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

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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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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Quinn’s 1st Birthday

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Baby Quinn just turned 1 and was all smiles this Saturday! I can totally understand why – she is absolutely showered with love by her two amazingly warm, kind mommies.
What a love-filled, sweet family! We had a wonderful time enjoying the sunshine, warm weather, and beautiful nature around us. Was an absolute pleasure photographing this family!
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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!

Yeah, Baby!

This holiday I received some beautiful news:

Christa & Jorden, a couple whose wedding I photographed last Summer on July 5th, 2013, are expecting their first little one this July 2nd!

Warmest congratulations, you two! I’m so excited for you, and your child will be absolutely blessed to enter a home filled with so much love.

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The Giacca Kids – Family Session

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Monika approached me with a really sweet idea: she and her brothers wanted to get some portraits taken as a special gift to their parents for Christmas.
They decided they would print one of the photos super large and frame it, and put the rest into a special album. (Can you guess which one they wanted to frame?)

What a beautifully sentimental gift, and wonderful way to celebrate sibling love. I’m sure their parents will be so touched.

It was a pleasure, guys!

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Yentle & Geoff – Married!

 

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Ah, Yentle & Geoff. Two of the most kind-hearted, sweet individuals you’ll ever meet.
I won’t say too much about their wedding since they’ve so wonderfully captured the essence of their big day in the words to follow, but I will say that their love is the kind that could bring a smile to even the most hardened hearts (Mr. Grinch, I’m lookin’ at you). The twinkle in their eyes and glowing glances portray impossible amounts of breathless adoration and happiness filled to the brim. Just recounting it brings back the awe and amazement I felt as I released the shutter with each new smile-inducing moment at their lovely Toronto City Hall wedding.
Yentle & Geoff, I have no doubt that you two are perfect for each other. Warmest congratulations to you both!

The Engagement: From Yentle

Geoff technically proposed to me twice. The first time was on a pretty normal morning. We were getting ready for work in our apartment and mid-way through brushing his teeth, he stopped, looked deep into my eyes and said, “Do you wanna get married?” The rest of the day felt like a dream. From there we started slowly planning our small, intimate wedding and picked out an adorable white gold ring with pave diamonds as an engagement ring. I was under the impression that I would be able to wear it right away, but Geoff is a little trickier than that. He hid the ring as soon as I got it sized and playfully pretended to propose every so often.

I was kept in suspense for months and in March of 2012 I took a weekend trip to Montreal with my best friend. Upon my arrival home, I opened the front door of our apartment and was welcomed with the beautiful and breathtaking sight of 200 lit tealight candles and fresh rose petals leading from the foyer to our bedroom. Geoff had put up little love letters for me to read along the way, and as I arrived to our bedroom, there he was on bended knee, presenting the ring with a rose in his mouth.

The Significance of the 24th

May 24th is such a special day for us. Both of our birthdays, as well as that of our cat’s, fall on the 24th of our respective months, so we knew we wanted to have our wedding on the 24th too. May just felt right, and it’s also the anniversary of my mother’s parents. It was incredibly moving to spend time with my Lola (grandmother), who was also my Maid of Honour, and was a bride herself 66 years ago on that very day. It also doesn’t hurt that we get to celebrate every anniversary from here on with a long weekend!

The Big Day: Geoff’s Reflections

It all seemed to happen so fast. The day we had been planning for so long came and went, followed by a much deserved sigh of relief. The morning of the wedding I got to sleep in. This was crucial to the success of the day on my end. After I awoke, I found reminder messages on my phone from my lovely bride strangely reminding me to wear clean socks. I had just assumed that this was the time Yentle decided to tell me that my sock hygiene left something to be desired. I was happy to be wrong when I opened the sock drawer and found a new pair of stunning shark-themed socks packaged in a label which read “In Case of Cold Feet”. When I arrived at City Hall, I was able to finally see my beautiful bride to be fully decked out in her wedding attire. It was definitely a sight I will cherish for the rest of my life. Next it was off to the wedding chambers to do the deed itself. Everything was handled very professionally and the chambers were decorated beautifully. Our officiant George was incredibly thoughtful and conducted the ceremony with class. I got the chance to pour out my heart to my darling in front of friends and family as I read out my vows. I managed to keep my composure, but just barely; it was a very touching moment. When I finally had my wife officially ringed, there was much joy and celebration as we smiled and strolled back up the aisle which was the scene of so much nervousness only minutes earlier. It was done. It was then that I fully understood why people always said your wedding is the happiest moment of your life.

