Creative studio shoot with Raavyn.

Today I had the pleasure of working with an amazing team of creatives on a shoot that’s been brewing in my head for a while. I will always be a student of light and one of the masters of lighting is a photographer by the name of Albert Watson. You might know him by his famous portrait of Steve Jobs that was used pretty much everywhere when Jobs died.
I recently watched a video of Albert Watson working in the studio with a Russian dancer and was inspired to do a session with similar lighting.

Today’s shoot was out of a studio in the Cotton Factory in Hamilton. The studio is owned by a former student of mine and I had shot there before. This was my first time working with makeup artist Kaitlin O’Neil and she was amazing! Our subject was Raavyn who I photographed in a fitness session a few years ago.
My friend and colleague Megan Muir was first assistant on today’s sessions and I always enjoy working with her.
All in all it was an incredible team effort, enjoy the results below.


I have much to be grateful for and I like to think I don't wait until Thanksgiving to express it. Having said that I do want to publicly express my thanks for a few things here on the blog. First and foremost, my family. I am so grateful for my wife Heather, who is my rock and support. I could write a whole blog just about her and her giving spirit and unwavering commitment to family. My kids, who are so very different from one another and I treasure each of their personalities. My parents on both my side and Heather's. We're lucky to have them!  I am very grateful for good health for both Heather and I and our immediate family. 

I am grateful for my business and all the wonderful clients I've had the privilege to serve over the years. More recently I am thankful for my position at Mohawk College and the positive challenges that job gives me each week. I'm so glad to have a friend and colleague in Bryan Caporicci that I collaborate with over at Sprouting Photographer. 

Wow I just realized that I could fill up a really long blog post with all the things and people I am blessed with. Instead I thought I'd share with you a few pics from our excursion yesterday with our daughter Hilary. We decided to leave mid morning and head somewhere we  hadn't explored yet and do some hiking. I selected Hilton Falls in Halton Ontario. It's in Milton and we really enjoyed the drive up Guelph Line to get there. Pumpkin farms, endless trees turning various shades of gold, orange and red adorned the roadsides. When we arrived we were greeted by volunteers from the local conservation group and given some free apples for our trek.  Our hike covered about 15kms and we enjoyed feeding the chickadees from our hands, snapping a pic of the waterfalls and just talking about various things along the way. Life is good! 

Hilton Falls, Milton, Fall Hiking
Our daughter Hilary taking in the scenery.

Our daughter Hilary taking in the scenery.

Heather is encouraging our Westie Morgan to go in for a drink. 

Heather is encouraging our Westie Morgan to go in for a drink. 

Hilary always looks so pretty, even when she has just worked a shift until 2:30am the night before. 

Hilary always looks so pretty, even when she has just worked a shift until 2:30am the night before. 

Not the best time of day to photograph the falls, but I took one anyway. I'd like to go back in early morning to get an artistic shot here. 

Not the best time of day to photograph the falls, but I took one anyway. I'd like to go back in early morning to get an artistic shot here. 

Our hands served as a Thanksgiving dinner table. 

Our hands served as a Thanksgiving dinner table. 

Milton Chickadee, Halton Hills
Top of a waterfall pouring into the reservoir. 

Top of a waterfall pouring into the reservoir. 

Staghorn Sumac 

Staghorn Sumac 

Kurtz Orchards Wedding, Bob & Rhonda

My very first wedding at Kurtz Orchards was perhaps one of my favourite weddings I've ever done. Bob & Rhonda are an easy going couple, both work in real estate and their first priority for their wedding was that it be fun for their guests. I'm pretty sure everyone was already having the time of their life but when the staff broke out the chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows to make s'mores at the fire pit tables I was really impressed. A beautiful and elegant wedding reception meets summer camp! Love it!! Kudos to the wonder staff at Kurtz and to you Rhonda & Bob. Also special thanks to my assistant Lauren Valvasori!  Florals by the lovely and talented Marsha Howe of Marsha's Floral Design 

Kurtz Orchards, Niagara on the Lake
groom getting ready at Kurtz Orchards
beautiful boutonniere by Marsha Howe
bride in historic Niagara on the Lake home

Stormy night in Port Dalhousie- Vanessa & Vince

It poured rain on my windshield as I drove towards my meeting with Vanessa & Vince to photograph their engagement session at Port Dalhousie. The rain subsided but it was dark, cloudy and very windy when we all arrived near the Carousel. Often when this happens the couple opt to reschedule but Vince & Vanessa were open to stay the course and give it a go despite the weather. They are such a pleasure to be around and I soon forgot the weather and just enjoyed creating memorable images with them. Enjoy-RN 

Port Dalhousie couple in grass
Vince and Vanessa enjoying the beach at Port Dalhousie in St Catharines
Lake Ontario, crashing waves and romance

Crystal & Stephen

Here's a real quick teaser from last night's engagement session in Toronto with Crystal & Stephen. I'm photographing their wedding this coming New Year's Eve and we had a great time getting acquainted last night while we took some photos. 

Toronto wedding photographer Humber Bay park

Akira Child Model, Headshots

Just shot these head shots for Akira on Saturday and I have to say I'm blown away by how amazing she is in front of the camera. Akira is just eight years old and models for Minor Details modelling agency in Toronto. Akira is a very busy girl and enjoys horseback riding , swimming and of course modelling. -RN

MInor Details modelling
child model
Niagara children photographer

A Midsummer's Eve, Niagara Symphony Garden Party

I was asked to come back and photograph this year's annual NSO Garden Party held at the home of Harriet (Sis) Bunting Weld in Niagara on the Lake. The weather was superb for an event like this and as fundraisers go this was a bit more upscale. The master of ceremonies was Christopher Newton (former artistic director of Shaw Festival) and the dinner was by Chef Tony DeLuca. The evening's auctioneer was the incredible Christopher Blake, he was so funny and kept things moving along. Have a look and see who you recognize. -RN 

event photography, Niagara
Chef Tony DeLuca, Food, Niagara
Niagara Symphony Garden Party,
Hors Douvres by Savoia. 

Hors Douvres by Savoia. 

Jackson Triggs supplied the wine. 

Jackson Triggs supplied the wine. 

NSO garden party, photographer Niagara
Niagara on the Lake, event, garden, NSO
Niagara College President Dan Patterson. 

Niagara College President Dan Patterson. 

Garden Party attire, Niagara on the Lake
Chorus Niagara Artistic Director Robert Cooper 

Chorus Niagara Artistic Director Robert Cooper 

summer hats for men, Niagara on the Lake
Harriet Bunting Weld home, Niagara on the Lake
Shaw actors
Massimo Capra 

Massimo Capra 

Congratulations, just engaged! 

Congratulations, just engaged! 

Summer Bow Ties, Niagara on the Lake
Shaw actor Christopher Newton
Auctioneer Christopher Blake, Niagara on the Lake weddings
summer salad.jpg
Soprano Jennifer Taverner 

Soprano Jennifer Taverner 

Auctioneer extraordinaire Christopher Blake.

Auctioneer extraordinaire Christopher Blake.

Local MP Rick Dykstra 

Local MP Rick Dykstra 

NSO Music Director and Principle Conductor Bradley Thachuk. 

NSO Music Director and Principle Conductor Bradley Thachuk. 

Soloist Doug Miller

Soloist Doug Miller

Massimo Capra and friends. 

Massimo Capra and friends. 

Our hostess, Harriet (Sis) Bunting Weld.

Our hostess, Harriet (Sis) Bunting Weld.

A select group of the Niagara Symphony performed some Gershwin inspired melodies. 

A select group of the Niagara Symphony performed some Gershwin inspired melodies. 

tent weddings, Niagara on the Lake
tireless volunteers made the evening a huge success

tireless volunteers made the evening a huge success

Shaw Festival actors Fiona Reid and Christopher Newton tie up the evening's festivities. 

Shaw Festival actors Fiona Reid and Christopher Newton tie up the evening's festivities. 

Tomas and Victoria's Niagara Wedding by Robert Nowell

Here are some of my favourite images from last Saturday's amazing day with Tomas & Victoria. I so enjoy being around this dynamic couple. The love and respect they have for one another is just inspiring! We started the day at Tomas's house and then a quick visit to Blush Salon for some hair photos, followed by getting ready shots at Victoria's home. The ceremony was at St. Kevin's in Welland and we made the short jaunt over to Merritt Island for the family and wedding party photos. The amazing reception was held at John Michaels where we set up a same day slideshow during the  fabulous meal. Can't wait to show all the photos to Victoria and Tomas when they return from Jamaica! 

