dear lisa…always in my thoughts and in my heart…

it’s been a year today since i lost my best friend, my sister, my other half. i just want her to know that not a day goes by that she is not in my thoughts and in my heart. i just feel i want her to know how truly missed she is and how her spirit will forever live within me whether it’s been a year, two years or fifty years…this is for anyone dealing with loss and trying to find their way…this is for her.

dear lisa,

i start my day much like how i end my day, with a touch of your photo, sometimes a squeeze of it that sits on my nightstand with your old brown scratched up frame i remember so vividly and our old picture in it. i am wrapped in a piece of your clothing most days and wear your perfume on sundays, our favorite day of the week or just when I need a constant reminder of you. i have our last messages on my phone and read them often and smile knowing the last message i sent you would have made you smile. i go downstairs, turn on my cell phone to see your photo staring back at me, a screensaver that will never change, a constant reminder that i miss you and think of you ever day and need to see it to know you’re thinking of me too.

it’s been one year since you left us and yet i sit and wonder where the year went. long days turned into weeks, months and fleeting moments of time that make up this past year. i get what you said now, “waiting for the 8th day of the week”. sometimes you can wait for something forever and it will never come, like you back in my life.

i am thankful this past year has kept me busy with work to keep my distractions of you with a focus i so desperately needed, somehow i secretly think your sending me these beautiful clients so i keep getting out of bed and pursing this inner passion i love so deeply.

i thank you for the signs you’ve sent me this past year, the heart shaped flowers on my doorstep, the misplaced poem your mom gave me, the endless songs on the radio, in supermarkets and various places i needed to hear them when i asked. i can smell your perfume on the days when i am not wearing it and smile to myself and feel your presence dancing in my kitchen. i am thankful for your visits in my dreams, especially the early one last february, i will never forget them. i feel your hugs and hear your laughter and know your present in the things i do. it took me months to see them of course, but now i know it’s you. i’ve written ever memory down, the ones that come flying in at random times so one day when i think I have forgotten i can always remember.

that is the thing with grief, “in order to get over grief, you have to grieve”. it’s just as simple as that. not that you can ever “get over” grief, but we have to grieve in order to function and move forward. we all deal with it differently and for me, this is part of what i need to do, remember, wear your things, look at your pictures and keep you near. there is no code for it, there is no magical light to turn it off. you just have to let your emotions do what they need to do but it’s hard when a peace of your soul has been taken away. that piece will always be lost, i get that now. i’ve been searching for ways to heal it, to fix it, make it stop hurting, but i know now that in order to move forward, you have to learn to live with that piece being gone, it will never be healed or miraculously put back together and that is ok. it’s full of love and many happy memories that i take with me.

the phone rings and just for one split second i think it still might be you, especially at dinner time, lol. i see your words on my wall in a canvas and remember what a talented writer you were and how you saw the world differently.

i know it’s been a year but it still feels like the one bad yesterday i want to take back. all the coulda, woulda, shoulda’s that haunt my mind are still very near and i wish i could take back not seeing you when we had planned. you’re not the only battle this past year has thrown at me and it’s you i would call to help me find my way. that’s the hardest part, loosing the one person who already knew what you needed by just a hello.

we do it too often, wait. wait for timing, will do it tomorrow, i am going to, it’s in the plan and then it’s too late. what are we waiting for? that’s the one thing i will do differently in my life, i will not wait, i will live as though your pushing me forward. i will live for today as though you have, i will live with the free will, free spirit and vibrant soul you have always done, that i will take with me.

i know your at peace, i know this in my heart and soul, i have seen it, i have heard it but just know, my heart bleeds for you every day. it’s not the same without you, it will never be the same. that’s the thing with life, it’s going to keep moving along whether we are grieving or not and it’s a choice of how we want to live it.

i choose your way.

i will continue to look for the signs, “see with my heart” and i will remember you every step of the way. just know when my candles are lit, it’s always lit for you, the “angel whispers” scented ones that flickers in the silence of the night, pink ones too, just for you.

i feel the wind changing direction, is that you i have to thank? while i feel it gently caressing my cheek, lifting my soul, i will smile knowing you sent it this way…change is coming and i choose to hop on the train…with a broken heart or not.

