Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Distillery

I have had a fondness for Toronto's Distillery district ever since we had our engagement photos shot there a few years ago. I can't help but be inspired by the cobblestone streets, exposed brick and numerous artisan shops. And how could I forget, the beer?



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Viva Mexico!

Call it a fluke or "Fate-ish" as my June bride calls it. She was looking for a wedding photographer to come to her Mayan Riviera wedding. A past client of mine let me know that she had posted an inquiry on their Binbrook Facebook page and recommended me. I jumped on that train as fast as I could and sent her my information, to which she replied that I am awesome, but perhaps too awesome for her to be able to book.

We chatted, worked out an arrangement and I have been told to pack my bags because in 38 days, Michael and I are flying out with a group of 30 cool and laidback people to photograph this amazing marriage by the ocean.

The bachelorette party will be held in Playa Del Carmen. A girl after my own heart. And oddly enough, their resort is steps from where Michael and I said "I do."

My already amazing wedding season just took a turn to being even more amazing. And for almost next to nothing, we booked an extra week. Two weeks of paradise is exactly what the Dr. ordered in this household.


Monday, April 23, 2012

A big Greek affair!

In July, I have the pleasure of shooting a fabulous and huge Greek wedding with Brantford's Diem Studios Inc. Saturday we all got together around Bloor West Village to get better acquainted and take some engagement photos. We shot in alley ways, on the subway and in High Park. I got my workout as I'm pretty sure we covered the entire grounds of the park! We stumbled upon a beautiful zoo that is in great financial need to be saved. We had some lovely cupcakes at an Ossington St. bakery and chatted over coffee back at the couple's beautiful century home that has been in the bride to be's family for years. I could almost hear her nonna in the kitchen years back, and tried to picture the several families who dwelled there gathering around the dinner table.

Photos from Diem Studios to follow shortly! For now, here is a snap of Danielle in action as well as a special display of color from this showoff at the zoo.

Have a great Monday!



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Baby talk, and all that jazz.

"Bobby! Bobby, get over here right now!" We used to tease our friend Darko in highschool because of the nickname his sister coined for him in replacement of "brother" which she couldn't say when she was younger. Years later, I stumbled upon a photographer friend of my cousin, and holy crap! Bobby was all grown up and found himself a supermodel-looking lady friend! I kept in touch with him and his fiancee over Facebook and we hit it off instantly. Andrea had asked me back in the winter to photograph their family which included a new addition to their European household and today I headed over with Michael. Darko and I joked like old times and I swooned over his beautiful family and how gorgeous they looked in front of the lens. We had lattes, croissants and as the afternoon rolled on, a few beers and caught up on old times. I found myself talking baby talk to Luka Bronx...the adorable reason we were there today. Luka Buka! Luka Luka koo koo face! Luka peekaboo! I've never been a huge fan of babies but this year I've grown quite fond of them. Luka flirted and posed and made us laugh all day as he danced to house music in his Hugo Boss designer duds. This kid is going to be a heartbreaker, actor, model, comedian or maybe all of the above but one thing is for certain.....he is the light of his parents' eyes.

The benefits of my job are threefold; I get to do what I love, make friends along the way and offer people the gift of preserving their memories. I find myself sometimes burnt out and run down, but  every once in a while I need a day like today to fuel my soul and rejuvenate my heart.

Dre, Darks & Luka Buka koo koo face.....thank you for today! May we see you many more times in your growing years, with or without the camera.

Love always,



Thursday, April 19, 2012

On being called an amateur and then hitting a home run.

Six months ago I stood in front of a Dragon's Den sort of committee, presenting my business plan and requested consideration of a local program which funds new entrepreneurs. I fumbled through my papers, snorted nervously when I laughed and spoke embarassingly fast. When my presentation time was up, my consultant met with me and offered me feedback. She said I came across kind of flighty and amateurish but that my passion definitely shone through.

I used to dread my weekly meetings with my consultant, mostly because I was overwhelmed with the amount of business that was coming in and in tangent, working full time on my business plan through Enterprise Brant which was necessary in order to keep the funding coming in for my new company.

