How I followed my heart!

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Nov 2014. Many, many years ago, if 4 years can count as so ahah! I bought myself a used camera from Kijiji. I’ve always been interested in photography; how it worked, the behind the scenes kinda thing. But, for many reasons, my parents never wanted to buy me a good camera, so as a grownup I had to buy one myself.
If any of you reading this are photographers, well, I’ve started off with an old Canon 1000D.
YUP, THAT OLD AHAH! The max ISO it could go to was 1000. I’m not even kidding ahaha!
But, it was in perfect shape and made the job, so what are you gonna do!
I’ve started off by taking a few shots of people and things around me. Like my cats, a few trees and family and friends. But when I bought that camera, I had in mind to really LEARN to use it, and not just clicks on the buttons hoping it would make something pretty.
I jumped on Youtube and that’s where I learned all the basics.
YES GUYS, you can learn literally EVERYTHING there is to know on Youtube & Google! You do not always have to go the easy way and ask people to tell you what they spent hours trying to learn themselves! 😉
So! I learned what ISO, aperture and shutter speed were. I learned how to use them altogether and
I LOVED IT.
March 2015. I found it so interesting to be able to control the light in all these different ways, that I bought myself a one-day class on photography for beginners with a professional photographer.
I learned A LOT, during that class, but I mostly fell in love with photography.


For the first time in my life, I had found something I could do and read about EVERY DAY without getting tired of it.

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At that time I was still in school, in cegep (or college for those who doesn’t know what cegep is), and I was studying in human science. I had in mind to get into psychology when I’d get to university. I’ve gotta say that my psychology classes were the only classes that really interested me. I was spending all my other classes on my phone or doing homeworks so I would not have to do them at home. To be honest, I hated school, I just didn’t want to admit it at that time! I really thought I wanted to work in psychology and knew I had to go through school for that. I thought you’d have to go to school for any job.
I had just started cegep, I still had 2 years ahead of me if I’m not mistaken. But I never finished them. Nope, nope. But we’ll get to this later.

Spring + Summer 2016. After a year and a half, mixing school + my work in a pharmacy + photography on the side. I learned more and more about photography. Doing mostly portraits of my friends, friends of my friends and a few of models I found on Instagram.
And after a while doing portraits, I tried couples photography, with a few friends also, and OH MY GOSH, I loved it.
I absolutely loooooooooooved
to create and capture the emotions and connection between two people in love. I found it absolutely magical, so I decided to get into it more.
At that time, I also started having my first paid gigs!
Y
AAAAAS! I started having people I didn’t know contacting me for portraits, couple & family photos!
I even shot my first wedding at 200$ LOL!
I had never been to a wedding ever, and it was ugly.(for me, my clients were actually really satisfied with the result! But well, they actually got what they paid for I guess ahah!!)
I didn’t know HALF of what I know right now, I was still a beginner at that time. But I knew I loved it.
I literally could not stop talking or thinking about photography.

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Fall 2016. I started school that fall, and the day after I already had enough. I was not only doing my homeworks during my classes anymore, I was skipping all the classes I could without getting kicked out. I even skipped a few tests, I really didn’t care at all anymore.
Yuuuuuuuuuupp, I was at that point lol!
The summer before I had learned how I could make a living from photography and that I didn’t have to go to school for that. I only had to be good hehe! And I knew I was!
So, after about a month into my semester, I had a burnout from school and quit.
Yup, I literally had a burnout. After quitting, I could not think about school for months without having anxiety. No joke. I told you I was not a school person ahah!!
I then started working full time at my pharmacy job.
But after working 9 to 5 there for a few months, I started getting bored. I’ve gotta say that for A WHOLE MONTH I was checking the dates of ALL THE PRODUCTS in the pharmacy. ALL OF THEM. Just checking to remove all the expired product in the shelves. Sounds fun, right?!
Anyways, I was working full time there only because I knew I needed to save a little money to start as a full-time photographer.

 

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Feb 2017. So, in February, I quit my job. YAAAAAAAS, in February 2017, I made THE BIG JUMP!

In February 2017, I BECAME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER!!!!

