Journal

Laura + Joash // Maternity

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I met Joash and Laura a while back through my wife, and last week, I got a message out of the blue from Joash asking if I was free on Saturday and if I do “pregnancy pictures.” I responded “yes, I take maternity photos.” (We all had a good laugh about this over dinner afterwards.) I’m always amazed when couples are willing to shed their winter gear for outdoor photos in the freezing cold. Meanwhile I’m all layered up with a giant parka on and still feeling frosty. I tried to stick with spots that at least shielded them from the biting wind, so we started at the Novotel in the St Lawrence neighbourhood and finished up at the Distillery’s festival of lights. We were lucky that afternoon, the cloud cover was consistent and thin, so we had lovely light that allowed us to shoot basically anywhere (I call it nature’s “soft box”). By the time we got to the Distillery, it felt like we were shooting in the deep freeze, so I fired off a few shots for the 10 minutes we could bear the cold and decided to packed it in. To end our fun yet frosty afternoon together, we all headed back to our flat to warm up a little and then headed out for a warm, cozy dinner at our favourite barbecue joint and talked music and Super Bowl predictions … well, mostly them trolling me for being a Pats fan.
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Blueprint for the Future

By | Events | No Comments

Over the past few years I’ve developed a great relationship with the Toronto Kiwanis Boys & Girls Clubs, who have invited me back numerous times to photograph their annual fundraiser and annual general meeting. I love documenting people who are passionate about their work and helping others. Corporate shoots can often look stale and boring, but I approach them the same way I approach a wedding, portrait session, or even street photography; I look for emotion, interesting faces, good light and visually compelling lines. A couple of things worth pointing out: 1) the guest speaker, Justice Donald McLeod is the first black judge to graduate from Queen’s University, and 2) the gentleman who busted out of his paisley patterned shirt to become Superman helped exceed their fundraising goal by a long-shot.
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Siobhan + Sunil // Married

By | Blog Posts, Weddings | No Comments

I love photographing intimate weddings that perfectly reflect the two people getting married. Siobhan and Sunil are outdoor people; their favourite activity together is being surrounded by trees and nature while hiking. They incorporated as much foliage as possible on their wedding day, the most apparent example being Siobhan’s epic bouquet (and yes, I know that “epic” is one of those overused words that gets thrown around mindlessly, but take a look at the bouquet … epic). We started the day at Toronto’s botanical gardens, and they asked me to capture as much of the gardens and surrounding woods as possible, whatever the light permits (it was a bright, sunny summer midday). It took several family members on cell phones to coordinate the “first look” photos at the busy gardens, calling one another to keep at bay the swaths of tourists and wedding guests from other parties wandering the grounds. Siobhan and Sunil have such a lovely connection — they could not hold back the tears when they first saw each other and again at the wedding ceremony while reading their vows. Another personal touch that worked well was having their ceremony and reception at Le Select Bistro, a restaurant on the west side of the city that Siobhan’s family has been going to for many years. Having the bulk of their day at the same venue kept things stress free and easygoing, which always translates well in the photos.
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The Doherty Family

By | Blog Posts, Families | No Comments

This past autumn when I held a day of mini sessions at Glen Stewart Ravine, I was so pleased when Sarah contacted me to book a spot for her family. I photographed them one year prior, but that time it was the entire extended family, whereas this time it was just the four of them. The way this family interacts with one another makes for photos full of life; there isn’t an ounce of pretence or any awareness of the camera as they laugh, hug, play, and explore.

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The Leck Family

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I love that the Leck family was my final photo shoot of 2017 because the images embody everything that I try to capture with the families I work with, whether at a family session or a wedding; laughter, playfulness, love, displays of affection, and genuine interactions. I met the family a few years ago when my wife Valerie started working at Church in the City, and have always admired Ted’s relationship with his wife and daughters. It’s clear they all adore each other, and his kids love hanging out with him. When Donna (mom) and I were working out the details of the shoot, I knew almost right away that I wanted to photograph them in the St Lawrence neighbourhood, because the Leck family directly impacts this block on a daily basis. Ted (dad) is the lead pastor at Church In The City, a church with a storefront below a housing co-op on The Esplanade, and he knows just about everyone in the neighbourhood. In the second to last photo of this post, the one where he’s petting a Golden Retriever, he told me afterwards that the dog only has one eye because it was shot in the face by its previous owner and was adopted by its current owner who had never owned a dog but wanted to “do good.” We could hardly go a block without Ted stopping to talk to someone — this is a neighbourhood that he cares about deeply.

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