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July 4, 2014

A *real* wedding photographer….

{ picture this … }


Wedding planners see a LOT of wedding photos.

Wedding planners who own wedding blogs see even more.

I’ll never forget a wedding I was coordinating a couple of years ago. The photographer(s) and I were standing at the back of the ceremony and I was shown a sneak-peek back-screen shot of the ceremony that was still happening before my very eyes. The image was immaculately angled, perfectly composed. It was art.

Without any post-production, cropping, editing, colour enhancements, or fine-tuning in Photoshop, the image staring back at me was nothing short of art.

It doesn’t take much more than a moderate investment in a DSLR to “take pictures”. Sadly, we’ve all heard horror stories of pretend-photographers selling services to unassuming brides, seriously under-cutting the industry, and providing little more than a let-down when their images prove to be little more than what guests at the wedding were able to capture on their iPhone.

Photography isn’t about taking pictures.

Photography is an art.

A *real* wedding photographer is an artist.

And like any seasoned artist, photographers pour time, money, and soul in to perfecting the art they create.

A *real* wedding photographer has education. Whether it’s years spent in school or countless minutes, hours, days, months spent pouring over every tutorial they can possibly get their hands on…. you pay for knowledge.

A *real* wedding photographer invests time into his/her art. Often photography isn’t a full-time endeavour – completely understood…. but consider the amount of time that goes into perfecting a craft and understand that if your photographer is paying his/her bills using what they love, they need to charge accordingly.

A *real* wedding photographer owns real equipment: multiple cameras, multiple lenses, back-up storage and back-up back-up storage. I  mean, I can’t speak for myself (I bought my DSLR used on Kijiji) but photographic gear isn’t cheap. You get what you pay for. If you’re getting married in a dark, stone-walled chapel, you’re going to want your photog to have diffused lighting options. If you’re keen on detail shots, their investment in multiple lenses will be what delivers those Pinterest-worthy frames you love.

A *real* wedding photographer knows his/her worth. Artists don’t get rich doing what they love. Conversely, most of us struggle financially just so that we have the privilege in life to do what sets our souls on fire. Those cheap, Kijiji, newbie price packages destroy mostly every wedding-related industry – photography (and, ironically – planning) included. A real photographer charges real photography prices – entirely without apology.



And this blog is, by no means, meant to undercut the importance of new, passionate, aspiring entrepreneurs.

All *real* wedding photographers once started somewhere – without equipment, without experience, without designer camera bags. I get it.

Over the past five years I’ve had the distinct pleasure of watching “beginner” photographers blossom in to some of the most heart-gripping, talented artists I’ve ever worked with. Of course, every act of creating has a learning curve; there is something amazing to be said for combining a new passion with a new camera and a new outlook on how to make the world more beautiful. But, my beloved Brides, please, for the love of all that is beautiful in the world, be discerning.

Please don’t book an unknown, inexperienced DSLR-owner for a tiny little handful of dollars and just “hope for the best”.

You have one shot at the best shots.

Please be discerning.

If the price for wedding photography seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Having planned hundreds of weddings, I’ve personally seen the best and the worst that photography can showcase – $10,000 packages gone horribly wrong, and $500 packages that blew most pro’s entirely out of the water… but there is a happy|safe|acceptable middle ground.

Do your research.

There is an industry standard for average pricing (with a natural range of standard deviation). Take the time to understand why some prices might be far higher than the average, and conversely, why others might be far lower.

Do your research. (or you can always ask us!)

Scour all the images you can get your hands on. Most photographers lead with a small sample of their best images. Ask to see shots from an entire wedding. Decide whether the pictures you’re looking at make you “feel” anything. Magic happens the moment you lay eyes on an image of strangers in love that makes your heart skip a beat (like this gorgeous moment from Diane Personett Photography:


Make sure it’s the artistic style of the image that you love – and not the lavish centerpieces on the table or the glittery chevron pattern on the stationary pictured.

Pictures are not the same thing as art.

Photographic artists play with everything they can to give rise to unique, creative, emotional, breathtaking images. I’ve watched photographers bend light, create reflections, capture angles,  perfect poses, even stick wedding rings in chewing gum just to get them to stand meticulously vertically inside one another. Photographers capture tiny little details that would otherwise vanish in to the ether (after all, how else would anyone remember the painstaking effort you put in to your DIY escort cards or hand-made wedding favours?)

These end up being the shots that everyone notices, and no one forgets. These are the photographers who dare to colour outside the lines, and it shows (in the best possible way).

*Real* wedding photographers produce images that make you feel things.

*Real* wedding photographers capture moments that would otherwise have gone completely unnoticed.

*Real* wedding photographers enhance and convey the beauty they’re surrounded with.

*Real* wedding photographers know how much of who they are goes into what they do – and aren’t afraid to charge accordingly.

