Tag Archives | VY Images

Photos from my Opening Reception – I Did It!

Firstly, a BIG thank you to everyone who stopped by the Opening Reception!!! And a second BIG thank you to Michelle and Shawn of Moniker Gallery who helped make the night a success!

I won’t lie – I was quite nervous leading up to the 7pm start, but having my family and my best friend there completely calmed me. As a steady flow of visitors entered the gallery – former and current colleagues, friends and friends of friends/family, people who’d walked by and those who’d come because of the listing in CONTACT , my main goal was for everyone – including me – to have fun.

Second truth of the post: it was great to see many faces I hadn’t seen in months and, in some cases, years, and to meet a number of new and wonderfully friendly people, but I spent so much energy worrying about whether people were having a good time that by the end of the night, I was exhausted! I’m sure the mental and emotional lead-up, organizing, and then actually bringing off the night also played a part, but for anyone who’s hosted an event, been a bride (as my best friend pointed out), or been in a similar role, as much as you want to enjoy the evening, you also want to be sure everyone else is enjoying it too! In far too many cases, I only managed to have a few minutes conversation before excusing myself to welcome a new guest or checking that another was enjoying him/herself.

Happily, I think everyone had a good time and liked the images! Any tiredness I felt was well worth it!

For more photos from the evening, please click here.

My guide through all this, a Toronto photographer (and teacher) named Rob Davidson who has more than 30 years of experience, had told me that having this exhibition and seeing the reactions of others would change the way I saw my own work. He was completely right.

The moment I hung the final image and stepped back to take it all in – that these were my images, my work on display – I felt… well, overwhelmed. There’s been such doubt in my mind and, far more often than I’d like, in my heart, about whether I was good enough to continue down this road, to call myself a photographer. I’ve always known that the biggest hurdle for me would be to get over the fear of rejection and to show my work publicly, come what may. Whatever the reaction would be, I’ve always known that putting my photography out into the world would wipe away that fear: once you take a step forward, the fear disappears.

There are other fears and there always will be because I’m continually in search of the next challenge, the next opportunity for growth. I’m still searching for the right fit and, in my case, that can involve multiple facets, but I won’t give up. Sometimes it takes (way) longer than I’d like to get over the self doubt, but with experience (and, undeniably, age) comes the knowledge that I’ll get there eventually; something deep down will slowly but surely nudge, prod and, finally, drive me forward.

I’ve learned so much during these months and there’s still a ways to go, but I can proudly say that I’ve accomplished what I set out to do and, in the process, come to see that I am a photographer.

Next post… Peru!

P.S. If you’re in the Toronto area, please drop by the Moniker Gallery this Wednesday, May the 14th at 7pm for the show’s Closing Reception. Spread the word!

P.P.S. Images from the show will be uploaded to my website after the 14th. If you’re interested in receiving this link, please contact me with your email address. 

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Balance… or Lack Thereof

February was not a successful month for this blog. In fact, it was (clearly) non-existent. 

At first, it was an easy choice as to whether or not to post: my day job had me engaged in some very long hours over the first two weeks of the month. There were more than a few 10 – 15 hour days and I have to admit, I no longer recover from those, now that I’m in my mid-30s, as quickly as I used to. 

When I wasn’t at work, I was sleeping (hopefully) or trying – not very successfully – to tick off the check boxes belonging to my second life: that of travel agent, blogger and photographer.

And let’s not forget the “regular” requirements of life: banking, eating, cleaning, etc…. Oh, and spending time with friends and family whenever possible.

By the time the third week of the month arrived, I was barely treading water as far as my “to do list” was concerned. As each day passed, I felt more and more the weight of the not done, the to-be done, the ‘you really should’ve had this done already’.

And then it was the last week of February. I tried to ignore the guilt. Finally, by about Wednesday, I had to admit to myself that not a single blog entry for the month was going to be completed. 

Which brings me to this post and my plea for advice from all the other aspiring photographers and writers or any others who are trying to make a go of a second career. How do you do it? How do you find a balance between the things you have to do and the things you want to do? Yes, there are weeknights and weekends, but eventually, I burn out – do you? How do you meet the demands of the every day while also trying to grow your business, improve your abilities, increase industry knowledge and maintain a strong relationship with colleagues, clients and fellow enthusiasts? Do you ever feel like you haven’t done enough?

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Athens: So much to Say and See, So Little Time – Part I

As it turns out, I’m not the best at posting regularly, but I’m making a promise – here for anyone and everyone to read – that I will do better. And with that said, on with the post! 


Determining how much time to spend in Athens engendered quite a bit of debate. Some said 2 to 3 days was enough; others, a minimum of 10 days. So, why the rather considerable difference?

Having now been to the city in question, I think it has a lot to do with what your interests are and how you like to travel.

My first foray into Athens city centre involved a short hop-on, hop-off bus tour around the city. I find that these types of bus tours can be a great way to orient yourself upon first arrival and, in some of the more spread out locations, they can be a cheaper way (versus regular transit) to get around to the different areas and sites that you’re interested in seeing, particularly if you’re short on time.

Make no mistake about it, Athens is a City with a capital ‘C’. What do I mean by that? It’s a hub; it’s packed with people and cars; it’s old which means layers upon layers of different architectural styles, urban development decisions and social/cultural evolution. Thus, where one person will see an amazing, if, at certain times, gritty place ripe for exploration – neighbourhoods, restaurants, cafes, neo-classicial architecture… oh yeah, and all the temples, museums and sculptures – others will see an old, crowded and rather rough-and-tumble-looking destination meant for a quick trip with visits to only the major ‘must-see’ items.

Now this is where I think the limitation of hop-on, hop-off bus tours, or the mainly stay-on-the-large-bus tours presents itself. From the bus, Athens can appear dishevelled: graffiti on every corner; old buildings, some completely boarded up; crowded, narrow and rambling streets; stuff and people everywhere.The major tourist sites are quite clean and open by comparison and I can see how people might become discouraged or less enthusiastic about wandering about on their own, especially if one’s own home city is new-ish and built from much more modern ideas like grid structure streets; broad roadways; concrete, steel and/or glass buildings; and very well maintained gardens and lawns. Nothing wrong with the latter, but neither the former nor the latter is proof positive of what a place is really about.

A little reading and walking around though tells you that Athens is actually a very safe city and, except for the skilled pickpockets, crime is fairly minimal and certainly mostly non-violent. There are definitely areas to avoid at night, but during the day these very same locations can take on a very different (and safe) personality. The people in Athens are amazingly friendly and very eager to let you know that all those international news reports about the troubles, protests and rallies brought on by the economic challenges they’re currently facing don’t properly represent them or the city.

I only managed to get in two days in Athens – not counting the hop-on, hop-off bus day – but I can tell you that I’m very much looking forward to a return trip and to spending much more time there checking out all the cafes, shops, restaurants and neighbourhoods I missed out on during my first foray to Greece. I, however, am also a major history and architecture buff, so I say bring on all the temples and museums too!!

That’s all good and fine, you say, but what did you actually see while you were there? Next post, the ‘new’ Acropolis Museum and the Parthenon. Of course it had to be the Parthenon!

  View from the Parthenon: Athens spread out in the background, the Acropolis Museum (modern, multi-story building) in the middle and the Theatre of Dionysus in the foreground.
Have you been to Athens? What are your thoughts? Love it, hate it or meh?


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