1. Invest in hair and makeup. If you’re doing a photo session for a special occasion, I would recommend going the extra step and investing in professional hair and makeup. You want to look like the most elevated version of yourself, so stick with a look that feels true to your style.
2. Be colour conscious. Be conscious of how the colours you wear may reflect on your face as well as the surroundings you’re shooting near. A forest can create a green cast onto your skin, just as a bright pop of colour, can reflect and pick up on your skin as well. I do tend to recommend lighter colors, but ultimately you should go with whatever makes you feel the most confident (even if that’s something darker). Confidence will show when you’re posing for your photos.
3. You can always turn to your “good side.” Don’t worry too much about standing on your “good” side. For a more dynamic shot, turn your back and lean into the group. I actually prefer this to the typical “hugging” shot where everyone’s arms are around each other. Overall, aim for poses that feel more natural and fun, rather than stiff and staged, by looking for new angles and connections.
4. Try to coordinate outfits without completely matching. When people ask me what they should wear for family photos, I recommend they create a cohesive color palette without being completely matching. If everyone is wearing the exact same color, everyone kind of blends together in the shot. I’d also recommend making sure only one third of the people in the shot are wearing patterns. If there are too many competing prints, the focus will be on the prints rather than your family’s faces.
5. Have an extra set of hands. If you’re taking a photograph with kids or pets, I’d always recommend having someone on hand to help out and help wrangle everyone. The photographer will be busy capturing the shot, and the people in the shot will be trying to pose, so an extra set of hands never hurts.
6. Get close—closer than you think! Whether you’re posing with family, friends, or your significant other, look for points of connection and get tangled up with the other people in the shot. No one should look like they’re standing on the sidelines, so make sure everyone is very close together. It will make the photos look much more intimate and connected.
7. Try an alternative to the hand on the hip. A lot of people like to do a hand on the hip pose to create more space between their arm and their waist, but it can look overly staged. Instead, try finding space in more organic ways. If you’re holding a dress, swing it by your side. If you have a purse, pull it forward. These are all ways of creating a visual “belt” for your waist. For bridesmaids, I always recommend holding your bouquet near your belly button for a pose that’s natural but flattering.
8. Create angles and dimension. Whenever you can, create dimensions with your body for a more dynamic shot. I like to add a bend to my knees, or do what I call the “Barbie toe.” Take a slight step and point your toe forward. This elongates the leg and makes the shot a little more visually interesting than when your feet are standing straight next to each other.
9. Get moving. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, move around. Think of each shot like a Boomerang, instead of holding a smile in one pose. If you need to shake off your nerves, walk around. I like to capture couples walking together right at the start of a session because it makes everyone feel relaxed and at ease.
Above all, be confident going into your shoot. It’s the photographer’s job to capture the best version of you, so have fun, relax, and smile!
Once again we are heading toward Christmas and it's time to think about booking your Christmas family photos! We are excited to announce booking for our Christmas Sessions is now taking place.
Sessions will be held on two dates:
Sunday, Nov 24th (outside location - Chemong Road north of Lindsay Hwy)
Sunday, Dec 1st (inside location - 15 Cindy St.)
We will add more dates if needed - so if any of these dates are not good for you, please ask!
The cost is the same as last year: $125 for 15 images by digital download
Sessions are approx 20 minutes.
Please note: This year our inside set will be a wooden backdrop with a small Christmas tree! And lots of props too! Send an email to book your spot!
Do you refer to your pets as your “children” “furbabies” or “furkids”? Perhaps you think of them more as your roommates or best friends? Do you joke that you like them better than people—only you’re not really joking? Would you rather spend time with your furry friends than go to a party? Well, I am a dog mom, so I understand that your dog is part of family. You feel love, pride, pride, and devotion to them, and you’ll do anything in your power to make their lives better. You share your home, your time, and sometimes your food with them. They’re your constant companion in life and even if they lived 50 years or more, it would still not be enough time spent with them.
