Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding Photographer

I’m sure you have questions… and I welcome them all! I’ve put together a list of the most popular, but feel free to email me if you have any questions at all! I’d love to be your wedding photographer, and want you to be as comfortable as possible when choosing me to photograph your wedding day!

Frequently Asked Questions

The Basics

How far in advance do I have to book?

Well, truth is when you book 20+ weddings a year between May to November…. that’s almost every weekend. So those who book first will have those dates locked in. So like the saying goes, “if you snooze, you loose”. And it’s happened a number of times, friends of mine or referrals from past wedding couples come to me, asking for a date… only to find it’s booked.

If your interested in me photographing your wedding… don’t delay, email today!

What kind of a deposit is needed to book?

The deposit is often referred to as the retainer fee. As it retains the date for you. The fee  to retain my services for your day is merely $250, and is payable upon signing the wedding photography contract. It is non refundable (which makes it different than a deposit) and is payable by cash, cheque, e-transfer, and/or debit/credit card.

I try to make it very easy for my couples.

How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I photographed my first wedding back in 2004… Scott & Anna. The next year I photographed 2…. and then it jumped out of control! Nowadays, I’m upwards of 26 weddings a year… that’s every weekend booked. I’ve photographed weddings in Sarnia, St. Thomas, Burlington, St. Catherines, Niagra Falls, and even Montego Bay Jamaica!

How many weddings have you photographed?

No idea… but it’s been quite a few lol… just do the math, 20/year for 10 plus… you get the idea….

How would you describe your photographic style?

I have read many articles detailing the differences in styles… essentially a glossary of photographic styles. And the one that seems to hit home to me is what they call an “Illustrative Style”. This means that the photographer blends traditional and photojournalistic styles showcasing the spontaneity of candids while offering input to control the posed images.

And I thinks that’s very similar to what I do. I study you with a keen eye watching and anticipating reactions or interactions always ready to capture a moment. Fortunately, my understanding of people, and how they “click” allows me to predict what’s about to happen.  And thus I am able to not miss a moment.
All of my portraits are controlled poses. I always put my wedding couples into situations where I think they’ll be best photographed.. and best in sync. This creates a level of comfortability that will be seen in my photographs… And that is a bit reason why people love my images..

Describe your working style?

Please see the question about photographic stylings. Of course, to take this question in a different direction… I am always very aware of the jobs or tasks that the other vendor’s have. Such as the limo driver or DJ etc. I have to respect timelines and such. So in a case of my portrait session, I always ask my driver how long he’s going to need to get to the next location. And I incorporate the drive time etc into my portrait timeline. I believe as a professional, I just have to do that.
And they will respect you for that when your on time!
Same goes for the reception venue and the grand entrance. I need to be ready to go, and have my couple onsite well before the entrance, if for no other reason than to have a few moments to refresh and relax. For me, the time is spent practicing, setting up lights, and photographing decor details etc.

What distinguishes your style from other photographers

I cannot speak for other photographers… I am not them. But I do hear alot of stories… from friends who’ve stood in other weddings or were guests at weddings etc. And even from various vendor’s. I hear stories.
There are stories of photographers showing up in jeans, photographers who are un reachable, and I’ve seen a ton of what I consider terrible wedding photographs.

Of course, the stories may not be entirely accurate but… when you hear them over and over again… you begin to see a trend.

I take great pride in just being booked. The fact that you like the work, and felt comfortable enough with me to put down that retainer….. that means everything to me. And that is my motivation to continue to work hard and give you a great wedding photography experience!

And that in itself, might be the difference….

Where can I see more work?

The main gallery has a number of images on it. You can see more images here. And you can see a handful of slideshows here.

What type of equipment do you use?

In my pelican case, I carry 2 Canon 5D MkII full frame 21mp DSLR camera’s. Each one is paired with a dedicated lens. The first being Canon’s 24-70 2.8L and the second being the 70-200 IS 2.8L. Also in the case is 6 flashes, various triggers, and batteries along with about 150gb of memory card space. Though I usually only photograph about 72gb during a wedding, you can never have too much memory! I also carry 2 lightstands to make the most of my off camera lighting techinques.

Do you photograph in colour or black & white ... or infared?

Everything is photographed in colour, and then only key images are converted to black & white. Sometimes, black & white does enhance an image… but I find many photographers use black & white incorrectly. Some use it to hide a lack of sharpness. Some use it to hide a mishmash of colours or white balance.  My black & whites are very unique in design in that they have a bit of an edge…. they appear much different than other photographers. And I use them sparingly only to showcase a very sensitive moment or similar.

