Want to get out and enjoy the crisp fall air and beautiful leaves? And update your family photos at the same time? We have just the thing for you! Our annual Fall Mini Photography Sessions are here! This year we will be at Nichol's Oval Park in the east end of Peterborough. It's an absolutely stunning park. The location is perfect for us as parking is good, and there is a playground for the kiddies after they get their photos taken! There are lots of props and a free pumpkin for each child! Come on out for some great photos.
I had the opportunity to join this couple and celebrate their engagement with some beautiful photos at a gorgeous fall location in Havelock. There really is something about fall photography!
A vibrant and hot late summer day in a beautiful backyard in Havelock, Ontario was the scene for Peyton and Chris' wedding. Everyone came together to celebrate their day with fun and games, and a wonderful ceremony in a field while a guitarist gently strummed along. The newlyweds were up to some great sunset photos in the fields surrounding their home. Thank you for letting us be a part of your wedding!
Using the late afternoon sun, and the beautiful glow from the corn field, I created the perfect atmosphere for this lovely couple's engagement session. A walk through the corn, their beautiful dog Tess, and a red tractor led for a fun photoshoot! I just love September!
I was very honoured to be asked to capture the 90th Birthday celebration for this amazing woman who has touched so many lives. She has raised 8 children, has 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. The room was packed with people wishing her a very happy birthday. I could feel the emotion in the air.
We were very happy to be a part of Jenn and Cindy's wedding in late August. Even though mother nature did not cooperate and the ceremony had to be moved inside due to heavy rain, the sun definitely shone for this couple that day. Their love and commitment to each other was evident and to capture this celebration was a true honour. Congratulations Jenn and Cindy!!
It's that time of year again when we start thinking about fall and back to school. Of course, with all the ads and items in the stores, how can we not? And, at CatsMac Photography, we are gearing up for our annual Back To School photography sessions! So, grab your new back to school clothes and backpacks, and come join us for some great photos!
I had the opportunity to meet these wonderful grandparents and photograph them and their grandkids! The backyard was absolutely stunning and was a PERFECT backdrop for our photo session. The kids were charming and very cooperative. It was so nice to have a wonderful evening celebrating two of their grandkids' birthday, as well as a family reunion.
I blogged about newborn lifestyle sessions vs newborn in-studio session last month. We've had a number of inquiries about lifestyle sessions and decided to offer a limited time 20% discount on lifestyle photography! We come to your home and photograph your activities with your newborn and other children. This is a great way to celebrate the birth of your baby, get some stellar photos for gifts, and relax in the comfort of your home at the same time. We bring props to use as well! A discount and we travel to you! What could be better?
We are super excited to be announcing our first ever styled summer sessions! There will be two set ups and you can choose which one you want, or you can use both! They will be styled so boys and girls can use both sets, (slightly different than the sample photos)! This shoot is great if you want updated photos of your kids but it’s also perfect for a CAKE SMASH or SUMMER BIRTHDAY shoot. It is limited to kids ages 6 months (or sitting up) to 10 years old.
Here are a few more examples. These were personalized sessions so the set and props will be slightly different.
A sweet nude little babe all sleepy and curly on a soft blanket backdrop wearing an adorable little knit hat or wrap. These kinds of posed newborn photographs have become synonymous with the term “newborn photography” over the past five or so years. We all love them. There is something so serene and pleasing about a brand new life. A baby only days old sleeping peacefully all curled up and comfy just as they recently were in utero.
Of course as newborn photographers we definitely offer this style of newborn photography to our clients in the Peterborough area and beyond. We do however also offer an alternative type of newborn photography, which is a little lesser known, but just as beautiful and amazing as an in studio newborn session. Lifestyle newborn photography. And it is becoming one of our all time favourite sessions.
We’d love to take some time to introduce everyone to this style of newborn photography and go over the many benefits that this relaxed newborn photo session has over it’s in studio counterpart.
Timing is everything when it comes to newborn photography. For an in studio newborn baby photo session we like to try and get the newborns into our Peterborough Studio before they are two weeks of age. When we are looking to obtain those sleepy, posed shots the younger the baby the better. A baby that is fresh and new is much more likely to provide us with a deep sleep allowing us to work with their tiny bodies to achieve those uber adorable shots. They are also very flexible at this age and quite enjoy being curled up and cozy while asleep just as they were in utero.
