Archive for May 2011

May 26, 2011 Jamie and Jen

Sunday started off raining. And raining. Like most of the Spring it was WET! When we got to Jen’s house we had to run fast as it was POURING! But we were pleasantly surprised when it was time for Jen to leave the house that the sun broke through and it turned into a gorgeous day! Even were able to have an outdoor ceremony – yay!

We started our day off at Jamie’s parent’s house. I loved all the neat touches in Jamie’s parents home and tried to incorporate some of them into the images. Tells part of the story!

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Also, it was great to have my good friend Rosina along as my second shooter – not only is she a great photographer, but it was so nice to spend time together. Rosina captured some the vest and shoes images here…

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And the handsome groom…

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Then it was on to Jen’s parent’s home. If you can believe it – Jen bought her dress 8 years ago – before she had met Jamie. She fell in love with it and put it away for “someday”. Sunday her “someday” arrived and the dress was still gorgeous on her!

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She looks gorgeous!!

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And as I was taking the above photos – Rosina captured this reaction of her parents and Maid of Honour looking at the beautiful bride…

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Jen and her dad have a very special relationship – he told me he had gone to every dress fitting with her. Loved watching these two together!

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Even Jen’s cat got in on the festivities wearing a little pink dress!

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Loved the bouquets – Jen had simply told her florist to use “pinks”… I think it looks gorgeous with all the different flowers… and you will see more in the reception and ceremony images too!

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Jen’s parents surprised her with a limo – treating her like an absolute princess for the day!

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And it was on to the Old Mill!

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Jen looked so elegant waiting for the ceremony to begin!

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And Jamie greeted guests….

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And it’s time for the ceremony to start and the sun is still shining!

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Love this image Rosina captured of Jen’s dad veiling her.

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Jamie looks calm, cool and collected… but that was until he saw his bride….

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The new couple!

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And time to boot it to the reception!

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Love these reactions as Jen and Jamie enter…

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Jen and Jamie did their first dance as soon as they entered…

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Such a fun reception!

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Jen and Jamie – thank you for letting me be a part of your Big Day!

Celebrating life and love,


May 24, 2011 Jamie & Jen

Sunday turned out to be a gorgeous day for Jamie and Jen… can’t wait to blog their wedding in detail… for now here’s one of the VERY happy couple! (and you can look back at their engagement images HERE).

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Celebrating life and love,


May 17, 2011 Enjoy the View

I have never been one to bird watch. Seems time consuming and boring.

And then we moved to the country to a home with several bird feeders. Suddenly I find myself lingering over lunch watching the birds come in and out of the feeders. Watch them interact. Marvel at their beauty.

Last night at supper one of the girls noticed there was a new bird at the bird feeder. “Quick! Get the bird book!” the other one cried. We all sat and watched for our new friend to re-appear as we searched the bird book for him (he’s an “Indigo Bunting” if you’re curious). While they grabbed the book – I grabbed my camera. The rest of supper was spent with the fam pouring over the bird book and me snapping away while sitting at the kitchen table.

And I was reminded it really is about stopping and finding the beauty where you are. To stop, look around and see what is so breathtakingly beautiful – often it’s something that we had mistaken for boring.

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What beauty can you find in the mundane today?

Celebrating life and love,


May 10, 2011 Cameron & Heather

When I met up with Cameron and Heather last night for their engagement shoot, you could tell they were a little nervous. It’s always awkward to be photographed at the beginning… and I love watching the transition from the nervous beginning… to the end of the shoot where we’re all comfortable with each other. Makes such a difference on the wedding day!!

Cameron and Heather have known each other since about grade four (note to self.. start paying attention to the boys at my girl’s school). And have been together for about 10 years. They are so natural and adorable together… love them!

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Look how he looks at her…. awwwww……

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I just love how these two interact! So sweet!

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The water looked so beautiful last night!

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I love a couple willing to change on the middle of a beach! On with the jeans!

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I love evening light!

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Cameron and Heather – you two were awesome! I can’t wait for your wedding later this year!!!

Celebrating life and love,


May 9, 2011 Nataschia

I love my job for many, many, many reasons…. but one of the biggest benefits is the people I meet. Not just my amazing clients – but other photographers. Over the years, some of my fellow photographers, have become some of my closest friends.

Enter Nataschia.

We just “get” each other. We laugh a LOT when we’re together. We dream, listen and share. We hang out with each other’s families. We push each other to do more, live better, and be the best. I love this gal a lot.

So… when Nataschia asked me to do her headshots, I was so excited. Not just because she’s great to photograph… but because it meant we could hang out!

Nataschia got a tad lost on the way to my place… she’s only been to my house a dozen times or more… so we were quickly chasing the last remains of daylight. My favourite time of day – but we had to act fast! We raced up and down my dirt road and managed to get some gorgeous images of my friend!

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This field may look beautiful – but not only did it stink, but it was so muddy our feet were suctioned into place. Thank goodness the camera doesn’t capture smells!

