A Dreamy Beach Engagement Session
These two climbed over some scraggly rocks to get to the perfect spot, and were up for anything! I love when my clients take risks because they trust that I see potential in a certain location, and here it definitely paid off. When they weren’t laughing at me, they were sharing secrets (I think).
A Colourful Summer
I can honestly say that this session is one of my biggest accomplishments to date! This is exactly what I look for in weather, outfits, and amazing clients! I am the luckiest girl in the world right now, because of this family (and others like them). I can’t believe y’all allow me to do this and I get paid for it! Like, whaaaaat?
10 Questions for your wedding photographer & My Answers
It’s natural that a bride wants to find out more about me as a photographer, which is why I’ve put together these 10 most common questions you may have and my answers. You’ll be surprised at some of them! For those of you who know me, I’m sure even you will learn something new about me!
He’s popped the question and you can finally start planning! Your girls and you are planning a day out in Toronto, trying to find the perfect dress, and you totally know the type of wedding you are hoping for! You’re meeting with several different wedding venues in the coming weeks, but already have a pretty good idea that you want the golf course with the amazing views of the river. You figure you have most of the answers to all the questions, but have you thought about your wedding day? Time of ceremony? Location of family photos? Probably not, and that’s why I decided that you need these 10 very important tips to have a relaxed wedding day timeline, while still staying true to yourself and making things enjoyable for all of your guests.
Yes, I said that right! Find two or three of your closest friends, whom you just could not imagine spending your big day without, and ask them to be in your wedding party! The more people in your wedding party, the more pictures have to be taken and (I’m not kidding) the more bridesmaids/groomsmen can go missing! Having a small wedding party makes things more personal as well, and a huge bonus is that there are less “Thank You” gifts you need to buy and less speeches to listen to at night during dinner! All in all, a win-win if you ask me.
I know I really enjoyed planning my own wedding and wouldn’t want to give that up to just anyone, but I do know I could definitely have benefited from a planner who made sure things got done at the right time, or to the right place on my big day. Sadly, our families ended up having to decorate the hall on the day of our wedding, because our venue misled us about the availability the night before. With a wedding planner, this likely wouldn’t have happened, or at least it wouldn’t have taken our own family members away from the celebration to get it done on time.
Knowing ahead of time exactly what hairstyle or type of look a bride is looking for on her wedding day can cut down on time spent in the chair. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with the girls before it’s time to head out, and capturing those wonderful memories, but so often something happens to change the condition of the hair compared to the trial months before, and it is super helpful for make-up artists and hairdressers to have a recent memory of what you expect from them. On our wedding day, all my bridesmaids ended up with an old-fashioned bun that the hairdresser thought was perfect, because she had forgotten what hairstyle we agreed on. She ended up charging very little, but I’m still disappointed to this day!
Padding your timeline with 15 minutes here and 20 minutes there will prevent any late starts, whether ceremony or reception, and ensure a relaxed wedding day timeline. This is easy, just make sure that the guys are ready to leave about 10 minutes before they actually need to leave (and don’t tell them)!
Times that are especially important, of course, are the ceremony and reception dinner time. Estimate your driving times about 50% longer than they normally are, in case of an accident, or in case someone accidentally forgets something. If and when you don’t need the buffer time, feel free to use it to ask your photographer to get a few more wedding party shots or bridal portraits very near where you have to be at a certain time. So it’s almost like a reward, which will help motivate you even more to stick to your timeline. Your photographer will thank you!
I realize that this isn’t always possible, but often venues have some amazing photogenic rooms that are yours for free or a small fee where you can spend the morning with your girls. Whether it’s at a golf course or a hotel, there are often options at, or near where you will be saying your vows. Technically it would be amazing if it all happens at the same venue, but when you’re getting married in a church, it is also very convenient if the reception location is nearby. This cuts down on driving time, and in case someone forgets something, it’s only a short walk or drive to get the missing item!
