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...
Dave and Virginia walked in front of the dome in the Temple Garden of WHISTLING GARDENS, laughing as they went. She noted the fact that her teenage self never could have believed that they were actually having an engagement session. The big smile on her face made it obvious that she was thrilled! And while it might have taken Dave a little longer to start getting excited about it, I’m sure that her enthusiasm sped that up quite a bit! These two high school sweethearts are two of the sweetest people ever. This whole Whistling Gardens engagement session was a breeze and they were as easy-going as I’d thought.
I was recommended to Dave and Virginia by their dear friends Ali and Evan (see their engagement session HERE). They’re even going to be in each other’s wedding parties! How awesome is it that I get to see both couples at two weddings!? These two are also each other’s best friends. It came up quite often that most of the time, the laughing was done at each other instead of with each other. There was a lot of laughing with each other; so I can’t even imagine what they’d be laughing at each other about. Either way, it’s so obvious that these two are perfect for each other. I’m a lucky girl to get to capture their love story here at the Whistling Gardens. And again next year at their Copetown Woods Golf Club wedding.
Dave proposed in one of the cutest parts of Southwestern Ontario; Niagara on the Lake. Virginia’s guard was down completely as he’d let several amazing opportunities pass by without popping the question. Then, one rainy day in Niagara on the Lake, he asked her to go for a walk. She was not very impressed, or so rumour has it. But when she saw him on one knee she asked the exact same question that I asked when my husband proposed, “Are you serious?” Well, yes he was and here we are!
One of my next favourite locations is a local hidden gem. Managed by Wanda and Darren Heimbecker, this sprawling botanical beauty is the perfect backdrop for any session. We even had OUR OWN ANNIVERSARY SESSION here a few short months ago. I was super excited that Dave and Virginia wanted to use this venue for their engagement session. From the stunning pond with the Egyptian geese and two gorgeous swans to the breathtaking French style garden; this venue offers an endless supply of beautiful backgrounds. Wanda so graciously worked around our schedules to ensure that we were able to visit and explore this amazing location.
Dave and Virginia, wedding planning may not always be easy. Dress shopping alone brings its fair amount of pressure. But in the end, you’re getting married! To each other! I am confident that you will face any of those little hiccups head-on and keep your eye on the big picture. I’m super excited for your summer wedding next year, and can’t wait to see you again in June!
When this former classmate of mine, Carolyn, contacted me to capture her beautiful family, I knew she would come up with the perfect location, outfits… well, let’s just say, EVERYTHING! And she did not disappoint. Even though I was nervous to shoot at a new location that I hadn’t checked out before (her photographer sister-in-law assured me I’d love it, and that helped), I had these photos envisioned as soon as I arrived. And I was able to capture exactly what I had in mind for this Grand River family session.
She spun around and around, a big smile on her face. Mommy and Daddy were looking on, while little sister clung tightly to her stuffed rabbit; a little in awe of it all. Meet Amelia & Lilah and their mommy and daddy! Especially Amelia enjoyed exploring, and the whole family just loved to have fun. From collecting snails to splashing in the water, this sessions consisted a lot of me running after these two super adorable energetic kids. And then once in a while, they did something so cute and I just missed it, so I’d have them recreate the moment. This caused some hilarious moments of Amelia looking down at the frog we found, with her bum in the air, because she was afraid to get her bum wet.
Amelia and Lilah wore adorable outfits from Nest and Nurture, and incredible (& CANADIAN) company that creates the most adorable children’s clothing (linked at the bottom of the blog post). They accessorized with cute little bows (including one from by Marah, who does amazing work as always!) We ran and had fun, took a close look at a frog and lots of little snails! I really should call sessions like this “Photos of your Exploration”, because that’s really what it is!
Carolyn is one busy mama of these two, and while they got along so well at their session, I can’t imagine that it’ll be like that forever. Here’s the proof that it once was that way, however! So Darren and Carolyn, enjoy these memories. Enjoy these moments. One day, you’ll wonder where this time went (I’m sure that already happens once in a while), and I am so honoured that I could be part of keeping these memories alive for you in this small way at this Grand River family session.
See another very fun family session with two kiddos HERE!
Location | Brant Conservation Area
Children’s outfits | Nest and Nurture
I do not normally do Saturday family sessions, but when Dieneke and I struggled to find a date that worked for both of us last minute, I made an exception. And I’m so glad! This stunning Long Point family session was not only just amazing because it was so fun. I mean, just look at them!!! Dieneke always does a stunning job dressing all her kids. This time, however, she outdid herself. From the little bows on Romy’s leggings to the sweet little curl in Lucas’ hair; everything was on point.
Dieneke and I have known each other for a long time; we really got to know each other well when I started dating one of her husband’s best friends. Dave was actually one of our groomsmen, over 10 years ago. At the time, Dieneke was expecting baby #2; Manoah (she was actually due within a week or so if I’m correct). Lowrence, their oldest is heading to Grade 8 this year already, and seems to be excited to put middle school behind him soon. Josiah, their third boy, is friends with our Pieter, and Andreas, number four, started Kindergarten this week and he was SO EXCITED!!!
All those boys, am I right? You can only imagine Dieneke’s overwhelming joy when she found out she was having a girl! How she kept that a secret, I still do not know. When we went on our baby visit for little Romy, we had just found out we were expecting (our little Stella-bear), and holding her as a little girl is definitely something I still remember. She’s quite the little sweetheart, but seems to be able to hold her own with all those boys when she needs to!
And then there is adorable little Lucas. I’m not even going to apologize for the amount of pictures of him in this blog post. You just need some baby pictures in your life this Saturday, I promise! He was not an easy one to make smile, but definitely not a tough one to photograph. I love smiling pictures, but I’m a sucker for those serious and inquisitive looks as well! You’ll have to scroll down to see his stunning eyelashes and his chunky little toes.
We definitely don’t see these two and their children as often as we like (or used to), but they’re one of the best friends we could ever ask for. The support through Stella’s NICU stay, the listening ear so many times, and I’m sure the many prayers are cherished. It’s always an honour to be asked to photograph a family in this growing time, but that’s especially the case when they’re your friends. Dave and Dieneke, thank you for believing in me and allowing me to have so much fun with you last week. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed capturing them!!!
Long Point Beach is such a versatile place and works great for family sessions, but even maternity sessions! See this GORGEOUS MATERNITY SESSION that was captured at the same location!
When Erin and Lucas arrived at this Port Burwell engagement session my heart danced when I saw them in these fun, but still seriously cute outfits! I could go on about how fun these two are, but the fact is, the pictures really speak for themselves. Erin and Lucas were up for absolutely anything! I love couples who trust me, who do all the things that feel awkward but look so freaking adorable! And these two seriously outdid themselves.
When we arrive at Port Burwell, I always start under this tree on the boardwalk. It’s got the perfect lighting and I know this location and composition always delivers stunning images. Because all of my clients deserve pictures like these! Erin and Lucas are super fun but low-key (they think this means they’re awkward, but we know better!), and are planning a gorgeous Whistling Gardens wedding!
Their second outfits was more dressy, but no less fun. It was the absolutely perfect combination, and I’m so impressed that Lucas even brought a pair of dress shoes for that outfit! We took that stunning floral dress and walked right into the lake. And captured the most stunning sunset pictures at Port Burwell. Pictures that will last these two a lifetime. I can honestly not wait to capture these two next year; if this Port Burwell engagement session was any indication it will be a day filled with love and laughter!!!
Port Burwell is a great location for engagement sessions, but also family session! See the Boeder extended family session HERE!
Makeup | Beautiful You
Hair | Robin Bokla
Danielle and I have known each other for a few months now (she’s the talent behind some of the amazing products in the DVI Bride’s Welcome Box, a gift for all my engaged couples) and I’m so honoured to know her. We’ve been talking about this Woodstock family session for a while now. I was super excited that the weather turned out so well. Oh, and that they were up for some of the fun shots I had envisioned, especially with the gorgeous backdrop that Gunn’s Hill offered!!!
We didn’t have to walk far to find a gorgeous spot in the middle of the trees and Queen Anne’s Lace. Danielle and Jeff’s property offered a stunning array of backgrounds. I have to admit that even though we had to fight off the mosquitoes, I fell in love with this property! On the premises, Danielle runs an incredible business, Wild Comfort. Here she creates the most delicious smelling soaps and other body care products, often with finds from her own property. I’ve seen her working with dandelions, I’ve watched her excitement as she found the secret behind thickening shower gel, and I’ve even had her create some specialty products; just for me and my clients!
We soon got tired of the mosquitoes, so we moved this Woodstock family session down the road to the top of Gunn’s Hill. For any of you who know the area, you know about the gorgeous views! The sun happened to be setting behind scattered clouds. The view literally took my breath away. The evening was perfect and some fun memories were made! Joel, Madelyn and Brynn; thank you for going along with all my crazy ideas. I sure hope that your family loves these photos as much as I do!
These two just celebrated their 19th anniversary! Join me in congratulating Jeff and Danielle; it might have been many years since you said “I do”, but your love is so obviously the center of your family. It’s a beautiful thing to see!
Didn’t these five dress incredible? I hear so often that the DVI Family Session Style Guide is super helpful. HERE is another gorgeously dressed family!
And it was off to Gunn’s Hill! If anyone ever wants to do another session here, please INQUIRE. I’d love to go back!!!
So much love, how could my heart not feel full when I get to capture these smiles for a living!!!
We had to capture some headshots for Danielle for her business as well; isn’t she just gorgeous?
Styled sessions are gaining momentum. More and more engaged couples are wanting to go all out and I’m loving it! It’s a lot of work planning a styled engagement session, and while I love doing it, I wanted to put together something that could really educate my clients in a way that was easier to understand. Then came the idea of a travelling dress as some of my amazing photographer friends were having the same thoughts that I did. This gorgeous Renz Bridal dress was chosen and I was the lucky girl who was allowed to photograph it first at this stunning Mill Race Park styled “engagement” shoot in Cambridge, Ontario.
No, Jack and Ally are not engaged, but they might as well be! These two are so adorable together, and when I was with them it felt like new love! Even though they’d already been together for several years. Jack and Ally met at their former place of employment, and now Jack is an accountant and Ally a wedding planner. Her business, Perfectly Designed Events, is one that I’m hoping to work together with soon! Ally is gorgeous (that’s pretty obvious), but what you don’t know about her is that she’s very detail-oriented! She loves working with brides who are planning their big day, just to make their dreams come true. Which is something we really could relate on! Ally and Jack are huge wine lovers (yay!!!); Ally especially loves a very sweet white wine (especially when her mom is there to share it with her).
I was so excited to hear that Ally was hoping to work with me on this Mill Race Park styled shoot. Seriously, just look at these two! I could keep on gushing about these two, but you don’t want me to! Ally wore this blue Renz Bridal dress so well, and don’t even get me started on the floral crown from Blossom by CBL Floral Design! Charmaine from Blossom created this piece at my request, and I cannot wait to work with her again. She managed to create a romantic piece that pulls the images together in a way I never imagined. I never knew that faux florals could look this good!
It was the morning of this gorgeous styled Mill Race Park “engagement” session. I received a heartbreaking message from the amazing hair and makeup artist; she couldn’t make it due to an emergency. I reached out to Sarah from Teased Bridal, whom I’ve worked with before, and she happened to be available and super excited to help us out! And she outdid herself. I truly believe that in the case of styled session collaborations it’s the best to give vendors as much freedom as possible. I gave that to Sarah with a vague outline of the vision I was hoping for. She made sure to create something that she was super proud of and looked amazing on Ally! Oh, and it made my heart sing!
I cannot even begin to convey how my heart feels when I get to share this styled Mill Race Park “engagement” session. From the amazing photographers who have been encouraging me along the way to Charmaine and Sarah. From Ally and Jack to all the people who have responded so positively after seeing some of these images on social media. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I’ve learned and how happy that makes me. How excited I am to use what I’ve learned for future DVI couples and make their dreams come true.
I won’t keep you any longer; please, go on! Scroll down, you know you want to!
This venue!!! All the heart eyes for Ally and Jack, who just popped off of this gorgeous background! Anyone else just want to hug these two?
Styled sessions are quickly become my favourite thing to shoot! See a styled wedding HERE.
Planner & Photographer | Dianne Velthove Imagery
Dress | Renz Bridal
Floral Crown | Blossom by CBL Floral Design
Hair & Makeup | Teased Bridal
Models | Ally & Jack
Families grow. And grow. Until there are many kids and grandkids… and time flies by. Everyone is just trying to get by, make more money than they’re spending, go on vacation once a year, and hopefully make some memories while they’re at it. And when a few of the kids raise their families in a different province or country, it makes getting together more of a chore, but also so much more special. And that’s what it was like for the Boeder family. They try to have their growing family photographed every few years (last time there were 5 less grandkids). So I had the privilege of capturing this Port Burwell family session!
Wilma lives in Michigan and organized this whole session from there and did an amazing job, if you ask me! She and I went to school together. It was so amazing to catch up with her and get to know her family. Seeing her married with two kids was incredibly special. And meeting (or reconnecting) with her older siblings was super fun as well! It’s obvious that this family really loves each other. I am so thankful that I was able to capture this special time for all of them at this Port Burwell family session
It is definitely a huge responsibility to capture a big family like this one! Especially when all the married children have entrusted me with additional photography to fill the frames in their homes. From the oldest grandchild who is going to grade 10, to the youngest, just a few months old; I’m sure Nana and Papa are going to enjoy seeing all of these! Most of this session was done at Port Burwell, until the rain got too bad and we had to find a location further north to where the radar was showing clear skies.
The kids all got the last chance to see each other for this year, and while they were enjoying their delicious DVI cookies, laughed and gave each other hugs that they will likely forget, but their parents and Nana and Papa will likely not. Without further ado, please enjoy the very big and very blessed family!!!
At this point we got rained out and didn’t get to explore the rest of Port Burwell beach with the whole family, as we’d hoped. See what else Port Burwell has to offer HERE!
When I first met with Anna from Spunky Sapphire Events, I couldn’t have imagined that this session would ever happen! Especially not the way it did!!! The amount of talent in this session was absolutely amazing, and it was so inspiring. From the best wedding planner to the most stunning models and all the vendors in between, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for them. I was just lucky enough to have the privilege of photographing it all at the Art Gallery of Hamilton earlier this year.
This styled shoot was a play on simple white on white with florals and citrus fruits to accent them and bring out the gorgeousness along with summer feels! Anna found the most detail-oriented vendors, such as Jade from Mint & Magnolia who provided the florals and had the genius idea to add in some vibrant citrus as well. The copper arch from Euclid Designs was perfectly polished, and the flowers took this detail from amazing to FABULOUS!!!
Planning a wedding is a lot of work. There are so many decisions the bride and groom hava to make; from the venue to the dress, from the colours to all the special people in their wedding party. But with a wedding planner like Anna, it becomes a whole load of fun! The decisions are made on time, and she makes sure that you’re 100% happy with them while at the same time ensuring that all the schedules, from the photographer’s to that of the venue, line up so that you’ll have the most enjoyable day. We were lucky to work with vendors who appreciate a stress-free day as much as we do, and it really cemented the importance of finding the perfect vendors for your big day.
The stunning invitations, designed by Sandra from Love on Paper Co., were perfectly styled by Anna using those citrus fruits and flowers, and the ring from Harris Jeweller was the perfect centerpiece! Lauren wore a Ferres Posa dress to perfection, and Chris, in his checkered navy suit was the perfect arm candy, don’t you agree? The Art Gallery in Hamilton was the perfect host to the details from Simply Beautiful Decor, and the cake was the perfect way to pull it all together.
Does a wedding have to cost $1M in order for everything to look absolutely gorgeous? Absolutely not! This styled shoot is evidence that by focusing on one outstanding part of the day (in this case, the flowers), it can bring it over the top to a level where everyone is so excited to share the pictures. And that was the case here as well! Thanks to all of these vendors, we were able to have this shoot featured on Elegant Wedding, an amazing Canadian wedding blog (click the icon below to see the featured post).
My heart is full while I’m writing this because I believe that I’ve really stumbled on this amazing network of individual business owners, many of them women, who believe in “Community over Competition” as much as I do. It’s truly something extraordinary when you are able to build relationships with people who (in my humble opinion) are much more talented than you, and that’s what happened to me. It feels so surreal; I just never have imagined that this would ever happen to me. In one world I’m a mom of four kids, and in a whole other world (which feels like another universe) I am privileged enough to capture things like this. I won’t keep you any longer, go on! Enjoy!!!
Planner | Spunky Sapphire Events
Photographer | Dianne Velthove Imagery
Venue | The Art Gallery of Hamilton
Hair & Makeup | Teased Bridal
Stationery | Love on Paper Co
Florist | Mint + Magnolia
Cake | Sweet Avenue Cakery
Bridal Gown | Ferre Sposa
Ceremony Arch | Euclid Design Co
Rentals | Simply Beautiful Decor
Jewellery | Harris Jeweller
Models | Elle & Chris Valente
This will probably be one of the most meaningful family sessions I’ve ever done. But this blog post isn’t about me, it’s about Julia and Rob and their three gorgeous kids at this beautiful Brantford Park family session. Meet Melvin, Mckenna and Evan, three of the sweetest kiddos I’ve met. Melvin and Mckenna were so loving towards their little brother and it was a pleasure to capture those memories for their parents. Mommy raised Evan’s arms, saying, “I’m thiiiiiiiis big!” and it made not just Evan giggle. He loves his Daddy’s voice, which was very noticeable as well.
Let me tell you a little bit about Evan. He’s born only a few weeks later than our little Stella, but a whole lot bigger. And he has a feeding tube. Evan has a condition called Canavan Disease. His parents didn’t even know about the condition when he was born. Only a short while later, the doctor started noticing things weren’t going exactly as they should. His head was much bigger than it should be, and an ultrasound showed a dark spot on his brain. Three months later, after many tests at the hospital, including genetics, etc., he was diagnosed with Canavan Disease.
Canavan is a neurological disorder characterized by the degeneration of white matter in the brain. Evan is missing the enzyme which helps control the white matter in his brain. This, in turn, affects how his brain sends messages to different parts of his body. To this day, Evan is mentally younger than a 3-month-old. Which means he doesn’t understand a lot, but it’s so amazing to see how he responds to his family. He loves to be sung to, tickled, and anything that would make a baby smile.
Melvin and Mckenna are two fun-loving kids who’ve had to live with the reality that they will not have their brother in their lives as long as most people do. But they take it all in stride, it seems, and have developed an understanding for Evan’s needs that surprised me. For their sibling photo, Melvin knew to hold Evan’s head up as he was not able to do so himself (you’ll see it below). And that made me think. I honestly think that this family, while this is beyond difficult, has been given a gift. A gift to take care of one of God’s special children. And for a child to be raised with that as a constant reminder, I can only imagine the amount of empathy and understanding and love for others they will grow up having.
This Brantford Park family session was not the only session I captured this evening. I also had the pleasure of photographing THIS FAMILY, but will not be posting a blog post right now as it was hot and there were several little mishaps that meant we are in for a reshoot in August. Maybe later!!!
I have to say that this location in the middle of Brantford reminded me a little of a different field in the middle of London (as seen in Dylan & Sandra’s family session). Sometimes you’d be surprised at the locations some of my sessions are held! I managed to trick you into thinking we’re in the middle of the country, didn’t I?