Photography Blog

  • Protected: Fall portraits at James Gardens

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  • Family of Four Fall portraits

    I was delighted when Lara asked me if I was available to photograph her family of four this fall.  We moved from Etobicoke to Toronto over the past few months and she was the first person to find me on my new Google Maps listing!  We decided on James Gardens for these portraits as it is my favourite place for fall photos, since it is very big with many options, beautifully landscaped and the fall colours are spectacular there this time of year.  Turns out Lara also likes to go for walks there and she introduced me to a new (to me) part of the park.

    I was also very happy to be contacted by Lara, because I get a lot more family portrait inquiries for families with young children than I do for families with teens, but I think it is equally important to freeze those teen years.  They are both 16 years old and I think that is a great age to capture.

    Thanks again for having me do your family portraits!

    Family of four

    Family of four at James Gardens.

    Family of four in front of sumac tree

    Family of four in front of the red sumac tree.

    Fall family portraits in a ravine

    Lara introduced me to this part of the park, which featured a ravine.

    Fall Family Portraits 3

    We were walking down this path, looking for our next spot and I realized this was it!

    Fall family portraits 5

    I love being able to use a tree as a posing prop.

    Fall couples portrait

    It’s funny how couples usually only think to get this type of photo taken for their wedding or engagement photos. I like to incorporate a few romantics into family photo sessions too.

    Romantic fall photo

    Romantic fall photo.

    Mother daughter photo

    Mother and daughter.

    Father son photo

    Father and son

     

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  • James Gardens Family Portraits

    I was delighted when Phil contacted me to take his family portraits this fall. Phil has gotten really into photography himself and I have seen many fantastic photos he has posted of his family.  He wanted me to capture his ‘white whale’ which was a good photo of the four of them.  The other ‘want’ was a photo of the kids looking good together.  For families with very young children, my advice is to go for candids. I did get some nice family portraits of the four of them!

    This photo session actually took place the day after the one I posted yesterday, but it was a sunny day, so it almost looks like they took place in two different locations.

    My husband has known Phil since 2002 and I met him shortly after we got married and I moved to Waterloo in 2005.  We didn’t live there very long as Phil got a job in Toronto, Vu wanted to come to Toronto and shortly thereafter, they were working at the same company downtown!  We used to go to concerts together at The Starlight together and then we went to Sneaky Dee’s or The Rivoli. Phil introduced us to By Divine Right.

    I photographed Phil and Yi’s wedding at Sunnyside Pavilion way back in 2009! 11 years and two kids later, here we are.

    Romantic photo at James Gardens. Family portraits at James Gardens.

    Romantic photo at James Gardens.

    Couples photo, man lifting up woman

    Recreating their wedding photo, which is still on my business card!

    Family Portraits at James Gardens

    Family of four at James Gardens.

    A fun place to take photos

    A fun place to take photos.

    Sibling photo #1

    Sibling photo #1.

    Dawn was happy to let her brother squeeze her cheeks. Family portraits.

    Dawn was happy to let her brother squeeze her cheeks. She definitely looks up to him, even if he loves her too much sometimes.

    Happy siblings. Family portraits in the leaves.

    Happy siblings.

    Siblings playing in the leaves. Family portraits.

    Playing in the leaves

    Sharing a popsicle. Family portraits.

    She had her own ice cream, but she still wanted some of her brother’s popsicle and he was happy to share.

     

     

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  • Socially Distanced Outdoor Newborn Session | Etobicoke

    I met Sarah, Mike and Jackson doing Jackson’s newborn photos. They came in for my Baby Plan, which was 4 sessions over the course of 1 year and it was super fascinating watching him go from easygoing, relaxed, sleepy newborn to super active toddler.
    Sarah texted me about a month ago, telling me she had another baby (!) and asking if I was doing newborn photos given the strange circumstances of this time. I am only doing outdoor sessions for now, so we looked at the weather, picked the nicest day and did them in her parents backyard.  I put on a mask, stayed 6 feet away and asked them to pose baby Charlotte.  She looks just like her brother did when he was her age!

