contact us

serving Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Milton

phone 905.296.3057

Wedding and Portrait Photography

Let's cut to the chase. Why should we select you to photograph our wedding?

Good question. Fair question.

Let me offer a good and fair response.

We "get weddings"

We understand what needs to be done, and then then just do it. All day. Over and over. Consistently. Nicely. Unobtrusively. With a smile.

We know when to be photographers, and when to be wedding coordinators. Or therapists. Or cat herders. We know how to keep your day on schedule. We know how to use our surroundings to make great images. All day. No matter the weather. It's what we do to earn a living. Carefully look through our sample galleries. You should come away noticing how much smiling and laughing you saw. That's what happens at weddings. People have fun.

We professionally work with every other vendor of yours to get the results you are expecting. We know how all the pieces of your wedding day fit together. We know it's not all about the photography. We get that photographing weddings is both an art and science. Equal parts service and vision.

We offer flexible service levels. We offer pre-paid product options.

Our photographic style is best described as natural. As in, you will look very comfortable in your images. We are skilled at capturing you and your guests "going about your lives" during your wedding day. Natural smiles, genuine emotions and real moments. As they happened, not as we forced them upon you. We are at our best when we get to "button-pushing" mode. As in, you live your life, we push the buttons on the camera and capture what we see.

You will not regret making the decision to make the investment in our services.

Great photography is the only wedding day investment guaranteed to appreciate with time.

Don't just tell great stories about your wedding day... show great images.

Wedding photography seems expensive to me. Why is that?

Today's economy has certainly skewed the perceived value of using a professional photographer. It seems the trend is towards a DIY approach to managing wedding costs. Do your own flowers, print your own invitations and... find an alternative to hiring an "expensive" professional photographer.

To start, the "business model" of wedding photography has morphed a great deal in the last 10 years or so. Before high quality/low cost scanners existed, wedding photographers were very secure about how they could make a living. They could easily offer lower upfront pricing for their services confident they had a virtual monopoly on the after-sale. Clients really had few options for obtaining prints from their wedding images. Proofs were physically marked up and pretty much impossible to copy. You paid the photographer's prices or you didn't have prints. Not much of a choice.

The transition from film to digital capture changed that. No more explanation needed. Now most clients want control of their images. Print them. Not print them. Facebook & Twitter can be updated in real time with images from your wedding day.

Client have come to expect complete control and ownership of the work created, to do with as they please. I say, no problem. That's what I offer. From a business model, it means this. As a skilled professional, we can no longer view the after-sale as a source of potential income. So instead of pricing for that, we price for what we consider to be a fair creative fee up front. A fee that allows us to make a living and provide you the service you are looking for, while providing you the final products you are looking for.

Ask yourself this question. Do I wish to use a photographer for my wedding who isn't going to make a reasonable living for his effort? Businesses *must* be profitable in order to stay in business.


There is however, much more to what we do as wedding photographers. They are intangibles that we can only describe to you before your wedding. First and foremost, successful wedding photographers must be extremely good at many things at the same time. Most of them have nothing to do with photography.

We can't have a bad day. We must be on top of our game at each wedding we photograph. This is highly stressful.

At any given moment of your wedding day, we must be unflappable, professional, creative, dedicated, sociable, friendly, intuitive, empathetic, sensitive and master of our equipment. We must be able to communicate and manage the expectations of all participants in this most wondrous, but stressful day. We are with you longer than any other partner on your wedding day. Confidence, charm and a sense of humor are other requirements.

We are your timekeeper. We are your advocate. We help keep you on track. As your wedding day unfolds, you will come to understand how the experience we brought to the day was worth every penny. This, in addition to gorgeous images that capture the love, fun and emotion of your day is what you are paying for. Other items to consider are, the market itself, as larger cities and towns can be more expensive to operate in. Equipment of course is a major expense, and the digital imaging trend right now is such that buying new gear each year is not uncommon. Fresh gear is not for bragging rights, but to consistently deliver better quality easier.

The length of the wedding season is a factor as well. Here in Southern Ontario, the prime season is from May to October, only 6 short months. Most of us have other jobs through the slow season to to make ends meet. Time spent by a photographer on a typical wedding is like the proverbial iceberg. You may only consider the hours spent on the wedding day, but in fact many more hours are required. Preparation, meetings, editing, post-processing, lab pickups and so on can add many hours to a photographers week. Ours is an example of the "iceberg" business model. You can't really see most of what we do.

