Bre & Josh’s Monstrous Teaser :: Norval & Hillsburgh Ontario :: GTA Wedding Photographer

Let me start off by saying yes, this teaser from Bre & Josh’s wedding is massive!   I just couldn’t help myself–there was too much goodness to cut out.  And you should see how many were cut!   I have a problem…

Anyway, this is Josh & Bre’s wedding from a couple weeks ago out in Noval & Hillsburgh (near Erin)–it was a gorgeous DIY country wedding held at Norval Presbyterian Church, home to the (very) late Lucy Maud Montgomery (authoress of such institutional Canadian classics as Anne of Green Gables), then it was off to Hillsburgh to the bride’s family home for lawn games, cocktails and eventually, the reception!

But let’s start with the gorgeous girls all getting ready–seriously, what a stunning wedding party!

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(The above shot is for your Dad, Bre.   Tell him if he ever wants to get rid of another one I’d gladly take it off his hands…)

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Next it was off to Norval where a moderately late ceremony kept the guests guessing (and sweating a little…).  But it was all worth it seeing Josh’s face as his bride walked down the aisle with a huge grin on her face.  Love that.


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Did I mention is was hot in there?  Un petit peu…   But the guys looked equally hot and cool in their grey wool suits.

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Yay!  They’re married!   And it’s cooler outside than inside–yay!


First stop–a glowing wheat field that was, until just hours before, blowing softly in the breeze.  What you can’t see is the huge red combine that I’ve strategically hidden behind Bre’s dress.   Too bad the field was harvested THAT morning, but still a gorgeous backdrop–I’m glad we chose to stick with the plan.

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A few shots in the field and we were off to the 2nd last location–a friend’s property close to the reception in Hillsburgh.   This property really had it all–a pond, cool old out-buildings, lots of greenery and the perfect field for a pillow fight…

Thanks again to the owners who were SO accommodating and helpful before, during and after our shoot there.  We couldn’t have created these stunning shots without your hard work!

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I love this group shot–I love the set up, I love the greenery creeping in at the sides, I love the upside down row boat, and I love their smiles most of all.   There were laughing at ME at the time, (and my fancy there’s-a-deerfly-up-my-skirt dance) but I’m willing to pay that price for genuine smiles.

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Finally the part of the shoot we’d most been looking forward to (or I had, at least): the pillow fight!     I read Bre’s mind when she asked if we could set up a bed for part of the session–and later while I was daydreaming about their shoot I thought a pillow fight would be super fun–especially with the sun coming in behind them like that.  Ah…golden hour.

Thanks again to Bre’s friend (I forget your name!) who did the staging for us!

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This is one of my favourite shots of the entire day–such contentment and love and playfulness.

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We had to spend a little time pulling most of the feathers from between the layers of Bre’s dress–but as I said then: if you’re going to have anything trapped inside your dress, falling out during the evening…you want it to be feathers.    And it was so worth it.

The reception was held in the lovely backyard of the Stevenson’s–and I know it took a lot of hands and many hours to turn it into a reception venue, but wow, did it ever glow!   You all really thought of everything and I know all of your guests (and some of your vendors) really appreciated and admired your hard work and vision.

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Even though it wasn’t technically dark enough for sparklers–it seemed fitting to try anyway seeing as Bre & Josh were going to make their getaway at the end of the evening through a shower of sparklers.  And since I wasn’t going to be there for their getaway I wanted to try and recreate it a little.

Finally–a little down time in a swing under a big ol’ tree.

You two were so much fun to work with–it really was a dream come true working with like-minded people who brought their own flair to the table while also wanting me to add my flair too!    And after all this editing I feel confident we achieved something really awesome.

Congratulations Bre & Josh!

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The Summer Photo Marathon! Hamilton Family Photography :: Hamilton, Ontario

Back in the cooler days of June I hosted the first bi-annual (possibly even tri-annual!) photo-marathon at a lovely park in Hamilton/Ancaster.

We had six sessions lined up for 20-minutes each and even though the sessions were really short we were all super excited by how many fabulous shots we were able to capture in that time!   I would highly, highly recommend this type of session to everyone!

