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.

Ti Amo

It started with a dance. Their first dance.

Or was it the first time they danced?

Her hand on his arm, his arm around her waist.

Ti Amo. A song which would ignite the spark of passion in a new connection.

A song which would one day become a, more official, first dance.

Ti Amo. I love you.

Italian. English.

Janet & Natale (Taly) were married on a hot summer day. Thankfully, Toronto Island can be breezy and helped mitigate the 30+ degree temps. The hospitality of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club didn’t hurt either.

The boardwalk between Lake Ontario and the RCYC is lined with the Union Jack and Canadian flags and seemed an appropriate spot for their first look – she being British and he Italian, uniting in Canada’s largest city. Toronto’s skyline was to play an important role and wherever possible, the skyline was to be our backdrop.

I love the look on Taly’s face when he sees Janet for the first time. Ti Amo.

The ceremony was held under a huge willow tree along the Island shortline. The breeze once again helping to relieve the heat of the day.

And the dance that brought them together in the beginning is the dance that unites them in front of family and friends. Ti Amo.

The rest of the wedding was a continued celebration in contrasts: British and Italian, reserved and exuberant, and by the end of the night, the marriage of two families was complete.

I love this final shot of Janet and Taly surrounded by a few of their loved ones. Ti Amo.

And Toronto, we love you too.

Venue: Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto Island

Coordination: Melissa Andre Events

Makeup: Melissa Andre

Cake: Dufflet

Flowers: Cool, Green & Shady

DJ: Maximum Music

Rethink Wedding Attire

In every crowd there are those who blend, and there are those who stand out. Weddings are no exception. These two caught my eye as they looked out across Lake Ontario from the balcony of the RCYC.

Can we talk about her outfit?! It’s a beautiful, refreshing look for a summer wedding. The skirt, the bag, the shoes! LOVE.

After stalking watching them for a few minutes, I figured I’d better ask for a proper portrait.

The Other Side of Things

I had a wedding this past weekend. Not the usual photography gig. Nope, this time, I was on bridesmaid duty.

While I was honoured to stand up for a cherished friend as she wed the love of her life, I confess I was also excited to do a little behind-the-scenes research. I believe we never stop learning and the chance to observe another photographer in action while being in the action doesn’t happen very often.

While we smiled for the camera, I was busy taking mental notes. It was a combination of, “Okay, that’s a great tip, I’ll try that next time” and a reassuring “Cool, that’s just what I do!” Here’s what stood out for me:

Effective posing. “It may feel awkward, but it won’t look awkward.” This is so true. Even if you’re against ‘posed’ photos you still want to look good in your photos. Leaning-toward-the-camera-with-your-chin-raised-slightly-while-putting-your-weight-on-your-back-foot-and-your-front-foot-pointed-slightly-forward may feel acrobatic, but when you see the end result you’ll thank your photographer for your elongated neck and more relaxed stance.

(Case in point: I’ve been griping about my double chin lately and in the photo above, Voilà! No double chin.)

Give direction. Being in the wedding, you’re so wrapped up in the emotion of the day, that your photographer should be specific when setting up group shots (assuming you’ve asked for them). Is it time for a formal shot or a fun shot? Some members will be more than willing to improvise and let their personalities shine through, but I’ve found that most people like at least some direction. At this point in the wedding day the bridal party is thinking about just one thing: how quickly they can get to the reception.

Communication. It goes without saying that the lines of communication had better be wide open throughout the day. Even the best laid plans can go awry due to any number of factors. You and your photographer should have already discussed how you’re going to handle Plan B.

The verdict. Give me my camera any day – I prefer you in front of my lens. Hurray for wedding season!