Rooftop Twins :: Chic Critique Photography Idol ::

So this post is a brief synopsis of the last assignment I did for the Photography Idol contest back in September.    The theme was emotion and/or motion.    I ended up with mostly emotion because it wasn’t nearly as windy as I had anticipated up there on the rooftop at 270 Sherman!

I put a call out for twins and my nephew actually ended up responding saying he was friends with twins….REDHEAD twins.   My favourite.     Being as non-creepy as I could be I got in touch with the girls and their parents–and everyone was really pumped to do the shoot!   And it helped that White Elephant once again agreed to supply the wardrobe!   We met at White Elephant and the girls had a chance to try some fun dresses on before settling on 3 (and one of my own from home).

I wanted to play with twins and that intimacy and understanding that comes with being so closely connected to a person–genetically and relationally.    I was also hoping to play around with some Wes Anderson-esque ideas.   There’s something very unique about his lighting that I didn’t hit exactly–but it was very fun trying.

I want to thank the girls so much for being so willing, and cooperative and pretty—and for obliging my weird posing and set-ups!   And thank you to their parents for being so happy to drive the girls around and get involved in this shoot!

Lastly–show your love by leaving a comment below!!!


*the image I submitted to the contest*




Thanks again for your support–leave a note below!


Bre the Mountain-Woman :: Chic Critique Photography Idol Contest :: Halton, ON

Now that most of the paying work is completed I’m able to spend a little time going over the tens of thousands of pro bono images I took this year!   One of the most exciting such sessions was this one with one of my recent brides, Bre, and her new husband Josh.    This sessions was the 1st assignment for the Chic Critique Photography Idol Contest that I entered and won recently!    These images have never been seen–and I’ve been anxiously sitting on them waiting for the time when I could finish a few!
To be honest though, I’m mostly motivated because I have to submit the images to the magazine so they can figure out the layout for my spread in the January issue :)

*A little disclaimer though: if the images seem crooked to you, they aren’t.  It’s an old, homemade cabin, so the old fella isn’t as squared off as he used to be.
Without further adieu:

-models: Bre + Josh
 + plymouth rock chicken
-assisted by: Rita
-hair/mu: Bre & Anna
-wardrobe + accessories: supplied by White Elephant
-props + accessories: The Joneses!
-smoke: provided by the sweat and tears of Josh

And if that wasn’t enough there are more…

*Image submitted to contest*

Thank you to everyone who offering their help, ideas, clothes, wolf pelts and antlers!    Special thank you to Bre & Josh who happily came all the way from London on the hottest day EVER to wear multiple layers of pelts and pose by a FIRE.    You guys are awesome.

I’ll let you all know when the magazine comes out!  ***Please show me the love–leave a comment below!   I have really low self-esteem.***

Thanks for your support <3

Alex & Karen :: TORONTO WEDDING :: Liberty Grand, Toronto

It’s been a while since I’ve been over this collection from Karen & Alex’s wedding–yes, this is a catch-up post from July.  Eh hem.    But these photos really made me chuckle–at the time they were taken, while I was editing them and again while I was preparing this blog.    Karen & Alex, and their families, are the most joyous, playful, fun-loving, dancing-singing crazies I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.   (See their Niagara engagements here:

There were definitely some lovely, tender moments–but overall this wedding was such a celebration, on both sides, and this was evident by all the dancing, singing and laughing.  My cheeks are hurting.

Thank you to the Liberty Grand–such a lovely venue with outstanding staff.  And thank you to my assistant Rita and my 2nd shooter Hollie<3.

(If you were in charge of flowers, or the cake or the venue let me know and I’ll add you to this blog!)

*Please leave a note that you were here–I’d love to hear from you!*

The ceremony was held in the courtyard of the Grand Liberty just as the sun was starting angle in on its descent–so there was some unavoidable dappled shade here and there, but overall everything just glowed!

Everyone took their cue from the B&G and danced down the aisle at the end of the ceremony!   A very fitting way to end the ceremony and start the celebration!

But before we got into the reception there was a traditional Tea Ceremony for the B&G and their parents and grandparents.  This was my first Tea Ceremony–and it was lovely watching this tradition unfold.

 And before we launched into the portraits with the wedding party we snapped a few shots with the bride in her new gold jewelery–a traditional wedding gift from her new in-laws.











The reception!


Began with dancing, of course!

And singing…

And shockingly hilarious speeches…

And embarrassing speeches…

And more singing!

Finally, we ended with a romantic first-dance for the B&G followed by a lively parent-dance!

How cute are all these guys, hey?  It was as much as joy to photograph their entire family as it was to be part of the celebrations.

Congratulations again Karen & Alex.

I pray you’ll laugh that hard together every day!

Leave me a comment!!!  HI-YA!

*Please leave a comment for me!  I constantly need affirmations and encouragement.   Enable my addiction–please.*

Emily & Paul :: ENGAGEMENT :: Hamilton, ON

Emily & Paul and I came together through the lovely Charmed Events coordinator Tiffany <3.   Tiffany and I go way back and we’re always looking for excuses to work together and hang out!  Thanks for connecting us all Tiff—we had an awesome time!

We shot all of this at the studio at 270 Sherman in Hamilton.

*Please leave a comment for me at the end–show me some loving.  I feel all alone here…


This shot was right out of the gate and I knew after this moment that we were going to have a lot of fun in this session.   It helps that we were being serenaded by some dancing minstrels up on the 2nd floor.

Strange things happen around here and I’ve stopped asking questions.

The minstrels left a door open into one of the warehouses I don’t usually have access to so we sneaked in and took some sassy shots in the old stairwells.

There’s a bit of a height difference between them.   Not sure if you noticed.

After a good warm up in our civies we all got changed into more formal attire–and by we I mean ‘them’.   I was still in my jeans.

This is up on the rooftop overlooking a lot of Hamilton.   Paul is from Scotland and besides lulling me with charming Braveheart-flavoured accent, (yes Braveheart could be a flavour…) he was telling me that Hamilton is a lot like his town near Glasgow–only “100x better”.    Good for Hamilton!

Look at that heel kick again, hey?

Congratulations Paul & Emily!  After meeting, working and laughing with you I am so looking forward to your lovely September wedding.  And all the kilts!

(Who am I kidding?   That’s why I agreed to take this wedding.  For all the kilts.)

And please leave a comment for me!

Classic Boho Amelie:: Annie’s Maternity Session :: Hamilton, ON

This has to be one of my all time favourite sessions.  *Please leave a comment if you like it!*

Annie is a dear old friend of mine, a kindred spirit (cynicism and sarcasm and all!), and fellow entrepreneur–and when she found out that for her 2nd pregnancy she was having a little girl I received an excited email saying we needed to go ‘all out’ for this little girl.   And that included stellar maternity photos.   Her ideal session?   “Classic/bohemian/Amelie flava.”    Rock and roll, baby!

I’d had this special idea burning a hole in my brain, waiting for someone special to use it on so I knew this was the time to pull it out!

I scoured the countryside for days driving around in my pick-up, pinning locations on my phone and knocking on doors.    Finally, with a sweet spot chosen I went to work designed and (poorly) sewing Annie’s wardrobe.  She graciously let me take control of one of her outfits—-I was pretty excited.    After that I made a wooden swing that was easily put up and taken down by a person without a ladder (and possibly without assistance!), but fortunately my husband was there to help hang the swing.

We started off the session easy though—-kind of like a warm-up.




Sadly, 95% of the session was sans sunshine—-Annie arrived about 5 minutes after the golden-hour sun was eaten up by black clouds.   It was a race against time and I was already disappointed about the sun.   But the dark, moody clouds that surrounded us actually gave us a really, really cool vibe and created some stunning contrasts.   After the warm-up part we dove into the main-event: the swing!   Kudos to Annie, being 8 months pregnant, and happily standing on a home-made swing!   Not only did she do that for me, but she looked like a goddess while she did it!


This photo below was the image I entered in the Chic Critique Photography Idol contest back in August.   I had just gotten home from vacation, read my inbox of emails and realized I only had TWO HOURS to submit my entry into the contest!   I did and I WON the entire competition!   You can read more about it here, here, and the winning blog here.   All of it was possible because of Annie and this shoot :)

Look at that impish smile.  COME ON!

We finished off in the soy plants–sorry Mr Farmer!    The sun was almost gone completely and the green soy was casting a really pretty light in contract with the pink of Annie’s skirt.    I think it was also nice for her to lay down for a moment!

Thanks again to Annie for being so willing to place her session in my hands!    And sorry this post is so late in coming—there will be oodles more being posted as I try to catch up on blogging from the last three months.  Ouch.

And check out Chic Critique if you are a female photographer–Chic Critique is THE elite magazine & resource for women who love photography (yes, we’re biased!)

*I’d love to hear back from you!  Please leave a comment–pleeeeeeasse!  I feel like I’m all alone here….

Dawnald & Markus :: Engaged! :: Hamilton, ON

Wow–it’s been too long since I’ve blogged.  For a while there the contest was causing me to get behind in my blogging and then I was caught up in just posting collections to Facebook–naughty girl.  Facebook isn’t for collections–it’s for sneak peeks to draw you over to the collection on the blog.

So I’m aiming to post a couple retrospective blogs per week until I’m caught up.   This will take us easily into January–so enjoy the upcoming flow of blogs from me!

Right now we’re going to enjoy Dawn & Mark’s e-sesh at the 270 Sherman Arts’ Centre (where my studio is).   Dawn is one of my oldest buddies–we’ve been friends since we were dorky 12-year olds.  She’s also one of my most hilarious and quirkiest friends–we could fill a dictionary with random words and names of people that have secret meanings just for us.   We just recently reconnected and since I wasn’t able to shoot her destination wedding in January I happily offered to shoot her engagements instead!

Naturally I knew we’d spend most of the session laughing–but I was pleasantly surprised how much time I’d spend catching really sweet, tender moments between these two–and a few butt squeezes.  (Not MY butt…although that would be been nice.)

These first two shots sum things up…


Their dogs–Myou and Bolt are like their babies so we had to spend a good chunk of time with them.   And wow, what awesome, obedient dogs!   I, and everyone who met her, fell in love with Myou–the little fox/red panda.   She’s….prolly the cutest dog I’ve ever met.


Dawn absolutely insisted on getting some fall colours into their shots…so I said ‘Fine. I’ll put you INTO a tree.’  And I did.   This is the upside to working with friends.



I don’t even know how to explain the next set of images…except that they were a serendipitous mixture of their accessories and mine…and that if you know Dawn or Mark then this won’t need an explanation.


We did another couple sets of ridiculous concepts but I can’t bring myself to post them.  You’ll just have to ask Graham Hewitt.


We were lucky that the elevator was operational that Saturday so we took advantage of this rarity and got some sassy shots in the century-old warehouse lift.   Love in an elevator…

And finally, in case you needed one last bit of proof that these two were a) crazy and b) meant for each other…here you go:

Anyway–it’s was such an honour/experience taking your photos, guys, I loved it.    I wish ALL my clients brought dress-up clothes to their sessions…

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