Just 11 more sleeps ’til The Wedding Co. Market!

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Eeeek!  Just 11 more sleeps until The Wedding Co. Market!  Which, if you don’t like to add, means that my all-time favourite wedding show in Toronto is happening on Sunday, February 22nd, 2015.

I’ve been in hiding for the past month, planning all sorts of surprises and (of course) crafting* merrily away!  This show features some of the most talented folks in the business so I’m just hoping to do my part and put my best foot (and photos!) forward.

(*I’d show you in-progress photos but I’m afraid to let the cats outta the bag.  Besides, you like surprises, right??)

But seriously, if you’re getting married in Toronto, are in the throes wedding planning, and you really want to make it easy for yourself by just seeing the best of what our fine city has to offer, you should check this show out.  Everyone is super-friendly, there will be prettiness abound and you might even find everything you need for your wedding at this one show.

For tickets, visit theweddingco.com OR BONUS: I’m giving away two tickets on Instagram!

Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

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More resolutions plus a few favourites from 2014.

Back in November, I got together with a few other wedding photographers to talk shop.  So much of what we do is done in isolation so it’s really nice to hang out with folks who really speak your language.  Without an agenda, we mostly just sat around and chatted about real hot-button topics such as photo printers, photo software, photo books, etc..  You know, stuff you can just talk about for hours.

One of the other photographers, the awesome Catherine Farquharson, was showing us some books she’d recently made.  It just was the tip of the iceberg.  In addition to all the books she makes for her clients, turns out she also makes a book every time she goes on a trip and each year she makes a yearbook with her Instagram photos too!  Mind.  Blown.

For years, my own photos have lived on hard drives.  And that’s it.

In retrospect, it does feel a bit crazy to think that I went through all that effort.  Carrying all that gear or constantly pulling out my phone, here and everywhere — just to capture those perfect, precious moments.  Then, once nabbed, they can just live on as mere pixels, buried under tera-mountains of other pixels.  If I was never going to look at these photos again, why bother taking them in the first place?  Do I really enjoy all this endless scrolling on my phone?

Catherine’s stack of photo books left me inspired.  And galvanized.

I’ve since decided I’m also going to make a book of every trip I go on.  And I am going to start making my own yearbooks too.  There are so many photos that I love but just had nowhere to live.

Now I’m building them a house.

I’ve started sifting through the archives, pulling out all my favourites.  Doesn’t matter if it was from a job, a vacation or a late Sunday afternoon spent on the couch with our dog.  As long as I loved it, it made the cut.

I saw some photos that I’d totally forgotten about.  But luckily for them, I’ve decided now that I want to remember.

(Here are a few photos from my still-in-progress 2014 yearbook!)

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Goals for 2015: Blog More (With added BONUS: Vacation Photos!)

Happy 2015!

I love this time of year.  All those brand new months in the calendar, unmarked and unknown.  Everything is fresh with promise.

Of course, I’ve spent plenty of early-Januaries feeling energized and inspired, only to spend the following late-Februaries wearing the same sweatpants for three days straight and eating a lot of chips.  I even went on a “resolution boycott” for a spell because I thought such things were just setting me up for failure.

However.  I’ve since changed my perspective.  It wasn’t the resolutions that set me up for failure, it was my lack of a plan.  Thanks to Ishita Gupta, I’ve recently developed a plan for 2015.  And while it is admittedly very early in the year to know if it’s working or not, it definitely feels like it is!

One such resolution (of the common “has-definitely-failed-in-the-past” variety) was to blog more often.  I never wrote it down, I just kinda… thought it. “Blog more.” And judging by the number of blog posts I made in 2014 (a whopping nine), I didn’t do so well.

But this year is a new year.  I have a plan.  And — nerd alert! — it even includes a spreadsheet.  The goal is to post every two weeks.  Bonus points if it’s even more than that.

In short, you will be seeing me again!  Soon!  (In two weeks!!)

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Until then, here are a few photos from our recent family trip to the beautiful Dominican Republic.  As our clan is split between Toronto and LA, it is rare for us to be under one roof at once.  So to have enjoyed that time together over the holidays was utter bliss.  (Also, staring at photos from warm and sunny places can make one feel warmer, right?  Me and my long underwear really hope so!)

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Lisa & Joel’s beautiful Casa Loma wedding on the EventSource.ca blog!

Hey – Happy October!

Lots brewing over here but, in the meantime, I just wanted to share a couple of photos from Lisa & Joel’s gorgeous wedding at Casa Loma, now featured on the EventSource.ca blog!

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When we first met, I’m pretty sure I just stared open-mouthed at Lisa the whole time.  She is stunning.  I kept thinking: who do they remind me of?  And then it came to me: uber-sexy couple (but now sadly no longer together) Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel.  HOT.

It was a photographer’s dream to work with such a beautiful couple who also happen to be such incredibly sweet and talented people.  (Case in point: their invitations were made by Vince — I mean Joel, who actually handmade and letter pressed each one himself — he took classes, worked with a graphic designer to design what they wanted, had the plates made… and then pressed them himself!  Just wow.)