Experience tells me that a timeline that gets off on the wrong start, is really hard to fix when it’s on a roll. It’s like a runaway train, it’s better to nip it in the bud. After all, why would you want to add extra stress and possibly lose out on that relaxed wedding day timeline.
First looks are becoming more common and photographers all over are thanking you for it! Some couples are adamant that they want to see each other for the first time in church, so did we almost 10 years ago. But now, looking back, it would have been so nice to spend 10 to 15 minutes of time with Bertus before we met at church, I think it would have helped my nerves as well.
If you decide to do a first look, most photographers will also get wedding party portraits out of the way before the ceremony. Yes, you may be looking at adding an hour of coverage (unless your photographer offers all-day wedding coverage, like myself), but it could be well worth it! This way, after the ceremony, your wedding party is free to go as they please and enjoy themselves (and they will thank you for that!), and you have oodles of time to get an amazing array of “Husband and Wife” portraits. This might even allow for an extra location, if your timeline allows this!
Even if you have a wedding planner, it is still very helpful to have someone who is not part of your family or bridal party, but is on a first-name basis, ensure that everything is flowing smoothly. Ensuring a relaxed wedding day timeline really is a group effort! Choosing someone who is not an all-day guest (meaning part of the wedding party or a family member) ensures that they can really focus on making sure that the rings have made it to church or that no wedding party member decides to stop in at Tim Hortons at 12:30PM and has to wait for their latté for 20 minutes.
Designated coordinators are also instrumental in ensuring smooth sailing during family portraits! This is usually the most hectic part of the day, because your photographer has no idea who is part of what family. Even if there is a second-shooter, it is super helpful to have someone who is familiar with most or all of the members, and can ensure that no mistakes (such as splitting up a family) are made. Make sure this coordinator has your family portrait group list as well as any other instructions that you want them to remember.
As mentioned before, a timeline that gets off track early on, can be impossible to fix. I mean, all your guests are really there to see you get married, and they might have taken the day off to attend the biggest day of your life; try not to waste their time by turning up late. At the same token, officiants sometimes have more than one ceremony to officiate, and if you arrive late, he/she may have to leave to attend the next wedding. Imagine everyone showing up for your wedding and then it becomes a search for any officiant, just as long as the papers get signed! It is better for all parties if groom and bride allow extra EXTRA time before this part of the day.
Your officiant may not have any flexibility, but your family members might. Or even you. Let’s say that you have planned to have the family pictures done right after the ceremony. As it happens, one of your nieces is exhausted and almost asleep; waking her would do more harm than good. If the family is somewhat small and all are planning to attend your reception, reschedule the family portrait time to 30 minutes before then. Hopefully by that time your niece is well rested, and your photographer is able to get those images at a much less stressful pace. Make sure to discuss these decisions with your photographer before promising your family something that isn’t possible, sometimes lighting situations do not allow for these types of modifications.
Family portrait time is usually the most dreaded time of the day. It’s something that should get done, but isn’t enjoyed by many. Getting through these as efficiently as possible benefits everyone, including you as couple, the photographer, and especially your family. Making sure that your list includes first and last names can avoid confusion, even add your parents’ first names to clarify. As photographer, I often end up calling your parents “Mom” and “Dad”, out of respect for them, but also because it makes it a little easier. Still, to ensure we know which Mom or Dad, feel free to give as much detail as you think necessary. Better too much than too little.
That being said, keep your family portrait wish list as concise as possible, spending an hour on family portraits can be a waste of your time and money, as very rarely are all images looked at, much less used. I ask my clients to keep it down to less than 10 groupings (allowing for unmarried significant others to be added to and taken away from each grouping if necessary). This is usually possible, and brides are thankful that they can just say, “Sorry, my photographer says no more!”
