Madeira

As a wedding photographer, summer is the busiest time of all. When I'm not busy balancing my work and shooting, you can 100% find me editing and chipping away at piles of photographs. And I love it - I find the process of selecting, editing and retouching my photographs very meditative.

But summer also means that I don't get a chance to do much personal work, which is another thing that I love to do. My passion for photography started with my travels and that is very much still alive today, so I am always grateful to go somewhere new or find time to take on a creative project that will allow me to get experimental.

One of those opportunities was back in March, (which I've just realised is six months ago?!), when my partner and I travelled to Madeira for some sun. In the depths of British winter, I literally googled "warmest places in Europe in March", and Madeira looked pretty cool. I could write pages about the holiday, but what you really need to know is that it is a quirky island which thrives on tourism, the average age is about 75+, the food is questionable, and it rained the whole damn time. Torrential rain, and hurricane strength winds. There were landslides. There were floods. I feared for my life. Injuries were sustained. It was not exactly what we had in mind when selecting this seemingly idyllic, tropical destination.

But for all that Madeira served us in terms of the unexpected and less than ideal, it made up for in unbelievable vistas and an some very cute stray dogs. A volcanic island, it reaches straight up and out of the sea with a whole lot of drama. You can go from sea level to 1,000+ metres in minutes, albeit by very tiny, zig-zagging roads, and there isn’t an inch of the place that isn’t covered in an amazing emerald green.

I took a day off today and finally had a chance to edit some shots, which definitely don’t do it justice, but I enjoyed taking them nonetheless. 

Em xx

Nixie & Brian's Romantic Oxford Engagement Shoot

Now that summer is over and I'm (mostly) caught up on my editing, I'm really excited to start sharing some of my most recent work on the blog. It has been a busy summer season that ended with a couple of amazing autumn weddings, and I've only got two more now before we ring in 2018 (...how did that happen)!? 

Back in August, I had the pleasure of working with Nixie and Brian who were visiting the UK from Indonesia. They were recently engaged and wanted to capture the exciting time in their lives against the romantic backdrop of Oxford. As it can get pretty busy during the summer here, we woke up bright and early and had the streets to ourselves. We also managed to catch the last little bit of golden hour light! We had a great morning chatting, shooting and wandering between some of Oxford's most beautiful landmarks. Crossing my fingers these two make it back to the UK for a honeymoon shoot. 

I hope you enjoy the shots :)

Em x  

Kevin & Danielle's Maternity Session in Haliburton

If we have spoken in the last few months, or if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably heard me going on about the fact that I'm about to be an AUNT! My brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Danielle, are due mid-October and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't spent the last 8 months trying to pick out the cutest onesies and baby hats everywhere I go. It has been such an exciting time, and while I'm sad to have been away in the UK for most of it, I did get to hang out with these guys when I was home in July.

Someone didn't loooove the idea of a full on photoshoot (*cough* my brother *cough*), so we did more of a 'micro-shoot'; we wandered down to the dock at the cottage and I just snapped a few shots of them together. The idea was just to get some nice portraits that captured them at this exciting time in their lives. I think these shots were taken at about 6 months in - its amazing how quickly Danielle's bump has grown since! We had fun playing around with some poses and outfits, and I think we managed to get some keepers despite the short timeframe. 

These two are now four weeks away from the official due date, and I will be heading home soon to meet the little bundle of love (with many a-onesie and tiny hat in tow). I can't wait to spoil them! Enjoy and stay tuned for the newborn photos...

Emily x

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Rosie & Rob's Maternity Session in Bushy Park

First things first ... how is it already the middle of August? And how have I managed to get SO behind on my blogging?

I have been looking forward to sharing this gallery for a while but have only recently found the time to pull it together in between shoots, editing, working & more. This was a lovely maternity session that I got to do with Rosie & Rob in Bushy Park. Bushy park is an amazing location - it is a collection of vast green fields in the Richmond area of London that spans over 1,000 acres. There is also a high population of deer that roam freely all around the park (you can even pat them!). It is located right next to Hampton Court Palace on the Longford River, and it also happens to be a special spot for Rosie and Rob as it was where they tied the knot a few years ago.

We went back to the location, which they hadn't visited since their wedding, and spent a few hours together. It was quite amazing to be back in such a meaningful spot, this time with a new addition to their family on the way.

Rosie was about 8 months pregnant when we did that shoot and has since given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Amelia. Sending the biggest congratulations to these two on their new adventure as a family. 

Enjoy the shots!

Emily x

Mike & Meng's Toronto Wedding Prep

When I was back home in Canada a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be asked to capture part of my cousin's beautiful Toronto wedding. I had landed just one day before, so I was giving off some walking dead vibes, but I went along to the morning of their big day to capture bride and groom prep. 

