Machado Photography


{Becky & Dave’s Wedding}

“Everything’s better with zombies…”
Lily Herne,           Deadlands   


Believe it or not, I was shooting a wedding this fall and I barely survived a zombie apocalypse!
OK, maybe “apocalypse” is too strong a phrase…it was more like a zombie invasion.
Well, not an “invasion” exactly. It was more like I survived being at Becky and Dave’s Halloween themed wedding and having zombies serve me drinks and dinner….but it felt pretty perilous!!!


You may recognize Becky as one of my intrepid assistants; naturally, Machado Photography was there  for her & Dave’s big day.  And what a wild day! Becky and Dave pulled out all of the stops to make their dream wedding come true!


It was a photographer’s dream too! There was just so much for me to point my camera at! Aside from the amazing bride & groom, there were guests in costumes, elaborate peacock feathers, men in kilts, a cemetery photo setting, vibrant autumn leaves, disembodied hands, skeletons, witches, vintage movie posters, costume contest, riverfront photos….And if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, there was a Halloween photo booth set up, waiters made up as zombies and a million other little details to focus my lens on!


In spite of (or because of!?!) the whole zombie apocalypse thing, everyone had an unforgettable day, and no doubt this wedding will be a stand-out memory for all of the guests, Machado Photography, and, of course, Dave & Becky.


Congratulations and all the best for a lifetime of happiness together, Mr. & Mrs. Ramshaw!


Here’s a Photographer’s tip:
Did you notice how many different settings were used for Becky & Dave’s photos? It’s a great idea to look around your wedding & reception venues before the big day so that you can pick out the scenery you’d like to have in the background to set the mood for your pictures. We are going to take a lot (A LOT!!!) of pictures on your wedding day, and you don’t want them to all look too similar! Unless I’ve been to your venue before, I don’t know that there’s a really unusual tree behind the church or that there’s a bench in a park across the street that you like unless you tell me! Something as innocent looking as a fence can provide an interesting backdrop (as you can see!), as can a brick wall, a sign, a church window, some steps….and don’t forget inside options too! Is there something inside the reception venue that you think is unique? I can happily work it into some photos! I am full of ideas, but so are you! There is no right or wrong!
Published on:
January 25, 2014 9:45 pm

{The Flood Family}

“There is no experience like having children.’ That’s all. There is no substitute for it… If you want the experience of having complete responsibility for another human being, and to learn how to love and bond in the deepest way, then you should have children.”
― Mitch Albom,

My first time working with Ellen was when she contacted me to do some product shots for her business after seeing some of my work. The product shots turned out excellently, so she asked me to do a family shoot for her; Machado Photography was pleased to oblige!

We decided on the lovely Rockway Gardens as the setting, and it the overcast skies were just what a photographer hopes for to get the best shots (no squinting, no harsh reflections) of their models!

The family was full of great ideas that they wanted to incorporate into the shoot, including rows of their bare toes, a lot of natural and candid shots and making sure that we got lots of photos with specific trees. It turns out that the family has a special connection to Rockway Gardens, Ellen’s papa planted some of the trees there. It was really sentimental to see the family at the same trees generations later!

These photos actually help illustrate a great point; don’t underestimate the power of a simple prop like a chalk board or handwritten sign. It helps the viewer to see what may not be readily apparent just from looking at the photo itself. People looking at these photos may not recognize the significance of the trees without a little visual aid! Signs also come in handy for save-the-date photos, birth announcement portraits, Christmas photos, wedding thank you cards…why not use a “Happy __ Birthday” sign or a “___ Anniversary” chalkboard at your significant event?

Back to my subject matter! The photo shoot went off without a hitch and we ended up with tons of amazing pictures of this wonderful family! Thank you to Ellen and Tyrone and their awesome kids!


_TRH6220 _TRH6202 _TRH6195_TRH6192_TRH6612 _TRH6503 _TRH6467 _TRH6406 _TRH6383 _TRH6367 _TRH6358_TRH6863 _TRH6833 _TRH6825 _TRH6722 _TRH6720_TRH7112 _TRH7316 _TRH7298 _TRH7297 _TRH7294 _TRH7176

Published on:
January 8, 2014 8:34 pm

{Melissa, David, & Sebastian}

There are lives I can imagine without children but none of them have the same laughter & noise.”  
―     Brian Andreas


Machado Photography has spent a lot of time documenting the lives of this extended family! I used to work with Melissa’s Aunt Brenda, and as a result, I’ve been there to capture Klooster Family reunions, to photograph weddings, to take baby pictures….I’m pretty sure that I’m an honorary family member!


