Once in a while I meet some people who simply reaffirm my faith in the human spirit. Laeticia and Jelani and their family are such people. Full of affection for each other, full of a sense of fun and adventure, and not minding when I take them through a rainstorm to a strange spot under a highway for photos. I had such a great time with you all and am glad we got to re-live your fun engagement shoot but on a much bigger scale. Here are some highlights from their rainy-day wedding in Mississauga, Toronto, and Vaughan.
On one of the hottest days of the year Kareena and Ben got hitched. I met them almost exactly a year ago while photographing Kareena's cousin's wedding in Cuba. I find it funny that Cuba in August and London, Ontario in August are about the same temperature. But everyone soldiered on through the blazing heat and enjoyed every moment. The day was a wonderful blend of touching and hilarious moments; sweet sentimentality and a rousing celebration of this lovely couple. Thank you so much for having me there, and for treating me like family.
It's not often that I get to attend a wedding as a guest. I so love weddings, but I wish I could be a guest more often. However, not being able to refrain, I took along a camera and worked it a little. With just a few close family members and friends in attendance, it was a beautiful and intimate wedding - my favourite kind.Congratulations Elizabeth and Roger, and thank you for indulging me in my photographic compulsion.
In the west end of Toronto, there is a magical little path. It's an old railway line that's been turned into a bicycle path. It connects neighbourhoods, and it connects people with parts of the city usually seen only from a passing train's window. This particular railpath connects my neighbourhood with Jelani and Laeticia's neighbourhood. So for their engagement session we decided to hop on our bikes and get connected. August wedding!
Spring is a great time to dust off the old creative cap and look at the world with fresh eyes. But sometimes it's most beneficial to seek some expert advice to help those creative buds blossom. This weekend I travelled to Wallaceburg, Ontario to attend Brent Foster's off-camera lighting class. It was a really fun time and I learned a great deal plus re-learned some technical stuff I had forgotten since my days at OCAD. The most fun thing for me was to create a "night" shot during very bright daylight. It opens up a lot of creative possibilities and I'm sure you'll see examples of this technique popping up in future projects. Thanks, Brent for creating a space to play, and for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.
When I first moved to Canada from a sub-tropical place, it was the beginning of April. A long and cold winter had left the landscape brittle and brown, and seemingly lifeless. It was quite a shock to me having spent my life in a place where the lushness never ends. Over the years though, I have come to appreciate the beauty of this early springtime in Canada. The way the winter light catches the long grasses giving them a silvery sheen; the crispness of the air mixed with a warm afternoon sun; the crunch of last year's flora underfoot. On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon I drove with Kirstyn & Marino to the wild and unkempt Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto's east end. The scene was set for magic - late afternoon sunlight casting it's golden glow upon these two people who are very much in love. It was a pleasure to photograph you two and I can't wait for your Muskoka wedding in just a few months. Thanks as well to Catherine Farquharson for assisting
Some photos from my jaunt through the southwest US. Attending the WPPI conference in Vegas, driving by myself through the Mojave and then hanging with my parents in California for a few days. Given the choice, I would live in California in a heartbeat. The ocean, the palm trees, the desert...what's not to love. This was the first time I'd ever been in a desert and I found it just facinating. The landscape is so stark and desolate that any human activity stands out and always seems strangely out of place. We went to the Salton Sea where some RV'ers were playing bocce in a disappearing town on the shores of a disappearing lake that reeks of rotten fish. There were metal sculptures of animals dotted across a valley, and I feared rattlesnakes at every moment when out of the car.
Last week I was down in Las Vegas for the WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) conference. After 5 days in Vegas I drove down to San Marcos, California to spend some time with my parents and Virginia. Virginia (Ginny) is a remarkable woman of 91 years who has been a close friend of our family for over 40 years. Up until two months ago she was the energizer bunny. She would go out for the day with my parents and she would tire them out, even though they are several decades her junior. Unfortunately on Christmas day Ginny suffered a bad fall and she's been in a lot of pain ever since. My wonderful mom has been taking care of her, and making sure she's as comfortable as possible. It was lovely to see Ginny, and my parents, and I'm glad they didn't mind me taking some photos. *Virginia Stanton passed away on Sunday, March 11th, 2012.
Here is a (rather large) preview of the biggest wedding of the summer. There were 126 guests. Not so big you say? Well for a destination wedding it was. In fact it was record-setting. The Iberostar Laguna Azul resort in Varadero, Cuba hosted us as their 250th wedding, and their biggest one to date. It was an abosolutely FANTASTIC week. The sun was blazing hot, the skies were as clear as the water, and the smiles as large as the hearts they represented. Cristina and Gary...you put on one helluva show. Please just excuse me for a few weeks while I dig myself out from under a gigantic pile of photos.And then we went to Havana!