Why having an engagement shoot is so important?

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Engagement shoots are not really “engagement shoots”. Most of the time, couples have been engaged for a while when comes the time to do their engagement shoot. We kinda do it a few weeks/months before their wedding ahah! Some clients like to use those photos on their Save the Date, but I often get asked if it can be removed from their wedding package. I always say “No”. There’s a really good reason why I include it guys, otherwise, imma tell you, I WOULD NOT!


Engagement shoots are an introduction to our team. Because yes, my clients and I, I see us as a team. Of course, I’m the one that works the most 😉 While taking your photos & working the light, I also do/say a lot of silly things to make you guys laugh and relax the mood. But I still need you guys to be ready to give me all of your energy! We 100% need to work together to create the PRETTIEST PHOTOS EVER.

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How it helps you

First, having an engagement shoot helps to remove a lot of stress from your shoulders. Most of my clients never had their photos taken before their engagement shoot, so, without it, their wedding day would also be their first experience in front of the camera. They would not know at all what to expect. And as anything new, that can be a little scary. Mostly for the grooms, because let’s be honest; guys usually hate having their photos taken ahaha!!
And even if you had shoots before, but with another photographer. We, photographers, all work in different ways. So, it might not be the same experience AT ALL.
You already have so much going on on your wedding day. You do not need to have a stranger get into your bubble to take your photos. Am I right?! It would only stress you even more.
So, during our engagement shoot, we talk, we laugh, we get to know each other. You see my way of working and learn to get along with it. You get to see there’s absolutely nothing to be scared of or stressed about a shoot with me ahah!
But anyways, we have fun together during that shoot, so when your wedding day arrive, you do not mind me getting into your bubble(because I assure you I will!). Because you already know me & we’re friends.

 

How it helps me

It helps me understand you guys better. Every couple is different, so every couple needs to be approach in a different way.
Some couples will open to me and get silly pretty fast, while others will stay a bit shy all shoot long. It’s their personalities. I need to understand it and respect it. By doing an engagement shoot, I get to feel and understand your personalities before the wedding, so I already know how to interact with you guys to get the BEST OUT OF YOU for your wedding photos! I also learn the kind of poses you like the most to do the same kind on your wedding day!

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As I said at the beginning of this article, the engagement shoot is an introduction to our team. It helps us learn to work together so we’re ready and know how to give our 150% on your wedding day.
Really often, during wedding, we schedule 50 minutes for photos but end up having 20. When that happens, if we had an engagement shoot, we have no worries doing an hour worth of photos in 20 minutes because you guys know how to work with me & how to pose yourself and act when I give you directions. That way, we can work fast without any problem!

I know engagement shoots are not always possible. Sometimes my couples live very far from me or they book me like a month before their wedding, so we don’t have any time to do it.
But when they are possible, I seriously highly recommend them!
It’s seriously a gift I make you guys by including it in my packages, SO PLEASE TAKE THE GIFT ahahaha!!! 

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I really hope it’s all more clear now & that you’ll be ready to do that shoot with me !
We’ll rock it!


Please don’t forget to leave a comment below to share your thoughts with me! 😊

 

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.”

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 DO NOT LIKE TO OFFER MINI-SESSIONS

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Since I’ve started my photography business two years ago, I think I offered a total of 6 days of mini sessions.
A few in the lavender fields, a few in the blossoming apple trees, one in studio and that’s about it.
It’s not much, right? When I think that a lot of photographers offers them for every season and every holidays.
I often have clients asking me when will be my next ones and my answer is often:
“I do not plan on having some for a while.” Or “I do not know.”

The reason for that is that I HATE MINI-SESSIONS.
I do hate them.

I KNOW that photography is expensive (for good reasons, but it still is) and not everyone has the money to pay the full price for a regular shoot.
I get that.
I really do.
But as much as I want to please my clients, for me mini-sessions are just a pain in the ass.

I’ve been looking for the reason why I hated them for quite a while and it’s just recently that I understood.

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IT DOES NOT FIT MY BRAND.


Each day I’m finding more and more things that makes me fall in love with photography. Each day I’m working more and more to make my brand fits me and the way I think.
And one of the big thing I’ve really been working on for the past months to achieve that is to build a relationship with my clients.
I’ve noticed that to make the greatest photos of you guys, I need to know you.
I need to make you feel like my friends.
I need to show you the silly me so you’ll show me the silly you.
But I need to KNOW YOU GUYS.
I need to understand your personalities and the kind of relationship you have.
It’s only once I understand that, that I know how to make my photos about you.


Because I do not want to just take cute and pretty photos in a field that you appear on.

You know what I mean?

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And you’ve got to understand that it’s still a work in progress for me. It’s something I’ve discovered and started to work on it a lot for the past weeks/months only. So I’m not quite where I wish to be yet.
But I’m working on it A LOT. And I’m getting there. 

SO, to achieve that, what do I do?
 I talk to you before and during the shoot.
I ask you guys how you met, what you like to do when you’re alone together and what you do for a living or in your free time.
I ask you guys a lot of questions and also, I GET SILLY.
I try to make a lot of jokes, I gesture the poses I want you to do, I dance on the music, etc.
I make you guys laugh.

When I do that, it takes about 10 minutes before you guys start being comfortable and another 10 to 15 mins(depending on the couple) before you start being silly too. That’s when you start showing me the real you.
And by that time, the mini-sessions is already done.

During mini-sessions, I do not get to capture the real you.
Most of the time, the shoot ends before you guys get there.

That’s why it does not fit my brand.
That’s why I don’t like them.

And I think it makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? 😉

When I have 15-20 families/couples, sometimes even more, coming in front of my lens in only a few hours and I barely have the time to talk with them and get to know them, I literally feel like a robot.

So, I guess mini-sessions are totally appropriate if you want cute photos of your kids with a Halloween or Christmas backdrop.
But that’s not me. I won’t ever do that. #sorrynotsorry


As I said earlier, I want my photos to talk about you guys. I do not want to just take cute and pretty photos in a field that you guys appear on.

I want you guys to feel the craziness of your couple in my photos.
And for that I need to spend some time with you guys! 😊

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With all that being said, I’ll probably gonna continue to offer them once in a while, because I always love to please you guys. But don’t wait too much for them. ahah!😉

See ya guys !

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.”