Niagara Wedding Photography Tips!

Niagara Wedding Photography Tips! 1500 2247 Bryan Macaulay

Hey there, its so nice to meet you! I’m Bryan.

I’ve created some wedding photography tips and tricks that would be perfect for you!  But what do I know anyways?

I have been an active Wedding Photographer across the Niagara Region for over 30 years…..

I wouldn’t call myself an “expert”, however I do know a thing or two! If you don’t believe me; one of my past brides left me this lovely message last week –

“ 100% recommend Bryan. I am NOT photogenic… blink? That would be normal, I blink in pictures with only one eye! He had his work cut out for him. Our pictures were incredible! I still sit and look through them regularly, almost 12 years later!”

Are you recently engaged? 

Getting married soon?

Know someone getting married soon? 

How about someone who is just recently engaged? 

Keep reading for 11 tips & tricks that I’ve learned from years of experience & the hundreds of weddings I’ve photographed!

  1. I like it when couples just “drop in” to ask about wedding photography….it shows them what I do & what my studio is like when they drop in unexpectedly.

2. Get to know your photographer….be sure that you “click” (sorry for the pun) with their personality. 

3. I always want to do an engagement photo shoot for my couples. It gives us a change to get to know each other & the style of photos they like. I also get to see if they blink in photos before the wedding day! (don’t want to mess that up!)

4. If you or you fiancee blink often in photos….look just above the lens, rather than into it….it will fix the problem 70% of the time! (super helpful!)

5. I always tell my couples to relax during photoshoots….be playful…enjoy the day….those real expressions are what its all about! 

6. Did I mention – get to know your photographer?! This is the most important thing! You have to feel comfortable with the person taking the photographs….the worst is to meet at the wedding & introduce yourself that day!

7. I (personally) always start my “formal” shots with parents and families…especially grand parents! It is so important to get these photographs. It makes them feel special on a day when they are often forgot about. I do them first so that the parents can get back to taking care of the guests…they’re always welcome to stay…but they often have things to do for the bride and groom. 

8. I love relaxed and natural posing for wedding couples….you still need to have direction, but it doesn’t have to “look posed”. 

9. The only way to get great candid phots at the reception is for the photographer to make things happen! One of my past weddings…I got into the middle of the dance floor – laid down on my back (with a wide angle lens) & spun myself around  just to get the perfect shot of the wedding party leaning over me! (of course – this was pre- COVID)

10. Don’t pay everything up front! This seems odd, but I always have the final payment due when my couples pickup their digital photos. This gives me a chance to ensure the couple is happy with the photos before they make a final payment!

11. Always hire a professional photographer for your wedding! Most photographers have different price points and options to choose from. Friends are NOT ideal for many reasons… but in my experience you could not only lose the wedding photos or not be happy with them….you could very likely lose a friend.

Feel free to share these tips and tricks with your friends, your family or anyone you know getting married soon.

If you have any questions about wedding photography, I am just a phone call away!

Passport photos

Passport photos 1340 876 Bryan Macaulay

Hey guys, I’m excited to let you know that we now have an online booking page so that you can book your passport photo appointment. It’s so easy just click the link and follow the prompts.


Why shoud I print my photos?

Why shoud I print my photos? 1200 1800 Bryan Macaulay

Why should I print photos?

There are so many reasons to print your memories. Let me start with a backup…I remember talking with my IT guy and he said to me that a photograph is a very cheap backup of your photos…if your hard drive goes….or your cloud system has a “glitch” I can always scan the photo to get you back.

Many times I have said to customers that photos that are just on a storage device are very much like slides from the early 1970’s…unless you printed a slide….you almost never got to see the photo….it is the same with digital images on a storage device….odds are you have hundreds if not more of photos that you forget you have!

You also get to enjoy the photos so much more when they are printed…i have many customers who decorate their home with large canvas’s of trips they have done…or wedding images or like me, I have my kids all over my house at different stages as they grew into adult.

