Luma Wedding Reception.jpg
Posts tagged toronto island wedding
2018 Year In Review

2018 was a magical year.

I witnessed the beginning of life, and the end.

I documented happy tears, sad tears, a 3 year-old’s accidentally-bit-my-own-finger tears.

I witnessed motherhood in the deep, quiet content of bonding during baby feeding, the it’s-not-quite-working very newborn breastfeeding, and the tumultuous toddlers doing yoga while eating feeding.

I observed dads kissing-better said bitten finger, and various other upsets. And granddads. And grandmothers!

I photographed best friends getting married, not getting married, making out, not making out, supporting one another, scream-laughing, chugging, doing the limbo, crying together, and just being present.

I could go on.

But instead, here are some photographs I made.


I can’t wait to post each of these sessions in full, but in the meantime please contact me if you want to see more.

It’s been a while since I posted a Year in Review, but here are some old ones, if you want to see:
2014 - the year of San Francisco
2013 - the year I started Sweetheart Empire!

And Happy New Year!

- Kate

Laura & Jeff's Toronto Island Elopement

Laura & Jeff had a beautiful, intimate wedding on Toronto Island. Only their parents were present. I don't often remark about the decor and details at weddings, but this bride and groom put so much thought into creating this sweet, special day. They had handmade and vintage goodies spread out in the B & B when I arrived. Laura wore a fuschia dress and flower crown, and Jeff couldn't take his eyes off her. 


Another thing I loved about this day, was that Jeff & Laura got ready together at their quiet island rental, before the arrival of their parents. When everyone arrived, they popped pink champagne and we all walked to the beach, where they were married under shimmering trees in the afternoon sun.


The parents walked on ahead to the ferry, and we wandered the island taking photos, as the newlyweds sighed and gazed and marvelled at the fact that they were now married!


Congratulations Laura & Jeff on a beautiful, memorable wedding day! I couldn't be happier for you guys!

In Laura's Words:
"...On the day of the wedding, Kate came over to the Island and checked out our Bed & Breakfast, quietly taking some of my favourite photos of the day while I was getting makeup done and my husband was getting suited up. She chatted with my mother and charmed my Father in Law..." Read the whole review right here. 

Thank you to the creative team!

Photographer: Kate O'Connor
Officiant: Martin Frith, Ceremonies With Choice
Ceremony: Toronto Island
Bride's dress: BHLDN
Hair & Makeup: Blush Pretty
Flowers: The Rose Mint
Groom's suit: Indochino
Transportation: Toronto ferries

Laura & Jeff's Toronto Island Wedding Photographer Review

Laura & Jeff had a beautiful, intimate beach wedding on Wards Island. It was an honour to be one of the select participants! Here is their review:

Laura wore a gorgeous magenta wedding dress and flower crown to her Toronto Island Wedding.

"We were planning a unique Toronto Island wedding on the beach with 5 guests, and because of this we knew we needed someone we really trusted and “clicked” with, as well as someone who was willing to shoot a non-traditional wedding. So many photographers were unwilling or unable to be flexible, and just wanted us to book packages with multiple shooters or long packages. Meeting Kate during our hunt for a photographer was amazing. She immediately understood our vision and offered advice on planning/logistics before we even booked with her. Throughout the process, Kate was a breeze to work with, despite the fact we had a small wedding, we had a detailed plan. Kate matched our enthusiasm and didn’t treat our plans any differently than she would a large 250+ person wedding. 

On the day of the wedding, Kate came over to the Island and checked out our Bed & Breakfast, quietly taking some of my favourite photos of the day while I was getting makeup done and my husband was getting suited up. She chatted with my mother and charmed my Father in Law, even taking part in our champagne toast prior to the vows. Even though our wedding day was shorter than usual, Kate worked to keep up our energy when we were flagging bit, making sure we got all the photos we’d said we wanted! When we had a delay caused by a missed ferry, Kate was able to be flexible and stay a while longer to make sure we got our photos. 

I would recommend Kate to anyone, anytime."

