Behind the Camera Series: How I Met my Husband

Behind the Camera Series: How I Met my Husband

Remember my first Behind the Camera Series post in this series where I told you I was a bit of a dork? Ok ok, a huge dork? At the time I didn’t reveal something, I have watched every season of Survivor. I started watching it live with season 2, and never looked back. As I am sure you have gathered by now, I might have been so into Survivor that I might have gone looking online to talk to like-minded people. Enter Lance’s Survivor Pick ‘Em site. On there you could join other Survivor friends and guess who was going home that week. My friend Stacey invited me, and we had a lot of fun competing against each other.

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Well. There was another aspect to this site that neither of us were fully aware of, and being that you could make an alias and play in a real game of Survivor against other people. Yes, yes you could be divided into tribes, send messages, create alliances, vote people out, everything. My mind was blown!!! I met some amazing people there: Katie, Regina, Jill, Kevin….and my husband {and so many more friends}. In the dorkiest way possible too. Both of our aliases were on Exile Island {meaning we couldn’t talk to anyone in our respective game}, so I messaged him. My alias was Claire from the TV show Lost and he was The Terminator. Since I was a big old dork, I sent a message saying something like “I might be blonde and beautiful, but please don’t kill me!”, which he replied that he was only programmed to kill Sarah Connor so I should be ok. Then we went back to our respective games and I didn’t think much of it.

Fast forward a few months, and a new season of Survivor was starting on TV, which meant starting a new game of online Survivor. I was running a game this round {with off-site challenges to make things more legit}, and saw The Terminator pop online. My friend Katie saw him first and messaged me saying to invite him to the game, as we wanted fresh blood. If he had said no, then that would be the end of our story, but thankfully he said yes. With his persona being a male superhero {Batman} on a tribe of all women superheroes he got sent to exile island a lot, which was a blessing in disguise. He started sending me messages because he was bored, analyzing other players strengths and weaknesses and being a smart ass. I was smitten right away. Intelligence mixed with sass is my kryptonite. Since I was running the game, and I wanted to have objectivity, I sent got his email address and we continued to talk via email and eventually yahoo messenger, since this was before the days of Facebook.

Well all that talking led to video chatting and some real feelings happening on both sides of the computer. Roughly 9 months after we started talking we met in Houston. Why did the girl go to the boy? Well, I am a bit of a cougar, he is 9 years younger than me and if he had come to Canada for the first meeting I am pretty sure his mother would have lost her mind. We had an amazing weekend, we went on romantic eating excursions, went to the movies, Galveston waterpark, and basically had an awesome time together. Leaving him was exceptionally hard because we knew at that point that everything that we had felt online was translating well in-person. We both cried.

Behind the Camera Series: SurvivorHouston, TX Photographer

Houston, TX PhotographerOver the next year we would visit each other at our homes every 3 months or so and in July 2010 we got engaged at Niagara Falls. His parents flew out, met my parents and we started planning my becoming a permanent resident in America. That whole process, the K1 fiancee Visa, takes over a year by the way. It took a long time, a doctor’s visit, my biometrics being taken a few times and an interview. America ain’t playin!! But once I got approved, we kicked the wedding plans into high gear and had a nice little non-legal ceremony and reception in Canada. It was non-legal because I had to legally marry Robert in America. Our Survivor friends Katie, Regina and Jill came to that and we had an amazing time! Katie might have even started a flash mob at my wedding to Thriller.

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Now I have been in Houston for just over 4 years. We are happily married, enjoying our home in a new suburb and traveling. We no longer play Survivor games but the friendships we made are still there, as we recently went to the wedding of Katie this past summer.

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This is why I love capturing families, people and couples who are off the beaten track, who want to do something a little quirky. I am one of you! I have Harry Potter wands at my photo shoots with my husband! Halloween is a big thing for us, and we dress up and get dorky. It also means that I am able to connect with everyone at a session because at least one of you loves superheroes, action films, Harry Potter or possibly Dr. Who. So now that I have bared my soul and shown you how I met my husband, I would love for my readers to tell me how they met their partner. Everyone’s story is unique!!

Brandon & Kris | Burlington, ON Engagement Photographer

Brandon & Kris | Burlington, ON Engagement Photographer

Burlington, ON Engagement Photographer
I have known Brandon for a few years now, as we were coworkers when I lived in Canada. He is always happy, smiling, a quick laugh and possibly a dirty joke thrown in there for good measure. Kris matches his high energy and quirky ways, and they are fun to be around because they feed off each other’s energy. You know this means awesome things for the engagement session.
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Houston Wedding Photographer
Brandon and Kris originally didn’t have plans to do an engagement session, at their proposal, Brandon had a friend take pictures during the proposal and they were planning on using those pictures for their Save the Date cards. When they hired myself, they expressed this and the fact that they didn’t like the overly posed engagement pictures they see everywhere. I asked them what they liked to do together, what was special to them as a couple, to see if there was an activity we could capture, instead of focusing on them simply posing and kissing. And to be totally ironic, here is a set of pictures of them posing and kissing. Turns out, they liked these pictures too!!
Houston Wedding PhotographerHouston Wedding PhotographerHouston Wedding PhotographerBurlington, ON Engagement PhotographerHouston Wedding PhotographerHouston Wedding PhotographerHouston Wedding PhotographerAfter our chat, Brandon and Kris revealed they both love sports. Brandon has played soccer for the Canadian Professional Soccer League, played in France, Germany and finished his career at Sheridan College. Kris loves the Toronto Maple Leafs, passionately watches the games at home and owns several jerseys. The three of us tossed around the idea of doing pictures in both soccer and Leaf’s jerseys, and then it spiraled into playing soccer, and being ironic by throwing leaves at each other in the Maple Leaf jerseys.
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Convinced, we set a date for the session. Knowing I still wanted a few cute couple pictures with some kissing, I asked if they had a dog to include in the pictures. Turns out, Brandon has a stuffed dog named Mr. Freddie he has had since he was a child, obtained at a local bank called Canada Trust. Mr. Freddie was officially invited to the session to be used as though he were a real dog.
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Knowing this session was turing quite Canadian, I decided to bring some Tim Horton’s coffee. It was the final piece to this overwhelmingly Canadian-themed engagement session and Brandon and Kris had a great time with it!!
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Houston Wedding PhotographerBurlington, ON Engagement Photographer
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Houston, TX PhotographerLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is [email protected] Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of the session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!
Behind the Camera Series: How I Met my Husband

Behind the Camera Series: Coffee

In the latest Behind the Camera Series I am presenting to you my deep obsession with coffee and coffee mugs. And possibly hipster coffee houses {because all coffee houses are hipster, amIright?}.

Behind the Camera Series: CoffeeMy taste in coffee has evolved, it started out sweet as sweet can be because I was graduating from hot chocolate to coffee. I was in Canada at the time, working at Blockbuster when Starbucks came to town, and that was the beginning of the end. Before then you had Tim Hortons but they didn’t do anything fun or fancy the way Starbucks did. Sure there was Second Cup, but there wasn’t a lot of those around. It started off small, a vanilla latte. But then my friend Steve came into my life and we started to go to Starbucks a lot and we would chat up the baristas to find out their favorite drinks. So a vanilla latte got replaced with a white chocolate mocha, but half sweet {a white mocha is crazy sweet}. Then we started to play around with frappuccinos, because why not? Adding hazelnut to a vanilla bean made it taste like birthday cake. Adding peppermint to the java chip made it glorious!

Behind the Camera Series: CoffeeThen I started to become obsessed with the mugs they were selling. They were big, shiny and had fun patterns. My mom also loved them, so we might have had a mutual delight in inspiring each other to buy new, pretty mugs. The shinier the better. It has gotten to the point where I own over 20 mugs from Starbucks. Yes, yes it’s crazy, but I use them! And they are shiny!!! Don’t judge me.

When I moved to Houston things evolved. Houston is a wonderful city for restaurants, bakeries and cafes. I have found a multitude of coffee shops that are independently owned and unique. Being a serious foodie, this made my heart happy. I loved going to place like Pearland Coffee Roasters, Siphon, Blacksmith and I know there are more I can go to! I love trying the variations of a macchiato, a latte and the milk that goes into it. I find that Behind the Camera Series: Coffeecoconut milk isn’t the best substitute for dairy in a latte, the coconut taste supersedes the taste of the espresso and syrup. Almond milk is more subtle and is my preference if I am going non-dairy.

These days I like my coffee as a caramel macchiato, but made with sugar-free syrup and nonfat milk. That way I my drink is as sugar-free and fat-free as possible. It’s a vanilla latte but with caramel, which is the best of all worlds.

I also make my own cold brew coffee with my french press. I steep it for 20 hours with a cinnamon stick {because cinnamon in coffee is the most glorious thing you can do!!}, and then when I make my coffee I dilute it with water, because straight cold brew is exceptionally strong. I add cinnabon creamer and it’s seriously the best coffee. I encourage you to make some, you won’t regret it!!

Behind the Camera Series: Coffee

Houston High School Senior Photographer: Meet 2 of Our Reps!