Time is also key during an in studio newborn session because it’s important that we wait until the baby is settled into that nice, deep sleep before we start to work with them. This process can be lengthy and patience is everything.
However, during a lifestyle newborn session the element of time does not hold as much weight. The lifestyle newborn shoot focuses primarily on the interaction between the new baby and his family and surroundings and is much less centred around obtaining the perfect pose. Therefore having a baby under two weeks of age become less important. This is particularly helpful for Mothers who contact us once their newborn baby is over that magic age for traditional newborn photography. Just because a baby is a little “older” it no longer means you have to miss out on those precious newborn moments! And, if everything play out right...we will try to get some of those cute newborn poses using baskets and other props! It's a win-win situation.
The location for your upcoming newborn session might also have you thinking about whether a studio photography session or a lifestyle shoot is the choice for you. All of our studio sessions are conducted at our in home newborn studio. We have everything here that we need in order to provide you with a great experience for your baby’s first professional photo shoot! Our studio is stocked with all of the props, back drops and posing tools that we need. The space has great light and is small so that it can be kept nice and warm to keep your baby comfortable during his/her session. Parents have a cozy spot to relax during the shoot. All in all it’s a great place to come for your newborn photo session.
However the thought of travelling with a newborn can be daunting for some new parents, especially in the winter. Lifestyle newborn sessions are conducted in the comfort of the clients home. And it's especially handy if you have other children, who can play in their own home while the session is taking place. Of course, having siblings relaxed and happy will make for some great photos of them with the newborn too! Having your photo session take place in your home provides a level of intimacy and a personal touch to your lifestyle images that might be missing from your studio session. Imagine having images of your baby in his/her own nursery or snuggling with Mama in your favourite chair. Documenting beloved books, toys and that surely wonderful wardrobe some babies acquire before they are even here?! These small details make your newborn’s photos even more special for years to come!
Of course most clients also want to capture some darling images of their new family dynamic during their newborn photo session. Whether it be photos of baby with Mom, Dad, big brother or sister or all of the above, these treasured family photos can be obtained during both studio sessions AND in home lifestyle sessions. However the resulting look is completely different. Which you prefer is entirely up to you…..
It is true that during a studio session the light is controlled. We know what to expect in our home studio. We know that the light comes in big and beautiful at a certain time of day and that our studio lighting will light the room just as we need it. Our newborn clients will be sleeping peaceful, bathed in the light during their stay with us. An in home lifestyle session cannot obviously offer the same kind of assurance. Clients often come to us concerned that their home will not be bright enough, not be pretty enough. However, all we need is a bright window (not necessarily facing south). And, we bring all our portable studio lighting, so, in a pinch, we can imitate natural light.
SO there you have it. A little 4-1-1 on the difference between your studio newborn sessions that we all know and love and the lesser known newborn lifestyle sessions that hopefully we will all get to know and love just as much, if not a wee bit more!
And the very best part of a lifestyle newborn session….if baby sleeps then we can still get those ooey gooey posed newborn shots…no matter where we are!
We had a rather unusual and touching request a few weeks ago. A young woman contacted us asking us to capture some photos of her and her horse, who was very ill and due to be put down. Odie was only 8 years old, and suffering from a cancerous tumour of his kidney. Of course, we said yes. Photography, is all about capturing a special moment, a bond, and making it personal and creating a memory. We were worried that Odie wouldn't be up for walking around for photos, and would prefer staying in his stall. But, on the day of the session, he was given his pain killers just beforehand and was feeling pretty good. We decided to walk him gently around the barnyard and field. His owner watched him closely and let him tell her when he'd had enough. We managed to get some amazing photos of the love between these two. The bond between them is so visible. Odie will be forever in our thoughts.
Choosing the perfect wedding photographer for your day. This is such a big decision in the wedding planning process. The wedding photographer has a huge role on your wedding day and during your wedding planning process. They are there to help you plan and make sure the day goes smoothly, capture your big moments, and give you gorgeous photos that tell the story of your day so you can relive it and pass the photos on to future generations. So with that decision comes plenty of questions. There are important technical questions to ask your photographer like…
This doesn’t make the decision process of finding your perfect, dream photographer any easier, does it?
