Why you should do a first look session at your wedding
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
I understand that many couples may still want to stay within tradition of not seeing each other until the actual ceremony. However, there are several reasons why I suggest why you should do a first look session at your wedding. Sometimes the show needs to get going more quickly. For fall and winter weddings, the daylight doesn’t last nearly as long as in the spring and summer. If you can’t schedule your ceremony earlier in the day, make sure to schedule your formal portrait session before the ceremony. If you’re going to go this route, before you begin the formal portrait session, why not do a first look in which the couple see each other for the first time in their wedding outfits. Be sure that they’re alone so that this can truly be a magical moment for them.
Shooting all of the family photos, wedding party photos and photos of just the bride and groom takes at least 2-3 hours. And since most couples prefer to have these photos taken outside, consideration must be taken to ensure that there is enough available daylight after the ceremony to A) get to the location where the portraits will be taken and B) shoot all of the portraits.
To me, these problems can be solved simply by scheduling a first look photo session hours before the ceremony. For those couples who are getting married at a time that will not afford much daylight after the ceremony, having the first look and then all of the family, wedding party and bride and groom photos taken beforehand will solve the problem of fleeting daylight hours as well as not making guests have to wait hours and hours between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception.
Speaking as a photographer, for any couples who truly want to get the most “in-the-moment’ photos of their wedding day, I highly recommend you to consider scheduling a first look photo session with your photographer. Also, if possible have two photographers to capture the moment–one shooting the groom’s reaction while the 2nd photographer shoots the bride’s reaction of seeing the other. If it’s not possible to have two photographers, it can still be done quite nicely with one photographer. (See examples below, which were both shot by me.) And with that, enjoy these first look wedding photos.
If you’re looking for an Ottawa area wedding photographer, I would love to hear from you. If you want to do a first look photo session on your wedding day, definitely count me in. Contact me to book a wedding consultation. I would love to hear all about your fantastic wedding plans. Besides photographing weddings in Ottawa and Gatineau, I’m also available to shoot weddings in Kanata, Stittsville, Carp, Nepean, Barrhaven, Richmond, Munster, Arnprior, Carleton Place, Manotick, Perth, North Gower, Greely, Beckwith, Embrun, Russell, Edwards, Lanark, Orleans, Cumberland, Clarence, Rockland, Alfred and Plantagenet, Hull, Aylmer, Chelsea, Wakefield, L’Ange-Gardien, Masson-Angers, Buckingham, Montebello and anywhere in between.
Contact me today to get my pricing guide and to book a consultation. 🙂
Gatineau Fall Maternity Photos
Little Lamb Photography
I shot some Gatineau fall maternity photos of a fantastic couple last weekend at the Canadian Museum of History in Hull, QC. The weather was perfect. The sun was shining with minimal clouds and the temperature was pretty warm. It was a perfect day for an outdoor portrait session.
I have to say something about this particular couple. You can’t even believe how adorable these guys are. They’re one of the most lovey-dovey couples I’ve had the pleasure to work with. I love when I see husbands who are in total awe of their wives. You’ll start to swoon when you hear how Jérémie was constantly telling Jennifer how beautiful she was. The best part about all of this is that their baby will grow up knowing what a good relationship is because he/she will witness a wonderful relationship every day just by watching how maman and papa are with each other. I think that’s so important in this day and age when there are so many broken families and too much selfishness found in so many people. However, I’m confident that no matter what is going on in the world, this family will have love at home. Just as I was writing about these two lovebirds and thinking about the great love they have for each other, I was reminded of a church song that my mom used to hum to us at bedtime and what I now sing to my daughter at bedtime:
“There is beauty all around when there’s love at home;
There is joy in every sound, when there’s love at home.
Peace and plenty here abide, smiling sweet on every side.
Time doth softly, sweetly glide, when there’s love at home.”
Without further ado, I hope that you enjoy these fall maternity photos with this wonderful, loving couple. 🙂
Gatineau Family Photographer Little Lamb Photography
This past weekend I shot a few fall family photos in Gatineau, QC. Here’s a sneak peek from one of those shoots. I hope you like it. Don’t you just love those beautiful autumn colours? So do I. 🙂
I would love to photograph you and your family. Contact me today to book your family photo session. I shoot outdoor family photos in every season.
Featured on a Bicycle Built For Two Wedding Blog
I’m happy to say that Mariah and Natacha’s wedding was featured on a Bicycle Built for Two’s wedding blog. This is the second time that their beautiful wedding has been featured. They just had so many pretty details in their wedding, that I wanted to share them with everyone.