Life is cyclical and here I am, feeling strangely sad that my meetings are now over. The lady that used to annoy me, I actually started looking forward to seeing. Even though we didn't always see eye to eye, she hugged me proudly today and said that I "hit a home run". Today I stood in front of the same committee, plus a few newcomers and discussed the status of how things at Wendy Alana Photography were operating. I saw a lot of head nodding and supportive smiles and was told that I have amazing business processes in place, so much so that they are learning these same processes in their management courses. I was told that I knocked it out of the park.

The same girl that used to hate baseball because I stunk at it so badly, was standing tall and proud and discussing my position as pitcher, umpire, coach and team mascot.

The changes to my website are still under construction. I've been working with a videographer who has followed me around to photo shoots and weddings and is piecing together a promo video. I was sent this rough footage of past clients and friends' testimonials and it is a strangely uncomfortable yet touching emotion to hear what people think of you and your work.

To know that someone feels they just have to tell me their dreams and I will bring them to fruition is something that I cannot explain. My mom said that her office was abuzz with people talking about the wedding pictures of a staff member's daughter that Michael and I photographed and to know that I've made my mother proud is a wonderful feeling.

Happy six months to Wendy Alana Photography and thank you to everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey! Many more exciting things to come. Never, ever ever give up on your dreams. If you work hard and never quit, unbelievable things can happen.

Click here to view unedited video of client testimonials

Love always,


Monday, April 16, 2012

Oh Cherry!

The beautiful cherry blossoms of High Park sent camera goers flocking in droves. I loved this sea of soft buttery pink! Spring is here. Officially, I think.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I'll put all my money on you......Lisa & Adam.

Sunshine, glorious sunshine. The perfect warm day for a spring wedding. We were organized, packed, tested some new flash shots for three days leading up to the wedding, snacks to fuel us for the day, extra batteries, a change of clothes for the reception and comfy clothes to wear home. We were pressed for time for the photographs due to the later ceremony so we had to have a plan, stick to it and be prepared to fire out (polite) orders to get the shots we wanted. 

Michael called out to me from the living room and I knew what he was going to say. I shook my head as if to silence the inevitable. I didn't want him to even mention the date. The dreaded Friday the 13th. We knew we were going to have a good day. Luck favours the well prepared, right?

Everything was perfectly them. Her quirky bridal booties. His goofy expressions. Her camoflauge garter. His stylin' belt. The dogs. Their families. The laughter. The tears. 

And then there were two. 

Photographers rarely know what to expect. We take the edge off the mystery by meeting with our couples in advance.  Following their winter engagement sessions, Michael and I attended the rehearsal and dinner for Lisa and Adam and got to know their families and bridal parties, and had them over for a gourmet dinner to finalize details. By the time yesterday arrived, it was as if we had always been there. They knew us. They knew what to expect. And rarely noticed the cameras documenting moment by moment of their beautifully planned day.

A great deal of thought and tact goes into approaching the wedding, especially when it comes to blended families. I was struck with emotion throughout the day. When the parents of the bride were introduced, her mom, dad and step mom all walked in together. While a slideshow played, I caught a glimpse of tears from her mom and dad and you could tell there was so much pride. While shooting her dad's speech, I wiped away tears and then continued to look through my viewfinder. He thanked her mom for the hard work she put into raising their children and then equally thanked his wife for "being a mother when necessary and also knowing when to back off." When I commented to Lisa's stepmom about the wonderful nature of all their relationships, she let me know that no matter what, it was always about the kids. How wonderful for everyone.

They danced to Dustin Kensrue's "Pistol". They dined on wonderful food and laughed a million laughs. I was so inspired by yesterday's wedding. I've grown fond of their wedding song and listened to it on repeat a thousand times today. I gained a new appreciation for love and marriage, remarriage, kids and families. I was so touched when watching their slideshow....the people in their bridal parties were either family or friends that spanned a decade long. 

To Lisa and Adam and their families who were so welcoming and kind to Michael and I, thank you for inviting us to witness and document this wonderful moment in your lives....I cried a few times today out of inspiration and emotion and mostly gratitude for being able to do what I do and witness a love like yours....

May you enjoy every day together from now until forever.

Love always,