Val-des-Monts: Rachelle + Mat

This wedding is very dear to my heart.

Rachelle and I met 10 years ago, in Senegal. We were roommates while we took part in a one month study-abroad program with the University of Ottawa. Her and Mat were already dating then, and I met him a few months later when we returned to Canada.

I don't think we've ever lived in the same city again after that, or at least, not for very long. Rachelle studied in Quebec City after Ottawa, when I moved to Montreal. Then she worked in Haiti, Mat studied in Alberta then later worked in Haiti as well and then they ended up back in Ottawa years later. In between all that, there's like a gazillion other cities and countries they lived in, but I've lost track! But through all those years, we kept in touch and got together with our other dear friend from Senegal, Kim.

Rachelle and Mat have dedicated their careers to making the world more fair and just. And their wedding was in complete harmony with their values. They held an intimate wedding surrounded by their closest friends and family, served all delicious locally sourced food and threw one heck of a party for their guests. 

First, who doesn't love lawn games?! This was the first time I saw this at a wedding, but what I brilliant way to keep guests entertained during cocktail hour.  When they walked up the aisle together as man and wife, their guests threw wheat instead of rice, grown on Rachelle's parents' farm in Northern Alberta. And you know the shoe-game we see at most weddings? Where the husband and wife sit back to back and have to answer questions about each other? It's always a hit, but they switched things up! Instead of having them answer, the MC (their close friend Mireille who did an *amazing* job throughout the evening) had the guests answer. And instead of shoes, guests were all given two cards, one with Gwen Stefani for Mat, and one with Nick Carter for Rachelle. Suffice it to say we laughed pretty hard. 

And their first look. I loved their first look. Rachelle and Mat were both part of the Parliament Pages program - that's how they met. They couldn't have picked a more perfect location than the Museum of Civilization, with the Parliament in the background, for their first look. The sky was dramatic and both sides of the shore are beautiful, with Parliament on the one side and the Museum on the other. The only thing were the people. There were people everywhere! One day we'll show you the befores and afters, but for now just know that Frédéric is an incredible retoucher that does magic with Photoshop!

Ok enough chatting! Time to enjoy this beautiful wedding.

Mat et Rachelle, merci encore de votre confiance. Vous êtes merveilleux, on vous aime! xox


Ste-Anne de Bellevue: Stéphanie + Kevin

Avant de les rencontrer lors de cette session, Stéphanie et moi n'avions communiqué que par courriel. C'est la collègue de Stéphanie, Mélina (qu'on adore!) qui nous l'a référé. Nul besoin de préciser donc que lorsqu'on rencontre quelqu'un pour la première fois et que c'est pour les prendre en photos, c'est quelque peu gênant, autant pour le sujet que pour le photographe! 

Mais Stéphanie et Kevin sont tellement sympathiques qu'on était tous très à l'aise en quelques instants, même malgré l'humour quelque peu décalé de Kevin ;) Stéphanie est souriante, a le rire facile et était ouverte à toutes nos propositions photo! Kevin, bien qu'il se disait un peu moins à l'aise, s'est prêté au jeu et a fait ça comme un champion. De toute façon, la complicité entre Kevin et Stéphanie est indéniable comme on peut en témoigner dans leurs photos.

Ils nous ont fait découvrir un nouvel endroit à Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue tout à fait superbe. En plus, on a eu droit à un coucher de soleil comme on les aime!

On se réjouit déjà de photographier leur mariage en avril!

FredericM family photos

After writing so often about the value in getting professional photos done, about capturing and saving your memories, and working with our clients to make them feel comfortable in what can often be a pretty awkward moment (ie getting your picture taken), we figured we should give the experience a try ourselves!