You only get married once. Do it right, and make sure you are able to enjoy your day by utilizing as many of these tips to have a relaxed wedding day timeline as possible. You’ll look back and see that it was likely the most important part of your planning. I’d love to hear how your day turned out, and which tips you found most helpful. Is there something missing that should be added. Happy planning, and congratulations. You deserve the best day!
Images captured while second shooting for the amazing Kayla Potter! Visit her website HERE.
And another session at the trail near my home. It will be the last one for the year, likely as the golden rods have finished blooming and things are starting to look dead. But then again, maybe I might just be able to have a fall session with some gorgeous reds, oranges and yellows in a few weeks! This Norfolk County trail family session actually features another one of my family members. This time it’s my husband’s second youngest brother and his wife and beautiful kids!
Corwin and Sharon actually married when I was almost due with our third baby, Easton, and I can still remember how huge and uncomfortable I was that day! He arrived almost a week late, weighing 9lbs 11oz, so you can only imagine how uncomfortable those last two weeks were! Anyways, Corwin and Sharon’s anniversary is coming up in a month again, 5 years already!
They have a silly little man named Tyson, who is three already, and hopes to go to Preschool next year. He loooooves anything that is red and has some wheels. A red quad tops it all! He was quite excited about all the pop-a-wheelies he is going to do when he gets a little bigger. I’m sure his mom’s already terrified!
Keira, the little girl with the pretty shoes, constantly trying to keep up to her big brother. She takes after her daddy, who also drooled bad as a baby, and we had to use my lens cleaning cloth to catch some of those. It’s easier to take it away before the picture than later in Photoshop! She definitely adores her mommy, but also loved having free reign, whenever we asked her to come our way, she deliberately did the exact opposite.
Sharon and Corwin recently purchased a butcher shop in Vanessa, with some of the most delicious hungarian sausage I’ve had! Their pork tenderloin also tastes 10 times better than anything I’ve had from a chain grocery store. It’s always so nice to support small local business, especially when they belong to family. I can’t wait what the future holds for these two, I’m sure there is a lot in store!
Corwin and Sharon, you have two beautiful children, who are growing up before your eyes; cherish them! I’m sure you have seen how fast they grow, but that only gets worse! Before you know it Tyson is in school, and then a few years later Keira will have a boyfriend. Enjoy them, the way they are now. I sure am glad I was able to capture these memories for you so that you can look back years from now and remember what life used to be like!
I really was lucky to capture this, isn’t this just a wall hanger?
Run, baby girl, RUN!
See another very recent family session I did at this location HERE! That session also had some wonderful bright pops of colour…
I had to post one of these two being little goofs!
I mean, just look at this cute little family!!!
See my recent sister-in-law’s session HERE! So much fun with those 6 as well.
If you still have time, I am advising you to visit this place before the weather turns. Honestly, it was an absolutely amazing setting for this Long Point beach family session! If there is any couple looking for a great deal on a couples session, please get in touch with me ASAP so I can schedule you in before the leaves are gone!!! I mean it, email me NOW!
This family contacted me the day after I did one of Jackie’s friend’s family sessions, and her message was, “Hi Dianne…you may not have time but I thought I’d ask…would u be able to do family pics for us…??” and then when I said I had one slot left in the middle of September, she replied, “Ohhhh, pretty please?” I love working with clients who value me, my work, and everything about my images, especially those who deliver thank you cards, just for taking you on! I mean, Jackie, you’re just the sweetest, and capturing this family session for you was an absolute pleasure! Thank you for bringing me to the beach, btw! I really, really, REALLY wanna go back!
Kenneth, you were a tough nut to crack, but I have to say that the model stares were genius and I love how each and every image of you turned out! This young man loves Piper (the brown puppy), and is working hard at training him. Piper loves him back just as much, I think!
Savannah, you are one gorgeous young lady! I am sure your Mama is going to have to beat those boys off of you with a stick. Hopefully not till you get a little older. I cannot wait to see what’s in store for you, and just want you to remember to stay true to yourself. You’re not just beautiful on the outside, you are wonderful, kind, and a little funny too! Loved the eye rolls at Mom once in a while. There may or may not be one of those in your full gallery!
Terry and Jackie, you have been blessed with a wonderful family. Jackie, you inspire me to be a kinder and better version of myself whenever we talk, and I love that about you! I am sad that none of my kids has had you as Grade 1 teacher yet; maybe next year Easton will be lucky enough! Thank you for choosing me, and of course I hope you’ll love these as much as I do!!!
Look at those sweet puppy eyes!!!
See another one of my favourite beach sessions HERE!
This lady’s smile is so infectious! Jackie, I can’t wait for November so we both have time to catch up!
And my favourite location never disappoints! This Norfolk County trails family session was done about a 2 minute walk from my home, which is only one of the many reasons why it’s my favourite! Some of the other reasons are the incredible amount of different backgrounds, the fact that while it’s overgrown, my neighbours keep a nice walking trail semi-maintained by using it as a four-wheeler path, and currently the incredible amount of golden rods! I am so excited to finally have a session at this location, it’s my first this year, and I have another one planned this week already! I’d love to hear what you think of this location!!!
Ken and Rianne lost most of their house in a house fire earlier this year, just days after she had a difficult delivery of their youngest child. I could not imagine how heartbroken they must be, and not knowing the severity of their loss, I offered to help them create some new memories that we can safely keep online, for her to enjoy for years to come. So meet them and and their beautiful children, Jayden, Mariah, and Curtis.
Jayden is a mischievous little man who I had the privilege of meeting at his Nana and Grandpa’s Grandparent Session. At that time he wasn’t interested in me, but who would be, with all of his cousins around? This time he gave me the biggest smiles and the highest jumps. Jayden is in Preschool, already, will you believe that?
Mariah, you are an adorable little peanut with the cutest pigtails and the most amazing smile! This little girl was right in the dirt with her brother, eating it and looking for treasure right along side of him. Rianne, I’m sure you have your hands full with her!
Curtis, you are a true miracle, and you can see that your Mommy and Daddy cherish you so much. He was sitting a little better than last time, which helped us get some really cute shots, and when Daddy came to our aid to get some great smiles, his grin reached from ear to ear. I’m so thankful for miracles like you, little man!
Ken and Rianne, I am so thankful that I was able to capture your growing children (and the two of you, of course) at this time of their lives. I know you cherish them, it was so evident, but here’s just one more reminder that they grow up sooooo fast. I hope you love these images as much as I do! Thank you for making it such a blast, like all of my clients do.
I mean, look at this little man’s lashes! So adorable…
And then, we found some pumpkins! Look at that, all matchy matchy! They’re now sitting on my front porch, but there was definitely some throwing involved!
I had the privilege of capturing my sister-in-law’s family during this active and fun Tillsonburg trails family session! Bob and Jacqueline are parents of four busy but fun kiddos, and they kept me on my toes. This time I was super thankful for my wide angle lens, it allowed me to capture things quickly and even when they were super close to me!
We hadn’t made a final decision about our location until the day of, which is unusual for me. Usually I get my clients on the phone and try to get as many details confirmed as I can, which makes the whole preparation for them a lot more fun and smooth. But since this was kind of booked while we were walking out of my sister-in-law’s birthday party, we hadn’t really had a chance to figure out the details. As you can see, it worked out anyways! I had driven by this unique spot on a part of the Tillsonburg trails, that had some gorgeous trees, and amazing lighting. Lighting is always key! On the way to their house, I quickly stopped by one more place on the way, a property with some overgrown parts, another option. We ended up using both!
These boys were not interested in me and my camera, and I wasn’t surprised. At the end of this post, you’ll see some real laughs coming out, when their dad starts to sing a song. It really was too cute!
B & J, you have a bunch of busy but awesome kids! I’m glad my camera stayed safe through the whole branch whacking episode, but thankful it happened as it allowed me to capture some real smiles! I’m sure you know by now how quickly time flies by. You can see that by how the little girl who learned to walk by holding on to her own skirt is now turning into a beautiful lady. You can see it in the boys that will eventually grow up and calm down (I’m hoping for you, anyways!) And you can definitely see it in “Miss Purple” whose smile has stuck with her through the years! (BTW, she was born on 11-11-11, isn’t that cool?)
K, you really are turning into a beautiful young lady. I hope these images capture how you want the world to see you, because they already do!
S, I’m okay with the fact that it wasn’t a blast for you, but I still think you had a little bit of fun! The sucker at the end made it worth your while, though, didn’t it?
T… You have trouble in your eyes and written all over your face. In a good way of course. Mischief is never far off with you, and I hope your life stays as interesting as you are hoping for. Otherwise, just look for some more trouble (don’t tell your mom I said that)!
G, I want to take you home and keep you. You can be my constant source of chatter, laughs and giggles. You can make any dreary day seem happier, just by smiling. Never stop, girly! Never stop.
Enough said, let’s get to the great part, what y’all came here for!
Look at all those blues!
Boys need to be put in their place once in a while, am I right?
I mean, look at this beautiful smile!
“Dancing is like dreaming with your feet.”
This is where their dad started singing, and I still cannot figure out if he made it up, or whether someone wrote it especially for him!
Thank you so much for choosing me, B & J, I loved our time together, and I hope you love these images as much as I do!
P.S. Check your inbox! Your gallery is on its way. <3
I’d have to say this is one of my favourite sessions thus far, and shooting at Westminster Ponds in London did not disappoint! Such a sweet young couple, excitedly expecting their first little one. And they’re both so amazing! These two are just made for each other, with their great sense of humour to the way they just adore each other. It didn’t take much coaxing to get these two to hold their kisses a second or two longer, and there was absolutely no need to tell them to smile right afterwards!
Monica is having her baby shower tonight, and I’m sure her friends are going to shower her and her unborn little one with all the love and care in world. Monica, you are such a beautiful mama, and I’m so thankful that I bumped into you at Pt. Burwell. (BTW, I watched this mama catch her first fish ever… LOL. I don’t think I ever caught one!) Just a little while longer and these two are going to start their parenting journey in this crazy place we call Earth. And I’m sure that baby is going to be loved!
Ricky, you are a lucky man! Such a gorgeous wife, and God blessed you with this amazing gift as well. I wish you both nothing but happiness and strength. There will be tough times, but there will be amazing times. Focus on those great times when things get difficult. Because with each other by your side, you’ll get through anything!
BTW, isn’t this location just amazing? I’ve shot a maternity session here before (see HERE), but I sure was excited to go back!!
And it’s here! This gorgeous and fun Flamborough Hills family session with an amazing wedding planner that I had the pleasure of getting to know. I can’t wait to work with her one day, hopefully!
Anna Koppelaar, a self-described type-A mother of two, is the proud owner of Spunky Sapphire Events. A name that describes her to a tee, by the way! Because this girl has some spunk. I can totally imagine her confidently commandeering all the vendors on a lucky couple’s big day. Anna has known of Darren for a long time, but finally got to really know him when she decided to spend some time in Canada (she’s from the U.S.). She has a history in Food Services, and finally decided to take the plunge to start her own business, doing what she loved most; planning other people’s weddings.
And boy, does she love her job! I can see it on her website and social media. If you ever meet this gorgeous lady, you’ll see it too, I promise! She works a lot at Flamborough Hills Golf & Country Club, where she is lucky enough to have an amazing venue to work with. With even more amazing views! I mean, look at these! Just take a peek, I promise you’re going to want to have your wedding here yourself!
