- Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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!
- Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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.
- Friday, October 9, 2020
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.
Congratulations on adding baby Charlotte to your family! Thank you also for trying something new with our outdoor newborn session.
- Wednesday, April 22, 2020
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:
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.
Here is the official Earth Day website:
Here is a composite photo of my daughter with the world in her eyes.
World Photo Credit:
- Thursday, September 19, 2019
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/
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!
- Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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!
- Thursday, August 8, 2019
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!
- Thursday, May 23, 2019
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.
- Friday, May 10, 2019
I won’t use their full names to protect them, but R and O were sponsored by Royal York United Church to come over as refugees, because in Jamaica, it is still unfortunately very dangerous to love someone who is the same gender as you are. Just a couple of months after they came over, they were ready to get married and their wedding came together very quickly. This never could have happened in Jamaica, but in Canada, everyone was happy to help their wedding dream come true.
Here is O making sure his hair is perfect for the big day.