Category Archives: saskatoon

Breaking the Silence – and 80’s Day

Well, we’re here!  The sixteenth annual Breaking the Silence conference at the University of Saskatchewan is tomorrow!  There is still time to register – though not much.  So if you haven’t done so, get’r done!  There really is no time left.  Get your registration done tonight!  All the details are here:  http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/index.php

And because you asked for it, I’ll be doing my session on understanding sex, gender, and orientation TWICE.  That means you’ve got an extra opportunity to get in on this discussion if you missed it last year.  And even if you did get in last year, because I conduct it as a discussion, it will never be the same as where we go is truly directed by YOU.

Okay…  now for a few fun pictures.  😉

It was 80’s day at Kid kid’s school today.  Normally I’m all for spirit days and getting dressed up.  But an 80’s day?  Two thirds of everything that the cool kids are wearing these days are totally 80’s inspired – which means every day is 80’s day.  Seriously, every item the girl wore was out of her usual wardrobe.

LOL

That said…  the 80’s were about excess…  so we loaded on the bangles, we loaded on the belts, we loaded on the hair spray…  and we added slouch socks – because that’s one style that didn’t make it back.  And because it’s Thursday, that meant that I had to get dressed up too, after all I couldn’t spend the afternoon at school and NOT take part in 80’s day.  LOL  So I found the perfect jacket (and stuffed socks under my bra straps to mimic shoulder pads), pulled on some black leggings, a gold lamé skirt, and again with the slouch socks.  Then we did our hair and make-up… everything in excess!  It was great.  😀

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The Art of Drag – TNG

I’ve posted before about the glorious art form that is DRAG, so consider this post The Art of Drag – The Next Generation.

A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of being the official photographer at a rather phenomenal event here in Saskatoon.  It was the True Colours Drag Show hosted by the Avenue Community Center.  All sorts of performers, from current Drag Superstars to those who are the future of the art, all performing together in a grand spectacle.  It really was a brilliant night, and I am so thrilled to have played a part – even just a small one.  So here are a few names to remember:

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Breaking the Silence – 2013

This year marks the 16th annual Breaking the Silence conference at the University of Saskatchewan, and I am (again) proud to be a member of the board working very hard to bring it to you.  This year we are focusing on the idea of finding justice and equality on and off the playing field.

As we all know, the locker room has long been a place of dread for our youth, and that doesn’t always end with high school graduation.  Join us on March 22nd and 23rd and we attempt to throw open the doors, and let a little light, and some fresh air into those dark spaces.  Our topic this year?  Clearing it Out! Removing Homophobia from the Locker Room and Beyond.

You can learn a little more at our facebook event page or at our website!  Hope to see you there.

https://www.facebook.com/events/453413428064685/?

http://www.usask.ca/education/breaking-the-silence/

Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence

 

…and yes, for those of you who specifically wrote on your evaluations that you’d have liked to have heard a little more from me during last years conference, this year I’ll be offering two sessions.  I do have to admit, I loved the one comment that was written in that simply stated that next year they’d like to see “More Tobi”.  😉

Seek no more

On Thursday, February 28th I felt a sudden need to light a candle and to send love out into the universe.  I didn’t know why I needed to, I just knew that I had to.  So at 4:30 I let my daughter choose a candle and we lit it together.  Shortly after that things became all to clear.

Bran Everseeking, who was known to some as Thomas Dunbar, was a treasured friend.  At 4:15 his wife, Naomi, had posted to FB that he was having a heart attack.  It wasn’t until later that evening I would learn of it…  after seeing another post she made at 6:04.  Bran had left this world for the next.  Gratefully I didn’t learn the news until after Lily-Ann had gone to sleep as with it came a slurry of tears.  It honestly felt like some cruel joke.

The last couple of days have been absolutely draining, and I really have no words – which is why this post is more dry facts than anything else.  I’m simply trying to relay information without breaking down again.  For now all I can share are images, something I believe Bran (as a fellow photographer) would appreciate.

The candle I lit at about 4:30 on Thursday, burned until 4:54 Saturday morning.  I know this, because the change in light woke me from a troubled sleep and I saw the last ember go out.

Goodnight my dear, dear friend.  Know that love follows you from this life into the next.  Seek no more.

Remember Me???

Hey!  Remember me?

Yeah, it’s been a while.  I know.  Things have been a little crazy hectic here.  But we finally got everything moved out of the old house and into our new home (and the garage and shed).  No, we aren’t actually unpacked yet…  but I’m making slow progress.

