Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Nathalie & Rich's Glowy Garden Family Portrait Session :)

We recently met up with Nathalie & Rich and their super-sweet son Asher for some candid family photos at Kew Gardens. Although Asher is 5 now, and has some very firm ideas about what he does and does not want to do (posing for pictures falling into the latter category unfortunately!), he frequently breaks out into this smile that melts your heart :) A great day, and some great images to remember it by :)

The non-stop athleticism of parents never ceases to amaze me! I'm sure many look fondly upon the time before the day their child learned the words "again!" and "more!" ;)
Found a magic spot near the hostas, with butterflies and surely (though we didn't see them) fairies :)
  I love how quickly Asher transitioned from shy five-year-old to action-ready super-hero!
 This cedar-chip path through the trees reminded me of the one where we took photos on Nathalie & Rich's wedding day, at the lovely Paletta Mansion :)
 Nathalie & Rich: as always, it was such a pleasure spending time with your family :) Can't wait to design your album from this session!

xo
Jessica + Norman

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sarah + Mike's Super-Fun High Park Family Portraits :)

Sarah & Mike have 3 boys aged 6 and under. For most parents (and many photographers!), this would be a handful - thankfully these three guys are pretty chill and love to laugh :) We recently met up with them at High Park for a morning of log-climbing, bird-spotting, and giggles.. we even made a trip to the zoo! Here are some of my favourite images from the session..

 I love how baby Henry goes from super-serious to toothy grin in a split second :) Also - how great are dad & Cameron's matching faux hawks??

Just because he's the smallest, doesn't mean Henry's not running the show sometimes - his older brothers could barely stop him from running away! And Oliver (one of the most enthusiastic smilers I've ever met) thought that was pretty hilarious :)

We walked along the pond and over to the zoo (those kids are great walkers!).. Oliver loved holding onto a baby chick, and - after a bit of encouragement from mom - Cameron had loads of fun feeding the llamas. All this excitement was too much for baby Henry, who decided it was time for nap :)

Sarah & Mike: it's always such a pleasure spending time with you two and your sweet and hilarious boys! We had so much fun, and can't wait to show you the rest of the photos :)

xo
Jessica + Norman

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Arsheya + Dan's Perfect Casa Loma Wedding Day :)

After an amazing evening at their Mehndi party on Thursday, Arsheya & Dan were nothing but thrilled for their wedding day - and it showed :) The day was perfect from start to finish, and I think my favourite part was how much they both seemed to feel almost overwhelmed by how blessed and fortunate they are to have each other, as well as such a supportive group of friends and family around them. If I had to describe the vibe of the day in one word, it would be "Victorious". Both bride and groom glowed all day, and their excitement was contagious :)
Here are some of my favourite images from this gorgeous and happiest of happy days..

So many stunning details throughout the day, starting with Arsheya's outfit and jewellery, not to mention the beautiful bride herself :)

Unbelievably, there was absolutely no stress or tension in the air as the ladies were getting ready - just a lot of laughs - what a great start to the day :)

While I photographed the girls getting ready, Norman went to capture Dan and his groomsmen as they prepared for the big day.. As both Norman and Dan are British (and Dan's father's family was literally from down the road from Norman's family in Belfast), this quote in the
cuff links box - "Everyone loves a man with an accent" - was very apt ;)


A champagne toast in the bridal suite at Casa Loma, before Arsheya headed
downstairs for the First Look :)

This is just a taste of the stunning bouquets and floral arrangements that gave so much
colour to the day - more to come!
The anticipation of the moments before the bride and groom see each other for the "first" time is one of my favourite parts of the wedding day, but these reactions were absolutely priceless! 

 
Between the stunned look on Dan's face, to how quickly Arsheya went from teary and emotional to jumping up and down and giving high-fives, it was pretty great :)
This bridal party was SO fun! And they looked amazing!!


Family photos on the terrace before heading in for the ceremony in the lovely Conservatory

Even the ceremony was full of laughter and smiles :)


And then.. the reception in the Library - so much WOW.. 
 
