Photography Blog

  • Engagement Photos at James Gardens

    Rob and Joan were hoping for fall colours for their engagement session at James Gardens. It was only 2 degrees celsius, but we definitely had fall colours. I made sure they cuddled lots for the photos to stay warm and of course, cuddling looks good in romantic photos. They took me to parts of James Gardens I hadn’t been to in awhile and the colours and their chemistry were incredible. I first went there over a decade ago and this was the first time I learned that it was sold to the city by the James family and that the house they lived in is still there and is now used as a recreational facility.

    Thanks for choosing such a lovely spot and time of year for your photos, Rob and Joan!

    Under the gazebo.

    Hugs.

    We suspect somebody got married under this archway either the day we did the session or the day before because it still had fairly fresh flowers on it.

    Look at how beautiful these fall colours are!

    Enjoying each other’s company at James Gardens.

    Romancing on a rock in the fall at James Gardens.

    They stopped to smell the roses. These roses didn’t smell though.

    We walked pretty far into James Gardens and found the birch trees we were seeking.

    Love is in the air.

    Blue Jay.

    Chickadee.

    Somebody left out lots of seeds and nuts and we stopped and watched the forest creatures for awhile. This red squirrel was super cute.

    Downy Woodpecker.

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  • Ashley and Marwen’s Wedding at Toronto City Hall

    Ashley and Marwen had their Toronto wedding on a beautiful late September day at City Hall. Their actual wedding is going to take place in Tunisia in January, which is where Marwen is from.
    He is a pilot, but they met as passengers on an airplane en route to Nashville. Only their immediate family members were invited to the ceremony, but they celebrated with around 40 guests at their condo party room afterwards. Some of them are really looking forward to their Tunisia celebration, which is where they will exchange their rings.
    Thanks so much for having me be part of the special Toronto celebration, Ashley and Marwen. Congratulations on your marriage! I can’t wait to see photos from Tunisia!

    Ashley’s dad walking her down the aisle.

     

    Happy to be getting married.

    Signing the register.

    Romantic photos in front of old and new Toronto City Hall.

    Family Photo in front of old City Hall in Toronto.

    They were walking down the ramp when I noticed they were all in a cool position, so I asked them to turn around and we took this photo.

    A moment alone together.

    Loving each other.

    Condo party room

    Family Photo in condo party room

    Greeting a guest

    Father of the bride’s speech.

    Reacting to speeches.

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  • Katie and Christian’s Wedding at La Maquette

    Katie and Christian had an incredible wedding day at La Maquette restaurant, which is now a Berkeley events venue. My cheeks hurt from laughing for a week after photographing this awesome event!

    I knew this was going to be a super fun wedding as soon as Katie arrived with a big smile and when Katie and her bridesmaids decided to loosen up with a mini dance party before they even put their outfits on.

    Christian wrote his own vows and they were hilarious. As you can see from the photos of people reacting to the speeches, they were also filled with emotion and the guests went from laughter to tears and back again.

    I wish you many more years of laughter together, Katie and Christian! Thank you so much for having me there to document your day.

    Vendors:
    Wedding Day Coordinator: Ange Kavanas from La Maquette
    Officiant: Martin Frith
    Hair and Make-up:  Claudia Coellho Artistry
    Jeweller for rings: Aret Oymakas 
    Donuts: Von Donuts
    DJ and/or band: Evolved Entertainment

    La Maquette restaurant and event venue.

    I knew it was going to be a fun wedding when the bride and bridesmaids warmed up with a dance!

    We hung up the bridemaids dresses beside the bridal gown for this photo. Check out the custom hanger!

     

    Bride and bridesmaids enjoying a drink before the ceremony.

    I love how Jackie is admiring Katie over her shoulder in the reflection on the left. On the right, Christian is seeing Katie for the first time on their wedding day.

    Katie’s dad walks her down the aisle.

    Enjoying the vows.

    Vanessa has known Katie since they were two years old. She did a lovely reading during their ceremony.

    Enjoying a funny moment during the vows. There were many moments like this one.

    Just married!

    Family Photo

    Enjoying a quiet moment together after the ceremony.

    Having another shared laugh.