So, last June, we got our favourite photographer in Montreal who recently moved to Edmonton to shoot a portrait session for us. It happened to be a scorching hot day (like 35 degrees +) and Camille was on fire! She wanted to run around everywhere, chasing ducks and whatever moved. It was tough to get her to sit still for a photo, so we didn't. We ran around, followed her beat and Emilie documented it all as it unfolded. We finally have beautiful images of all three of us together. Just a small selection shown here - we're saving our favourites for our walls :)

(Photos by Emilie Iggiotti)

Bespoke Suits

Ok so every wedding magazine, every wedding show, every wedding blog in the world put the bride forward. It's a huge day for the bride, and in many cases, she's making most major decisions. Lets face it, we're probably better at picking out the flowers and we might care a bit more about the type of paper we use to print our invitations than our men.

But dudes!!!! Your suit is 100% on you. And finding your wedding suit deserves to be somewhat more exciting than shopping for a pair of socks.

Gamache Tailleur, in Montreal, makes sure of that. This small workshop located on St-Hubert, is run by two wonderful and talented people. You'll hope you have extra adjustments to your suit just to get to see them again! Bespoke means you choose your fabric, style, stitching, buttons and more importantly, it means your suit fits perfectly. It's also way more affordable than you might think. So visit their website check and head to their workshop. Frederic got his suit done a while back now and he still talks about the experience !


Leaps of faith

When I'm not shooting or going to school, I spend my days in the communications-marketing world, working on campaigns, strategies and researching target audiences.

One of the most over-discussed topics in my field, in my opinion, are millennials. The term millennials, or Generation Y, refers to the generation that was born between the early 1980s and 2000.  

Millennials are frequently caricatured as a generation that wants everything now, that's spoiled, entitled, and that grew up being told if you get a good education, you'll be guaranteed a great career. So we all got educated, more than any generation before us (and we took out major student loans, believing it would be a good investment into our future), and hit the work force, assuming that the world owed us something after we got all those degrees...Except it didn't quite work out that way for many of us.

I don't want to discuss millennials at length here - as a mentioned, it's already a highly discussed topic in the interwebs. I want to tell the story of three friends that took leaps of faith.

Rachelle, Gabrielle and Jonathan all found themselves not entirely fulfilled by their situations and the three of them each decided to do something about it.

Rachelle has two degrees but she was working in a job that required neither of them. Despite dozens of applications sent out, the phone wasn't ringing. She volunteered with different organizations to try and grow her network but that didn't help either. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean lived a man she loved but because she was finishing her masters and had her life on this side of the ocean, they had never spent more than a few months together at a time. But then she was out of school and her career wasn't picking up. So she accepted an offer from this man to come join him. She left her friends and family and moved to the unknown, trusting that life would figure itself out.

It did. She found work, good work, and is now working on major projects in beautiful office over looking the Thames.

Jonathan had a great job that he excelled at. He's one of the brightest most talented people I know. Work wasn't so much the issue for him. It was something else. Something was missing. He tells his own story here much better than I could, but basically for him, it was a question of now or never. You have dreams? Do something about it. Don't wait. So he packed his stuff and is now biking 15 000 km around the world. (You should follow his adventure here. It comes with lovely photos and great stories.)

Gabrielle is from the same small city in Southwestern Ontario where I grew up. She got her degree in dance from York then moved to Montreal for many of the same reasons I moved here. There's something magical about this city, something that makes you believe this is where great things happen. Except great things weren't happening. Dance is in Gab blood. She's always danced and needed to move but Montreal was lacking in opportunities.

Someone in Gaspe was looking for a choreographer. Gabrielle went. She moved 1000 km from Montreal, 1700 km from where we grew up, to a small town on the edge of the world where she knew no one. She's now dancing every day, sharing her passion with the people around her and having a huge impact in her community. You can follow her amazing work here.

I got to photograph Gabrielle in an enchanting studio. She put on some music and starting moving beautifully and I did my best to capture the love and passion she has for what she does. She was so kind to open herself as she did in front of my lens.

Each of these friends are a huge source of inspiration for me. They felt things weren't working out as they had hoped, so they did something about it. Things aren't perfect now either, but they chose uncertainty over dissatisfaction.

I don't think we're entitled. I think we know what we're worth. We want to contribute to our community. We want our work to have meaning, to share what we know and to learn what we don't from the best.  Basically, we just don't want to go to waste.