There are so many different dogs that are at different stages of their lives. We all know the saying, "in dog years," is much more than ours because their lives are excel orated in comparison to ours. Am I right? It's like what my mom always says, "they grow up so fast!" well any fur-parent knows this feeling. This couple included their beautiful dog in the engagement session and he loved every minute of it.
Studies show that looking at your pets can elevate your mood and lower your blood pressure. I truly believe this. And interacting with them, with their love, kindness and unending joy is a true blessing.
Even if you want wedding photography that is more natural and documentary in style, there is still a place in the day for group photos (by small number I am talking under 10 individual set ups). I am more partial to natural and candid style of photography. I enjoy capturing the day as it happens in order to create beautiful storytelling images that go further than just recording who was present. I love to photograph the natural moments and the in between bits; the happy tears from your mom as she watches her daughter say ‘I do’, your new husband burying his face in his hands as his best man tells a few stories from years past, the proud smile on your grandfather's face as he watches you walk down the aisle. These are the photos I love to capture and the moments that make an image into something very special. However, I also totally appreciate that this is the one day where all your family, friends and loved ones are in the one place at the same time.
It’s the one time you might have four generations of family together, the one time all your best friends from school will be in one place. Getting a group photo of all these people can also add to the memories of the day in a different way. Group photos can be particularly important to your parents and older relatives. The trick is to get plan the photos in the right way!
Allow enough time for each group shot
Not allowing enough time for the groups is the most common mistake made when working out timing for the group and family photography. For groups of 6 people or less you should allow 3 minutes to round up, arrange and take the photo. For larger groups allow for 5 minutes. A photo of the everyone at the wedding can easily take 10-15 minutes to sort out. It is also a good idea to allow another 5 minutes for any unexpected things, such as family members going AWOL! It happens…a lot!
Who is included in the ‘family’ shots? Parents, siblings, cousins, siblings other halves? Are friends classed as everyone who isn’t family? It can be a bit of a minefield if you leave things open so it helps to be specific. Write the names of the people in each shot so you know who is needed. This is also helpful for us, so we can understand family dynamics. It will help the person allocated to help round people up for the groups.
Allocate one or two people the responsibility of helping round guests up
Choose someone who will be happy to help and who is responsible enough to be useful! I say this from experience of having ‘helpers’ who have vanished to the bar when they should have been collecting Aunt Mary. Often its useful for one of the people to be a family member so they will know who the guests are. Some people are naturally better at this job than others. They will need to be nice but firm in rounding guests up and someone who has a slightly louder voice can be useful for making announcements!
Talk to your parents about the groups
This is sometimes the point in the day where differences of opinion on who should and shouldn’t be included can happen. It can also be the point where it all goes south and what was supposed to be a handful of photos turns into many, many more! To avoid any conflict or issues, or spending ages lining up extra people for photos, have a chat to your parents before hand. This way you can either add in ones they would like before the day or at least discuss what you are wanting to do.
List your shots in a streamlined way
To make the best use of the time you have its good to arrange the order of the shots in a way that makes logical sense. If you have one person in shot 1 and then again in shot 5 the chances are you will lose them and it will take time to get them back again. I tend to start with the larger family shots, which is especially helpful if they include grandparents who don’t want to be standing around for too long. From there you can slowly remove people and work down to shots with parents. Its good to leave the wedding party photos until the end so there is time for something a bit more fun.
Let your photographer guide you
My primary concern when choosing a place for the group photos is somewhere that has good light. I’m not going to suggest you stand in front of garbage cans, but the beautiful spot you thought would work might not work so well if its in the glaring sun, leaving you squinting with panda like shadows under your eyes. This is never going to be flattering! If you really have your heart set on a particularly spot have a chat to your photographer about it. It might be that you will need to do these photos later in the day when the sun is lower and the light softer.
