Dragon Hare Studios – Every single day of his life, I watch this child fight for health. Food poisons him, we don’t know what exactly it is, and it is an everyday battle to ensure he has food that is safe for his body. The specialist suspects that his body cannot process sugars but cannot confirm this is the case because he is too young to perform the tests needed for this type of condition. At three, he has another 3-4 years to wait.
For a long time, we have suspected an allergy to a preservative. Did you know, even spices are packed in anti-caking agents? Preservatives are in every food you buy in a store. In order to protect him, we had to stop buying food in stores and make all of his food from scratch using only fresh ingredients. At his peak distress, we sought help from a naturopathic doctor who recommended a diet called SCD. This diet is based on the chemical breakdown of foods. He now only eats very simple foods, and all of his foods must be cooked completely – ie mushy veggies, applesauce instead of raw apples and of course, made from scratch not out of a jar. He cannot have anything with sugar or starch in it – gluten free products which are very common now, are made with corn and potato starches which he cannot have.
So if you think of this from his point of view, it means gone from his life are such things as birthday cake, cookies, crackers, Easter eggs at Easter, chocolate at Christmas, ketchup, s’mores over a campfire, sandwiches and noodles. There will be no preschool for him, there is no Sunday school, playdates, eating in a restaurant, traditional holiday meals or family visits because we cannot risk food contamination. There are no “quick” meals we can make for him as everything must be cooked. Think about the logistics of that – how do you go away for the weekend or take a vacation when every meal must be cooked with no preservatives? How do you visit Grandma when her house is full of “poison”? What do you do when you forget lunch at home? How do you go to the city for a day of appointments/shopping without cooking? How do you hire a babysitter that is educated in food nutrition and knowledgeable about the chemical makeup of food?
He is three and doesn’t understand the connection between food and the extreme pain he suffers because of it. He craves the things he used to eat when we didn’t know that ketchup was a poison or that cookies created a monster in him. He expects Santa to bring him chocolate and the Easter bunny to hide eggs but neither can happen anymore. How do his older siblings feel towards him when they too cannot eat their breakfast cereal, expect the Easter bunny to arrive bearing treats or have birthday cake on their birthdays?
I recently read a quote that said something along the lines of “everybody is fighting a battle, some battles, you cannot see”, the quote went on to speak of being kind because you don’t recognize what kinds of battles someone is facing. This is my battle. The endless cooking, the simple wish to make grilled cheese and soup for supper or eat out when I’m so exhausted that I cannot see to cook, and even more than that, watching my son through endless nights, his little body arched and rigid as he screams, hour after hour, in extreme pain, helpless to stop the battle.
He is my son, heart of my heart. His name is Kaiel and it translates to mean “mighty warrior. This battle that we fight with this little warrior, against an unknown demon, is a mist of something out there that so far, has not let us defeat it.
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This image was not a successful entry in the recent Professional Photographer’s of Canada National Image Competition. The judges mentioned the shadow on his face caused by his arm, the brightness of the sky in contrast to the darkness of the image and the dislike of the mist in the image stating it did not fit the image of a warrior. This was a very personal image for me, the likes that I have not submitted before. I had hoped it would be successful as it represents a very personal battle.
Dragon Hare Studios – If you are a business owner, or work as a professional, you should have a recent business portrait of yourself! In today’s digital world, the vast majority of your clients will meet you online before they ever meet you in person. What does your online image say about you? If you use any social media outlet like Facebook or Instagram for business, those profile portraits should say something about the kind of professional you are. If I were to google you, what image would show up? Does that image say you are professional, confidant of your skills, approachable, friendly and likable? If it doesn’t, it’s time to upgrade your business portrait!
At Dragon Hare, we can help you plan the image you need! We ask you questions to help us know what type of portrait you need, even what background should be used or what you should wear! All of this works together to give you an image that speaks volumes about who you are!
Heather recently came in for a business portrait that would represent her campaign to run for County of Vermilion River Councillor. If you live in Division 4, please visit this site to see what voice Heather will give you at the county level!
Heather we wish you well in your campaign!!
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Dragon Hare Studios – There are some clients who inspire me beyond anything else. Either from their fight with cancer, their determination to overcome, or their dedication to their health. Angie is one of these inspirational people.