We have our computer/crafting nook set up.  Which, let’s face it, is of prime importance in this family – and I’d suspect many more others than will admit to it.  The girl has already been busy at work both on the computer and sitting at her own little craft station, making all sorts of things.

The girl’s bedroom is MOSTLY set up.  For now her mattress is on the floor and she does have some boxes still that need unpacking.  She has usable space though, and her clothes are all accessible in her closet.  So I’m happy with where we’re at there (for now).

We moved in our little antique “three bears” kitchen table and chairs yesterday so finally got to use them.  If you remember way back when, I blogged about them when we first bought them.  🙂  They’re super cute, but I’ll be honest…  while their style fit in perfectly at our old place?  They don’t match quite as well here.  So I’m open for suggestions on how to paint/stain/refinish them to help them blend a little better in a European kitchen.

Our bedroom is partially put together.  Still a long way to go in here…  but we have a bed, a closet, and a tv (as well as a butt load of boxes).  I know it will come together yet, but yeah.  Our room isn’t exactly the priority.

The bathroom requires some work…  new tub, new vanity, new counter top, new light fixture(s), new floor.  Honestly?  I think the only things I’m okay with keeping are the toilet and the sink.  So we’ve definitely got our work cut out for us in there.

So yeah…  exhausted.  But I am slowly putting things together.

Damon had taken the last two weeks off to help pack up the old place, move, and get started on the unpacking.  Today was his first day back at work.  It feels kinda odd not having him around.  I’d gotten used to it.

Today was also the first day I used my new key fob for our alarm system.  I’ve never had an alarm system, so it does take some getting used to.  Gotta get in the habit of pushing those buttons when I’m supposed to.  LOL

Today the girl had her school photo retakes too.  And yes, I’m sure this one will turn out MUCH better.  She was just too darn busy playing with her friends in line to want to bother with the picture last time.  Where today it was just her in the room, so it went much easier.

Further, today marks the International Day of Remembrance.  A couple years ago I had organized a candlelight vigil down at the memorial bandshell beside the North Saskatchewan River.  This year I’ll mark it quietly at home with my family.  And I do ask that those of you who aren’t doing something en mass do the same.  Just take a moment to remember all those amazing people who lost their lives simply for having the courage to live authentically.  It is simply not right that so very many *trans women and men are murdered EVERY YEAR for being themselves.  It is so beyond a time for change.  Some Women have penises, and some Men have a vagina – get over it.  People should not have to die because they don’t fit into some other persons idea of what “man” or “woman” means.  My *trans sisters and brothers are incredible, strong, brave, compassionate individuals and they should not have to fear for their safety every time they leave their homes.  So yes, if you do nothing else, take a few minutes out of your day to remember the many, many men and women who have been brutally murdered for the crime of being who they genuinely are.

I Love Weddings: a photography preview!

Time for a photography preview!  And it’s a good thing too… because I’m just not that eloquent tonight.  😉  Generally words come fast and easy, but tonight?  Tonight I’m tired, and the words, they be playing hide and seek with me (it would appear I’m losing).

I had the pleasure of working with Wendy and Chris to capture all the important moments at their wedding (and several hours before).  The big event was a little over a week ago now, and I’ve got a few sneak peek images to share from the “formals” portion of the day.  Wendy and Chris were so much fun!  I loved that we were able to be silly and capture some really fun and goofy moments along with the romantic ones.

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Thankfully I’ve been able to devote quite a bit of time so far to the edits and enhancements, and I’m about 1/3 of the way through.  So hopefully, Chris and Wendy, it won’t be too much longer until everything is ready.  🙂  Thank you for including me in your special day.  It really was a delight!

Portrait photography can be so much more!

As I was waiting for this evening’s clients to arrive at our location, I had the chance to observe another photographer.  I always arrive early for any shoot by fifteen or twenty minutes which gives me time to mentally prepare, and to scout the area for light – because even if you shoot at the same location three days in a row at the same time, the light will be different each time.  I’m always surprised at just how different my approach is…  For me, what I do is normal, it’s natural, it’s just how I am.  And I can, and do, forget just how different the experience I provide is.

An iPhone snapshot of the photography team and family I observed today while waiting for my clients.

 

When I first arrived on the scene, I knew the family gathered there weren’t my clients.  The ages and number of people were wrong…  but it was clear they were nervous.  So I laughed with them a little about how popular this particular spot is with photographers, and how it’s unusual to find less than two or three there at any given time.  They invited me to photograph them if my clients failed to show.  LOL  It was casual, easy going, and fun.  We all shared some smiles and laughs – which made everyone feel better.  That’s when the patriarch of the family pointed out their photographers, saying “They’re supposed to be taking care of us.”  The two photographers, or photographer and assistant (their relationship wasn’t clear), were off on their own standing and talking secretively with their backs to the family.