RIP my bff, my sister, i will love you forever…


the below image was just recently done. i found an old vintage frame in my dad’s garage last summer and finally had a custom print done for it. the little trinket below was something she had mailed me one year, it makes me laugh. she loved her random trinkets and i think she would have loved the old frame i found too.

last august i did my first balloon release for her, thanks lynn for these images.

and then the two white ones got tangled up…that’s a sign right?:)

the following was the slideshow i made for the 100 mile celebration of life. i know many people have emailed me and asked to see it again or who could not be there, sorry i’ve kept it hidden, it was just so overwhelming. today, as i know many of you are thinking of her and remembering her beautiful soul, here is the slideshow. thank you, thank you to everyone who have sent me photos this past year, we are truly grateful for each one. big hugs to everyone that loved her and light some candles in her memory today and think about all the amazing moments of how she impacted your life. xoxo


Lisa Johnson from Melissa Montgomery on Vimeo.

The “M” Family | Stewart Farmhouse | New Westminster, White Rock and Vancouver Family Photographer

i’ve been so lucky this month to capture so many past clients, the “m” family was one of them. i love watching the kids grow and change as the years move along. i love how creative this family has been with our sessions, from bringing in a couch to putting together outfits. i such a great time with you! thank you for choosing me to capture your memories again this year! stewart farmhouse was the perfect choice this time!





november, 2011…

november 2011…

The “Y” Family | Queen Elizabeth Park | Vancouver Family Photographer

it was such a pleasure to capture the “Y” family last week at queen elizabeth park!  while i have also had the pleasure of documenting their wedding back in 2012, the family of two is now a family of three! i was so happy to see you both and meet your sweet, smiley adorable little girl…



12.12.12…such a beautiful wedding!

The “H” Family | Deer Lake Park | Burnaby and Vancouver Family Photographer

one of the best parts about taking photos is seeing past clients and getting to know them through their journey. i’ve had the pleasure now of capturing the “h” family from engagement, wedding and now a maternity and family session! i am so grateful for them choosing me to document their most precious memories. little miss “j” is such a sweet little girl and i just know she will be the best big sister.

we headed to deer lake park in burnaby and it just so happened to be mamma’s birthday! the weather could not have been more perfect.

congratulations on your newest addition! you have one beautiful family…





 engagement (may 2011), view the full set here

wedding (july 2011), view the full set here

one gorgeous mamma here!

seriously love her! too cute…

definitely one of my favs!

Jamie + Jen’s Wedding | North Vancouver | North Vancouver and Vancouver Wedding Photographer

i’ve talked about fate before, you all know i am big believer! this story just gets me, i mean they first met when they were in the same grade 2 class!

jamie+jen spent lots of time together throughout high school, always having that special bond. after high school, they drifted apart…skipping ahead about 15 years, jen noticed that he had changed his facebook status to “single” and she jumped on the chance to revisit was had begun so long ago…

i loved the intimacy of this wedding. how often is it that both their parents live about 10 minutes apart!  being that they both grew up in north vancouver, it was only fitting to start their journey together in the comfort of both their parents home.  starting off with the ceremony at jen’s parents house to finishing the reception at jamie’s parents house, you could just feel the love and connection the whole day. with a rustic, vintage, casual backyard wedding and colors of pink, blush, champaign and cream, i’ll always remember your beautiful day!

wishing you a lifetime of happiness, family connection and love…





Vendors Include:

Bridal Gown: La Sposa Wedding World

Bridal Hair: Kirsten Donald ( (Heritage Hair Salon)

Bridal Makeup: Candy Lefrancois ( (Tofino Beauty Lounge & Spa)

Bridal Shoes: Lord’s Shoes

Groom’s Attire: Bow ties from Mrs. Bowtie

Flowers: Niki Trading (arranged by family and friends)

Caterer: Served Catering

Wedding song: Flapper Girl, by The Lumineers

Wedding Favors: Rogers Chocolates

Marriage Commissioner:Joanie Mitchell (

Rental Companies: Salmon’s Rentals, Apex Tents

Song walking down the aisle: slide guitar, played by their talented brother-in-law Darcy



the engagement ring diamond is a family heirloom from the groom…

love me a first look! big cates park in north van was amazing!

pure gorgeousness! jen is one stunning bride!

the ceremony was held at the bride’s parents home. loved their simple and elegant decor, emotional vows and beginning their journey where she grew up…

not a dry eye in the crowd when jen was speaking…

love the wine box incorporated into the ceremony! this is sealed and to be opened on their 10th year anniversary!

onto the reception which was held in the backyard of the groom’s parents, so romantic and intimate!

check out the slideshow for more love,

Jamie+Jen’s Wedding from Melissa Montgomery on Vimeo.