montreal wedding | avigail & brendan

Avigail and Brendan share a beautifully and clearly articulated love. It is written in the way they move, magnetized together, linking hands and arms, eyes always watching for each other. It is shown in the way that they speak of each other, with the fondest admiration. It is obvious to anyone who sees them side by side, even for a fleeting second. Their love can be witnessed in a flash. But perhaps the best way to tell you about their relationship is to include a few snippets they were kind enough to share with me when I asked. I always interview my wedding couples, and as I read through A & B's answers and heard a portion of their love story, I was filled with excitement to be able to document their wedding.

How would you describe yourselves as a couple? 
Short answer: loyal, supportive, communicative, loving. We're best friends. Long answer: We love to laugh, travel, sit on a terrace with a glass of wine and chat, throw impromptu dance parties with our [baby] (or by ourselves). We take long road trips to New York City or Boston and listen to music, audiobooks or just chat. We both love to be out in nature - on a hike or a canoe...not much time for this since the baby. We love to go to concerts and theatre events. We love to sing. We can have a long conversation filled with inside jokes (and the occasional interpretive dance) that leave us laughing so hard that it hurts. One of my favorite, most romantic moments was when both of us had insomnia and went for a long walk through Mile-End to get a bagel, then watched the sunrise. 

Where and when did you meet? 
Brendan: We met online, then had our first date at Fringe Festival. Avigail knows everybody in the Montreal English Theater, so I thought she was a famous rock star. We watched this piece about outer-space junk collectors, that involved people in black morph suits lifting the actors through the air in Matrix-style fighting moves. We then went to the 13th hour after-party, walked around the festival, and ended up talking about Margaret Atwood in front of her apartment at 3am. Avigail: what he said. ;)

What were your first impressions of each other? 
Brendan: I thought she was very beautiful. I loved the way she spoke, smiled told stories and was a flirtatiously active listener. I liked that she was smart and had been involved with non-profit work, making the world a better place. Avigail: very earnest and easygoing. Also that I could trust him. I knew that immediately.

Avigail and Brendan, thank you so very much for inviting me to photograph your wedding. It was a gorgeous, sunny autumn afternoon filled with music, dance, and laughter. It was wonderful to witness all the fun with my camera. I wish you two and baby C so much happiness together!

Special thanks to my second photographer, Lisa Griffiths, for her assistance. Some of her images are included alongside mine below.

The most independent of brides, Avigail drove herself (along with baby C, her sitter, and me) to the wedding!

Meanwhile, Brendan prepared at the beautiful Omni Hotel Mont-Royal.

Avigail and Brendan chose to do a first look and have a private moment together before the ceremony. This is something I always recommend, as it gives the couple a chance to steal some precious time together before they are whisked away into the day.

It was so wonderful to be able to photograph the family of three together before the ceremony too. Isn't baby C just gorgeous?


Venue: Pavillion de la Jamaique  //  Officiant: Jennifer Schaeff  //  Photography: Dallas Curow Photography, assisted by Lisa Griffiths  //  Catering: Java U  //  Cupcakes: Cocoa Locale  // Favours: homemade jam from bride's mother  //  Musicians: Louis-Vincent Hamel Trio  // Stationary: Minted

life lately, in pictures and words | march-may, 2015

Well hello! Hope you're having a great week. I thought I'd pop in to share a little bit of what I've been up to in between shoots over the last while. The change of seasons has been fairly dramatic in Toronto this year, with wildly cold wind and rain blowing into the city on a whim. For a while, it felt like spring would never arrive. But then, like magic, the streets filled with blooms in myriad colours, and I've been out frolicking in the streets whenever I need a break from my desk.

My "wedding season" began in March this year, I've been photographing lots of expecting mamas, new parents and families great and small, which has been really fun in a different and refreshing way. There have also been a few cool editorial gigs I look forward to sharing down the road. In between these jobs, I've been working on about a dozen shoots for a secret photo/video project that will probably take me at least a few more months to complete. The scheduling and logistics have been challenging, but the work itself has been thrilling. I can't wait to share the finished project when it's ready.

On a personal level, I've been preparing for some big changes and long-anticipated adventures. Brian and I are moving again (more on that later) and have a few trips on the horizon for work and just for us. Our main trip this year, and one that we've been dreaming of since our last visit nine years ago, is to Scotland! If you have any suggestions for places to explore, please leave a comment or send me an email. I would be so appreciative.

I am looking forward to sharing more details about everything I've got in the works, but for now, here's a bit about what I've been up to from March to May this year.

Walking on the still-frozen beach.

The Event Room gals and I took a road trip to Alton Mill to visit the sumptuous studio of Cedar & Stone in preparation for a collaboration.

In April, I took a train trip to Ottawa for a weekend with some of my oldest friends. It was the best.

I headed from Ottawa to Montreal to photograph Mai-Gee and Adam's wedding, and extended my visit for a few days to pay tribute to my favourite spots in the city like Croissanterie Figaro, Mais, Le Jardin Nelson and was also introduced to a wonderful new spot, Maison Sociale, by our friend Dave.