    Bridal party at La Maquette

    Katie said she has one cheesy request for a wedding party photo. I think it’s cute, don’t you?

    Ultimate photobomber on the bike.

    Downtown Toronto wedding photos.

    We paused for a quick photo when we saw the Toronto streetcar.

     

    Fun with the bridal veil!

    Doesn’t Christian have the coolest vest?

    Enjoying a kiss.

    These two are always great for a laugh!

    Nose to nose.

    Happy couple.

    Reception at La Maquette.

    Millenial portrait.

    Laughing at the speeches.

    Guests enjoying the speeches.

    Laughing so hard she’s crying.

    I love it when grooms really feel the moment too.

    He laughed and cried so loudly everyone else started laughing!

    Emotional moment during the speeches.

    Another funny moment.

    Donut buffet.

    Father daughter dance.

    Mother son dance.

    Fun at the reception.

    Fun with dresses!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Our summer vacation to PEI and Nova Scotia

    This summer my cousin got married in PEI (she married an Islander!), so we went out East this summer for her wedding. We flew from Halifax to Hamilton on Swoop Airlines, which is West Jet’s low cost carrier.  We paid $250 per person instead of $500 from Toronto to Charlottetown, plus it was cheaper to rent a vehicle in Halifax than Charlottetown.

    We stayed at the newly renovated Mill River Inn in Woodstock, Prince Edward Island. The rooms were bright and comfortable and the indoor pool had a really awesome waterslide!  We had delicious breakfasts there too.

    We were guests at this wedding and I had all three kids, so I only took a few photos at the reception, which took place at the O’Leary Legion Hall.

    The day after the wedding, we went to The Village Feast. Esteemed chef Michael Smith puts it on every year as a fundraiser.  There was steak, lobster and Kenyan ghiteri,, which I tried for the first time in my life. It is healthy and delicious. We were lucky we had such nice weather, or it would have taken place inside a hockey arena.

    After dinner, we went for a walk on the beach in Souris.

    Here is one of many jellyfish we saw on our walk. We were skipping over them because there were so many.

    We went to Basin Head Beach as well.  There were quite a few jellyfish there too.  The next day, I rented a paddleboard and brought the kids on it with me.  The jellyfish added an element of risk, which made it a little more interesting than usual, but we didn’t fall in (much to my children’s relief).

    My mom took this great photo of our family!

    We went to the Anne of Green Gables Museum in PEI and the girls took turns dressing up as Anne.

    We were pleasantly surprised by a concert at the Anne of Green Gables Museum.

    We went to Cavendish Beach, but we forgot the girls’ bathing suits. They didn’t mind at all!

    We stayed at The Best Western Chocolate Lake in Nova Scotia and our hotel had a room full of video games. Our daughters enjoyed playing some of the games we played as children.

    We ended our trip in Halifax. We took the ferry from PEI to Nova Scotia and that was a great choice because we were treated to a concert on the boat.

    We were very impressed with the Halifax public gardens.

    Our baby Chloe calls all birds ducks. We actually saw a baby duck and of course, she shouted, “Duck!!!”

    I loved this beautiful mural that we saw in downtown Halifax.

    The kids loved this wave near the playground by the pier.

    We went to the beautiful Peggy’s Cove. We ate dinner at the Sou’Wester.

     

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  • Matt and Lily’s Elopement Style Wedding at Humber Bay Park

    I have been getting a lot of spam inquiries recently, so when I first received an email from Matt and Lily where they told me they were going to be the only people at their wedding and that it was going to be at 7AM, I worried about the legitimacy.
    Fortunately, I did respond and when I met with them in person, I discovered they were both incredibly genuine people. I am so glad I responded and was able to photograph their wedding because photographing two people who adore each other is now my favourite way to start a morning.

    They regularly walk their Border Collie at Humber Bay Park so it made sense for them to officially get married there too.  The Marrying Lady, Tade Cradgeur did a beautiful job officiating their ceremony.

    My assistant and I also had the privilege of being their witnesses, which was truly an honour.

    This was probably the shortest and smallest wedding I have ever done and while I love full day weddings, I would love to also photograph more elopements and super small weddings.

    Thanks so much for thinking of me, Matt and Lily.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Congratulations again on your marriage and beautiful ceremony!

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  • Mama and Love Love Book Launch

    You may remember my associate, Janette as she photographed many weddings for Rabbat Photography over the years.
    She stopped photographing weddings to concentrate on art, which is something she began doing even before she became a photographer.
    Janette illustrated this children’s book that her friend Guinevere wrote. Here are some long overdue photos from the book launch, which happened at her place in Mt. Albert. The launch was so successful, they sold out of all the books they had! They can order more though, so if you would like to order one, please let me know and I will arrange it with her.
    Congratulations, Janette and Guin!

    Here they are with the book.

    Janette and Guin’s children were all very excited about the book launch and had fun drawing on the board.

    These are just a couple of Janette Rojas’ incredible paintings.

    The drawing on the right hand side is of my baby, Chloe in my husband’s arms. I looked at the drawing and immediately knew it was Chloe.

    Our good friend Rachel recently got engaged!

    Dawn’s birthday was the same day as the book launch, so we surprised her with a cake.

    Congratulations, Janette and Guinevere!

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  • Christopher and Shannon’s Albany Club Wedding

    I had been looking forward to Christopher and Shannon’s Albany Club Wedding ever since their Hamilton Waterfalls Engagement session. 

    I knew that no matter the weather, they would be prepared and accepting.  In spite of a fairly lousy forecast for many days before the wedding, we did not have to worry about that because it was an absolutely perfect day.

    We started off at the Omni King Edward Hotel, where Christopher and Shannon were getting ready in separate rooms and then made our way outside for the bridal reveal.

    When Christopher saw Shannon for the first time, he appeared to be stunned into silence.  It took a few minutes for him to take her in, but when he did, it was beautiful.

    Afterwards, we headed over to the grounds of the Cathedral Church of St. James for photos of the families, couple and wedding party before the ceremony began at the Albany Club.

     

    Shannon had her makeup done when I arrived.

    Shannon had a photo of herself as a child clipped into her dress.

     

    Sarah was upstairs photographing the groom and his people when I was with the bride.

    Christopher’s cuff links say “Grow Old with Me. The best is yet to be.”

    Groom getting ready

     

    Groom and best man playing video games

     

    This wedding not only featured a bridal reveal, but also a reveal of Christopher’s mom to his dad, because she is a farmer who doesn’t dress like this for the carrots!  Everyone kept saying his dad was going to “Drop his teeth” I think he came close.

    Mother reveal

     

    Christopher burned off some energy as he waited for Shannon’s arrival.

    Happy groom

     

    Christopher went into anticipation mode when he realized she was coming.

    Groom anxiously awaiting bride's arrival

     

    Shannon is ready to surprise Christopher!

    Groom with bride behind him

    Bridal reveal

     

    People were saying this may have been the first time Christopher was stunned into silence.

    Bride kissing groom

     

    We walked towards the grounds of St. James Cathedral. First, they stopped outside the Albany Club.

    Family before wedding

     

    The two families together.

     

    The bridal party. Shannon went to elementary school with Jessica and of course, Stephen is Christopher’s brother.

    Bridal Party at St. James Cathedral

     

    We had time for some romantic photos.

    Bride and groom on bench

    Wedding couple laughing on bench

    Groom holding bride with long veil

     

    Christopher entered the Albany Club and immediately stuck his head of the doors so I could take a picture of him before the ceremony.

    Groom poking his head out of the Albany Club

     

    Shannon asked for some photos of the back of her dress, so we took them just before the ceremony, while she waited in this room with beautiful light.

    Bride's dress

     

    I like how the Reverend is laughing and how Stephen is smiling as Shannon’s dad prepares to hand her over.

    Wedding Ceremony at the Albany Club Father Handing Over Bride

     

    Looks like somebody is very excited!

    About to kiss

     

    Sarah ran upstairs to the little window to take this photo of everyone when the ceremony ended. I found myself caught in the middle after I directed the last few rows to move back so they would be in the photo too.

    Group photo at the Albany Club

     

    We went upstairs to the Albany Club rooftop to take a few family photos.

    Bride's Family

    Albany Club Rooftop family photo

     

    Shannon’s mom and her sisters share a laugh before heading to the reception area.

