Vanessa and Tony married at historic Casa Loma castle in Toronto

Casa Loma Castle in Toronto OntarioVanessa and Anthony say “I do” at Casa Loma in Toronto. This wedding reminds me of a Disney animated movie. A princess finds her prince charming in a foreign land, brings him back home and they marry in a castle. To top it off, she was frozen in her elegant backless wedding gown.
I first met Vanessa at her sister, Natalie’s wedding in Kelowna, BC. Natalie married Dan at Summerhill Winery. You can check out their wedding gallery here. That was a few years ago now; I can’t believe how much time flies. It was sure nice to see Natalie, Dan and their families again. I felt less like a hired professional, and more like an old friend.

The first time I met Anthony was in New York during their engagement session. Ever since Vanessa asked me to come to New York, I had been dreaming of all these epic photos I was going to create. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. Nevertheless, the three of us were able to create some awesome photos. Check out their Engagement gallery. I think it’s pretty cool.On this trip, I was lucky enough to have the extremely talented, Ragi Labib with me. Ragi is an amazing photographer in his own right, and he brought with him a creative eye that is refreshing, and yet familiar. I love how we work so well together. See some of Ragi’s work on his website.
Ragi has the benefit of being married to one of Kelowna’s premiere makeup artists – Saara Labib. Saara didn’t do Vanessa’s makeup, but she did do Natalie’s makeup at her wedding in Kelowna, a few years ago. Small world. Saara has her own website as well. If you ever need a team effort, these two are the perfect pins boutonniere on son

Wedding at Caldwell Heritage Farm

Caldwell Heritage Farm has to be my favourite location for a wedding in all the Okanagan. This beautiful property is a labour of love for Kritsi and James Caldwell, who not only tend to the cows and chickens, but also run a relatively new wedding venue during the summer months.
In addition, Kristi and James have ventured into the specialty liquid art form that is craft brewing. They hope to turn their craft beer into more than a serious hobby in the next few years. I can’t wait.If you’re one of the lucky few who actually have a yard these days, you will no doubt spend a lot of time and work to keep a yard maintained. Attend a wedding at Caldwell Heritage Farm and you might begin to appreciate the level of effort it takes to look after this beautiful property. James and Kristi work tirelessly when it comes to every-day chores, but they turn things up all the way when hosting a wedding. As a photographer, I sure appreciate their efforts. On top of their admirable work ethic, they are two of the kindest people you will ever meet. This shack used to be a utility shed in the past. Once Kristi and James started hosting weddings, Kristi saw potential in the little shack. She sought the help of Kelowna wedding decorator, Yuriko Larson of Vintage Origami to design and furnish the interior of the shack. The idea was to allow a bride and her bride’s maids a beautiful place to prepare and stage before a ceremony. I love this little shack. Yuriko did an amazing job. Way to go, Kristi, for having a great vision.guests gather for wedding ceremonyGroom watches his bride come down the aislebride and father exchange loving glancesfather hugs bride good byebride puts ring on groomthe kiss at wedding ceremony

Another Happy Couple

Another happy couple express their gratitude in a way that warms my heart. Awards are cool, and being published in a wedding magazine goes a long way as far as street cred goes. But it’s the sincere words of someone who took the time to express their appreciation for the work. Nothing compares to that.
I had the honour of photographing Issy and Patrick’s wedding in Vancouver this past September. I’ll be posting their images in a feature blog soon, but for now, here is what they had to say about their experience.

“While looking for a wedding photographer we came across Neil Slattery, we were immediately blown away by what we saw and didn’t hesitate to hire Neil as our photographer. It was one of the best decisions we made, only second to saying I do! Neil went above and beyond, he traveled (with Ragi, the amazing second photographer) from Kelowna to Vancouver the day before the wedding and spent much of that day touring our venues in order to plan the perfect shots and to ensure that the day ran as smoothly as possible. On the big day Neil arrived bright and early to begin shooting, he tirelessly worked throughout the day and well into the evening, following the specifics that I had requested, but also giving his (much appreciated) advice. The final product was nothing short of jaw dropping. The photographs that Neil took looked as though they were out of a gorgeous bridal magazine, Neil was able to capture every special moment of the day without being intrusive. The photos were even more magical than I had pictured in my mind. I plan to hire Neil again for all future events, as will everyone that attended my wedding. Neil made my dream wedding a reality, and I wholeheartedly recommend him to anyone who would like the most important moments of their lives captured in the most exquisite way possible. Thank you so much Neil!!”

The plated dinner is the killer of great photo opportunities

A groom lifts his bride to allow the sun to kiss her cheek.

The plated dinner is the killer of great photo opportunities. I recently had the pleasure of photographing a wedding reception at Cecil Green Park House in Vancouver. It was mid September, and though rain was predicted (and very probable) it turned out to be a beautiful day. The light was amazing, and allowed me to capture this awesome shot of Issy and Patrick. The problem, all too often it seems, is that this light – the best light of the day – happens to coincide with the dinner hour. Consequently, many couples miss out on amazing images. Think carefully – is it going to be chicken or beef, or epic photos? Thankfully, this couple put their wedding photos above their chicken dinner.

Issy was on the ball when she booked with me more than a year ahead of her wedding. Since I had never been to Cecil Green Park House before, I wanted to see what the grounds would look like at the same time of year. Fortunately I was able to visit the property on the very same day as her future wedding day. I found that the best time for those epic shots was right between 5:30 PM and 6:00 PM. This, of course, was when Issy was planning on having dinner served. Thankfully, Issy and Patrick put their wedding photos above the food on their list of priorities. In order to stress the importance of these types of photos, I call this time of day, “The Epic – Once in a Lifetime – Romantic – Canvas-worthy Photo Session,” or the “Buffet” time.

Would you hire a wedding photographer with only one memory card in their camera?

Would you hire a wedding photographer with only one memory card in their camera? I wouldn’t.

Many couples don’t even think to ask this sort of question, but it should be asked. Specifically, does your camera hold at least two memory cards, and does it record to both cards simultaneously? Professional wedding photographers nowadays will answer, “Yes.” If they don’t, I wouldn’t consider them a professional. Professionals are always thinking of the security of a client’s images.

If a photographer is using a camera body with only one card slot, they are taking great risks. Sure, memory cards are more stable these days, but card issues aren’t the only things that can result in lost images. Even the most organized photographer can lose a memory card. There are great photographers out there who shoot with one-card bodies. As a savvy customer, you should be aware of that fact.

Of all the questions you should ask your potential wedding photographer, please make this one of them. If interested, here is my image management system:

Client Image Management

Before I take a single photo on a client’s wedding day, I ensure that all my memory cards are formatted. I do this so as not to use a card that is almost full from a previous wedding, and thus, run out of memory cards.

I set up my camera bodies to record to both memory cards. Cards are relatively inexpensive these days, so there is no reason not to do this.

I use memory cards with a low capacity. If the worst thing happens, like the loss of a camera body, I have at least lost only a portion of a client’s images.

I use multiple camera bodies, for the very reason listed above. In every location and situation, I am using multiple bodies. If I did lose one, my clients might not even be aware after receiving their images.

After a wedding, I download all the memory cards to my computer hard drive as well as two external hard drives, which I store in different locations.

Once a wedding is complete, the safety of my clients’ images is my top priority. Don’t ever be afraid to ask a photographer what their safety plan is with respect to your wedding photos.