Alright, so this is my first blog post and it's clearly not going to be about amazing pictures and fairytale families or weddings. It's going to be much rawer and realer than that. I haven't posted many (if any) pictures from the fundraising events I've taken pictures at because the pictures aren't really for me, they are for other people. But then I realised that's not true. They are for me too. I learn professionally and personally from everything I do, these events are no exception. They also make me feel like I'm making a difference, in some small way. I've volunteered at the Canadian Cancer Society's Bark for Life with a friend a few times and also participated in several Relay for Lifes. Last year I was asked as a photographer to help out at the Bark For Life summer fundraising event. I was thrilled! I was then approached again in the fall to do some Halloween pet pictures to raise funds. After some uneasy feelings about getting dogs to pose and/or put on costumes, I ended up having a great time.
The most recent event I took pictures for was the Children's Wish Foundation Christmas Party. The photographer they usually got wasn't available and I was asked if I could cover. Of course I said yes! Pictures of kids with Santa?! Who could resist? That experience was humbling in many ways (both personally and professionally). Some of these children are fighting life threatening diseases (such as cancer), which makes them different from other kids. But they are still just kids. They want to play and sit on Santa's lap...or not because he's a little intimidating to some!
So here's where it gets even more self-serving, I'm writing this blog now because last week I lost my last grandparent and my second grandmother to cancer. Two different types, two different choices in terms of treatment. Both amazing women, both difficult to lose to all those that loved them. I'm also using my first blog post for a personal story because I've been hesitating, overthinking and second-guessing every time I thought I'd do my first blog post and then get to say on my social media "check out my blog post!". So here it is. A post to say cancer sucks, photography is about so much more than pretty pictures or pay cheques (to most photographers, not just me) and this is my first attempt at a blog post (I don't even know if more will follow). I'm doing it to honour these two amazing women, any one who is struggling with physical or mental health right now, and myself. Because life can be so short.