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!
This little girl took her time arriving into the world. Who can blame her? We've had a really cold and snowy winter. She kept us all waiting and waiting but we were so happy to finally get to meet her. She slept through most of her newborn photo session. Welcome to the world little Noah. Here she is with her big sister Sophia.
It’s cold. I know. But clean, white snow is actually quite perfect for portraits! But the big question I often get is: “What should we wear?!”.
Here are some ideas I recommend to clients when it comes to wardrobe:
Below are some ideas I've gleaned from Pinterest.
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 up to par (or there isn’t one), you may want to consider another venue or figure out if you can bring your own backup.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. Here are some tips and tricks to help make sure your backup plan is just as good as the original!
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 if they don’t supply anything. 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!
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.
Design the space. There’s nothing worse than being surprised (in a bad way) on your wedding day, so don’t forget to plan out how you want your backup space to look. Avoid any decor disasters or locale letdowns by designing your backup space as you’re pulling together your vision for your dream space. Figure out where your flowers will go, where your wedding party will stand during the ceremony, and what the backdrop for your first dance will be. The more effort you put into designing the space from the get-go, the better you’ll feel if you have to throw out your original plan at the last minute. Just because it’s your backup plan doesn’t make it any less important—you want to be happy with it if you have to implement it.
Embrace it! As we said, you just can’t control the weather. So, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Remind yourself how romantic rainy day pictures can be and how sweet a wedding in the snow can look. Make the most of a bad situation with extra-special touches, like bright umbrellas to keep you dry during your bridal portraits, cozy cover-ups to warm up your girls, or pretty fans to cool down your guests. Also, ask your makeup artist/hair stylist to stay a little late just in case you need a few touch-ups!
What should you expect to receive in a wedding photography package? Every photographer has their own way of delivering their photos and some offer different packages, so it's incredibly important to ask about this up front. Ask for this information long before you book and indeed it might inform your decision. I’d say, at a minimum for full day’s coverage, expect 1000+ images delivered digitally on a USB.
A photographer should also give you some guidance about time frames. They will know best their own work loads and so can give you certain assurances about when you might expect to receive your wedding photos.
A photographer's work doesn't stop the moment the wedding is over. Editing is a lengthy process, especially when you know how high a couple's expectations are likely to be of their wedding day! Delivery can be anything from six weeks to six months later, so it's always best to ask.
Every wedding is different and every family is different, but I always try and get across the importance of slowing down, taking things in, not wishing for things to be over. Immerse yourself in every part of the day and don’t put pressure on it all (easier said than done, I know) but it’ll be over before you know it!
What are the sorts of extras that it's ok to ask for from a photographer? You should feel totally confident to ask anything. I’m sure most photographers will do their best to accommodate you, as long as they’re realistic requests.
The in-between moments, the candid moments after moments, and the moments that’ll stand the test of time, that the couple and their friends and family will relate to and talk about for years to come.
Sometimes you have a couple with a different and unique personality that you know you must photograph in a different type of setting. This couple was perfect for the beautiful street art under the Hunter Street Bridge in Peterborough, Ontario. The bridge joins Peterborough's East City with the downtown core, and the Otonabee River runs under the bridge. We used a portion of the side of the river, with some old trees. The backdrop was perfect. In the background is the historic Quaker Oats building built in the 1890's and then reconstructed after a fire in 1916. led to a distinct feel of our home town.
How can you tell whether someone is a good photographer? What makes a 'good' wedding photographer is quite subjective, so I’d just say do your research. Take time to look through a selection of photographers' websites, including their branding, social media, full galleries and if everything is cohesive, then you’re onto a winner. Also, communicate - email, speak, meet with your photographer wherever possible, it’s just as important to get a good vibe from your photographer as it is to appreciate their portfolio.
How important is it to spend time with a prospective photographer before the event and what should you be looking out for? I think it’s really important to build a rapport with a couple before the wedding. I like to have an actual conversation, in person if possible, but over the phone or Facetime if it's not.
The couple need to feel comfortable, as they’re inviting the photographer into one of their most intimate events, into their family, and often also in their home. So, it's vital that everyone feels at ease.
