Aim, Pray, Shoot – Me and My Photography

Well, it’s #NaBloPoMo Day Four, and I left you with a question – why on earth would I find my passion in photography? And how the heck do I take the pictures I do?

This post will tackle the first question.

Photography has always been a way for me to hold onto memories of trips, life events and people that I would have trouble seeing in detail. Before the emergence of digital photography, I took tons of photos, got them developed, and pored over piles of photos, some of which ended up in an album. Many, of course, ended up discarded, because really, how many scenic photos of the same mountain or lake do you need?

The minute I got my first little point-and-shoot digital camera, I was ecstatic and liberated – and a lot less guilt-ridden! Who cared how many photos I took? I could DELETE them! So I happily snapped my head off.

But I took photos because I COULD, not because I WANTED TO. Then, almost ten years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Japan – and my entire reason for shooting photos changed completely. I realized that I needed to go back to Canada with memories that would last forever. And that’s when I started to seek the interesting, the unusual, the unexpected everywhere I went.

The photo below was the very first shot I took on a cheap little CoolPix, where I actually thought about composition and the story it would tell. It was just an old bike, near a very crowded temple, but it’s still one of my favourite photos.

Photo by Cathy Browne

My favourite Tokyo shot

I also came across a young boy having a meltdown during a tour of an observation tower, and he simply decided he was done. There was no mistaking what was going on in this shot!

Photo by Cathy Browne

He’s done.

My trip to Japan also sparked a lasting interest in architecture, and this building caught my eye.

Photo by Cathy Browne

Not what I expected in Japan

That was the beginning of my journey. Baby steps for sure, but I made sure I was telling a story.

In 2009, Dave and I moved to Vancouver, and I was presented with new fodder for my photography. There was plenty of opportunity to take all the usual gorgeous shots of the mountains and the seawall, but I still giggle at the very first one I took.

Photo by Cathy Browne

Well, we’ve been told.

So I persevered. Then when Dave died in 2011, I found myself at loose ends. I needed something to ground me, to focus a lot of restlessness, distraction and emotion. So, I took the plunge and bought a Nikon D7000 DSLR and a few lenses, and I thank God I did. Not only because I did regain much equilibrium, but also because I found out I was good! The wonderful thing is that other people think so too. My camera gear and an iPhone have totally expanded my horizons, so that I’ve been able to take an incredible variety of photos that reflect what I love most – food, wine, travel, the outdoors, events, people, and yes, my cats.

Here are a few more shots, but if you really want to see what I can do, feel free to check out my Flickr Page. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Why do I put so much of my heart and my time into my photography? Because I truly love what I do. And I also believe that I’m more than just an inspiration. I’m worth hiring.

It’s what keeps me going.

Let me know if this has been an #EyeOpener for you.

Dîner en Blanc – Two Perspectives

I’m awfully late in posting my first Dîner en Blanc experience, but I’m so very proud of my work at this dazzling event that I had to share!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Dîner en Blanc was for me a celebration of community, of laughter, and of beauty as I walked up and down the rows of tables for three hours. And this time, I captured moments in time in both black and white and colour – a first for me.

But enough talking. Here’s Dîner en Blanc through my eyes. Hope it’s an #EyeOpener for you.

Finding love at Dîner en Blanc!

Finding love at Dîner en Blanc!

Doing Dîner en Blanc her way.

Doing Dîner en Blanc her way.

Capturing the excitement of the moment at Dîner en Blanc.

Capturing the excitement of the moment at Dîner en Blanc.

If they could talk!

If they could talk!

Welcoming the night at Dîner en Blanc

Welcoming the night at Dîner en Blanc

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Launching a lantern to celebrate the end of Dîner en Blanc.

This woman made her entire outfit for Dîner en Blanc. Fabulous.

This woman made her entire outfit for Dîner en Blanc. Fabulous.

Can't help shooting balloons - love them!

Can’t help shooting balloons – love them!

Sharing their Dîner en Blanc pics.

Sharing their Dîner en Blanc pics.

This one took my breath away. One of my favourite Dîner en Blanc photos.

This one took my breath away. One of my favourite Dîner en Blanc photos.

You can find my entire Dîner en Blanc – Noir et Blanc and Dîner en Blanc – En Couleur albums on Flickr.


Photo Friday – The Skies Have It!

We have a winner! This photo was a result of being in the right place at the right time – and in this case, I happened to be on Vancouver’s SkyTrain as the sun was beginning to set amid the clouds. All I had was my iPhone, but I managed to capture the big, beautiful skies of Vancouver and the result took my breath away.

The big, beautiful skies of Vancouver.

The big, beautiful skies of Vancouver.

This photo drew a lot of attention, and helped catapult me over 200,000 views on Flickr – a real milestone for me. And it’s made me even more determined to capture life as I see it, no matter where I am or what camera I have with me. That should be an #EyeOpener for us all.


Resurrecting an Old Favourite – Photo Friday

Way back when I started to blog, I posted some favourite photos of the week every Friday. Unfortunately, I let it lapse, but I’ve always missed it. So, welcome back, Photo Friday! Here are my picks for this week, from Dude Chilling Park in Vancouver.. You can view the entire Flickr album here.

Sunflowers and bees - what could be more inspiring?

Photo Friday Pick #1 – Sunflowers and bees – what could be more inspiring?

This bee was unusually accommodating!

Photo Friday Pick #2 – This bee was unusually accommodating!

Thrilled to get so close!

Photo friday Pick #3 – Thrilled to get so close to the bee!

Sunflower about to bloom.

Photo friday Pick #4 – Sunflower about to bloom.

It feels really good to bring back a routine I loved and looked forward to. And I promise I won’t be dropping the ball this time!

I welcome your comments and support to keep me on track:-)


Awesome Meets Reality

I had an amazing week on so many levels.

I was a roving photographer at Kerry Gibson’s fabulous Elevate and Celebrate event to raise funds to make elegant and historic Hycroft accessible to everyone.

Then, an unbelievable experience at my first SVI Women in Vancouver conference that brought together an incredible group of smart, talented, passionate and generous entrepreneurs for two and a half days. I was fortunate to gain admission as a volunteer photographer – and I poured my heart into producing a collection of photos that captured the intensity, joy and energy of the event through the eye of the lens. You can view all of the photos on my Flickr site. I’m pretty proud of them.

And, over this past week alone, my Flickr views have skyrocketed – up to an incredible (at least to me!) 28,300 views to almost 170,000 views! I know it’s probably not much of a leap to some, but that growth spurt means the world to me.

It’s given me a huge confidence boost at a point where I really, really need one.

It’s validated my belief that I can and do contribute to the success of an event by documenting it in my unique way.

I’m also hoping that it’s been an #EyeOpener for the people who’ve seen my photos.

Because I need more than an awesome week.

I need paid work. Badly. As much as I’ve loved all of these amazing experiences, and the people I’ve met along the way, real life and the need to make money can bugger up all the awesomeness.

So I’m putting it out there again.

If you or anyone you know needs a photographer, PR gal, writer, editor, community builder, accessibility consultant, public speaker, cat sitter, envelope licker or pretty well anything that doesn’t involve driving cars, waiting tables, or 20/20 vision – please feel free to contact me.

I have a hell of a lot to offer. Let me open your eyes.


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