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.
Weddings at the Hart House in Toronto are always a delight to capture. I am so taken with this historic venue’s stunning, charming architecture, the unlimited creative possibilities, the light coming through magnificent, stained glass windows.
A place of great elegance and a photographer’s dream.
Needless to say I am thrilled for every chance I have to go back to this true downtown Toronto landmark and see what else is there to discover, what new corner I have left unexplored. Every single experience is unique.
I was, therefore, very happy to learn that Madeleine and Dagomar chose this location for their celebrations. Everything took place under one roof, which made for a very relaxed day. The weather has also been impeccable.
One more time, I was taken with the talent of the Hart House’s wedding organizing team. I also have to mention the creative kitchen staff and the in house chef, who always surprise me with their culinary art. Beautiful!
M+D: may this perfect day be just the beginning of many more joyous ones spent together. Congratulations and it will be my pleasure to see you again in the future to create more family memories! Yours, Manuela.
Lisa and Jeremy are to be married beginning of September…coming soon! They love High Park…I do, too…very much so…and I see it with fresh eyes each time.
A month ago we met there and spent a lovely couple of hours walking around, enjoying the warm afternoon light, strolling on lovely alleys above which old trees have formed natural, thick arches…a lovely creative warmup preceding this lovely couple’s nuptials during which I am confident I will have an equally fantastic time!
L+J: see you very soon! Yours truly.
Here is a glimpse into a lovely engagement photo shoot I had the pleasure to experience with a fun couple: Irina and George, to be married this fall.
We lucked out on the weather that evening, the light was perfect: warm and rich, making all colours pop. We walked around the St Lawrence Market area and had a lot of fun stopping here and there, making use of some fabulous backdrops.
I&G, I look forward to seeing you again and spending more time together in your big day! Hugs, Manuela
As a photographer, I have the privilege to capture beautiful life stories. Many times my wedding clients call me to let me know that they are expecting their first child. It is fantastic to see families grow and have the opportunity to create visual journals for them to enjoy for a lifetime.
Mona and Emon had a fabulous destination wedding 3 years ago. After having spent a week with them in Punta Cana, our connection has developed and we have remained in touch. It was with great joy to find out that they had a beautiful baby girl they named Lyla.
I recently met Mona so we could catch up with each other’s lives while sipping cold drinks on a patio. Baby Lyla was a delight to have with us: happy, playful, all smiles! She even attempted to do a little Persian dance for me, under her mommy’s choreographic supervision.
I will let these images speak for themselves. I look forward to seeing Lyla again soon and capture some more memories for her and her lovely family.