Monday, January 28, 2019

selling your services as a "solopreneur" | local talks ottawa event

I was really honoured to participate in a local event in Ottawa last week. It reminded me just how many incredible events our city has to offer, where you can fill up on a ton of great resources for whatever it is that you're interested in learning about. 

This particular event was hosted by LocalTalks, moderated by Reagan Bradley, and hosted in the Shopify building on Elgin Street. I was one of three panelists, joined by my talented friend (in real life & in business) Chalked By Mabz, and boss babe Brittany Frid of Frid Events. Together we share a common bond in the wedding industry, but our chat wasn't limited to just that.


We were asked about everything from pricing structure, to our use of personal branding and what that looks like specifically for our marketing efforts. We discussed our boundaries for client relationships and how that factors into our work/life balance. 

My favourite part, however, was the Q&A portion at the end. I loved hearing from the audience members and being able to speak specifically to their questions, offering advice where possible or helpful resources in areas where I might not have been an expert.


So much of what we discussed is aligned with what I'm sharing these days on the podcast. In case you haven't heard, this past Fall is when I started branching out in a new creative outlet, sharing stories and experiences in an audio format on my podcast, You Might Not Like It

It has been such an amazing learning experience and I've discovered a lot about myself in the process. If you haven't already checked it out, now is a great time to do so!  


If you're interested in some of the topics that we discussed at the talk last week, I'd head straight over here to check out one of my favourite episodes to date. It's all about customer care and my philosophy on moving forward with purpose in your marketing efforts.


And if you attended the event and didn't get a chance to ask your question (we were pretty strapped for time!), PLEASE feel free to reach out and ask away, because I have an upcoming podcast episode dedicated to answering questions from my listeners! It could be anything about business stuff, photography practises, client relationships, tips for brides, even managing both a business and a home life with 2 little ones -- I'll be answering them all! 

And if you have any exciting news to share about opportunities for events and further learning, I am SO down and would love to connect. I have some exciting news in that area that I can't spill until a few weeks from now, but just know that there are going to be many more opportunities to meet in 2019.  


For more information on Local Talks in Ottawa, head over here! The next event will be in February, with a focus on scaling a business for purposeful growth.

All photos by Victoria Gravasande (Ottawa)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

favourite wedding photos from 2018

Sad to think that with this post, comes the end of another year in review series. But at the same time, it's these photos that will live on long after everyone has stopped saying "happy new year!" To the dream team from 2018, from the clients to the vendor list, you are the reason that this is the best job in the world. 

And to the folks who will be celebrating in 2019 and beyond, I hope these photos make you feel all kinds of excitement about your special day! I hope they showcase how each event is truly unique, based entirely on the fact that each couple brings their own flair and flavour to the table. Enjoy this collection of my favourite images from last season!!

Kelsey & Ian were married at Cambium Farms and it was a slice of heaven. Something about this shot makes me feel very calm, very inspired, and perfectly at peace.



Kaylie & Pearson soaked up every ounce of sunset at Evermore before returning to their guests for the next course. I still dream about the velvet draperies and beautiful florals from their wedding day... 


Also, no words for the incredibly gorgeous Kate & her squad from this August wedding at Evermore -- beauties!!


The Horticulture Building was magically transformed by The Design Co. and a talented team of support. I've honestly never seen anything like it! 


And here's the couple who dined and danced underneath that stunning drapery... Jaymee & Graham, it was a fairytale:


I love this photo so much more now knowing it's the final page in Kelsey & Ian's wedding album, immortalizing the most magical day. 


My 2018 kicked off in a MAJOR way thanks to Krissy & Shayne who brought me with them to The Riu Palace in Cabo San Lucas for an incredible celebration:


The Cumberland Museum is what dreams are made of, as long as The Design Co. has both creative liberties and detailed instructions from a bride with excellent taste... 


A sunset shot favourite this year, coming from Michelle & Mike's romantic wedding day at Orchard View:


I was so blessed to work with brides and stylists with such great taste. These raised centrepieces at Michelle & Patrick's wedding in Kingston were seamlessly added to the reception by Frid Events:


Effortlessly joyful -- the words I would use to describe Sarah & Alex's wedding at Mill Street. We enjoyed every moment of the day and I'm definitely awarding it the least stressful wedding of 2018 ;)


Rebekah & Andrew celebrated their intimate wedding at a small restaurant in Chelsea, Quebec, called Les Fougeres. The day was perfectly suited to their desires and it was a delight to capture. 


Michelle & Patrick love this photo as much as I do, which I know for certain because it was selected for their album. Their wedding at The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts was made even more luxurious with this vintage car rental:


Not sure which car photo I like better!



Michelle & her girls looking effortlessly stunning in the sunshine at Orchard View...


Oh and did I mention Michelle also had one of my favourite ceremony backdrops EVER as designed by Pollen Nation Floral Studio...? You may have heard of her -- she's a pretty big deal. 


