Monday, August 18, 2014

the end-of-season album sale!

Happy Monday, everyone! I have some exciting news...


All of the details about the sale are right at the bottom of this post. But first, I figure I should probably guide you through the album buying process, starting with the basics.

Albums come in 4 different sizes. Just to make it incredibly simple, they're all square.

As shown below, here are the 12", 10", 8" and the 4" mini books:

There are 2 types of album textures: LEATHER and LINEN. Each texture is available in every one of the sizes above. Think of it this way, linen books are the standard while leather books are the luxury.

To really understand the difference, take a look at these two 10" sample books. They both have the EXACT same number of photos and pages. Huge difference right?

LEATHER books have thick, luxury pages, and a really hefty and protective spine. This is my most common album to design for weddings (and it's the album that I've included in my top package!). The pages are like kids' board books if you can imagine. 

LINEN books have fabric-like covers, and thick pages (although they're much thinner in comparison with the leather books). They don't bend like regular paper pages. Proof? The books you're looking at here are the samples I've been carrying around for close to a year. They're been flipped by literally thousands of people (wedding shows, radio contests, and all of my wedding consults!).

Mini books are perfect for gifts! I most often design these 4"x4" mini books for the moms, or the bridal party! They fit in your purse and are much more fun than pulling out your phone to show off your wedding!

The price for each album includes the design fee as well as 10 spreads. Depending on the size of the album you have chosen, I can give you a recommendation for how many photos to choose. 

Once you've picked your book, you now have to choose the photos! As I mentioned above, the number of photos inside can really affect the overall "feel" of the album. A cluttered book (4+ photos on each spread) won't have the same feel as a spacious book where each image is a bit larger and therefore easier to focus on. 

Take as long as you need to narrow down your photo choices, and I'll get to work as soon as you're ready!

I'm obsessed with the new engraving options on these books! Take a look at Kim & Jeremy's personalized cover:

I've never offered a sale on albums in my 4 years of business, but I'm starting to appreciate more and more having photos in my hands instead of just on my computer. I want my clients to experience that feeling too :)

The sale ends on September 6th! 

However, if your purchase is finalized before August 22nd (THIS FRIDAY), you'll receive FREE engraving on your cover (regular $65.00).

I'm SO ready to start designing your beautiful albums 
so you can see your photos come to life!

Friday, August 15, 2014

multiple perspectives from a few traditional couples

In case you missed it, I put together a blog post with multiple perspectives from a few clients who opted for a "first look" on their wedding day. The response was overwhelming that seeing each other before the ceremony was a POSITIVE experience, but I also wanted to provide some positive experiences from clients who didn't see each other until the walk down the aisle.

There are a few situations that make it a great idea to wait until the ceremony to see each other:

ONE: If you're planning a wedding in the peak of Summer.
The peak of Summer is mid-July to mid-August. Let's say your ceremony is at a typical time (anywhere from 4:30-5:30pm). Even after the ceremony is over, we still have 3 hours of beautiful light to use for photos. In this case, doing a first look isn't really necessary (from a photography perspective).

TWO: If you've arranged to have a second shooter for your wedding day.
If you're having an outdoor ceremony AND you have a second shooter, you can feel comfortable knowing that your walk down the aisle will be documented beautifully and completely. While I document your entrance, the second shooter would be able to capture your groom's reaction. 

THREE: If your ceremony is early.
I love brunch weddings (it's a fact), and if this is what you're planning, it doesn't make sense to be ready 2 hours before an already early ceremony. In this case, I would suggest a traditional ceremony where you don't see each other before :)

But don't just take it from me! Here are a few perspectives from clients who chose not to do a first look:

KIM + JEREMY // married in Ottawa, ON // May 2014

"Originally, I wanted to do a first look. I love seeing the photos. It’s amazing seeing them turn around, and one or both cry, they hug, they are so happy to see each other. After some thought and discussion we decided not to, and I am glad for that.

The reasons we didn’t: 

- My husband is traditional, and wanted to see me walk down the aisle towards him – this was #1.
- I personally feel like the ‘first look’ could go two ways. Awesome, or perhaps not the look on his face I was hoping for. My husband has a nervous smile, and isn’t the most photogenic all the time. I was worried that the look on his face wouldn’t be what I had expected – or look anything like the amazing images I have seen of other couples.
- We aren’t ‘lovey dovey’ type people when it comes to body language. We say it like it is, sit on opposite sides of dinner parties, etc. We’ve never been the couple that cry out of excitement, or joy. The thought and stress of having that exact moment not go as planned is something that I didn’t really want to think about.

The reasons I am glad we didn’t:

- The anticipation of waiting in the room before walking out. I had butterflies. So nervous, but excited.
- All of our friends and family got to experience the moment with us. This is why they are there! It was special and I wanted to share it."

DANIELLE + MARK // married in Calabogie, ON // July 2014

"After years of dreaming up my wedding on Pinterest I had the entire thing planned- before I even became engaged. I pinned about ten 'first look photos' determined that I would do the same when my day came. 

When I did become engaged I told Mark about the first look idea and he HATED it- and all my pinterest perfect wedding dreams were crushed (hehe). He expressed that he really wanted a traditional first look at me as I was coming down the aisle. After a few weeks of talking about it I came to realize he had a point- I would be giving up on a special moment between us. 

