Oh my…I am in love. Everyone, please meet my glorious new (family) puppy Velcro the Vizsla. Velcro is joining our existing (and equally incredible) Viva the Vizsla and will reside at Oak Knoll Stables. She is as soft as velvet, very inquisitive, totally full of beans and an absolutely joy to be around. Viva isn’t sure she wants much of anything to do with the new addition but she is so sweet natured that I am sure she will come around. Velcro comes to us from Lienrock Vizslas near Ancaster, ON. She was born on March 3, 2013 and came home on May 7, 2013.
Hola desde las soleadas costas de Playa Bávaro. I am writing to you from sunny Punta Cana, Dominican Republic where I will be shooting a wedding this weekend.
I had the pleasure of coming here back in 2006 to shoot a wedding at the Grand Palladium but this time I am staying at the five-star Majestic Colonial AND doubly blessed as I will be shooting a family wedding this weekend and I absolutely cannot wait for this one (two more sleeps!).
Another reason I am excited is I was certified as a scuba diver last year in Ontario and this week was the first time I took an opportunity to dive in the ocean (more on that in another post).
For today, I am sharing a celebration from last December…that of Sarah Malik & Saquib Ansari. They got married in a lavish Muslim ceremony in Buffalo NY December 22, 2012 and I was there working for another photographer. Sarah will be graduating this Spring to work as an Occupational Therapist and since I know several great ones she and I hit it off right away. Her new husband Saquib is a family doctor in Texas. This lovely couple will be planting roots in Ontario later this year. Sarah was one of the most beautiful brides I had ever seen. Here are some of my favourite images from the day:
I’m signing back off now and returning to the unplugged life for a few days. All the best and until next time…
I’ve been shooting weddings for a long time now and I have loved something or someone about every one of them. Sometimes I fall in love a high fashion gown, an incredible shoe, a beautiful flower, a stunning bride, a super cool wedding party, or an interesting venue. The common theme here is that cool and interesting people (be they a bride, a groom, an expert wedding coordinator or a family member) have come up with or done something that inspires me.
I’m lucky in that I almost always end up becoming good friends with my clients. That happens for a multitude of reasons and usually in small part because we spend time together before the wedding planning their special touches. Once in a blue moon, however, I shoot weddings for people I don’t know. 99% of the time that is because I am working with another photographer who asks me to come help out for the day. Back in January, I got a series of emails and phone calls from a friend of mine in the industry. A wedding photographer was sick (very sick) and unable to shoot a wedding the following day. I felt so badly for everyone involved because I know how awful I would feel had I been the one who fell sick. I jumped in and took a friend along to shoot this wedding after finding out about it 18 hours before the celebration. This couple (Jenn & Paul) were so gracious and understanding. They tied the knot in a lovely ceremony at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse in Toronto. Since they aren’t my primary clients I am only going to share one photo from their wedding but I think it sums them (and their friends and family) up to a tee.
Until next time…
Flirt Photography is busy catching up on album design, thank-you cards, Spring engagement sessions and some special projects at the moment. That said, I had a lovely opportunity to travel to Montego Bay Jamaica to shoot the destination wedding of Erin & Phil in January. A full blog post will follow in the future but here are a few images to celebrate the fact winter is coming to an end. Happy weekend, everyone!
They say when you know, you know. It turns out there really is such a thing as a fairytale. Heather (our lovely heroine) was busy living the life of a young professional in the big city of Toronto. She had just invested in her first piece of real estate which wasn’t scheduled to be completed for a couple of years so she decided to have an adventure with one of her friends. After some planning, the duo decided on a trip to Europe. Unfortunately, a cloud of volcanic ash meant their plans were ruined. In a last ditch effort to save their holiday Heather and her friend booked a trip to Reykjavik in Iceland. As luck would have it, our dashing German hero Tobias just happened to be working at the hotel Heather and her friend booked. And the rest (as they say) is history…or legend.
Heather and Tobi only really spoke to one another towards the end of Heather’s holiday but they decided to stay in touch with one another. Six months later Tobi moved to Canada and six months after that he proposed to Heather.
This wedding was quaint and very romantic. Heather and Tobi chose to exchange vows in the chapel of The Doctor’s House in Kleinburg, ON. Some of Tobi’s family and friends came all the way from Germany to celebrate this very special day.
Heather incorporated her favourite colour teal into the wedding with the lovely bridesmaids dresses and accents of the reception.
The newlyweds are now preparing to move into the condo Heather bought before this whole adventure took place…and the timing could not possibly have worked out any better.
To Heather & Tobi I say Herzlichen Glückwunsch (congratulations) and thank you for teaching me a tiny bit of German.
Welcome to an exceedingly rare opportunity for a “good news” story. In the spirit of the holiday season of giving it is time for the annual Help Portrait event all around the globe and specifically in Toronto.
On Saturday December 8, 2012 a team of volunteer photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, editors, a
community centre and local businesses are joining forces to provide beautiful and FREE portraits to deserving members of the community.
Help Portrait was founded in 2009 by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart. In the first three years of operation
volunteers have provided 169,523 portraits shot by 15,558 photographers with the help of 21,447 volunteers over
1,520 locations in 56 countries. This year is shaping up to be bigger than ever.
What: Help Portrait Toronto 2012
When: Saturday December 8, 2012 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: The Ralph Thornton Centre (765 Queen Street East, Toronto)
Why: to give people hope, pride and self-esteem
Our goal is to photograph 250+ people this year. Our invitations to date include grassroots organizations for adult literacy, drug and alcohol recovery programs, a senior’s home, an at-risk youth program, the Toronto Police service, Toronto firefighters, and staff of the NICU at Sick Kids Hospital and the list keeps growing. The gift each participant receives is far more than just a portrait; it is an opportunity to feel beautiful, loved, appreciated and hopeful.
How can you help?
• get in touch with the organizers if you have skills to add to the team (make-up artist, hair stylist, editor, etc.)
• tell deserving members of the community to come down for a portrait
• make plans to come along for your own portrait
• consider onsite interviews with organizers, volunteers or portrait recipients
• provide news coverage of the event or pass along our Twitter handle
• donate cash or goods-in-kind (tax receipts are being issued)
• “like” our Facebook fanpage to stay up to date about this event
Ph: (416) 985-7487
Kristina Laukkanen Sakorafas
Ph: (416) 716-5500
Help Portrait Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HelpPortraitToronto2012 (see photos and videos from past events including news coverage from previous years).
And follow us on Twitter: @HelpPortraitT12
What can I say other than WOW? Shooting this wedding was so exciting and enjoyable. Ashna & Terence both come from such loving and supportive families (which include so very many friends).
As I mentioned in a blog post yesterday this amazing couple met on the grounds of Ryerson in Toronto. Terence was volunteering for a student group and spotted Ashna who was a new student. He very wisely decided to approach her and as I understand the matter was immediately smitten. Once engaged, both Ashna & Terence wanted to honour family traditions and incorporate both the Hindu and Christian religions into their wedding celebration.
This beautiful wedding spanned four days in late June and early July 2012 including a Mehndi night, Maticore, Hindu ceremony, Christian ceremony and reception. For those of you who are not familiar with multi-day wedding celebrations I will briefly explain the lesser known parts for you.
Mehndi is a tradition wherein the bride (and sometimes other female relatives or friends) have an artist draw intricate patterns on their hands and feet with a dark-red dye, known as “laki.” Legend holds the deeper the colour (once the dye is dry), the stronger the groom’s love for the bride.
Maticore (also known as Dig Dutty Night by Guyanese-Hindus) is a ritual performed by the bride’s mother (and other married female relatives). The bride’s mother and a parade of drummers set out for a plot of land and once there perform a Pooja asking the Gods of the earth to bless the impending marriage. The bride’s mother collects dirt from the blessed ground and the women then dance to drums to celebrate the marriage. Following this a Hindu priest arrives at the bride’s home and conducts another Pooja with participation by many witnesses. The bride’s mother offers the blessed dirt from earlier in the evening, married male relatives bless the union and unmarried young ladies (in this case cousins of the bride) touch the bride with Haldi (tumeric) on her feet, thighs, shoulders and then passing it overhead. Finally, the a paste of tumeric and baby oil is applied to purify the body for married life and to pray to the earth for blessing in marriage. The bride is then not allowed to leave her parents’ home until the wedding.
On June 30th Ashna & Terence hosted a lavish Hindu wedding at the Chandni Banquet Hall in Brampton. My good friend Aron Goss of Calculated Style came to work as my 2nd shooter (THANKS Aron!). Aron started the day at Terence’s home with the guys while I spent the morning with Ashna at her home. Ashna was wearing the most beautiful lengha I had ever seen. Following some family photos everyone proceeded to the banquet hall where Ashna took part in some sacred pre-wedding customs. Terence was greeted by Ashna’s family during a formal Baraat (marriage procession) and everyone danced again in celebration of the wedding. Ashna’s mother and other female relatives then greeted Terence and performed a Parchay ceremony.
A Hindu wedding is thought to be the bringing together of two people who are said to be compatible. Hindu wedding ceremonies are traditionally conducted at least partially in Sanskrit, the language of most holy Hindu ceremonies. It is (at its core) a fire-sacrifice during which Aryan deities (Agni) are invoked to cement the bonds of friendship. During the formal Hindu wedding sacred vows are recited during which the groom promises his bride that the only other women in his life will be family members and he also vows to provide protection and security for her. The bride promises never to embarrass her groom in public and to always be faithful to him.
