The surprise proposal & Franklin Castle – The haunted house!

Hello! I feel like I once again have been absent for WAY too long! I hope all of you enjoyed a lovely and romantic Valentines Day. I spent my Valentines Day alone in Cleveland, however before I left I got myself some beautiful flowers to enjoy when I came home and I really have. 😀

Happy Valentines Day to me!

Happy Valentines Day to me!

SO. I am finally able to spill the beans on what I got up to last weekend and what I was so very excited about! Before I get to that though, I have to ask, do you believe in the curse of Friday the 13th? Well, I did not. Until last weekend I might add! If you have ever flown through the Minneapolis airport, you probably are aware of what a giant mess of trams, moving walkways and endless hallways it is. It is seriously GIGANTIC. My first flight from Saskatoon arrived at 6:50 and my connecting flight was boarding at 6:45 and leaving the airport at 7:14! Because I am from Canada I did have to pick up my bag, and go through security again to recheck the bag. Of course I was chosen for extra screenings and swabs… just the usual for me. By the time I made it out of security it was after 7 p.m and I knew I had to book it. I ran, and ran, and ran until I started to have an asthma attack – something I haven’t had since I was probably in my early teens! I very rarely carry my inhaler with me, because to be honest I am very rarely running so hard that it affects me like that anymore. So I arrive at the gate, sweat pouring down my face, clutching my chest, unable to speak, wheezing heavily, and doubled over not 5 minutes late to the flights’ departure, and what do you know.. they didn’t wait for me. This was truly upsetting because I knew my client had a massive surprise proposal waiting for me the next day at noon in Cleveland and the next available flight wasn’t until the following morning and would not arrive until noon. Yup. That was the start. Now I can’t remember if it was the lotion from my travel kit or the hotel, but when I finally got things arranged for a hotel stay I piled lotion on my freshly washed face and then watched it slowly grow red and blotchy. By the next morning I looked like a teenaged boy who ate nothing but pop and pizza. I was gross. Oh yes, and did I forget to mention they sent my bag to Cleveland without me. So yeah, I really was gross. This was my Friday the 13th. It could have been worse, but it did feel like the day was a little cursed, I’m not going to lie! I FINALLY arrived in Cleveland and ta da! It was weather that made the world news Internationally… Let me tell you, after visiting Cleveland, I have to say that their weather rivaled Saskatoon’s weather BIG TIME. It was a cold that chilled you to the bone, and the blizzard was so extreme you couldn’t even see the road ahead of you. Yes, there were actual deaths that day from the weather and several cases of severe frostbite. Luckily I AM from Saskatchewan so I am used to driving in this kind of weather, but I will admit it was bad compared to what I was even used to. Not exactly the photo-shoot weather I was envisioning! After several failed attempts for whatever reason trying to use my card at the car rental place, it finally went through and I was on my way to meet up with my clients!

Welcome to Cleveland!

Welcome to Cleveland!

Now for the best part! I finally got to meet my client who had set up a wonderful plan to surprise his fiance with me and a couples session (who she thought was being photographed by a friend of his). I have to say, I was so thrilled with her reaction upon seeing me there and I then suggested that we might as well take a few photos of them in their formal clothes before their date at the Orchestra that evening! After doing a few photos of the two of them, my client gave me the signal and got down on one knee to propose. Seeing the pure happiness, joy and elation on her face was what made my whole weekend! It was one of the sweetest and most emotional moments I have ever photographed and I loved every second of it! I am so lucky to have such amazing clients who I enjoy spending time with and I felt very privileged to be a part of this very special moment in their lives. I do not feel at liberty to go into detail, but I will say that this was not a traditional proposal for this couple and the element of surprise and raw happiness that this moment created between them was so palpable it was contagious! I left with a huge grin on my face – probably the whole way to the hotel feeling so excited for them!

The sweetest moment ...

