Monday, October 12, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Here is a great shoot with a very happy couple, Chantal & Marc, who are getting married at Manderley on the Green Golf Course in October. Chantal is still trying to figure out who Marc love the most, her, or the Mustang!
Monday, June 8, 2009
I found this on another photographers blog and just thought these sentiments were perfect:
#1: Shop for an artist, not an appliance.
Understanding the price points of dishwashers is relatively easy because all dishwashers wash dishes the same way. Differences in pricing are a matter of special features, brand names, warranties and the like. It’s easy to compare, assess, and choose based on your needs and budget.
It’s tempting to shop for a photographer the same way and compare package pricing. The problem is that no two photographers take pictures the same way or have the same point of view. Complicating matters further, no two studios offer the same kind of albums or extras and there are no baseline standards on pricing. So how do you know what you are really paying for?
It helps to think of photography as a creative service rather than a product. You’re not hiring a photographer but commissioning an artist. People buy art because its something they love and want to live with everyday. They pay no attention to the cost of the canvas, paints, or other materials that went into its physical making. Art pieces have intrinsic value based on the owner’s relationship to the piece and your wedding photography should
be the same way. For example, an album that comes in a package is useless unless you love the photos that will go in it.
Look at your budget for photography and eliminate options outside of it (for now). Interview the contenders whose style and work you love. Let go of the “stuff.” Albums, etc. can always come later. In short, start with the art and come back to the price tag.
So what constitutes style? Look carefully at the work you are shown on a photographer’s website or in your first meeting. Do you like one picture, a handful of pictures, or all of what you see? If you love all of what you see (or pretty close to it), it’s likely that you really like that photographer’s style. Do you see yourself in their photos? Would you love to have photos like these of yourself adorning the walls of your home like art? If a particular photo stands out for you, ask the photographer to talk about it…why did he/she take it? You can learn a lot about a photographer’s point of view through conversations like this.
OK, by now you have interviewed a few select photographers whose style you love. While you may never be able to compare apples to apples, the value of each contender’s pricing should become more apparent after interviewing. Remember that a photographer is only worth the extra cost if you can identify what it is that sets them apart from their competition.
#2 You don’t have to be BFFs but you should like the guy/gal
Another relevant thought is that a dishwasher isn’t going to interact with you whereas a photographer will. Ask yourself, are you comfortable around this person? Would you enjoy having him/her/them around on such an important day? Do you know anyone who has worked with this photographer and were they happy with the job he/she/they did? Do you have any concerns that this person will do or say something inappropriate on your wedding day? Are you confident you would have a good experience working with this photographer?
Sometimes I hear a couple say that their friends got better pictures of them than their professional photographer did. When I ask whether or not they liked their photographer as a person, they shrug or say no. This just makes me sad because that photographer didn’t stand a chance: I know from experience how hard it is to get a good picture of someone who isn’t comfortable around you or doesn’t trust you completely. Of course their friends got better pictures!
#3: Don’t ask for the pictures you want, find the guy/gal who already takes them
Here’s a pitfall we have fallen into before. As photographers, we want to please our clients and fulfill special requests. But when asked to work outside of our regular style (i.e. take more close ups or fish eye shots, use a particular effect, recreate another photographer’s picture) our attempt to please may do more harm than good.
For example, a couple described a particular perspective of their ceremony that they saw another in another photographer’s studio and emphasized how important this shot was to them. I spent so much time during the ceremony making it happen despite lighting and physical limitations that I missed the shots I normally get… the ones I am really good at getting. I was trying to wear another photographer’s shoes and, in the process, stepped out of my own.
Love your photographer’s vision and trust it. If you don’t see what you want in the portfolio you are shown, keep looking until you find it.
Friday, May 22, 2009
On May 31st, I'll be donating my services to help to publicize the important volunteer work of some of Ottawa's own young teens Maddie Wright, Hannah Wiens, Marieke Bergman and Cara Schacter. Theses Girls are making a difference in the world along with Cara's inspirational older sister Alyse, donating their time and efforts toward FTC (Free the Children. Here is the article from the Glebe Report, Volume 39 No.4.:
Three teens, $20,000 dollars and two schools
Last summer, three friends were discussing how to mark their 16th birthdays.
