wedding photographer

2016 Wedding Photography a Look Back

Some photographers prefer to look back at the past year upon the season’s end… but for me, I just want the break. It sounds terrible I’m sure, but bear with me for a moment. I photographed 23 weddings last year,  met with my 2017 and 2018 clients as needed, then went and photographed portrait sessions, and engagement sessions almost every weekend. Oh and remember that I work a fulltime day job, and still find time to be a father, and husband to my wife and three kids.

Life is busy. And when the Wedding Photography Season begins to wind down, the Santa Claus Season is just getting started. I did 43 appearances in 6 weeks leading up to the holidays this past year. To put that into perspective, I photographed the wedding of Ashley and Justin on November 8, and the very next weekend I was standing on a float ready to be the main attraction in the Kingsville Festival of Lights.

But, with my first wedding of 2017 fast approaching- Adam & Michelle… I find myself planning, dreaming, and again being inspired!  And as they always say…. “To Know Where You’re Going…. You have to Know Where You’ve Been.

And with that in mind, I’m going to go through some of my favorite images from the 2016 Wedding Photography season… one image per post.

  • Laura & Marcus’ Wedding…. Laura’s Spectacular Entrance
  • Jonathan & Zena’s Wedding…. The Incredible Party
  • Kim & Joey’s Wedding…. The Canon Shot
  • Chad & Rebecca’s Wedding…. The Covered Bridge
  • Garth & Sarah’s Wedding…. Sunset is a Rockin’
  • Garth & Sarah’s Wedding…. Guns Guns Guns
  • Milka & Jordan’s Wedding…. Steaming Hot
  • Chris & Megan’s Wedding…. Mr Emotional
  • Chris & Megan’s Wedding… Dance with Grandma
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The First Look

The First Look,

Is it really necessary? 

Of Course it is!!

 

And here’s why…

  1. You Look Your Best
    You’ve just finished with the hair and makeup artists. It’s before the ceremony, the photos, and the party. You look absolutely stunning – possibly the most gorgeous you’ve ever looked in your life. This is your moment to shine – and what better moment for your groom to see you than this one, at your very best? First look photos capture bride and groom together looking like perfection.
  2. A Private Moment to Share
    The moment groom sees bride for the first time is once in a lifetime. It’s nothing short of pure magic. I truly believe this moment is best shared privately, away from the pressure of tons of friends and family. It’s the only time the bride and groom really get to share together, alone, for the entire day. Having the First Look in a private setting is relaxing and makes for beautiful images!
  3. A Moment to Relax
    When the bride walks down the aisle, all eyes are on her. She’s in the spotlight, every movement being watched with anticipation by friends and family. It’s a spectacular and grand moment, but it’s also a public one. Making the first look private allows the bride and groom to be natural together, to relax, to express their feelings for each other without worrying about anyone else around. After having a first look, I’ve learned that couples are often far more relaxed during the ceremony.
  4. Incredible Images
    As a photographer, I find that there are few images that compare to those of a first look. The photographs of bride and groom together are incredibly emotional and lovely. These images capture such intense excitement and love between the couple.These photos end up becoming some of the most treasured shots of the entire wedding. I’ve had numerous couples say that their most beloved or favorite images are from the first look.

 

I cannot recommend a first look enough!

 

 

 

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Thank You Notes!!

There is no better feeling than arriving home, and seeing that I received some love mail!

So immediately I see its a small envelope, like an invite, or a thank you card etc… and I rush to open it, the excitement building.. “Who could it be from?” I thought. And then all I could do was smile.

Garth & Sarah were married in October, and had taken a moment to send me a little something thanking me for being a part of their day. And of course, they used an image that I took which makes me the most proud. I guess I should have known better… as I was in fact their wedding photographer… but still… every compliment counts!

So thank you Garth & Sarah for sending me the card, and loving my impact on your day. You message not only made my day, but it also made me recall all the laughs, and some of those great images we were able to generate together on your wedding day.

Thank you for choosing me to be your wedding photographer!

 

 

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Full Wedding Image Gallery

When you google the term “Windsor Wedding Photographer” or “Windsor Wedding Photography”, you’ll see 10+ pages of S.E.R.P results.  And I’m sure you don’t have time to look through everyone’s site to see their work, or what they say….. because let’s be honest, they’ll all say they are great and capture great wedding images.

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Chris & Brenna Engagement Session

Yesterday I joined Chris and Brenna for a an hour or so, to capture their engagement session. Originally, I had met both when I was the wedding photographer for Gillian & Manuel (Chris’ Brother) And when they inquired about having me come and photograph their wedding day… I was estatic! All 4 of these folks are fantastic and fun!. 

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What Would It Be Like

Something that was on my mind this morning, is how I answered the question “As a wedding photographer, how do you make your brides comfortable on their wedding day?”. And I paused for a moment before answering…thinking about all the times I came busting into the room making a scene and just generally causing a disturbance.

And there wasn’t any!

Because it’s never happened!

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Natual Light Photographer

Sunday I took part in the Satin & Savvy Wedding Show, where “expert”vendor’s were given the chance to instruct or coach the registered bride and grooms on how to or what to look for when booking that given vendor. So as the show’s Wedding Photographer, I was to give advice on what to look for and what questions to ask when searching for great wedding vendor’s. And I did ok. But I felt I didn’t coach, rather just talked about what makes me special.