Can we give you a specific shot list?

Of course you can supply a shot list. And Pinterest ideas as well.. bring them on! Just remember, while I will look at them, I won’t carry them with me. I think it would look incredibly unprofessional if I have a handful of printouts hanging out of my pocket. And if I appear to always be on my phone.. how does that look as well?

So send me your ideas, and I’ll do my best to remember the shots. Fortunately, what usually is sent to me is right within my wheel house anyhow, and it’s already very natural to me… just brides forget exactly how/what I shoot.

Have you ever worked with my florist? Or decorator?

Truth is, I’ve been around a long time. So I know alot of the decorators and of course the florists.. But I don’t usually get to see them on your wedding day. They have done their jobs long before I arrive, and I have left, long before they return for tear down etc.

So we kinda cross paths, but not usually at the same time.

May I have a list of References?

Of course! You can see some reviews here on my testimonial pageor on my facebook page here.  Lastly, you can see a few more reviews here on google Enjoy! 

The Shoot

Are you the wedding photographer I'll get?

Oh yes, It’s only me… I’m a bit of a control freak… so while I’m open to what you desire, I believe strongly in how it needs to be photographed. And I’ve learned over the years, that most photographers don’t see things (or take it as seriously) as I do. And thus I just do it alone… It’s alot of work, takes alot of hussle… but that’s the only way I believe!

Do you have backup equipment?

As mentioned in a previous post, I always carry 2 cameras, 2 lenses and a number of flashes, cards and batteries. Failure is not an option.

Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?

No way. My typical wedding day lasts about 12 hours so definately, there is no time to do anything else much less photograph another event.

How will you dress for our event?

As documented in a number of my images found either here onsite or on Facebook etc…. I always wear the same thing… a tux. I’ve tried over the years to get away from the white shirt… but just cannot get my head around it.

Is it okay for others to photograph while you are working?

Today, everybody as a camera. Whether it be a phone or a full fledged DSLR, there are camera’s everywhere. I welcome everyone to photograph alongside me. Just don’t be in front of me.. and try not to be a distraction… Obviously, we are working within a timeline, and as the wedding photographer, I have a number of things I need to get through.
Often, you’ll find me photographing others with their camera just so they can be in the image too. It’s just another thing that sets me apart from other wedding photographers.

Have you ever worked at our venue before?


If my event runs longer than expected, will you stay? Additional charge?

Of course, time is money…. so there should be a charge for my staying later than originally requested. But let’s see what’s happening, and how it’s going… maybe we can work something out. 10 minutes isn’t a big deal.. 2 hours is.. You know what I mean. Let’s respect each others time and all is usually well.

Contracts and Policies

Album design? Do you offer?

While I don’t usually offer albums to my wedding couples, I obviously, know how to design them and would love to help you. And I have contacts to various album companies that would serve you great in your album printing process.

Do you offer Engagement sessions?

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Do you offer a payment plan?

While the $250 retainer is required upon signing the contract and booking the date… you can make payments anytime you feel is best, although the balance remaining is due on your wedding day.

When will i receive a written contract?

Of course, I have a contract to protect both you and I. And it will need to be completed to book your day with me.

Do you offer any post processing on your images?

Every image I photograph will get the basic scrub down, ensuring proper colour correction along with ensuring images are straight. On select or “landmark” images, I will go over in more detail to make them the very best they can be. I will not remove acne, or blemishes on any image outside of those select images.

How long will it be until I can view some images from my wedding day?

Most wedding packages I offer allow for an online gallery being available within 72 hours so that you can review your images. And more will appear each night as I get through them.

Will you provide me with the digital negatives?

No you will not receive the RAW files of your wedding. But you will receive each image from your wedding day in a high res jpeg image. The reason for this is mainly because it’s a bit hassle of sharing upwards of 72gb of RAW data with someone who barely understands photoshop. The other reason is that officially, as I originally photographed the image, it’s my copyright. By giving you the RAW image, you have the ability to make the image something I never intended it to be. And thus it would inflict on my copyright.
Lastly, in truth, if you feel you can edit the images better than I…. you likely feel you can photograph better than I, meaning maybe you and I aren’t the correct fit. lol

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

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What is your refund/cancellation policy?

officially, there is no refunds on retainers and such. But when things come up and weddings need to be rescheduled or cancelled outright.. I often put the retainer towards the future date.

In the rare case of no future wedding date, I’ve used the retainer against future portrait sessions etc.

Do you have liability insurance?

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What is your refund/cancellation policy?

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