The sweetest moment …

I won’t get too into the other details of my continued cursed weekend but I will say I DID fall down a flight of icy steps at the hotel later that night because their parking garage elevator was not working! My legs and knee are pretty bruised but luckily no permanent damage was done and I am healing up nicely! So to wrap up my super cursed weekend, I did decide that I just HAD to go see an ACTUAL cursed and haunted house in Cleveland. It was called the Franklin Castle and was built in 1865. Numerous deaths occurred in the house and in the 70’s a room or cupboard (different resources have mixed confirmations on this), was discovered with several baby skeletons. This WAS confirmed. So I visited the house. Unfortunately because the house was decayed and I believe being restored to formal glory by it’s new owner who had put a security camera up I was unable to go inside. Standing in front of it was amazing. It really did have that dark, eerie and spectacular appeal. I stood there thinking ‘Wow, this IS a real haunted house – like something out of the movies’. It was truly an incredible sight! Now for the SUPER creepy part. When I got home I quickly posted one of my photos of Franklin Castle and continued to research and find facts on the house as my curiosity about it was growing. I did notice that there was black shadow in one of the windows that looked like a person and thought that was pretty awesome. A couple of days later I found a post in which it said that some people claimed to see a lady in black in one of the windows and believed it was the ghost of a servant girl named Rachel that died in the house. What’s strange is.. going through the other photos I took of the house, there is nothing in the window on any of the other images. I then posted one more and if you look closely in one of the bottom windows it does appear to look like tiny gravestones even though the only thing behind me was a road. So I don’t know. Do I believe in ghosts? No… but I do believe there are evil forces and spirits out there and yes, Franklin Castle did live up to every single expectation I had on seeing a haunted house. I.LOVED.IT 1501109_856554104385981_7348261477945792815_o

Franklin Castle - Cleveland Ohio

Franklin Castle – Cleveland Ohio

So guys I hope you have enjoyed hearing about my Friday the 13th weekend and I truly hope yours was more blessed than mine! Despite all of this I am so happy to have met my clients and to witness such a beautiful moment! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and keep warm out there! xoxo – M Resources Dead Ohio Forgotten Ohio Prairie Ghosts

10 Reasons why you should choose a Destination Wedding!

Hey guys!

Saskatoon Canada Destination Wedding Photographer

Saskatoon Canada Destination Wedding Photographer

This week has been sooo busy and I am trying my best to keep up with emails/messages/phone calls/meetings, etc! I really need to get on it with finding an assistant to help me out with these things and more!

So many exciting things happening in this upcoming week… I will be able to share more with you after the weekend but it’s definitely something I have been looking forward to for quite some time 🙂 I am hustling pretty hard right now to get what I need done before the weekend and that comes with some pretty high stress levels. Which I soothe with dancing and music every night. I am still trying to master the art of meditation as well, and I am sure in time that will help immensely too!

My boys are really keeping me on my toes these days… they are seriously a handful at times and definitely know how to push ALL of my buttons. They have been sick off and on this past week which has not been fun and fingers crossed so far they have not passed anything on to me! I had an incident with my middle son this week that DROVE ME NUTS. He lied. He lied again and again straight to my face about something REALLY OBVIOUS. I was not happy to say the least and it was the most ridiculous and obvious lie ever. Seriously. Oh the joys of being a parent… As they near their teenage years I am getting myself prepared to enter the “Realm of Insanity”. They are lucky they are so darned cute and that I love them so much.

So now I am counting down the days before my next destination wedding in Dominican! It will be my first time in Dominican and I am really looking forward to scoping out new and exciting locations and getting a feel for the country. I think it will be an AMAZING week and I am SO excited to meet my clients there who are actually from Alberta! Each time I photograph a destination wedding I am reminded of all the wonderful reasons that I love them so much. I thought I would share my 10 ten reasons on why you should consider a destination wedding! Definitely not for everyone, BUT at the same time I do think they ARE for everyone 🙂 (P.S These are based mostly on Caribbean destination weddings – don’t even get me started on the 10 ten reasons for Italy, France, Scotland, Ireland, etc!! DREAM WEDDING!)

1. SHORTEN YOUR GUEST LIST – Let’s call it “natural selection”. More than likely, it will weed out all the people that you don’t really care that much about being at your wedding but would normally feel obligated to have at your local wedding. Only the people who really love and care about you and are your closest friends are going to make it a priority to come.

2. A GUARANTEED FUN CROWD – Guests that attend destination weddings are generally the people who want to have a REALLY good time, are easy going, and super fun. They want to let loose, have a vacation and party hard at your wedding. Hey, even grandparents love sipping on mojitos by the pool. Now that’s a dream guest list if you ask me!

3. IT’S MORE INTIMATE – On average destination weddings have anywhere from 20-50 guests. You might think you are getting shortchanged but that is just the wrong way to look at it. It means a more intimate setting with the opportunity to really get to know your guests and hang out with them on a personal level and for them to get to know each other as well. I love this personally about destination weddings!

4. ALL INCLUSIVE – Need I say more? Just flash your wristband for an entire week and find yourself basking in all you can drink alcohol and food… Can this ever be a bad thing?

5. NIX THE STRESS – Yes, planning a destination wedding does come with some stress, I am not going to lie. Sometimes corresponding with wedding planners from a different country can be trying but trust me it is NOTHING compared with the planning it takes for a local wedding. Most of my clients arrive at their destination wedding, sit down with their planner and basically choose from a multiple choice book what they would like for cake, flowers, colors, etc. So much less work.

