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  • Welcome to my blog! I am an artist, visual story-teller, and adventurous photographer, based in Tofino and Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. I am passionate about traveling, exploring new places, learning new things and inspiring those around me to live their dreams. This blog is a window into my work, my travels, my inspiration, and my love for all things creative.

Long Beach Nature Photography

I love finding beautiful pieces of large driftwood on the beach. I love the shapes and movement of the roots. The stories that are locked within it’s textures and lines, shaped by earth and sea. Quite often when I come across artful driftwood, I imagine taking photos of the body against it. A classic juxtapositioning of the natural curves of the body with the grace of the wood, the sky and the sea. The body works itself into nature as it has always belonged there. I do not see people or culture being something separate from nature. We are integrally connected to the wonder and beauty of the natural landscape. These photos are a testament to the interconnectedness of all life and the celebration that it evokes.

“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” ~Terence McKenna

Darshan Stevens - February 26, 2016 - 4:34 am

These are SO beautiful! I absolutely love them! Great work!

31 Day Sunrise Challenge Photos

At the end of December I had a crazy idea to do a 31 day sunrise challenge and capture sunrise photos every day for the month of January. I made a Facebook event page, blog posted about it and invited people to join me on the challenge. On New Year’s Day, 27 people posted photos of sunrises from around the world! It was inspiring and motivating and I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s perspectives. For some, it wasn’t much of a challenge because sunrise was around 8am and that’s when they are up anyways. For others, like me, it really was a challenge. One that I am very grateful for and I am so amazed by the morning light. It has a different quality to it than sunset or any other time of day. It’s softer, quieter, and usually very surprising! Here are some of my favourite photos from the month. You can also see some of the other participant’s photos on the Facebook page, HERE! One dedicated participant also posted a blog about her experience and you can read it HERE! I have shared an album of all my photos on my Facebook page. Enjoy!

2015 in Perspective

2015 was, without a doubt, one of the best years of my life. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration… since the best is yet to come, right? But pretty darn incredible nonetheless. SO much love and gratitude to all the people that came along for the journey. It’s because of you that made this year so special and I thank-you from the very bottom of my heart and expansiveness of my spirit!

I’ve been thinking about what photos I’d like to share to commemorate 2015 and I’ve come to realize that the time I spent on the water this year has been the highlight of the year. It was a pinnacle year, where I finally had my own boat, I got my SVOP and MED certifications and I logged over 200 hours as a deckhand on the Levithan II with Jamie’s Whale Watching Station. I also spent a couple weeks sailing with my family from Costa Rica to Panama. And I’m really proud of my little brother Warren who bought his first sailboat with his girlfriend Caroline. The love of the ocean is definitely in my blood. I love the freedom I feel when I am on the water… There is nothing like it. I’m excited for another year of exploring Clayoquot Sound, crabbing, fishing, visiting bears, whales, float homes, snorkeling, learning and dreaming up the next adventure. Maybe I’ll even drop the hook in Haida Gwaii this year… girl’s gotta have a dream!;)

And some images from sailing in Costa Rica and Panama during the rainy… thunderstorm and lightening season…

May there always be water under your boat.
May she always be seaworthy, ever afloat.
May the bilge pumps be certain to work night and day.
May the compass and charts always show the safe way.
May you find gentle harbor as every day ends.
May you lower your anchor amidst peace and good friends.
~Sheila Recker, 2015 Christmas blessing

31 Days of Sunrise, Photography Challenge

So here’s a crazy idea~ What if you got up every morning for 31 days to see the sunrise and photograph it? (I really should just stop there…)

How many sunrises did you see in 2015? How many times did you mention that it would be SOOOOO amazing if you could catch the first light of day EVERYDAY?!

If you are like me, and you answered “not many” and “so many” to those two questions, than I invite you to join me on this project to catch the light every morning for the entire first month of 2016! Who knows~ maybe it could turn into the entire 365 days of the year!

I do believe I’m getting myself into something that I’m going to regret at some point. I am often a night owl when I’m in my creative winter mode. And I can already see it- it’s going to be 7am and I’ll be laying in bed, listening to the howl of the wind and rain outside and I’m going to say to myself, “no way, not today”. But I’m going to get my ass out of bed and I’m going to go take a photo if it kills me. Because it’s not going to kill me and I’m going to create a collection of really interesting photos…. Even if they are in the rain. And I’m hung over. And I really just don’t want to do it.

My wish is that people join me on this challenge. And it doesn’t have to be here in Tofino or Victoria, but from wherever you are. Join me by getting up, showing up, taking a photo and sharing it online so we can motivate and inspire one another along the way.

And I have a special gift of gratitude for those who join me by getting up all 31 days and participating in the photography part of this challenge— I will send you a 11×14 print of your favourite image that I take over the 31 days.

the steps to be taken:

1. I post one photo on the event page of the first light every day for 31 days, beginning on January 1st.

2. You post one photo on the event page of the first light every day for 31 days, beginning on January 1st.

Here is the Facebook event page:  You can post on instagram too if you’d like!

