Hamilton Engagement Photographer

Brynne + Ben | Downtown Hamilton Engagement Session | Moments -by Lauren

Here’s a perfect cap to your week, pals! A walk through downtown, a beer and a glowy rooftop sunset to lead you into your weekend!

I had such a blast with Brynne + Ben who have me loving winter engagement sessions SO much. There were definitely a couple spots I had in mind for their session, but I love when I can just stroll through a city with my clients and it feels like we’re just hanging out and snapping a few frames along the way. (That’s totally how you normally hang out, right?!)

Check out a few faves, and some of the shenanigans we got up to below!

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Marsha + Will | Hamilton Engagement Session | Moments -by Lauren

Well pals, these past couple months have been such a whirlwind! (A really good whirlwind though!)

Now that things are starting to wind down a little bit, I’m so excited to get back to sharing what I’ve been up to (for uhh, basically the last 6 months haha)! I’m going to kick things off with Marsha + Will’s engagement session, and anyone from the Hammer should recognize a few of the spots we hit up!

I’m obviously biased, but these two sure made the waterfront look good - and like a heck of a good time too.

Can’t wait for their big day in March!

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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!  

Alex + Chris | Artscape Wynchwood Barns Engagement | Moments -by Lauren

We’re just 30 days out from Alex + Chris saying their “I Do’s” and I think that’s as good a time as any to share a few faves from their December engagement session.  With the chilly temperatures the week before Christmas, we found a killer venue in downtown Toronto and shot most of the session in the main hallway of Artscape Wynchwood Barns – baring the cold and popping outside for about 3 minutes at a time so we wouldn’t have to bundle up. (A great team decision by the three of us...) 

This athletic-as-heck duo met at our Alma Mater while playing on their respective varsity sports teams and 6 years later got engaged in an adorable at-home fashion that involved the assistance of Alex’s niece – a story that is sure to make anyone swoon. They’ll walk down the aisle and celebrate with their nearest and dearest in Niagara-on-the-Lake next month…where there definitely won’t be any snow on the ground.

The smiles on these two… I’m obsessed.

Location, Location, Location | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Choosing the backdrop for your session is one of the most important elements that go into planning your time in front of the lens (and it’s also one of my favourites)! I love to work with my clients to find the spot that’s just perfect for them and their portraits that will last a lifetime. Check out a few quick items that go into it, below!

A few things *YOU* need to think about:

1.     Interests + Activities

Kick off your brainstorming by thinking about what you love to do in your free time. Where are you most comfortable? Perhaps out on a trail, maybe strolling through downtown? I always ask my clients to finish this sentence: “On a free Sunday, you could find us…”

2.     Room Décor

Now that the wheels are spinning, also factor in your home décor. What type of location will look good in your living space? Decorating your home with personalized artwork from your session is a perfect way to update your empty or outdated walls. Remember this when you think of potential locations, their colours and backdrop options!

3.     Style

One of the other major items to factor into your thoughts is your own personal style. What types of locations vibe with your favourite outfits? Often times your personal style already goes hand in hand with some of your favourite hotspots, so the connection might be easy to make!

Once you do a little bit of brainstorming, I help narrow things down. Leaving the technical side of planning your session is totally my job, and rest assured you’re not left to figure things out on your own!

A few things *I* have to think about

1.     Backdrops/Settings

I always check locations for what types of backdrops are available. Is there only one usable spot, or are there 10? Is there some sort of variety in this one location or should we add a second? I love using different backdrops during your session so this is totally something I plan for ahead of time!

2.     Lighting

All of your session’s images begin with lighting. I scope out locations to make sure they have some killer light coming through in the best spots. This is a big indicator of how we move through a session as well, so having my game plan in place is super important!

3.     Time

Taking the first two factors into account helps dictate WHEN we should schedule your session. A lot of my clients are drawn to the glow and emotion of my images…and this doesn’t happen by chance. The sunrise + sunset are my favourite times to book a session, and I’ll be sure to let you know when the location we pick will look it’s best!

Now, these definitely aren’t the only things that we will both factor into our choices…but this is just quick cheat sheet to get you thinking. I have a whole list of favourite spots – a “bucket list” if you will – to suggest in case you’re drawing a blank. I love to hear your input and of course explore some new spaces so no suggestion is a bad one to throw out there! Before any session or big day I ALWAYS scout out where we will be heading to make sure it’s a good one + to craft my game plan!

