Hamilton Wedding Photography

Holiday Mini Sessions! | Hamilton Family Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

A quick roundup from this year’s mini-sessions at Merry Farms!

Just in time for the holidays!

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Want to be on the list for next year’s sessions!? Drop me a quick line!

Tiffany + Matthew | Old Mill Toronto Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

While I was heading to Toronto really early that morning, I remember knowing Tiff + Matt’s day would be filled with lots of celebration, lots of moving parts, and timeline that was down to the minute to fit everything in (which was beyond impressive, by the way!). There was going to be two ceremonies, 3 dress changes, and all the other usual fun that comes with a wedding day — all before the day wrapped up at 4pm too.

I knew the schedule, everyone’s names, the layout of the venue and the game plan for our portraits - but what I didn’t know on that drive was how epic and genuine the day was going to turn out to be.

Real moments and traditions are by far two of my favourite things to document and there was no shortage of either that day.

Take a peek.

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The best part of this blog post, is that so many of the images are Tiff + Matt’s faves too! Check out their final wedding album design below — and a few photos they sent over from when it got into their hands this week!! SO fun!

VENDOR TEAM:

Hair + Makeup — Windy Chiu & Joyce Zhou

Decor — The Daycor

Venue — Old Mill Toronto

Dress — The Royal Bride Boutique

Bride’s Shoes — Jeffrey Campbell

Suit — Ted Baker

Cake — Kellysbakedgoods

Officiant — Charles J Sathmary

Photographer — Moments -by Lauren

Second Photographer — Megan Muir

 
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Carleigh + James | Burlington - Sunshine Donuts Engagement Session | Moments -by Lauren

This session started with us running to catch the sunrise and it ended with donuts - so I say it was overall pretty perfect. There was also a whole lot of adorable in between. 

Check out a few faves from Carleigh + James' epic engagement session in downtown Burlington. 

Which is YOUR fave?! This was my narrowed down list. 

Erika + Evan | Tamahaac Club Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Ok, so I'm one day late in celebrating Erika + Evan's anniversary on the blog, but I'm so excited to be hitting publish on this bad boy! I tried to narrow this down as far as I could - so check out a few total favourites of this adorable duo, below! 

I don't think the smiles (or the mode of transportation) get any better than this!

VENDOR TEAM:

Florist - i fiori

Makeup - Lindsey Daubney

Transportation - HSR

Venue - Tamahaac Club

Bride's Shoes - Solee Shoes

Suits - Charles + Hunt

Cake - Weils Bakery

Ali + Jake | At Home Engagement Session | Moments –by Lauren

Ok, so before we get into how amazing Ali + Jake are, I want to let you in on a quick secret. Neither of them were super gung-ho on an engagement session when we first started chatting about their wedding photography… which is totally fine.

Similar to every couple that says that exact thing, I convinced them it was a good idea and they both came around – and were even up for a winter session (bonus!). So we waited for some snow and finally were all set – except for the fact that the snow melted through the afternoon on the day of the session. Seriously…

Lucky for us, we were already planning on shooting a part of the session in Ali + Jake’s new home so after I got there and basically wanted to move in – we spent most of the time just hanging out in their awesome space. I seriously can’t tell you how much I love these two and their ability to just go with the flow.

If I’m being honest, it’s quite the (incredible) jump going from not really wanting to be in front of the camera to letting your photographer stand a foot above you while you’re cuddled up in bed. But boy am I thankful. These adorably fun frames are some of my all time favourites, and I’m so excited to share them below!

Let me know what you think of the “at-home” vibe?? It’s quickly becoming one of my favourite places to shoot!

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

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…

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!  

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. 

MURAL! | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photography | Moments -by Lauren

A very short, but very exciting post on the blog today! I've been SO pumped for this day and am so happy it's finally here! As some of you may know, the outside of the studio has been undergoing a bit of a facelift over the last few months. There will be more on that in the future, but this latest update was too good to hold off on! 

The back-story -- I contacted Claire (of Claire Hall Design) almost a year ago with an idea in mind for something a little different...something big. That same week, she sent over a mockup of this camera and I was immediately OBSESSED. I mean, she basically read my mind after only giving her a few details.

Fast forward to Monday when she started this project that wrapped up yesterday! It was incredible watching her bring this vision to life and I am so thrilled with the final product!

Check out the brand new custom mural with a few behind the scenes photos of it in progress, below!  Visitors are more then welcome if you'd like to check it out in person too! 

p.s. Claire is a total dream to work with - if you need some custom artwork done...she's your girl! 

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.