Suzanne + Mark – MEXICO – Ottawa Destination Wedding Photographer



I flew to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to photograph Suzanne & Mark’s wedding. I met Suzanne at Salsa dance parties in Winnipeg when I was
living there before I left for Ottawa in 2009. She called me last year to say that she was getting married in Mexico and had been following my photography work for
about 10 years now. We had a call and booked the dates for January 2016. They asked me to photograph on 3 separate ocasions: welcome dinner, tacco tour and the actual wedding day.

The hotel we stayed at was the Villa Premiere which was an adult only resort.


If you’d like to see their full edited wedding photography you can take a look at the following links:

Suzanne + Mark – MEXICO




Kyle + Lawrence – July 4, 2015


Makeup: Country Moments Spa
Limo: Maestro limousine
Dress: Alliance Bridal
Reception Venue Canaanlea Farm
Caterer: Desjardins Catering

How to Get Natural Photos For Your Ottawa Wedding


How to Get Natural Photos For Your Ottawa Wedding

Often when I meet with couples the bride to be tells me, “I really want to get natural photos for our wedding. I don’t want them to look all posed.”

Well, we also want to get you natural, energetic and fun photos. I recently made a video called the ‘Top 10 Wedding Photography & Film Location in Ottawa.’ If you havn’t seen it you can watch it here.

Couples ask me if locations have anything to do with getting these natural photos and the answer is ‘Yes, but only a little bit.’ The location is only in 3rd place in capturing great photos and not nearly as important as these next two factors.

The 2nd most important factor is the lighting. This means shooting at certain times in the day and into the light. The light can get a photo looking ‘natural’ with a certain degree of light hitting it.

But the most important factor to get natural photos is the chemistry of the couple in front of the camera and how we direct you during the shoot. I like movement and I always try to start you off with poses and situations that add a little bit of energy and playfulness to the shot.

The way we try and shoot for both photo and video is to always have you in a small state of movement. This way you’ll never be holding still or holding the same position for too long. One thing we like to start off with which is very easy is a slow dance. Our team gets you to dance all the way around or 180 degrees and back. This way we’re getting you moving together. We may ask you to be playful together, give us smiles and of course some light kisses.

For the lady, your arms should be on your man’s shoulder (not on his hips) and feel free to move your hand over his back and even on his chest. This small and simple action gives us great shots for video and photography at the exact same time. We want to see you smile and have fun. If the lady isn’t smiling it isn’t working. You all have beautiful smiles so please make sure to show it as much as you can. Once we take some photos of you individually, feel free to move a little bit each time we take a few pictures. We’ll guide you along with the shoot but if you give us something to work with we’ll simply adjust it for the best angle and this gives us a natural and fresh image.

For the guys, make sure you’re confident with your lady. Let her feel that you’re holding her close and that you’re leading her in the dance. Don’t be too soft. Often I see the guy being a little soft and uncertain about what to do and if he should move her around too much. By all means go for it and have fun with it. As the shoot unfolds and you’re personal creativity is shown during the shoot we get new ideas from you and build upon them.

In the movie Shall We Dance Jennifer Lopez’s character says that the woman is the picture and the man is the frame. It’s a little funny but it’s true. So be strong an confident during the shoot, this will allow her to be more feminine and playful.

The key to getting natural images during the main part of the wedding shoot is that you must be confident individually and together. We want to see you have fun together in front of the camera. It’s out job to take your energy and start you off with some basic poses and slowly direct you to give us more action in all your poses. The key is movement. You can never be fully still. We can get romantic poses and even they have a small amount of movement in them. It’s our job to direct you and we will. But be confident in yourselves and in each other and then we’ll get those natural and fun photos you want for your wedding day.

How Long Is My Wedding Film?


As Ottawa wedding photographers and videographers, one of the main questions we always get asked is “How long is the wedding film?”

I’m gonna break down exactly what’s included in our full day wedding film packages so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be getting with us. When we give you the edited video it’ll be divided into 4 main sections.

  1. Wedding Film
  2. Ceremony
  3. Speeches
  4. Music Video

The ‘Wedding Film’ is fully edited right from the beginning of the girls and guys getting ready all the way to the dance party. Depending on which package you choose you’ll have the following scenes in your movie:

Girls Getting Ready, Guys Getting Ready, Ceremony, Park Scene (that’s when we go out and take photos and video of you), Cocktails, Reception Entrance, Dinner, Performances (if you have any) Cake Cutting, First Dances, Bouquet and Garter Toss and of course my favorite the Dance Party.

