Showing posts with label faq. Show all posts
Showing posts with label faq. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

my tips for a flawless engagement session

A little while ago, I wrote about managing client expectations and the amazing effect that had on my client correspondence and ultimately, my shoots.

When I rebranded in March, I started focusing solely on engagements and weddings, so this new guide gets very specific with tips on things like what to wear, how to choose a location, etc. 

Choosing a location is such a critical part of the engagement session process. I recommend choosing a location that means something to you! But at the same time, it's great when a location offers some variety. 

In the screenshot below, you'll see some of my favourite locations ever...including the Aylmer marina for Brittany & Brent, the Carleton University underpass for Laura & Allan, the beach at sunset for Kim & Jeremy, and an urban alleyway for Maria & Trevor

After you've picked the perfect spot...figuring out to wear becomes the next challenge. And I seriously recommend making these decisions in this order! The look and feel for your wardrobe should go hand in hand with the spot where we'll be shooting. 

Since I'm not able to peek into your closets and help you pick out your outfits, I rely on a simple list of DOs and DON'Ts...

Wear clothes you like and feel good in.
Wear clothes with pockets (it really helps when it comes to posing!)
Include one pattern between the two of you, but stick to a max of 2 bright colours.
Accessorize (this is a big one! a chunky necklace, blingy watch, and a cute pair of shoes goes a long way!)
Bring a change of clothes to get some variety.

Wear solid black.
Wear while pants (we may get down and dirty)
Wear the same colour shirt. 

Easy right? Here's an example of a beautiful execution of this list:

Make sure you check out the Everything You Need to Know guide if you're patiently awaiting our session together, or if you're thinking of booking something in the future! 

P.S... here's a little peek into Melissa & Mike's engagement session that took place last weekend! Absolutely in love with their colour choices, and the addition of the guitar to make it personal to them. 

Excited to share more from this one!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

encouragement, wrapped up in an email

There are days where you wonder why you even bothered to get out of bed in the morning. 

Days where you look at yourself in the mirror and see only the roots you need to cover up, and the ab workout you skipped yesterday.

These are the same days where you question whether you're even "really" a photographer. Or whether your husband actually likes the way you make scrambled eggs. 

They're the same days where you answer one email and two more pop up in its place...or you drop your toast peanut butter side down. 

And as a blogger, there are days when you feel like you're talking to no one.

And just when I was having one of those days, I opened a message from a lovely girl who is new to the photography world:

I follow your blog all the time and am just so incredibly impressed with your talent and creativity!!! By the way, your husband was hilarious when he took over the blog.... you seem like a terrific match for each other!!

I have a quick question for you if I could steal a moment of your time! 
I just upgraded to full frame (D600) and picked up a 24-70. Now i'm trying to decide what type of 70-200 to get.... whether or not I bite the bullet and get it for the D600, or pick one up that will work on my DX camera (D90) So I guess my question for you is... do you have two bodies at all times? Or just one and switch lenses? 

I am so, so excited about photography in general. It's so addicting! [...] Anyways... all that being said... you are definitely my photography idol and know that when you take the time to type out your posts, people do take the time to read them :-)

Have a great weekend!

When I read the line, "know that when you take the time to type out your posts, people do take the time to read them" it hit me really hard.

It was just what I needed to hear at that moment.

I have the job I've always dreamed of, but there are days where it gets lonely, and there are certainly days that it feels scary to put your work all over the internet and wait for a reaction. 

It makes me want to send an email just like one, to all of my photography idols....just in case they're having one of those days. 

Oh, and to answer the question from the email:

I only use one body at any given time, however I always have my spare body on hand in case of an emergency. Since I've upgraded to a full-frame, there are some lenses I have upgraded, and some that I'm still waiting on. It would probably go against everything they'd teach in photography school, but I still use my crop lenses on my full-frame body from time to time. 

Hope that answers your question :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

winter weddings: what i've learned

I'm so excited to be sharing images from Kristie and Brad's GORGEOUS winter wedding on the blog this week. 

I'm almost finished putting the final touches on their collection, but in the mean time...I want to use some of these sneak peeks to touch on what I've learned about shooting Winter weddings, because let's face's a completely different ball game. 


First looks are magical in terms of creating the perfect timeline for your wedding day...but when we're talking Winter weddings, where the sun sets around 4pm, it couldn't be more important. 

Rearranging the wedding day events so that all of the bridal portraits, wedding party formals, and family shots are done BEFORE the ceremony, gives us the best use of the natural light. Sneaking in family photos before the reception is rarely a problem for a July wedding because we have sunlight until after 7pm! 

Kristie and Brad's timeline was much so, that I think it could be helpful to share it here. 