If you’re considering family portraits but are nervous your little ones won’t be able to focus for an entire session a Marathon session is perfect for you!  It’s also budget-friendly :)
I have the Fall Photo-Marathon coming up on September 22nd–just in time for Christmas cards and presents!   Email me for booking info!  info@clairedamphotography.com

Enjoy Session #1!

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Session #2

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Session #3

Yeah, they know they’re adorable…

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Session #4

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Session #5

I don’t know why but every time I see this shot I think of Mexican drug lords…

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Session #6 (my cousin!)

Thanks to everyone who took a chance on a weird concept–you all made my job really easy and fun!

Next Marathon is September 22nd!   $120 + HST, includes a private online gallery and TWO complimentary digital files (worth $45+HST each).   Email me info@clairedamphotography.com

Ezra, the Little Scholar :: Hamilton Newborn Photographer

I’ve known this little man since he was just a grapefruit in the womb, feeling for his limbs and poking around for his head versus his butt–and even though he was a tiny bit of a surprise he certainly was meant to be here now.   His mama and I (and the entire contents of each of our families) have been family/friends for about 30 years now–so I’m often working with one or two or all 6 of them.   You can see their glowing family/maternity session at an abandoned Hamilton estate here!

Ezra did such a great job at sleeping during this in-studio session–babies always struggle a bit being in a new place with strange smells and sounds.    Maybe it was the lack of big brother x 2 and big sister that allowed this sleepy session…?

Seeing as this family is LIKE family to me, they get the benefit/awkwardness of me trying out new things during their sessions.  This time I tried a really bold striped pattern for some of the shots–what do you think?  Distracting or kinda cool?

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Details, details!  Gotta love keeping record of all the littlest details that come and go so quickly at this age…

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For the last part of the session we played around with some meaningful books and props to come up with these shots below.  Ezra was a little camera-shy at first…

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Don’t you just hate it when you fall asleep while reading and you can’t manage take your glasses off until you roll over and *crunch*…your glasses mash into your face…?   Poor Ezra.

Congratulations, Gill & Ryan on the birth of your very timely little scholar!   For such a time as this.

xo

Chris & Monika Say ‘I Do’ :: Balls Falls Ontario :: Niagara Wedding Photography

Chris and Monika’s wedding was about as much fun to shoot at as I had imagined.

We had had a great time doing their engagement session on James St N in Hamilton–you can see their engagement session here–so I was anticipating good things for the wedding day!

Their lovely escarpment home was a hub of happy activity as the girls and some relatives got ready there–at the same time their backyard was being transformed into a cheerful reception area!   Yet the mood was nice and laid-back (for most of us–I can’t speak for Monika’s dad :)

All the day-of coordinating was in the control of the very capable Hanna Sinclair of Belle Soiree Weddings which allowed Monika et al to really enjoy the process of getting ready–as you’ll see below.  Lots of big smiles!

The ceremony took place in the quaint little white chapel at Balls Falls Conservation Area in Grimsby with a familiar comedian/minister.   This is the second time I’ve worked with this guy and he is a hoot.

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After we did some family shots and a quick wedding party set-up we drove to my studio at 270 Sherman and completed the wedding party and B&G shots there.   The lot itself is full of character and provides lots of fabulous, rustic-urban backdrops.

Yeah…I’d want to marry her too.  Look at that smile!

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After shooting outside we moved into the century-old warehouse space at 270 Sherman.   It was steamy hot in there but everyone was 100% cooperative and patient all in the name of creating epic wedding photos.   I feel like we succeeded.

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We took refuge from the heat of the warehouse on the roof of the building.  You can’t get more industrial-looking than sitting on the edge of a historical warehouse roof with the smoke-stacks of East Hamilton in the background.  This is how we rock ‘n’ roll.

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Yeah, she wore those gorgeous kicks all day.  Feet of steel!   And they look incredible.

Even though the original lift wasn’t operational on the weekend we still managed to get some really moody, atmospheric shots.

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After wrapping up at the studio we busted it over to the reception–at Chris & Monika’s stunning home on the escarpment with a view of Lake Ontario in the distance.  (Thanks to my assistant Rita for getting most of the fish-eye shots!)

