family portraits

Letting Go in the Mud

OH glorious bliss!

HOW I WISHED IT WAS ME.

On a mission, to make the biggest mess, the tallest splash, the muckiest toes. Freedom!  

I shot this series of portraits of Meredith's daughter B out in schoolyard this past summer as part of the PORTRAIT OF A LADY exhibit. B had been tugging at her mother's jeans all morning, asking if it was time yet to go play in the mud. "Just after we get this indoor portrait just right," we promised.  Yes. We bribed the kids with a mud bath. High five!

I'm in love with the wild, self-actualizing, radiant B,

 all too happy to get lost in the squishy trench and shed all those stuffy rules about

lady-likeness, keeping clean & sitting pretty.

And instead adopt new ideas about

self-expression, stretching upward & being in the moment.

And as her mom sprayed water like rain from the garden hose, she grinned from ear to ear and shouted to her daughter in mid-flight, "get as muddy as you want baby!" 

Permission to let go!

It all comes down to this for so many of us. How much more abundance could we welcome? How much more good could we do? How much more could we create if we gave ourselves more permission.  

That's what I'm working on friends! I hope you enjoy these.

Angela

  

If you'd like to see the image we chose for the exhibit or to see the rest of the exhibit, click here 

9-YEAR-OLD (2017)
Sitter: B
Photo: Angela Durante Dukát

 

The MacCormacks: an audio story

There are so many ways to tell a story. Today I want to share a different way than usual. The MacCormacks, always up for something new, agreed to sit in the studio after their family session, and without preparation or direction, shared the story of their joint life together. It's a tale of love and commitment and following your path that reminds us that no life experience goes without challenges and that anything worth doing requires some grit. 


The Story

We recorded this story in our studio recently. It's the first I've done and although it may lack finesse, it really satisfies the historian in me that believes strongly in recording our stories for others to hear. The digital whimsy is all Jeffrey's work. They are pieces he's created in recent months that we thought added another layer of awesomeness to the story of these very cool people! Hope you enjoy their story :)

The Adventure Bells

If you know them, then you already know. Averill and her husband Brendan are adventurous hearts - it's what brought them together (meeting while employed on a cruise ship) and it's what underlies the way they raise their kids and live their lives. Most people don't come to the realization that life is short until later on, but Averill and Brendan are teaching their kids in a not-so-subtle way that life is for living. They've sold off the contents of their home and packed up a suitcase each to move their family to Australia! Granted, Brendan is from Australia, but they don't have a place to live, jobs or even a plan. They're going where the wind takes them. It's going to be an amazing lesson for their kids to watch, because no doubt, they'll land on their feet, problems-solve through challenges and love their way into new circles of friends and neighbours. Don't we all want our kids to be a able to do these things? Someday, without us to guide them.

Today is a special day in Averill and Brendan's history - it's their 10th Anniversary! A significant day from which they have no photographs because they "sort of eloped" in Averill's own words. With Averill being a photographer, I thought this was sacrilege of the nth degree and so when they asked me to photograph their family before their big adventure, I enthusiastically accepted and vowed to capture something worthy of a tenth anniversary! 

Dear Beautiful Bell Family,

We are so proud to know you! Aspire widely. 

Angela

 

 

 

The Faryna Family

Photographing the Faryna family is a little like going out to photograph the running of the bulls - you have to be quick on your feet, ready for anything and try not to get knocked over. Not only do Becky and Tim have two energetic boys who are athletically agile but this year they decided to challenge my skills by adding a 120-lb Great Dane named Thunder to their family tree. Becky prepped me when we set the date - "Ange, please!" she begged, "No set-up, no lights, just shoot! You have to be quick," she warned me, like I was being briefed for a top-seacret spy mission. "They won't last long." Last year I wrapped them in Christmas lights and positioned baby Austin as the cowboy who had lassoed his unsuspecting family! Hilarious, right? Not for four-year-old Josh apparently, who didn't appreciate the ironic humour of a family restrained in twinkling lights by the resident baby. So this year I was ready. Two cameras strapped to my body like Dirty Harry, I sauntered casually into the yard and pretended I was there to photograph the clouds, the dirt, the fence - anything but cute kids at play. My stelth paparazzi skills are better than I thought, I guess. Sometimes the kids even looked over at me. Score! From my perch in the leafless bushes I managed to gather a few photographic keepsakes for two of my dearest friends and at least this time, outplayed the players. Mission accomplished!

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Love, love, love and light,

Angela

Faryna Family Photo Shoot {Dukát Photos: Aurora Wedding and Portrait Photographer}

Portrait of a Mother and her Men

When we arrived at Kim's house to photograph her family a few days ago Kim greeted us at the door in a white robe, hair aglow and eyes wide. She was excited. It made me excited. Her teenage son Evan sprawled out on the couch looked at me like I was his math tutor. (I know the look because I used to BE a math tutor). Why do teenagers dislike having their pictures taken? I hoped to convert him with an edgy portrait.

Photographing this family was a treat for many reasons but something particularly strong and soft and beautiful emanated from them - for a small family of three there was enough love for a tribe. They hugged tight, smiled from the heart, stayed in the moment. A glance arm-in-arm shared by Kim and her husband Bruce had me stunned during editing. I so admired it - Kim, lost in her husband's blue eyes and Bruce staring back with a comforting smile. Do we have these moments enough? I hope so.

At the end of the shoot we spent some time photographing Kim in a little white dress poolside. A little bit of vintage tintage for a gorgeous mother. These portraits are a secret indulgence of ours - they are so fun and so forever. When we take these portraits I always think about how timeless they are, how many times they will get pulled out and how many stories they will prompt. I hope in forty years Evan will turn to his mother and say, 'I didn't want to take pictures at first, but I'm glad you made me do it."

A mother can dream! ;)

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Wishing you all love and light,

Angela and László