A Date Over Butter Beers…

For my best friend Katie’s birthday, her partner of thirteen years gave her the ultimate gift; he decided to plan a day which surrounded her long held love for all things Harry Potter. He surprised her with tickets to “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert with the NAC Orchestra” here in Ottawa, official uniforms from their two favourite HP houses – Hufflepuff and Slytherin – wands, and even looked into renting an owl for the afternoon! (Turns out, not so easy, nor so cheap.)

Even though he is not necessarily the biggest HP fan, and also not the guy to usually dress up in costumes and hit the town, he had only Katie in mind when he planned this magical day. Dressed in their official Hogwarts uniforms, their wizardly fun began and I got to photograph their adventure!

As adults, we far too often stifle our inner childhood imaginations. Themed shoots can be a fun way to let your imagination take charge and run wild!

On a personal side note: Katie was one of the first people I ever did a portrait session with at the young age of 11 (eleven!) years old when I was first bit with the photo-bug. I will never tire of having her in front of my lens.

Big Thanks to Pub Italia on Preston, and to the locals who never seem to bat an eye when the resident Ottawa natives get strange. 🙂

Enjoy these snaps of endless laughs and enchantment!

Kaja Tirrul Photography
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Celebrating 2018

Two Thousand and Eighteen. What an amazing year! We witnessed love in all of it’s forms; connection, change, joy, family. That last one – family – holds endless meaning as this word can be defined in countless ways. No matter the form, we captured, and were a part of what family means to so many.
Not a day goes by that I, Kaja, am not full of gratitude to everyone who lets us come into their lives, their private moments, their homes, their hearts, all in order to help create their visual history. How unbelievably amazing!
On a personal note, I saw some changes of my own this year as my husband and I moved back to Ottawa from the Toronto area. This brought about it’s own obstacles and challenges, yet my clients and my camera continued to give further purpose and meaning to my life. Every single client becomes a person who shows me that the world and people are indeed inherently good. We are all looking for the same thing – Love, purpose, understanding. It is found all around us, whether it be through parents, siblings, friends, children, pets, partners and sometimes even strangers.
During the year of 2018 we photographed connections and celebrations in a flurry of passport stamps and odometer clicks on my beloved red Mazda. Globe-dotted celebratory locations included: Hawaii, Mexico, Vermont, the Dominican Republic, Oshawa, Toronto, Port Perry, Montreal, Ottawa and of course all of the beautiful Ontario locations in-between. This life is a beautiful one (even when it feels like it isn’t). I am sending out an eternal Thank You to everyone who supports Jack Loves Mary Photography.
Here is a small sample of some of my favourite images from 2018:

001-Before & After_01002-C&K-Portraits_089_Web Size003-Boyd Fam_09-28-2018_07004-C&K-Portraits_066_Web Size005-D&L-Portraits_83_Web Size005b-JD&Curtis_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-12006-04_Jenna & Trevor Are Engaged-21 sm007-C&K-Reception_089_Web Size009-M&P-Mercedes Getting Ready_120_WebSize011-Drew & Louise Are Engaged-04012-G&J-Celebrate_134_Web Size013-L&C-Ceremony_094-Web Size014-G&J-Jennifer Getting Ready_20_Web Size015-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_184_Web Size016-G&J-Reception_013_Web Size017-G&J-Reception_068_Web Size019-J&R_Dinner & Speeches-093_Web Size020-Jenna & Trevor Are Engaged-57 sm021-L&C-Ceremony_25_Web Size022-Dan&Isabelle_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-10023-L&C-Curtis Getting Ready_089-Web Size025-J&R_Portraits-113_Web Size026-M&P-Mermaids_38027-L&C-Portraits_076-Web Size028-Baby Hayes_08029-Baby Stella_37030-M&K-Ceremony-027_Web Size031-M&A-Ceremony_040_Web Size032-M&K-Ceremony_120_websize033-J&R_Portraits-017_Web Size034-L&C-Dinner & Speeches_090_Web Size035-Drew & Louise Are Engaged-58036-M&P-Ceremony_024_WebSize037-M&P-Ceremony_071_WebSize038-M&K-First Look-17_Web Size039-M&K-Kelly Getting Ready_065_WebSize040-M&P-Mercedes Getting Ready_077_WebSize041-M&K-Madison Getting Ready-104_Web Size042-M&P-Mercedes Getting Ready_105_WebSize043-M&K-Portraits_007_WebSize044-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_163_Web Size045-M&K-Kelly Getting Ready_055_WebSize046-L&C-Lyara Getting Ready_001-Web Size047-M&P-Mercedes Getting Ready_066_WebSize048-M&P-Mercedes Getting Ready_056_WebSize049-L&C-Lyara Getting Ready_092-Web Size050-M&K-Portraits_109_WebSize051-M&A-Portraits_104_Web Size052-L&C-Lyara Getting Ready_175-Web Size053-M&K-Portraits_066_websize054-M&K-Portraits_081_WebSize055-C&K-Portraits_127_Web Size056-G&J-Cocktails & Details_04_Web Size058-G&J-Cocktails & Details_48_Web Size059-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_108_Web Size060-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_111_Web Size061-M&A-Dinner & Speeches_034_Web Size062-M&K-Dinner & Speeches-036_Web Size063-M&A-Dinner & Speeches_105_Web Size064-M&K-Celebrate_04_WebSize065-L&C-Party_024-Web Size066-M&K-Celebrate_83_WebSize067-C&K-Reception_128_Web Size068-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_156_Web Size069-J&R_Portraits-048_Web Size070-Maggie&Cedric_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-04P&I-Wedding Day-Sunset_06_Web Size071-Happy 1st Birthday Brynn Everleigh-44072-Waiting for Baby_08-23-2018_16073-Before & After_4074-G&J-Just Married_14_Web Size075-M&A-Portraits_016_Web Size076-M&A-Portraits_118_Web Size077-M&K-Portraits_013_WebSize078-M&K-Portraits_088_websize079-G&J-Ceremony_094_Web Size080-J&R_Portraits-101_Web Size081-L&C-Portraits_064-Web Size082-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_180_Web Size083-L&C-Portraits_56_Web Size084-L&C-Trash the Dress_043-Web Size085-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_121_Web Size086-M&A-Ceremony_017_Web Size087-M&A-Portraits_009_Web Size088-M&P-Mercedes Getting Ready_158_WebSize089-L&C-Trash the Dress_055-Web Size090-G&J-Portraits & Walkabout_043_Web Size091-M&P-Reception_068_WebSize092-M&P-Reception_076_WebSize093-Mo & Jo_Ceremony & Reception-202_Web Size094-L&C-Reception_107-Web Size095-Mike & Brittany Are Engaged-21096-M&P-Portraits_039_WebSize097-Mike&Mel_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-24098-Mo & Jo_Portraits-20_Web Size099-Mo & Jo_Portraits-52_Web Size100-Mike & Brittany Are Engaged-10101-Nicolas&Natalie_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-21102-Nicolas&Natalie_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-16103-L&C-Trash the Dress_011-Web Size104-M&P-Mermaids_26105-M&A-Portraits_030_Web Size106-Vincent&Kim_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-04107-M&P-Portraits_029_WebSize108-Waiting for Baby-12_websize109-Nara_Waiting for Baby-22_websize110-Waiting for Baby_08-23-2018_53111-M&P-Group Portraits_46_WebSize112-L&C-Trash the Dress_085-Web Size113-M&P-Mermaids_18114-Marc&Amanda_JackLovesMary_Mexico18-23115-L&C-Portraits_090-Web Size116-M&P-Portraits_034_WebSize117-Mike & Brittany Are Engaged-77118-Mike & Brittany Are Engaged-82119-Waiting for Baby_08-23-2018_18120-Welcome Baby Garrett-64

Congrats, Mila & Conor!

Mila and Conor had a fun, yet laid-back wedding day starting at their gorgeous home in Wakefield and ending at St.Stefan’s Serbian Orthodox Church and Centre in Ottawa.

Here are my top five favourite things from their wedding day:

1.) Blending Families. I don’t think it would be a common phrase; “Serbians are so much like the Irish.” However these two families and groups of friends have blended to the point that, aside from the accents, it’s hard to tell who is from Conor’s family, and who is from Mila’s. The group as a whole really had one goal in mind on Conor and Mila’s wedding day – and that was to celebrate Conor and Mila. (and to dance of course!)

2.) Surprise Irish Dance. By now you may have picked up on the fact that I love surprises. Maybe that’s because as a photographer, I love reactions! When Conor, his mother, and his sister came out to do a surprise Celtic dance, the crowd (and myself) reacted like the Lord of the Dance himself has just came in! Conor’s grandfather, by far, had the best reaction as he was so touched and excited to see this jig.

3.) Photos at Home. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: I can take wedding portraits anywhere. Give me some light, and a couple in love, and we are good to go. Mila and Conor are not ones for big productions, and didn’t want to go crazy on the bridal portraits. After we had plans to venture out to a traditional public space to do photos, I mentioned to Mila that their home, and their property, was much better. How perfect to do your wedding photos in the space that you share as a couple? Their beautiful home in Wakefield served as the perfect backdrop as I casually snuck photos of them, you know, just being in love.

4.) Tradition. Being from a Serbian family, Mila knew some things needed to be traditional. The ceremony, for example, was true to tradition, as was the Serbian band, the hip flask (buklija) was a staple, the pinning of the rosemary, and, of course, the delicious Serbian meal. One thing Mila was not expecting was for Conor to surprise her with yet another tradition. (Did I mention I love surprises?) He built Mila a flower arch which he waited for her underneath – and as old meets new, “buying of the bride” meets modern “first look” – it was perfect, and Mila’s face was priceless.

5.) Dancing and dancing, and more dancing. Before dinner was served, before family photos had begun, even before hair and makeup was anywhere near complete – there was dancing. Dancing to no music, dancing and singing, dancing to only the sound of the everpresent tambourine – this crew never stopped moving, and it was all kinds of fun!

Here are a few of my favourite photos and moments:

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Congrats, Alisha & Bryan!

Alisha and Bryan had a relaxed wedding day with family and friends who joined them from around the world.

My top five favourite things from this day:

1.) Make Your Own Rules. Alisha and Bryan didn’t have a wedding party as they wanted everyone in attendance on an equal level. I love when couples do what feels right to them, whatever the reason may be. There are no real “rules” to wedding planning, the most important thing is to make it true to who you are as a couple.

2.) Bride and Groom gifts. You can tell a couple is meant to be when they give one another seemingly random gifts (painting of a cat and Ancestry DNA Kit) which they, in turn, absolutely looove!

3.) Celebrant. Alisha and Bryan didn’t want a long ceremony, and it was important to them to have someone who they love marry them. In the end, this made their intimate ceremony that much more special to them.

4.) Pizza. Need I say more? Alisha and Bryan had Ottawa’s “Mobile Pizza All’Antica” food truck come to Orange Art Gallery to make delicious gourmet wood-fired pizzas onsite. I cannot describe how incredible these pizzas were, in the end, everyone at this wedding was FULL… yet, still found room for one more slice.

5.)  Photo Walkabout. Alisha and Bryan love graffiti and urban settings, so we planned to have a quick walk through some local Ottawa neighbourhoods after they said I do. We stopped when the graffiti and the light was right and it was so much fun to chase them through the city.

Here are some highlights from the day:

04-A&B-Getting Ready_0705-A&B-Getting Ready_1106-A&B-Getting Ready_1407-A&B-Getting Ready_1608-A&B-Getting Ready_2309-A&B-Getting Ready_3910-A&B-Getting Ready_4311-A&B-Getting Ready_5612-A&B-Getting Ready_5513-A&B-Getting Ready_64A&B-First Look & Ceremony_0114-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_0315-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_0716-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_0617-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_1618-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_2419-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_2320-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_3121-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_3222-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_4123-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_5224-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_5625-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_6426-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_7127-A&B-First Look & Ceremony_7528-A&B-Portraits_00629-A&B-Portraits_02330-A&B-Portraits_02531-A&B-Portraits_03132-A&B-Portraits_03237-A&B-Portraits_05038-A&B-Portraits_05735-A&B-Portraits_04336-A&B-Portraits_04439-A&B-Portraits_06341-A&B-Portraits_064A&B-Portraits_06842-A&B-Portraits_07543-A&B-Portraits_07944-A&B-Portraits_08145-A&B-Portraits_09646-A&B-Portraits_09047-A&B-Portraits_08448-A&B-Portraits_06549-A&B-Portraits_09750-A&B-Portraits_09851-A&B-Portraits_09452-A&B-Portraits_07756-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_03654-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_02353-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_00455-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_03857-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_04658-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_04959-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_04560-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_01561-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_05362-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_05863-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_06464-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_09165-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_09666-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_09767-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_06968-A&B-Portraits_01869-A&B-Speeches_1870-A&B-Speeches_1971-A&B-Speeches_4872-A&B-Speeches_7273-A&B-Speeches_6574-A&B-Speeches_5875-A&B-Party_5176-A&B-Party_1377-A&B-Party_4178-A&B-Party_7779-A&B-Party_5780-A&B-Party_6782-A&B-Party_8283-A&B-Party_8384-A&B-Cocktails, Details & Mingles_106

Congrats, Samantha & Dylan!

Not all weddings come in large packages. When Sammi and Dylan decided to get married they knew just how they wanted their wedding day to be: personal, intimate, spiritual and warm. So on a Tuesday afternoon in the backyard of Sammi’s mother’s home, they stood in a sacred circle and were married by Dylan’s mother. Witnessed by close family and friends, their ceremony was followed by a delicious lunch catered by Strawberry Blonde Bakery, barefoot dances in the grass, words of well wishes from all in attendance, and of course, so much love!

After saying “I do” and being covered in glitter by their guests, we took a quick walk around the block to snap some portraits of the happy couple.

Here are some of my favourite photos from their day:

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Congrats, Nara & Andrew!

Andrew and Nara’s wedding day was just like them; welcoming, warm, fun, creative and full of music.

Top favourite things from their wedding day:

1.) Music & Dance. Music and dance are a huge part of Nara and Andrew’s lives, individually and as a couple. Nara said to me “Every musician you see on our wedding day we know and love” and this could not have been more true. Bagpipe players, fiddlers (young and old), guitarists, accordion players – this beautiful live music was prevalent throughout their day, and the dancing, of course, easily followed.

2.) Bride & Groom Fashion. Andrew in a Munro plaid kilt, sporran, kilt pin, tie, hose & brogues. Nara in a long-sleeved vintage lace gown, beaded belt, veil and red lip. They each brought their personal style to their wedding day, and as a couple looked simply amazing together.

3.) Rides. Nara and Andrew love vintage automobiles, which showed throughout their wedding day.  Andrew arranged for a friend’s vintage car, one which Nara loved, to pick her and her dad up for the ceremony. Andrew drove their old Firebird to the ceremony, and this also served as the “Just Married” car for Nara and Andrew. Aside from cars, Andrew is also a Harley Davidson fan and I was asked ahead of time about the possibility of doing photos with his Harley. Of course, I said “YES!”

4.) Photo Locations. When thinking of where to do their photos, we didn’t have to stray far from where this couple call home. Andrew and Nara live down a sun-speckled dirt road that they just love, with farmers fields and trees along either side. We had a relaxed wander around the area, snapping photos as we all walked. Natural, easy and fun 🙂

5.) DIY.  Nara and Andrew being so creative themselves, it’s no surprise that their circle of friends and family are chalk full of talent as well! Andrew’s mother did every last bit of decor for this wedding day, turning an empty reception hall into a homey space, filled with vintage details and beautiful personal touches. Nara being no stranger to doing hair and makeup for dance competitions did her own 40’s inspired look. The bridesmaid’s made their own bouquets of red roses, and Nara even made the party favours; a family recipe of shortbread cookies.

Some highlights from their day:

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Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers, step-fathers, uncles, missed-fathers, grand-fathers, god-fathers, fathers-to-be, and any special men in your life who play a great role.

Some snaps from the past year to celebrate these wonderful relationships:

Welcome Baby Ethan_2017-06-13_04
01-01_A&J_Aleah Getting Ready-15302-02_Alexandria Maternity-April 2017_0703-03_A&M-Family_3504-04_Oscar & Friends_2016-06-22_057Boyd Family-2016_1606-06_Baby Sebastian-4607-07_C&M_Ceremony-12908-08_A&P-Ceremony_15709-09_C&M_Chris Getting Ready-3010-10_Carnegie Family_02411-11_Baby Beau_4312-12_Cassidy Family_4513-13_A&J_Reception-00514-14_M&A_Ceremony-02515-17_A&M-Ceremony_01416-16_J&M_Ceremony-03217-19_OliveYou_00822-21_Vincent Family_2419-18_M&K-Cocktails & Dinner_04820-23_Welcome Baby Brynn-7121-20_Smith Family 2017-2123-24_Welcome Baby Charlotte-6924-39_Welcome Baby Brynn-8425-22_Waiting for Baby H_May2017-7726-25_Welcome Baby Henry_4527-26_D&D_Ceremony-04228-27_M&K-Ceremony_13029-28_A&M-Reception_12530-30_N&J-Reception_07