Me :)

About Justine Russo

I love to photograph love. Love between people who are light-hearted, a little bit goofy, who arent afraid to laugh at themselves. Those who cherish time outdoors, who arent afraid to try something new, and who believe that time spent with family, is the BEST time spent.
I genuinely believe a good laugh can cure any bad day. I am tall! (6foot1 tall!), I love to cuddle up with a good book and a cup of tea, I have a collection of blankets for my couch. My favourite season is usually whichever one is coming up next and I could never live where I cant see the mountains everyday.

Trevor and Kelly: Chehalis River Engagement

November 20th, 2014

I met Kelly and Trevor through mutual friends! Kelly has a big vibrant personality, and she goes after what she wants in life. She had a vision for having her engagement photos by the stunning Chehalis River! Her and Trevor spend lots of time outdoors, so she wanted to find a spot that fit with their lifestyle!

When we got to the river, I was so excited! The colour of this water is stunning!! The sun was just setting, and we had the spot entirely to ourselves.

Chehalis River Engagement (8)

Kelly and Trevor laugh so easily together. Trevor is the strong and silent type, he encourages her to be herself and supports her big ideas in life. Having lost two people close to them in recent years, there were a few emotional moments as the sun was going down, as they both remembered their loved ones.

Kelly and Trevor it was so much fun getting to finally meet you both and get to know you better!! :)

Mountains over beaches….everytime.

November 19th, 2014

Give me the choice between a week in Mexico relaxing on the beach, or exploring  Banff, or the Rocky Mountains and the mountains will win EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Mount Cheam Chilliwack (1)

I’ve become slightly obsessed with learning the names of all the mountains I see out driving. I am headed to Canmore and Banff in May for some photoshoots and already I am making a list of the lakes and mountains I want to see!

My instagram is full of hikers, and explorers. So even when I am home with the kids, I can see the mountains. I’ve become obsessed with mountains I’ve never seen in person…my bucket list of mountains to see growing longer and longer all the time.

I get sentimental about mountains. They take my breath away, give me goosebumps and sometimes (ok all the time) make me cry. I get this exhilarating urge to get to the perfect viewing point. To go around one more corner. Just so I can stand and take them all in. The worst part is having to turn back and head home. It really is true when they say “the mountains are calling….” cause really, I must go!

It has been on my bucket list for the past few years to hike Mt. Cheam with my Dad. He has hiked so many mountains all over the lower mainland! With summers being my busiest time I hadn’t had the chance to go yet. He called me a few days ago and said “what are you doing Friday? I think we can make it up Cheam still!” Let’s go! Luca was in school, and Marco was off work, so we packed up Soph and brought her along too!! My good friend Megan hopped in as well and we were off!

The forest service road is a bumpy one! I think we all had a bit of motion sickness afterwards!  But we made it within a km of the parking lot! After a bit of a sketchy 30 foot slide backwards in my Dad’s truck, he decided it best to park it and just walk around! (I was also starting to get a BIT nervous! Check out how narrow that road is!!)

I can’t WAIT to head back up in the Spring and hike all the way up to the top! :)


Rita and Annette: West Vancouver Sunset Beach Wedding

November 13th, 2014

West Vancouver Wedding (25)

I met Annette 14 years ago when I first got hired at After Thoughts Coffee Shop in Abbotsford. She only worked every now and again so I didn’t know her too well. A few months after I had been working there, I heard that her daughter had been hired! Little did I know, that her daughter, Jessica, would soon become my best friend! :)

Over the years, I always love whenever I get to see Annette! She has a vibrant, energetic personality that was a little intimidating when I first met her, but I now love. She is an avid dragon boater, and she even got me out on the boat once to try it! Her loud words of encouragement kept me going the whole time! ( and left me so sore that the next day I could barely move!)

When Jessica first told me about her Mom’s new love interest, to be honest, I was surprised…but excited to meet Rita. The first time I saw them together, I knew it was something special. I have never ever seen Annette so happy. So bubbly, smiley, and just plain happy. The kind of happy that makes you happy just being around it. Her and Rita never stop holding hands, sharing little smiles or looks.

I was so excited when they first contacted me about their wedding. Excited. And then nervous. I had never photographed a same sex wedding before and although I know in my heart that love is love however it’s shared, I was nervous.