6. BEACH CEREMONIES – Picture yourself standing across from your mate with your hair blowing in the wind, flower petals scattered on the soft white sand below you. The soft crashing of waves roll on behind you and the sky has never been bluer. Sigh… beach ceremonies are sooo pretty!

7. PHOTOS! – Tropical forests, unique locations, old ancient ruins, castles, waterfalls, historical sights, ocean waves, rocky water…. need I say more? Your photos will have ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES and will be BEAUTIFUL!

8.ADVENTURE – If you are a couple that loves having a great time and going on adventure, there will be endless opportunities for you on your destination wedding! Zip-lining through the jungle, ATV’ing through caves, swimming through old cenotes, visiting ancient ruins, I mean the choices are endless!

9. BUILT IN VACATION – Part of what guests love about destination weddings is that they are basically on vacation too. Nothing beats laying on the beach with a good book and splashing around in the pool and drinking at the swim up bar during endless sunny days.

10. SAVE THE EXTRA HONEYMOON COST– A lot of my clients opt to stay a week longer for their own private honeymoon and vacation. And why not? You are already there! You might as well take advantage and enjoy a week away on your own to really soak up the sun and your new married life 🙂

So there you have it guys!! My top 10 reasons to choose a destination wedding! I LOVE love LOVE destination weddings, and not just because I get to come along for the ride, but because the atmosphere of a destination wedding is just so refreshing. It’s fun, it’s relaxed, it’s easy going and it’s intimate! These are all reasons that I myself would choose to do a destination wedding if I was ever to marry. SO consider it! You won’t be disappointed!

Why or why not would YOU do a destination wedding? Comment in the box below and let me know!

xoxo – M

Adventures in Cabos Mexico & websites I am following and loving!

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Hey everyone!

I can’t believe this weather is FINALLY starting to warm up… after the deep freeze we have been having here, we no doubt deserve it!
Nonetheless I hope everyone has been staying warm and fuzzy during the cold times and enjoying these last few melting days!

WELL… I just got back from Los Cabos Mexico and it was in one word. Fantastic. I finally got the chance to relax a little bit, read some books, go for a swim or two, and soak up the awesome photo locations around me. Do not be mistaken though, there was some good hard work involved with my trip! I was blessed enough to have two of the kindest, nicest and let’s be honest super good looking clients while away on this destination wedding and their wedding day was a success! We started by driving into the town of San Jose and doing some photos with the wedding party around town, and wound back up at their beach resort in San Lucas for a beautiful ceremony at dusk overlooking the beautiful view of Lovers Beach. Afterward, the couple and their friends & family celebrated and partied at their beach house and danced to a mariachi band who totally livened the party up! It was a great night and at the end of the day when my head hit the pillow I was out like a light.

We also stuck around San Lucas for some fabulous engagement and family shots with their sweet little 3 year old daughter who wasn’t a fan of my camera, but warmed up to me by the wedding day when she realized I had a purse full of candies as bribes haha! After our engagement shoot I was walking down the beach looking for a water taxi, when I noticed a Pelican that had washed up on the shore and was laying in pain, struggling to stay alive. I was instantly very concerned and heartbroken for him as when I looked closer, I realized he had swallowed something that was too large to pass through his throat and it had gotten stuck in his throat. It was now painfully cutting right through his throat and sticking out. It was incredibly sad to watch him struggle for his life, trying to bring this large bone back up without success. When I knew that he was going to allow me to touch him and help him, another tourist and I held him and I tried to slowly work the object back up his neck and un-lodge it from his throat. Then yes, I actually reached in his throat and removed the item, which was a hideously large and very sharp animal bone of some sort. Unfortunately our efforts were too late, and he died seconds later right in our hands. I am sure the cluster of Mexican’s that had been watching thought we were some crazy Canadians for trying to save this Pelican’s life…. but I am a sucker for animals and I just hate to see them suffer. I water taxied it back to my hotel with tears in my eyes. I know I can be such a baby sometimes!

I also had the amazing opportunity to work with a model I had connected with almost a year earlier, and we planned a creative shoot! Crissty Santana is a gorgeous blonde who has done modeling several times for Maxim and other magazines like FHM. I was so excited to have the chance to work with her! Through her, I also got to meet Lupita, who is one of the most talented makeup artists and hairstylists I have worked with! What a blessing to have such a fantastic team of talented woman to spend the day with. I had originally planned for a different kind of shoot, but when I put the outfit I had made for her together, we realized that she looked more like a magnificent bird than anything else. We decided to agree that she was a beautiful black Crow. My brother is a huge fan of Crows, so I was pretty excited about this concept! Absolutely personally loved the outcome from this shoot, but more than anything the chance to meet such kind and amazing people from different countries is what excites me the most and makes me happy! Now I just have to pray that someone else takes me with them to Cabos soon so I can shoot with these lovely ladies again! Here are a couple of shots from our creative shoot in Cabos!

