Family Portraits: Ypelaar Siblings
Family Photography in the Humber River Valley, Toronto

Last month I ventured into the Humber River Valley with the Ypelaar siblings. I actually really love this type of fall/winter vegetation, where everything is sort of dying and wasteland-looking. It makes such great scenery! I really love it. This park is a place where these siblings always come on adventures and walks and they seemed right at home as we ventured through the park. We got chased by ducks, had some yummy coffee and Greek food, and laughed a ton. It was so much fun!!! I’ve never taken photos for adult siblings and I was a little nervous–how do I catch them naturally? What will we do? Can I make them laugh? They didn’t even need me. They just made each other laugh. We were there until the sun went down; a great afternoon! So here are some shots from our adventure.

 

For other family photos, check out my time with Erin & Pete or Leah & Caleb (kids all included)!


Adventure: Vancouver with Friends
Revisiting Vancouver

This year I took a last minute trip back to Vancouver for my reading week. I lived in Vancouver for about 5 years and so I was so excited to go back and visit! There’s something revitalizing about seeing the blue mountains topped with snow in the distance, the ocean and the smell of salt and seaweed, the weirdly clean streets, Chinatown, my old neighborhoods, and the best: my beloved friends.

My goal was to take portraits of everyone I met up with…. but I got so busy and it got so out of hand in the several days I was there so I only managed it with a few! However, here is what I have to share from my little break back on the west coast. There’s laughter, quiet, and a fake proposal moment to replace my friend’s actual fiance, currently attending school in France and Germany (sorry Greg!). I love taking photos of all those I hold dear to my heart… next time I get out there I will do a better job of documenting my whole time. But until then, at least I have these!

 

 

 


Family: The MacLellans
Family Adventure in Grande Prairie

Oh man! This day was hilarious and fun and a little crazy. I arrived at the house to start a walk with the family at the exact moment Erin and Pete had discovered a squirrel in their bathroom. The girls were amazed. Erin was desperately trying to find an exterminator in GP. It turned out we only had an hour and had to stick close to the house for when the exterminator came to take the squirrel back to the wild. So we had a 50 minute session that mostly took place in the back alley and the forest trails just behind the house. You might think it was a bit too short to get all the photos you need, but I think we did a great job under squirrel pressure! It was a blast. In this family, everyone is hilarious, even little Molly and Cara. I could’ve hung out with them all night! Thankfully, the squirrel is safe and happy back in the wild somewhere (or as wild as squirrels get).

How long has it been since you’ve taken family photos? Do you get them done every year, or do you keep it a special thing for every few years? I’d love to hear your thoughts on family pictures!

 


Engagement: Cory & Kayla
Grande Prairie Engagement

While I was back in Grande Prairie, Alberta this past week, I got to do an engagement shoot with Cory & Kayla, who are getting married next summer! Kayla is a lady who knows what she wants and even booked us some time at Serenity Acres, an acreage just outside of town that had a GORGEOUS lookout into the creek valley and, in the foggy distance, the Wapiti River. We also got to play with horses (note: keep camera bags away from places horses might just walk!), and then we went out to one of my favourite old barns. There is nothing quite like exploring the prairies with a couple! It is so much fun to catch people just laughing and enjoying their time together in such a beautiful place. Cory is constantly making Kayla laugh and they are so comfortable and adorable together. It’s so great to capture those moments. Cory and Kayla have been through some crazy times the last year and a half, and it is so great to see them come out of it all strong and fun and awesome!

  

  

  

 


Family: Leah, Caleb, & Micah
Family in Edmonton

Earlier this month my cousins graciously offered to let me stay with them in Edmonton for the week while I worked nearby on thesis research. It was so much fun, and I got to hang out with their precious 7-month-old baby, Micah! I love him so much. We also took an evening for some family photographs. It was so nice to walk around and enjoy the sunset, as well as just get to do something nice for my family. The mosquitoes were insane, Micah got a little chilly, but there was dancing in the gazebo, baby cuddles, air tosses, swings, and a visit to the bakery to get cake afterwards (naturally). I can safely say after spending a week with them they are some of the coolest parents I’ve met and I can’t wait to see them all keep growing with each other!

 

                            

 


Wedding: Sarah & Mark
One Island Lake Wedding

On July 22, Sarah & Mark got married. It was my first wedding. I shot for 14 hours and my hands were little claws by the end of the day. It was so fun and amazing and scary and great! I have known Sarah since we were maybe 3 years old and even though we hadn’t talked in a few years, it was lovely to shoot the wedding of a friend, especially one who remembers you in your kool-aid stained lips and bowl haircut days and still somehow believes in you.

These two are the best. So laid back and warm, offering me drinks and bug spray and a couch to sleep on. The wedding took place at Sarah’s family cabin at One Island Lake in BC, a place I even went in my younger days! Everyone at the wedding was kind and casual. The ceremony was sweet, the bridal party ready to actually party, and the dancing went on late into the night. I cried and laughed behind my camera the whole day. These two are so comfortable and happy and you could just feel their joy throughout the whole day! Nothing mattered except their story. One of the greatest parts of the day was seeing 30 or so friends and family help setting up outside while the bride and groom were busy getting ready and just having a relaxed morning. You could sense that community vibe throughout the entire day. I can’t thank Sarah and Mark enough for giving me a chance!

Dress by Castaspella Boutique

Suits by Moores

Everything else by the bride & groom and their friends & family! WOW!

 

 

 


Engagement: Sarah and Mark
Grande Prairie Engagement

Well 2016 ended (literally, the last day of the year!) with an engagement session for Sarah and Mark in my hometown of Grande Prairie, Alberta. It’s a bit of a neat story. Sarah and I have known each other since we were probably 3 years old through play school and our older sisters being Kindergarten pals in school. We grew up making elementary art projects together, gallivanting around school playgrounds, and swimming in the pool (Sarah, being an actual pro swimmer, made her lap around the deep end much easier than me, flailing and bobbing like I did).

As time passed, we went our separate ways and haven’t really spoken for many many many years. So what a pleasant surprise to hear from her about photographing their wedding in 2017! I was so touched and excited and managed to meet up with them over the holiday, which was great! Sarah and Mark are so cute and lovely and were game for anything I suggested, even being jacketless in crazy falling snow and jumping on the spot to stay warm, sitting in the snow and wandering around in the forest. They bounce off of each other so well and are both so sarcastic which is honestly the funniest. They had me laughing like crazy! Hearing them tell me their stories was the best because I could really see and feel their love for each other and did my best to capture that in their photos. Here are some shots from their December 31st engagement session.


 

 


Portraits: Nathalie

This past week I went out to Delta in BC for a photoshoot with my friend Nathalie, who wanted to take some photos in her old high school graduation dress before she donated it! I love this dress. The way it looks with sun behind it and its material! So good!

It was great to see a familiar farming landscape in an area so close to were I live! Unfortunately I don’t think that it appears much in the photographs, but I just have to say there are treasure spots in this area!

My favorite location from this day was when we just took a random road and ended up at Deltaport, a huge port where trains and trucks line up for kilometers to deposit their cargo that gets shipped out. The tide was low and we explored out on the mud a bit. The best thing about photos is exploring new areas and seeing how they can add to the person in the photographs. All elements are important! I had a bit of trouble with the placement of the sun at 4 PM, but I got to try out my new external flash and it was incredibly helpful. 🙂

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Portraits: Adrienne

Earlier this month Adrienne and I woke up at 6 AM to get to Wreck Beach by UBC for the sunrise. I can safely say we beat it. The light was gorgeous, but took lots of fast changes on my part to try and keep up with it! Going from pitch black to early morning sun in under an hour is an exercise in using your camera, that is for sure!

Anyhow, we had a lot of fun! Shooting Adri is so fun because she’s already a pro in front of the camera; she’s a crazy famous cosplayer and does photoshoots all of the time! So I decided this time around I wanted to take photos of her just as herself: no make-up, no intense outfits, just her and her beautiful face and the ocean as our background. It was very relaxing, lots of fun, and it was totally empty, except for some seagulls with attitude.

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Heehee, I love this one of her laughing!

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Portraits: Dan and Nyomi

So this past Sunday I was lucky enough to photograph my two friends, Dan and Nyomi. We drove out 2 hours from Vancouver to Alexandra Bridge past Hope, which is up in the mountains… and it is breathtaking! Also the bridge is just a grill with the Fraser river rushing beneath you, no big deal.

There was pouring rain when we left but with a bit of optimism and good luck it lightened up to let us take photos; the sun even came out! I actually liked the bit of rain, if you look closely in some photos you can see it sprinkling in the background. It was lovely lighting and I absolutely loved the dark green trees, the fog, and this great old bridge as a backdrop! Kudos goes to Dan for his idea to visit this place. Aside from taking photos of my friends that I hope they will be able to enjoy for years to come, it was so nice to see them loosening up in front of the camera, particularly my camera shy yet very handsome friend Dan.

I hope they enjoyed it! Here are a few of the photos from that day. 🙂

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These goofs.