Tenesha & Dwayne | edmonton engagement photographer

It has been ridiculously rainy in Edmonton lately, so our first crack at doing this session ended up getting rained out about 10 minutes in.  We ended up re-scheduling for the following weekend and I am so glad we did!  The light was perfect, and everything was just so green from all of the water.  We took these photos in Callingwood and I hadn’t been out there in awhile, but the area had recently been the victim of a fire, so about half of the area I usually shoot in was completely burnt down.  As sad as that was for me to see, the resulting burnt out forest made for some amazing shots right at the end of our session.
Dwayne and Tenesha, I am so excited for your wedding this coming August, you two are obviously not only made for eachother, but are clearly best friends.  I had so much fun both days we went out, and these photos just fell into place, we all made a great team!  Enjoy :) 

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Steph + Trevor | edmonton destination wedding photographer

I met Steph for a consultation in a local coffee shop.  She had e-mailed me because her original destination resort had fallen through, as did that resort’s photographer, so now she needed to bring one along and my recent wedding in Jamaica had gotten her attention!  From the minute I met Steph I knew we would become great friends, we instantly clicked.

I got to do a boudoir session with Steph, and an engagement session with both Steph and Trevor (where I had to hide that I had worked with her prior), both were unbelievably fun, and I knew Steph’s smile would be the absolute highlight of her wedding!

Fast forward to May and we found ourselves in Mexico at the beautiful Grand Marival Resort in Neuvo Vallarta.  I hit it off with Steph and Trevor’s entire family instantly, we definitely got into a bit of trouble before the big day.  The morning of the wedding we woke up to gorgeous blue skies and incredibly warm temperatures.  Steph & Trevor, Lindsay and I had an absolute blast at your wedding.  Not only was it an honor and privilege to share the day with a couple so obviously in love, but I was blessed to be able to capture that love.  Congratulations you guys, I couldn’t be any happier for the both of you!

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Jennifer + Cody | edmonton winter wedding photographer

It had been the warmest spring we’ve had in my recent memory.  The snow was melting in February, and it would even rain on occasion, this was not something that ever happened in Alberta at this time of the year.  I was out scouting locations on the Thursday and Friday before the weekend, and honestly I was getting so discouraged.  Everything was brown, muddy, and very dirty looking, I was very nervous that we wouldn’t get the winter wedding we had been anticipating… and then it started snowing.

Jennifer and Cody are like two sides of the same coin.  These two were absolutely meant to end up with one another.  Everything about this wedding screamed true love.  The snow was definitely not warm, but February in Alberta usually hovers around -25, and it was only -5 that day.  The heavens opened up and sprinkled a soft layer of clean bright snow in the morning, and provided the perfect backdrop for photos.  We were even able to capture a couple great shots at The Alberta Hotel Bar & Kitchen!

I really couldn’t be any happier with this entire set.  Congratulations you two, it was an absolute honour to be there with you on your big day!

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Second Shooter: Amelia Wright
Dress: David’s Bridal
Makeup: Amber with Amber Yellow Makeup
Hair: Finding Forever After - Bridal Hair and Makeup
Cake: Triple L cakes
Limo: Legends Limousine Ltd.
Florist: Cal at Grower’s Direct West End
Officiant: David Rohrick
Decor & Centerpieces: Bride On A Budget
Venue/Caterer: Four Points By Sheraton Edmonton South
And a special thanks to Alberta Hotel Bar & Kitchen for letting us take a few snaps in there, you guys were awesome!

Sarah + Michael | calgary wedding photographer

I was so excited when Sarah asked me to come photograph her wedding in Calgary.  I take every opportunity to try new things, and Michael worked in the oil industry, an industry I was all too familiar with.  The idea they had for their wedding photos were so much fun.  Sarah had sent me previews before the wedding of where she wanted to go, and I knew the rolling hills would make a gorgeous backdrop.  

Thanks so much for including me in your big day guys!  I had so much fun! 

 

Sam + Kyle | edmonton wedding photographer

I was so looking forward to Sam & Kyle’s wedding!  These two are stunning, and with such big families and lots of brothers and sisters, I knew it was going to be a blast.  Sam, you were absolutely stunning on your wedding day, and you all made me feel like part of the family.  What an amazing day!

how to choose your wedding photographer | edmonton wedding photography

I have decided to write this post in an effort to help, not only my clients, but every bride out there choose a wedding photographer.

Your wedding date, short of the birth of your children, is one of the most monumental and important days of your life.  When I speak with brides about booking I always tell them that they should book the big three first, caterer, venue (and officiant), and photographer, as all three of these big items book up quickly and are incredibly important.

Obviously I am biased, but I truly believe that wedding photography is one of the best investments you can make on your wedding day.  After the food is eaten, the lights turned down, the flowers wilted, the cake gone, and your dress is packed up in that dust protecting box in the top of closet… you are left with the memories of that day.  Your photographs from that day are something that you will look at every day for the rest of your life.  You will use these photos for canvases, prints, social media, on your bedside table, in your wallet, on your desk, and you will show them to your children and your children’s children.  They are a constant and beautiful reminder of that day and the epic and beautiful love you and your spouse felt for each other and continue to feel for each other every single day.

That being said, choosing a wedding photographer is often a confusing and difficult process.  There are so many of us.  We all have unique packages, pricing, techniques and editing style.  So here are a few steps I would follow if I were in your shoes:

Choose Your Style.
Every photographer has a unique style.  Whether it is specializing in natural-lit photography, candid photos, photojournalistic photos, film, or formal portraits.  Some photographers have a clean and bright style, while others specialize in black in white, and still others have a “matte” vibe to their photographs.  And still, some photographers incorporate a mix of all techniques.  It is so important that you do your research and decide what kind of photos you want out of your wedding day, and choose a photographer based on that decision.

