Okay, honesty time-I’ve fallen off the blogging band wagon. Like so far off I didn’t know if it would be possible to get back on–but today I am back and ready to stretch my blogging muscles.
Today on the blog is Jessa and Felipe’s Toronto Harbourfront engagement session.
Jessa is a flight attendant and between constantly flying and the time difference, we never had a chance for a client consultation before booking with me for her wedding. So Jessa booked me sight unseen (which I feel so honoured about because finding a wedding photographer is hard you guys! The amount of trust to book someone before you’ve even had a chance to chat with them face-to-face–honoured doesn’t even begin to cover it.). Jessa had found me on Instagram and especially loved a dear project that is very close to my heart that I started (the love project that I run on every Tuesday–message me for more info regarding that!).
We shot their engagement session at the end of February, and surprisingly the weeks leading up to their engagement session had been quite mild; however, on the actual day of their engagement session, it was freezing. Being right next to the water, the wind was blowing, by the end of the session, my hands were purple-y red and barely working any more. With all of that said, and despite the freezing temperatures, these two managed to enjoy their time together, soak up the moments and just be completely adorable. These two are so purely in love with each other. Having managed a long-distance relationship, they savor every moment given to them and even in the most freezing of winter days they keep smiling, loving, and blessing each other. Which is so special.
I’ve fallen so in love with each and every one of my couples that I joke that the tears are going to be free-falling all summer. Okay, it’s not a joke–it’s true. I’m okay with that. Thank Jesus for waterproof mascara, right!?
I look so forward to their June Hamilton wedding at the Lakeview. Stay tuned, you’ll be seeing some more of these cuties.
I met Dan and Paula earlier this year at their friends Allie and Caleb’s wedding. Dan was in the wedding party and both he and Paula led the worship during the ceremony (which was beautiful, and I may have teared up a few times because worship at weddings just gets me).
At our initial meeting, Paula and Dan knew exactly the kind of look they were hoping for: winter engagement photos amongst tall trees. After searching for a few spots, I found Valens Lake Conservation Area and instantly knew it would be stunning as a backdrop for some engagement photos. Valens Lake is breath-taking! One of the huge draws to it this year is that it has a 425 meter skate loop that literally skates through the forest. Upon finding it, I immediately sent it off as a suggestion to Paula and Dan in hopes they would love it as much as I did, and they did! The days leading up to their engagement session, we had no incoming snow. None. But lots of melting snow. The morning of their engagement session, I woke up to the most beautiful blanket of fluffy snow, the trees at Valens Lake looked like they had been painted with the most perfect snow and I said so many thank-you prayers to God because I knew He had a hand in painting them.
I shared part of their story earlier last week, but in case you haven’t seen it feel free to take a peek below:
Dan + Paula met in university while attending Lift Church. Dan had only seen Paula once or twice before he decided to walk up to Paula and suggest she should join the worship team. The two of them sang together on the worship team and would chat here and there but it wasn’t until Paula offered Dan a ride to worship team practice that they really began to develop a friendship. It didn’t take long for Dan to ask Paula to be his girlfriend on February 12th, 2015 (two days BEFORE Valentine’s Day since they both thought the idea of Valentines Day was lame).
Paula inspires Dan and pushes him to work hard towards what is important to him while Dan makes Paula giggle like crazy and brings out her carefree side. Hello match made in heaven!!
Together they love checking out awesome coffee shops, enjoying country concerts, giggling and playing music and worshipping together.
I’m so thrilled to be shooting their wedding later this May and feel blessed to witness their love story unfold.
Kathy and Ivan met at work. Being in different departments, it wasn’t clear to the two of them at first that they were meant to be together. They spent a couple of months getting to know each other day-by-day as friends. This friendship quickly developed into a spark of romance and they went on their first date in August, 2014. Their first date took place at the CNE in Toronto. As they walked the fair, they chatted interests and found out that they had a lot in common. For instance, a love of collecting toys! They shared giggles and learned more about each other, and even got to pet an alpaca! These two have been together 2 years, and Ivan knew without a doubt that Kathy was the one for him; so while in Greece on vacation he proposed (hello, super dreamy proposal!).
