Vannessa Brown is a professional birth, motherhood and family photographer specializing in the documentation of life’s “unplanned, unposed, and unexpected moments.” From a child opening its eyes for the very first time, to a father holding his wife and new baby beside the birthing pool, to a toddler gently cradling their new sibling on their lap, Vannessa is passionate about capturing the beautiful and fleeting moments of birth and life.
With an academic background in engineering, Vannessa began to explore photography when she was pregnant with her son, and it was her research on birthing that inspired her interest in birth photography. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Vannessa Brown Photography was officially launched in 2011, and after photographing her first birth in May 2012, Vannessa never looked back.
As a photographer, each experience brings with it its own unique demands – for periods of up to 5 weeks, she has to be available at a moments notice, and it can take up to 50 hours to properly document a single birthing experience.
Photo Credit: Vannessa Brown Photography
In the last 8 years, she has documented nearly 100 births in hospitals all across Edmonton, in birthing centres, operating rooms and midwifery clinics, as well as home births in bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms. “It is an honor,” she says, “I am so grateful and thankful to the families who trust me to be a part of these life-changing events.”
Much of her focus and creative approach has been informed by her own experience as a mother of two. From the moment of the actual birth, to the weeks and months after bringing a new child home, it is easy for special memories and moments to get lost among busy schedules and exhaustion. “You think as a mom, you’ll always remember, but you don’t,” she says, “it breaks my heart that I don’t remember all of the little things.”
According to Vannessa, it is common for clients to be on the fence regarding birth photography. However, having been on both sides of the camera herself, as both the photographer and the photographed, “It is worth it,” she states simply, “these are details that are unique to each family’s journey. They are priceless.”
In addition to birth photography, the packages offered by Vannessa Brown Photography include the Family Documentary Session, the Motherhood Session and the Family Mini Session, all specifically designed to capture life as it is. With a focus on real personalities and authentic family dynamics, Vannessa captures the moments you never knew you didn’t want to forget. Sessions can take place in your home or on location at a favorite local restaurant, park, or play area, creating real and lasting memories beyond the classic “Sunday best” family portraits.
To learn more about birth, motherhood and family photography by Vannessa Brown Photography, visit https://www.vannessabrown.com.
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The Alberta Sovereignty “Within A United Canada” Act has been introduced
Defending Albertans from Ottawa overreach
Alberta’s government has introduced proposed legislation to fight federal laws or policies that negatively affect Alberta’s interests.
If passed, the government will use the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act to stand up to federal government overreach and interference in areas of provincial jurisdiction, including in the areas of private property, natural resources, agriculture, firearms, regulation of the economy and delivery of heath, education and other social programs.
“Albertans are proud Canadians, and we love our nation dearly. The Canadian Constitution is clear that the federal and provincial governments are equals, each with our own areas of exclusive jurisdiction. The Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act will be used as a constitutional shield to protect Albertans from federal overreach that is costing Alberta’s economy billions of dollars each year in lost investment and is costing Alberta families untold jobs and opportunities.”
“Alberta’s government will use the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act to push back on federal legislation and policy that is unconstitutional or harmful to our province, our people and our economic prosperity. It is time to draw a line in the sand, as Albertans rightfully expect the federal government to respect the federal-provincial division of powers.”
If passed, the act will give Alberta a legislative framework to formally defend its provincial jurisdiction while fully respecting Indigenous and treaty rights, Canada’s Constitution and the courts.
Importantly, the act will not compel any private citizen or business to violate federal law, nor does this legislation involve anything related to separation from Canada.
In addition, Premier Danielle Smith has tasked her ministers with preparing a number of special resolutions under this proposed act for the spring legislative session to push back on several federal laws and policies that seek to:
- Regulate and control Alberta’s natural resources and economic development (i.e., Bill C-69).
- Penalize the province’s energy and agricultural sectors, including implementation of mandatory fertilizer cuts and arbitrary emissions reductions that would devastate Alberta’s economy.
- Control the delivery of health care, education and other social programs with strings-attached funding.
- Confiscate legally owned firearms.
- Interfere with the private property or charter rights of Albertans.
- Violate other sovereign areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction.
‘Ottawa is not our ruler’: Alberta government introduces sovereignty bill
By Dean Bennett in Edmonton
The Alberta government has introduced a bill that would grant Premier Danielle Smith and her cabinet broad powers to rewrite provincial laws behind closed doors in an effort to push back against Ottawa.
The proposed legislation would also allow cabinet to direct “provincial entities” — Crown-controlled organizations, municipalities, school boards, post-secondary schools, municipal police forces, regional health authorities and any social agency receiving provincial money — to not use provincial resources to enforce federal rules deemed harmful to Alberta’s interests.
“The Canadian Constitution is clear that the federal and provincial governments are equals, each with our own areas of exclusive jurisdiction,” Smith said in a statement Tuesday after her government introduced the Alberta sovereignty within a united Canada act.
“The (act) will be used as a constitutional shield to protect Albertans from federal overreach that is costing Alberta’s economy billions of dollars each year in lost investment and is costing Alberta families untold jobs and opportunities.”
In the bill, the United Conservative Party government promises to follow court rulings and the Constitution, but says it would be up to the federal government to sue the province to resolve disputes instead of the other way around.
Smith said if the bill passes, her government would use it as early as this spring to fight the federal government on a slew of issues, including energy development, agriculture, health care, education, firearms, child care, property rights and social programs.
It was the cornerstone of her successful campaign to win the leadership of the United Conservative Party last month to take over from Jason Kenney as premier.
The bill has been criticized by Kenney and even some of Smith’s leadership rivals — four of whom now sit in her cabinet — as a recipe for legal uncertainty, investment flight and the first step toward separation.
The bill was tabled after Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani read aloud in the chamber the speech from the throne, launching a new legislative session.
In the speech outlining government plans and priorities, Lakhani said the four-week fall sitting would focus on helping Albertans with inflation, health care and battling the federal government.
“Ottawa is not our ruler. Ottawa is our partner and it needs to begin acting like it,” Lakhani told the assembled legislature members and dignitaries.
The sovereignty bill sets out the framework to launch fights with the feds.
Under the bill, cabinet ministers or Smith would decide whether federal rules are harmful to Alberta. The bill does not give a legal definition of what constitutes harm.
Cabinet would then craft a resolution laying out the nature of the harm and steps that need to be taken to fight back. The 87-member legislature would vote on the resolution and if it gets a majority, the resolution passes and cabinet goes to work implementing it.
Cabinet can implement the resolution by using existing powers in legislation or it can unilaterally amend any provincial laws it deems applicable. Those laws are normally debated and passed in the legislature.
The bill says while cabinet can then direct any “provincial entity” to not enforce those federal laws or policies, it cannot do so with individuals or private businesses.
It also stresses that the bill cannot infringe on First Nations rights, a concern Alberta treaty chiefs have raised.
Any resolution passed by the assembly would expire after two years, unless the legislature votes to end it earlier. However, cabinet can extend orders and rules made under any resolution for a maximum of two extra years.
The window to fight the act in court in a judicial review is reduced from the normal six-month time frame to 30 days.
The Saskatchewan government introduced legislation with a similar aim last month, focusing on reinforcing provincial rights over natural resources.
Earlier Tuesday, Smith was sworn in as the new member for Brooks-Medicine Hat after winning a byelection for the seat earlier this month.
It was her first time back on the floor the legislature chamber since the spring of 2015.
At that time, Smith was with the Progressive Conservatives, having led a mass floor crossing of her Wildrose Party months earlier. She failed to win a nomination for the PCs in 2015 and returned to journalism as a radio talk-show host for six years.
Kenney remains a backbench UCP legislature member. He was not in the chamber for the throne speech or the introduction of the bill.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2022.
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