Want to see a few behind the scenes “Before + After’s”? Check out a few cell phone snaps I’ve taken on my scout and compare them with the final product from the session itself!

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Have any cool photo location ideas or hidden gems?! Have a place in mind for your next session? I'd love to hear from you!

Liz + Justin | Hamilton Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I know I’m all about the epic love stories on the blog lately, so why should this one be any different? I remember learning early on in our communication that Liz + Justin got engaged at the airport…and I believe my initial response was that I HAD to meet them if only to hear this story. Needless to say we immediately hit it off after hearing that amazing surprise proposal story (it happened while waiting to check in for their European vacation) and gushing over our mutual love of everything #HamOnt.

When it came to planning their engagement session, it was a total no-brainer. We spent an afternoon hitting a few of their favourite spots. The three of us started off with a round of coffee at Saint James and wrapped over a couple of beers at Collective Arts Brewery…oh, and threw in a few photos here and there too.

Liz + Justin immediately felt like two of my longest friends and even gave me a few more hot-spots I had to try both in the city and abroad! They are tying the knot this June and I think that I’ve almost convinced them that when they renew their vows somewhere in Europe in the future…that I’ll be tagging along! 

Makeup - Fatima Lao

Meaghan + Jeff | Toronto Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I met these two sweethearts on the morning of our engagement session...while it was still dark out...in what seemed like a very cold temperature at the time. Of course, fast forwarding a couple months as we count down to their big day, it was probably suitable T-shirt weather that we would all kill for right about now haha! 

 

Nonetheless Meaghan and Jeffrey were just amazing from the first click of the shutter until we finished gabbing over coffee to wrap the session!  

They actually live in our Nation's Capitol but were back in Toronto to visit some family and cross a few things off their wedding to-do list at the same time. After narrowing down some options, the three of us strolled not only the waterfront but also popped over to Kensington Market for something a little different! We got so much variety in terms of backdrops as we chatted our way through the city but the one thing that stayed the same was the fun this duo has together. I mean...I can't get over some of these smiles. Swoon. 

25 more days until #KearnsyMarriesMeag - stay tuned everyone! 

2016 : Year in Review | Moments - by Lauren | Hamilton Wedding Photographer

Well folks, here it is – the one blog post that wraps up an entire year’s worth of favourite frames…and boy is it a doozy.

As I was selecting the images that I loved the most in the past 12 months I realized I’m especially drawn to images that have certain qualities to them. I would imagine this is what draws many of you to me as well… as it’s hopefully something that comes through in my style.

First, I’m looking for the light. (Duh). Light is the start and base of every great shot. Some of my faves are the ones where the light just adds that extra dynamic edge to a shot. Sometimes it goes unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention, but at times it can be the focal point too. A flare can sometimes steal the show…but when it’s done properly, it definitely makes my day.

Next, you should know that I’m constantly searching for compositions. I live for something a little different. I love when I find a hidden gem, a new angle, or position my subjects to not only showcase their best self but also the killer location around them. Having a client request I try new or different things, is like music to my ears. You’ll be able to spot these ones right away!

Last, and most importantly are the moments. I would throw the other two of my criteria out the window every time to get shots like this. It’s my total mission, the name of my company and something I want to help create and capture for every- single-client... because I believe in this so much! Forget the overly posed images…I want the ones that capture you and exactly how you’re feeling in that moment. These always stand out to me every time I go through a gallery and hope they are the ones that you love the most too. These images are the easiest to spot, as they are the ones that will make you feel something in your gut or make you smile.

When I check all three of these boxes – it feels like magic and still to this day will make me giddy to deliver the image.

After trying to find some of these common threads in the images, I knew one thing for sure… without a doubt I can say I have the best job on the planet. I get to tell the story of some of the biggest moments in your life…even if they just seem like ordinary ones.

I was lucky to meet so many new friends in 2016, as well as catch up with some old ones along the way.

As the MBL Family continues to grow…I’d love for you to be a part of it!

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope the moments that make up your 2017 are the best ones yet!

 

Chantelle + Dusan | Toronto Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed along with clients more than I did with Chantelle + Dusan. Right from the get-go these two had me cracking up at every moment I wasn’t obsessing over how cute they are together.

These best friends got engaged at Disneyland (So. Amazing.) and have so many hilarious stories to share from their 8 years together. Laughing both with and at one another made their sunrise session almost too much fun as we strolled through downtown Toronto a little while back.  Not to mention they killed the wardrobe game, while only suffering a little bit in the cold.

