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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!  

Tiny Light Emma

This posting might be a long one.

I volunteer with an organization called the Tiny Light Foundation and their aim is to provide complimentary portraiture to families with a sick or disabled child in Canada. I became involved after being approached by one of the Tiny Light members and I felt like it was a fantastic way to give back to my community. There is another organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) that is based out of the USA and I learned of them a number of years back and considered becoming a part of that group. But upon further research and thought, I decided not to ~ because I didn’t think I’d be strong enough to do it. Sometimes the children are very sick and sometimes they even pass away. Back then I just wasn’t able to commit to something emotionally like that.

I have my own son now who is a year and a half. He is healthy, loud, and growing by the day and every day I thank God that he’s OK. But having my own child made me realize something. It made me realize that perhaps I was being too selfish by worrying about my own emotions. If Fin was sick or disabled, I would covet something like this. I was suddenly wearing a different pair of shoes.

So I joined Tiny Light last year and wasn’t expecting to get any calls being in a more remote northern BC town. But I did. In the beginning of August I received an email from Laura who saw a news segment on Tiny Light, checked out their website and photographer listings and noticed that there was someone in Smithers. Since I am primarily a wedding photographer, my summers are insanely busy and I told Tiny Light I may not be able to do any sessions during the wedding season. But after I heard this family’s story, I knew that I had to do it. Emma was born with Down Syndrome and a heart condition that requires open heart surgery this fall.

When I met the family, everything was like any other normal Sunday morning in any other household. Except this family wasn’t chaotic like mine ~ it was quiet, serene and peaceful. Despite this daunting surgery approaching, the thing that struck me the most was the love this family shared. Everyone doted on Emma and Sam, the second youngest. People took turns holding Emma, making sure she was warm enough on our chilly morning walk or swinging Sam around to make her laugh. Even Sam clearly loved her little sister and didn’t leave her side once when we went indoors to do some pictures of Emma.

I intentionally wanted to spend more time with the family as a whole, because it was such a large family and it seemed to me really important to focus on those relationships. I did however, try to balance that out with some portraits of Emma as well as a glimpse of home-life. I think the ones of Laura feeding Emma are my favourite. You can see the connections here ~ this is not scripted but real life and really why I do what I do.

I hope you enjoy these images of a poignant moment in time. I hope that this perhaps urges you to make a point of picking up your own camera to begin capturing pictures of your own family or hiring a professional on a regular basis to document your family’s life. This is something even I am not diligent with, I admit it. And don’t just take the picture but PRINT them. Put them in a nice album so your kids can touch them, pour over them. I used to sit for hours and go through my parent’s black and white images from the old days. Digital cameras have benefited us but we have also lost so much appreciation for the art of photography and print form because of it. It takes some time but trust me, you’ll appreciate putting the effort into having something tangible your family can touch and see.

So what are you waiting for?

  • Ally: Rose, this is so so so amazing. Incredible work my friend. I will be looking into this as well, and would love to continue this for you :) (September 16, 2023 9:15 am)
  • larissa addison: Emma is just beautiful. What a great family, I love it when children's ages span such a large amount of years. It really teaches everyone so many amazing life lessons and experiences. (October 2, 2023 11:02 am)

Help-Portrait. End of the Earth.

I’ve been following this for a little while now and the project has been completed on Sasha Leahovenco’s site. I thought this was far too unique and heart-warming to pass up sharing on my blog, so here it is.

Some of you may recall an event that I participated in back in on December 4th of last year in the downtown eastside in Vancouver called Help Portrait. You can read about the event here. This is the same sort of idea, but in a remote part of Russia and the images are an incredible testament to life in an extreme northern climate. The video is wonderful too, so please check it out.

To see Sasha’s full posting on his journey across Russia, you can go here for images and information.

  • elizabeth kowal: rose, this is amazing, and inspiring. thanks for sharing it. (April 1, 2023 11:35 pm)

For Japan with Love

It has almost been a week since the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan and my heart has been so heavy for an entire nation and those around the world affected by it. I have been listening to CBC news constantly throughout the day and watching news briefs, hoping for some respite in the impending nuclear meltdown, the cold weather that has been adding difficulty to the relief efforts and the ceasing of further aftershocks in the area.

I really cannot fathom what this nation is having to deal with right now. I see the images on TV or hear the stories on the radio and I can’t help but feel the need to do something. I think if we could, many of us would hop on a plane and go to help in whatever way we could, seeing such tragedy and destruction breaks many of our hearts. Especially when it comes to the children having to deal with so much and may necessarily understanding the full implications of what has occurred.

I have been mulling over what to do for some time and came across a tweet by Promise Tangeman today for something that really sat well with me.

For Japan with Love.

It’s two parts.

One part fundraising for ShelterBox USA and one part Bloggers Day of Silence. A ShelterBox is a disaster relief kit that comes complete with a relief tent and other necessary items for carrying out daily activities like cooking, water purification, blankets for sleeping and other emergency items. Any contributions that you could offer will help someone stay a little bit warmer, a little bit drier and a little bit safer.

The second part is the Bloggers Day of Silence. I will not be posting anything tomorrow on my blog in honour of what has been occurring but instead will be making a donation to ShelterBox, considering what has happened, and appreciate what I have here at home, especially my family. If you are a Blogger and are interested in participating, please go to the website for more information.

