toronto city hall wedding | courtney & kemp

When I found out my friends Courtney and Kemp would be tying the knot at Toronto City Hall with a small, intimate ceremony, I decided to crash their wedding with my camera. Luckily, they didn't kick me out! It was such a privilege to document such a lovely, private ceremony with only a few beloved people in attendance. Though I was only there for an hour, I was so excited to be able to capture a few moments. Courtney and Kemp, thank you for allowing me to join you in this absolutely beautiful celebration. I love you both to pieces and I am so happy for you. So many adventures are coming your way and it's so great that you'll experience everything from here on in with shiny rings on your fingers, linking you together.

You might recognize the stunning blonde on the left below from her beautiful wedding that I got to photograph last summer in Collingwood. Lindsay is Courtney's sweet sister and I was so happy to see her!

Me and Courtney!

I nearly forgot to mention that Courtney made her own dress. Can you believe how gorgeous it is?

Congratulations again, you two!

last week in pictures | april 14-20, 2014

Last Thursday, our friends Jennie and Zach made the trip from Ottawa to visit us in Madison. We're so lucky to have them here during our last little bit of time living in the Midwest. Over the weekend we drove to Chicago to show them around. It was great to discover a few yet unexplored neighbourhoods and test out some more restaurants and bars. Some quick recommendations: Azzura EnoTavola for top notch Italian, Range for delicious new American, and Homeslice for a woodsy atmosphere and free s'mores!

I'm keeping today's post brief because our amazing guests are still here, and we're off to continue our adventures.

 Jennie discovered her favourite cocktail and I discovered green sparkling wine at Range

And just two from Instagram this week: shivering at Wrigley Field and drinking tea by the lake.

Wishing you a lovely week!

amy & derek's winter engagement portraits

When Derek moved to Toronto from the east coast, he did so partly in search of the type of partner he might find there. An energetic and driven guy, he was looking for an independent woman who had a healthy sense of adventure and a career of her own. When he met Amy, he was intrigued by her feisty and straightforward personality, and her dedication to her career.

Colleagues and friends first, they enjoyed a healthy camaraderie until one day it occurred to them that they might just be perfect for each other. Seeing them together, this immediately apparent. They have an enchanting banter, a battle of wits and exchange of playful teasing. Where Amy is fiery, Derek is chilled; their differences meet beautifully in the middle.

When I first met Amy, she was laughing at me. We were both students in an elective music course at university, and that day I had accidentally asked the accompanist for a key that was several higher than intended. As I sang the piece a good octave higher than anticipated, squeaking my way through and trying to keep a straight face, I looked up to see a classmate barely concealing her laughter. She could tell I had gotten myself into an awkward situation that I was trying to pass off as intentional. She could also tell how hard I was trying to not laugh myself and fail the assignment. This girl sees right through me, I thought. By the end of that class, we were friends, and soon after that, we were bandmates.

Throughout the decade we've known each other, Amy has always been a friend from whom I can expect transparency, and with whom I can always be completely honest. When she introduced me to Derek, without a moment's hesitation I could see that he was the person for my friend. She always wears her emotions clearly on her face, and she appears positively lit from within when she looks at Derek. Likewise, he can't hide his smile when he's by her side.

Recently, they made the trip out to Madison where we wandered the city for their winter engagement session. The polar vortex was in full effect that day, and I applaud their fortitude in the face of the arctic wind. Tough cookies! Amy and Derek, I am so happy I had the chance to document this moment in your lives together. I absolutely can't wait until your wedding this September!

this week in pictures: february 17-23, 2014

Last week was a great one. The sun was shining almost every day, brightening my cold-weathered spirits and allowing for outdoor runs. I also received some very exciting work-related news, which I'll be sharing in the coming weeks. Lastly, we were treated to a visit from our friends Amy and Derek, who are recently engaged and in the fun stages of wedding planning.

It was the quiet moments that also stood out to me. The bittersweet final pages of a good book, the feeling of small business owner frustration and satisfaction from getting ready for tax season, and the way every Skype conversation with a loved one breathes warmth into my life. Whenever possible, I try to photograph these simple moments of everyday life. They're so often overlooked but so precious to me. Brian sometimes begrudgingly lets me photograph him in some of these moments, all the while pointedly ignoring my lens. I took these two photos of him reading the same book on the same day, in the early morning and later, before we went for dinner.

While Amy and Derek were here, we did an engagement session to commemorate this exciting moment in their lives. Here's a little peek, with more to come later this week!

After spending a day together here in Madison, we drove into Chicago on Saturday for 24 hours of sightseeing and great meals. That city has my heart, and it's been lovely to discover it piece by piece with different friends over the past year. I'm looking forward to what will hopefully be a few more visits before we leave the midwest this spring.

And of course, I continued to play around on Instagram too. Wishing you a lovely week!