My darling sister-in-law, Carolyn, recently married her love and I was so happy to be her matron of honour. I photographed the beginning and end of her day, then switched into wedding party mode while the fabulous Hayley Rae photographed the main events.

In lieu of telling you about the details their day, I thought that seeing as it was the first wedding in my immediate family, it would be a bit more personal and fun to simply share an excerpt from my toast on their big day:

It is my great privilege to be sister-in-law of the bride, wife to the other Brian in her life, her brother. I met Carolyn 12 years ago when I first started dating her big bro. At that time, she was busy kicking ass and taking names down in Philly, playing college hockey. Since then, I've seen her grow into the stunning, considerate, hardworking and truly lovely woman you see here tonight.

In Brian, her husband, she has truly met her match. They complement each other so well. One of the traits they share is a humble, understated nature; you'll never hear them boast or even talk about themselves. For this reason, I figure it's my duty to brag about them a little bit.

They are so clean that you could eat tonight's meal off their kitchen floor and still feel super fancy. They are also incredibly organized people. The saying goes, "if you need something done, ask a busy person." I say, "if you need something done, ask Brian to Carolyn and they'll tell you they did it 10 minutes before you thought to ask." Carolyn consistently excels in her sales career and Brian excels in... Microsoft Excel. The man loves spreadsheets!

As individuals, Carolyn and Brian are exemplary humans. She is driven, loyal and energetic. He is kind, gentlemanly and has a great head of hair. Together, they've made a beautiful home with their two adorable dogs and I know this is only the beginning of their great adventure together. Cheers to the happy couple, my sister and brand new brother-in-law!

Brian and Carolyn, I'm so happy for you! Congratulations on your marriage :)


Venue: Cecil Green Park House  //  Officiant: Roxanne Thornton, Marry Us  //  Photographer: Hayley Rae Photography and Dallas Curow Photography  //  Décor: BeSpoke Decor  //  Florist: Oasis Flowers //  Bride's makeup + hair: Dallas Curow  //  Bridesmaids' makeup + hair: Blo Vancouver  //  Ceremony music: Musical Occasions  // Catering: Wescadia

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.

last six weeks in pictures: august 11- september 21, 2014

Hey there! Fall has arrived and it's officially my favourite time of year. I'm snuggling up with a cup of tea and warm socks in my newly furnished editing cave (aka my office). I decided to take a moment to share some of what I've been up to over the last six weeks of summer. It's been a lot of long hours and not very much sleep, but I am so grateful for all the work and the play. To begin, here's a little overview, c/o Instagram:

As I previously mentioned, Brian and I moved into a new place at the beginning of August.  Most of our free time since then has been spent doing this:

The apartment needed a little TLC, so we've been sanding and painting and scrubbing to turn it into our home. We also sold most of our furniture before leaving Montreal, so we've been slowly acquiring new items and putting things into place. There's still a lot of work to be done, but I'm happy to say all the boxes have been unpacked and it's starting to look pretty decent.

In between shooting and working on our place, I've been lucky to attend a few great events. My friend Jenn came to town from her home in New York for her wedding shower, and it was lovely. I can't wait for her upcoming wedding!

Brian and I headed to Trenton to photograph and celebrate the wedding of Jennifer and Bryan, mother and step-father to our dear friend, Peter.

We stopped by the Ex for an hour of fun one night:

We flew to Vancouver to attend a family wedding and got to stay with my sweet sister-in-law, Carolyn and her puppy:

While out west, we were able to visit a few great friends, including Sophia and Trevor, whose wedding we photographed last summer:

Photo below: Sophia Lee

Two photos below: Carolyn Fauteux

In early September, we photographed the vineyard wedding of our good friends Amy and Derek.

The following day, I attended the shower of my longtime friend Aarti, whose wedding I'm excited to shoot next month! Her shower was planned so beautifully by her sisters and included a waffle bar, which was just awesome. Her fiancé was also in attendance which was so nice. It makes so much sense for a bride-to-be's beloved to be present and spend time with her close friends. I think more people should consider having their groom at their shower!

