Getting Creative + Breaking the Rules

Sometimes it’s ok to break the rules – especially when it comes to art.

A photo doesn’t necessarily have to be in focus to be lovely and affecting. Here’s a shot of Laura + Zach’s wedding cake showing what I mean.
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Speaking of which, I love hearing about the different ways people get creative!

** Do any of you have any creative hobbies? Have you ever tried just letting go and seeing what you come up with? **

Think about it. Maybe it’s painting, or pottery, or sewing, knitting, sketching, dancing… there are so many ways to get creative! You don’t have to answer, but think about if you have a creative outlet that allows you explore a different, perhaps more authentic part of yourself than you allow during regular life. Or a little corner of your soul that rarely gets to play… Getting creative and not worrying so much can feel so great! And in the end you can end up with something really beautiful. 

Try it! And if you want to share, I’d love to hear about the ways you get creative, perhaps break the ‘rules’ a little bit, and how it makes you feel 🙂  

 

Ashley & Jalal – Married!

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Remember these two from their engagement session? They’re a super fun, super adorable and super in love couple — Ashley and Jalal are married!
It’s so sweet to see how magnetic their love is. Their attraction is so strong you can feel it just being around them! You can get a little glimpse of how fiery their love is by seeing how Jay looks at Ashley in some of these photos. And Ashley is just so smitten.
Love these two.
I had a fantastic time photographing this wedding – their friends and family were so friendly and man, do they know how to have fun! Music blasting in the limo, jokes and laughs the entire day, and such high energy and full-on happiness!
Ashley got ready at The Ivy at Verity hotel and we then headed to St. Peter’s Catholic Church for the ceremony, followed by The Distillery District for photos and Tappo Wine Bar & Restaurant therein for the reception; it’s a lovely rustic, intimate restaurant with such delicious food and a wonderful outdoor patio space where they set up a few hookahs! Super neat – love when couples incorporate cultural elements into their weddings.
Once we got to the Distillery District Ashley & Jay changed into their comfy Converse shoes – but not just any Converses — Jay wore sleek leather ones that he meticulously polished to look fab, and Ashley wore adorable white ones with a platform incorporated in them so her dress didn’t drag. She said her feet were sooo comfy, which is important when you’re on your feet all day! Even more so when you have to navigate uneven cobblestone streets. Cute idea, guys!
I’ll stop blabbing now and let y’all see some photos from this rad wedding!

** Scroll to the end of the photos to read some insights from our happy couple! **

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And now, some words from the newlyweds!

What was your favourite wedding moment?
Bride: I have so many favourite moments, but I think my top faves are when I received a pre-wedding love note from the limo driver upon his arrival to pick the girls up. When I read (or attempted to) and my maid of honour, Faye, finished reading Jay’s love note to me I was literally in happy tears. I thought, wow I am so lucky, I am about to marry the sweetest man! My second favourite moment was when my mom walked me down the aisle. She is the most important person in my life and I love that she had that honour and moment! Not to mention, that was the moment I finally got to see Jay’s smile waiting for me at the end of that long aisle! Finally, my last favourite moment would have to be when “Sweet Carolina” came on during dinner (the Fab 8/Boy’s song on Jay’s side) and I got to see my husband in his prime with his closest and bestest friends; dancing and singing and hugging! They made me so happy to see what wonderful friends he has in his life, who travelled long and far to be with him for his day! He was so happy and that made me so happy!
Groom: Other than the usual… Seeing Ashley that first moment on the aisle, kissing her and calling her my wife, and our first dance, I have quite a few favourite moments as well. If I have to pick I would say that the moments Ashley and I shared at the alter while listening to the priest and guest speakers was so special. We were both so excited and nervous. Each time one of us was about to have a moment of tears or nerves, we would whisper something funny to each other. Everyone wondered what we were saying. No one will ever really know lol Looking at her, and sharing this moment with her was more than I could have ever imagined to be so special. We never realized how truly special signing that piece of paper, having that day and having the “husband” and “wife” title really is!

Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
If you had asked us a few months ago, we would have said “Run away just the two of you and forget the big to-do!” It is so much stress! BUT it is SO WORTH IT! Don’t dwell on the little details, no one will notice. Have fun, and stop to take in the moments happening around you. Do it your way! But most importantly, spend the time, money and energy on finding an amazing photographer. Your photos are all you will have when that amazing day whips by and is over! We are less than two weeks over with it, and so happy we already have our beautiful photos to reminisce with!

