Halifax Wedding and Portrait Photography
I’m Michelle Doucette, a photographer and graphic designer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a wedding and lifestyle portrait photographer, I candidly capture the special moments in your life with unique and creative images. From your engagement to your first born and beyond,
I would love to tell your story.
Featured From The Blog
After a glorious Thanksgiving weekend, I’m getting caught up on a bit of blogging and am excited to share my annual I Love Local HFX’s City Harvest adventure with you! It was grey and rainy that day, but I was happy to see lots of people out enjoying the event despite the chilly weather.
I started early at The Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market and then visited some locations I haven’t featured before. Along the way I stopped in to visit friends I’ve made while shooting this event over the past few years. I love catching up and hearing how things are going. I was excited to see lots of new businesses on the list this year as well!
With so many businesses participating, it’s tricky to fit them all into my blog post. I sadly missed Dartmouth this year, but I’ll be sure to start there in the spring for Open City 2015. Covering the North End for me was Alana Correia who did a great job photographing some of the exciting new businesses on the list. I’ve also borrowed a few images from local blogger and foodie friend Kathy Jollimore of eatHalifax who always finds the most delicious spots for unique local food.
I hope you enjoy the photos!
Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market: Harvest Festival featuring Gordon Sparks carving a giant pumpkin from Howard Dill.
Live Music featuring the Fine Tuners, Zulkemoon & Shrimp Daddy.
Java Blend and Bramoso Pizza were busy! I’ve got to try that breakfast pizza soon.
Fruition: The Pumpkin Seed Pâté made with local sweet potatoes and the Pumpkin Pie caught my attention! I’ve since been back to try the Mocha Cheesecake and it’s amazing!
Garrison Brewing: Three special harvest beers! 3 Fields Harvest Wet Hopped Ale, Sweet Rye’d Harvest Wheat Ale, and Double Jack Imperial Pumpkin Ale. The 3 Fields was my favorite, a special treat for my dad over Thanksgiving.
Getaway Meat Market: Back Door Takeout at Garrison Brewing – Meatball Sandwiches!
Rousseau Chocolatier: Back Door Takeout – $3 House Hot Chocolate, perfect for a chilly rainy day.
Steve-O-Reno’s: Pumpkin cupcakes and Rita’s Immune Booster to keep you going!
Inkwell Boutique: 10% off Made in Nova Scotia designs and a prize draw for a lovely clock. First photo courtesy @inkwellboutique
Kitchen Door Catering: Back Door Takeout – $5 and $10 soups! PLUS: Live Soup Demos & Sampling at Attica.
Morris East: Back Door Takeout – $5 Mini Pulled Pork Cubans on Brioche… it was amazing! Love pulled pork!
Pro Skates: Anchored Coffee & Oddfellows Barbershop grand opening, Pop-up shop with Drifter Goods, Melody Hillman Ceramics & swinej. Oddfellows Invitational Mini-ramp contest.
Lost Cod Clothing Co.: Artist Bee Stanton was drawing on site! Final photo courtesy of @beejaedee
Amos Pewter: Artisan Demonstrations and personalized pewter City Harvest keepsakes.
Abode Boutique: Free gift from MOMA designs with any purchase over $20.
Duly Noted: Free Pumpkin Cookies from Cookie Cravings. Free Limited Edition City Harvest prints by Lisa Davie to first 50 customers.
Look who I found on their way to Krave Burger for round two of poutine!
Krave Burger: Back Door Takeout – $5 Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese with crispy fried onion ring. It was delicious! Perfect comfort food.
Wildflower Clothing: I always pop by for cupcakes, lemonade and 20% off shopping! Lots of new beautiful fall colours and textures.
Argyle Fine Art: Chris Hemsworth was on-site signing limited edition Heritage Moments prints. A special POP-UP Yoga Studio Session in the art gallery lead by Connie McInnes.
Alliance Francaise: Back Door Takeout – $2 crêpes with jam, Nutella and butter and sugar. Photos by Alana Correia.
Agricola Street Brasserie: Back Door Takeout. Photos by Alana Correia.
The Carrot Co-Op: Brand new community grocer! Photos by Alana Correia.
enVie: Back Door Takeout – $10 Creamy Butternut Squash Penne with Veggie Balls, $3.50 Pumpkin Pie Squares. Photos by Alana Correia.
Field Guide: Back Door Takeout – $5 Chinese Pork Bun, $2 hand crafted Fall soda. Photos by Alana Correia.