For their engagement session, we met at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Downtown Toronto and caught some magical light and beautiful fall colour. It was FAAA-REEZING the day we met, so it was definitely a recipe for lots of cuddles. But Ivan was up to the task and kept Kathy warm and giggling.
Kathy and Ivan, I can’t wait till your beautiful April wedding next year! Stay tuned, your gallery will be in your email tonight!
Courtney + Shayne are so sweet. You may remember Courtney from her portrait session I did just under a year ago. Courtney is the picture of beauty. Also, I’m obsessed with her doll-like eyes and skin. Porcelain, baby! She also runs a very successful beauty blog that helps girls embrace their inner and outer beauty while also helping you make the decisions of what products are best for you. She’s awesome, check her out! Shayne, her counterpart, is hilarious and all through out our sessions was making Courtney giggle either by making faces or making up christmas songs–he keeps her smiling which is so telling of their relationship!
The night we met was my birthday, and it was just the best because I had such a great day and got to finish the evening with these two doing what I love most!
To start, we met at Mulberry Coffeehouse which I’m declaring is the sweetest little coffeehouse on James Street North. The atmosphere is lovely and has cute details in the decor and great seating options. Our time at Mulberry was perfect because it was real life for these two as it is their favourite coffee spot and you can often find them there just talking and enjoying life together with coffee in hand.
From there, we finished our evening together at Dundurn Castle and it was stunning. So much pretty!! Dundurn Castle is a great spot for engagement photos as it has gorgeous grounds, offers a peaceful setting, as well as allows you to see lots of dogs walking through with their people (which made Shayne smile like crazy!). These two shared some cuddles and giggles here finishing off our perfect evening together.
Looking so forward to Courtney + Shayne’s vintage glam garden wedding next July! Stay tuned!
Morgan and Peter kicked off my 2016 wedding season and I was so excited to be a part of their special day. Morgan is the picture of class and beauty. If you don’t believe me, just take a peek at this gorgeous bride (also, she has had 3 babies which only seems to have made her all the more beautiful!).
Peter is Scottish; therefore, his heritage was a big part of the ceremony (which was so lovely!). After exchanging their rings, Morgan and Peter had the Scottish ceremony of handfasting as a part of their union. Handfasting is where the couple joins hands and a brightly coloured rope, cord or ribbon is wound around their joined hands as a symbol of their agreement to spend their lives together. which is literally where the saying “tying the knot’ comes from. Now ya know! So lovely! Between the Scottish tartan blankets on the back of their chairs, lots of Scotsmen in kilts, and professional bagpiping–there was lots of Scottish love going on through the day!
Their wedding and reception took place at Ruthven Park in Cayuga, which is actually where we also took their engagement photos. The beautiful old buildings and gorgeous grounds make it a great location for a wedding. Plus, having the wedding and reception in the same location is a great option as travel time between locations doesn’t eat up a large part of your day!
Congratulations, Morgan and Peter! It was a pleasure to witness your love!
Venue: Ruthven Park
Bride’s Hair: Corner Cuts
Bridesmaids Hair: Brea Hair Studio
Make-Up Artist: Studio C Essentials
Florists: Kayware Event Design and Decor
Videography: Handmade Productions
Caterering: The Binbrook Grill
When asked to do this shoot, I was so excited because the idea is so unique! You’ll quickly find out why! Meg wanted to capture her and her two best friends as they made a big cut in their lives. Literally. Meg, Jacqueline and Catherine have been friends for forever. The three of them had been growing their hair for a long time and were saving it to donate a ponytail to Angel Hair.(It’s a big thing for girls to get a hair cut–let alone to cut off over half of their hair). I mean, c’mon– actual angels. So sweet!
