When Karen asked me to photograph her daughter in Irish dance costume, I jumped at the opportunity to do something completely different with dance portraits.   Gwen has been involved in competitive Irish dancing for years, has won oodles of medals, and had decided since she is moving on to high school, this was going to be her final year of performing.   Being a mom to a ballet dancer, I knew what I would want to see if it was my daughter’s last year of performance.  As parents, we always get the beautifully costumed photos and action shots taken at the recitals and competitions.  What I never have is the ability to see how much care and love we spend in making our girls look wonderful for their performances every time they practice or go out on stage. It’s a mom and daughter ritual that never grows old.

I had so much fun learning all about the ins and outs of the Irish dancing rituals from Karen and Gwen.  I learned about the beautiful costume which comes directly from Ireland; the curled wigs, which is a tradition borrowed from the days of little girls being dressed in their best with their hair curled for church. And of course, I loved getting a chance to spend time with Gwen, who is just at that point of getting ready to start new adventures in high school – a time in a girl’s life that I can definitely relate to with my own daughter.

To Gwen, I wish you so many good things as you start this exciting new chapter of your life in the fall.  To Karen, here are your memories of the countless hours spent with your daughter as she’s grown up dancing over the years.

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

 

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A little mini preview today for A and J of their beautiful East Indian wedding images.

From the mini Baraat, which had my groom and his friends learning Bollywood dance moves (or as I was taught, pick the grapes and put the pizza in the oven!)  to their beautiful ceremony designed to look like a twilight wedding in a hidden forest straight out of a fairy tale, this wedding was filled with love and a lot of fun!

I was so thrilled to be able to cover not only the wedding day, but also their pre-wedding blessing and ceremony, and the Mehndi and Garba evening as well.   I’m loving all of the wonderful East Indian wedding splendor!

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

Vendor credits:

Ceremony and reception venue:  Otello’s Banquet Hall

Wedding make-up, hair and bridal dressing:    Usha

Ceremony staging and design:  The Perfect Setting

Wedding portrait photography location: Paletta Mansion

Videography:  Powerpack Images

Wedding weekend photography:  Judy Jakusz Photography

East Indian wedding photography in Toronto

 

 

 

 

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I love photographing baby milestones, and one of the highlights is always their baptism.  When I was asked by Miss A’s family to capture the memories of her important rite of passage in the church, I was honored, but also I wanted to make sure I did my homework.  Greek Orthodox baptisms are beautiful ceremonies filled with ritual and meaning, so I wanted to get every bit of ceremony and not miss a moment!

The morning started at home with Miss A being dressed by mom.   Girls are girls no matter what the age – and doesn’t she look adorable in pink?

From home it was time to go to the church, where I found everything laid out and ready for the ceremony.  In Greek Orthodox tradition, the godparents take a very active role in  the preparations for the day.  They supply the oils, candles and linens used for the ceremony, and they also supply the baptismal outfit and jewelry that will be placed on the child before the end of the ceremony.

I was absolutely in awe at the decor in the church — there wasn’t any lack of detail to photograph!

Like most baptisms, the Greek Orthodox ritual begins after an initial presentation of the child to the priest by parents and godparents.  After a time of blessing and reflection, the parents are led to the side of the altar to undress their baby, and when that’s complete, hand their child to the priest.  It’s then the job of both the priest and godparents to annoint with oil and immerse the baby in holy water   Like most babies, Miss A wasn’t too happy about that!

Afterwards, she was helped into her christening gown by many loving family members, and the concluding rituals to the ceremony took place; which included a walk with the parents and godparents symbolizing her first steps within the faith.  What a beautiful and meaningful event — and what an honor it was to capture those family memories.

As a side note:

If you are considering having professional photography coverage for your child’s baptism, please contact me to book your date early in your planning.  Just like with any other event, we ‘ll want to talk about all of the specifics that will happen that day, and work up a timeline to ensure all of the photography that needs to take place can happen during the time you’ve allotted.  I’d be happy to answer your questions on customizing coverage options, and investment packages that would suit your family needs and budget.

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

Greek Orthodox baptism photography

 

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So we’ve gone from record spring temperatures, which felt more like summer days these past few weeks, back to winter and the snow we never really had much of in the Toronto area.  That sort of winter has been just fine with me, but since snow (what an awful thought!) is in the forecast for later today, here’s a reminder of the one or two days we had with snow this winter; which happened to be just what Krysten wanted for her engagement session.   Instead of rescheduling the session due to rain and bad weather, we actually rescheduled several times in order to have a time with ice and snow!  Lucky Krysten got her wish, and for one day at least, we had enough snow for this session to work.

I’m personally hoping not to see any of the white stuff for their mid-May wedding!

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

I love this image below — something about it reminds me of ‘Dr. Zhivago’,  one of my favorite classic movies.

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In the mad rush of wedding edits, I completely forgot to blog these few from Jackie and Todd’s session at the Queenshead Pub here in dwontown Burlington.  It’s so funny that in all my winter e-sessions, this was one of the few where the weather was actually bad enough to want to be inside.

Jackie and Todd are getting married this Saturday, so I’m crossing my fingers their wedding day will be among some of the prettiest March days we’ve seen for a long time in TO, and not the rainy/snowy day it was when these were taken.

Can’t wait for your wedding this weekend!

xx’s and oo’s

Judy

 

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