Hamachi Kita: Back Door Takeout – $10 Pad Thai or 12 pc sushi combo, Spicy Tuna, Spicy Salmon, California & Halifax Rolls. Photos by Alana Correia.
Highland Dr. Storehouse: Back Door Takeout – Meatball Sandwich. Photos by Alana Correia.
North Brewing Company: $1 off 750ml fills, $2 off 1.89l fills and 10% off merchandise. Photos by Alana Correia.
Nurtured Products for Parenting: Kids Activities & 2x Nurtured Points. Giant Tegu animal creations! Photos by Alana Correia.
Ratinaud French Cuisine: Back Door Takeout – Breakfast Sandwich. Photos by Alana Correia.
Independent Mercantile Co.: Pop-Up Tea Tasting with Satya & coffee with Emma & Sonny. Photos by Alana Correia.
Ace Burger: Turducken Burger, Chives: Stuffed squash, sage & pumpkin seed risotto croquette, Bishop’s Cellar: samples of local wine and beer. Photos by Kathy Jollimore.
Field Guide: Chinese Pork Bun, 2 Doors Down: Local Beef & Pork Korean Chilli with Crispy Rice Sesame Cake, Indochine Banh Mi: Spicy BBQ Pork or Spicy BBQ Tofu Banh Mi. Photos by Kathy Jollimore.
La Frasca Cibi & Vini: Lorenzo’s Grilled Salsiccia, Scanway Bakery & Cafe: Grilled Cheese featuring Oulton’s Double Smoked Bacon & Dutchman’s Gouda, DeeDee’s: espresso gelato! Photos by Kathy Jollimore.
Phew! That’s a lot to squeeze into one day! See you in the spring for Open City!
I love it when couples ask if they can bring their pets along to an engagement shoot… I always say of course! They are part of the family too! Caper (the little one) and Italia (the bigger one) came along with Julianne and David to our shoot at Rainbow Haven. They were hilarious and so cute together, best buddies.Read More...
One of my happy places in Halifax is 108 Yoga. It’s where I go to slow down, take a deep breath and stretch away some stress. I’ve been going to 108 Yoga for nearly four years now, and I wanted to share all the things I love about this locally owned business.
As an affiliated centre of the Himalayan Institute and Yoga International, the teachers at 108 are highly trained in the traditional teachings of yoga, ayurveda and meditation. They focus on creating health, vitality and balance in your everyday life through studio classes, workshops discovery programs and certification programs.
From the very beginning, my experience at 108 Yoga was warm and welcoming. The space is calm and relaxing and the members are all skill levels, ages and body types. I always feel comfortable and supported by the instructors as well as the other members in each class. There are lots of options for different kinds of classes running throughout the week at different times during the day. I love that I never feel rushed or pressured to go beyond my own personal challenges (or to compare myself to other members). The instructors at 108 encourage everyone to listen to their own bodies and go at their own pace… I really appreciate that because some days just feel rougher than others! The important thing, for me anyway, is to consistently show up and do my best, whatever that might look like!
Dorothy Spence founded 108 Yoga in 2009 with the desire to share her personal transformation experiences that yoga provided with others. She takes the time to get to know each member and always has helpful suggestions for anyone with specific questions. For me it was insomnia (been struggling with it for years) and Dorothy had a few new ideas that really helped.
Sarah Andrews does a fantastic job managing the studio. Always welcoming and encouraging, she makes sure everyone finds their own path through the yoga experience. It was Sarah who encouraged me to learn more about the Ayurvedic lifestyle and to join the 108 spring cleanse. I gained a lot from the experience and am looking forward to learning more as new workshops come up through the year.
The cleanse I did recently was The Big Spring Cleanse lead by Sarah Andrews and Krista Watters (we followed along with Kathryn Templeton’s 21-Day Program). Without getting too deep into the details (I recommend signing up for a workshop with 108 to learn about the Ayurvedic lifestyle) the cleanse involved a daily yoga practice and a simple healthy eating plan that gives the digestive system a break. We were encouraged to incorporate healthy habits (such as setting positive intentions, practicing meditation) into our daily lifestyle. For me, it wasn’t about 21 days of following the plan perfectly… I wanted to shake up my usual routine (a 6:30am practice takes care of that!) and add in some habits that were new for me. It was about setting aside some time each day to focus on myself and my health. I feel like it’s an experience I will build on each spring, focusing on a new challenge each time. I’m not quite ready to give up my coffee (I only lasted one day!) but I did learn a lot about healthy digestion and really enjoy the CCF Tea (Cumin, Coriander and Fennel) which promotes healing and soothes inflammation.