Please join me in this effort and please share this movement.

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Help Portrait Vancouver was a Great Day!

Yesterday has only one word and even that word doesn’t sum it all up properly.


I became a part of the Help Portrait movement a little while ago and you can read about it from past postings here and here. I didn’t really know what to expect and was quite nervous when I showed up at the Union Gospel Mission on 361 Heatly St. today, but I soon began to feel a bit more at ease after speaking to some of the other volunteer photographers. The anticipation was thick in the air ~ for many of us, this was our first time at Help Portrait. And I am sure we all came away with such a wonderful experience…so much so, many of us on the morning shift hung around after we were done!

There were 4 studios set up in a fairly small room and by noon we were extremely busy taking pictures of all kinds of people ~ families, older folks, younger individuals, people with pets, people dressed up in their finest ~ not only did I get to meet and work with some very cool photographers, I also met some pretty neat people who were so thankful to have their picture taken. Every person got to choose two photos to have printed and it was fun to watch the reactions of many who hadn’t seen an image of themselves in many years. One older gentleman I took portraits of wanted to send one to his mother, who hadn’t seen a picture of him in 15 years. It’s these kinds of stories and impacts that make Help Portrait so important to so many people.

All the images were deleted at the end of the day. But I wanted to do a short documentation of the day so I thought I’d do another iPhone collage. A professional photography/videography crew was there documenting the event as was CBC so stay tuned for some more pictures!

Big thanks to Ian and Steph who organized the event and also all the behind the scenes people who donated their time and finances to help make this day happen!

  • Alyssa Schroeder: This is so awesome Rose! Love your iPhone photo collection. Very cool that CBC and everything came out! We don't get that out here in Abbotsford haha :) (December 5, 2023 10:34 am)
  • Simply Rose: Thanks Alyssa! I just heard about the Abbotsford one a few days ago....how did it go? (December 5, 2023 10:45 am)
  • Ian Sheh: Great iPhone photo collection of the day! (December 5, 2023 1:08 pm)
  • Simply Rose: Thanks Ian! (December 5, 2023 7:44 pm)
  • Shona: It is so great that you took part in this. I love this concept. I would love to take part in this in the future. Thanks for sharing your experience. (December 9, 2023 11:21 am)
  • Simply Rose: Thanks, Shona ~ it was really amazing. I watched some of the videos afterwards and it's pretty special to see how photographs really can make a difference. (December 9, 2023 8:13 pm)

Help Portrait Vancouver Printing Donations

Yesterday, I had the privilege of going to the photographer’s meeting for Help Portrait Vancouver on December 4th. (If you missed the first blog posting about this event, you can go here to check out the background details of it.) There are a lot of really, really cool people volunteering their time, gear and expertise for this event and it was neat to meet some of them yesterday at Steph Forster’s Gastown art loft.

December 4th is sneaking up fast and the printing sponsors for this year’s event are not returning ~ which means that the group is trying to get enough funding to provide for the printing portion of the day (inks, papers, printers). Help Portrait Vancouver is trying to raise $1,000 before December 4th. Below is some more additional information about making a donation to Help Portrait Vancouver ~ anything you can offer would be a huge help and any excess funds will be donated directly to the Union Gospel Mission, where the event is being held.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to get informed about this cool movement and I hope that you can partner in this event with me!

Donations: http://helpportraitvancouver.chipin.com

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Help Portrait Vancouver

I am so excited (and nervous) to be a part of Help Portrait Vancouver this year.

I first found out about this global movement a year or two ago through another photographer and thought that it was such a neat idea that if I was ever able to be a part of something like that, to do it. Well, this year it presented itself and on December 4th, I will be joining hundreds of photographers around the world that will be taking pictures for those in need and deliver prints when they are ready.

The event will take place at the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Vancouver from 11:30 to 5:30 and there will be 30 photographers, 16 hair and makeup artists, 20 musicians and 30 volunteers. This is the first event of this kind that I am participating in as a photographer and I hope to do more in the future. I remember traveling in Nicaragua two years ago with my camera and thinking of ways to use photography to benefit others or to create awareness. I felt extremely overwhelmed by the concept as I often do when I start thinking about everything that’s wrong in the world. So I am happy to be able to help with so many others, doing something that I really love in the process.

This video is about Help Portrait, what it is and how it works. You can also go to the Help Portrait website to learn more.

The Vancouver chapter of Help Portait can be found here and the blog is here. And another video of last year’s event.

Help-Portrait “Let it Shine” from Steve Tan on Vimeo.

And this year, Help Portrait Vancouver is doing a Food and Toy drive. For more info check it out.

I know it’s getting into the busy Christmas season and I fall prey to being busy myself, but I encourage everyone out there to slow down, take a moment and do something for someone less fortunate this season.

  • Loretta: I look forward to seeing your work! I am sure it will be a rewarding and humbling experience. (November 15, 2023 9:11 pm)
  • admin: Well, none of the portraits will be on display anywhere - the files are destroyed afterwards, I believe. But I will be documenting the day for my own personal interest. Not too many though because I really want to focus on what's going on, but just enough to give an idea of how it went! (November 15, 2023 10:36 pm)