two worlds collide

17th of February. Seems appropriate that I’m penning this on the one-year anniversary of my last post. And to me that means one thing. 2013 was a year unlike many others. This statement pretty much sums it up:

career passion

{Image via Pinterest, Original Source Unknown}

It’s true. It feels great. And it’s something I’m not sure I could honestly say prior to 2013.

While my blogging took a bit of a backseat last year, it appears that my photography work did not. Here are some of my favourites…   


Behind the scenes with sweet Sofia. I love this shot. The chandelier, dining table, and white fur made this feel so opulent.

Dave Karly

Dave + Karly e-session in g’town.


Philippe’s little brother, Sebastien.

jordan clare

Clare’s big sister, Jordan, has the most incredible hair. Those curls!

chantelle brent

Toronto Distillery District.

mich and millie

Rest in peace, Millie. xo


Two worlds collide, part one.




Two worlds collide, part two.


Stella, with her ice-blue eyes.

lauras girls

Daughter. Mother. Love.

carrie matt boat

Carrie + Matt. Bronte Harbour, Oakville.

chantelle brent first look

Chantelle + Brent. First look. (Be adventurous – give it a try!)

christina madeleine


ian andrea

Ian + Andrea. Before the storm. A wedding that is begging to be blogged.


Karly’s girls. I love the varying shades of purple.

sofia catia

Sofia, after she warmed up.


Outtake: Boys = Fast


These guys were troopers. It was so cold by the water!


Toronto Ice Storm. The only time in 2013 when I used my real camera just for fun. The rest of the fun happened over here.

Jen + Tom: Toronto Wedding


I’ve known Jennifer for a while now and I’ve always known her to be a bright, conscientious, and thoughtful person. That may sound a bit like words you’d use on a resume, but that’s how I first came to know Jen – through work.

It’s a great honour to be asked to photograph a wedding and coming from a co-worker (at my day job), it was even more so. There’s an element of trust between a photographer and a client – not only to take fabulous photographs (that is an expectation) – but also to welcome me into a part of their world that would normally be reserved for close friends and family.

When the church doors opened and Jennifer started to walk up the aisle, I actually had goosebumps. She was a vision in her lace gown, birdcage veil, and white, green and yellow bouquet. Tom, looking perfectly dapper in his vintage-style grey suit and wingtips, waited patiently at the altar.

And Jen and Tom’s attire was only the beginning. The personal details that they incorporated into their day made each step more special than the last:

A birch bark cake baked and decorated by her mother… a handmade birdhouse envelope box by her sister… a methodically selected compilation CD by the couple (it’s groovy).

Not to mention the carefully selected photo spots:  Polson Pier for that must-have shot of the Toronto skyline, Massey Hall for those crazy awesome red doors, and finally, to 99 Sudbury for their reception.

Rain and wind were a prevailing force that day but thanks to umbrellas, pink rainboots, and good spirits, the weather couldn’t get these guys down.

Having shared in Jen and Tom’s wedding day, I am now fortunate to see how Jennifer’s beauty emanates from within and goes far beyond simply bright and conscientious. She loves, and is loved, by many.

Jen and Tom, thank you for including me in your special day – you guys ROCK!

Hair & Makeup:  Julia & Julia Bridal

Venue: 99 Sudbury

Car Service: Prince Limousine 












































All photographs are copyright Michelle Haurilak Photography. Please request permission prior to using any photographs in this or any post on this blog.

Gettin’ Over Myself

So my earlier post about getting over oneself and allowing the photographer to be photographed (namely, me, the mom who is never seen) didn’t materialize as I’d originally hoped.

No, it’s not because I was concerned about actually being in the pictures.

Nor was it because I had to get the very best shots, edited, and perfected to post.

No, in a word, it was LIFE.


Setting up the camera, tripod, and remote to capture us at random daily intervals – such as the witching dinner hour – can be a pretty daunting task when you have a tantruming 17-month-old and a whining five-and-three-quarter-year-old. Hats off to all you other moms who make it look easy.

So here are a few shots I managed to capture.

Some are laughable…


Others, mundane…


Some serious (note the Dell laptop)…


For what it’s worth, I’m happy I did this (not so sure the screaming baby would agree) and I’m going to do my best to keep it going. I might just have to teach the husband how to operate the camera so I can ditch the tripod and remote.

What do you think? How often do you find yourself ‘in the picture’?

Thinking About Eyes

mom and alister

My mother had a corneal transplant this week. A procedure where doctors removed the diseased cornea in my mom’s eye and replaced it with the healthy cornea of a recently deceased individual. The significance of this surgery didn’t hit me until the morning she left and I looked into her eyes to wish her well on the way to the hospital.

A week ago, my mom had “60/40” vision mainly as a result of a condition called Fuchs’ Dystrophyand now, a few days after the surgery, she’s seeing the world in a whole new light. While clarity and vision will take some time to appear, she can already see a new depth of colour – reds are vibrant, blues saturated. To think that another person has given her the gift of vision is a little mind-blowing to say the least.

Naturally, this momentous occasion has me thinking about eyes.

Their beauty.

Their functionality.

Their vulnerability.

So people: take care of yours!

(And remember to fill out that organ donation card that comes with your drivers licence. The difference it could make to someone else’s life is, well, perfectly clear.)


Get Over Yourself

These words just about leapt off the page as I was reading the premier issue of Click, a magazine “for the modern photograp[her]”. It was an article about the importance of us MWAC (moms with a camera) to actually get in the frame with our children. For the sake of our children.

99% of the time my clients are other moms who reach out to me because they understand how important it is to document these early days with their children. And I spend a lot of my time helping them capture these days, but perhaps neglecting to heed my own advice.

So here I am on a Friday night deciding to take on a small project. Starting tomorrow, I am going to get in the picture with my children. From the mundane (yes, there will be mundane) to the chaotic (definitely lots of that) to the delightful, I am determined to spend one month documenting the everyday with my children. I’ll post them here weekly for anyone interested in following along.

And back to that headline… “get over yourself”, it’s meant to say that our children will not care in 30, 40, 50 years if we weren’t wearing any makeup or our hair or clothing is not just so. Most of us MWAC will say we prefer being behind the lens. But let’s not make that an excuse. Our kids will just be happy to have a record of how much their mommy loved them.

So be forewarned. I’ll be in the frame, but it might not be pretty.

Update: just as I embarked on this small project, my littlest man became ill and four weeks later is now finally on the mend. Thanks to all for the warm thoughts and best wishes. Stay tuned for the few “get-over-yourself” shots I managed to take in the past few weeks. M