Of course, we topped off the session with some coffee where the Barista was 1/3 on the correct spelling. We chatted more over some warm bevvies, and my excitement for their big day next summer only grew.

I remember them mentioning what a lot of couples do before their session – they wanted photos where they look natural and of course like they are having fun.

I think we may have got a few of those...what do you think? 

Seniors

Where has the summer gone?! As we roll into the final two weeks of August I wanted to share something new with you here on the blog.

At the end of this past school year I gathered up a few of my favourite high school seniors to document them at this point in their life. This is a time where everyone is heading in a different direction, and a time where everything is about to change. The excitement and nerves that I’m sure are running through their heads is definitely something they will look back on in the years to come and is another one of those defining moments in a person’s life. 

It’s one of those moments I want to capture, have some fun with, and eventually help them remember who they were at that time.

Heading into your final year, or know someone who is? I’d love to hear from you to chat about your custom Senior Session before you start your next chapter.

4 Years

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I'm a few days late with this post, but for a very good reason! I actually spent the 4th Anniversary of the launch of Moments -by Lauren celebrating the marriage of one of my best friends! The best part being that I was honoured to stand beside her instead of being behind the camera (even though that would have been pretty fun too!). Celebrating so much love this past Saturday reminded me how lucky I am to do what I do, and how much fun is really wrapped up in a wedding day. 

This past year has come with so many awesome moments and milestones, and I couldn't be more excited for the journey that I'm on. A huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of the past 4 years and to all of the people I've been lucky enough to cross paths with. Telling a little piece of your life's story is something that I truly treasure and I can't wait to see the pages continue to turn and what the future holds! 

As always, I'm sending all my love and thanks for the support, the kind words, and the referrals to a friend or family member. You all are what keep me going and allow me to spend my days doing something I totally love. 

So many more blog posts coming your way soon - I can't wait to share some fun moments from this summer season!

-Lauren 

Taylor + JJ | Toronto Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

The countdown is on for Taylor and JJ! 

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of having these two in front of my lens as we stopped by a few favourite spots in Toronto. These two were perfectly suited for the city backdrop and their natural chemistry made them total rockstars from start to finish. My favourite part about an urban engagement session is the wide variety of backdrops you can find in such a short time frame, and this session definitely didn't disappoint. These two had a ton of fun at every stop we made, and had me swooning through their entire gallery again today. 

After a quick wardrobe change, we wrapped the session down by the waterfront where we ran into a little wind and some serious (read: hilarious) problems with lighting a sparkler. Rest assured, our 3-person huddle and handy work by JJ had it up in running after about 300 attempts...and it was totally worth it in the end! (I just love when my clients trust me with a little experimentation)

You can find a few favourites below, and after leaving them some love in the comment section, come back and visit soon as they are saying their "I do's" in 10 DAYS! 

Emily + JD | Hamilton Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Emily + JD were home visiting from Edmonton a couple of weeks ago and we were sure to squeeze in an engagement session before their big day this fall! These two cuddled up as we strolled through downtown and got a killer mix of old and new backdrops in the James St North District. Getting to know these two was a total blast before we finished up the session at the exact spot JD proposed to Emily, putting my own spin on a spot that will always be special to them - one of my fave things to do! 

They will be back in town and back on the blog this September, so leave them some love and come back and visit then! 

Josie + Bryan | Hamilton Engagement Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

I've mentioned before how lucky I am to work with such amazing clients and help capture such important moments in their lives, but another favourite part of my job is being able to explore new places. This doesn't necessarily mean crossing the world or the country to somewhere brand new (although that's pretty great too), but even finding a new corner or a new angle of the city I grew up in is truly awesome. 

Now I've know Bryan my whole life. In fact, we often joke that he's known my siblings longer then I have - which is sadly true haha. After seeing Josie come into his life as his perfect match and now have them come in to chat wedding plans, I was of course so excited to be chosen as their photographer. When discussing the engagement session, they knew they wanted something cool - throwing out the idea of a hitting up a local theatre. Naturally, I was pumped as creating custom sessions for my couples is the BEST. 

We strolled through the downtown core and finished up the evening at the Lincoln Alexander Theatre - a true gem in the heart of downtown #HamOnt. 

These two are saying their "I do"s in a month and a half - so leave them some love below and stay tuned! 

MOMENTS | Personal Projects | Moments -by Lauren

This is the start of something new. Something I think is super important and something that I'd love you to be involved in. 

To get a little bit more information on my project, find a few more details here : 

Tell me more!