Photos by Cheryl: Blog en-us (C) Photos by Cheryl (Photos by Cheryl) Mon, 01 Mar 2021 20:46:00 GMT Mon, 01 Mar 2021 20:46:00 GMT Photos by Cheryl: Blog 120 120 How to Plan for a Rainy Weather Photo Session How to Plan for a Rainy Weather Photo Session | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Plan for a Rainy Weather Photo Session It should be no surprise to anyone living in Port Coquitlam and the Vancouver BC area that when it rains here, it pours. For some people, rain can be a true downer especially if you've been planning for an outdoor photo session. Don't let rain get your day down though! Here are some tips on how to plan for a wetter, rainier weather photo session so you can relax and enjoy yourself. 

Check the Forecast

Naturally this should be the very first thing you do when planning your shoot with your professional photographer. If there's a date you simply can't skip out on but the weather is looking less than pleasant, commit to the date anyway but don't be disappointed if you're forced to reschedule. Sometimes the weather forecast is spot on, while other times it's wildly inaccurate. Guessing the weather can be like rolling the dice—you never know what numbers the temperature outside will land on.

Adjust to an Indoor Session if Need Be

If the weather ends up rainy to the point where being wet is very uncomfortable for everyone involved, it may be best for everyone involved to shift gears and take the photo session inside. This is a more optional solution, but when it comes to the weather here, you never can tell. You don't have to let your indoor session be boring though; sometimes your home can be your best environment, or in the case of more serious moments such as headshots, a home office or studio.

Prepare a Brightly Coloured Wardrobe

The silver lining to having rain pour on your photoshoot is that you can find ways to stand out against the dark clouds in the background. Grey is the perfect natural neutral that nature itself provides to us professional photographers. This allows all of the other colours of the rainbow your wardrobe consists of to shine through, whatever the type of shoot may be. 

Bright coloured tops can help to make your face shine out amidst the darker shades that rainy days tend to present. Keep the bottoms of your wardrobe or your coats a neutral shade in order to let certain colours pop a little more. Alternatively, consider dressing in neutral colours and let your umbrella or rainy day wardrobe accessories add a splash of your personality to the pictures. This tip applies to all kinds of occasions and moments in photoshoots, whether it's a casual family outing or a lifetime event such as an anniversary or engagement.

Another tip for your wardrobe is to wear rainy day clothing that's easy to take on and off and is light and comfortable to wear. Sometimes the weather can change to the point where it gets too humid and wet to handle! Boots and similar shoewear (avoid open-faced shoewear such as sandals) are also recommended for rainy days.

Add Rainy Weather Items to Your Plan

I'm mostly referring to your wardrobe again but one item in particular you should bring to your outdoor session is an umbrella. Whatever size you prefer to bring or if you want everyone involved to bring their own makes no difference. Typically the colour choice of an umbrella is black so that your wardrobe will pop against the background, but clear umbrellas are also a good choice to avoid distraction away from you, the subject. If you'd rather not get your hair or wardrobe wet, this item is a must. You can also use the umbrella as a prop for spur-of-the-moment moments, such as a kiss with your hubby under the rain. If your kids love their umbrellas (maybe they're coloured or patterned in a way that reflects a part of their personalities), then all the more reason to bring their umbrellas along too.

Other rainy weather items that are worth including in your plan for an outdoor photo session are:

  • An extra change of clothes. Just in case something happens to your current wardrobe, such as mud splatters or you end up being soaked through.
  • Towels. This is a must for me considering my equipment, however if you truly end up soaked for any reason, this is a handy thing to have.
  • Plastic bags. These can be used for all kinds of purposes, such as having a seat on a wet bench or laying on the muddy ground so your best shoes don't get caked with the mud. Garbage bags work as well since they're much bigger.
  • Hair ties. Keep this in your pocket and not on your wrist so it doesn't appear in the photos afterwards. A must-have if you have long hair and don't want the wind blowing in your face.

Outside still works!

Even if it's raining outside, there's no reason to settle on an indoor photo session every time the weather turns grey. Think about moments in your life when rain took place and we can use that to our advantage. When was the last time you and your family played in the puddles? Was your first kiss before getting married or engaged in the rain? What if a rainbow were to appear while you're getting your photos taken...wouldn't that be something worth waiting for? 

Rain may be wet, but it brings with it some magical elements that are severely underrated; it all depends on how you look at this weather. I look at it as brand new opportunities and moments that may end up being treasured when all is said and done. If you see rain the same way, there's no reason to move your session indoors—outside still works. We can make it happen.

Need help with planning for your outdoor photo session? Want to prepare for rainy weather with a professional? Contact me today if you would like some help being photographed. Having been at this for over 20 years now, I know what it's like to need to expect the expected, rain or shine.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) how to plan for a photo session how to plan for a rainy weather photo session how to plan for rain during a photoshoot outdoor photo session outdoor photo session tips outdoor photoshoot outdoor photoshoot tips photography in the rain professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography port coquitlam rain photoshoot rainy day photography rainy day photography tips rainy weather photo session Wed, 03 Mar 2021 21:15:00 GMT
7 Tips to Make the Best Out of Your Home Office Headshots 7 Tips to Make the Best Out of Your Home Office Headshots | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 7 Tips to Make the Best Out of Your Home Office Headshots Sometimes a brand refresh and new headshots are just what you need to jumpstart your career. A professionally photographed headshot can give your business, your website, and your social media a face and a personal touch to an otherwise faceless organization. 

Most of us are now working from home or remotely until it's all clear to return to work at other places. The home office is a vital part of our workspace now more than ever. Isn't it time you gave yourself a place to be proud of working in? Whenever you decide to get them done, here are seven tips to make the most and the best out of your home office headshots.

1. Dress Appropriately

By appropriately I'm referring to your brand. You know your business and its values the best, so you have to dress according to its pillars. For example, do you work in finance or a more authoritative position that requires you to wear a uniform? Maybe you sell homemade clothing articles you made personally and want to show them off? Perhaps you'd look best wearing similar or complementary colours as your business's logo? 

The better you know your brand, the more confident you will be representing it. That confidence will help make you shine in your headshots, whatever your wardrobe ends up being.

2. Balance Out White

Most headshots are taken with a white or neutral coloured background for good reason: to enhance your face and presence while ensuring it's clean, professional, and presentable for marketing purposes. For that reason it's best to prepare your home office's lighting for these kinds of photo opportunities. 
The last thing you'll want is to look washed out, or have a bright shiny face, or be virtually unseeable in your photographs thanks to the lighting. 

3. Consider Lifestyle Headshots

Some of our jobs take place in the great outdoors, so why not apply that sense of your lifestyle to your headshots? Lifestyle photography can bring an element of newness and uniqueness to your headshots. It can make you appear approachable and even make you stand out compared to your competitors. It's worth noting that the environment and its impact will depend on your company's brand and personal preference, so this is an option more than a requirement.

I often offer this style of headshots first to my clients, and if they still prefer the studio, that's fine too. There is no right or wrong choice of headshots. For any business owner or entrepreneur who wants to stand out over the crowd while also appearing approachable, you may benefit from lifestyle headshots more. 

For more information about lifestyle photos vs. traditional headshots, you may refer to my previous blog post "Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What’s the Difference?"

4. Be Open to Being Coached

The most successful headshots I've taken have been a result of coaching and direction on my part. If you're not open or receptive to taking directions or you insist on refusing to smile (for example), the sessions are more likely going to be miserable as opposed to my intention, which is to ensure you're comfortable at all times. The more open and at ease you are to receiving directions on posing, facial expressions, and prop ideas, the smoother your session will go and the better your headshots will turn out to be.

5. Simple is Best

Whether it's your haircut, makeup, or the props you want to use (or lack thereof), keep things as simple as possible for best results. Even if you're dying to try the latest trends in terms of hair styles, you may not be happy with the end result when it's time for your home office's headshots. Don't look back on these photos with regret! Your discomfort will definitely reflect in those kinds of photos. So, keep things as simple and straightforward as possible, and save the ideas to try something new for later.

6. Ask for Moments When You're in Your Element

Sometimes the best shot of you is not when you're forced to sit in a chair and look in the camera, but rather when you're busy doing what you love to do for a job. Even if you do remote work, there are lots of ways I can photograph people when they're doing this sort of thing during their session. 

Don't hesitate to ask me to get these kinds of shots; the more we show you loving what you do for a living, the better you will look and the better your brand will appear in photographic form. People resonate better with a brand when the people behind them are happy and authentically passionate about what they do.

7. Get to Know Me Beforehand

I love meeting new people and getting to know what they do for a living. This is the best way to give you the headshots you're looking for. The greater I understand who you are and what you want to show to the world, the better your headshots will turn out and the more comfortable you'll be while you're being photographed. The key to a successful headshot is a solid working relationship between the subject (you, the business owner) and the photographer. It really is that simple.

Ready for a home office photoshoot? When you're feeling ready to get the home office headshots you want for your company, contact me and let's get started. I look forward to meeting you.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) headshot photographer port coquitlam headshot photography headshot photos home office headshots home office headshots tips professional headshot photographer professional headshot photographer port coquitlam professional headshot photos professional headshots professional home office photography professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography tips on getting the best headshots tips on getting the best home office headshots Mon, 01 Mar 2021 20:46:04 GMT
Fun Valentine's Day Photo Session Ideas Fun Valentine's Day Photo Session Ideas | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Fun Valentine's Day Photo Session Ideas

Love is more precious than ever now, no matter what your stage of life may currently be. With many changes happening practically every day at this point in our lives, it's worth pausing for a moment to really take a look at who your valentine is this year and cherishing the time you have together now. If this is a big year for you, it might be worthwhile to get professional photos taken of your Valentine's Day. Here are some fun Valentine's Day photo session ideas for you to consider.

1. Reenact Your First Date Together (As Best You Can)

What's more romantic than a Valentine's Day date? How about your very first one together with your significant other, your fiance/fiancee, or your boy/girlfriend of several years? Try to reenact your first date together and get photos taken of the occasion. Even if you can't reenact every single detail together, you can still find alternatives and ways to celebrate this special event. It could be as simple as taking a walk in the park, or as detailed as dressing up and having a romantic dinner by candlelight at home using food from the restaurant you first went to together.

