Hi there,

I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding and family photographer based in Southwestern Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life, but have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a coffee, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately, and become a part of this amazing DVI community! You can even get to know me and my family!

I'm Dianne, and welcome to my blog! I'm a wedding and family photographer based 

photographer based in Southwestern Ontario, and I just love meeting people in every stage of life, but have to admit that love stories are my favourite! I'd love it if you'd grab a coffee, snuggle up on the couch, and browse through everything that I've been up to lately, and become a part of this amazing DVI community! You can even get to know me and my family!

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Coronation Park Fall Family Session in Tillsonburg | The Carpenter Family

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Another family hits the blog! This fun Tillsonburg fall family session at Coronation Park was the perfect way to end a long streak of family sessions. There are only a few more this year, and then I have decided to take some time to focus on my home, wedding consultations, and perfecting the DVI experience! (Don’t know what I mean? Follow me on INSTAGRAM and you’ll see tidbits here and there!) Meet Mary and Travis; busy parents of four daughters, and one beautiful baby boy (you’ve got to see this little man’s lashes… sooo jealous)!

My sister has twins as well, and it’s not always easy, especially those first few months! However, Mary and Travis are such amazing parents; they take a little bit of drool as if nothing happened (I’d be a little flustered), and all these children are so obviously loved! I can’t wait to see especially the little ones change, it’s always such a melancholy feeling to watch them grow up! You want them to be healthy, but you also realize how quickly they aren’t “your little babies” anymore! Time flies, and it’s obvious that Travis and Mary cherish every moment they spend with them. Even though they probably wish for a little more peace once in a while. Which they well deserve!

Travis and Mary made me feel very valued at this session; it was so nice to hear that I was so different from what they have gotten from photographers in the past! They told me that it was so nice that I did all the hard work for them! To be very honest, it was not difficult to have fun with these girls. They are all so different from each other, not only in looks! Although we were all cold, we made do and had a wonderful time!

This is just such an adorable capture of this wonderful family. Look at how amazing all their reds and blues look together!!!

Let me just eat Daddy’s shoulder for a minute, ‘kay? So adorable!!!

Family

November 1, 2018

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Brantwood Farms Apple Orchard Family Session | The McLeod Family

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This orchard session was filled with action and APPLES! A dear friend referred me to this couple and I had the privilege of meeting Nick and Siobhan at this gorgeous Brantwood Farms apple orchard family session. Their little ones have the most unique names and I loved getting to know them all. Especially little Marcellus was a heart-thief, for some reason he reminds me of Gijs, the little man in MY COUSIN’S PHOTO SESSION in Holland last year! It made me miss them a little bit again, and means I should definitely plan another trip to Europe.

Once again, this family is very involved in pro-life work and it is truly such an honour to work with people who hold these values so close to their hearts. It’s been amazing getting to know these people, and I admire Siobhan so much! Her and I are very similar in a few things, the most important of which is the fact that we love to cook different foods. Siobhan mentioned that they rarely eat the same meal twice in a month and I love that! She might have mentioned a few amazing cooking tips as well. I’m working on perfecting those and I might just share some with you sometime soon!

Nick and Siobhan, thank you for letting me into your family, albeit only being for a few hours. It was so amazing getting to know you and what is important to you! I’m honoured to call you a friend. I can’t wait to see what is waiting for you in the future; I know God must have big plans for Nick and his pro-life legal work. May He bless all your labours. Wishing you all the best as you go into this winter. I know being a mom of three kids is not always easy, however, you are amazing for Perpetua, Marcellus, and Genevieve; you’re exactly what they need.