My family just so happen to have two apartments in the same building, so I was able to tackle both bride and groom portraits without having to trek too far. It was so nice hanging out while they got ready, catching up with my fam, and scooting around between the two apartments to try and capture the whole process - fluffy dog and all. 

We shot for a few hours in the morning and then they went off to the historic Distillery District for their first look and portraits while I transitioned into guest mode and met them at the ceremony. It was a gorgeous day -  the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky. The courtyard at the venue was all done up with flowers, beautiful handwritten signs and fairy lights. I think that one of the most impressive things about the whole day, however, was the incredible spread of cakes made by none other than the bride herself! I think there were four different cakes, along with mini doughnuts and homemade macaroons and more. Some days I am not sure whether I am a wedding photographer or a professional wedding cake taster? Can't complain... 

Huge thanks to Mike & Meng for inviting me along to help capture the big day! I can't wait to see where this next chapter takes you.

Em x

Anna & Nic's Spring Engagement Session in Winchester

It is so nice when clients become friends; Anna and Nic travelled back to Australia last month and I miss them! I was lucky enough to do two shoots with these guys - an engagement session and their wedding at a stunning venue in Hampshire.

Nic and Anna were unique clients in that they had already had not one but TWO wedding celebrations before I met them - the joys of being an international couple! Nic is from Hampshire and Anna is from Singapore, but they live in Australia. Their first celebration was in Oz, the second in Singapore, and lucky for me, the third in Hampshire. 

A few weeks before the celebration, we met up in Winchester for a little walkabout shoot. Winchester has been around since prehistoric times, and  is surrounded by beautiful old stone gates and iron-age hill forts. It is a photographer's dream, full off stone arches, textured backdrops, and rolling hills. It also has an amazing cathedral that I think is home to one of the coolest stories ever; back in the early 1900's, the wooden foundations under the cathedral nave started to collapse and a deep-sea diver named William Walker was sent down underneath the crypt to reinforce the wood. He spent 6 years under the cathedral in the pitch black reinforcing it's structure. SIX YEARS SCUBA DIVING IN MUD. If you go into the building today you can see a statue of his bust, as well as a lean in the nave from where the foundations started to give. Okay - nerdy history rant over. We had a great time wandering around and snapping before we got taken out by some preeetty serious hay fever. 

I hope you enjoy the shots - more from the wedding the come soon!

Emily x

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Kamil & Anyqa's Romantic Blenheim Palace Proposal

Kamil's plan to pop the question to Anyqa might have been the proposal to end all proposals. Boyfriends, get your notepads out. (I know notepads are retro but that is beside the point). 

Kamil's plan was to surprise his girlfriend with a private tour at Blenheim Palace, and when they arrived at the end in the famous Long Library, get down on one knee and propose. Afterwards they would walk outside to find a beautiful horse-drawn carriage waiting to take them on a ride around the grounds. I was so excited to capture this epic moment. 

What I didn't anticipate was quite how nerve-wracking it would be (and I wasn't even the one proposing)! Kamil and I met at the palace earlier and liaised with the staff to come up with our master plan; Kamil would meet Anyqa at the front gates and bring her into the palace where Doug, the tour guide, would greet them and take them through. While this was happening, I was to hide in the Long Library like a bit of a weirdo (my modus operandi), pretending to be a tourist, but also trying to peek down the hallway to see when they were approaching. When they got to the next room over from the Library, two other staff members were instructed to unroll a large banner that Kamil made asking Anqya to marry him -- goosebumps! 

When the time came, they entered the Library and immediately started looking all around. I don't know what came over me but I think I might deserve an Oscar for my "unsuspecting solo tourist" bit that I did at this very moment. I am pretty sure she had no idea. But there is also a good chance I might have just been standing there staring at them. We will never know. Then, Doug, the tour guide, directed their attention to a statue at the end of the library so we could all take our positions. 

It all went completely according to plan. Anyqa was surprised and overjoyed. The emotion in the moment was enough to make my hairs stand and my eyes well up - it was such a beautiful gesture and what an amazing job I have that I get to witness these moments. After the proposal, we wandered outside and rode around on the carriage to scope out the palace grounds.

This was definitely one of my favorite shoots so far - thank you so much to Kamil & Anyqa for inviting me to be a fly on the wall :)

Enjoy! 

Em x

A Weekend Away in Pembrokeshire

The downside of being a new photographer is that I am not exactly drowning in clients and requests for work (yet!). However, the upside of being a new photographer is having free weekends and time to explore and document my personal life and develop my ability and style. 

