Dukat Photos

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


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!


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.

Meeting the Edmunds Family

It's always so much fun to shoot people we don't know because Laci and I are avid fans of adventure and surprise! You can prepare all you like but there's nothing like knocking on a stranger's door and seeing what's inside. As the door opened at the Edmunds family home it was like a vision from a Christmas movie! The scene - Santa's workshop! A little man greeted us excitedly at the threshold (ok,... it was a little boy, not a little man, but we're rolling with the theme here ;) and stared at us as though we had interrupted something. "Is mummy home?", I asked? He flung the door open and ran to find his mother who, with one hand was dressing a young girl and with the other combing another's hair. The bustle was nothing short of charming. Children preparing, parents directing, one little boy running about like Kevin in Home Alone when he realizes his parents are nowhere to be found. Mom and Dad were bombarded with questions about the whereabouts of items crucial at this very moment! Laci and I looked at one another - we wish this for ourselves someday. The edmunds kids were full of energy, up for anything and a total treat!  Whatever bribery tool or fear tactic mom and dad had pulled out to make that morning roll, it was genius! Here are a few shots of Mom, Dad and their beautiful kids on a sunny Sunday morning. Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1000 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1001 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1002 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1003 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1004 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1005 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1006 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1007 Edmunds family__Dukat Photos-1008


Love and Light,

Angela & László

Anna's Bridal Shower


Writing about someone so close to me is the trickiest of things I find. You know them so well and they know you so well that any amount of hyperbole is transparent and unnecessary. We are sisters. We love one another as sister do - with a deep and historical love that at times includes little verbal spats that are, thankfully, quickly overcome. We share a history that we will never overcome and that only WE will understand. In a few short weeks Anna and I will share the world of wifehood and eventually motherhood and we will enter into a faze of our lives that redefines, reinforces and reinvigorates our sisterhood. I am thrilled and excited for this. I have so many reasons to be proud of my sister - the least of which is what a beautiful woman she has turned into, for her true accomplishments are not visible from the outside. Those are the ones I will continue to cherish years from now.


Congratulations to my  little sister and let the countdown to the big day begin!!!  

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Dukat Photos {Anna's Bridal Shower}

Soaring Sonia: One Dancer's Country Sunset Photo Shoot

The serene country sunsets that we witness out in Ontario farm country are usually second to none in beauty. Last weekend however, the stunning horizon had competition. As dusk began to settle Sonia carefully criss-crossed the ribbons on her point shoes and followed us out to the fields to dance for us. Her natural beauty and quiet power blended into the landscape when she slowly lowered herself into a back bend - snap! I could only shake my head at what the camera had recorded. Sonia was a vision. The orange sun beamed softly behind her - it seemed to lift her with light. Once warmed up, Sonia leapt, spun, SOARED through the air. Laci says Sonia schooled Newton on the laws of gravity. The light came on in Laci's creative eye. 'Again' he shouted out and she jumped and spun on a dime. 'Again' - she leapt. 'Again' - she swooped. 'Again' - he shouted out and Sonia, with ease took off as if on a spring board. Each time she jumped higher and more elegantly than before and each time Laci grew closer to his vision of capturing Soaring Sonia. Sonia trumped the sunset that night. It isn't hard to see why. 

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Dukát Photos {Soaring Sonia: One Dancer's Country Sunset Photos Shoot}

Lynn and James' Country Maternity Shoot

Lynn and James joined us in the country recently where we photographed a most exciting time for two people in love. These two in particular should be teaching classes on keeping it cool while waiting for baby - they were so chilled, patient and fun-loving, that if this baby doesn't come out with an umbrella drink in their hand, I'll be shocked! No doubt, this is one lucky little bundle to be born to such loving parents who will surely savour the awesome transformation that a couple experiences when two become three.

You probably know that Lynn and James have decided to keep baby's gender a secret!  Scandalous for the eager beavers among us, but an exciting element to add to their birthing experience. That won't stop us from casting our votes though! Lynn and James invite you to leave your vote in the comments box below: are the expecting a girl or a boy? Tell us who you are, cast your vote, even share an anecdote about the mother and father to be. We hope you enjoy this selection of images from Lynn and James' Country Maternity Shoot.

Thank you Lynn. Thank you James. Thank you peanut. It was our sincere pleasure.

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Angela and László





Doers and Makers: Yard Appeal

They say artists come in all forms. This one comes with a shovel. Cynthia McCaul transforms wilderness into wonderful - and with a conscience. She started her own landscaping business, Yard Appeal, and her talent has become so apparent that she's harder to have coffee with than the Queen! But if you tell her your garden is in chaos she can't resist the temptation to whip it into shape and she's over in a jiffy. Like our last Doer and Maker, Daniella the Art-smith, Cynthia too is rocking a traditionally male dominated profession and bringing  flare and eco-consciousness in spades. Not only are her designs stunning, but they incorporate native plants indigenous to our region that support local ecosystems instead of trying to change them. Neither Cynthia or her gardens are trying to be something they are not. Thoughtful, natural and beautiful  describe not only her work, but our featured landscape artist as well.

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What's cooler than a Harley?

It was a scorcher on Sunday in our part of the world when Dusty and Melissa drove up on their Harley. The patented Harley rumble prefaced their approach and when they pulled up, refreshed from the windy speed they had been traveling, they looked nothing shy of wicked-cool. Melissa didn't so much as ask for a hairbrush when I told them I wanted to take their picture - and that's even cooler than riding a Harley!  Harley__Dukat Photos-1000

Doers and Makers: Daniella the Art-smith

Beginning any series with such a talented person inevitably sets the bar high in our search for ‘doers and makers’, but we’re up for the challenge. Meet Daniella the Artsmith. We met Daniella in her family’s Uxbridge workshop where she gave us a peak at how she is turning a family trade into an art form. Daniella is one of this world’s truly unique and courageous souls. Stepping outside the normative boundaries laid out for women (no – the struggle for gender equality is still not over!), Daniella took up welding. And she does it like no one else. We were supremely lucky to catch a glimpse of her latest creation for it seems Daniella can’t even get a piece finished before it gets scooped up by an art-lover with a keen eye for the rare and beautiful. The enormousness of her sculptures ensure that Daniella’s work becomes a permanent part of the Canadian landscape. Although her largest pieces are privately owned they command a presence, in size and artistry, that cannot be overlooked – and in one particular case, is scaring away the locals. 

Want to know more about Daniella? Check out her website metallyywisted.com

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