Thursday, November 22, 2007

Marry Me Productions!

Last night I had the chance to go to a vendor appreciation night, put on by the wonderful and uber-talented Stacey Price of Marry Me Productions at the very swanky Foundation Restaurant. It was her way of thanking vendors that she had the chance to work with in 2007. But, turning the tables, I'd like to thank her and all the staff at Marry Me Productions for making us all feel welcome and feeding us!

I have to tell you that Stacey is a superb Ottawa wedding coordinator. I've had the chance to work with her in 2007, and I know that she does a tremendous job when a bride walks into the salon, church and reception stress free. This means that all the stress of the day has been handled by Stacey and her amazing staff. You will immediately be warmed by her personality and charm. I suggest that if you're a busy bride & groom looking for someone to help you make your day a perfect one, call her today! She is booking up very fast for 2008.

I took these pics from Derrick Rice's blog. He was the only smart one to bring a camera! Here is a pic of Derrick, me and the amazing Stacey Price.

I also got the opportunity to meet a number of other Ottawa photographers whose names I know of, but never get the chance to meet as we all tend to be working from similar schedules. All great people, and successful photographers to boot!

In order is: me, Derrick Rice, Andrew Geddes, Ron Zeitlin and Andrew Van Beek.

Again, thanks to Stacey, Anna, Tracy, Chriss and Tiziana for a great night. Looking forward to working with you in '08!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Melina & Brad!

Melina and Brad were probably one of the most easy going couples we've ever worked with. Truly relaxed and stress free, they really made our day so easy. When they initially came to me, they said that they wanted something different. Urban, modern, gritty, and funky. We searched all of Ottawa to get them different, and came up with a number of poses and ideas that we thought would capture their personalities.

Here is a funky make-up shot.

Melina checking out her beautiful dress in a mirror.

A new take on a traditional image.

Mel being helped out of the limo.

Maureen caught this as they were preparing to walk down the aisle.

I love the perspective...

Melina and Brad wanted different...we gave them different...

Nothing better than pillars and concrete to reflect the gritty, urban feel to their images.

Brad's expression is perfect. And wonderful space in the frame.

The group on some rusted stairs...

The boys, relaxed as ever...

I love this portrait of Melina! She looks fab!

Graffiti on a burned out old rig. Need I say more?

Oh my...a new favourite. Love their expressions, love the pose, the door...LOVE IT...

Melina didn't stop smiling all day. I don't think she could have if she wanted to!

Okay, another favourite! Brad is working it.

The stunning bride! Simply gorgeous.

I believe Maureen said "Soooo girly!". I couldn't agree more!

Brad was on at this point! Great portrait.

They had their reception at the Cube gallery. What an amazing venue - surrounded by art, live music and food. It was really unique, just like them!

Loved working with you two (and your family and friends)!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

10 things...

Here are 10 things you might not know about me:

1. I am a huge football fan - that is soccer for those not in the know. My team - Manchester United. I know, I know, but I've been on the wagon since...well, since forever. Ryan Giggs would be my favourite player. 34 years old, left footed and still blazingly fast.

2. I shave once a week. Why? Well, to be honest it just hurts to shave. Really no other reason. By day 6, I start to look like a lumberjack.

3. I don't sleep well before weddings. Generally, I spend the Friday before a Saturday wedding prepping. Going to our shooting location, checking the light, charging batteries, testing equipment etc etc. Those things usually don't bother me, what usually gets under my skin is wondering what new pose or interesting idea I'm going to try as I want, ultimately, each couple to have some very unique photos for their album. When the camera clicks its first shot, the nerves are gone and it's game time.

4. I broke my collarbone walking my dog when I was 13. Well, more like a slow jog. Embarrassing. She wrapped my legs and arms up with the chain so that I couldn't put my hands out to break my fall. I had to wear this really geeky strap that made my arms stick out the sides for like a month. Hey, it's hard for a kid at 13.

5. I shed a few tears when my childhood dog died. Me, along with everyone else in the family I suppose. I loved that dog. Loved it. She was the best and so smart. I wasn't mad at her at all for #4.

6. I am a self taught photographer. No BA or BFA. Once took a college course, but I had read so many books by the time I took the course that I didn't get much out of it. The teacher was so mad at me for not taking notes. That is to say that I wouldn't be afraid to take another course or am not up for learning, because I learn new things every day and am fully aware as to how much more I have to learn.

7. I once got stopped by the cops for doing 113km/h in a 50km/h zone. Ticket was like $365. The reason - late for an early morning tee off.

8. My favourite movie is Braveheart. Being of partial Scottish heritage, this movie made me want to go out and buy a sword screaming at the top of my lungs..."Freeeeeedommmmmm!" I've seen this movie like 100 times and every time I watch the movie I get chills on the back of my neck. Especially the scene where William Wallace rides in to the village on his horse just after they kill his wife.

9. I can sing all the words to Johnny Cash's song Boy named Sue. I love all of his songs.

10. I love to have my Tim Horton's coffee (2 cream, 1 sugar) with a raisin teabiscuit. Each one seems to make the other taste better. Weird. Maureen thinks I'm nuts.

I'm going to tag Derrick Rice, Andrew Geddes and Sam and Mary to see if we can keep this going. (see previous post for their blogs).

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who do you stalk?

I get asked from time to time who's blog I follow. I would more or less consider it blog stalking, because I'm checking their blog every morning over my cup of java and oatmeal.

This is my speed dial of bloggers:

Jessica Claire -
She is a superstar shooter, living in SoCal. Primarily a natural light wedding shooter, she has a way of capturing everyone in a very fresh, clean way. I love her stuff.

The Becker -
Again, a great wedding shooter living in the golden state. I enjoy his images, but moreover enjoy his free spirited approach to blogging and his don't care attitude about expressing his opinion. Lover of all things Apple.