I really enjoyed working with Melissa, David and Sebastian when I was photographing a “Baby’s First Year” calendar of Sebastian, so I was excited to get them back in front of the camera, outside of the studio. We booked it for a beautiful fall day at St Jacob’s Millrace, and par for the course, the weather co-operated perfectly!


Strolling through the lovely wooded trails with the changing leaves, perching on fallen trees, allowing Sebastian to investigate his surroundings (including those fascinating pinecones!); it all makes for fun and candid photos.


Hopefully we can make this an annual photo shoot. It would be really interesting to go back to the same bridge, the same pathway year after year, using similar poses from some of our favourite pictures so that we can document both the changing family and the changing surroundings. It’s never too soon to plan ahead!


Here are some of Sebastian’s First Year Photos:)
_DSC7917 _DSC8027 _DSC8128 _DSC3493 _DSC6134
Strolling through the lovely wooded trails!
_TRH0028 _TRH0009 _TRH0187_TRH9941 _TRH0067_TRH0159black and white
Published on:
January 3, 2014 6:40 pm

{Robyn & James Engagement}

You don’t get married for yourself, you get married because you’re better together than separate.”
― Dirk Hayhurst


All right! This is my kind of photo shoot!


For Robyn & James’ engagement pictures, it was decided that spending some time in the kitchen of his homey apartment would make for some fun pictures.  Hmmm….and what would one do in the kitchen? Cook, of course! They set to work making a gourmet pizza and I set to work photographing their progress!


I’ve never been so hungry at a photo shoot in my life! Watching through my lens as they measured and mixed and chopped and sliced, my anticipation level was high (both for the results of their cooking and the results of the photos!).  I’m sure they noticed my tummy growling! And lucky me, the dough recipe called for beer and there was enough left over to share!


I think that this was a fantastic idea for their session. It gives insight into something that they enjoy, as well as being a setting that they are clearly comfortable in. Not only were there a lot of great candid and spontaneous moments caught on film, there was also opportunity for some more traditional posed pictures as well.


After the prep work was done, the pizza went in the oven and we decided that it was a perfect time to take some pictures of Robyn & James with another hobby: Lords of Waterdeep, a Dungeons & Dragons board game.  I must say, it looks like a pretty intense battle!


And next came the moment we’d been waiting for! Pizza perfection! Time to take the pizza out of the oven! After they sliced the pizza (excellent practice for when they cut the wedding cake), we thoroughly enjoyed all of their hard work….Delicious!


With intentions of getting some beautiful outdoor pictures (as well as walking off our full tummies), we strolled over to Victoria Park where Mother Nature provided a glorious backdrop of autumn leaves and funky trees.


Thanks a million to Robyn & James for feeding the photographer a feast! Can’t wait to capture your wedding day memories!



{Ready For Any Occasion}

“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” 
George S. Clason


Machado Photography does, among other things, portfolios, head shots and portraits. I often get emails from clients who need a new, professional picture for their on-line profile or their business card; it’s all in a day’s work. But Debra came to me with a different request.


Debra is a business woman with a lot on her schedule! Aside from co-owning (with her hubby Carl) both FAB Favourite Accessory Boutique and Twice is Nice Twice the Man consignment store, she is currently in the midst of gutting and completely renovating the house she grew up in. There isn’t a lot of free time on her calendar!


Not only are Deb’s businesses frequently featured in newspaper and magazine articles, but there’s a lot of advertising that goes along with running 2 businesses, too. That’s where Machado Photography and an element of preparedness comes in.


Debra booked a session with me so that we could put together a wide range of photos that she can have ready for any occasion. If a magazine wants to do a feature on her, she doesn’t have to squeeze a photo session with their photographer into her busy schedule; she just goes to the portraits that Machado Photography did and chooses an appropriate one (an image that she loves) that she can give them to use. It’s as easy as that!


When it’s time for the FAB Christmas ads, she has the photos all ready to go…just pick one and build the ad around it. Same for her Valentine’s ad, Spring ad and so on and so on. In a couple of hours we shot enough images, styles and arrangements to cover all of the bases for at least 6 months of print work. Now if there’s a feature to be done about Debra and one of her stores, she can save a lot of time and energy because she planned ahead.


