monday chookooloonks life list update: number 16, photograph 1000 faces (the evo edition, part 1)

The lovely Jyl, founder of Mom It Forward

I'm back from the really spectacular EVO Conference.  It was a lot of fun, and not just because I booked a flight in a hot air balloon.  I was asked to do the closing keynote along with my friend Brené.  It was the first time we've ever spoken together -- and it was such a gas.

But even more importantly, I've come to believe that the feeling of a conference is directly correlated with the vibe of its organizers, so really, the fact that that EVO was warm, friendly, welcoming and inclusive, is no surprise:  Jyl, above, and Rachael, below, are possibly two of the most gracious women I've met in the past two years.  I don't think I've ever seen Jyl without a smile on her face, and her dogged commitment to giving back to the world is astonishing.  As for Rachael, the word that immediately comes to mind when I think of her is "sass" -- and I mean that in the most glorious way possible.  I'm really thrilled for both of them that the conference was so successful.


The very dynamic Rachael of Today's Mama.  You wouldn't believe what I had to make her think about to get this shot.

For me, the other fabulous thing about attending a conference like this, of course, is all the amazing faces that I get to photograph.  In fact, I took so many images, that in order to make sure it doesn't take 20 minutes for your computer to load my posts, instead of showing them to you all on one day, I'm going to reveal them to you slowly over the course of the next few days, if that's okay.  So, for today, I'll share with you the faces that I went to EVO with the prior intent of capturing.


I met Jen about 4-1/2 years ago at another blogging conference, and have followed her blog since then.  Jenijen has a serious storyteling gift, and if you love funny, poignant writing, you need to bookmark her site as quickly as possible.  As it happens, Jen's face is also one of my very favourite faces to photograph -- I mean, seriously, have you ever seen a face more full of joy than hers? -- so when she told me that she was coming to EVO, my immediate response was something delicate like, "Yeah, yeah, but you KNOW I have to photograph that face of yours again if we meet, right?"

Seriously, I don't know how she puts up with me.  But not only is she always really sweet to me, she brings me fancy bottles rum to conferences to help me with my life list

But that's a post for another time.


Stefania, the beautiful creative mind behind CityMama, MOMocrats and Kimchi Mamas

Stefania is another incredibly prolific blogger who I've known for an age.  I feel a really odd connection to her because -- get this -- her daughter "Bunny" and my niece Julia look like they could be sisters (seriously, click on those two previous links, it's uncanny).  For this reason, I have this irrational feeling that Stefania is, in actuality, a long-lost extended family member.  So when she emailed me prior to this conference saying that she would like me to take her portrait, I was only too happy to oblige.

Besides, she's got an amazing face, doesn't she?


Ah, Lu.  Lu and I have been online friends since I lived in Trinidad, and I've always admired how spirit-filled she lives her life.  We've emailed often, and have even been old-school pen-pals for a while, sending hand-scrawled letters of encouragement back and forth over the last year or so.  And if you happen to be someone who loves art journaling or scrapbooking, run-do-not-walk over to her blog, Art Slam, to be fully inspired.  She's a truly wonderful talent.


And on that note, stay tuned: more lovely faces to come.


Images:  All photographed with my Nikon D300 and the lovely 50mm lens that Nikon lent me.

SongStarry-eyed surprise by Paul Oakenfeld