Congratulations to 108 Yoga who recently celebrated their fifth anniversary! I’m looking forward to many more years of yoga practice!
108 Yoga recently participated in I Love Local HFX’s Open City event. It was great to see so many new faces visiting the studio!
I had a great visit with Dorothy and Sarah recently to learn more about 108 Yoga. Love these colourful portraits of two inspiring ladies
A new habit I picked up from the spring cleanse at 108 Yoga… Cumin, Coriander and Fennel tea!
My two favorite days of the year in Halifax: Open City and City Harvest hosted by I Love Local HFX. These events encourage Haligonians to experience a selection of what Halifax has to offer all in one day, so that they become better ambassadors for Halifax and to get more out of life in the city. This is year three and I see more and more people participating each year. Shops, restaurants, cultural organizations, attractions, charities and government all participated in over 100 locations! The energy is always happy and enthusiastic… our sluggish spring weather didn’t even slow the crowds down!
What I love about Open City and City Harvest is that each and every local supporter has their own unique experience. I see small groups of friends making their way around the city to visit each location on their own time, stopping for chats with other friends along the way and sharing their experience via social media. I tend to follow the food – many of us do! – stopping at shops along the way to say hello to the business owners I’ve come to know as I take photographs each year.
Dartmouth was a new and welcome addition for 2014 so I made sure to visit a few locations there, and then I focused on shops and restaurants I haven’t featured in my earlier blog posts. You can imagine, with over 100 locations, it’s impossible to visit everyone on the list! This year, I’m including some experiences from other people who were out enjoying the day on a different path than my own!
I hope everyone had a taste of something new from the back door takeouts, purchased something locally made from a locally owned shop and got a much needed energy boost after a long winter to get out there and enjoy this vibrant and exciting city! Keep it going all year long!
I started my day at my favorite coffee shop! Smiling Goat is now in Bishop’s Landing, I’m a happy girl
Next stop was Yoga 108 at The Brewery Market. This is where I regularly stretch away the aches and pains of being a photographer carrying too much heavy gear. Always warm and welcoming, it’s one of my favorite places to be.
After coffee and yoga, it’s straight to the wine tasting at Bishop’s cellar!
A little shopping at Unicorn Clothing.
Food trucks Tin Pan Alley and Halifax Press were parked in Bishop’s Landing serving large crowds most of the day. The trick is to get there before they sell out!
I always pop by I Heart Bikes to say hello to my friend Sarah. Joining her for Open City was artist Emma Fitzgerald with custom designed t-shirts and mugs.
Taking advantage of I Heart Bike’s stylish wheels were ambassadors for NSCAD’s Artist for a Day event also happening May 10.
I never seem to time it quite right (too early, too late) but fresh oysters on the waterfront from The Shack sounds like a great idea! I poked my head into Lost Cod Clothing as well, busy printing locally inspired t-shirts for customers.
I was really excited that Dartmouth was participating this year! My first stop was The Canteen who was already sold out of their Open City feature. The “Dartmouth Hangover” looked just as yummy!
This was my first visit to Kept on Portland Street and I wanted to buy just about everything in the shop… lots of quirky gifts and beautiful local artwork. Kids were enjoying making their own Mother’s Day cards and the bouquets from Chelsea Lee Flowers Pop-Up Shop were gorgeous.
By 2pm I was ready for a drink! North Brewing Company on Agricola was busy filling growlers at $2 off and the Food Wolf truck outside had a hungry lineup going strong.
Agricola St. Brasserie had the BBQ fired up for their back door takeout Grilled Fish Tacos.
Something fun along the way on Gottigen Street
Scotia Pharmacy had an in-store photobooth and live performance by DJ James Reid.
Ratinaud French Cuisine was as busy as last year and had sold out by the time I got there! Luckily, the folks at Ratinaud and local foodie Lia Rinaldo (Managing Director of Devour! The Food Film Fest) had a few shots I can share. I was sad to miss out on this Pâté Campagne Sandwich with country pâté, in-house pickles, micro greens and dijon mustard.
Photos: @LiaRinaldo and @RatinaudHFX
One of my favorite stops was Field Guide because this Donair Steam Bun and Spring Soda was fantastic! I would have happily ordered two more servings if I wasn’t saving room for all the other food to come. I love this spot for drinks and dinner before seeing a play at The Bus Stop Theater.
