Summer is undeniably over. Every morning I feel autumn in the air – the crispness, the heady brightness of the colours. Or this week, the damp that begins to creep in, the thorough wetness of the ground, mornings, after a night of heavy mist.
This summer I went back to Alberta for the first time in nearly two years. Getting there completely disoriented me – nothing had changed, yet everything had changed. Ash picked me up from the airport – it was so good to see her, though she’s been my most constant friend since the move and we talk nearly every day. She puts up with me.
And on the second day, we did her family photos.
I forgot about mosquitos, and for that I paid the price. It’s not like we don’t have them on the coast. We just barely have them, and they’re mostly inland where I don’t often go, to be honest.
Alberta has mosquitos, and I got eaten alive every day that I was there.
When I first met Ash, Lila was just a year old. She was barely out of the blob stage, and she cracked zero smiles for me. Now, I think this is the first time we’ve done Sykes family photos since Stella entered the picture (that can’t be right – is that right?). Smiles abounded.
I pick wildflowers. I do this constantly on photo shoots – more so with couples (if I don’t already have a big fat bouquet in my car – sometimes that happens too) but kids love it too.
This was my first (and let’s be real – probably only, unless Ash wants photos there the next time I’m visiting) time shooting at this location and it was FIRE. It can be hard, in a province where there are lots and lots of open fields and the trees are kind of an awkward height. The first seven years of this career, I shot 90% at sunset for this exact reason. So, this was a pretty pleasant surprise.
Secret surprise, that is.
Watching these little people grow has been crazy, and time away compounded it. It reminds you not to rush. Life is enough of a whirlwind without it.
That light. It was nice not to be racing sunset for once – nice to be in a magical place where the lighting was golden and consistent from the hour’s beginning to end, all while being bitten, even through my jeans, by wild mosquitos.
Not a wedding goes by where I don’t miss having Ash there to keep me company, anticipate my every move and do all my detail shots. Ashley Sykes, you are appreciated.