I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding pho-tographer based in Southwestern Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life. I have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a great glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately. Go see what there is to know about this amazing DVI community. If you want to learn more about me and my story...
I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding pho-tographer based in South-
western Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life. I have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a great glass of wine, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately. Go see what there is to know about this amazing DVI community. If you want to learn more about me and my story...
In the midst of family session season, I decided that my family session blog post deserved an upgrade. That is why I’ve decided to revamp and reshare my top ten tips for your family session. I can’t wait to see what new families I will meet in the years to come. If the last few are anything to go by, it’s going to be so rewarding to serve you and your family. I’ve been really focusing on how to make your experience before, during, and after your family session be relaxed. I want you to look back at your session with happiness and gratefulness so that you will not dread doing that again.
What follows are some tips that I have gathered in the last few years, that should make this year’s session one to top all the past ones! This will help me deliver you images that you have come to expect of me, and will allow me to capture your family, just the way you are. I know this seems cliche, but it’s what I strive for. Every. Single. Time!
The secret to getting images that you expect from Dianne Velthove Imagery is a very important one: Location, location, location! I have shot in some amazing locations in Canada and Europe, and the ones that render the most beautiful images will always be my favorite! There was a castle in the Netherlands…, okay, I won’t ask you to travel that far! 🙂
But seriously, a location where there is great open sky and an interesting background will give you images that you will cherish forever. Some of my local favourites are Dundurn Castle in Hamilton, Mill Race Park in Cambridge, and a little trail very near my house (I’ll ask you to park at my house). The reason I love these locations is that they provide timeless captures that have lots of neutrals, so the focus is on you and your loved ones!
This session is an absolute must-see!!! Click HERE for the cutest kids by the bluest water…
Whether you have reached out on social media, email, telephone, or we happened to meet in town; I’d love to just have a 10-minute consultation with you on the phone (no guarantees that it doesn’t turn into a 30-minute conversation, though). At that time, we can discuss exactly what you are hoping to get out of your session. After booking I will send you a questionnaire to help me be the most prepared that I can be. This includes questions about kids ages to topics that would make your teenagers smile. So there is no need to go in depth, I promise to study before we have your session, wink, wink!
We will also discuss whether you fear that there will be any hurdles that we could be facing. This can include a super-shy or a highly energetic child. You are the expert on what the best way to respond to your children is, and I would love your help.
My most important tip in this department is to have Mom pick her look first. As ladies, we are the most likely going to be judgmental about the way we look, and I really want you to be confident at your session. That being said, I know you will look amazing no matter what! A great colour scheme to focus on is “2+1” or “3+1”. What that means is that you pick two or three neutrals. Then add one accent colour that gets used minimally by the family.
I advise you to stay away from neons; especially bright reds, greens and oranges. They create unflattering colour casts and will alter the quality of your final images. When it comes to your little ones, I’d avoid fussy outfits or accessories. For example, if your little girl absolutely hates headbands (I know she looks adorable with one, but believe me), it’s best to find something else to put in her hair. We want her to look adorable, but if she’s screaming, your gallery will not be as big as it could be. And hopefully if she enjoys it this time, she will look forward to next year’s session!
As a DVI client, I email you a Portrait Session Style Guide when you book with me; this will really help you with a lot of these decisions!
I know it’s always great to be prepared, but here are some of the only items you will likely need. Surprise, surprise, they don’t include your phone (although you’re so welcome to capture some of your own images if you’d like. Or even email me a behind the scenes shot that I can use to laugh at myself).
I recommend taking a large tote (my favourite are sold at Thirty-One) and packing it all in there. This is also a great place to put your phone in. That way I don’t have to edit that out later or do retakes if I notice on time. It’s happened that they’ve ended up in my bag, and I go home with them! Not something you want…
I love capturing children. It’s definitely one of the top three things I love most about my job. However, your children are going to enjoy it even more if their Daddy comes along. Dads tend to bring the funny side out of their kids. In addition, Dads often work hard to provide for their family. We really believe he belongs here just as much as Mom! Once in a while, I meet a Dad who seems like they’re not really sure that they are excited to be at the session. Never have I heard a Dad say that he didn’t absolutely love the experience and the final images. They capture how much he loves his family!
