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Stratford Ontario Wedding Photographer

Stratford Ontario Wedding Photographer

Thanksgiving weekend was Courtney and Matt’s 1st anniversary and while there are still yellow leaves on the trees I wanted to share their wedding blog with you. The images below are the couple’s album and it is always interesting for me to see which images that they love most. You might recognize this gorgeous couple (and wedding party) from my banners that I have at the bridal shows. I know that the puppy photo is always a hit and it probably one of my fave wedding photos I have ever taken- I honestly squealed and hugged Courtney when she told me that they still had enough puppies for each of the bridesmaids to hold.

Rings: Michael hill @ Nash jewelers
Cake: that little cake place
Dress: bridal temptations
Suits: bud Gowan
Hair: Sierra south
Makeup: AM Pro Makeup Artistry
DJ: DJ Dave
Flowers: lyric flowers

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Announcement Photography London Ontario

Announcement Photography London Ontario

If you know me, you know how much I love dogs. Pretty much every conversation I’ve had with people about why I don’t get a dog for the last 5 years has been because we live in a 1 bedroom apartment and it wouldn’t be fair to it, but now we have moved and have a backyard so I am so happy to announce that we have a the pitter patter of little feet on the way, puppy feet that is! Coming this September is baby boy Cockapoo.

I have always supported rescues and ‘adopt don’t shop’ but when you have waited until it is the right time and have kept your eyes on the rescues and know that young, hypoallergenic dogs don’t come up often, I made sure to look into buying from a reputable breeder and doing my research to make sure it will be the perfect pup for us!

Clara photographed this Announcement Photography London Ontario for us and we’re so excited!

Civic Gardens Complex Wedding Photography

Civic Gardens Complex Wedding Photography

Emma and Eric were married on a very hot friday last summer in an outdoor ceremony overlooking Civic Gardens. I captured some of the guys getting ready then headed to the girls getting ready at Idlewyld. We took some formal shots of family and of their wedding party then focused on candid for the speeches and rest of the night, ending with some un lit up night shots and sparkler send off.

Planning: Unmistakably you

Venue: Civic Gardens Complex

Catering: Culinary Catering 

Officiant: Moira Bell

 

Flowers: Forest of Flowers, Wellington and Southdale 

Hair: Scizzorhands 

 

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Business name change announcement- Woodgate Photography

Woodgate Photography

 

For a few years I had been wishing that I had named my business something other than my name so that I could have other photographers work for me. Back in August last year I decided to not let the name hold me back and to have Clara (my trusted second shooter of now almost 4 years) book weddings and other portraits sessions as part of my business. We found it a little bit confusing for clients to be booking with ‘Clara of Erin Woodgate Photography’ so made the decision to drop the ‘Erin’ from my business name. Around that time, I had shot a couple of weddings with Alana and thought she would work perfectly with our team. The Woodgate Photography team was complete, now just to change the name!

The Woodgate Photography team- Alana, Erin and Clara.

It sounds like a simple task but to this point has proven to have taken a lot more time than I had anticipated. Just changing the logo alone was a huge task, thank you to Abigail from PaperCloud for putting up with me!  It was hard to let go of my logo that I have had for almost 7 years that I made myself, but now has a level brand recognition in the area- I always love when I am at a bridal show and have people come to our booth saying, ‘I know your logo, you must have shot one of my friends weddings!’ The new logo certainly looks more modern and more of a team business logo that just a solo gal with her camera. We’ve come a long way in those 7 years- a couple of things I’m not going to miss about the old logo- I am actually holding a polaroid camera, as I only had one DSLR and it had to be taking the photo! I also only had socks on so you can really see my big toes poking out lol! I’m happy to be keeping the name Woodgate running as soon my last name will be all changed and it is a great tie to my maiden name and my Dad’s side of the family- he gave me my first camera and his father was actually a photographer in WWII.

Woodgate PhotographyOur ‘why’

 

So where to from here- you will be seeing more and more of Clara and Alana’s faces around here and in instagram stories. We will have more availability so if I am already booked for a certain date Clara or Alana will be able to be there for you at the time that suits you best. Other than that you likely wont see much change, Clara will continue to help with some of the editing, I’ll continue to run all communication with clients, social media and other not as fun business stuff (eg taxes- eww).

I’m excited to have this new chapter of my business on the way- still to change the wording everywhere, watermarks on photos and the domain of the website but all of that will need to wait until there aren’t quite so many weddings in the edit list, just this past weekend alone the Woodgate Photography team added 4 to the list, a great sign of things to come!

All team photos by Hatt Photography

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Canada Day Wedding Photography London Ontario

Canada Day Wedding Photography London Ontario

Jen and Geoff’s wedding was my first captured on Canada Day and it was so much fun to photograph! Jen’s personality is so bright and bubbly that it makes everyone around feel invigorated and happy so you can just imagine how happy all of their guests were on their big day. The day kicked off with Jen and her maid of honour getting ready at her moms house with their lovely dog and hair and makeup by Darling Makeup & Hair.  The detail shots were fun making a canadian flag out of the dresses and hangers by Custom bridal accessories by Jenn AKA the hanger lady and gorgeous flowers by Time 4 Flowers. The ringbearer and flower girl were seriously cute and I loved how bright Cooks United Church in Mt Brydges was for their ceremony. Jen and Geoff transformed their backyard into an amazing reception venue and I loved capturing all of the candid moments throughout the night which finished with fireworks and sparklers!

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Old Court House London Ontario Wedding Photography

Old Court House London Ontario Wedding Photography

Back in the fall of 2015 Clara and I had the pleasure of capturing Katie and Brad’s wedding at the Old Court House. It was a chilly day and even snowed at some points but the beautiful fall colours well and truly made up for it! I loved all of the personal touches with the decor for the memory table, table number and the fall/red theme which was topped off my the red bow on the back of Katie’s dress. The ‘unity’ commitment was also very unique with them pouring red and white wine together (and they even attempted to drink some!). I loved the elegant dresses and suits that the wedding party wore, and the red shawl that Katie wore for some of the outdoor photographs. Their kissing game was also one that I have never seen again, getting guests to come and ride a kids size bicycle, and even some of the older guests go in on the fun! To finish the night we headed outside in the rain for a couple of the dramatically lit nighttime shots which are always a favourite.

 

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Don’t compare yourself to anyone but you

I usually hear the title of this blog in relation to weightloss, but I think it also totally relates to business. I was recently inspired by Light.co’s Pinterest board to write this post. As the maker of the L16 compact camera says,  “Just as cameras have evolved quite a bit over the years, so do the styles and techniques of the photographers who use them. We find this fascinating, and would like to hear about your journey. On your blog, you could share one of your first photographs from early in your career, and compare it with one of your most recent. What’s improved, and how has your style changed over time?”

I thought I would show how much I have improved in a few different types of session in the past few years.

Newborn Photography: 2011/2016. I had photographed newborns at the studios I had worked at in Australia and Canada previous to this shot in 2011 but I didn’t get to keep the images as I was working for other companies. The 2011 image was captured at the clients house, the 2016 image at my studio in South London, Ontario and that has made a huge difference in my work but I can see so many improvements including the lighting, pose, patience waiting for the baby to sleep and the editing.

Wedding Photography 2011/2016, both captured on the same bridge at Springbank Park. I think the equipment used is a huge difference here- 2011 was taken with a Canon 30D and 17-85mm, to the 2016 5dmk3 with the 85mm 1.2. Beyond the equipment though I think the pose, lighting, and creative angle have all improved.

 

trash the dress london ontario

Trash the dress 2011/2016, both captured at Rock Glen falls in Arokona, the 2011 was my first ever Trash the dress and you can see I had the right idea with a slower shutter speed to capture the water flowing but you can really see in the 2016 image what I had been going for, adding a tripod and additional off camera lighting made a big difference and also better editing.

 

I think it is important to see how far you’ve come with anything you’ve been working on, have you done this lately? What did you find?

 

Wedding tips: What I learnt from my wedding (Photography by Applehead Studio)

Wedding tips: What I learnt from my wedding (Photography by Applehead Studio)

7 months has now past since Cameron & I tied the knot on Carters Beach- a beautiful white sandy beach on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, then reception at White Point. Don’t the photographs look like they were taken at a caribbean destination wedding! I thought as so many people get engaged in the winter months that now might be a good time for me to write this blog. I have given a lot of this advice to couples who have met with me for booking their wedding photography but this is the first time you’ll see it all written down and photographs shared from my own wedding!

