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March 5, 2014

wedding day “Friendors” | Serena Swan Photography

{ my thoughts on “Friendors” }

By: Serena Swan

So, you really need your hair done!

You are talking it over with a friend over coffee and she says to you “Well I just got a new pair of shears and would love to help you out!”. The scissors that she has are the same ones that the pros use and she’s offering to do it super cheap/free. Why not let your friend try her hand at your hair??

I know what you’re thinking right now… HECK NO!!

So if you wouldn’t let your random friend try out her questionable hair cutting skills on your hair (that will eventually grow back) why would you let a friend take on the job of capturing one of the biggest days of your life? A day, mind you, for which there will be no do-overs.

Serena Swan Toronto Wedding Photographer

My name is Serena and I am a girl who likes to make lists. So with that, here is a list with my top reasons to invest in a professional photographer:

A Backup for the Backup. A friend or someone starting out may have a really great camera but in most cases it is their only piece of equipment. As time has taught us, sometimes things break or malfunction. If a camera or other piece of equipment decides to throw in the towel in the middle of your wedding day, you want to know that there is a backup right there to take over the job.

Knowledge is Power.  Wedding days, as we all know, are very hectic. The photographer has to be organized and ready for anything. From organizing family and details, dealing with changing light conditions, to creating all those amazingly natural-yet-posed portraits. When you have never undertaken an event of this magnitude, it’s hard for a new photographer to know what moves to make. This can make the day run far less smoothly and often results in missed moments that you can’t get back.

Two is better than One: Everyone knows that two is better than one! On your wedding day a professional photographer will more than likely working closely with a second shooter. This gives them the ability to give you two points of view as the day progresses. As one photographer is capturing shots of the bride walking down the aisle with her father the other is snapping away at the groom’s expression when he sees his beautiful bride for the first time. The added benefit to the second shooter is yet another backup should the unthinkable happen.  If, heaven forbid, something happens to one piece of equipment, it’s not a total loss because you have both a back-up photographer in addition to back-up equipment.

We work for you.  The mindset between someone who you have hired to photograph your wedding and a friend, who is helping you out, is very different. For a professional photographer every wedding is a test of their skill, and every client is a test to their reputation. They are going to work hard for you from start to finish because they know that you have made an investment in their art. Issues can arise when hiring a family member or friend to photograph your wedding. Just ask Mary of WeddingGirl.ca about her thoughts on “Friendors”. These arrangements can create a scenario where there is no line between guest and vendor. Along with the “to party or to work?” conundrum, there is also the possibility of dealing with issues once the wedding is over. If you are unhappy with the wait time or the images themselves, it can become something that can put a wall between you and a lifelong friend or family member. No one wants that elephant in the room at Christmas Day brunch!

The Edits.  Once the wedding day is over, it’s just the beginning for your photographer. Next comes the backing up of your images to ensure their safety, and then the culling and editing. It takes dozens of hours to go through thousands of frames captured throughout your day. The software and equipment used for editing may be something your friend/family member has never used or may not even own. You may feel like its okay for the images to just be given to you on a disc, as-is… but how do you think you’ll feel spending hours scrolling through poorly-lit images, un-cropped and un-edited… with imperfections and bright red EXIT signs for all the world to see? Much like strolling through an art gallery of half-finished paintings, your wedding photos will be incomplete and you’ll be left disappointed.

If she’s not a licensed hair stylist, you wouldn’t risk your tresses in the hands of unabashed passion for all-things-hair.

The same goes for photos.

Everyone has a camera these days…. but your wedding photographer is an artist. Let them paint the day of your dreams.

Serena Swan Photography Toronto

 

Serena Swan Photography Logo

Serena Swan is a Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer in the Hamilton, Niagara, and Toronto area and the official photographer of the #WGx team.

Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for life through her lens.

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January 29, 2014

Pictures vs. Art | a Wedding Photography blog

{ picture this … }

HitchedAbroad-set-SerenaSwanPhotography

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.

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

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.

RickDenhamPhotographyTorontoWedding

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 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. 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 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:

DiannePersonettPhotography

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).

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.

—-

{ photog submission contest }

Hey Wedding Photographers!

Send us a frame of your most artistic | emotional | creative wedding moment (and give us the back-story if there’s a great one!)

