A Winter Engagement

Winter photo sessions are more rare than other seasons, which is a shame because they are so beautiful and so much fun to shoot. In the winter the world around you can be completely interacted with. Once you no longer look at snow as something to dislike, but rather something to play with, everything around you becomes a toy. These two completely love this side of the season and made full use of the fresh snow we were given. They had moments of goofiness, hilarity, tenderness, sweetness, and overall love; all of which were a pleasure for me to chase with my camera.

By ending our session with their favourite Starbucks drinks to warm up, we went from kids back to adults. (But, not fully, as Cobus had enough caramel, sugar and whipped cream on his “coffee” that I’m not sure I can consider it an adult drink) :)

Can’t wait for the wedding!

Some of my favs:

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Congrats, Dominique & Verónica

Continuing on weddings from 2014 which I did not make blog posts for but would have liked to is Dom and Verónica.

Dom, being from Italy, met Verónica, who is from Mexico, while the two of them were in an airport going to different locations. They saw one another from across the room  and had a connection. The rest is history!

My top five favourite things from this wedding:

1.) Languages. Dominque’s first language is Italian while Verónica’s is Spanish and they speak to each other in English. In addition to these three languages I also heard Parisian French, Quebecois French, Mandarin and Farsi among the attending guests. It was my first time directing a group by gestures and miming – and it worked out well!

2.) Verónica and her mother. Verónica was worried that her mother would not be able to make it to her wedding as the visa rules for her to visit Canada are very strict. Luckily, she did end up getting approved and was able to attend. These two share such a strong bond I can’t imagine how challenging it must be to live apart. Their love is absolutely beautiful.

3.) Chateau Laurier. All Fairmont hotels never ceases to amaze me and the Chateau Laurier is no different. It is such a timeless building with amazing grounds. There are some obvious photo spots within the building that I love to use, however there are so many nooks and crannies that I feel are not as often taken advantage of. It is in these unnoticed spaces where I get to really wander and be creative.

4.) Speeches for Everyone. Due to the fact that this was on the smaller end of weddings (less than 100 guests) Dom and Verónica were able to open the floor to anyone who wished to say a speech. I enjoyed seeing the microphone passed around and hearing how everyone loved and knew this wonderful couple. There were stories, jokes, crying and laughter.

5.) Love. Although Dom and Verónica are clearly in love (very clearly) I’m referring to the love for this couple by all who attended this wedding. I have never been to a wedding and been told over and over how loved the couple is, and how great the couple is,  as countless guests felt the need to come up to me simply to let me know. They were so happy to be there, so happy for Dominique and Verónica and so happy to witness this day. The fact that this couple are this loved really goes to show the type of people they are.

Some highlights:

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A Canadian Proposal

Canadiana, hockey, country and winter. These are things loved by this couple, and things which they wanted to incorporate in their winter engagement photos. From hot chocolate by the fire and cuddles with a newborn lamb, through to a walk in the woods and a game of pond hockey; this session was full of laughter and warmth. I love when photos can be personalized as they become that much more special, and that much more fun!

Here are some highlights:

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Congrats, Michelle & Brian!

As I spend the winter months catching up on things and finishing editing, I find myself reflecting on weddings from last year which I never had the time to blog about.

This wedding was held in the bright yellows of late October at Lago Bar and Grill on Dow’s Lake. It was so beautiful, not only because it celebrated the relationship of Brian and Michelle, but also because of the way it celebrated Family. Michelle’s father passed away due to cancer when she was a little girl, and while some might see this as a reason to mourn his presence on this important day in his daughter’s life, this family chose to honour him. His presence was felt throughout the entire day, from beginning to end, as I’m sure it is felt everyday in Michelle’s life.

My top five favourite things from this day:

1.) A greeting from the past. A very intense way to begin this day, Michelle received a card written by her father intended for her to open on her wedding day. This card was kept safe for Michelle all of these years without her knowing of it’s existence. Red Roses accompanied the card, and at her father’s request one was kept in Michelle’s bouquet for her to carry. Needless to say hearing directly from her father was a wonderful and magical moment I’m sure she could never forget.

2.) Black and White. Michelle and Brian looked sleek and elegant in their colour scheme of black and white. The men wore black and white tuxes while the ladies wore black lace and carried white roses. Everyone and everything looked so sharp, it was such a great and unique colour choice which only got better as we went outside for photos against the vibrance of the fall leaves.

3.) Pub Italia. After spending some time doing photos along the water and among the leaves, the three of us went down to Pub Italia in Little Italy where Brian and Michelle have great memories. After grabbing some photos of them, I left Brian and Michelle to sit alone together at the bar, decompress, and have a drink before heading back to begin their reception.