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We quickly rushed back to my place – and snuck in behind the barn so my girls wouldn’t see me and Nataschia as they would definitely want to join in on the fun! ha ha

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Nataschia – thank you for making the trek out here (once you found me that is)… and for your friendship!

celebrating life and love,


May 9, 2011 Robertson family

I have known the Robertsons for a long time… I had a few of the kids in youth group when I lead it, and they lived right around the corner from us growing up. Andy, like my dad, loves to work on cars and miscellaneous projects… so if I couldn’t reach my dad for car help I could always try Andy! It’s been a few years since I’ve seen the whole family – I couldn’t believe how much everyone had changed! It was so fun to connect again with this great family.

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One thing I always wonder about is how my kids will get along as adults. Will they be friends, joke around, hang out… or have no time for each other? So it’s fun for me to watch adult siblings and how they interact. These 4 – well I should really say 5 kids as Andy is the biggest kid of all! – are always joking around, laughing and having their arms around each other. Loved it!

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Kids will be kids.

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Oh Amber. I just love you and your laugh.

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Thank you again Robertsons for a fun evening!

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Celebrating life and love,


Every mother’s day I reflect on the women who have been in my life and made an impact… my mom, sister, Grandma, mother-in-laws, aunts, friends. But this year what I keep thinking about as well is my own role as a mother.

After 8 and a half years of being a mother, I have learned so much. I have learned that mothers are blessed with guilt. A lot of guilt. I’ve learned that motherhood is a full-time unglamorous job with amazing rewards. I have learned that I probably make more mistakes than right decisions… but the next day we start back up again with a clean slate. I have learned that being a mother means your kids will declare they’ll never speak to you again, and the next moment they are snuggled in giving you love and kisses. I have learned taht every single moment is a teachable moment. I have learned patience. I have learned LOVE.

And… I thought I’d share a few of the specific lessons my girls have taught me recently.

1. Never ever ever give up.

Last year Madi was determined to learn the monkey bars. She would come home from school with her hands ripped open and raw from trying so hard. I would have to ban her from the bars for a few days to let her hands heal…. but then she was back at it. And she did it. She conquered the monkey bars. So then she made a new goal of jump to the second bar and then swing across. Done. Now try the third bar. And so on. When I feel frustrated in a tough circumstance and want to give up, I think of Madi’s raw hands and her determination.

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2. Have good role models.

So, since Madi learned the monkey bars.. .guess who else is determined to learn? Yep. Her little sister. Eden is always watching what Madi is doing and what she is learning and trying to push herself to keep up. Madi will learn something new in school – multiplication or cursive writing – and come home and try to teach Eden. Eden is so eager to learn so she can be just like her big sister. But they are so different in personalities… so even when Eden tries to learn from Madi she doesn’t duplicate Madi’s actions. She learns from her, and then makes it her own. I think of this in photography and in life with my role models. I need to have people I look up to and who inspire me… but I will never be them. I need to learn from them, and then take that knowledge and make it apply to my unique self.

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3. Favourite clothes make you feel good.

Madison has a pair of brown tall boots she loves. She has completely worn them out – but when she slips them on, she doesn’t notice the rips and scuffs. She just sees her favourite boots and stands a bit taller and walks a bit more confidently. Eden likewise had favourite pink cowboy boots she wore until they were completely destroyed. An awesome fashion lesson… if you love it, wear it – and wear it with confidence. Even if it means tall brown boots with green plaid shorts and a pink polka dot tank top. Be your own style icon.

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4. Be confident.

When Eden heard there was a talent show at church, she quickly signed up to burp her alphabet. A couple months later when her school held try-outs for the talent show – again she brought her burping talent to the stage. It’s a ridiculous talent. But… it’s her talent. And she did not so much as bat an eye when getting on stage all by herself with the microphone. Eden’s confidence – even when all the other kids are doing polished routines – amazes me. She is so confident in who she is… and this completely inspires me.

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5. Do random acts of kindness

Madi loves to show love by doing things for people. Unexpected acts of service. If she sees I’m having a rough day she’ll slip away and straighten up the kitchen, clean the windows, or make a treat. She knows that love is an action and not just words. I can get self-focussed and forget that saying “I love you” means nothing if it is not followed by actions. Sometimes love comes not in the form of roses and chocolates…. but a girl with windex and a rag.

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6. Play hard.

Eden is the most energetic, enthusiastic kid I have ever met. She will chatter and dance and climb and sing and draw and talk some and… and… and…. until she crashes from exhaustion of enjoying life so much. Sometimes I get caught up in the day to day routine of life – and forget to play so hard, and enjoy life so much that I fall asleep wherever I happen to be.

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7. Stop and listen

When the girls were young we saw a show once that talked about going on a “listening walk”. This is something we love to do now. We will go out on a walk and just listen. Birds. Crickets. Wind. Leaves rustling. Life. Beauty. Sometimes in the busy, hectic rush of life I forget this act of stopping and listening. Listening for the sounds of beauty and life that are calling for me to notice.

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8. Forgive.

Sometimes sisters drive each other crazy. Eden’s energy while inspiring – can also be annoying. Especially to her big sister. And sometimes she just wants to shove her away. And sometimes she does just that. A shove. Pull hair. A kick. But that is the beauty of siblings. As hard as they fight, the girls know they need to apologize and forgive. ANd this is a lesson I also need to continually learn. I mess up. A lot. And people hurt me. A lot. But I need to apologize and forgive.

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9. Dream

My girls have been blessed with wild imaginations. They love to take time to close their eyes and imagine. To dream. What they’ll be when they grow up. Or about unicorns and mermaids. But they take time to dream. I love when they come and share with me their dreams, goals and inspirations. It reminds me to do the same. I don’t want to just exist – I want to LIVE! And I want to dream… and make those dreams come true. I love my little dreamers.

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10. Running hugs

I don’t know if there is anything better than a running hug. When you see your little one back up, and take a run and give you the wildest, knock you to the ground, tight hug. We joke that Eden is a “professional hugger” because she gives such amazing hugs. She hugs so tight and you can feel her willing you to experience all the love in her heart coming through those little arms. I love to see her running with her arms wide open and her hair flying and a smile across her face. I’m reminded to embrace life with open arms and to give love recklessly…

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My girls have taught me so, so, so much. I love being a mom to them…. and this Mother’s Day I want to thank Madison and Eden for all they have taught me.

WHat has your child or mom taught you that you’re thankful for?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Celebrating life and love,


May 6, 2011 Remember Mom

I think I’ve shared this story before… but some stories are worth repeating.

A good friend of mine lost her mom when she was quite young. She shared with me how her mom was the one who took the photos in their family (every family has a dedicated photographer – who is never in the photos!). She had little to no photos of her with her mom because of this. As a mom herself now, she makes sure she gets in photos occasionally as well.

This really stuck with me. So when we are on vacation or just enjoying life – sometimes I hand Mark the camera and ask him to take a photo of me with the girls. In my head I’m thinking – “I look horrible… I don’t want to look like this in photos…” and a whole list of excuses. But do you know what? In 20 years, my kids will cherish the photo not how good I looked. Photos trigger memories – I want to be in my children’s memories. So, I suck up my pride and I step into the photo. (Occasionally.)

Now, a past bride of mine – Christa – have gotten to be good friends since her wedding. We often can be found chatting on Facebook about marriage, kids, and the wedding industry. You see – Christa has an AMAZING etsy business you all need to check out! Brides – she is phenomenal for invitations and all your adorable wedding details!

Anyhow, one day Christa and I were chatting about how she doesn’t have any photos of her and her son Andrew together except the ones I did for her when he was a newborn. Andrew is such a huge part of Christa’s life… she is such an amazing and devoted mom… that to have lived and loved him for 9 months and not have any photos together seemed ridiculous. So, we we re doing a photo shoot together this week with a group of wedding vendors (more on that later) and on the way home we stopped at the badlands in Caledon for a few moments. Because every mom needs to be in photos with her children.

I’ve had fun looking back at photos this week as I looked for photos of me with my mom to make as my Facebook profile in honour of Mother’s Day. As you look reflect back this Mother’s Day, if you notice a big hole in the photo department of mom with the kids (probably because she’s the one taking the photos!) why not consider a gift certificate. Or if you’re a mom… treat yourself.

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Celebrating life and love,


One of my favourite photos sessions are the Smiling Eyes ones… a chance to give back, but more often I’m the one who receives. I loved meeting Krisha and her boys for her Smiling Eyes session this past weekend. As she faces cancer for the second time, and enters chemo – I’m thankful to see she has three great guys to support and love her!

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Beautiful Mama… didn’t notice this at first! But such fitting words!

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I love a family that can laugh together!

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I love how Krisha looks like she is just soaking in all of her family’s love in this image.

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Joseph and Krisha told me about how they met and how they’ve been married ten years now… I never get tired of hearing couple’s stories and watching them interact as they tell it!

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(Krisha your hand on his face there… melts my heart)

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This set cracks me up… such a typical family moment. Mom and dad having this sweet, intimate moment. Two seconds later interrupted by the ragamuffins!

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Xavier was so funny – everytime Joseph and Krisha kissed he would holler “no more! No more kisses!!!” It was hilarious!

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And we found this gorgeous little pocket of beauty in the midst of downtown Burlington…. a tad magical I think.

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I love smooshed face mom kisses!

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Krisha – you are gorgeous – inside and out! It was an honour to document your family!

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Celebrating life and love,


I have a morning ritual, where I watch the video clips on the Ellen website in the morning before I start my work day. A laugh or a cry to set the mood for the day. I just love her show! This morning there was a clip on from Steve Carrell and he had some great marriage advice. It sounds simple – but it is so true. Thought I’d share!

Celebrating life and love,