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.
Fall is such a beautiful time of year. The colours are gorgeous and the air is crisp and cool. We enjoy meeting our clients in a colourful quiet spot to photograph them and create some wonderful memories. Many of our clients use their fall photographs for Christmas presents. Custom photography makes a very special and unique gift. Here are some photos from our sessions.
Cavan, Ontario, is proving to be a popular destination for a wedding. And The Ranch Resort, nestled in the hills of Cavan is a unique venue for a wedding. Again, we were happy and please to be a part of Erika ad Mike's wedding. Lots of love surrounded them from their family and friends.
It was a beautiful, warm and sunny September for Sharon and John's Wedding. Actually a gorgeous day for this gorgeous couple Their wedding took place in the beautiful hills of Cavan at The Ranch Resort, a perfect setting. The horse drawn carriage added a very special touch.
The wedding industry have done a good job of convincing couples that it's all about details. And while details definitely add to the overall feel of the wedding, big-ticket items get a lot more play in your photos. Like backdrops at the alter, and arches for photos. So if you have to choose between really cool details, and a beautiful ceremony backdrop, that ceremony backdrop will get way more airtime in your wedding photos. Depending on the space, there aren’t a whole lot of places your photographer can stand during the ceremony, so a backdrop ends up doing a lot of the work to making your photos interesting.
In Peterborough, there is a hidden gem. Well, not really hidden as alot of people know about this and use it daily. It's part of the Trans Canada Trail, and from Jackson's Park west towards Omemee runs a beautiful path - past Lily Lake. I meet many photographers there, those that are after nature, foliage, and of course, out photographing their clients. I had a great session with this lovely family. Late summer splendor!
This year was the first year we offered Back to School minis photography sessions. All of our bookings for the sessions were Junior Kindergarten kids...so, in reality, it was not a "Back to School" shoot, but a "Going to School for the First Time" Shoot. Here are some fun shots with some great kids!
I was very lucky to find a fabulous place with vintage tractors. The owner is an avid collector and, by the condition of them, you can tell his love for his collection. This beautiful family enjoyed the uniqueness of the session and I enjoyed photographing it. The barn proved to be an excellent backdrop too!
Good photography is more than a fancy camera. I have spent hours and hours training to be a photographer and alot more photographing weddings. I know how to get the shot every time. I know how to compose the shot beautifully and then execute it with skill and precision. It isn’t the camera that does this – it is me.
As I shoot in manual – I tell the camera what it should be doing rather than allowing the camera’s sensors to make the decisions for me. So if you want that beautiful photograph of you and your new husband or wife gorgeously backlit by a red sunset – you can only get that with a pro because the camera just cannot correctly read that light.
I know how the day flows. It is the experience of being at 100s of different weddings that allows me to know just where to look and when. I know the time in the wedding when I can sneak a shot of your dad looking at you with a tear in his eye. I know to expect that moment just after the vicar asks for objections and know the church will break into nervous laughter and the bride will pull a priceless face. These are the things you can only get with experience.
I know how to work in tricky lighting. I am not bothered by bright sunlight or dark church ceremonies. I can walk into any room and know within seconds where the best spot is to stand and where the best light will be. Every time. Without fail.
I am experienced in dealing with the raw emotions of a wedding day. I know how to get mum to stop repeating the time every 10 minutes while the bride breaks out into a cold sweat because she might be 3 minutes late for the wedding. I know how to deal with the usher who had a few too many before the ceremony even started. I can get a big group of people rounded up for photos – cheerfully, cooperatively and without yelling. I know how to advise you on lacing that dress that looked so easy to lace in the shop but now looks like a 50000 piece jigsaw puzzle. I know how to get you calmed down when the flowers show up and they are the wrong colour. This takes years of experience and finding out what to say (and what not to say!) during a day when everyone’s emotions are sky high.
When you talk to a photographer, he/she will tell you, light is everything in a photo. That is why we like to shoot either early morning, or in the later afternoon/early evening. The lower sun in the horizon gives a softer light and is less harsh. The photographs below, taken by Justin Schofield, reflect the beautiful ambient, soft light.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to photograph this couple welcoming their second son into the world. I arrived in the early hours of the morning, to a calm room with the momma-to-be labouring with her husband by her side.
We waited while the contractions got closer and closer.
Almost fully dilated, with no epidural.
And Maverick is born.
First skin-to-skin contact.
All natural birth. Congratulations Brittany and Brandon.
We were honoured to photograph this very special birth. Surrogate Celeste delivered a beautiful little boy to these two loving dads, who welcomed their second child into their family.
Holding their son for the first time.
The dads bonding with little Noah
Proud dads with the perfect t-shirts.
The team who made it all happen.
As you can see from previous posts, we really love to shoot in beautiful Jackson's Park in Peterborough. This park offers so much in the way of background for photography. Recently we took the opportunity to photograph Justin and Sharon's engagement session here. Now, this was one fun couple and we loved capturing their playful interaction with each other. We can't wait to photograph their wedding in mid-July. It will be fun for sure.
We were very happy to join this couple in the celebration of their love and commitment to each other and were honoured to be able to give these grooms special memories from their wedding. Even though we had rain on and off all day, we used the beautiful backdrop of their church, Trinity United Church in Peterborough, both inside and outside. The day was filled with the love from their friends and family. The formals were done in Jackson's Park under the gazebo and some special photos of the pair using umbrellas to round off the formals. Their reception was held in their backyard in a beautiful white tent, complete with heating, flooring and excellent food catered right on the spot.
The cutest getting ready wedding pictures don't just create themselves! Oftentimes, there's been a lot of forethought and planning that go into every single detail, including those adorable Mr. and Mrs. hangers, and the actual space itself. While spontaneity is key to capturing the raw emotions of the day, here are seven things you can do before we, as your photographers, arrive to ensure that we get the best shots.
1. Pick a location that is spacious, full of light and reflects your aesthetic.
Don't let your pre-wedding space be a mere afterthought — you'll be spending a significant portion of your day getting primped and pampered there. The getting ready area should be a special place with plenty of space that makes everyone feel cozy and relaxed. It should also compliment your vision for the day. For example, if you're having an elegant ballroom wedding, perhaps a suite at an upscale historic hotel would be a nice fit. If possible, try to book a corner room. When light is coming in from more than one direction it envelopes you, creating a soft light that makes everyone look fabulous. If you aren't able to be choosey, trust our direction. We may bring your details out to another area of the venue to capture them in the best light.
2. Remember: Less is more.
We swear by the motto that less is always more. Keep the numbers down, as far as people in the prep suite go. And clean up all that clutter! A little background music and some champagne are a must, as is a sense of humor to disarm any tension in the room.
3. Keep the room clean.
I.e. don't trash it! As your wedding photographers, we often arrive ready to shoot preparation photos and end up spending lots of valuable time cleaning up before we can even get started. Throw away trash, hang extra clothes in closets and hide suitcases under beds. If you keep things as organized as possible then we will have more time to work with you and the bridesmaids, capturing the photos you want.
5. Don't forget the guys.
Speaking of grooms, while the prep photos of him and his guys aren't nearly as involved, they'll still need to follow a few basic rules. We always ask that the groomsmen be fully dressed, and for the groom to be dressed in his pants and unbuttoned shirt upon arrival. This allows us to take photos of the groom getting ready (buttoning his shirt, tying his tie, putting on his cufflinks, etc.) — then do some quick portraits of the groom alone and with his boys. Another quick tip: empty your pockets, gentlemen! Cell phones, keys and wallets make for bulging pockets that aren't flattering in the least, Leave them in the room or have someone else carry them for you.
6. Share your creative vision with your photographer.
Have ideas for specific getting ready shots? Let us know in advance. For instance, one of our brides asked for a photo of her husband-to-be holding a sentimental pocket watch. If you don't communicate your preferences with your wedding photographer, you may miss out on some special pictures in your wedding album.
7. Savor the moments.
The getting ready shots are just as much about the details as they are the candid moments. Relax, enjoy yourself, let us do our thing and try to pretend we aren't there. Feel the emotions of the moment and trust that if we need something from you, we'll ask.
We were honoured to photograph this couple in a beautiful engagement session set on the grounds of Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. It is where they met and the college campus holds special memories for them. The weather in early spring was fantastic.
And with the sun lower in the horizon, we got some beautiful photos of the two of them.
We met up with this beautiful couple after their intimate city hall wedding to photograph their wedding party. The early spring day was warm and the sun bright. The pastel colours of their chosen outfits were perfect against the backdrop of Jackson's Park. The bride's partial sheer dress from above the knees down was stunning and added a very nice contrast to the men's formal attire. We wish this couple a very happy marriage.
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.