Sarah + Sasha knew they wanted their wedding to be meaningful and intimate, with an ode to their family cultures and traditions. Blending Sasha's Russian heritage and Sarah's family roots, they chose to have their wedding at Sarah's family home in Brockville. On wedding day, Sarah happily greeted her guests dressed in Russian tradition (wearing one of her two gorgeous floral crowns by Colonial Flowers in Brockville) and broke bread (she made!) with her future husband while their family-style meal was being prepared on-site by Victor Dries Curated Events. Then, when it was time, she and her closest family members retired to the bridal suite to dress for the ceremony while guests mingled with cocktails and appetizers. When Sarah emerged in her Powder Bride gown by Lihi Hod and made her way to the ceremony site, she literally made her stoic Russian husband-to-be crumble with emotion. The fathers officiated a ceremony filled with personal details and promise. With their kiss, everyone shared a champagne toast to the couple - the beginning of many toasts to the day, a Russian tradition that kept things flowing into the wee hours of the morning. Their tented reception was an elegant affair, beautifully executed by Victor Dries Curated Events and Colonial Flowers - a treat for both taste buds and the eyes. Sarah and Sasha's wedding day was photographed in primarily documentary style - with little direction or posing. Below are some highlights of the day to enjoy while the couple enjoys their full gallery ...
There wasn't too much down time for Holly and Brady post-wedding: in fact, next morning, the two embarked on their cross-country drive to Alberta, where Brady would begin his first post as a newly graduated RCMP Officer. Knowing this was in their cards, Holly + Brady got down to business, tied the knot, celebrated with family and friends and are now paving their way out West. Holly + Brady will soon have a gorgeous heirloom album in hand and full gallery to share of their Ottawa Police Association and Museum of Nature wedding, but for now, here are a few highlights of their day:
Three years ago, Vickie was presented with an a path to merge her holistic health practice with DoTerra. Little did she know at the time that it was going to be an opportunity of a lifetime. Since then, she has grown her team of 400 to over 4500, is expanding globally and is now in the top 1% of DoTerra's elite leaders. This gal knows her stuff, practices what she preaches and is helping people to better health. Her recent home and office Branding and Content Creation session is fresh, bright and compelling - like Vickie. She'll use these new images as she continues to educate and empower her customers and team members.
Take a peek into the cutest yoga studio Smiths Falls ever did see, run by yoga instructor and wellness advocate extraordinare, Emily Dickson. Warm and welcoming, this little studio will meet your every physical, emotional and wellness need. Shop yoga wear, accessories, literature, personal essentials -- sourced locally and responsibly. Most of all, this kind soul will guide you through class yoga, small group yoga and private lessons if you prefer one-on-one. I promise you, one step in here and you'll come back for more. Serendipity Lane feels so good on every level.
When you own and operate a bustling Bed and Breakfast, it only makes sense to have your new headshot and business portraits taken in that environment. Meet businesswoman, entrepreneur, wife, mother and artist, Siobhan, the warm owner and proprietor of 1000 Islands B & B.
The CIBC Wealth Management Team of Advisors in Kanata - led by Les Kom and Jeff van der Maden -- knew they wanted their updated headshots to be friendlier and more welcoming than they had been in the past, but still in line with the level of knowledge and professionalism on which they have built their reputation. We met, discussed a plan, settled on a location and shoot schedule that would not be too disruptive to busy work schedules and executed a successful photoshoot that yielded the results they were looking for. Managing your money has never looked better!
New lifestyle newborn sessions will be added shortly to the blog. For now, enjoy these highlight reels ...
