It is always good to go for things that are a bit different. Jenia and BJ are to marry this coming spring (I still can’t believe I am saying this already, time seems to race with us lately..). They love winter and sports in the snow. With great excitement, Jenia connected with me last month letting me know about some serious amount of snow coming our way. As we could not wait for it to settle, we decided to go out and play while the snow flakes were dancing their way down. Lovely if there is no camera to worry about. Well, that’s when a weather proof cover comes handy, except shooting through is not an easy task. It fogs up constantly which is slightly limiting. And a bit frustrating, when there is so much beauty around that needs to be captured with no obstacles. Yet, the way to do it, unless someone offers to carry a huge umbrella and follow one around, anticipating all the sudden moves.
Well, I have to say, it all paid off in the end, as the photo collection we produced has a beautiful, ethereal, dreamy feel. Wouldn’t you say?
Jenia & BJ: I look forward to seeing you again on your big day. Until then, enjoy your winter! Best, Manuela.
I love winter weddings, there is a lot of charm and a certain festive feel to them. I was, therefore, super excited to return to the very unique Queen’s Landing hotel in Niagara on the Lake. They always do such a fantastic job with their winter decorations. Photographing a wedding there during the Holidays is true creative bliss!
I met lovely Kristina and Alfonso for the first time right on their wedding day this December. Months ago, they connected with me all the way from London UK and decided to have me capture their celebrations. While driving towards Niagara that day, I recall wondering how this couple was going to be in person. I already had a very good vibe from our email exchange, but…one never knows. Well, I have to say, I could have not asked for better energy to finish this working year with: there is so much fun around these two and their families, they were cracking each other up constantly, even during the ceremony. Somehow, they managed to find an officiant who was brilliant and so very humorous. Jokingly, I asked them if they did a Google search for “corky man” and they said Yes! Well…you can imagine how their party was!
I trust the image selection below will give a decent sense for this couple’s wonderful time.
Kristina and Alfonso: may you laugh away through your life together. Hope you keep on traveling and enjoying each second of everything you will share from now on. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Sincerely, Manuela.
Once in a while our boundaries are stretched. When this happens creatively, an artist could not wish for more. When Kristina contacted me for a special dance shoot, I did not really know what shape and form this experience was going to take. After our first chat, I started getting visions…of nature…snow…and ultimately, horses (hmmm…are you surprised???).
Kristina seemed really taken with the idea and, whatever seemed a bit impossible a few weeks ago, came to life one beautiful snowy day.
One thing led to another and I was impeccably guided to the right place: the fabulous Whinny Acres. Debbie, the owner, generously offered the property and horses to us and we just played…and played…until Kristina could not feel her feet anymore. Luckily, we had a little warm hut to go in and out of, so my model could graciously stand in front of the camera for a few minutes each time. Well…needless to say it was all worthwhile. We drove back home talking about every second of our adventure while being amazed and grateful for how it has unfolded for us. A serendipitous creative journey!
Kristina: may these photographs bring smiles on your face every time you look at them.
Debbie @ Whinny Acres: thank you…and hope to visit again soon!
Merry Christmas!!! Yours, Manuela.
Holly has been a rider for a long time. Sadly, a couple of years ago she was involved in a bad accident followed by months of intense rehabilitation. What I admire about this brave girl is her willingness to go back to being around horses. That takes trust and an inner knowing that, whatever happened previously had absolutely nothing to do with the horse she was training being bad…but just an unfortunate chain of events leading to an undesirable outcome.
Good news is that she is now riding again. And enjoying it so much that she managed to persuade her fiance, Robby, to do a photo shoot with horses. I was really impressed with how well he has done that day. Riding a horse is not an easy pursuit. One needs to remain centered, have their emotions in check. These animals sense everything that happens inside the person who is around them, not to mention astride. It was Robby’s very first time and he has handled it beautifully.
The couple brought their two lovely pups that day as well and I could have not been happier, surrounded by animals and nature. Hope the images below give you a sense of how much fun we had that nice November day!
Holly and Robby: can’t wait for our Jamaican adventure together next spring! Yours, Manuela.
Passionate people change the world. Their strong love for what they do has a ripple effect and we all get to feel and benefit from it, one way or another.
I recently had the pleasure to meet a woman whose tremendous energy and drive have inspired me to share her story with the world.
An amazing path
Koryn’s transition from PR to entrepreneur/ business owner of Urban Dog Walks was years in the making and something she has always wanted to do.
Looking back at her successful career in Publicity, Koryn can cleary identify that one moment when a new desire started to take shape and slowly take over her heart. It was when Georgia, her lovely furry companion, came into her life. A very bad day at work, coupled with Koryn’s dissatisfaction with a dog walking service triggered a defining realization. She simply walked into her boss’s office, handed over her letter of resignation, went home and registered Urban Dog Walks. She immediately called her good friend Stephanie Vovesand, owner of ABSV Designs, and the website went up and in almost no time at all. Koryn found herself happily in business.
“It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself as an Independent Career Oriented Passionate Young Woman.”
Koryn’s dog Georgia: the catalyst behind Urban Dog Walks
“My sweet Georgia…I knew she would change my life, and change my life she forever did..”.
It is with great difficulty and tremendous heartache that people move on following a pet’s passing. It took Koryn over two years to heal after losing her previous dog, Mardie. But when she felt ready to embark on a new, loving adventure, an intense search for a rescue dog began:
“The thing is, when you get a rescue dog, they pick you, you don’t get to pick them. I was looking for that connection, that click, that thing that makes you say, you are mine and coming home with me to your new forever home.”
