First Look

In Wedding photography, the first look or sometimes referred to as a ‘reveal’. What is it? and should we do it?

Traditionally, at least in western culture, the groom is not supposed to see the bride in her wedding dress until she walked down the isle. This , although not the intended reason, offer wedding photographers a great opportunity to capture raw emotion from the groom as sees his bride for the first time in her beautiful white wedding dress. I personally love that…in theory.

The problem with this is, well…we are guys. We often don’t want to show a lot of emotion in front of large crowds of people, our buddies and strangers. So what happens more often than not is capturing a groom who is making the best effort NOT to show his emotions. Sometimes for fear of teasing by his buddies for years to come. Heck, recently there was even a photo of a groom crying at the alter as he watched his bride walk towards him that went viral as people made fun of him. (Crazy, I know).

A great solution to the this is the first look. A short private moment between the bride and groom just before the ceremony. In this time (about 5 minutes) the groom will see the bride for the first time and meet. They can hug, kiss, talk, cry etc… without interference from the officiant or judgment of others. The photographer then captures the moment (best with a long lens from afar).

Every first look I have done with my clients has been just plain awesome sauce! The bride and groom love the private moment, which is often the only one they get for the entire day and we get the ‘moment’ we were hoping for traditionally done at the alter.

While the first look is not for everyone, it should be considered if anything I have said here sound appealing to you.

What do you think?


3 tips when Hiring a Wedding Photographer.

Who ever said planning a wedding is easy? Well, it actually can be if you don’t fall victim of some very common mistakes. As a wedding photographer, I can’t (or won’t) go into other areas such as Videography, DJ services, catering etc… But I can tell you many of the mistakes are the same across the board.

When We get wedding photography inquiries we often get an email like: “Hello, you were recommended to us so we were looking at your website and LOVE your work. We hope you are available on our date. Can you please send us your packages and pricing?”

Ok, so…It’s wonderful that we were recommended, and we think it’s great that they love our work, but…The only question asked was about pricing. Not “How long have you been in business?” or “these images are great, but can we see an entire wedding…or two?” or even “Are all the images on your website yours?”

Yes, people have been known to use images shot by other people, maybe someone they have worked with in the past.

My point is, when you are shopping for a single person to single handedly be responsible for capturing every moment and detail of one of the most important days of your life…Don’t shop by price.

We know that every bride and groom has a budget and we of course want to be within that budget, but sometime the old adage “You get what you pay for” is true.

When I meet with potential clients I often give this advice;

1: Never shop by price, find a photographer who’s work and style you like, meet them and then discuss pricing. Often the photographer can customize the packages to suit your individual needs.

2: Always ask to see at least 1 full wedding the photographer has shot recently. It is easy to put the absolute best shots we have on our website and say “yup, all my work looks that good”, but I guarantee  you it doesn’t. We put our best images up, maybe one or two from every 4th wedding. If you want to see how the photographer shoots normally, look a t 2 or even 3 recent full weddings. If they refuse or can’t do this, walk away.

3: Invest in an album. The average wedding in the Toronto area is between $15,000 and $20,000. That’s a lot of money, of which is all spent on services and consumables.

Think about it, after all is said and done, the day after the wedding, what is there left to hold on to? The dj? music was enjoyed, but gone. The food, eaten. The beautiful wedding dress right? It goes into the closet rarely to be seen again. You get my point right?

The photography, that is what will last, that is what will bring back memories, tears, and laughter. Any ‘good’ wedding album costs around $1000 and up. This is a small chunk of the wedding budget for being the sole item with that power.

Always invest in a ‘good’ wedding album, it is worth it when you can show your children and even grandchildren the amazing day that was your wedding.


First Dance

Toronto Engagement Session

This Toronto engagement session started in a colourful alleyway in Kensington Market before we all hopped in my car and drove down to the Port of Toronto where we waited for the set behind our beautiful downtown skyline. Danielle & Matt were great work with, we can’t wait for the wedding day!

Click any image to enlarge:

Trinidad & Tobago destination wedding.

We just returned from shooting this stunning destination wedding in Trinidad & Tobago. We were able to visit and shoot in some very unique locations and were not limited to the traditional beach style photos that usually accompany destination weddings.

Facebook destination wedding image