These posts start as a blank page; for Aliya and John I had thousands of pictures I could have filled it with.

I spent four separate days photographing them last year. Four days may not seem like a long time in the scheme of getting to know a person, but in the context of a wedding I think it is. When a group of people come together there is reminiscing of the past, and there is stories to recount from the time spent apart. I heard bits and pieces from every corner of Aliya and John’s life. Jokes from their siblings from childhood, and well wishes from their co-workers.

They spent the final night of their wedding celebrations surrounded by age old stories in Casa Loma’s library room  and it was there that Aliya’s two best friends told a story in their speech, that I surprisingly already knew.

They shared a small excerpt from children’s book The Little Prince. 

“For me you are only a little boy just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. For you I’m only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me we’ll need each other. You’ll be the only boy in the world for me and I’ll be the only fox in the world for you.”

“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”

“To establish ties?”

….

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 “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I now have had the pleasure of knowing Aliya and John, four days of ties. With that knowledge of two people’s story, intertwined together, I became responsible for telling the truth of their story in a way that is unique in the world.

As always, but especially for Aliya and John it was a privilege.

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All-Star Team that helped make these four days worth telling stories about for years to come.

Planner: Biji Planning 
Decor: Sara Baig Designs
Videography: Patrick Hodgson 
Stationary: Paper & Poste

Second shooters: Brian Van Wyk and Aamer Kapadia

 

    I want to keep better records. My motivation for this is two fold. One to live an examined life, to see my inputs and my outputs creatively, and two to remember. To be able to recall the articles, inspiration, and books that brought me to create what I’m making.

    This blog has evolved from a business tool to a bit of an online space for me to keep track of my photography work. It keeps me employed and creating, and also acts as an archive where on rainy days where I am uninspired, I can track my progress.

    Last year I had one of my clients tell me they went down the “Taylor Roades Rabbit Hole.” I particularly enjoyed that because I don’t know really if anyone is looking at what I post here, and because I am normally the person digging around in other people’s rabbit holes.

    I was just down in California. I hit up Yeah Field Trip, met other photographers, writers, illustrators, painters and designers, and now I have a list of things I want to look up a mile long. I am a notorious wiki-surfer, one hundred tab person some nights and I just want to keep better track of the random facts I’ve learned and share the best ones.

    These are some of those things that stuck my interest in the last little bit.

    If anything below reminds you of something else that you think is connected – well that is the point. Link me to something in the comments. Expanding minds.

    Books:

    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

    My first foray into the work of Jules Verne – father of science fiction, and for a classic it read like an action movie.  His love for natural history brought me to….

    Voyage of the Beagle – Charles Darwin 

    The Captain of Darwin’s ship which took him on the expedition that would become the basis of his theory of evolution is named Robert FitzRoy. I realized they were sailing all around Patagonia and it only took me a little googling to figure out the Fitzroy Mountain range that I visited last year was named after him. That range also inspired the brand Patagonia’s logo which lead me to ….

    Let My People Go Surfing – Yvon Chouinard

    Yvon Chouinard is the founder of clothing brand Patagonia – his philosophy is to do no unnecessary harm (to the planet) and to make the best product he also has this little quote nestled in the book which I stole and put in my journal – so true for anyone living for their creative pursuits.

    “A master of the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play. His labour and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever his is doingand leaves others to determine whether he is working or he is playing. To himself he always appears to be doing both.” – Francois Auguste Rene 

    Going back to the start of the outdoor industry got my interested photographers (my medium) working in that scene at that time which started me on….

    Photography:

    Vittorio Sella

    None less than Ansel Adams said that Vittorio Sella’s photographs inspired “religious awe”.  He was the first to climb the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa, Italy’s highest peak, in winter and the first to traverse Mont Blanc in winter, too. That prowess enabled him to haul the bulky large-format camera and gear of the day, including the fragile 30x40cm plates upon which the image was formed.

    —> I then realized all my inspiration information was coming from men…funny how that happens …and so I made an effort to seek out a little inspiration from the other equally intelligent ladies in the photo world.

    Lyndsey Addario 

    Stealing from Goodreads.com – War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir “It’s What I Do” is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life. What she does, with clarity, beauty, and candor, is to document, often in their most extreme moments, the complex lives of others. 

    —> I make a list of new words I learn as I’m reading (I don’t know why I am admitting this publicly but through all of this reading my list consisted of these few gems)

    Words: 

    Fortitude: courage in the face of pain

    Babelism: a confusion, as of ideas, speech 

    Emetic: causing vomiting 

    Yarak: A falconry term meaning your falcon is super alert: hungry but not weak, ready to hunt. 

    Raravis – A rare bird or an extraordinary thing.

    Which led me to this video —> which is a rare and extraordinary thing.

    Videos:

    The video led me to do some research into conservation and photojournalism and that brought me to:

     

    And that is my brain for today.