 

Family

October 31, 2018

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Hamilton Brewery and Dundurn Castle Engagement Session | Cana and José

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Meet Cana and José! Two of the kindest people I’ve ever met (yes, I know I say that a lot, but it’s especially true for these two). Cana and José are both very pro-life. This has made our relationship so much more meaningful! Cana works at the CCBR (Canadian Centre for Bioethical Reform). There she is in charge of the internship in Eastern Canada. Every year, they teach groups of young people what it means to truly stick up for the lives of the unborn. They even go out into the streets for activism to change hearts and minds about this very sad issue. At this Hamilton Brewery & Castle Engagement Session, I was privileged to learn even more about these two, and I am truly so excited about their big day next year!

Our first stop was the FAIRWEATHER BREWING CO. and boy, is it just such a gorgeous location for occasions like this! When José mentioned he was a beer enthusiast, I had to bring them here. I think they really enjoyed their brews, as they even took some home! Cana and José are just super chill, cool people, who love to hang out and relax. When I asked them what their hobbies were, they said, “I don’t know, spend time together, I guess? Maybe read a book?” Sounds perfect to me!

Next up was DUNDURN CASTLE; less than a 15 minute drive from the brewery. Even though the sun only came out for a few minutes at the very end of our session, we made some amazing memories and captured some wonderful images. Working around locations with lots of visitors definitely brings its challenges, but when you end up with gorgeous images it’s worth every ounce of effort!

Cana and José, I hope you love these images as much as I do! I truly had fun, and I’m sorry it took me so long to blog this! You’ll see your gallery in your inbox within the next few days. Happy planning to both of you, and God Bless.

Engagement

October 26, 2018

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Golden Hour at the Beach with Brittany and Ethan

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Brittany and Ethan, I just want to say THANK YOU! Thanks for being so willing to stick with me, taking time off of work, and dressing absolutely amazing! This Long Point golden hour fall session was such an amazing time with clients and I can honestly say that this photographer has become a close friend of mine. Brittany, of Brittany Deanna Photography is a kind soul and amazing photographer! You really need to check out her work! Sending my style guide was completely not necessary for these two, I know Brittany knows exactly what looks good in images! I’m sure you have to agree that she picked all the right outfits.

But this session was about so much more than pretty pictures. It was about spending quality time together. It was about exploring and finding amazing lighting (always looking for the glow). It was about tickles and laughter. And so much more. I’d have to say that this was one of the funnest sessions I’ve had! And that says a lot, because I always have fun. If any of you are wanting images with loads of colour, may I recommend visiting Long Point beach at this time of year? It absolutely is my favourite location that I’ve ever visited, it’s just too bad that it’s a bit of a drive.

Once again, Brittany and Ethan, thank you for this oportunity, I am so glad that I could make these wonderful memories with you, and I hope you can cherish these for years to come! Maybe next time Bear and Archer can join? That would be so much fun!!!

 

Here the glow just got SO REAL! I’m really starting to embrace all the colour that God has given us in our beautiful nature, what do you think?

Couple

October 19, 2018

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Casual Autumn Roth Park Family Session

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Summer gave us one more reminder of why we love it so much these last few days, and now we are officially heading into fall! That’s why I love this casual Fall Roth Park family session! With the combination of their coats and sweaters and the greenery… it just looks so cozy! I’d never been to Roth Park before, but when Delvia sent me some pictures I got really excited! And this location ended up being absolutely perfect! It really suited this family completely, graffiti-ed barn and all!

I got to know of Delvia through my dear sister-in-law’s store, Urban Wheel Co. in Tillsonburg. When I went the first time just after the store opened to support my friends, I found this amazing soap. I just knew I had to have for my client gifts! So Jess put us in touch (thanks, Jess!!!). To keep a long story short, I now give all my potential wedding clients the most adorable gift at their initial consultation (see some of their soaps HERE). Delvia and Amy are some of the most amazing women out there. Their hubby’s have shift work, so they started this business on the side to be able to stay home. I love supporting local, and these women just make it fun!

Anyways, meet Moe and Delvia, parents of three beautiful girls, Isabelle, Hannah, and Mya. The love these parents have for their children is so amazing! I know it can be challenging to raise kids, having four of them myself, but these girls were so well-mannered and sweet. Moe and Delvia, you’re doing an amazing job with these three, they are lucky to have you as parents!

