Photography Journal

Kitkatla Adventure Session | BC Adventure Photographer

Lach Klan. Also known as Kitkatla. This peaceful village of ~450 people on an island between Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii is home to the Gitxaala Nation. It’s been my northern home where I’ve been living and working as an outpost nurse ~ 5 weeks in, 5 weeks out for the last (almost) six years. I’ve had the great pleasure to get to know most of the people here and is where I learned the true meaning of community.

I met Shailyn and Arisa through their moms who both worked at the health centre. It’s been an interesting experience to watch kids grow up here. For some reason, in my mind, kids are the same age as when I met them (6 years ago) so I’m regularly blown away when someone tells me they’re basically an adult and I still think they’re 12. It makes me feel kinda old in an amusing way.

So watching these two young ladies over the years has been a real delight. They are bright, ambitious and have some solid goals for their futures. Shailyn loves everything about the ocean and wants to be a marine biologist, and Arisa is an incredibly talented makeup artist and super amazing sister to her little brother.

Pretty much everyone here has been on a boat from the time they started walking, so I was really excited to head out with these two for an adventure session!

Woman, by Kesha, runs through my head every time I look at this photo of these badass ladies 😉

And then, through no fault of their own, the motor died and they did everything they could to restart it.

Luckily a passing fishing boat gave us a hand.

Our friend, Bruce, couldn’t get the motor started either.

So, he towed us back to “the float” and we all had a good laugh about it.

But, no time for nonsense. Back to modelling. Once we were back at the dock, we rowed to a nearby island.

Then we found another boat! Shailyn’s parents and little sister came back from a fishing adventure just before sunset. We hopped in and headed back out.

Our little island turned out to be a hot spot for sea urchin so Shailyn’s parents, Marilyn and Theo and baby sister, Arianna harvested while they waited for us 🙂

The sun set and it was time to go home. Thanks for the adventure, ladies! 😘

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Tin Poppy Elopement

I have been intrigued by the Tin Poppy Retreat ever since I picked up one of their brochures a couple of years ago. I started following them on Instagram and then decided to reach out to Maggie Shook to see if she wanted to collaborate on an elopement styled shoot. Maggie and her husband Jeremy are the most interesting and creative people and I wanted to spend way more time talking with them.

Each unique and inspired accommodation on this beautiful, 160 acre property in the Larch Hills has incredible character and style. It has three rentals available – the Lavender House, Violet Cabin and its namesake, the Tin Poppy. It’s eco (solar-powered!), rustic yet luxurious and an absolutely perfect place for an offbeat couple’s elopement or intimate wedding. If I could do it all over again, this is the just kind of place that I would absolutely get married. Thankfully there are always vow renewals, right?

I collaborated with these fantastic artists/vendors from the central and north Okanagan:

Dress/Veil: Bliss Bridal Kelowna – Facebook | Instagram

Hair/Makeup/Bridal Model: Tanisha Langner of T. Langner Lashes and Makeup – Facebook | Instagram

Groom Model: Zach Langner, Artist – Instagram

Suit/Shoes: J.Crew / Gucci

Floral: Katie LaRone 0f Sweet Pea Flowery – Facebook | Instagram

Jewelry: JC Bradley Jewellers – Facebook | Instagram

Catering/Styling/Venue: Tin Poppy Retreat – Facebook | Instagram

Thank you to everyone involved! It was a beautiful day and I can’t wait to come back and spend a cozy weekend by the fire at this forested retreat in the hills.

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Nisga’a Valley Adventure Travel Session | BC Adventure Photographer

This adventurous First Nations womxn explored the wilderness of BC

In my other life, I’m also an outpost nurse. I guess it’s not really “other” as I have been blending health and photography through various projects for years. I work in remote Indigenous communities in an advanced practice position providing primary, public health, and emergency care. I feel extremely fortunate to have explored all over BC and in Nunavut through this work.

For nearly six years, Lach Klan (also known as Kitkatla, home to the Gitxaała Nation) has been a second home for me. It is the kindest, most generous and welcoming community I have ever worked in. I get homesick for the land and ocean that surrounds this beautiful and wild island between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert. It feels like coming home to family every time I return.

A few months ago, after my regular five-week rotation, I drove from Prince Rupert to Terrace to attend an ACLS/PALS/BLS course. For the non-health care folks in the group, that is Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Basic Life Support – courses we have to recertify regularly to stay current and manage emergencies competently.

The drive along Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Terrace is stunning. It’s 145 km of road tracing the banks of the Skeena River and sneaking through mountain valleys. I was in Terrace for only three days and each one was a 10-hour learning session except for one afternoon I wanted to take advantage of. I only know a handful of people in Terrace, most who were unavailable. So, after unsuccessfully trying to recruit someone from the table next to me at dinner (only because she had to work the following evening), I posted a model call on the local community Facebook page.