    Sometimes Sarah and Jackson joined us for lunch at The Palais Royale on Wednesdays, but she often sent me a text that she wouldn’t be able to make it because he just started his nap and it almost always lasted 3 hours! I am glad they were able to join us when they could. I wonder if Charlotte will be like her brother and also take 3 hour naps.

    Sleeping newborn

    Sarah insisted on the bow so they would be able to tell Charlotte and Jackson’s baby photos apart.

     

    Charlotte getting some sun

    Charlotte getting some sun.

    Sweet newborn with open eyes

    Sweet newborn with open eyes.

    This is Charlotte’s big brother, Jackson when he was around her age. Do you think you could tell them apart?

    Sarah holding baby Charlotte

    Sarah holding Charlotte.

    Sarah holding Charlotte #2. I couldn't decide between those two photos.

    Another sweet photo of Sarah holding Charlotte.

    Mike holding Charlotte

    Mike and Charlotte.

    Big brother and his dumptruck

    Jackson and the dump truck that belonged to his uncle when he was a little boy.

    Motherhood

    Motherhood is all about multi-tasking.

    Jackson and his baby sister

    Jackson needed a little help holding Charlotte.

    First portrait with mom and dad

    First portrait with mom and dad

    Family of 4

    Family of 4.

    Three generations

    Three generations.

    Congratulations on adding baby Charlotte to your family! Thank you also for trying something new with our outdoor newborn session.

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  • Happy Earth Day!

    Today is the 50th anniversary Earth Day.

    What are you doing for Earth Day?

    Did you learn about bees by clicking on Google’s Doodle today?

    Here are a few fun facts about honey bees:
    Honey bees fly at around 25KM per hour and flap their wings 200 times a minute!
    The queen bee can live up to 5 years, whereas the worker bees only live an average of 5-6 weeks, during which she will produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.
    In some areas, up to 90% of colonies have disappeared. Nobody knows why, but they call it colony collapse disorder.
    They are attracted to plants with lots of nectar, like lavender and bluebells, so plant those if you want to attract them. Also, buy local honey.

    Source: National Geographic KidsToday, we are eating vegetarian meals all day.  Here are the environmental advantages of eating vegetarian:

    Environment

    Even if you don’t go veggie, cutting back on meat helps.  We are going to have Real Food for Real Kid‘s chickpea chowder for dinner.  We have been ordering from them throughout the pandemic. Ordering local and supporting small businesses is another great thing to do for the earth.  I also order my prints and albums from Fotobox, which is a local professional lab.

    Also, check out my friend Jannis’ fashion design company  Olio Eco Clothing. My mom bought me one of her pieces about a decade ago and I still wear it regularly (along with other pieces I have purchased from her).

    Of course, we are not planning on driving today either! The 5 of us are currently living in an 800 square foot condo, which is environmentally better than living in a large space (but not quite as practical). My mom sold her house, we sold ours and we are moving into one together, so that will reduce our combined emissions significantly too.

    Here are some great Earth Day learning activities from the Toronto Conservation Authority.

    At Home With Nature: TRCA e-Learning

    Here is the official Earth Day website:

    Homepage

    Here is a composite photo of my daughter with the world in her eyes.

    World Photo Credit:

    Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

    world, earth day, earth in eye, world view, seeing the world, portrait, 12 year old

    Seeing the world

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  • Westover Inn Wedding in St. Mary’s

    Courtney and Riley were married at the beautiful Westover Inn, in St. Mary’s, ON. Although they both live in Toronto, Riley grew up in St. Mary’s.

    I met Courtney and Riley a few years ago at the home of our mutual friends.  Shortly after that, they offered to babysit our kids (!) and it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

    Courtney and Riley met each other at karaoke and he was smitten when she sang a Rush song.

    They have made for an incredible couple ever since, with Courtney constantly going for (and achieving) every goal she sets her mind to and Riley being inspired by her and going for his.  As you can see from the photos, they also make each other smile.

    Riley is a percussionist who now often plays with the Chris Antonik band (as well as many others) and Courtney is a woman of so many talents I don’t even know where to start. She just completed her camera trainee program but has already worked as a best girl (in the film industry), artist, musician, etc.

    I am so honoured they asked me to photograph their wedding. I know they were a bit unsure of what to do, because my husband I were also invited as guests, but I love being the photographer too because I get to be with the couple (in this case, already friends), for the whole day!  The best part of being a wedding photographer is being able to go behind the scenes with them on the most important day of their lives so far.