Chase Jarvis -
A wonderful commercial and stock photographer. Do a youtube search for this guy, you will love how he accomplishes his shoots. Just amazing. I love this guy.

Jenn and Steve Bebb -
Oh my, are these guys amazing wedding photographers. I have so much to learn from them. They are based in Vancouver Canada, and were voted one of the World's Top 10 Wedding Photographers in 2007 by American Photo. Stellar, stellar, stellar. Just wish they'd blog a bit more (much like myself). Recently Jenn paired up with Jessica Claire to shoot Gary Fong's wedding (an industry icon himself, no longer shooting weddings) If you only had 1 blog to check out today, pick this one.

Chris + Lynn Jakksa -
International wedding and portrait photographers based in Vancouver. They are a wonderful husband and wife team, who so easily capture emotion, but are unafraid to tackle the elements and low light conditions to create truly one-of-a-kind images for their clients.

Nate and Jaclyn Kaiser -

Wonderfully talented duo who put a wicked spin on what might otherwise be considered fairly mainline photography. Brilliant in their approach. Brilliant in their execution.

Jeff and Julia Woods -

Can you believe this guy used to work 2 jobs to support his wedding photography passion. Such was his talent and mental strength that they now rightfully charge a premium dollar for their premium product and service. Currently, one of my fave photographers to stalk.

Jasmine Star -
Only 2 years in biz and this girl has already taken the wedding photo world by storm. Learned by some of Cali's best and brightest (Mike Colon, David Jay, The Becker...), she has created her own niche and is now taking names.

Bludomain -

My current web hoster. Wonderful product, fun, funky blog.

Nick Onken -
I like this guy. Cool. Laconic. Collected. Great imagery. Talks about more than just photography. Currently has plans to write his own travel book.


Hey, how could I forget my Ottawa brethren?! Sorry gang. Some e-props for you.

Derrick Rice -

Check him out! He's only been in biz a few years (correct me if I'm wrong D) but his burgeoning photography business is taking Ottawa by storm. He's an East Coast lad whose pics and personality please all his clients.

Andrew Geddes -

Andrew is another talented capital city photographer. By putting a new spin on traditional wedding photography, he is helping us shape photography in this great city. Have a look at his latest work.

Sam and Mary -
Great stuff from this duo. Creative, intelligent portraiture really set these guys apart. I love their lifestyle sessions and hyper-realness to their imagery.

For the rest of the Ottawa photographers out there, you had better hop on the blogging train. It's such a great way to connect with clients. I think Susan Stripling said it best "People come to your website once, but they visit your blog daily". Keep it updated, and folks will keep coming back to see what you're doing in your life and what new, unique ideas you've added to your brand.

If you have a few spare hours...or days, go check them out. All do amazing work in their own field and are very involved in giving back to the photographic community. Some do workshops, some give out their secrets and what made them successful on their blog, some show you videos on youtube. All are educational, but moreover all are interesting and fun.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

The speed of Digital!

Something for your mind to chew on today.

I get asked all the time if I get worried about everyone owning a digital camera these days?

The simple answer is NO.

And here's why...

Alongside digital SLR's, manufacturers are making wonderful P&S cameras with anti-shake, anti-dust, self-cleaning, built in video cameras, noise reduction....the list goes on. And for next to nothing! Which is amazing, and I'm so glad for it. It's driving down the price of the camera's that I've got on my Christmas wish list for one thing, and secondly, I'm proud to be part of an industry that is no longer so financially exclusive. It's exciting when I see 7 and 8 year olds with their own camera fighting for a spot when the bride and groom walk down the aisle!

But I digress...

My point was that despite the fact that cameras are so cheap today, packed with so much amazing shooterness (yes, shooterness!), all the basic photographic rules still apply. And if you don't know how to use to your benefit or control, you'll have a hard time 'getting the shot'. The aesthetics, the light, the composition, the attachment to the subject, when to shoot - these things haven't changed since the dawn of the photographic image. You can shoot and shoot and shoot until you're blue in the face, and say that you'll fix in photoshop, but what have you learned? You've 20 shots of the same thing with the same mistake. And you'll continue to make that mistake.

People ask me why they should pay me for my services when their uncle who owns a digital SLR, is an avid amateur, will shoot their wedding for $500 and give them all the images untouched.

Same reason you don't take your car to a plumber. It's going to seem like a plumber fixed your car.

Why would you give the responsibility of capturing the biggest day of your life to someone clearly isn't going to get you exactly what you want? You want images you will cherish the same 20 years from now as you do today.

This just emphasizes my point. It's great that everyone at a wedding today has a camera. Will they get some great shots? Yes. Will they capture some great expressions? Surely. Anyone can get lucky.

We're not in the business to get lucky. We work very hard to get you the shots that you hired us for in the first place. And do it fast. We scope out the venue, check the light against the time we'll be shooting. I storyboard all my weddings, and I have a shot list (I'm not talking about the Bride w/ Dad and Mom list) that we stick pretty closely to. We have our eye on details and moments, and using top end professional equipment that we know not many other folks in attendance will have and set us apart in that respect.

So, does it bother me that camera's are loaded with options and a ridiculous number of features and everyone owns one?

Once again, no. I'm glad that the advent of the digital era is upon us. It's allowing everyone to be able to take photos of events in their lives. Photos that will probably be around for a long, long time. Never has it been easier to upload pics to your own website or blog, or load an album into Facebook and connect with old friends or family across the world. That's truly remarkable!

Do I think I can take a better photo than the average shooter? I think that I have all the tools and knowledge and preparation to providing you with the best possible photos on your day. I think I come very well armed to give you some pretty special photos. Photos that you may not find in anyone else's album or on their wall or above their mantle.

Have a great Thursday!