I was lucky, because I didn’t have that much money saved, I made the jump because I was sick of my job and that’s it ahah! It was kind of a last-minute decision. But I knew my boyfriend and my family were behind me to support and help me if needed. I seriously never could have made that big jump that early without them.
For a big year, I worked my butt off to start my business and make it work.
To this year, I still think that if you really want something as big as a company to work you need to put ALL YOUR ENERGY IN IT. It is soooo cool to have a company as a side job, but if you want it to fly off, you need to stop being afraid. The “right” moment will never come, you need to create it yourself.
If you’re passionate and work hard, there’s NO REASON why it would not work!
And heyyy IT IS working !


2 years later,
I am a wedding photographer! 😉

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Anyway guys, you’ve got one thing to remember and get out of all this: to follow your heart. If you’re in a place in your life where you’re not happy, find the “why” and get out of it. Life is short, so we need to live it well! It can take a lot of time to find your true calling, but you’ll know when you find it. And when you do, do everything in your power to do it everyday of your life.
It is SO WORTH IT!
It is SO AMAZING, to have a job that DOES NOT feel like a job.
Every time I’m off to shoot, my heart is happy. Some days I cannot even BELIEVE that it is my job. And there’s too many people in the world that does not feel that way about their jobs and It seriously makes me so sad.
Nowadays, the possibilities are ENDLESS! You can do WHATEVER you want to do! So, try everything there is to try until you find that one thing that makes you want to learn more and more every day. That one thing that hunts your dream, but in a good way. That one thing that when you talk about it, your eyes sparkles and everyone around knows you’re doing the right thing. Find that thing and

GO.

AFTER.

IT.

YES, GO AFTER IT!!!
I’m telling you, it’s gonna be the best decision of your life.
Because quitting school to follow my photography journey, WAS the best decision of my life.


AND NOW GUYS, I’M OFF TO BECOME AN ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER!
So see ya! 😉

Because no, I am not at all where I want I want to be yet. And it’s still so exciting! My journey is far from over!

And pssstt, don’t forget to leave a comment below if you liked it!

 

Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Montreal, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”

 

Why I would ELOPE if I ever get married

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Before getting in, you need to know…

WHAT IS AN ELOPEMENT?

The term elopement comes from a while ago, when couples suddenly decided to run away together to get married, away from their families.
But in the last years, eloping has become more and more common and the meaning of that term has come to some changes.
People now mostly choose elopement to get out of all the wedding stress and planification. It can go from a super small and sudden wedding in a backyard with only close family, to the couple leaving completely alone to get married on a cliff in Ireland or on top of a mountain.
It’s the perfect way to get married for the couples looking to live an adventure and have an intimate and nontraditional wedding.

*I need to tell you guys that despite everything I’m gonna say in this article, I’m not at all against traditional weddings. I actually LOVE THEM! I would not be a wedding photographer otherwise!😉 Traditional weddings and elopements are just so different and filled with so many different emotions. But they are all wonderful!
This article is only my way of thinking about my own wedding someday.*

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Now, why would I want to elope?

I’ve never been the kind of girl that DREAMED about getting married. My parents never got married. Actually my mother always said to me that she’d burst into laughter if she ever got to the “I do” part, so she never wanted to get there. I never doubted her to be honest ahah! Knowing her the way I do, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what would happen!
So, I’m not at that point ahah. I would actually enjoy saying “Yes” if the moment came. But it’s not something that I absolutely want to happen in my life. It’s not something I need.
For me, it would only be a “plus” to my life.

But why would I choose to elope.

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For me, a marriage is between two people: The husband and the wife.
They are the Team, they are the one that make the decisions, together.
As much as I ADORE my whole family, they would not be a part of the Team.
So why should they be a part of the wedding?

Now I’m hearing you guys say: “But by joining you both together, you’re also joining your families together.”

Yes, but no.
And again, that’s MY way of seeing things.
Yes, we’re kinda joining our families, but how many times will we really ALL get together again? Once? Twice? Never?
Truth is, not often. So are we really joining them together?
I feel that years ago, marriage where actually used for that, to join families together. Well, it was one of the reasons why people got married. So they could become a bigger family and have more people to rely on. They really became one big family.
But it’s not like that anymore.
Marriage is not joining families together anymore, it only joins two people in love.

