We ended the year at the Delta Ottawa. Right on cue, the elevators stopped working and we were trapped a few times between the rooms and the main floor where the actual marriage and the reception were taking place. One more story for the book.
Since next summer is looking like a busy one and we already have a couple of dates that are fully booked, we get emails asking who we would refer. Frankly, its a tough
call, because we are extremely picky about our own photographers…and even more picky when we think of sending clients to others.
Sadly, I have seen over 800 photographers come and go over the 30 years of Couvrette Studio and have taken numerous calls from panicked brides a day before the wedding whose photographers simply vanished…despite having been in business for a few years and having a nice portfolio and a friendly demeanor. Sadly, what is seen on a web site is often NOT what is produced for the client. As well, one needs more than a good eye to run a successful photography business.
Selecting a wedding photographer should be based on a combination of talent,reputation, longevity and the personality of the photographer and staff.
With those benchmarks, I can safely say that Photolux and GR Martin are two shining examples which possess all of the above.
Just when I finally had three days off…this morning the icy conditions resulted in a car driving
right through the front window of our studio. Luckily, no one was injured and hey…I got great coverage from the Citizen and the Sun…Check it out!
Yes…we are open for business tomorrow as the front of the building has been repaired and its all safe. Perhaps we need to offer drive through portraits!
A number of emails and calls have asked us why we are not at the Ottawa Bridal Fair, The Ottawa Wedding Show or the Ottawa Wedding Palace Show. The answer is simple…We want to save YOU money!
Let me do the math for you. These shows primarily attract the new studios, looking to build new business and hey, that’s not a bad idea. However, the cost of booths at these shows has risen and adding to these costs are samples, brochures (most of which get tossed after the show) and overtime for our staff. We calculated that if we took the cost of these shows and divided it into the bookings we received we were paying $400 per wedding!!! Frankly we would rather pass those savings on to our customers. Our 2009 price list reflects these savings and if you print out this post and bring it in when you book us…we will take another $100 off any booking you make…Coupon must be presented at time of booking.
The Fine Print..this offer can only be applied to new bookings March to December. 2009.
Soooo…if you wonder why a studio with our awards, history and style has packages that are competitive with even some of the beginners…now you know.
Btw…The Bridal Fairs are worth going to folks…its just that I`d rather save you money and take my kids skating that weekend…its called win win!!!!!
I am honored that the Ottawa Citizen has chosen to feature me in their story on Yousuf Karsh of Ottawa on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Yousef and I met many times and I expressed my gratitude for the influence he had on my career. My one regret is never having had him take my own portrait or never having taken his, thought I did have the pleasure of taking a portrait of his brother Malak Karsh. As well, I wisely purchased an original print by Yousuf that he signed for me. The image is, in my opinion his finest work, a portrait of Pablo Casals. It is also one of the best investments I ever made.
My Karsh stories are many and I will save them for my own eventual book, but suffice to say I
was honored when he referred a number of clients to me upon closing his studio and equally honored when a number of corporate clients considered me as his replacement. Karsh was an artist, a businessman and one of the most refined gentlemen I have ever met…he truly possessed an old world charm that is rarely seen today. Without Karsh, I doubt my career would have developed technically and artistically as it did.
Click on this link to the Citizen page and if you click on my self portrait you can hear me speak on Karsh. The series is extremely well done…Yousuf would approve.
Digital files, a thorny issue indeed. Having the experience of a few decades in this industry I am often asked to speak to groups of photographers at Conventions across Canada regarding our business and this topic keeps coming up.
There are two schools of thought…photographers that simply shoot a wedding and let the clients print their own…and photographers who insist on total control.
We actually don`t fall into either camp…since our policies allow for both.
What do I think about the idea of having clients create their own prints and albums?…My opinion is that in 90% of all cases it is a bad choice for the client to try to make their own wedding albums unless they have top level skills and lots of free time. I can`t tell you how many people walk up to me at weddings and bemoan the fact they have no wedding prints…its really sad.
The image above shows what a great Photoshop artist can do in half an hour with retouching, skin tone and effects. What you see on this screen is exactly what our printer actually prints and what our client actually recieves. This is called a color managed system, which has taken us years to perfect and a lot of coordination with our lab. The combined experience at my studio is roughly 60 years in total time that my staff and I have been dealing with photography and digital. We have won over 100 awards for our work. Yes, there is a difference.
Occasionally we find one of our clients is a digital whiz kid and hey….we are open to discuss rates for including the files. As well, some of our clients simply want to make up some 4 by 6’s for the inlaws and are not as concerned about these as their final album.
One thing I do caution against is selecting a photographer who will notmake you prints. This is no bargain…I get emails all the time from brides asking if we will correct these “bargain” photographers digital files and make them prints. Sometimes I feel like Mike Holmes (you know,the guy from Holmes on Homes), but not quite as cranky. Yes, we have provided this service…but as they say..you can pay me now…or pay me a lot more later.
One final thought….. woe be the groom, who promises to make up a wedding album for his new bride and not deliver on that promise. Its a formidable task and to my mind, best left to a professional.
I posted this snap of the Chateau Laurier lobby to give some prospective brides a peek at one of the best locations in the city for wedding photography. It can be formal, classic or funky, depending on how you want to shoot it…and how much time and talent the photographer has
at his disposal.
We are finding that an increasing number of our couples want less emphasis on those boring lineups and more on the couple themselves…to that I say great, lets plan to have fun.
Sometimes simple and timeless works best. I chose this location because the detail on the brides dress matched the detail on the doors of Parliament (sorry if thats not evident on your monitor).
We spent a great couple of hours just doing a walkabout with the bride, groom and their flower girls (their kids). We forget sometimes that Ottawa has some national treasures up on Wellington Street that we all take for granted. I use them in my work quite a lot and am constantly finding new angles on these architectural gems.