    Except one thought that came from my good friend and photographer Rachel Pick, as we drove through the hills of San Berndino to Los Angeles (Photographed below). She remarked the landscape we were driving through influenced many of the major artists of our generation, and the immediate generations past.  The we were lucky to be there, to be inspired by the hills here like the people before us… and that I thought was profound.

     

    taylor-roades-9instas-0003taylor-roades-9instas-0006taylor-roades-9instas-0002taylor-roades-9instas-00042017-02-california-la-fieldtrip-4

      The ground was wet , the apples were crisp, and the clouds parted just in time for the sun to set, bringing the greens of the orchard at Sea Cider to life. It was a perfect backdrop to a wedding with an international guest list, and an ocean view. No better place on Vancouver Island to be.

      I truly believe the best people, and the best weddings for that matter are the ones with a surprise in their back pocket. The better you get to know them and as the night goes on slowly the cards are laid. Shirley and Shane are those people, their day was that wedding. I knew it would be beautiful, and I already liked them after we met back in December but I didn’t expect Shane to own the dance floor like he did, Shirley to tear up during the signing of the marriage license, and how proud their parents were.

      It was a coming together of family and friends from as far as Hong Kong and Toronto, and as close as Victoria. It was a surprise I’m so excited to share today.

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      Dream Team Credits:

      Venue: Sea Cider Wedding

      Florals: Celsia Florals 

      Cake: Ruth and Dean 

      Catering: Toque 

       

        How to make love stay:

        1. Tell love you are going to get an ice cream shaped cookie, and if loves stays, it can have half. It will stay.

        2. Tell love you want a momento of it, and remember all of their favourite things to put into a card of with the power rangers on the front. Face southwest. Talk slow. Find  love on a porch waiting. Tell them that together you are the power couple. It will stay.

        3. Escape a dinner party before dinner. Tell love the world is on fire. Dash to the lakeside, and watch the sun burn into the night. Casually return to the party and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Love will be there in the morning.

         

        Rachel and Davy, thank you so much for a weekend in the hills of Mt. Tremblant Quebec this July, for allowing me to get to know you both on your wedding weekend, and for helping me to figure out the secrets of making love stay. xx

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        Dress: Truvelle
        Venue: Private Residence
        Catering and Cake: Seb Restaurant
        Ice Cream Cookie: Starbucks. (In case you too would like to make love stay.)

         

          Tonight I am up late, I can’t sleep in light of news of this week, in light of the senseless terrorist attacks in a mosque in Quebec City; across the country from me, but dangerously close to home.

          I’ve spent the day staring at the news just south of the border in disbelief. Heartbroken.

          I photograph weddings most weekends. I don’t often talk about heartbreak.

          I’ve spent the last five years celebrating love from all corners of the globe. Commitments between two people, to care for and to share life going forward with each other, despite often coming from wildly different backgrounds.

          I’ve seen the best side of a country that embraces diversity. And today after this weeks world events I wish to remind us all of that.

          I’ve feel extremely privileged to be a photographer, and to live in an era of Canadian history where I have had the opportunity to photograph a cross section of first, second, and third generation Canadians hailing from Sudan, Indonesia, China, Germany, India, Korea, Congo, Jamaica, Israel, Japan, Yugoslavia, Italy, England, Mexico, Russia, Jordan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Poland, Iceland, St. Lucia, Norway, France, The United States, Egypt, and Portugal.

          I’ve been welcomed into the homes of Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike. I’ve seen traditionally dressed Thai dancers, dance the Jewish Hora. I’ve seen a woman shake with joy after being pronounced married to another woman. I’ve photographed Ponkwa ceremonies for Ismaili muslims, and seen the Veil and cord placed on Catholic Filipinos. I’ve seen white dresses, red Chinese cheongsam dresses, hanboks, and stunning hijabs.

          There are few nations whose citizens cannot look to Canada and see their own reflection. For generations people from all corners of the globe have made the decision to choose Canada as their home. We are a nation of immigrants, and diversity, and despite the news this week I will continue to celebrate that.

          I sometimes ask myself what the point of making art is? Why be a wedding photographer? Really what good am I doing for this world? But tonight at 12:03am as I write this and pull the images you see below – I believe more than ever in what I’ve spent the past five years creating.

          I’ve photographed a body of work that shows a commitment to love, in a nation of people that value diversity.

          That two people regardless of their differences, regardless of their backgrounds, and regardless of their religious beliefs, can make a life together; and that together through understanding, and in a place with an inherent belief in equality, love will win. And that is the point.

           

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          • Jarusha - Just beautiful Taylor. YOu have a gift not only with photographs but also with words. Thank you for sharing this <3ReplyCancel

          • Dr. Theresa Nicassio - Beautiful—in every sense of the word. Thank you for sharing your light and honouring the beauty of inclusivity, love and joy in all forms it is expressed.

            xo TheresaReplyCancel

          • Gwen - I ask myself that same question all the time: what good am I doing as a wedding photographer? Thanks for sharing your thoughtful words and beautiful photos, and for helping me see things in a different light 🙂ReplyCancel