And because of the wide range of images I took, she has some great shots of herself just for fun, too!




Where does the time go?


When Sierra got in touch with me to help her build up her portfolio so that she could apply to Sutherland Modelling Agency in Toronto, all I could think of was “Isn’t she still a kid?”


I’ve know Sierra since she was 9 years old! I used to braid her hair! ( and I used to date her cousin…but that’s a whole different blog!)


For this shoot it wasn’t going to be me doing Sierra’s hair; we had the privilege of professional hair and make up artist MacKenzie Casey from Toronto, who came to Waterloo to work her magic. It was a definite asset for a shoot that included head shots, natural photos, dramatic pictures and editorial images, each needing a very different hair & makeup.


Sierra is an awesome model; she was amazing at taking suggestions and directions and running with them. We were able to create a very well rounded, extremely professional portfolio that showed of her versatility.


Based on these portraits, Sierra should have no problem getting hired by any modelling agency she wants to have represent her!


Can’t wait to see you in the fashion magazines, Sierra!


MBW_2440MBW_2449 MBW_2663MBW_3237MBW_2878MBW_2975MBW_3448 MBW_3334 MBW_3341MBW_3614MBW_3676MBW_3530

{Vanessa & Zack’s Engagement Shoot}

“To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.”
― Bill Wilson


Another perfect fall day for a photo shoot! Mother Nature must have an appreciation for beautiful photography, because I always seem to luck out with such amazing weather!


Becky and I met up with Vanessa and Zack at the Kaufman Flats, a very versatile and captivating forested setting for their engagement shoot. And they brought Chloe; I always love working with pets in family sessions, they usually add some comic relief and lighten the mood! Obviously, pets are family too!


Vanessa came armed with some specific imagery that she and Zack wanted to emulate, which is great. It gave me an idea of what look they wanted to achieve with their pictures, and it gave us a starting point to work from.


Everyone has an image in their mind of how they want their pictures to turn out. There’s no better way to make sure your photographer is on the same page as you than by bringing along some examples. Some photographers don’t like their clients to do this, they feel that it stymies their creativity, but I don’t mind at all! It just suggests a style and certain elements that I can keep in mind during the session. It can be an added challenge…and Machado Photography is always up to a challenge!


We definitely got the pictures that they requested:)


One other thing to note: Vanessa wore a beautiful bright yellow coat for some of her pictures. Don’t be afraid to wear bright colours for your shoot! Don’t feel like you should wear black or white or other neutrals for all of your pictures; bring along something to wear that reflects your personality! There’s certainly nothing wrong with neutrals, but feel free to switch it up!


Congratulations Vanessa & Zack! Looking forward to your wedding next year!
MBW_0077 MBW_0065 MBW_0017MBW_0038 MBW_0006MBW_9923MBW_0378 MBW_9878 MBW_9672MBW_9766MBW_9779MBW_9580MBW_0188MBW_0198MBW_0289MBW_0216MBW_0373

{Monica & Jeff’s Engagement Shoot}

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”


I have mentioned before that if a bride and groom book Machado Photography for their wedding, I STRONGLY encourage them to book an engagement shoot with us as well. A wedding photographer is an investment in your memories of one of the most important days of your life; you want to be absolutely certain that you have the right photographer to get the best images possible, a photographer who will work with you and have a creative vision that meshes with yours. Sometimes the engagement shoot functions as a mini test run, a getting-to-know-you session.


I was recently asked by Monica & Jeff to photograph their wedding. The thing was, they had already had an engagement shoot with another photographer. The pictures from that shoot were nice; Monica & Jeff liked the pictures….but they didn’t LOVE them. That makes for an interesting situation. Should they invest in another set of engagement pictures? The answer was yes!


The engagement session acts like a “trial run” for the wedding. I can get to know the couple, see how they interact with each other, find out how comfortable they are in front of the camera and if necessary, find out how to make them more comfortable. Some couples don’t need or want much direction, they just go with it. Some couples want a bit of direction, want their photographer to make suggestions. By the end of the engagement shoot, I know what the couple wants out of their photos…romantic or serious or funny, sweet or elegant, modern or old-fashioned, posed or spontaneous.


After a bit of brainstorming, Monica & Jeff & I headed to railway tracks that ran through a wooded area, armed with some fun props like a blanket, a book and some cheerful red umbrellas. And then we had some fun! We had a great variety of scenarios to work with, from romantic story-telling to walking the rails, and of course, the beautiful fall colours which worked to our advantage! We even made a little detour to an historical school building; architecture changes the mood of photos significantly. Monica & Jeff are naturals in front of the camera!


I think you’ll agree that the pictures turned out beautifully. Now Monica & Jeff have engagement photos that they LOVE, and I am absolutely prepared to get the best possible photos at their wedding next summer!


Congratulations Monica & Jeff!
Published on:
November 8, 2013 1:29 am

{Ferreira Family Photos}

I’d rather sit alone on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Henry David Thoreau

*And I would rather be in a pumpkin patch, crowded with family, than alone OR on a crowded velvet cushion!!!


A pumpkin patch is such a wonderful place to be; nothing beats the crisp autumn-ness of a day on the farm! The huge and fun-filled Shantz Family Farm was the perfect setting for the Ferreira Family photo shoot!


As if my assistant Shannon and I weren’t excited enough imagining the potential creativity for the day ahead, we arrived on the farm to find a thick fog settled across the pumpkin patch…spooky! What an amazing photo opportunity! We went straight to work  to make sure we got those shots in the foggy field before the sun came out and chased the ambiance away.


We had a lot of action lined up for the morning, and with a group that big, it takes a lot more shots than usual to make sure we get those perfect portraits. With a dozen people, there’s a higher likeliness that someone will be blinking or not smiling or talking or distracted when I press the shutter; that amounts to at least 5 times as many pictures for me to take!


As part of the Ferreira session, we planned to spend time with each individual family, get the kids together for some photos (we found some great wooden chairs that made perfect props!), get some shots of the grandparents with their grandkids, get portraits of all of the ladies and pictures of all of the fellas….mission accomplished! It’s amazing what you can do when you’re determined!


Machado Photography is happy to offer up suggestions for scenic places to go for your next photo shoot, but we’re always interested when you have interesting locations already picked out. Don’t be shy about asking us to come out to a place that you love or that has sentimental attachment for you. Think outside the box; it will make your photo session even more personal!
{My Assistant Shannon @ The Ferreira Family Shoot}
I always join in on the fun! In the beginning of the photo-shoot I’m a photographer, by the end of the shoot I feel like I’m part of the family:)
Published on:
November 7, 2013 4:08 am

{The Schierholtz Family}

Remember Val, Curtis and baby Ben from my blog about babies? They’re back!


When Shannon & Jeff got married, Shannon gave her bridesmaids the gift of memories…each received a Machado Photography Gift Certificate; a great gift idea that I never even thought of!


So arrangements were made for a family shoot at Woodside Historical Site, on what turned out to be an overcast autumn morning. Fortunatly, an overcast sky without any rain is perfect for an outdoor photo shoot; no squinting! And the bright, colourful leaves that carpeted the ground more than made up for the lack of brightness from the sun!


Woodside is a lovely location for a shoot; from the beautiful trees to the Victorian home of William Lyon MacKenzie King, it offers a multitude of background options.


Baby Ben was once again a joy to shoot; look at those amazing facial expressions! He’s adorable!


How can a family photo shoot be complete unless we include the family pet? Joey was included this time and good thing; not long into the session, Joey perked right up and drew our attention to someone sneaking up behind me…a friendly and very curious raccoon! The little critter waddled towards us, completely unconcerned by our presence, just wondering what we were up to! He hung around long enough for me to take his picture and then he ambled off on his merry way!


As much as I love animals and encourage folks to let their pets be part of the photo shoot, I have to admit that dogs are much easier to work with than cats. In all fairness, we tried to bring the feline family member into some pictures, but even a professional photographer like me can’t make a cat smile if she doesn’t want to!


Our timing was impeccable that morning; just as we finished the session, the skies let loose a downpour! Once again, mother nature was on my side for an outdoor shoot!


A rainy afternoon was a perfect excuse for me to hunker down in front of the computer and get editing; by working hard Saturday and most of Sunday, I managed to get through the editing of over 540 images for Val, Curtis and Ben. I know that people are anxious to see results, so I’m always happy that I can get to the perfect final products in record time, without sacrificing any of the creativity or quality of my work. And the fact that I do all  of my own editing always means that the images are to my exacting standards, and all Machado Photography clients are thrilled when they get their finished portraits.


Social Links: