2015

Award Winning Wines for a Wonderful Winter

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As we inch our way toward winter our palette in the Dukát Household tunes to wine. We find wines to be so cozy, unique and creative that anytime we get a chance to enjoy a bottle of something beautifully made, we are IN! We love wines so much that on our wedding day we had a skilled sommelier teach us and our guests about the six different wines we had chosen to pair with our wedding day feast!

So, we were thrilled to be invited to Queen's Park to cover the Lieutenant Governor's Awards Reception for excellence in Ontario Wines. To be surrounded by some of the best wine-makers in the country was a lesson in persistence, perfectionism and passion! We wanted to share these with you, because, if you love wine too - or if you're simply vino-curious - this is an excellent place to start. A stipulation of wine nominations was that they be commercially available for purchase so pick something to celebrate tonight with someone you love and bring home a bottle of excellence! Salut!

Angela & László

Riddled Sparkling, 2009, Flat Rock Cellars

Riesling, 2010, Hernder Estate Wines

Riesling Icewine Reserve, 2013, Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate

Sauvignon Blanc Signature Series, 2013, Peller Estates Winery

Small Lot Riesling “Wild Cask”, 2013, Thirty Bench Wine Makers

Gravity Pinot Noir, 2012, Flat Rock Cellars

Riesling, 2014, Creekside Estate Winery

Chardonnay, 2013, Ravine Vineyard

Gamay Noir Private Reserve, 2013, Peller Estates Winery

Small Lot Block 12-140 Syrah, 2012, Rockway Vineyards

Sandy Clark on Fabulousness and Authenticity

 

I'm so thrilled to introduce you to Sandy! A Career Management Professional and certified coach, Sandy is a firm believer that our lives evolve most when we are open to opportunities.   She lives by the motto, 'Dwell in Possibility' because she's learned that anything can happen. When you meet Sandy you feel a profound sense of calm and positivity. She's climbed Kilimanjaro, navigated her unique patch to professional success and remained a humble giver and all around beautiful energy to be around.  Sandy agreed to share a few thoughts on fabulousness and authenticity, which, in my opinion, this woman has nailed in spades!

 

 How to Look and Feel Fabulous or Why I’m Tickled Pink

 

With a sigh, I hung my beautiful wedding dress back in my closet. A single occasion gown. I knew I wouldn’t wear it again. With an uncharacteristic lack of sentimentality and show of fiscal responsibility, I had decided to sell my gown, and so I took it to be cleaned in preparation. To my dismay the cleaner declined to risk treating the hand dyed fabric. So, back into the closet it went, and stayed, amongst other precious but seldom worn garments like my mother in law’s fur coat and my husband’s leather university jacket. I need to tell you about this dress. It’s a soft ballerina pink. The full silk skirt is covered by a heavenly swath of pink tulle. The back is sheer, adorned only with a single row of covered buttons from neckline to waist. All of it envisioned by me and skillfully created by a movie costumer designer with nimble fingers and a creative love. I’d never felt so special or feminine as on my big day and my dress played a huge part in that. So it’s very sad to me that my wedding photo album is missing but one shot - a photograph of me, by myself - rapturously enjoying my gown.When I asked Angela what I should wear to my “Notes to Self” shoot, she suggested that I wear a dress, something that made me feel fabulous. This was after she looked at my Facebook page, showcasing me mostly in athletic gear. Hmm, I wasn’t sure where she got the dress idea. I only own three and none would qualify as making me feel fabulous. I couldn’t imagine wearing any of them for a shoot, let alone a pose I could strike!

. Late on the night before the shoot, I remembered my pink wedding dress - the only dress I have ever loved. I sent Angela a note about my dress and a photo of it. “YES”, she exclaimed, “You have to wear it! It is fabulous!”The next night, she and I jumped into my VW beetle, me at the wheel with tulle up to my ears. We hurried to the location, knowing we had limited time to catch that elusive magic hour light. And we did have magic. I had fun. We both laughed. I was wearing my ‘Sandy’ dress. No heels, just barefoot in the grass. I didn’t pull out the hairspray or comb that I had brought along, just in case. I was able to be myself and there isn’t anything easier to be….if only we could allow ourselves the luxury of just that - Being ourselves….that’s when we look and feel fabulous, both inside and out.

Averill Bell on the Importance of Being Photographed

 

Averill Bell is an artist, manifestor and magnificent mother of three. She's fearless in her pursuits and relies (with a great deal of success) on her free spirit and kindheartedness to overcome challenges.  Averill aspires to enjoy life no matter what comes her way,  to laugh, smile, drink wine and always be grateful for what she has been given.  No matter what, "Life is Good!"

 

As a photographer, being on the other side of the camera is very different for me. It is not a place where I’m used to being or at all comfortable, but it’s important from time to time, to get out of our comfort zone and challenge ourselves in ways we normally wouldn’t.

There is something to be said for having courage and allowing yourself to be seen. I’m not as skinny or as fit as I used to be, I have plenty of wrinkles and grey hair. My body after three babies has taken a beating and I’m not as young as I once was. So is this why so many of us are afraid to have our picture taken? To have a moment where the focus in on us? Why do we hesitate to give historical and photographic proof of who we are, especially as we grow older?

As women, and mothers in particular, we typically don’t like to be seen. But our existence needs to be captured and we must take the opportunity to be remembered for who we are, wrinkles and all! We have to jump in, both feet, and embrace the moments we are given and not shy away from them. Too often we run away from the camera, feeling we aren’t in our ideal state – our hair is a mess, we are carrying a few extra pounds or have no make-up on. Sometimes we are missing from photos altogether because we’re just too busy doing other important things.

But it’s important that when our children are older, they have photos where they see us for the women we were – not for the outfits we were wearing or if we sucked it in enough. They don’t look at us that way. All they see is “mom” - how beautiful we are, the love we carry for them and hopefully, a warm and wonderful memory to go alongside the image. When I look at older photos of my own mother – all I see is how beautiful she is, her warm and tender smile, and how much she loved us. Nothing else! It’s vital that we start to see our beauty through our children’s eyes.

As nervous as I was to take this leap, I am so grateful to have had the courage to let myself be seen through the lense, to be captured in the moment, to let the world see who I am, to have an image of myself for my children to always remember, and above all – to allow myself the opportunity to embrace my own beauty and who I am.

Be courageous, smile and be seen!

~averill bell~

 

Holly West on Self Love as a Journey

 

If you don't already know this writer, I'm stoked to introduce you to her! Holly West is a Toronto-based writer, who is working on not being a lady of leisure. She likes fanfiction, documentaries, Dolly Parton, and cool and tart glasses of lemonade. Check her out at westerlywinds.tumblr.com where her refreshing and witty style will have you wondering where the afternoon went.

 

“Here comes the sun and I say, it’s all right.”  ~ The Beatles

For me being seen has long been an issue – I stand a staggering 4’11” and have always been easy to miss in a crowd. I’ll admit blending into the tapestry was by design, but as the years and decades have marched merrily along I’ve made inroads into not only being seen but also being seen in the way that I want.

The day of this photo shoot I was on the tail end of some bleak mental health days and the further along I got in the long trek the more I felt myself unfurl – was it the literal physical forward motion? Was it the coy and interested looks some of the fairer sex were casting my way? Was it the landscape as it chased its way from pot-holed and industrial, to sprawling farms and smooth roads? Who can say, but by the time I hopped off the bus I was ready to lay bare all normally left shuttered away.

With the afternoon sun warming my freshly shorn head I sat on the parallel lines of train track and thought about all that came before and what is yet to be.

My last name may be a direction but I was directionless. Years of internal struggle left me adrift. But as my grandfather used to say, “hurry up slowly.” I was and am going to get ‘there’ someday. I now dress, cut my hair, and write so that I am presenting exactly who I am. You won’t have to squint to see me.

As the sunset and I headed home with my grass stained butt I felt that thing. You know that feeling? It feels a little like hope, a little like loving myself again. That love is helping me to have better days and a future that looks just as crystal clear as the sunlight highlighting the blue of my eyes.

Guest Blogger: Holly West

Find Her: westerlywinds.tumblr.com

Photographer: Angela Durante, Dukát Photos

#Notetoselfproject

Magnificent Mothers

One day an email came from a friend. She asked me to photograph her beautifully wrinkled belly with her kids to celebrate the work her body had done to bring two lives into the world. As I spoke to others about it, one mother turned into two, two into four. Before long, we were arranging a weekend-long shoot with a circle of women who wanted to celebrate their bodies and honour the magic of motherhood. Each mother also contributed a piece of writing - some wrote letters, some, words of wisdom and others declarations - and the following year we published the images and women's written pieces in a book called Conversations With my Body: Mothers. For a year it sat on my desk. I loved it. I showed it. When I asked the mothers in this project if they wanted to share it with you, the response was and overwhelmingly fearless, Yes! Today, we're sharing our magnificent mothers in the hopes that they join the quickening current of self-love and unique expression.  

Pablo Neruda is a famous Literature Nobel Prize winner whose memoirs are titled, Confieso que he vivido.  “I confess that I have lived”. This phrase is precisely the one that one day suddenly came to my mind one spring morning after having my second baby and spending endless hours in front of the mirror - Many hours or may be just many minutes that seemed like hours trying to find the “old" me within my “new” I. And just like that, this was the phrase that brought me peace - and still does when looking at my body on the mirror. The one that helped me to come to terms with my deep stretch marks, my c-section scar, my tired eyes. That is it, that is all. Since then on and in a revolutionary and rebellious latin tone- just as I imagine Pablo Neruda saying it when he came up with the name of his book, I think- sometimes aloud before turning my back to that implacable mirror… “ who cares.. I do indeed, confess I HAVE LIVED!”

~ Olga


I am a mother.  It's quite possibly the most important role I will ever play in my life.  And when I look at my daughter I am consumed with the idea that I need to be the best role model I could possibly be and it starts with loving myself.  Sure things hang a little more than they used to - gravity has a whole new meaning.  But to be perfect is to be imperfect.  This is me - fearless and standing strong embracing what nature has given me.

~Drea


As a Yoga teacher and counsellor at a women’s shelter, I talk to a lot of people, mostly women, about self-care. As a mom, I understand the need to take time for myself every day and crocheting allows me that.

I started crocheting 5 years ago as a hobby and quickly realized that it was an outlet for me. I am always amazed at what I can produce in a short period of time and the relief it provides me. My hands are always busy, always moving, and when I have yarn and hook in them I can make beautiful things for the people I love.

I knew my body would change when I had my son, and it has. My breast hang low after 2.5 years of breast feeding, my stomach is rounder, and I never sleep well because I’m up in the middle of the night wondering if I’m living my life right! I realize now that crocheting makes me a better mother, partner and friend.

I am so grateful to have found this gift and to be able to share it with the people I love.

~Melissa


Motocross is cool. Motherhood is cool. I am still cool. My passions and love for what defines me have only been empowered more by becoming a mother. Do not be quick to judge this book by its cover, as the cover has been reshaped, made more beautiful, and redefined by motherhood. This is my conversation with my body. Join the conversation.

~Mandy

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Growing up, I never dreamt of marriage or envisioned a house full of kids. I had a few different reasons for “going against the grain” – or so I thought – but mainly though, I just wasn’t ready. I enjoyed sleeping in, staying out late, hanging out with friends, focusing on my career, on myself. And that’s exactly what I did for a very long time. And then of course that all changed when I met my husband. Just like that, I knew I wanted to become a family and instead of feeling panicky I felt excited about a new future. Women have been granted the gift of creating and carrying a life within us, such a beautiful and wondrous experience. How best to express how it feels to have a baby and to be a mother? It’s amazing and humbling, exhilarating and exhausting, peaceful and chaotic, imperfect, inconvenient and without question the most monumental occurrence of my entire life. Through all of this change I have emerged as a different version of myself and my body is the physical representation of all these things. I love my life and what I have become. I love caring for my little boy every day and watching him grow and change. I love being a mother, and the body that goes along with it.

~Dawn


Having children brought about a new found love and appreciation for my body (surprisingly). Prior to children the measure of my body was competitive and comparative. My involvement in sport measured by body's ability, or in my mind, its inability. Family, friends, magazines and a slew of influences charted where I compared to the rest of the world.

I am now most importantly a measure of my children, as they are a measure of me, physically or otherwise. My body's purpose extends well beyond the physical, thankfully leaving it's shape and size of distant importance.

~Becky

My essential survival kit to motherhood:

Gratitude for my gifts,

a flow of reminders to live in the moment

and a sense of humour.

Lessons learned from my children. Thank you babies!

~Angela


I always wanted to be a mother. Embraced my body changes for the rewarding experience of knowing that part of me is in each of my 4 beautiful children.

I would do it all over again....and maybe better knowing what I now know!

Life and motherhood (body and all) is beautiful!

~Teresa

 

 

 

 

 

 


Joy, new love, beautiful, gentle, speechless,

Overwhelmed, emotional, tired, exhausted, frustrated, grumpy,

Wide-eyed, Cooing, crying, laughing,

Silly, playful, spontaneous,

Chubby, healthy, exercise, food, cooking,

Confident, strong, happy, thankful, cherish.

~Cristina


I thank our Creator My Lord for blessing me with the gift of motherhood and giving me two beautiful daughters.

I dedicate this image to my daughters as a symbol of strength and Love, for it is their love that makes me strong. It is my children who give me the reason to fight, no matter what life throws my way.

To my girls, I love you with all my heart.

~Rosa

 


Undecided Mom.

Deciding on having a child is momentous!  A hard decision to make for those who are undecided like I was. In a world where the new generation can be a little selfish one of my biggest worries was that a child would take away from all the fun I was having and some of my natural beauty.

In fact, I'm so happy that I decided to take the leap, listened to my inner gut as I wouldn't change a thing. I'm having the best time of my life, exploring, learning as I go and watching my boy grow stronger everyday. The fun has just begun and I can't wait for tomorrow.

For those in the know - know that it comes with a little hard work and for those who are thinking twice do take the plunge, have no regrets, trust me you will have fun getting to know your new bundle of joy, to share your new found love and you're going to love it.

Today I celebrate the beauty found in real people - real mothers and real woman.

I'm a kid. Always been a kid. Having a child allows me to be a kid, to have fun and be me.

~Lynn


After having my second child, I became very self-conscious of my body. I knew my body would change but I wasn’t prepared for the stretch marks. It took me some time to come to terms with the fact that I would never have my flat, smooth belly back.

I am so grateful for my wonderful children and I wouldn’t change a thing! They look to me for strength and guidance and with unconditional love they inspire me to become a better mother. Each day I become more confident in myself and my body. This is me, this is my body and I am proud of what and who I am.

My husband says that “he sees the smiles of our sons” in my belly. What an amazing feeling!

~Lilia

Without a doubt, motherhood has been the most physical and emotional challenge for me. My prenatal and postnatal moments have shaped and tested my body in ways I could not even imagine. My two amazingly energetic children are continuously giving me the opportunities to learn life lessons in humility, patience, empathy, and love. I will teach them to be good to others, to care for the planet, and to be the best version of themselves. Because of them, I am strong and will always be their rock and safe haven when they need me.

~Julie

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Piccola Amore ... My Thoughts of You

Like a mamma lioness to her baby cub, fierce motherly instincts have kicked in and I will protect you with all my being.

You are my precious gift, my joy, my sunshine each morning.  Miracle of life, I will nourish, nurture and love you with all my heart.  There are no words to express the bond between a mother and child and the tremendous amount of love you feel instantly.

Little one, I will be strong for you, a mother you will be proud of and a role model worthy for you to look up to ... because ...

I CAN, I WILL and I AM ... a woman and mother totally in love with you.

This is my expression of strength and dedication to my baby girl.

~Teresa


Nothing can ever be the same. It has been a year, the most life-altering year, and my truth is that life, for me, can never be the same. You are self-sufficient, confident and adventurous, all that I aspire to be. Oh the things we will teach each other.

Dear Daughter,

I write to commemorate our first year together, mother and daughter. You hear about this type of love, and it’s unimaginable, but I now know just how true it is. You are confident, self-sufficient and effervescent; all that I strive to be. Oh the things we will teach each other. There was a time when my life’s focus was work. I remember sitting at my desk, looking down at my ever-growing belly and thinking “I need to find balance in my life, perhaps this little lady bug is the ticket”. I loved every minute of spending your first year together; we made memories that will forever stay in that little corner of a mom’s heart. I had trouble adjusting, life was just so different, this wasn’t so black and white for me, there was a gray area, and something was missing. The year flew by, and returning to work loomed, I was nervous and wracked with guilt. One week in, everyone asked with their scrunched faces, “how is it going? Has it been as terrible as I hear it is?” No, it wasn’t at all! I felt alive, there was a new found pep in my step, in one word; it was awesome! Now a new guilt, where were my tears? Where was this horrible feeling of abandon? It took my first four days at work to realize, the gray was work, I had missed it terribly, and I was damn happy to be back. I want you to know that it’s OK to want it all. You CAN work and be a mom, a great mom at that. I know in my heart I am giving you the very best of me every minute we spend together, by fulfilling my dreams outside of being a mom.

~Melissa


A journey to learn so much more about Me.

I took in endless amounts of advice while pregnant. I read as much as I could. I improved my lifestyle to improve quality of life for the being inside my body. I devoted myself to my unborn child.

I was praised. Told I would make a great Mother. Listened to compliments and encouragements. Made note of the hardships of others. Compiled a strong birth plan. Pumped myself up to go drug-free for the sake of my baby.

Kept my body fit and ready. Did all the proper exercises. Even took up Yoga. Meditation. Faith.

Nothing prepared me for the mental stretch marks that becoming a Mother would bring. The scars of Motherhood that nobody else will ever see. The ones that will forever bring a heavy feeling in my heart and a tear to my eye.

Yet I carry those emotional scars just like the women who bear them on their skin. With pride. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can do this. I did do this. Bring it on, one day I will do it again.

~Colette


Thank you to all the mothers who brought their creativity and wisdom to the project, especially Becky and Anna who are the bones of the Conversations with My Body group, and to a fabulous father, László, who helped to capture each mother in her best light. No photoshop was used in the production of these images - just love, light and a circle of creative mothers. All images were taken in the fall of 2013 near Toronto, Canada.

 

Ashley and Patrick's Atlantis Wedding {Toronto}

I sat down to write about Ashley and Patrick's Irish-Canadian wedding searching for a good Irish proverb about marriage. A nice lead-in, I thought!  Twenty minutes later I was still sitting there, my head sinking into my open palm. These must be the cheekiest people on the planet, I conceded! Jokes, teases, witty quips about wives and woes and the only cure for love being marriage ... Then it came to me that laughter and silliness were what made Ashley and Patrick's wedding so fun to be at and so great to photograph. The bride and groom's colourful Irish guests (both in character and in dress!), a group of witty groomsmen, a candy bar as far as the eye could see, a dress up photo booth, a ladies dance mob - even the priest had a few jokes up his sleeve. You don't need the famous words of a poet to highlight that some people have the gift of a light-hearted spirit, quick wit and unconditional love. Patrick and Ashley, we wish you a lifetime of these virtues!

Angela and László

Ashley and Patrick's hiking trail Engagement Shoot

Ashley and Patrick are one of the sweetest and most adventurous couples we know. They met and fell in love out to sea and have oscillated between living on land and water since they met. Personally, László and I thrive on change and adventure and maybe that's why we're so fond of these two.  Spending time with them and their friends and family has reminded us about the power of kindness, understanding and working together - about pursuing your passion even when you aren't both standing on the same continent or time zone. One fall day, when Patrick was home from a cruise adventure, I met them on a local trail  for a pre wedding session to warm them up for their big day.

Visit us again for Patrick and Ashley's beautiful Irish-Canadian wedding bash at the Atlantis in Toronto, coming up in a couple days.

Until then, love and light!

Angela

Dave and Bianca's Dr's House Wedding {Kleinburg}

On a lovely spring day like today I think it's safe to sit back and admire a beautiful winter wedding, right? Well here's a gorgeous event of rustic and bling to admire  - Dave and Bianca's warm-your-heart Kleinburg wedding hosted at the Dr's House. It's filled with creative touches and touching moments, beautiful people, a party bus, photo adventures around Kleinburg and absolutely bone-chilling weather, which the Montrealers quickly remedied with shots and wicked dance floor moves!  There's nothing like a good party with heart and this wedding celebration is teeming with both. Love and Light to you, Bianca and Dave, on all your future adventures!

Angela and László

How to Kiss in a Rowboat (and Other Secrets of Love)

Having only been married a few short years myself, I'm not purporting to know the secrets of love and long marriage, but the more time I spend with couples the more I learn about the many things that draw people together - and keep them together. In Bianca and Dave I see three ties that bind; Their common sense of adventure, Dave's never-ending mission to make Bianca laugh (coupled, of course, with Bianca's love of laughter!), and their delicate sense of balance. Bianca and Dave have been together many years (since Bianca was in high school!), so whatever they're doing, they're doing it right. When they woke up on the day of their engagement shoot to gloomy skies it didn't deter them for a second. This was the first sign that they were up for the adventure and not waiting for everything to appear perfect. The most awesome surprises can come out of just jumping in, right?! And that's precisely how it went. It was a beautiful gloomy summer day filled with a lot of laughs,...