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Monika and Chris really were a perfect couple to work it–they had an eye for fashion and style and a desire to create some really beautiful, unique photography…not to mention they are both lovely people and really nice to look at.

Thanks for the pleasure of working with you both–congratulations Mr & Mrs!

Claire + Mark’s Sunny Ontario Wedding :: Toronto Wedding Photographer

Poor Claire and Mark–they had a heck of time having their engagement and wedding photography done!  On the day of their Ontario engagement session the weather was freezing cold and miserable :(   But we managed to get some really romantic and playful shots–see here.

Then their official wedding in Tofino, BC was rained out–heavily–all day!  Yet they came back with some really, REALLY stellar shots.   Then on the day of their Ontario wedding reception last weekend the weather was threatening but held-out and even gave us some really glorious golden sunshine at the end of our session together!

So, in conclusion, Claire and Mark look good no matter what.   They were such excellent clients in less than ideal circumstances–and you’ll see from their photos that rain or shine they make each photo glow.

Congratulations!!

We shot all of the family and B&G stuff at Adamson Estate in Mississauga.  Wow–what a gorgeous location!  It isn’t a secret that it’s gorgeous either–we were competing for spots with three other wedding parties!  But thankfully we were mostly on our own for most of our time there.   If you’re ever in the lakeshore area in Mississauga you must check out the Adamson Estate!   (Oh and be sure to investigate the Pet Cemetery there…creepy/adorbs.)


Finally we let poor Mark and Claire head back to their reception at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Mississauga where a huge 10-course feast awaiting them and their lucky guests!

And according to Chinese tradition–the couple made their way to each table to toast their guests–fortunately there were only 12 tables or so or else I would have had one drunk couple on my hands!

Finally we finished up with some classic sparkler and umbrella shots–I love shooting at night :)





Alex & Karen’s Engagement :: Niagara Engagement Photography :: Niagara-On-The-Lake

This blog is sadly late in coming–sad because it’s such a pretty post and late because there might have been another session tacked onto this one!

There was a mix-up at one of the wineries we were supposed to shoot at, and after I brought it to their attention they graciously offered to let us shoot in their wine barrel room for free!  It was a great offer, but just not meant to be–and I think we’re all OK with that considering Alex & Karen’s original shoot went so well.

We ended up doing a bit of a tour-de-grape for this session: first to Jackson Triggs to shoot among their finished barrels, then to the little hamlet of Niagara-on-the-Lake to do some wine tasting and finally (and a little out of order) to Ravine Vineyard where we reveled among the vines in their vineyard.

It was such a fun day working with these two–they were so laid-back in the midst of mix-ups and schedule changes and their happy, loving attitude really made this session sparkle.

Congratulations Alex & Karen!

Chris & Lee + two :: Hamilton Engagement Photographer

I’ve known Chris, aka Foster, for a LONG time–since I was 15! Foster and I even shared a house together with a few other friends down on Bay Street in the beloved Hammer.

So when he and his fiance, Lee, asked me to be their photographer I will thrilled to be a part of their new lives together!

Congrats you guys!

First stop at the Baltimore House on King Wm. in Hamilton–definitely a place you kids want to check out if you haven’t already.  By day a Hemingway-esque cafe and by night….a Hemingway-esque bar!  (The author of diuretics.)  There are even signs that encourage the patron to stay as long as they like and write!   Adorbs.

We didn’t write anything…but we did document the start of a new chapter in Lee & Chris’ life…aw….too much?


Lee & Chris told me that they loved winding down at the end of a long day teaching (they’re both teachers!) and lounging on the couch watching their favourite TV shows.   I love a good lighting challenge–so we played around with that concept a little.   I don’t think their mantel at home has ram skulls and angels perched on it, but you get the idea.

After a lovely visit at Baltimore House,  we met up again at Princess Point in Hamilton/Westdale.   There’s a lovely little spot here among the towering oak savannah (yes, it’s actually considered a savannah of oaks!) where we set up the little couch, brought out some special musical instruments and finally got to include the +2 pooches in the shoot!




Congratulations you four! 

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