You probably recognize this forest from another recent couple's shoot I did with Hayley and Neil. The Larose Forest in Ottawa's east end is hands down one of my favourite locations for engagement sessions, and it's not hard to figure out why! It's a gorgeous, secluded forest and it thrives in the fall and wintertime. One word of advice though, I recommend avoiding it in the summertime unless you are in the mood to get feasted on by mosquitoes! I, unfortunately, had to learn that lesson the hard way... Yikes!

Mel and I go waaaayyyy back! We've seen each other through some of life's hardest times and through some of life's best times. We became friends in the 3rd grade and I still remember how excited I was to be invited to her birthday party. I remember that day vividly because it was the first time I ever had ice cream cake from Dairy Queen and I've been pretty much obsessed with it since.

I remember when Mel met Dylan through mutual friends of ours during our 12th grade because it was around the same time that Stefan and I met! I often think back on how many times we've accomplished important life milestones literally within weeks or months of each other, and totally not on purpose!: first boyfriends, first jobs, and even by pure coincidence, we got our driver's licenses within the same week (it may have even been the same day!). So in a way, it's kind of like we've ventured through life's milestones together holding hands, and I think that's pretty darn awesome!

Fast forward to now, and Mel and Dylan just bought their first home just 10 minutes from ours. They're now engaged, and they have two adorable kitty cats and a dog and when I showed Mel some photos from other sessions I did in the Larose Forest, she right away knew that's where she wanted to go for her and Dylan's engagement photos.

Mel's engagement ring is CUSTOME MADE GUYS! Dylan had it designed with some of his mom's diamonds. I love when there's sentiment and thought behind the little details.

All in all, it was a great session and I can't wait for their big day! I'm gonna ugly cry of happiness, THAT'S FOR SURE!!!


- xo Val