At the beginning of May, I did my first ever wedding show! I had a little booth at The Wedding Co. Spring Event at the Gladstone Hotel. It was a lovely experience and I enjoyed meeting both brides-to-be and other creative professionals alike. My parents constructed my booth for me, which was so great! I couldn't have done it without them, truly.

On Mother's Day, my family all met up at my grandma's house so we could celebrate all the moms of our family together.

My aunt and grandma in matching neon :)

My grandma and her dogs waiting for my dad to put up her new flag.

My mom forcing me to trespass to take photos of a neighbour's magnolia tree.

Playing around in the mist by the lake.

My friend Paige's Kentucky Derby shower, complete with with horseshoe cookies!

Wandering around High Park to see the cherry blossoms with my friends Christina and Kate.

A visit with my sister-in-law, who was in town from Vancouver.

Exploring hidden corners of the University of Toronto with my best friends.

Long walks at night.
Last weekend, to finish off the last day of my favourite month, I took a rare full 24 hours off! I went for drinks at Cold Tea, dim sum at Rosewood, played shuffle board at the Dock Ellis. In the morning after a leisurely tea and some reading, we walked around our neighbourhood in the rain, and stopped in at Bake Shoppe for treats. Being away from my desk for that long was a really great feeling, let me tell you!

Wishing you a wonderful week!

hotel omni mont-royal wedding | mai-gee & adam

There are certain people who posses an almost otherworldly elegance. Whose taste is both exquisite and timeless, and whose manners are the epitome of class. Mai-Gee and Adam embody all of these traits. They are are also kind and considerate, hardworking and successful, and deeply in love with each other. When I asked them how they would describe themselves as a couple, they simply replied, "The Chinese extrovert and the American introvert," which is humourously succinct. To me, their complementary traits harmonize beautifully, making them a power couple that others want to emulate, and when you see them together there's a magical sense that a perfect match has been made.

Their wedding day was beautifully imagined by the couple and their planner, Rachel of La Petite Touche. In both the ceremonial aspects and décor, their wedding honoured Mai-Gee's Chinese heritage, Adam's American traditions and the spirit of Montreal where they met, fell in love, and married. Family and friends arrived from all three places, and from elsewhere in the world to celebrate with them. Partway through their reception, Mai changed into a red cheongsam in tribute to her grandmother, and she and Adam shared a beautiful dance in each of her gowns.

Adam and Mai, I wish you so much happiness. You and your families are absolutely lovely, and it was a true pleasure to spend time with all of you and document the first day of your marriage. I appreciated your clear aesthetic vision for your day, and you were so great at articulating what you hoped for in terms of photography. Most of all, it was so great just getting to know you both. Thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer. I hope your honeymoon was beautiful and that you enjoy every day of life together. Sending my love from Toronto!

Adam prepared for the day just a few floors away.

Adam and Mai opted to do a "first look" and see each other before the ceremony. They shared a private moment in a quiet part of the hotel and had plenty of time for portraits before the busiest part of their day began. Mai's sweet father escorted her to meet her husband-to-be.

We then headed outside for some portraits at McGill University and along Sherbrooke Street along Montreal's Golden Square Mile.

After portraits, it was time for the ceremony to begin!


Venue: Hotel Omni Mont Royal  //  Planning: La Petite Touche  //  Officiants: Maggie Hum and Rebecca Smalley (sisters of the bride and groom, respectively)  //  Décor/rentals: La Petite Touche, APB, Joe's Prop House  //  Photography: Dallas Curow Photography, with Brian Fauteux  //  Makeup: Annie Bessette  //  Hair: Privé par David D'Amours  //  Florist: Aura Design  //  Cake: Gateaulogie  //  Harpist: Véronique Couturier  //  DJ: Big Beat DJ Productions  //  Bride's gown: Bliss Monique L'Hullier, purchased at White Toronto   //  Sash: Ivy & Aster  //  Veil: Laura Jayne  //  Hair pin: Jennifer Behr  //  Earrings (something blue): Swarovski  //  Statement earrings: Roberta Chiarella  //  Cheongsam: Dress by Bonnie  //  Bride's shoes: Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin  //  Groom's attire: made to measure by Harry Rosen  //  Officiants' dresses: BCBG and Ralph Lauren

montreal portrait photography | sara, sonny & little l

Every year, this little family returns to the same alley in St-Henri, a neighbourhood southwest of downtown Montreal, to take a photo. The first was taken on Sara and Sonny's wedding day, when little L was on the way. They've returned in the two years since then around their anniversary to mark the passage of time and the growth of their family. This year, as they prepare for a move to the west coast, Sara reached out to me about taking some portraits to mark the end (for now) of their time in Montreal. I love traditions and was very honoured to be able to document their family's love at this moment in their lives. I was also happy to return to the industrial corners of St-Henri where I first began shooting portraits in Montreal.

Sonny, Sara and little L, thank you for asking me to document your family's annual tradition. You are a power trio with charisma for days and it was great to spend time with you and your extended family as well. I wish you all the best of luck on your move to BC. You're moving to one of the world's most beautiful places, so I'm sure you'll enjoy every moment!