If given the chance again, I’d love to share my thoughts about “Natural Light Photographer’s“. When you read wedding websites, or wedding magazines etc, often the advice is to find a photographer who excels in natural light photography. And I think that is some of the worst advice anyone could be given.

The concept is correct, natural light is soft, pleasant and appealing in a portrait. And it works great for maternity mom’s photographing babies. They can let the light pour in via the patio doors and all is well.

But a wedding doesn’t revolve around patio doors. In fact, as a wedding photographer, I don’t have the ability to choose time of day, or locations as to where to photograph. And please someone tell me where the natural light is during a reception? 

What brides should be looking for is a wedding photographer that excels and understands how to use flash. It doesn’t mean they have to flash, but they know how to flash when needed. I use flash outside in all my bridal portraits. All of them. Sometimes, it provides nothing but a little catch light in the eyes. Sometimes I rely on my flash to illuminate the foreground and balance the light coming from the background. And sometimes, it’s just to let someone know I’m actually taking a picture. Cause everyone can see it, they know I’m actively working. And as you’ll see in the image to the right, often during the first dances, I’ll use a flash to create some dramatic effects. As you can see I’m very confident of how, and when to use my flash.

What I find is normally the case, is that natural light photographers don’t know how to use flash. For those photographers that say they don’t like flash… again its because they haven’t mastered it. And thus they shouldn’t be a wedding photographer. Or at least not a good one. Flash is used in every portrait studio – everywhere. It’s only not used when people are afraid of it.

That’s not to say if you don’t flash, you aren’t doing it right. But to know when and how to use it is of the utmost importance. So brides… when looking for your wedding photographer ask them how they feel about flash….. and you’ll get an indication on how good they really are.

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Satin & Savvy Wedding Show

On Sunday Feb 12, I took part in the Satin & Savvy Wedding Show, an event to instruct brides (and grooms) about the ins and outs of the wedding industry. Things to pay attention to, the proper questions to ask etc. All with the intention of making the wedding planning process go more smoothly and maybe… just maybe even fun!

The thing about this show, is that there was only one vendor per category. So for example, at this show, I was the Wedding Photographer Expert. And after a brief introduction, I would be available for questions from the crowd.  And I was thrilled that crowd actually did have questions for me. Hopefully, I answered them in a suitable fashion. Sometimes, especially with me, I can relate a given question to an experience I’ve had… and I want to share that story as an illustration to support the answer I’m giving. But I also have to be aware of and try my best not to get off topic etc.

But I had a great time! Hopefully, the folks that came to the event enjoyed it as well. Of course, if there are any questions you’d like to ask… about wedding photography or otherwise, please feel free to contact me . To contact Candice, the creator of the show… please visit http://www.stagesbycandice.com/

To see a full gallery of images click here

Or stay tuned below for a few images from the day!

 

St

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2017 Wedding Photography Promo

Please check out my Promotional Video for my 2017 Wedding Photography Season. The slideshow follows through some of my favorite images from the 2016 wedding photography season along with some of what I feel are my greatest hits.

Enjoy!

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Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding Photographer

The Windsor Wedding PhotographerI began my life in photography back when my oldest daughter (Samantha) I was a typical proud dad, and wanted to document everything she did. Of course that also meant bringing the camera -an HP Point and Shoot 4.0 megapixel- everywhere I went. And I was able to gather some great images of my family and friends. Not technically great I’m sure, but the value of some of those moments I captured… Just amazing!

But it did of course come at a cost. There were complaints of
“always being watched” as people became more annoyed by my constant picture taking.

At some point, in 2003 friends of our clique- Scott & Anna were getting married. And they asked me to photograph the wedding. And so I did. I did a little bit of research and homework on how to photograph a wedding in the weeks prior to their day. And the images turned out great! They really did. Call it lucky, or a things to come… but I’m still very proud of those images. I feel they would still stand tall among todays top 10 wedding photographer in Windsor.

But it was wedding number 3 that really locked me into this wedding photography thing. The wedding of Jessica & J.P. generated some incredible wedding photographs. And it was those images that propelled me. Facebook wasn’t around then, so I couldn’t market via today’s social media. I placed Kijij ads and received replies.

I love being wedding photographer. I think in life everyone needs a passion. For some fellas, it’s camping, hunting, or building a race car etc. I don’t have those things. It’s just not who I am. I built my own website, showcasing that I did both photography and videography.  And I really thrived on being a wedding photographer.

But the wedding photography business became busy. Very busy. And I had to make a tough decision. Do I concentrate soley on wedding photography, and not do wedding videography? And that’s exactly what I did. I just didn’t have time to do both. Video editing, for me took so much time. Maybe I just cared to much. The first dance would begin live with crowd noise, with a slow fade into the original song, with no distractions, things like that. I’m still very proud of my work from my early years.

And so I stuck with wedding photography, and I’m thrilled I did. The bookings went up, and have continued strong.  In fact, Once again, I’m at about the limit of what I can do in a season.

Being a wedding photographer, is so fantastic. Of course I might make some money, but more importantly, I get to see people at their best. I join my couples on their greatest day, celebrating with their family, their friends and guests. And just as fantastic for me, I get to opportunity to positively impact their day, creating or capturing images and memories that will indeed last a lifetime.

To have my name on that kind of impact… Life as a wedding photographer, it doesn’t get any better!

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