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stone stories

there’s nothing i love more than wandering beaches on the pacific northwest and searching for rocks.  there’s such perplexing stories that erupt in my mind when i come across a unique rock.  the layers, the weathering, the color – all these things catch my eye and i’m drawn to pick them up, examine them, and try to imagine the romance behind how they’ve been shaped.

this past weekend we spent a blustery saturday morning and a sunny sunday morning wandering the beach with a shovel and rake, and (because of a red tide warning) in lieu of digging for clams, we searched for unique rocks.  the kids found some cool rocks with barnacles on them, layers of sediments, and blue, green, red, white and orange rocks.  it was really fun making up stories with them imagining where and how these rocks may have been and what their rock lives might have looked like.  later, in the car ride, beau said he remembered when the dinosaurs used to be around – a sign of a vivid imagination, yet a blur between reality and fiction in a young mind.

we pocketed a handful of our favourites as momentos of our trip.  these two photos contrast the treasures we found when we had our heads down searching for small stone stories.  you can imagine the stories that came from these ones.  perhaps beau is just a better story teller than i give him credit for.

although it sometimes seems hard to find genuine adventures for our kids, when i sit back and think about it, it’s really not that hard.  sometime you just need a good pair of gumboots, a keen eye and a thirst for a good story.

 

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remembering iceland

when we flew to holland, we chose to stop over in iceland as a stepping stone on our journey.

prepared for myriad types of weather, we packed a bag of cold and wet weather clothes and checked it into a locker at the airport in amsterdam while we enjoyed the warmth of the netherlands.  on our way back, we grabbed our bag for uncertainty and made our way to a mysterious land of vast landscapes and vibrant weather personalities.

i wish i had kept a journal on that trip.  i don’t remember much.  traveling with a three year old and a one and half year old kind of creates a manic quick problem solving long and continuous ground hog day with intermittent successes of intentional outings and magical epiphanies.  major epiphany – come back to iceland without kids.  it’s an incredible place where the majesty of mother nature smiles upon you, and despite the weather, where you stand and what you see causes gasps of wonder and a deep sense of gratitude for being alive.  we will come back one day without kids, ready for a journey with a camera in hand and adventure packs packed.

until then, i’ve rummaged through some of the images from our trip and pulled out a few of the successful intentional outings.  most of the time it would be an epic walk, or a search for a wall to climb.  sometimes we were lucky and stumbled on play structures in the middle of a field.  but when we made an effort to “see” something of adult interest – be it a waterfall, a cave, a glacier – well, we would have mixed feelings from our kids.  i was definitely sympathetic to their “boredom” as it brought up memories of visiting cathedrals and churches when i was younger… i remember thinking “what are we doing here”.   i am always thankful for the calm and adventurous nature of my son.  and as difficult as my daughter has been, and continues to be, i will never forget this trip with her.  this was really the genesis of my dirtnap series of her – #thedirtnapseries if you’re on instagram – which was the creative birth of coping mechanisms as a parent that have helped me find joy and peace in the day to day, in this life with kids.

in the end, despite the cold wet weather we had, and the lugging of gear, and the long drives with kids music, and blueberry and yogurt meals, and the back of the trunk diaper changes, and the buckling and unbuckling of carseat belts, and the meltdowns, and the solo treks one at a time while one parent stayed in the car to watch the sleeping kids… knowing that we are sharpening our kids sense of adventure (as well as our own) and teaching them about the importance of getting outside and seeing the world and being resilient and motivated… i reflect very fondly on our short trip to this very special place.

so here’s to remembering iceland.

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that time, in holland.

traveling with kids is no joke.  so much goes into planning and anticipating so that the kids will “be ok” and that we will have “everything they need”.  then it’s all thrown out the window, and whatever will be, will be.

that’s what i’ve learned.  just to let go and let life happen.  relinquishing some of that expectation of control i tend to have has helped make travel memorable and close to as enjoyable as our pre-kids travel life.

i’ve been going through some moments from our trip last year to holland and iceland.  it’s amazing what memories are tucked away in the back of my heart and the emotional fondness that arises when i see a photo to remind me of that time.  i can see the independence of a little one and a half year old, and i’m understanding that her personality was strong back then, and it helps me understand how it’s even stronger right now.  time passes so quickly in parenthood, that’s why photos are so important to me.  they are truly snapshots of time.  freeze frames that will help support my memory in retelling the story of our lives when or if my memory fails me.

three frames from that precious family reunion and time together, roaming the empty back streets of a small town.

that time, in holland…

 

© erica chan

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independent child, roaming the streets.

independent child, roaming the streets.

 

 

resurfacing, august 2018

hello beautiful online world.

it’s been a while.  a long long while.

over the past few years i’ve been navigating through a blissful storm of defiance, boundaries, parenting and redefinition.  i’ve been learning from little people and big people alike.  i’ve been taught by colleagues, mentors, friends, babies, children and parents.  i’ve been encouraged to let go, relinquish control, expand my levels of compromise and learn to be more creative than i’ve ever been.

i have many thoughts and words to say, but i’m going to restart this online presence slowly.  instead of sharing my complex matrics of thoughts and personalities that have arisen and waned over the past few years, and deconstructing them and learn how they’ve reconstructed me to who i am presently, i think it might be a nice, gentle restart by simply sharing a few images.  there have been so many amazing portraits, weddings, travels and moments that have occurred over the last few years, and in time i will share many of them.

for now, a simple, beautiful and incredible celebration of love – the journey through a very special day in july.  congratulations R&A.  big thanks to becky of rebecca amber photography who i had the pleasure of spending the day with.  i truly love shooting with friends i love and admire.

