Toronto Engagement Session at the CNE

Shooting someone's engagement session as well as their wedding typically means that you get to spend a solid amount of time together. It's amazing and unique as more often than not, you're with a couple during intense periods where emotions can be at an extreme - huge amounts of excitement for what is to come, fear and anger for things that can go or are going wrong with the wedding planning, vulnerability because they've never had their pictures taken professionally before, copious amounts of stress, and an abundance of love.

So take all of those factors and add that the engagement shoot I scheduled with one couple was for the OPENING DAY OF THE CNE. For those unfamiliar with it, it's an annual amusement park/exhibition/awesome opportunity to eat really good things that are horrible for you (like the "cronut" or "timbits poutine"). It attracts a lot of people and causes A LOT of traffic. So one could imagine that we'd all be able to get a good sense of each other, especially when we're in a car together stuck in traffic, unable to find a parking spot.

I can, without a doubt, say that Yossi and Mona are a couple who not only kept their cool (I swear to god not even any actual road rage!!) but that they made each other laugh the entire time and found joy throughout the day. Rad couple, great shoot experience, absolutely adore these two.

Boho-Chic Bridal Inspiration at the Waterfalls of Hamilton, Ontario

This past May I set time aside to shoot a creative bridal session. It was organized with a headstrong desire to create beautiful imagery bursting with raw emotion while showcasing Ontario's natural landscape. Ontario is known for its green and lush landscape full of evergreens and maple trees. However, there is so much more to our province's natural landscape that is often left unconsidered by couples for intimate wedding-related photography sessions. I wanted to explore another side of Ontario for this creative bridal shoot and the waterfalls of Hamilton were instantly the perfect place for it.

As a recent university graduate who is now in debt, investing big budgets for independently organized photo sessions is not a possibility. Which is why I hugely believe in the DIY attitude. Photography is limitless in its possibilities and being forced to think unconventionally with a DIY attitude can make anyone feel unstoppable, regardless of limitations.

A team had to be gathered who would not only volunteer their time, skills, and labour but would do it fabulously, with finesse and talent. Small, personalized details were important and so I scoured through social media for local talent who would be able to offer a variety of touches to the shoot. The majority of collaborators were found via Instagram and most of us met for the first time on the day of the shoot! It's pretty crazy.

Eunice, the owner of Vogue Sposa Bridal Boutique not only lended two stunning wedding gowns - she allowed me to wet the gowns. That's not a small commitment considering one of the gowns was made with silk! Anice Jewellery gave a wide variety of bohemian bridal jewellery that were one of a kind. Wisteria Floral Design, who barely had enough time with only a few days notice, was able to create the perfectly feminine and elegant bouquet full of roses and peonies. Pinch Cosmetics made sure that beauty & hair looked effortlessly on point the entire day even with high levels of humidity working against us. Not to mention how amazing my assistant Deirdre was, who didn't even hesitate to wade in the water and get her running shoes soaking wet just to get the perfect images! Finally Stef and Barrett, who are actually a couple in real life, allowed their intimacy to shine through genuinely and authentically - a feat that is not the easiest, and requires vulnerability and trust.

Rarely are there times when things come together not only well but easily - I can honestly say that everyone went above and beyond!

Credits are given at the end of this post :)

Beauty & Hair: Pinch Cosmetics -, @pinchcosmetics
Bridal Boutique: Vogue Sposa -, @voguesposabridalboutique
Jewellery: Anice Jewellery -, @anicejewellery
Couple: Stef Crawford (@steficrawford) & Barrett Lucak (@barrettlucak)
Photographer's Instagram: @liat.a




Dream Engagement Shoot in the Annex, downtown Toronto

A few months ago I threw a contest in Toronto for a complete engagement photography session on me - all I asked was to describe what your dream engagement shoot would look like.

One of the entries really stood out to me as genuinely romantic, exciting and fresh. Yuri, the winner wrote:

"My dream engagement photo shoot would be atop a large building with the skyline starting to brighten up the darkening city. There would be lots of movement in the photos, sort of like dancing lights and and a lot of warmth. It really represents how I feel towards Emily because she is my warmth, my bright lights, my feeling of whimsy and the only one I want to dance with!

I shot their engagement session this past Friday all around the Annex in downtown Toronto. We tried to make it as epic as possible. We started on their rooftop, walked all around the Annex, took an awesome pizza break then came full circle back to their rooftop for some dancing night shots.

I love Emily's BLERG tattoo. I love Yuri's Cuban coolness. I love how funny they both are. It's safe to say I LOVE THIS COUPLE!

Scarborough Bluff's Maternity Shoot

I've been thinking a lot about life's unexpected turns. When I was younger the scope of my future seemed to look quite particular. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do but I thought I knew more or less what would happen along the way. Then life sneakily tapped me on the shoulders a few times, often yelled SURPRISE, and on occasion even kicked me in my (symbolical) nuts.

Never in my life did I think I'd be a wedding photographer. Now, three years since I picked up a DSLR, I am falling deeply and madly for shooting love in any form - engagements, weddings, and definitely maternity shoots with beautiful couples and gorgeous baby bumps.

A lady by the name of Sara contacted me to photograph her in her 7th month of pregnancy. She said it would include her man, Jonah, and their two dogs. I was SO excited right from the get-go. We met up in Scarborough Bluffs and explored the gorgeous landscape from Scarborough Bluffs Park all the way down to the marina. 

Love is beautiful.