Details:
– Dress designer: Moon Light Couture by Val Stefani from Mona Richie Bridal
– Suit: Jack Victor Exclusive Collection www.jackvictor.com
– DJ: Rob Gri AKA DJ Greedo @ Del Vinyl Entertainment www.delvinyl.com
– Centrepieces: DIY
– Cake: Merry Cakes (Merrycakes.ca and merrycakesdotca on instagram)
– Venues: The Ivy at Verity hotel,  St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Tappo Wine Bar & Restaurant in The Distillery District
– Makeup: Shari at Sutherland Artistry
– Lashes: Jennifer Couto at Lasholiscious
– Hair: Daniel Palacio at Deberardinis Salon and Spa

Congratulations again, you two!! Had a blast, and feel so honoured to be your photographer!

Anastasia Giaouris
Facebook.com/OlivePhotographyTO
@OlivePhotoTO
info@olivephotography.ca

Go find your Joy

“Stop worrying so much (be present)… Dance a little bit… Go find your joy…” 
— Some of the good words of advice from Sandra Bullock to graduates this year in this short video:

Good Advice

Click the image above or this link (and scroll down a bit) to watch the video: http://tinyurl.com/pt6o4oz

In it are sentiments that have been amongst some life-changers for myself as well.

Wishing you all well as you embark on a new week, lovelies ❤ 

Ashley & Jalal – Engaged!

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There’s most certainly a spark between Ashley and Jay – one that sizzles, if ya know what I mean.

This pair is hot together, and it’s evident that they are super into each other. While I photographed them embracing one another I heard Jay complimenting Ashley – it made me gush just a bit.

We went to Toronto’s Polson Pier to photograph their engagement session since the view of the city from there is really pretty awesome. If you haven’t been, go check it out!

Unfortunately it was CRAZY windy, so much of the session involved Jay having to help Ashley move her beautifully done hair out of her face, and wiping the wind-induced tears from her eyes (messing with her also beautifully done makeup) – we joked about how him ‘fixing’ her was the theme of the session.
Despite the wind, however, we did have fun, and we managed to get some really sweet moments captured when the wind took a bit of a break. They even enjoyed playing a quick round of one of their favourite board games – how cute!

We also munched on some really yummy fries and poutine from a nearby food truck whose scent was wafting onto the beach, tempting us to wrap up and eat! Haha. Of course, that lent itself to a fun impromptu photo-op as well.
… Great, now I want french fries again… 😛

Here are some photos from our time together, as well as some words from the bride and groom-to-be at the end!
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And now, some words from the happy couple:

THEIR FIRST DATE
“It was the night of the Grey Cup Event… After meeting at a local pub for some cocktails after a long day’s work, the two couldn’t wait to kick back and get to know one another over good conversation and some drinks. A local “regular” couldn’t help himself from visiting the table frequently and striking up conversation with the cute couple. J’s amazing sense of humour and ability to kindly tolerate the poor lonely man was admirable. However, his firmness and fearlessness in finally telling the guy to bug off and “allow him some time alone with his pretty lady”, really won Ashley over! From that night on, they were basically inseperable, enjoying any and every minute they could together…”

THE PROPOSAL
When it happened: Sunday, August 25, 2013
How it happened:
“What a better way to start the evening then a night at the Canadian National Exibition! After an evening of fun and entertainment with close friends, Jay was adamant about getting home by midnight. Wondering if they were going to turn into pumpkins, Ashley was reluctant and curious as to why it was so important to be home early on a Saturday night. After heading to the Danforth for a night cap with their friends, the two finally headed home to retire for the evening… or so she thought.

When Ashley got home, she immediately headed upstairs to bed. Jay came up insisting she wait, and come downstairs with him. After she agreed, he took her by the hand and guided her downstairs into her family’s dining room. As she asked “what are we doing?!”, she walked into the room lit with candles, and dressed with flowers. Jay presented her with champagne, sweets and… a small jewelery box! Jay asked, Ashley said yes, and so the story continues…”

Makeup: Shari at Sutherland Artistry
Lashes: Jennifer Couto at Lasholiscious
Hair: Daniel Palacio at Deberardinis Salon and Spa

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Anastasia Giaouris
Facebook.com/OlivePhotographyTO
@OlivePhotoTO
info@olivephotography.ca

Stephanie & Brian – Married! – April 12, 2014

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Stephanie and Brian got married!
And it was a beautiful day to match their beautiful smiles.

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I had a lot of fun photographing their engagement session a while back and was so excited to photograph their wedding!

The sun shone through the windows of Stephanie’s parents’ house as she and her bridesmaids got ready, and the warmth that filled the room was echoed by their apparent ease and contentment. Steph was remarkably composed – no nerves were visible on this bride’s face. Perhaps it was because after a nine-year relationship, this couple was already connected in the strongest way, and getting married, though an exciting and wonderful occasion, was but a way of formalizing what they already felt in their hearts.