 

 

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having fun playing with little people

© erica chan

© erica chan

bun in the oven

overjoyed to photograph my sister in law and her soon to be baby joy.  right now it’s just a little bun in the oven, but still brings so much joy!  congratulations marijke!

© erica chan 2016

© erica chan 2016

cherry blossoms in vancouver

it’s that time of the year!

actually the cherry blossoms are early this year in vancouver.  it’s been a hustle trying to fit portraits in before they all come and fall so quickly.

cherry blossoms in vancouver mark the beginning of spring for me.  it’s the bright beauty that paves the way out of the dark and rainy winter into the blissful spring and summer.  they get me every year.

just a snap of the most adorable family under these march buzzing blossoms.  buzzing from the bees, of course.

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© erica chan 2016

© erica chan 2016

 

first days of spring

© erica chan 2016

© erica chan 2016

apple of my eye

© erica chan

© erica chan

Hello 2016.

May the new year bring you many new and exciting adventures…  Enjoy the ride!

© erica chan

© erica chan

Mother’s love, Father’s love

The tenderness of a newborn brings out the softest most beautiful sides in us.  We nuzzle with the tips of our noses and cuddle with the utmost tenderness.  It’s beautiful watching mothers and fathers love their new little beings.

 

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©erica chan

©erica chan

 

summer sunset

As the fall weather slowly curls it’s cold fingers around us, I see more people buttoning up sweaters they’ve pulled out of the closets and dusting off their closed toed shoes.  For some, it’s a bittersweet time of year, the saying goodbye to the spectacular BC summers.  For those who are braving the changing tides and still getting themselves salty with ocean dips, here’s a memory – west coast sunset for you – a visual dream – so the summer doesn’t seem like too much of a distant past… but a vivid a dream that’s left us to hibernate in wool clothes until time passes and brings us another summer solstice.

© erica chan

© erica chan

a beautiful flower girl

pretty much exactly as the title says…. i don’t feel the need to add more, the photo speaks volumes.

© erica chan

© erica chan

Life through the eyes of a child

“Curousity has its own reason for existing.” ~ Enstien

© erica chan

© erica chan

In a loft, in bed, in Tofino

April 26

Right now, at this precise moment, i am staring at the closed curtain on my overnight slumber party lofty bed.  It’s been a beautiful 24 hours with an old, very wise, and dear friend.  There is a sliver of the outside world creeping through the crack between the curtain and the wall… I can see that the branches of the tree outside my window are shaking – like a dog shaking water off it’s coat.  It looks like chaos.  Beautiful chaos.

I wonder to myself if I will be able to fly home today.  The thought doesn’t concern me much, as much as I am missing my son this morning.

Old, familiar tunes seep into my head through earphones that caress my ears.  I force myself to take a deep breath, as I recognize what I am feeling is a comfortable reality I once knew.  An exhaled sigh speaks volumes about my relief knowing her light has just been hidden, and hasn’t gone out.

A momentary furrowed brow squeezes out moisture from my eye.  I can’t tell what sort of tear it is.  The emotion surprises me.  Some sort of happiness.  Some sort of mourning.

Raindrops tap the window like a hurrying finger as they paint the pane, summoning me out to play.  I get the sudden urge to suit up in rain boots and coats and sing and dance on the wet, west coast beach.

Yes, I think that’s how this morning will begin.

Love in Bali – Feature on Pacific Weddings Love Notes

Very grateful for our Bali styled shoot to be featured on Pacific Weddings Love Notes Blog this week! 

We were all very excited to have the opportunity to pool our creative resources and produce this shoot.  My very talented cousin, Beverly from Life at Studio B, my good friend Seewah from Uluwatu Surf Villas, and several vendors from Bali came together in full force.  Thanks to everyone who helped out with this.  Here are a few more photos to share that may or may not be in the feature.

Bali…. what a slice of paradise…

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© erica chan

© erica chan

Colors of citrus

Some of the Citrus we picked the other day – I got inspired by the colors.  Bright, bold, cheerful!  Just wanted to share.

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Family!

Finally put a family portrait gallery back up on my site.  When I took it off my website two years ago, I had people asking me to put it back up, or questioning why I took it out.  Having a family of my own, now, I understand first hand the importance and joy the images bring – capturing moments from every step of the ever changing and adventurous journey that is parenthood… they mean so much… and not just to me, but to my friends, family and colleagues… complete strangers, even.  And seeing the glimpses of moments in other peoples lives somehow reminds you about the joys of your own.  It’s a crazy thing.  Check out the new gallery and let me know your thoughts!

Family Portraits Gallery by Erica Chan

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all images © erica chan

all images © erica chan

site updated for 2015!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my site – kind of a daunting task with the plethora of beautiful wedding images that stacked up for me to cull through.  Picking a few images from a few weddings – a tough job, indeed.  But I finally got around to it while the baby slept the past few nights (yay!).  I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been to travel the world and share in so many people’s amazing celebrations of love and commitment!  It’s been unreal.  I truly have the best job in the world, and I’m so so SO very grateful for the opportunities to capture memories.  The story of my life has been so enhanced by the work I’ve been blessed to find.

Please head over to my site and check out the new stuff (and the old stuff) and let me know what you think!  www.ericachan.com.

Here are a few of the ones I love… although I honestly love them all… I really can’t pick favourites.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2015!

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all images © erica chan

© erica chan 2015

 

 

 

my baby is one!

which means i’ve been a mom for a year… which is crazy to me.  time flies faster than i can explain these days.

but it’s all worth it, for the joy that this little life brings surmounts any other.

my brother makes fun of me… because all i post is pictures of beau these days.  haha… he has a point.  :)

 

 

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© erica chan