Glebites Cara Schacter, Hannah Wiens and Maddie Wright spend most
of their time together and it only seemed natural that their sweet sixteen be
equally joint. Inspired by Cara’s older sister, Alyse, who had raised money for
the Make A Wish Foundation for her 16th birthday party, they decided to celebrate
16 years of good fortune by raising money for Free the Children (FTC).
FTC is a remarkable Canadian charity that has built 500 schools now serving
50,000 children. The girls knew that it would take $8,500 to build a school, but
they were undaunted.
By fall, the girls had contacted Marc Kielburger, chief executive director
of FTC and told him they were going to raise the $8,500 required to build a
school in the third world. After much discussion, the girls decided to build
their school in Sri Lanka. They also got in touch with a New York-based company
(owned by Cara’s great aunt) called Love Quotes, which supports children’s
charities, and pitched the idea to the CEO. She is a strong believer in
the Hebrew concept of “Tikkun Alam,” which means repair of the world, so to
encourage the girls she told them that Love Quotes would match their efforts
dollar for dollar up to $10,000.
School had started and so had the baking. The girls first event was a bake
sale, held at the Glebe Community Centre in November. It took three kitchens,
two months of baking, three freezers and three days of selling, but after the
dishes were finally washed up, the girls had raised their first $1,500. They were
delighted with the results and undertook their next fundraising project with
December and January were spent talking to sponsors. After a generous offer
from Flat Rock Winery, the girls had event number two. Dozens of donation
requests later, the girls had invited 100 people to their “Wine Tasting Fundraising
Event.” It was going to be an elegant, adult evening. Having never been to
a wine tasting, the three fifteen years olds had no idea what to expect – but they
were confident as donations kept flying in, both metaphorically and literally:
Mike White, a Calgary-based wine vendor flew in to run the tasting. And Phyllis
Wiener, their corporate sponsor, flew in from the Big Apple. As it turned
out, it was, as one attendee remarked, “a neighbourhood soirée in the true Ottawa
tradition: the names on the bid forms and the faces in the crowd included
a member of Parliament, a Senator (the legislative kind, not a hockey player),
and the long-ago founder of a local rock music station.”
The food, all donated by local caterers, was superb. Some of the featured
foods were served courtesy of Thyme and Again, Pelican Fishery and Grill, Il
Negozio Nicastro and Gourmet to Go. Essence Catering went all out donating
$2,000 worth of hot and cold appetizers and displaying them on individual
serving platters like an art installation.
The event was complete with a 50 piece silent auction, a true testament to
the girls perseverance and this city’s generous vendors. The auction included
original art by Christopher Griffin, photographs by Lux et Veritas, jewelry by
PIKA , Keens from Glebe Trotters and restaurant certificates from some of
the city’s finest dinning establishments – locals like the New Nupur, Infusion
Bistro, the Urban Pear, Taj Mahal and La Strada generously donated gift certificates
along with Luxe Bistro, The Wellington Gastro Pub and Junipers, to
name a few.
Another highlight was the talk by Marieke Bergman, Free The Children’s
international youth coordinator. She told the story of Craig Kielburger, who
co-founded the organization in 1995, at the age of 12, after running across a
news story on child labour. He was looking for the comic section in his local
paper when he read that Iqbal Masih, a 12-year-old from Pakistan, had been
shot to death for leading protests against child slavery in the carpet trade, from
which he had escaped at age 10.
Their evening gathering raised over $9,000! The three teen philanthropists
are heading into the home stretch of this project with over $20,000 raised. They
will be hosting their joint Sweet-Sixteen party in May for 400 of their closest
friends and following in Alyse’s footsteps, instead of presents, each guest will
be asked to contribute money and extend a hand to repair the world.
“Despite all the differences between us and children in Sri Lanka, going to
school is something we relate to,” – Hannah, Maddie and Cara.