London Ontario Maternity Photographer | Natalie’s Grand Bend Beach Session

My beautiful friend Natalie is no stranger to this blog – I had the honour of taking her branding photos awhile back, and then helped out with her creative pregnancy announcement last Winter. And then there was our fun little location scouting adventure turned mini session. I’ve also had the pleasure of being in front of her lens several times. The photographer’s plight is often that you take photos of everyone else, and have none of yourself. But I can truly say that I have managed to escape that trap thanks to Natalie’s amazing talent and our love of shooting… each other! :)

A little while ago, we headed to the beach for an evening of photos. We had an amazing family session (see Natalie’s blog about it here), and then as the sun was dipping down, we did some maternity photos in the water. It was supposed to storm that evening, and I’m so glad we took a chance on the weather, because it turned out to be a beautiful (albeit a bit windy!) evening.

Nat, I cannot BELIEVE how close you are to the end (or should I say, the beginning!). You are rocking that twin baby bump my dear, and you are positively glowing. I cannot wait to snuggle those two little boys. Love you guys! -xo

London Ontario Wedding Photographer | Liana and Adam’s Engagement Session

This ridiculously adorable couple travelled home to London for a visit from Cold Lake Alberta where they are currently posted with the Canadian Forces. When I told Liana about the sunrise session option, she did what almost no one else does – she went for it! Her exact words were: “As for the early start time, you only live once right? Why not start at 6:30am!” (Liana, I already liked you, but when I read those words, you officially won me over!) I, as most people know by know, am obsessed with that golden light that only comes out to play right before sunset and, yes, right after sunrise! The light, as you will see in the photos, did not disappoint! It was so wonderful to finally meet this gorgeous pair after so many back and forth emails. Watching them together is like one giant “aww” moment that never ends. You can just feel their love for each other in these photos. I had so much fun with these two, we laughed from start to finish, got completely soaked in the wet field and then finished it all off with a little Starbucks coffee date. Perfection! Hope you enjoy a peek at these photos Adam and Liana – and I can’t WAIT for your 2014 wedding! -xo

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London Ontario Engagement and Family Photography | The Purdy Family

I just loved meeting up with this lovely family for photos on a sunny Saturday morning. This is a family that likes to have fun and laugh together, and their love of life and of each other is evident in all of their interactions -Whether they’re goofing around and cracking jokes or snuggling the littlest Purdy (who is so, so, so adorable!). We started off the session by taking a few engagement shots for Jennifer and Jeremy and finished off by capturing the whole family together. Here’s a peek at their session! :)

London Ontario Engagement and Wedding Photographer | Lauren and Ryan

Between the beautiful couple, the gorgeous Blackfriars Bridge location and the adorable vintage blue and pink bikes, this engagement session had all the ingredients to be amazing. We even got a few minutes of glorious sun peeking through the overcast sky, and like all of my clients, Lauren and Ryan quickly learned that I simply can’t resist that delicious evening light! I had so much fun with these guys, swapping stories about our pups, laughing at overzealous photo-bombers and just enjoying the beautiful Summer evening. It’s so easy to photograph a couple when they emanate love and happiness like these two do. Lauren and Ryan, I can’t WAIT for your 2014 wedding! Hope you enjoy these photos! -xo

London Ontario Family Photography | The Ivins Family

I had so much fun photographing Melissa’s little family last Fall, and when she contacted me about an extended family session with her parents and siblings, I was thrilled. The session took place on her parents’  beautiful property, and despite the crazy mosquitos, we had a lovely evening together complete with gorgeous sunlight! Here are a few peeks!

The Mama Journal | Dear Neve

When I used to keep a personal blog, I published a series I called “Letters to Neve”. It started when I wrote a letter to our “future bebe”, before she had even been conceived, when we had decided to pull the goalie so to speak. ;)

I continued writing letters to our “gender-neutral” bebe throughout my pregnancy, then monthly throughout the first year of her life. Between the hundreds (thousands) of photos I take of her and the baby book I regularly update, I decided I wanted to keep the letters going on a yearly basis. My plan is to eventually compile them all in a book to give her when she’s older. Since this “mama journal” has sort of replaced my personal blog, I decided to continue publishing these yearly letters in this space.

Dear Neve,

This morning when I woke up, you had somehow made it into our bed (again), and were safely snuggled in your papa’s arms. We serenaded you with a lively (though groggy) rendition of “bonne fete” and gave you lots of kisses. We’ve tried to explain that you turn 2 today, but I don’t think you fully understand what’s happening. I, on the other hand, have been so keenly aware lately of how quickly and beautifully you are growing up.

