family portraits | burns/buist/perrault

In honour of National Adoption Awareness month, I'm sharing two portrait sessions with the same family this week. Yesterday, shared some portraits of new parents Rozlyn and Kris bringing home their son on Mother's Day weekend. Today, I thought you might like to see how this sweet family is doing a few months later. During October when I was back in Ontario, I photographed baby Reid surrounded by his closest circle of loved ones, the Burns + Buist + Perrault clan. It was a gorgeous day to be outside documenting the love of a growing family. Thank you, all of you, for inviting me to follow your journey!

Here are some thoughts from Reid's family members about how life has changed since his arrival.

"I am proud to be this little boy's granny. We are so happy he came into our lives. Not only are his mum and dad crazy in love with him, but the whole family just loves him to bits and it doesn't hurt that he is so so cute. We wanted these photos to not only capture his cuteness but our love for him as well." - Margaret, grandmother.

"Reid makes our family laugh more and love deeper. Collectively, we have adopted him into our family and fallen head over heels in love with him, and the best part is he has embraced us with just as much love and endless baby giggles." - Jennifer, auntie.

"Reid is the sunshine in our lives. We wanted photographs that captured not only how adorable he is,  but that also captured the bond we share and the immense joy he brings all of us. These pictures serve as a reminder that a family knit together by adoption is a family that is full to the brim with love, kisses and endless hugs." - Rozlyn and Kris, parents.

Wishing the whole family a beautiful future together!

vancouver engagement | carolyn & brian

Photographing Carolyn and Brian's engagement was the first chance I've had to document such an occasion for a family member. It was so much fun! Carolyn is my beautiful sister-in-law and Brian is her love. They will be married next summer at a gorgeous venue in Vancouver, and I can't wait to stand up as co-maid of honour and celebrate alongside them.

Carolyn is a remarkably strong, independent and driven person. She had always dreamed of moving back to her birthplace of Vancouver, so when she was recruited by a company and offered a position in Toronto, she asked if they had anything available in British Columbia. As luck would have it, a position was open, and in a flash she packed up her apartment and her new puppy and prepared to move across the country. Around the time that she was setting up her new life, she hit it off with a handsome gentleman she'd met through family friends. They shared a love of hockey, travel and fresh coastal air, and before long, they decided life would be sweeter if they lived under the same roof.

They recently bought a home together and now have two adorable Havanese pups who fill it with cuteness and humour. Over Thanksgiving weekend, they hosted our family, and we excitedly toasted their future. I know it will be filled with adventure and so much love. I can't wait to have a third Brian in my immediate family (father, husband and now brother-in-law!)

During our Thanksgiving visit, we spent the day exploring some of Vancouver's prettiest spots while I took their engagement photos. I love that dreamy, overcast, west coast light. It's so soft and lovely. C & B, congratulations! I am so excited for you and everything that's to come.

video | special occasion

The day has finally arrived when I can share my latest project, a little video titled "Special Occasion" that I've been working on for many months.

I created this video to share my portraiture philosophy, which is that everyday life is precious and that in-between moments are deeply worthy of documentation. Yes, I photograph many weddings and engagements, and I continue to revere their importance, but I also wanted to express my love of photographing people moving through their lives and thoughtfully pausing at intervals to say, "this matters to me."

So please, take a few moments and listen to the stories of my wonderful models.

Special Occasion


Dallas Curow




It was important to me to take a documentary approach for this project, so everyone featured in the video is appearing as themselves, and I'm photographing them for the very occasions they mention. I wanted you to hear their stories in their own voices, so everyone either sent me their audio clips via email, or if possible, we recorded them on-site at the time of shooting.

I tried to put very little advance planning into these shoots. I didn't do storyboards or even shot lists. I wanted to push against my natural urge to plan in order to go with the flow of each person, couple or family and what the day brought us. Whenever possible (if people were willing to brave some inclement conditions) I tried not to reschedule due to rain or even snow, as I maintain that all types of weather can set a sumptuous scene. I shot in lighting conditions (high noon sun! dreary, overcast winter mornings!) that most photographers, including myself, find undesirable at best. The truth is that gloomy weather and bad light are not scary if you know how to use them to your advantage, so I thought this video might educate people about what you can do if you're willing to be a bit adventurous and have a trusting relationship with your photographer.

I am not a trained in video or editing, but I do know how to use my camera to shoot images and I like experimenting with its video functionality, so I thought it might be cool to take a DIY approach and show you how I work with people. I look forward to hiring a professional video team to help me produce a more polished video in the future, but until then, here we go!

I'll be sharing the finished images from all the shoots here on my blog in a series of upcoming posts, so you'll be able to see how everything turned out now that you've peeked behind the curtain of production. Each and every one of these people is lovely inside and out, and I'm excited to share their images now that you've heard their stories.

If you're interested in scheduling a shoot of your own everyday special occasion,

get in touch




To everyone involved in the project, thank you SO much. Lia, Jon, the Leon family, Meredith, Lorraine & John, Amy & Derek, the Claudino family, Sam, Noelle & Michael, Ann, Debbie, Maya & Matt, you guys are just wonderful. To my brother Jeremy and my partner in life Brian who helped film some behind-the-scenes footage. To everyone who recommended friends and family members to be my models. To Christina and Jordan for letting me film in your home. To Dolce, our animal actor and Ida, the official dog babysitter :) To Enoteca Sociale and Soop Soop, for being generous enough to let me take some shots in your businesses. To my local laundromat in Toronto's Little Portugal neighbourhood for being the perfect escape from the rain to take Sam's headshots. Lastly, to all my family and friends who helped me conceptualize and tweak this project along the way.


Director/photographer/makeup/styling: Dallas Curow  //  GoPro footage of Noelle & Michael's 1st Anniversary shoot: Jeremy Curow  //  Flower crowns in Lia's Boudoir shoot and Meredith's High School Graduation shoot: Jordan de Ruiter  // Filmed on location in Toronto, Burlington, Richmond Hill, Oakville, and Aurora, Ontario.

winnipeg wedding | karen & lee

Although they met and fell in love in Montreal, Karen and Lee are both from Winnipeg, so they decided to return to their hometown to tie the knot. Once their decision was made, they began the work of planning their destination wedding. Together with their planner, Carly of LouLou Weddings, they tirelessly worked out every detail from afar, including three tiers of contingency plans for different degrees of inclement weather. Because, well, in the Canadian prairies during late summer, anything can happen.

When a wild rainstorm arrived on the morning of their wedding, all that careful planning paid off, as details were expertly reshuffled and Plan C was gracefully executed. All the while, through rain and shine and detours and improvised changes, Karen and Lee were entirely zen. They are wise souls who had their eyes only on each other and what was important. Their wonderful friends laughed and smiled with them, dried their attire and hair under train station hand driers after getting soaked in the day's first monsoon, and everyone was ready for round two of portraits. It was incredible!

Later, after Karen and Lee sweetly exchanged vows, they stood with their guests in a glimmering sun shower under a canopy of umbrellas and and enjoyed their cocktail hour. One of my favourite parts of the evening was when Lee's sweet mother took the time to describe Karen and Lee's lifestyle and home in Montreal for their Winnipeg guests. She painted a lovely and true-to-life picture of the life they've built together. Once all the toasts were wrapped up, the dance floor was never empty thanks to a custom playlist by Lee. Friends who stayed until the last shuttle bus (which was filled to the brim with revellers) enjoyed grilled cheese in between bouts of breathless dancing. It was a day of adventure, spontaneity, laughter and so much love.

Lee and Karen, thank you so much for your friendship for all these years. I feel such immense joy for you both, and am so happy you've chosen each other, forever. I know so many exciting things lie ahead for you as individuals and I know your intertwined future will be nothing short of wonderful.

Don't let the darkness fool you; the photo above was taken at noon if you can believe it! This was right as the monsoon began. A special thanks goes out to Brian for holding umbrellas over me so I could shoot.

To escape the rain, we stopped at Winnipeg's Union Station to dry off and take some indoor portraits.


Planning and coordination: LouLou Weddings  // Photography: Dallas Curow, with Brian Fauteux  //  Décor: Simply Perfect Décor  //  Florist: Oak & Lily  //  Bride's dress: Sposa Bella  //  Groom's attire: Hugo Boss  //  Pies: Shut Ur Pie Hole  //  Makeup: Two Chicks and a Bag of Makeup