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Alive.

Quiet like the dawn crashing upon the rocky shore of darkness.

Full of noise, full of life.  A roar of silence.

Too loud to speak.

Self-aware.

In all things I am.

I exist.  Sentient.

Feeling, knowing, being.  Thunderous.  Mute.

Heaving towards stillness, the permanent precipice, the denouement.

Beauty in knowing acceptance.  Birthing terminus.

The rocky shore of darkness as the light creeps quietly away.

Waiting to be reborn.

Me, spewing my bad poetry on an unsuspecting readership.  😉  It had to be done.  Sorry all.  Just one of those days/nights.

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Sarah & Shaun; Saskatoon Sweethearts!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with Sarah and Shaun, and thanks to this Eustachian Tube Disorder (which isn’t an ear infection at all, though I still definitely consider it an ear troll) it has taken me far longer to work through the enhancements than I’d like.  Working on the computer is slow going when it feels like someone is auditioning for Stomp inside your head.  😉  But I’m powering through as best I can.  And Sarah and Shaun have been so very patient.  I’ve said it before, and I know I’ll say it again:  I really do have the best clients.

I absolutely adored working with Sarah and Shaun.  The fact that she loves him and that he adores her is so clear.  They are totally adorable, and were so easy to work with.  I found myself focusing a lot on Shaun (which is out of the ordinary for me, generally I focus on my female clients) but he is so head over heals, goofy in love, for and with Sarah that I couldn’t help myself.  Of course, I made sure Sarah got a lot of focus too – she’s extremely easy to photograph.  They really were a delight to work with.

So, here’s a bit of a preview, while I do my best to get through the rest of the shoot:

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Zombageddon Filming!

I’m a little late with today’s post because I fell asleep while putting the kid to bed.  It has been a very long day (starting with a five a.m. wake-up call).  The only reason I’m awake now is because the husband and dogs woke me.  Today marked the culmination of a perfect birthday trifecta:  birthday, party, zombies!

We were up at five in order to be on the highway by six for the three hour drive to Swift Current, Saskatchewan…  where the community has come together to help make a zombie flick.  And that was something we just had to be a part of!  Low budget and likely campy?  Right up our alley.  After all, what five year old girl shouldn’t have “zombie movie extra” listed in the career experience on her resume.  😉

It really was a cool experience, and worth the six hours of driving today.  But yeah…  soooo totally exhausted.  So much of my sharing is going to have to wait for another day.  Hopefully this ear infection will subside enough that I’m able to get back to my photo processing and then I’ll have a bunch of Zombie makeup photos to share.  For now though?  You’ll have to content yourself with an iPhone capture my husband managed.  I have no idea what happened with the lighting here (phones do crazy things at times) but it made for a rather interesting effect:

Tobi-Dawne Smith as a Zombie

Zombie Me!

 

I promise to share all sorts of details another time, but until then?  Head on over to the Zombageddon FB page at https://www.facebook.com/Zombageddon

 

 

Lindsay & Daniel’s Engagement Shoot

Not too long ago I had the privilege of getting to know Lindsay and Daniel, a charming couple who (I’ll admit) remind me quite a bit of Damon and myself…  And not just due to their physicality (us gurlz are both 5’0″, the boyz are both six foot or taller.  us gurlz are blondes, the boyz have dark hair).  LOL  I enjoyed watching them interact with one another, and seeing the same dynamics I find in my own relationship.  I have a very strong feeling that this couple will still be making time for one another, and making each other laugh in forty years.

Lindsay and Daniel, thank you for choosing me to do your engagement shoot.  I really did enjoy our time together, and hope it was memorable for you as well.  I wish you nothing but the best.  May your love continue, strong and steadfast, for a lifetime together.  I hope you enjoy the preview!

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A cornball view of spirituality and a patch of dirt.

There are few things as truly good for the soul as dark rich soil and all the life contained within.  Of course, there are few things as jarring for the body as cultivating a yard gone to meadow and then planting said yard with perennials.  So while my mind and heart sing out a blissful YES, my body wimpers, sobs, and groans in protest – but it’s worth it.

One of the greatest tools for ripping apart the surface of a yard yet to become garden is the Garden Claw.  And for my parent’s purchase of said tool years ago I am grateful.  It takes some work; jabbing it into the ground, twisting and wrenching, ripping up that tough top layer filled with root and unwanted growth.  My arms were already sore from the previous begun cultivation, but without this particular tool?  I can’t imagine the work it would have been.  With all the tree roots in our yard, there was no mechanized way to really dig in – and I don’t mind having the chance to feel truly involved with this process.

There isn’t much that’s all that gratifying about jabbing, twisting, and pulling up clumps with the Garden Claw…  nor is there much to take joy in while you use your hand fork to rake through the mess pulling out unwanted plant and root – inch by inch.  Shaking loose the dirt held within each clump.  But the next step?  It makes it all worth the effort!

Feeling that dark rich soil that waited for you, hidden just beneath?  It’s pure heaven.  Watching and discovering the infinite life contained within stirs the soul in ways nothing else does.  Connecting with the Earth at the most basic level, on your hands and knees as you commit each tiny plant to it’s home.

I’m not a gardener.  I don’t know the names of all the crawling creeping things within the soil, nor do I know the names (common or proper) of the perennials we planted the last couple of days.  But I do know that we all need to find a way to connect to our Earth.  If you ever need to see deity, to feel the Earth breathe life and to know that we are all connected?  There is no simpler way to do so than to pick up a trowel and go find a patch of dirt that has been lying in wait for someone to tend it – to turn it from dirt to soil.  To create with it something amazing.

