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.

Discomfort often leads to the best adventures.

October 22nd, 2014

I don’t like doing things by myself. I just don’t. I prefer to do things with friends or family. Someone to share the story of the experience with after. For me I want to make those memories live forever by talking about them. Sharing inside jokes, and reliving the moments with who was there.

Because of this, I had a hard time going to Ontario by myself. I went for Kelly and Josh’s wedding, and their family welcomed me with open arms, and I am so grateful to them! Thursday, however, I had the entire day to myself. My adventurous side said GO. Do something. And I found myself googling how far Cambridge was from Niagara Falls. Just under 1.5 hours. I knew then I was gonna go. I had to. I had never seen a Great Lake or Niagara Falls.

So I went. I didn’t think about it. I just bought a phone charger for my phone to make sure I had GPS, and the night before I planned a few stops and off I went. It’s embaressing, but I cried on the way to the Falls. Partly because I was so excited. The Fall colours are like nothing in BC, the Falls are one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, and secondly because there was no one next to me. No one to reach over, squeeze their arm and say “I can’t believe we are here!”

It by far was the highlight of my trip though. It taught me a valuable lesson too. The best adventures happen when we are a little bit uncomfortable. When we are unsure of whether or not we can do it. They don’t have to involve epic rock climbing, or white water rafting. It just needs to be you, pushing yourself a bit further than you thought you could go. Doing something part of your brain is trying to talk you out of doing….because when I was standing up on the edge of the Niagara Falls platform getting covered in mist, I was so damn glad I did it.

Once your nerves are squashed, it’s surprising how far you can go. After Niagara Falls, rather then head right back to the hotel, I stopped by two wineries for a wine tasting, and shopped and bought lunch in Niagara on the Lake, and ate lunch overlooking one of the Great Lakes. All by myself.

*I have to note though, the major downfall of travelling alone is the ridiculously awkward and unflattering selfies that occur. See below.*



Trevor and Tiffany: Valley of Fire Elopement

October 14th, 2014

I have been excited to write this blog since sometime in June.

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I may have been bending the truth a bit when I first blogged Trevor and Tiffany’s engagement photo’s of how awesome our story is. It’s true we met them at Dan and Emily’s Cancun wedding back in May, but my favourite part of our story I haven’t been able to tell you all  until now.

We did have an “I miss Cancun” BBQ after we got back from their wedding, but the part I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone, was at that BBQ (where we finished 3.5 bottles of wine between us 3 girls!), Tiff and Trevor told us they wanted to get married, IN VEGAS, with JUST us 6 there. We all pulled out our calendars, picked a date and booked it!

A few weeks into planning, they approached Marco and asked if he would be willing to get licensed and marry them!! Marco was so honored and of course said yes!! (I included part of what he said at the end….you “Friends” fans will love it!) We had so much fun planning secret bridesmaid dress shopping dates and dress fittings! We had weekly wine nights to plan (who are we kidding, the wedding was just an excuse to get together and drink wine!), and Marco worked on the best ceremony ever!

Vegas was the most fun we have ever had!! The day of the wedding we got ready, had a limo drive us out to Valley of Fire, a location Trevor picked and it was the most amazingly gorgeous location ever! It looked like a movie set! We had wine and beer going the whole drive there, and only had a few mishaps….the road into Valley of Fire is a bit twisty!

Once we arrived, we got to pick our spot! My FAVOURITE thing about elopements, is you literally can get married ANYWHERE. No setting up chairs, or decorations, just pick a spot and get married! :) After many google image searches, we settled on Rainbow Vista in Valley of Fire and it was stunning. The most perfect spot to get married!

I got to act as bridesmaid and photographer, and Marco doubled as minister (does this make me a pastor’s wife?!) and second shooter! :) #dreamteam ;)

The rest of the trip we spent eating so much food, celebrating, and drinking even more wine and beer! It was the trip of a lifetime, and I am so glad we got to do it with these 4. I would say we solidified our lifelong friendship :)

I could go on and on, but I’ll let some things stay in Vegas and the photos tell you the rest :)



If you look closely, you can see Dan walking into the cactus, then their reactions after! haha

I had the camera on my tripod, and wireless remote in my hand. I told everyone to go in for a nice tight hug, and this is what I got. haha I love their bromance. 

These three couldn’t take a serious photo if their life depended on it. haha 

I spent most of the day with my shoes off. Here’s why. 

Tiff and Trevor, you two have so quickly become some of our best friends! We are beyond grateful to have been a part of your wedding(s) and can’t imagine our life without you guys in it. We love you SO much!

And to end it off a brief excerpt from Marco’s ceremony.

Marriage is not something to be entered into lightly, but with a thoughtful an deep realization of it’s responsibilities and obligations. At the heart of any marriage is a truly special love. A love that is based on giving and receiving as well as having and sharing. And through this having, giving, sharing and receiving, we to can share, and love and have…..and receive.”  