8:00am: hair and makeup for Kristie
10:00am: photographing details of Kristie and Brad getting ready
12:30pm: everyone makes their way to first look location
1:00pm: first look
1:30pm: wedding party joins us for wedding party photos
2:00pm: immediate family joins us for family photos
3:00pm: ceremony
4:00pm: a few final photos with extended family
5:00pm: cocktails & mingling at the reception

Because of the first look, Kristie and Brad were able to join their guests for the reception much earlier, and everything was done using natural light.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that first looks are the CUTEST bride & groom moments ever?!

I mean, look at this little twirl...


If you're a newer photographer, there are many ways to find locations that allow indoor wedding photos (and at the same time, you'll figure out the locations that definitely DON'T allow photos). 

Joining photographer networks for your city on Facebook will be a great resource for finding out information like this. Or, if you're less social, do a google search for Winter weddings in your area, and take a note of where the photographer did the formals.

The Museum of Nature is a location that was recommended to me by a fellow photographer, and I'm REALLY happy that Kristie and Brad decided it would be the location for their photos. 

One thing to be conscious of, is having enough room to photograph groups of family members in the chosen location, without having people in the background. 

Also, note the reflection of the huge window directly behind me, which is allowing me to use the natural light as my only light source. 


Your camera gets nice and toasty warm when you're shooting indoors, but as soon as you step out into the cold, your lens will likely fog up over the next few minutes. 

I always do a test of my gear by stepping out into the cold the morning before a shoot, to see how long it takes for the fog to clear away on its own. On this particular day, it only took between 5-7 minutes, so I made sure to build that little bit of time into Kristie and Brad's timeline. 

My assistant, Lisa, and I stepped outside while Kristie and Brad were making their way down the stairs from the Museum, so that by the time they were in position, my camera was already ready to shoot. 

I use this same principle for shooting destination weddings too, and because of the humidity in the Dominican Republic when I was there for Stephanie and Richard's wedding, my camera needed close to 35 minutes to climatize. Simple fix though, I just brought it to breakfast with me and ate outside :)

(P.S...don't be deceived by Kristie's bare arms, it was a chilly one and she's just a rockstar!) 


When you're dealing with a snowy background, having the correct white balance is so important. Any orange or green tints will show up EXTRA harsh when you're looking at a white dress in front of a snowy yard, so this is certainly an example of how shooting in Kelvin comes in handy. 

Before Trevor Dayley's workshop, I really only shot in Auto White Balance, but by the time he finished with me, I was shooting 100% manual, also known as Kelvin. If you are well on your way to setting your shutter and aperture manually, then this is definitely something to look into :) 

Shooting Winter weddings is something that I wish I knew more about when I first started, so that I could have avoided shooting bridal portraits at 5pm in the DARK, with the snow turning up slightly BLUE and my clients' cheeks turning bright pink while I wiped the fog off my lens before every photo. 

Not fun. Not fun.  

Anyway, I hope this proved helpful for some of my photographer friends who are just starting out! And as I said, I am super excited to share more from Kristie and Brad's wedding day :) 

Happy Tuesday my friends!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

same day slideshows {a video response}

I received a question from another photographer recently, about incorporating same-day slideshows into the wedding timeline. Lucky for me, this is something I've done at every wedding since the beginning.

In this video, I go over things like:
the process of setting up a slideshow
which photos to choose as "crowd favourites"
placement of the slideshow
and what equipment I use to create one. 

In the video, I also mention that I take reaction shots of my clients to include in their final collection, and I thought this would be a helpful visual of some of my set up. 

Keep in mind, in order to show the Brides & Grooms, I've unplugged the laptop and brought it over to their head table so that they get to see it first :)

I love that everyone is huddled in to see :)

Guhh, Laura and Dexter are so lovely, I had to include this one...

Some guests checking out the slideshow while waiting for a drink at the bar. A perfect example of where I'd actually have the slideshow playing during the reception. 

Mallory is the cutest :)

I hope this was helpful to someone! I would love to see reaction shots from the first wedding where you incorporate a same-day slideshow! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

managing expectations (& when clients start taking your advice)

I'm not sure what I expected to happen when I made the FAQ website...

Maybe I thought it would save me a couple "what happens if it rains?" emails, or "I'm freaking out, what should we wear today!" phone calls. And although both of those things were completely accurate, something else ended up happening; something magical.

My clients started taking my advice.

They started dressing their kids in patterns, avoiding black, packing snacks, bringing blankets. My engagement clients started emailing me to let me know they were going to bring a couple props with them to the shoot. And on the day of the shoot, I'd hear things like "we're so glad it's cloudy!"

To show you what I mean, I'll share a couple shots from some of my recent sessions:

The Mitchell family brought sidewalk chalk...

The Godwin family had a picnic...

Liz and Zach brought champagne for a toast to their engagement...

The Morris family opted for a location that suited them perfectly...

The Hebert family sat down for a snack...

...and didn't stop their kids from making a funny face or two...