In a full 12 hour day package the main wedding film usually runs between 30 – 45 min. Some times it could go over if you have a lot of performances or a really long reception entrance. For example when we shoot Lebanese or East Indian weddings we find they tend to be a bit longer because there’s just so much going on.

The full ceremony and speeches are not put into the wedding film because I find that it slows down the flow of the film because they are so long so we put them into separate files. However, in one of our packages we will edit parts of the ceremony into the film because it’s a perfect transition into you cocktails scene and reception entrance.

The ceremony is always recorded in full between 2 camera angles. One angle is a wide shot and the other is a medium shot. By having 2 camera angles your film is much more interesting to watch. One angle is just too boring. The length of the ceremony is completely dependent on the type of ceremony you have. It could run for 20 min or an hour.

When we shoot the speeches one camera angle is on the speaker and one angle is on the bride and groom for a few reaction shots. If your speeches run for 30 min then we give you 30 min of edited speeches. If they run for 2 hours then you get 2 hours of speeches. I think the record length for speeches I had was 3 and half hours. That’s a bit much (please don’t do that).

The last thing in your package would be your music video. This is my favorite part to edit as it shows off the best of the best of the day in a few minutes so you can share it with your family and friends. They may not want to watch your main film but will love watching themselves party with you on the dance floor. I’ve found that once couples share it on Facebook and YouTube you’ll get so many great comments from your family and friends. I’ve found that 99% of people will watch your music video but only your close family and friends will watch your wedding film, so that’s why we put so much energy into editing the music videos.

So ultimately how long is the wedding film? Well, if we add up the main wedding film and say its 45 min long and the ceremony is 45 min and then the speeches are 1 hour, we would be up to 2 and half hours already. Plus we then add the music video. With that you have the very best of your wedding day to watch years from now and have an amazing memory to share with your kids. A wedding film could be 2 hours – 3 hours long on average once you add up all the different scenes together.

I would of loved to watch my parents wedding film in the way we shoot it today or in any way actually because they only had a few photos to share with us. As you know we offer photography as well and think its very important to have. But I found after talking to couples over the years that they’ll get 1 or 2 prints framed (sometimes) but they always go back and watch their music video and years later their wedding film is really the best way relive their day. Its actually one of the top regrets people have after a wedding. When you watch your film years from now, I think you’ll be really happy that you decided to get it.


The Top 10 Wedding Photography and Film Locations in Ottawa


If you’re looking at getting married in Ottawa then check out my list of the ‘Top 10 Ottawa Wedding Photography and Film Locations.’

As Ottawa wedding photographers we’ve shot at a lot of places over the years and the ones I’m going to share with you are some of the best in the city. I’ll show you some awesome engagement shoot locations and of course the best places to go for your wedding.


#10. Strathcona Park. This park lies on the west bank of the Rideau River close to Sandy Hill. It has a beautiful fountain where we can go to take some group photos before heading down to the river.

#9. The Garden of the Provinces and Territories. This is a small park on Wellington street. It’s close to Mill Street Brew Pub and Victoria Island. The reason this is a good location for your wedding photography and videography in Ottawa is because it gives us three great locations to shoot, all in the same area.

#8. Museum of Nature. This is an older building with an upgraded modern look. On the outside we’ll be able to take some nice photos and videos by a few entrances. On the inside we have the queens lantern, butterfly staircases and modern architecture to take some elegant photos.

#7. Mooney’s Bay. This is a great location for an engagement shoot because we can photograph you in the water or by some of the nice secluded areas nearby.

#6. Dow’s Lake. This is the perfect location for a shoot during the Tulip festival that takes place every year in May.

#5. Amusement Parks. Amusement parks give us the rides, lights and colors for some really fun action shots.

#4. Canadian Museum of History. The museum lies just across the river in Gatineau. It has modern architecture and a very nice garden with a little stream flowing down, providing us really nice images.

#3. Ornamental Gardens and the Experimental Farm. Here we have open fields and beautiful gardens and as Ottawa wedding photographers we always get amazing shots at every shoot.

#2. Arboretum. I love this place. It has trees from all over the world and the shots we can get here are simply gorgeous.

#1. Downtown Ottawa. The number one location for wedding photography and videography shoots is simply downtown Ottawa. We have the National Art Gallery, Chateau Laurier, Major Hill’s Park, Rideau Canal Locks, Sparks Street, Nepean Point and many more. Downtown has the most versatility in one nearby location.

I hope you got some ideas for your own wedding and I’m sure it’ll be one of the greatest days of your life.

If you’re looking for an Ottawa wedding photographer videographer then check out our work at We’d love to be a part of your wedding day and get those amazing shots for you.