Engagement photo journals: more of Toronto’s Harbourfront

I said this before: each spot in Toronto has its unique character and it does not matter how many times one goes back to certain areas, there is always more to find and explore. This is the case with Toronto’s colourful Harbourfront. On each occasion I return there I discover more angles and I find the personality of the couple I photograph always inspires me differently.
Lisa and Mike are a lot of fun. From day 1 I was fascinated with their backgrounds: a lovely mix of European/ Asian on both sides which gives them such beautiful features. They are lovely, playful, easy going, relaxed and I very much look forward to attending their nuptials at the end of August.
Until then, enjoy this record of a spontaneity filled evening we have recently spent together. More to come! M

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Toronto engagement journals: fun and colour at Toronto Island

I have lots to catch up on as I have been quite absent from the blogging scene and not only…but for good and exciting reasons, as I have traveled to Europe and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Taking photos but also spending time with family and some of my fantastic friends.
So here I am, all refreshed and energized now that the wedding season begins at full speed…

Back in May, Lindsay, Jeff and I decided to go to Toronto’s Wards island for some summery engagement photos. That day, the lines at the ticket booths were atrocious…so we missed the boat going to Wards. We decided to catch the first one for Centre Island and then walk over. We even said this may happen for a reason…and it surely did. While on the ferry we chatted about some wedding details and that’s when I found out Lindsay and Jeff’s theme will be ‘peacock’…how intriguing! Right away I tried to remember if I had any peacock images in my collection…I recalled having taken some in Nova Scotia, but the bird was behind a fence and I did not quite like that…
Anyways, our stop over on Centre Island proved to be much more fun and surprise filled than we could have expected. We found so many colourful spots, nice little forests, red barns…and just when we least expected, a beautiful peacock with tail fully spread! What a delight to watch and photograph! How exciting to witness such magic happen in front of our eyes and right away I knew we got the cover shot for the guest signing book! Very ‘coincidental’! Well, we know there is no such thing. And this little story is the best proof for it.

Lindsay and Jeff, I hope your wedding day and your life together following it will be filled with lots of such moments when time literally stops and magic takes over.
Our little island adventure was quite memorable, enjoy this vibrant record of it!
Hugs, Manuela

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Engagement photo journals: Osgoode Hall Toronto

Tiffany and Chris were born and raised on Toronto and have a deep appreciation for their city and its history. After finishing school, Chris started to work for the Ontario Court of Appeal located in the historical Osgoode Hall. He was therefore very excited about the possibility of taking some photos inside this stunning building. After getting a special permission we all went inside on a quiet Saturday afternoon and I was simply amazed! This beautiful structure reminded me of many museums I have seen in Europe with unique architectural elements. The heritage courtrooms are from the late 1800s. My eye was particularly drawn by the superb stained glass work, mosaic floors and impressive columns. What a place to be!
We also stepped outside in the gardens for a bit and, in spite of the rain, we still managed to enjoy the fresh spring colours around which are always very welcome in photos!
Tiffany and Chris, enjoy these images and I look forward to seeing you in August for more creative fun! Manuela

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Engagement photo journals: Japanese cherry blossoms

I can’t believe how fast time goes by…if feels like yesterday that I attended Anita and Richard’s engagement party at the fabulous Avani Restaurant…I recall how super cold and snowy that February day was. And here we are now, surrounded by blossoms, with everything around coming back to life (finally!!) in an explosion of colours! Anita and I have been keeping an eager eye on the Japanese cherry trees of High Park and they have been so slow this year…but finally made it! We lucked out with the weather as we found such a nice window in between gloomy and cool days. Going through the images we shot has brought a smile on my face as everything looks almost fairy tale-ish at times. I loved Anita’s summer dress blowing in the soft wind and making it all look so dreamy and romantic!
Anita and Richard share great energy when they are together. We have had a strong connection from our first consultation and I feel grateful to know them.
I very much look forward to their summer wedding celebrations which will be filled with even more colours, textures and oh yes…the lovely Indian flavours I am so hooked to! :)

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An Indian flavored engagement party at the Avani Restaurant

Anita and Richard pleasantly surprised me when they mentioned the chosen location for their engagement party. I have previously photographed the savory dishes at the fantastic Avani Restaurant Bistro while sampling some of their mouth watering food. The chefs there are true artists and have a high ability to mix flavors with delightful results. Their menu is a creative blend of South Asian tastes.
I highly recommend the culinary experience!
Being there one more time for this lovely couple felt like coming back to see friends.
There was a small ceremony for Anita and Richard with welcoming gifts from family members on both sides.
More colourful celebrations to come this summer. I very much look forward to partaking and capturing while surely having lots of fun!