2. Celebrate an Anniversary Milestone

Valentine's Day for some is a milestone worth celebrating. Going back to the first date example, maybe this is when you did just that, or maybe you asked your current spouse to marry you on this holiday. Perhaps this year is a genuine anniversary milestone such as 5, or 20, or even 60? Whatever milestone you may have awaiting you, Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity to honour that kind of a special occasion. And what better way to remember this milestone than with photographs taken by a professional?

3. Picnic Indoors or in the Yard

If you're feeling up to it, why not add some colour and liveliness to your Valentine's Day with some delicious picnic food while getting your photos taken? You can enjoy your backyard, or if it's raining outside, spread a blanket out in the living room and stay in while enjoying your favourite kind of picnic food (or your favourite meal together, if you prefer). Maybe that was your first date as well?

4. Enjoy Each Other's Valentine Traditions

Maybe you loved making each other valentine cards before you became an official couple, or you both enjoy baking each other festive goodies, or you both share an activity on this day. Whatever your Valentine's traditions may be, it's always, always worth adding your own personalities to the photo session by enjoying them together.

Photos by Cheryl - Fun Valentine's Day Photo Sessions Ideas - Love GraffitiPhotos by Cheryl - Fun Valentine's Day Photo Sessions Ideas - Love Graffiti

5. Make a Proposal More Epic

Do you feel this is the right time to pop that question to your girlfriend or boyfriend? However many years you've spent together, if you feel now is the best year to make a marriage proposal, a photo session can take that big moment to the next level. Hiring a professional photographer can truly make this kind of a proposal an epic life event; they can help you with the planning part every step of the way.

Looking for non-romantic ideas for a Valentine's Day photo session? You're in luck—I have some ideas for those too! Check out my blog post "Valentine’s Day Photo Ideas that Don’t Have to Include Romance".

Some last minute tips

  • Be present in each other's company. Make it a point to ditch the phone or other distractions and really take in the moments you have here and now with your valentine. I'm sure they'll appreciate the gesture.
  • Roll with the punches if things don't go according to plan. Maybe you planned for an outdoor session and it's raining—you can still do plan B, which is to get dressed for a rainy day walk together and go outside anyway. Whatever happens, happens, so trust in your photographer to get some great shots.
  • Have fun and relax. This will make for some genuine photographs that you can both enjoy post-session.
  • Let romance sweep you away if you're both feeling it! Swoop in for a random kiss or a surprise hug while you're enjoying your choice of activity together. You can then reminisce over these certain moments in the photo results afterwards.

Love these ideas and want to get started on planning a Valentine's Day photo session? Contact me today. I would love to be your choice of professional photographer for the occasion.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) photo session ideas professional photographer professional photography things to do on valentine's day valentine's day photo session valentine's day photo session ideas what to do for valentine's day Tue, 02 Feb 2021 21:15:00 GMT
The Best Places to Take Pictures in the Tri-Cities Before Winter is Over The Best Places to Take Pictures in the Tri-Cities Before Winter is Over | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - The Best Places to Take Pictures in the Tri-Cities Before Winter is Over

Whatever the weather or the season may be, Vancouver BC's Tri-Cities have their own fair share of beautiful outdoor locations to photograph. You may be thinking it's time to wait until winter is over to get photos taken of you and your family, but did you know winter is just as good a season as any for that particular occasion?

It's true. I've seen such beautiful sights even when it's cold outside or when it's raining. There's no shortage of beautiful photographic moments to behold. To get you inspired, here are some of the best places to take pictures in the Tri-Cities before winter is over and spring makes its official arrival once again.

1. Pitt River Dike, Pitt Meadows

Not only is this location full of picturesque trails, but also the Golden Ears mountains with the snow on them this time of year is amazing. The ground may be wet when your photos are being taken, but rest assured the background will speak for itself and bring some wintry atmosphere to your pictures.

2. Deer Lake, Burnaby

Yes, technically this is more in Burnaby and less about the Tri-Cities, but it's such an underrated, stunning photo op location that it didn't feel fair to leave it off of this list. Deer Lake is both a favourite photography spot of mine and it's always been a favourite in the eyes of my clients too. With its calm atmosphere, leafy surroundings, historic buildings, seasonal gardens, and scenic walking trails all around the lake's shore, what's not to love about it?

3. Old Orchard Park & the Old Mill Site, Port Moody

At the northern end of the Shoreline Trail you'll find this cozy and private park. On chilly but bright winter days, you can find this location easily by taking a walk from Old Orchard Hall to here. In addition to the park itself, the Old Mill Site (off the beaten path) provides further calm and quiet to the environment that is near perfect for winter pictures. (Note: we have to plan around high tide to fully access this spot.)

4. Buntzen Lake, Port Moody

For people who simply can't get enough of being surrounded by nature and all of its gifts, there's Buntzen Lake. There are late winter photo opportunities galore at this location. It's one of the most tranquil lakes with crystal clear water BC has to offer.

5. Sasamat Lake, Port Moody

If you prefer the scenery of a more popular location in your photographs, Sasamat Lake may be perfect for you. Known as one of the warmest lakes in the Tri-Cities, even when it's late winter there is fun to be had at this photo location idea. The abundance of bridges and small trails at this lake can also give your winter photo session a special touch.

What are Your Favourite Locations?

As a professional photographer I'm always interested in learning about photo location ideas you yourself are fond of. Some places have their own share of warm memories to cherish and treasure, and not every preferred photo location of choice for you is going to be the same as this list. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject before the season has changed. Maybe there's a part of the Tri-Cities you've always wanted to explore or you have a hidden gem in mind?

Are you also interested in doing a winter photo session before spring settles in? I'd love to be your photographer of choice. Give me a call if you're curious about my rates, process, and everything in between.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) best places to take pictures in the tri-cities photography coquitlam photography port moody professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography professional photography port coquitlam tri-cities photo location ideas tri-cities photo locations Vancouver BC photo location ideas Mon, 01 Feb 2021 21:00:00 GMT
How to Have Perfect Pictures in an Intimate Wedding

Smaller weddings are becoming increasingly popular. This is mostly thanks to this new decade's most recent (and radical) changes to the way we celebrate holy matrimony. Regardless, if you're planning on saving with guests, you can definitely have an amazing photography experience. Here are my tips on how to have the perfect pictures in an intimate wedding.

1. Make a list

It's worth your while knowing more about what kind of wedding photos you do want, as opposed to letting your photographer second-guess. Whenever I'm hired, I make it a point to stay as organized as possible while also leaving a little legroom for more creative opportunities, such as sunset shots and romantic moments between newlyweds. 

Are you proud of the cake that was baked for the occasion? Was your wedding dress homemade? Were there special stories behind the rings you're exchanging? Put them in your list! It's easier to think of what you do want as opposed to simply saying everything. After all, depending on the type of photography package you purchase, you want to get your hard-earned money's worth. Maybe your budget can only cover a few hours compared to a full day's worth. Feel free to go over this list with your betrothed (if they want to).

2. Think in Colours

Backgrounds are as important as the colour scheme you pick for the flowers and decor for your wedding day. Since we're talking small scale, you'll have more chances to really examine the smaller details. For example, will the time of the wedding take place around high noon or are you considering a morning one instead, where breakfast instead of dinner will be served? Will the ceremony take place in a backyard, or at the beach? What kind of flowers are going into the bride's bouquet?

Again, take your time to think about these colours and then relay them to your photographer. Seriously, the more details you have, the more vibrant and amazing your intimate wedding pictures can be.

3. Be Present

This sounds more like an obvious thing to say, but hear me out. When planning your wedding, what was usually on your mind? Was "smelling the roses" one of them? If not…then why not make time to do so? 

Let yourself relax into a calm. Really admire the shoes, your dress, and all of the little things that you are wearing for the first time. Embrace these calmer moments, and even surprise ones. 

You've already spent so much time planning and deciding and making your day magical. Even if your wedding will be smaller, the best thing you can really do is be present in those priceless moments. 

Bonus Wedding Photo Ideas

Maybe you think these tips are great and all, but are wondering about some actual photography ideas for your intimate wedding? If so, consider this my pre-wedding gift to you.

  • Let the kids be involved. Yes, you read that right. Unless your wedding is adults only, having kids be in the spotlight for a moment or two can add some energy and liveliness to your wedding photos. No child is the same either. For every mischievous rascal who can't wait to get out of their fancy clothes, there's a polite and sweet little one doing their best to help the bride and groom out and usually in their own way. Also, if your own children are a part of your big day, they're definitely worth photographing too.
  • Allow breathing room for creative shots. Some couples use their own decorations from the wedding setup to capture some really cool moments on camera! Other times they enjoy each other's company while letting the scenery speak for itself. Which prop or scene do you want to enjoy the most?
  • Don't let a shift in weather get you down. Did you know that rain on your wedding day actually means good fortune, a sign that your marriage will last? If it's raining, why not grab an umbrella with your newlywed spouse and go have some fun together? Let your wedding photographer do the job of catching those romantic moments for you.
  • Got a sense of humour? Let some grimaces or wacky faces slide into your photoshoot. It'll take the edge off of everyone feeling like they have to force themselves to look formal and instead enable everyone to relax and naturally smile once the pressure's been taken off with a funny picture. Some couples have actually preferred the funnier wedding photos when everything is over!

Start with these tips for your more intimate wedding and then see where the day takes you. Enjoying yourself the whole while...that's the real key to getting those perfect wedding pictures.

Need some help with planning the photos for your big day? Need a creative professional wedding photographer to help you out? Maybe we're a good match. Contact me today and let's figure out together how I can best capture your intimate wedding memories forever.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) how to get perfect pictures from a small wedding how to get perfect wedding photos port coquitlam photographer professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography professional wedding photographer professional wedding photographer port coquitlam professional wedding photography small wedding photos wedding photos wedding pictures Tue, 05 Jan 2021 08:30:00 GMT
Photography Trends for 2021 to Consider for Your Next Session  

Photos by Cheryl - Photography Trends for 2021 to Consider for Your Next SessionPhotos by Cheryl - Photography Trends for 2021 to Consider for Your Next Session It's a new year and with it comes some new traditions...or rather, there are new traditions that were introduced last year carrying forward into this one. For better or for worse, some of these new ways of life, such as social distancing, may be here to stay indefinitely. Other new things, such as trends in 2021, are worth exploring especially when it comes to photography.

