I remember driving down the street here in Edmonton while running errands and pulling over because I had a call from my best friend. I remember her telling me that she had just gotten out of the fire ok and unharmed, and her crazy story of jumping out of her car while the flames were on the other side. I remember sitting there crying as I learned that my hometown was burning. I thought the worst as I got the news that parts of Fort McMurray were on fire, whole neighborhoods had been leveled. All my childhood memories and concern for all the friends and family I had there flashed before me. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins… everyone was there. I had stopped near a school and some kids were walking by as I was trying to contain my tears. I quickly called my parents and told them to get out as they had assumed the fire would die down later on in the day. I loved my hometown. I moved and married my then boyfriend but I was really sad to leave. Fort McMurray was my home, and will always be my home.
That is not why I planned this shoot though, this was completely random. But for some reason I haven’t really had time to think about that day from my perspective, so I thought I’d share it here. I had contacted Loveita a few days before this shoot and asked if she wanted to do a creative for fun and she said yes. I literally scouted locations all over Fort McMurray as I got in from Edmonton 2 hours prior. I chose this location because it was my old neighborhood in Wood Buffalo and because the trees with the green foliage looked really cool and contrasty. I wish I could say I did this with the intentions of bringing a new photographic perspective to Fort McMurray, but I just had this urge to do something for fun and to create some art with my hands. I also had a fur coat in my truck… why not right?! I feel like I wouldn’t get the opportunity to do so in the future so I took a chance.
I’ve known Loveita for at least a few years now. I remember doing a past shoot in studio with her and those images turned out to be some of my favorites of the year. She is so funny, her character is just infectious with joy. Thanks so much Loveita for being you! And for satisfying my need to create. I know many will miss you when you move!
A special thanks to Ashley Stacey for coming along and helping! You’re awesome.
Like to see past images I’ve taken of Loveita? Check it out HERE
See Loveita’s past IN STUDIO portrait session here: