Ottawa Maternity Session03.30.2016

Recently, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Hailey and Pierre to capture some belly shots for them before the arrival of their first baby…whose gender is yet to be revealed! I couldn’t be happier with how the photos turned out and am even more thrilled that they love them too! There were so many good ones to choose from, but here are some of my personal faves from our maternity session together.  She is truly one beautiful mama!



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Winter Fashion with Chantal Sarkisian03.8.2016

Recently I hit the streets and braved the cold with Ottawa Fashion Blogger, Chantal Sarkisian for a fabulous Winter Fashion Sesh! Check our her brand new site, Mode Elusive, a Plus Size Fashion Blog for women based in Ottawa!  Stylish, chic and polished, this girl knows how to put an outfit together! blog3 blog4 blog5 blog6 blog7 blog8 blog9 blog10 blog11 blog12 blog diptych 2blog13 blog14blog diptych_1Chantal

Thanks for visiting!! Amy xo

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A Beautiful Couple on Parliament Hill09.21.2015

I had a wonderful time working with Sarah + Wes on Parliament Hill recently! This gorgeous couple eloped in Paris prior to this day (how amazing would that be!?) but really wanted some formal wedding photos done with their family and daughter in Ottawa.  While there’s  no shortage of beautiful backdrops around Parliament Hill, as you’ll see from the photos, it wouldn’t have mattered where we were! A beautiful family and completely natural in front of the camera! Can we just talk about how stunning the bride’s gown was and how ridiculously beautiful the flower girl is (in a matching gown no less!)  I truly enjoyed spending the afternoon with all of them! Enjoy!





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The Wedding Palace Bridal Show 201501.21.2015

WPBS36I’m so excited to share some photos that I took during the Wedding Palace Bridal Show at the Shaw Centre this past weekend (January 17th and 18th 2015)  It was my first time exhibiting and I’m so glad that I finally took the plunge and reserved a booth at the show! I met many newly engaged couples as well as other talented vendors! It was a busy two days and overall a very positive experience!

I am beyond thrilled with how my booth turned out and would just like to give a shout out to some amazing businesses who helped my vision come to life: Samantha Moonsammy of Starfish Creative Events + Inspiration,  Naheed Hicks over at Elephant Print, Laszlo at Swagg Event Decor, Elizabeth Young from Flowers Talk Tivoli, Party Time Rentals, Krista Murphy of Wishtree Invitations & Stationery & Chris Tausney and his team at GTA Imaging. A big thanks also to my amazing, supportive husband who helped me unload and was left alone with two kids for the entire weekend and last but not least, this post wouldn’t be complete without a huge thank you to my amazing friend and assistant, Hailey Gillis-Bissonnette.  She gave so much of her time to help me out before, during and after the show. I really couldn’t have done it without her!!  I hope you enjoy the photos and if you were a bride who stopped by Booth 809 for a photo or to see more photos from the show,  be sure to check out @AmySymesPhoto on Instragram to see your picture!


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Candy Land Cuties12.25.2014

It’s past midnight, so officially Christmas day as I blog these recent photos of our sweet little angels!  I had to buy this backdrop when I saw it and knew I could end up with some super cute shots of the girls when all was said and done! I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had the chance to do this kind of just-for-fun stuff with my girls, so I made it a priority and couldn’t be happier with the results!  Lauren, who normally puts her hand up in front of my lens, was really into this and was very cooperative for me! (Who’s child is this!? haha!) And of course, Lilah hammed it up in front of the camera.  Actually, she was the more challenging subject to shoot this time–nothing some chocolate and mum mums couldn’t solve! Don’t get me wrong though, this was still a lot of work–you never get them both looking AND smiling on the first shot!  We definitely had a few breaks but at the end of the day, I came away with some adorable shots of these little sweeties!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Enjoy time spent with your loved ones and take lots of pictures of your kiddos, they grow up so fast!!  I can’t believe how much both our girls have grown in a year and especially how grown up Lauren looks in these photos!!

Candyland17 Candyland18girls dip1 lauren dip lauren dip2 lilah dip lilah lolo

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Lauren’s First Day of School!!10.1.2014


lauren desk16WMI can’t believe our little monkey is in kindergarten!  Where is the pause button on life? I have been meaning to share these photos from her first day of school since, well, her first day of school.  September has been nothing short of crazy with Lauren starting school, weddings and photo sessions and of course being back to full time teaching, but I wanted to squeeze in some time to share these photos on my blog because we’re just so proud of our baby girl! She’s growing up so quickly!!

I’m not going to lie, I had at least 3 (maybe 4) possible first day of school outfits for her.  It ended up being a gorgeous, warm September day, so I chose this adorable little dress from Gymboree.

chalkboardI can’t actually believe that Lauren cooperated for some photos that morning!  It was a balancing act between getting some adorable shots and not sending her into full-on meltdown mode…right before getting on the bus!  She really wanted to have at the chalkboard and make a mess of my beautiful writing, so I promised that if she smiled for some pics, she could go to town!chalkboard triptychOh, the backpack!  I ordered a the cutest purple, polka dotted and personalized bag from Landsend–in a small, which was supposed to be the correct size for toddlers in JK–well as you know, Lolo is petite and it was HUMONGOUS on her.  I was pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to get on or off the bus with a bag that size! So, we ordered her another one in the preschool size.  It doesn’t hold as much, but it does the trick for now!  I guess she’ll just have to use her other backpack next year, or in grade 8 😛porch diptychLook at that proud smile!!  Love this kid!! front door triptychThe other little monkey also wanted in on the photo fun!porch diptych2We couldn’t pass up the chance to take some pics with mommy and daddy! She was so cooperative! I’m so happy she didn’t have a meltdown haha! mommy and daddy triptychOff to the bus stop we go!! You can see that Lolo is pinching her neck. This is her comfort thing.  She knew something about that day would be different and she doesn’t usually like different.  And yes, the morning sunlight was too much for the princess.  Those are my shades.walking to stop diptychThe moment of truth–would there be tears?? Yes, but none of them were hers!!  I basically had tears streaming down my cheeks! I knew that I would probably be a little bit emotional but wanted to keep it together in case she was scared or sad.  As you can see from the photos, she was as happy as could be!  We couldn’t have asked for a better first time on the bus experience! So proud!  She needed a little help to get up those big steps 😛

getting on bus triptychon bus diptych cropBack at home, Miss L wanted to play with the chalk too…Little monkey!chalkboard triptych2We couldn’t wait to hear all about her first day! She had so much fun—so much so that she didn’t eat her lunch!  She was so hungry when she got home! The poor thing went right to the table and cracked open her brand new Sophia the 1st lunch bag (she picked it out herself!) and devoured her sandwich!  Thankfully, she has been eating her lunch everyday at school since then!lauren lunch2lauren lunch1eating triptychHere are a few other photos that I took of Lauren prior to the first day of school, just for fun (and because who doesn’t love a classic red apple and a vintage desk?)

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An Exotic Wedding at the Hilton Lac Leamy09.23.2014

Recently, I had the chance to shoot a beautifully styled wedding at the Hilton Lac-Leamy.  If you love colour, then you’ll definitely want to check out the photos below, as the decor and gowns were nothing short of stunning!  The incredible florals were the work of the extremely talented Michelle VandenBosch of MV Petals! Congratulations Umesha & Graham!

I’ll start with the invitations because they are always the first introduction to the wedding’s theme.  These beautiful, hand drawn invitations are the work of Jessica Fahey of Ink Blossom (Hand-made Stationery)  Absolutely beautiful!


Umesha & Graham decided that they would like to do a first look session before the ceremony.

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first look triptychUG22dress triptychChristian Louboutin shoes…ooh la la!  She wasn’t able to wear them for long, unfortunately, but they looked hot while they lasted!shoe dip

All the ladies wore custom made saris in a variety of beautiful colours.  I love that they carried individual, exotic flowers like King Protea and Heliconia, instead of traditional bridesmaids bouquets! So original and modern!

girls1WMWB46girlsWB12WB17WB16WB7UG13BP25WB25The decor at this wedding was simply stunning! Michelle did an absolutely amazing job–from the centrepieces to the giant peacock covered peak to tail in fresh florals, the flowers and arrangement were unreal. I felt like I was back on my honeymoon in Hawaii with all the orchids and tropical flowers all over the place!  Here are some of the details from the reception hall:WB30peacock dipWB39WB27WB22menu dipWB20WB29centerpieces tripcake dipWB45WB32UG dip2

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GB37A few weeks back, I was at the Clinique counter looking to purchase some new foundation.  It’s really easy to find my colour, regardless of the brand, because I’m always the lightest one. Sometimes if I’m lucky, I’m the second lightest colour! At Clinique, however, I’m the lightest one and the colour is called Alabaster.  That’s right, Alabaster. Look that word up, you will find words like ‘translucent.’  Nice.

So clearly, I’m pale.  There’s no denying it.  My uber-fair skin simply doesn’t tan and without something ridiculous like SPF 200, (Hmmm… I wonder if they even make that??), my skin burns from the sun in less than 15 minutes! Tanning beds just aren’t an option for me for two reasons: they are bad for you and they make me burn too…even worse!

I’ve tried my share of self-tanners: creams, lotions, sprays etc.… but have never really found anything that I loved—or that work as effectively I as would have liked.  I hated the hassle that came with applying them: trying to make my skin look even and not splotchy and inevitably ending up with super dark knees and elbows.  Not to mention the orangey-brown stains that I had to clean from my shower!

In 2007, after about 6 months of tanning beds, in a desperate attempt to get just a touch of colour for our wedding (without success!), I decided to give spray tanning a try.  I did a few trials and was sold!  It was the best decision ever! Where had spray tanning been all my life. Now I knew that I wasn’t going to blend into my gown! I had an even tan and natural looking colour in less than 10 minutes and it lasted for a week, give or take.  On top of that, I was streak free, for the most part. Ever since then, I’ve pretty much sprayed my way through the summer but I have often wondered how safe these spray tans are.  I have actually found myself holding my breath in the booth (like that would make a difference!) and worrying about the chemicals that were being absorbed into my skin. Because of my concerns, I found myself going less than when I first started doing it and feeling like I was back to square one whenever the summer rolled around–and trying to come up with clever ways to hide my alabaster legs!

GB16Enter Rhiana Hogan, owner of Glitter Box Studio in Ottawa. I recently learned about Glitter Box Studio through Facebook (thank you, Social Media!) and my curiosity was peaked!  A safe spray tan?  Bonus!!! I had to pay her a visit and we decided that it would be fun to feature her in my vendor spotlight for potential brides who are also looking for a safe and natural looking tan! I was thrilled with the results! I don’t think I’ll ever be going back to the other guys for my spray tans now that I have met Rhiana!

Now, I personally didn’t have a bad experience with the other guys (with the exception of a little bit of streaking from time to time) however I have heard horror stories about people coming out looking very orange! (think Ross from Friends!! Haha!!) Fortunately, that never happened to me but what I do want to share is what is so different (and my opinion, so much better) about Rhiana’s organic spray tans:

GB30BWThey are organic  Safe and natural ingredients! Head over to her website to read about the Spray Tan FAQ’s and ingredients

Professional Application  Rhiana uses a machine to physically spray the solution onto your skin—evenly and flawlessly! She is a real pro! This also means no awkward Crounching Tiger poses (if you’ve sprayed tanned with the other guys, you know exactly what I’m talking about!)

Comfortable Atmosphere  No humid booth that you are wondering about how well the employees cleaned before you stepped in—Rhiana has a specific curtained area in her studio where you will stand to be spray tanned.

No streaking!  You will walk away from Glitterbox Studio with a flawless even tan!  I have never had an application this flawless. You’re basically airbrushed.  It’s awesome!

Natural Colour  With many tones and DHA levels, Rhiana can custom blend so that the colour is just right for you!

Options  At Glitter Box Studio you can choose from 3 spray tan options: an 8hr, 2hr or 30 min processing time.  Head over to her website for more information on pricing and tanning packages and to learn more about these options.

A Personal Experience   You will feel right at home in her vintage inspired and glamorous studio, where you can relax on a big comfy vintage sofa and sip a glass of wine!

