Audrey & Jonathan's Dundurn Castle EngagementA historically modern Hamilton engagement

engagement session dundurn castle

Dundurn Castle Engagement

Audrey & Jonathan’s Dundurn Castle Engagement session in Hamilton really changed my perspective of this location! I’ve heard many photographers don’t really like Dundurn Castle as a photo location but I’m here to say I think it’s one of the not-so-hidden gems of Hamilton for engagement and wedding photos! As with most shoots we do (spoiler alert) the weather isn’t always as nice as it seems in the photos. We had a blistering hot day and poor Jon was in some slick looking attire that was definitely too warm for the comfortable smile he had on! Honestly, for engagement and wedding photos in southern Ontario, you always have to be prepared for some intense weather! This should be a comfort to know though that many of the engaged or married couples on our blog here didn’t have the “perfect day” for their wedding or engagement photos. In fact, most of them didn’t have ideal weather, but with the right attitudes approaching less than desirable weather and temperatures any couple can get incredible images from their engagement session. After all, engagement photos themselves aren’t hot or cold themselves!

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Sarkis & Louci'sIntimate Flamborough Hills WeddingA creative with heart

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Sarkis and Louci’s Flamborough Hills Golf & Country Club wedding elopement was an absolute pleasure to photograph. Everything was designed by wedding planner Anna of Spunky Saphire Events and we were honoured to be chosen as the fine art wedding photographers to capture the beauty this amazing team put together! Anna had her own wedding at Flamborough Hills which may have had something to do with the incredible wedding venue being chosen for this event. The remarkable floral arbour was designed by Fleurish Design Studio, a Niagara based wedding floral studio that’s definitely worth checking out. The harvest style reception table was set by Warehouse 84 as well as our good friends at Simply Beautiful Decor. Also both awesome Niagara based wedding rental companies. The wedding invitations and stationery were designed by Deandra of Simply Sealed, and the makeup and hair were done by Love Me Makeup. And the 3 tiered wedding cakes were made by no other than Hamilton’s own Marcia of The Dessert Room.

If you enjoyed this shoot you may also enjoy the wedding flowers of our latest fine art wedding photography workshop, also done by Niagara florist Jessica of Fleurish Design Studio.

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Intimate Flamborough Hills Wedding

A Film Workshop forFine Art Wedding PhotographyImages from the latest Andrew Mark Workshop

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A Film Workshop for Fine Art Wedding Photography

Fine Art Wedding Photography is a new branch of wedding photography that’s hard put your finger on yet so sought after by many industry professionals these days. The phrase coined by world renowned fine art film wedding photographer Jose Villa has taken the wedding photographer world by storm in just a few short years. Changing (and elevating) yet again the new norm for what wedding photography should strive to accomplish.

Fine Art Wedding Photography aims to take on more than simply documenting the wedding day. It strives to go above and beyond what even our bride’s and grooms are able to experience themselves on the day itself. The fine art approach tells the story in a way that soft, beautiful, truthful, and romantic. This new approach aims to create a cohesive collection of imagery that not only tells the story of the day but brings you back to that moment. It sounds cliche I know but it’s the truth.

So how does a your run of the mill digital photographer accomplish this? Here are a few quick tips for how any photographer can adjust their shooting style to fit the fine art wedding photography niche.

1. I believe that true fine art wedding photography must be (at least partially) captured on film. I’m not saying you can’t achieve a fine art look to your wedding photos while shooting digitally, but I am saying that the difference is real, and if your attempting to get that “look” without at least a few film shots as reference you’ll be in trouble. Film brings a life and colour to your images that digital just can’t deliver. The tones, the emotion, and the story it tells is a huge factor in “bringing you back to the moment captured”. Film is key to creating a fine art wedding photography look in your work.

2. I believe that the fine art wedding photographer has a changed mindset and approach to both his/her work and the way he/she tells the story in front of them. This is a little harder to put your finger on. One way in which this statement manifests is through posing & guiding your couples. Finding the right light and posing your couples to look their best in said light is completely necessary to creating the look you’re going for. Yes, there’s a new level of creating that usually needs to take place when transitioning to the fine art approach.

3. Thirdly I believe that a fine art wedding photographer needs to care about their work and their couples. I think most photographers care about their work and couples but transitioning to a fine art approach and applying steps 1 and 2 aren’t easy, or cheap. It’s very expensive to take on film and it’s a ton of work to learn how to fully grab hold of all that it offers. Diving into fine art weddings looks great in the end and the beauty definitely justifies the work in my opinion but it is work, a lot of it. Quite honestly, I still think I could be making more money shooting digital than film, and I’ve been doing this for a few years now. Putting your portfolio ahead of your businesses ultimate final dollar count is necessary for a transition to film. I don’t know many who haven’t had to pay out of pocket film costs to get to where they wanted to be. 

I hope that helps! If you’re a photographer reading this an you have a deep urning to see your portfolio grow closer to that of the fine art look, let me know! I’d love to chat with you and see if maybe a mentoring session or workshop (^^^) would be an awesome investment for you! Here’s a link to a previous workshop we ran earlier this year! If you’re a bride reading this, I hope you learned a little about what we do and why we do it!

A special thank you to all the vendors who made this Andrew Mark Workshop possible:

Dave & Taylor'sEngagement Photos Niagara on the LakeQuiet, Simple, Romantic

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Engagement Photos Niagara on the Lake

Let me first start of by saying this engagement session in Niagara on the Lake is one that is near and dear to me. I’ve never been so excited to capture love on film like I have these two! Why you ask? David is my brother. We’re two years apart and grew up together. My partner in crime from childhood all the way to last week’s shenanigans! We’re best men in each others weddings and will be closest buds till the day we die. He is a huge part of my life and capturing the love he and Taylor have was a real honour!
Wedding Photographers often ask me where my engagement sessions take place. It’s usually not an easy question to answer as the best shots are always “off the beaten path” or quite frankly trespassing somewhere we shouldn’t be. It’s the same for this session. I find the best locations in Niagara for wedding and engagement photos are stumbled upon either by accident (usually the case) or by location scouting. All that to say, photographers, I won’t be much help on this one, and couples, it’s okay to plan to not plan!
If you enjoyed these Niagara on the Lake engagement photos you may also like Brian & Alivia’s Cherry Blossom Engagement Session, or Rachel & Graham’s Country Fields Engagement Session, or Vas & Marina, Becca & Richard, or Charis & Ryan’s. All of these engagement sessions took place in Niagara and many of them didn’t have too much of a plan to them. 

If your considering having your engagement photos in Niagara on the Lake there’s a few things I would plan for. Firstly downtown Niagara on the Lake (by the Courthouse and Clocktower) may sound like a great place in niagara on the lake for your engagement session but in reality there’s just too many people. It’s hard for your photographer to capture who you two are and your love when there’s two thousand tourists on the same street. This also applies for the gazebo by the lake. A good spot for engagement photos in the heart of Niagara on the lake is Butlers Barracks. A large open field surrounded by large trees and a bike path. Butler’s Barracks is also where Mumford & Sons and the Tragically Hip played. So there ya go! A few tips for planning an unplanned engagement session in Niagara on the Lake. Enjoy.