Pascale and Stefan brought chalkboards for a save the date...

The Geithner girls had fun with props...

The Blaseg family wasn't afraid to get a little bit wet...

The Irani family knew the power of a perfect baby accessory...

I hope you're all having fabulous days :) I am spending the afternoon hustling my butt to get a TON accomplished, from little things like editing a couple sessions, to applying for a marriage license (woo!), and organizing all of Weezy's documents from the vet.  

And in other news, I've just had a brand new watermark logo drafted up, courtesy of the amazing Laura Warecki, and I'm pretty excited to start seeing it everywhere on this blog. Check it out!

And one last thing...stay tuned for a really cute group family shoot in the boonies (ATVs included!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

FAQ video response! (I think I'm on the wrong side of this camera...)

Last week I opened up my comments to allow for tons of questions from YOU GUYS (my faithful blog readers and favourite people ever). I kept checking in throughout the day to read the questions because they were so great and I was super excited to put together a response.

The only thing do I do it?

Copy and paste each answer in here and write a little blurb under each one? BO-ring. Right??

And thus, here I am with my first every video blog to show you (last week's bushleague video of Weezy and the hair dryer does NOT count. If you've seen it, you know the level of suckiness I'm trying to convey).

In this video, I cover a range of things from:
getting photos blog-ready (Blogstomp is the BOMB, seriously) to...
how much is too much when it comes to personal posts, to...
handling a potential bridezilla.

I hope you enjoy :)

That was a lot harder than I expected.
I say umm a lot. I should work on that.
It's a really long process to do one of these videos! I did the shooting in one take, but uploading it for edit, adding titles, exporting it, uploading it for viewing online, it all takes so much time! I've said it before but I'll say it amaze me. 

Also...that was really long. In the future, I'll probably limit my FAQ videos to 5 questions or so! stoked am I in that thumbnail? Too intense.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

ask away...!

Somewhere between the day I started my business and now, I've picked up a couple things. I've learned what not to do, but more importantly...I've learned by doing. 

I often get emails from people who follow my blog and have questions about how to start a business, or how to teach yourself to shoot manually, and I figured it could be helpful to dedicate a blog post to these questions, since there might be more of you out there wondering the same thing.

I've opened up my comments section to allow for anonymous comments, just in case you don't want to post your name, site, or other info. Your questions can be about anything, from business, to blogging, to taxes (I'll ask Beans for you), to what Weezy is currently up to. 

So by all means...ask away! 

I'll put them together in a way that is useful and share the answers on my blog when I get back from my vacation next week! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

questions: answered.

It's something I had been putting off for way too long...

Creating an FAQ website always seemed like a daunting amount of work, because there was just too much information I wanted to relay!

But with June being self-care month, and me finding the energy to be insanely productive, I finally sat down and did it.

And thus...hopefully your questions will be answered :)

I answer the questions I get most often, like what do we wear? Where should the session take place? What do we do if it rains?! And also provide tid bits on keeping the kids and husbands happy while we're shooting.

Hopefully this helps at least one of my dearly beloved clients :) If any of your questions went unanswered, please let me know because it might be something I can add to the site!

PS...I also made a website tailored for boudoir clients, but it's much too riské to link publicly! If you're a future boudoir client, hit me up with an email!

morning shake (check!), morning workout (check!), now onto a hot shower and some time reading in bed before shoot number one :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

sofia | painting in the park

I want to share a few favourites from a recent family session, partly because I LOVE THEM, and partly because I get a lot of questions from families about whether they need to bring anything with them to the shoot.

The short answer is no. I mean, you really just have to bring yourselves! But the long probably best explained through photographs.

Take a look at Sofia's painting in the park session:

My two favourites:

In my opinion, these simple props made a regular family session a little extra special. At the very end, Sofia was kind enough to gift me one of her precious paintings, and now that I think of it, I should have had her sign it for me! You never know...could be worth a lot one day ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

fear not the rainy days

One of the questions I get asked quite frequently, is what to do in case of rain on shoot day, and my answer is almost always the same...

I tell the client that they should hope for cloudy skies, because it really does me give me a ton of room for creativity, without trying to steer clear of squinty eyes and such! Sometimes shooting conditions are most beautiful in that 10-15 minutes before the skies break and it pours, so if you're up for the potential adventure, I firmly believe you will be rewarded :)

Now, I feel the need to admit that I have never put too much stock into the weather forecast (especially after many clients have checked the weather on Friday for a Sunday shoot, and rescheduled after seeing a 90% chance of showers, only to find ourselves with a delightfully cloudy, rainless afternoon during the time they would have been shooting).

That being said, someone still pays for the Weather Network to be on TV, so there must be some truth to it. So if there's 90% chance of showers on the day of your shoot and you don't feel inclined to reschedule, maybe it's best to make sure you've got a cute umbrella in your trunk ;)