In the end, you and your fiance are the only persons able to justify how much you think is reasonable to spend on wedding photography.

Our advice? in this business, perhaps like no other, you get what you pay for. That goes for the high end and the low end of the pricing scale. What I call intangibles may have little perceived value to you.

I'm sure you will agree, that like virtually *any* purchase you will ever make in your life, be it a car, house, steak dinner, dress, hotel room and so on... the more you decide to invest, the greater you can expect the quality and experience to be.

How do your payments work? Do we have to pay everything in advance?

Once you have made the decision to retain our services, we ask for a $850 retainer payable at that time. The balance of your invoice (including all taxes)is due when you receive your proofs, approximately 2-3 weeks after your wedding. If you wish to make payments toward your balance ahead of your wedding day, we will certainly hold them in trust for you.

"That meal was delicious... you must have really good pots"

well... to be fair, that's not really a question is it?

a discussion about photography often involves a comment along the lines of "very nice... you must have a great camera..."

a little voice in my head encourages me to be offended, but I never really do.

I believe this is a common perception that good cameras, lenses, flashes and such, guarantee good pictures. This likely explains why some couples believe that Uncle Fred can take their wedding images because he has a "really good camera".

so... "That meal was delicious... you must have really good pots" would be a similar reaction to a good meal.
"I read that new book by Steven King last night... it was great... he must have a really good typewriter"
"I love Picasso's paintings... he must have really good brushes"
"I love your new house. Your builder must have nice tools"

hopefully you see my point... our cameras, lenses, flashes and so on are merely tools. Like a set of pots, a typewriter or painting brushes. A skilled wedding photographer could make great pictures with a disposable camera. Not a smart choice technically, but they could.

When you pay a wedding photographer to photograph your wedding... you get much more then a good camera....

...and there is a twist on this concept as well. The "I-have-a-pair-of-really-sharp-scissors-may-I-cut-your-hair? offer. Think about that.

How many pictures will you take at my wedding?

As many as we need to. : )

There's a difference between how many we take, and how many we deliver. We edit ruthlessly, and take many more pictures than we deliver. This allows us to provide you with only the best images. The best moments.

As you dance for the first time as man and wife, we may take 50 or 60 pictures. We'll deliver about 4 or 5 of the best. Those may have been the 1st frame, or the 15th, or the 37th or the last one.

The truth is, we never know until we're done. For this reason, we do not and really cannot guarantee any specific number of images will be delivered to you from your wedding day.

For the last 3 years, we have consistently delivered 60-65 final images per hour of photography.

How much time should I allow for formals?

We have found that 75-90 minutes of uninterrupted time with your family and wedding party is usually enough time. This of course depends on a number of factors. Guest & bridal party cooperation and organization are key elements in our ability to get things done to our mutual satisfaction.

Add more time for travel between locations. Other considerations are elderly family members who may be in a wheelchair, lots of young children, and large wedding parties. These all take longer to photograph. We will discuss in detail with you your exact needs to be sure you are neither leaving too much time or too little time for family pictures. Please include us in your timeline planning.

One of the most critical things to understand is how important it is to keep as close as possible to your day's milestones. The period between the end of the ceremony and your entrance for dinner is when we make the bulk of our posed photographs. If the day is running late, it's typically not an option to simply move dinner back to make photographs. Neither of us want to run out of time and not make as many photographs as we both want.

Please make sure you allow enough time for us to do our work. And once you tell us how much time we have, please make sure that time doesn't get compromised. It's an unfortunate situation, and we don't like to dwell on it… but you have a part to play in the success of these photographs on your wedding day.

How quickly will I receive my proofs?

We usually have your proofs etc. ready for you in 3 weeks.

Do we have to feed and water you?

ummm. not really... but depending on how long we are with you, we do have to eat.

If you choose to not provide a meal for us, no problem. No hard feelings.

We will need to have a 45-60 minute break at some point to get a meal. So, we believe it is to our mutual benefit to eat the same meal at the same time as you. Simply put, we don't really stop taking pictures during dinner. Although we *never* photograph anyone actually eating, there are always other candids and moments going on that we capture. We don't have to sit up front or anything. In fact, we prefer a spot near the back or side so we can come and go without being too disruptive to your guests.

We have a friend/uncle/neighbour who has a great digital camera & takes great pictures. Why so much money to do the same thing?