How should you decide which style of photography you want? There’s a really large variety of different wedding photography styles out there, be it differences in composition, tone or light. Each photographer has their own unique take on a day and shooting in the moment always brings out something stylistically different or distinctive to each wedding.
It’s important to do your research as to what style you, as a couple, are drawn to, as it's never a one-size-fits-all situation. But also, you have to remember to be open minded. Go with your instinct on what draws you in initially. What is it about that photographer's work that makes you stop and look again? How does it make you feel? Can you imagine yourself in the pictures?
Do different styles suit different types of event? Personally, I don’t think they do. Trust in your photographer’s vision and aesthetic and they will deliver. As a wedding photographer, we are there to document a couple's day, and it’s their day, so upon delivering a wedding we want to be able take the couple back to the moment and the way they felt. Just be mindful of all the different variables of the day which can affect the photos, anything from changeable weather, different locations and even ceremony times that will all bring about changes in light. If you book a wedding in winter, when the skies are likely to be overcast, don't expect lots of sunbursts or light leaks. Your photos may end up with a moodier or more dramatic feel to them, as reflects the day's atmosphere. A 4:00 p.m. ceremony in peak winter will inevitably shoot differently to midday in July.
Just shortly before Christmas I was asked to photograph a wonderful couple in their home and in their neighbourhood. The idea of this shoot was to provide a portfolio for a wonderful event that they are undertaking - an adoption of a newborn baby! I consulted with them and we talked about the types of photos that would be needed for their portfolio and we came up with some photos of their house and the rooms in the house, as well as general lifestyle photos of them interacting with each other and within their house. Additionally, I did some photos as a surprise for their friends and family on Christmas Day! Take a look at the photos...I know you will love them. We are so happy for this couple and can't wait to meet their newest member!
Enjoying a wagon ride from the car to the field, we loved capturing these special moments from our outside Christmas photo sessions! And... I must brag, we were so lucky with the weather. A balmy 4 degrees, with some snow that had fallen a few days ago, and a cloudy sky as well, which helped with the perfect lighting for photos!
At CatsMac Photography we welcome our four-legged friends as they are part of the family. This little furbaby is well loved by his family. A little bit older than a puppy, this dog, appropriately named "Fritz" was a little bundle of joy and behaved himself very well during his photoshoot. Merry Christmas to Fritz!
Our first Christmas Photography Mini Sessions were a great success. Everyone loved our redesign of our indoor set for this year. Thank you everyone for being on time, and looking great. We really enjoy seeing all our repeat clients and getting to know some new ones too! Next Sunday is the first of our outdoor sessions. Here's hoping for snow - and by the looks of it, I think we will be blessed with the white stuff.
We are booking our indoor and outdoor Christmas mini sessions NOW! Indoor will be at our home studio, and outdoor at a local private field filled with trees! We are so excited this year to offer this. The outside location is just up Chemong Road past the Lindsay Road turnoff - north of Portage Place. Parking is perfect, right next to the trees. We are hoping there will be a blanket of snow to add to the festive feeling.
We celebrated Tara and Pat's engagement with some beautiful fall colours near Nichol's Oval and the Otonabee River in Peterborough, Ontario. The backdrop of the leaves and river led to some absolutely gorgeous photos. What could be more Canadian than a maple leaf and lots and lots of colour. Can't wait for your wedding next year!
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.
This family was fun! I enjoyed a boat ride to their beautiful family cottage on Stoney Lake near Peterborough, Ontario. Meeting this family for the first time, and getting to know them a bit before starting their photo session. After fishing the dog out of the lake (who fell in trying to get out of the boat - don't worry, he was fine), and then playing with the kids for a bit, we started our session. I love the way they were all relaxed in front of the camera and how the kids interacted with me and with each other. This session was a blast!
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!
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!
When this couple contacted me and asked if I could do a photoshoot at the vintage Roseneath Carousel to celebrate their first anniversary, I immediately said yes! The Roseneath Carousel is absolutely gorgeous. It was built in 1903 and has been lovingly restored. It is fully operational and you can actually ride it. The personalities of this couple suited the Carousel perfectly.
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!
Cathy & Jenn of CatsMac Photography, Peterborough, Ontario.