Angel Hair provides wigs and hair loss solutions for children in financially difficult situations who have lost their hair due to medical treatments. It takes 10-12 ponytails of hair to make one wig, so every little bit of donated hair helps!
We met at Salon Solis which has to be the cutest salon in Toronto! Located on Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, the salon has a beautiful front window that looks down on the street below (a people-watcher’s dream) and fantastic exposed brick walls that makes you want to just move in and never leave. The salon was so sweet and even offered the ladies free makeup services right after their haircuts just to make their day even more special! Thank you, Salon Solis for making this experience so warm and special!
Such a great way to capture memories and enjoy a special day together!
I have been waiting and waiting for snow. For those of you who are hating me right now and the fact that Canada has finally realized it is winter, keep in mind we didn’t get a white Christmas-this is the make up for that. Which I’m loving! I have been dying to get out there and take some snow photos and Shanelle and Graham kindly obliged. We met just before sunset, and while I was so hoping for a fantastic winter sunset, we definitely had more of a gradual loss of light–so these photos were done in about 15 minutes as it got dark just so quickly. The plight of being a natural light photographer! Even so, I think our 15 minutes together was perfect!
Graham and Shanelle are beautiful souls. Also, they are beautiful together.
Shanelle is a fellow photographer, she is a make-up artist, an SPCA volunteer as well as being a doggy-mommy. Graham is a fantastically successful comedian, also an SPCA volunteer and doggy daddy and all around really nice guy. Please check him out and what he does here!
The running joke is that these are engagement photos–simply because everyone is so used to seeing them with their dogs, or being silly together. Serious photos must mean they are engaged right? Sorry to disappoint, but these are love photos. Because photography doesn’t have to be for just the big moments in life, but just the moments.
Shanelle + Graham, you rocked!
The Wilson’s were just the sweetest family! Heather let me know that she was going to be staying in town with her whole family and wanted to get a family session together as it wasn’t too often that they were all together, and wanted to celebrate this special moment in their lives! I think the gift of memories is the best gift you can give someone (especially at Christmastime when we are given so many things we’ll never need or use), memories are a gift that leaves a lasting impact.
Anne + Dave are Mama and Papa, their daughters are Julia, Heather and Laura, all the gentlemen were their significant others and there was a sweet special appearance by Joel (Heather + Matt’s little man). Got that all down? Now take a peek at how gorgeous they are together!
For our time together, we went to Apps Mill here in Brantford as it offered a good amount of variety in terms of gorgeous spots! As far as winter mornings go, it does start to get a little drab and overcast as the winter goes on; however, we had the sun come out to play with us at just the right times! I have to say, this whole family truly loved, and I think it shows. The love between all of them is palpable, and the kind of love that makes your heart swell!
Thank you for choosing me, Wilson Family! It was a pleasure getting together with you!
Lately I find myself either realllllly excited about photography and what’s happening, or really discouraged and feeling like I am going no where. The only way to really calm my nerves about my wide-open future is through worship + prayer as I find it brings me back to focusing on what really matters, and forgetting my worries.
In my Bible study, I’ve lately found myself in John and today I came upon something that really made me think about how I see my current situation. This exchange takes place in John 12: 12-17. In this section, Jesus fulfills the prophecy written years before about him being a King who rides on a donkey. However, “His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.” The disciples saw Jesus riding on a donkey, but didn’t understand till later that he was fulfilling the prophecy.