Meet Potential Photographers in Person.
Every photographer I know will offer free consultations to meet with you, and you should take full advantage of that.  It is incredibly important that you meet with potential photographers and ask questions, go over their contract (more about that later) and make sure you actually get along with them.  Photographers are usually there with you for your entire day, from getting ready for the day to getting ready to go to bed (and sometimes still even the morning after for a sunrise session), it is incredibly important that you like them!

Don’t Make it About Price.
Do not get me wrong here, I know that you have a budget, and it is so important to stick to that budget.  I know that weddings are not cheap, and I know that you have to make a million decisions on what you allocate that money to.  Firstly, almost every photographer I know, including myself, will work with you to get their package price closer to your budget.  DO NOT eliminate the chance of getting your favorite photographer as soon as you see their package prices, talk to them about it and see if they can help you out.  
Furthermore, my pricing on my website is located under the “Investment” tab, not a “Pricing” tab because your wedding photographer is an investment, a smart and calculated investment in art.  You are getting an amazing return on these photos, memories that will last you a lifetime.  Consider the value when comparing quotes, one photographer may be cheaper, but the more expensive one may give you more bang for your buck, may offer gorgeous photos, and may have that amazing “customer service” experience you are looking for.  Not only that, but some photographers offer a base price (for their initial site time), but tack on additional charges later for the actual digital files, or additional printing or coverage options. It is so important to understand what you are getting for the price you are quoted.  It is easy to go with the cheaper photographer, but you may end up paying more in the long run.
Also consider that photographers charge the amount they do based on a business model.  If you want a photographer that is invested in their company, in their work, in their equipment, and in their craft, then you should expect that they will charge a rate that reflects that.  Photography business is not cheap, and if someone is quoting you a very low price keep in mind that they may not be using back-up equipment, they may not archive your photos in case you ever lose them and need to get them back, and they may just walk away from their responsibility, because they are not invested like a true professional would be.

Dig Deep.
You are investing a lot of money on photography no matter who you go with, and you are trusting this person with your wedding day photography, this cannot be re-done.  Talking to any photographer you will know that wedding photography is an incredibly difficult and stressful endeavor, make sure that you go with someone that is incredibly confident in their abilities.  Dig deep into those photographers you meet with.  Ask to see an entire wedding portfolio, not just the best of the best.  Some photographers haven’t done that many weddings, so you are taking a chance on them.  Saying that though, I am so incredibly lucky that couples took a chance on me otherwise I wouldn’t be where I am today.  If they are offering albums or prints ask to see samples. 
And most importantly, ensure that your photographer has a contract for you to sign.  A contract protects you and your photographer; it outlines their rates and fees, processing times, dates and times.  It talks about what happens if equipment is stolen or a tornado blows through that day.  Also ask your photographer what they would do if it rained that day, how they would deal with arguing family members or fussy children.  Ask them what they would do if it incredibly hot and you are sweaty and shiny all day.  Ask them if they would edit every single photo if you have a zit on your forehead.  Make sure they can answer these questions and are knowledgeable about how they will accomplish capturing some of your most important memories.

Trust Your Photographer.
Once you have chosen this person you must be able to trust them.  They are a professional, and if you choose the right person for the job they will care just as much about your wedding photos as you do, I can promise that.  The best thing about hiring a professional and trusting them is that it is one less thing you have to worry about on your big day!

I hope this was informational, and if you have anything to add please send me an e-mail so I can include it.   I am so passionate about my business, but most importantly I want to see brides happy and confident with their photographer.  I hate hearing those “horror stories” about brides not being pleased with their photographer and now they don’t have the photos they wanted to remember that special day.  I’m hoping that this information can alleviate that sort of thing from happening to future brides.  Good luck and congratulations on your engagement!!!

<3  J.

Kim + Rene | edmonton engagement photographer

Kim and Rene are absolutely made for each other.  I was so thrilled when they told me that they wanted their photos done on family property, and they wanted to include their French Bulldog, Winston!  I loooooove working with animals, and he was an absolute treat.
Kim and Rene, the chemistry between you two is so apparent, you are clearly meant to spend the rest of your lives together, and I am so excited for your wedding! 

Shayla | edmonton maternity photographer

It was so awesome to be able to do these photos for Shayla.  She is already absolutely stunning, but she was radiant in these photographs.  She had that glow that the rest of us are so envious of.  Not to mention her adorable puppy that came along to partake in a few shots.  I absolutely love the fall colors and the falling leaves and the general splendor of Autumn in Edmonton.

Charissa + Erich | edmonton engagement photographer

Charissa and Erich found me on Facebook.  I had never met them prior to this session, and I’m not sure what it is about these two, but we hit it off instantly.  They felt like family after this session, and it seemed like every photograph I took was magical.  The absolute adoration these two have for each other is stunning, and I had so much fun in Mill Creek with them, can’t wait to do it again!

Sara + Todd | edmonton engagement photographer

Sara and Todd are so sweet.  I couldn’t have been more thrilled when Sara asked me to go out to her family’s farm to go take photos with the white picket fences and horses.  Sara and I met when we worked together at Earl’s, and we instantly hit it off.  I was so blessed to be able to take her engagement photographs, and am so excited for her wedding in Canmore!