Wedding Photographer

Year In Review : 2018 | Hamilton Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Each year when I begin to craft this “Year In Review” post, I’m always so overwhelmed by the number of moments that have been documented through my lens in the last 365 days. I normally set up shop for a day and relive each wedding and session that I was lucky enough to take part in - and although it takes a bit of time, it’s incredible to summarize the year in this way. I love sharing these favourite moments, just as much as I love getting to recall them through the process.

As I began organizing and rearranging the order of photos (way too many times) I thought about it a little more as I’d scroll up and down this post. I realized that each of these images are not only real memories I’ve been able to capture for my clients, but also memories for me. A visual representation of my work year — and what an amazing one it was.

It brought growth, new clients and friends, and so many little moments worthy of a click of my shutter. All ones that come from a place of “keeping it real” and telling your story in a fun, genuine and relaxed way.

I can’t wait for the new chapter 2019 brings, and I can’t tell you how much I’d love to have your face appear in next year’s post.

I can’t thank my MBL Family enough, and I hope you enjoy this look back!

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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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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!! 

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

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

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

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. 

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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. 

 

Vendor Team: 

Florist – Satellite Gardens Hamilton

Hair – Giorgios Mystical Circle

Makeup – Robin Dunn – Mac Makeup Artist

Transportation – Star Night Limousines

Décor – Classic Creations

Invitations – Taryn Thomas

Catering/Venue – Burlington Convention Center

Wedding Dress – Maggie Sottero – Heirlooms Bridal

Bride’s Shoes – Vince Camuto

Bridesmaids Dresses – BCBG

Suits – Moore’s Clothing

Videographer – Calicocat Productions

Cake – Homemade Sweets by Ashley

Officiant – Ray David Glenn

Second Photographer - Alexandra DelBello

 

Golden Hour – Sunset Photos on your Wedding Day | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments –by Lauren

On a wedding day, it often happens that the gorgeous glowy light everyone (especially me) longs for just doesn’t align properly with your wedding day timeline. Once the warmer weather arrives, the sun is setting half-way through your reception instead of at the time we’ve set aside to capture some of your first moments as a married couple! This is unavoidable of course, and there is a solution that I always recommend to my couples…and do an internal happy dance when they decide to take advantage of it!

The ASK

I always request that my couples give me 10-15 minutes throughout dinner to sneak out for some extra portraits of just the two of them with the best light of the day.

 

The EXECUTION

I’ve found the trick is to time this properly so that my newlyweds aren’t missing out on any major events or delaying the reception timeline or next course. Prepping them before the big day, and then again ahead of when it will be perfect to sneak out is the best way to make this happen.  

I’ll also have a game plan and location ready for us to head to so that we find the best light and of course, don’t waste any time!

Not only do my clients love those sunset images, but also love the chance to step away from the celebration and enjoy a few quiet moments together too. #winwin

All this being said, sometimes there isn’t a magical sunset or there just isn’t any time to sneak away…and that’s fine. I’m just sharing these notes so that you think it over, make a little wiggle room and don’t regret passing on those few extra frames!

 

The EXAMPLE

Em + JD got married last September at the Beverly Golf + Country Club. A venue that was made for sunsets. Keeping an eye on the fading sun, I remember popping up to the head table after the second course to let them know that if we were going to grab a few golden hour shots, it should happen in the next few minutes. They thought it over for about 5 seconds at which point Em’s MOH/Sister/My Hero chimed in and insisted they do it (Thanks, Britt!!). Check out a couple of my favourite images below from that 10 minutes we were outside!

The moral of the story, if you have the chance to squeeze this in…you should.

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! 

Amanda + Matt | Kurtz Orchard Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

As Amanda + Matt celebrate their first wedding anniversary, I’m so happy to reminisce today with everyone. I can distinctly remember this duo’s main concern was that their guests have an amazing time…and they definitely delivered. 

We all spent this gorgeous day in Niagara on the Lake - the boys starting at 124 on Queen before joining the girls at Kurtz Orchard.  After saying their “I do’s” while their favourite people looked on, we explored the grounds to capture a few of their first moments as husband and wife.  With a cocktail hour to die for, everyone congratulated these sweethearts properly before getting a wagon ride over to where the real celebration began.

Now… I can’t even begin to explain the love, but mostly the laughter shared during the speeches throughout dinner. If you know me, you know I am laughing at just about anything that resembles a joke, so you better believe I had to contain myself (or try…) while getting some epic reaction shots. Everyone who took to the podium to say a few words about the couple had the entire tent cracking up, but this group is so tight-knit that you could feel the bond everyone shared, and it was amazing.

After their delicious dinner wrapped up, the dance floor started, the lawn games kicked off and I snuck the newlyweds off for a quick batch of sunset images just 100 yards from where the party continued. The perfect ending to a perfect day, for one of the sweetest couples I’ve had the pleasure to join.

Relive their day with me below and join me in wishing them a very Happy Anniversary!!

(Note - I’d be remised if I didn’t comment on Amanda’s dress. Hold moly - #slay)