It's a peaceful Sunday morning as I enjoy finishing up this blog. My drink of choice: fresh made ginger & lemon tea with some wild raw honey. Newest song in my head (& that you should check out): Adele - When We Were Young (live)
When the beautiful Julie asked me to shoot her fall engagement pictures, I was very excited for the opportunity to tell her and Charlie's love story. Besides being a long time friend of Julie's, I could see they were both very in love, photogenic & stylish. I knew it would be a great opportunity to create really beautiful images if we had the right scenes and got some killer light.
Part of me was also a bit nervous as Julie's extremely talented sister Rita is awesome an wedding planner who works with a lot of excellent photographers so I knew the bar would be set high. Since seeing these photos she's been extremely supportive and has even recommended couples my way (thanks for the support & kindness Rita, you rock!). If you're planning an epic wedding or intimate event you definitely need to check out her elegant, lavish & perfectionist style.
Although we attended french school together over 10 years ago, we had lost touch a bit since going off to University and despite having met Charlie once before at a friend's dinner party, I really wanted to know more about how they met and fell in love. Turns out it started as a strong friendship, which gradually progressed far far beyond.
In Her Words:
Inspiration for the Shoot:
When asking her what makes them unique or what they love to do together she said:
I knew a really cool forest nearby which was accessible and provided us lots of space and privacy to shoot. Joker's Hill, one of my favorite places to walk Maple (my Rhodesian Ridgeback pup) has this amazing pine forest with rows and rows of trees which created a great setting for the first part of our shoot. In my head, I imagined bringing down the already dim available light and using off camera flash to really make things seem more intimate and enchanted.
The foundation and inspiration were set, my imagination was running wild, and that's where Julie really took it to a new level with props and details for the shoot.
With props, lighting, camera gear, food, wardrobe change, etc. in hand we hiked 5-7 mins in where we nestled into this grassy valley surrounded by thousands of pines perfectly lined up just as they were planted years & years ago.
While Julie and Jessica (my wonderful fiancee & occasional creative director/assistant) were setting up the picnic, I took Charlie to the side for some natural and flash lit portraits.
Remember I said these guys were photogenic?! The above looks more like a rugged GQ shoot than anything. Charlie is an awesome guy right through & although he had never been photographed professionally before was a complete natural!
I loved this setting so I called Julie over who was equally as natural in front of the lens.
Julie on Charlie's Epic Proposal:
Hats off to ESC-IT in Markham, ON for facilitating Charlie's request to organize this awesome surprise!
The picnic setup, the late day light peeking through the trees and their outfits all came together perfectly for some really intimate and stunning picnic shots.
Next it was onto enjoying the custom cookies Julie had created for the shoot which we all happily devoured.
Picnic done, it was time to change & move to the wild fields nearby for some natural late day light. While they were switching outfits, I took the opportunity to capture some macro shots of the the beautiful ring Charles gave to his beloved Jou Jou. It was so much fun using available light & details of our special shoot to showcase this gorgeous oval cut stone.
Off We Go:
Before getting to the field I couldn't help but notice the perfect leading lines of the tree rows so we played, the stump providing a perfect place for Julie to stand.
Then who could resist these late fall colours?
I knew the field pics were going to be special. My dear clients had now forgotten about the camera. We were using natural golden light without the need for camera stands and soft boxes, so I basically just captured them interacting naturally as they walked among sumac trees and tall grasses. Blankets & layers were key as temps were chilly!
As they often do in my shoots, piggy backs ensued. Waist high faded grasses provided a stunning backdrop and color palette to create some of my favorite images from the day.
All in all, we had a blast of an afternoon together.
A bientôt mes amis,