Thursday, September 18, 2014

find a photographer who makes your heart sing

Social media can be everything from empowering, to time-sucking, to extremely productive for my business. 

Over the years I've learned a lot about myself in regards to social media. I've learned that one loyal follower has greater value than a thousand disinterested ones, and that when it comes to the people who pop up on your newsfeed, sometimes comparison is the thief of joy. I've learned to focus my energy on writing for the people who are already on my team, instead of trying to appeal to the judgement of strangers.

But perhaps the hardest lesson of all: 

The people you follow should be a reflection of you.

I've hit that "unfollow" button on both Facebook and Instagram more times than I can count, and in doing so, I've curated my news feeds to only include the following:

People who are inspiring.
People who are positive.
People who are authentic.

One of those people is photographer, Christy Tyler. She is a wonderful, kind-hearted person and we are connected through a mutual friend, Lauren Wakefield (who, if you don't already know, was MY wedding photographer!).  

While scrolling through my newsfeed yesterday, I stopped to read a status update from Christy. 

It hit home. HARD. 

I receive about 2 or 3 emails every month from people saying that they were not happy with the photos they received from someone else. Whether it's a headshot taken by a friend who offered to do it for free, or wedding coverage by someone who is fresh outta photography always breaks my heart. 

Each of these re-shoot inquiries share a similar sentiment:

Whatever you charge, we know it's worth it. 
We won't make that mistake twice.

Christy hit the nail on the head with this status and I had to take a screenshot. The notion of LIKING the person you've chosen as your photographer, and INVESTING in their services is so important to me. Especially since I've seen so many people take the less expensive route, only to be disappointed and end up paying for another, more expensive, service altogether.

Can we just skip this step?!

I want your wedding day to be fabulous. I want you to feel SO confident in the person you choose to capture the details and the moments. And yes, I want you to invest in these services...not just because you think you "should," but because you recognize that when all is said and done...the photos will be the legacy of your wedding day.  

Like Christy said, "find a photographer who makes your heart sing and work with them!!"

It doesn't get any simpler than that. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

caitlin + chris | centrepointe park engagement

This sweet couple has known each other since MIDDLE SCHOOL! They officially got together in Grade 11, so as they plan their amazing wedding for next September, they're also celebrating 10 years together.

I had a lovely evening with them last week, shooting engagement photos in Centrepointe Park. Enjoy a few of my favourites!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

katrina + peter | dow's lake pavilion engagement

Katrina and Peter are getting married next August, and I'm very happy to be sharing photos of their engagement session today :) 

This session honestly makes me very excited for their wedding day to come -- they're going to be such a darling Bride and Groom! I'm so thrilled with all of the little details in these photos, from the orange canoe that matches Katrina's Anthropologie dress perfectly, to her gold feather necklace and Peter's boat shoes. 


I love when the sunshine pours through the trees like this...

Obsessed with Katrina's custom made engagement ring, designed by Anne Sportun. Check her out on instagram!

The way her dress matches the canoe...I can't.

Monday, September 8, 2014

let's do this thing.

When I started this business almost 4 years ago...I took risks. 

I took a risk by posting a Kijiji ad looking for clients to build my portfolio when I didn't even own a proper camera. I took a risk by buying a camera bag that would hold 6 lenses before I knew anything about what gear I'd need. And I took a risk when I quit my very stable job as a legal assistant in order to pursue this dream full time.

But now that I'm here with 60-something weddings under my belt, and full confidence in my brand...I'm taking a new kind of risk.

The photo above is one of my favourite photos that I've ever taken. Forget the fact that this beyond beautiful bride is one of my very best friends, and simply take a look at that expression. How relaxed her shoulders are. How easily her wedding day happiness can be felt even now, months after the wedding is over. If I didn't already know her, I'd want to be friends with her. 

THIS is the Laura Kelly bride. 

I know that now, and I'm able to market my services based on that, and that alone. 

The Laura Kelly bride is happy. She is in love. When she thinks of her wedding day, she cares most about having a fun day that celebrates the love she feels for her future husband, surrounded by all of her favourite people. Yes, she loves details. But she loves laughter more. She couldn't care less about the background in her wedding photos because she knows it's the people who matter.

I recently designed the postcards that I'll be handing out at The Ottawa Wedding Show this October, using this photo on the cover. Ever since I booked the show I've been trying to come up with a way to express the sentiments above to the ladies who will be checking out the show. Maybe I'd write "Laura Kelly Photography...FUN, FRESH, YOU." Those words have been representing my business since the beginning... 

But I wanted the message to be clearer this time. I wanted to take a risk. 

So I wrote this:

The message on this card is risky. It's polarizing. It might piss someone off. 

But it's worth it... Because the bride who reads this and thinks "YES" is the Laura Kelly bride. And I want to meet her. I want to be the one she chooses to photograph the happiest day of her life. 

To her, I say...LET'S DO THIS THING.

Friday, September 5, 2014

karine + alex | waterfall engagement session

Alex grew up climbing those steep hills, jumping off the ledge, and making his way across the rocks at the bottom of the waterfall.

And now, he stands here with Karine, his beautiful bride-to-be...

Here are the few of my favourite shots from Karine & Alex's engagement session: