The Truth?

I struggle when it comes to writing about myself. I find it challenging to sift through all the intricacies and complexities of what makes me who I am and translate it into words…but here is an attempt.

Born and raised in former Yugoslavia, the 90’s Balkan war brought my family to Canada. Prior to immigrating, my childhood was a labyrinth of the most peculiar moments and experiences and I hold onto those memories with love. My upbringing has ingrained in me the importance of creativity, self-expression, the beauty of human character and the importance of our individual stories, which is what I strive to portray wherever possible. My name means modest and humble and is pronounced C h e d n a.  I have lived a life of great adversity but it is precisely that which has taught me the value and importance of resilience, courage and perseveranceI am a lover of simplicity yet I consider myself a complex human. I am a highly conscientious individual and an altruist at heart and I try to be intentional and sincere about everything I do and say. Curiosity, empathy and appreciation of diversity allow me to connect with individuals from various walks of life as I search for what unites us in our experiences more than what divides us. I am inspired by vulnerability in others and am a meticulous observer of everything around me. I am a collage of my experiences and a collection of self-imposed challenges; constantly learning and experimenting, I consider change, challenge and failure fundamental to growth…My love of travel comes only second to my love of my family – they inspire me daily to strive to be a better human being than the one I was yesterday. 

I consider myself to be an old soul. I see life through a contemplative lens; I am highly introspective and am always reflecting about everything – the overthinking is also one of my greatest challenges. My favorite project in high-school was a research paper on ExistentialismAs a child I participated in and won competitions for beautiful penmanshipcreative reading and reciting page long poems by memory. I am terrible at small talk. I am an extroverted introvert. I will rather fail doing my own thing than follow trends or be influenced by what seemingly everyone else is doing.  In another life I would be Nina Simone. If I could chose a past era to live in, it would be the roaring 20’s. Ochre is my color. I love nothing more than a great conversation over dinner with friends and taking naps with my kids. I would give up all of my worldly possessions for a lifetime of scalp massages and the ability to spend just one more day with the loved ones I have lost. I am technically challenged and I also believe I was born without a single athletic gene in my body. I love to dance. I could live on bread, pizza and truffle risotto; I have never tried a hamburger in my life.  I am a collector of things and mementos, quotes from books, postcards from travels, birthday cards, handmade artwork, unique earrings and I still have a box of hand written letters (remember those?) from friends and family, which are over 28 years old. I believe there is always room for gestures of kindness, one more black and white photograph or ten or a hundred; old-fashioned romance, poetry and metaphors, getting lost in an unknown place, obscure fragrances, a healthy dose of sarcasm, red lipstick and great shoes. I am energized and inspired by travel where I can explore until my feet can carry me no more, places bustling with people, music, energy and life. My greatest fear in life is not fulfilling my potential as a human being; my greatest challenge currently is the art of consistently practicing gratefulness and intentional search for joyI am still learning about self-care & self-compassion and the importance of progress versus perfection. I don’t drink coffee and never have thus I am unable to speak to gourmet lattes or latest trendy coffee shops – you will however find me curious about where you come from, what you love to do, what scares you, what pushes you forward, what inspires you and what YOUR STORY IS…

Photography is an outlet I am most passionate about – engaging, ever evolving and always challenging my perspective in life and I am grateful that it allows me to connect with people, to share in their experiences and to convey my interpretation of their stories through the images I create.