I hope you like the feature. Check it out on A Bicycle Built For Two‘s blog. 🙂
5 Words of Advice To Achieve Better Wedding Photos
Ottawa Wedding Photographer Blog
Over the years I’ve seen quite a few brides. And with various brides, I’ve seen things that I knew could have been done better for a much better outcome. Here are 5 words of advice to achieve better wedding photos from someone who has probably seen it all (or close to it):
Makeup: First of all, you should hire a professional makeup artist to do your makeup. They know how much makeup is needed to look good in wedding photos. Make sure they’re using waterproof mascara. I shot a wedding this past summer in which a bride cried during the ceremony and afterwards she looked like a raccoon. I blame the makeup artist for that mess. That should never have happened. The bride’s makeup should look good no matter what. Many brides will cry at some point during their wedding day and they don’t want to look like a mess afterwards. I actually polled several makeup artists and they all said that waterproof mascara is the norm for bridal makeup, unless the bride specifically requests not to have it (due to an allergy or some other reason.)
And although your makeup artist will apply lipstick or lip gloss on your lips, it’s not going to last all day, so you should have something with you all day for touch ups. One of my brides told me that when she had her makeup done, she purchased the exact same lipstick that her makeup artist used so that she could reapply it throughout the day and it would look the same. You can do this when you have your makeup trial and you can ask your makeup artist what lipstick they used. Or, you can bring something similar. Just make sure that you have something to reapply throughout the day so that your makeup still looks put together throughout the day as well as in your photos.
Hair: Secondly, you should hire a professional to do your hair. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of brides. Of course, most brides and bridesmaids will have a professional style their hair. Here is my advice to you: don’t ask or let your stylist style little curls or wisps of hair around your face. Here’s the reason why: any little wind (or big wind) will move those curls or wisps of hair everywhere and it is SO annoying waiting for the wind to die down so that I can take the shot with those curls in place. It’s also even more annoying to me to see those curls and wisps flying everywhere in the shots if the wind doesn’t die down and I had to take the shot as is. Please note that since the hair and wind are out of my control, I won’t be spending extra time photoshopping the fly away hair out.
No matter how your hair is styled, whether in an updo or down, please make sure that it’s sprayed with a heavy dose of hairspray in order to keep it in play all day long. You’ll be happy when you see how awesome your hair looked in all of your photos.
Should you skip hiring a professional to do your hair, which I highly discourage, make sure to not wash your hair the same day as your wedding. If you have an updo or have curls put in your hair, a hairdresser will tell you that the hairstyle will last longer if skip washing your hair on your wedding day. Why? Because when you wash your hair, it becomes really sleek and so curls will fall out (I’ve seen this happen several times with brides) and updos will not stay up properly as they’ll start to slip and unravel in spots. When I got married and went for my updo trial, I was also told not to wash my hair on my wedding day as it would be easier for the hairstylist to style my hair and for the updo to stay put.
Pockets: Grooms and groomsmen need to make sure that they don’t carry things in their pants pockets. It doesn’t look very good seeing strange lumps on the men’s pant legs. I won’t spend extra time photoshopping them out in every photo, so you’ll be stuck with those lumps in all of the photos. This includes your cell phone, wallet, sunglasses, etc. Get your girlfriend, wife or close friend to hold those things for you in their purse, pocket or bag or carry your own bag with those items in them. Then, when you’re needed in photos, you can just put your bag to the side and get it after you’re no longer needed in the photos.
Spacing: I’m actually talking about the spacing of your wedding party and all involved who will be walking down the isle during your wedding ceremony. You need to put enough space between the people walking down the aisle that your photographer can get a shot of them before the next person is coming. I recently shot a wedding in which the groom’s parents walked down the aisle with the bride’s mother directly behind them (like, so close she could have put her arm out to touch them), so I wasn’t able to get a shot of her because she was hidden by them. Luckily, my second shooter got a photo of her before she started walking down the aisle. The same thing goes for walking down the aisle. Walk slowly enough that we can take a photo of each person going down the aisle. It’s not a race to see who gets to the end the fastest.
Seating: It’s a lot easier for your guests (and photographers) to move around freely during the reception if the tables aren’t packed like a can of sardines. I don’t really care how many people you cram at a table. What I’m talking about is when the tables are so close together that when people are sitting in their chairs there’s barely any room to move between the tables to move around the room. This really hinders your photographer’s movement and thus it limits where we can shoot during the reception. I’ve been stuck in one spot during speeches at weddings because I couldn’t move anywhere. It’s frustrating to say the least and doesn’t give me the opportunity to give different angles.
Also, please don’t cram the tables right up in front of the head table or the podium where speeches will be. There’s nothing like going through the photos of speeches and a big head is right in front of the speaker’s body or the podium and no amount of cropping is getting that giant head out of it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this wedding advice. If you’re looking for an Ottawa or Gatineau wedding photographer, I would love to hear from you. Contact me today to get my pricing guide and to book your consultation.
