Life Unexpected

Life is unexpected. Today was a prime example of that.

I started my day pretty much like any other. I woke up at 12:30pm because I have been dreadfully sick, but everything else was normal. I showered, checked facebook, got caught up on several video-bloggers that I follow on youtube, made grilled cheese for my late, late lunch and then got ready for work. Everything was fairly typical, but then life surprised me.

On the way to work, I got in a car accident. Actually, I was right outside my work when the car accident happened. Seriously. I was turning left across two lanes of on-coming traffic and a car smoked the passenger side of my car and spun me around so I was facing in the other direction. It was scary! My glasses flew off my face and my Starbucks coffee seemed to explode out of its cup. Everything seemed to slow down and speed up at the same time. My car stopped and I put my car in park and tried to find my glasses even though I couldn’t see.

A witness and the driver of the car that hit me, rapped on my window to make sure I was okay, but I was still fumbling around trying to turn on my hazard lights and find my glasses. I thought my glasses had flown off onto the ground by my feet, but, surprisingly and miraculously, they landed right on top of my purse safe and sound. Phew! I put my glasses on and proceeded to talk to the other driver and then wait for a cop to show up. In total, I was probably standing outside in the pouring rain for about an hour. It was anything, but wonderful.

But then God reminded me that he had been watching over me the whole time.

The moment I realized I got into an accident, I called my parents. And then I remembered that I was supposed to be at work, so I called my boss who walked outside to wait with me until the police showed up. My boss, who is also a dear friend of mine, ended up texting my friend Cassandra and asking her to pray for me. Here’s the funny thing: Last night Cassandra had felt compelled to pray for me, which she did. And then this morning she felt like she needed to pray for me again. Cassandra was covering me in her prayers and she had no idea that I was going to get into an accident!

Not only that, but I called the insurance company to make my claim and statement about the accident. After I made my statement, the man I was talking to read it back to me so that I could make sure that it was all correct. In that moment, I realized that this accident could have gone horribly wrong. Sure, two cars were damaged, but everyone in the situation was totally fine! And thank God that I didn’t have any passengers in my car! 10 minutes before this, I had my step-dad in my car, but I dropped him off at the mechanics. Also, my car didn’t spin out and hit someone else.

God’s hand was all over this situation. He sent his angels to protect me and everyone in that situation and I am blown away by his good graces. I even went to work afterwards!

One thing I’m worried about is that the insurance company will decide that I’m the one who is to blame for the accident and that means that I will have to hand over a lot of money, which I can’t afford right now. Honestly, though, if God can protect me physically, he can protect my finances. No matter what, God has proven that he will take care of me, so I’m trying not to worry about it. Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be uneventful!

A photography blog post seems incomplete without a picture, so...here's another photo from my shoot with Shanna. See more on my facebook page.

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Art

I like to consider myself an artist. Is that too bold? I’m not sure. But, because I’m a nerd, I looked up the word “artist” in dictionary.com and it said, “Artist [ahr-tist] – noun…a person who is expert at trickery or deceit”.

What? I know!

And I’m partly joking. (“Partly” because it did actually say that, but it was the second last definition.) Actually (and no surprise here), dictionary.com describes an artist as someone who engages in the arts. And I consider myself one of those people. I took art in grade 8 and I fell in love it. I loved being creative. I loved pouring my heart and mind into whatever I was creating. The problem was that I wasn’t very good at it. I think that my art teacher was very gracious in giving me straight A’s. All through highschool I dabbled in art. I took up watercolour painting for a while and then decided to stick with acrylic painting. I actually think that I’m a pretty decent abstract painter. (I can’t paint anything close to realistic.)

But then I found photography. Photography has always been there and it has always been a hobby of mine, but it buried itself deep inside my heart about two years ago. I fell in love with photography. And I’m realizing more and more that photography is my art. Photography is how I express myself. While I really wish that I painted more (because I dropped that hobby basically when photography stepped onto the scene), photography makes my heart sing. It brings me closer to God and it’s something that I can say, “Yep. This is mine. This is my thing, my passion, my art, my business.”

Of course, there are many ridiculous (or “ridunkadunk”, as my co-worker says) photographers out there. I am just a baby in this business. I am completely in awe by the artists I see around me. For example, there has been a lot of buzz about Jeremy Cowart on facebook and twitter. Recently, he was in Haiti and, in between professional shoots, he shot pictures with his iphone. Crazy, huh? And the photos are magnificent! The one below is my favourite. For more, click here.

