Summer is really a fun time. And it's fun to shoot outdoors. When we offer outside photo session, it's perfect for special birthdays, like a first birthday. The mess normally left in studio is cleaned up by birds and squirrels! And the backdrop is so pretty. So, for ALL SUMMER LONG, we are offering $25 off a cake smash photography session for little ones. Put your little one in a tutu, diaper and tie, or just diaper or bare bum. It's so cute to see. And your photos will be cherished in years to come when they have grown older. We provide props.
This year is so special for all our 2020 grads. We are so happy to make memories for them. This session took place in beautiful Northumberland County, just north of Cobourg, Ontario. Love how it turned out. Congratulations to all 2020 grads from CatsMac Photography!
When you bring your sister along for your graduation photos and she gets a little silly. Best grad shoot ever! Thanks for making it fun.
2020 has proven to be an unprecedented time for graduates. With so many grads missing out on their ceremonies, dinners and dances, CatsMac Photography have tried to make grad photosessions a little fun. Love these graduates with a sense of humour. We know that this Covid-19 pandemic has dampened so many plans, so it was nice to get a little laugh in during our graduation shoots. Thanks to all.
Expecting a little one? Know someone who is? We are offering maternity sessions at our new private outdoor location in beautiful Northumberland Ontario. Just a few minutes North of Cobourg. Partner and siblings welcome. Maternity dress and wrap available. We also offer gift certificates for a mom-to-be. Makes for a great gift. www.catsmac.com
The last time I saw Kyleigh was a few years ago for a fall photo shoot. This time, was for her Grade 6 Graduation photos. She's all grown up! We used our new location in Cobourg on Slater Street north of the 401 for these amazing photos. Kyleigh was fun to work with. And her handwriting is firm and clear. She wrote her own sign! This big girl is going into Grade 7. Middle school now for her. They grow so fast.
Congrats to all 2020 Graduates!
We know grad celebrations are looking completely different this year and these grad mini sessions are the PERFECT opportunity to get glammed up and rock those grad dresses (or suits!)
We will supply CAP AND GOWN if you choose!
3 high resolution digital images for $50, with the option to add images for $10 each.
PM or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book!
Sessions will be held outdoors at our location in Cobourg (just north of 401)
Social distancing will apply.
Well, we have moved! As many of you may know, we've left Peterborough and are now located in Cobourg, just north of the 401. We will continue to service Peterborough and the Kawartha area with photography (still have a number of weddings to do this year). And, we are looking forward to meeting new clients and making friends in Cobourg and Port Hope area of Northumberland, Ontario. With Trenton and Brighton, Hastings and the western part of the GTA close by, we are extending our reach.
How pretty is this? Slater St. 5 Acres in Cobourg, Ontario. Large pond with a canoe. Lot's of great backdrops for photography.
Excited for some maternity and engagement sessions here. And of course, some great family photo session too.
As a photographer, I was recently asked to shoot a unique photo session. Unlike family, weddings or children’s photos, not everyone thinks about getting professional pictures of their furry companions in the last days of their lives. Those who cherish their pets as members of the family, are going to feel an incredible loss when it’s time to say goodbye. Many of these devoted pet parents are eager for high quality images to hold on to after their beloved four-legged family member has gone. Some people wonder why – or how – I did this session: “Wasn't it sad? I’d be a mess!” “Why would someone want a picture of their dying dog?” While it was definitely emotional, I saw this as an opportunity to celebrate the joy pets bring to our lives.
I met up with this beautiful baby and her loving family to work together to get some great shots for them to remember her by while she was still active and able to walk. She looked and acted like a healthy dog and enjoyed walking during our session. She played in the water, she ran beside her brother, and basically just enjoyed the outing.
I wanted to talk about something today that usually doesn’t get addressed until there is a problem or an issue. I, like most wedding photographers, require that my clients provide myself and my second shooter with a meal during their wedding reception. I ask that we are able to eat immediately after the wedded couple - before the rest of the guests. Today, I want to share with you why this little request is so extremely important, why it seems to cause unnecessary drama and how to talk to your catering company when they push back.
