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Remembrance Day

My earliest memories of Remembrance Day involved placing poppies on Tombstones with members of the Legion in Cobourg.

Growing up in a family of both veterans and survivors of wars, I feel I have a great understanding of the sacrifice that was made by soldiers and families.

My family is indebted to the Canadian Army and the liberation of Holland.  They saved the lives of both my Grandmother’s as well as my Grandfather.

Two of those people are Trooper Irvin L. Vachon, who served with A company. 27th  Canadian Armored Regiment. 3rd Canadian Armored Brigade. And Flight Officer Everett T. Vachon DSM RCAF .

Flying Sgt. Vachon was a tail gunner in a Wellington medium class bomber when it was sent out on a mission to determine capabilities of German night fighters and Rader signals.

Their bomber was attacked by fighters and FSgt. Vachon is credited with downing one of the attackers.  Their bomber heavily damaged was forced to ditch in the English Channel.  The pilot managed to land their bomber on water, and with their life rafts damaged the plane managed to stay afloat until being rescued.

FSgt. Vachon was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by King George himself and was later giving a commission before being discharged and coming back to Canada.

His brother ( my paternal grandfather)  was a part of the tactical reserve on D-Day.  His regiment was in the boats that day ready and waiting if needed to help on the beaches of Normandy.  Coming ashore on D+1, the “Sherbrooke Fiddlers” saw some of the heaviest fighting of the Canadian units.  Luckily he survived amd helped liberate Holland. During the liberation of Holland and after the surrender of Nazi Germany he met and fell in love with a young girl.

They came to Canada together and started a family. Tragically my Grandfather would not live long enough to see his grandchildren or his great grandchildren.

These two brothers were just two of many who would not only volunteer to help save the people of Europe, but were the lucky ones to survive.

Unfortunately like many veterans that I have met over the years amd also read about. Their stories remain for the most part untold.

We as a nation should never forget the sacrifices they made, not just for King and Country but for the millions of people who were affected all over the world.

I know that I will never forget.

 

Posted in Uncategorized, wedding

Late Summer Weddings

Oh how the summer got away from me.  It’s amazing how busy life can get, between family and work, things get left behind.  I had the great pleasure to close out my summer with back to back weddings.   The first was in Peterborough.  Heather & Chris had a beautiful ceremony at the Lion’s Club.  We had a lot of fun, and I think as a photographer I helped create some great memories.

On Labour day I made the trek up to Bobcaygeon.  A town made famous by The Tragically Hip.  Charlotte and Steve celebrated their love and united two families separated by an ocean, and they managed to rock the roof off the barn at Kawartha Settler’s Village

I will forever remember these two lovely couples, as I remember every other couple whom I have photographed.

Posted in Uncategorized, wedding

A match made at school

Tyler and Jessica Barnes met through Tyler’s Mom when Jessica was spending time at that school .  Tyler’s Mom is an elementary school teacher.  And when I was listening to her talk at her son’s wedding.  I could hear the pride and love in her voice when talking about her son and her now, daughter-in-law.

The love that this couple had for each other, was present in almost every photograph I took of them.  The way they looked at each other, that look in their eyes, that little smile on their faces, and most definitely the look on Tyler’s face when he saw her walk down the aisle ( you can see it in one of the photos}, reminded me again how much I enjoy capturing the love of two people at weddings.

Planning a wedding involves a lot of time, lots of money, and a lot of stress.  But when love is in their eyes, and you say, look at each other and that little smile, that twinkle in the eye, appears, and you can see that the world stops, just for a moment, and that nobody or nothing else exists, it makes it all worth while.

I hope that every person finds their true love, as I believe Tyler and Jessica have.  To them I wish them the best of luck, and as Jessica made it clear she is not pregnant (yet)  I wish for them a happy family.

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New York City

 Recently we took our oldest son to visit friends who live just across the river from New York City.  Lori and I had been to NYC once before but was a very short visit.  This time we know we wanted to see as much as we could.  I took Zach to the Intrepid Air &Space Museum.  It was an amazing exhibit that any boy who loves anything to do with planes or military will love.

We spent time in Central Park as well as Times Square, rode the Staten Island Ferry, which is a great, and free, way to see the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan.  

Most importantly for us, we took him to World Trade Center.  

I still remember where I was and what I was doing on 9/11, but to talk with people who lived right near it, you can hear the sadness in their voices as theu discuss it. We talked with Zach about what happened and explained as best we could to him why as well.  He was very interested and had lots of questions.  We showed him the memorial pools and the names, as well as the Survivor Tree.  We also took him up the new World Trade Center Tower, and thanks to our friend Blaine, we got an amazing view from his office on the 52nd floor as well as the 64th.  

I’ve been lucky to visit many cities throughout the world but very few compare to New York City.

 

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Taking Photos for Myself

If you ever talk with other photographers, eventually you will get to the subject of what they like to take photos, or shoot, on their own time.  Surprisingly a lot don’t shoot much except for clients.  I found myself i. that trap the past few years.  I used to love exploring through cities taking photos and one of my favorite things to do was night time photography.

Recently I got back into taking photos of the things around me, so when I came across a 10 day photography challenge on instagram. I decided to partake.  The idea was to take a photo each day for 10 days and each day was a different theme.  I managed to complete 9 of the 10.  For personal reasons I couldn’t photograph one day.  Some of the results were quite inspiring for me.  I also would shoot some non-themed related shots.

It was while doing this challenge that I took a photo that http://www.ptboexplores.com asked me to use for there website for the month of June.  I enjoyed the challenge and look forwards to shooting more for me in the not to distant future.

10 day photography challenge 

Day 1: Selfie

Day 2 : Reflection

Day 3: Silhouette 

Day 4: Nighttime 

Day 5: Texture 

Day 6: Close up

Day 7: Black & White

Day 8: Happiness 

Day 9: Looking Up

Day 10: Happiness 

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Cabbage Patch Kids

If you grew up in, or had kids in, the 1980’s you have heard about Cabbage Patch Kids.  They were all the rage.  People would knock each other over fighting to get their children a Cabbage Patch Kid.  My wife received her first one during this era.  She has loved them ever since.

If you are a true fan of the Cabbage Patch Kids, they were created in the Mountains of Northern Georgia by a man named Xavier Roberts.  My wife is one of many collectors from around the world who still to this day buy the hand-made dolls that were the original Cabbage Patch Kids.

Each year a group of avid collectors travels to Helen Georgia in the Spring for the Spring Event.  A themed celebration takes place for a full week at what is called Babyland General Hospital.

We have traveled there this week to join in on the festivities.  This will be my wife’s 4th time attending, and although I have joined her in the past, this will be my first year as an attendee.

It is an interesting but fun time.  People travel from all around the world to attend this. and each year.

As the week continues more and more events happen.  Today we just spent some time at Babyland General Hospital.

 

 

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Pat Vachon Photography

Photography has become my life.  I started taking photos when I was 16.  It was my first true family vacation and we went to British Columbia for 2 weeks.

My parents let me use their 35mm point and shoot camera.  I remember it fondly.  It was a Kodak.  I took a lot of pictures on that trip and the excitement of getting them developed and seeing what I had taken.

As you can see from the scans, not the greatest in terms of quality, but at the time, they were the most amazing things I had seen.  Looking back, that is when I became hooked on photography.

I bought my first SLR when I was 19.  It was a Nikon F90.  It had  a typical kit lens.  Shortly after I bought my first zoom lens.  I didn’t want to live with just using the Auto feature.  So I took a course at night school through Durham College.  I also began to practice my photography skills when I was volunteering with a youth group for people with special needs.

It was during this time as well that my love and passion for working with those who are differently able.  To this day  I still continue to devote my life to working with them.

I bought my first digital SLR when I was around 25.  It was a Nikon as well, a D50.  I truly loved that camera.  I took it everywhere.  It was with that camera that I started my semi-professional career as a photographer.

I now currently use a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon D90.  I am a lover of Nikon and even more a lover of photography.