Their family and wedding party were all so welcoming – I felt like one of the gang, joking, laughing and dancing as I snapped away – everyone was in such a great mood!

After the lovely ceremony at Leaside United Church (where Brian beamed endlessly) we headed in the stretch limo (with Veuve Clicquot champagne, no less) to the Distillery District for the wedding party photos. The weather was even nice enough that Greg’s Ice Cream was open! Of course we had to grab a cone!

Afterwards we headed to The Vue  for dinner, dancing and merriment – the entire dance floor was packed with happy people celebrating this love that’s been almost a decade in the making.

Congratulations, lovebirds! It’s been an honour to document this happy time in your life, and I wish you all good things to come!
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And now some words from the newlyweds! (They sent this from their honeymoon!)

What was your favourite wedding moment?
Bride: Walking down the aisle and seeing Brian with the biggest smile on his face ear to ear, just knowing he was as happy in that moment as I was, is a moment I’ll never forget…and the moment we were pronounced husband and wife was pretty amazing too! 🙂
Groom: Having our first dance together as husband and wife and singing to Steph as we danced. At that moment it felt like just her and I were in the room alone sharing a special moment together.

Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?

Enjoy the day! You’ve spent so much time planning for your wedding so on the day just remember to enjoy it and don’t sweat the small stuff because no one will notice but you. It’s a beautiful day and you don’t want to miss it because it really does fly by!
Details:
– Dress designer: Paloma Blanca www.palomablanca.com purchased from Mona Richie www.monarichiebride.com
– Suit: S. Cohen Inc. www.scoheninc.com purchased from Gino’s Fashion www.ginosfashion.com
– bouquets: Verdi Florist www.verdiflorist.com
– Centrepieces: Verdi Florist www.verdiflorist.com
– Cake: Eini & Co. www.eini.ca
– Favours: Macedo Wines (bottled by the Bride & Groom) www.macedowinery.ca
– Invitations: Etsy shop – The Best Day Paper Co
– Reception Venue: The Vue by Peter and Pauls www.thevue.ca
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Celso & Eini’s Lovely Winter Wedding at Fantasy Farm

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Celso & Eini’s wedding was so lovely and full of happiness! The atmosphere was incredibly full of love from everyone, and many happy tears were shed. My heart felt so full that day.

Their wedding took place on the second day of Spring – although Mother Nature had other plans… it was chilly! But we barely felt it with all the love and happiness warming us up.
Eini was proactive and got her bridesmaids glamorous white furry stoles and adorable fuzzy earmuffs and mittens to keep them warm.

She made the bouquets and boutonnieres herself, and the *incredible* cakes were made by her bakery – I’ve never seen such fabulous cakes.

She did a first look with both her hubby to be and her parents, and they were all so sweet!

The ceremony & reception were both held at Toronto’s Fantasy Farm and it was a such a lovely intimate affair.
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Warmest congratulations, guys!! It was an honour capturing your beautiful love!
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P.S. Here are some thoughts from the newlyweds about their big day:

What was your favourite wedding moment?
Bride: My favourite moment were the speeches – hands down!
Groom: Preparing for the “first look” moment – you can’t quite appreciate the feeling unless you experience it for yourself.
Any advice for engaged couples planning their wedding?
Bride: Have fun with the planning process. We had 2 months to plan everything, keep it simple and manage your expectations. Any aspect that stresses you out, delegate for someone else to do if you can 🙂
Groom: Do not allow the process to stress you out. Identify your absolute must-have’s and focus on those…good taste doesn’t have to cost a small fortune.
Any final thoughts about the big day/experience of getting married that you’d like to share?
Bride: Not everything will go as planned or on schedule. Just go with the flow and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest, because your guests will never know 😉 Take in each moment and make the day last!
Groom: Take some time to relax the morning of the wedding – it’s important to calm yourself (yet remain excited for your big day).
Details: 
Dress designer: David’s Bridal
Suit: Rented from Andrew’s Formals
Bouquets: DIY – Faux flowers from Canpol in Mississauga
Centrepieces: DIY
Cakes & favours: Eini & Co. (sweet table: wedding cakes, cake pops, french macarons as favours, cupcakes.)
Venues: Fantasy Farm & Brickworks
Other details of note: Decor – Rose Petal Decor (Felicia) – SHE DID AN AMAZING JOB with the backdrop and altar

Mason’s 2nd Birthday

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I photographed this absolute cutie a year ago for his first birthday cake smash, and I was so delighted his mom Alyssa asked me to photograph him again this year – I can’t believe he’s already 2! Time flies.