As I walked down the aisle towards him on our wedding day I knew I made the right decision- we couldn't take our eyes off of each other the entire time. 

The emotions that came out of the ceremony  may not have been as strong or genuine if we had seen one another beforehand (and Mark himself admits he probably wouldn't have shed a few tears if he had seen me ahead of time). 

I would, however, highly recommend having a first look with your father and bridesmaids. I loved being able to see the expression on my girls faces when they opened the door to see me for the first time in my dress. 

The first look with my dad was also one of the best moments of the day- it was such a private moment between us and it gave us a moment to hug, talk and to shed a few more tears without everyone watching us (on that note I was so happy I got a suite that had a private bedroom- so much more privacy and it really kept me calm)" 

LAURA + RYAN // married in Punta Cana, DR // November 2012

"I am fairly traditional: I insisted Laura wear a white dress (that I hadn’t seen before the wedding day); I insisted we spend the night before the wedding apart; and I insisted that the first time I was to see her on our wedding day, it would be as she walked down the aisle.

From the time I left her the night before, until the time I saw her that day, I was filled with anticipation.  I spent the entire morning just imagining how beautiful she was going to look, how angelic, but nothing could have prepared me for that moment when I saw her. 

I wanted that moment, which I had spent so long anticipating, to carry as much weight and significance as possible, and I was absolutely overcome.  I feel blessed to have shared that with my best man, standing up there with me, and with my family all around.  For a guy who isn’t always comfortable during photo shoots, having this incredible moment documented during the actual wedding, instead of a separate time set aside for photos, was particularly valuable.  

I can look back on these photos now and remember all the emotion and beauty of that moment without worrying about whether I was being awkward in front of the camera.

These are the reasons why I pushed for not having a first look. The reasons why my wife obliged me are likely because the setting of our wedding resulted in incredible first look photos anyway – an outdoor, sunny gazebo that allowed our photographer unrestricted access; as well as a wedding day schedule that left tons of time for photos after the ceremony.  For us, it made sense." 

(our wedding photos were taken by the talented Lauren Wakefield)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

jana + kyle | engagement session

Jana and Kyle are planning an intimate wedding At the Schoolhouse for the end of August. I'm thrilled for them, and excited to show a little peek into their engagement session :)

Happy wedding planning, you guys! 

barbara + patrick | montreal wedding at st. raphael golf and country club

Their romance has spanned ten years, and on Saturday afternoon they made a promise to turn that ten years into forever. Barbara and Patrick are an amazing couple. They are kind and generous, and judging by the wonderful group of people that surrounded them on their wedding day, they are loved immensely. 

It's a wedding I certainly won't forget any time soon...more on that later!

How great is this custom B&P stamp?!

Barbara was unsure at first about the idea of seeing Patrick before the ceremony. But the moment she saw him, her nervous energy disappeared and she felt nothing but pure wedding day joy. 

Those smiles... This is why I do this job, friends!

A quick golf cart ride brought us to this gorgeous willow tree. Absolutely perfect for mid-afternoon portraits!

When Patrick and Barbara separated after the first look, I grabbed some photos of their beautiful venue and ceremony spot. How PERFECT is this weather?!

While taking a few photos of their guests mingling before sitting down, I started noticing my watch. The ceremony was planned for 4:30 (and if you know Barbara, you know that means 4:30 SHARP.) But even at 4:45, no one seemed to be ushering guests to their seats...

A few of the groomsmen filled me in. Apparently one of the shuttle busses didn't pick up the guests on time! But no problem, right? We have tons of daylight left so there's no need to rush!

Except that when the bus finally arrived an HOUR later, the skies had turned dark, and the guests were clutching umbrellas in their laps. 

With a gorgeous outdoor ceremony planned, the word "rain" was on everyone's lips, followed closely by, "is there a contingency plan?"

A beautiful (& dry!) entrance by Barbara and her father.

At the very second Barbara was asked to read her vows, it started to rain. A mist at first. And then a pour. Her bridal party didn't even flinch! They sheltered the couple while the guests dashed for cover beneath the cocktail hour tent.

When I saw a tear in Barbara's eye, my heart went out to her. She had planned this truly beautiful ceremony only to have it get washed away by the weather (thanks to something that was completely out of her control). But then I started listening... I heard her saying that she would love and honour Patrick for the rest of her days. I heard her promising her heart to him forever. 

The tear wasn't because of the rain. It was because the rain didn't matter one bit.  

At that point I knew I was witnessing something special. This couple was getting MARRIED right before my eyes, in a straight up downpour, and yet it might just be my favourite first kiss moment of all time.

Shortly after the ceremony ended, the skies cleared enough to get their family and wedding party photos outdoors as we had planned!

Barbara and Patrick chose the BEAUTIFUL St. Raphael Golf Club in Montreal for their venue. It was worth the drive, that's for sure! I love how they transformed this already lovely spot to make it fit their style. After meeting Barbara at our initial consult, I knew she had fabulous taste.

Recognize these engagement photos used in the seating chart?

This sweets table looked wayyyyy too good to eat!

Barbara & Patrick, love you guys!
Hope you enjoy your honeymoon in Maine <3