Saiyaa’s 18th Month! :: Burlington & Oakville Family Photographer

Saiyaa was in top-form for her 18-month shoot last week!  She’s gotten pretty used to the routine by now and is at the age where she’s able to enjoy the process (and the attention!) a bit more.

This time little S. was really mobile–wanting to walk around and look at the ‘ducks’.  But she was so cooperative with us adults posing her with each person and even dressing her up like a cute little sailor!   We also taught her a new game–being swung between her parents…which her parents might not be too thankful for anymore.  I have a feeling she’ll be hard to walk with for a while…

Unfortunately all the gorgeous sailboats that usually dock at the Bronte Outer Harbour Marina in Oakville hadn’t been launched yet–but with the sparkles on the water and all the docks in the background, you still get that nautical theme we were reaching for.

Since the family is taking off for Australia in a couple days, for her 2-year shoot we’ll have to dress her up like a kangaroo or something …or maybe a surfer?

See you in 6 months Sai!


The Owensbys :: Hamilton and Toronto Family Photography

It’s been over three YEARS of trying, failure, and regret over an old house on Upper James in Hamilton.  It’s just around the corner from my house, but I’ve had my eye on it for years.   It’s an old, OLD house set far back from the street with a yard full of mature trees, and a tire swing hanging from one of them, of course, and in the Spring a lawn FULL of tiny little blue flowers.

Every Spring I try to contact the owners, landlord, real estate agent etc. to get permission to shoot there before the flowers die (or are mercilessly cut down by a mower!!!!), and every year I can’t reach anyone in time.  Finally this year, after setting one of my new goals as ‘be fearless’, I just went up to the house and started knocking on doors until someone answered, damnit!

Once a stunning old home of affluence, it’s since been divided and sub-divided into characterless apartments–save the front entrance and stair case that still holds some of its old, elegant craftsmanship.   The only tenants remaining informed me that the house had changed hands a number of times in the last few years and they aren’t surprised I never heard back from anyone–they’ve yet to meet their new landlord after 6 months!

They happily agreed to let me shoot on their front lawn–saying they wouldn’t call the cops on me since we’d all met.   And just as I was about to leave they commented that it was a good thing I wanted to shoot now because the house was being torn down in June!  How bittersweet.

When I scheduled the Owensbys at this location for their family/maternity/birthday shoot I was literally jittery with excitement–many years of regret for not having been bold enough to just go to the house and ASK, and now I was shooting there, at the perfect time of year, with the perfect family and just before it was destroyed forever.  It’s like poetry.

*Due to the harsh direction of the setting sun there aren’t any clear shots of the house, BUT I’m scheduling another shoot at this location before it’s torn down–and you’ll see lots of house images then!*

The above shots were in full-sun, which is not ideal, and is why their temperature is really warm compared to the rest of the shots–but how could I not grab a few shots of this when Judah, then Taavi came by to ‘touch-base’ with Mum before running off to play some more?

Below you can see the flower-filled front lawn and just a corner of the old house.  It was incredibly challenging working with the lighting, but wanting to capture the flowers AND the busy kids while avoiding shooting Upper James–which is very visible in lots of the shots.  Thankfully a super-low depth-of-field covers up a lot of the imperfections.

Below there are a lot of shots of Aria–I wasn’t playing favourites, promise.  Her birthday is coming up in a week or so, and for a couple years now I’ve promised I’d do a birthday shoot for her, and wow, does she know how to work it.  And I have no idea where she gets that trait from… ;)

After being a little too serious I let the kids go through my Mary Poppins bag of props and costumes and let them play on the tire swing.  I always love getting the posed stuff out of the way and letting kids just play.  I get the most authentic shots when they’re playing.  And the most hilarious.   Brother Judah had my husband and I laughing that night as I dumped the shots onto my computer and starting culling.

And what’s childhood without swinging?  Again, it was hard to catch the kids as they swung around on the tire, in and out of harsh light and shade and in front of the ugliness of Upper James.   Thank goodness for F1.4.

Finally, we have the classic it’s-all-about-the-kids shot where the parents are headless caregivers merely present to complete the hand-holding chain and prevent any outbreaks of violence or ‘misbehaving’.  Personally, I prefer the ‘misbehaving’ look.

JD + Jessica :: Hamilton & Niagara Wedding Photography

Yay!  Finally the blog post for JD & Jessica’s happy wedding day!

The entire week before the wedding the weather had been shockingly lovely–I personally found it creepy how warm it was, but I think I’m the only one–yet come Saturday, poor Jessica and JD had to endure a pretty bitterly cold afternoon.  Thankfully it was very sunny, so that kept us warm while we shot outside…except when I posed them in the shade.  I’m such a jerk.

1st CRC on Hess and Charleton was completely packed as Jessica walked down the aisle to a heavenly string quartet and met JD at the end with lots of grins.  (My personal favourite way to be at the end of the aisle, by the way.)

JD signs the marriage license as a candle in memory of his mother burns in the foreground.

After family photos there was an incident involving a firmly planted foot and Jessica’s train.  Fortunately women are industrious and it wasn’t long before the significant rip was being mended and Jessica was able to grab a drink and snack.

Then we make the short trip to Melrose United Church on Locke St. for some wedding party photos and bride & groom shots.   So thankful that my assistant Jeremy was able to join me–because even though the sun warmed us up, it also cast some nasty harsh light.  Poor Jeremy spent most of the time on a ladder with a gigantic diffuser blocking the sun.  Everyone needs a Jeremy.

What an elegant wedding party, hey?   Despite the chills this group held it together and their patience and cooperation paid off in a lot of great shots.

After a drive to from Hamilton to Copetown, we all warmed up a bit and were able to give a little more outside.  I had scouted out this beautiful old bridge in Copetown and knew from many other shoots in that area that we’d undoubtedly get catch some trains in our shots.  We also caught the golden glow of the sun bouncing off the rails–it was pretty spectacular.

Congratulations JD & Jessica!   You were patient in love and patient in picture-taking–and the fruit of that patience cannot be valued.

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