Monday, December 30, 2013

My Perfect Wee Nephew at 3 months :)

I'm going to start this one on a personal note (it's my blog after all!)..

This past October I turned 37. In and of itself, that's no problem. I'm actually thoroughly enjoying my 30's, and wish I didn't spend the last few years of my 20's dreading them so much ;) But since then - in the short 2 1/2 months that I've been 37 - I've had pneumonia (which sucks even more than I'd imagined), I had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics I was prescribed and ended up spending a day in the emergency room, we had our house broken into (while we were at home!), we spent a few days without power during the recent ice storm excitement, and both Norman and I have had bronchitis. So as the end of 2013 looms near, I can't say I'm sad to see it go. 

However. In and amongst all that craziness, we also spent a week and a half visiting with my sister, her husband, and their perfect new baby boy, Cooper. We were lucky enough to be there for his first trip to see Santa, his first experience of a Christmas tree, and his first time out in the snow. At three months, Cooper loves kicking, is *almost* rolling over, and loves to use his index finger to accentuate his cheerful chatter. Also, he giggles :) Years ago, a close friend of mine (also a first-time Aunt at the time) told me that nephew giggles could cure anything. I'm not 100% sure that Cooper's giggles actually cured any of the crap that was going on over the past months, but I am sure that they made up for it :)

And while I can't actually share his giggles with you here, I can share with you some of the fun we had together one afternoon..

My appologies to my brother-in-law, who isn't a huge fan of this hat.. I just thought it was totally irresistable :) A bit like Baby Cooper :)

We wish all of you a very Happy New Year, and many giggles!
Jessica + Norman

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Baby "Blue-Eyes" Ryker - 3 months old :)

We're a bit attached to Baby Ryker, since he's the very first baby either Norman or I had ever seen enter the world :) Now that he's grown up a bit, Ryker is already a charmer with his enormous super-blue eyes and his great singing voice.. I can't show you the songs he serenaded us with when we photographed him a few days ago, but I can show you what I mean about his eyes!
He was so alert the whole time we were there, and kept a careful watch on all of us ;) 
Oh yes - and he's also got one of the cutest little chins ever :) And here he is singing his little heart out (below..)
We had such fun getting to know this wee fella, and can't wait to see the whole family again soon!

Jessica + Norman

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Custom Holiday Card Templates Are Here!

It's that time of year again - time to dig out the mitts and scarves, trade your mojito for a Bailey's and hot chocolate, and watch the same movies you've watched every December since you can remember :) Time to think cozy thoughts. Time for bright starry skies at 5pm. Snow angels. And best of all... time to send out awesome holiday cards!
We're so excited this year, because we've been working with a very talented designer to do a re-fresh on our branding (more about that to come soon..), and he's created 4 amazing custom templates for our lovely clients to be able to send out the best cards ever! Here are a couple of examples of different images in each of the 4 templates available - which one is your favourite?
Scroll down to the bottom to get all the details about how you can order you own.. don't delay - all orders must be finalized by December 1st!

How to order your very own awesome custom holiday cards:
1. If we've photographed you and or your family this year, shoot us a quick email letting us know which template you'd like to use, and how many cards you will need. They come in sets of 25 4x6 folding cards + envelopes for $50 + HST. *Your order needs to be placed before December 1st!*
1a. If we haven't photographed anything for you recently, we've still got amazing cards for you! There are limited quantities of these three custom cards featuring images from a Festival of Lights that we went to in Pisa while we were travelling in Italy this past summer :) Just let us know which one you want, and how many sets of 25 (same pricing as above). Want your own custom cards for next year? Book your next photo session with us now!
2. Send your top 3 choices for which image to use (please be sure to specify which session if we've photographed you multiple times lately ie. engagement session and wedding).
3. We'll get in touch to see how you'd like to pay for your order. Email money transfer is preferred, but we can also accept Visa or Mastercard.
4. We'll choose the image that works best with your favourite template, and email you a mock-up by December 3rd for confirmation before it goes to print. Confirmation is required by December 5th at noon at the absolute latest.
5. You'll receive an email to confirm your pick-up time on Saturday December 7th. (If that day doesn't work for you we can make alternate arrangements, but I'm trying to get all holiday card orders printed and delivered as soon as possible!)
That's it - easy! 