The tiniest detail from Susanna & Kyle's wedding, but it had to be included in this post because I do adore it... 


Is it too much to ask for the sunset to last just a full hour longer so that I can keep taking photos of Krissy & Shayne?


Anna & Kevin's wedding at the Arcadian Loft was close to home for us. You may remember this as the one where my husband was the Best Man and my kiddos appeared in the wedding party! 

But it was so much more than that. It was a blissful celebration of two people who are very very close to my heart, who are an absolute perfect fit for one another -- FINALLY getting married after a long and romantic long distance relationship.




I might not be able to explain why this photo has become a favourite -- but perhaps it just sums up exactly how Katie and her girls seemed to feel on this beautiful wedding day... 


Jaymee, I am nowhere CLOSE to being over the fact that you rocked a ponytail on your wedding. This is my favourite photo of you hands down <3 


I also love what this photo represents... 

The most incredible view I've ever photographed is just a hazy, watercolour looking backdrop behind Amanda & Dave's smiling faces. I am obsessed with working at Le Belvedere, but I'll always find a way to showcase the people most of all.




I'm lucky I get to be reminded of Brittany & Zach's fairytale wedding every time I'm over at their place for a glass of wine. These dear friends have their wedding album perched on a shelf below their glass coffee table, and it makes me happy every time I see it. So many amazing memories were made from their wedding day at The Horticulture Building!



It looked like this and it FELT even better...


Celina & Matt kicked off the season with their wedding at Andaz with dinner to follow at Restaurant Eighteen. This sweet photo is a personal fave from the day, and I think Celina likes it just as much as I do <3


I love when couples find a way to make their celebrations unique, which is just another reason to love Catherine & Phil's wedding at Billings Estate Museum. Instead of a formal dinner to follow, their guests were served drinks and bites until well after dark. 





If only every reception details mini-shoot could happen right before sunset...




Nothing like an old Hollywood black and white photo for a stylish City Hall wedding...


The looks on their faces -- it makes my DAY to see a couple as happy as Sarah & Matthew. These two were incredible to work with and I wish we could do it all over again.




The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts as designed by Frid Events was certainly something to see. I love this space and was SO thrilled to return 5 years later!


Larissa & Marc eloped in a private residence with their nearest, their dearest, and their energetic pup. On wooden benches in the backyard, surrounded by trees and the smell of the fire, this Fall elopement was just divine. 


So much love for Maeghan & Rod who celebrated at Le Belvedere on the most PERFECT Summer day. You'll remember this wedding as being covered in florals from start to finish, along with some of the prettiest sunset photos from the season.


This photo still gives me chills and brings me right back to Kristen & Nathan's dream wedding at The Westin Twenty-Two. Seriously, Bridal Vogue -- I've got your next cover. 



Oh yeah, and did I mention their wedding cake was made of CHEESE?!




There's a special place in my heart for this group -- they made June 23rd feel like a party for sure. (Also spotted, my handsome husband to second from the left!)



Sometimes you can't mess with simple:





Talk about a romantic series of wedding photos... I give you: Kate walking down the aisle:





I cannot.



I will take this flower girl dress in an adult size, please and thanks.



SERIOUSLY. This one is like a postcard and it makes me SO happy. 





Crystal stemware, florals, and candlelight -- a magical combo that will never go out of style. 




If I were ever to do another bridal show, this photo would be printed in the biggest possible size. It's a forever fave that perfectly captures my clients' experience.








Loving the pops of greenery and that gorgeous chalked sign! Mary Clare's expression in this photo is my fave from the whole ceremony <3



The timelessness of this photo makes it special. It's one of those wedding shots that will look incredible even in 50 years once all the styles and trends have long since changed. 






Anyone who was on set for this styled shoot knows I basically burst into song as this photo was taken...





Who says when you get married in your backyard you can't have a KILLER bouquet...? 






Braving the cold in March to get a scenic downtown shot!









I'm actually getting emotional as I recall all of these incredible moments from 2018. This is why the year in review series is so powerful -- it reminds me of the BEST expressions, the most beautiful memories that are forever documented. 








When someone asks me about my photography style, I usually say that my goal is to make their photos look as beautiful as they appeared in real life (maybe with a boost of vibrant colour and in a pose where they've never looked better...) 

Simple. Romantic. Happy. 

I try not to take the art form too seriously, and instead choose to make my clients the stars of my work. 





Simple. Romantic. Happy. I feel so strongly about this combination.





So with that, cheers to another incredible year!



I sincerely cannot wait to see where this new year takes me... 


Knowing that it's going to be such an incredible experience to meet so many new faces...


And capture so much beauty along the way... 



If you've invited me into your love story in some small way, I just wanted to take this opportunity to show my gratitude. You're the ones who make this dream job a possibility! 















If you missed any of the year in review series, 
here's how you can get caught up:



For more information on weddings and engagements, take a peek at my website for full pricing details and a TON more information that'll come in super handy while you're planning your wedding: