on.

First to fourth generation!

Despite having been laid low with West Nile Fever, I managed (with their considerable help) to get things set up and the photos done. Normally I’m a lot more animated in my sessions, but everyone was very understanding, thank goodness.

Here is one of my favourites from the session – first generation having a discussion with the fourth.


It really was a good day!

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It’s Father’s Day

I miss my Dad – as do most folks whose fathers are no longer with us. I miss sitting on the floor as a small child while he played patiently with me – pretending to drink tea at our tea parties, helping me dress my dolls, teaching me to ride first a trike than a bike.

He is single handedly responsible for my passion for riding. My career began by climbing up on his back and urging him to “gallop Daddy. Faster!” At 2, 3 and 4 I had no idea that he was exhausted from a hard day of working – often 10-12 or more hours tuning pianos all over town and beyond. He was my best playmate.

I miss falling asleep on his lap, knowing I was always safe.

I miss talking to him and telling him stories about my day, my life, my adventures and letting him experience new things through my eyes. Did I mention he was blind? It was a minor inconvenience to him most of the time. He’d been blind since early childhood so really didn’t know much that was different. His memory of things he had seen was prodigious. And he did know colours – at least the basic ones. Terms like “fushia” and “turquoise” meant nothing to him so I would edit my descriptions to say ‘red’ or ‘green’ instead.

My Dad and me – in the beginning 🙂

As a grandfather to my son David he fulfilled many of the same roles – playmate, toy, comfy lap designed for a snooze.

Sadly, he never met my husband, Joel. He would have liked him. And, of course, he never met David’s wife Linnea and children Mattias and Isla. They would have liked him too. It’s too bad because he would have taught the children many things – like tolerance and patience and how to help others – just by being who he was.

My Dad.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Mothers come in a variety of ages, sizes, colours and types. Some of us have one, some many, some none while growing up. Mothers may be the women who gave birth to us, the ones who raised us, older friends, older relatives or some other form of ‘mother’. But come what may, we’ve all had at least one.

Some of us are mothers ourselves, even grandmothers or beyond. Some are surrogate mothers to relatives or friends children or ‘aunties’ to those small people. Some give their mothering to “furbabies” – the pets who fill a void in their lives. Some mother in other ways.

Some mothers live with the unique, heart-wrenching pain that comes from losing a child before his or her time. Even when they have and love other children in their lives, there is still a special place in the expanding balloon of love for the child who has gone before.

This Mother’s Day, I wish us all a day filled with warmth and love.

Mum, (brother)Jerry and me

The Mum I grew up with

My son

My Grandkids

Tomorrow it’s all about Moms in all their iterations. Happy Mothers’ Day!

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Inspiring is the only word

About a year and a half ago I photographed a little boy and his family as part of the “Littlest Heroes” program. The aim of the program, which spread internationally, was to have professional photographers donate their services to the families of children with life-altering medical issues. In turn, the program would provide a vehicle for increasing awareness about the medical problems facing these children and their families, and the amazing courage with which they all face life head-on.

Nathan was my first “Little Hero” and I must admit I was very nervous about that session. I shouldn’t have worried – he charmed me with his winning smile and we had a wonderful time together – once he realized I was NOT a visiting nurse and my big black bag contained camera gear, not needles and medications!

How could anyone resist these eyes?

My first Little Hero!

Nathan was born with a serious congenital heart defect and he has already had numerous procedures and surgeries in his short life. He takes daily medications and his parents must carefully monitor him. What might be the sniffles for most children could be life-threatening for Nathan.

This week I had the opportunity to spend more time with this gregarious little boy and his family. Now almost three years old, he is awaiting word on the date for yet another surgery. In the meantime, his parents have presented him with a little sister. This time the whole family came to my studio for their family photos.

Todd, Nathan, Susan and Jenna

We have a large and noisy dog – Hoover – but Nathan wasn’t deterred at all. They played enthusiastically between photos, my small house ringing with laughter.

Nathan and baby sister Jenna

Occasionally Nathan was even willing to share the limelight with his new little sister – but at 3 weeks old, she’s not a lot of fun for him to play with – yet.

Susan, Todd and Nathan

Susan and Todd are devoted to their children but at three years old, Nathan could capture any heart. He’s a sweet little boy and one of the most polite children I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. A clever child, he has an extensive vocabulary and a wonderful sense of humour.

Nathan, the little hero

Nathan truly is a little hero and ‘inspiring’ is the only word I could use to describe him and his amazing family.

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