I hope you’ve loved getting a look at the first part of my best ten tips for your family session. The amount of clients who absolutely love the help that I give them during the planning process surprises me every year. I don’t think I could ever give it up, so for now, you’re stuck with me!
This is a re-publication of a former blog post. It has been updated to reflect new business practices and more recent images.
It was a humid hot evening as Jonathan twirled Victoria in the french garden at Whistling Gardens. She was wearing a gorgeous soft pink Morning Lavender gown, and the custom ring on her finger glistened in the sun. Whether he was thinking back to their initial walk from the Parliament buildings in Toronto to her church or if she was reminiscing about his proposal, I’ll never know. One thing I do know, these two are entirely and intrinsically happy, and their romantic Whistling Gardens engagement session was amazing. Oh, and they are getting married in exactly one month!
Yes, these two both worked at our provincial government when they met. They’d have to organize their respective employer’s calendar. Victoria seemed to like Jonathan’s office a bit more than her own, and that’s where their story started… Jonathan and Victoria are both incredibly passionate about impacting politics. And I love them for it. I know it didn’t take them long to know that the other was perfect for them. I can see why! It’s hard not to fall in love with these two on sight!
Before she had a ring on her finger, Victoria reached out to me with her plans. Jonathan proposed to her while being serenaded at Queen’s Park with the most stunning ring. It was captured on video and photo, and it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it. I was pretty sure I didn’t have to send these two my engagement session style guide, but I did. And they rocked this romantic Whistling Gardens engagement session! Of course, it comes with no surprise that these two are featured in the new version.
Their wedding planning fell amidst a global pandemic, and I’m sure it’s added its stresses. The day is not going quite as planned initially, but thanks to everything opening up more and more, they are able to have more guests than they thought they could at one point. This means that they will be surrounded with so much love, even though it will be at a slight distance. If their wedding day will be even half as beautiful (which we all know is crazy, because a wedding dress only makes it more beautiful) as this session, we are going to be swooning over all the photos on our way home.
Victoria and Jonathan, thank you for the absolute honour of capturing your engagement session. Your engagement period is very short, but it’s sure to be sweet. Wishing you all the best in putting the final touches on your wedding day. From what I’ve seen, it’s going to be a dream to photograph all the details of that day as well. I hope these photos bring you back to Friday night; not the humidity, but the happiness of course! Sending you so much love…
Want to see another stunning Whistling Gardens engagement session? See that HERE!
The Vendor Team
Being part of the same church community for their whole lives, Kristen and André have known of each other for a long time. As he twirled her on an empty street underneath the willow trees, it was obvious that their “acquaintance-ship” has become so much more. It was an absolute pleasure to capture the love that these two have for each other. There was a lot of laughter at this Oxford County countryside engagement session, and it’s evident in these photos!
It took a few attempts at asking her on a date, but when Kristen finally accepted, André was thrilled. It was not long before she knew wholeheartedly that he was the one. Down-to-earth and genuine would be the two words that come to mind first when you meet this couple. Our consultation just days prior to their Oxford County countryside engagement session felt like friends getting together. Offering me a Tim Hortons iced coffee as they arrived at their first location, they couldn’t have been more excited to be able to spend time together and allow me to capture their happiness.
It was important to Kristen to have this session in the area where they fell in love. A wheat field was at the top of her wishlist, so we made it happen! But first, we started at a small abandoned building in the quaint town of Norwich. With the sun being high in the sky, we took advantage of a gorgeous little path between some trees, with the most magic of lighting. We even had an audience (a rabbit) for a little bit, understandably, because it’s just hard to keep your eyes off of these two having fun together. They were up for anything; twirling, dipping, snuggling (even in the heat), and everything in between. Kristen brought the cutest sign celebrating their upcoming wedding day next year, and it was perfect for some ring shots!