4.) First Dances. After Brian and Michelle’s beautiful first dance, Brian had a dance with his mother, and Michelle had a first dance with her mother and older brother; both of whom also walked her down the aisle. It was amazing to see how close this family is and how supported Michelle was on her day.

5.) Humour. From cake cutting to the speeches, dancing, and the peanut gallery during photos, this group definitely offered up the humour at every chance. Laughter is so important in every relationship; be it friendship, family, and especially marriage. I think these guys have figured this out early :)

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Congrats, Bronwyn & Justin!

Bronwyn and Justin’s wedding day was a perfect mix of outdoor country and urban city. They held the ceremony at Bronwyn’s Aunt’s farm while the reception was held downtown at the Ottawa Police Association, this mix of country and city perfectly embodied the two of them as a couple.

Top five favourite things from this wedding:

1.) Tattoos. I have always loved a bride with some ink. I love how people’s tattoos bring a new dimension of shape and colour to photographs. I can photograph bits and pieces of their body and sometimes make a portrait just as personal as a headshot. Bronwyn and her bridesmaids had some beautiful pieces which gave a unique juxtaposition to the country dresses and floral bouquets that adorned them.

2.) Rain. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to think it okay when a wedding gets rained on. Well, this year has brought a lot of precipitation and I have learned to see the positive in it. The rain creates this glorious foggy light that makes grass look more saturated in colour, air acts as it’s own light source, and skin has a dewy glow. Beautiful.

3.) Groomsmen and Groomswomen. Justin had such a laid-back and helpful group of people on his side who were so easy for me to work with. Going to photograph them getting ready I couldn’t believe how relaxed everyone was, video games on, music playing, slowly but surely getting dressed. Photos were a breeze.

4.) The Celebrant. Bronwyn and Justin’s very good friend, Julia, had the honour of marrying the couple on their wedding day. Julia is a part-time celebrant who specializes in making every ceremony personal to the couple whom she is marrying.This ceremony was extra special for her because she has known Bronwyn for decades. Their connection was apparent during the ceremony, making it all the more special. (julia_kiska@hotmail.com)

5.) Jeep. Bronwyn and Justin are huge Jeep fans, owning a silver Jeep themselves. They made sure to incorporate this unique interest in a few aspects of their wedding including their wedding cake. This cake was created by the talented Mandi of Auntie Loo’s Bakery and showed a scene of a Jeep doing a burnout, spraying mud (chocolate) up the side of an elegant three-tiered wedding cake adorned by delicate purple flowers. Delicious, and unique.

 

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Congrats, Peter & Jenn!

Peter and Jenn have a unique story. Peter is from Ireland and Jenn is from Canada, however, they met in Australia and now live in the US. They are both lovers and workers within marine biology, a detail which appeared in various forms throughout their wedding day at the Residence Inn Marriot in Kingston, Ontario. Their guests came from near and far, making this day the first time Jenn and Peter had all of their loved ones, with all of their various accents, under one roof.

My top five favourite things from their wedding:

1). The Irish. From crisps, to whiskey, to freckles and blazing green eyes, the Irish family and friends of Peter’s who came for this wedding were so much fun, I doubled over laughing many an occasion.

2). Recreating Family Photos. Peter’s family brought over an old photo album which contains a photo of little Pete and his brother, arm in arm with big grins on their faces. Now, all grown up, they insisted we re-make this photo, and with much laughter I think we succeeded very well!

3). Acceptance of Weather. The original plan was to hold the ceremony outdoors. Mother nature had another plan (as she has had many times this year) and decided to force the ceremony indoors. Jenn, Peter and all of their guests couldn’t have been less-phased. At the end of the day what matters, and what one remembers about a wedding ceremony, is how they feel.

4). Photo Locations. Wandering the city of Kingston I found every corner to be a spot for photographs. We utilized the waterfront of course, as well as the back of buildings, the openings of parking garages,  a quick dance in front of a local busker, and a minute for a Guinness at the Tir Nan Og Irish pub. I swear, if you leave it in my hands I can find anywhere a beautiful spot to stop!

5). Peter and his siblings. Pete, his brother, and his sister live in various locations across the globe. On this wedding day they were able to reconnect as if not a day had passed. The three of them reverted to being little kids; reminiscing, teasing and laughing endlessly.

Runner Up). Pizza Bar! Late night pizza bar is everything wonderful in the world.

Here are some of my favourite pics:

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Alina & Jon are Engaged

For their first date, Jon nervously packed a picnic, picked up his date Alina, and brought her to Parc Omega for the afternoon.

This day marks the very first moments of love between the two as this location became a place of fond memories for them.
In anticipation of Jon and Alina’s upcoming summer wedding we decided to hold their engagement photos at the place where their sparks first flew. Jon felt nostalgic packing a picnic basket of sweets, champagne, and berries, as the beautiful autumn light and colours allowed me to just stand back and capture the love.

I cannot wait for the wedding!

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