Well hi there, 2016!
This year, I thought to myself, "Self, it would be super fantastic if you could finish your "Best Of" post before like…April." So here it is, January 6th, and I have ALL MY 2015 SESSIONS ORGANIZED AND ARCHIVED! Basically, I'm super on the ball so far this year (on the other hand, it IS only January 6th so….I'll give it a little time. I'm sure I'll fall apart by the 9th…10th at the latest!)
Big, BIG thank you to all my amazing 2015 clients: a huge percentage of you were return clients, and in my mind there is no greater compliment to my craft than clients who come back again and again. I'm SO happy knowing people are over-the-moon with their products! So…here they are…my very favourite shots from 2015.
#43 I call this, "Most Adorable Kid in Wildflower Field. Ever."
#42 Sometimes, my favourite newborn shots are the natural poses :) Adorable Mr. Parker!
#41 PEI sunsets, clover fields, and this family.
#40 This ring. No words. Sigh.
#39 PEI has the most stunning locations. And people!
#38 Because how often does one get to photograph a "kilted" wedding party?!
#37 Kisses for not-quite-here-yet Baby Sis!
#36 Fingers and toes and belly button….swoon!
#35 Waiting patiently for my nephew!
#34 Those BACK WRINKLES!!! Gah.
#33 This family.
#32 Maybe my favourite bridal portrait ever?
#31 Sweet smiles from Baby Jeremiah!
#30 Dog…PEI beach….gorgeous couple who's wedding I get to photograph in 2016...OBVIOUSLY this picture in making it into my Favourite Images blog post ;)
#29 My Biggest-Little brother and his Tiny Human!
#28 This gorgeous Momma-to-be and her perfectly round belly!
#27 Sometimes, you just need to stand next to the ocean and have a good long stare :)
#26 One of my favourite newborn-parent shots of all time! Seth and Leanne and gorgeous Baby Eden!
#25 Beautiful sisters!
#24 My first ever set of GIRL newborn twins…and they're my….fourth cousins? Third cousins? Third cousins once removed? Something along those lines :) I think the point here is that they got my good looks ;)
#23 Being able to photograph gorgeous families in barley fields and not having to ask permission, because they're owned by my family: PEI for the win!!!!
#22 That's not a baby…that's a bear!
#21 My gorgeous cousin-in-law and stunning Baby Ben!
#20 Is it weird that I want this print on my wall, and this isn't even my family?! ;)
#19 So. much. adorable.
#18 As I post this shot…I realize that it may be the first time sharing this image on my blog?! I'm not sure how that happened. Regardless. I'm in love!
#17 Taken on my parent's property in Western PEI. Everything about this Momma-Daughter shot just slays me!
#16 …..Annnnnnd this one, from later in the same session. Because A) Well I mean look at these two! So much love! and also B) This is one of my grandparent's field's, where I always have thought maybe someday I could build a house (despite the fact that, you know…I live in Moncton…)
#15 This image is so special…we were able to go back to the same field where I photographed J + M a little over a year before, when Baby J was still growing in her Momma's belly!
#14 Oh my land. I don't think I need to explain my love for this shot ;)
#13 …parts A and B. Because it's my blog…and I can do what I want!
#12 Oh Baby Weston….you fold your hands like a little gentleman, and steal my heart!
#11 You know what else I can do when it's MY blog? Include pictures of my own kiddos. Because I'm the boss.
#10 Oh hi….you are adorable.
#9 Snuggly engagement shots are the best!
#8 Since I was due with Baby #3 at the first of October, I sadly missed a lot of this year's "colourful" season :( But what I DID get to photograph…I'm in love with!
#7 "Hmmm…..should I wake up my Momma 3 times, or 4 times tonight?" Baby Asher has some big life decisions to make!
#6 Getting to to watch families grow, through the maternity-newborn-baby stage. I ADORE that part of my job!
#5 That moment, when it starts to snow for approximately 45 seconds during a maternity session!
#4 I love all the love!
#3 A forever-favourite shot!
#2 I sometimes get asked why I take some pictures "with the heads cut off". Or partially cut off. Welllll this is why: I LOVE how, in the image on the left, the eye is initially drawn to the hand placement, his ring, and the soft smile on her lips. It's the same reason I include "detail shots" with my newborn sessions!
(Yes yes, I KNOW there's no #1…we'll get to that in a moment.)
Now. Those are in-no-particular-order Favourite Shots of 2015. But the FOLLOWING shots…they are the winners of the first annual Kate Hawkins Photography "Images of the Year" contest, in which I compete against myself. Kind of like the awards "Live With Kelly + Michael" give out every year. To themselves.
Let me explain.
I think it's fantastic when photographers enter, and win, photography contests. I think that for some people, it ups their game and helps them push their craft forward and aspire to DO better and BE better and create images that will be remembered. For me, I find that inspiration in other ways, and I'm learning that I don't want to compete against other photographers. I see other photographers' images that I ADORE, but are so completely different in style and composition from my own, that when I compare my own work to them, I start to second guess MY shooting and editing style. So I think it best (you know…for my own sanity), that I only compete with myself…in an effort to make each year of work better than the last. SO. Here are my "Winners". My very favourite images from 2015, in each category, that I feel were my Very Best Work.