I’ve been crying on and off this morning. I reread your birth story, and then watched this little video a thousand times. We did our regular morning thing – coffee for me, water for you. Bananas for both of us. Sandbox. Sidewalk chalk. Bare feet in the grass. Sand in your hair (you’ve got some, now… and it’s adorable). Giggles and hugs and power struggles and sillies and lots of “non aide maman, Neve fait toute seule”. But somehow everything feels a little more grown up today. Because you’re 2. You’re not a baby, though you’ll always be my baby. You’re a two-year-old. A kid. A messy, hilarious, affectionate, intelligent, curious, stubborn, independent kid. And you’re amazing. 

You have an incredible grasp of both French and English, and you love to proudly exclaim “N-E-V-E!” when you see your name in print. Letters, numbers, shapes, colours… you soak it all in like a sponge. You are a smart, alert, brilliant child. And I’m not just saying that because you’re mine. Your love of learning and exploring is a beautiful thing to watch, and I am always blown away by the sharpness of your mind and your enthusiasm for life. I love being able to have conversations with you. I love it that you make up jokes to make us laugh. I love your caring, affectionate spirit. Whether you’re loving on your dolls, your friends or your dog, you have a nurturing heart. You’re also a little monkey. Jumping, running, skipping, climbing, there are no limits. You are brave, a (calculated) risk taker on your own terms and at your own pace. You are strong, independent and determined. Sometimes this leads to tantrums and power struggles and all that fun toddler stuff. But these are qualities that I am thankful you have, because as you grow up, they will help you navigate this big, wild, often difficult world of ours.

I love spending my days with you, sweet girl. I love kissing those smushy cheeks and playing in your little blonde wisps. I love the way you always invite me to share in your snacks and activities, the way you crawl into my lap while I’m working and give me kisses and look at me with those giant blue eyes and say “hi maman!” with that smile of yours. I love your love of music and books and art and the great outdoors. I love watching you dance in the car and hearing you sing to yourself while you go about your day. I love it that you have inside jokes with your papa and that you won’t go to sleep without saying a bedtime prayer to thank God for all the people in your life. I love it that you simply must jump in every puddle you see, and that it never gets old. I love you when you spin in your prettiest dress and pretend to brush your hair in the mirror. I love you when your feet are dirty and your fingers are sticky and your hair is crazy and you come flying through the room like a loud, wild whirlwind. I love you when you’re sound asleep, curled up in your big bed, uncovered because you’ve kicked off your blankets, lips in a perfect little pout that I just can’t help but kiss, even if I risk waking you. I  just love everything about you. 

Sometimes, when I’m feeling overwhelmed with work and chores and all the other responsibilities that can make life hectic at times, I think about how productive I was before you came along.  Everything is slower now, messier, more complicated, more expensive. But at the same time, everything is more beautiful, more exciting, more meaningful, more memorable, more blessed. I can’t imagine life without you. You have my whole heart, and I am crazy about you. 

When you were still in my belly, your Grandmaman told me that children are like a gift that you unwrap a little bit more each day. And she was so right. Every day with you is a gift, and I look forward to unwrapping a little more of it everyday as you continue to grow.

Always know that I love you, more than anything, forever and ever. Je t’aime ma puce.

-Maman xoxo

 

Project Ten | July (Water)

This month’s theme is water, and after taking a more posed, styled approach to last month’s Hair theme (incidentally, my “hair” photos also took place in the water!), I really wanted to take a more candid, organic approach this month. We spent a week visiting some family in Northern Ontario, where I was born and raised, and enjoyed a beautiful mix of swimming, boating, fishing, woods walking, wildflower picking, campfire singing and late-night chatting. These photos were taken during a sunset lake swim with my sister and her beautiful family. It was so wonderful to watch Neve explore with her cousins. I love playing with my nieces and nephews (and rarely get to!) and had to pull myself away from the water to snap a few photos – but I’m so glad I did! Be sure to click through the blog circle to see everyone’s interpretation of this month’s theme, starting with the talented Kelsie Taylor Photography!

London Ontario Wedding Photographer | Jess & Phil

When I met Phil and Jess on the evening of their engagement session, I knew without a doubt that their wedding would be stylish and fun. It was that and more – with flawless attention to detail, a ridiculously beautiful couple (who looked pretty fantastic in their wedding attire, might I add!), a hilarious (and gi-gan-tic) wedding party and sweet, fun-loving family members and guests – everything was perfect. Oh, and did I mention the food? The food was delicious. The thunderstorm that threatened to mess with their outdoor plans all day only showed up once everyone was safely seated in the reception tent, and only stuck around for about 15 minutes (happy dance!). The one downer was the heat (35-ish degrees celsius with humidex, oy!), but everyone was in such good spirits that it simply didn’t matter. Phil and Jess, you guys were a pleasure to work with, and I wish you nothing but the very best as you embark on this new journey together. Enjoy this sneak peek from your very beautiful wedding day. -xo

p.s.: Big shout out to my fabulous, talented and fun second shooter, Laura! xo

Jess had a special request to showcase everyone in her 17-person bridal party – a Brady Bunch inspired headshot collage. How fun!