If you know you want us to make custom cards for you, but are finding it difficult to pick a favourite template or image, just let us know and we'll send you a couple of suggestions to pick from :)

I'm so excited that we'll be creating such personal and colourful cards for all of you to share with your friends and families this holiday season!

Looking forward to hearing from you in the next couple of days..

p.s. here's the email address again, and feel free to call (416.806.1585) from 9am-8pm if you have any questions!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sweet Baby Asher Is One :)

If you're just meeting Baby Asher for the first time, it's worth taking a second to check out his adorable year in photos - starting with the maternity session we did with his mommy & daddy, followed shortly by his grand debut at his newborn session, and showing off his "sitting up" skills at 6 months.. at our most recent session, he was all smiles and keen to show off his 4 shiny new teeth :) He's also a lot more mobile now, so he kept us all on our toes!

He was so proud of his Hallowe'en costume, which was super-cute!
I love his little face in the middle image - "Dude! Gimme back my birthday balloon!" I also love that he still curls his wee toes together like that :)
 It was a gorgeous day, so we headed down to the beach for a bit of sun and sand :)
Happy belated First Birthday little man! It's been such a joy watching you change and grow over the year, and I can't wait to see your charming smile again very soon :)

Jessica + Norman

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tracey & Paul's Amazing Golf Wedding :)

Tracey and Paul are my favourite kind of couple - they're both super-creative and love putting together details on a theme. In this case: golf. Paul's a graphic designer, and he loves golf. Tracey loves to make things, and has more DIY talents than I can list. They're both crazy about each other, and are fantastically fun to be around. I knew their wedding was going to be an amazing day :)

Paul designed not only the invitation set, but also the many signs and labels for the details. (He's also the one who insisted on "the pants" - but we'll get to that in a minute..)
Tracey made these gorgeous matching robes for all the girls to wear while getting ready in the morning 

 Absolutely stunning :)
 Next we headed to Greystone Golf Club, where the guys were getting ready.. Tracey also made the ties for Paul and the groomsmen - each one was lined with it's own super hero :) And yes - those are "the pants" ;)

One of my favourite parts of the day is the "first look" :) 
 I love this shot of the bridesmaids (below) snuggling together to keep warm!
Last-minute fixes, then time to walk down the aisle.. (love those "golf" signs!)
Tracey's Aunt Monique played piano for the ceremony, and her cousin Emma sang beautifully :)
I think it's a good sign for the years of marriage to come when there's a lot of laughing during the ceremony :) 
 Paul's Grandfather is the one who played bagpipes as the newlyweds walked back up the aisle together.. such a lovely touch :)
In a bit of wedding-day magic luck, the truck wash around the corner from the reception venue was painted exactly the same colours as "the pants"! 
Friends and relatives were enlisted to help make many jars of red pepper jelly and chili sauce for the guests to take home, and instead of a guest book there was a signing quilt. Tracey and Paul even made hundreds of tiny custom buttons with sayings like "Best Wedding EVER" and "I'm here for the Bridesmaids".. Tracey even got her own personal button :) 
Time to get the party started with some dancing and photo booth fun! 

Tracey & Paul - you guys both worked amazing hard organizing ideas and creating all the personal details of your day, while also somehow giving the distinct impression that none of those details or plans mattered half as much to you as having your friends, family, and each other to enjoy the day together.. I can't think of a better frame of mind in which to start off your married life :) Thank you so much for having us with you to capture all the amazing moments, people, and details of your day!

Jessica + Norman

{We love photographing fun and alternative weddings! If you've got one in your future, please get in touch!}

Hair: Shear Pleasure, Milton
Make-up: Courtney Lilly Carruthers
Flowers: Janice at Business is Blooming
Venue - Ceremony: Greystone Golf Club, Milton
Ceremony Musicians: Monique Barry
Venue - Reception: Teatro Conference & Event Center, Milton

** a very special thank you to Ben Benvie - Ben was willing to step in and capture Tracey & Paul's wedding when I came down with pneumonia two weeks before their wedding day, and graciously agreed to come along for part of the day and help us out even though I was "back on my feet". Ben did a beautiful job, and was a pleasure to work with :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Welcoming Baby Cooper to the Family :)