Welland wedding photography
Groomsmen photos Niagara
Niagara wedding photography
Michael Korrs shoes Niagara
Niagara wedding photographer
Wedding, bride, Niagara, Welland, photography
Family wedding Niagara
magical moments wedding Niagara photography
wedding family Niagara , Welland, Robert Nowell
Bride, wedding, Niagara, Robert Nowell Photographer
Niagara wedding photographer
Victoria and her brothers, Niagara weddings
strapless wedding dress Niagara
Welland, Ontario wedding photography
gorgeous wedding girls
Bride and bridesmaids, Niagara wedding photography
black & white photography by Robert Nowell
wedding couple photography Robert Nowell Niagara
Bride and groomsmen Wedding in Welland photography
bridal couple, wedding, Welland, Niagara photography
Niagara Canada wedding photo Robert Nowell
wedding veil Niagara photography
reception hall John Michael's
John Michael's Banquet Hall, Thorold, Ontario
mother son dance wedding reception Niagara
wedding rings Niagara photographer
wedding speech, Niagara weddings Photography
laughing bride, wedding reception, John Michael's Banquet Hall
wedding cupcakes, Niagara photography
bride and groom speech, wedding reception

Retro Session- Child's Black & White Studio Portraits by Robert Nowell

A client of mine who I've done many projects for asked if I could try to emulate the style of portraits she has of her granddaughter's, taken in the late 50's and early 60's. She was able to bring in the albums that held a series of beautifully printed 4x5 inch prints.  This morning I had the pleasure of meeting her granddaughter, her husband and her charming little 2 year old great grand daughter. As is my usual practice we held off the photo session until I could gain the trust of this adorable little girl. This is done through a series of questions, silly noises, more questions, prompting mom to sit where I want the girl to sit and so on. If anyone has ever tried to get a two year old to do exactly what you want them to do, you know that is a pretty challenging task. I am very pleased with the results and I'm posting a few of my favourites here -RN 

childrens portraits Niagara, child photographer
Niagara children's photographer, portraits, kids
kids portraits Niagara
Robert Nowell, children, kids, portraits, Niagara
kids, portraits Niagara

Pam Griffiths-Executive Coach -Business Portraits by Robert Nowell

Today I spent a most enjoyable few hours photographing Executive Coach Pam Griffiths. Pam needed some new corporate portraits and we agreed to do them all on location today. The weather started out a bit foggy and dull but in time for our session it was perfect!  We began downtown and after a quick wardrobe change back at the studio we headed to Niagara on the Lake. If you want to take your company or business to the next level consider Pam Griffiths to help you get there.

executive portrait Pam Griffith
Pam Griffiths photo by Robert Nowell
Business portraits St Catharines , Niagara

Street Photography

Every now and then it's a great creative push to step outside what I usually do. That's what I love about my part time teaching position at Mohawk College. I like to get out with my students and do the same assignment that I assigned to them. A couple of weeks ago we all headed downtown in Hamilton and experimented with "street photography". I showed the class some videos about Vivian Maier and we were all inspired by her amazing work. If you've never heard of her, it's worth a look here   So here are some of my favourite images from my two hour shoot. Just click on the image to change to the next photo. 


Tony and the Paris Crepes Cafe

About a week ago the phone rang at the studio and at the other end I heard a beautiful accent that sparked my interest right away. It was Tony the co-owner of the Paris Crepes Cafe in Niagara Falls. She is being featured in a South African magazine in an article highlighting women entrepreneurs from around the world. Tony wanted me to do the photographs of her that would accompany the article.  We spent an hour shooting and we did some outdoor shots in front of the cafe despite the chilly temperatures. We soon moved inside as I could see Tony was getting cold. My personal favourite from the session is below. I blended the great ambient light streaming through the entrance windows and doorway with a main light to the right which was a Canon 600EXRT Speed light flash reflected into a 36 inch white umbrella. I just love the fantastic diffused highlights we see on Tony's face. She has classic African beauty with a slender neck and regal features. I emphasized those attributes by choosing a low camera angle. I love the colour in this portrait and you might just see this hanging in my studio in the coming weeks. RN 