From the moment my clients arrive, it’s my job to help them relax, to put them at ease.  It’s an odd situation – trying to look and act natural in circumstances that are anything but.  If I can help make my clients feel better about things, especially if I can get them to trust me enough to laugh and let go of their fears a little, it makes a world of difference.  Not just when it comes to their experience, but for their photos as well.  Not every photographer does this…  and sometimes I can forget that.

After a while I watched the photographers call the family over and begin setting up their posed shot.  Now, I don’t do posed photography, but many many photographers still do.  It’s a personal preference, and there are clients who feel more at ease being posed.  It certainly requires less effort from your subjects.  Working with me is about give and take, you have to be willing to put yourself out there a little.  Share a little with me, and I’ll give it back to you in a beautiful and amazing way…  it’s exhausting though.  Most of my clients end up pretty tired by the end of a shoot, we’re busy and engaged, a shoot goes fast and by the end you’ll be tired.  Posed shots are easier, they don’t require anything of you.  Just hold a pose and paste on a grin.  But when you don’t give of yourself, the finished product won’t be personal either.  Take a look at the snapshot above, it took the photographers fifteen or so minutes to set it up – and while it will likely be a nice keepsake, it doesn’t tell you anything about the family or their personalities.  There isn’t anything wrong with it, but it’s not a style I can understand or would ever emulate.

When my family arrived, and I say “MY” family quite purposefully, we got the necessary paperwork out of the way but then it was all fun.  We were laughing and sharing.  I get to know their quirks, and how they relate to one another.  I watch the dynamics present, and do my best to capture those quiet moments of knowing.  Sure, we get the portraits where everyone is looking at the camera – the ones for the holiday cards…  but even those share a whole lot more about who each person is.  Their individuality shines through in a big way.

I love my clients, I love working with them.  I love that a photo shoot is about sharing, and supporting one another, creating together.  That is what portrait photography should be, at least in my eyes.

If you ever walk past a family I’m working with, you’ll hear laughter, see people being silly with one another, people being honest and having fun.  The couple of times we walked past the group above it was quiet, I sensed a lot of apprehension and nervousness.  My clients may feel those things at the very onset of a shoot, but in the end?  They are MY families.  I do my very best to take care of them and make them feel great.  It’s not just about creating photographs, it’s about creating memories, it’s about photography as legacy…  and that just means so much more.

Presenting the 90-91 Grade 8 Class of Bishop Klein Elementary School

I stumbled onto a treasure while cleaning up some boxes at my parents place the other day, and it’s something I just had to share: my grade eight yearbook! Now, it’s seen better days, and even to begin with it was just a low budget photocopied, plastic coil-bound book, but I thought it was pretty cool. It’s about thirty pages long, so there was no way I was going to take iPhone pics of the whole thing.  However, I did think our bios were worth sharing.  😉  So here we are, the Bishop Klein grade eight class of 1990 – 1991:

Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day folk! Hope your celebrations were fun and safe. Here are a couple snapshots I snagged with my iPhone during the concert at the community stage here in Saskatoon. That’s the girlie dancing, my Dad (Blaine Yandt) on bass, and Mike (a family friend) on guitar.

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The Power of SHe – Photography Debut

Last night marked the debut of six pieces from my Power of SHe project.  They were premiered at the Mosaic art and fashion show, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pride in Saskatoon.  It was a sold out event, with spectacular performances, beautiful clothing, and an outstanding array of artistic work.  I was proud to have my work featured at such a fabulous event.  My congratulations to the Saskatoon Diversity Network for putting on this groundbreaking event, and my thanks for all their hard work.

Now, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the six pieces I debuted last night.  As many of you are aware, The Power of SHe is a personal project of mine focusing on how we, as Women, choose to define ourselves vs how society and the media seek to define and confine us.  I hope it forces people to take a closer look at what makes us who we are, and find those things which unite us.  As Women we should be supporting one another in our choices, finding strength within ourselves and helping to empower our sisters.  That is what The Power of SHe is all about.

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All six images can be seen in greater detail (and are available for purchase) at:  http://td365.smugmug.com/Art/The-Power-of-SHe/  For information on how you can become involved in this important project, visit http://photography.tobi-dawne.com/Power_of_SHe.html

 

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