From there, we drove south a little way and found a gorgeous street that was lined on both sides by mature willow trees, providing the most amazing backdrop for some epic shots. After this, we found a little shed even further south, with ivy climbing up one side. Kristen and André didn’t even hesitate to get in the goldenrod; these are definitely my favourite photos of the evening. And, as promised, we ended up in the wheat fields, until the sun slid behind the horizon. It was such a pleasure to spend a few hours with these two, exploring the amazing spots that Oxford County has to offer.
Yep, even their wedding will be in this beautiful county! What’s bound to be a beautiful May wedding day will end at the gorgeous Elm Hurst Inn grounds. Kristen and André, you two were such an honour and blessing to capture. I’m sure excited to see you again in May of next year. I hope you will have so much fun as you plan to start your lives together as husband and wife. If this Oxford County countryside engagement session was anything to go by, it’s going to be a day filled with love and laughter!
See that bunny in the background? Yep, it was our audience for quite some time!
Countryside sessions can offer such a variety of options, see THIS STUNNING BURGESSVILLE SESSION for more proof!
It was a hot day, but that didn’t make this family any less fun to photograph! The kids had been promised ice cream, and their behaviour at this Waterford Trails family session was impeccable. Ashton, Mckenna, Charlee, and sweet little Kody are the joys I had the privilege of capturing. And a blast was had! From running up and down the trails, to swinging legs in the water while relaxing on the dock. Paul and Beverly, I cannot even express what an honour it was to capture your family in this stage. I hope you love these photos as much as I loved capturing them. Enjoy the heatwave; before long it’ll be winter again in Canada!
It’s been 10 months since I’ve last blogged a family session!!! (That would be THIS ONE.) I absolutely love exploring our beautiful province with sweet little families such as this one.
It was a stunning summer day in a gorgeous hidden gem in the middle of the city. The excitement level was high. An intimate ceremony with just the closest of their friends. Ali and Evan spent the morning getting ready for this amazing afternoon event. This stunning Kitchener Mill Ruins elopement was nothing that they’d originally planned but everything they dreamed of!
While friends and family watched via video conferencing software, the officiant, Bryan, did an amazing job explaining true love, and it resonated with everyone in attendance. Ali and Evan’s vows were personal and incredibly romantic. Evan, we are still incredibly proud that you kept it together so well through both of your vows! Flash, the gorgeous Golden you’ll see in the photos, kept things interesting, and I’m sure he’s super excited to have his mommy and daddy married. One of the other exciting parts of this wedding for us was that we actually got to catch up with another sweet DVI couple, Virginia and Dave! They were Ali and Evan’s witnesses, and we were thrilled to hear that!
After some portraits at the ruins, Ali and Evan wished to have some portraits at the Homer Watson House. As they had initially planned to have their wedding at Ruthven Park National Historic Site (where they had THEIR ENGAGEMENT SESSION), this was something that had the same history and vibe. Ali and Evan have taken everything that has been happening in the last little while in stride and had their fingers crossed for the longest time. As photographers, we couldn’t have been more excited to hear the new plans just a few days before this Kitchener Mill Ruins elopement. It was incredibly humbling to be part of such an intimate event.
Ali and Evan, you two have come to mean so much to us. Your Kitchener Mill Ruins elopement was a dream come true for us. I’m sure not quite as much as it was for you! Being part of your journey is such a privilege, and we are more excited than ever to get to see you again at Ruthven in 2021!
The Vendor Team
Eleven years together in marriage. There were ups and downs. Two miscarriages. Lots of heartbreak. Two different houses. Four amazing children. One very long NICU stay for one of them. Two different careers, and now we are waiting to see what the third one will bring. Friends have come and gone, but our marriage has been so blessed and will last “until death do us part”. Not because I know it’s going to happen. But because I believe it must. Through all this time together, we’ve learned a few things. So here is a list that we’ve put together that we believe has helped us through all of it. Some are more important, but each and every one of these marriage tips has contributed to where we are today.
This sounds cliché, but it’s so true. Bertus is the first person I go to when I have news, and (if he doesn’t forget) it works the same the other way around. Yes, he’s forgetful once in a while, but we’ll chat about that in tip #6. I don’t have any secrets from him (other than his Father’s Day gift, but I’d even tell him that one if he’d ask). When there are issues regarding his life when he’s not at home, he tells me everything. Being honest with each other has strengthened our friendship. Beyond anything I could have imagined.