I totally agree to the fact that we should celebrate that union with both our families.
Yes! 100%! I’d want to celebrate it with mine and the family of my loved one!
But I just said it. We should celebrate that union with them. Not live it with them.

For me, marriage is private between two souls in love.
So the wedding should be too.


The wedding ceremony should be the reflection of what the marriage is gonna be.

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With that said, I would probably love to have my closest friend on my side as support. Because even in the greatest of marriage we sometimes need another shoulder to rely on. And my closest friend being there would be the absolute proof I could rely on them at any time.
But I’m sure I’d enjoy it as much if I was completely alone with my love (and an amazing photographer of course, duh.).

 

Other than that, I’m also a TERRIBLE planner.
Seriously, each time I have to plan something I just get overwhelmed, anxious and I get into a denial phase where I try my best to forget I have to plan something and do everything else instead of plan. Yup I’m that bad LOL!
I actually prefer to be spontaneous. I don’t really mind not knowing what’s coming. It scares me but feeds my soul at the same time. It reminds me that life is full of amazing surprises, surprises you had never thought of!
And things almost never happen the way we thought they would anyway, you know?! Why should we plan something if we have no idea if it’s gonna work out that way? Ugh. I do not have that time to lose ahah!!

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So, I would SO ENJOY not having to plan anything for my wedding. Only having to find our outfits, photographer, location for our elopement and letting everything else just fall into place. That just sounds so dreamy for me!!

And finally, my photographer heart cannot NOT think about the photos.
THE PHOTOS. THINK ABOUT THE PHOTOS.


Just imagine your fiancé/e and yourself on top of a mountain or a cliff.
All dressed up (with boots maybe though).
Smiling and saying to each other how excited you are to get to share your lives together.
All you can see around is nature; mountains, forests and/or the ocean.
And all you can hear is the sound of the wind, the singing of birds and the waves of the ocean.

Just picture that for a minute, it sounds amazing right?
Well with an elopement, you would not have to imagine it anymore, it would become real.
Only that is enough for me to choose to elope ahaha!!!


I know that many people are afraid of what their families and friends are gonna say if they eloped alone. But it should not stop you.
Your wedding day should be about you and your significant other, that’s it.
You should decide to do what makes YOU guys happy, no matter what is it.


And if you really want to do an elopement but are so afraid to tell your family, nothing stops you from inviting the ones that are closest to you and do a super small ceremony on top of the mountain!
Or even sending them a little card, explaining the reasons why you decided to elope and inviting them to a celebration when you’ll come back. You know, a dinner with speeches and photos of your elopement. That way they won’t feel left out and won’t feel like they missed everything. 😉

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If you read it all, I’d love to have your advice on all of this below!
Would you be up for an elopement or are you 100% traditional wedding?
Let me know in a comment! I cannot wait to read you! 😊

 

Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Montreal, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”

 

SECOND SHOOTER, YES OR NO?

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Is one photographer enough to cover my wedding?
Will he/she alone be able to capture everything?
Should I invest in a second shooter or it is not necessary?


You probably have these questions in mind when you’re thinking about the photography part of your wedding, right? You’re already spending SO MUCH money on that day and photography is a big part of it, so you want to know if you should invest even more.

I totally feel you. You’re right to ask yourself that.
So today I’m gonna help you make that decision by telling you how having a second shooter can be totally great, but not necessary. And also in which cases I highly recommend it, sometimes even obligates it. Yup yup. That happens sometimes!

 Before jumping in, you need to know that I always choose my second shooter myself to make sure their shooting style fits my style.
I also cull and edit their photos myself to keep constancy.
So you do not need to worry about that 😊

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Now, let’s start with the purpose of the second shooter:


He’s there to support the first shooter, obviously.
His job is to shoot the important moments with the first shooter but with different angles, and also to help cover when a few things are happening at the same times. ‘Cause no one can duplicate themselves ya know (if you can, you’ve GOT to show me how lol!).

That’s actually one of the main reasons why having a second shooter is GREAT.
While the first shooter follows the newlyweds really closely all day,
the second shooter can be part of the smaller moments where the couple cannot be but would still love to have pictures of.





I personally love to have a second shooter from the first look (when there’s one) until the entrance in the dinner hall.


