A 2014 Review

Hello Everyone, It is Lisa here with a recap of 2014.  We have not be blogging as much as we usually do and maybe a quick recap might help you all understand why.

2014 was one of the worst years of my life personally, We lost my wonderful mother-in-law (Jenn’s Mom) in January after a short but amazing battle with cancer, and we knew this year was going to be hard.  Sharon was the foundation of this family and her loss is felt every single day.  She was one of the most amazing selfless, hard working, loving woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing, but I didn’t just know her to me she was a second mom.

In February my Papa Valmond passed away and with the emotion still raw from Sharon’s passing and my own Mama not well enough to attend the funeral with us it was another difficult day.  I have so many fond memories of summers with my Papa and visiting Camp Robin Hood.  Papa taught me how to use a CB Radio when we would drive together, and our summers on Lake Simcoe and our walks to the Soviet Union. (It was actually a Salvation Army Camp down the road that when I was small I called the Soviet Union) It is difficult to say goodbye even when you know someone has not been well for so long, and the distance of miles make for a lot of guilt that I should have visited more often but now can not.

We then watched as my own Mom’s health declined once we were told we had exhausted all treatment options and there was nothing else they could do. Her 18 year battle with Cancer would soon be coming to an end.  You might think that when you expect it, it is easier but I disagree, it isn’t. I was truly blessed to have such strong, loving women in my life and to have lost them both was devastating. I still cry often and feel like I can not breath sometimes as the pain is overwhelming.  It sometimes feels very lonely not having my Mama to ask advice, or call with good news and sometimes, I have even forgotten and called my mom or Sharon to ask them a question and it is not until I have dialed the phone that I remember…and then cry.

You would think that would be as much loss as our family could handle but unfortunately we had to stand by as Jenn’s beautiful Granny lost her battle with cancer as well. Granny was also an amazing woman, I am proud to have know her and loved her and been part of her family, our son is named after her beloved Carson and I will always remember the way she teared up with pride when we told her we were having a boy and he would be named after Carson. She loved her grand children and great grandchildren very much the way only a Granny can. We miss her very much. I can’t imagine having to face the last year with out the one person who is my rock, my strength and my best friend my dear husband. Robert I could not have made it through without you, so thank you for being there and dealing with my crazy without complaining. I love you more than words!

In just one short year the entire dynamic of our family has changed, so you can see why I am personally glad to say goodbye to 2014…however professionally for Jenn and I 2014 was a very successful year at Special Treasures Photography and we had some amazing clients who not only let us be apart of their special days, and life events they made us feel like we were part of their families. Thank you for blessing us with so much success that we can continue to do what we love.

To Jenn, you have been my friend and more important my sister when I need one the most, thank you for everything you have done and the things you don’t even realize you do but I know I can always count on you! Yes Keith it is me on the phone…thanks for letting me have my sister when I needed her.  I am so blessed to not only do a job that I love but to share every step with you!

I hope that 2015 brings a much better year for my family especially my children who have been through so very much but have handled it amazingly…Darcey, Brooke and Carson, I am so very proud of you all.

To my other sister and brother-in-law, Jackie and Steve, thank you being there through this crazy year, I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been without the amazing family that surrounds us so thank you for being amazing.

Happy New Year Everyone, I hope you are all blessed in 2015!

2014

Jason & Melissa Say I Do…A Family Affair!

I am going to start off this blog with a quote from Lisa:

“Jenn and I love what we do…we say that all the time!  We think every wedding we shoot is special, and we are really so honoured that we have been invited to be a part of a couples most special day.  However, being part of Jason and Melissa’s wedding was even more special since it was a family wedding!  Not only did Jenn and I get a front row seat for this amazing day but we are so lucky to welcome Jason’s beautiful bride Melissa into the family! ”

This day was clearly so abundantly special. Both of my brothers were groomsmen in this wedding, one being Lisa’s hubby. The entire day had such a high energy feel as we took photo’s. I have to say that Melissa and Jason are two of the most laid back people I have ever met. Their LOVE for one another is so real and present in every conversation, picture, and memory of the day. There was never any need to be stressed or worried about anything… One part of the day just flowed into the next as wedding day unfolded.

The girl’s got ready at Melissa’s Parent’s home, which also was where the ceremony was later held. I stayed with Lisa and took photo’s for awhile and then headed off to grab some pre- wedding shots of the groomsmen in Eganville at the couple’s home.  I think at many times I was holding my camera “snapping away” with one hand and doing up buttons, fixing ties, collars, suspenders etc. with the other! I definitely witnessed some laugh’s as the boys had a few beer to celebrate the occasion. And this may be the only time of the entire day when I could see some “nerves” present. Jason was definitely feeling a few nerves for a couple brief moments during the “getting ready”.   It was such an honour for both of us to be so involved in the pre- ceremony events.

When returning to the ceremony site, I remember feeling butterflies thinking about what Melissa would look like… and honestly when I saw her come around the corner…. I was speechless. She was even more breathtakingly beautiful then I had thought she would be. And I already had high expectations!!!!  The dress was so perfect for her!  The couple shared their vows in front of their closest family and friends.  Melissa even had some tears during hers!!!! It was beautiful! Their was a sand ceremony to mark the couple’s union. Pastor Annette did an amazing job at describing the love these two had for each other and all other parts of the ceremony.

After the ceremony formals took place on the same property. It was full of rustic gardens and had a waterfront view. We also did some formals at a property close by that was an open field in front of a beautiful landscape of water and rolling hills.  The ring bearer and flower girl were so full of personality and were very cooperative with all of the business of the day. The little ring bearer was absolutely a riot and always made us work very hard to get the perfect shot. What he didn’t realize was that all of the little faces he was making were  wonderfully cute memories to have as well.

The Bride’s parents were so accommodating throughout the day, and I know they put so much work into the ceremony and  cocktail hour(s) to follow. Melissa’s dad was even mowing grass the morning of the wedding to make sure everything looked perfect.. and that it did!!! Great Job to both families and all of the friends that helped bring the day together!

The reception was held at the Eganville arena, and was quite a sight to see. The lime green and raspberry colours transformed the hall. There were (what seemed like)  an infinite number of trees lit up with twinkling lights. During the first dance we could really see the intimate bond between these two individuals.  We often tell the bride and groom at every wedding that they need to look at each other during the first dance so we can get some shots using different lighting techniques etc. When I told Jason this he said ” I won’t be looking anywhere else because that is the only place I want to look”.  This couple was perfectly matched for one another.

We would like to note that Sidewinder was the entertainment for the evening and did an amazing job!

To the Bride and Groom:  We wish you the best future filled with as much Love as we witnessed on your Special Wedding Day. Lisa and I  are very lucky that in this case we get to watch your future unfold. CONGRATS!

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Life’s a beach… Julie and Jody’s Wedding

This Wedding was a very memorable one…. right from the night of the rehearsal I could see an absolute excitement about the Groom.  Even though the Wedding day was very HOT, and Jody (like most men) , would rather have been not taking a zillion pictures… His love for his Bride was shining through. He was an absolute gentleman and I loved watching him pick up her dress, shoes, or flowers, without even asking. His concern was her comfort and happiness and it melted our hearts.  He got very emotional during the ceremony and it was honestly the highlight to my day… We just knew this couple’s journey was so dear and close to his heart.

When we met this couple their Daughter was just a baby…. and on the big day… we realized how much she had grown. It was so great to see how their love was also expressed through her. What a wonderful unity to capture!

The day itself, was HOT HOT HOT, and sunny. But it was a perfect day for a beach Wedding! The couple was married at The Sands on Golden Lake, one of our personal favorite venues in this area, and their formal pictures were done along the shoreline and across the road in a field that belongs to The Sands as well.  Before we started shooting the wedding we took some beautiful pictures of the Spa ( which we will include in a blog at a later time), and after we were done it really struck me that this location was so perfect for this couple. It is so intimate and serene…. peaceful and fulfilling. It feels like a perfect place to start the rest of your life together.

Before the Ceremony began, we captured a few images of the bride and her ladies getting ready.  Lisa and I fell in love with the Bride’s shoes and the Dress immediately….  Then the Bride and Groom’s little 2-year-old princess showed up and the excitement in Julie’s face when she saw her daughter made me want to cry. It was beautiful.  We realized shortly after that the flower girls would be 3 little 2-year-old princess’ and fishy crackers were being passed around frequently as they awaited the Ceremony to start.

The ceremony was very personal and intimate. It highlighted all that we love about our couple. It was an emotional ceremony and it was great to be a part of. I love watching and capturing the couple’s daughter walk up to her mommy and daddy several times throughout the ceremony. I loved that she was just left to be a part of the union! Beautiful!

The formal pictures were  very easy to accomplish because of so much love, friendship, and cooperation from the entire Wedding party. Such a great group to work with! During the private couple photos, again in the heat of the day, you could almost feel this couple’s energy. It was truly like time stopped in those moments and they just felt the Love they needed to feel for these photos to be real.

Julie and Jody we were honored to be there capturing your moments and we wish you a lifetime full of many great memories and much love!

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Busy Little Bees are We – A few session to show off!

As I mentioned in the last post we have been really busy this summer and while we have kept up with blogging the weddings we have done we haven’t blogged about the other sessions we have had that have also been lots of fun to do.  Jenn and I are so lucky to be doing this job that we love!  I’m sure you’ve heard the saying find something you love and you will never work a day in your life…it really is true!

A Fabulous Family!

We love meeting new people but we also love working with people we already know.  We were honoured that the Phillip’s Family contacted us to do a family session while the whole family was visiting over the summer.  It was great working with such a large and fun group!

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Cake Smash!

Everyone like cake and how much fun would it be to just jump in a devour one!  We were so excited to see one our newborn clients return for a 1st Birthday Cake Smash.  Wow has he grown!

We did a few family photos around the farm before just giving him a cake that his Mama had made…at first he didn’t really know what to do with it…and then he just leaned forward and stuck his face in!

How adorable!  We look forward to watching this handsome little boy grow!

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A Baby on the Way!

Expecting a baby is such an exciting time and we had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful Mamma to be Michelle, and her family.  Michelle is just stunning and we loved meeting her and her daughter and husband for a family and maternity session.  Pregnancy passes so quickly, maternity sessions are a perfect way to capture this exciting time and the beautiful glow of pregnancy.

Good Luck with the birth of your new addition, we can’t wait to meet him or her!

Sigh...How beautiful is this Mama to be

Sigh…How beautiful is this Mama to be

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Wedding Reception Photo Booth for Desiree and David was loads of fun!

Jenn and I have been booked every weekend this summer, and we are loving it.  It is busy and some day’s I feel like I am going crazy but that just makes me love it more.  This past Saturday was supposed to be a weekend to attend a family function but it got postponed, it is indeed strange to think we had a weekend free…until we got an e-mail from Desiree asking if we could do a photo booth for her reception.  She only contacted us about a month ago, and I first I though oh no!  I hate to send that I’m sorry we are already booked e-mail, I don’t like to disappoint people.  When I checked the calendar I remembered we had originally tried to keep this weekend free oh good I don’t have to disappoint the bride!  I love that!

So, we set up a photo booth at the reception for this adorable couple and had a blast.  It is so fun to see everyone trying on hats , masks and boas, and having a ton of fun doing it!

Thank you Desiree and David for allowing us to be part of the fun!

You can see the entire gallery of photos from the Photo Booth by clicking the link here:  Desiree & David’s Photo Booth

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Pure Bliss… Dana and Tyler’s Big Day

Dana and Tyler’s beautiful Waba Garden wedding was like watching a fairytale unfold.  There were so many things to love about this wedding!  From the elegant hall decor (Even custom wall drapery sewn by groom) to the unique ceremony sitting plan, it was a wedding to remember.  Dana and Tyler are two very like souls whom, from the time that we meet them, were planning their stunning do-it-yourself masterpiece which happened on the couples 8th Anniversary!  Every piece of the wedding embodied their love and symbolized what brought them to this day.  Lisa had the luxury of shooting the ceremony from many, many, many  feet above the ground in a cherry picker.  While she seemed very calm and collected, I am sure I saw a little tinge of green in her cheeks…haha!  The formal pictures at the Garden were stunning.  Unfortunately the rain meet with us and for a brief moment Lisa and I were worried about being able to fully capture the day.  Luckily for us the sun was shinning in Renfrew.  With such a stunning couple it was not hard to create beautiful and dramatic images.  Therefore, we had just enough time to highlight all of the couples special day.

I had a minor set back during the early formal shots.  As a result of being so consumed by the moment, I was unaware of my surroundings and fell…..saving my camera but not my head.  I pressed on and didn’t let it stop me.  However we took a detour to the hospital that night before coming home.  A few stitches and a concussion taught me a very important lesson as a photographer.  BUT I GOT THE SHOT!!!!!

During the dinner the speeches told an important story about the couple.  It was clear they have been in love since very early on in their relationship and value loyalty, commitment, friendship and their love for one another.  There were so many nice things said about the couple and it was evident that they have both made a lasting impression on many people’s lives.  The first dance was a moment “Stopped” in time.  It is always an honor to capture such a loving first dance.  There were two highlights during the other first dances.  The first being the father daughter dance.  It started out as a slow dance to “My Girl” and then became a medley that Dana and her Dad could “Rock Out” to.  It was hilarious to watch and so fun to capture.  As the second highlight, Chris Kyte was featured singing a song for the groom and his mother.  It was a surprise for Tyler and there was a lot of emotion present in the room.  And can I just say we were excited to find out AMBUSH was the band for the evening.  It was a really fun experience!

We would like to wish this blissful couple much happiness. It was great to be a part of your special day.  Dana, You were breath-taking.  Your entire wedding party looked fabulous and I still can’t believe you did all their hair!

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Wildflowers and Mason Jars…. Nicole and Mike Exchange Vows

When we first met with this couple, there were a few things that stood out. Number one, we knew that Nicole would not be a typical “Bride” by the many DIY ideas that she had in mind and her ‘at ease’ personality. Number two, We knew that everything involved in the decor of this wedding was an adaptation of their love, a symbol of who they really were; their roots!!! When we heard her say ” think wild flowers and mason jars” in response to us asking about her theme, we both grew immediately excited for the big day. The couple was to be married on their property that was flourishing with apple trees. We did their engagement session there during peak apple blossom season. SIGH!!!!! Beautiful setting!!!!!

The big day finally arrived and it was a scorcher! The couple exchanged vows in between two apple trees with a very intimate setting for their guests to gather. The heat and sun did not affect the vows or the romance one bit. I had a tear in my eye as the bride got a little choked up saying her vows. My favorite part of the ceremony was that the couple’s dog was present for it all…. and even posed for a few formal pictures afterwards. The essence of this couple’s love was so real and their ” down to earth” qualities just made everyone feel at home. It was an honor to capture the ceremony!

The majority of the formal pictures were done in a wildflower garden: a  hidden gem that the couple had found. It was just so true to this couple’s union! We had a lot of fun in ” the very hot sun”. After the formals we headed to the reception that was actually a DIY project all on its own. A “garage” was completely revamped into a rustic and elegant themed banquet hall. It took my breath away when I walked in the room. The property was of the Bride’s family and it was stunning as well. You could tell that it had been used for many family functions. It was equipped with all of the necessities needed to have a great family party!  Again so true to the values of this couple. I must mention that the wedding favors were mason jars filled with homemade jam!!!!!

Congrats Nicole and Mike…. It was so nice to witness your day unfold…and capture the moments as they passed… simply perfect for the two of you!

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