  1. Book a wedding photographer you trust
    All of the photographs in this post were taken by the wonderful Liam & Steph from Applehead Studio Photography based in Halifax, NS. The most often asked question through all of my planning and I even still get asked about it now was, ‘As a wedding photographer yourself, how to your choose a wedding photographer for your own wedding’ My answer generally went something like this- ‘That was the easiest part of wedding planning, I had followed Applehead’s work since I had worked at a lab in Halifax which printed photographs for him and every photograph was amazing, as has been every photograph post to their facebook/instagram pages. One of my catchphrases may as well be ‘Hey Cameron, check out this amazing photograph Applehead has post’. I have looked up to his work for years and was so happy to have been able to get them to photograph our wedding.
  2. Get a wedding planner
    As I work in the wedding industry and we had 2 years to plan the wedding I thought that I would be able to do it all myself. One of the things I regret is not getting a wedding planner to help me to find a makeup artist (see the next point) and to help with set up/day of co-ordination. Having the wedding in NS meant I was starting from scratch for vendors, I often joke that if we had got married here in London that I could have planned the wedding in a weekend as I know all of the amazing local vendors. I did all the fun stuff first which is what I always recommend such as finding the dress and going cake tasting. Many of the things in this post will would have been helped if we had a planner and I truly believe it would have really helped with stress levels. One of the things you will hear me say every morning from now on for every wedding I photograph will be ‘do you have your lipstick’ as that was forgotten, along with my birdcage veil which we were going to use for photos. I haven’t mentioned yet but I was maid of honour only 1 month before my big day as well as organizing everything for out of town guests and also running my business. At one point I actually had my first ever panic attack (while driving) and I’m usually one of the most level headed, stress free people that there is. So, get a wedding planner!
  3. Have trials
    Organizing a wedding out of province has many difficulties,  including which vendors to book but the main difficulty I had with was finding a great makeup artist. I had 2 trials before I ended up booking a makeup artist who was a bit more expensive, but much better quality of work. My advice is that if something doesn’t feel right, don’t settle! I had a wonderful hair stylist Shannon who I also had a trial with but knew she would do a great job so luckily only had to do the one trial to book that!
  4. Leave more time than you think for getting ready
    Our makeup artist ended up being 45 mins late because of construction but she still did an amazing job as we had left more than enough time. We left around 10 mins late and that brings me to the next point.
  5. Whatever time you want the ceremony to start, put an earlier time on the invitations. 
    I was determined to not be late to the ceremony as I know that means it will cut into photography time. As the makeup artist had run late I just grabbed my jewellery and put it on in the car so that we were there within minutes of the ceremony start time. With only 40 guests I really didn’t think that anyone would run late but there were 4 car loads full of people pull up after us (including the grooms father, grandmother and other VIP’s) so their first look of me was holding up my dress in the car park. Classy.
  6. Do a rehearsal and meet your officiant 
    We went to the beach the night before, just with the wedding party and did a quick run through, but again with the difficulties of planning from afar, we hadn’t met our officiant or run through our ceremony beforehand. This meant that we forgot that we were going to get a crowd participation thing- instead of getting everyone to say ‘we will’ we were going to get everyone to ‘tie the knot’ with us and collect the knots to keep in a jar, but we forgot all about that. Our officiant also mixed our names up so at the all important ‘I do’ part of the ceremony Cameron and Erin became ‘Carin’.. which ended up being a hashtag and a funny story.. Also funny was that my ring wouldn’t go on my finger so I just licked it and made him finish putting my gorgeous custom made/vintage inspired on.
  7. Have a shot list for your photographer of the friend and family groups. 
    I had emailed this list to our photographers but, me being me, I also had it saved on my phone.  Having a list of all of these groups and doing the friend and family groups straight after the ceremony while everyone is still fresh (which for all of our aussies and east coasters of course meant before they started drinking) made it much easier than trying to grab people to do photos like this at the reception. I went into wedding photog hulk mode running the show for quickly grabbing all of the friend and family groups we wanted. I actually really hope that there is some video of that!
  8. Get a videographer for the important moments of the day
    I had originally thought that I would just get one of the groomsmen to set up my camera at the ceremony and at the speeches, the two moments that I knew I would want audio of. When I mentioned this to my friend Arthur when we were at a photography conference last year he was willing (even with a wife at home who was 8 months pregnant) to come out to NS and capture those moments for us which you can see here in the trailer. Arthur and I love working together on weddings so he offers a special package to all of my clients, send me an email if you’re interested!
  9. Uncle Bob
    This is somewhat of an industry term for the family member at the wedding who has their camera in the way of shots. We literally had 2 Bobs-my uncle Bob and my dad Bob being there, I only really remember this one time (photograph below which is my hurry-up-and-take-this-picture-of-us-doing-our-speech-then-sit-back-in-your-seat smile) that they got in the way. I am all for unplugged weddings but it’s also not really my style, when I’m a guest at a wedding, I want my own photographs to remember the day by so I personally didn’t do unplugged.(Photograph by the man that gave me my first camera- my Dad)
  10. Do things in your style/ to fit your personality. 
    Everything about our wedding was our style, the beach, the location of the photos was where Cam proposed, the sand ceremony was combining sand from the beach we were married on and sand from my local beach in Australia, his groom gift being a boudoir/pin up mix album, my ritchie dog ring bearer (you may recognize him from my arm tattoo), despite our height difference I still wore 3 of my fave pairs of flat Toms including a custom painted Up! inspired pair, relaxed vintage quilt seating on the beach, walking down the aisle and dancing our first dance to Hanson (my fave band), our entry into the reception song being a DMX anthem (we’re both big rap/hip hop fans), having Cards Against Humanity for everyone who didn’t want to dance. Personalized DIY details which were driven across the county like the lego mini figure seat chart, various other decor and signs including the sign which had how many kms and what locations our guests had travelled from by Lily Lane Decor and items from Lavish Events by Design, the Brooch and seashell bouquets and sand dollar boutineers, thrifted vintage/kitchy/nautical themed centerpeices and tea cup and hand-painted sugar cookie favours by Thats all she baked. Everything pink including the tulle added to my dress by Krystyna’s Alterations and the belt from Once Upon a Time Wedddings. Being thrifty is also very ‘us’ so by having the wedding on a monday- some vendors (including me) will give discounts if your wedding is on a day other than saturday.

    I always say that people remember 3 things about weddings-
    The food ours was fine, I couldn’t eat much as my dress was so tight- I literally had bruises on my ribs for 2.5 weeks from the boning in the dress.
    The weather usually that time of year in NS it is an overcast 18 degrees and we got a sunny 26- we all got sunburnt so that’s another piece of advice, bring sunscreen!
    How much fun they had our DJ literally had to be shut down by the venue as our guests kept wanting to dance past 1am on a monday night! The fun part also covers having those nearest and dearest there for the big day.
    But I think there are always going to be some other memorable moments which, when captured by the photographer will mean so much more in years to come-
    Getting dropped in the first dance when you go into a dip

    Slideshow and secret recorded messages from best friends that weren’t able to be there

    First look with dad

    Fireworks

    Stopping for ice cream during the photos (This actually was the inspiration for my ice cream tattoo)

    Timewarp interlude with father and daughter dance

 

Balancing very precariously on a rock by the freezing Atlantic Ocean for full moon night photos

Again, all of our beautiful photographs were captured by Applehead Studio Photography!

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Brookside Banquet Centre Wedding Photography

Brookside Banquet Centre Wedding Photography

The photographs in this blog are In March Ashlen and Justin were married at St Justin’s Parish. We then headed to Civic Gardens for the family and wedding party pictures and as it was March the couple were very smart to book the Civic Gardens Complex atrium so that we had a warm place to take photos also. We then headed to Brookside Banquet Centre for cocktail hour followed by their first dance and then some really fun dancing. We managed to take a unique shot just with a tree in the carpark and had fun with the guys smoking cigars.

-Dresses (Bride and bridesmaides) = David’s Bridal
-Tuxes = Collin’s Formal Wear
-Cake = Melrose Bakery
-Hair = Vivid Rouge Beauty Bar
-Makeup = NOW Makeup artistry
-Flowers = Burke’s Flowers
-Catering Company = Culinary Catering
-Limo = Norfolk and Dorchester Limousine

Horse Photography South Western Ontario

Horse Photography is something that I am really interested in, especially in the ‘part of the family’ sense that most people wouldn’t get a family photo taken with their horse. I met Dr Kim at Pawloosa last year (I am happy to say I will be a vendor again there this year) and I thought it would be interesting to see into what a pet chiroprator does. We took some shots of her working on her dog and cat at her indoor/outdoor office and then headed to the stables where I photographed her working on her horse. We then attempted a posed shot with all three pets which was interesting to say the least! You’ll have to stick around to the bottom of this post to see it!

A reminder that I will be doing pet mini sessions at Bark in the Park this sunday 10-3 at Plunkett Estate. Also, for a limited time, if you would like to have a family photo taken with your horse, you will save the travel fee and pay these very affordable rates.

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