Not only she bred the Havanese, but she had stunning Bernese mountain dogs and even three Gypsy Vanner horses on her property!
Needless to say, my trip up and our visit a while back were a true delight! I had the pleasure to hang out with Pieternella’s animals, learn about her amazing work, while getting to know her as a person. It was simply rejuvenating and inspiring to meet a wonderful, passionate, dedicated and humble human being who loves her furry friends from the bottom of her heart.
And their connection made many of the images below.
After having bred a few golden retrievers, Pieternella’s daughter introduced her to the wonderful Bernese mountain dogs about 15 years ago. Pieternella fell in love with them and decided to focus on this breed. Bernese dogs are prone to many health issues. Passionate and knowledgeable, Pieternella had searched worldwide for lines to help reduce some of the problems and to achieve a look closest to the original: strong, stocky, thick boned. So she went all the way to Europe!
It is not a big surprise to see Pieternella today surrounded by all her animals. Encouraged by her daughter and following her own inquisitive spirit, Pieternella decided to try breeding Gypsy Vanner horses. After a trip to Europe, where she had attended specialized fairs and learned about the gypsies and their horses, she brought back three beautiful ones who have been with her for the past eight years: Jella, the stunning stallion and two beautiful, kind and gentle mares: Dream and Shireen. Even though they are not bred any longer, these three hang out happily and freely in the pasture, enjoying their lives.
Back to Toronto’s majestic Hart House, this time for Anita and John’s wedding. What a delight!
They celebrated with a lovely luncheon and, as I expected, they could not stop laughing throughout their day. They even giggled during their ceremony, which was so much fun to see! Their exuberance said it all: deeply in love with each other, they could not wait to share their joy with the people dearest to both of them. At the end, we accompanied them along the Philosopher’s Walk, leading to the Intercontinental Hotel, where the newly weds got to relax, and enjoy the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in their lives.
Anita & John, may your joy remain intact for years to come, have fun together and just keep on loving life! Manuela & Co
Photographing expecting women is truly very special and humbling. There is a particular energy around a first time mother, a sense of initiation into the realm of a different kind of love. The body is wrapped in so much mystery, anticipation, excitement, emotion.
Even though I did not have the pleasure to meet her until the shoot, Sherry is no stranger. I have photographed her husband’s brother’s wedding and growing family and was very pleased when she contacted me. We connected easily while sharing such an amazing moment in time. Due very soon, she looked gorgeous and glowing.
Sherry and Richard, I look forward to meeting your baby girl, big congratulations and all the very best!
Meeting Annie was truly serendipitous. We had a very good initial connection and later she introduced me to her husband to be, Doug, so we can all have a chat about their day. I simply loved their energy together, I felt as if I was talking to friends I have not seen in a while. Their decision to work with me on their day brought joy to my heart, given their event very much appealed on many levels. The couple had planned for a beautiful, elegant and low key wedding luncheon downtown Toronto, one of my most favorite areas for weddings.
Their choice of the Park Hyatt as a venue was brilliant on all levels, convenience included, as the couple had to only cross the street after their church ceremony.
I really enjoyed being there and recall walking home feeling light, cheerful and energized by a group of people with so much zest for life, good humour and a good party in good company.
Annie + Doug: wishing you all the very best, I hope you will enjoy some fantastic laughs for years to come!
Big Congratulations to a lovely couple: Mitra and Bilal, having brought two very rich cultures together during their rich celebrations.
They got married on a cold, rainy Sunday in May but that truly did not matter. Their smiley faces in the photos below stand as proof for the great time these two have shared with everyone around.
Umbrellas out, jackets in between shots, we made it work. Mitra was such a trooper, it surely was not easy to face the weather adversities in that lovely gown, yet one can’t really tell the cold was slowly getting to her. What a day!
M+B: wishing you only joy and many wonderful moments shared from now until the end of time! Hugs, M.
Anita and John are to be married this coming July at the picturesque Hart House in Toronto. When I first met them I was really taken with their vibrant, fun, upbeat energy and warmth. We connected extremely well so I can only be very excited to be a part of their celebrations.
John’s father lives close to the Humber Bay bridge, an area very dear to him and Anita, as they love to walk by the water and enjoy the fantastic cityscape views. We tried to incorporate some of these elements into their engagement photos.
The session was a lot of fun and I truly felt I have spent a great couple of hours with friends.
Look forward to their wedding! M
April 25th was not just any other day: beautiful Jenia celebrated her union in marriage to her beloved BJ and…her Birthday! How lovely is that?
Surrounded by family members and close friends, they both seemed to enjoy every second of their precious day.
There was music, laughter, fabulous company, fantastic food (provided by the same talented team at the Hart House in Toronto). A spectacular venue, always offering the very best, plus an absolute joy to capture on camera.
Regardless of how many times I go back, I am always in awe when I look around, while new layers of architectural beauty unravel before my eyes. There is so much character to this historical place that it truly is impossible for the artistic imagination to be still…always a great choice!
Jenia + BJ: may this perfect double celebration be the start of a long row of occasions for shared happiness. It was a real pleasure to be there with you on such a memorable day! Wishing you the best in your new life!
Yours, Manuela & Co.
I first met Holly almost 5 years ago, while photographing her brother’s gorgeous farm wedding outside of Toronto.
With great joy and enthusiasm, I learned that she was planning a destination wedding in Jamaica and she chose to have me capture her preparations, culminating with the big day.
As far as I am concerned, this was a double bill: I was going to see some of my most favorite clients and their families again and, I was going to revisit an island so very dear to me. One combination that filled my heart with joy.
The week we have spent at the Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica was filled with capricious weather: we had seen a lot of rain during the first few days to the point where the wedding planning team came up with a ‘Plan B’ for a ceremony in a covered area. Quite different from the original beach arrangements.
Of course one needs to adjust and accept what is in the moment…but I have to say, I would have been disappointed, and I am sure I would have not been alone.
But…there was no need for such feelings to be experienced, as the skies magically opened on the 4th day and the sun shone beautifully. My heart skipped a few beats that morning and I am certain, everybody else in the party must have been thrilled!
Holly and Robby received the most magical gift: the opportunity to live their dream of a wedding day spent entirely on the beach. They danced the night away on the sand and their joy was truly contagious!
I hope the images below were able to capture some of the fantastic energy surrounding an amazing group of people.
H+R: may your new life together be all about sunshine, joy and much love! Yours, Manuela
Winter weddings can be a lot of fun, especially when the temperature is forgiving and of course, when there is snow to add some life to the grey landscape.
Sakura and Henry married at the beginning of March at the Old Mill in Ancaster, just a couple of days after some of the lowest temperatures this year.
Luck? Possibly so, but I am sure it also had something to do with who these two are: fun, kind, generous, laid back. So, the Gods decided to ‘order’ a mild, beautiful day to match their lovely spirits. And the party could have not been better!
Glowing in her mother’s wedding dress, Sakura was a charm to photograph. Together with her new handsome and smartly dressed husband, they were very easy on the lens, with their personalities shining through in each and every image. Fun times!
S+K: wishing you only the very best in your married life, do not let your beautiful smiles ever leave your faces Sincerely, Manuela
Alice came to Toronto to study English. Originally from Brazil, this beautiful young woman will be here for a few more months.
She has played cello since childhood and she wanted to incorporate this part of herself into the photos, while using the wintery landscape as backdrop (something she does not experience back home).
Meeting Alice and working together was a true delight on all levels. We went on a little adventure together and, in spite of the cold, we both enjoyed it thoroughly. The sun surely helped!
Alice, I hope these photos will always make you remember Toronto and bring a smile on your gorgeous face! Hugs, M.