Anyway, to see more photos from their lovely day, go on over to the EventSource.ca blog and check it here.

A little “woot-woot” for my 2nd shooter, Robin Hamill!

Over the years, I’ve learned just how important it is to work with people you really like, can count on and are inspired by.  Robin Hamill is one of those people.

He’s my talented & trusty sidekick-slash-second shooter and doesn’t seem to mind when I call myself Batman (har har — but I don’t, really).  He is good folk and does great work.

Case-in-point, here’s some of his work back in the March / April issue of Azure magazine (page 74 if you’ve nabbed a copy)!

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The accompanying article (which you can read here) was about flood prevention and features a number of new projects around the world.

Congratulations Robin!

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5 Tips on How to Have Stunning Wedding Photos — in a podcast… with me!

So a few weeks ago, my talented and good friend Justin Jacques (of Indie Wedding DJ fame) asked me to participate in his podcast series, “The Wedding Insider”.  In this series, he interviews a variety of pros from the Toronto wedding industry and together they discuss what engaged couples can do to make their weddings awesome.

Despite how squeamish it makes me to watch and hear myself (ugh), I promised Justin that I would share this so here it is!  (Also, I’m totally embarrassed with, like, how often I say “like” in real life.  It’s, like, horrible.)

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Admittedly, it does require a fair investment of time to delve into so here are some of the suggestions I made on how to give your photographer the best chance of creating stunning wedding photos for you:

 

1. Find people who create work that you love. 

Of course, this seems so obvious that I shouldn’t even say it but I will anyway.  After the wedding magic is over, your photos will be one of the precious few tangible things you will have as proof that it even happened.  The flowers will wilt, the chairs will be returned, and you might not ever wear your dress again.  But your wedding photos have the potential to outlive you and could even find their way to a place of prominence at your grandchildren’s wedding.  To me, that makes those photographs pretty darn important.

That said, you want to make sure that those photos are going to be captured by someone who sees the world (and, thus, your wedding) in a way that you will absolutely adore.  Of course, if you don’t care about reliving those memories or seeing how utterly amazing you looked or remembering how much fun everyone had — then skip this part.

 

2. Choose to work with someone that you can trust.

Often times, our day as wedding photographers start when people are getting ready.  It’s not unusual for us to find ourselves in a bedroom full of half-clothed people.  You might even be one of them.  And this photographer that you’ve hired will be there to witness it all.  For this reason alone, I think it’s pretty important that this person you’ve chosen to work with is someone you trust.

Plus planning a wedding can be, as some say, Stress-full.  We all know that normal, everyday life is busy enough already.  And then you need to plan a wedding on top of it all?  If only to make life easier for yourself, choose to work with people who make the whole process smoother, not harder.  And if you’ve chosen a photographer that makes you feel good and can confidently assure you that all is taken care of, I believe that resulting peace of mind is money well-spent.

 

3. Communication is key.

As I have a more photojournalistic / documentary-style approach to photographing weddings, I like to have as. much. info. as. possible.  We need to be ready to respond to whatever is happening in front of us, in real time, so if we’re given a minute-by-minute itinerary that the planner or DJ has made in advance, we LOVE it.  Anything that helps us to better anticipate or plan for how the day is going to go is incredibly valuable.

You can go ahead and plan a surprise for your spouse or your guests, but don’t keep any surprises from your photographer.  Those are the moments you want us to be ready for!

 

4. When choosing a venue, pay attention to your first impression.

The venue you choose will be the backdrop to all of your wedding photos.  And if a place, free of any adornments or decorations, has the power to put a flutter in your belly the very first time you see it, it likely will help make for great photos too.

But if, when you walk in the door, it feels dark or brings to mind a long list of things you’d have to do to make it better, it might not be so good for photos either.

It doesn’t have to be fancy but a place that enjoys beautiful light is something that I feel we all experience instinctually, and that’s a feeling I believe is worth paying attention to.  Coincidentally, beautiful light helps make beautiful photos.

 

5. Whatever you choose to wear, whether it’s your make-up or your shoes, be comfortable.

Simply put, the more comfortable you are with what your wearing or with what you look like, the more confident you will feel.  And as long as that puts a big, happy smile on your face, that’s all I need!

 

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If you’d like to hear more, plus learn a little bit about how I became a wedding photographer in the first place, feel free to go on and have a listen on the Indie Wedding DJ blog here!

Coachella (the vacation recap edition — part two)!

While this was my second Coachella, I’d still consider myself to be pretty new to the whole music festival thing.  The sheer scale of it all, plus the sight of tens of thousands people together in one place just amazes me.  Not to mention the almost-spiritual sensation of surrendering to the music.  I just love it and only wish I’d known about it sooner!

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Plus there’s amazing fashion and larger-than-life art installations to see everywhere.

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But really, what I think is best about Coachella are the friends you’re with.

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Beautiful music, well-worn dancing shoes and big belly laughs really are some of the best things in life.

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