Yes, allowing Bertus to have something, buy something, do something, or wear something that I don’t like doesn’t always make me happy, but it’s not about me. It’s about us. And that means there should be more give than take. To be honest, if I see him walking around at a party in shoes that I particularly dislike, the fact that he’s happy and comfortable in them outweighs the fact that he doesn’t match the rest of us. (Yes, I know I’m slightly OCD.) Side note, he wore these at my request, even though they’re so not his favourite…
When Bertus and I are both in the thick of busyness (he with exams, me with editing) we tend to have a lot more arguments. So I have compromised with him on that, and I now am training an amazing editor to take some of my workload during the busy time. She’s also the one who captured the majority of these photos. Yes, sometimes not being too busy can be a sacrifice in other ways, but the fact that we are happy together even during high season makes me so thankful.
My favourite thing about when Bertus was teaching is the fact that he enjoyed doing mundane tasks like washing dishes and vacuuming. Now that may change, but we will figure that out when we cross that bridge. In our marriage, I do the cooking and he does the dishes. He washes and hangs the laundry and I fold and put it away. I clean the house and he watches. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t really sharing.
Our favourite thing to do to make our kids smile is to act like we were kissing when they walk into a room (where we were probably in reality actually giving each other a kiss). They then often come in for a snuggle after they have a good giggle, and this gives us the perfect opportunity to build our relationship with each of them. Allowing your children to see that their parents love them also gives them a lot of confidence. That no matter what happens, their parents are always going to be there for them, together.
Yep, Bert can be forgetful. But so can every man I believe. I’m also far from perfection. In fact, he’s still reminding me to file our taxes for last year (almost done, I promise). But knowing and accepting that in love, with an appropriately timed reminder, creates that perfect balance. I feel the worst when I notice that he is doing something that he knows I don’t like and I right away want to remind him. I make sure to try and stop and think about how far from perfect I am before I do anything else. After all, we’re all sinners in Christ, and outside of Him, there is no perfection. This marriage tip doesn’t mean we should not strive for perfection, as long as we do so in a Christian manner.
I yell once in a while, and it makes me feel so bad. I get upset quickly, but thankfully God has given me a heart that forgives quickly. Bertus thankfully doesn’t get upset that fast, and I’m so thankful for this constant in my life. God can forgive us our sins, so the most Christ-like thing we can do is to lead by His example. It is so hard sometimes, but I’ve never regretted it!
Remember that time that you just decided to go for a drive to the beach on a whim? And you sat there until the sun went down and the sky glowed orange? Yes, that was back when you were dating. But where have you learned that you cannot do that now, with some marriage experience under your belt and possibly some kids? Bertus is the best at making me forget my plan and just going where the wind blows us. This adventurous side of him really came out during our cross country trip two years ago. And while it takes some getting used to once in a while, there is nothing I love more than deciding to do something fun when my family is least expecting it! That’s how memories are made.
Yes, I just said that. God says in Genesis 2:24, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. In the fifth commandment that God gave to the Israelites, he commands children to obey their parents. That is not possible if parents put their children ahead of their spouses. Yes, God created this relationship so intricate, and it’s not meant to be easy. That being said, that does not mean that parents should not respect their kids. Children will always try to exploit their parents by trying to pit them against each other. I have to laugh once in a while when I hear one of our kids ask permission for something which gets denied by Bertus, and then they walk to me and ask me the same question. As if I didn’t hear what just happened on the other side of the wall…
I will never regret spending our hard-earned money with some of our favourite photographers to capture amazing memories. I believe in it 100%. Looking back at how incredibly small they were when their birthday comes around is something that never gets old. Looking through their albums and seeing gorgeous photos of mischievous smiles makes my heart so happy. I’m not posting this blog of wedding tips to try and convince you to hire me. But hire someone. It might mean sacrificing a dinner out or possibly even a gift for your spouse. This is a gift in its own way.
