“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are…. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life…In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend, a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile.”
– Bob Marley
Once upon a time, on a somewhat overcast August afternoon, an awesome couple made their dreams come true!
I met Maya through work a couple of years ago. Coincidentally, 3 of the girls at work were getting married within about a year, and I was honoured that Machado Photography was asked to photograph all 3 weddings! (Also see Monica & Jeff’s pics in July 2014.) It was neat to see how differently the 3 couples planned and celebrated their big events!
Family and home played a huge role in Maya & Patrick’s plans; the ceremony, reception and photographs all took place at Maya’s family farm. In fact, we even did their engagement photos around there too! The Ewert property was the perfect setting for everything, with space for the ceremony, tented reception, innumerable photo backdrops and even a field for guests who wanted to pitch a tent and spend the night!
Both Patrick & Maya’s families were wonderful to work with; my assistant Dan and I had so much fun working with them that I almost hesitate to call it work! All of them pitched in to ensure that Maya and Patrick’s day was exactly what the happy couple wanted. The decor was beautifully rustic chic (flowers fresh from the garden!); the 3pc band that entertained the guests before and after the ceremony was a very classy touch (I think that they played all of the Disney classics!); the food was gourmet home-style country-comfort food (loved that shortcake!).
The family’s speeches were funny and emotional; the childhood pictures of Maya and Patrick that were displayed were sweet; the jokes that guests had to tell in order to get Maya and Patrick to kiss were a nice twist on convention.
The day turned out a bit chillier than the average August day, so Mrs. Ewert passed out lots of wraps and shawls to the guests. By the time the dancing started, no one felt cold anymore. The reception pictures were a blast to take! I can’t say I’ve ever seen a bride rock a denim shirt over her wedding dress like Maya did!
Machado Photography sends a great big CONGRATULATIONS to Maya & Patrick and best wishes for a lifetime of happiness together. Thank you for letting us be a part of your big day!
We come from different cultures and ethnicities.
We don’t all look alike; think alike or feel the same things at the same time.
We are unique, each having our own purpose.
Machado Photography recently had a request to do a shoot with Juno nominated gospel singer Lorraine Harris; she was looking for some photos for her new website and for her latest CD, Confess.How could I pass up an opportunity like that?! Not only was it a chance to work with a renowned singer but I also got a free concert out of the deal!
Lorraine selected 2 churches in Cambridge for the session and we planned for both indoor and outdoor backdrops. She arrived well-prepared with her beautiful outfit selections; a couple of great “casual” looks, some gorgeous vintage inspired outfits and something warm and cozy for the wintery outdoor photos. I’m impressed by a woman who knows what she likes and what works for her! All of her looks were so uniquely different and all were perfect for a photo shoot.
Lorraine also brought along her husband Michael who enjoyed watching Lorraine in action!
We had hoped to do a fair bit of outdoor photography, with the churches chosen in part because of the stone facades and architecture, but as everyone around here knows, it has been a ridiculously cold winter! Lorraine was a brave lady and even though the frigid air chased us back inside pretty quickly, we did get some fabulous outdoor photos. You can’t even tell that we were all numb with frostbite! We’re both artists who are willing to suffer for our art!
Fortunately, we had plenty of diverse backdrops inside of the church. I really liked the black board background; the words “Jesus is…” were written in huge letters and the people of the congregation covered the board with words about what Jesus meant to them. It was just so fitting for a gospel singer to have this huge, unique, heartfelt message board in her photos. We had some balloons and we continued the “Jesus is” idea with those…and there were lots of kids around who wanted those balloons when we were done!
Congratulations to Lorraine Harris on the the release of her new album! Thanks for inviting Machado Photography to be part of your continuing success!
Popsicle kisses and big bear hugs
Little red wagons and jars full of bugs
Lots of toys
Remember way back in the summer when Machado Photography posted the blog for Melanie & Dan’s pregnancy photos
? I mentioned that you’d have to wait and see whether LilyAnne was going to have a new little sister or a new little brother….and the time has come for the big reveal!
It’s a BOY! Welcome to the world, Eldon! And now that he’s here and settled in, it was time for his first official photo shoot!
There were several reasons that made Melanie & Dan’s home the obvious choice for location of the shoot.
Firstly, Melanie is an interior designer…you just know that Eldon’s nursery is bound to be a thing of beauty!
Secondly, parents put all sorts of energy and planning into creating the perfect room for their new family member. After a few short years, most of those perfect rooms will be redone to accommodate the growing son or daughter’s tastes. It’s wonderful to have more than distant memories of that precious nursery; many years from now Melanie & Dan will be able to look back at the photos and see the hard work that they put into preparing for their new arrival! And Eldon will be able to see the lovely space where he spent his first cozy years!
Thirdly, sometimes new babies and young kids are happier to be at home in comfortable, familiar surroundings. Some children can become fussy and tired during their sessions and having favourite toys at hand can sure be helpful to get them in the mood to be in front of the camera! (I have to mention that this was NOT the case with Eldon & LilyAnne! They were as good as gold!)
I was absolutely correct about how wonderful the nursery would be; bright polka dots, happy colours, comfy chair…a perfect back drop for their photos. We didn’t limit ourselves to just Eldon’s room though; we also thought it would be cute to do some pics in LilyAnne’s room and she was very happy to share her space with us! We moved around the house from one immaculately decorated room to the next, finding lots of “scenes” ready to serve as settings for our photographs.
Congratulations to Melanie and Dan on making your awesome family even more awesome!
Remember, we’re madly in love, so it’s all right to kiss me any time you feel like it.
A beautiful autumn day in Waterloo Park for a beautiful engagement shoot!
Autumn is a very busy time of the year for Machado Photography; our clients seem to look forward to the colourful trees and falling leaves to enhance the background of their photos, whether for family portraits, weddings or engagement pictures. As you can see from Desiree & Dan’s session, there’s no question of why!
Desiree and Dan had known of each other, through mutual friends, for a long time before they actually met at a dance in Tavistock….and their meeting was obviously meant to be! They’re getting married in Jamaica in April 2015. Since their wedding pictures will be on some warm, wonderful tropical beach, it just makes sense to have their engagement photos in a very Canadian setting!
I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it; Waterloo park is a fantastic place to have a photo session. The variety of settings is just phenomenal, from the old school house to the train tracks to the boardwalk and, of course, the beautiful trees! As a photographer, I’d be hard-pressed to name a better location when it comes to an all-encompassing, one-stop photo location!
Between the various settings and the three outfit changes that Desiree & Dan brought along, the possibilities were endless! It’s almost like they got 3 separate shoots! The end result was so many perfect shots that they are going to have a difficult time narrowing down their favourites! As for me, I love when the unexpected happens…like the funny pictures with the duck that decided to become our new best friend! This pretty little feathered lady started out by following Becky around, then showed us her brazen side by approaching Desiree & Dan, obviously craving attention! Silly duck = fun photos!
Congratulations to the soon-to-be Mr & Mrs! Your warm and wonderful destination wedding is going to be amazing!
“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”
– Angela Schwindt
Since Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on everything that we’re thankful for in life, I decided it was an appropriate time to blog about Family. Most people are thankful for their families, for the love and support and strength that they give to one another. We wouldn’t be who we are without our family.
A few weeks ago I spent an afternoon with the wonderful Kuntz family taking family portraits. Machado Photography had a great time working with Paul (the Dad) and Pat (the Mom) and their adult “kids”, Connor (and his girlfriend Tasha), Adam (and his girlfriend Angela, who happens to be my cousin!) and Sarah (and her boyfriend Ashton and their awesome dog Hurley). Angela had bought the family a portrait gift certificate for Christmas. (Yes, Machado Photography has gift certificates!*)
Pat pled a convincing case for Rockway Gardens to be the location for the shoot, and it was a fantastic decision. The grounds are always beautifully maintained and there’s an abundant variety of settings throughout the park. At first we had considered meeting for 2pm, but when I saw the forecast for a bright, warm, sunshine-y day, I convinced them to make it for 4pm when the lighting would be perfect. You can see from the resulting pictures that I was right!**
It was a real collaboration, with ideas for photos being suggested by everyone. We did some traditional group photos and lots of couples pictures, we did some fun pictures and some serious photos too; the great thing about a photo shoot like this is that everyone ends up with photos that they love and they can pick and choose their favourites. I liked the trust test when Connor and Adam picked up Sarah…and managed to avoid the temptation to drop her!
It was a pleasant day in the park, spent with a delightful family!
*Machado Photography has certificates for any occasion; popular gifts include family portraits, pregnancy sessions, baby’s first photos, Christmas portraits and engagement sessions. Photo shoots can be booked for in-studio or on location, at the convenience of the receiver.
**I just have to mention this: I noticed several other photo shoots happening around the park when we were there, including a wedding and other family portraits. I requested that the Kuntz family have their session for 4pm as years of experience has taught me that late afternoon sun makes for beautiful photos. It was interesting to see several of the other photographers using supplemental lighting for their pictures; why mess with a good thing? As you can see from the Kuntz’s portraits, the natural lighting was exquisite! Why mess with perfection by using artificial light? Not to brag, but a good photographer knows their camera like it’s their extra set of eyes, knows what it’s capable of, knows how to use what’s available to create a beautiful, natural photo. It makes me a little sad to see wonderful opportunities for photography missed.
“When you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – Nora Ephron
If someone had said to me that they were planning a wedding that was going to be elegant, rustic, charming, sophisticated, classy and fun all at the same time, I would be a little bit skeptical. Turns out, it was not only possible, it was amazing!
You might remember the blog for Dale & Danielle’s engagement photos
a few months back; Machado Photography had a wonderful time at the Kaufman Flats, taking amazing pictures in the natural surroundings. That was a great warm up for their big day!
I joined the ladies at Andrea Villapiana Hair Lounge to document their transformation from lovely ladies into lovely ladies with fancy hair and elegant make-up! I always love this part of the wedding day; there are so many fun moments and great conversations! Afterwards, we headed to the groom’s parents home so that everyone could finish getting ready (and blow off any nerves with a good pillow fight!)
The gentlemen did their pre-wedding preparation at Kevin’s (Dale’s brother) house and then we all met up for the “First look”. Of course, the first pictures just wouldn’t be complete without including Danielle & Dale’s favourite furry friends who were decked out in fancy tuxes for the occasion…very handsome!
The couple provided Machado Photography with a complete scheduled list of the photos they wanted, as to make sure that we fit everything in and didn’t run out of time. At one of our earlier meetings they also brought a thorough list of interesting locations around Wellesley so that we could pre-pick their favourites for the best wedding day pictures…that was very helpful!
It was pretty great to have a late-afternoon ceremony planned as that gave us oodles of time to get all of the pictures they wanted without a huge rush. Over the course of a few hours, we did photos with their TransAm and motorcycle, we travelled to the Wellesley Library (I love how the pictures on the fire escapes turned out! Unique and fun!), we went to Grandpa Stroh’s stately home and did some fun balcony pics, then back to Dale’s parents’ farm (the site of the wedding)for the family photos.
I hate to sound like I’m always bragging, but you may notice in the pictures that it’s a little overcast…which makes my job so much better; no squinting or glare or unwanted reflections. But then look at the photos from the ceremony: just as Danielle was about to walk down the outdoor aisle, out came the sun to warm everyone up and radiate a glow on the proceedings! Mother Nature & I continue to have an unspoken understanding about these things, I knew she wouldn’t let me down! Poor Mike, however, had to frantically adjust the settings on his camera super quickly…luckily he’s a professional and didn’t panic!
After a lovely ceremony in front of the arbour, the wedding celebrations continued with a BBQ dinner reception. There were so many wonderful homemade, rustic details to take in. Candles placed on mini “stump” holders, wood slices in the vases, very natural “wildflower” arrangements; even the bar was made from logs!
It was all very rustic…and elegant…and charming…and classic…and it was all very much in the spirit of Danielle & Dale’s personality.
Machado Photography would like to say a great big CONGRATULATIONS to the happy couple; thank you for choosing us to be a part of your amazing day!
Machado Photography is having a busy summer, so many happy couples getting married! I never get bored of doing wedding photography because every couple’s big day is unique and different…and FUN!
Sara & Brad’s wedding was like a destination wedding, right in Cambridge; how interesting is that?! (They also did their engagement shoot in nearby Morriston
, on a beautiful farm!)
In the hours before the ceremony, everyone got ready at the Cambridge hotel. Due to the space limitations of the suite, I was met with a slight challenge to overcome; there was no place to hang The Dress for the much coveted pre-wedding shot. I decided to leave the party (it was a party, check out the music playlist that was composed for the occasion!) and take the dress down to the lobby where there was more space. I was met with the very kind and accommodating hotel staff; a maintenance worker brought out a ladder and hung the dress waaaaaaay up in the window so that I could get the photo I needed. He even climbed back up again to turn the dress for me! People are so helpful!
Having taken the perfect dress shots, I returned to the suite where I joined the ladies in some giddy jumping-on-the-bed action! These girls were a riot and so much fun! I love my job; I get to meet so many wonderful folks!
Sara and Brad wanted to do a “first look”, and decided that the Galt Country Club (also the site of the reception) would be a gorgeous backdrop for their photos….and it was!
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory was the location for the ceremony; it was like visiting a tropical jungle! Bride, groom and guests were surrounded by exotic flora and graceful butterflies, colourful birds and a beautiful waterfall; it all makes for a spectacular place to say “I do”, and a fantastic backdrop for photos, too!
As though a tropical ceremony wasn’t exotic enough, the reception was like a trip to New York! They
NY! Brad proposed to Sara in The Big Apple, so it was apt that they decorated the Galt Country Club using that as their theme; the tables were named and decorated after famous city landmarks including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and the Rainbow Room. The photobooth included the Statue of Liberty! Sara & Brad put everyone in a New York State of Mind!
A remarkable day for a tremendous occasion! Machado Photography would like to thank Brad & Sara for inviting us to be a part of their day, and we wish them all the best for their long and happy future as husband and wife!
We at Machado Photography get to see all of the new wedding trends every year: décor, food, fashion, flowers….all of the nifty ideas that people are coming up with each wedding season. We’ve noticed a few interesting and lovely trends repeating themselves.
Firstly, weddings don’t have to be on a Saturday!
Machado Photography has shot two Sunday weddings this month. Summer is jam packed with things to do, it feels like everyone’s Saturdays are booked up from May through September, so why not make things simpler by not competing for those filled up days? Increasingly popular, the Sunday or Friday wedding often means that more of the guests can attend; the ceremony sites and reception halls are more readily available (and usually less expensive to use); officiants, photographers, florists, caterers and deejays are less likely to be booked up….it just makes good sense! Who says that weddings have to be on a Saturday?
Secondly, intimate, personal gatherings are gaining in popularity.
Don’t get me wrong, Machado Photography loves a nice big rowdy party (!) but there’s a lot of beauty and joy in having a small group of the closest family and friends to share one of the biggest days of a couple’s life together. Plus, the bride and groom might find it much easier to plan for a smaller gathering!
Ashley and James were on board with both of these awesome trends and Machado Photography was there! They planned a beautiful ceremony at the Homer Watson House & Gallery in Kitchener. The historical home and haven for artists is a perfect setting for an intimate wedding, with a flourishing garden and the unique architecture.
With less than 50 guests (including Ashley and James and their 2 sons!), every moment was very personalized and cozy, from getting ready at Ashley’s parents’ to the ceremony itself to organizing group photos with every single guest and the dinner reception in a private room at the Charcoal. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday! And I could definitely tell that Ashley and James weren’t experiencing the stress levels that some couples have to deal with on their wedding day.
So I learned that it’s a fantastic idea to think outside the box for a celebration! There’s no definitive way to do things, do what works for you! If you have your heart set on a venue and it’s not available when you want to get married, just switch to a Sunday or Friday… It’s your day, your way!
Congratulations, Ashley & James, on the many, many years of happiness your family has ahead!
And thank you to Ashley’s mom, who admired my photography when she was processing it and recommended me to the happy couple!
Machado Photography has been lucky to be a part of the very exciting wait for the arrival of baby Kavya!
Denise and Nirav first contacted Machado Photography after seeing some photos of our work with Bre Creative ( www.bre-creative.com
) that involved maternity belly painting. They were very interested in incorporating the painted art into their photo session.
We started with beautiful, traditional portraits at the studio; isn’t that a perfect baby belly?
Bre then got to work with her painting talents and I documented the creation of the lovely resulting artwork on Denise’s baby bump! Once the artwork was completed, we decided to go outside to enjoy the sunshine and capture more wonderful images.
After receiving their proofs from the session, Denise and Nirav were over the moon with the results so we started making plans for our session when Kavya made her arrival. While I was at their home discussing plans, I quickly realized that their own home would make a fantastic setting for the pictures; their house is a very “studio-like” space that lends itself to photos, and the nursery is gorgeous!
Eight days after Kavya’s arrival, we had our next session. What an amazingly serene baby! She was calm and content throughout the shoot, including outfit changes, which is usually enough to make any baby restless. I was prepared with a little trick up my sleeve to lull her back to sleep when she looked like she was waking up; the trick worked well enough that Denise mentioned to me that she uses it herself now! Maybe if you stay tuned, I’ll reveal my trick in a later blog…but for now, it’s my little secret!
And then we had a THIRD session! What a wonderful idea to have photos done when family arrives from across the country to meet baby for the first time! For this shoot, my assistant AnnaMarie joined me; she’s very detail oriented, which is important for making certain that everything from clothing to hair to jewelry are just so.
The family made us feel so welcome! They were so accommodating when I made suggestions, they were wonderful to photograph. I’m sure part of that was that everyone was so happy to be together for such a wonderful life event!
Congratulations to Denise and Nirav! Kavya is beautiful!!! What a wonderful addition to their family:)
I think I can sum up the Sunday wedding of Michael & Donna in one word:
Now I’ll use a whole bunch more words to tell you why it was memorable!
I barely know where to start! This wedding had no limits when it came to creativity! My partner-assistant Mike works for the groom, Michael, at Vidyard and since I went to high school with Michael, I thought that I had an idea of what to expect….but as they say, “Expect the unexpected!”
While I documented the lovely ladies getting ready at Michael & Donna’s beautiful abode on the edge of Victoria Park, Mike joined the fellows down the block at the groom’s brother Steve’s place to capture images as they sipped their beer and tied their jaunty bowties. When everyone was set, Michael returned so that he and Donna could have their “first look” on the front porch of their very own home and enjoy a champagne toast to celebrate the wonderful day ahead.
Now, being that bride and groom live on the shores of one side of Victoria Park Lake and the ceremony & reception were to take place on another shore of the lake, it just seemed logical that they should arrive by canoe! I am still amazed at the elegance and grace that Donna obviously possesses to be able to maneuver her way into and also out of a canoe while wearing a Grecian gown and 5 inch heels! I am thoroughly impressed! A nice touch was Blake (the videographer), installed a GoPro in the canoe so that they would have a video of their last moments of alone-time before the ceremony.
The day continued with more and more interesting and personal touches; every aspect of the wedding was connected to someone important in the lives of the couple.
The officiant (who was also a groomsman) for the ceremony was Devon, a partner at Vidyard. The flowers were done by Donna’s sister-in-law Xiaopu with the help of Michael’s mom. The DJ was Joe, who works at Vidyard. Steve’s dog wore full wedding regalia. The reception was catered by Marisol, the Kitchener restaurant where Michael and Donna had their first date. There were drones flying around overhead taking both photos and videos of the event from a unique perspective.
There was a magician named Wilbur who, among other tricks, made Donna a balloon sculpture puppy (Donna would love to have a real puppy!), popped it right before our eyes, then made it magically reappear! There was a jumpy castle at the reception, which I think the groomsmen enjoyed even more than the kids! The groomsmen also garnered a lot of attention with their pre-reception change-of-attire; check out the pictures and you’ll see what I mean!
All of the action sure kept Machado Photography busy behind the cameras, making sure that we didn’t miss a single thing! Memorable is definitely the word that I would use to describe the amazing celebration that Donna & Michael created to kick off the start of what will be a long, happy, love-filled life together! Congratulations!