As I was photographing the details, I felt almost guilty that I was the only one enjoying this fairy tale decor, so I went and brought Arsheya and Dan to see everything before all their guests were invited in. They were both so overwhelmed with how beautifully everything had come together :)


With "Rocky"-themed entries, the bridal party got the reception started off on the right foot!
The speeches were great, with many references to the super-romantic origin story of this lucky couple, who met in St. Lucia while each vacationing with their families, and got to know each other when a hurricane prevented any of them from leaving the island :)


Couldn't resist a few dramatic "castle" images to end the day ;)

Arsheya & Dan: the two of you have a radiant glow that is felt by everyone around you - you are two of the kindest and most generous people I've ever met, and I'm sure I'm not alone in being grateful that you've found each other to share your lives with :) It was a pleasure capturing your wedding weekend, and we wish you all the best in all the days to come!

xo
Jessica + Norman

Event Planning: Kristina Chau, Not Your Average Party
Venue: Casa Loma
Design, Decor and Florals: Sara Baig Designs



Thursday, August 17, 2017

Arsheya & Dan's Vibrant and Joyful Mehndi Party :)


Arsheya & Dan are two of the happiest, most joyful people I've ever met. Although both slightly anxious for everything to go smoothly on their wedding weekend, they both absolutely oozed with excitement to be marrying each other :) But before the wedding last weekend was the Mehndi party on Thursday evening at the Boulevard Club - it was action-packed, vibrant, and so full of life and the celebration of love and family.. capturing it has to be one of my all-time favourite experiences! Here are some of the highlights of the evening..

First of all - check out this decor! For anyone who loves rich colours and textures (me!) this
was a dream come true :)
 The happy couple, before they make their official entrance..
 And what an entrance it is! The groom got carried in by his groomsmen, and the bride had a
whole candlelit procession..

And then the dancing began :D

 Dan and his crew did an amazing dance for Arsheya and their guests..

 And then it was Arsheya's turn to entertain with her ladies :)

We snuck the bridal party out onto the patio of the Boulevard Club for some dusk photos :)
 Throughout the evening, there were a couple of Mehndi artists available to create beautiful henna designs for the guests - the bride had hers done earlier and it was spectacular :)
 Two families, and the happy couple that has brought them together.. two days later they would meet again at Casa Loma for Arsheya & Dan's wedding!
Stay tuned - those stunning images to follow shortly..!
Arsheya & Dan: this evening was so much fun! We felt lucky and honoured to be a part of it and to capture it for you :)
 
xo
Jessica + Norman

Event Planner: Kristina Chau, Not Your Average Party

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Annie & Colton's Romantic Peter Pan Wedding :)

Annie & Colton are two of the sweetest and most genuine people I've ever met - the kind of couple that just makes you so happy that they found each other :) This was an incredible year for them, with both of them starting new jobs, moving to a new town (and moving house twice!), starting renovations AND planning a wedding. Yet every time I spoke to them, they seemed calm about all the chaos, and really excited about their upcoming wedding day. When that day finally arrived, it was perfect from start to finish :)
Here are some of my favourite images that we captured throughout the day, starting with the Annie & the girls getting ready at the home of dear family friends..


Colton & the guys got ready at a hotel nearby, and then we met up at the Music Gardens for
the bride & groom's First Look..
As we were waiting for Colton and his Best Man Brett, there were these two sweet birds fluttering about on the rock near us - seemed like a happy sign :)

I love Annie's gown, and especially how well it suited her - stunning!!
 Mini succulents in the boutonnieres! Love it!
Next stop: Graffiti Alley! We met the rest of the bridal party there for some fun and colourful photos that capture the urban side of the area - this one wall mural seemed especially perfect for the wedding party colours!

And now for the venue.. Peter Pan Bistro has been at the corner of Queen St. & Peter St. for as long as I can remember, and has loads of character both inside and out. They recently took over the second floor and renovated it to have an event space over the restaurant, and it's beautiful. Lots of original details like the stained glass windows give a unique feel to the lovely and bright space. The best part? The restaurant on the ground floor is not only where Annie & Colton went on their first date, but also where Colton brought Annie to propose to her :)
(awww! I did warn you that theirs is a romantic story!)


So - believe it or not - this booth is the one that happened to be unoccupied when we went down to do a couple of quick photos in the restaurant, and it's the exact one where Annie & Colton
sat for their first date!
Many lovely personal details made the day extra-special - the people from Colton's work made this engraved stone for the happy couple (now proudly living in their garden), and Annie did all the chalkboard writing and drawing herself. The M&M's were even personalized with their names and a picture of them together! Not a planned detail, but I also loved what happened to the wicks on the beeswax candles as they burnt down :)
The speeches were hilarious and touching, and the food was amazing..

 First dance :)
At the end of the night, we went down to the front of the bistro for some glowy evening photos, and the next thing we knew, Colton had literally swept Annie off her feet :) From the calmness of her reaction, I'm guessing it wasn't the first time, and probably won't be the last either ;)
  Annie & Colton: You two are an absolute joy to be around :) You both possess a sincerity and thoughtful nature that made you great hosts on your wedding day, and will no doubt keep you surrounded by great friends and family no matter how far away you move! It was a pleasure and an honour to capture this amazing day for you!!

xo
Jessica + Norman