I can't wait to put some of these trends to work, because a few of them sound really cool and I'd love to share them with my clients. Here are some of the biggest photography trends for 2021 worth considering for your next photo session.

Social Distancing Ideas

Like I said, some things from 2020 are going to have to stick around a little longer. That includes social distancing, which means less up-close and personal contact with the people being photographed and a lot more having to direct from a distance. 

This sounds hard to do, but it's really not. Some of the more successful shoots I had with my clients last year involved social distancing, from weddings to newborns to families. A whole new theme called "Porches and Parks" was also created in light of this new protocol.

I enjoy taking group photos in general, and with social distancing now in place, it's a greater challenge that I am 100% up to the task for. You worry less about close contact with unfamiliar people, and let me handle the tricky direction. After all, being present in the moment is a trend that never goes out of style.

Colours that are Trending

Whether it's fashion or interiors, some things are always changing in terms of trends and that definitely applies to colours used in photography. Some of the more popular shades of colour I've seen recently involved very gentle, very soft hues, set against deep yet calming blues and browns. The neutrals are very light and natural and warm, while darker shades of green and orange are both evocative and saturated, while also being boldly positive. 

2021 is a year where we're taking some time to rejuvenate and restore our energy levels after a year that has seen such tumultuous changes. We can see it outdoors for the most part, where life presses on while offering us a chance to escape from being cooped up inside all of the time. Comfortable and inspiring, these colour trends of 2021 are sure to evoke amazing memories post-photography session.

A Trend that's Here Forever: Natural, Authentic Lighting

I'm a 100% believer in showing your most authentic self when you're being photographed. The good news is that natural lighting is still a very 'in' photography trend! For clients who hate feeling forced into a fancy outfit and posing inside of a studio, going out into natural light outside can feel refreshing and motivating...maybe enough for a few pictures?

Even before this trend came into play, I've been preparing for even more striking outdoor shots. At the end of winter we should be starting on the project of renovating my backyard specifically to accommodate outdoor photography sessions. That way, you won't have to go very far when arriving for your session. When it's done, you can simply take a seat, admire the hard work and effort put into this gorgeous backyard setup, and let me capture your genuine reactions. Hopefully you'll like what you see!

I can't wait to put some of these photography trends for 2021 to good use. Would you be interested as well? If so, contact me today and let's come up with a plan together. I look forward to hearing from you.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) 2021 photography trends 2021 trends biggest photography trends 2021 distancing outdoor photography outdoor photography session photo sessions photography trends for 2021 photos" photoshoots professional photographer professional photography social social distancing photography Mon, 04 Jan 2021 08:45:00 GMT
My Favourite Photos from 2020 & Why (Plus My Hopes for 2021) My Favourite Photos from 2020 & Why (Plus My Hopes for 2021) | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - My Favourite Photos from 2020 & Why (Plus My Hopes for 2021)

What a year! I know for a fact that this was a tumultuous time for everyone involved. It goes without saying that no one was prepared for any of the wrenches life threw into our daily routines. Regardless, 2020 was actually quite full of amazing and beautiful sights to behold, many of which I'm delighted to say I managed to catch on camera. 

Let's look at this year with a silver lining in mind, which is to say that despite all of the curveballs and the uncertainty it brought us, it also brought some huge milestones and events that couldn't wait until later to happen. Let's look at some of my favourite photos from 2020, why they are so wonderful to me as a professional photographer, and what I hope will come about in 2021. 


I love this family, and I loved that I could do the Four Seasons sessions with them. When we first started our photo sessions the Spring before, we didn’t know that this precious little one would be part of our winter session. So much love in this photo.

Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Photo from January 2020Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Photo from January 2020 February

The month of Valentine's Day sessions! I might be a little biased, but I am related to these humans. They are so genuine and hardworking, and they are the best parents to Charlie he could ever ask for.

Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Photo from February 2020Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Photo from February 2020 March

Before COVID-19 struck the world this month, I had the chance to do a studio Lifestyle photoshoot for this beautiful lady, for her new website. It was hard to pick just one photo.

Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Photo from March 2020Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Photo from March 2020

Porch & Park Sessions

This was where I had no choice but to rise to the challenge and get creative. As a result, there were my Porch & Park photo sessions where I got to meet so many amazing people. 

The first photo you can see here was a Park Session to send to Dad. They have been separated for many months with mom and son in Canada and Dad in the U.S. It was so beautiful just capturing them playing together.

Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Porch and Park Pictures 1Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Porch and Park Pictures 1
This second photo really shows the beginning days of staying inside. So many families got to enjoy each other’s company and at a much quieter pace.

Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Porch and Park Pictures 2Photos by Cheryl - Favourite Porch and Park Pictures 2

Best Wedding Picture

Sadly there were so many weddings cancelled this year. However, in all cases and no matter what the circumstances, love is never cancelled. This couple kept their original wedding date but changed the location to a friend’s backyard. As you can see, small and intimate can still be glamorous. Though spending a little extra on flowers and decor, this was a magical day. 

Photos by Cheryl - Best Wedding Photo of 2020Photos by Cheryl - Best Wedding Photo of 2020 Best Grad 2020 Photos

There has to be more than one of these because really, how do you choose a favourite grad photo when everyone always looks amazing? 

This first photo is all about the experience. How often do you get a bear photobombing your session?

Photos by Cheryl - Best Grad Photos of 2020 1Photos by Cheryl - Best Grad Photos of 2020 1
The second photo is more glamorous. It's amazing what you can do with a simple setup in a backyard.

Photos by Cheryl - Best Grad Photos of 2020 2Photos by Cheryl - Best Grad Photos of 2020 2 Best Candid Maternity Photo

This couple was so fun and playful. The timing of the cherry blossoms was all too perfect as well.

Photos by Cheryl - Best Candid Maternity Photo of 2020Photos by Cheryl - Best Candid Maternity Photo of 2020 The Top 3 Children & Newborn Pictures

I say top three, but really I love working with kids of all ages so choosing favourites for this part was extra tough! In no particular order:

Photo #1: This little boy, like most kids, was born in the midst of a Covid year. This means way less contact with the baby and more directing towards the parents. Little Joshua is all cozy with his new stuffy.

Photos by Cheryl - Top 3 Children & Newborn Photos of 2020 #1Photos by Cheryl - Top 3 Children & Newborn Photos of 2020 #1
Photo #2: We had just finished my great-nephew's 1st birthday cake smash and it was now time for some splish & splash. Who doesn’t love someone singing in the tub?

Photos by Cheryl - Top 3 Children & Newborn Photos of 2020 #2Photos by Cheryl - Top 3 Children & Newborn Photos of 2020 #2
Photo #3: There is nothing better than being outside and playing with the dandelions, especially when you're a kid.

Photos by Cheryl - Top 3 Children & Newborn Photos of 2020 #3Photos by Cheryl - Top 3 Children & Newborn Photos of 2020 #3 Social Distancing at a Glance

Here's another child-related photo session that took place where I managed to capture my favourite photo while social distancing. Wide open fields provided the perfect place to do this socially distanced newborn shoot.  

Photos by Cheryl - Best Social Distancing Photo from 2020Photos by Cheryl - Best Social Distancing Photo from 2020 Fall 2020 Highlights

Fall in Port Coquitlam (and all across Vancouver really) was as resplendent as the year before. This time, I had the pleasure of photographing familiar and brand new families with a lot of love to share, so much so that it made for another tough choice of which ones to feature here. These two really stood out the most.

Photo #1: I could not believe that 8 children/siblings could be so awesome during a photoshoot. These guys were a dream to photograph.

Photos by Cheryl - Best Fall 2020 Photos #1Photos by Cheryl - Best Fall 2020 Photos #1
Photo #2: So much love...the photo speaks for itself. And look at those colours!

Photos by Cheryl - Best Fall 2020 Photos #2Photos by Cheryl - Best Fall 2020 Photos #2

Christmas 2020

Capping off this year were the more festive occasions, which I happened to celebrate early this year (and doing so was quite the trend this past November as well!). The top two from this year's holiday themed sessions really nailed the more fun and lighthearted side of the holiday spirit.

Photo #1: Who else has watched “Home Alone”? This kid has for sure…he had the best faces.

Photos by Cheryl - Best Christmas 2020 Photos #1Photos by Cheryl - Best Christmas 2020 Photos #1
Photo #2: “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m just going to enjoy my cookie while you get your photo taken."

Photos by Cheryl - Best Christmas 2020 Photos #2Photos by Cheryl - Best Christmas 2020 Photos #2 Some Hopes for 2021

At this point my main hope is to continue creating more ways to best serve families, couples, kids, pets, and pretty much everyone who wants to make some new magical moments in 2021. As a result, plans are already in the works to redo my home's backyard. The goal is to have a beautiful shed that will double as a spectacular backdrop for family photos. Another big goal is to be able to have a place for outdoor mini shoots for every season. 

Building will start late winter/early spring. It is going to be so beautiful and offer even more options for my amazing clients.

Let's Make Some New Memories Next Year

I hope you really enjoyed this article. If you really liked what you saw here and you want to get some new memories captured as well, the best way to get started is to contact me. I look forward to meeting you and helping you relive the best moments from this stage of your life, whatever it may be. See you in 2021.

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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) 2020 family photos 2020 newborn photography 2020 newborn photos 2020 photo gallery 2020 wedding photography 2020 wedding photos family photography family photos favourite 2020 photos favourite photos from 2020 photos from 2020 professional photographer professional photography Tue, 08 Dec 2020 22:00:00 GMT
Positive Things 2020 Has Brought in Terms of Professional Photography Positive Things 2020 Has Brought in Terms of Professional Photography | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Positive Things 2020 Has Brought in Terms of Professional Photography

Another year is almost gone...and wow, 2020 was quite something. I don't even think I need to tell you what happened; we all know exactly why we're in the position we're in today, and the world is still reeling from everything that's occurred and is still occurring. 

It sounds hard to believe, but there was a silver lining to this least, to some, myself included. Yes, this year was an exceptional challenge, and yes, I won't sugarcoat it: it was incredibly stressful, uncertain, and dare I say it, even scary. But for all of the awfulness that took place, regarding the professional photography I have been a part of this year, there has been so much good to celebrate regardless of this past year's circumstances.

I'd like to take some time to share those good things with you. If you had a bad year, I'm so sorry...maybe these moments will add a nice ray of sunlight to your day, even if it seems small compared to the darkness your year was full of. Here are some of the most positive things 2020 brought in regards to professional photography.

New and creative ideas for photographs (porch sessions)

I can safely say that people in general have a knack for adapting when it comes to dealing with challenges. I myself have had to come up with some unique ways to capture the essence of people's resilience and flexibility when it comes to life's curve balls thrown our way. One of the most successful examples was the Family Porch Sessions that took place in the spring of 2020. Social distancing took place with each family photo session and it allowed parents and kids to really appreciate living in the moment. You can see that sense of appreciation in the gallery of photos I share on my website.

Porch sessions are not the only creative endeavour from this past year. Regardless of the newest guidelines being introduced in our country, life found a way to continue ever onward in the form of new babies being born and wedding vows brought into the open. Because of this, each new session was approached with the family's safety and health in mind, while leaving plenty of room for the following positive from this year:

Extra candid moments caught on camera

Do you know how many smiles are made unconsciously? I've caught sight of some of these while you're gazing at your spouse or your kids. Spontaneous bursts of laughter and joy were also captured on camera this year. 

One reason I love my job so much is that by being your professional photographer, it removes some of the burden on yourself to try and catch those special moments between you and your family members alone. As a result, there have been some especially candid moments I managed to capture, and so far my clients have been very happy with the results. I can't wait to do the same next year.

More intimate and personal sessions

As much as I love to photograph large groups of people, 2020 really said "No thanks" to that idea. The silver lining to that at least is that families can still get together (provided they all coexist in the same household). And what this new lack of get-togethers has created as a result are much more intimate and personal moments shared with the families I've photographed this year. 

All sessions done have consisted of me keeping my distance and taking pictures from afar; meanwhile the families have been doing their thing and we're all staying safe all the while. The lack of people has actually enhanced their sessions as well; no having to struggle to find a great picnic spot outside, no photobombs (people doing weird or funny things off in the background while you're having a nice moment with your grandfather, for example), and definitely no funny business.

Celebrating events regardless of the bad times

2020 was a big year for me personally because it marked the 20th anniversary of Photos by Cheryl. That's right, I've been in the photography business for 20 years now (look at all of the 20s going around!). And I have no plans of stopping here.

Business anniversaries are not the only event that took place. Regardless of how many sad and unfortunate news was shoved into our faces (we have social media to 'thank' for that), some families have found ways to keep celebrating special occasions without putting everyone else's health at risk. A few couples I've had the pleasure of photographing made their wedding happen despite being unable to travel to their dream destination for it. 

Whether it was the grand opening of a personally owned company or a pregnancy being announced, some life events went on regardless and they were all worth taking the time to celebrate...they had to be done so in a different way. Speaking of such, that brings me to the last positive that comes to mind.

Creating a whole new normal that’s actually for the best

Yes, I mean it. You know, there's a saying I've heard many times before: "Normal is a setting on the washing machine". It really is. There is no 'normal' to readjust our lives to; rather, we're introducing ourselves to new traditions and ways of getting creative. Even with the hardships and uncertainties we are continually faced with, one thing I'm certain about is we're all coming out stronger on the other side for it. This year has led to some incredible collaborations with local businesses in the Port Coquitlam area...I'd love to keep that sense of support and community going.

Let's make some new positive things happen for 2021 together. Contact me if you'd like to get started right away in creating new memories for you and your loved ones!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) 2020 photo gallery 2020 photo session 2020 photography 2020 photos good things that happened in 2020 photo session photo session 2020 positive things from 2020 positive things that happened in 2020 professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography professional photography port coquitlam Mon, 07 Dec 2020 20:58:33 GMT
Why Photo Sessions Make the Best Gifts Ever Why Photo Sessions Make the Best Gifts Ever | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why Photo Sessions Make the Best Gifts Ever
Whether you're looking for the best birthday present this year or in need of ideas for the holiday season, shopping around can be both time-consuming and exhausting. Even with online shopping, you have to deal with shipping costs and the scary possibility that your package arrives way too late to the party or, even worse, gets lost.
If you're tired of dealing with these inconveniences and simply want to do something different in terms of gift giving, perhaps a photo session may be your best choice. Here are some excellent reasons that photo sessions can actually make the best gifts ever.

#1: Experience

I'm a firm believer in that experience during any photoshoot is the key to success. Even if you're uncertain about how it will turn out, I make it a point to ensure everyone is comfortable and completely at ease during their photoshoot—even if the group in question has a daunting large number!
If you're not comfortable with having your photo taken, no matter how you pose or dress for it, it'll always show. That's why when it comes to planning a photo session, I sit down with every one of my clients and get to know them better before the session takes place. Maybe it's not the best surprise gift, but at least you'll know how to get ready beforehand and then be able to fully relax while your photos are being taken.

#2: Better for Making Memories

If you're usually the one grabbing your phone to take pictures of your little ones, you already know how hard it is to feel included in such precious moments. You want to feel as if your kids are growing up with you, but how can that happen when you're always the one behind the camera? 
Photo sessions can make for a wonderful means of forming memories that can not only leave you feeling warm and fuzzy when you recollect them, but also make such moments in your mind more concrete. Some people have a worse memory than others, so it really matters to show them these kinds of priceless times you shared together. Best of all, you'll be hiring a professional photographer to take your photos for you—no need to frantically search your pockets and purse for your phone. Instead, you can participate in the creation of such warm memories.

#3: For the People Who Have Everything

Do you have family members or friends who seem to have everything they could possibly want? There's no longer any fun or worth in giving them things anymoreand who wants to waste time shopping for them anyway?
One thing I can guarantee these people will never have enough of is time spent with you. If you've been meaning to reconnect with your loved ones, this kind of a gift is the perfect opportunity. Best of all, if you're ever stumped on gift ideas again, you can give them another session! I'm always changing up the styles of my studio and introducing cool and creative new ideas of mine to make a photoshoot even more unforgettable. Photo sessions really are the gift idea that keeps on giving.
If you're stumped on gift ideas, or want to do something different and new and fun for your next special occasion, you can't go wrong with giving a photo session. Give me a call if you'd like to get started.
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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) gift ideas photo session gifts photo session port coquitlam photo sessions professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography professional photography port coquitlam why photo sessions make the best gifts why to give a photo session as a gift Tue, 03 Nov 2020 08:45:00 GMT
Why Black and White Photos are Still a Great Idea Why Black and White Photos are Still a Great Idea | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why Black and White Photos are Still a Great Idea When was the last time you looked at older photographs? If you look closely, can you see certain aspects that leap out at you? (Other than the obvious lack of colour of course!). 

Photography was such a novel and new creation when our grandparents and their parents were young. Back then, colour photographs were unheard of. That's why all of the footage we have of past generations are either sepia tone or in black and white.

Black and white photos even to this day have power and a remarkable impact in the world. Even though everything is in colour now, there's still some reasons us professional photographers (yes, myself included) still rely on black and white photos. Here's why these pictures are still a great idea, whether for an upcoming session or you're simply curious to learn more about photography.

Capturing lighting uniquely

Don't you hate it when you try to take a colour photo, only for the lighting to look off? Perhaps you took a selfie at the time the sun was just rising, only for the beams to wash out the rest of your face. Maybe you're not happy with the colour photos you have received and feel like something is missing. Or maybe you're a fan of black and white shades in general.

Whatever your reasoning, black and white photography can capture lighting in a unique fashion. Angles you wouldn't normally conceive in colour photos may end up popping out and making a photograph even more beautiful in black and white. Some moments that appear as everyday occurrences in colour may end up standing out as valuable memories in black and white, such as your first kiss as newly married man and wife, or your baby's first smile. In this way, black and white photographs are able to portray more and greater emotions than colour.

Grayscale photos are easier on the eyes of those who are either completely or partially colourblind as well. By showing them these kinds of photos, they can enjoy the moments being shared without having to struggle to understand the colours of the clothes or areas in each shot.

Great gifts for grandparents

Any kind of photo gift can be a pleasant surprise for everyone involved. And like I said, our parents and their parents didn't grow up with colour photography like we did (and still do). Imagine their delight when they see you present to them a gift in black and white photography like they used to see back then. These style photos are both nostalgic and timeless; I'm positive grandma and grandpa will love them. 

Vintage photography is still popular

I've seen some people, parents and families alike, who have genuinely enjoyed being a part of a vintage styled photoshoot. Depending on what kind of a person you are, your personality and clothing styles may reflect vintage themes and styles better than you may realize. Dressing up vintage or having those style props in a session can also make a session unique, particularly if you're tired of dressing in jeans for every photo opportunity. If you cherish the era in which our grandparents lived in (simpler times, before technology really came to life), a vintage photoshoot might also be your cup of tea.

No matter how you look at them, black and white photos are here to stay. If you'd like to get some of these classic photos mixed in with your colour ones during a session, all you have to do is ask. Give me a call today if you'd like to set up a photoshoot that reflects this passion of yours for such priceless and precious moments.

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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) benefits of black and white photography black and white photography black and white photos grayscale photos professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography professional photography port coquitlam pros of black and white photos vintage photography why stick with black and white photos Mon, 02 Nov 2020 08:45:00 GMT
How to Decide on a Theme for Photoshoots How to Decide on a Theme for Photoshoots | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Decide on a Theme for Photoshoots Sometimes the time is just right for a photoshoot! Whether you're trying to give someone an early birthday present or there's a season you can't help but want to celebrate its arrival, photo sessions are a marvelous way to capture priceless moments.

