Laura & Zach – Almost Parents!

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I love photographing Laura and Zach.
Actually, let me correct that by saying I overall just love spending time with them.
They’re so easy-going, down to earth, fun, and so, so kind.
I photographed their engagement session and wedding, and I was beyond excited when Laura messaged me saying they’re expecting a little one!
I was of course honoured and *so* looking forward to documenting this new milestone for them.
Here, Laura is 6 weeks away from her due date – then they’ll embark on yet another new journey together, as parents. Life is pretty special like that.
Guys, I had so much fun with you while we walked around and had this totally chill maternity session.
Thank you so much for including me in this amazing stage of your life. And I’m so excited for the next one coming super soon!
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Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Carmela

Isabella’s Cake Smash!

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Ah, little Isabella.
I have to say, her personality didn’t seem so little – She’s definitely got a presence and a total ‘I’m a boss’-ness about her. She knows she commands the room, and it’s gosh-darned hilarious to watch.
As she smushed her foot right into the cake, grabbed a chunk of that gorgeous pink ombre deliciousness and playfully tasted some, she did a little wiggle with glee. We laughed and laughed each time she did that wiggle, which I’m pretty sure she kept doing because of the reaction. Smart cookie, miss.

I originally met this sweetie pie at Denise and Mark’s wedding – she was a cutie patootie flower girl who unfortunately was so sick and wasn’t much in the mood for photos. So Denise wanted to do this first birthday session for her to get more photos of her in this stage of her life – and I was so excited to shoot it!

I brought the backdrops and photo gear while Denise and Diana (Isabella’s mom) gathered up some fantastic props, including some spectacular home-made ones! Can you believe Denise crocheted that bear and number 1?? And that they both cut, painted and sewed that banner?? You ladies are inspirational – such talent! I might have to send future clients to you for custom orders! (If you’re reading this and you’re interested, yes, Denise is taking orders!)

Anyhow, enough of my blabbering – Enjoy the cuteness! (And the comical mess that ensued!)
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Laura & Zach’s Dreamy Niagara Vineyard Wedding

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Laura and Zach’s wedding was set against the most spectacular and romantic vineyard setting – the gorgeous green rows of grapes touched by the golden sun made us feel like we were in a dream.

Laura’s attention to detail brought the beauty inside the reception tent, as lovely mis-matched yet co-ordinating vessels held an unexpected and totally fresh array of florals, and each plate was adorned with an adorable burlap and lace pouch which housed home-made caramels as a ‘Thank You’ to guests.

The whole vibe of the day felt so beautiful – amongst the days I’m sure we’ll all remember fondly as one of those epic Summer memories that we’ll never want to let go.

There was so much happiness, warmth and love that day, and the gorgeous setting mirrored how we all felt.

Here’s a look at Laura and Zach’s beautiful wedding at Ravine VineyardAnd be sure to read some words about the big day from the couple themselves at the bottom of the post! 

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… And here are some words about these lovebirds and some of their advice to engaged couples:

 

Q: Tell us a bit about your love story?

A: We were originally introduced through friends during University. With both of us at different schools and living in different cities and with no physical introduction, we continued on our separate paths. It wasn’t until July 4th, 2010 on a random Sunday, that we decided to meet up in Toronto on a whim. For those that know us, this was out of character for both of us! We then spent the day exploring the city, opening up to each other about our lives, the difficulties we’ve overcome, hardships we’ve endured but perhaps most importantly, where we wanted to go in life. We joked, we laughed and we continued to just let it all happen! After an incredible 8 hour walk through the city, we sealed it with a kiss and have been best friends and soul mates since.

Q: What were your favourite wedding moments?

A: It is almost impossible to narrow down a favourite moment, the entire day was magical! From the moment we woke up to the time we fell asleep, the day was perfect.

Q: Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?

A: Enjoy the planning process, stay organized and stay on top of things! By doing this, you will be able to relax and enjoy the weeks leading up to the wedding. Don’t forget to think about the guests in your planning, the small things go a long way! Most importantly, it’s your wedding, so throw an extraordinary party to celebrate your love with family and friends!

Q: Any final thoughts about the day you’d like to share?

A: The day won’t go by quickly if you are relaxed and ready to enjoy!

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P.S. This wedding was featured by The Wedding Co.! Check out the feature here: http://www.theweddingco.com/olive-photo/ 

Shelley & Dave’s Shabby Chic Toronto Restaurant Wedding

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I was holding off on publishing this wedding since it was going to be featured on Style Me Pretty – but now enough time has passed and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you.

I got to shoot this wedding on my birthday (June 21st) – First day of Summer, longest day of the year, and a day so full of love and beauty all around… such a fantastic way to spend a birthday!

Shelley & Dave went *all out*. This wedding is styled to the nines!

This shabby-chic affair was everything they are – sweet, stylish, chic, classic, beautiful, and oh so memorable.
Being there felt like I had stepped into a magazine or gorgeously styled blog post – you could tell these two had put so much thought into making this a special day with so many personal touches.
They painted and potted all the herb place card holders/favours themselves! Shelley’s mother beautifully calligraphed all the guests’ names as well, and Dave wrote out the seating chart by hand.
They had a super fun Polaroid ‘photo booth’ ‘guest book’, and guests pinned their special messages to the newlyweds onto cute twine lines strung over a wrought iron gate fixture. And, those who like to Instagram were invited to use the hashtag #thecolenbranders via an adorable bunting banner at the entrance.

… And let’s not forget about the DARLING sprinkle-covered cake with sweet fondant bowties! (A nod to the gents’ bowties, perhaps?) This cake wasn’t just awesome to look at, either – it tasted phenomenal. And the ice cream bar with topping choices next to it was a fun way cap off dinner and provide an energy boost for dancing!

There are almost too many special details to recount!

Congratulations again, Colenbranders!!

P.S. So much kudos is deserved to Fidan and Christina ofDesigned Dream Wedding Planning for setting up Shelley’s vision so perfectly, and to Alina of Flowers Time – Toronto Floral Design Studio for the gorgeous floral arrangements! And to Caffino Ristorante for being such a wonderful venue!
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Alluring Black & White

What are your thoughts on black and white photographs?

I did a little colour vs. black & white post a while ago and it seems the vast majority of people prefer colour. I mean, colour is vibrant, lively, and generally awesome so I can understand why!
Though, there’s something about the simplicity of a black and white image that is so beautiful. The lack of colour gives way to alluring depth and contrast, and without colour the subjects can’t help but be the focus of the image. There’s also a ‘moodiness’ and a feeling to them that is quite something.

I started photography on black and white film, developing my own film and seeing the super interesting ways this kind of image can appear.

Felt a bit nostalgic today and had a bit of fun re-editing some photos in black and white.
Though I’ll of course continue shooting in colour, I do enjoy throwing in the occasional B&W frame.

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Baby Jacob’s First Photo Session

This li’l guy is just over a month old, but he’s so expressive you’d think he was already 2 years old! Check out the photos for yourself – He’s so expressive and has such personality.

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Christa & Jorden’s Fall Family Session

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I was so excited for this photo session!
Christa and Jorden were one of my first wedding couples back in the day (they’re the couple surrounded by greenery in the Facebook page cover photo!), and now they’ve got a 3 month old daughter! Amazing how time flies!

It was so wonderful to see them again and to spend time with their incredibly patient and good-spirited baby. Despite it being cold, rainy, and SO windy, Zoe was a champ. I mean it – At one point she had wind blowing so strong it was going up her and Christa’s noses, and she barely budged.
No tears from this happy-go-lucky baby at all, despite the crazy weather.
What a trooper!

It was wonderful to see Donna (Christa’s mom) again as well. Oh, how she dotes on her grand daughter. She emanates pure JOY being with her. So beautiful to behold.

Despite the crazy weather we managed to have a great time and take some lovely photographs. Thanks for a lovely time, you guys!

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Fall Family Shoot!

AdamopoulosFamilyLRWM-18Evelyn and Tasso are two sweet, kind, warm souls who I’ve always known to be so positive, optimistic and good-natured.

When they asked me to photograph their family I was thrilled! It had been a while since I’d seen them and my little cousins, and I was excited about spending time with them.

Their kids Theo and Andreas are so sweet! Theo was a fantastic role model big brother who was totally no-fuss and so excellent in front of the camera, and Andreas was an energetic, spunky fireball of silly who made me laugh the entire time.

I told them their session was totally easy peasy since their super big family love radiates and makes what I do so fun and almost effortless. I had such a great time photographing their beautiful family!

Thanks for a wonderful time, you guys!

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Newborn Josiah Liam

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Ah, Josiah. Baby to two of the sweetest parents you’ll ever meet, Chantelle and Joel. I had the pleasure of photographing those two back when they were engaged, and it was absolutely amazing to see them again – with a new life they’d created! I can’t tell you how cool I think that is.

During our session baby Josiah was ever-so-curious, eyes wide and scanning the entire environment around him. So no sleepy shots for this curious fellow. (His eyes are beautiful, though, so that wasn’t a problem, and I got to witness his developing personality.) What was really amazing was that if you called him, he looked *directly* at you. That’s so rare for a baby this young! His sight is likely still being developed but it was pretty incredible to be looked at like that by a week-old mini person.

It was also wonderful to meet Chantelle’s mum who had flown all the way from England to see her new grandchild – she glowed when I asked her how it feels to be a grandmother.

It’s so evident that this li’l one is absolutely adored and loved to the fullest. It was a joy to be in the presence of this family and photograph this beautiful time in their life.

Thank you for coming over, guys! Please feel free to come back anytime!

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Family Session! Danielle, Jeremy, Damian, Jada

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I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet family last year and was thrilled when they asked me to do another session with them this year. It’s so neat to see how kids grow and how their personalities evolve over time. Damian is a sweetheart big brother who is so good with setting an example for his little sister, and Jada is so full of life and spunk!

During our session both of them would stop to marvel at the beautiful and cool things they saw, and of course I had to stop and marvel with them – it’s so much fun getting into the imaginative and exciting world of kids! For example we saw paw prints dried in the mud and wondered what animal could have left them, or when I spotted a ladybug at the start of our session Jada insisted on carrying it with us the entire time, which meant I had a ladybug crawling up my arm or finger between shots so she could pose without getting distracted by the cuteness. It surprisingly stayed with us from start to end without flying away!

Danielle and Jeremy have raised such wonderful kids and I had so much fun with their whole family.

Here’s to next year, lovelies! Thanks for the memorable and wonderful afternoon!

Much love,
Anastasia
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