Jill Devries is another photographer that I love. I’m so in love with her work…I could die! Sometimes I feel like that because her photography just steals the wind out of my lungs. It’s simply breathtaking. This is my favourite from her. To see more from this shoot, click here.

There are a ton of other photographers that I love and admire. Look at my facebook profile and you will see! I am a fan of a lot of photographers! I am a proud supporter of the arts and anyone who pursues a career in artistry.

Here are some recent photos that I took with Shanna Elizabeth Photography. This shoot brought out my artsy side. Enjoy! For more photos, go check out my facebook page. Have a lovely day!

Quick note: Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is coming up! Tell all your single, dating or married friends to book a session with me! A mini-session (30-45min) is $60 & a full session (1-1.5hrs) is $75. Book with me fast because my prices are changing after February! Keep in mind that I will give you a special deal if you refer me to your friends and they book with me.

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Angela

I’ve known Angela for about 8 years. I met her when she came to my school. All through highschool, we talked to each other, but it never turned into anything. Once I graduated, I just assumed that I would probably not see her again. Boy, was I wrong! See, Angela started working at a local Christian bookstore at the end of grade 12 and I tried all Summer to get a job there. I ended up getting hired the following Fall and I was reunited with Angela. I’ve worked there for two years, but it was only in the past year that our friendship has grown and gone deep.


In the past 8 years, practically everyone says that we look like twins. We have been confused by everyone, from strangers to our friends to even our family! And, to put it simply, Angela is my non-biological twin. We are so alike, it’s scary! We think the same, we finish each other’s sentences, apparently we make the same facial expressions, we made almost the same New Year resolutions, and on and on.


Angela is a gem. She has such a beautiful heart and infectious personality. She is in love with Jesus and she is such a blessing in my life. Angela constantly encourages me to be the best Michaela that I can be and to pursue the dreams that God has placed in my heart. She makes me laugh so hard and always lifts my spirits when I’m down. We constantly talk about how we are so amazed that we are such good friends because neither of us thought that this would happen. God definitely wanted us to be together.


All that being said, a photo shoot was overdue with my bestie. We went to Granville Island last week and turns out it was our one year anniversary. (We figured this out while having dinner.) It was a perfect day and so much fun. It was also the first time I did a photo shoot in the evening. Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous, but the photos turned out fabulous. To see more pictures of Angela, check out my Facebook page.


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Resolutions

Happy New Year! We are two days into 2011 and I am pumped and feeling blessed. I’ve heard the question, “What is your New Year’s resolution?” over and over again. I’m not a resolution-making type of person. A lot of people make resolutions that are unattainable, like working out everyday or never eating chocolate until the next year. In years past, I never kept my resolutions and so I stopped making them. But this year, I felt compelled to make a few and I wanted to share them with you.

1) Go to church more consistently. In 2010, there was a major drop-off in my church attendance. I started doing photo shoots on Sundays and, because I was working more, Sunday also became my sleep-in day. Skipping church now and again is fine, but it can turn into a habit of just not going, a habit I intend to break.

2) Attend a young adults life group. This will be a difficult one. I’m naturally shy and introverted, which is why I’ve postponed attending a life group for sometime, but it can be done! I shall overcome my introversion!

3) Become more family oriented. I’m also not naturally family oriented. The biggest problem is that, being an introvert, I like being alone or spending one-on-one time with people. I come from quite a large family, so I typically just avoid them. I adore my family, but when they all come over for dinner, I feel overwhelmed. But, this year, I want to spend more time with them and work on my relationships with them.

4) Go on more adventures. I want to go on more adventures. In 2010, I went on a few adventures, but not near enough. I want to go to Vancouver more. I want to take a trip to Victoria or go on a road trip. I’m not planning on travelling across the world, but I want to go on little adventures here and there.

5) Work on my business, which includes, but is not limited to, working on a website, logo, buying new gear and updating my editing systems.

I am very excited for 2011. God has great things in store for me and I am pumped to fulfill my potential in Christ more than I ever have before. I think this year will have new challenges and obstacles to leap over, but I have a feeling it’s going to be epic.

What about you? What are some of your resolutions for 2011?

A teaser from my shoot with Angela.