A few of my clients have been stumped when it comes to planning their photoshoots, particularly those who are new to my skills and service as a professional photographer. One good question I get asked every so often is, "Should my photoshoot have a theme?" While it's easy to answer "It's entirely up to you," I understand that to some clients this isn't a very helpful suggestion. To help you out, here are some of my tips on how you can decide on a certain theme for your upcoming photoshoot.

Why Decide on a Theme?

Simply put: photo themes can be a lot of fun! They also aren't nearly as complicated as you think they are. While deciding on locations can be trickier, themes can be a lot simpler once we follow through with the number one tip, and that is:

Let Me Get to Know You as a Client

By understanding you better, I'll get a good feel and look at you and your loved ones' personalities, which usually helps me plan the session and theme more thoroughly. It also will help you and me pinpoint a location for the shoot (see why I made this my number one tip?). Planning with someone else can help you nail a theme for your photoshoot, plus it's always good to bounce ideas off of someone else if you have them (as opposed to, say, a wall).

Quick Tips

For anyone who is genuinely stumped on a theme, I do have a few quick tips to share:

  • Relax! Not everyone can think of a theme right off the bat. That's why I'm here as your professional photographer to help, especially if planning for this sort of thing stresses you out.
  • Think about your favourites. What is your favourite season? Your favourite holiday? Your favourite activity? Your favourite memories with your family and friends? It's super easy to center a theme based on this alone.
  • Make a list of ideas, and then remove the ones you know you don't like. For some people they may find this to be an easier way to decide as opposed to thinking about all depends on what kind of a person you are.
  • Special events are another easy reason to have a photoshoot and a theme. Maybe you're on your way to open a new business, or maybe you've gotten engaged, or maybe you simply want to celebrate your birthday. Whatever the occasion may be, that can be the theme. Simple as that.
  • Allow your creativity to flow. All you have to do to achieve this tip is to open your mind and heart to possibilities as you envision the theme.
  • Make room for magical moments to happen. Sometimes the best instances I've captured on film during sessions occurred as a spur of the moment event that was unplanned but welcome. There have been sunsets and sunrises that were picture-perfect, and windy days where the breeze blew just right. Smiles have burst on people's faces (even the ones who hate being photographed), and some props you pick can add a spark of fun. This can help shift a basic theme for a photoshoot into a session you'll never forget.
  • Browse through galleries for ideas. Why not start with my website?

Hopefully these tips help. If you're at all confident about choosing me as your photographer or you'd like to get started on a session and need more help, contact me today. I look forward to meeting you!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) how to decide on a photoshoot theme how to pick a theme for a photoshoot photo session theme ideas photoshoot theme photoshoot theme ideas professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography professional photography port coquitlam theme for photo session theme for photoshoots Wed, 07 Oct 2020 17:54:53 GMT
Why Plan for Christmas Family Photos in October? Why Plan for Christmas Family Photos in October? | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why Plan for Christmas Family Photos in October?

You may have seen this before: Christmas promotions in October. October! Right before Halloween!

Did you know there are actually a few reasons for this? While Halloween is a fun holiday and fall is a splendid time of the year for most of us, there are families and people in Vancouver BC who do plan all the way into the future when it's autumn. It's actually not as unusual as it may seem.

Here are some reasons why it may actually be worthwhile to plan for your family's Christmas photos this month.

Planning ahead makes the most fiscal sense

Have you ever noticed the price tags around the holiday season? I'm sure your eyes may have widened at the sight of the prices right before Christmas seems a little expensive, doesn't it? And then, to top that off, those prices go way down after the holiday season is over.

The prices right now for that particular time of the year are far less expensive. When you compare prices now to what you would pay for things such as photo sessions and gifts at the end of the year, planning ahead really does make a lot more fiscal sense. There's a reason why planning ahead is fine too: many discounts and special offers are more available this time of the year for that holiday than they are right before Christmas happens!

You may not have time to plan later

One big downside of Christmas is that there's so much to do in so little time; there's the house and tree to decorate, presents to wrap, Christmas cards to mail out, turkey to roast...the list goes on and on. Some families can't help but wait until the last minute to get festive things done, but this is a bad idea. It usually results in everything feeling rushed and mom feeling extra stressed out. 

This is why you often see us photographers promoting our Christmas photo ops now as opposed to later. I know too well how it feels to be rushed and want something nice to do with my family, only to find out it's too late—that window of opportunity has closed. That's why I love planning photography sessions. I enjoy the challenge of making sure everyone is ready to share some holiday cheer and that every festive detail is enjoyed from start to finish. If you're feeling overwhelmed and already disorganized about the holidays, let me help you with that tough task—trust me, your stress levels will go down for it!

You'll make room for more time for festivities later

It goes without saying that the biggest benefit of planning for this sort of activity is to earn back something precious: time. Time really isn't something we feel we have a lot of when we're rushed and stressing out about how the holidays will go down. By planning for family Christmas photo sessions now in October as opposed to later on, you'll be making more room to spend time on other tasks you wouldn't be able to have time for if you didn't plan.

Some people love Christmas!

I've met some families who really can't wait till Christmas to celebrate the peace, love, and joy that the holiday really and truly is all about. Christmas isn't just a holiday, a single day of the year; it's a season, one where you should celebrate good will and love for all. Some families really cherish this thought and hold that love in their hearts year-round, not just for the holidays or certain seasons. If you love the holiday that much, then I'm here to support your love and celebrate it on film, no matter what time of the year it may be. Let's spread some of that cheer and love in your heart together.

When you really sit down and think about it, there's a lot of benefit to planning for family Christmas photos in October. I've got some of my own cheer to spread with this year's live and interactive set-up for the holiday season; why not join in the fun? Contact me to learn more about this unique and festive opportunity, or if you want some help getting Christmas photos with the whole family.

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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) Christmas family photos family photographer family photography planning tips for photo sessions professional photographer professional photography reasons to plan for Christmas photos in fall why to plan for Christmas family photos in October why to plan for Christmas photos in autumn Tue, 06 Oct 2020 20:57:44 GMT
How to Get Great Photos Taken During a Fall Photoshoot How to Get Great Photos Taken During a Fall Photoshoot | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Get Great Photos Taken During a Fall Photoshoot Have you decided to book a photoshoot for autumn? Whether it's for family photos, an elopement, or a new event of any kind, the photos taken during this season always end up looking fantastic. That being said, there's nothing wrong with trying something new or different. 

I love getting creative with my clients, so I thought I'd take some time to suggest to you a few cool options for your session. Here are a few tips on how to get great photos taken during your fall photoshoot.

1. Spice Up the Location Ideas

Pumpkin patches are a classic fall photoshoot idea for a reason. Not only are they resplendent in fall colours, but also you can grab a pumpkin for yourself when the photo session is over. That being said, there are so many other cool fall location ideas you can use instead. Apple orchards, barns, hay stacks, and sunflower fields can hit that sweet autumn note you're looking for in your photos.

2. Include your favourite fall colours

Fall is a season full of rich colours everywhere. Brown, beige, cream, and black are wonderful neutrals to offset more eye-popping colours such as blue, orange, red, dark purple, and dark green. Not only can these apply to your wardrobe, but also to photo locations as well. Bright coloured shirts amidst a browning field of wheat can create a beautifully stark contrast between the subject and the background. You don't have to go overboard dressing up for the fall photoshoot; sometimes a simple wardrobe choice can have a huge and positive impact on the photo results.

3. Use more than just pumpkin and autumn leaf activities

While playing around with fall leaves or pumpkins are go-to fall favourites for families, it's good to get memories of other fall-themed activities as well. Dressing up for Halloween or playing in the rain are a couple of examples. Thanksgiving for us Canadians takes place in October, so maybe there are a few traditions you'd like to get captured on camera (even if that looks like a smaller get-together this year). Don't forget to capture that after-school joy your kids may be feeling, or maybe they're involved in a sport the whole family can enjoy and cheer for?

4. Let nature be the backdrop

Sometimes you need to let the beauty of nature speak for itself. That's easily done this time of the year. Port Coquitlam and everywhere else in the Vancouver BC area has a ton of trees and autumn colours to offer for natural backdrops. Let me capture moments with nature in both the foreground and background, while you stay present with your loved ones while on a rainy trek through the woods (because yes, rain is a part of fall too). 

The cooler weather and clouds can add some natural lighting effects to this breathtaking time of the year as well. Other great natural elements to incorporate can include tree branches, raindrops, and even the wind itself (depending on conditions). 

5. Have fun!

Some of the best fall photos I've had the pleasure of photographing are when everyone involved is having a blast. Being present and enjoying the company of your loved ones and having fun all the while during the fall photoshoot is really the best tip I can give to anyone. If you're feeling especially nervous or typically hate being photographed, this tip is especially worth noting. Forget about the fact you're being photographed for a moment, take a look at what your kids are doing or what's happening in the here and the now in this season, and let your worries go. You're bound to see some beautiful and wonderful photos as a result.

Whether you've already booked a fall photoshoot or you'd like to, I'd love to provide you with some great photos. Give me a call and let's come up with a plan together. 

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) coquitlam" fall photo ideas fall photo session fall photos fall photoshoot family fall photos family photography family photos great fall photo ideas great fall photos how to get great fall photos how to get great photos at a fall photoshoot photographer photographer port coquitlam port professional professional photographer Mon, 14 Sep 2020 17:38:00 GMT
Why to Get School Photos Taken with the Whole Family Why to Get School Photos Taken with the Whole Family | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why to Get School Photos Taken with the Whole Family School is definitely looking different for students and their families this year. Homeschooling and online learning programs are being planned and put into place. Meanwhile, some traditions such as the first day of school are being postponed, and other plans for this time of the year are all uncertain.

Just because there may possibly not be first day of school photos this time around, it doesn't mean you should go without them if you don't want to. Why not consider incorporating the back to school moments in a photo session with the whole family instead? Here are some reasons to have this unique kind of a photoshoot take place (plus I'll leave you with a few bonus ideas for sessions!).

Reason 1: Your Kids Want to

School for some kids and teens is a wonderful experience when they can bond with friends in class and maybe even bond with their teachers. They may be feeling disappointed to not have photos taken of their big first day at high school or college this year. School is a pretty big deal for some kids, and I'm certain it's a big deal for you as a parent too. Combining a back to school theme with your family photos this season can provide you and the 'students' with the photo memories you're looking for.

It's worth mentioning that not only will your kids get back to school photos with the whole family, but also individual photos. So this kind of a photo session would be a win-win situation for them!

Reason 2: It Gives You and Your Family Something to Do

Planning for these kinds of family photo sessions can result in some creative opportunities. Not every kid will want to feel up to posing in their school clothes, nor will every kid want to simply stand or sit while their school photos are being taken. I've found that some of the best photos of kids that my clients end up loving are when they are relaxed and engaging with their parents or something else, forgetting for the time being that they're being photographed at all, and simply living in the moment at the time the picture has been captured. 

If you've been feeling especially cooped up or stressed out, getting outside and being present with your kids and family is also a great reason to get a photography session done. As a professional photographer I understand how crazy life can get, and that's why I always take time with my clients to organize their day and reassure them to let me worry about the details, and let you focus on being with your kids.

Reason 3: Last Time Didn't Turn Out So Well

Cancellations or missing the deadline on getting school photos taken aren't the only reasons some families don't have them. Something could have gone wrong during the last time this kind of a photoshoot took place, or maybe the photos didn't turn out the way you or your kids really wanted them to. Maybe your kids were having a bad day during picture day, and that shows in previous photos.

Whatever the reason may have been, maybe this year you'd like to get the school photos you really want. For some kids, that may mean getting the whole family involved or they'd like to get more natural individual photos of them in their element. Why not make this year the chance to right the wrongs that made your session in the previous year end up with less than desirable photos?

Now that we have a few reasons, I'd like to share with you some bonus tips on how to get really good photos for this kind of a session.

Tip 1: Get the Kids Involved

Some of my clients have been the kids themselves, and I've had to step up to the challenge of fulfilling their wants and needs when it comes to professional photography results. By involving the kids (or in this case, the new students), you're really driving home the fact that despite everything that's happening here and now, you're all still here and you're all still eager to learn, grow, and change together.

Tip 2: Add Edutainment, Not Just Education, to Photos

Entertainment + Education = edutainment. It's a mix of both learning and fun, engaging your kids and nurturing their interests all the while. Going back to the first tip about getting your kids involved, how cool and fun would it be to let them take the driver's seat and decide what they want to learn about today? Maybe they're learning things at home that you can all engage in, not just online.

Cooking is one example; who doesn't love food? You can show kids how to make their own healthy snacks or how to make a healthy, filling lunch, and they can taste the results when the lesson is over. Get photo results in the meantime both during and after the lesson (or you ask for help!).

Whatever your kids are passionate to learn about, I'm sure there's a way to incorporate it into your photo session. Again, the best way to make this kind of magic happen is to plan it with a professional photographer.

Tip 3: Get Creative

Just because you may either be homeschooling or attending virtual classes this year doesn't mean your photos have to be boring! Think of this as a way to teach your children about more than their usual subjects. Outdoors there are tons of opportunities to learn about such as nature and the ocean. 

One fun idea (if they want to) is to invite your kid's favourite teacher into the photo session via Zoom, and gather around the computer to reveal your new style of learning. Another idea is to use school supplies as props, or have a photo taken of your homeschooling outline with your 'students' (your kids, of course) and their favourite learning tools. They could read books, they could use drawing easels, they could be using their own chemistry lab, or even wearing aprons while in the kitchen as you teach them how to cook. 

If you'd like to get outdoor family photos for schooling, there's no shortage of ideas for sessions either. A scavenger hunt with natural items and getting your kids to learn about what's outside and in the sea can make for a fun activity the whole family can participate in.

Need a Family Photographer?

Some of these school photo meets family photo ideas are really best captured by a professional photographer. That way, mom and dad can join in with their kids' learning experiences without having to worry about grabbing their phone and getting that perfect shot, only to realize it came out fuzzy or pixelated. There are some moments that are worth capturing when it comes to back to school, so if this merge sounds like a great idea for your family this year, give me a call. Let's plan a session together that can give you the best of both worlds.

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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) back to school photo ideas back to school photo sessions back to school photography back to school photos family family photo sessions family photography family photos ideas" photo port coquitlam photographer professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography why to get school photos with the family Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:38:00 GMT
5 Creative Places To Do a Summer Photoshoot 5 Creative Places To Do a Summer Photoshoot | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 5 Creative Places To Do a Summer Photoshoot
The sun is shining, the breeze is hot, the A/C is's summer, all right. This is a prime time of the year when families get together after months of not being able to see one another. Who knows what the rest of the year will bring?
Have you ever wondered if there were other places to get summer photos of your family taken, other than the obvious park or beach? While these two options are always a popular choice for many reasons, it never hurts to think outside of the box every now and then. I've been taking some unique pictures lately, and I'd love to share my ideas with you. So with that in mind, here are five creative summer photoshoot location ideas for your consideration.

1. Farm and/or barn

There's something about farms and barns in the summertime when the colours pop and the imagination runs wild. Can you already smell the hay and wildflowers growing in the fields mixed with that summer heat? Can you picture in your head the farm animals out and enjoying the sunshine? Maybe there's a horse letting you ride its back?
Rural photography has its place in the world. There's something nostalgic about these places. Some of my clients have spent their adult lives in the city but started their childhoods on the farm. Some have even learned to ride horseback. Whatever your reason may be for choosing this summer photoshoot location, I can guarantee you we can get some creative and memorable shots.

2. Berry picking

Our beautiful beaches are not the only thing our province is well known for. Summer in BC is a berry lover's paradise, resplendent with fields of every kind you can think of. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, name it, it's probably growing here.
Why not pick up a bucket or two and take your kids out into the fields for your next photoshoot? Not only will you get some colourful pics taken, but also at the end of your session are some sweet, natural treats the whole family can enjoy.

3. During camping

At the lake, by the sea, by the river...much like the beach, BC's Lower Mainland is filled to the brim with many a camping trip hotspot. It's always a good idea to break away from the busyness of the city and get back in touch with nature. That's why camping has always been such a popular summer activity here!
Bring your family's favourite activities into your summer photoshoot. Maybe it's toasting marshmallows over a fire for s'mores. Maybe it's blowing bubbles when there's a breeze. Maybe it's getting your toes wet while dangling your feet over a dock. Whatever you enjoy doing while camping or however you relax on your trip, getting photos taken by a professional photographer will remind you of the things most precious to you: those moments you've spent with your loved ones.

4. A winery

Berries are not the only crop worth noting in BC's summertime. Some varieties of grapes and apples ripen in late August and early September and are turned into wine and cider. There are plenty of wineries in BC that also use the berry harvests to their advantage and create some unique flavours.
The exteriors of these wineries can make for some excellent summer photos. Even if access to the inside of wineries is limited (tasting rooms have reopened with protocols in place), there's no harm in exploring these places.

5. At a river

While lakes and beaches are fine and best known for their calmer waters, rivers are often overlooked as photo options. However, I see rivers as a great opportunity, as much as a sunset or any landscape where it's cloudy but bright. Like the other bodies of water, a river can cool the summer air down and make you more comfortable when moving around in the heat.
There's something about water in motion that really speaks to me as a photographer as well; it's much like life, on the move and always changing, but with a flow that one can't help but go along with. Maybe you feel that way too around rivers and want to capture that kind of reflection on camera?
All of these great photo location ideas can be found near Port Coquitlam and in the surrounding areas of Vancouver BC. If you're looking for a professional photographer to capture your summer memories and you love these ideas, there's still some time yet before the season is over. Give me a call and let's make a plan for your summer photoshoot...and then make that magic happen.
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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) creative summer photos creative summer photoshoot creative summer photoshoot locations photographer port coquitlam photoshoot location ideas photoshoot locations photoshoot locations vancouver professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography summer photoshoot summer photoshoot location ideas summer photoshoot locations summer photoshoot session where to go for a summer photoshoot session Tue, 04 Aug 2020 17:38:00 GMT
Why It's More than Okay to Have Real Photos from a Session Why It's More than Okay to Have Real Photos from a Session | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why It's More than Okay to Have Real Photos from a Session Sometimes, reality bites—life can not only be wonderful, it can also be tough for even the best of us. We all have bad days; for every gorgeous afternoon today, the rain may fall tomorrow; meanwhile every kid is in tune with their emotions, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. Sometimes those emotions can be seen and captured on camera during a family photo session—even those ugly ones you're trying to hide. Maybe you even feel a little disappointment to see these more 'oops' moments take place?

I get it. I'm a mom too. And as a professional photographer who's taken photos for families over the past 20 years, I've seen my fair share of 'whoopsies' moments. I'm here to tell you today why it is more than okay to have 'real' photos from your session—in fact, I recommend it.

Real life babies aren't always feeling it

Like I said, children are so in touch with their emotions. Every child reacts differently when it comes to more pleasant things such as Santa, or when their lifestyle has been 'disturbed' by their parents getting the photos taken. Some kids and babies are super photogenic; others are probably not feeling up to the task. Several more are exhausted after a session has taken place for hours on end (especially at weddings or another formal occasion).

Even if your little one isn't feeling up to smiling on camera, or they've had more than their fill of trying to pose picture-perfect and they can't take it anymore, it's always okay to have these 'real' photos and keep in mind how your kids are feeling the next time you want family photos taken. Some moms I've had the pleasure of helping photograph their little ones have praised me for capturing those moments where crying and 'whoopsies' moments have happened!

An authentic style captured forever...your style

Life isn't always a fancy event. Wedding days come and go, as do all sorts of anniversaries. While things like weddings and elopements are also worth capturing in photo form, there's always the rest of your married life afterwards that are worth capturing too. Some sessions have really nailed the casualness of one's life and the strength to carry on even during a year like 2020. One great example from the past year is of this family:

Photos by Cheryl - Why It's More than Okay to Have Real Photos from a Session - example of casual dress for sessionsPhotos by Cheryl - Why It's More than Okay to Have Real Photos from a Session - example of casual dress for sessions

Mom with the laundry, the kids with their games and activities, and dad helping out...all while dressed in their own unique styles. This kind of authenticity is not one you can easily duplicate. There's no shame in dressing this casually for your next session; it goes to show that being present in the moment with your loved ones can make for some excellent real photo results.

Life is messy...even that can be beautiful

Kids can be messy, and there's really nothing we can do but go with the flow in that regard. There are always going to be food crumbs scattered over your child's mouth, sandy feet after a dip at the lake or beach, and lots of icing to clean up after a cake smash. That's just how life is. It's messy…and sometimes, even that can make for beautiful photography. 

Real people in real photos

Some of the best photos I've taken in my career have revealed a beautiful resilience in people. There are moms and dads and families who have stuck together through thick and thin, no matter what curveballs life has thrown at them. There are babies and children and teens who can't wait to see what life has in store for them. Some reactions the kids have had have made for some hilarious and real photos too!

These people have real lives full of joy and stress and laughter and tears. This sense of reality and helping others become fully present in the moment is why I love taking lifestyle photos and being a photographer in the first place. Nothing gives me greater joy than to celebrate these real people, in real photos.

If you love the idea of real photography as much as I do, then why not see what's in store? Call me to set up a photo session, whether you're brand new to my professional photography services or not. I'd be honoured to help you capture real moments in your photographs if that's what you're looking for.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photographer family photographer port coquitlam family photography lifestyle photographer lifestyle photographer port coquitlam lifestyle photography photographer port coquitlam professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography real moments photographer real moments photography real photographer real photography why it's okay to get real photos in a session why it's okay to have real moments in photos why real moments in photos matter Sun, 02 Aug 2020 17:38:00 GMT
Best Family Beach Photo Ideas Best Family Beach Photo Ideas | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Best Family Beach Photo Ideas It’s summer by the time this article is written, and I’m positive you and your family have been aching to get outside for some fresh air! There’s nothing quite like the smell of sea salt by the beach while enjoying your family’s company...and taking in a much-needed break from work, or social media, or anything else that's been causing you stress.

The beach as a whole is a wonderful place to destress and be present with your family. Why not get the most out of your beach day with a photo session? Here are some of the best family beach photo ideas you can try for yourself.

Add some flowers to the mix

Flowers can make any summery photo pop with colour. Sunflowers are a popular choice for this time of the year, as are most wildflowers that grow in BC's Lower Mainland. Even fake flowers can be considered if you or your family have allergies and want to play things safe.

Ice cream, anyone?

Who doesn't love a good ice cream cone in the summertime? Even if the parlour isn't open by the time you're getting a family photo taken, you can always consider grabbing a popsicle or other cold sweet treat and bringing them in a cooler to the beach. Maybe your little one will have their very first taste of ice cream and you want to get that moment taken on film? Hiring someone to help for any and all of these sweet suggestions can make things a little easier while you get messy and sticky (melting ice cream tends to do that!).

Do you want to build a sandcastle?

If the tide is out enough and you've got the toys for it, there's always time for fun in the sun and sand! Spend some time scouring the shoreline for shells, pebbles, and other fun oceanic goodies to decorate your family's sandcastle(s). Be present in the moment with your kids while doing this, and let a professional grab these candid moments for you from a distance.

Special occasion? Special session!

Several large summer events may have been cancelled or postponed this year, but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate certain special occasions—rather it'll be different from what you're used to. Sometimes, different can actually become a good thing! It can lead to some unique pictures taken as well as new and special moments shared between family members whether you're celebrating a birthday at the beach or having a small family reunion there.

Extended family options

With certain limitations being lifted and the curve flattening more and more in BC, it's finally safe to say that you can see extended family for a little while yet. Why not celebrate your legacy with some time spent at the beach? I've had the pleasure of meeting several generations within the same family who were all together in a few meaningful moments. It's really magical when this kind of gathering can take place, especially if you're only able to see extended family after so long of not being able to.

Hire a photographer who loves the beach too

I’m very grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world. Both Port Coquitlam and the entirety of Vancouver BC have a massive amount of beaches for all kinds of family fun to take place! Some of my favourite spots for family beach photo sessions include Whytecliffe Park, Old Orchard Park, Belcarra Park, Barnet Marine Park, Ambleside Beach, and Jericho Beach to name a few. Perhaps these locations fit your criteria for beach family photos?

I can take the photos for you and practice social distancing (if need be) all the while. If these beach ideas sound great to you and you’re eager to get started, go ahead and call me. Maybe your creativity is flowing as a result of reading this; I’d love to hear your thoughts while planning a family photo session with you!

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]]> (Photos by Cheryl) beach ideas for family photo session beach ideas for family photos best family beach photo ideas best family photo ideas family beach photo ideas family beach photos family photo session outdoor ideas for family photo sessions professional photographer professional photography where to get beach family photos taken Mon, 06 Jul 2020 18:26:10 GMT
Tips on Social Distancing Summer Family Photos Tips on Social Distancing Summer Family Photos | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Tips on Social Distancing Summer Family Photos

Summer is finally in full swing, and so many people I know couldn’t be happier. Many families are finally coming outside and enjoying the sunshine (albeit safely).

That being said, I’m afraid to say it but social distancing is going to have to keep happening this summer. That doesn't mean your next summer outing or family get together has to be boring though! If you know none of you aren’t going to get sick or you’ve already quarantined for 14 days after being sick, it’s fine to come and safely celebrate your family’s next event no matter what they may be.

If this is a big year for you and your family already, social distancing aside, it’s a good time to hire a professional photographer who understands the need to continue staying safe and practices social distancing even after lockdown has long since been lifted. So, to honour the occasion, here are some tips for socially distanced summer family photos this year.

Do postpone if you’re sick!

Though restrictions have slightly lifted in the past months, there are still cases and a potential for further complications from COVID-19 if we're not careful. No amount of photographs are worth taking if you or a loved one is in fact sick and in need of medical attention and care. Do take precautions and don't schedule any photo sessions until everything is given a green light. Your health and the health of your loved ones come first and foremost!

There’s nothing wrong with a staycation

If you and your family are stumped on where to get photos taken during a session right now, don't worry about it. Sometimes the comfort of your home is enough (especially this year!)! 

If you're all feeling especially cooped up and insist on going outside, here are some tips:

  • Choose a location that has minimal foot traffic; parks are always a good choice, as are beaches, piers, and other natural areas such as the Coquitlam River.
  • The best time of the day for family photos at the park or a similar outdoor location is either in the early morning or late in the afternoon or evening. This guarantees that there will be less people hanging around and keeping the need for social distancing at the forefront.
  • Dress appropriately for the season. As of this post's release, July is a hot month in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland areas, so wear light and cool clothing for best results.
  • Take care of your skin! Wear sunscreen if the morning or evening is fairly bright still and drink lots of water to stay hydrated. That goes for both you and the kids!

Big family? Let me help

My organizational skills are exceptional when it comes to orchestrating big family photo sessions...I love the challenge, is why! Extended family members are also a specialty of mine when it comes to professional photography. I've had the pleasure of capturing several generations together on camera. If this is the year when you want to honour your family and its legacy, there's no harm in checking out my Family photo galleries (both indoor and outdoor) to see if I'm the best fit for you.

So, looking to have some fun this summer with your family? Do you want to look back on this year and have some positive and warm memories to cherish? Contact me today to book your family photo session. You go ahead and have fun during the session, and I'll capture the photos you needsafely, and from a distance.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photographer family photography large family photographer port coquitlam photographer professional photographer professional photography social distancing family photo sessions social distancing family photos social distancing summer family photo ideas social distancing summer family photo sessions social distancing summer family photos tips for social distancing photos tips on family photos in 2020 Fri, 03 Jul 2020 17:45:00 GMT
Why You Should Hire a Photographer for Group Grad Photos Why You Should Hire a Photographer for Group Grad Photos | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why You Should Hire a Photographer for Group Grad Photos

Congratulations, classes of 2020! If you’re graduating this year, naturally you must be feeling a whole tangle of emotions: excitement, for leaving; trepidation and uncertainty, for what lies ahead in the future; sadness, because not only has this year’s ceremonies been either postponed or cancelled outright, but also you won’t see your friends every single weekday anymore (unless you’re going to the same university or college later). Parents, I’m sure you’re also feeling your own mixed bag of emotions; I felt the same way watching my children graduate too!

However you’re feeling about this momentous event in your life, it’s nice to look back and reflect on them in photographs. Imagine trying to look through your Instagram and failing to find those pictures! That’s why when it comes to certain grad photos, such as groups (albeit while practicing social distancing all the while), it helps to have a professional photographer on standby. Here are a few excellent reasons to hire a photographer for group grad photos.

You’ll look timeless

Photographs of moments like grad are meant to last—they’re not the quick snapshots everyone takes and then posts on to social media. Moments like these are very far and few in between; you only graduate from high school once in a lifetime. Even if those years of your life aren’t the best (not every teen’s life is all peaches and cream), at least once they’re taken you can look back and reflect on how far you’ve come since those days.

With all of that in mind, the thing a professional grad photographer can do that you can’t is capture you in the moment. By hiring a photographer, you won’t be the one taking the photos; someone else will take that responsibility from you and allow you to be present within the present. You’ll also have the chance to dress in a timeless way, rather than dated.

Parents want to be present in the moment

Grad is the moment when parents realize their kids are maturing into real life adults; it’s a happy/sad day for them especially. They’re proud you’ve come this far, and now the real journey of life is well on its way...maybe college/university will be next?

Whatever the case, it’s important for mom and dad that they share this day with you. They’re feeling as emotional as you are...let them show you they care! A photographer can capture everyone in the family in photos, as opposed to asking mom or dad to take them, and then ending up with incomplete family photos. Grad is too special to leave family out of the picture. Having everyone who supported you in your journey in a photograph makes for a much better time for everyone involved.

Creative opportunities

Some of the best photo ops for grads have been taken during candid moments! There have been laugh-out-loud expressions, ice cream trucks, fun at the playground, and more. The grad students I’ve had the pleasure of meeting are so creative, especially when it comes to posing for photo ops. If you’d like to see some great ideas be sure to check out my Grad photo gallery.

