The Swish List is a great place to get inspiration for planning your Niagara wedding or event, but even more than that, The Swish List exists to introduce you to Niagara’s leading wedding and event professionals.
We are proud to present Niagara’s finest — the crème-de-la-crème of the Niagara wedding and event industry. Each Niagara Wedding Vendor featured on The Swish List has been chosen for their proven excellence – they are the best in their field!
What inspires you and where do you go for inspiration?
I look for inspiration in so many things. Design, Typography, Fashion, Writing. I see so many overlaps in those things with my work. For example, good writers are taught to observe and write about the subtleties and things most other people overlook, that whole elusive obvious thing. The greatest photographers do the same thing.
The actual photography I look at tends to come from the fashion world, and I prefer aggregating websites and blogs like Fashion Gone Rogue. I do pay attention to wedding blogs, but mostly to see what my fave vendors are up to and what trendy for this season’s weddings. Pinterest and Picssy can be awesome tools for general inspiration if you’re following the right people.
What do you love most about the wedding industry?
The people I meet is my fave part about being in the wedding industry. I get to see so many amazing creative outlets from florists to table design to stationary. There’s just so much a wedding covers. It’s really inspiring when you get to be involved with these people regularly. When I’m surrounded by awesome work on the wedding day, it fuels my creativity and it elevates my game. I’m enjoying just being along for the crazy ride and excited to see where we all end up.
Three words to best describe your style/business.
Romantic. Vibrant. Alive.
Talk about your philosophy or approach to wedding photography.
I love motion and life in my images. This starts with the relationship I have with my couples. Beyond the images, I like telling my couples as much about my life as I can so they truly know me as a person. Only when we have that trust can I really lead them into situations that make for authentic images with real moments. I love that stuff. I always hope to have a funny story after every wedding or engagement session.
Share your latest fun project – a chance to stretch your creative muscles.
Latest fun project would have to be the creative I did back in the winter that was featured on Junebug a little while back. I love it when Im surrounded by that level of talent and then get to just play and shoot all day without the pressure of an actual wedding.
What advice would you like to give to people when they are investigating your services?
Get to know me! If you don’t understand me or aren’t super clear that I’m the right guy for you, then we probably aren’t a fit. I won’t be able to do my best work unless you have 100% trust in me. Poke around the website, read my bio, add me to Facebook, whatever it takes. The relationship is so crucial for me to get those soft, natural images.
What scenario brings out the best in your work? (location, type of client, timing, venue)
Being a self-labeled ‘romantic’, I’m a sucker for nature. I prefer outdoor settings like vineyards, fields, willow trees and the sun. I don’t like complicated settings, I prefer to strip most of that away and just showcase the amazing relationship between my couple. Dusk is the best for timing (I’m not a morning guy), while venue doesn’t really play much of a role. I do prefer decor that is full of life though, floral centerpieces, etc. My favourite couples are the ones who get excited about their images and aren’t afraid to collaborate with me. Exchanging creative energy pushes me to do my best work. If I had to think of everything myself, we only get my perspective. I like being challenged to see things differently.
What is your specialty?
My specialty is bringing the life out of my couples and their surroundings. It’s not photojournalism. I prompt and coach and do whatever it takes to make sure my couples look and feel electric! Lots of times this ends up being conversations about weight loss (I have a background as a personal trainer), or clothing selection or hair/makeup. Sometimes it’s about learning about what my couple does in their spare time and bringing some of those elements into the shoot.
What makes your artistry unique/ stand out from the crowd?
I like showcasing the romance and the intimacy my couples have. There’s nothing intimate or romantic about 2 people staring at the camera smiling, so you won’t see too many of those on my blog. I always want to create softness and motion. That’s what I’m drawn to when I look at photography, I’m searching for that soul.
What is the consultation/creative process with your clients? Do clients come to you with ideas, or do they let you ‘go’?
It always starts with me getting to know the people I’m shooting. I ask tons of questions and send my couples questionnaires that ask about their relationship and tastes. Only when I have that info will I start planning a shoot. I do have some brides who have planners or have a vivid picture of what their wedding is going to be. Even with those brides, I still make suggestions for locations and styling to make sure we’re on the same page. Other brides want me to be more involved and then I’ll take most of the creative control and do my best to make sure the shoot fits them and who they are.
What are you most passionate about in life?
I’m a giver. I love helping people in any way I can. I’ve been fortunate in so many ways and I strongly believe in the karma effect. I love my girlfriend, my family and my crazy dogs. I’m passionate about creating and putting smiles on people’s faces. If I wasn’t taking pictures, I think I’d just find a way to talk for a living.
What’s on your ipod?
Oh man, I have the most ADD music taste ever! On my latest playlists, there’s Bon Iver and the Drive soundtrack for office ambiance. Naked and Famous, Awolnation and Foster the People, if I’m in the mood for something more upbeat. Love everything about the Arcade Fire. I’m even open to some Carly Rae because it’s so catchy!
Most memorable wedding event/story?
This is a really tough one. I’m gonna get deep and hopefully pass on some advice. Earlier this year, one of the groom’s who’s wedding I covered, passed away tragically. The one thing he did at his wedding, I will never forget and I pass it on to all of my brides and grooms. It was advice he received from a friend who said, “At every milestone during the day, after the ceremony, after the pictures, before the reception, take 5 minutes to yourselves, just the two of you, just to soak it all in. The day goes by so quickly that if you don’t, it will be a blur”. He took his 5 min with his bride every chance he could and every couple should do the same. The wedding is about you, take the time and actually enjoy it. It will be busy and there will be pressure to hit every deadline, but slow down and take your 5 min. Life is too short not to.