All images will be featured in a follow-up blog post and voted on by our readers. The winning photo will receive a spotlight post on the WG blog along with a feature on the artist behind it.

Please submit your image to info@weddinggirl.ca before February 10th, 2014.

Good Luck!

 

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

 

 

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April 12, 2013

Alixandra Gould :: Toronto Wedding Photographer

{ Cynthia + Kevin }

Written by Alixandra Gould, Alixandra Gould Photography

Cynthia and Kevin were blessed with a sunny and warm (well, sort of) day for their March 30th wedding. This lovely couple had a fun, relaxed celebration in their native Oakville, and brought me in to capture their big day.

Will all shades of purple colouring the festivities, it was certainly a bright arrangement! It only matched their colourful personalities and great senses of humour. Kevin and his buddies were joking and watching the Simpsons all the way up until they had to head down to the altar. And instead of suffering through the day in painful heels and uncomfortable dress shoes, the couple instead opted for Converse foot wear… a perfect match for this down to earth duo.

There’s no doubt that Cynthia and Kevin have a strong support system, with great friends and a wonderful and kind family. It was a pleasure to spend the day with everyone.

This is just a sampling of some of the great moments and memories that were captured. More to come!

Black and White Bride Alixandra Gould Photography

Toronto Wedding Photographer Alixandra GouldGroom Sneakers and Tie Alixandra Gould Photography

Purple Wedding Details Alixandra Gould Photography

First Kiss Photo Alixandra Gould Photography

Winter Wedding Photography Alixandra Gould

Winter Wedding Portraits Alixandra Gould Photography

Toronto Wedding Photography Alixandra GouldPurple Wedding Decor Alixandra Gould Photography

Bubble Gum Wedding Favour Alixandra Gould Photography

Toronto Budget Wedding Photographer Alixandra Gould

 

 

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December 10, 2010

WG Feature | Dayian Photography | Toronto Wedding Photographer

Filed under: Bridal Blog,Photography,Vendors — Tags: , — WeddingGirl @ 5:17 pm

Remember the TTD photoshoot I did with a few local (relatively new) photographers? Well, Joe Dayian was one of them!! This blog is dedicated to him and the world as seen through his lens!

In Joe’s words….

Joe Dayian is a Toronto based wedding photographer who describes his style as “photojournalism with a touch of flair”. His love of photography started in high school way back in the 80′s. But his real passion started five years ago with the purchase of his first DSLR. “The digital age has transformed the industry” says Joe. “I spent countless hours in the darkroom back then but the resources available today are far superior than 20 years ago.”

Style?

“My main goal is to document the couple’s wedding day and present it in a storyline. I like to be as unobtrusive as possible when capturing these images. I do this about 80 percent of the day. The other 20 percent is when I have the couple alone or in a small group. We can then get creative, add in some lighting and posing to create artistic fashion inspired images.”

Weddings?

“It was rather a natural progress. First comes taking pictures of friends and family, then it’s your friends asking you to take pictures of their children, then being asked to shoot weddings. Finally with the latter I had found the avenue I wanted to pursue. Capturing a couple on their most exciting and special day is pure adrenaline! And with this wedding season under my belt I’m really looking forward to 2011.”

What makes him different?

“Photography is mainly about light, a photographer must learn to see the light, understand the light and utilize the light. It’s not enough these days to stick a flash on top of a camera and blast away. But that’s only part of the equation. Providing great customer service is as important. I’m shooting weddings for the love and passion of creating lasting impressions, of creating art, and sharing that art with my couples.”

Joe can be found at www.dayianphotography.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dayianphotography

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July 26, 2010

Bridecast! | Part 1 | Dave and Charlotte – Toronto Lifestyle Photographers

Dave and Charlotte: Lifestyle Photographers

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with the amazing Dave and Charlotte, of Dave and Charlotte, Lifestyle Photographers in beautiful High Park, Toronto.

Here’s Part 1 of our Dave And Charlotte Bridecast series – all about wedding photography and what makes these two so incredibly fabulous!

Bridecast!

WeddingGirl.ca | Bridecast 9 | Lifestyle Photography | Dave & Charlotte from Studio67 on Vimeo.

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