That is how I met Kendra.

I naturally gravitate towards strong and assertive women and was impressed at how fast Kendra responded to me and what a great communicator she was. We quickly established a wardrobe and set a plan to meet in the hotel lobby the following afternoon.

We drove to a few locations I had scouted years ago and got to know a bit about one another during the ride. Turns out she was also in healthcare, so we had lots to talk about – it also helped that Kendra was a natural model. Her 7-year-old daughter was right by my side taking photos and asking for pointers which I loved! In the end, it was a spontaneously fantastic afternoon that added a bit of beauty to the world.

This adventurous First Nations womxn explored the wilderness of BC

 

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A Breastfeeding Initiative – Vernon Public Health Unit

“Breastfeeding is always welcome here. A breastfeeding initiative.

Vernon Public Health Nursing in collaboration with Paulina O. Niechciał of Otylia Photography.”

I feel honoured to have my photos up at the Vernon Public Health Unit. Thanks to Jackie, one of the public health nurses for making this happen! What began as an invitation to join forces for the Breastfeeding Art Expo turned into this wonderful project! Real photos of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding moms around the clinic.

Hope you enjoy this little injection of beauty next time you take your kiddos in for a well baby visit, breastfeeding support or immunizations!

As always, thank you to the families in the photos 

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Mountain Love

Originally a coastal girl drawn to rainforests and tidal pools, I’ve come to love the mountains and their dramatic seasonal expressions.

I’ve been wanting to collaborate with Wearabouts Clothing Company at Silver Star Mountain for a while now, and it all came together for an autumn-inspired shoot with these two beautiful people.

The sky had been threatening rain all day, with ominous dark clouds rolling in just as we were about to get started. But, instead of rain, we were covered in bursts of snow making for some really fun October blizzard photos!

Thanks to Jessie Voss for her fabulous makeup skills! Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

Check out Wearabouts on Facebook and their Vernon page here.

And of course, a special thanks to Victoria and Jason – our beautiful neighbours 😘

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Kelowna Woodland Bridal Session

Such a pleasure to finally work with Sylvia Hajdu from Top Notch Art of Makeup! We had been talking about collaborating for a photoshoot for quite some time. Sylvia is a super talented makeup artist and really fun person to be around. Can’t wait for our next project together!

Thanks to Wild Ginger Floral Design for your GORGEOUS floral crown and Devon from DejaVu Model Management for your mad modelling skillz.

Makeup: Sylvia Hajdu of Top Notch Art of Makeup – Facebook | Instagram

Floral crown: Wild Ginger Floral Design – Facebook | Instagram

Model: Devon Nagle from DejaVu Model Management – Facebook | Instagram 

Dress: David’s Bridal

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GABRIELA & JURI | LOS ANGELES, CA | APRIL 2017

“I cannot say enough good things about Paulina. Hiring her as my wedding photographer was one of the best wedding decisions I made. I am very self conscious about being photographed but she made me so at ease throughout the whole process. At first, I wasn’t into the idea of doing an engagement photo shoot, but Paulina convinced us saying it would allow us to get comfortable being photographed by her before the wedding. We ended up spending an afternoon in Venice beach which turned out to be so much fun! Just before the wedding day, Paulina sent us the engagement shoot photos, and after seeing how beautiful and natural they looked I realized that our wedding photos were in great hands.

All of our photos look incredible and truly capture the atmosphere of our wedding day. I also love that Paulina listened to my concerns and found a perfect balance between posed pictures (which I don’t love but you inevitably have to do) and candid ones. Paulina’s beautiful work speaks for itself, but I also want to add that she is a wonderful person and just really fun to be around. Thank you so much Paulina, I love your work!”

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Gabriela + Juri | Los Angeles Engagement

Gabriela + Juri. Venice, California.

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Spring Mini Sessions – Okanagan Rail Trail Fundraiser

SPRING MINI SESSIONS! Here’s what you need to know:

What: Spring Photo Mini session for Mother’s Day (or just because)
Who: Maternity, Children, Couples, Families
When: Saturday, May 13th – Morning and Evening appointments will be available
Where: Beautiful Kalamalka Park (exact location TBA)
Why: Because a) We have just made Vernon our home! b) The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative is awesome and I want to support it, and c) I’d like to get to know more of you Vernon folks

$160 = 1 metre of trail. 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Rail Trail. All you have to do is make your $160 (or more) donation directly on the Okanagan Rail Trail website after March 31st, then email me your confirmation of donation and choose your time! This is your chance to be a part of the legacy (and get a tax receipt). In turn, I will volunteer my time for your 20 min mini photoshoot. You’ll choose 8 digital files from an online gallery with an option to purchase more!

Space is limited. Email: paulina@otyliaphotography.com for more info! 🚲

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Milk Bath

Makeup: Tanisha Langner | Hair: Christine Crawford | Model: Meghan

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