Long glances and sentimental moments...

And a romantic afternoon getaway to a little private pond.

As if to thank them for their faith in the day, the clouds burst open in late afternoon for sixty seconds of beautiful flooding sunlight!

The sun and clouds had spent the day playing the delicate game of balance that made Bianca and Dave's engagement shoot so perfect. The only thing left for them to do was jump into the row boat and practice their own hand at the art of balance.

Later this week we will be sharing Bianca and Dave's beautiful Kleinburg wedding at the Dr.'s House. Until then, wishing you love and light!

Angela

Lakeside Love for Long Distance Hearts {Calmwaters Cottage}

It's so hard to be apart. This I remember vividly. László and I fell in love in late spring, spent the summer together, the fall, apart, and were married in early winter. Living on separate continents seemed like the hardest thing on earth at the time. I know lots of people do it, but when it's you, it seems like the waiting is never-ending. For Lauren and Matthew, the waiting is almost over. Lauren and Matthew met serendipitously at a wedding last May, after which they would have returned to their respective homes, a continent apart, likely not to cross paths again. But when you listen to them tell the story of the night they met, you come to understand quickly that there was a deep, immutable force that drew them together that had them proclaiming that very day, that they were destined to be together. Who could refute such surety? Today they are counting down the days until Lauren closes up her last box and moves to San Francisco to be with her forever-love.  In June they will exchange vows, making for a whirlwind year of love and change.

We met Matthew and Lauren at Calmwaters Cottage on Puslinch Lake on Sunday,  where Matthew proposed. They wow'd us with their hospitality, great taste in wine, and above all, their gorgeous blue formalwear! The chilly lonely landscape might be a fitting metaphor for the challenges for long-distance love, but soon enough, these two loves will be in the warm and sunny arms of San Francisco, and most importantly, one another.

We hope these images can tie you over, Matthew and Lauren. We can't wait for your big day!

Angela and László

Lisa and the Allegory for Spring

If there is anyone who can summon spring's blooms it's Lisa. A bright, ever-smiling, creative beauty, Lisa hasn't changed a single bit since I last saw her twenty years ago. Lisa came into the studio this weekend with this caveat - "You know I've never done this before, right?" I assume she meant sit as a model. I dismissed her, perhaps too flippantly, because I knew that Lisa was the perfect choice for a project that needed doing. This has been a long and chilly spring and I felt we could all use a little bit of metaphoric conjuring. So, Lisa arrived, inspirational headpiece in hand (designed by Robin Sevigny) and no idea what to expect. Yes, spring can be a little like that, no? Let the warmup begin!

It didn't take long for Lisa's transformation into Spring to take shape.

With her headpiece in place it seemed that Lisa was indeed invoking the grace and awe that the season holds.

And if nothing else, Spring has had her fun with us this year!But our allegory for Spring didn't seem complete until we ventured into the wilds where Lisa gave in and truly embraced her role as mother nature's most optimistic daughter.

So let this be our ode to Spring, our visual invitation for the beauty and miracle that the season offers, and above all a threshold through which we can pass and emerge refreshed, vibrant and inspired.

An enormous thank you to Lisa for being the most beautiful of muses and an enthusiastic proponent of "Anything for Art" which she repeated vehemently as we shot outdoors. Thank you also to Robin Sevigny for the beautiful spring headpiece, to Alaina Lee for styling Lisa's amazing hair, and to Laura Misek, Linda Allen and Anna Andronova, three most creative and knowledgeable assistants. Now, bring on the Spring!

Sabrina and Daniele's Italian-Canadian Wedding Reception

Like so many couples who don't grow up in the same country, Sabrina and Daniele were challenged with the task of celebrating their marriage, not once, but twice! After their Italian wedding they jetted to Canada where Sabrina's family was eagerly awaiting their opportunity to dance circles around their newest family bride and welcome her charming new husband. Not only did they throw a fantastic Italian-Canadian wedding reception, but they did it with equal parts class and silliness which both Sabrina and Daniele carry so well. It takes a good deal of good spirit and silliness to cancel out a rainy day, but with the help of their boisterous family, they gave us all something beautiful to remember them by.

Sending love and light,

Angela & László

Sabrina and Daniele's Countryside Engagement Shoot

It's often said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In the case of Daniele and Sabrina, I think absence has made the heart grow longer. With our loved Sabrina and Daniele living abroad, our family and theirs have stretched their hearts across the ocean to keep the ties that bind. And with a baby on the way, it wouldn't surprise me if it mobilizes this particular family to go into the business of cross-Atlantic bridge building. We wouldn't change our love for trans-Oceanic marriages for anything - after all, we're an eclectically beautiful clan because of it.

Certainly however, the weather on the day of Sabrina and Daniele's engagement shoot was determined to mimic the celebrations and challenges of living far from people we love - sometimes it's an opportunity for growth and exploration and binds us tighter, and other times it's just plain crummy and we're grateful for social media and video conferencing. So on this day, the clouds loomed, making stunning heavy patterns in the sky, and then the wind picked up and whipped them around a bit. It threatened rain and we were ready to get poured on. Then, just as the sun began to set, the clouds parted. The sun streamed down and gave us the most beautiful cloudy mountains. It seemed poetic as metaphors go - for life, for marriage, everything, really. Whether we're near or far from people we love sometimes we wait for clouds to pass and sun to shine and beauty to reveal itself. And sometimes, nothing can substitute getting on a plane so we can hug each other in the same timezone.

Love, Angela, László and the whole clan.

Katelynn & Daniel's Bahamas Love Shoot

Oh baby, is it ever cold outside! I don't think I'm alone in wishing my fingers were running through sand instead of through snow right now. But with no plane ticket in view, I thought it was a good time to bask in the gorgeousness of Katelynn and Daniel's Bahamas love shoot. It's filled with all the things we love, love, love to shoot - passion, emotion, connection ... and of course, love in far away places!

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Wishing you love and Light,

Angela

Family Love with the Degnans

It wouldn't be right to let Family Day pass by without sharing one of our favourite families in the world. The Degnans are the type of family that you wish your brother might marry into so that you could be related to them forever! They're loving and loyal and their friends can't get enough of them, which says more than words ever could. We were blessed last year to photograph this beautiful family three times. They celebrated a 35th Wedding Anniversary and the marriage of two children, bringing spouses into the family who only added grace to greatness! We wish the Degnans a hundred more anniversaries and a dozen grandchildren to keep you young.

"A happy family is but an earlier heaven." George Bernard Shaw

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Love and Light,

Angela and László

Caitlyn and Jeremy's Vintage Inspired Wedding {Cambridge Mill, Ontario}

Love is contagious - this is certain - and Caitlyn and Jeremy's Spring wedding at Cambridge Mill was overflowing with it. Not only were they over the moon for one another, but much of what they integrated into their wedding day had history and at some point or another belonged to someone they loved. If you believe, like I do, that material things can become imbued with the energy and intentions of their owner, then you'll agree that this gorgeous bride was emanating generations of love and hope as she floated down the aisle to say "I do." An heirloom pin, grandmother's wedding rings, mother's kerchief, nana's earrings ... it's not surprising that Caitlyn and Jeremy were overcome with happy tears and gratitude for all their family and friends. Every detail of their wedding was touching. One might have thought that the phrase "Spread the Love" printed on the jam jar gifts was just a cute play on words, but some took it to heart. One of Caitlyn's maids met the man of her dreams in the seat next to her that night and will be saying her own "I do's" this summer. Whatever was in that jam, keep spreading it!

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Thank you Caitlyn and Jeremy for inviting us to be part of your gorgeous wedding. We felt the love too!    

Love and light,

Angela & László

Venue: Cambridge Mill

Caitlyn's Dress: Essence of Australia

The Cake: Made by Jaym, https://www.facebook.com/madebyjaym

Caitlyn's Flowers - Sanna Lavallee

Karyn and Dan's Waterfront Wedding {Spencer's on the Waterfront}

When two people get married after ten years, like Karyn and Dan did this past summer, they invite all those years of history to come too. Having known one another through such growth and change - it's no surprise that their wedding day was an emotional one. We too felt it. It stayed with us for days (one of the many rejuvenating gifts we get from photographing weddings). Working through their wedding collection I realized they had been doing their best to slow down every moment - cheek to cheek or foreheads together or eyes locked in gaze. What a deep well of thoughts and memories they could have drawn from in those silent pauses.

We wish you millions more of those moments Karyn and Dan! And we hope our art will help you go back in time anytime you please.