Archive for Sep 2009

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September 29, 2009 Dave & Vivian

I love the first dance between a bride and groom at the wedding. The day has been packed – busy preparations, the ceremony, guests, family, scurrying form place to place… and then you get to stop. And simply dance with the one you love. The one you will be dancing with throughout time.

Watching Dave and Vivian dance was beautiful. Dave held her gaze and sang to her the entire dance. For that moment all the guests and chaos and months of planning vanished. As the dance ended, Dave took Vivian’s hands, and as only a gentleman would do – gave his bride a kiss on her hands. So intimate and sweet – I don’t think I was the only girl there who sighed and “awwwww”ed right out loud. To watch Dave and Vivian together is beautiful – how they love and compliment each other.

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Dave and Vivian are from New York, and so I traveled down in July for their engagement photos and then this past weekend for their wedding. I knew nothing of the area – and it was so fun to discover new beauty and great locations with such a gorgeous couple!

We started our day in Queens, NY at Vivian’s brother’s home for her preparation and the tea ceremony.

Vivian’s parents putting the finishing touches on Viv – her veil…

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And what a stunning bride Vivian made! I absolutely loved her dress, veil and entire look!

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The tea ceremony is always so beautiful and touching!

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And then we were off to Amityville – yes…”that” Amityville! We enjoyed beautiful light and a great park!

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I just love how Vivian looks at Dave!

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And then we were off again to Jones Beach – what a treat! An empty beach with gorgeous white sand, a great cloudy sky…. so fun!

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I had to laugh – we took off our shoes to run in the sand… and Dave had the socks with the individual toes in them! You’ll see it in the slideshow – so funny!

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There were two birds overhead that stayed right with Dave and Vivian – beautiful!

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I love beaches….

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Think they’re happy?

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The ceremony and reception was in Long Island, NY at the Riviera right on the water. A lovely venue!

Dave waiting for his beautiful bride

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All the digital camera LCD screens give a cool effect!

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And then on to the reception and great food, dancing and fun!

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Without further ado… enjoy the slideshow!

Dave and Vivian, thank you again for finding me and having me come be a part of your Big Day! Have a great time in Costa Rica!

Celebrating life and love,


A couple months ago I had a call from my good friend Rodrigo – a wedding photographer based out of Miami (but moving to Toronto!). He asked if I was open the weekend of September 19 – funny thing is… I was booked but the clients had just changed their wedding date to October. So now my weekend was open again. So when Rodrigo asked if I would consider coming to Puerto Rico to second shoot for him…. well, didn’t take asking me twice!

I arrived in Puerto Rico on Friday afternoon and we went to the rehearsal right away. And that’s when it hit me…. I don’t speak Spanish! ha ha!

The ceremony and everything was completely in Spanish. Most people were very fluent in both English and Spanish – but Spanish is everyone’s first language. Present during a ceremony where you have no idea what is being said is a unique experience! But you know… sometimes you don’t need words. As I quietly slipped near the front to get a photo of the couple – I saw this image below. Absolute love on Viviana’s face. I do not need a translator to tell me what her heart is saying. Somethings are more powerful than the spoken word.

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I can’t wait to share about this great experience!

We started at Viviana’s parent’s beautiful Victorian decorated home.

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We then drove to the 400 year old church – San Jorge Catholic Church. Beautiful!

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Afterwards we headed to Old San Juan for just a few minutes of portraits. SO fun!

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Then we headed to their beautiful reception venue – Casa de Espana.

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A few more photos of the happy couple!

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And then into the reception!

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A special surprise for the couple (and me!) – a mariachi band!

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And without further ado… the slideshow!

Again – Rodrigo, thank you so much for the honour of second shooting with you!

Celebrating life and love,


September 22, 2009 Cabby Revisited

I have to tell a story – well actually two.

First story happened about 25 years ago during the Cabbage Patch Kid craze. I begged and pleaded for a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas that year. It was the only thing I wanted. My parents tried, but had no luck. I remember mom explaining to me that there was no possible way she could get one for me that year as they were sold out everywhere.

Then, on Christmas Eve my mom got a phone call from one of her co-workers. This woman had ordered one for her daughter, and then in the meantime had been able to purchase one in case the order didn’t come in time for Christmas. She had just received a call her order was in – and wondered if my mom wanted the doll as she had already got one by then. YES!!! So, on Christmas morning with zero hopes of finding Xavier Robert’s signature anywhere in our house – I screamed when I opened my Cabbage Patch Kid.

She had red hair and green eyes and soon became my favourite childhood toy ever. She travelled the world with us – we have photos of her and I in matching bikinis sunbathing in Mexico, and memories of my “Cabbage Patch” birthday party where every girl brought their Cabby.

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Madi is sentimental like me. I know she enjoys playing with my Cabbage Patch Kid now because it’s a doll – but mostly because it was mine and so well loved by mom.

When I saw Cabbage Patch Kids on sale for only $15 at Walmart – I had to get in on that! My mom was going in to town so I asked her to grab one for me for Madi’s birthday. My mom looked all over the toy section with no luck. She asked a clerk who said they sold out fast and none were left.

As my mom was checking out – the clerk came running over. She had found one last one tucked into the wrong section. And the funny thing is – the one and only Cabbage Patch Kid available in Walmart – was the exact same as mine. Red hair. Green eyes.

So, yesterday was Madi’s birthday and I was hesitant to give her the gift. I wanted her to love it but you never know how kids will react. As I gave it to her I told her – “this is a special gift. Something I received from my mom when I Was you rage and was my favourite toy growing up.”

Well, she reacted the very same way I did. She screamed and hugged the box. They’ve been inseparable since.

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I’ll post a pic of the two of us with our matching dolls soon. Fortunately I don’t have the short permed hairdo anymore as in the above photo!

Celebrating life, love and childhood memories,


September 21, 2009 Lucky Number 7

When we were back to school shopping Madi saw these ruby red shoes she fell in love with. Madi is all about jeans (the tighter the better) and t-shirts. No skirts. So when she looooooved these shoes – which were on sale ridiculously cheap – I caved. We had just finished watching the Wizard of Oz for the girl’s first time – and Madi thought she was Dorothy. She’s wear them around the house and I caught her one day clicking her heels and saying “There’s no place like home”.
She opened her eyes and said “It didn’t work”.
“Well, wait a second… where are you?”
She looked confused and then yelled “I’m home!!! It did work!”
Since then I’ve caught her clicking her heels and repeating things like “there’s no place like a barn full of horses” or “there’s no place like Grandma’s with my cousins” and so on.
But she has refused to wear the shoes outside the house saying “they are only for very, very, very special occasions.”
Today my Madison is celebrating a very, very, very special occasion. She’s now 7 years old. Break out the ruby red slippers!
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(Note: She got to choose her own outfit since it’s her birthday…)

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Love from Eden

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7 Years Old!! We named her Madison because one of the meanings for the name is “Gift from God”. No name could suit her better. What a gift.

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Celebrating life, love & Madi,


This entry is for me.

If Olivia ever drives me nuts and I wonder why we got a dog – I need only to look at these photos of sheer delight on my girls faces.

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Celebrating life and love & Olivia,


September 17, 2009 Baby Evelyn

A couple of years ago, I had the honour of shooting Chris & Arlene’s wedding. I was so excited to hear that they have recently added to their family with beautiful baby Evelyn! I’m extra sentimental this week with Eden starting her new school today and Madi turning 7 next week. To see this new little baby – it’s beautiful! You forget they start that small – it all goes so fast! I’m always reminded of that movie with Adam Sandler “Click” where he whizzes past his kids lives… and the silly line “I missed the Dragon Tales stage!” haunts me. It’s really quite a ridiculous line – but the idea that we can be so busy we miss entire phases in our kids lives… I don’t want that regret.

So it made me happy to see how present Chris & Arlene are with wee Evelyn. When I arrived Chris had just gotten home from work and was strolling down the sidewalk with Evelyn in one arm and holding the dog’s leash in the other. This made me happy. We waited a few minutes for Arlene and as we did I had a glimpse into one of my favourite moments in my own family’s life – daddy’s home from work and just wants to soak in his baby girl as much as he can!

Here they are holding hands – I think she may have him wrapped around her finger already.

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This photo cracks me up – Chris is reading to her “How to raise a lady” – and Evelyn could not look more mischievous if she tried. As if she’s ready to disprove every theory on what a lady is. What a monkey! I can almost hear her chuckling saying “just you wait, dad…”

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She’s so little and adorable!

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I think the face on the right can be described as “you want me to wear WHAT on my head?” I loved all her adorable outfits!

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Had to snap this hilarious photo – this is Evelyn getting changed with her dress all around her – she looks like a flower!

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Look at those eyes sparkle!

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And we can’t forget Silo! Protecting his little sister

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I love these ones in their neighbourhood…

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And I love these because they could have been taken today. Or a hundred years ago.

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I love how happy Chris & Arlene look here!

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And Evelyn had to show off her beautiful nursery.

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And we’ll end with a couple photos from Evelyn’s world…

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Celebrating life and love,


September 17, 2009 My heart rode off…

This morning my heart rode off on a school bus.

To be exact – this is the first day both of my girls are at school. I know according to TV – “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”…. but my heart doesn’t agree. Sure, I can’t deny the idea of full days a few times a week child free is bliss. But the notion that both my girls are in school… makes my heart ache. I am always surprised by the amount of guilt that goes along with motherhood. Did I do enough – love, care, play, teach, laugh, discipline, parent enough? Even though this is not the end of my parenting – the amount of influence from other sources – friends and teachers increases.


I was fine until the bus door closes and I couldn’t see her anymore. I wanted to chase the bus down the road like a mad woman. But – we live in a small town and everyone knows everything. Don’t think I want to be known as the crazy mom quite yet. In time – but not yet. icon smile My heart rode off...

Here are a few photos of Eden’s first day of SK. She loved JK last year and I’m sure she’ll adore SK and going full days!

Heading down the pathway – and showing off her new dress from Grandma

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Madi, Eden and Olivia making the trek to the end of the driveway. At breakfast Eden asked Madi if she could sit with her on the bus – to which Madi replied “uh, no. I have to sit with my friends.” I reminded Madi about her role as big sister and I’m glad she stepped up to the role of showing Eden the ropes.

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Last year I was late for school every single day. This year we’ve been early every morning. Strange. And it’s almost an hour earlier we need to be out the door. Miracles never cease. Here are the girls having fun with shadows on the road as we wait.

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I ran up to the house to grab something and saw this as I walked back. My girls are too little to go to school!

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And they’re off. Bye bye heart!

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Celebrating life and love,


September 16, 2009 Thank You!

I like to make goals for myself and the business – and a couple of years ago I made a goal of being nominated for a Reader’s Choice Award in the Hamilton Spectator. I had zero expectations of winning – I just wanted to be nominated.

To have won numerous Reader’s Choice Awards in the Spec over the last couple of years and to be nominated again – nothing short of a miracle in my eyes. I’m just a girl with a camera. Thank you so much for believing in me and my art.

If you feel my photos are worth a vote again this year, I’d be honoured if you would VOTE in the people section (for photographer) and business/Services section (for photography studio).

Thank you!


September 16, 2009 Foggy Morning

One of my goals is to never stop shooting for myself and for the sheer joy of it! So when I woke up one morning recently to fog – I grabbed my camera and my housecoat (so glad we don’t have neighbours within view – ha ha!) and headed outside! Fog makes everything seem magical!

A couple photos around my yard on a foggy morning this week…

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Celebrating life and love,


September 16, 2009 Home Sweet Home

We have lived in our new home about 6 weeks now. Honestly – it’s got such a comfortable feel – seems we’ve always lived here. But a couple things in the last week have made this really start to feel like “home”.

Last week, as I mentioned, Madison started school. From day one she comes off the bus everyday telling me it was “awesome!” She’s making friends fast and absolutely loving the school! She’s also started karate and could not be more excited. In two days Eden starts school and then at the end of the month her gymnastics classes start.

Tonight our neighbour’s family came over. We moved out to the absolute boondocks and were not expecting kids too nearby. Imagine how happy we were to find out the family over the hill also has two young daughters – and one is in Eden’s class! Tonight the kids met for the first time and as only kids can do – they were fast friends within all of about 30seconds.

And we have been heading back into Hamilton some Sunday evenings and for different events to our church there – but we need to start making this our community. On Sunday night, our church said “farewell” with kind words, tears and gifts. Our church in Hamilton was a church plant – Mark was the first person who bought into Pernell’s vision and committed to be a part. The church is the only one our girls have known. It is also a big part of why I am a photographer today as they encourage the arts and I found a voice for myself through the camera. Realizing the impact of our church as we said good-bye made it all the harder.

So – in the last week we have said a lot of good-byes and hellos. It feels as if we are starting to really make this home now – not just a place where we can hide out in the country not knowing anybody. Up until now it still seemed a bit like we were on vacation here (a vacation where we are gardening, painting, and doing renovations non-stop… ha ha!). Now reality is setting in as the “New Year” begins. I’m excited to see where our new life will lead us as we make new relationships and commitments. I’m thankful we’re close enough to our old life to stay connected with friends though!

Here are a few photos from this week because a post is always better with photos! I didn’t have my camera at church or karate or anything – so I’ll just share a few photos of the family!

My girls….

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Everyday after school Madi goes straight for the tire swing!

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Our girls use the hammock as a swing and get going so high!

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My favourite boy – look at all that grey hair! Love it!!!

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Celebrating life and love,


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