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.

Lujain + Bryan | Brantford Airport Engagement Photography | Moments -by Lauren

I love it when my couples are up for something different. Lujain, Bryan and I ran through a few options when we started chatting about their engagement session and we found something a little outside the box that all three of us were pretty pumped about.

It’s not every day you get to take over a runway, and the Airport in Brantford certainly didn’t disappoint… we truly had our run of the place. Lets put this killer backdrop aside for a second though, and discuss how Lujain + Bryan completely stole the show. I seriously couldn’t get enough of how much fun they have together, how much they can kick back and how they can bring out those smiles in each other.

“What smiles?” you may ask. Take a peek at some of my favourite frames… That second shot was literally the 7th shutter click of the session. (…come on, right?!)

They’re getting hitched this Sunday and I have a sneaking suspicion those smiles might make another appearance.

Brittany + Devin | Mount Pleasant Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

One year later.

A few favourites of Brittany, Devin and their adorable smiles. 

VENDORS

Florist - Brantford Blooms

Hair - Hair by Drea

Makeup - Cailey Brammer

Decor - Special Events Rentals / Classic Party Rentals

Catering - Mercasa Catering

Dress - Michelle my Belle Bridal

Shoes - Modcloth

Suit - Moores

Groom's Shoes - Allen Edmonds

Officiant - Susan Zakamarko

Pittsburg | Hamilton Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I've been meaning to share a few favourite frames from my day in Pittsburg last month, and tonight seemed like the perfect time to do it! 

This impromptu getaway came when one of my best and longtime friends was home on a visit. We figured instead of hanging around the Hammer, we'd road trip to see her Dad down in Pittsburg. We jumped in the car with her Mom, spent the whole mid-week getaway catching up and laughing a bit too much. The only full day we had in the city, we definitely spent exploring...and it's documented below.

So random. So fun.   

The Spencer Family | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

What comes to your mind when you think of the perfect family session? 

As you’re envisioning it, I’ll tell you what comes to mine…

 

To start off, it’s a session that takes place in a spot which the family feels totally at home…a place that is just “them” and one that they’ll look back on with fond memories of during that point in their life. That same session feels like I’m just tagging along with the family as an extra member (who happens to have her camera with her). It’s one that’s filled with belly laughs, natural silliness and genuine love with every member at any age.

The most important thing that ties the perfect family session together though? It’s not the coordinated wardrobe, or the perfect glowy light (although those things are nice too)… It’s the images that can tell even a stranger what that family is all about. Personalities, stories and emotions jumping out of an image are things that just make me so happy. I also like to hope it’s the exact thing my clients love too, especially when they look back at images years after they were taken.

The session below has all of these things, so it’s one I totally had to share. It speaks to what the Spencer Family would be found doing on any random night together…and that is also what makes it so special. They walked down a path for about 45 minutes, and I helped take care of the rest. It’s them, and it’s awesome.

Check out the family’s take on the session after a few of my faves!

 

"Lauren has an amazing ability to make a photo shoot an evening of fun. She’s super relaxed, goes with the flow of our kids and captures their own personalities in every shot. Lauren made the evening perfect – nothing was forced, the time flew by and we all had a blast. Endless thanks to Lauren for everything!" - Steph + Geoff

"I loved the telephone game, it was so silly, I almost peed my pants." - Kate, 6

 

If this looks like a way you'd like to document your family's current chapter, I'd love to hear from you to plan your custom session. 

Mariah + Cory | Hamilton Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

This blog post is long overdue…but also comes officially two weeks before Mariah + Cory get hitched! (cue the excitement!)

I didn’t know this duo before they came to meet me on their hunt for a wedding photographer, but man have we hit it off since then. They are so easy to talk to, to laugh along with and of course, to have in front of the lens as you’ll see in a minute.  Back in May, the three of us (and their adorable pup, Paisley) hit up the waterfront trail to grab a few frames in a spot they often go for walks. Paisley was SO excited to be in front of the camera that she quickly got her fill in before we moved up to Albion Falls for a little variety.

After hanging out by the waterfall for a bit, Cory told me how the session was “actually a lot of fun” right before we wrapped. Coming from a Groom, it’s the exact way to become my instant favourite, haha. All kidding aside, I’m so excited to join their big day in a couple of weeks, and might even force them to hang out with me in the future too. They are definitely one of those couples you just want to grab a beer with.

14 more days!  

Jaime + Travis | Cleveland's House - Muskoka Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Every time I think back to Jaime + Travis’ big day, I remember the feeling that the entire day just felt like being at home. Even a full year later, it still makes me swoon reminiscing about all the love that surrounded them all day.

 

Both Jaime + Trav got ready at Jaime’s family cottage in Muskoka, separated by only one flight of stairs before making their way to the dock for their first glimpses at each other. Typically my couples request that this moment is more of a private one, but this duo definitely wanted the rest of their crew right next to them looking on, and sharing it with them.  From there, I don’t think the smiles stopped for the rest of the day.

 

We spent some time hanging out at the cottage, adding to the list of memories that this group had seen there over the years. We headed to their gorgeous outdoor ceremony at Cleveland’s House, cocktail hour on the deck and then an epic set of speeches, tributes, and laughs that brought us into the evening. Of course, we popped out to the dock for a few final portraits before their first dance as husband and wife.

 

This cottage wedding brought together Jaime + Travis’ favourite people and it seemed like everyone under that roof had such a bond that it was just infectious. And one thing’s for sure, these people knew how to party. 

VENDOR TEAM

 

Florist – Sharon Skiperis

Hair – Brittany Buchanan

Makeup – Brittany Buchanan

Catering/Venue – Cleveland’s House

Wedding Dress – Becker's Bridal

Videographer – Ripeful Heart

Cake – Kayla Standen

Officiant – Maryanne Beaudin

Second Photographer - Megan Muir

5 Years - 5 Moments | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Today marks a pretty exciting milestone for me! It was 5 years ago today that I completely changed paths, went back to school and officially began this journey behind the camera. 2 years of school and then 3 more full time here at MBL have brought some pretty incredible moments… ones that still make me feel so lucky to call this a career.

 

Instead of gushing about my amazing support system, my incredible clients and all the people that have helped me along the way (…you are all the BEST, by the way), I wanted to share something a little different!  I tried to think of some things that I’ve been a part of over the last 5 years that have truly stood out as some of my favourite moments. A little bit of the magic I get to experience - whether it is on camera or not – have been tough to narrow down for you here:

 

1.    The “Photo”

Two summer’s ago in Kelowna, Alanna + Matt were saying their speech and they reached the part where they began thanking people as couples often do. Alanna + I lived together at University, and I of course had known Matt pretty well too… so I got a touching shout out from them which made me grin ear to ear. I wasn’t shooting away at that point, but just took the moment to be the friend instead of the photographer. As I was turning my eyes back to my camera, the Best Man (Devan) caught my attention. He was holding up his hands in the shape of a camera, and hit the imaginary shutter to capture my reaction. I’m not sure anyone else saw this or if he remembers but it was just so adorable and will probably always be on this list of best moments ever.

 

2.    Grandpa

Moments with grandparents almost always stick out for me as there are not too many things more special than capturing this bond. Couples are always so lucky when Grandparents can be a part of their day in person, and even more so when they can take an active part in the wedding day.

 

Story 1 – The first time a Grandfather really stole my heart was when I was second shooting with a friend of mine.  The Groom’s Grandfather not only sat in the front row all day, but also said the speech for his Grandson on behalf of their family. He recalled memories of the Groom’s childhood, told stories and gave advice. As the second shooter, I hadn’t met anyone before that day, but it was so epic and so touching that it had me tearing up behind the camera.

 

Story 2 – This moment happened just a few weeks ago at Alex + Chris’ big day. During the classic first dance between the bride and her father, Alex’s Grandpa got up from his seat and cut in half way through. Seriously. Not sure there was a dry eye in the house.

