My Dad Got Married & Other Highlights From Grand Turk

Hello Lovely,

It's still a little weird being back to real life after vacationing for three weeks! I've never travelled for so long but I must admit: as much as I love to travel, three weeks might be a little too long to travel at one time. Earlier this week I shared some tips for any first time cruisers. Cruises can be fun because you get to visit so many different countries, with 24 hour food and hospitality services. So I'm going to be breaking down the different stops from my summer cruise, starting with the first stop: Grand Turk.

Only July 9, we arrived in Grand Turk and left the ship for a very special reason. My dad remarried! My parents divorced 11 years ago and during that time my mum remarried and widowed. My dad's new wife has two teenage daughters and we were all a part of the wedding. They got married on Governor's Beach in Grand Turk. It was kind of funny seeing other tourists come to the beach and "attend" the wedding. Some even took photos. I couldn't understand why anyone would want photos of random people getting married on the beach, but it was a little nice to be commemorated in another family's vacation memories.

At one point, I began to cry almost hysterically when I thought about my step dad. It's weird how grief sneaks into random moments that have nothing to do with what you're grieving, but I had to pull it together because I knew my dad's side of the family wouldn't understand (they're not the best at handling emotions). I had to give a toast at the wedding and even though I already wrote it out, I HATE public speaking (mostly speaking in front of people I don't like) so this was really anxiety provoking for me. I just had to remind myself that the toast was to my dad and no one else, so it only mattered that he liked it.

After the wedding we took a tour of the island seeing most of it. I loved the wild donkeys and horses. A lot of people may not know that Grand Turk is still under British rule and independence is a huge debate in the country. So don't be surprised if you happen to see a few red telephone booths. The island is very small and still recovering from the hurricanes, so don't expect a lot of places to be open. The simple lifestyle is very nice and peaceful. We also found out you could buy a 1/4 acre of land for only $35,000. Can anyone say vacation home/investment property?

Grand Turk was a nice but it wasn't my favourite stop. Which one was? Well you'll just have to wait and see. But until then, I'd love to hear from you guys! How was your summer? Did you travel anywhere interesting? Have you ever been to Grand Turk before? Would you want to go? Contact me for more details on how you can vacation in Grand Turk if you're interested and I can give you the low down on where to go and all the must see sites.

Blended Family Photoshoot

Happy New Year!

It's officially 2016! I have no idea what day it is any more and my vacation ends tomorrow. I don't know about you guys, but 2015 was pretty sweet for me (mostly thanks to the support from you guys). And it's support like that, that helped me with this latest project, which was very personal for me. I'm used to shooting random strangers or even close friends, but when it's family and potential family, it's an entirely different feeling. I want to share that experience with you.

Parenting is never easy, but when you have a blended family—with bio-kids and step-kids, your spouse’s ex, and other extended family members thrown into the mix—things can get very difficult very quickly.It can be extremely hard to find the right balance when you’re a stepparent or stepsister.  When I was first asked to photograph my potential new step-family, I had a lot of conflicting feelings but I never hesitated in saying yes to it. I've gotten to a point in my life where I want what's best for my dad and I know that I have to show him support. I wasn't so supportive of my mother re-marrying and while my dad isn't at that point yet, I knew it is best to lend my support from the beginning. Of course there were times when I wasn't sure if I should've been in the photos or not and the fact that I wasn't did leave me feeling a little misplaced. But I never dwelt on these feelings. My main goal was to make them happy and I'm so glad they liked the photos!

What I learned from this: Every family is different and everyone adjusts to new family members at their own pace. When working with younger people, they tend to have mood shifts, especially if they're still adjusting to a new parental figure. So some poses you may have had in mind won't necessarily work and you're going to have to shoot around the awkwardness without letting them know it affects you too. This may effect how well they take directions, which means you may have to physically step in and fix their pose. At the end of the day, it's about getting the shot. You want everyone to be happy and you want that to show as well. But don't be afraid to capture a frown because it could be used as a learning experience in the future.

New Years bring new things. For me, that could mean a new family. I'm really hoping it means the start and completion of my internship signalling the end of my post-graduate studies. And somehow closing the physical gap in my relationship. There's really no way of knowing what will happen. And I'm ready for it.