- Thursday, May 31, 2018
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.”
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.
Christopher burned off some energy as he waited for Shannon’s arrival.
Christopher went into anticipation mode when he realized she was coming.
Shannon is ready to surprise Christopher!
People were saying this may have been the first time Christopher was stunned into silence.
We walked towards the grounds of St. James Cathedral. First, they stopped outside the Albany Club.
The two families together.
The bridal party. Shannon went to elementary school with Jessica and of course, Stephen is Christopher’s brother.
We had time for some romantic photos.
Christopher entered the Albany Club and immediately stuck his head of the doors so I could take a picture of him before the ceremony.
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.
I like how the Reverend is laughing and how Stephen is smiling as Shannon’s dad prepares to hand her over.
Looks like somebody is very excited!
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.
We went upstairs to the Albany Club rooftop to take a few family photos.
Shannon’s mom and her sisters share a laugh before heading to the reception area.
First dance with their parents joining them at the end.
There was lots of laughter throughout the speeches!
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.
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.
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.
Most of the guests got on the dance floor and stayed there all night (well, until the party ended)!
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!
- Tuesday, April 3, 2018
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:
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.
- Wednesday, February 14, 2018
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.
- Thursday, November 16, 2017
Christopher and Shannon suggested we take their engagement photos in Hamilton, which I learned is the waterfalls capital of the world. http://www.cityofwaterfalls.ca/.They were also totally happy to brave the rain for their engagement photo session, which was awesome because it was super crowded until the rain started and the park pretty much cleared out as soon as anyone felt a drop on their shoulder, except for us, of course!
Christopher was afraid he wouldn’t give me any natural smiles during the photo session, but all it took was kisses from Shannon! In fact, sometimes just looking at her made him smile.
We went to three different waterfalls and when we were done, we were soaking wet, but it was totally worth the discomfort for these photos.
Thanks for introducing me to the waterfalls capital of the world, Chris and Shannon!
Extra special thanks to Jeniffer Viera for assisting. I could not have gotten those raindrops to show up in the following photo without her!
Christopher and Shannon did not mind snuggling under this umbrella together.
There was a large crowd of people in front of these waterfalls until the rain scared them away.
There was fabulous scenery and light in the opposite direction of the waterfalls as well. This location offered so many opportunities for engagement photos!
Christopher and Shannon stayed very still so that I could use a slow shutter speed and get that soft, flowing water feel.My shutter speed was just 1/10!
If you speak French, you may enjoy what the umbrella says. It is not the first time I have seen that umbrella during a photo session! You may remember
it from Andrea and Ian’s wedding.
There is always time to be a little silly together.
Christopher and Shannon told me they loved camping and the fact that they did their photos in the pouring rain with smiles on their faces, shows that love of the great outdoors, no matter the elements can come in handy even during an engagement session!
Congratulations again on your engagement and thank you for introducing me to the waterfall capital of the world! Thank you also for being up for anything.
- Thursday, October 12, 2017
I was looking forward to Stephanie and Doug’s wedding since I first met them. They were up for anything at their engagement session and they were getting married at the beautiful King’s Riding Golf Club.
We did their engagement session in the winter, since they wanted to incorporate skating as Stephanie was learning how to do it, thanks to Doug. They also each brought their favourite book to the engagement session, since they like to read. Doug is very into Harry Potter and Stephanie likes all kinds of fiction.
Doug has Scottish ancestry, so he incorporated Scottish items and outfits into their wedding.
The groom and groomsman had some fun before their wedding. They were all quite comfortable in their kilts. Notice how Doug’s is a different colour than the kilts the groomsmen are wearing. He wore the colours of his family’s clan. I like how the street sign and Doug’s kilt are almost the exact same colours, but different patterns.
Stephanie’s bridesmaids all looked stunning in their green dresses and of course, she was a standout in her beautiful lace wedding gown. I like how excited she looks just an hour or so before her wedding.
Every couple hopes for this type of weather on their wedding day. Stephanie and Scott picked an absolutely perfect day. When I took this photo, all of the guests had entered and Stephanie and her bridesmaids were just about to arrive.