The Big Day: Yentle’s Reflections

Geoff and I got married on May 24th, 2013 and it is a day we will never forget. I spent the previous evening at my parents’ house and got ready there, while Geoff stayed at our apartment. I wanted his day to start off fun and playful, and I made sure to tell him to wear clean socks (which, I’ll admit, is an unusual request) to surprise him with a pair of socks  I placed in his drawer with sharks (his favourite animal) on them – in case of cold feet.

Spending the previous night and the morning of our wedding with my parents and sisters was incredible. We dipped into old memories and shared our hopes and dreams for the future. My dad made my favourite breakfast and those were the most delicious eggs I’ve ever had! My sisters are very talented, and after quickly doing their own hair and make-up they started on mine. At one time I had one of my sisters curling my hair, my other sister was applying my false lashes, while my mom was delicately painting my toenails and my dad was taking pictures. It was a zoo in that room, and I couldn’t help but feel all the love and excitement. (…continued)

(…) The ceremony was held at the Wedding Chambers at Toronto City hall. Before the ceremony our family members were able to mingle as Anastasia (Olive Photography) coordinated our “First Look”. His smile as he first turned around would have brought me to happy tears, but I kept it together for the sake of my make up! Our officiant, George, was fantastic. At our request, he began with the ring warming ceremony asking our family members to pass our rings among themselves as they silently wished or prayed for us. It was truly touching to receive the rings back with all of their love. We recited our own vows to each other in front of our loved ones, and I often play those words back in my head now.

After photos, we all rendezvoused at the Horizons restaurant at the CN Tower – which was greatly appropriate since we both felt like we were on cloud 9. The view was spectacular and the food was delicious! We all watched the sun set as its glowing, orange light bathed the city and continued liaising under the bright, almost-full moon. The staff was incredibly accommodating and very supportive of us staying well after our meals were over to continue celebrating.

Special Details

Each of our guests received a program – outlining the itinerary of the day, a hand stamped handkerchief with our initials (for happy tears), and little wands with long strands of ribbon to wave around instead of throwing confetti or blowing bubbles. My mother made beautiful silk flower boutonnieres for Geoff, his parents, his little sister (who was also our ring bearer), as well as one for herself and my father. I personalized Geoff’s with a little ‘1-up’ mushroom made of oven baked clay inspired by the Super Mario games. I made a matching one for my bouquet too, as they symbolized a “new life” for us.

Though our special day was pretty non-traditional, I definitely wanted to keep with the bridal traditions of having something old, new, borrowed, and blue. My something is old was the gorgeous veil, with a crystal-encrusted headpiece and hanging pearl, that my mother wore on her wedding day; my something new: my wedding dress that my extremely talented aunt custom-made for me; I borrowed lovely pieces of jewellery from the important women in our lives (from my mother, both of my grandmothers, my aunt, Geoff’s mom and step-mom) to create my bouqet; and my something blue was provided from my father. We cut out two hearts from one of his old work shirts and glued them under my shoes, so that throughout the day I would be walking with his heart.

Our day was amazing, and though it was fun and exciting, we’re both incredibly glad that it’s under our belts and we can begin building our life together.

Advice for Engaged Couples

Remember that your wedding day is for you and your love – and should reflect your personalities. It’s important to keep an open mind during the preliminary planning process, as you will get a lot of ideas thrown your way. Some of those ideas will be great, maybe some things you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of, but there will be others that will not feel right – don’t be afraid to say no to those.

DIY projects are great and affordable ways to add personal touches, but it is extremely important to choose those projects wisely and plan out when to do them ahead of time. You don’t want to be the struggling bride/groom-to-be wrestling with a glue gun on the night before your wedding.  Additionally, your friends and family members will ask you if there’s anything the can do to assist you, they love you and they mean it, so don’t be afraid to accept help. (…continued)

(…) After all is said and done, you will be incredibly surprised how fast the day will go. Remember to stop, breathe, and enjoy your special day.

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Julian’s 1st Communion

What a gorgeous Sunday for a family event!
Julian’s parents asked me to photograph the reception portion of their son Julian’s 1st Communion – what a nice day.
The sun shone brightly and it felt like Summer. The patio doors were wide open and guests enjoyed themselves both indoors and out. The kids were having a blast, and the adults were in a playful mood.
Definitely a great way to spend a Sunday!