- Monday, July 24, 2017
I met Yulia and Scott over a year ago, when they first came to inquire about wedding photography and I loved their story of how they met in high school. They have been together since grade 9! It is now 15 years later. They have lived together for 3 years and they finally, finally got married this year. I knew this wedding would mean a lot to a lot of people who anxiously waited for this very special day. I imagined a beautiful wedding day for them and it surpassed even my high expectations.
Here is Yulia’s high school grad photo, since of course, she and Scott were dating even back then. I thought it would also be meaningful to get a photo with her mom when her mom was around her age.
I already knew there would be many emotions at this wedding after all these years, which is definitely something I hope for as a photographer. I also knew they were getting married at King Valley Golf Club, one of my favourite wedding venues. I couldn’t have predicted the perfect weather, that everything would run precisely on time and the post ceremony photos would take place at 6:00PM, which happens to have gorgeous light on beautiful days like theirs.
I arrived at Yulia’s childhood home just before she was going to put on the dress. Sarah, my associate photographer, arrived where Scott was getting ready at the same time.
Yulia apparently changed the beers to say Ukrainian instead of Canadian before they were handed out to people as Scott got ready for the ceremony.
When we arrived at the venue, there was actually time before the ceremony to photograph the details inside from the turquoise and white table cloths to the cookies made by one of the guests as bonbonnieres. There was also time to take more photos of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
The ceremony took place outdoors under a chuppah with Robb McDonald officiating. When things got a little emotional (in a good way) during the vows, he helped out.
As you can see from the photos of their parents, they were thrilled with this union. Judging from the speeches, Scott’s parents already felt like Yulia was their daugther-in-law and Yulia’s parents felt the same way. Now it is finally official!
We only had one hour between the ceremony and reception to take the family, bridal party and romantic photos. That was totally fine, because everything went perfectly and it didn’t even feel rushed. I also love family photos that take place after late ceremonies (theirs was at 5:30), because the light is really nice in the early evening in the summer.
When Yulia and Scott entered the golf club for their reception, they danced the Hora right away. I love the hora, especially when the couple is hoisted onto chairs and people lift them up and down. Even though many of the guests had not danced the hora before, they were all very excited to get in on the fun. They transitioned into the first dance and father-daughter, mother-son dances and cut the cake immediately after that.
Speeches took place during dinner. Amazingly, they had 9 speeches, but the catering manager approached me to say how he was super impressed because dinner only took an hour and 15 minutes. That meant Yulia and Scott had more time to party and be with their guests and of course, when the sweets and late night buffet tables came out, enough time had passed since people had eaten that they were ready to eat again.
We stepped outside for a couple of minutes to take these photos at night, while it was still light enough to see the clouds.
The bouquet toss had a humourous moment when it went straight up and did not land. Turns out it did land…into the chandelier! Some people helped get it out and she tossed it again, to one very happy lady.
Bridal bouquet toss, take 2.
The dance floor filled up and the party continued.
Yulia’s parents got into the dancing.
May the next 60 or so years be as wonderful as the first 15, Yulia and Scott! If your wedding is anything to go by, you have a fantastic future ahead. Thanks again for having us photograph your wedding. My heart is full.
- Monday, April 3, 2017
I was honoured when Belinda came to me for her headshot.
I love photographing headshots because it is really fun to help people feel comfortable in front of the camera.
I also love hearing that someone whose photo I took for LinkedIn helped them get that interview or that job. Professional images show a person values themselves, which in turn makes interviewers and companies more likely to invest in hiring them.
- Friday, February 17, 2017
Doug is teaching Stephanie how to skate, so they decided they wanted to do their engagement photos in the winter, on a skating rink.
We chose Colonel Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke, because it is a picturesque skating figure 8, it is refrigerated (so we knew there would ice) and there is a beach area close by to offer us a variety of ‘looks.’
Doug has been doing a fantastic job teaching Stephanie, because she stayed on her feet the whole time. More importantly, they looked they were having a great time on the ice.
We went inside to warm up and decided to take advantage of this area. It looks a little like a school and Stephanie is a teacher and of course, the water fountain is prominent and Doug is a plumber, so we incorporated both their professions in this photo.
I asked them to bring their favourite book, since they both like reading. Doug brought Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Stephanie brought The Notebook.
We went back to where we started for a few more photos.
Congratulations again on your engagement! I can’t wait to photograph your wedding!
- Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Our eldest daughter turned 9 today. We always try to get a photo of the girls for Valentine’s Day.