Darren is Anna’s great love, and an amazing father to two boys! Darren and Anna are both super chill. To have Dominic running in front of them while I was trying to get some more intimate shots didn’t even faze these two! And when Maverick got a little tired, Anna just whipped out that bottle, which is what she knew he needed. It was incredible watching these two parent!!! I always leave learning a thing or two, which makes my job even more awesome!
Anyways, I think that’s enough chatting. Darren and Anna, thank you for having me run around after your boys, and humouring me by standing in the middle of a broken off willow branch. I loved every minute of it, and would love to go back!
When grandparents decide to invest in their children’s future memories by capturing them the way they are today, everyone can do a little happy dance! Because, let’s face it, these memories only become more valuable over time!
I was talking to my own dear mom last week about just that! Saying how wonderful it would be for every child to have an image with their grandparents. Something that becomes so special as time goes on! Something you can use to gift them when years have passed. And something that becomes absolutely priceless as generations go on.
These grandparents were so willing to spend time with their grandkids. Playing tug-of-war, throwing apples, and being tied up (because one silly little boy didn’t want to let go of his rope) were all part of the fun!
It is definitely important to get things done as quickly as possible with this many kids, but, if necessary, there are always opportunities for headswaps! One image required six of them all together!!! So worth it, though.
I’m going to leave it at that. Dick and Lisa, thank you for allowing me this privilege, and I hope you are as excited about these as I am!
These girls are so pleased that they kissed Nana!!!
The size fish that boys can catch vs. the size fish that girls can catch. Too funny!
I can honestly say that this session has been so long coming (we first had to wait for little Wade to arrive), and it is one of my biggest accomplishments to date! This is exactly what I look for in weather, outfits, and amazing clients! I am the luckiest girl in the world right now, because of this family (and others like them). I can’t believe y’all allow me to do this and I get paid for it! Like, whaaaaat?
I’ve known Paulina for quite some time, I believe we even served together at the Village Restaurant way back in the day. But as Ryan’s aunt lived beside us at our last home, we saw a bit of these two here and there. And now they have 3 boys and a fur-baby!!! Life turns out so different than we think sometimes, doesn’t it?
Paulina and Ryan are one of the kindest parents I have had the privilege of meeting. The way the love and dote on their boys is incredible! Rowan, Troy, and Wade are so lucky to have you.
Rowan is three (he was pretty excited to tell me a bunch of times), and he is ready to start Junior Kindergarten. I can imagine your Mama is going to be a little less busy with you around all day, but at the same time will miss your little laugh around the house and Troy will likely miss his playmate.
Troy, you are just so sweet. The way you give your Mama kisses and just get up after getting a boo-boo. You’re such an active little monkey! Even though you weren’t too keen on having a camera in your face, you didn’t hold it against me. Thank you for putting up with me, and going for a little walk to find some flowers!
Baby Wade, even though you don’t let your Mama have a lot of rest, you are adorable, so we will forgive you!
Ryan and Paulina, thank you for being such awesome clients. For being open to any suggestions I put forward, even though some of them sounded crazy. And for just being amazing human beings! You both are an inspiration. I cannot wait to see you raise your boys to be incredible human beings themselves. I know it’s scary at times, but with God’s help, you can do this.
I’m going to leave it at that, and let you enjoy these six (oh, did I forget to mention Duke the dog? You’re going to love him!) at one of my favourite locations.
I mean, c’mon, you two! You are so awesome together!!!
See this Mama with this little one still in her belly HERE!
Hello Mr. Duke!
This location is in my top three! See another DVI session at Waterford Ponds HERE.
I am first and foremost a wife and mother; and am based in South-Western Ontario. While it may seem like I run the business, I couldn't do this without my best friend by my side; my dear husband Bertus. I love photographing anything that shows love and joy, especially outdoor weddings. I am hoping that I can lead the life that God chose for me in His honour and influence many couples in my calling.
DIANNE VELTHOVE :
SINCERE, INTIMATE, TIMELESS.
DIANNE VELTHOVE : SINCERE, INTIMATE, TIMELESS.