Always composed, Doug keeps a calm look as he watches Stephanie walk down the aisle, while the officiant and groomsmen cannot contain their excitement.
Stephanie and Doug had a hand binding ceremony to officially join them together. Is this where the phrase “Tie the knot,” comes from?
I love the genuine smiles from Stephanie and her bridesmaids as she is about to officially be married.
The bridal party looking good in front of King’s Riding Golf Club.
We had some fun asking the girls to primp up Doug so he would look his best for Stephanie. He didn’t seem to mind.
I always love the photos of two families joining together on a wedding day.
One of my favourite parts of the day was when we were asked if we wanted to take photos on the golf course and somebody let us drive our own golf carts to get there. I loved the photo locations and I also loved driving the cart!
The moments just before and after a kiss are even better to photograph (in my opinion) than the actual kiss.
The only way for a bride to see the back of her dress is for someone to take a photo of it. We made sure we did that at Stephanie’s wedding!
Rolling hills, back lighting, a stunning bride in a beautiful gown, fantastic weather, what more can you ask for?
We let them pretend we weren’t around for a few minutes.
The emcees had a lot of fun. They met Stephanie in kindergarten! I love that they had so many friends they had known for a very long time at their wedding.
They did their first dance right after they entered. Don’t you love how the cake has a tartan that matches Doug’s kilt? The figure on top of the cake matches Stephanie and Doug quite well too!
The right girl caught the bouquet, because she seems pretty happy. Feel free to call me when you get engaged!
Ditto for the groomsman who caught the bouquet. He made an effort and succeeded!
You know it’s time to party when the animal bandanas come out.
Congratulations on a fantastic wedding day, Stephanie and Doug! Thanks for allowing me to follow along in your romance from your engagement session to your wedding day. It was all perfect, “until the very end,” (to quote James Potter). Enjoy Disney and please post lost of pictures and let me know how you like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios! Thank you so much for having Sarah and I there to document all these precious moments (and many more).
I wish you many magical moments in the future.
- Friday, September 8, 2017
Alana’s mom called me to see if I was available to photograph her upcoming engagement party and shortly after we spoke, I had the pleasure of speaking with Alana, who seemed extremely friendly and easygoing. I knew this was going to be a fun event by the way her personality shone through over the phone. The event was coming up quite quickly, so I didn’t get the chance to meet with her or Lee until the morning of the event, but when I walked in, everyone was so welcoming I felt like we had met before.
We started the morning with some family photos, before the majority of the guests arrived. They were all suprisingly calm considering over 100 guests were scheduled to start arrriving shortly after I did.
The tables were not empty for long.
We went outside for a few minutes and took some photos of Alana and Lee together. Don’t you love the dress she chose for her engagement party and photos?
Alana’s family, including her sister and brother-in-law automatically linked arms and told me they were a ‘huggy’ family. I love it when families tell me that because it looks so much better in photos than when people are afraid to touch.
Lee’s family was also very friendly and close-knit. His grandmother is in her 90s and still in excellent shape!
There is a definite family resemblance between Alana, her mom and her sister.
There is also a definite resemblance between Lee’s mom and grandma.
I witnessed a lot of heartfelt hugs as the guests trickled in.
People are very excited for Alana and Lee’s wedding!
They had an awesome lunch time food spread.
Mazel Tov, Alana and Lee!
Thanks so much for having me there to photograph your engagement party, Alana and Lee!
It was such an honour and you really took the time and effort to make sure every single person there felt welcome (which shows in the photos!). Remember to take time to eat at your wedding!
- 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 lovingly made by the bridesmaids, Yulia and Yulia’s mom 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.
Vendors:Limo company – EVK Limousine ServiceHairstylist – Life Hair Studio (stylist: Nina).Dress Designer – Nicole SposeDJ – Maxim MusicMakeup artist – Alisa RybalkoCake and donuts: Artsy BakerOfficiant: Robb McDonaldVenue: King Valley Golf ClubShoe designer – Betsey JohnsonRings – Diamond DesignWedding favours (succulents) – Urban Gardens
- 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!