The following day another wedding was conducted although this time it took place at the Royal Ambassador in Caledon. Guests were seated amphitheatre-style as Ashna & Terence exchanged sacred vows and rings in a traditional Christian ceremony.
The evening was completed by a lavish reception with over 500 guests.
To Ashna & Terence: I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness. I was honoured to document your incredible wedding. All the best as you begin this new adventure together…
For anyone who would like to view a slideshow of images from all four days of this wedding please click here to be redirected to the Flirt Photography Vimeo page.
Sunday, September 2, 2012 at 12:08am Posted in Uncategorized
I am remiss…I was just getting ready to post an incredible wedding for all of you when I suddenly realized I hadn’t yet posted this couple’s engagement photos. Please meet Ashna & Terence. Although these two fabulous folks are, in fact, now married the photos below are from a lovely afternoon we spent on their university campus last Fall. My dear friend Shiri of Focus Studios came along to be my assistant for the day. We had a great time shooting around Dundas Square and on the grounds of Ryerson. Ashna & Terence met on the campus and rumour has it Terence knew right away he had found the woman of his dreams. Without further ado…
I am very excited to share their incredible wedding with you and will likely post those photos tomorrow. Until then…
Breanna & David are quite possibly the sweetest two people I have ever met. Each of them lights up at the mere mention of the other’s name. They are full of rich and deserved love and respect for one another and you can actually feel it when you’re in the room with them. We met because David’s sister was a bridesmaid at another wedding I shot a couple of years ago. I was so thrilled to work with them. Regular blog readers may remember them from the post of their engagement photos last Fall (which you can see here).
The morning of June 9, 2012 consisted of a torrential downpour – so much so that I’m sure everyone involved thought the day would be ruined. My fabulous 2nd shooter for the day was Shiri Shapiro Gardhouse for Focus Studios. We were texting each other photos of the rain and storm clouds from our respective starting points that day. As it turned out the moment it was time to start actually shooting the clouds parted, the sun came out and the heavens smiled on Breanna, David, their families and their friends. We could not possibly have asked for better weather.
As a wedding photographer I do attend more weddings than most people. Once in a while I come across one with something magical and that’s what happened on this very special day. David’s grandfather began the ceremony with a blessing for the family and shortly thereafter David’s father and his lifelong friends serenaded the couple (which was just incredible). David and Breanna also had some truly amazing vows wherein (among other things) they promised each other to always make the other the first priority in life (which is so very important).
Breanna got ready at her sister Kailey’s house (who as it turns out is tying the knot next summer) while David and his family got ready at a nearby hotel. After the ceremony at the Orangeville Baptist Church we headed to the Monora Park Pavillion for family photos and then to Teen Ranch for bridal party pictures.
I will let the photos tell the story of this day.
To Shiri – thanks for having my back (literally) and being such a pleasure to work with.
To David & Breanna – I wish you both nothing but the best as you start your marriage. I know we’ll keep in touch over the years and I look forward to watching you grow together.
Believe it or not, sometimes I take photos just for fun (novel concept!). Actually, truth be told it is to practice, try new techniques, do favours for friends, etc. It was one such “fun” photo-day that turned into a huge production involving some of the best people in a variety of industries where I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and working with the incredibly talented (and just as sweet) Elizabeth Oliveira of LABL Studio.
Elizabeth is a European-trained fashion designer with an amazing eye for detail. The day I had models wearing her pieces the girls were actually fighting over who got to wear Elizabeth’s gowns (as Elizabeth says; “Fashion without fit is like icing without the cake.”). Each garment Elizabeth creates is honestly a work of art so when she called and said she was getting married and wondered if I would pop by the shoot her gown for her I immediately said yes. Her wedding gown was kept under lock and key until the day of the ceremony and I couldn’t even get a clue out of her…she was so excited to unveil her most important creation! I felt like we had hit it off so well working together on the creative shoot six months earlier that she was far more like a friend than a client so I offered to stick around for a few other parts of the day to provide some photo coverage for her.
I met Elizabeth at the Glen Erin Inn in Mississauga as she and her best friend got ready for the wedding. Later, all the little flower girls arrived and were treated to their own special dresses also created by Elizabeth. Next it was off to St. Peter’s Anglican Church where Elizabeth finally got to see her dashing groom Andre. Some of Andre’s family members had flown in from France just to share this special day. I left after some family photos outside the church but I was so thrilled to be able to help my friend on her wedding day.
Without further ado, a few images from this fantastic celebration:
To Elizabeth & Andre…félicitations et beaucoup de voeux pour une belle vie ensemble.