    Courtney’s best man Stefan Kuchar, runs the Sudden Impulse Film Festival. It is happening again on the 21 of September (this Saturday), so grab your tickets now! Live music and short, local films.  I will be attending for the third time on Saturday.  Courtney and Riley have a short film in this year’s festival. I can’t wait to see it!

    You can check out their band here: https://www.facebook.com/CRExtraordinaire/

    St. Mary's wedding, wedding in St. Mary's, getting ready

    Salon.

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    Putting on the suits.

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    Working on her speech

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    Wedding gown at the Westover Inn

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    Beautiful bride

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    Westover Inn outdoor wedding venue

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    Walking the path to marriage

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    Mom walking daughter down the aisle

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    First hugs during ceremony

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    About to be married

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    Wedding ceremony at Westover Inn

    Wedding ceremony at Westover Inn

    The reading

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    Before the ring exchange

    Wedding ceremony at Westover Inn

    First kiss

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    Signing the registry

     

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    Married!

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    Wedding guests after the ceremony

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    Beautiful bride

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    The newlyweds!

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    Courtney and Riley

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    Sisters!

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    Man of honour

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    Groomsmen

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    Wedding party at the Westover Inn

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    Candid moment

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    Courtney’s family

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    Riley’s family and Courtney and Riley in front of the Westover Inn

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    Courtney and Riley’s family

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    Walking towards the Westover Inn

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    Mingling before the reception

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    Blair and Arnold

     

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    Seated guests waiting for the reception to begin

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    The newlyweds!

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    Reacting to a speech

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    Riley’s mom 

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    Courtney and Riley’s speech

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    Happy guests

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    First dance

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    First dance

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    First dance and cake cutting

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    Cake eating.

     

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    Riley’s old heavy rock band and associates

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    Courtney’s karaoke friends

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    Relatives who came from far away.

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    Stepfather and daughter dance

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    Mother and son dance

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    End of the dance

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    Bridal bouquet toss

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    Bouquet catch

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    Obtaining the garter

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    Garter toss

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    Nice catch!

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    Reception dance

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    Stefan getting down.

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    Ally and Nick.

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    Donna and friends.

    Courtney and Riley were very glad they ordered the biggest tent with the largest dance floor, because as you can see, their friends love to dance!  Their friend Saiorse Morgan did a fantastic job DJing and keeping the party going until the very end. Courtney met her at karaoke and it was her first, but I am sure not last, time DJing a wedding.

    Thanks again for having us at your incredible wedding, Courtney and Riley!  I can’t wait to hear what your next adventure will bring, but first we look forward to your film in the Sudden Impulse Film Festival!

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Jade and Philip’s King Riding Golf Club Wedding

    King Riding Golf Club recommended me to Jade and Philip and I am so glad they did, because they are beautiful people both outside and in.  Every time Jade and I talked before the wedding, we talked about all kinds of things like traveling, Harry Potter, Disney and dogs.  They have dogs (of course), she works at two vet clinics and in the speeches there was talk of how when Philip was in high school, he saw a stray dog and pulled over to rescue it, managing to do so even though it was growling at him.  Jade and Philip met through mutual friends in high school and everyone was waiting for this day to happen!  My streak of only photographing couples in great weather continued for them as it poured rain before we went outside and was warm and beautiful for the rest of the day, thank goodness, because the ceremony was outdoors!

     

    Groom feeding the geese

    You know it is a true Canadian wedding when the geese are the first to arrive.

    Groom and groomsmen making sure their hair is perfect.

    Help with the tie.

    Bride getting ready.

    Both moms helping with the dress.

    Outdoor wedding ceremony at King Riding Golf Club.

    Outdoor wedding ceremony at King Riding Golf Club.

    Outdoor wedding ceremony at King Riding Golf Club.

    Groom walking mom down aisle.

    Dad walking daughter down the aisle at King Riding Golf Club.

    Dad walking daughter down the aisle.

    King Riding Golf Club outdoor wedding ceremony.

    Ceremony starting.

    Outdoor ceremony at King Riding Golf Club.

    Happy it is finally happening.