And if you’re planning a wedding for the first time, ask around. There’s nothing wrong with turning to near-and-dear ones for recommendations (but make sure they, themselves, know first-hand!). Personal endorsements go a long, long way when you’re treading unknown wedding-planning territory, but make sure that you’re collecting them from other brides, newlyweds, or wedding planning experts directly.

Your wedding photographer is an artist. Let them be creative, appreciate the effort they may for you, and be patient with them as they sculpt perfection in your shots and in their editing.

As a planner|blogger who has seen hundreds of thousands of wedding photos, I promise you, it’ll be worth all the time, money, and faith that you put in to their art.


{{ blog love :: images courtesy of Serena Swan Photography + Rick Denham Photography}}


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May 28, 2012

{Love is a Wonder of the World} – Niagara Falls Wedding Ceremony

{ Congratulations, Jenn + Ned! }

Last week we had the opportunity to witness best friends Jenn and Ned exchange marriage vows at the brink of the majestic Niagara Falls, Ontario. Our bride and groom took centre stage inside romantic Rambler’s Rest for their wedding ceremony and it was nothing but blue skies and sunshine for this special WG couple. An intimate ceremony shared with only a handful of their closest loved ones was followed by a private photo session with Jennifer Hortin of mINK Creative Photographic, who managed to capture the elegance, beauty, and love that swirled about all day long. From their First Look over the fountains of the Fallsview Casino, to their loving embraces in the gardens of the Niagara Parks, Jenn and Ned were so obviously in love with one another that it was impossible not to be enraptured in the magic the two of them felt as they finally became husband and wife.

{Behind – The – Scenes }



All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a more loving couple, for more beautiful weather, or a more perfect day. Jenn and Ned – wishing you nothing but blue skies and sunshine along your journey through life. We love you both!

~ all of us at WG

{ Vendor Love }

Ceremony Location: Rambler’s Rest, Niagara Parks Commission

Officiant: Reverend Derek Rymarchuk, The Wedding Company of Niagara

Photography: Jennifer Hortin, mINK Creative photographic studios

Florals: Cathy Neale, Jean’s Flower Shop

Hair + Makeup:  Cavalier Hair Salon, Hamilton

Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal, Mississauga

Planning + Coordination: WeddingGirl.ca


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December 12, 2010

Boudoir Photography | Jesse James Photography and Enchantment Makeup Artistry

In line with yesterday’s Trash-The-Dress inspired photography blog, here’s another element of pre-wedding photography that more and more brides are considering: boudoir! (written by Meagan and Jesse)

Boudoir Photography: The New Must-Do Photo Shoot

Written by: Meagan of Enchantment Makeup Artistry and Jesse of Jesse James Photography

Many brides are participating in the trend of “trashing their dress” after their wedding day as this is a way of showing their husbands they are committed to them and will never need to wear their dress again. This is a fabulous way of celebrating the end of their wedding period and the beginning of a new life together. Another wedding photography related trend is to participate in a boudoir style photo shoot before the wedding day.  While a “trash the dress” photo shoot is extremely fun, it lacks the intimacy that a boudoir shoot can create in the photos and between husband and wife.

For brides who are looking for the perfect gift for their groom, look no further! A boudoir photo shoot is a unique, thoughtful gift to give to your husband-to-be. What better way is there to start off your wedding and marriage than by giving your loved one an album of sexy, classy, and intimate photos of you? These are photos that will last forever (remember in the movie “Titanic” when the granddaughter asks Rose if that’s really her?)  Not only is this something your husband will enjoy looking at again and again but you will remember the experience every time you look at them.

Getting in front of any camera can be nerve-racking. This can become even more difficult with such intimate photos. Feelings of awkwardness may arise and you may prefer to stay more on the clothed-side, which is completely fine and definitely an option…. but from experience most girls tend to loosen up after a few pictures are taken and really get into the photos! We want to create photos that are tasteful and classy, yet are something that you and your husband will love! If you are considering participating in a boudoir shoot keep in mind that some of the best shots come when you let your guard down.

Jesse James Photography and Enchantment Makeup Artistry are working together to create stunning photo packages available to you. All packages include professional hair and makeup. For details on packages and price points please e-mail Jesse at giammattolo@hotmail.com or Meagan at m.eagles13@gmail.com. If your wedding day has already passed these photos also make great anniversary, Valentines Day, Christmas, or Birthday gifts.

Below are some photos from our latest boudoir marathon. A special Thanks to the  brave girls for letting us post their pictures!

Sexy Stockings

Sultry Silhouette

Black Lace

Champagne Dreams


Daring Dreams


Meagan and Jesse are so excited to share their arts with you that they are giving away a free Boudoir Photography shoot by Jesse James Photography with makeup enhancements by Enchantment Makeup Artistry (which will also provide you a great opportunity to discuss bridal makeup details with an expert!)

Each of the above photos has a sexy name. All you have to do to win your free Boudoir Photo + Makeup experience is Contact Us with the name of your favourite boudoir shot!

One lucky bride-to-be will be selected from the participants by Meagan and Jesse, and awarded this fabulous experience!

Good luck!

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