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

The Crow Photoshoot with Crissty Santana

To continue my adventures, I was very excited to do a extended bride and groom session with Katrina and Dustan and we headed to one of the poorest areas of the city first for some photos! I personally LOVE seeing these parts of the country, because most people like to stay trapped in this little Americanized resort bubble and don’t seem to realize what’s REALLY out there. As always the people in Mexico are some of the most genuine and nicest people to be around and we were lucky to have an awesome cab driver that day who even stopped and bought some cerveza’s for us in the middle of our shoot! YUM! It sure hit the spot. From there we went to a beautiful resort location where you could get down to some rocks by the ocean… Let me tell you! Climbing on these rocks was no easy task! There were hundreds of sea urchins in the little pockets of water all over the rocks so you had to be extremely careful where you were stepping. When I saw Katrina and Dustan approach the edge of a rock, there were dozens of extra large and very creepy looking crabs that started skittering out of the rocks and into the water! Ugh. Not to mention the rocks were sharp and jagged and just not that much fun to walk on. All in all… worth the photos in my opinion. We ended our day with the sun going down on Lovers Beach. I still can’t get over the gorgeous rock formations on this little island and I couldn’t have been more blessed with these fantastic photo locations! Here are a couple of photos so far from this Destination Wedding!

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

Destination Wedding Cabos Mexico

 

By the end of the week though, I was more than ready to come home to my boys! I had been missing them like crazy! Since I have been home, I have been doing never-ending amounts of cleaning, finishing up on edits from some recent shoots and weddings and catching up on tons of emails, messages and Facebook activity that I missed while I was away. In the midst of all of this, one of my favorite things to do is read from some of my favorite websites and blogs of people that I follow. I would love to share some of the websites/blogs that I am following right now that inspire me every time I open them!

1. Mind Body Green

SOO great! Chalked full of healthy articles and info. I always find an article that’s interesting or informative every time I open one of their emails and one of my favorite parts of the day is reading through their website while I drink my tea in the mornings.

2. Skinny Taste

What can I say? I love to cook good food and I also love healthy food. This is just a food porn website that I love to follow as often as I can. Everything looks pretty delicious and it gives me inspiration for my cooking!

3. Women’s Health

I Love this magazine. So it comes as not surprise that I love flipping through there easy to navigate website and short informative articles. It’s a website I have been frequenting for years!

4. Allison Braun – The Business Joyologist.

Seriously. I love this woman. Not only because she is a dear friend and I have known her for years, but because she is one of the smartest most business savvy woman I know and I am always inspired reading her newsletters and blog posts. It’s something I always welcome and look forward to seeing in my inbox!

5. The Pioneer Woman

EEK! Love this woman and have all of her cookbooks… Not only is she a great food photographer (which we know I love too!), but she is packed full of great info, little tidbits of fun and super awesome recipes. This is why I love this woman and have to visit her blog at least once every couple of days.

So there you have it! A little bit of my daily reading and inspiration.

Well after such a great trip, it has me all pooped out and I must go continue tackling the never-ending laundry that comes with living with three boys. I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous week with many great blessings!

xoxo – M

 

 

A week of insanity and a frosty little engagement session preview!

Hey everyone!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter and were able to spend time with your family & friends!

Sooooo the boys are out of school this ENTIRE WEEK…. I hope I can stay sane through it all. I will just be continuing on my with my spring cleaning and clearing out massive amounts of props. I am trying to make an entertainment area in the basement so we will see if I accomplish that this week! I am also painting my boys bedroom and looking forward to have some brand new paint for them to draw on and for me to clean haha.

What else is new!? A LOT. I have been doing a lot of photo sessions as the weather is FINALLY coming around to the idea of spring. Thank goodness, because I was really going to wonder if we were ever going to see a blade of grass again! I got some fantastic new business cards made from ProPrint here in Saskatoon and they did an amazing job. They are working on the second set as well and after that I have one set left to go! I have some exciting news coming up in about three weeks and also expect a post soon about my newly redone website 🙂

So I thought I would post a few shots of a sweet little engagement shoot I did recently with couple Lauren & Dan! I am excited to be photographing their wedding as well and I had fun with them on this wintery frosty day!

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography

Saskatoon Engagement Photography