At the end of April, my boyfriend and a couple of his friends from school ran the Pembrokeshire Marathon; some ran the half, some ran the full. I won't name names. I'd never been to Wales so I was keen to tag along and capture the weekend. After a four hour drive in our 1980's Mini, which requires a refill of gas about every 45 minutes, we made it to Broadhaven in Pembrokeshire and tucked in for the night before the big run. 

While I wasn't partaking in the marathon, I played the crucial roles of documenting the runners and bringing cold beers and snacks to the finish line. I was out of breath by the time I reached to top of the hill where the race ended, so was thanking my stars I hadn't signed up to do it myself. We met the champions at the end of the run and then spent the rest of the long weekend exploring Littlehaven, St. David's and other beautiful spots dotted along the coast. I also spent a good part of the weekend trying to pronounce the Welsh road signs. 

Wales is a wildly photogenic place, and I happened to be with a wildly photogenic bunch. I also found myself becoming preoccupied with all the beautiful seaside textures, and have thrown a couple more abstract photos into this post.

Enjoy the shots! Or in Welsh, "mwynhau'r lluniau"! 

Em x

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bridal Shoot at the Great Hall in Toronto

I am so excited to finally share some photos from this beautiful Bridal editorial shoot back in March. This was one of those shoots where everything ties together so nicely - gorgeous, flowing gowns, perfect flowers, delicate details, a bright airy space, and some lovely humans to top it all off. We had a whole afternoon in the Great Hall to experiment with different locations, light, dresses, hair and make up, and the result was a handful of beautiful bridal looks. 

I can't take credit for much ( or any of it )  - I have the lovely Jessica at Charuk Studios to thank for styling and art direction, and my friend Corynn from Corynn Fowler Photography for inviting me to tag along and shoot with her. There were loads of talented women and vendors involved, and I've included their details below for you to check out. It was all so beautifully done that I swear it was impossible to take a bad picture in there (but of course, I managed to do it). 

This is one of the only styled shoots that I have done, but I am really keen to collaborate on some more. If you know any vendors looking for photography, please put them in touch! 

While I could go on forever, the sun is shining and I can hear the birds chirping outside my window, so I am going to head out and do some exploring.

Enjoy the pictures!

Em x

Styling & Art Direction: @charukstudios
Photography: @corynnfowlerphotography
Dresses: @ferresposa & @maureenpatriciabridal
Jewellery: @luvytshop
Hair: @unojo
Makeup: @prerna.co
Flowers: @mimi_and_ry
Model Agency: @peggilepage_models
Models: @kateleannemoore & @paeytonlilly
Location: @thegreathall

Easter Weekend in Appledore

The last few weeks have been craaaaazy busy! Between moving into a new place, travelling to London for meetings and shoots, and catching up on edits, Easter weekend with my boyfriend's family down in Devon was a much needed break. Ollie's family are serious repeat offenders when it comes to Devon. They have been travelling down there for holidays for almost 20 years now - and I don't blame them, it is so beautiful!
 

Appledore is a tiny town nestled into the North coast. It is set on a steep hill overlooking a quay and is full of tiny, winding streets lined with pastel coloured houses. During the day there are kids crabbing off the quay, families walking dogs, and people lining up at the ice cream van for a scoop. The birds chip, the tides roll in and out. It feels like something out of a book. 
 

Over on the other side of the peninsula is Westward Ho! beach. (Yes, there really is an exclamation mark at the end of the name?). This is where we spend the majority of our time during our holidays, as Ollie's family are big surfers. Waves or no waves, these guys are in the water everyday, sometimes twice a day. For me, this means flailing around in the whitewash and occasionally catching a microscopic wave. Still, there is nothing like getting in the cold sea water to clear your head and make you feel refreshed!

It was so nice to be back in Devon with my camera in tow - I hope you like the shots!

Em x

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Family Portrait Session with the Browns

It is not very often that two of your favourite teachers get married - but that is what happened with the Browns! 

Erin and Doug taught me in my high school days back in Toronto. Erin was my home room teacher and also taught World Religions, and Doug was my Philosophy teacher. They both took such creative and personalised approaches in their teaching that I can actually still remember a lot of their lessons today (almost eight years later).

These two tied the knot about seven years ago now and have since welcomed two new additions to their family; Mackenzie and Madison, 4 and 1 years old. It was so nice to catch up with my old teachers and meet their beautiful little ones. Working with kids was both hilarious and challenging as they aren't the best at sitting still -  so I opted for more candid style shots of them on the move. 

I hope you enjoy the shots, get in touch to book your Spring family photo session! 

Em x

Liz & Zac's Toronto Wedding

A few weekends ago, I got to tag along to Liz & Zac's stunning Toronto wedding at the Windsor Arms. I was fortunate that my old friend and incredibly talented wedding photographer, Corynn Fowler, invited me along as her 'second shooter' - a job that is a lot less dangerous than it sounds. 

Corynn has taken me under her wing in the last few weeks and has been hugely generous in teaching me the in's and out's of the business - how to work with clients, how to manage shooting the actual wedding day, how to edit and follow up.  Her help has been huge, and I am so happy I got to shoot this wedding with her. If you're looking for a wedding or engagement photographer in the Toronto, Muskoka or Collingwood area, look no further than right here

The Arms is a beautiful indoor space rich in colour and light variation. As Corynn pointed out to me, it had some serious Wes Anderson vibes going for it. It was a challenging shoot as it was pretty dark, but I loved the opportunity to learn and think on my feet. 

The ceremony was stunning and I really enjoyed being able to observe and try to capture the sheer joy that Liz & Zac we're feeling as they stood at the top of the aisle and exchanged vows. I would be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear, or fifteen, listening to their speeches and loving words for each other. 

A beautiful celebration for a beautiful couple. I hope you enjoy the photos!

Em x

P.S. Fun fact - the big painting featured above Zac and Liz in the ceremony was actually painted by Zac's late father and artist, David Bierk, which added a beautiful personal element to the venue. 

P.P.S - Another fun fact - As you can probably tell from her glow, Liz is six months pregnant with a little boy here. Somehow she managed to be energized and up on her feet most of the night - a seriously impressive feat! 

Portrait Session with Hope

One of this week's shoots was a fun little portrait session with my gorgeous friend Hope.

Hope is a nurse here in Toronto at the Hospital for Sick Children, and needed some help with a head shot for her professional profile. She is full of so many amazing stories about the little ones that she works with - a serious everyday hero!

We didn't have a ton of time to work with but I think we managed to get some nice shots in. It was fun playing around with a few different back drops, and its amazing how many different looks you can achieve with such a simple photo concept. Little things like a lift of the chin or casting the eyes out of the frame make for an entirely different photo - it was cool to experiment with these subtleties. 

It was so nice working with another close pal - although we definitely did more talking than photo-taking at some points, which was my bad! 

Enjoy the pics :) 

Em x 

 

Brickworks Engagement Shoot with Aly & Aaron

This past Sunday, I got to do my first official engagement shoot with Aly & Aaron.

It was the first day of daylight savings, so we all dragged ourselves out of bed at a completely inappropriate hour for a Sunday morning and made our way to our shoot location. I try to shoot in the photographer's 'golden hours' whenever I can -  when the sun is rising or setting - so I can get some nice back-lighting, outlines, and natural shadows on the subjects. 

We were pretty spoiled for choice of location on this one - we started at a loft-style apartment overlooking downtown Toronto, and then made our way over to the Brickworks - an old converted industrial site that is now a trendy hipster haven with restaurants, markets, gardens and lots of green space. 

These guys were so great to work with - such a gorgeous and well-suited couple! They also tolerated my good and not-so-good pose suggestions with grace. (I'm new to this, poses are hard)! Cannot wait for these two to tie the knot! 

Check out some of the shots from our session below :)

Em x

 Love this shot of Aaron counting helicopters - boys will be boys! 

Beaches Photoshoot with Meg & Mac

There is nothing nicer than getting to work with some of your closest friends - even if it is at the water's edge in negative 11 degree weather with a serious wind chill. Gotta love Toronto winters. Meg, featured in these photos, is my oldest friend. We met on our first day of kindergarten and have been inseparable ever since. Mac is also a good friend from way back in our high school days.

I was lucky enough to watch alongside as these two fell in love and grew into their beautiful relationship, so it was such a joy to work with them and try to capture it on film. They were so much fun to work with, not to mention their gorgeous pup, Chloe (when she wasn't chasing other dogs or running around in the freezing cold water). 

I don't think any of us could feel our faces by the end of this one, but it was well worth it! 

Em x

 

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Engagement Shoot with M & M

This past weekend, I had the chance to do a couples session with my cousin and his lovely fiance (and their adorable little highly energetic fluffball, Nimbus).

Admittedly, I was a little bit nervous going in - it was the first time I was offering my photography services professionally and I was feeling the pressure. I was surprised when I started shooting how quickly I fell back into the groove, and how much I still loved doing it. It was so much fun experimenting with poses, angles, and ideas with these two. We had a wonderful 2 hour session in their house and outside in the wooded areas surrounding it. Lots of interesting backdrops to play around with, and gorgeous natural light pouring in from all angles.

These two were naturals in front of the camera, which made my job a bit too easy! It was a great session, and I can't wait for these two to tie the knot this summer. 

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day. I hope you like them! 

Em x