GB36 In her Own Words

“At Glitter Box Studio, we pride ourselves on the entire experience you have once you step through our door! From the décor (designed by Rhiana) to the custom built spray tan area, (built from scratch by Rhiana and her husband), this beautiful space evokes a vintage, boudoir feel.  Have glass of wine, relax, laugh – our studio will make you feel like you’re right at home (and in a different era!)”

A little background behind the inspiration for Glitter Box Studio:

Rhiana had her first spray tan in Montreal, where she resided before moving back to her hometown of Ottawa. She loved how it gave her immediate results from the built in bronzer. She felt empowered and confident. “Something that can make you feel that good, instantly? Sold!” She decided she’d open a studio here in Ottawa so others could also have this great option. Being fair and all – nothing compares! The sun’s UV rays are dangerous and we know how terrible the tanning beds are for you. Spray tan machines have chemicals in them and make you look orange.  Rhiana wanted to have the best of both worlds—a safe way to colour that didn’t make you look orange.

For Brides and Bridal Parties:

Rhiana is also makeup artist and provides lessons to anyone needing a little help.  She offers makeup applications in studio or on location as well as wedding day makeup and up-dos by one of the studio’s hair stylists.

Brides and wedding parties are encouraged to visit Glitter Box Studio and to book a catered SPRAY TAN PARTY!  All the girls leave with a Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. Connect with Rhiana to learn more about this amazing product–She is an independent presenter with the Younique Makeup & Skin Care line and wants all her clients to experience the benefits of natural based products.

GB24I just want to add that I just started using the 3D Fiber Lash mascara and Oh. Em. Gee. is all I have to say.  You must try this stuff, it’s miraculous.

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about Rhiana, Glitter Box Studio and Organic Spray Tanning!  You can follow Rhiana on her Facebook Page, on Twitter: @RhianaSprayTan and on Instagram: @glitterboxstudio

Definitely book an appointment with her for an Organic Spray Tan at her charming little studio in Little Italy! Men and women, you won’t be disappointed!!

Here are some additional shots of the vintage inspired studio.GB triptych1 reduced

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3d Fiber Lash Mascara by Younique


Thanks and as always, if you like what you see here, comments and shares are welcomed and appreciated!


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Flowers Talk Tivoli : Business is Blooming!08.2.2014

Last night, I had the pleasure of celebrating the merger of Flowers Talk and Tivoli Florist (now known as Flowers Talk Tivoli) with the new owner and my friend, Elizabeth Young. The wine and cheese event was as much to welcome and congratulate Liz as it was a send off and thank you to Michael Corbett, the former owner of Tivoli.  This beautiful floral shop, located at 282 Richmond Rd.,  was packed to capacity  with  so many wonderful friends who came out to congratulate Elizabeth on her blooming business success and to express their well wishes to Michael as he hands the keys over to Elizabeth. What a testament to the kind of people Elizabeth and Michael are.  You could literally feel the love in the room!  I am so happy that I was able to document the event for her as I really admire and respect her and it was equally wonderful to be able to catch up with so many other amazing friends at the same time!  To say that there is no one more deserving of this success would be a an understatement to say the least.  Elizabeth really is one the most genuine, generous and hard working people I know and I am so excited and happy for her as she embarks on this new chapter in her business! I feel blessed to know her and am always so inspired by her perseverance and her passion. Please enjoy the photos and if you’d like to know more about the collaboration, click here.

Michael and Elizabeth–the guests of honour


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Wow, such a gorgeous shop.  A photographer’s dream :)  I’m pretty sure you could do your wedding photos here–there is really gorgeous backdrop everywhere…what do you think?? New business idea? haha!  I could literally photograph flora all day!

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The outside of the shop is equally as charming and as picturesque as the inside!


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Elizabeth and her parents! Seriously, aren’t they adorable?


Can we just talk about how gorgeous this sweets table was?? Gorgeous florals, scrumptious macarons by Hearty Bakery and the most delicious cupcakes made by The Cupcake Lounge (just up the road from the shop, I might add!!)  This pretty piece of art was created by the lovely and talented Lidia Curcio of Petite Event Co.  Stunning!  Almost makes you not want to eat the goodies…almost!