Despite the constant tease of rain throughout the day, Brittany + Spencer still had a wonderful wedding day - even if the sun refused to make an appearance to warm up temperatures and brighten the day. Brittany + Spencer chose to keep things traditional and didn't see each other until the ceremony; however, they did send each other a special note and keepsake gift in the morning to show they were thinking of each other and looking forward to that walk down the aisle. The drops held off long enough for Brittany and Spencer to exchange their vows outdoors and see their wedding vision through. (Thank-you to Lisa at Strathmere!) A quick dash around the grounds at Strathmere - we nailed family formals, bridal party photos and couples creatives in about an hour! - and then Brittany + Spencer were back in the warmth of The Lodge to celebrate with family friends. You did it, Brittany + Spencer! Wishing you continued health and happiness no matter what the forecast brings you! xox
Hair: Hometown Roots
Makeup: Sophie Alder
Florals: Floral Reef Designs
Gown: Lily's Bridal, Napanee
Bridesmaids' Attire: Runway Bridal, Belleville
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Tip Top Tuxes
Cake: Sugar House Cakes
Sometimes a career can be a little bit of suit jacket, polish and briefcase mixed with a little bit of well-loved jeans, messy bun and paint brush. Sonya needed images that would blend all these facets -- and typical studio headshots just wouldn't suffice. A session that would incorporate headshots, branding images and content creation was perfect for Sonya, allowing her the flexibility to continue to move forward in her career world.
On August 19,2018, I had the pleasure of photographing one of the nicest persons I have ever met and have the continued pleasure of knowing and having in my life.
Her soul is gentle, her heart kind. Where others would frown, she laughs with an easygoing spirit and generosity. Those who have been on the receiving end of her smile or who have heard the music of her laugh, know that both are genuine and given freely without reservation despite any challenges life decides to throw her way. This wonderful soul is my assistant, Aynsley - and those who are in her many circles - or at the very least have been fortunate enough to receive her care on wedding day -- know that everything I say here about her is true.
And, so, it would be only fitting if an equally beautiful soul recognized Aynsley's and they spoke to each other. That soul is Shawn's. The more I learned of Shawn and got to know him, the more I knew that his soul IS the fitting complement to Aynsley's. Those who came before him have no idea of the fortune they failed to invest in -- and all that Shawn and Aynsley have now gained. It makes my heart happy to watch Aynsley and Shawn together: they work, play, laugh and cry together, recognizing and appreciating the value in each other and their families, truly uplifting and supporting each other.
My friend is safe and sound.
And this is what snippets of happiness look like:
Makeup: Megan Roberts, 2Bu Artistry
Gown: Stella York, With Love Bridal
Florals: Sheila, family friend
Cake: Made by Nikki
Ceremony Venue: St. Brigid's Centre for Performing Arts
Reception Venue: Central Bierhaus, Kanata
Videographer: Elephant Shoe Media
Live Band: Southbound Boots
Fall colours, warm temperatures and a blanket of fallen leaves greeted the Sly Family for their extended family fall session honouring Grandma and Grandpa. I'll be travelling to their family cottage this summer to capture the rest of this extended family as they celebrate a special anniversary! xox
A very busy family, the Young Family understands the importance of marking each year that passes in pictures. It's my honour to create these keepsakes for busy mom and dad!
When the Hunt family from Western Canada knew they were travelling to Ontario in the fall for a family wedding, they knew they wanted to get some family photos done recognizing it was going to be a rare opportunity for all them to be in one place at the same time. Mom, Nancy, and daughter, Katie, organized the booking with me Trans-Canada and gave the rest of the family their marching orders to show up on the given date and time with smiles in place. Here are a few favourites that highlight their connections despite the geographical distance. Thank-you, Hunt Family, for allowing me to create keepsakes you can take with you when you can't physically be together! xox
Longtime sweethearts, Coline + Chris managed to squeeze in a wedding for themselves amidst countless moves and busy work schedules. Even though Dutch roots and tradition are strong on Coline's side - her extended family traveled from the Netherlands to celebrate with her - Coline + Chris still opted for non-traditional first looks to spend time with one another before sharing the day with their honoured guests. Foot traffic was stopped at the Wakefield covered bridge so that Coline + Chris could have a few intimate moments to themselves as they greeted each other as bride and groom. Creatives then followed at the ever-gorgeous, ever-professional Le Belvedere. The sun hid long enough for a very comfortable outdoor ceremony without the need for sunglasses or shade. Because their photography was done pre-ceremony, Coline + Chris could then enjoy a few family photos, cocktails with friends and then a quick entry to their reception where they could truly relax and enjoy their celebration. Congratulations, Coline + Chris! Wishing you many many more years of happiness together!
When you've built your family millwork business from the ground up and have enjoyed 25 years of growth and success, you hire one of the best planners and caterers the city of Oshawa has to offer, throw a party onsite in honour of your employees, clients and greatest supporters and hire a photographer to capture it so you can spend time with your guests - and have quality, visual reminders of your milestone to revisit and share.
Planning, Catering, Staff, Bar and Full Event Management and Set Up: Dine & Style Fine Catering and Events
Florals: Aspen Florist
Decor: Annie Lane Events
Rentals and Tent: Gervais Rentals
Decals and Printed Items: TPH Canada Store 801
Bridal portraits, first looks and couples creatives were absolute priorities for Kristin + Grant as they tied the knot in an outdoor garden ceremony at the Perth Manor Boutique Hotel in Perth. I had the pleasure of photographing Kristin as she got ready with her closest family members (Grandma, Mother and brother) and maid of honour assisting. The Beach House in Perth is responsible for Kristin's pretty makeup and softly elegant updo. Kristin's gown from Sinders Bridal House fit Kristin's petite frame like a glove, highlighting Kristin's stunning back and fit curves in all the right places. A gorgeous bouquet from Apropos Flowers was the perfect finishing detail to Kristin's bridal look -- a sentimental locket containing a photo of Kristin and her father was attached and at her fingertips so that she could easily be reminded of his presence. Kristin's first looks with Grant were genuine - just look at their shiny, beaming eyes as they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day. A quick jaunt to Stewart Park for their couples creatives closed out the afternoon for Kristin + Grant before they headed back to Perth Manor to exchange their vows and officially become "husband and wife". Thank-you, Kristin + Grant, for entrusting me with capturing some of the important high-lights of your day!
Although family and friends might have wanted to celebrate with a large, elaborate wedding for Abigail + Matthew, this pair decided on a more quiet, intimate day instead. As wedding day dawned, unbeknownst to many, Abigail + Matthew literally snuck away in the early morning to rendezvous at the site of their engagement: Mer Bleue. There, they saw each other for the first time as "bride" and "groom" and spent some time in each other's company, laughing and reminiscing while the rest of the world slowly awakened to their wedding day. Their little girl, Elizabeth, joined them for some sweet family captures before the duo departed as a family of three to enjoy the rest of the day with closest family and friends at their intimate reception at Vittoria Trattoria. Thank-you, Abigail + Matthew for inviting me to share in some of the most intimate moments of your day! Wishing you the happiest of days!
Hey followers, Marcus here! I’ve mostly been in the background, using my telescope and letting my mom guide with posting and writing. Now that I’ve acquired some experience and understanding, it’s time for me to take the lead and explain about my progress so far.
Over the past 2 months, I've learned much about the primary concepts of astrophotography - aligning, tracking, and imaging. The learning curve has been VERY steep - steeper than I anticipated, and patience has been key. On occasion, I've had to recruit my father to help with some technical issues I just could not figure out.
My mom has posted a few pictures of my setup, sparking curiosity as I know that it looks like a lot more than just a simple "telescope". So for the geeks out there, here’s my entire setup:
But here’s the important take-away from the fancy terminology and pictures: my camera is attached to the telescope, so that the telescope acts like a giant camera lens. The camera and telescope are attached to the mount and tripod, and the setup is controlled by my laptop.
SO, what have I been able to accomplish? This:
Not crystal clear (yet), but that's Mars on the left and Saturn on the right. Nowhere near perfect by any means, but these first results have made every second of confusion and research worth it. And, I'm determined that future results will only get better!
For those of who are only interested in the aesthetics of astrophotography (like my mom), I’ll catch you later in the next blog post!
(For those of you who are more inclined to understand the technicalities, theories, and challenges associated with astrophotography, read on!)
The hobby of astrophotography is a difficult one to pursue, and it carries with it plenty of challenges - after all, it consists of taking long image exposures of extremely dim, distant, and moving objects.
In order to understand what that means, you need to understand a little bit about what I've come to learn about the night sky. In brief, it rotates. We know that the sky itself isn't moving, but instead, the earth is rotating -- which creates the illusion of a rotating sky. The sky appears to rotate around a fixed point, called the 'celestial pole.' Everything in the night sky moves on imaginary fixed rails which circle the pole at different distances. Polar aligning the telescope is the process of pointing one of its axis at the exact celestial pole, so that when the scope rotates it can follow the track of and 'freeze' any object in the night sky, which is critical to taking images.
I've managed to do this manually, but it has been difficult because even a degree or two off of the pole will result in poor tracking of objects. It's a process I will continue to improve.
Another important thing that I've had to understand is the concept of a long exposure image. During normal photography, the shutter is held open for only a fraction of a second because the sensor is flooded with light photons and can easily create a clear image. In astrophotography, though, the shutter must be held open for dozens of seconds at a time -- even sometimes minutes-- in order for the camera sensor to collect enough tired and distant light from celestial objects to form an image. The job of the telescope is to collect and focus those sparse photons onto the camera's sensor.
While the shutter is open, the apparent movement of the sky can cause the object in focus to drift to a different location and can cause the subject to 'smudge' or blur in the final image. To eliminate this, I am using an Exos-2 tracking mount, a PMC-8 (precision mount controller), and the ExploreStars software. ExploreStars sends wireless signals to the PMC-8, which plugs into the Exos-2 mount, which physically moves the telescope very slowly to hold the object in place as it drifts across the sky. All of these, together, allow me to take accurate, long exposure shots of the sky.
Although I am very proud of my progress to date, I will continue to improve and go for longer exposures, better alignments, and better tracking so that I will soon be able to capture the real gems - deep sky galaxies and nebula. (THEN you'll really see what we have in mind for my work and my mom's!) Important next steps include replacing my finderscope with an autoguiding system. What's that, you ask? Stay tuned for the next post!
Jenny + Chris had a beautiful Orchard View wedding in Greely, Ontario. Jenny was elegantly stunning in her Paloma Blanca ball gown from Renewed With Love (one of my absolute favourite bridal looks from this year's wedding season! LOVE LOVE). Alina Sauve and Kayla Drew made sure Jenny's makeup and hair were perfection. Jenny's crystal blue eyes were bright and sparkling all day, her long blond locks strategically styled in a loose side-swipe that was fitting for such an elegant gown. Jenny was such a vision that it was no surprise that Chris broke down into some ugly crying at the sight of his bride during their first looks. Jenny shed a tear as well looking at her groom: Chris himself looked handsome and smart in his suit from Moores; his white vest and tie were smart. Love me a 3-piece suit on a groom! Jenny + Chris's day was lovely, the skies blue and the smiles wide. Congratulations, Jenny + Chris. Thank-you for trusting me on your most special day! xox
Because of a very restricted timeline (sometimes it happens!), we literally had just over an hour and a half to chronicle Stacey + Doug's First Looks, Creatives, Family Formals and Bridal Party photos before jumping into our vehicles to make it for their outdoor ceremony at Equinelle Golf Club in Kemptville. Talk about running a tight ship: We concentrated on what was most important, kept communication very clear, and directed individuals, pairs and groupings into as many photographic opportunities as possible - both candid and posed - while ensuring smiles remained on faces and laughter could still be heard in front of the lens and in the background. We got 'er done. Congratulations, Stacey + Doug! Enjoy your keepsakes: Thank-you for trusting me to get you what you wanted and needed!
Many of you have wondered and inquired why, in the last few weeks, we have been uncrating boxes, assembling gear, and spending time in dark fields pointing our lenses to the sky looking at celestial beings as opposed to humans.
My son, Marcus, is now one of the 2nd generation photographers added to
J E M M A N | photography, but his interests lay more in the brightness of the skies than your eyes. In addition to assisting with shoots, Marcus will be concentrating his efforts on Astrophotography and providing stellar images of the night sky and constellations. We’re currently hatching a plan to bring our two photography worlds together.
In collaboration with the genius and generous efforts and support of Explore Scientific USA, and celestial explorer, Greg Bragg, Marcus is now armed with an FCD100Series 127mm Carbon Fiber Telescope and has been diligently teaching himself how to explore and navigate the night skies. Explore Scientific sums up the collaboration best here.
The learning curve has been steep, my friends, night sleep minimal, the mosquito bites plenty and the reward at the end of the viewfinder ever-motivating.
The road to mastering Astrophotography will be long, rarely straight and we will be in need of the help of Greg Bragg’s internal GPS. Follow our journey on social media as we go from a dark void to placing the stars within hands' reach:
In the words of Carl Sagan, American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
My coverage of Danielle + Milo's Brockville Country Club wedding started at First Looks and concentrated on the highlights that were most important to them: creatives, family photos and the ceremony. Milo absolutely beamed seeing Danielle for the first time in her Maggie Sottero gown from ISIS Dress for Special Occasions. Becky Chevrier and Megan from Aura Brockville enhanced Danielle's natural and happy glow. Milo was handsomely classic in his navy Tip Top Tailor suit. Colonial Flowers provided the perfect floral accents to Danielle + Milo's elegant looks. Danielle + Milo were all smiles throughout their portraits, laughing and enjoying in each other's company before heading to their ceremony at the Brockville Country Club. With the sun setting behind them, Danielle + Milo exchanged their vows and sealed their promises with a kiss that was met with clapping and cheers from family and friends. Congratulations, Danielle + Milo - it was an honour to capture the highlights of the day that meant the most to you! xox
I knew as soon as I met Cynthia at a bridal show that we both gravitated to a similar style. She studied my work and I could tell the images spoke to her. A consultation allowed us to confirm our suspicions ;) and, happily, she and Brian booked me to photograph their August 2018 Graydon Hall Manor wedding in Toronto. Putting their trust in me, we opted for an Experimental Farm / Dominion Arboretum engagement session in Ottawa that would provide a contrast to the images we plan to create on wedding day. On a gorgeous July evening, Cynthia + Brian willingly allowed themselves to be put through the paces of play and posing, trusting that their images would reflect their personal style and connection. Thank-you, Cynthia + Brian for your trust - such fun working with you! So excited for August! xox
Where were you on Saturday? If you didn't make your way to 1281 Wellington Street West, you missed one of the best birthday parties in Ottawa. Revelle Bridal turned One - and celebrated in style with The White Party.
Celebrants - brides and wedding industry peeps alike - were greeted upon arrival with a toast and bubbly, handsomely served by Sip Beverage Bike. Pollen Nation provided the stunning floral installations and sweet accents to charm the eyes and senses every way one turned. Brides were able to browse Revelle's curated collection of gowns, accessories and jewellery, asking questions, receiving guidance and setting up personal consultations for the future. Stor by Margot was on site, showing off her stunning collection of exquisite rings for both him and her. And swag! Gift cards, complimentary items and giveaways were on every table and in every swag bag (including a $1000 Grand Prize!). Suzy Q Doughnuts, Batter Up Bakery, Hey Sugar Candy Co, Valentina's Sweets, Supply and Demand Oyster Bar made everyone smile because who doesn't like Champagne with their sweets or oysters?
Congratulations to the Revelle Bridal team for turning One! You definitely know how to celebrate in style. Wishing you many many more parties in honour of your future successes!
Michelle and Nick are a solid, quiet couple, with ready smiles and generous hearts. Their wedding day was calm and intimate, full of quiet happiness. Salt of the earth these two are, along with their friends and families. Thank-you, Michelle and Nick, for choosing me to document your day and for giving over your trust to me. xox
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