Isabelle, you are a gorgeous young lady, but don’t grow up too fast! Enjoy being a young woman, and spending time with your friends! You have two amazing role models, who have molded you into a beauty, inside and out, and I know they love you to pieces. Wishing you a wonderful life, and may all your dreams come true (maybe even modelling one day?)!

Hannah and Mya, you two are just too cute to explain! Thank you for being so adorable and I know your mommy loved your bouquets! Hannah, maybe you’ll even be a florist one day, you did such a great job mixing colours and textures! I can’t wait to see what beautiful young ladies you will turn into, I’m sure your mommy realizes time will fly by, and that will happen before she is ready (am I right, Delvia?).

Fadel family, thank you so much for the honour of capturing you all last week, it was an incredible experience to get to know y’all a little bit! I can’t wait to work with more ladies like Delvia, and that just makes me super thankful to present you these images! Let me know what you think?

 

I mean, aren’t these two little ones just so cute!!!

Meet my sister in law, one of the faces behind Urban Wheel Co. HERE!

Family

October 11, 2018

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Playful Apple Orchard Family Session

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And they’re back! Aaron and Jessica and their three children (last time one was not quite visible) met with me last week Saturday and we went on a little exploration through this gorgeous apple orchard. We tested and approved of the apples and had a great time playing tag. Liam and Luke quite enjoyed this playful apple orchard family session, and so did I!

Aaron and Jessica will always be one of those clients that get me super excited every time they book. That’s because there’s a history there! Over two years ago, at their first photo session with me, my water broke during my pregnancy with Stella. That was the beginning of a very difficult part of our lives, however, it was also the beginning of this relationship, and I can’t be more thankful for them! They are one of my first clients who have seen my growth and truly appreciate my work. The words that this couple spoke to me during our session just melted my heart! They really drove home to me why I love this job so much.

See this family last year HERE!

Liam is now in Preschool, and, while he is shy, has the most beautiful smiles! It just took a little bit to come out, but was worth every bit of running around! He loved these apples, as did Luke and Owen! Luke misses his big brother on the mornings that Liam is gone, but I’m sure he keeps his mommy busy anyways! Owen is just the most adorable little man, and so quick! I love seeing this family grow, and am so thankful for clients like them.

Aaron and Jessica, you have three beautiful boys, and your love for them is so evident in everything you do with them! From cleaning their apples to playing ring-around-the-rosy, this whole session was a lot of fun. I think it’s safe to say that you enjoyed it too! I hope you enjoy your gallery, which is on its way to you as I’m writing this, and can’t wait to see you again soon!


Family

October 5, 2018

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Courtland Family Anniversary Session with Nine Children

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So much love! And so many pictures! To say that this Courtland large family session was busy is an understatement. But boy, did I have fun! And I was assured by the mother of these nine beautiful kids, that they enjoyed themselves too. From their youngest right up to the oldest! These parents just recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary. I am just amazed at how good God has been to them, granting them nine healthy children.

I was lucky enough to spend just a little bit of time at the CCBR’s Prolife Crash Course this summer, and Jannissa, the oldest, had the chance to spend a few months with this incredible organization! She was out on the streets every day, saving unborn lives. I can’t wait what this year’s graduates will do with their knowledge! I have seen some incredible things over the last few years.

This evening we dealt with everything from direct sun to drizzle, and we were able to see some gorgeous skies in the process. I was glad we had postponed this session a few days due to weather. And thanks to all of the different lighting scenarios, I was able to capture all the backgrounds that we had hoped for. Scroll down to see a beautiful pond that we wouldn’t have been able to capture had it not been cloudy! Looking at this beautiful nature, from the ground to the wide open skies, we talked about how amazing God is and how it’s so hard to understand the disbelief in His existence if you just look around you.

Twenty years, and nine children. Nico and Erna, you have been so blessed. I am sure that those years have come with their trials; raising children is a huge responsibility! These children have so much respect for you, however, and it is so obvious. I wish you many more happy years together; watching your children grow older and starting their own families. Erna, I know you lost your father shortly after your parents were married for this long, and that is why this session is so important to you. I hope that these images do you and your family justice, and that you can look back at this time of your life with a smile on your face, for years to come.

Now I’m going to let these images speak for themselves! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the responsibility of your anniversary family session, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you!

 

Anniversary, Family

October 3, 2018

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Ten Ways to Have a Relaxed Wedding Day Timeline

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He’s popped the question and you can finally start planning! Your girls and you are planning a day out in Toronto, trying to find the perfect dress, and you totally know the type of wedding you are hoping for! You’re meeting with several different wedding venues in the coming weeks, but already have a pretty good idea that you want the golf course with the amazing views of the river. You figure you have most of the answers to all the questions, but have you thought about your wedding day? Time of ceremony? Location of family photos? Probably not, and that’s why I decided that you need these 10 very important tips to have a relaxed wedding day timeline, while still staying true to yourself and making things enjoyable for all of your guests.

HAVE A SMALL WEDDING PARTY

Yes, I said that right! Find two or three of your closest friends, whom you just could not imagine spending your big day without, and ask them to be in your wedding party! The more people in your wedding party, the more pictures have to be taken and (I’m not kidding) the more bridesmaids/groomsmen can go missing! Having a small wedding party makes things more personal as well, and a huge bonus is that there are less “Thank You” gifts you need to buy and less speeches to listen to at night during dinner! All in all, a win-win if you ask me.

Bridesmaids hugging floral detail

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER

I know I really enjoyed planning my own wedding and wouldn’t want to give that up to just anyone, but I do know I could definitely have benefited from a planner who made sure things got done at the right time, or to the right place on my big day. Sadly, our families ended up having to decorate the hall on the day of our wedding, because our venue misled us about the availability the night before. With a wedding planner, this likely wouldn’t have happened, or at least it wouldn’t have taken our own family members away from the celebration to get it done on time.

HAVE HAIR AND MAKE-UP TRIALS DONE JUST WEEKS BEFORE

Knowing ahead of time exactly what hairstyle or type of look a bride is looking for on her wedding day can cut down on time spent in the chair. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with the girls before it’s time to head out, and capturing those wonderful memories, but so often something happens to change the condition of the hair compared to the trial months before, and it is super helpful for make-up artists and hairdressers to have a recent memory of what you expect from them. On our wedding day, all my bridesmaids ended up with an old-fashioned bun that the hairdresser thought was perfect, because she had forgotten what hairstyle we agreed on. She ended up charging very little, but I’m still disappointed to this day!

Bride and Groom Walking

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

ADD BUFFER TIME!

Padding your timeline with 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there will prevent any late starts, whether ceremony or reception, and ensure a relaxed wedding day timeline. This is easy, just make sure that the guys are ready to leave about 10 minutes before they actually need to leave (and don’t tell them)!

Times that are especially important, of course, are the ceremony and reception dinner time. Estimate your driving times about 50% longer than they normally are, in case of an accident, or in case someone accidentally forgets something. If and when you don’t need the buffer time, feel free to use it to ask your photographer to get a few more wedding party shots or bridal portraits very near where you have to be at a certain time. So it’s almost like a reward, which will help motivate you even more to stick to your timeline. Your photographer will thank you!

HAVE HAIR AND MAKEUP DONE AT/VERY NEAR THE CEREMONY VENUE

I realize that this isn’t always possible, but often venues have some amazing photogenic rooms that are yours for free or a small fee where you can spend the morning with your girls. Whether it’s at a golf course or a hotel, there are often options at, or near where you will be saying your vows. Technically it would be amazing if it all happens at the same venue, but when you’re getting married in a church, it is also very convenient if the reception location is nearby. This cuts down on driving time, and in case someone forgets something, it’s only a short walk or drive to get the missing item!

Experience tells me that a timeline that gets off on the wrong start, is really hard to fix when it’s on a roll. It’s like a runaway train, it’s better to nip it in the bud. After all, why would you want to add extra stress and possibly lose out on that relaxed wedding day timeline.

Bride bouquet smile detail

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

HAVE A FIRST LOOK

First looks are becoming more common and photographers all over are thanking you for it! Some couples are adamant that they want to see each other for the first time in church, so did we almost 10 years ago. But now, looking back, it would have been so nice to spend 10 to 15 minutes of time with Bertus before we met at church, I think it would have helped my nerves as well.

If you decide to do a first look, most photographers will also get wedding party portraits out of the way before the ceremony. Yes, you may be looking at adding an hour of coverage (unless your photographer offers all-day wedding coverage, like myself), but it could be well worth it! This way, after the ceremony, your wedding party is free to go as they please and enjoy themselves (and they will thank you for that!), and you have oodles of time to get an amazing array of “Husband and Wife” portraits. This might even allow for an extra location, if your timeline allows this!

DESIGNATE A COORDINATOR

Even if you have a wedding planner, it is still very helpful to have someone who is not part of your family or bridal party, but is on a first-name basis, ensure that everything is flowing smoothly. Ensuring a relaxed wedding day timeline really is a group effort! Choosing someone who is not an all-day guest (meaning part of the wedding party or a family member) ensures that they can really focus on making sure that the rings have made it to church or that no wedding party member decides to stop in at Tim Hortons at 12:30PM and has to wait for their latté for 20 minutes.

Designated coordinators are also instrumental in ensuring smooth sailing during family portraits! This is usually the most hectic part of the day, because your photographer has no idea who is part of what family. Even if there is a second-shooter, it is super helpful to have someone who is familiar with most or all of the members, and can ensure that no mistakes (such as splitting up a family) are made. Make sure this coordinator has your family portrait group list as well as any other instructions that you want them to remember.

Brantford Golf Course venue wedding floral details

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

START CEREMONY ON TIME

As mentioned before, a timeline that gets off track early on, can be impossible to fix. I mean, all your guests are really there to see you get married, and they might have taken the day off to attend the biggest day of your life; try not to waste their time by turning up late. At the same token, officiants sometimes have more than one ceremony to officiate, and if you arrive late, he/she may have to leave to attend the next wedding. Imagine everyone showing up for your wedding and then it becomes a search for any officiant, just as long as the papers get signed! It is better for all parties if groom and bride allow extra EXTRA time before this part of the day.

A LITTLE FLEXIBILITY GOES A LONG WAY

Your officiant may not have any flexibility, but your family members might. Or even you. Let’s say that you have planned to have the family pictures done right after the ceremony. As it happens, one of your nieces is exhausted and almost asleep; waking her would do more harm than good. If the family is somewhat small and all are planning to attend your reception, reschedule the family portrait time to 30 minutes before then. Hopefully by that time your niece is well rested, and your photographer is able to get those images at a much less stressful pace. Make sure to discuss these decisions with your photographer before promising your family something that isn’t possible, sometimes lighting situations do not allow for these types of modifications.

Wedding Rings and Groom sitting

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

HAVE A FAMILY GROUPINGS LIST FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

Family portrait time is usually the most dreaded time of the day. It’s something that should get done, but isn’t enjoyed by many. Getting through these as efficiently as possible benefits everyone, including you as couple, the photographer, and especially your family. Making sure that your list includes first and last names can avoid confusion, even add your parents’ first names to clarify. As photographer, I often end up calling your parents “Mom” and “Dad”, out of respect for them, but also because it makes it a little easier. Still, to ensure we know which Mom or Dad, feel free to give as much detail as you think necessary. Better too much than too little.

That being said, keep your family portrait wish list as concise as possible, spending an hour on family portraits can be a waste of your time and money, as very rarely are all images looked at, much less used. I ask my clients to keep it down to less than 10 groupings (allowing for unmarried significant others to be added to and taken away from each grouping if necessary). This is usually possible, and brides are thankful that they can just say, “Sorry, my photographer says no more!”

CONCLUSION

You only get married once. Do it right, and make sure you are able to enjoy your day by utilizing as many of these tips to have a relaxed wedding day timeline as possible. You’ll look back and see that it was likely the most important part of your planning. I’d love to hear how your day turned out, and which tips you found most helpful. Is there something missing that should be added. Happy planning, and congratulations. You deserve the best day!

Bride and bridesmaids holding bouquets bridesmaid dresses

Captured while second shooting for Kayla Potter

Images captured while second shooting for the amazing Kayla Potter! Visit her website HERE.

Tips for Brides

September 25, 2018

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Exploring a Norfolk County Trail | The Velthove Family

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And another session at the trail near my home. It will be the last one for the year, likely as the golden rods have finished blooming and things are starting to look dead. But then again, maybe I might just be able to have a fall session with some gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows in a few weeks! This Norfolk County trail family session actually features another one of my family members. This time it’s my husband’s second youngest brother and his wife and beautiful kids!

Corwin and Sharon actually married when I was almost due with our third baby, Easton, and I can still remember how huge and uncomfortable I was that day! He arrived almost a week late, weighing 9lbs 11oz, so you can only imagine how uncomfortable those last two weeks were! Anyways, Corwin and Sharon’s anniversary is coming up in a month again, 5 years already!

They have a silly little man named Tyson, who is three already, and hopes to go to Preschool next year. He loooooves anything that is red and has some wheels. A red quad tops it all! He was quite excited about all the pop-a-wheelies he is going to do when he gets a little bigger. I’m sure his mom’s already terrified!

Keira, the little girl with the pretty shoes, constantly trying to keep up to her big brother. She takes after her daddy, who also drooled bad as a baby, and we had to use my lens cleaning cloth to catch some of those. It’s easier to take it away before the picture than later in Photoshop! She definitely adores her mommy, but also loved having free reign, whenever we asked her to come our way, she deliberately did the exact opposite.

Sharon and Corwin recently purchased a butcher shop in Vanessa, with some of the most delicious hungarian sausage I’ve had! Their pork tenderloin also tastes 10 times better than anything I’ve had from a chain grocery store. It’s always so nice to support small local business, especially when they belong to family. I can’t wait what the future holds for these two, I’m sure there is a lot in store!

Corwin and Sharon, you have two beautiful children, who are growing up before your eyes; cherish them! I’m sure you have seen how fast they grow, but that only gets worse! Before you know it Tyson is in school, and then a few years later Keira will have a boyfriend. Enjoy them, the way they are now. I sure am glad I was able to capture these memories for you so that you can look back years from now and remember what life used to be like!

Norfolk County trail family session kids

I really was lucky to capture this, isn’t this just a wall hanger?

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Run, baby girl, RUN!

Norfolk County trail family session girl Norfolk County trail family session girl Norfolk County trail family session girl

See another very recent family session I did at this location HERE! That session also had some wonderful bright pops of colour…

Norfolk County trail family session boy running Norfolk County trail family session kids

I had to post one of these two being little goofs!

Norfolk County trail family session kids funny face Norfolk County trail family session kids Norfolk County trail family session family Norfolk County trail family session family

I mean, just look at this cute little family!!!

Norfolk County trail family session family Norfolk County trail family session family walking

See my recent sister-in-law’s session HERE! So much fun with those 6 as well.

Norfolk County trail family session family walking Norfolk County trail family session couple portrait kids walking Norfolk County trail family session couple portrait kids walking Norfolk County trail family session couple portrait husband and wife Norfolk County trail family session sky Norfolk County trail family session mom and daughter Norfolk County trail family session dad and son Norfolk County trail family session dad and son

Family

September 21, 2018

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