The family that prays together, stays together. That doesn’t just mean a simple prayer once in a while. But that means worshipping the Lord in their lives and doing so together. Having family worship time during dinner (especially during these last few months) have allowed us to explain things better to our kids and has helped to increase the faith that they have in us and vice versa. There was not much that was more amazing than having our little girl’s eyes light up when she told me that “God made me! And God made Easton!!!” Conversations go from feminism to the current virus, and approaching everything in a Biblical way has really opened up my eyes. This is also the case in other matters that have come up in the last few months. We truly believe that this is the most important of these marriage tips. We know that even though a decision of which the result isn’t beneficial to us but it is Christian, the result will never hurt us. Especially if it brings us closer to Christ.
It’s been eleven years. We’re hoping for dozens more. Only God knows.
The weather has been getting warmer, and it has me itching to get out more to photograph gorgeous couples like these two! We had dreams of a beach session, but that was just not possible. Instead, we ended up at this gorgeous countryside property with a small pond. And it was gorgeous. I’m no longer sad about missing the beach, even though I’ll want to go soon! Katie and Sean met years ago and it wasn’t long after that they knew they were meant for each other. This Burgessville countryside engagement session encompasses everything these two love about each other.
Engagement sessions are always bring some feelings of uncertainty, especially for couples like Katie and Sean who haven’t ever had a professional photographer capture them. For newbies, they did amazing! The natural chemistry between these two was so easy to work with. And they were absolutely ready for some fun. Their wedding is currently still planned for September of this year, and I’m rooting for them! They are planning a sweet rustic wedding. Both mentioned that this Burgessville countryside engagement session was then even more their style than the beach would have been!
Katie and Sean, I’m hoping that the happiest months of your engagement are yet to be. I’m praying that you will forever hold onto your desire to have fun, as we had at your session. I’m wishing that everything goes back to normal as soon as possible so that you can celebrate your upcoming nuptials with all your friends and family. Bertus and I cannot wait to arrive on the morning of your big day and see your beautiful faces again! We are honoured to capture every single couple, but I have to admit that you two are making me feel like your wedding day is going to be such a breeze! And I for one cannot wait!
Who says you need an epic location to get photos that mean a lot to you? Click HERE to see evidence of another countryside portrait session!
Wedding days come with a load of emotions and facets that you won’t really stop to think about until the day arrives. You’re incredibly lucky if you’ve been a maid of honour or bridesmaid before, you’ve seen the inside of the most important part of a wedding day. But now it’s time for your own wedding day, and those things are all of a sudden much more important. I’ve put together five random tips that have been my saving grace for my own wedding day, but I’ve also seen the impact that they’ve had in the weddings of my clients.
You’re standing in front of a long day where loads of emotions will be flooding your system and that takes a lot of energy! Drinking mimosas and having muffins may seem like the perfect wedding morning breakfast, but they contribute to a fast sugar high, and the last thing you want is to be “crashing” right when you’re ready to walk down the aisle. The best thing you can do is start your day with the perfect breakfast! Our favourite options include smoothies or a good breakfast wrap/burrito. The smoothie pictured below is the one we drink every day, and it would be my first recommendation. I’ll list the ingredients that we use below so that you can try it out.
Delicious Wedding Morning Smoothie
1/2-3/4 cup kefir
1/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup oats
1 banana (1/2 of the peel included)
1 scoop vegetable/vitamin supplement (Vegegreens is our favourite)
1 tbsp collagen
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp maca powder
1/4-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Pour into your favourite glass, and enjoy!
You’ll want to soak in everything about your big day. The drive to the church. That tear glistening in your almost-husband’s eye as you walk up the aisle. All the hugs from your family members. The speeches during dinner, especially. And the best way to do that is to be fully focused. Allow yourself to let someone else handle your phone and your life for that day, and you just focus on enjoying all the special moments. And as a side note, everyone important in your life knows you’re getting married, and won’t expect you to answer your phone.