Warren Buffet has a great quote about this... "Price is what you pay... value is what you receive"

Our experience has been that most couples who are considering using a friend or relative to provide photography do so because of budget.

As you may expect a wedding photographer to point out... this can be a mistake. : )

A wedding photographer must be a jack-of-all-trades *AND* the master of all, not just some. When we talk to couples who took that risk and were unhappy, it's almost always because of a few key things.

The photographer they chose (for free or at a very low cost) did not understand what to do during the day. They didn't know what their role was. They lacked the experience to take control and get the pictures made when they needed to be made. They often lurked in the background taking pictures that were either poorly posed or not posed at all. Backgrounds were distracting, not all the subjects were looking in the same direction and so on. Nobody looked happy.

And then there are the equipment issues. Flashes that quit. Running out of film. Running out of card space. Using too low a resolution setting Lower quality lenses that do not function well in dark places like a church or a reception hall.

There are lots of excellent professional photographers in the world who will not photograph weddings. Not even for friends. Nada. They find weddings very stressful and demand skills they don't have (or care to develop).

We have been hired on short notice several times in the past few years by couples who became nervous as their wedding drew near, that Uncle Joe was in over his head. Good gear and a wall full of nice sunsets taken on vacation do not qualify a photographer to take on a wedding.

Caveat Emptor

I don't understand the Audio CD thingy. What is it?

After your wedding, you'll get an audio CD with all the speeches and toasts pulled from the hours of audio captured..

Click [here] for a small sample to hear the quality and read the story of how we came to provide this service.

We want certain poses. Can we show you magazines & websites? Give you a list?

Absolutely. Feel free to show us both what you like and dislike. It's impossible for us to know *too* much about what and how you want us to capture your day.

While we can't guarantee we will get every pose on a list as so much of the day is out of our control, we do our best. We also ask for a written list of "do nots" and for family pictures, all the names of the people you want in your photographs. this way we don't go around looking for your aunt, we look for Julia.

Will you make us pose for bunch of cheesy pictures?

This is one of my favorites.

We will never make you do anything you don't want to do for posing...

It's not in our best interest to photograph you in a pose you find cheesy or uncomfortable. We try to discuss this beforehand, but we also make this pledge...

Let it be known the couple has the right to veto any pose suggested by the photographers at any time.

In return the photographers pledge they will not pout, sulk or otherwise care that what they think is a real cool shot may not not be...

The photographers further pledge that any poses suggested by or on behalf of the couple that the photographers may in their opinion find a wee bit cheesy, will not be declined or giggled at by the photographers. They will not roll their eyes, look at each other and sigh or allow said cheesy pose to flavor the balance of the day...

in other words... you decide what's cheesy, not us...

What's a mom shot?

A mom shot is a term I started using to describe the individual posed portraits I make of each member of you and your wedding party during the day. if time allows, we also make mom shots of the parents too.

What we understand is this... although you may want only candid unposed images, your mom(s) want to see a big smile, with lots of teeth. You are one of the most precious things in their life, and they want a nice image of you on this special day.

We don't go nuts here. We take only 2 or 3 usually, simply lit and quickly done. Trust me, you want us to do these too. You just may not know it.

Do we receive a copy of every photo you take?

We discard a fair number of images during the editing process. We discard images that are less than perfect technically, due to color, exposure, focus or other technical reason. We don't make judgments about emotional value during editing.

If it's a great image, you'll see it.

What do you do with with the rejected/edited out photos?

We actually do several edits during post production.

Let's say for example, we took 1000 pictures on your wedding day. Our experience tells us that about 450-500 of those meet our criteria of technical excellence. We will print those 450-500 and delete the rest. They will never see the light of day.

Once we get the 450-500 proofs back, we make a second edit. Now we are choosing the best of the best for including in your proof album. This is usually 250-300 images. The other images printed, but not in the album are delivered to you in an attractive storage box.

You will receive the files for all 450-500 images, and all 450-500 images will be displayed in your online gallery and on your DVD.

What kind of cameras do you use?

We are Nikon users. we have a D300s, a D90, a D2Hs and a Fuji S2 (uses Nikon lenses). All are 6 megapixel or better. Yes, that's 4 camera bodies that we bring to each wedding. We also have redundant lenses, flashes and enough memory to take 5000 images, although we have never been close to that number.