People tell me that it is too expensive to print…well…in 1989 I charged $9.99 to develop every photo on a roll of 24 from 35mm….that’s 0.41 per print…and you pay for everything…today you choose what to print and I charge 0.39 per print or $28 per hundred…significantly less that 1989!

I had a lovely new mom in for my babie’s first year portrait progam…she came in for her second session and when it came time to buy additional photo or files, I asked if she wanted to get just the digitals, same as lst time?….she said no way…they are still sitting on her computer and she has done nothing with them!

5 Reasons to print your photos…

A photo’s purpose is far from finished once the shutter has been pressed — after all, if we never really look at our images, then what are they for? Digital technology has made photography easier, allowing photographers to go ahead and take dozens of images to nail the perfect shot.

Photographs are irreplaceable.

Once you take an image, you can’t capture that exact same second in time again. Sure, you may be able to imitate a landscape photo again, but even with landscapes, changes in the weather and seasons means that second image won’t be the same as the first. This is especially true for images of people — we’re constantly growing up, growing old and changing in other subtle ways. An image’s irreplaceable nature only increases with time.

Print your photos because, if you lose those photos, you can’t replace them.

Images aren’t meant to be temporary.

— if you never print your photos, you’re only enjoying them temporarily while they circulate your feeds. Printing your photos is like moving from a bouquet to a potted plant — they’ll be around much longer. (Of course, the metaphor only goes so far, it’s pretty hard to forget to water your pictures, so chances are, your printed photos will last way longer than the fern wilting on your windowsill).

Print your photos because, in electronic form, pictures are only temporary enjoyment.

You don’t truly see an image until you see it in print.

An image on a screen and an image on paper or canvas are entirely different. Yes, the same details will be there, but the quality of an image is best on a print. That’s when the true colours surface, when the details are easy to spot, and when you stop being distracted by the backlit glare of a screen.

Print your pictures because, on paper, you can truly see your images.

Printed images don’t suffer from hard drive failures.

Loosing images from a hard drive failure is devastating. Sure, you should also back up photos on cloud storage, but creating prints is one more layer of protection from loosing those memories. Printed photos aren’t hacked, accidentally formatted or lost in a technical failure.

Print your photos because the digital files may not always be there.

Printing images forces you to analyze the shots to find the best one.

As great as printed photos are, you’re not going to print every single image. That negates the benefits of digital, where you don’t have to pay to hold a bad photo, but only the best ones. Printing your photo automatically forces to to take a closer look at your work when choosing the images to make the final cut into print. Analyzing our own work is something photographers should do often to grow, but it’s something we often forget to do.

Print your photos because your future photos will be even better because of it.

Where should we go for our family photos?

Where should we go for our family photos? 2560 1709 Bryan Macaulay

I get that question a lot. Here are my top five spots in the Grimsby area and why I like them.

  1. Puddicombe Farms… I go here during every season and what I love about Puddicombe’s is the variety that I can give you without walking all over. I can photograph you and a friend at the same place and not have your photos look like your buddy’s.
  2. Grimsby Pump house…This a great one of Grimsby’s parks. There is a natural wooded area beside the 40 mile creek that is beautiful.
  3. 50 Point…This also a great place….they do charge to get in but it is very nice. A bit more walking and not as much variety as some other places but still one of my favorites.
  4. Balls Falls…There are a lot of great spots here, more walking but very rustic buildings…nice wooded areas and many times of the year a nice little water falls. Again they do have a fee to get out.
  5. Vineland Experimental farm (University of Guelph)…this is a great place, I have photographed many weddings and families here over the years. Not as much walking as Balls Falls.

Rock Star Photographer in my Studio!

Rock Star Photographer in my Studio! 1097 732 villagestudio6721

Rock Star Photographer in my Studio!

A short time ago, I got a photo call asking to rent my studio. I don’t do that…so I started to explain that to the lady. After a few minutes of conversation…I really felt that I should help out. It turns out the Ottawa photographer was John Rowlands…a famous Rock & Roll photographer who had photographed: the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix……the list goes on and on.

I was able to assist with the session in my studio….a real treat for me. This is truly a guy that has been there while it was happening.

John & I posing for a quick photo! Enjoy!

How to take better video

How to take better video 1600 1067 villagestudio6721

How to take better video

Everyone starts somewhere and starting off on the right foot when you’re a total beginner is easier than you may think. When you’re first starting out, it’s the basic foundational things that can make the biggest difference.

I know that at the very beginning, when I was experimenting with photography, I generally had no idea what I was doing and was stumbling through things with a trial and error style. Were you in the same boat?

I think there are three different qualities to doing video or an online meeting. Using the camera built into your laptop or tablet can work well. Here are a few useful tips…

  1. First of all…with all video and still photography…watch your background, what I mean is to be sure that things are not “growing” out of your head…be sure that the angle of the shot is flattering or at least you are in frame and not shooting into a window that is too bright or the ceiling.
  2. Second, be sure that the exposure is correct….I have seen, in zoom meetings, people set up in front of a bright window and you cannot see their face….an easy fix is to turn around and have the window light your face.
  3. Third, lighting….easiest is natural light…soft window light is beautiful. Be sure that your face is lit well by the window without harsh shadows.

Number 2 and 3 are both very good. My go to is my DSLR mostly because I use it all the time and it is so comfortable for me. I do not like the built in microphone or the one made for the camera by Nikon. For me, a shot gun mic by Rhode is very good and allows me to move around, it just slides into the hot shoe of my camera and plugs into the microphone port. What I like best about this option is that I have all my lenses available to me and I can blur the background by careful f/stop choice. The video quality is amazing!

The lighting and background choices as I mentioned above still apply.

The last thing I wanted to talk about is a dedicated video camera. The Sony that I have is not terrible expensive (around $700) but gives amazing video and has a stabilizer built in….it does an adequate job for basic video.

Next thing… stabilization

This is not a concern when using the built in camera on your laptop …but could be with a tablet or phone and defiantly is with your DSLR or mirror less camera. I always use a tripod and if you are going to do a lot of video….a fluid head is great.

For hand held, a gimble is very good, I don’t have experience using one but have friends who love them.

Lastly, I always use Manual when using my Nikon DSLR and watch to be sure my white balance is good…if it is not ok on auto white balance, I either do a custom or a preset. Many times the auto white balance is ok.

If natural light is not good…or you are doing the video in a basement or late at night…simple LED lights can work well. I would still soften the light with a photo umbrella or even a bed sheet. Try to avoid a harsh shadow on the background cased by this light….I would keep at least five feet away from the background to help with this.

Whatever camera you use, be sure it is clean…I can’t tell you how many times I have seen fuzzy photos on social media or prints photos that were blurry because the lens is dirty.

Lastly, a friend talked me into using writing down what I want to say rather than just “winging it” and it has made such a difference! Using a teleprompter like PromptSmartPro helps keep me on track.

I hope this is a help… cheers,


Let’s get you using your camera

Let’s get you using your camera 2000 1335 villagestudio6721

Let’s get you using your camera

Well, Spring has started and the flowers are coming up. If you are feeling stuck at home and want a bit of inspiration…here’s an assignment for you. Why don’t you get out into your garden and take a photo of a flower. I would love to see what you’ve taken, send me an email with your best image.

I’d love to see a close up of just one flower…have a wide enough lens opening (f/stop) that everything in the background should be out of focus. Remember to move in close and the “rule of thirds” will apply here as well.

The aperture is also referred to as an “f-stop”. A low number is going to open up wider. The wider it opens, the more light is let in, and the blurrier your background will be. Shooting “wide open” means setting your aperture to the widest it can possibly be.

The rule of thirds involves mentally dividing up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines. The idea is that an off-centre composition is more pleasing to the eye and looks more natural than one where the subject is placed right in the middle of the frame.

I’m here for you with any questions and I’d love to see you best image!


Print your photos online!

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9 Main Street West
Grimsby, ON L3M 1R3

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