Houston High School Senior Photographer: Meet 2 of Our Reps!

The studio took on some high school senior reps this year and it was so much fun to capture these two!! The studio was looking for reps that were into activities like football, baseball, soccer, cheer or anything else that might get them active in their spare time to illustrate what we do now: extreme sports portraits as a part of the packages we offer. Chris and Kellie were more diverse than anticipated, Chris does CrossFit and Kellie does both cheer and archery. Their sessions were unique and fun and it was a pleasure to capture them! Chris even had a personal record while doing the pictures, because he is that hardcore.


Chris goes to Fort Bend Christian Academy and has a passion for computer science and crossfit. He invests a lot of time and passion to both!

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This is where Chris hit his personal record, can you tell?? Great job Chris!
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CMC Breast Cancer Cernter


Kellie is driven and invested in a ton of different activities, most importantly archery and cheerleading. She even tried out for the Olympic team as she is bad ass when it comes to archery. Can you blame me that I wanted a little bit of a Katniss quality to her sports pictures?

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I love capturing high school seniors!! Since I am immature {let’s not lie, saying I have a youthful personality is just a nice way of saying what this!}, I truly get along well with seniors and this means that our sessions get fun and creative. We think outside the box and have fun with it! So reach out! My email is [email protected] and would love to plan your high school senior session!

Behind the Camera Series: How I Met my Husband

Behind the Camera Series: My Attempt at Fame

Welcome to my second post in the Behind the Camera Series, in this post I will let you in on a failed attempt at becoming famous: I tried out for Canadian Idol in my 20’s. I am not going to lie, it has been long enough that I don’t remember my exact age when I did it.
I have always been a singer, which is odd because every other person in my immediate family cannot carry a tune in a bucket. I can remember vividly in grade school, my class did the 12 Days of Christmas song in the Christmas concert. We had try-outs and everyone wanted either the line “Five golden rings” or “And a partridge in a pear tree”. It was intense, and I sang my young heart out and landed the one I wanted most “Five golden rings”. I was so excited to have that, that even though I came down with the stomach flu two days before the concert, I still went to the concert {probably infected a few kids} and sang it. It was then that I knew I could sing and that I loved it.

In high school I was in all the plays, from Godspell, to Bye Bye Birdie and Once Upon a Mattress. I was in choir for a little bit but I didn’t enjoy the songs that were chosen, so I didn’t stick around. But those rehearsals and singing and performing to an audience, that was my life, my passion and where I spent time with my favorite people. I can still sing songs from those plays to this day, some of them might by on my iPod that is in my car…but I digress.

Behind the Camera Series: Canadian IdolIn my 20’s, I had to grow up and work a full time job, so singing wasn’t something that happened as much. I worked for Blockbuster, and there I met one of the best friends I have had in my life, Steve. We both love singing, so on a whim we decided that we would try out for Canadian Idol together. Little did we know what we were signing up for.

We decided to drive to the location where the auditions were happening the night before to ensure we were seen at a good time the next day. It seems a lot of people had that idea because we were put in a room with no chairs, just carpet. We didn’t think to bring anything to sleep on, like pillows or a blanket, so we were left to our of devices. We did bring a portable DVD player and started watching the TV show One Tree Hill {thanks to Steve, I will always love that show}, and that helped pass the time. We tried to sleep, but the lights never went off in the room and people talked all night. I think we both got like 2 hours sleep.

In the morning we waited until around 8 or 9 am and then producers came to talk to us and asked us to cheer and be excited for some B roll, which we obliged. Then we were able to go to the bathroom and freshen up, so I changed into an “edgy” sweater and metal belt. I was super cool. Next we were hearded up to an area where we registered and got our Canadian Idol number, that we had to affix to our shirt. Then we waited. And waited. And waited. I don’t think either of us got to audition until around noon.

My audition was myself and about eight other women, and we all took turns singing our sings to the judges {not the celebrity ones, that is a saved for the next day, if you get a call back} in front of each other. I chose the song Wayne by Canadian songstress Chantel Kreviazuk, and is still a favorite of mine to this day. After listening to us sing, the judges then called out numbers to those who were moving on and got to audition with a higher level of producers for the show. I was not chosen and neither was Steve, and I was rather gleeful about it. I was insanely tired, and ready to get home to sleep. Of course, I drove and Steve fell asleep beside me on the drive home.

It was a neat experience, but I am glad I didn’t go further, because by the end, I was so over all of it. I had never been part of a cattle call before and it was rougher than I anticipated. But the good thing about it? It gave me my huge passion for One Tree Hill and it helped solidify one of the best friends in my life.