A bit cornball?  Maybe.  But that’s me.

We’ve Begun our Search for Wondla

I had forgotten what it was like to read something so beautiful that the words alone remind you of what it is to be passionate.  How they are strung together, the choice of each so careful and deliberate that your heart soars with each syllable.  So used to the simple choices of most children’s books I had abandoned the memory of things so attentively scribed.  Tonight I thrilled in the sublime usage of words divine.

Ahhhh….

Truly.

It has been so very long since I read something where the words alone thrilled me so.  We’re only two chapters into The Search for Wondla but already my writerly self is more fulfilled and ecstatic than it’s been in a very, very, VERY long, long, long while.  LOL

I’m sure for some folk this may not make even a lick of sense, but for those of you who do get it?  I know your hearts will be leaping along with me on this little discovery.  It really is so rare these days (among literature of ANY kind) to find work that makes your heart leap.  Awesome stories?  You bet, there’s a lot of them out there.  Fabulous characters?  Even more so.  Intricate worlds?  There are still a few new places to explore.  But words worth reading just for the sake of how beautifully they are composed?  It has been decades since I read something where the words alone made my head spin with possibilities.

I’m aware that The Search for Wondla is juvenile fiction, but if you’re any kind of word-nerd, head over to wondla.com right now.  Order a paperback, hardcover edition, or even the ebook or audiobook.  Trust me.  Like I said, we’ve only begun to dive into our search for Wondla – we’re only two chapters in…  and already I know it’s going to be unforgettable!

The Search for Wondla by Tony Diterlizzi

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi

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

 

The girl’s best day! (loaded with photos and videos)

Well, today was another busy one with the girl. And at her insistence I took pictures and videos throughout our afternoon. It was definitely one worth remembering. Heck, as we walked out of the school gym after taking a photo with the guys from Hoja she exclaimed: “BEST DAY EVER!”  So, even though it was bright sunshiny and beautiful when we left to walk to school, and (with no rain in the forecast or grey cloud in the sky when we got there) we gratefully had to borrow Ms. Tracy’s umbrella for the walk home?  It really was a lovely afternoon.

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And in case you’d been wondering, Lily-Ann asked the guys from Hoja what their favourite farm animals are.  Turns out Matt (the fellow with the beard, who was absolutely amazing with the girl… seriously super sweet fellow who couldn’t have been nicer to her) loves cows.  He likes their bells and the silly way they move.  Dave and Jesse both prefer pigs; Jesse (the young kid in the center) thinks they’re cute while Dave (who received gasps from the students when he revealed – shockingly – that he is THIRTY) likes the noises they make.  The girl?  Being swayed by her animal sign likes pigs too.

You can check out Hoja at http://hojaworld.com.

A full life, a good life.

Tonight is one of those nights where if I were someone who actually planned out their blog posts I might have something to write about.  LOL  But I’m not.  The fact of the matter is that my muse is pulling me in a few different directions and I’m feeling somewhat scattered because of it.

I want to write about the fabulous Father’s Day crafts the girl and I have been working on…  but if either my Dad or hers actually read the post it would ruin the surprise.  I want to write about a MW friend of mine who’s ghost hunting stories got me thinking about all the things out there we don’t really know about.  I want to write more about Skippyjon Jones, and my surprise at how few people I know have heard about this fabulous series of books.  I want to write about the fact that kid-kid is going to be “graduating” from pre-k this month, and what choices we’ve made about our next step.  So… yeah…  kinda being pulled in a few too many directions just now.  😉

Do you ever have one of those days?  When you’ve spent time working on so many different projects, and thinking about so many different things, that you’re just left feeling kinda scattered at the end of it?  The girl and I do so many fabulous things (today we actually drew our own chalk zoo on the sidewalk in front of our house – complete with lion, 2 crocodiles who’s heads we created by tracing our butts and legs, a baby elephant who’s nose is too big for her face, a hippopotamus, a bear wearing blue jeans and loafers, and a bunch of people who came to see them all), and I always have so much on the go that the problem is rarely coming up with something to write about – rather it’s narrowing down to ONE thing to share.

I really do love everything I’m involved in, and the fact of the matter is, I’ve actually cut back a great deal.  I’m no longer the President of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, nor am I associated with Camp fYrefly, and I haven’t been dedicating the time to scrapbooking that I used to.  I’m also done with dog shows (at least for the next month or so – I doubt I’ll ever actually be done with them, I love them too much).  Yet my plate is still happily full.  And of everything I do?  I love the things I do with, or for my daughter the best…  and that includes a LOT of things.  😉

Whenever Lily-Ann and I get talking, I can’t help but emphasize to her how lucky we are…  in so very many ways.  But one of the simplest is that our lives are full of love.  We both have so many people who love us and care about us.  And that is a very big deal.

Yep.  It’s a good life.

The girl, posing on her “sitting rock” on our way to school today.

A Photography Preview for Reche & Family

When I first received the booking form filled out by Reche, I knew hers was going to be a fun shoot.  You see, the two of us have a past connection.  Her brother and I were very good friends back when we were still teenagers and young adults.  It seems like a lifetime ago now, but good friends never really stop being friends – even when they lose touch.  So getting to see Reche, meet her family, and work with them all really was a treat.  🙂

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… the best family sessions, are those when the kids are allowed to just be themselves.  Let them play, let them show off their personalities.  Sure, it’s nice when everyone is looking the same direction, but those captures that really show how a family is together, that shows those connections?  It really is SOOO much better.

Thanks for the chance to work with your family, and reconnect with you Reche.  It really was a treat!

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