Up In Smoke: A Spooky Maternity Shoot

Art, style

We had a gorgeous summer-into-fall day, perfect for juxtaposing pretty against eerie, on Wolfe Island. In the cemetery, close to Kingston, Ontario – a point on the map infused with meaning, we celebrated my recently departed Grandmother and embraced the beauty of a place steeped in history. On this new journey, I found myself enjoying a walk in an old familiar place. I have never found churchyards scary, growing up for the first years of my life with a bedroom window that overlooked an Anglican cemetery. This was where I played hide and seek and went to read books, and sing in the choir. I love the way these photos turned out. They are magical and strange, like the changes that take place in the body as it prepares for new life. He is due to arrive near Hallowe’en and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

ps. the smoke grenades are totally safe. I checked. xox A

A Sitdown with Wedding Photographer, Kate O’Connor of Sweetheart Empire

Love, style, Wedding

Just a week after my own article, about how wonderful it was to work with Kate O’Connor, a fabulous photographer, for our wedding images, the venue where we were married (Berkeley Church) contacted Kate to interview her; they also asked to feature our photos on their own blog.

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They asked:

When approaching this lovely Berkeley Church wedding what were your considerations and aspirations?

I have three goals for every wedding:

  1. To see my subjects for who they truly are – loving, amazing humans taking a leap of faith;
  2. To make sure they feel comfortable, so that they can be themselves and enjoy themselves;
  3. To capture the wedding day FEELS with love and realness – both how people are feeling (emotionally), and the atmosphere of the day overall.

I wanted the brides and their folks to look back at the images and remember how it felt that day – the anticipation, the emotions, and of course the immense loving energy that happens when you are in a room surrounded by your loved ones.berkeley-church-toronto-wedding-ceremoney-weddin-alter.jpgberkeley-church-toronto-wedding-wedding-pritraits.jpgtoronto-weding-berkeley-church-toronto-venue.jpg

For the whole article, follow the link here.

A thousand words. Photography to capture the magic of a wedding day. 

Wedding

All photos (above) by Kate O’Connor of Sweetheart Empire.

Choosing our photographer was one of the things we were most picky about for our wedding plans. If everything goes smoothly on the day of, great! But having lasting memories for ourselves and for our future family is a detail we didn’t want to overlook.

We started our hunt by asking for recommendations from people we knew. We then checked out the portfolios of those photographers and met with our top three. We had such an instant connection with Kate (Sweetheart Empire). We felt like we wanted to be friends with her, and now we are. Knowing that someone is going to be standing in at all of those intimate, special moments of nerves, tears (of joy) and excitement, I wanted to feel 100% confident that she would be a seamless, positive part of the day. We couldn’t have been more right about her. Kate O’Connor’s demeanor and utter professionalism was incredible. She listened. She was sweet and thoughtful, open to all my creative (read: strange) suggestions and she got us to feel in the moment, during all the chaos of the day. She was part life coach, keeping us focused on each other, and part magician. She captured the day, and us, the way I remember it all feeling. IMG_3708

When I said, ‘like a Vanity Fair cover’ or ‘the Netflix ads for The Vampire Diaries,’ she knew exactly what I meant.

Like a soft “American Gothic”. Check. This is our trademark shot. We get one like this, together, each year. It’s going to be like a yearbook for us as we grow together.

    
I trusted her completely to get us right. And she absolutely did. These are just a few of my favourite moments from our day, followed by a selection of inspiration images (all pinned to my Pinterest page) of the kind of images that we were drawn to. Knowing what we wanted really helped us to know what direction to take, and how to help Kate understand what we were looking for. She captured our day so beautifully that our wedding was chosen by Pikto Gallery as one of their sample books.

Before choosing a photographer, I wanted a good sense of what kind of images we would want to create with our photographer. Below are some of the photos that caught my eye. For the links to the following images, check out my Wedding Photography Pinterest Board. Though none are an exact replica (like any great art), the feeling of these photos definitely comes through in our final product. They were visual references so we could be on the same page.

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I knew I wanted to feel like this in my photos. Smokey and soft, romantic and a little undone. Very sweet, but still grown up.

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And catching those natural expressions and intimacy was important to us, too.

The drama of a great backdrop and having us be part of a great landscape was also an inspiration.

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How did you choose your photographer? Would you do anything differently? What kind of images do you want from that moment in time?

 

Babes in Wonderland

Love
Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

This gorgeous photo is a moment of magic, caught between a mother and son. I have known Angelina for years and she was a kick-ass professional, an amazingly empathetic, vivacious woman in her own right, always ready to listen and full of laughter. Seeing her now, as a wife and mother, nothing could be a better testimonial to the way that life brings us exactly what we deserve. Her joy is so pure and motherhood suits her beautifully.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

These photos are magical and sweet. The lighting and composition, setting and the intimacy of the shots are the signature of a skilled photographer who can make working with a tiny human look like a piece of cake. That being said, I have the utmost respect for parents and families who make it work in all the ways we must, day to day. But how can you not fall in love with a picture that makes parenting look like the best, most natural and rewarding thing in the world?

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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

If ever there was a photo that spoke a billion words, even if one of the tiny subjects doesn’t yet speak them himself, this is it.

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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

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Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Christin Carruthers captured the bond between these two just perfectly. For more of her work, check out her website: http://www.oohoohdarling.com/mama-and-her-little-guy/

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

Angelina and Dario, as shot by Christin Carruthers of Ooh Ooh Darling.

For more of Photographer Christin Carruthers’ work, check out her website: http://www.oohoohdarling.com/mama-and-her-little-guy/

I Heart You

Art, DIY, Love, Wedding

One of my favourite personalized details from our wedding day, almost a year ago, was the custom heart that my designer friend, Katey, created for us. She is a stylist, ceramic artist and all-round creative genius and, knowing our penchant for DIY touches, she asked if she might be able to make us something special.

Photo Credit: Sweetheartempire.com, Heart by Katherine Morley, Location: Berkeley Church, Toronto.

Photo Credit: Sweetheartempire.com, Heart by Katherine Morley, Location: Berkeley Church, Toronto.

The results were amazing and the decorative heart, emblazoned with our names, became a key piece of our wedding day puzzle.

Berkeley Church, Toronto. Photo Credit: Sweetheart Empire, Toronto (Kate O'Connor). Heart by Katherine Morley.

Berkeley Church, Toronto. Photo Credit: Sweetheart Empire, Toronto (Kate O’Connor). Heart by Katherine Morley.

Check out her beautiful designs on everything from ‘Capacity’ – a carefully curated collection of art and design by female designers in Toronto, to her ceramic sculptures for fish tanks (which address the issues surrounding human impact on our oceans and the depletion of sea coral, while providing a gorgeous, sustainable landscape for fish to explore).

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Katherine Morley in her studio.

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Sculptural pieces with form and function.

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More of her creative pieces, featured in House & Home, including her circus-inspired ceramics, and Iceberg book ends that evoke the Group of Seven.

Supporting local artists, especially ones who are socially conscious and engaged in their community, is a great way to fill your home, event and life, in general, with good vibes, originality and beauty.