I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in Hong Kong reflecting on a whole year of events, weddings, and engagements that have passed by. 2018 has been an incredible year of personal and professional growth, but more than anything, it’s been a year full of challenges and tests of character. This year, this post is going to be more personal than anything so that you readers may get a glimpse of what life has been like for me.
Let’s go back all the way to the beginning of the year to Jane and Sam’s Wedding. Still, to this date, the most difficult wedding to photograph in my entire life. I was contacted by a friend of Jane’s to help photograph her dream wedding up in the mountains. When I learned of Jane’s condition, without hesitation, I felt like it was my duty to document this day for her and all her loved ones. I followed along Jane’s Joy Journal (her personal blog) until the day she passed. I’m so blessed to have been apart of this day and I thank God everyday for giving me the chance to change peoples’ lives just by taking photos.
Click here if you’d like to see more from Jane and Sam’s wedding.
Next, let’s talk about Jackie… this incredibly sweet, lovely young man who was taken away from us way too early. These photos were taken a few weeks before his 25th birthday. Jackie is another poor soul who was given the unlucky “C” card. Jackie’s was a long and painful battle with cancer, but you would never tell by looking at his face. Every time he was in the hospital, he’d fight against all odds and bounce back and show us all his incredible strength and durability… until he just couldn’t anymore. I never once shed a tear for you while you were here with us because I always believed you’d make a recovery and it wasn’t until I saw them put you in the ground that I completely lost it.
#EverestForJackie – the character builder and crazy physical challenge I committed to this year. Since learning of Jackie’s condition, I vowed to ride my bicycle up and down Cypress mountain in one day until I achieved an elevation gained equivalent to that of Mount Everest. On July 2nd, I rode for 21 hours, climbed over 8,848m and covered 275km in distance. While training for this event, I started a fundraising campaign to raise money for the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation. Together, we raised $8000 for the foundation, which I think it’s pretty amazing!
Everesting was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but hey… it wouldn’t be a challenge if it wasn’t difficult, right? Special shout out goes to everyone in the TSJ (Too Soon Junior) Cycling Club for all your support during this challenge. I really couldn’t have done it without you all!
Click here if you’d like to see the numbers on Strava.
We lost my beloved Grandmother… She passed on her 93rd birthday. We always knew my Gmom had a physically weak heart, but with the grace of God, she lived a full life and has witnessed 3 generations of little Tam Tam’s grow up. I miss her dearly especially during the holidays as this is the first year without her, but I know she is up in heaven smiling down on us.
I took this photo of her on one of the first weddings I ever photographed about 5 years ago. I’ll never forget that smile.
I GOT MARRIED!!!
That’s right folks! I got hitched! On September 22, 2018, I said yes to spending the rest of my life with my best friend, Justina! We got married in the stunning Okanagan Valley where they say it’s always sunny…. except on the day of our wedding. I finally know what it’s like to experience the happiest day of life. Seriously guys.. getting married is so fun.. everyone should do it.
Since tying the knot, Justina and I have bought a new home and moved out of the Olympic Village. We’re now nestled in right at the base of Burnaby Mountain in the “burbs”. We’re loving the new quiet neighbourhood, but we do miss having all the best breweries right across the street!
Huge shout out goes to Royce Sihlis for the amazing job he did on our photos!!!
And there you have it, that was 2018 in a nutshell. I’ve left out a bunch of stuff… like why I’m in a hotel room in Hong Kong right now, but I can’t talk about that yet because it hasn’t happened!!! I guess you’ll just have to wait and see! Can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!