Do we get the original picture files to keep?

Well let's define original first.

The files you receive are the full resolution edited JPEG files that we use to make your proofs. These files will allow you to make enlargements up to 16x20 with no issue. If we create multiple version of an image, say a color, a B&W and a sepia, you will get all 3 files.

We do not provide the straight-from-the-camera RAW files.

Can we get prints made ourselves, or do we have to get you to do that?

Either. You can get them yourselves, or we can use our pro lab. If you are going to use a lab of your own, we suggest you ask us for advice. We speak "lab" very well.

When finding a lab to use, Caveat Emptor is the rule.

Can we get albums made ourselves?


Consider this though...

We have access to album types and styles that you may not. As with prints, you are able to work without us in putting together an album if that's your choice. We suggest you leverage our experience to help you get what you want at the best price and quality. There is no obligation to do so though. Your choice.

Do you use other photographers to shoot your weddings?


Can our friends and family take pictures at the same time you are?

We always found this question puzzling. We asked a few couples why they asked, and now we understand. I guess there are photographers out there who ban picture taking during their sessions.

I can't imagine enforcing this. Or wanting to.

The pictures your friends and family make are as important as ours. Just in a different way. There are lots of pictures to be taken.

We say fire away... unless they are getting in our way and costing us time... we will be happy to work beside any and all photographers.

Let's be honest...if their pictures come our better than ours... we have bigger problems than crowd control. : )

Can we get references from your past weddings?

Absolutely. Just ask.

Will you keep taking us away from our friends during the reception to take more pictures?

No. Unless you want us to.

Usually once we have finished the family pictures between the ceremony and dinner, we're done posing. We spend the balance of our time with you looking for great moments and candids. The exception is cutting the cake, or any impromptu group shots we are asked to make.

Typically, we are only "in control" of you and your guests for about 2 hours during the day. The balance of the day, we are in stealth mode and very unobtrusive.

My parents are divorced and remarried. They don't speak. How do you deal with that?

We make sure we cover this ahead of time so there are as few awkward moments as possible.

Our experience has been that people tend to "suck it up" on a wedding day. However, we would never force anything on anyone.

We have various ways of accommodating family dynamics, ranging from separate sessions to just taking more groups. We had one bride with three sets of parents. All went well.

What is a pre-paid product credit?

As a way of saving money, we offer an opportunity to purchase your products in advance. Products are things like albums, prints, thank you cards and so on.
By making this financial commitment to us, we can offer you better pricing on your purchases. There are 2 options. Purchase a pre-paid credit before your wedding day and save the most, or make your purchase within a month of receiving your proofs and still save money.

ummm we really don't like having our picture taken. Now what? ummm we really don't like having our picture taken. Now what?


we do love a challenge.

I would say that 50% of our couples say this to us.

We almost expect it now.

I say this in all humility...

It may be because you've never been photographed well before. Just BBQ snaps.

You'll like the pictures we make of you.

How far in advance do we have to book you?

We work on a first-come first-served basis. At times we are booked 10-12 months in advance for some popular dates, but there are no rules. If we're available, we'll talk.

We also "hold" dates.

After we meet, we expect that you will need to talk things over before making your decision. No problem. We'll pencil you in for that date.

If during that time, we get another inquiry about that date, we'll contact you and offer one extra week to reach your decision.

How far will you travel for a wedding?

We will travel as far as you need us to, for a fee. Our posted prices include 150 km travel from Hamilton. After that we ask for a flat travel fee of $50 - $150 depending on the distance. Overnight stays, air travel and so on, would be discussed and negotiated as needed.

We love to travel! Somewhere warm would be great...

Can you make me look thinner, taller, prettier, smarter?

oh great... a tough one to wrap up...

maybe - maybe - not needed - pass

We know how to make you look your best using posing, angles, lighting and so on.

We will accentuate the positive...our experience is everyone is beautiful on their wedding day... even the grooms. There's just something about the day that makes you glow... and I mean that in all sincerity.

all images on this site are © 2012 Lorne Chesal & Monique Campbell // GTA 905.296.3057 // toll free 1.877.410.4599 //
High value wedding photography by Lorne Chesal & Monique Campbell in Hamilton, Ancaster, St. Catherines, Burlington, Oakville, Milton and the entire Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Please contact us today and find out how we can provide wedding photography that is affordable and memorable. There is a difference between cheap and affordable.

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