I believe you should absolutely love your photographer not only for their work, but for who they are as a person and why they do what they do.This is a vendor that’s going to be pretty involved in the wedding planning process and sometimes you’ll be with your photographer more than your new husband/wife on the wedding day. They are also in charge of the most important thing, the memories through way of photographs and telling your story. So I believe whole heartedly that while you are at consultations that not only you ask the recommended basic questions, but you also take the time to get to know the photographer to see if you guys click well (which will definitely help you trust them!). Here are a few example questions to ask to that will get different, unique answers from photographer to photographer…
1. What is your favorite part of a wedding day?
Is it the party, dancing part? The ceremony because it’s beautiful to see two people commitment to forever?
2. What is your favorite thing to shoot?
One photographer may like shooting details and portraits, while someone else likes shooting the photo journalistic parts of the day like the ceremony and being a fly on the wall.
3. Why did you become a wedding photographer?
Because they didn’t have wedding photos and want to be able to give others this gift they never had? Because they just absolutely love love? Weddings get them jazzed?
4. What do you like to do in your free time?
Do they knit? Do they take salsa lessons? Spend time with family? Play in a garage band with some friends? Community orchestra? Check out new bars on the weekends with friends?
5. Favorite wedding day memory?
The time the groom wrote the bride a surprise song for her and sang it? When the bride and groom had a pizza truck come in for everyone to have pizza because their first date was to get pizza? (That would be an amazing wedding memory in my book.)
Every photographer will give a different answer to each of these questions and their answers will really help you see if you click and like them as a person. If you look at these consultations as more of like a date where you are seeing if you not only trust them, but like them too, you’ll be able to make an easier decision when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer for your special day.
My favourite memory is this photo below. The bride and groom and their daughter are releasing butterflies!
I had this wonderful man contact me asking me to do an anniversary photography session as a surprise for his wife. Even though it was not a special anniversary (it was their 8th anniversary) I jumped at the chance to meet this couple and give them some great photos to celebrate their love. What a beautiful and special gift. His wife was please. We did the shoot at the location of their first date, Little Lake Cemetery. You might think a Cemetery is a weird place to do a session, but I can see why they had their first date there. It was very, very peaceful and serene. Even though the end of life is all around you, love is such an important part of both life and death, that to acknowledge their love and shoot a session there was my way of honouring life itself. And the views of Little Lake in Peterborough was astounding. Here are some photos from their anniversary shoot.
As if wedding planning didn’t have enough decisions to make, right?! Now it’s time for your engagement session (Which is going to be super fun btw!) and you have NO IDEA what to wear! Should you wear the blush maxi dress? Or the white cocktail dress? Should his tie be navy blue or light grey? Should we do a rural location or an urban downtown area? I totally get it! So many decisions! Here are 5 engagement session outfit tips I think every bride should use to help start making decisions on their engagement session outfits!
1. Say Yes To The Dress!
When choosing outfits, always pick the dress/skirt over pants. Why? Dresses are super flattering on women and photograph so so beautifully! A skirt adds extra fun and movement to photos as well. They also help make the photos look so high end, classic, and editorial!
2. Dress It Up
Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress up?! I love any excuse to dress up and your engagement session is the perfect excuse to do so! Nothing looks more chic, high end and classic then two sweet people in love dressed up for their city engagement session! Also, who doesn’t love a guy in a suit and tie!? Your fiancé will look so handsome in a suit and tie! With these outfits you’ll be all dressed up and ready for a dinner date or drinks after your session!
3. Coordinate Looks, Don’t Match
Outfits will look the most cohesive and put together if they coordinate and don’t necessarily “match”. You should both wear a different dominate color within a similar color family. For example, this photo of Sharon & her fiance, Justin, during their Engagement Session. Sharon wore a beautiful sleeveless blue print dress that had a summer colour undertone. Justin coordinated by wearing a solid light green top and navy blue pants. (Don’t they look perfectly coordinated? And with the background too.) This shows the viewer focus on how happy they are. This is a great example of coordinating to make the outfits flow together. I recommend for the bride to choose her outfit first and then coordinate from that!