Firefighter Wedding Shoot Featured on Plans and Presents
Ottawa Wedding Photography
I’m happy to say that another one of my photo sessions was published. This time my firefighter wedding shoot was featured on Plans and Presents. A couple of engagement sessions that I shot were featured on this blog, so I’m happy that this time an after wedding day shoot was featured. Please check out this wedding photo feature on Plans and Presents. 🙂
8 Maternity Photography Session FAQS
Ottawa and Gatineau Maternity Photographer | Little Lamb Photography
I absolutely LOVE shooting maternity photo sessions. If I could, I would probably just shoot maternity and engagement photography because I love shooting couples portraits so much. In order to help you get the best out of your maternity photo session, I’ve written about 8 maternity photography session FAQS. These five tips will help you to help your photographer create the most beautiful portraits for your maternity photo session.
1) When should I have my maternity photos taken?
I highly recommend for women to schedule their maternity photo session when they will be between 28-32 weeks. The reason why I prefer to shoot during that time of your pregnancy are for a number of reasons. First, your belly is big enough so that your baby bump is showing, but it’s not fully grown so much to make you feel like you don’t want to move around much or even do much for that matter. Secondly, a lot of women end up having their babies early, so to ensure you the opportunity to have maternity photos taken before your baby arrives, the chances are a lot more likely that you’ll actually have your session done before your baby arrives. Believe it or not, I’ve had women give birth within hours of having their maternity photo session (her baby came 4 weeks early), while another women had her baby the same week of her maternity session (her baby came two months before the due date).
Don’t worry if you’re at week 34 and you’re now just deciding to have maternity photos taken. I will still be able to shoot your maternity session. I just suggest that we shoot it asap. The photo below was taken when she was 40 weeks pregnant. She had the baby two days later. (I don’t recommend to wait until you’re that far along to have your maternity session as you may not get the chance to actually have your session as the baby may arrive.)
2) What should I wear for my maternity photo session?
I’ve actually written a blog post about what to wear for your maternity photo session. Check it out.
3) What should I do with my hair and makeup?
Your maternity photo session is a professional portrait session and should be treated as such. I highly recommend that you have your hair and makeup done so that you look and feel your absolute best. If that’s not possible, please make sure that your hair is styled well and that you’re wearing makeup.
4) Where should I have my maternity photo session?
I will work with my clients to use a suitable location for your maternity photo session. However, let it be known that I am NOT a studio photographer. I have no interest in shooting an indoor portrait session (except for newborn and cake smash photography). All maternity photo sessions are shot outdoors, all year round. If you’re pregnant during the winter, I have no problems doing an outdoor winter maternity photo session. I actually like shooting outdoor portraits in the winter.
In Ottawa, I shoot a lot at the Arboretum and the Experimental Farm. However, I prefer to shoot rustic style maternity photos, so I use open fields in and around Gatineau and Masson-Angers, QC.
5) What time of day is best for my maternity photo shoot?
I’m a natural light photographer and I love, love, love shooting during golden hour. Golden hour is the last few hours before the sun sets. It’s that beautiful low light that gives the beautiful golden hues. I will always try to shoot during this time if possible–especially during the summer and fall. Winter is a little tricky for golden hour. During winter I will shoot either in the morning or the late afternoon as the light is usually diffused.
6) What props should I bring to my maternity photo shoot?
If you have an ultrasound photo, bring that (preferably in a small frame). I also tell my clients to bring small booties or shoes as well as a small toy that will be for the baby. If you know the sex of the baby, you could bring some hellium balloons that are colour coded (pink or blue). Or if you have something that will be included in the baby’s nursery, like some children’s story books, bunting or baby blocks spelling their name, those would also be cute for photos.
7) Is my partner allowed to be in the maternity photos?
Not only is your partner allowed to be in the maternity photo session with you, but I highly encourage them to be in the session. I mean, your partner played a huge role in the creation of your baby, but they will also play an important role in the care and nurturing of your little one when he/she/they finally arrive. I want to celebrate that and I want to help you create beautiful memories about this wonderful time in your lives. Your child/children will cherish these photos when they are older and so will you. 🙂
8) Will you remove stretch marks?
Not all women get stretch marks on their belly when they’re pregnant. However, some women will end up getting stretch marks and many feel very self conscious about them. I love to take belly shots, including bare belly shots. As a courtesy, I will remove stretch marks from your belly if you don’t want them to show in your photos. No worries.
As I mentioned earlier, I absolutely love to photograph maternity portraits. If you love what you see I would love to hear from you. Contact me today to book your maternity photo shoot.