The Museum of Nature is just down the street from our Centretown studio. Great location, winter and summer…as long as you know how to shoot in low light…
It could never happen to me goes the old saying…Recently it DID happen to one of my images and the tale says a lot about where we are at as a society.
Like everyone else, I have chuckled at a hairdo photo from the 80`s or a wedding dance video fail. I`m not laughing anymore because I have seen the dark side of the net and it is far from funny.
Recently, a client contacted me about a post on Awkward Family Photos using an image stolen from my website. The portrait was a cute shot of kids dressed in Halloween outfits. At first look, I thought it was innocent , but then the client told me it had been used to mock and bully these children on the net and even at their own school.
I immediately contacted the site and was first put through a series of correspondence to prove the image was mine. (Nothing like a thieves going legal).Next I was told what they did was legal.(Seriously) Finally, they actually offered me cash…a lot of cash. ( Words fail me)
That was when I decided to do some research. Sure enough, that site is just the tip of a huge empire,not some comics cheering up your morning. With almost 3,000,000 fans they are a massive business, based on theft and frankly ….mostly meanness.
The moral of the story…We live with a social network that is fraught with theft, bullying, libel, misinformation and outrage…
In the end, a legal letter, forced them to take the image down within 4 hours of the original call to my studio. Yes, we protect our clients rights and have successfully sued for many thousands of dollars numerous times. I doubt that even 1% of photographers would take a stand or sites like this would not exist.
I`m not laughing at embarrassing photographs anymore…neither should you.
Few horror stories have a happy ending. What follows is my account of one of the worst experiences imaginable for a professional photographer… the loss of a set of irreplaceable digital images.
On September 21st, 2015 we photographed a wedding and like hundreds of other weddings before, came back to the studio to download the images and backup the files. As pioneers in the digital field, starting as advisors to many of the programs we use today and acting as National Spokesperson for the digital industry from the mid nineties, we are meticulous and extremely knowledgable about our equipment and our backup systems.
We shot the images on a one month old Lexar 16GB 800x formatted card that had been used for weeks in the studio with no issues. The camera was a Canon 5dII. To our shock, it showed only 65 files of the nearly 800 captured. We tried a range of programs from Canon and third parties but could not find any more than 65. We were in shock….
I visited our local camera retailer, Henrys, who had sold us the card and the card reader within three days of one another (LexarWO25UrevC). They failed to see any more than we did, even though they believed they had the top diagnostic software available. At this point, most photographers would have been in a panic. It called upon all my experience of the digital world and my assistant`s dogged labour, but after 16hours we recovered every last one of the 768 images…but the story does not end there.
We then contacted Lexar and told our story…leaving out the fact that we had found solutions.
To our surprise Lexar informed us that it would take 4 MONTHS to recover the images! We shipped the card on Oct 8,2015 and it was returned to us on Feb 22, 2016. What client would be happy to wait that long for their images…..?
Then came the shock. Lexar, one of the largest professional card makers in the world could only recover 97 images. They informed us that the card reader on the shelf at our local store Henrys was “not compatible” with their own UDMA 7 card even though on the “product page” it indicated that it was compatible. We had tried the card in three other readers to no avail prior to sending it to Lexar. They had no explanation as to why the card images were unreadable and made no comment on the fact that their own reader may have helped corrupt the card. In fact…there was not even an apology with the package…nothing…zip.
If there are lessons from this horror story, the first may well be that Lexar failed on so many levels of technology and customer service that I have no faith in the company whatsoever.
Relying on Lexar, the majority of photographers would have had to explain to a client that their assignment was ruined.
Luckily for my client….we were able to save the day and the image attached now holds the front page of my site for all to see…. http://www.couvrette-photography.on.ca/ottawa-wedding-photographers/
We are the only photographers in Ottawa with a space large enough to actually shoot weddings in a real studio. Come rain, snow or sleet our Gladstone Street, Centretown Ottawa studio is where we go to shoot some really unique images. Whether you are looking for a photographer with a rain location or simply want a very different look to an engagement shoot, check out our portfolio…
A fall party in a tent to celebrate an engagement….what could happen??? How about one of the best surprise weddings we have ever seen!!! Yes, we were there to record it all. It went off perfectly. Even the bridesmaids did not know(dresses bought to fit each one!!!) It even surprised the dog in the wedding party!
Check the reactions of the guests…one of the nicest groups of people we have photographed in years. The food trucks showing up was the icing on the cake. Bravo!!!!!!!!!!!!
Catching the excitement of this event is what we do and it is no easy task. Almost anyone can line up a bunch of groups and get that traditional shot of a dress hanging on a door. This candid photojournalism requires a different skillset. Though the wedding was small, this bride was wise enough to realize that two photographers would be necessary to ensure all the action and reaction was captured to tell the story. You really only do get one chance to do it right.
Photography by Ottawa Wedding Photographer Paul Couvrette (copyright 2015) Assisted by Lorien and Tim.
We like to think that weddings are more than just one style of coverage…At Couvrette Studio we mix portraits, photojournalism and still life shots to tell the whole story.
Like pretty well everyone in the media, I knew Max Keeping personally from the early 1980`s and photographed him both in the studio and on location numerous times. There was rarely a Sens Foundation event he missed and he was literally a fixture at most major charity galas in the city I either shot or attended.
This particular image was done at CHEO shortly after his diagnosis of cancer. We spent the day with kids on the ward and it was tough for both of us to see firsthand all the children of that age who were ill. I remember vividly their humour and courage in the face of illness. Once we finished the official shot, we came up with this fun shot of some of the amazing team at CHEO. Frankly…I think Max and I both needed a laugh at the end of the day…
Truth be told…it was a mix of Max Keeping`s energy and our shared desire to break the mold and laugh in the face of all this is wrong in life…and yes, even laugh in the face of cancer.
The photograph was never published and upon his death I posted it on my Facebook page. I expected a number of comments but never over 3,000 SHARES. Given that the average FB user has 300 friends, effectively this image has been seen by a million people!
In large part this is due to the fact that Max Keeping was one of the most loved men in Ottawa. He was a selfless man who raised in his lifetime over one hundred million dollars for charities, much of it to fund his favorite charity…CHEO. Max led, in many ways, a charmed life. Surely it had its ups and downs but he not only endeared himself to us as a voice to trust on the news, but shone even brighter upon retirement. There are few people in politics, the arts or the entertainment industry who could command such respect in today`s world. Thank you Ottawa for your support of an amazing guy and his remarkable work!
Max…we salute you…#LivelifetotheMax.
Please go to this link for details on his upcoming ceremony this week.
Go to this link for transportation details…see you there.
We get a mountain of calls and emails from prospective clients in the midst of the difficult job of selecting a photographer.
The internet, instead of making it easy, has actually made it tougher to choose because pretty well anyone can load up a few shots to a site and give the appearance of professionalism and high quality.
Experience, personality, dependability and style are all part of the buying decision. Generally, in all things…you tend to
get what you pay for. We have fulltime staff that answer our phone, a studio in case of rain, written contracts, quick delivery of your products and no need to schedule a meeting at your local coffee shop. All this at very competitive rates.
Couvrette Photography has been in business for decades and our site has a top rating in Google reviews as well as being the only wedding photography studio with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. To date, we have photographed over 1000 weddings not only in Ottawa but across Canada, the US and the Caribbean.
We are one of the few fulltime studios in Ottawa and own the largest studio building in the city. We welcome your questions and will be happy to quote against any studio in Ottawa.