Edna is a regular for me because I’m addicted to their Southside drink and their salads and risottos. Edna’s Open City feature was General Tso Grilled Octopus, w/ pineapple, peanuts, scallions, tempura & sticky rice. We managed to snap up the last one (this would become a theme of the day!)
I always pop by The Foggy Goggle for a Propeller pint and some comfort food along the way… it’s a nice break to sit down for a bit and refresh. It was just warm enough for the patio and we shared a Giant Foggy Spud stuffed with bacon, corn, red onion & cheese. Also on the patio, other Open City supporters with an I Love Local HFX t-shirt and a sunflower from the market!
I’ll admit, it was a bit chilly to be outside all day walking around… a great place to warm up was World House Tea where Phil always has great suggestions for different tastes and you could also have your tarot cards read!
I do have a favorite of the day for food… Bistro le Coq’s Duck Confit Sandwich on Brioche with Truffle Aoli was so delicious, and dangerous… good thing I got the last one or I may have been there eating way too much for the rest of the afternoon. This is also one of my favorite spots for brunch!
Just as it started raining we found a warm place to hide for a bit at Onyx on Argyle. Their back door takeout feature was the Sour Dough Grilled Cheese with Fontina, Prosciutto & Shallot Marmalade. Yum! Big hit with our group and the drinks were fantastic as well. Lot’s of interesting cocktails to chose and a beautiful space to chill out and relax for a bit.
Here are some shots from other Open City folk who saw some things I missed!
Obladee was the perfect spot for wine, a few more snacks and live Jazz! Photos: @larakillian
Stubborn Goat GastroPub had live music and BBQ on Grafton Street! Back door takeout was an Oulton’s burger with Ran-Cher acres goat paneer, Sriracha slaw & bacon fat mayo. Photo: @TheStubbornGoat
Ocean Optometry on Blowers Street featured Paul Robinson in a Pop-Up Art Exhibition. Photos: Ocean Optometry @OceanOptometry
My friend @EricaJoanP was out bright and early at The Halifax Seaport Farmer’ Market for a Nomad Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwich and later enjoyed an Ace Burger at Gus’ Pub and Grill.
Other breakfast favorites were the breakfast calzones at Salvatores Pizza and coffee at Alteregos Cafe. Photos: @HalifaxRenee and @alteregoscafe
Biscuit General Store always get shoppers involved on social media with fun sales for Open City. Photos: @BiscuitGeneral
Indochine served up Bubble Tea Smoothies amd Mini Banh Mi at their location on South Park. Photos: @
IndochineHfx and @larakillian
Plovers had a Pop Up Honey Bee Eco Bridal Boutique. The vintage rentals you see on the table are from @coasteventshfx Photos: @Honeybeebridal
Garrison is always a great place to pop by and try something new! They were serving Brass Monkeys and my friend Todd snapped this photo of Obey This Brew. Photos: @ToddtheBeerDude and @GarrisonBrewing
Argyle Fine Art: Nancy Rose and her SQUIRRELS, the opening of BLOOM: New works by Twila Robar DeCoste & NSCAD ceramic Student Works, and live Arrangements by The Ikebana Shop. Photos: @ArgyleFineArt
The back door takeout at Chives (Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuit Pulled Pork w Chorizo Bourbon BBQ Sauce and Coleslaw) and 2 Doors Down (Italian Meatball Hero Sandwich) always goes fast! Photos: @ToddtheBeerDude and @LiaRinaldo
And I never need an excuse for sweet treats to finish it all off. Photos: Stories Restaurant by @ajtarlton, DeeDees by @Lisa_Buchanan and Sugah by @claire_leger
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences and photos for my blog post See you at City Harvest in the fall!
As a photographer who loves vibrant colour, big smiles and lots of laughter, this photo shoot with Colette and Laura of Red Balloon is easily one of my favorites. The concept they brought to me to launch their brand new website was the carnival. Yes please, sign me up! These images are full of energy, whimsy and joy… everything you can expect from an experience with Red Balloon!
I love the positive energy these ladies bring to everything they do. We share a commitment to being an active part of the creative culture here in Halifax and an appreciation of local food and wine (this is important!) There is nothing I love more than connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs to collaborate on creative projects. I’m very proud of this shoot and so thrilled to see Red Balloon be so bold with their creative ideas.
Congratulations to Colette and Laura on your stunning new Red Balloon website!