    Four sisters

    Bride and groom share a moment

    Albany Club table settings for a wedding

     

    First dance with their parents joining them at the end.

    First Dance

     

    There was lots of laughter throughout the speeches!

    Laughing at a speech

    Something funny happened

    Kissing

     

    They had their wedding rings custom made for each other. Shannon’s wedding ring is Alexanderite, which changes colour from emerald to ruby depending on the time of day.

    Wedding rings

     

    We snuck outside for some off-camera flash evening photos with the cathedral and city lights in the background. We also got a streetcar photo.

    Downtown Toronto night time wedding photos

    Wedding photo with streetcar in background

     

    It’s always lovely when one half of a couple catches the garter and the other half catches the bouquet. In this case, it was Shannon’s brother and his girlfriend.

    Garter toss

    Bouquet toss

     

    Most of the guests got on the dance floor and stayed there all night (well, until the party ended)!

    Dance time!

    On the dance floor

    Bride and groom kiss at the end of the night

     

    Congratulations on a super fantastic wedding day, Shannon and Chris! I hope you had an amazing honeymoon in Mexico too! Thank you also for choosing such great times for the photos in terms of the light and thanks to the guests for having such an awesome time!

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  • Reception at Gilaneh Restaurant -Thomas and Afsoon

    I was reminded of Thomas and Afsoon’s wedding reception when they invited us to celebrate Nawruz, which is the Persian New Year celebration.  I did find this article about it if you would like to learn more:

    https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/3/19/17138516/persian-new-year-nowruz-explained

    I mostly tell stories with my camera and I remembered that I had not yet had a chance to post the photos from their wonderful wedding reception, which took place at Gilaneh Restaurant. in North York. Gilaneh has an authentic Persian menu and when you enter, you feel like you may be in Iran. What I love the most about being a wedding photographer in Toronto, is being able to experience so many different cultures. Thank you Afsoon and Thomas, for having me there to experience yours.  It is always a special honour to photograph the weddings of friends you grew up with, friends whom you imagined important milestones with (like weddings!), years ago.

    The first two photos are cellphone photos from the Nawruz celebration.

     

    Afsoon loves to dress up, so she was in her element in her stunning wedding gown.

    Afsoon and Thomas’ Families

    Afsoon excitedly coming down the aisle as her mother watches.

    A Baha’i book on the love seat. There are many Baha’i books. This one of them.

    Guitar player at the wedding. I love when people incorporate live music into their events!

    Celebratory bubble blowing during the first dance.

    The incredible Dailyn Martinez, taught everyone a super fun Salsa lesson after doing this demo.

    Afsoon shares a laugh with an important family friend, from when her family first came to Canada.

    Thomas smiles as Afsoon tells a story.

    Cake! Thanks again for having me there to celebrate both Nawruz and your wedding. I look forward to many more celebrations together!

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  • Happy Valentine’s Day! Fun with cards for the kids.

    Every year for Valentine’s Day, I take a picture of the kids for their Valentine’s Day cards to hand out to their classmates.

    This tradition mainly started because it happens to be my eldest daughter’s birthday, so I wanted to do something special for her. Today, she is 10 years old!  I know it is cliché, but it feels like just yesterday that I was adapting to having a new baby, not quite sure of what to do with her. She is my independent, creative, tenacious child.  The truest saying about parenthood is “The days are long, but the years are short.”  Even Julia turned to my friend just yesterday, pointed to her newborn and said, “Time goes fast, soon he is going to be 4.”  Today, he turned two months old, but she is right.  At this point of her son’s life, the days and nights are long and it is hard to imagine, but 10 years ago, I didn’t think this day would come so soon.  Before I know it, she will be entering into adulthood.

    Document your children before they grow up.  It happens way too quickly.

    This is Julia’s card. She chose the pose.  She wanted it to be heart shaped. We did the dotted lines to make them easier to cut, but her classmates will get cards with no dotted lines surrounding the heart.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Emily’s Valentine’s Day card.  She wanted a heart shaped balloon in her hand, so I downloaded a vector and put the frame around the card so it would look like she was jumping out of it with excitement.

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