Thanks to my friend Peter, I attended the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for the first time. I attended the premiere of The Imitation Game, which features my favourite actor Benedict Cumberbatch. It featured a Q & A after the film, which was all too short, but still great. Following the presentation, Peter and I went to the official after party, which was incredibly exciting.

In mid-September, my family conspired with my dad's colleagues to throw him a surprise 25th work anniversary party. We tricked him into thinking he would be attending a photography seminar I was teaching. When he walked into the room, he found dozens of his colleagues and friends from throughout his career. He was completely shocked and it was so moving to hear person after person stand up to share kind words and reflect on how my dad influenced their lives.

Later that week, I was invited to return to my alma mater, Western University, to visit my old stomping grounds, The Gazette. I worked as an editor for the daily student newspaper during my undergraduate years, and I went back with my fellow editor, Paolo, to talk about work, career paths and how we did things back in the day. It was wonderful to meet some of this year's editorial board and be inspired by their enthusiasm and humour. It was surreal to be back on campus after seven years away, but as we drove through the city and walked through campus, I was flooded with memories of the best kind.

This past weekend, I travelled to Montreal for work and stayed with some dear friends in their sunny condo.  It was a total whirlwind, but I hope to go back to that wonderful city soon for a longer visit.

Well, I'm back to catch up on my editing! Wishing you a wonderful week and I'm excited to share a lot of new work with you over the next few days.

vancouver chinatown wedding | sophia & trevor

In the weeks before a wedding, I always ask couples to send over the final details for the big day. Perhaps the most important piece of information I request is a description of the feeling they would like their photos to have. Trevor and Sophia sent me the most beautiful and richly detailed description, and I think there is no better way to set the tone before I share a selection of their wedding day images:

In terms of photos, we are looking to have a lot of candids, with an editorial feel. Like something we would see in magazine shoots in an urban setting. Us in a crowd of others at the night market for example. The videos on your blog this spring of days ‘n’ nights in Wisconsin are also really aligned with our vision. The night market will allow for some great shots, we think. Imagine us in wedding wear among a crowd of people eating food truck fare and perusing the market. A feeling of place and feeling of the moment. If I were to describe the emotion of the photos, I would say we want a feeling of casual luxury, love and intimacy in a public space. Doisneau’s “The Kiss” is a good example. I hope this makes sense. Somewhat stylized, and edgy, along with romantic shots. Big smiles…feeling of joy. An intimate moment in a public environment.

At Bao Bei, we will be sitting at the bar. People will be coming up to speak to us, and we want those moments captured. We have chosen Bao Bei specifically because we don’t want a head table and we want an environment that allows a closeness to ourselves and our guests throughout the night. We will of course need the requisite posed photos with family at the gardens. I hope this gives you a good idea. I am extremely confident that your style and talents will make this happen. We are so looking forward to having you and Brian there to share our day.

But I will say a bit more before we dive in. So clearly and beautifully articulated was Sophia and Trevor's vision of what they wanted for their wedding day that it created a dream come true for us, as photographers and as friends. They asked us to photograph their wedding day with the same approach we would if we were just hanging out, documenting details moments while setting aside the formality, the extended posing. Their day was a feast for the senses, and was accompanied by more than a little magic. From the party bus of Australian senior citizens that pulled over and offered us a free ride to the ceremony when Brian and I couldn't find a cab, to the way the sun broke through the tough Vancouver cloud cover just as Sophia walked down the aisle to meet Trevor, the day was filled with fortuity.

Sophia and Trevor, what an honour it was to travel across the country to document and share in your day. I am in awe of the way you see the world, and the way you are as individuals and as a couple. You are class embodied. It was amazing to meet more of your friends and your wonderful families, and see the life you've built together in Vancouver. I know you will continue to be truly happy there, and the happiest together.

The ceremony was officiated by Martha Markus, who is Trevor's office manager and the couple's friend. She did an absolutely beautiful job.

After the portraits, the celebrations continued at Bao Bei, a cozy Chinese Brasserie in the heart of Chinatown.

Sophia designed these beautiful letterpress invitations. Aren't they incredible?


Ceremony venue: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden  //  Reception venue: Bao Bei  // Officiant: Martha Markus  // Photography: Dallas Curow Photography, assisted by Brian Fauteux.