- Saturday, November 19, 2016
My associates Janette and Sarah photographed Joanna and Alain’s wedding many years ago. Now, they have two little girls and I was honoured to be able to do their family portraits this fall. We did them at James Gardens, which has become one of my favourite locations recently, since it has so many great natural backgrounds, fantastic light and it has not been too crowded. This photo session also involved Joanna’s brother’s family and her parents. I love when families get organized and get together for family portrait sessions, since it is really nice to have photos with grandparents and cousins in addition to siblings and parents.
These are all the grandchildren.
This is the entire extended family. Family portraits look so much better when everyone wears similar colours.
Armstrong family on the left and Miron family on the right. I love it when babies laugh for photos!
Looks like these sisters will grow up to be fantastic friends. The baby was always smiling at her big sister.
We got the little one engaged by having her play with leaves. It was her first time doing that and once she got the hang of throwing them in the air, she had a great time!
Another photo with the whole family.
We saw an ice cream truck before the photo session began and they were promised treats afterwards if it was still there and they cooperated.
She tried to get the baby to taste the slushie, but the baby was not interested at all, (which is of course, probably a good thing)!
Thanks for having me photograph your beautiful family, Joanna and Alain! It was really great meeting everyone and seeing many of you again.
Family portraits with two daughters and a dog at James Gardens | Etobicoke Family Portrait PhotographerTuesday, October 25, 2016
I had the pleasure of photographing Polina and Andrei’s wedding many years ago and I was happy to see them at Anna and Michael’s Wedding (of course, Andrei is Anna’s sister, so I did expect to see them there!). It was there that I also learned Polina was expecting her second. She contacted me soon after and wanted to know the best time for family portraits. My favourite time is when the baby is around 6 months old, so they patiently waited and their youngest daughter’s 6 month ‘birthday’ coincided with the start of fall, which is of course, a beautiful time for photos.
We started off on the bridge overlooking the duck pond at James Gardens. Both 3 year old Maya and the dog were very interested in the ducks. I like how the dog is peeking through the bridge in this photo.
I always love how babies enjoy being carried by their dads.
I also love how babies look at their moms.
By around age 3, they become quite camera aware.
Happy mom, happy daughters.
We got photobombed by dogs!
No dogs in this one. Nice, happy family.
This is probably what life is really like most of the time.
I love how Maya is holding Zoe’s hand and Zoe is happy that she took this action. These sisters are already starting to have a great relationship!
I like to ask little ones to play in the leaves. Maya hadn’t done it before, so we instructed her and she got very into it.
I love it when siblings bond. Zoe is perfectly content with her big sister and her big sister is very interested in her.
We managed to get a few minutes of quiet time while my assistant made sure the kids and dog stayed safe, so that Andrei and Polina could have a few quiet moments together.
It was so great meeting your sweet and adorable children and dog, Andrei and Polina! Thank you for having me back to photograph your family.
- Monday, October 24, 2016
Yulia and Scott came to my studio in the summer and told me they met and started dating in high school! Now, they are (finally) getting married! Woohoo!!!!!
They suggested the Scarborough Bluffs for their engagement photos. I had never even been to the Bluffs, let alone photographed anyone there, so I was glad they suggested it. Considering how these photos turned out, I am now wondering how it is possible that it was my first time there when I have been photographing weddings for 15 years?! Thank you so much for introducing me to this beautiful (new to me) location, Yulia and Scott!
We also got extremely lucky, because it rained all day, but it stopped right before we started the session and continued shortly after we finished the session.
Can you believe this is Ontario?
I love that Scott and Yulia were game to try anything for the photo. They took off their shoes and had a laugh on the beach.
We walked across this area on the way to the Bluffs and I thought it was perfect for an engagement photo.
It’s a real Canadian engagement session with hockey jerseys on. We all loved the willow tree too.
I love how excited they are to be with each other! Congrats again on your engagement, Yulia and Scott! I can’t wait to photograph your wedding at King Riding Golf Club next year!
- Wednesday, October 19, 2016
I was thrilled when my first midwife and now friend asked if I was available to photograph family portraits for her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Her parents live in B.C. now, so the whole family does not get to see each other that often. One of the sisters lives in Burlington and she recommended Lowville Park . We all gathered there for the photos. Excellent location choice, Maria!
As you can see, they are still madly in love 50 years after getting married. May we all experience this kind of long lasting love!
They brought this old photo to the session, because they wanted to recreate it.
Same people, similar poses, different location about a decade after the original was taken.
I always get a kick out of little ones photobombing photos. You should be able to spot two little photo bombers here.
Four sisters, all grown up.
Followed by the sisters with their own families.
I think it’s important to give kids time to play during photo sessions.
Here is everyone!
Thank you for having me photograph this celebration!
- Thursday, October 13, 2016
As I was working on my most recent blog post of family portraits, this article appeared on my facebook newsfeed.