Beautiful Jackson Park was the setting for this very active family photo shoot. With a touch of fall in the air, the family nicely coordinated their outfits and brought along some yellow flowers making a great accent to their photos. While we did get some posed photos, the majority were candids - those of the kids having fun, playing and interacting together. I love how this family was so relaxed and laid back.
This is one of the most common questions every couple has when choosing a wedding package. There are so many options - 4 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, 1/2 day coverage, full day coverage, all day coverage, etc. But, what does it all mean? What's the difference between full day and all day coverage? This seemingly simple question can quickly become complicated and is impossible to answer with a cookie cutter approach because every every couple and every wedding has unique needs.
When it comes to photography coverage, we must first understand that it's "continuous" coverage. Unless special arrangements have been made with your photographer, they aren't going to photograph your wedding in stages. For example, if you choose an 8 hour package, they aren't going to provide photography from 12pm - 4pm, break from 4pm - 7pm, and then resume coverage from 7pm - 11pm.
If your photographer's packages specifically indicate the hours of coverage, it's easy to see exactly what you're getting. An 8 hour package will provide 8 hour of coverage. However, what does it mean when your photographer uses terms like "1/2 day coverage" or "full day coverage?" The best piece of advice I can give you is don't assume anything! These terms usually differ between photographers. Some consider full day coverage to be 8 hours, while others consider it to be 12. It's very vague, but "all day" coverage makes you feel like you're getting more, right?
When it comes the wedding day, there are a lot of moving parts and many elements that need to be photographed.
Obviously, this is the part of the day when hair and makeup is being done. Generally speaking, you're hanging out with your bridal party and a few family members. You might even enjoy a couple cocktails. This is usually a fairly relaxed part of the day as you enjoy some quality time with people you deeply care about.
I would recommend your photographer arrives early enough to capture some photos of hair and makeup (especially the bride), details (dress, rings, shoes, etc.), post-ceremony first look (if applicable), and bridal portraits. This will likely require approx 2 hours depending on your specific timeline.
Photographers's Perspective: The getting ready part of the wedding day results in photographs that many couples really appreciate. It's common for gifts to be exchanged during this part of the day and the photos often capture some truly heartfelt moments. This is also the part of the day where we capture those creative photographs of your details (wedding dress, rings, shoes, etc.). After you've finished getting ready, it also includes time for those beautiful bridal portraits. All of these images combine to add another layer to the storytelling value of your wedding celebration.
The First Look and Bride/Groom Formals
The first look is when you and your partner see each other for the first time on your wedding day. Traditionally speaking, this happens at the ceremony. However, many couples now elect to have a pre-ceremony first look because it offers several unique advantages compared to the traditional setting. One benefit that most couples love, is gaining additional time at their wedding reception to be engaging with their guests. After the first look photos, we usually steal you away for some unique shots of just the two of you. Allow for at least an hour.
Photographer's Perspective: Unless you absolutely insist on sticking with a traditional first look, I strongly recommend you consider having a pre-ceremony first look.
The ceremony is pretty self explanatory - this is what your wedding is all about. The moment you and your partner vow to share the rest of your lives as one.
Photographer's Perspective: Your ceremony is the main event and the moments that come with the ceremony are very unique. One recommendation every couple should consider is having an "unplugged wedding." An unplugged wedding does not allow guests to take pictures or video during the ceremony. I can't tell you how many wedding photographs have been destroyed by a flash from a camera phone or a guest jumping in front of a photographer to take a blurry cell phone picture. Even if everyone remains seated, your ceremony photos will be filled with arms and hands raised in the air trying to capture that award winning photo and it really degrades the images from this special moment.
Again, traditionally speaking, following the wedding ceremony is when the photographs of the wedding party, families, and the creative portrait session of you and your partner are captured. These photos usually taken between 2-3 hours depending on the size of your families and wedding party.
Photographer's Perspective: If you elect the traditional first look (at the ceremony), you will want to allocate at least 2 hours for post-ceremony photographs. If you do a pre-ceremony first look, you can allocate 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Now it's time to celebrate your marriage and party! Typically, your wedding reception with include various events that you'll want photographed - wedding party introductions, first dances, toasts, cake cutting, and those fun dance photos of guests whooping it up on the dance floor.
Your reception will be a set amount of time - usually 5 hours. However, like the getting ready part of the day, you don't need to have your photographer there for all 5 hours. You can generally stop coverage 30-60 minutes before your reception end time and capture all of the important moments including images of guests dancing.
Photographer's Perspective: When creating your wedding day timeline, don't forget to include 20-30 minutes in your reception for your "sneak away" mini-session. This is the time we go outside to capture some of those dramatic night images such as sparklers!
ADDING IT ALL UP
Getting Ready: 2 hours
First Look: 1 hour
Ceremony: 1/2 to 3/4 hour
Post-Ceremony: 1-3 hours (depending on when you have your first look)
Reception: 4-5 hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 - 12 HOURS
WHAT OTHER FACTORS INFLUENCE THE TIME YOU'LL NEED FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?
As we just discovered, it's going to generally take between 8-12 hours to photograph a wedding. However, there are some other factors that can influence the amount of time you'll need as well.
I was so privileged to photograph this wedding at the beautiful location of Ken Reid Conservation area just north of Lindsay, Ontario. The weather was hot and sunny. Lindsay and Matt tied the knot under the shade of a picnic shelter with a select few of their family and closest friends. Afterwards, we went into the cool shade of the "enchanted" forest of Ken Reid Conservation area. Afterwards the wedding party met up with their friends and family at the Pie Eyed Monk in Lindsay. Such a beautiful venue.
Engagement photo season is upon us! Whether you just got engaged or you’ve been engaged for some time now, congrats! This is such an exciting time of your life. You might have already booked your wedding photographer and you’re now wondering what you should do for your engagement pictures. Keep in mind your engagement session is so much more than just an added bonus to your wedding package. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know your photographer, learn your best angles and spend a fun time with your fiance to create awesome photos for your future photo books. I do understand if you might feel nervous about being in front of a camera, let’s face it we all feel a bit awkward about having our pictures taken. What should you wear? Where should you go? These are one of the most frequently asked questions I hear when it comes to engagement photo shoots. So, here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years to help you nail your engagement shots.
1. Set the Scene for your Engagement Photos
Location, location, location. Before you go to your neighborhood park for your engagement photos, consider what really inspires the two of you and look for a place that reflects that. If you’re into camping, you could drive up north for some awesome hiking pics. If exploring new trendy restaurants in town is more your thing, you could book a table for two at a newly opened bar and have me take sweet, candid photos in that space.
The key here is to set the scene for your engagement photos. I really loved how Erin and Jesse opted for an engagement session at the place they met - a local pub in Peterborough, Ontario. Don’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary.
2. Wear Something you’re Comfortable In
It’s true that what you wear has great influence on your mood, and in the way you walk and feel. While it’s only natural for you to want to look fantastic in photos, wearing something you’re actually comfortable is key. The last thing you want to worry about is trying to cover up your clothes or adjusting them if they are too tight or too clingy. Choose something that makes you feel like YOU! Something that goes with your personalities, it will certainly come across in photos! For this session, Maxine and Dale wanted their engagement photos to show their favourite thing to do together - biking. They dressed comfortably and brought along their motorcycle jackets for a quick wardrobe change and a new look.
3. Select Complimentary Outfits
Speaking of outfits! It’s always a nice touch if your engagement session outfits complement each other, whether it’s texture, color palette or pattern. When it comes to coordinating your wardrobe, keep the end result in mind. Do you want your photos to feel bright, airy and dreamy? Opting for a long silky gown for her and a nice pair of dress pants and a dress shirt for him is a great choice. Complement each other outfits in a way that will say something about you as a couple. While your choice of wardrobe is going to look amazing on its own, they should look equally good when put together side by side.
4. Come Up with an Activity
It’s easier to forget that there’s a camera around when you have something to do. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, play your favorite table games, prepare breakfast or even go apple picking! I love it when engagement photos are full of natural movement, spontaneous laughter, and genuine emotions. Nothing makes it easier to achieve that kind of candidness when you come up with some sort of activity! It also helps to bring out the best in you: your sincere laughter, loving gazes, and playfulness, everything you do that shows off the connection between the two of you. Cass and Don had their session at the old Roseneath Carousel near Peterborough. Such and fun shoot.
5. Bring a Prop to Change Things Up
Whether it’s a picnic basket or a cozy blanket, bringing props along to your engagement shoot instantly adds an element of storytelling to your photos. Consider including props that complement your shoot’s color scheme. Here the brown picnic basket adds to the fall theme of Aaron and Elizabeth's engagement shoot.
6. When in Doubt, Kiss!
Where do we put our hands? Which way do we look? These are some of the most frequently asked questions I hear during the engagement shoot. My tried and true tip to help you loosen up in front of the camera is to go in for a kiss! It’s a great way to help you connect with your partner and bring your focus back to each other. After all, this is what your engagement photos are all about, right?
Beautiful Ken Reid Park just north of Lindsay, Ontario was the location for this engagement session. We chose a later afternoon session so we could take advantage of the lower sun angles. This beautiful couple will be getting married there very soon! It's such a spectacular spot that we can't wait to shoot their wedding.
This backyard wedding nestled in the beautiful hills of Millbrook, Ontario was gorgeous. Matt and Holly had put alot of time and effort into their intimate ceremony and reception. They looked stunning and the love from their family and friends was evident. I was honoured to be a part of their celebration.
Photographing your newborn is a must! Not just because its the trend nowadays (my baby photos sure didn't look like these) but because this moment goes by so fast, and, thanks in large part to sleep deprivation, so does your memory of it. It's also a lot of fun! I've put together some tips for all the moms-to-be out there. Some of these tips I've learned from years of experience in newborn photography but most of them are from my personal experience as a mother.
Schedule your newborn's photos asap! The best time to photograph a newborn baby is 5-10 days after birth. Babies are easier to pose and curl up into those adorable positions during this time. After you've booked a solid date with your newborn photographer, set a target date to finalize the style of your baby's first portraits, pick out any outfits and props, and pack your bags. Setting that date around the 32 week mark in your pregnancy gives you more than enough time to avoid rushing around.
Have a vision for your newborn session! Know what types of newborn photos you love and might want taken during the shoot. If you're not sure, at least have a style in mind. Find a professional newborn photographer hat fits your style and adds their own creative ideas that complement your style. When you and your photographer have the same vision, you'll be able to collaborate and carefully incorporate the perfect outfits and unique details into your photo shoot ahead of time.
Communicate with your photographer. Communicating with your photographer is key. Let your photographer know what you are looking for, your style (rustic, modern, classic), or certain colors you want to use in the shoot, if you have any clothing or props to incorporate into the shoot (clothing, headbands, blankets etc), and which shots are most important to you (full lengths, close-ups, detail shots, family shots).
Pack your bags. I suggest having everything you need set aside in a bag so it's ready to go. You don't want to be frantically grabbing everything on the day of your newborn's photo session.
Plan on packing:
Feed your newborn 30 minutes prior to the shoot. Don't be surprised if you spend a good bit of your session feeding and comforting your baby. Babies are on their own schedules (and they're the boss) but even a little top-up will help prolong their sleep.
We offer new moms a calm, intimate space to feed their babies, which can make all the difference when you need to nurse your baby until they're full and sleepy. For bottle-fed babies, have a bottle ready and handy so we can feed them mid-pose to keep them calm and relaxed. You could also have a pacifier or two nearby to help soothe.
Your baby may eat a little more than usual during your session. When babies wake up, their first thought is often, "Oh! I'm awake, so it must be time to eat!" Don't stress! Newborn photos take lots of patience and time, which is why we schedule extra time for newborn sessions.
Remember: A full baby is a happy baby! And a happy baby makes for beautiful photos!
Dress your baby in simple button/zipper footie pajamas. These are much easier to take off rather than something that goes over their head. We don't want to disturb a sleeping baby too much.
You should also dress comfortably. The studio will be extra warm with space heaters and cranked up central heat - essential for baby's comfort and deep sleep.
Lastly, don't stress! That's why you hired a professional photographer and relax and have fun!
Although you might think it’s a good idea, I and many other professional photographers recommend that brides don’t spray tan before your wedding or engagement session! As a photographer, I see so many orange or overly tan brides in wedding photos. It looks way more flattering if the bride either embraces her natural skin tone or has just a hint of a tan from the sun. Given that we spend much more time analyzing images and editing them, we often know better than spray tan artists how the tans look on camera.
Cameras pick up red and orange more than the eye does in-person, so when a bride has a spray tan, she rarely has a pleasing skin tone in the final images. Even if the tan looks nice in-person, without fail it will always be very obvious in photos that it isn’t a natural skin tone. While I always do my best to correct for this in editing within the hired scope of my work, the end result can still be that the bride is more orange than everyone else in the wedding party. Whether my bride used a professional or DIY tan, it almost always looks very apparent in the final images. Natural skin tones photograph most beautifully.
If your bridesmaids have not been tanning, you getting a spray tan creates a huge difference between the natural and orange skin tones in your photos: the bride will tend to look very tan (and often brown or orange) and, as a result, the bridesmaids will look much paler than they truly are. The same applies to a groom who has not been tanning. It is a very harsh difference between the spray tanned and not spray tanned group of people.
In a world that still values a tan (rather than proper skin care and protection), I know it can be scary to think you’ll look pale at your wedding if you don’t spray tan before your wedding or have time to tan naturally. If you’re really concerned with not being incredibly tan, despite the fact that fair skin does photograph beautifully, try something more mild than a spray tan (i.e. Jergens tinted lotion). I promise that you’ll still have a little glow while sporting a natural and beautiful skin tone for your wedding photos.
When we have professional photos taken, there’s usually a driving cause behind it…an engagement, a wedding, a family reunion, etc.
But there is one milestone that is such an incredibly special time in our lives that calls for a professional photo session to commemorate you. This is your university or college graduation. Right after finishing College or University, we are at such a unique time in our lives, emotionally and physically. In a way we are at one of our peaks in life, having just completed years of education, navigated our young adolescence, and just begun to get a sense of who we are and where we fit in the world. We’ve changed drastically since the last time we were photographed, which was likely high school graduation, and there’s some time until the next large life event which is usually getting married.
It's important to capture this beautiful time in your life. You’ve grown into yourself tremendously since high school and will continue to change so much. You are just on the cusp of adulthood, which is a small window of time that will be so fun to look back on in 10, 20, and 30 plus years. This is an opportunity to document who you’ve become and the idea of who you will be. We will custom design your session to fit you, and capture you in a way you’ll love. These images will serve you not only professionally, but personally. Our photography session will be at either Fleming College or Trent University, depending where you are graduating. We use the natural environment to capture you in. Friends and family are more than welcome in your photos. After all, they are celebrating with you!
As you enter this next chapter in your life, it’s important to have great images to accompany you. You are just beginning your career and need to market yourself, and create your “brand” in order to make yourself stand out in a sea of applicants. A stunning image will do just that. The saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ couldn’t be more true, especially in this instance. We decide in under a second if we trust someone or not when looking at their photo, so as you journey into your professional career, you want an image that portrays warmth, professionalism, and friendliness. When a prospective employer is looking over your LinkedIn or resume, your photo is an opportunity to stand our and be remembered. Don’t waste this opportunity.
Business aside, this is a time to capture for no other reason than to just celebrate yourself and create a legacy of photos that you will love for years to come. Wouldn’t you love to have stunning images of your parents in their early 20’s, just beginning to move into their maturity? You only see how much you’ve changed while looking back, and trust us, you will continue to change so much in the upcoming years. Whenever you look at these images you’ll be brought right back to this time- how you felt, who you were, what you loved then and were all about. These photos tell a wonderful part of the story of your life, and we’d love to be the ones to capture it for you!
Every couple imagines the weather on their wedding day will be perfect: 25 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. But what if it isn’t? It’s best to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way, be it rain, sleet, snow or shine. After all, you can’t control the weather no matter how hard you try. So, if you’re confronted with an off-weather day, don’t let it make you feel, well, off. Here are some tips and tricks to help make sure your backup plan is just as good as the original!
Talk to your venue. Before you book a venue, find out what their Plan B offerings are. Do they have an indoor space available? Do they provide tents or some other type of temporary structure? While you were probably drawn to the venue for its primary spaces, you want to understand what you’ll get if the weather doesn’t cooperate. If the backup options are not what you want (or there isn’t one), you may want to consider another venue or figure out if you can bring your own backup.
Secure a tent. If you’ve fallen in love with an outdoor venue that doesn’t have an adequate contingency plan, find a solution for yourself. Some venues won’t provide you with tents, cooling units, or heaters themselves but will allow you to bring those items in through properly vetted outside vendors. Ask your venue what the rules are and if they have any recommendations of places to contact. Research local tent companies and put a hold on a tent just in case; it will be worth EVERY penny if you wake up on your wedding day to bad weather. Even if you don’t end up using the tent, if it relieved any of your weather-related worries, it’s money well spent.
Give yourself time. Don’t wait until the week of the wedding to figure out what you’re going to do if bad weather strikes. Even contingency plans take time to pull together. You’ll want several weeks (if not months) to be able to think things through and make sure you’re covering all your bases, whether you end up putting the plan into action or not. Make sure to get your backup plan in place well before your wedding date shows up on that ten-day forecast on the weather app on your phone to avoid any unnecessary last-minute stress. Hopefully you won’t have to implement the contingency plan, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Write it down. To be able to pull off your backup plan without a hitch, everyone involved needs to be on the same page. Sit down and write out a step-by-step call to action for your big day backup plan. Get your venue and your wedding planner (if you have one) in on the brainstorming session so that you don’t overlook any little detail. Once the contingency plan is set, pass it out to all your vendors and any guests of honor that need to be prepared for last-minute changes in travel time and setup arrangements. Include alternative directions and timelines.
Be prepared for all kinds of weather. While rain is typically what couples are worried about, it isn’t the only weather condition that should be on your radar. Think through every scenario, from an extreme heat wave to an unexpected snow storm, and ask your venue what options are available to you. Will they supply fans or cooling units if there’s a heat wave? Do they have a generator to counteract any power outages? Will they clear the snow around the venue so your guests can make their way inside? All of these questions are important to have an answer to before you sign a contract. Don’t leave anything to chance!
Prepare your guests. If you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding, make sure you let your guests know what they’re up against. Consider including a note on your wedding website (or include a “rain card” in your invitation suite) that tells your guests that you’re hoping to be able to have your ceremony, cocktail hour or reception (or maybe all three!) outside. Remind them to dress appropriately for the weather so they can pack their bags accordingly. The more your guests know ahead of time, the happier they’ll be. And if your guests are happy, you’ll probably feel better about taking the alternative course of action on the big day.
Some photos from the first day of our Easter Mini Photo Sessions! In the weeks leading up to our sessions, I was busy brainstorming ideas for our two day event and creating our sets. Oh! The FUN we had planning these sessions!! Our set is decorated with a real rustic picket fence, lots of flowers and Easter themed props to match. We found some really cute signs and accessories from one of our favourite stores, Michaels. But our mini sessions would not have been complete without a real, live baby chicks. The chicks are on loan from Woolley Wonderland's Critter Visits. I picked up the chicks at their farm in Lakehurst, just north of Peterborough. They had just been hatched! We keep them in a warm location with a heat lamp, and the children love looking at them. After the children have had their Easter photos taken, we allow them to hold one or two chicks. If the kids are really little, then we put the chicks in a small basket. We have never had any of our chicks hurt and we watch the children carefully, making sure they are comfortable and gentle with the chicks. We provide hand sanitizer and a bathroom to wash up in afterwards. With a few pooping accidents here and there, I was lucky to have my gentle animal handler, and partner, Jenn, close by to assist in clean up while I photographed our adorable little clients. My favourite moments were capturing each child interact with these beautiful creatures. I was just thrilled to have been able to include them. I will be honest though, it will be hard to return our little chicks to their farm home next weekend, after our sessions are over. Thank you to all the families who visited us this past weekend. Some even travelled to Peterborough from Lindsay and Cobourg. We are looking forward to our second sessions next weekend and meeting some awesome people as well as welcoming back friends who have visited in the past! I’m truly honoured you’ve chosen Jenn and myself (Cathy) to capture these special moments of your children.
Every once in a while I have a couples ask if I can make them a custom collection, without a 2nd shooter. I understand where they are coming from – many couples are opting for more simplistic weddings and don’t feel they really need to pay for TWO professional photographers to cover everything. And while I understand, I strongly emphasize that they should consider two (at least for part of the time) for the reasons listed below.
1. I can capture more real moments when I’m working with a 2nd shooter. For example – during your ceremony I’ll likely have our second shooter stay in the back...meanwhile, I will sneak quietly around the sides, zooming in on your faces while you say your vows, your family’s faces to catch any of their emotion, etc.
2. We can capture events happening in different locations. Many couples want to maintain the tradition of not seeing each other before their ceremony, so there is a chunk of time at the beginning of the day that they’re in different places. I can’t be in both places at the same time, as much as I’d like! The anticipation and excitement before your ceremony are moments you won’t want us to miss! So I usually stay with the bride while our second photographer hangs out with the groom. As much as we prefer working as a team, there are usually going to be times during the day where it’s more practical for us to split up in order to capture everything that is important.
3. A second photographer captures different angles of the important moments. Like walking down the aisle or a reveal. I want to capture the brides face. A second shooter can capture the grooms face.
4. A second shooter can help me prep for epic photos. While I finish photographing something, they can scout the next location and start preparing lighting if needed. Sometimes they’ll pose so I can test the lighting on them, making sure my camera settings are perfect before the couple even steps into the photo. It’s these behind the scenes duties of a second shooter that make them such a valuable asset to our team.
5. A fresh set of eyes means you’ll have more photos AND more creative photos. Every photographer captures things from their unique perspective. I also ask the second shooters I work with to purposely use different lenses and angles when shooting. Having two photographers is the best way to ensure we’re providing complete coverage of your wedding day!
6. Having a second shooter allows me the flexibility to take a breather and drink of water when I need to. And yes, this affects the quality of your photos! There is so much going on during a wedding day, that having somebody to back me up really becomes a game changer. I’m definitely more creative when I’m hydrated and have someone to help with my gear, ideas, and staying on schedule. Just sayin’ : )
Wow...seems like we just did our Christmas Sessions and now we are planning our EASTER Sessions! We are so excited to have 6 BABY CHICKS this year! Last year the ducklings proved very popular, and we anticipate the baby chicks will as well. They are so cute and cuddly! We are so excited to see how all the kids react! Our sessions usually last for 20-25 minutes and we offer 10-12 (sometimes more if kids are great and keep giving us those precious poses) downloadable images. Parents are welcome too! Last year we booked up fast as these sessions are so popular. We encourage our clients to book soon, to avoid disappointment. We try to fit everyone in, but there are limited time spots available each day. If there are inquiries for other days, we will open up some additional spots on other days. We wish everyone a very Happy Easter this year!
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.