This session was done in Alyssa’s home, and when I arrived she had put up such an awesome streamer backdrop! The colours are in keeping with Mason’s favourite movie/TV show: Cars and Thomas the Tank Engine.

During the session Alyssa handed Mason a birthday gift that he was so excited about: a big Thomas train! He had fun playing with it and I had fun capturing his joy.

Thanks for inviting me into your home again, Alyssa! Was such a pleasure spending time with your little love bug!
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Winter Island – Is this actually Toronto?

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These photos were actually taken in Toronto despite totally looking as though they’re from a Northern territory or the Arctic.

The Toronto Island is one of our absolute favourite places to visit.
We usually go in the Summertime, when the leaves are lush and the colours are vibrant… it’s an incredibly magical place, giving you a sense of calm and ease that makes you forget you’re in such a busy city.

We’d never visited the island in the Winter before, so we thought we’d try it out – something different (yet still of significance to our relationship) for our tenth anniversary.

What we saw was nothing short of awe-inspiring.
It was like the entire island had been white-washed – all the colours had been blanketed and muted with a soft, cool blue/white hue, and where we could normally see out into the horizon close to nothing was visible. We had to squint and double-take because it felt like our mind was playing tricks on us.
You can see in the picture of Kiron (my husband) on the beach, all we could see was white!

If you haven’t visited the island in the Winter we heartily recommend it. The crunchy, icy trip over is a little frightening (to me, at least), but everything about a winter island visit is invigorating!

Here are some of the pictures I took on our memorable trek.

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After the island we went for dinner at the Mövenpick Marché in the Brookfield Place (formerly BCE Place) – you may recognize those arches – since it’s where we had our first ever date. We even sat in the same seats!  Iland LR WM-20

And this is one of the beautiful architectural details within Union station. You can see it on your next visit there if you just look up!
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And, some final portraits we took of each other while enjoying our time out. You can see more photos taken by Kiron on his Instagram @kironcmukherjee if you like!
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Stay warm, my friends!
– But also enjoy the beauty that Winter brings!

Lots of love,
Anastasia

2013 Wrap-Up… and a Photo Session Giveaway!!

Thank You Olive Photography Bokeh Bestest

2013 has been a really special year for Olive Photography.

Along with the many absolutely wonderful wedding, engagement and family clients I’ve had the pleasure of working with, it’s also been exciting to be featured by such prominent names:

Style Me Pretty: http://www.stylemepretty.com/canada-weddings/ontario/toronto/2013/05/13/toronto-engagement-shoot-from-olive-photography/ (Chantelle & Joel’s Engagement)
Style Me Pretty is a style savvy wedding resource devoted to the modern bride… With nods in nearly every major bridal magazine… along with features in such publications as Blog Watch in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times… SMP is quickly becoming one of the most read wedding resources on the web.”

Flare Magazine 1: http://www.flare.com/weddings/top-10-most-chic-wedding-venues-in-canada/
Flare Magazine 2: http://www.flare.com/weddings/7-honeymoon-destinations-inspired-by-the-fall-runways/
“For over 30 years, FLARE has been Canada’s fashion authority. Every month, more than 1.3 million style-minded readers turn to FLARE for world class fashion and beauty inspiration.”

Intimate Weddings: http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/intimate-ontario-garden-wedding-christa-jorden/ (Christa & Jorden’s Wedding)
Intimate Weddings is the go-to site for planning a small wedding… the only major blog that is devoted to small weddings (weddings with less than 75 guests). Our Quantcast rank is 9,438 making us one of the top 10,000 most visited sites on the web.”

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** As a thank you to my clients, family, friends (& the universe) for all the support and positivity this year, I’m giving away a free photo session! ** 

UP FOR GRABS:
One 1-hour couple, family, child/maternity or portrait photo session – winner gets to choose – with at least 10 edited high-res images!

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. ‘LIKE’ the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OlivePhotographyTO
  2. SHARE the Facebook post about this giveaway on your own timeline.
  3. COMMENT on the original page post saying ‘Shared!’ & whether you’d like a couple, family, child/maternity or portrait session.

CONTEST CLOSES SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 2014 @ 11:59 PM
Winner will be randomly drawn & notified via Facebook message.

The ‘Fine Print’: The session will take place at a lovely location that is convenient for both the winners and the photographer; Winners must credit the photographer if they share any images from the session online; Candidates who enter the contest grant full rights to the photographer to use and share any of the images from the session; The session will take place on a mutually convenient date/time that must be on or before November 30th, 2014. Winners will be required to sign a media release form prior to the photo session. Winners will also be announced on the blog, Facebook page and Twitter (first name only).
All three steps from the “How to Enter” instructions above must be followed in order to win!

NOW GO! ENTER!