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Engagement photo journals: Churchill Park in winter

I will start this blog in a slightly different manner today: it is my mother’s birthday, my father’s was yesterday. Coincidentally, whenever they come to visit me here in Toronto, they love chilling in Churchill Park. So I dedicate this blog to them with deep gratitude for their constant support and encouragement.

I somehow keep on going back to shoot in this park I truly love. Jennifer grew up in the area and was very familiar with this spot. Therefore, she was very excited about taking some nice winter engagement photos there. Lovely! We truly lucked out that day in February, as the temperatures were quite mild making for the snow to melt all over the city. But Churchill Park still had plenty. The ‘milky’ type of atmosphere generously offered the most desirable kind of light: even, muted, so easy to shoot in.
Jenn and Chris are so very easy going, playful, simply enjoying each other, therefore a breeze to capture.
Their wedding is quickly coming up this April, so I look forward to spending some more time with them as I surely will enjoy myself.

Dear Jennifer and Chris, I shall see you very soon! Hug, Manuela.

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Fun engagement photo shoot in Collingwood

Because of all my recent travels I am a little bit behind with my blogging, but I am working on getting up to date :)
This past Saturday I photographed Cayley and Ian’s wonderful wedding. I will write about this later.
When we first started discussing their wedding package, Ian suggested we took their engagement photos up in Collingwood where his parents own a gorgeous cottage. So off we went on a very cold November day. The drive up was simply magic! (in a few days I will share some of the images I took on the occasion).
Even though Cayley and Ian almost froze in the end, we had so much fun together and took full advantage of the light and the unique decor.
The photos we took that day ended up in a beautiful guest signing book at their wedding reception which marveled many of their guests.

Will be back with more on this beautiful couple’s union journey. M

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Engagement photo journals: back at Toronto Brickworks

I first met Reyhaneh and Will a few years ago while photographing Will’s beautiful sister’s wedding. Little did I know what this would lead to. I have to say I was super excited when Will contacted me to let me know about their decision to get married down South and asking me to be a creative part of it. Again, little did I know…Only a few short days before our departure to Los Cabos we met to take some fun engagement shots. I do not think I have seen a more excited and playful girl! I was literally not even finishing a sentence suggesting them what to do next that Reyhaneh, with a huge, infectious smile on her face, would already climb a pile of bricks or place herself appropriately against a fun backdrop. I was so taken by her playfulness and willingness to simply enjoy the experience that I knew what was waiting for me just a few days down the road. Well, that is another story I will have to reveal sometime soon, so stay tuned.

All I can say for now is that words cannot describe how I feel when I recall our adventures, thank you for becoming such fantastic friends. Love, Manuela

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More engagement photo fun at Churchill Park!

I know I said this before, but I love Churchill Park. It is my oasis 10 minutes away from where I live. I take walks there to clear my head and simply take in the smell of leaves and the fantastic views over downtown Toronto. I walked there a few days ago and, to my disappointment, all the graffiti was gone! Therefore, Mona & Emon were the last to get some cool vibrant engagement photos against it. That day was quite something! It started with light rain and then, all of a sudden, the clouds broke into white puffy patches just to make room for an amazing blue sky. The sun started to shine, the light became beautiful and warm, we had a blast! Even more exciting, Mona and Emon decided to get married down South. I can’t wait to join them in Punta Cana in January! M

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Engagement photo journals: playing around Union Station

Kathryn & Duncan are getting married this weekend, I can’t believe how fast time goes by. They wanted to get an urban feel for their engagement photos, so I figured Union Station may be a great starting point for something like this. I thought of how beautifully the light falls in between the tall columns, while also keeping the nearby buildings in mind. But again, I was surprised with the little finds along the way. As we were moving around I noticed mirrors and shiny marble surfaces that sparked the imagination and playfulness. Guys, thank you for being so great, spontaneous and relaxed, I am sure your wedding day will simply be fantastic and fun filled! See you in a bit! Hug, Manuela

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