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.