Posted in Family & Friends, God & Spirituality, Individual Portraits | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Favourites

In a previous post, I said that I would be posting some of my favourite photos from 2010. There are tons of photos that I adore from this past year, but these are some of the photos that have been most significant to me. I’ve grown a lot as a photographer. I’ve spent much time looking back on my shoots from 2010 and I am amazed at how far I’ve come. I’ve been very privileged to take pictures of beautiful, talented and interesting people this past year. I am so excited for the adventures and wonderful people that 2011 holds for me. Happy New Year, folks! God bless.

My favourite picture of my niece to date.

This is my puppy, Hunter. We got him as a Christmas present from Santa, er, my dad.

To see many more photos and the sessions that these photos are from, check out my facebook page and feel free to comment on your favourite photos!

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Milestones

This year has been a doosy. I look back at it and I am amazed at the blessings that I have received and have been able to take part in. My dad bought me a new camera, I took a photography class and then BOOM! I started my business. (Ok, it didn’t happen that fast.) It’s crazy how this all unfolded around me. I took big steps of faith, made mistakes, got messy and had a lot of fun. I’ve met so many wonderful people and reignited old friendships. I’ve learned so much and matched it with growth. This year has definitely surprised me and I am excited to see what 2011 holds. But before all that, I have some highlights to share with you lovely people.

Almost a year ago, I did my first major photoshoot with my dear friend, Connor, who was running his own clothing design business and he needed some photos of his clothes for advertising. It was an incredible shoot that I will always remember. To see more from this shoot, click here.

One big accomplishment in my photography career is taking the giant leap from shooting on semi-automatic to manual. My first attempt was during my photoshoot with another dear friend, Andy. The sun was scorching outside and I knew that I had to shoot on manual or our photoshoot was doomed. (So dramatic, I know.) And so I took a deep breath, said a little prayer and I am still in love with the photos I took. Click here for more photos of Andy.

Meeting Shanna, from Shanna Elizabeth Photography, was and has been amazing. She’s a great friend and someone I can always call, text or facebook when I have questions, concerns, frustrations and victories. She has helped me grow as a business woman and to really hold fast to the vision that God has given me for my photography. I love and appreciate her very much. :)

I have a million other milestones, adventures and learning lessons that have impacted my business, but I’ll save that for another day or for a coffee date with one of you fine folks. Thank you so much for being dedicated followers of my business and for your support and love. I’ve needed a lot of encouragement this year and I appreciate every single person that walked beside me and cheered me on. I cherish every one of you.

Before 2010 closes, I will be making a separate post with some of my other favourite photos. Stay tuned!

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Matt & Carissa

I met Matt, well, when I was born. Matt was 5 years old and I was his new baby sister. I’m sure that, when he saw me for the first time, he was filled with awe and wonder. Growing up, I definitely took Matt for granted. As the second youngest child, with 5 siblings (four of them boys), it felt like there was a bit too much testosterone in our house. My brothers bullied me, as most brothers do, but, in their defense, I was really annoying at the best of times.

But now that I am all grown up, hopefully more mature and less annoying, I cherish my oldest brother, Matt. He is a wonderful brother. He’s crazy smart, insightful, loyal, loving, hilarious and always willing to beat up any boys that try and get close to me. He has taught me a lot about life, relationships and God. And I am indebted to his persistance, for God used his stubborness to bring me to church and lead me to Christ.

I met Carissa almost 5 years ago. The moment I met her I felt like she was my sister. It was a weird feeling and one that I expressed to her very quickly. A couple months after I met her, she decided to go to Finland to be a nanny for three months and I thought, “Holy cow! We need to hang out before she goes!” When we hung out, I told her that, even though I barely knew her, in my heart she was my sister. It was like God bound our hearts together in preparation for what was to come. He’s funny like that.

A couple of years later, Matt confessed to my mother and I that he was fond of Carissa (i.e. he was crushin’). I watched as Matt took it to prayer, told Carissa that he liked her and then both of them prayed about their potential relationship for about 6 months. Wow. They wanted to do dating right and they wanted God to be the center of their relationship. Eventually, they started dating and then got engaged after a year. They’ve now been married for a year and a half and it’s been awesome! They are a wonderful couple and I am so excited to see how God uses them to change the world. I’m also excited for when they have little ones in their likeness, but I hear that will be awhile. ;)

Enjoy the photos below and I am going to make some soup because I am sick. Ugh…

For more photos of Matt and Carissa, check out my facebook page!

Posted in Couples, Family & Friends | Tagged , , | 3 Comments