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Welcome to the Blog

Welcome to the Simply Rose blog! I am so glad that you have found your way here. This is where you will find my latest work and musings, anything from weddings to what my son has been doing lately.  There is lots to look at, so grab a cup of something warm and yummy and maybe a blueberry scone to go with it and stay a while. And don't be shy ~ leave a note ~ I'd love to hear from you!  

One Tough Cookie // Smithers Family Photographer

This was the last family I photographed in 2011 and the last family I will be photographing for a while, due to time constraints. Which makes me quite sad because I have truly enjoyed each and every family I have had the opportunity to meet this past year, especially all those bright, sunshiny little faces. There is a dynamic that families share that I love and that I find in my own. I can relate to the joy that parents have in their eyes as they run and laugh and play with their little ones. I look at my own kid and think to myself how quickly he is becoming a little boy ~ time and time again, you hear how fast they grow. And it’s true.

I met the Williston-Bartemucci family in their home one drizzly September afternoon. This was a long awaited for session because their youngest daughter, Wren, has cancer. Had cancer. While I was in Vancouver last year, I was approached by a co-worker/friend who wanted to gift them with a set of family pictures. But we weren’t able to do them until now due to times of exhaustion and stays in the hospital. And I’m glad that we were able to do the session in a more familiar setting, at their home, a place where they clearly find a heart connection to the land and community.

Looking at Wren, you’d never guess that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma a few months before her second birthday. She danced and giggled and chased her sister, Chloe, around when I arrived. Full of life. But I know that the year before was a trying one for the family, with a temporary move to the city to be closer to the Children’s Hospital, where Wren was receiving care. Patrick had shared with me that at their last doctor’s visit, there was the happy announcement that the cancer was gone. There was much to be thankful for.

Patrick and Paula are biologists and this love of the land has passed down into their girls. We went on one of their favourite walks, not too far from their home in Smithers. Avid pickers of mushrooms, berries and fall leaves, the girls ran up and down the path with voracious interest in any interesting thing their little eyes could see. Even I learned about ghost mushrooms, powderpuff mushrooms, among other plantlife…..I came away from this photo session feeling so much smarter!

We then went to their home where the girls laid out their findings, one by one, methodically like scientists. Wren got some snuggles from her Papa before showing me something very special. The doll that she was given in the hospital where the nurses would explain certain things like where the needles would go. Covered in cartoon bandaids, the doll bore the testament of Wren’s experience. It broke my heart to watch her open up the case full of tubes and wipes and nozzles and syringes. But at the same time, it made me smile because this little girl is a survivor. She is well and happy and thriving. And wants to be a doctor when she grows up.

This family has endured quite a bit but their courage, compassion and love for each other was clear. It was inspiring to say the least.

Patrick made a blog to document their journey while staying in Vancouver ~ more as a means to stay in touch with family and friends back home. But if you would like to read about their journey, you can do so here.

I hope you all enjoy this special family today.


  • Crystal Nelligan: It is so amazing how many perfect moments can happen in a small space of time. What a beautiful tribute to your families beauty and resiliancy. It is an honour to know you all. (November 3, 2023 9:52 pm)
  • Ann Williams: Glorious photographs of a joyous family! Both the color and black and white pictures are spectacular! (November 4, 2023 4:27 am)
  • Kimberly Guynn: Paula, Patrick, Chloe and Wren; oh so beautiful. Love and prayers to your every so wonderful family. So happy Wren has had a complete recovery after such a long ordeal of suffering and fatique. Hide the doll..made me cry, but did help Wren survive the IVs, shots and all. You friend from Littleton Colorado (friend of Kelly Kates) who has kept us posted along the journey to a wonderful, beautiful normal life. With so much love and prayers (November 4, 2023 2:11 pm)
  • Jean Williston: Absolutely wonderful to see you all in such happy times and situations.Love and blessings. Jean and Theodore (November 9, 2023 6:39 am)