The minute we got to their first look and Annette and Rita turned towards each other to meet in the middle, I knew my nerves were beyond ridiculous. These two needed no direction or posing AT ALL. Their love and connection is so obvious, all I needed to do was capture their shared moments.

Their sunset ceremony in West Vancouver and dinner at the Beach House, was so unbelievably romantic. There were tears shared by everyone, and so many laughs. A highlight was when Annette’s middle daughter Hailey, who lives in New Zealand and couldn’t make the wedding, called to talk to her Mom. The look on Annette’s face was pure joy…there weren’t many dry eyes left!

We ended the evening with a sky lantern release over the Vancouver Harbour. It has been on my bucket list for the longest time to be a part of one of these, and it was just as magical as I had always imagined it to be. Watching the lanterns float up and away, while everyone stood watching was perfection.

Getting to celebrate Annette and Rita’s wedding with my best friend, and both their families, was so beyond special! Rita and Annette THANK YOU so much for having me as a part of your day. It meant the world to me to be there to celebrate with you both! :)

Jason and Mandy: Knox Mountain, Kelowna, Engagement

November 11th, 2014


Knox Mountain Engagement (20)

When Mandy first emailed me to photograph their engagement session it was with a “you probably don’t remember me….” But of course I did!!! Mandy was Jen’s sister and one of her bridesmaids in her wedding a few years ago! They had a rainy day wedding and I remember loving Mandy so much!! I was so excited to see her again and to meet Jason!

I absolutely love working with women as vibrant as Mandy! She has this big smile, and when she laughs, she fully laughs. And those eyes?!?! Seriously. The most amazingly stunning colour ever!

I’ve always believed that the best man to marry, is the one who can make you laugh the hardest. Mandy found her man! Jason had her laughing the entire time. He would grab her hand, and her eyes would sparkle, and he inevitably would pull her in for a kiss.

Mandy, it was SO wonderful to see you again!! Jason, I loved getting to meet you!! Thank you both for sharing me in your journey, and for bringing your truck and David’s Tea! :)



Brian and Shannon: Summerland BC Wedding

November 6th, 2014

Summerland Winery Wedding (28)

I knew Brian and Shannon would be a good fit the minute they mentioned that their Summerland wedding was wine and cheese themed ;)

From the minute I met them for coffee almost a year and a half ago, they felt like old friends. I love Brian’s cheeky and sarcastic sense of humor, and Shannon always has a HUGE smile on her face that brightens up a room. She instantly made me feel like one of her closest friends.

It would be hard to explain Shannon and Brian without explaining two of her bridesmaids as well. Shannon, Lisa and Eilesha all got married this year. All three inquired with me to photograph their day! Thankfully I was free for Lisa’s and Shannon’s but I am still SO bummed I wasn’t able to do Eilesha and Mike’s!! (though we did get to drink wine and dance together at the other two’s weddings!!)

So I was looking foward to Lisa and Derek‘s wedding for many reasons! Not only did I get to photograph Lisa’s special day, but I got to hang out with Brian and Shannon again and meet the Eilesha I kept hearing about!! Once I put my camera away for the night, both of them met me with a glass of wine and we closed down the dance floor :)

A few weeks before Brian and Shannon’s wedding, we used “planning” as an excuse to get together for dinner and wine, and we chatted for a few hours about almost everything BUT wedding planning haha. There was definitely a lot of wine talk!

Their wedding day was amazing! The only downfall was it came and went too fast! Their wedding party was the most fun!! The guys had all sorts of goofy ideas….and there was more kissing than I’ve ever experienced between groomsmen haha. Hanging out with the girls felt just like hanging out with my closest friends. Having met them all before it was so fun, and it was so special to get to share in another wedding with them all. AND check out their flowergirl!! LOVED her! Her Dad is a photographer so she carried around his camera all day acting as my third shooter! She closed down the dance floor too!!

Their entire day was filled with laughter from start to finish! It was exactly what a wedding should it. Both Marco and I went home with stomach aches from laughing so hard! (And don’t get me started on the food. ohmygosh I knew Brian and Shannon were foodies like me but it was some of the best food I have ever tasted ever! And their “Cheese”Cake?!?! AMAZING!)

A HUGE thank you to Marco for helping me out!! We left the wedding with plans for a dinner and wine night as soon as they get back from their Hawaii honeymoon!! We can’t WAIT to see you guys!! (just don’t come back too tanned ;)


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