Everyone should re-wear their dress

October 10th, 2014

I heard the front door open and knew Marco was home. Jackie had just finished tying up my dress, and I got butterflies. Marco has seen me in my dress before, he knows what I looked like in it, we have been married for almost 7 years, he drives me bonkers most days, yet knowing he was walking up the stairs and about to see me in my dress, hair down, makeup done, gave me butterflies!

After 7 years, lots of workouts, some fairly healthy eating (I love treats too much), and two babies, I FINALLY fit into my dress again! I always loved the idea of re-wear the dress sessions from a photographers stand point, but never thought about them much from a brides point. Now that I’ve seen that side, I think EVERYONE should re-wear their dress!

I love our wedding photos. They document one of the best days of my life. But I remember being stressed, anxious to get to the reception and see everyone. I was also the crazy bride who wouldn’t put her train on the ground because it was wet and slushy (we got married in December), and we barely had any light with the sun setting so early so most of our photos are indoors.

Yesterday, I had my Mom watch our kids, an AMAZING makeup artist Chelsea come and glam me up, and I spent more time on my hair than I have in awhile. I wasn’t stressed and I had nothing to worry about except looking good, and loving on Marco.

We had amazing lighting, we went to a location we would never have been able to go to on our wedding day, and nothing but time to relax, kiss (without the kids wrapping around our legs and begging for kisses too), and just be with each other. So what if it wasn’t our anniversary. So what that it was just a regular Thursday afternoon. So what if my dress didn’t fit quite as well as it did 7 years ago. It brought back so many memories and we got to be adventurous together and make new memories. We got to drive our favourite Sunday drive, just the two of us (well Jackie too), and be reminded of how much we love each other, and how grateful we are that we were getting to spend our lives together.

It was such an amazing way to just celebrate us. To take a night for the two of us, but in a more special and sentimental way than just going to see a movie or going out for dinner. Being married for 7 years, we tend to take each other for granted some days, we get caught up in parenting, working and life in general. Getting all dressed up for each other and spending a few hours cuddling, kissing and exploring was one of the best things we have ever done!

Jackie THANK YOU SO MUCH for documenting our best date night ever! :)


Aaron and Amanda: Chilliwack Lake Wedding

October 8th, 2014

Chilliwack Lake Wedding_0020

“Can we get some photos in the water?” Amanda asked before we were ready to head to the ceremony. Um….YES!

Amanda and Aaron had their first look out at Chilliwack Lake, one of the most gorgeous lakes I have ever been to! These two are freehearted, wildy in love, and ready for any adventure. They both have a bit of a sentimental side. They insisted on driving in two separate cars for the 45 minute drive up to the lake just so their first look could be in the forest by the lake.

Once Aaron saw her, he couldn’t take his eyes off of her. They spent the next hour exploring the forest by the lake, hiking up to the wooden bridge her Dad had built, and cooling off by bravely walking into the lake! And all before their ceremony!! They approached their wedding day with a vision of relaxation, adventure, and spending time with each other in their most favourite place. Sounds to me like they’re doing it right.

Their ceremony was in a small clearing in the woods near the top of Mount Thom. Their closest family and friends gathered around to hear them exchange hand written vows surrounded by trees. It was perfection.

Their reception was right across the street at Ryder Lake Hall. Amanda’s Dad handmade small wooden boxes for their centerpieces and they had empty wine bottles lined up by the door for guests to roll up anniversary wishes for their 1-50th anniversary! Aside from the nostalgic touches, the atmosphere was one to party! Everyone was buzzing with excitement to grab a drink and get on with the celebrations!

Aaron and Amanda. You both inspired me endlessly with your passion to explore, your focus on each other, and most importantly how much fun you two have! I had the BEST time! :)



BJ and Sarah: Cammidge House Wedding

September 30th, 2014

I could hear Sarah laughing as soon as I stepped in the front door of the Cammidge House. As I walked up the stairs of the heritage house, that overlooked the ocean, her voice got louder and louder, followed by bursts of wholehearted laughter.

Vancouver Wedding_000001

Sarah is boldly herself. She speaks her mind. She doesn’t care what other people think. Because of that, she is one of the most geniune, down to earth, quirky and insanely LOVABLE women I have ever met. Everyone in her life knows who she is, what she stands for, and what sets her heart on fire. It’s two things mostly. BJ, obviously. And paper.

Yes, paper. This girl is so ridiculously talented. She is the genius behind Stationery Bike Designs. She designed and handmade all of her wedding invitations, and programs. They’re witty, detailed and oh so Sarah and BJ. (Seriously if you are a bride, or planning ANYTHING that requires some sort of paper good, hire her now!)

BJ. He really is the original hipster. We had a very serious conversation about how he had a beard before it was cool. And oh does he ever rock that beard. BJ is the quieter one of them both, but when he does say something, he gets Sarah laughing like no one else. The kind of laugh that makes your stomach hurt. The real, deep good kinda laugh. The one that stays with you for awhile and makes you love that person even more.

You two found keepers in each other. I absolutely LOVED every minute of getting to know you both, and being able to be a part of your quirky union. It was beyond awesome!! :)

Love you both SO much!!


These two, had the most romantic first kiss. Followed by a handshake and a high five. It wouldn’t have been their ceremony without it ;) 






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