Photography Blog

  • Yulia and Scott’s Wedding at King Valley Golf Club

    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.

    Bride past and present

    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.

    Bride coming down stairs

    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.

    Portrait of Groom and beer detail

    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.

    Bridesmaid and groomsmen

    Aqua and white table settings at King Valley Golf Club

    Bridal Table at King Valley Golf Club

    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.

    Bride walking down the aisle with both parents

    Wedding ceremony under huppah at King Valley Golf Club

    Wedding Ceremony

    Wedding Ceremony signing at King Valley Golf Club

    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!

    Parents after ceremony at King Valley Golf Club

    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.

    Wedding day family photo with both sets of parents

    Bridal party photo at King Valley Golf Club

    Groom dipping bride

    Wedding Photos at King Valley Golf Club

    Bride and groom on golf course at King Valley Golf Club

    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.

    Hora dance at King Valley Golf Club

    First dance wedding photo at King Valley Golf Club

    Father-daughter dance and mother-son dance photos at King Valley Golf Club

    Cake cutting at King Valley Golf Club

    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.
    Kissing game win

    Bride and groom laughing

    We stepped outside for a couple of minutes to take these photos at night, while it was still light enough to see the clouds.

    Night time romantic photo at King Valley Golf Club

    Romantic night photo at King Valley Golf Club

    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.

    Bouquet in Chandelier

    Bridal bouquet toss, take 2.

    Bouquet toss at King Valley Golf Club

    Bride with bouquet toss winner

    The dance floor filled up and the party continued.

    Wedding reception photos

    Yulia’s parents got into the dancing.

    Dancing to Rasputin

    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.



    Limo company – EVK Limousine Service
    Dress Designer – Nicole Spose
    DJ – Maxim Music
    Makeup artist – Alisa Rybalko
    Cake and donuts: Artsy Baker
    Officiant: Robb McDonald 
    Shoe designer – Betsey Johnson
    Rings – Diamond Design

    Wedding favours (succulents) – Urban Gardens 
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  • Headshots in the Studio | Toronto and Etobicoke headshot photographer

    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.

    Belinda Headshot

    Belinda Headshot

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  • Skating Engagement Photos at Colonel Sam Smith Park | Toronto Wedding Photographer

    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.

    Skating help

    Skating Engagement Photos

    Skating lift

    Love skating

    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.


    Doug and Stephanie

    Engagement photos in front of historic building

    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.

    Reading Harry Potter on the beach

    Reading on the beach

    Wide angle on the beach

    We went back to where we started for a few more photos.

    Engagement photos

    Congratulations again on your engagement! I can’t wait to photograph your wedding!

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  • Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Our eldest daughter turned 9 today. We always try to get a photo of the girls for Valentine’s Day.
    Valentine's Day

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  • Family Portraits at James Gardens | Etobicoke Family Portraits

    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.

    5 adorable kids at James Gardens

    This is the entire extended family.  Family portraits look so much better when everyone wears similar colours.

    Extended Family at James Gardens

    Armstrong family on the left and Miron family on the right.  I love it when babies laugh for photos!

    Armstrong and Miron Families at James Gardens

    Looks like these sisters will grow up to be fantastic friends. The baby was always smiling at her big sister.

    Family of 4 at James Gardens

    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!

    Family of 5

    Happy grandparents.

    Grandparents with 5 kids

    Another photo with the whole family.

    Family in Forest at James Gardens

    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.

    Boy with slushie

    Girls eating a slushie

    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)!

    Little kids eating slushies

    Thanks for having me photograph your beautiful family, Joanna and Alain!  It was really great meeting everyone and seeing many of you again.

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  • Family portraits with two daughters and a dog at James Gardens | Etobicoke Family Portrait Photographer

    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.

    Family Portraits on a bridge in James Gardens with Ducks

    I always love how babies enjoy being carried by their dads.

    Baby being carried by daddy

    I also love how babies look at their moms.

    Mom and 6 month old at James gardens

    By around age 3, they become quite camera aware.

    Mother and 3 year old daughter

    Happy mom, happy daughters.

    Mom with 3 year old and 6 month old daughters

    We got photobombed by dogs!

    4 person family portrait at James Gardens with dog photobombers

    No dogs in this one.  Nice, happy family.

    Fall family portrait at James Gardens

    This is probably what life is really like most of the time.

    Fun family portrait at James Gardens

    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!

    4 person and 1 dog family at James Gardens

    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.

    3 year old playing in the leaves

    I love it when siblings bond. Zoe is perfectly content with her big sister and her big sister is very interested in her.

    Young sisters bonding

    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.

    Mom an dad enjoying some time with each other

    Couple in love

    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.

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  • Scarborough Bluffs Engagement Photos | Toronto Wedding Photographer

    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?

    Engagement Photo at the Scarborough Bluffs

    Engagement Photos at the Scarborough Bluffs

    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.

    Engagement photos on the beach

    Engagement photos with rim lighting

    We walked across this area on the way to the Bluffs and I thought it was perfect for an engagement photo.

    Pond engagement photos at the Scarborough Bluffs

    It’s a real Canadian engagement session with hockey jerseys on.  We all loved the willow tree too.

    Engagement photos under a willow tree

    Engaged couple kissing in front of a Willow Tree

    Laughing together at the Bluffs

    Happy couple at the Scarborough Bluffs

    Happy together

    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!

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  • Fehlner 50th anniversary | Etobicoke Family Portrait Photographer |Burlington Family Portraits

    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!

    Happy couple on their 50th anniversary

    They brought this old photo to the session, because they wanted to recreate it.

    Old Family Photo

    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.

    Photo Bomb

    Four sisters, all grown up.

    Portrait of four adult sisters

    Followed by the sisters with their own families.

    Kiss on the cheek

    Family Portrait

    Family Portraits

    I think it’s important to give kids time to play during photo sessions.

    Kids being kids|

    Here is everyone!

    50th anniversary family phoot

    Thank you for having me photograph this celebration!

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  • Great article on family portraits and self-esteem! Toronto Family Photographer

    As I was working on my most recent blog post of family portraits, this article appeared on my facebook newsfeed.

    How Family Portraits Boost Your Child’s Self-Esteem.

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