Calgary Wedding and Engagement Photographers
Want to see the latest photographic adventures that Patton Photography have undertaken lately. From Weddings, to families, to product, and even weddings in beautiful destinations outside of Calgary, this is where you will find all the latest work. On occasion we will also add in a behind the scenes article on how we did a particular shot.
Looking for ideas for your wedding or family photos? Have a look through our blog entries and perhaps they will spark some creative ideas.
Hope you enjoy all the stories and photos.
10 Steps to Find Your Perfect Wedding Photographer
Your wedding photographs are how you’ll be able to remember your wedding day and to see all the candid moments that happen throughout the day. Therefore it is important to find a wedding photographer who will be able to create incredible images that takes you back to the special moments. We know how overwhelming it can be, so we have put together this list of 10 steps to find your perfect wedding photographer to help.
1. Start Looking As Soon As Possible
Many wedding photographers, Patton Photography included, book a year to a year and a half in advance. A good time to start looking for your wedding photographer is as soon as you get engaged and have selected the city you will be getting married in. The sooner you start to look, the better chance you have of securing the professional, experienced photographer you’ve been dreaming of! Your photographers will have worked with many different vendors and at a multitude of venues and can often be a wealth of information when trying to find your perfect venue or other vendors.
2. How Much Should You Budget?
Everyone has a different wedding budget, and places a different level of importance on various aspects of their wedding. For myself, we budgeted the largest amounts towards our photography and DJ as they were the important parts for us. Remember though that these are the only memories that you will have of your wedding day in 30 years and may be the only chance you get to see the other person getting ready and some of the candid moments that happen through the day. For these reasons I believe it’s important to invest wisely in this area. Once you have decided on a budget, start looking at various wedding photographers in your region, having a budget already decided upon will help eliminate those that are drastically out of your pricing.
In Calgary, pricing can range anywhere from several hundred dollars to over $11,000 and all levels in between. When you talk to your prospective photographer, ensure that they are licensed and insured, find out if you receive your edited photos in high resolution and without watermarks, and find ask if a ‘second shooter’ is included with the pricing. We strongly believe in second shooters, you can read about the reasons here on our website.
3. What Is Your Style?
Before you really start to narrow down your list of photographers, you and your fiancé should sit down and decide what kind images represent you both. Many photographers will have a combination of styles, so don’t worry about having to pick only one.
Candid / Documentary
The candid / documentary style is the style that most photographers work in (including myself). This style is exactly as the name suggests, it means capturing those raw, in the moment emotions and events as they unfold with minimal posing. Rather than posing, photographers will provide a level of direction for some of the shots during your formals together. This style showcases your personalities and highlights the romance of the day without looking staged or over-done.
Fine art is a pretty broad term and can be likened to a documentary style, but it is a little different. These photos will typically be very “cinematic” looking. Hard studio lighting (whether used indoors or outdoors) dramatic, bold colours or very muted and perhaps grainy. The Fine art genre gives the photographer license to infuse your imagery with their very unique and interesting take. These are also typically more posed since artificial lighting (strobes) are typically used.
The Edgy style typically uses wider lenses, very tilted angles such as shots from far above looking down. Typically, artificial lighting is used for a harder look. The composition can be unique and different too. Maybe just shots of your feet standing side by side, or the background taking up the majority of the photo with bright graffiti in the background.
If you are more traditional, you may choose to have your portraits formally posed and staged in a studio with professional lighting. This gives a very different look to your photos. Think back to when your parents got married, very classic and staged, typically in front of a variety of backdrops.
With Patton Photography, we have a combination style made up of all the above. We spend a lot of time simply capturing moments as they happen, however will provide some level of staging to capture specific photos. During your formals, we will direct you into a pose and then allow you to make it comfortable for you.
Regardless of your profession, we all start somewhere, but if you are looking for a seasoned professional you will want to make sure other people have had a great experience with the photographers you are interested in. One place to look is Google (available in Google Maps or Google searches). Another option is Wedding Wire Canada where many vendors will have listing and reviews. Many photographers will also have a Facebook page that you can use to see recent work as well as to read additional reviews.
5. Do Your Personalities Connect?
Photographers are people too, and our personalities are all different. This is one of the biggest aspects of finding the right wedding photographer for you. Think about it, this is a person you are going to be spending the majority of your day with. You want this person to connect with you and your family and guests in order to capture those beautiful images and moments. Your wedding formals should be a fun experience to look back fondly on. Therefore, be sure to meet with your photographer before hiring them to ensure that you get along. Are they willing to listen to your ideas and work with you to capture the perfect photos or are they rigid in how they work. Will they get along with your friends and family or will your photos be lots of awkward smiles and poses?
6. Photographer Consultation
The consultation is when you really find out about personalities. It’s a great chance to not only see if you all connect but to ask any questions that you might have. The consultation is typically a great chance to book your photographer with a retainer. Be cautious of photographers who push you to book or offer deep discounts or incentives to book on the spot. Booking your wedding photographer should be an easy decision, without pressure.
7. What If You Have Questions
The ability of your photographer to answer your questions in person at your consultation, or in a timely manner by email is important. If your short-listed photographer covers everything and you don’t have many questions, consider that a great hint that they know what they are talking about and will take the best care of you. If there are any questions that you have, always talk with your photographer to help any last minute wedding stress.
8. Wedding Portfolio
Your wedding photographer’s portfolio is a great way to get a better feeling about a photographer. Photographers can’t showcase every wedding they’ve ever shot however they should however have a sampling of weddings to look at online. Do they show one or two images on their website only? Or is there at least a few from a wedding? A variety of weddings, lighting and locations will give you a better idea of their style and experience. Be sure to look to make sure that there are many different couples in the wedding portfolio and that the portfolio isn’t made up of only one wedding
9. Comparing Styles and Photography Packages
Photographers all value their work and time differently. You and your fiancé should determine together what is important to you. Does the photographer offer anything above and beyond what others offer that can be reflected in their pricing? Engagement sessions, planning sessions, prints or digital files? Do they edit all of your photos or only a portion? How many photos will you receive? Determining these things will help you to narrow down what you value most in your wedding photographer and what you are willing to pay for.
10. Your Photos Arrival
Find a photographer who is forthcoming about what you will receive the day of your wedding and in the final package. Photographers all shoot a different number of weddings per year, so timelines for delivery can vary. It’s important to know approximately when you will receive your sneak peeks and final images, and how they will be delivered to you, as well as what your printing rights are.
Finally....Go with your gut!
Lastly, go with your gut instinct! If you felt ‘off’ about someone despite their portfolio looking great, perhaps it’s best to go in another direction. If you feel excited, connected and love the photographers work, chat with your fiancé and see if they feel the same. Typically your instincts are on the money and if you act quickly, you could have the wedding photographer of your dreams!
Ashley and Nik are such an amazing and fun loving couple who never stopped laughing and smiling despite us being caught in a downpour during our photography session. As Ashley and Nik got ready in separate rooms their love for each other was obvious. The nervous laughter and constant smiles as they got ready and made sure everything was perfect before seeing each other.
The wedding ceremony was at the beautiful St Matthews United Church just South of downtown Calgary. As we were able to photograph the wedding from the Aisle as well as from a second story loft allowing us to capture some beautiful wedding photographs. After the ceremony we traveled to St Georges Island for some incredible locations to photograph our wedding couple. We captured amazing wedding photographs however in true Calgary fashion, what started as a beautiful day suddenly turned into a downpour. We quickly adjusted plans and headed into one of our favorite indoor locations to finish off our wedding formals.
Our driver with Bust Loose Party Bus was amazing as they transported our wedding party around the city and were totally accommodating as plans changed due to the sudden change of weather. The wedding reception at Marda Loop Community Center was no less amazing as it was transformed into a fantastic wedding reception venue. With live music performed by New Soul Duo, the party continued late into the evening.
Congratulations to you both and thank you for allowing us to be part of your special day.
Being a firefighter from Fort McMurray, Chris knows a thing or two about wildfires. It almost seemed fitting that smoke from the British Columbia wildfires filled the air on their wedding day. The day started with both the bride and groom getting ready at the beautiful Windtower Hotel in Canmore. From there we proceeded to a vantage point overlooking Quarry Park and the Rocky Mountains. After the beautiful wedding held high above quarry lake, we travelled around Canmore to capture their wedding formal photos. After taking photos at some of the most picturesque locations in Canmore, we headed to the always amazing Cornerstone Theatre. The fantastic staff at the Cornerstone Theatre provided us with a stunning reception filled with amazing food and music into the late hours of the evening.
I love a mountain wedding and the Marriott Kananaskis Lodge is a stunning wedding venue that is sure to impress. This spectacular venue is only feet from amazing viewpoints yet maintains a tremendous amount of privacy. If you are looking for a mountain wedding and reception, definitely check out the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kananaskis Lodge.
We met Derek and Alison earlier in the year as they were planning their upcoming wedding. They are a super fun couple who had planned a fantastic wedding at a viewpoint overlooking the mountains in beautiful Kananaskis. We were able to capture some great photos for them as we wandered between some of the most beautiful scenery in all of Western Canada. Many thanks to the incredible staff at the Delta Kananaskis and to all the friends and family that made this the amazing wedding that it was. We were so fortunate to get to spend the day with Alison and Derek, as well as their amazing friends and family, as we photographed their spectacular wedding day. We have been fortunate to work with amazing vendors at many of our weddings, and this one was no exception as we got to work with one of our favorite wedding DJ services. Awesome entertainment and emceeing by the always great Outright Entertainment.
While we are based out of Calgary, we love to explore new wedding photography locations, and the mountain tops above Canmore was a new one for us. I knew we were in for an amazing Canmore wedding when the wedding consultation began with the question "Are you okay with helicopters?" Emily and Troi are an outdoors couple who tailored their wedding to be an amazing day perfectly suited to them. It all started with both Emily and Troi getting ready at the beautiful Alpine Club of Canada located in the mountains overlooking Canmore townsite.
The wedding ceremony itself took place on a small plateau overlooking Canmore with a stunning view of the 'Three Sisters' mountains in the background. Following the ceremony we then proceeded to the Canmore Heliport to join Alpine Helicopters for photos at one of the beautiful mountain peaks overlooking Canmore. Emily and Troi were great as we literally hiked to the top of the mountain in her wedding dress and shoes. Despite the wind and cooler temperatures, both had smiles on their faces and it was a truly amazing location for their wedding photography. The night finished back at the Alpine Club of Canada with great food and lots of laughs and fun.
This was the perfect wedding for a couple who thrive in the outdoors. From the mountain plateau wedding ceremony to the helicopter ride into the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains it was a truly amazing wedding.
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