Paris Crepes.jpg Niagara Falls Ontario


I think I have lost count as to how many times I have worked at the same wedding as Glissandi have played at. Glissandi is Deb Braun, David Braun and Doug Miller. In order they play harp, violin and flute. I was honoured when Deb called to ask if I would photograph their new publicity portraits. We had fun and tried a few different things as I like to do. This is the portrait they selected for future use. You can check out their website here at Glissandi   


Glissandi, wedding music, harp, volion , flute, niagara weddings

Gino Vanelli

Well that was a nice surprise! I was contracted to cover an event at Jackson Triggs by a marketing company in Burlington for the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre.  As I understood it I was taking covering the presentation of two significant donations and some portraits of their committee.  After the donation were presented, it was announced that we were going to be entertained by none other than Gino Vanelli and then he stepped out on stage and after a brief intro he broke into song. WOW he was amazing. His voice as powerful as I remember from the 1970's   Hey people gotta move right? 


In case your were born after 1975 you might not appreciate who we're talking about , so maybe you have heard this song see the video below.  


This year I have accepted a partial load position with Mohawk College as part time professor in the Creative Photography program. This takes me out of the studio two days a week in the fall. I absolutely love teaching!!  One of my classes this term is Creative lighting Techniques and here's a photo I took during class to demonstrate to the students. The in class lab was called "the water drop" and the goal is of course to capture a drop of water hitting the surface of water.   That is a bit of a hit and miss exercise and helps with hand, eye co-ordination. To make the image more vibrant and interesting I showed them how to add colour and proper lighting technique. This image here is my personal favourite from the 2 hr class. BTW no photoshop was used here this image was done in camera. (lettering added being the exception) RN  




Here's a few from the session last week with Brody who's interested in getting into fitness modelling. I couldn't get over the change in Brody since our last session a few years ago. He's grown in height and stature and made me feel pretty guilty about my TV snack that night after the session. Well,.. not that guilty. I did manage to consume an unhealthy amount of ice cream while enjoying a favourite show. Anyway best of luck to you Brody and hoping these shots get your portfolio kickstarted! 


fitness model

Today's Portrait.....

So often people come to our studio and compliment our backyard. I am always quick to give credit to my wife Heather for her gardening talent. People assume that I must use our backyard all the time, but I point out that the light is not always good back there due to the huge evergreens and maples that block much of the sky I'd like to use there. I did decide to challenge myself on Saturday though, so I set up a backyard studio with 4x8 sheet of foamcore over my subject along with a disc reflector to bounce light back up in the eyes. It's what we call clamshell lighting. My subject was Lauren who was full of spunk while I photographed her. She was far more interested in the fishpond than sitting for a portrait in the lighting area I wanted her in. But between the two of us we came up with some gorgeous portraits. 



Elizabeth Spano

I was asked recently if I would like to be involved in the Piano Rebel Project© career launch of Canadian piano virtuoso Elizabeth Spano by Steve Falusi of C-Note Productions Inc.. Elizabeth has a remarkable talent of classical composition creation and her partnership has a Juno in their sights. To get a sampling of this talented Classical Piano Visionary, Composer, and Artist, take a look at this video clip. Here is one of the selections from my recent shoot for her new publicity headshots. UPDATE 2013-15: Elizabeth's career has taken off in the form of the Piano Rebel Project© under the exclusive guidance of her Executive Branding Agent & Producer Steve Falusi. Over the last year Elizabeth has recorded her first self-titled debut album, and also performed on her very own PURE PIANISM®© “A Solo Affair” Recital Tour, showcased her compositions at the posh Steinway Piano Gallery of Toronto, gave the Arts & Letters Club elite of Toronto a breathe of fresh air, and also recorded her future (live) DVD PURE PIANISM®© “A Solo Affair” at the prestigious CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. With five set albums photographed and set to be recorded, I look forward to working alongside a team of professionals who are helping shape her brand. I believe she has a very successful career ahead of her.