Journal

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Adriana Baptism

By | Baptisms, Blog Posts | No Comments

Adriana’s baptism had the fewest tears of, perhaps, any baptism I’ve photographed. As you can see in the pictures, she is a chill baby. I found it so cute when she kept preventing the priest from turning the page of his book at the beginning of the ceremony, which brings me to my next thought: the Greek Orthodox priests I’ve worked with have always been very laid back and easy going, allowing me to move freely throughout the space during the ceremony. They often suggest that I stay close to them in order to capture all of the rituals and moments meaningful to the family. I end up using my 35mm lens exclusively because I’m so close to the action. Greek Orthodox churches are beautiful spaces to work in, full of warm light and colours and intricate architectural details. In this shoot, the venue became a visually rich backdrop to the lovely mother daughter moments captured of Bessy and her baby, Adriana, standing in a pool of natural light between the church pews. In Greek baptisms, much of the spotlight is on the Godparents, and for Adriana, hers were smiling and joyful throughout the day, as were the many guests, who all contributed to the celebratory mood.
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Kingsley, Naomi, Gabriel & Sjoukje

By | Blog Posts, Portraits | No Comments

This past Family Day morning, while having a coffee, I had this image in my mind of Kingsley and Naomi with their one year old brother, Gabriel, and decided to set up a little home studio and invite my ex, Sjoukje, and her little guy over for a few pictures. I never imagined that my kids would grow up in what is commonly referred to as a “broken home,” but I’ve come to realize when we are willing to choose compassion, empathy, and openness over bitterness, resentment, and hard feelings, our kids no longer have to grow up in a home that feels broken. What I love most about the last photo of the three kids is the way all of their little hands are holding and supporting one another — it was actually the only frame that didn’t have limbs flailing about in every direction, as you can see in some of the other “outtake” type pictures. I also wanted to test out my little travelling studio, consisting of a Lastolite white/grey backdrop and one Elinchrom D-Lite (unfortunately the fibre glass Herman Miller Eames chair won’t be travelling). A few of my favourite frames happened while testing out the light with Naomi and Kingsley. I love my daughter’s willingness to drop everything for some silliness — in the first picture she’s throwing a smiley face ball at my head while I’m taking her picture. And the first picture of Kingsley might actually be my favourite portrait to date. And not just because Kingsley is the apple of my eye (one of two apples, of course). But because it captures his essence. He is a sweet, kind, thoughtful boy and it comes across perfectly in his expression, his smile, and the wonder-filled twinkle in his eyes in this picture. At the conclusion of his episode of Abstract, the photographer Platon says, “When I press the shutter something amazing happens. It’s five hundredths of a second, but it’s freezed an event. You’re looking for a moment when you feel you’re as close to the soul as possible,” and this, for me, was one of those moments, actually a collection of those moments.

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Wendi & Lindsay

By | Personal, Portraits | No Comments

IMG_2237My dear friend, Wendi, has been fighting cancer over the past year and I’m so inspired by her bravery, openness, and her smile in the midst of a trying circumstance. Her daughter, Lindsay, let me know yesterday that her mom was having a “good day,” so we were able to capture some lovely mother-daughter moments. I’ve always admired their closeness, and this photo intimately captures the connection these two share. Over the past few years, Wendi has always been a support to me throughout my own struggles and she has helped me navigate some difficult situations; she has always shown me encouragement, compassion, and empathy. And I know that I am not a unique recipient of Wendi’s graciousness; she generously extends herself to many around her as a source of wisdom, perspective, and joy.

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The McKibbin Family

By | Blog Posts | One Comment

I’ve known Nicole for a while now and met Chris back when I did their engagement photos and wedding. They are such a sweet couple, with easy smiles and generous laughs. It’s no surprise that their two little ones have similar demeanours … I mean, I didn’t even know that a six week old baby can smile and I have two kids. I always enjoy my time with Nicole and Chris; they’re the type of people you want to have at your dinner party because you know that they’ll make everyone around them feel better about themselves and about life. I loved capturing the sweet interactions between older brother Jack and baby sister Charlie. Scroll down midway through this post and you’ll see one of my favourite photos from this session — when I asked Jack to look towards the window to get some light on his face, he tilts his head to fully face the ceiling and we get this great capture of his profile and little rascal’s hairdo.
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Mike + Demi // Engaged

By | Blog Posts, Engagements | One Comment

I normally wouldn’t choose to shoot in the Distillery District because it’s a location that’s been used a lot, especially in engagement photo shoots, but the Toronto Light Fest was taking place there from dusk into the evening, and Mike and Demi, who live nearby, wanted to go on foot at 4pm that Sunday. I was intrigued by what this winter festival might have to offer at that time of day and how it could potentially make the Distillery District appear differently from the usual engagement photos shot there.  We started out at one of their favourite cafes on Toronto’s east end, Tandem Coffee (also a favourite of mine), and then walked down to the Distillery District, snapping photos along the way. When we were planning for their engagement shoot at the end of 2016, Mike and Demi expressed that they really wanted to get out on a snowy day. As the winter progressed, we patiently waited for snow but there had been so little of it through January that we weren’t sure when a snowy day was going to show up. They’d given up on the idea and decided that this past Sunday would be the “no matter what” date for the engagement photo session. Funnily enough, Toronto woke up Sunday morning to a winter wonderland. At times, the snow was just kind of fluttering, dancing around as it fell. At other times, I was photographing Mike and Demi walking, talking, and laughing in a full on blizzard. They couldn’t have been happier, and I think it shows in the photographs.
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