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.

www.justine-russo.com

Tom and Amanda: Maple Ridge Couples Session

October 30th, 2014

Valley of Fire Wedding_0113

Amanda is vibrant. From the minute she stepped out of the car I felt instantly excited. She’s bubbly and animated. Her zest for life is so contagious and you can only be happy when spending time with her.

Tom is adventurous and up for anything as long as Amanda is by his side. Put these two together and it’s a silly, adventurous mix of laughter and kisses.

Their couples session at Whonnock Lake was last minute. Like we planned it that morning last minute. Amanda had an amazing hair and makeup girl lined up (Check out Carmen, she’s AMAZING!) , the sun was shining and her and Tom were wanting to celebrate their marriage.

I wasn’t sure at first how adventurous Amanda would be, especially in a gorgeous white dress, but when I suggested going in the water, she happily kicked off her heels, giggled and ran right in! Frogs were jumping everywhere but the murky water didn’t phase her at all! Tom rolled up his pant legs and joined her for cuddles and kisses in the water!

Tom and Amanda, I LOVED exploring Whonnock Lake with you and getting to know you both better! Trying to narrow down which photos to blog was the hardest thing ever!! Amanda I think I met a kindred spirit and I can’t WAIT to see you again!!

 

Bryce and Emilie: Langley Engagement

October 27th, 2014

Derby Reach Langley Engagement  (21)

When I met these two at Derby Reach Park in Langley, it felt like I was meeting old friends. Emilie and I had been chatting back and forth for a few weeks planning their photos and I was so excited to finally meet them!

Emilie is warmhearted and has this huge smile that makes you love her instantly. You feel like you have known her forever. Bryce is so easy to talk to, quick to laugh and ohmystars does he ever adore Emilie. The way these two look at each other is just the best. No matter what I asked them to do, Bryce would have his arms around her right away, pulling her close and sneaking kisses when he thought I wasn’t looking. (I usually was, and LOVED it….they got quite a few “sneaked” kisses photos.)

Their willingness to try anything, including standing barefoot on a rock in the river, to exploring blackberry infested fields, made me fall in love with them even more. My favourite part of their session was when Emilie asked for a photo of the two of them walking with her holding his pinkie. It has sentimental meaning for them both and you could see in their shared looks how much it meant.

I am SOOOOOO excited for their wedding next year!! But hate that it’s gonna be so long before I get to see you guys!!

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.

Valley of Fire Wedding_0033

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! :)

 

 

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