She came to me for fitness portraits in Vermilion to use in her marketing. In speaking with her, I began to learn a bit more about her. She moved me to tears because of the conviction in her voice, her determination to be more than what she was, and her aspirations to help others on the same journey.
You see, Angie lost 96lbs. When you look at these portraits, you can tell Angie worked her butt off, she is lean, toned and powerful. This is what Angie stands for, and now what she teaches.
Angie brought along one of her favorite things to work out with, a weighted ball. We took portraits of her doing one handed push ups, but I wanted to show off her strength more – this amazing woman held this pose for me while I moved lights and a camera into position. And she was smiling and laughing while doing so!
Angie, you truly inspire me! I hope you can look at these images and remain proud of the journey you have traveled on. For anyone else inspired by her journey, I truly encourage you to check out her facebook page. She is honest, she is inspirational and she will encourage you every step of the way! Thank you Angie for trusting us with such an amazing milestone in your life!
Dragon Hare Studios – Fall is our family portrait season here in Vermilion and this year, we’d love to photograph your family.
But wait – I know what you are going to say – you want to lose some weight before you invest in family portraits. As I say to all of my clients; the people that love you and want your portrait, are not people who see your weight at all. Let me say that again – those closest to you, do not see the problem area on your thigh, the love handles or anything else that concerns you, they ONLY see YOU. When my brother passed away, my portraits of him became my most prized possessions. I don’t see his weight, I don’t see his haircut, hair color, or any specific part of him – I only see who he was to me. Your children, your spouse, your parents, your favorite aunt/cousin/sibling only sees this about you too.
But hang with me a bit more – being a bigger person myself, you can bet that I learned how to photograph a larger person properly very quickly because I *know* how bad it feels to look at a picture of yourself that is not at all flattering. I am professionally trained in posing – ie my camera does not add weight to your body, in fact, it can take it off. In every portrait I create, I will pose you to flatter your body type and hide any spots you’d prefer not to look at in your portrait.
The other strong objection I hear to family portraits is this: I have to keep them clean, it’s too stressful to get them all ready, it’s so hard to get them to smile and look good. Sound familiar? Well, here’s where the Dragon Hare difference comes into play – we retouch every portrait we create. The bruise/scratch/black eye your child has from playing, the mud on his pants or the tear in her dress or even “my husband put on the wrong color shirt” is something we have handled with no issue.
As for the stress of it – you come in and chat with me, I hear what works for you, what style you like and what your children are like and we base everything on your family. A family of small children? We photograph much differently, than we do a family with older children. We offer suggestions for what to say to young and teen children that are not amused with strangers taking portraits, and suggestions for Moms to reduce the stress of portraits period. We try hard to create a fun, safe atmosphere so that children and husbands will relax and smile. We keep it simple and take it at a pace your family is comfortable with.
Our goal is to give you a piece of personal art that shows the real you. Not the weight, the dirt, the zit, the flyaway hair that no amount of hair spray will tame or the stress. Contact us at 780.853.4277 or click that button to the right that says “contact us” and we let us create a real life portrait of your family.
Dragon Hare Studios – There’s a “look” I watch for when I am photographing couples – you know the look, the one your man gives you when nobody else is watching? It’s that look that says “you’re my woman and I’m damn glad about that”.
There’s also that moment, when a woman’s face forgets the stress of running a home, balancing it with a job, getting kids to school on time and figuring out what’s for supper. When she forgets all of that noise that life can make and just lets the love for her man shine out of her heart.
Look at this portrait of Jessie and Kaitlyn, can you see it? Can you feel it? The magical light came out for them, it lit up the sky, the lake and the grass to create this single image that celebrates the love they have for each other. As witness to it, I have to say it was pretty powerful!
It’s been a week of love for Dragon Hare, we’ve been enjoying fall weddings and photographing engagement sessions for our 2016 couples before winter arrives. If you are a bride looking for a wedding photographer, I encourage you to check out our wedding gallery.
We aim to photograph real life emotions, in beautifully lit surroundings so that you will never forget his “look” when life gets noisy. Call us at 780.853.4277, we’d love to hear from you!