 

3.    Generational Portraits

I get a little extra excited any time an inquiry comes in where there are more than two generations in a family portrait session. One session in particular from a few years ago will always stay with me. Grandma + Grandpa (who were in their 80s), their two sons and each of their families all met me at McMaster’s Campus. I set up a large group shot to start, got some great smiles and then was ready to move to the next spot. Grandma came up and thanked me as she stepped down the stair because she “was just so pleased that they had this done.” She thought we were finished after the first set up because that’s how things were done the last time she had a portrait taken. (…so adorable.) I explained to her that we still had a whole hour, and her excitement made me melt. We got lots of variety throughout their session and I won’t ever forget how much the grandkids made their grandparents laugh. Real belly laughs that I think only Grandkids can create. The photos I have of the 5 of them together are just priceless.

 

4.    Dancing Floor Shenanigans

There are so many of these that would make the list that I couldn’t single any one out. The signature moves, the dance offs, and the hilarious outtakes are all so epic and some of my faves to capture on a wedding day. I couldn’t possibly narrow this down to one specific story, but maybe it will make for a special list in the future!

 

5.    The Onesie

This last one is a little more on the personal side, but happened a year and a half ago at my Studio’s First Open House. The two months I spent renovating the studio came with nothing but moral support and manual labour from my family. When the night arrived, so many people came through that it was truly overwhelming. The cutest moment though? My niece (who was 6 months old at the time) made her appearance wearing a little “Moments –by Lauren” onesie. She totally stole the show.

 

Passing the 5 year milestone is definitely one that feels pretty great, as it’s one that a lot of businesses never reach. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has let me be part of a few of their moments so far. I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years will bring.

 

They say time flies when you’re having fun. They’re right. 

Heirlooms | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Real Talk – I’m not usually one to fill my feed with details shots. 

Of course, I shoot these on a wedding day because I know they are important to my clients – who have made these choices in the jewellery, tie, or shoe department for a reason. It’s fun to approach them in a way that might be a little bit different, but they just never seem to be the images that speak to me or that I am eager to share. 

If you can believe it, this is one that is more than just a ring in a box. This is a ring belonging to Great Grandma, and one that the bride wore with her throughout the day. When I edited this image today it made me so happy. I truly love when there are heirlooms woven through a wedding day. 

When you think about it, this ring has been around way longer than any of us have. I’m sure it’s been on the finger of a few ladies in the family – it’s seen lots of happy times and maybe a few sad - and it was there again on one of the most important days of Angela’s life. I can’t help but wish it sees a few more wedding days too. 

To me, that makes this rather plain image epic…and totally one worth sharing. 

wedding.heirloom.photography.jpg

Taylor + JJ | Burlington Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I may sound like a broken record when I talk about the love I have for telling someone’s life story... but here we are again. I’ve been lucky enough to document a few chapters for Taylor + JJ so far, and I must say it’s all been pretty epic since the first frame of their engagement session.

What I love about these two is how comfortable they are not only around each other, but around everyone. They know how to have fun, they don’t hold back their laughter, and they were up for anything from the get-go. Their wedding day was no different! Both Taylor and JJ got ready with their families + friends before heading off to a personalized service held not too far from their home.

We all survived the heat as we took in the waterfront before kicking off cocktail hour back at the Burlington Convention Center. Their personalized donuts + root beer were a perfect welcome for their guests as they got their first greeting as Mr. & Mrs. Jones. Their formal introduction, capped off by a perfectly executed handshake led into their touching first dances (which finished off with the most adorable flower girl interruption). The moving moments continued as the speeches got underway. The whole room reminisced, they remembered those who were there in spirit, and they also shared a lot of laughs. It was the perfect combination of tributes + touching moments…and JJ actually still holds the trophy for the longest groom speech I’ve been able to capture ;) haha.

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since they tied the knot, but I still feel so lucky to have joined them.  The icing on the cake…the just welcome their first little one - a baby boy - last week.

Happy Anniversary, guys! I can’t wait to see where life takes your little family next.

 

Crazy story. When Taylor + JJ picked their wedding date I realized it was the day after I was to be a bridesmaid for one of my best friends. No biggie, right? The only snag was that the wedding I was lucky enough to be in was in Vancouver.  Eeek! I knew I couldn’t pass up seeing one of my favourite ladies walk down the aisle in BC, but after knowing Taylor for close to 20 years I couldn’t imagine not being able to tell her wedding story. What’s a girl to do? I cleared it with both brides, booked a red-eye and had one pretty epic weekend.  Then one pretty epic Sunday nap.