December and January mark the perfect season for engagements. It's that time of year, when so many individuals will get down on one knee and ask "will you marry me?" It's a joyful, exciting and celebratory time full of love, promise and excitement. I can still remember when my husband asked me that question! On our way to a ski trip in Vermont, on a stop in a McDonalds for a "pee break" (the image below is the actual McDonalds), my husband got down on one knee and asked. After an overwhelming YES, we enjoyed a weekend engagement trip on the slopes. The elation, excitement and joy made me smile from ear to ear - One of the most memorable times in my life, for sure!
However, once wedding planning begins, it can become an overwhelming task, especially as the options, ideas and decisions pile up.
We hope that this post helps you navigate the ins and outs of finding a Toronto wedding photographer - someone that's the perfect fit for you and your wedding.
The first BIG step, is to find a wedding venue. Whether in Toronto or elsewhere, finding your venue, means securing your date and probably putting down your biggest wedding deposit. Check out our post on some of the best wedding venues in the GTA, Toronto, Kelowna and our favourite wedding locations.
The second BIG step is photography. Normally Toronto wedding photographers get booked about one year in advance of a wedding. So you want to make sure that you give yourself lots of time to research. This is a big decision as the wedding photographer you choose will be tasked with documenting this milestone day. Ask friends for referrals, attend a wedding show, or start googling terms like "best wedding photographers Toronto, Top wedding photographers Toronto, or Toronto wedding photographer" - This will allow you to start a growing list of possibilities.
So now you have your list - how do you choose?
First, take a look at wedding photographer websites, instagram accounts and start to get a sense of the style of photography you love. The wedding photographs and films that give you an emotional response is a sure fire way to know that you are connecting with the photographers style and composition.
When you feel ready, start getting in touch, asking for a meeting on the phone, virtually or in person. This will allow you to get to know the personality and philosophy of the photographer which is SUPER important. The more you connect with your wedding photographer, the more relaxed you will be and the more authentic your wedding images.
We have compiled a list of the most common questions that we have been asked over the years, along with our responses. We hope that providing some our Little Blue Lemon perspective will help you in your search - and hey, if it's us - get in touch - we would love to connect!
1) What is your photographic style? How would you describe it?
"Little Blue Lemon aims for candid, story and timeless. We want you to be able to look back at your photos in 10 years from now and not feel that they look dated or out of style. It's easy to buy filters and presets to have a photo look a specific way (5 years ago it was all pink tones, 3 years ago it was all airy, now it's moody with all browns and lifted blacks) but at the end of the day we shy away from those types of filters and presets because we want you to have photos that stand the test of time and always feel like your in that moment. We strive to always "shoot how it feels" (- David Alan Harvey). All our of portfolio images and real weddings are real people. We don't spend any time in photoshop "fixing" as we shoot everything correctly in-camera, using the best light, angles and lenses. It's this philosophy, we feel, that has made us one of the best wedding photography studios in Toronto.
When creating a cinematic wedding film, as with photography, we are story tellers. We want to make sure that we accurately and emotionally tell your story in a way that is unique to you. We don't believe in a "cookie cutter" approach as every couple and story is unique. In our opinion, the best wedding videos are the ones that tug on the heartstrings! We love hearing that our couples have cried tears of joy watching and sharing our films."
Obviously all photographers have different philosophies and it's best to find a studio or person that best fits with you.
2) Why have we heard your name before?
"One of our photos became a famous viral sensation, dubbed "World's Best Wedding Photograph". The Star Wars AT-AT chase shot was shared and discussed on news outlets, magazine and websites across the globe. Further we are the only studio that has 5 Canadian Comedy awards, a Gemini nomination, an NBA acrobat, and the director of HGTV's "Love it or List It", all under one roof."
3) What's your experience with cultural weddings?
"Being Toronto wedding photographers and & cinematographers has allowed us to photograph and film many different cultures and ethnicities. We truly enjoy all the variety that comes with different cultures and religions. From Jewish, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Catholic, Hindu, Greek, Non-Denominational, Same-Sex ... you get the point... Every wedding is a celebration of love. We are inclusive and love to experience and capture the joy and celebration of people coming together."
4) How many weddings have you shot?
"I think we have lost count, lol. Our studio has gotta be close to 1000 weddings photographed between all of us. We love all things weddings and are blessed that so many couples have trusted us to capture their wedding day."
5) I am not good at having my picture taken...
"If we had a nickel for every time we heard that...
In our opinion, saying you're bad at having your photo taken is like saying you're bad at getting your hair cut. It's all about the person holding the tool. Our job is to make you feel comfortable and forget that we are holding cameras taking photos and shooting film. We draw from our entertainment backgrounds to ensure you relax, laugh and go back to just being you. It's not easy to find a wedding photographer or cinematographer but it's such an important job! Make sure you pick those who you connect with - as that's the first step to feeling relaxed."
6) Have you been to my venue before?
"This is a question we hear a lot. We have been to most Toronto wedding venues for sure, but really if we haven't been there, it doesn't matter. Our photographic minds work based on finding or creating great light. So whether you've chosen a vintage castle, a modernized warehouse/factory, a rustic barn, an exposed brick building, an outdoor winery, a classic banquet hall/restaurant, a luxury hotel or your uncle's farm, the principles of wedding photography remain the same and we have shot in all of these styles of venues.
Walkthroughs and scouting in advance of your wedding are not needed as we cannot predict the weather or lighting conditions on the day of your wedding. That is really what distinguishes top wedding photographers and filmmakers from amateurs. We adjust and adapt based on the lighting conditions and situations of the day. There is no way for us to predict and plan any of this in advance. We make sure that you don't have to worry, come rain or shine as we are prepared and ready for anything."
7) Do we meet our photo & video team before the wedding?
"Absolutely. We want to meet you! Whether you have booked us online or in studio, we definitely want to meet you in person or virtually through skype/facetime/messenger etc. It's important to build a relationship and really get to know you so that we can tell and capture your story."
8) Do you have back up cameras and systems in place?
"Fabulous question. We have multiple camera backups and lenses. Each member will have more than one camera body at a wedding to make sure that if something malfunctions we can keep shooting no matter what. We all service our cameras regularly to ensure they are in their best working conditions.
We also back up your photos and video files in triplicate. That way if a drive fails we have multiple backups ensuring your images and videos are safe. More so, after the wedding your print quality files are kept safely in the cloud."
9) Pinterest "Shminterest"
"There is nothing wrong with getting inspired and looking for wedding ideas. We shy away from directly copying anything you find on pinterest though. Our goal is to shoot something so uniquely you that other couples will want to copy it *wink wink"
10) How many edited wedding photos will I receive?
"Normally we photograph about 50-100 photos an hour with two photographers (but of course this can vary depending on travel time etc). All your wedding images will be post produced, colour corrected and ready for print. We provide our couples with an online gallery where you can directly download your images, as well as share with family and friends. The gallery allows you and your families to order prints with no fuss."
We hope this blog post helped. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. And don't get discouraged... it's a BIG decision.