Counting down 2018 best moments.
It’s that time of year when we start to think about all the amazing things that happened throughout the last 12 months as we prepare for the new year to arrive. Many of us are excited to start fresh, others will have trouble letting go and starting a new chapter.
I always enjoy doing a countdown on some of the most memorable moments of the year. With being diagnosed with chronic depression, it was certainly a difficult year for me as I had to learn to slow down, and take care of myself instead of rushing through my career. I have the feeling that I did not accomplish that much, but then again, I started writing down all the best things that happened to me and I have to say my feelings of sucking are WRONG.
Maybe you’re like me, always being hard on yourself no matter what situation it is, and if that is the case maybe you should do this activity as well. It will not only make yourself appreciate all the things you did, but it will also make you realize how amazing, powerful and inspiring you are.
So here are my top 10 accomplishments of the year:
10. Seeing my favorite animal (Caribou) in the wild
If you know me well, you know that Caribou is my favorite animal. I have been trying endlessly to go document the species, and even tho I might of not had the opportunity yet, I figured eventually someone will help and allow me to document the species. UNTIL then, I was able to see my first glimpse of a wild Caribou in Nunavut this summer. I was on a boat, and did not have the best zoom lens to capture the best and ideal shot, but sometimes it’s not about getting the shot, but more about witnessing the moment. I cried, a lot.
9. My first billboard
As a photographer, we always dream of the day we will have our first billboard. And I honestly never thought it would of came this early in my career. When I found out about it being on one of the busiest highways of the city it made me realize even more how cool this accomplishment is. And the thing I am the most stoked about this is being able to have a billboard for a company I deeply admire, that works right along my values, Parks Canada.
8. Salon Plein Air et Aventure Montréal
In March, I was honored to exhibit a series of 8 24x36’’ frames of some of my iconic moments in Quebec for the Outdoor show in Montreal. It was a special moment where I was able to make amazing contacts and weekend spent with the crew of Voyage Grand V. I was pretty proud to have my photographs up there during one of the biggest outdoor and adventure shows in the province.
7. Temiscamingue with Beside Media
Beside is probably one of my favorite brands. From their magazines, to their events, to the people who work behind the company. Ever since they launched their first magazine, I have been in awe about them. Luckily I had the opportunity to work for them on an editorial project for their 2nd magazine. Time has passed and I was stoked when they asked me to go on set with them to help create content for their client, Tourisme Temiscamingue. It was also my birthday week so it made the experience even better! Perhaps this is the first of a long line of work for them. (fingers crossed)
6. Moving up north
Okay so moving up north might not be that big of an accomplishment, but I still believe it is one because I have always wanted to move out of the city and into the forest. After my depression and anxiety got worse, it was the best decision to move away from the business of the city to a calming area. Simple task, but I feel as sometimes the simplest tasks can be the hardest ones to commit.
5. The Unscented Co. Holiday 2018 shoot
This was probably my favorite commercial contract of the year not because of the brand in particular (even tho it’s a pretty amazing brand) but about the partnership and humans behind the shoot. The thing I love the most about contracts is the connection between my client and myself and in this case the connection we made was very special, that led to creating amazing visual content for the brands holiday gift guide.
4. The North exhibition
Every year, I try to organize a exhibition of one of my photography collections. It’s a fun way to showcase your work, and to celebrate your art to the world. After coming back from an insane trip in Baie-James region, it was inevitable for me to create an exhibition of my favorite shots, and inspiring others to visit the region. Special thanks to Olodge Café Plein air , for letting me use their terrace for the event, it was by far my favorite exhibition to date and thanks to Plenty Humanwear who sponsored my outfit for the night. I couldn’t of asked for a better night to celebrate my work and a stunning region.
3. Organizing my first fundraiser for mental health
Antonio from Surf the Greats asked me if I was interested in hosting and organizing their BrainFreeze fundraiser for mental health in Montreal and it was no question that I wasn’t going to do it. So on December 1st, with the help of Jack.org, September Surf, Elment Yoga and other amazing humans, we pulled together the first edition of the MTL Brainfreeze for Mental Health. Over 20 awesome humans came together to jump in the freezing Saint-Lawrence river to raise awareness for mental health. The MTL team raised over 4K and all together the whole Fundraiser raised over 50K! It was a great morning, and special thanks to everyone who came out and froze for a good cause.
2. Being part of a panelist during the MEC summit
At the end of September I spent the weekend with my MEC buddies during their annual summit, this time in Breboeuf. I always enjoy their summits, because we get to connect with pretty inspiring people that help us pursue some of our wildest projects. This year the focus was about inclusivity and I was asked to take part in a conference, being one of the panelists. It was the first time I opened up on front of a large crowd about mental health and the struggle that one can go through dealing with mental illness. It was an opportunity for me to open everyone’s eyes about how inclusivity is not only about the physical difference we can see, but what’s on the inside as well. It was a pretty amazing moment, although I was quite stressed out! It allowed me to focus on my purpose of inspiring those who feel alone and unspoken.
Into the North adventure
This is by far my favorite and most memorable moments of 2018. In July, I had the opportunity to go explore a region I have always wanted to discover: Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, in Quebec. A team of 12, we documented the region, driving 5000km in the space of 2 weeks filming a webseries to promote the tourism in the area. It was a pretty amazing trip, and definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, dealing with anxiety, being surrounded by new people, immersing ourselves in a new culture. I met amazing humans, did amazing activities and will always remember this road trip.