Here’s why:


1. During the first look, it’s seriously such a big help.
First look usually goes REALLY fast, so I can focus on the emotions of the bride while my second shooter focus on the emotions of the groom.
Capturing both emotions is totally doable alone, but it gives a lot to think about.
It’s a lot easier to do it with two photographers, it gives time to think about the best angle shots instead of focusing on being certain to capture the emotions from both the bride and groom.

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2. Then, during the ceremony, once more I can focus on the bride while she comes down the aisle and my second shooter can focus on the groom.
It also gives the chance to have more photos of the guests enjoying the ceremony.
Mostly for nonreligious ceremonies, they are usually really short (around 20mins) so with only one shooter, it does not give much time to capture the guests reactions.
But a second shooter can take care of that!
You’ll also have a lot more angles of your ceremony with a second shooter!
While I mostly stay in the front to be close to everything that’s happening, my second shooter moves around a lot. He can take pictures from the balcony if the ceremony is in a church, or from way back to capture the landscape around if your ceremony is outside.

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3. During the cocktail hour, I always leave with the newlyweds for a few couple shots. We’re sometimes gone for a half hour and sometimes for the whole cocktail(If you’re wondering, I usually recommend to schedule 45mins or more for the couple photos, but sometimes it just cannot be that long and it’s okay.) . I leave my second shooter with the guests during that time so he can take lifestyle shots of them enjoying the cocktail, a shot of each groups so my clients can have photos of everyone that was there and also take all the details shots in the dinner hall before everyone enters!
Alone, even if we’re back before the cocktail ends, I might not have the time to photograph everyone. Mostly if you guys have a lot of guests.

 

 

And finally, here’s the reasons why I HIGHLY recommend to take a second shooter:



1. If you’re having a really big wedding, like 175+ guests.
Otherwise, there’s no way one photographer is gonna be able to capture everything that’s happening AND take a photo of every groups of guests. There again, if you do not mind having only a few pictures of your guests, you’re good to go with one shooter only.

2. If you have a lot of transportations between each locations.
Mostly if you are far for both your preparations.
If I have to travel more than 30mins between the preparation of the groom and the preparation of the bride, I’ll suggest to send my second shooter with the boys while I stay with the girls otherwise we lose a lot of photography time since transportation time is included in it.

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Of course, these are all my personal preferences and opinion.
Other photographers could have different thoughts and you should talk about it with yours, because none of us work the same way. If you’ve got a good photographer he’s gonna suggest what would be best for you guys.
But, with all of this in mind, a big part of that decision still comes from YOUR personal preference. I’m not writing this to make the choice for you at all, but only to guide you through everything there is to know so you can decide what is best for YOUR wedding.


And I really hope this is gonna help !


And share this article to all the brides-to-be you know!
:)

 

Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Montreal, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”

WHY YOU REALLY SHOULD DO A IN-HOME SHOOT!

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So, you guys probably know how much I LOVEEEEE in-home shoots. (If you didn’t know, you should join the fun on my Instagram!)
Well, today I want to explain to you guys, why I love those sessions so much. I assure you, you’ll want to do one as soon as you’re done reading this.
NO JOKE.
I’ll spy on ya jumping into my DMs! 😉


So, the first thing I need to tell you guys is that you DON’T need a Pinterest looking house to do an in-home shoot. You don’t. As long as you have windows and your house is clean when I arrive, well there’s NO problem!
I know people often stop themselves from shooting in their home because they think their house is so “regular” and has “nothing special”.
Well, that’s NOT TRUE GUYS. Your house IS SPECIAL.
It’s the place that you call Home. The place you chose to start your family. The place that makes you guys feel good and safe.
So, YES. Your house IS SPECIAL.

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Now, I hope you’re ready! ‘Cause it’s time to JUMP IN!😉

 


FIRST, when I do in-homes shoots, it’s a LOT easier for me to get you guys comfortable in front of my camera. WHY? you’ll ask.
For a really obvious reason: You’re in an environment you love, enjoy and feel good in. You’re already a LOT MORE RELAXED than if we were shooting in a place you do not know.
It makes sense, right?!
I know it does. And it’s true!
That part of my job to make you guys comfortable is already half done when I arrive!

