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.

Josh and Kelly: Cambridge, Ontario Fall Wedding

November 27th, 2014

Kelly and Josh had a Fall themed wedding this October in Cambridge Ontario! Their ceremony was at the Wesley United Church and the reception was held at the stunning Armenian Club, also in Cambridge.

When I first met Josh and Kelly to chat about engagement photos, Kelly hugged me the minute I walked in the door and I knew instantly we would be friends! She has this vibrant smile that reaches her eyes everytime, and she is so easy to talk to. Her excitement about being engaged and planning her wedding was infectious. It’s hard not to grin the entire time you’re with this girl.

Cambridge Ontario Fall Wedding (30)

We started talking about her wedding plans in Cambridge Ontario for the upcoming Fall…..A HARVEST THEME. Well that launched an entire conversation about pumpkins, and pumpkin spice…and pie, and all the amazingness that comes along with Fall….the colours, the crisp cooler air, the flavours etc. When it came to Fall, we were soul sisters ;)

I knew I loved Josh, when I watched him sit through this Fall banter with a small knowing smile on his face, staring at Kelly. He just wanted her to be happy. He has the same energetic zest for life, so many fun ideas and together they are two of the kindest, warmhearted people I have ever met.

When they asked me if I was interested in flying out to Ontario to be a part of their wedding, I told them they were crazy to even ask. OF COURSE!!!! I was SO excited to see how all those plans we had chatted about a year before had come together!

It was AMAZING. The day started off sunny. Kelly got ready at her parents house with her closest friends and sisters surrounding her. Her parents welcomed me into her home right away, and I felt like one of the girls!

Their ceremony was at the most stunning church, the tradition and history was enough to give me goosebumps! Watching Kelly’s Dad walk her down the aisle, made me think about how many other Dad’s had gotten the privilege of walking their daughters down the same aisle.

After the ceremony, I ducked outside quick to see what the weather was doing. It was POURING. The rain so hard you’re soaked through in seconds, downtown Vancouver type rain. I could tell Kelly was disappointed, but she didn’t let it affect her day. She took a deep breath and focused on the fact that she was now a wife! She braved the rain for a few photos, and it finally cleared up enough to get photos under the most epic Fall tree! I had found it that morning while scouting out spots for their photos and knew instantly it was the perfect spot for the photos Kelly had described she was envisioning.

Their reception felt like an elegant Fall party. The food was all harvest theme….from butternut squash soup to pumpkin spice cake pops! The tables were all named after Fall trees, and food, and their were fallen leaves covering their dance floor and surrounding their head table. It was absolutely amazing. I felt right at home :)

Kelly and Josh, you’re entire wedding was amazing! (Probably the exact same thing I would plan if I were to marry Marco again!) Thank you for welcoming me into your lives, showing me around Cambridge, and including me in all the wedding festivities. It was an amazing trip and one I will remember, and hold close to my heart forever. THANK YOU!

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! :)




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