When my clients sign a contract with me, they will see the clause that requires them to provide us a meal. We can be served a plated meal or go through the buffet line. How the food gets to us isn’t the important part - it’s the when.
I require that we are able to eat immediately after the wedded couple and their immediate families - before the remaining guests are served.
No, I’m not selfish. No, I’m not impatient. I’m a planner. I’m a big fan of smart logistics and logistically, this is the only time that makes absolute sense for me to be eating. Don’t get me started on food waste but that’s honestly what happens! Meals go to waste. My biggest point here is that I asked my couples to spend money feeding me and then, at no fault of their own, that meal which they paid for sits there uneaten when we are fed last.
If you think about a typical wedding reception, it probably flows something like this:
Why aren’t you shooting anything while they’re eating? Absolutely no one wants to be photographed while they are eating especially when they’re visiting with and sharing a meal with family and friends. The entire goal of my work as a wedding photographer is to make people feel comfortable. I want even the guests to remember me positively and feel like I took care of them. If I’m wandering the space with my camera, trying to capture people during this time, it will make them feel uncomfortable and reflect negatively on me. Plus, this is not a time where I can shoot images that the couple will cherish for generations. The details of the reception space must be captured before anyone enters the room so aside from taking candids of people, there is nothing for me to be shooting during this time. Therefore I have two choices - stand around and waste my couple’s investment with me or eat.
Why not step away during dancing? I could. I absolutely could. But like I mentioned above, I cannot be shooting while people are eating so if I’m not eating, I’m going to be standing around. I don’t think it’s respectful to my couples to waste their investment of time with me. If there is dancing happening, I’d like to be shooting it!
Why couldn’t you just eat with the rest of the guests? The wedded couple are always served first and no matter how hungry they are, 9/10 times they eat a little bit and then are up to mingle with their guests. This is a time where they go table to table and chat, take selfies with their friends and spend time with the people who have come to celebrate them. During this mingling, I try to shadow the couple because it’s very common that they look to me to capture a quick, impromptu snap of them with a guest. It reflects positively on me to be there in that moment plus it’s always something that my clients want. Their questionnaires always list “photos of us with our guests” as priorities.
I just want to deeply thank all of the incredible caterers who have served me and my team beautifully over the years. Some of them even go above and beyond to make sure we are fed and happy - which is incredible and appreciated. If you’ve ever brought us the extra salads or a few warm rolls, I worship you. I always remember their hospitality during those parts of the evening when we are exhausted and need to refuel to serve our couples.
I hope this post helps couples understand why the timing of their vendor meals is so critical and how to address this with their caterer!
As each wedding approaches or once there is a firmer anticipated timeline for social distancing and self-isolation to end, we will reach out to each of you to discuss your wedding. Your health and safety, and ours, is of utmost importance to us. Below we have addressed our current stance on what will happen if you need to reschedule or cancel your wedding.
How does this impact my wedding?
Depending on the duration of the COVID-19 restrictions and the date of your wedding, this will be different for each couple. Depending on these factors you may need to reschedule your wedding date, cancel your wedding or change to an elopement style wedding with a limited number of guests. There is no one right solution for everyone so we are happy to work with each of you to ensure you have all the resources to make the best decision for your wedding, whenever that may be.
Will you still come out and photograph our wedding?
100% for sure, as long as there is not a government restriction in place for us to be there.
Recommendations for weddings in the next 4-6 weeks:
What if we have to cancel our wedding or event? Or move our date?
In the case where you have to reschedule, we will be handling it on a case by case basis. If we are available on your new date, no need to worry, we will just reschedule for that new date. If we are not available on your new date, we will refund your retainer. If you are doing this, we recommend that you contact all your wedding vendors to get their availability over a 2 month period so you can align as many of them as possible, to the same date. In these cases we will apply your previously paid retainer and anything else already paid on your current contract to the new contracted date.
If you cancel your wedding - As per our contract, all retainers and monies paid are non-refundable. As this is a loss for us and based on the situation we are unable to refund anything.
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.
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.