SECOND REASON: HABITS!!
I’m 100% sure that you guys have habits in your house. Small things you often do together, a way to sit when you watch TV, a place around the table, a routine. Am I right ?!
Well I know I do! So I’m sure you have AT LEAST one too 😉.
We’ll try to use that.
It seriously makes you guys even more relaxed to include elements of your everyday life.
We can even use an activity you guys do together and transform it into a shoot!
Play scrabbles for example,
or take a bath with wine,
order a pizza and eat it on your living room floor,
 even bake a cake AND COVER YOUR FACES WITH DOUGH!!!!!
IT SOUNDS FUN, RIGHT?!

It will represent your couple a lot more than just shooting in a park! And that is SO important. I want my photos to talk about you guys and tell YOUR story!!

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THIRD: It’s soooo COZY !!
Just imagine yourself cuddling and playing around on the couch with your lover, with a nice cup of hot chocolate while it’s snowing outside.
How sweet does that sound?!
Well it could turn out as great photos too!

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Your house is also usually the place where you guys get the most intimate, if you know what I mean 😉, so it’s easy for you to (almost) forget I’m here and get into your bubble.
(You won’t be able to completely forget I’m there anyways because I’ll say too many silly things! WHOOPS AHAHA!)
But mostly for couples that do not like to be demonstrative in public. There won’t be anyone around you guys (just me thirdwheeling as always).
It’s only gonna be another cuddly & playful time! Yay!
& The photos are gonna turn out A LOT more intimate and cute because of that!



And LASTLY: No weather problems.
That’s kind of a great one too.
You do not even have to think about the weather!
There’s no weather reasons why the shoot could be delayed!


In-Homes are so great during winter, when it might be so freezing outside you don’t know if you’ll still have all your toes at the end of the shoot!
If you’re from a northern country, you know that feeling right ahah!!! It’s not a fun one!
Well with in-home shoots, you can stay warm at home and hang out it front of the chimney!


SO, ARE YOU CONVINCED?!
Are you ready to shoot in your house?
I know I am ! 😊

SO
LET’S DOOOOOOOOOOOOO IT !!!

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Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Montreal, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”

5 tips to find THE wedding photographer FOR YOU

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Photography is for most brides and grooms one of the most, if not THE MOST, important thing for their big day. NO DOUBT RIGHT?!
They spend SO MUCH time planning their wedding and so much money on everything, that they want to keep the most wonderful memories of it, for sure!!
And the way to do it, is to have THE best photographer. The one that is gonna capture their day in such a perfect way that they’ll feel every emotion when looking at the photos, even YEARS after.
I want everyone to feel that way when looking at their wedding photos, everyone SHOULD. That’s why I’m gonna share here a few tips to help you find THE photographer FOR YOU guys.
YUP. EVEN IF IT’S NOT ME. I DON’T CARE.
I Just want you guys to be happy 😊.

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1.      FIND THE PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE YOU WANT.
There is SO MANY photographers out there, with SO MANY different shooting and editing styles. The first step to find the photographer for you, is to identify the style you want:
Do you prefer a style classic, moody, lifestyle, journalistic, etc?
For that, you’ll need to do A LOT OF RESEARCH.
My advice here would be to start on Instagram. As a photographer myself, it is my FAAAAAAV platform to share my images.
Go through hashtags, locations close to you and when you find photographers you like, try to figure out why you like them and keep them in mind.

You need to be IN LOVE with your photographer style.
You need to love EVERYTHING about it.


Then, you should send inquiries to at least 3-5 photographers that you LOVE.

 

2.      SET YOUR BUDGET
It is totally normal to have a budget.
Either it’s $1.5k or $5k, you should know what’s the MAX amount that you can spend.
CAUTION THOUGH.
If you have a small budget, it could be best to take a great photographer for less hours than hiring a cheap one!
Think about it for a minute,

Would you rather have:
AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS THAT WILL MAKE YOU CRY from the three most important hours of your wedding day(ceremony + time for couple and family photos)
OR
Okay images from all day ?

Remember that your guests will WITHOUT A DOUBT, take okay photos all day too. 😉




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3.      MAKE THEM EXCITED ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY

This is SO IMPORTANT!
I cannot tell you how many times I got inquiries where the couple only wrote me this :
-Hi, we’re getting married this date. What’s your rates?