    Outdoor ceremony at King Riding Golf Club

    Ring exchange.

    Outdoor ceremony at King Riding Golf Club

    Ring exchange part two.

    Outdoor ceremony at King Riding Golf Club

    First kiss.

    Outdoor ceremony at King Riding Golf Club

    Jade making it official.

    Signing the registry at King Riding Golf Club

    Philip signing the registry.

    Bridal party walking away from the ceremony at King Riding Golf Club

    End of the ceremony.

    Family portraits at King Riding Golf Club

    Jade’s dad’s family.

    Jade’s mom’s family.

     

    Family portraits at King Riding Golf Club

    Philip’s family.

    Bridal party portraits at King Riding Golf Club

    Bridal party.

    Jade and Philip kissing at King Riding Golf Club

    Bridal portrait on golf club.

    Bridal couple at King Riding Golf Club

    Romantic photo at King Riding Golf Club.

    Couple in a golf cart at King Riding Golf Club

    Jade and Philip in the Golf Cart. Philip actually has his own golf cart!

    King Riding Golf Club wedding

    How far will they get in this golf cart?

    King Riding Golf Club wedding

    Peaceful moment.

    Head table setting.

    Time to party!

    Bridal party reacting to speeches.

    Cake Cutting.

    Dance!

     

     

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  • Joan and Rob’s Wedding at the Glenerin Inn

    Joan and Rob’s wedding took place at the beautiful Glenerin Inn, in Mississauga and once again, we lucked out with perfect weather.

    I had a great time photographing Joan and Rob for their engagement photos at James Gardens and I knew their wedding would be awesome too.

    They included their nieces and nephews in the bridal party and their ceremony was extra special because Joan’s sister and her husband sang before it began.  The keyboard player started working as an organist in the UK shortly after this event!

    Rob and Joan both had huge smiles throughout the day and as you can see from the photos, they laughed at regular intervals.

    During the speeches, we learned that Joan managed to keep her initial dates with Rob a secret, but that didn’t last too long.  We also learned of Rob’s Google-like memory.

    Every time I see these two, they are smiling at each other and they definitely bring out each other’s inner child.  They even went to Disney World for their honeymoon!

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  • Stephanie and John’s Wedding | The Albany Club

    Stephanie and John had their wedding at The Albany Club in downtown Toronto.

    Stephanie got ready in the bridal suite before the ceremony began and it mostly went off without incident, at least until she was pinning the boutonniere on her grandpa and we heard a “BEEEEEEP.”  Nobody could figure out where the alarm was coming from and then finally, her grandpa said, “Oh, that’s my defibrillator.”  I was worried Stephanie was going to have a heart attack when she worried about her grandpa, but they put it on the other side (it had a magnet) and all was well. Phew!

    I went outside, where John’s brother was serenading all the guests and people on King St. with his bagpipes. He is 1/2 of 416 Pipes. They can often be seen outside Blue Jays games and play many songs that would not be considered traditional piping material (like the Flinstones theme song, for instance).|

    Stephanie’s youngest sister walked her down the aisle, where she and John laughed and smiled throughout the ceremony and continued upstairs during the cocktail reception and when we went outside to the St. James Cathedral gardens for photos of the happy couple and bridal party.

    There were many pigeons outside with us and you can spot them in a few of the outdoor photos, so have a close look!

    At the reception, tenor Nathan Martin came to sing many songs for them, including a very heartfelt and lovely song Elizabeth (John’s mom) wrote to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” that was specifically about John and Stephanie.

    After lunch, speeches and music, we went upstairs and took formal portraits of the whole family before everyone parted ways, delighted for Stephanie and John.

    Stephanie getting ready at the Albany Club.

    Bagpiping brother

    Boutonniere incident

    Happy bride walking down the aisle with her sister

    Sister walking Stephanie Down the Aisle

    Getting married

    First Kiss and Married!

    Proud and happy grandma

    Wedding Party Downtown Toronto

    Wedding Party Downtown Toronto

    Stephanie and John happily married and ready for their closeups!

     

    Flowers

    Ode to mom

    Crooner

    Singing along

    Stephanie and John listening intently

    Laughing

    Cosman Family

    Hoyle Family

     

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