The Esplanade

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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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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