I'll start off by admitting a bias - wee Cooper is my little sister's first baby - but I'm sure you'll all agree with me when I say he's pretty perfect :) We first photographed him back in the summer when he was still in his mommy's tummy, but this was our first visit to meet and photograph him now that he's out in the world. At 10 days old, he mostly slept and cuddled his way through our 3-day visit in September, but he did wake up long enough to give us a taste of his powers in the super-cute department.. this expression below was one of my favourites :)
I love this little hat that Amanda knit for him.. 
 adorable tiny baby parts :)
 with mommy and daddy under the big tree in the front yard (practicing his boxing poses, which will make my moms proud!)

Amanda & Tim - we can't thank you enough for bringing this perfect little guy into our lives :) We're looking forward to many years of chasing him around with and without cameras! And a special thank you for your infinite patience while waiting to see these images ;)

love you guys!
Jessica + Norman

Friday, September 13, 2013

Amanda & Tim - Baby on the Way :)

For those of you who don't already know, Amanda is my sister. My little sister. If you have a little sister of your own, perhaps you've also had one of those moments in life when you suddenly notice that she's not a kid anymore. Somehow - without you noticing - she's gone and grown up. I was living with my sister when she graduated college, and when she and Tim decided to move in together. About a year later, they moved away from Toronto into their own house in Tim's home town of Lancaster. A couple of years later, they got married. For some reason, none of these events were "the moment". Not even when we were sitting around my moms' kitchen table and she told us all that they were pregnant. It was less of a milestone than any of these.. it was one evening when she was visiting, and the two of us were up later than everyone else. We were just sitting on the couch, talking. She was talking about morning sickness, and how she couldn't stop burping. And it hit me - this person, my sister, is going to be someones mommy. I found myself studying her face.. trying to figure out how she had - secretly and without me knowing - turned from my little sister into a woman.
It's been months now since that conversation, and in spite of all the pictures I've seen and taken of her as her belly grew it still took a long time for it to fully sink in that soon there will be a baby in our family. We went with Tim & Amanda when they did their hospital tour, and actually had the amazing experience of photographing a birth just a couple of weeks later, but it wasn't until I saw a friend's pictures last week of her holding her new nephew that I thought: "that's going to be me. I'm going to be an auntie!" and now I'm pretty much doing a constant impatient dance, calling every day to see what the heck is taking that baby so long to get here..
Anyways - a little while ago we went out for a visit and to do some maternity photos :) While I was looking over the images afterwards, I couldn't help but notice that Tim makes my sister laugh a lot. Pretty much non-stop giggle fits. Of all the things I like about Tim, I think this is the best :)
 {these wicker chairs are the ones my grandparents used to sit next to each other on, for the warm summer evenings on their front porch at their farm}
As much as I love Toronto, I have to admit this is a pretty great front yard to have..
 pregnant Charlie's Angels pose - of course ;)
tattooed wedding bands still fit when you're pregnant! 
Amanda & Tim - I don't know what to say.. I'm so proud and so excited for you guys, and absolutely cannot wait to meet the newest member of our awesome family! We love you guys so much, and are eagerly anticipating our visit in a couple of weeks :D (p.s. there'd better be a baby there by then!)

Jessica + Norman

{if you're expecting a tiny new addition to your own family and would love gorgeous maternity and newborn portraits of your own - email us now for more information! We also do gift certificates and registry - inquire for details!}

Meg & Frank - Awesome Steampunk Wedding at La Maquette :)

You know when you meet a couple, and you very quickly realize they are absolutely perfect together? That's how it was when we first met Meg & Frank :) They both have amazingly warm and generous personalities, and they share a very goofy sense of humour. One of my first questions for couples is: "do you have a theme for your wedding day?", and when Meg's answer was "Steampunk!" I knew this was going to be fantastic. I went to The Beguiling on Markham St. and found myself a copy of The Steampunk Bible (yes, it exists, and yes, it is awesome). I loved getting updates from Meg about what she'd found on etsy, or what she'd thought of to make next, or which friend had volunteered their talents for what. The end result was a day that was full of laughter, close family and friends, and very personal details :)
Here are some of my favourite images from the day..

Meg's friend Carrie designed and made her gown - including a stunning corset - it was gorgeously Victorian and modern all at once!
Frank's brother and sister-in-law Aaron & Jenny read a passage from The Velveteen Rabbit during the ceremony (the part about becoming REAL - a total tear-jerker..), and Meg's friend Janet had hand-embroidered their hand-fasting ribbon :) My favourite part of the ceremony was when Meg & Frank read the vows they'd written for each other - they literally had all their guests laughing out loud! 
Not only was La Maquette a visually amazing venue, but it made it possible for Meg & Frank to have an outdoor wedding in the middle of pouring rain..
 Among the long list of personal details, Meg's sister-in-law Andrea not only made the cake - including making gears out of icing - but also did a fantastic job on Meg's make-up, Laura arrived early to make sure everything was set up, and Meg actually made the stamps they used to tag the favours (tiny bottles full of gears, with skeleton keys attached). I also loved the vintage apothecary bottles used for centerpieces!

One of my favourite parts was how amazing everyone looked dressed up - even Meg's grandmother had a tiny top hat :) Meg's brother and sister-in-law Nate & Andrea and their son Logan looked like they just stepped off a movie set! (I love this shot of Meg's dad giving Logan "high-fives" for being so good during photos..)
 more yummy details... :)
As much as I loved all the fanciful and imaginative details of Meg & Frank's wedding, what really struck me was how personal their day was. I noticed just before everyone sat down to lunch that all the place cards were first names only. And in a way that I can't fully explain, that really captures the essence of what it was like to be at Meg & Frank's wedding - there was a strong sense that this wasn't just about two people dedicating their lives to each other, but also about the amazing community of family and friends that will be there with them along the way :)

Meg & Frank: you two were so much fun and such a delight to photograph! Your creativity in planning this wedding was only surpassed by your joy in marrying each other - thank you so much for allowing us to capture it all for you :)

Jessica + Norman

{We love photographing fun and alternative weddings, especially with awesome themes :) If you've got one in your future, please get in touch!}

special thanks to Ange at La Maquette for general awesomeness!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kate & Duane's Fairytale Garden Wedding :)

Kate & Duane both grew up in Ontario - and that's where their families still are - but they are currently living in a small town in the mountains in BC.. so although theirs was a "destination" wedding, the destination was Kate's childhood home and the beautiful garden surrounding it. I actually remember sitting on my bed in a Tuscan farmhouse emailing Kate to confirm all the details while we were in Italy earlier this summer. Even from such a distance, I loved the description she gave of the simple, intimate day they were planning to celebrate with their close friends and family. But no matter how perfect Kate & Duane's wedding sounded like it was going to be, it was in reality at least ten times more perfect :) This was the best kind of wedding - the kind where you've got a beautiful setting, pretty details, and gorgeous weather.. but most importantly you've got two people who are - quite simply - completed by being in the presence of each other. What a joy it was to witness this incredible day..

 We did a "first look" before the ceremony - I loved how excited Kate & Duane were to see each other on their wedding day!
If Kate's parents ever decide to leave Hawthorne House, I hope they call me before putting it up for sale! The home is so full of history (there's even a book written about it!) and the surrounding gardens are absolutely enchanting.. It was a fantastic backdrop for some really magical images :)
I'm so in love with this image!! It actually took my breath away when I first saw it..
 I also loved the foresty theme throughout the details.. like this beautiful mossy bird's nest for Kate & Duane's rings, and the super-original thumb-print signing tree :)
 What a perfect setting.. !
 (how cute is the flower girl taking a break to examine the grass?!)

 LOVE these pretty rustic and vintage details - the tag on the cookies says "Bear Hugs" :)

 We snuck (sneaked?) the happy couple down to the water at sunset - I love these last glowy images..
Kate & Duane - I don't know what to say other than Thank You. Thank you for sharing your home and  awesome families with us, thank you for a beautiful day, and most of all - thank you for the honour of allowing us to capture in images the magic that you so clearly carry in your hearts :) We wish you many years of a happiness that glows like your wedding day did!

Jessica + Norman

{We absolutely *love* photographing intimate and alternative weddings :) If you've got one in your future, please get in touch!}