2017 : Year In Review | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Every year I’m completely overwhelmed (in a good way) when drafting this post. Not only because I get to look back on all the stories I got to tell in the past 12 months, but because I’m reminded again of how lucky I am to be able to capture these moments.

Last year I broke down how I go about choosing these images, and things definitely haven’t changed. [Check out last year’s post + my reasoning here.] The genuine moments between couples, family and friends top the list yet again, and there are a few of my favourite epic shots as well.

I’m so excited to share these faves with you today, and even more excited for all the stories that are still to be told. 2018 is going to be filled with so many new chapters that are waiting to be captured….if you think you might like some of yours documented, I’d love to hear from you.

So, here they are… the best moments of 2017.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Behind the Scenes : 2017 | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

It’s not often you get to see things other than how they look through my lens, but I just had to share a few frames from this past year from a totally different angle! It’s a funny little look at some of the things you don’t get to see on a wedding day!

 

You’re sure to find me behind the lens, pointing, directing, dress-fixing, being caught mid-sentence and all around loving life. You’ll see some of my wedding-day pals – and Alex who is my right hand woman (second shooter) and professional light + background tester!  

 

There’s a few frames mixed in from my speaking engagements this year as well as my first semester in front of a class – and I wrap things up with a few extras from my phone!

I’m promising to bring you along a few more places next year, but in the mean time…here’s a look back at some BTS of 2017!! A huge thanks to all my seconds this past year for helping me tell a bit of this story!!

 

p.s. If you want to follow along with the day to day – hop on over to Instagram!! 

...and a few extra iPhone snaps!! 

TOP 10 : All The Feels 2017 | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

One thing I noticed this past year was that I was getting more and more drawn to the images that made me feel something. Not just ones that brought a little smile, but ones that made me pause a little longer. I'm talking about those authentic moments that can pull you right into the image even if you don't know the people or the story behind why they are so special. Being so invested in my clients and their stories, I had such a hard time narrowing this down -- but I did my best to get it down to 10!!

One of next year's goals is to chase these moments, and I can't wait to share some more as they come. These were chosen because they don't need much more of an explanation, so I'll leave you here to check them out for yourself.

(I'd love to know which one you like the most - so definitely leave me a note below!!)

... and a few honourable mentions I just had to include :

Rosaline + David | Toronto Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

One of my favourite parts about getting to know my couples is finding out how they originally met…and it blows my mind when their paths seem so unlikely to have ever crossed. Rosaline grew up in France and David in Peru. They met in Toronto at Rosaline’s first day of work, which sounds like it could have only ever happened in a romantic comedy.

Fast forward through two and a half years and the sweetest proposal at Mount Tremblant, this duo is planning their March wedding and I’m so happy I get to tag along for all the fun.

If I can tell you one thing about this duo…it’s that they sure make Sunday morning sessions look easy. 

p.s. You'd never be able to tell, but it was pretty cold and Rosa + David were such troopers. When we starting strolling the beach we saw a whole group of people who were scuba diving (!!!!)...we agreed that things could have been worse for us. Haha! 

Liz + Justin | Oakville Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I’m currently sitting here wondering where I should begin this blog post. First off, if you need to be caught up on just how cool Liz + Justin are – go check out their engagement session that hit the blog earlier this year.

[ E-Sesh! ]

Ok, now that we’re all on the same page we can jump to when the three of us met up a couple weeks before the wedding (where else, but at their favourite coffee shop – Saint James). After reviewing their timeline for the last time, I almost insisted we swing back through downtown #HamOnt to use some of their hangout spots as backdrops for their wedding photos.  I mean, if you can’t make time to grab a coffee with your other half on your wedding day – what’s the point of it all?! Haha

After a beautiful ceremony and some family portraits, the whole crew drove into the Hammer to kick back, eat a bit of pizza, and stroll James St N. I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for these images and after hearing from Liz that these photos “are exactly who we are every day” – I knew we nailed it.

Once we arrived back at the Harbour Banquet Center and glanced around their perfectly executed travel themed reception, everyone was ready to party. The speeches were equal parts touching as they were hilarious, and the kissing game certainly kept the newlyweds on their toes.

It was an epic day for an epic couple and I can’t wait to keep in touch with these beauties. I’m still hanging on to hope for their vow renewal too ;)

 

Enjoy a few faves and check out Liz + Justin’s take on their time with me, below!!

From the Couple:

Personable: the first time we met Lauren we were stressed out because we were quickly realizing how much planning a wedding would actually cost. We prepared ourselves for another sales pitch from another vendor - we found the opposite when we walked into Lauren's studio. She was relaxed, she wasn't trying to sell us anything, she just genuinely wanted to meet us, get to know our story and see if we "jived". It is because of this feeling that we eventually ended up choosing Lauren. Photos are the one thing that you keep looking back on from this special day and to us they were the most important aspect of what we were spending our money on. Lauren felt like a close friend who really cared about our special day and that's why after meeting her we knew she would be our photographer. 

 

Professionalism: when you are planning a wedding there are a million things going on all at once and the last thing you need is another person you need to check in with, check up on or be worried about. Lauren's organizational skills impressed me right from the beginning. When she explained the process of how she books everything and takes care of every single detail herself, we were sold! It was one less thing we had to worry about. Her communication was on point, she always answered our questions quickly and we loved that every exchange of information was easily done online. 

 

Fave part of working with Lauren: Getting your picture taken, for most people, is very scary and awkward. What we loved about working with Lauren is that most of the time we didn't even feel like she was there. In both our Engagement shots and on the big day, Lauren managed to take amazing photos of us just being us. Nothing was posed or forced, it was all natural. I think that's what we loved so much, that when we look at the photos we actually see ourselves reflected in them and not something that is posed or forced. We also loved that we were relaxed and laughing from beginning to end. Even our wedding guests couldn't say enough about how much they liked that the photographer wasn't in the way. They have since also been in awe at our photos. 

I would recommend Lauren to anyone because there hasn't been a day since our wedding that we haven't looked at our photos in one way or another and been so glad we chose her. She is professional, personable and most of all passionate about her photography. 

 

VENDOR TEAM

Florist –  Gatto Flowers

Makeup – Fatima Lao

Transportation – White Shadow Limousine

Wedding/Event Planner – Fatima Lao

Catering/Venue – Harbour Banquet Center

Wedding Dress – Promises and Lace

Bride’s Shoes – Solee Shoes

Bridesmaids Dresses – Saratina

Suits – Charles and Hunt

Videographer – Qids

Cake – LaCakery

Second Photographer - Megan Muir

Meaghan + Jeff | Berkeley Church Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

As 2017’s wedding season is coming to a close, let’s jump back to where it kicked off.

 

Meaghan got ready at her parent’s house, where I walked in to find 7 lovely ladies sitting around the kitchen table – almost as if it was what they did every weekend. There was not a stressed out vibe in the room as they laughed, shared a few sips of their bevvies and watched one of their best friends get her final touch ups. The excitement carried through to everyone’s first looks of Meag in her dress as we packed up to go meet Jeff who would be waiting at the front of the aisle.

 

Berkeley Church hosted their perfect ceremony that brought lots of happy tears (that first look!!) and even a few laughs, with their nearest and dearest looking on. As soon as it was official, we snuck away to Osgoode Hall for some portraits with a backdrop that had a personal connection to the bride and groom. Not only did this entire group bear the freezing cold, but there was not one complaint and a serious team effort to rotate the coats when it wasn’t their turn in front of the camera. I’ll tell ya though, I realized there’s nothing like plummeting temperatures to keep everyone’s attention and get everything done hella fast.

 

Not only did this group have a ton of fun, but the boys had me laughing out loud behind the camera on more then one occasion – and it was amazing. Total #weddingpartygoals across the board.

 

We explored inside and grabbed a few epic frames for the newlyweds before heading back to the party that was eagerly awaiting their arrival. The delicious dinner was served, the incredible speeches followed and all of the fun was had once that dance floor opened.

 

Everything that went into Meaghan + Jeff’s big day made it a very high bar for all the ones that were to follow this year. Lucky for me, the trend continued. 

VENDORS:

 

Florist –  Joseph Flowers

Hair – CE Bridal Hair Artists

Makeup – Megan Vance

Transportation – Exotica Limousine Service

Invitations – Vista Print

Catering/Venue – 1871 Berkeley Church

Wedding Dress – Maggie Sottero

Bride’s Shoes – Le Chateau

Bride's Accessories - Family Heirlooms

Bridesmaids Dresses – Assorted Vendors

Suits – Your Suit

Cake – Yummy Stuff Bakery

Officiant – Maria Speyer

Second Photographer - Alex DelBello

DJ - Maximum Music DJ

Maria + Al | McMaster University Engagement Session | Moments –by Lauren

It’s always such a bummer turning clients away when I’m already booked for their wedding date. I really just want to tell ALL the stories haha. After being sent my way by a previous MBL couple, Maria + Al still wanted to book just an engagement session … and I was so happy they did!

After learning more about their history, I loved their idea of heading back to the campus where it all began. Mac is a great spot, and we got such a beautiful night to hang out and capture a bit of their story. Everything just came together perfectly.

Also, let’s take note of how much these two slayed the wardrobe department. Every time they swapped out their outfits, I tried to convince them to style every session of mine – or maybe just my wardrobe - from here on out.

Clothing choices aside, this duo certainly knew how to have some fun and jumped into total client trust mode from the very beginning! From their adorable laughs to the quieter moments in between, I think it’s safe to say it was a huge success. We dodged the Friday afternoon traffic on campus for most of the session, but my total fave was when I decided I should just keep shooting with a few little photo-bombers trying to get out of the way as quickly as possible. I’m all about keeping things real.

Just wait for it…

Zoe + Jay | Burlington Engagement Photographer | Moments –by Lauren

Man, oh man… get ready to be killed by these smiles.

A little bit of a backstory – I knew Jay in Highschool and I got to know his lovely bride to be when we sat down to chat all things wedding photography! Going into this session I knew it was going to be a good time but I think after the first set of frames it was basically a done deal. The camera loves these two. Jay is a total joker and in combination with Zoe’s laugh, these two are just infectious.

There was no shortage of some good old “lol’s” and these two were up for anything as we breezed through the park – which we basically had to ourselves (score!). Take a peek through a few frames and probably my favourite laugh sequence ever.

Liz + Mike | At Home Engagement Photographer | Moments –by Lauren

When I first heard from Liz + Mike, I remember thinking that the plans they had for their wedding day sounded pretty awesome (…their reception is being held at an art gallery)! We met, we hit it off, and they booked me in for their day (*happy dance*). When we got around to planning their engagement session and they suggested doing part of it “at home” and wanted to know my thoughts – I knew at that moment that these two were just doing things right. As I may have already mentioned, it’s totally been on my bucket list to shoot a fun and comfy at home session and I was SO pumped to check this off!

We cuddled up at their place before popping outside and strolling through the park across the street at sunset. The plan all along was to head back inside to cap off the session on their balcony and once you hit the last couple images you’ll see why.

Katie + Sam | Waterdown Engagement Photographer | Moments –by Lauren

The one thing I can (unfortunately) never control is the weather. Often times when scheduling sessions with clients we do it well in advance and have no idea what the forecast will be calling for that day – we just hope for the best! That brings us to Katie + Sam’s session, that we had to reschedule FOUR TIMES. Mother nature was not feeling their initial summer dates…at all.

I felt terrible, but we all had our heart set on going back to the same spot Sam proposed, at Smokey Hollow. Finally, we had some clouds in the forecast but no rain…so we were all set.

Katie + Sam were the sweetest duo ever. They hiked up and down the trails, over the rocks in the water, across a busy roadway and anything else that I asked - Katie in heels, no less.   [#troopers]

When we wrapped at our first location and headed to our second, the clouds definitely started to roll in and I figured we had enough great stuff in case it did start to rain. We quickly hopped back in the car after about 10 minutes on this secluded road, off to where I wanted to finish the session. I drove for probably about 15 seconds in the opposite direction my camera had been pointed and immediately pulled over, now seeing the massive double rainbow that was right behind me. I’m sure the confusion of this abrupt stop only added to all my crazy requests from the last hour – but Katie + Sam were just as excited as I was.

No only did we get the rainbow, but we also got the sun to peak through in our wrap spot. Some things are just worth waiting for I guess.