-Um Hi. WHO ARE YOU?
THAT IS LEGIT WHAT HAPPENS IN MY HEAD WHEN READING THIS.

I want to know you guys.
What kind of couple are you? What kind of wedding are you gonna have? Where is it gonna be?
I want to know what you guys like about my work.
Why do you want ME as your photographer? What in my work attracted your eye?

Of course you should not tell me all of this in your first message. But tell me something.

Because between this kind of inquiries and another one for the same date where the couple tells me how wonderful their wedding is gonna be or how excited they would be to have me as their wedding photographer, the choice isn’t hard to make.
You should sell me your wedding AS MUCH as I should sell you my services.
YUP YUP YUP!!


4.      MEET WITH THEM
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
SERIOUSLY GUYS.
Even if your email exchanges are perfect and you guys are already having fun talking about your cats and favorite TV shows (mine’s Friends btw, what’s yours?).
You cannot know a person before meeting with them.
So, even if it is only for a cup or coffee, or AT LEAST by videochat, get to know your photographer before hiring them!!!
Be sure you guys get along and will become friends !

 

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5.      FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCT

This is, I think, THE MOST IMPORTANT tip I’m gonna give you.
When making your final choice, TRUST YOUR GUTS !!!
You should NOT feel any pressure from your photographer when hiring them.
If you do, RUN, RUN, RUN !!!
I’m telling you, professionals find it so important to have a great connection with their clients, and for that connection to happen, both parts should be excited to work together!!
I, more than once, turned down a bride if I felt we were not a good team. In those cases I always send them references of colleagues with styles similar to mine. I still want to be sure they get the photography style that they want, but if I do that, it’s because I know they’ll probably “click” more with someone else. We can not become friends with everyone and that’s normal.
When making your final choice, you should not have any doubts that this person is THE ONE photographer for you guys.
You should feel 100% SURE about your decision.

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TRUST YOUR GUTS !


And share this article to all the brides-to-be you know!
:)

Violaine is an adventurous wedding and elopement photographer based in Quebec, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”

A few tips to help plan yo dream wedding !!

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As you probably know, I am not a wedding planner. In fact, I do hate planning and usually am the one that just go with the flow. BUT as a wedding photographer, I am, most of the time, the closest provider to my clients. I’m often the one they’ll ask all their questions to, the one who’s gonna help them make the schedule of their day, I even often put boutonnieres on groomsmen, NO KIDDING!! I become their friends. I’m there for everything, and I WANT to be. So I do know a thing or two that could totally help you guys plan your big day. And so you guys do not end up all lost, crying and wanting it to be over already, I feel like I need to tell those things to you. That way you can enjoy the most of it instead of worrying. How thoughtful of me, right?
Of course, you do now have to follow these steps. You should plan your wedding the way it works best for you. I just hope this guide will help you to find your way of doing!
So here it goes:

 
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1.     The first thing to do is to establish your priorities and desires to have the wedding YOU want. Before jumping into anything, you should take some time to think about what you want and do not want. Maybe you already know all of this because you’ve been thinking about it since you were 5yo, but if it’s not the case, here’s a few pointers:
-Do you want it to be big and filled with people, do you want it to be small, with only family & close friends?
-Do you want your ceremony outside, inside, in a church?
-Do you want it close to your home or do you want a destination wedding, even an elopement ? (That last one would be my choice if I ever get married btw ahah 😉)
-Do you want to charge your guests for their meal or prefer to pay for everything?
-Do you want your decoration to be DIY?
-Etc.
List what is importano YOU guys.

2.     When your priorities are established, set a realistic budget. (If you want to have 150 guests and pay for everything, it might not be realist to set a 5k$ budget. It could totally be for a small wedding though, depending on your priorities of course.)

3.     Find which providers are the most important for you

-Is it the photographer to have the greatest memories of it?
-Is it the DJ to drive the party all night?
-Is it the food, the venue, the cake, the florist, your dress, etc?
Number them in order. And divide your budget between all your providers. Set approximative numbers, even if you do not know the price of everything yet. You’ll adjust while doing your researches ! 😊
Also, always KEEP IN MIND this part while finding your providers. I’ve got to tell you that if the photographer is number 1 on your list, and the one your really want is outside the budget you established for it. Well HIRE HIM ANYWAY AND CUT SOMEPLACE ELSE. I could tell you many stories about brides that regretted not taking their first choice, I do not want that happening to you!

