So I did a thing! It was out of my comfort zone and I am so happy I didn't listen to that inner voice. I entered a contest. Not just any contest but a world-wide contest with some amazing photographers and I didn't suck! I actually had a few images do really great and beyond my expectations.
To give you some background this contest had entries from over 130,000 countries and 412,379 photos were entered with over 125,000 people voting. The contest is done with blind voting so you have no idea who entered each image and there are 12 rounds in total with 25 categories. When voting you are shown 4 images from one of the 25 categories and have to select your favourite to see the next 4 images. After each round x number of images are eliminated and the new round begins and the voting continues. Now not only is the voting blind so are the results at this stage. Yes, you read that correctly - you have no idea how your images are doing throughout the entire contest. It was a long painful wait for the final results to be released.
I didn't place any images in the top 20 BUT I did have some very happy results and did far better than I was expecting I would. I had a couple of images make it all the way to round 11 - there are only 12 rounds - which is the top 6.% of all of the images entered! And my top placing image placed at 607 out of 36,983 images (top 2%) for the wedding couple category!
I also placed really well in the bride category with an image at 901 out of 14,265 images (top 6%)
I had a few other images place with badges and overall I am very happy I didn't listen to that negative inner voice telling me not to enter. We are our own worst critics in life and that inner voice can be hard to ignore; don't be afraid to step off the path into the unknown. I am so happy with the support of my family that I did this and here are some additional images that placed with badges.
Selecting your wedding photographer can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with photography and not sure what questions to ask. So I am going to give you some tips and advice to help make that process a bit easier and help ensure you hire the best photographer for you.
First, check out a few websites and get a few quotes so you have an idea of the cost of photography and can set your budget accordingly. You definitely don't want to fall in love with a photographer who is out of your price range as you will then set yourself up for disappointment as you compare all other photographers to the one you that's beyond your reach. Regardless of how talented they are they won't photograph with the same style as your preferred out-of-budget dream photographer.
Once you have that budget set, really start looking at as many examples of your favourite photographers to make sure their style matches your own. If you love dark and moody images don't hire a photographer with a website full of light and airy work. I promise they won't deliver dark and moody just because that's what you prefer. Make sure you also see a full wedding day gallery as most like to post favourite images from each wedding and that may not always be a true representation of the full scope of their talent or lack of.
Ok so now you have two or three photographers that you love and have reached the most important part of selecting one for your big day. Make sure they have the experience to capture those precious memories for you to relive for many years to come.
How do you do that? I'm about to give you a few important questions you should ask and the answers you should receive!
1. Ask about their gear and equipment. I know you more than likely won't understand all of the technical gear descriptions but what you are looking for are a few key things. Make sure they have back up gear and it's within arms reach all day. Gear failure doesn't happen very often but you definitely don't want it to be during your walk down the isle, exchange of rings or that kiss if your photographer only carries one camera on their body all day. I have a dual camera system that allows me to carry two cameras all day hands free. In the event of gear failure I always have a second camera I can quickly grab that is set up and ready to go. Back up gear also includes multiple camera lenses as they too can have mechanical issues and suddenly stop working. Lastly ensure they are prepared for any lighting conditions you may have during your day. If your venue is going to be candle lit your photographer will have to add in some light with off camera lighting and not blind you with the built in flash on their camera.
2. Experience is another area that you don't want to put to chance for your wedding day. I have been photographing weddings for seven years and trust me there isn't much that will take me by surprise these days. I am prepared for bad weather, bad lighting and timeline schedules being thrown off track to name a few off of a very long list. There are so many little things that can cause really big problems and leaving that to chance can be a big gamble that may not pay off. Hiring a photographer with years of experience will definitely help keep your day as smooth as possible.
3. Make sure that you are comfortable with the photographer you decide to hire as you will be with them most of the day. The last thing you want is to be with someone all day who you are not comfortable with or doesn't fit your personality. If you are quiet you don't want a chatty photographer, if you are bubbly hire someone who compliments that side of your personality. Keep in mind the top two tips I have already mentioned above though, just because you made a new friend over coffee discussing your wedding don't sacrifice experience and ability over personality.