During an online search via Pet finder, Koryn stumbled upon a picture of (then named) Ruby Tuesday (now Georgia Peach) and she just knew she had to meet this dog.
Previously abused, Georgia had lost trust in humans and she could barely get leashed. Not even able to take a couple of steps with this dog, Koryn decided to simply sit with her.
That is when the magic happened and, two hours later, Georgia stood up and sat directly in front of Koryn. They have been together ever since.
It is also interesting to mention that Georgia is originally from…Georgia, US! (detail discovered by Koryn only after she picked her new dog’s name).
A sometimes challenging, yet constantly rewarding line of work
“Every day that I get to wake up and do my job is a reward in and of itself.”
As a horse and dog lover myself, I can tell a good connection between people and animals when I see it. And Koryn surely has a magic touch.
Dogs simply adore her as she spreads her loving energy around them.
Are there challenges for Koryn? She mentiones a few:
– Winters can be difficult
– A house has literally exploded while on the job
– Some days are intense and simply exhausting to the point where, once back home, Koryn has no choice but go straight to bed.
What inspires Koryn?
“My family and friends are a constant source of inspiration and support. My clients are all kind hearted people whose support and dedication to Urban Dog Walks has been unprecedented.
The dogs are all endless sources of inspiration. I am sometimes in awe of them and how lucky I am.”
Koryn’s vision of her future: growth and expansion. What’s next?
UDW services currently include: Boarding, Day Care, Group Walks, Individual Walks, Puppy Visits & Training and Behaviour Modification. While continuing on offering them, the company is also in the market for an Urban Dog Walks store.
There are a few exciting media/TV options in the works and there has been talk of franchising the business to the market.
“Personally, I would like to get into the Dog Therapy trade. We will always be expanding & evolving… Our immediate goal is to get to 100 dogs and see what happens next!”
Irina and George were married this month during a candle lit ceremony at the Doctor’s House in Kleinburg. Warm and charming. They decided to see each other prior and orchestrated a romantic meeting in the same small chapel.
They were joined by the fun wedding party and together, we explored the lovely grounds. Hope the images below give you a good sense of how well put together, minutely thought through and elegant this celebration was.
Irina & George: congratulations to you, may you live only joyous moments together and thank you for having made us a big part of your day! Sincerely, Manuela & Co.
Sakura and Henry are to marry next spring. They could not have picked a nicer contrast for their photo story. Fall colours are always such a spectacular backdrop. The light is also more forgiving and softer than earlier on. We truly lucked out last week as the leaves were so bright, plus we were able to play in the park right before the drizzle began.
The lovely couple’s dogs, Hachi and Zeb, were fantastic to watch and capture on camera. Their favorite activity: jumping in and out of the creek. Good thing they left this at the very end, as their otherwise beautiful, shiny black coats ended up wet and even slightly muddy.
Even though Sakura and Henry knew they would have to go home and give these two another bath, the joy in their eyes while watching their pups have fun showed that they would be really happy to oblige. The dogs are really loved and they know it…and it reflects in how well behaved they are.
Sakura and Henry, enjoy these lovely images until we see you again next year! Best, Manuela
There are so many things that I absolutely loved about Lisa and Jeremy’s wedding…I do not even know which one to mention first. I recall the great feeling I had while walking back home that warm September night (yes, isn’t that great!) and not being able to identify the slightest sign of fatigue after having worked all day. Because it did not feel like that. Contrary, all moments have unfolded in a light, almost refreshing manner, as they should. Looking back, I know it was all in the energy surrounding this amazing couple.
They could not have chosen a better setting for their day. The urban atmosphere was the best fit for their style and personalities. Their wedding was intimate, shared with family members and very close friends. The ceremony & reception location was absolutely splendid: Yorkville’s Sassafraz, a delightful venue I love returning to. This gem amazes me with its simple elegance and the professionalism of a warm, welcoming and dedicated event organizing team.
I hope the images below give you a taste of a fabulous day spent with two of the loveliest people to be around.
Lisa & Jeremy, I am wishing you all the very best in your new life! Sincerely, Manuela
People are destined to meet each other for sure…and some stories stand out. It is Sura and Saif’s case. Originally from Iraq, she lives in Toronto and he lives in London UK. For now.
A couple of years ago, they both went to NYC for different reasons. And crossed paths. And then parted ways again. But kept in touch as friends for a while…until the conversations became more serious. And Saif hopped on a plane to visit Sura in Toronto. It all unfolded beautifully from there.
This past August he decided to visit again with a new intention: to propose! So here they are at the lovely Scarborough Bluffs. Saif meticulously arranged everything and surprised his lovely lady on all levels. It was fabulous to share their precious experience!
Sura and Saifd, thank you for making me a part of such an important moment in your lives. All the best to both of you! Sincerely, Manuela.
I love creating unique, playful visual records of family life. I adore capturing children’s innocence. Letting them be, so their beautiful souls can reveal themselves effortlessly. What a joy to be around them!
Elina is a wonderful 2 yrs old little girl. I loved spending time with her, following her around, watching her play. At the end, I felt rejuvenated. Not to mention how amazing it was to get a big hug from her…a gesture that warmed me up inside and reminded me of how fortunate I am for the chance of telling such lovely stories.
Many thanks to Elina’s parents Deepeka and Karna for allowing me to be around their gorgeous, young family.
They are expecting, so I am sure little Elina will have a lot of fun with her new sibling in just a few months.
E&D&K: hope to see you again soon! Best, Manuela.