– Laura & Jeff

Laura & Jeff enjoying the view of the Toronto skyline, from Wards Island.

Click here for the full blog post of Laura & Jeff's wedding...
Laura & Jeff's Toronto Island Elopement

Thank you to the creative team!

Photographer: Kate O'Connor
Officiant: Martin Frith, Ceremonies With Choice
Ceremony: Toronto Island
Bride's dress: BHLDN
Hair & Makeup: Blush Pretty
Flowers: The Rose Mint
Groom's suit: Indochino
Transportation: Toronto ferries

If you enjoyed Laura & Jeff's wedding, check out...
Amanda & Kirk's Island Wedding Sneak Peek!
Rosemary & Alastair - Summer Camp Wedding at Camp Manitou

Unplugged Wedding Ceremony: A "good professional photographer" just isn't enough.

In the past 7 years of shooting weddings, I’ve seen a few near-disaster photography moments. Here are some questions you might not know about an unplugged wedding. 

If you’re asking yourself, “should I have an unplugged ceremony?” the answer is YES. Here are two reasons why:

1.    You want awesome wedding photos – not just good enough.
2.    You want your guests to be emotionally present for your ceremony – the most meaningful & important part of the wedding day.


the best wedding photos possible: 

I once heard someone say, “a good professional photographer should be able to work around guests with phones”. Sure, of course we can. But is that good enough? Do you want a photographer who 'did their very best... in mediocre circumstances'?

Of course not! You want them to cry, “it was magical – everyone was in the moment – it was the most touching ceremony I’ve ever seen!!” 

Yes, it is possible to move around and re-compose an image, when there’s time and opportunity. I can creatively crop out guests and cameras, block them behind furniture, avoid the phone-lookers altogether, or throw them out of focus... But let’s be real; the photos won't be as wonderful as they could have been. Seeing a happy, teary-eyed best friend beaming at the bride, as she walks down the aisle, just isn’t the same when she's surrounded by phones and iPads.

Seeing a happy, teary-eyed best friend beaming at the bride, as she walks down the aisle, just isn’t the same when she’s surrounded by phones and iPads.

Now, I do my fair share of diving and dashing in order to "get the shot" – it’s my job. But I don’t want to distract, block, or disturb anyone, as you stand up there and say your vows. I don’t want to run hither-and-tither through your guests, because an eager uncle has suddenly popped up in front of me, or someone’s phone randomly jabs into my line of view... I move as quietly as possible – often only when others are moving (i.e. guests going from sitting to standing). This is something that photo-enthusiast guests do not consider. Weddings are inherently intimate, no matter the size. So discretion and respect are also part of my job, and something that distinguishes a professional wedding photographer from an amateur. 

Weddings are inherently intimate, no matter the size, so discretion and respect are also part of my job.

Also, there are moments when there just isn’t time or space for extra maneuvers. The ceremony is the one part of the day you can’t do-over. If a guest unthinkingly moves into my field of view at the last second, then it’s possible to miss an important moment. Photographers are given rules by the officiant about where they’re allowed to go, and where not, and they obey as much as possible. But guests aren’t given this information. There might be a tight spot where it’s the only angle I can capture your facial expression, and in the background is a person holding up a huge camera (or just staring at their phone in their lap).

Noooo! Don't even picture it! 

Breathe. It doesn't have to happen to you. 

Being emotionally present for your wedding ceremony:

The second reason for an unplugged wedding is much more simple. You've invited a select group of people to witness your wedding ceremony. As much as we think we can multi-task, brains just aren’t wired that way. Let your people put down their devices, and be there with you. When you look out at the crowd, see their eyes shining up at you, and feel the love – the hope and excitement and possibility and romance, and the feeling of family and friends, and hearts overflowing. It’s only 30 minutes, but what a gift.

In the future, when your guests actually remember that moment, and they have beautiful, candid images of themselves (that the professional photographers captured) they will be happy and grateful, and so will you.

Gatineaus Cottage Unplugged Wedding.jpg

Click here to see:

Reviews – Weddings

Or click below to connect with me & let's have a chat.