4. After the wedding! Your wedding day is over and most of your vendors are finished, except your photographer who still has lots to do before the job is over. This is as important a period of time as the wedding day was, as things can still go wrong and your precious photographs can still be lost to you. Many photographers have their own routine for this but most should be fairly similar to how I proceed from here. Going back to my gear, all of my cameras have dual memory cards. What does that mean? Well as soon as I take an image I have an instant back up to a second memory card, this eliminates card failure issues. One set of cards is used to upload your images to my computer and the second set go into fire proof storage and are not used again until I deliver your wedding images. Yes, I have that many memory cards and consider them one of the most important purchases I make. Your wedding images will remain on those cards unused until I deliver your images. The last step is an upload to an online storage system, which gives me 3 points of image recovery for your day.
I hope this helps give you some direction on making a very important decision for your wedding day. To me your photographer is the most important wedding decision you will make as they are the only vendor that will give you tangible memories to look back on to relive that amazing day.
Happy Wedding Planning!
When I was first contacted by Candace and Chris and them told me they were planning a themed wedding I was beyond excited, we as photographers love it when couples bring a unique element into their day! They had so many amazing ideas and incorporated them flawlessly into the their day really making it unique and special and truly fitting their personalities. My goal was to really capture all of those details for them and create pictures that would last a lifetime and bring back every minute of their day.
The ceremony was beautiful and filled with emotion as the grooms father walked down the isle following heart surgery just a week earlier. A few moments later and Candace made her entrance and emotions took over the groom. The entire ceremony was touching and sweet with a few fun moments to keep it interesting.
Custom flowers created to resemble Captain America's shield by Alicia of Alicia's Wedding Fairy Floral & Veil
The details for their wedding reception at Thistle St. Andrew's Curling Club were just as well thought out and worked extremely well together.
Planning a wedding is hard work with lots of meetings, samples, contracts, research, etc but when you add in planning while living in another province all of that becomes so much harder to do. When Erin first contacted me she was just getting started in the process. She decided on holding the reception at the Diamond Jubilee and the planning was in full force! They were home in July 2016 so we had an opportunity to hang out during their engagement session and I had my first opportunity to see just how perfect they are for each other and they were a photographers dream to work with.
The day of the wedding I was meeting with Erin at One Princess and it was perfect for her and her bridal party and the day just got better as it progressed. I'm not sure just how she managed but WOW! Not a detail was missed along with a few extra touches that were simply amazing! The wedding day was beautiful from start to finish and included some amazing locations along the way.
Everything thing about this day was very well thoughtout and planned, from the beautiful location, to the flowers and into the evening with a surprise on the dance floor! The bride was beautiful as she walked down the isle to her handsome groom and there wasn't a dry eye once the ceremony started; with touching readings and songs sung by the bride's students it was all perfect!
The bride and groom picked their wedding party with care and you could see they all truly were honoured to be a part of their day! Family and friends were treated to some amazing food, drinks and yummy desserts all by the amazing in house chef for The Robertson restaurant. I was honoured to be their photographer and throughly enjoyed the entire day!
The forecast was calling for rain and calling for rain all day! We had a number of back up plans, from different locations to photograph the wedding party to venturing out in the rain with my clear dome umbrells, and the day was beautiful and perfect in every way! There were guests that travelled incredible distances, amazing persian dances, families blending together, delicious food, love, laughter, and of course, a stunning bride and groom! There was so many amazing details and fun moments to photograph and I'm sure they will be treasured for many years to come!
This wedding was quite different from most I photograph and I was so happy they wanted to me to be there. It was very sweet and intimate with close family and friends and so very welcoming. The ceremony was at the Assumption Church on the westside and was beautiful with many personal touches added in. Photography was very important to this couple and largest amount of time was dedicated to photography for just the bride and groom and we stopped by a few locations to create some amazing memories for them of their special day!
When the forecast is calling for a chance of rain for a planned outdoor wedding ceremony I always pray that the weather gods will be kind and change that for us. Unfortunately that didn't happen on this day and the ceremony had to be moved to an indoor location, what I didn't realize was that the indoor location was just as perfect with large beautiful windows thoughout and a photographers dream to photograph in.
St. Andrew's is easily one of my favourite locations to photograph weddings as there are so many beautiful locations to choose from and when you add in a few stormy clouds it makes for perfect backgrounds.
This sweet little girl was so easy to photograph and fit perfectly into all of the cute poses. She was a dream to work with and gave her parents an abundance of beautiful images to choose from.
This cake smash session was full of giggles that definitely made for adorable photos. This little girl was very happy to get her hands on her cake and had no fear digging into the icing. We took a few shots before bringing out the cake to make her more comfortable which paid off once the cake arrived.