wedding photography

The Covered Bridge – Chad & Rebecca Wedding

In September, I photographed the wedding of Chad & Rebecca. It was at Deer Run Golf Course located just south east of Chatham, Ontario. As I had never been there before, I ventured out there to take part of the wedding rehersal, which was 2 weeks before the event. I was then able to drive a golf cart out there, along with Chad & Rebecca and tour the course, getting familiar, and picking my favorite spots.

And let me share that the course is beautiful. Seriously, just amazing. Windsor doesn’t have anything like Deer Run in terms of variety and locations for photography. I fell in love with it immediately. But one of the spots I envisioned was the covered bridge.  On our trip out there during the rehearsal, I snapped a picture of the location on my cell phone. 
 envisioned, Chat and Rebecca sitting on the side of the hill, looking out towards the water, and another using my sit down cuddle pose looking back at me.


But on the wedding day, we had a chaperone… the owner of the course rode with me (I forget her name…. so sorry!) So while I had a plan, my chaperone over rode me, and essentially told her where I was going to photograph. And that was ok. She definately knew her course. Fortunately, she did stop at the covered bridge where I was able to put my plan into fruition. But for whatever reason, I changed it just a bit, in that I had Chad and Rebecca walking along the hill with the bridge in the back ground.

Here is that image :


Chad & Rebecca @DeerRunGolfCourse by Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding Photographer

I added a bit of sun flare to accentuate the light. It doesn’t look posed because in actuality, they are walking the edge. The only thing I asked was to drop the flowers and hold hands. I was careful to not include the wedding party located on the far right side. I think it’s a pretty great and frame-able image.  Of course, for those who love the back n white version, you can full fill your craving below:

Chad & Rebecca @DeerRunGolfCourse by Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding Photographer
 especially, the like the black n white version, as it is very contrasty, or grungy. I definately adds a variation that I think alot of people will love. And best of all, I love it when a plan comes together! That is the main reason why this image makes it onto my favorite images or moments from the 2016 wedding photography season.

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The Canon Shot by Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding Photographer

The Canon Blast

The Canon Shot by Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding PhotographerKim & Joey asked me to join them as their wedding photographer in the Historic Town of Amherstburg Ontario. I love Amherstburg, I really do. And one the reasons is those darn Canon’s. The town has a ton of history, mostly related to the happenings during the war of 1812, which  centered in and around Fort Malden.

My day began at the Church, simply named Christ Church- which by the way was the church used by the soldiers on 1812.

And as I rolled into the parking lot beside the church, I heard the first blast… a canon shot. I got goosebumps as it echo’d through the town. Various organizations often preform demonstrations including firing canon’s to keep the history of Amherstburg’s impact on the war of 1812 alive and well.


I love seeing the blasts…. and hearing them off in the distance, was almost as good!

After the ceremony, we left Christ Church, and headed to the Kings Navy Yard in Amherstburg. We were short on time for pictures and as we were leaving, one of those demonstrator’s firing the canon, came towards us. He explained that as he “interrupted” our picture taken, he “insists” that we fire the canon’s last shot of the day.  Kim was hesitant as she was focused on getting to the hall to ensure that everything was ready for the reception…. Joey, an avid hunter began to grin.. And the wedding party was game of course…

And I was going to lose my mind!!!

So Kim fell to the pressure of her wedding photographer, the wedding party and of course her groom Joey….



Why do I love this image?

  1. A moment like this will rarely be seen again. Seriously, as a wedding photographer, I’m always trying to separate myself from my competition. I want to be the best. And sometimes, the best means doing something that no one else can (or has) And in this image, I believe it’s an incredibly rare opportunity…and fortunately I was able to capitalize and rock the image.
  2. I have always said, I don’t believe in luck. I believe that it’s all about when preparation meets opportunity… You have to be ready when duty calls. And I was ready. I had the Canon 5D’s burst mode on, and I was ready to rock. But I almost missed my moment. I had no idea how long it would take to light the fuse, and then ultimately fire the canon blast. So when they put the igniter to the canon, I began to shoot…. and about 5 seconds later, and some 20 images later, nothing had happened.And it looked like this….  And now the buffer was getting full, and I was shooting slower…
    Finally, the blast went off, and I was able to capture a moment just after the blast occurred. Here is that image.

Looking back, I’m so very happy that I was able to capture something with this blast. While I was wish I could have had Joey remove the shades for the image, for a  wedding photographer, there isn’t a much better opportunity.

And of course, the finalized version of the image, is a mixture of the before and after the blast, with a bit warmth added. Check it out below.  It’s pretty spectacular, and definately part of last years greatest shots!

The Canon Shot by Mike Elford | The Windsor Wedding Photographer

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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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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.


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