Thinking back upon the events of my life, I can clearly now see God’s hand orchestrating me through the changes of life. Things that I couldn’t even plan. Things that in the moment felt like burdens, struggles, worries, setbacks. This past year has been busy, stressful, changing and new; however, in this past year my husband has finished teacher’s college, gotten a job, we’ve bought our first car, I started a business, and just recently we bought our first house. I can clearly see God’s hand on our family looking back, but why can’t I see it in the moment? Why can’t I realize that in those moments of desperation and worry over what our future holds, my heavenly Father was holding my hand the whole time and telling me not to worry. Why can’t I just trust him and know that He is taking care of us, and that the prophecy that he has over my life will come to pass? I don’t know what my Father has planned for my life, but I know it is beautiful. I don’t want to be someone who looks back and sees my heavenly Father being there with me after I have passed the struggle, I want to be someone who sees Him and feels Him in every moment of the struggle. And I’m ashamed to admit that in my moments of struggle, I’ve failed and worried and stressed over how things were going to come together. Knowing you are not alone often helps us so much to feel that we share a connective presence with someone else, that someone else can feel you, understand you and where you’re coming from and know your pain. I know my heavenly Father has so much more for me than worry and anxiety over these small matters in life.
With that said,
If I never have the money to buy a new lens, God is still good.
If I never get another chance to second shoot a wedding, God is still good.
If I never fulfill my dream of becoming a wedding photographer, God is still good.
If I don’t book another photography session again, God is still good.
*Edited to add*-I wrote this post yesterday as I was heading off to my night job of being a server, and hadn’t published it yet to the blog. As I was heading off to work, I got a possible second-shooting job for the end of the year and had the best night ever at work. God is still and always good.
November is here upon us, I can’t even believe how fast this year has flown by! I always say that you really don’t know how time flies until you have a little one and can look back on the past year with them in front of you and see how they’ve really changed. It just makes you realize so much more how the days are long, but the years are short. *Nostalgic moment over.* With that being said, I am one of those overly annoying people who gets so excited for Christmas at the start of November, I would pop out all the christmas music and decorations now if it wasn’t for the fact that they’re all packed up (see below). Here are my business and personal goals for the month of November!
- Styled Shoot Planning. I have so been wanting to get together a styled shoot, so as I’m starting to get into a slower season I figure now is the time to really start planning. Now when I say start planning, I truly mean just starting because at this point I don’t even have a vision in mind–so I’ll need to definitely figure that out first before I start lining up vendors and models. But I’m so excited for what the future holds!
- Second Shooting. Second Shooting. Second Shooting. I am still learning and trying to stick my neck out into the wedding world and would love to have more opportunities to second shoot and keep gaining experience. Ultimately, wedding + couple photography is what I want to do, and anything that can get me a little bit closer to that is the dream. I say this a lot, but I am blessed. And when I say that, I say it because I know it is not by my own personal hard work and desire to chase this dream that has gotten me where I am. Instead, it is my God behind me backing me up every step of the way and leading me to the things He has planned for me. I am blessed.
- Gym it up 5 times a week…or at least 3. In the middle of October, I became a gym member at Movati -and they told me that only 20% of people who get memberships use them. I want to be part of that 20%. As is clear from past blog posts, I’m all about chocolate and anything sweet–I’ve been trying to kick that! It’s not easy, but I want this. I always joke that I’m in pre-baby training, so that when I do decide to get pregnant again, I will be in good shape and have good habits going so that I don’t fall off of the bandwagon again. With my last pregnancy, I gained a lot of weight, ate terribly and had high-blood pressure at the end of my pregnancy which led to me being induced before my due date. For my next little one, I want to feel more in control of my body and be able to still eat healthy through my cravings, and I’m hoping making a lifestyle change now will help with that!
- Move in + Unpack. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! Everything was a whirl-wind, we saw the house on a Saturday, put the offer in by 3 o’clock and by 9 PM we had a house! Closing date isn’t till the end of the month, but because it’s currently uninhabited, we’re hoping we can maybe speed that up a little bit. Super excited. My parents have very graciously housed us in their basement for the last two years, and it is now time for us to move into the adult world where there are mortgage payments and insurance policies. Ooh boy. Big things coming this month, but to be able to move into our place before Christmas is so wonderful!
This month has a lot of big things going on, but I’m so excited about all of it! Enjoy your November! xx