Engagement: Lucas + MacKayla, Western PEI
Honestly, I could've chosen any image from this session. The light, location, and MacKayla's props and outfits were all absolute perfection (and I usually HATE when people use the word "perfection", but it's required here!)
This first image is one of my favourite shots I've ever EVER taken, of any genre. I love the simplicity, and the rustic details. And the PEI red dirt, obviously ;)
And this shot. I mean honestly, could these bridesmaids BE any more gorgeous?! And the dresses. Kudos to Amy for picking the most stunning colours and styles!
Hands down my favourite family shot of the year. I think it's a mixture between the matte B+W edit, Mr. Leo's adorable face, and the matching leather jackets ;) Taken in Moncton, NB.
OH this shot. I don't think it's any secret that if I were to specialize, it would be into maternity + newborn. They are my ABSOLUTE favourite sessions. I adore this shot of beautiful Jensen and her growing baby belly! Taken in Fredericton, NB.
Three very different shots taken under very different lighting conditions. Completely in love with these three! I think the common theme here is that wildflower fields make me drool :)
I booked more newborn sessions in 2015 than in any previous year. Obviously I was completely thrilled about this fact…but it also made it difficult to narrow down my absolute favourites. Here are a couple that really stood out to me this year!
Ok……THIS image stood out to me because this baby is clearly one of the three most beautiful children ever created (three-way-tie with my other two kids!) ;) Baby Zoe, 6 days new!
So that's it. My most-loved images of 2015. And now I leave you with my ABSOLUTE favourites, head-over-heels-in-love images from this past year….#1 part a) and b). Full disclosure: The first image was a self-portrait using a timer, and I obviously didn't take the second picture, but my sister did…and we look a lot alike, so….I think it sorta counts ;)
30-something weeks preggo with Zoe…..
…..and Zoe again…only seconds old!
Dorian + Amy were married at my home church in Western PEI in July. I am so, SO THRILLED that they planned there wedding for July, and that even with my growing belly I was able to keep their wedding on my schedule for the summer ;)
Some of my favourite things about this wedding:
- The bridesmaids dresses. Pale blue, pale yellow, mint, coral, and pale purple. OH my land.
- The flower halos that Ashley (sister, bridesmaid, and mother of the flower girl!) made for Amy + Miss T (the flower girl).
- All the happiness :)
- The soft, peaceful worship music Amy had playing while the girls got ready at her parent's home.
- PEI = RED DIRT!!! Hooray!!!
- Simple, rustic bouquets of white baby's breath. So gorgeous.
- The CAKE! There were pinecones on it!
- Getting to watch these two be so completely in love, and take the first step in the rest of their life together :)
One of my favourite shots of the day :)
But these COLOURS. Honestly. I want these dresses to be mine, to just wear everyday. Around the house.
I don't know about you…but I think they're going to be pretty happy together ;)
Well. Prepare yourself for the "overblog" of the century. Usually I tell you that I'm going to share "a few of my favourites" from a session, but there are no favourites because they are ALL MY FAVOURITE! Literally just in love with every single shot, and I can only take one-third of the credit for this: part goes to the AMAZING props MacKayla chose and brought to our session (seriously…straw bales? Peonies? Hand-painted signs? Vintage vases? Yes please!!!), and part goes to just how ridiculously good-looking these two are! So now…I give you…what is basically every single shot from Lucas + MacKayla's engagement session in West Prince, PEI.
Each New Year (or late Spring, depending on my level of motivation and whether or not I have a newborn) since 2009, I dedicate a blog post to my favourite images from the previous year. Sometimes there are 20. Sometimes there are 30. This year there were 104. So in an effort to not overwhelm myself and anyone reading this, I've split the images up in "Weddings" (this post), and "Everything Else" (which will follow in the next week or so and consists mainly of maternity + newborn images, with a few family shots thrown in for good measure!)
I'm still in awe that this gets to be my job, and that I get to spend the happiest days of people's lives with them. I mean really…that's pretty awesome :) I had ten weddings in 2014, so I've pulled my favourite images from each wedding, and organized them into a sort of "timeline", so that there would be a bit of order to them. Thank you to all my 2014 brides, for being so beautiful, for getting married, and for trusting me with the incredible job of capturing your memories for you.
Can we all just take a moment and swoon over this picture?! Definitely one of my favourites, ever!
Mama + Daughter. So very special!
Matching bride + bridesmaid's robes were a new trend this summer: I LOVE IT (in my mind, everything is better when things match!) ;)
First Glimpse with the bridesmaids...
…and with the bridesmaid's AND Mom and Dad...
…and with the Groom!
Something I struggle with at weddings? Keeping my eyes from filling with tears when I look through the lens to see this.
All summer, I waited patiently (or un-patiently) for a bride to wear a flower halo. THANK YOU Danielle!! :)
I got to work with the most gorgeous bridesmaids this summer…and my wonderful brides did a fantastic job of choosing equally gorgeous gowns for their 'maids! Greys + pastels…swoon!
One of my super stunning sister-in-laws :) No big deal!
And a few extra moments that maybe weren't scripted ;)
What every good bridesmaid should be wearing under her gown...
Em…I'm really, really sorry for keeping this picture.
And for posting it here, now ;)
*** Disclaimer: This is my sister-in-law. If you're not my sister-in-law, I would never do this to you, so no worries :)
Yesterday, I finished this lovely couple's wedding gallery, and I am THROUGH THE ROOF excited to share them on my blog. Buuuut I thought maybe it would be inappropriate to share them before I share their engagement photos, from earlier in the summer! Here are a few favourites of Jared + Em, and their beautiful boys!
If you follow my blog, you'll probably remember these two beauty faces from their engagement pictures in Malpeque Harbour, PEI late last summer. Despite the mosquitoes deciding that an engagement session was prime time to plan an attack, we had an awesome time, and I was so pleased with the resulting images: one of my favourite engagement sessions to date.
Adam + Tina's PEI wedding in mid-July was the epitome of rustic chic. Aka drool-worthy.
My first stop the morning of the wedding was the reception venue...and I'm still a little shocked I managed to tear myself away. Everything, EVERYTHING was so completely perfect, and it was obvious Tina had put in many hours carefully planning each detail. And I'm so glad she did...because it's really, really fun to have gorgeous details to photograph :) Here are a few (HAAAA..."a few"...understatement of the year!) of my favourite shots! Enjoy!
Adam + Tina
Ceremony: Charlottetown Christian Reform Church
Reception + Catering: Stanley Bridge Resort
Cupcakes: Buns and Things Bakery (Charlottetown, PEI)
Tent + Seating Rentals: Caseley's (www.caseleys.com, Kensington, PEI)
Gown: Essence of Australia
Flowers: Bernadette's Flowers
Ok, seriously. I want my HOUSE to look like this wedding reception.
Eventually, I was able to stop drooling and drive from the GORGEOUS venue in Stanley Bridge, to the gorgeous BRIDE, in Stratford!
Where she and her bridesmaids all had the sweetest, matching robes.
I mean seriously. EVERY detail.
Something I've learned while covering weddings: guys take way less time to get ready than girls. #OkfineIknewthatalready
Shower, gel hair, clothes on, BAM! Done.
Big shout out to "Kyle the Videographer" (clearly I'm FANTASTIC at last names) for letting me grab a few shots with your 16-35, as mine was all the way at the bottom of the 235763475768 steps, in my car.
THIS moment. This is why I love my job.
The Groom's ADORABLE Grandparents celebrated their 63rd (I think I have that right? Correct me if I'm wrong!!) wedding anniversary on Tina + Adam's wedding day! So special!
PEI beaches. Le Sigh.
Possibly the coolest tie of life. DEFINITELY the coolest tie I've ever seen on a groom!
Tina & Adam. I adore you both. I'm thrilled your day was so perfect, and completely honoured you chose me to capture all your special moments. Much happiness in all marriage!! xoxo
I grew up in PEI. Moved to NB for University. Then Newfoundland. Then two years in Labrador, and now back to NB. So forgive me if I should be a little more unbiased in feelings toward certain provinces…but I love PEI. I love it so much. It is the MOST beautiful place in the world, and my very favourite place to photograph people…which is pretty great, considering the majority of my weddings and engagement shoots are in different areas of PEI this summer and fall :)
Maybe it's simply because this province is home to me, or maybe everyone who visits, even once, feels this way: there is something about dirt roads, fresh-cut flowers, and wild fields that just feels so much more romantic on Prince Edward Island ;)
Brody + Katherine, I'm SO pleased with how your images turned out, and am so, SO very much looking forward to your wedding this fall!
Meet Joe + Melanie.
We met for the first time for their engagement session in Fredericton last Saturday, and I liked them right away. MAYBE it was because I'm an honorary Newfoundlander and Melanie is a real one. Whatever the reason…these two were so much fun to spend a couple hours with, and I have a feeling their August wedding is going to be just as much fun…or maybe more ;)
To my Smallest-Tallest brother Nathan: Thank you for being my assistant (like you had a choice) for the day: for hauling around my overly-heavy camera bag, handing me my water bottle, and holding the reflector. I would like to hire you for my wedding season. I'll pay you in chocolate bars.
I am all sorts of crazy over this gorgeous ring!
Here's a fun fact: Melanie and I were both proposed to on bridges (Jamie actually proposed to me on this exact bridge, almost 8 years ago!) Never-mind that my bridge was this one, in Fredericton, and I was wearing a Footlocker uniform, or that Melanie's was actually in….PARIS….It's basically the same thing…right? ;)
It feels like only yesterday that me and this lovely lady met up for her senior photos- and now she's all grown up, and getting married!
Caleb + Amber + I met up on a very chilly, mini-blizzard day in January, near Killarney lake. These 2 have an adorable engagement story, and to say I'm insanely pumped for their May wedding is the understatement of the century! I love love. Sigh.
All images, watermarks, and frames are property of Kate Hawkins Photography. Please do not copy, edit, or otherwise steal from me!