4. Professional Hair & Make Up
I know this doesn’t really relate to outfits…. But I can’t stress enough how important professional hair and makeup is for a photoshoot. 1. It makes you look 100% your best and 2. It helps alleviate stress when getting ready. Girl, once you get those lashes on and that blown out hair, you’ll feel like a million bucks. I know I’m always feelin’ myself after professional hair and makeup! Having both of these professionally done will give you that extra boost of confidence. Professional makeup artists and hair stylists know how to work with every different skin type and color, hair type and color, eye shape, etc. They know what looks good on camera and emphasize your gorgeous natural features! Some Makeup Artists will have a trial run so you can see what your makeup will look like on your wedding day. Use this trail run and coordinate with your Engagement Session! It's a win-win!
5. Bring Your Confidence!
Make sure you wear flattering silhouettes for your body shape! Make sure you wear things that fit well and aren’t too big or too small. Longer sleeves help remove focus on arms and heels help create a long leg line to give you legs for days! And don’t forget to smile! Nothing is prettier or looks better than a smile!
Bonus Tip – Bring a Fresh Bouquet!
If you want your photos to have an editorial feel, bring a fresh bouquet of flowers! It adds a special touch to your photos and I and plenty of other photographers haven’t met a fresh bouquet we didn’t like.
I hope these quick tips and suggestions helped you get started on brainstorming ideas for picking those outfits! The most important thing at the end of the day is that you both feel comfortable, confident, and true to yourselves!
Most commonly asked engagement questions; Do I need engagement photos? Why do I need engagement photos? What are the benefits of engagement photos? Which I totally understand! Most couples don’t understand the benefits to the extra portrait session before their wedding. You yourself may not understand or may not know if it’s necessary or may be afraid to be in front of the camera, etc. I think engagement sessions are not only fun, but are super important to have and reap tons of benefits like having more professional photos, practice before the big day, getting to know your photographer and more!
More professional photos of the two of you.
You most likely don’t have many professional photos of you two together. There is something special and great about having photos of you two that are professional & high quality level. Like throw in frames, hang all over your house, kind of beautiful photos. (and post all over Instagram type of gorgeous!) As life gets busier, it becomes harder to come across time to have professional photos taken of you two. This is your chance to have photos that will be shared and treasured for a lifetime.
Establish trust with your photographer.
It’s a great time to establish trust with your photographer. There will be no questioning how working with your photographer will be. You already know! This will add extra comfort on your wedding day knowing you trust your photographer and your photographer has your back. If the timeline runs behind or it’s cold this means the portrait session has to go quickly. Since you already know how to pose and work with your photographer, there will be no need to take up time to teach you all of the basic poses cause you had stress-free practice earlier in the year! “Hey John, grab her waist pull her in and go home!” If you’ve had an engagement session with me, you already know what that means and you’re set for your wedding
A great time to get to know your photographer and for your photographer to get to know you better too.
The most important reason to have engagement photos is to get to know your photographer and vice versa. Your engagement session will be a relaxed 1-2 hour session where you can just be yourselves and get to know one another. You can see how they work and we can see how you guys work. We know what to say and how to work with you so we can get natural poses and genuine smiles. When it comes to your wedding day, getting beautiful portraits becomes more comfortable and easier because your photographer knows you two better individually and as a couple. It’ll be like 3 friends who happen to have a camera with them!
They can be used for gifts, save the dates, and more.
You can use the photos for announcements, save the dates, gifts, etc. Many times, couples will use the photos for the save the dates and social media announcements and countdowns! Everyone loves mail and it makes it even better when it’s a beautiful photo of two people they love! And you can’t forget to buy prints to give to your parents (parents love pictures of their kids!) and to have hanging or on display as decorations at your wedding! Another thing I like to suggest to my couples is having an album made of their engagement photos so they can use that for a guest book!
Engagement sessions can be a lot of fun and they help get you used to the camera! 10/10 would recommend. You won’t regret it!
If you really want to simplify it, lifestyle photography is a type of candid photography (although truthfully it’s so, so much more than just candid photos). Lifestyle photography aims to capture people in real-life situations with genuine emotion and in a matter that is a combination of photojournalism and fine-art.
The goal of lifestyle photography is to capture a story; uninterrupted and with the utmost care. Lifestyle photography is perfect for weddings, birthing, newborn, family and maternity sessions. And, lifestyle photography can have a place in your life beyond those yearly photos or special events photos such as: decorating the Christmas tree, bringing home a new pet, learning how to skate, a special birthday party, a new baby..and so much more.
If you are the type of person who wants to capture the raw, natural emotions of life; those fleeting moments that you wish you could hold on to forever, then lifestyle photography is the right fit for you! Our lifestyle clients are relaxed, fun-loving and understand that candid photography, unlike posed photography, is a true representation of who you are, what you look like and what you are feeling at that very moment. Lifestyle photography isn’t for everyone and that’s okay! While we’d love to photograph you, we want to photograph people who we know will be relaxed and care-free in front of our lens in order for us to provide you with the best possible experience.
I want to talk to you about photography and the importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer, opposed to letting a friend with a good camera do it, leaving it to your guests or hiring a non-wedding photographer.
I know I talk a lot about photography on the blog but I really do feel it is a part of the wedding that is really important to get right!
As a photographer I have heard a number of horror stories about wedding photography. People being let down with the results that a non-professional has produced. Couples choosing to let ‘a friend’ do it, or ‘I know someone with a good camera’, or ‘we’re just going to let our guests take the photos’. This is all well and good and you may feel that you will be saving money by doing this, but in the long run I can guarantee you will be disappointed. Your photos are the only lasting memory you will have of the day, and if they don’t turn out as you want, you will be disappointed.
Many people when they first start planning their wedding and researching prices may think that a photographer comes with a hefty price tag; ‘they only do one day’s work a week’ or ‘their job is simple’, well think again. A Photographer will meet with you for an initial consultation, they will then have email or skype contact with you before the wedding, they will listen to your plans and answer your questions, in some cases acting as an unpaid wedding planner. Then on the day of the wedding they will be with you for most of the day. After this they will edit your wedding, going through the thousands of images they took and cutting it down to 800 ish (based on a full day) images for you to look though. All these images will be edited individually, this can take anything from 2 days to a week. Not only is there the time, there is the cost of running a photography business. Most photographers will shoot with 2 cameras each costing thousands, as well as a back-up camera in case anything goes wrong. They will carry a multitude of lenses each costing hundreds of dollars, some thousands, flash, spare batteries, memory cards amongst a whole host of other technical stuff. They will pay for insurance, advertising, registration fees, website fees, and then there is their transport. All in all wedding photography isn’t cheap because it isn’t a cheap business to set up, run or maintain.
Being a Peterborough, Ontario Wedding Photographer means sunny weddings by summer and cold, snowy engagement sessions by winter! We often photograph outside engagement sessions in the winter. You might think that it might not make a good photos, but with a little planning and preparing, it can (and is) alot of fun. For this engagement session, we used this stunning stone arch located at the top of a hill just north of Mount Pleasant near Peterborough. After climbing to the top of the hill, the view was astounding give this couple a unique and very different engagement session.
The key to getting great winter photos (whether it's an engagement session, a family session or a maternity session) is all about the snow. You want lots of that white fluffy stuff preferably from a fresh snowfall. All the better to walk through and of course start a snowball fight! Dress appropriately for the weather. If you are freezing it will show in your photos. Layer yourselves in coats, sweaters, hat, and mitts! I will bring the thermos of hot chocolate, marshmallows and a blanket!!
Embrace the Winter Weather! If you have your heart set on winter engagement photos, know that it will be cold. I’m with you and will do my best to make sure we get some great shots as quickly and efficiently as possible and there’s always time to warm up in a car blasting the heat. Remember sometimes we have snow by December and some years we have to wait a little longer for a large snowfall. Pro tip: If you’re looking for a Christmas-y feel with the lights and decorations or are looking for photos in a Christmas tree farm the ideal time to shoot is in early December. If you’re looking for winter engagement photos but don’t want them to look like Christmas, waiting or avoiding Christmas lights and decorations is key.Embrace winter weather
Winter engagement photos can look amazing but be realistic when planning for your shoot. Prepare, layer yourself, be patient for the snowfall and plan on extra time for the session due to needing to warm up.
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.