The best way to prevent things from being missed or going wrong is by giving yourself loads of time. However, we know that’s not always possible, even with the best of planning. (Check out YOUR IDEAL TIMELINE GUIDE & WORKBOOK to give yourself the perfect start to your wedding day timeline.) On our own wedding day, we missed out on one photo that we’d really wanted. Our nieces and nephews needed a nap, and their parents left before a photo of Bert and all of his siblings was taken. My heart sank as I watched them drive off. I saw at that moment that I could get upset about it, or I could let it go. I decided to do the latter. We’re so thankful that it never put a damper on our day!
I’ve thankfully never met a wedding where someone wasn’t prepared with something on the list below! Yes, this kit may take a little bit of time to put together. But knowing that you are prepared for anything that happens is definitely worth it! From headaches to that annoying feeling of your dress being stuck to your legs; it’s all here!
And last, but not least, make sure that your parents feel cherished on this big day. They’ve raised you, and they did a great job, seeing the way you turned out. They’ve held your hands through your boo-boos, and they want to hold your hand today. Whether you’re a single child or one of seven like I was, that does not take away from the importance of this day for them. The best time to spend a little one on one time is during the getting ready part. If that doesn’t work out, dinner is another great time to steal a few minutes with your mom or dad. They will never forget how they felt during those moments.
I met this sweet and gorgeous couple at Cana & José’s wedding last April, and I was drawn to Emily immediately. She was the beautiful maid of honour at that wedding, and here she is the stunning bride. Much planning went into this wedding, and it was such an honour to get to travel for this Vancouver Granville Island wedding. Emily and Mark had the best vendors, from the stunning location where Primp & Proper took care of the girls to the beautiful bouquets from Floralista. It was an absolute dream to work with such talented people.
Seeing as Mark studies in New York, Emily is in Medical School in Calgary, and their families are located in Vancouver, it’s no wonder that their vendors are all over North America as well. I couldn’t believe that Emily got her stunning dress from Kleinfeld in New York! I mean, we’ve all watched an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” at some point in our lives, right? To know what a journey this beautiful dress has had, made it very important to me to get as many photos of it! And though the Vancouver rain made it difficult, I’m proud of these photos.
I did not realize how rainy Vancouver could be. And Saturday, December 28 was the only rainy day in my whole stay there. Of course! But at the end of the day, I couldn’t be more thankful. If there is anything that this Vancouver Granville Island wedding taught me, it’s that nothing can rain on my parade! And that rain can only push me to learn more. Oh, and that clear umbrellas are cute!!!
Emily and Mark said I do in the gorgeous Holy Family Parish in Vancouver, after which we visited a quiet Trout Lake in the rain for family photos. My favourite part of the day was when we decided to visit Granville Island and used the edge of their parking lot to capture their epic bridal party photos. Loads of fun was had!!! Even though there were so many of them, it couldn’t have gone any faster. So, to the bridal party, a HUGE SHOUTOUT! I absolutely love it when there is so much love on a wedding day because it makes everything that would be miserable under normal circumstance great fun!
Their stunning venue was ready and waiting for them as the sun set beyond the high rise buildings. The speeches were heartwarming. Seeing the city lights through the floor to ceiling windows as Emily and Mark danced their first dance was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And saying goodbye to all these amazing people, knowing that I probably won’t see them again for a long time (if ever), was hard. Emily and Mark, it’s obvious that your family loves you. Oh, so much! And it’s not hard to see why. Emily, you’re going to make an amazing doctor. I’m sure proud to know you! And Mark, for what it’s worth, I’m really glad you didn’t become a priest! (His application was filled out and ready to be sent, but then he met Emily.) You two are absolutely perfect for each other. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’s excited to see what the future holds for you!
The Vendor Team
Bridal Gown | Kleinfeld, New York
Groom’s Tux | Black and Lee
Bride’s Shoes | Everlane
Rings | Ben Moss
Hair & Makeup | Faye Smith at Primp & Proper
Florals | Floralista
Bridesmaids Dresses | David’s Bridal
Limousine Services | North Star Limousine Services
Wedding Cake | A. Elizabeth Cakes
Entertainment | Presto Entertainment
Reception Venue | John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse
Favours | Squish Candy