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Hello, delicious!  I may have indulged in a few sweets, but let’s be honest–look at these desserts…can you blame me??




And if those delectables weren’t enough to tempt you, there were also these marvelous mini cheesecakes, baked by Raelene Bergen Harder of Eden Cheesecake Co.  I cannot tell you how divine these cheesecakes are.  You really need to try them for yourself.  Trust me!


This is Raelene and her daughter–beautiful ladies!


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How gorgeous was the decor!?

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Ahhh sunflowers…my favourite!  Just love them!


Such an incredible turnout and no wonder,  Elizabeth and Michael are so loved and respected in the community

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Christina Nesrallah and Kimberly Simmons-Salvati


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Rachela Brisindi of Butter & Honey and Samantha of Bez Gluten Free (she makes incredible gluten free basked goods and treats by the way!)




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Natalie Cox of the Decorating Den Interiors and Natalie Lyle of  Natalie Lyle Photography


Seen here with Alexie Arsenault and Julie Barake of Chic Wedding Planners (These girls plan some beautiful weddings!)


Caity Marsh (also works at Flowers Talk Tivoli), Gile Beaudoin, Kimberly and Samantha


Congratulations again, Elizabeth!  I am so happy for you and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!  Seen here with the lovely Lisa Larter.


As a thank you, guests were sent home with a beautiful bouquet of pink roses (middle).  The orchids and hanging flower were just more petal pretty that I photographed around the store.

collage 3WM

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed this post!  If you liked this post, please share with your friends and comments are always welcomed and appreciated!





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An Outdoor Wedding at The Marshes:: Bruce & Samantha07.7.2014

What can I say about Sam and Bruce?  To say that they are the most down to earth and genuine people would be an understatement!  I’ve had such an amazing time getting to know them since we first met and did their engagement shoot on the coldest, wettest day of the year. (and despite that, the sleet didn’t dampen their spirits and of course, their photos were amazing!)  Here’s a reminder:

SB engagementdip

Well, as it turns out, their wedding took place on the most gorgeous day ever, so I guess that made up for all the snow and rain!  Sam and Bruce tied the not in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at The Marshes in Kanata and it is also where they held the reception.  It was truly a beautiful day, start to finish and I feel grateful for having had the chance to document their love story!  They are such nice people, they even thanked me in their speech!! So touching! Here’s to a lifetime of love and laughter!! There are literally so many awesome shots from the day! Wish I could share therm all but here are some highlights…

Sam looked absolutely radiant! Such a gorgeous girl!

getting dressed

One of Sam’s sisters getting her makeup done by Rachel Radmore (all the vendor information is at the end of the post!)


Another sister having her hair done by Nadia Malik


I have taken a billion MAC makeup shots over the years but I can’t resist. Love me some makeup shots.


A little Scottish tartan


Nothing sweeter than these moments right here…  <3

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Absolutely perfect weather for an outdoor ceremony!


ceremony trip


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Kind of in love with her bouquet!


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Sisters <3


She made one gorgeous bride!

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Love the blue bridesmaid dresses…actually, I loved the whole palette!


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Boys will be boys…having some fun!

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Monkey see, monkey do….a case of who wore it better, maybe?


I’m pretty sure the guys win!


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These two are naturals! Such a dream to work with!

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A candy and cupcake table!  Cupcakes made by a relative.




 Vendor information

Getting Ready : Brookstreet Hotel

Hair: Nadia Malik

Makeup: Rachel Radmore, Ottawa Makeup Artists

Ceremony: Outdoor at the Marshes, Kanata, Coordinator: Lori Hurrell

Officiant : Gord Marriage (That’s his real name!! He was really great!!)

Reception: The Marshes

Wedding gown: Maggie Sottero, purchased at Bridals by Al-Mor in Winchester

Bridesmaids dresses: Alfred Aneglo from Bridals by Al Mor in Winchester

Groom and Groomsmen Kilt rentals from the Scottish and Irish Store

Flowers: In Bloom

Rings: La Maison D’Or

DJ: Quality Entertainment




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