3. We will hashtag our sunny, rainy, tired, awake and hopeful photos with #tofinorise #31DSC

4. We are going to motivate one another to do this and stay true to the commitment we’ve made to ourselves and the year.

WHY? Why not!? Sunrise time is the best time of the day! It’s so quiet and peaceful. The quality of light is inspiring. And it’s winter and the sun doesn’t even rise till after 7am… it’s practically cheating as my friend Tracy pointed out. It’s also a great way to start off the year by challenging our everyday routines, breaking up patterns and trying something new. They say it takes about a month to break an old habit and it takes about that long to make a new one. Getting up with the sun has been proven to improve your sleep, mood and health. Studies claim that people that rise with the sun are happier and live more successful and productive lives… let’s test this theory out!

Special thank-you to Tracy for posting her incredible sunset photo online this morning and Kelsey for doing a 30 day sunset challenge in September!

“To anticipate, not the sunrise and the dawn merely, but, if possible, Nature herself! How many mornings, summer and winter, before yet any neighbor was stirring about his business, have I been about mine…So many autumn, ay, and winter days, spent outside the town, trying to hear what was in the wind, to hear and carry it express! I well-nigh sunk all my capital in it, and lost my own breath into the bargain, running in the face of it.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Really to see the sun rise or go down every day, so to relate ourselves to a universal fact, would preserve us sane forever. ~Henry David Thoreau

“You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.” ~Galen Rowell

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” ~Ben Franklin

Jivani Costa Rica Yoga Teacher Training

When someone asks you to photograph a one month long yoga teacher training in Costa Rica and you don’t have any shoots booked, you can’t really say no. You might feel like you should stay home to work and update your websites, but the promise of sun and poolside heart opening is just too sweet to resist. Although, it might not be all too easy to get away. You just might forget your passport in the scanner when you applied for that job the night before leaving and have to drive an extra 6 hours in the middle of the night. You may hit every red light on the way to the ferry. An accident on the road might set your bus behind a little. And the airplane might be stalled for an hour and a half because someone forgot to finish logging in a mechanical issue. At that point, you might think that the universe is trying to tell you that the website aren’t going to update themselves… But you get there. And you soon realize that the Jivani yoga teacher training might just be one of the best things you’ve ever done.

For four weeks, I learned about breath initiating movement, kriyas, anatomy, twerking, tantric philosophy, goddesses, gods, waterfalls, unconditional love and deep friendship. I learned that there are 7 billion different types of yoga in the world and I embody just one of those types. I furthered my understanding of yoga as the art of life. The creative act of aligning oneself with the fullness of life. With grace, forgiveness, authenticity, unconditional love and the dance of polarity. Oh ya, and asana practice. I did a hellava lot of downward dog.

My teachers on this magical adventure were Emma Warmington and Ashton Szabo. I have known both these souls since I did my first yoga teacher training 8 years ago. Emma and Ashton had done the same 3 month training at Thailand Pyramid Yoga as me, 2 years prior. I have watched them become incredible yoga teachers over the years and it was wonderful to meet up again and learn from them.

The training was held at El Sabanero Ecolodge, outside of Tamarindo. Retreat style. The main lounging and dining area and gardened pool was perched on a hill, overlooking hills and farms. There were plenty of different areas to practice. My favourite was on the lounger, by the pool, soaking in the sun. Or in the hammock, watching the rain come down. It was the rainy season for the first week before the winds came and it was suddenly the dry season. There were iguanas, butterflies, dragonflies, parakeets, scorpions, and the howler monkeys would let us know it was time to get up at 5am every day. The food was above and beyond with lots of healthy variety. I recommend going when it’s your birthday. Luckily, there were 3 birthdays during our time there so we were blessed 3x with the most incredible chocolate cakes you’ve ever tasted.

Looking back on the month, I would say that my favourite memory of the training are the students and teachers on the course. They were amazing and so inspiring. One of the most soulful and honest circles of people I have ever met. We harmonized our intentions to create a better world, pulling the patterns into purpose and for four weeks, we gathered what it takes to become yoga teachers.

Another favourite memory is of Ashton’s 4 year old daughter, Sequoia. She brought so much light and playfulness to that time with her imaginative and magical games. I’ll never forget all the “beautiful stuff” we saw down the rabbit hole. She even taught her first ever yoga class!

Another moment that is forever etched in my heart, is when there was a sudden thunder shower and a bunch of us started screaming and jumping into the pool. It was raining so hard, the rain drops were bouncing off the surface of the water and refreshing rivers were sliding down the palm leaves. There was a feeling of stillness and bliss in that moment that no photo would ever be able to portray but I can still feel to this day.

I think doing a yoga teacher training is an incredible gift to give oneself. I did my first training without wanting to teach but by the end, you really do want to teach because you want everyone to experience the joy that yoga cultivates. I think that one day I will teach yoga but I’m not in a hurry. Ultimately, I see myself as a yoga teacher by the time I’m 60. For now, I’ll be living yoga and letting it infuse my art and photography with subtle awareness, appreciation of the simple things and a deep sense of love.

Synchronicity, it’s like a collaboration with fate, all of that becomes the norm and the ego is no longer the driving force in your life. You begin to recognize these is a powerful intelligence that is in all things and it’s working with you and for you, almost as if you’re making it happen just being connected to your source. ~Wayne Dryer

See more photos on my Facebook page here: Jivani Yoga Teacher Training Photos. To learn more about the courses in Thailand, Costa Rica and Ireland and see if one might be right for you, check out the Jivani website HERE!

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