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*Before starting your shopping, I’d like to remember you a certain rule that could be helpful. The rule of Three. This rule says that when you’re looking to buy something or hire someone, you should always look up AT LEAST three different places or persons. (Even if you have, let’s say a photographer, in mind that you really like his/her style, it doesn’t mean you guys will get along! So you should not JUMP on them already. Get to know them before!!)
So, the first person you’re gonna meet, you might be a bit lost, you might not know which questions to ask and what the hell you’re doing there. If that first person is the provider for you, they will reassure you, make you feel good and confident and you’ll get out of that meeting with the biggest smile. If that happen, it doesn’t mean you should not meet the others. Meeting the others will only confirm your choice.
If that first person is not your guy, well that meeting will have taught you all the questions to ask and the way to act for your next meetings.
I assure you, after meeting three persons, you’ll know which one to hire. There’s always one that steps out from the others, at least a little bit. And sometimes it is not the one we thought it would be! 😉

 

Now’s the time to start shopping ! YAAAAAS!!!!

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4.     Find your venue + your wedding date. You should do these two together. UNLESS you have one provider that YOU KNOW YOU ABSOLUTELY WANT and want to book your date according to their availabilities.
But if that’s not the case, you should not choose your date ONLY because it has a signification. Do it if your dream venue if available that day. But any date you choose will become important and significative after your wedding day. With that said, you should not block yourself from a venue just because of a date.
-Base yourself on your needs and priorities (point #1) to find your venue, start by looking on the internet.
-Go visit 3 of them, talk to the owners and ask them a lot of questions. (Is the food provided in the price? Can you taste the food beforehand? Can you come to decorate the day before or does it have to be on the same day? Do they have a planner that can help with everything? If it’s outside, is there a plan B in case of rain? How many weddings is there on the same day? Etc)
-Choose your favorite one. For sure between these three places there is one that made you smile more than the others.

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5.     When you’ve got your date + venue, now’s the time to find your photographer, videographer, DJ/band and wedding planner (if you want one). The providers that work as a team during your wedding.
One of the best tip I can give you here is: MAKE THEM EXCITED ABOUT YOUR BIG DAY. Tell them why it’s gonna be memorable, what’s gonna be different from other weddings or how great of a couple you and your significant other are. Tell them what you like about their style, why their job catched your eyes.
I often get inquiries where the couple only tell me their wedding date, asking me if I am available. I can tell you that between that inquiry and the one for the same date where the couple is gonna tell me about themselves and how excited they’d be to have me for their big day, the choice isn’t hard to make.
All the providers listed above work really closely during your big day. When booking them you’re building a team around your wedding and it is SO IMPORTANT for that team to work well together. For that to happen, getting everyone excited to work with you guys is the first step!

6.     Find your other providers. As you get to this step, your wedding is gonna come as a whole really fast you’ll see!
- Go shopping for your dress and suit!
- Find your celebrant if you’re not getting married in a church.
- Determine the colors/theme of your wedding if is hasn’t been done while finding your venue.
- Find your florist, your baker, your hairstylist + makeup artist.
- Buy/make your decorations.
- Buy your details (shoes, tie, jewelry, etc)
- Make and send your invitations.

7.     After that, you can take a deep deep breath. It’s almost over! All there’s left to do is:
- Make sure everything stays in order
- Pay for everything (yup lol, it hurts the bank most close to the date, be ready!

 

- GET.

FREAKIN.

MARRIED !!!!!   

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YOU GOT THIS. YOU GOT THIS. YOU GOT THIS !!!!



And share this article to all the brides-to-be you know!
:)

 

Violaine is an adventurous elopement and wedding photographer based in Quebec, Canada but she travels worldwide. She loves the intimate, authentic and raw moments that happen each second between two people in love. She believes in the craziness of every couples and that laugh is the best medicine. She’s not afraid of freezing in the cold or getting completely wet under rain, as long as her images reflects her clients personality.
“It’s all about YOUR story. Whoever you are, wherever you go.”