A photographer has organizational skills

Grad groups are a little on the tough side to photograph if you’re a parent. Everyone is distracted; not having a plan the day of can also lead to disaster (i.e. having terrible photos or no photos at all!!). As a professional photographer I understand the benefits of being organized and having a plan of action to follow through on. I’ll typically go over this plan with those organizing the photo session beforehand, but I’m not afraid to be spontaneous if there’s a wonderful photo opportunity the day of either. 

Adhering to 2020 social distancing guidelines

Grad is different this year. Like I said, some ceremonies for schools have been cancelled or postponed until later this year due to COVID-19. That being said, if you and your friends know you haven’t been infected, none of you have traveled to hotspot areas, and you’ve all stayed inside and quarantined when needing to, I think it may be safe to say you can come back out...but, we still have to remain cautious, and calm. 

We still don’t know anything about COVID-19, but by practicing social distancing while celebrating this milestone, I can guarantee you that your moments can and will be captured for life without creating risk to you or your loved ones. Besides, life itself never waits. That applies to this year, too.

Perhaps I can help with grad photos?

I’ve had the privilege of taking group grad photos for the following schools. If you’re a teacher or parent in need of a photographer, know that I’ve been able to help with all of these wonderful grads.

  • Terry Fox
  • Burnaby Mountain
  • Gleneagle
  • Centennial
  • Charles Best
  • Langley Fine Arts
  • Riverside
  • Heritage Woods
  • Abby Sr.
  • Westview (Maple Ridge)

Contact me if you have any further questions about my services! I look forward to meeting the classes of 2020!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) grad photographer grad photos group grad photos photographer for grad vancouver photographer in port coquitlam professional grad photographer vancouver bc professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photographer vancouver professional photographer vancouver bc professional photography Mon, 22 Jun 2020 17:20:26 GMT
Why to Get an Elopement Photo Session Why to Get an Elopement Photo Session | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why to Get an Elopement Photo Session 2020 has been a remarkable year for some some cases it’s remarkable in the wrong way, sadly. Thanks to lockdown and quarantine, many couples have been forced to cancel their weddings entirely, or postpone until next year. 

Yet...I’ve seen some resilience taking place amongst some of these couples, specifically in the form of elopements. Some couples I’ve met this year have been so determined to get married and start their life together that they’ve decided to elope instead of throwing a huge wedding, and to be honest it’s a beautiful approach and a great counteract to the negative aspects of this year. 

If you’ve been wondering if an elopement is worth photographing like a wedding, I can tell you right now: it is. It really is. Here’s why.

1. There’s no time like the present

Some couples are so committed to their love for each other that the idea of a big wedding is irrelevant. What really matters is your love and devotion to one another. If you already know you’re going to be together for a long time, then you don’t really need a huge wedding—eloping may be enough. 

Considering all that’s happened this year so far, when it comes to getting married there really is no time like the present. Embracing the now and getting photos as proof may be the best decision you make.

2. You never know what will happen

I don’t think anyone knew how significant of an impact this year would have on everyone; we’re still trying to get by and adapt to current circumstances as everything changes from one day to the next. Some couples know this and are willing to choose now, as opposed to later with a wedding, to elope...because who knows what tomorrow will bring? You really can never tell what will happen next, no matter how much of a fortune teller you try to be.

3. Smaller celebrations can be fun too!

There are some assumptions made about eloping versus having the big wedding. One is that an elopement is neither as fun nor as memorable as a wedding. Another is that couples who elope instead of having a wedding are only incurring bad luck on their futures as husband and wife; they’re rushing things instead of adhering to traditions based on their cultures or upbringing.

All of these assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Some couples can’t afford the wedding (because let’s face it, weddings can be expensive!), but they still really want photographs taken. So, they spend their budget only on the actual ceremony and the photographs. The rest of the celebration can be whatever they choose to do next as newlyweds, and to me that presents a whole slew of creative opportunities for photos! And yes, maybe it’s not the wedding day of everyone’s dreams, but it is what the couple wants, and at the end of the day what they want in how they’re getting married is what matters the most. 

4. No fuss, no muss

One benefit of eloping is that it takes less time to get married compared to all of the build-up that takes place on a wedding day. The reality is that some couples may be so excited and eager to get married that they don’t want to wait! With a professional photographer’s organized touch, your elopement photo session can capture every moment without worrying about the extra fuss and muss that typically comes with planning a wedding. Less people involved also means a more straightforward plan of action during the elopement, both pre- and post-ceremony.

5. Keeping things safe, even after 2020

One thing that’s for certain is that social distancing is going to stick around even after 2020 has turned into 2021. Some husbands and wives get sick very easily compared to their spouses, so they need all of the protection from harm they can get. 

Should you decide I’m the right professional photographer to capture your elopement on camera, I will keep all social distancing guidelines in mind and let my lens do the work from a safe distance. Because at the end of the day, keeping everyone safe, even when 2020 is over, is part of my job.

If you’ve decided to elope this year or next, you like what you’ve seen in terms of wedding photography, and you want me to take your elopement photos, give me a shout and let’s go over your big day together. I’ll be there to help you every step of the way.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) benefits of elopement photos elopement photo session elopement photographer elopement photography elopement photos port coquitlam elopement photographer port coquitlam photographer port coquitlam professional photographer professional elopement photographer professional photographer should I get elopement photos taken why to get an elopement photo session why to get elopement photos taken Wed, 03 Jun 2020 17:30:00 GMT
How to Do a Social Distancing Newborn Session How to Do a Social Distancing Newborn Session | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Do a Social Distancing Newborn Session Life doesn’t wait for milestones—that’s been the entire lesson we can take from the year 2020. With ‘social distancing’ as a part of our vocabulary now, this massive shift in the way we communicate and interact with each other may last even past 2020. 

As a professional photographer, I too have felt the impact of this shift, but in my eyes there was only one response I could make to it: to adapt, to go with the flow, and see where it takes me. Though social distancing has also become a part of the way I take my clients’ photos, it’s actually become a real joy to see so many families embracing the idea of it. In today’s case, I’m talking about newborns.

Like I said, life doesn’t wait for milestones, and despite everything that has happened, some beautiful and wonderful new babies have arrived this year. I want to be able to show this world that your little one is worth celebrating, while keeping social distancing in mind while it lasts. Or, maybe you prefer social distancing because you or family of yours can get sick very easily and you’d rather not take any risks. 

I get it...I really do. When it comes to family, protecting them from harm comes first and foremost. So, if you have a new little one and need photos taken from a distance, here’s how to do a social distancing newborn session with ease.

1. Decide before booking: posed or lifestyle 

There are some big differences between these two types of newborn photography that are worth explaining. In posed newborn photos, the little one needs to be at least 2 weeks old in order to achieve that ‘little bean’ look. This pose usually is best when the newborn is ‘moldable’ (i.e. you can readjust their pose in several cute ways, usually as they sleep or when mom and dad and/or big brother and/or sister are cuddling them). Lifestyle indoor/outdoor newborn photos are exactly as they sound: they’re less posed and more natural, with lots of wiggle room for photo opportunities. And in this case, they are a more acceptable form of photo session.

Another big difference between these two newborn photography styles is the location. Typically most posted newborn photos take place inside of a studio, whereas lifestyle can take place outside or in. When social distancing must take place, it’s very difficult to get the desired poses you may want in posed photos without being hands-on. That’s why I personally prefer lifestyle photos of newborns since it offers a ton more creative possibilities without having to get too close to the baby. 

Of course, the choice is ultimately up to you, the parents.

2. Decide on a venue

Naturally the first choice should be wherever your baby is going to be the most comfortable. However, with more locations slowly re-opening, it’s still worth looking at all of the different options.

  • Your house and/or backyard are perfect for lifestyle photos.
  • Parks can be a good choice, provided that they take place early in the morning or late in the evening when few people are around.
  • On the porch or behind a window is a new option for families who desire a socially distanced session.

If you prefer to discuss other possibilities for a location, I’m more than happy to lend you an ear.

3. Enjoy your little one’s presence at the session (while I’m at a distance)

Even though social distancing needs to take place, remember that these moments are all about your little one. Take this photo session as an opportunity to cuddle them, play with them, or have a picnic and bring out all of their favourite toys. The lens in my camera is long enough that I can stand apart from the fun and get some pictures of your little one having the time of their lives. At the end of the day, you’ll have all built up wonderful memories that you can cherish forever.

With a little planning and organization, everyone can enjoy a social distancing newborn photo session. Regardless of how you feel about social distancing, what matters most is that you celebrate this brand new part of your life. New parents, if you’re in need of newborn photos for your little one and want to adhere to social distancing requirements, please contact me today. In the meantime, you are more than welcome to visit my rates and pricing for newborn photography packages. Or perhaps a monthly plan is more to your liking?

Looking forward to meeting you and your new bundle of joy.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) newborn photo session newborn session photos taken with social distancing in mind port coquitlam newborn photographer port coquitlam photographer port coquitlam photographer who does social distancing port coquitlam professional photographer professional photographer social distancing newborn photo session social distancing newborn session social distancing photo sessions social distancing photography Thu, 14 May 2020 17:11:15 GMT
Why You Should Have a Mother’s Day Photoshoot Why You Should Have a Mother’s Day Photoshoot | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why You Should Have a Mother’s Day Photoshoot Mother’s Day is just around the corner. If you have time, why not consider giving mom the gift of photography this year? There are several good reasons to go ahead with this type of a photo session.

Capture Generations of Moms

Do you come from a big family? Are there four generations still alive? This Mother’s Day, you could celebrate with a photoshoot commemorating the legacy of the generations. Maybe you are starting a new family and have had your first baby! Having a photoshoot together can help you enjoy those precious moments when they are so little.

Capturing Your Mother Moments

Whether it’s a single mother fighting day by day or a loving supportive family, capturing a mother moment with a photo will be a precious gift to her. Maybe the mom you want to celebrate is a grandmother raises their grandchildren, or an aunt. No matter who the “mother” figure is in the child or children’s lives, taking photos for Mother’s Day can be not only a great gift for each of them, but also for generations down the line. After all, you are proudly showing who has raised you, or who you are raising while you’re having “all the feels.” 

Mom takes a lot of photos all year round. How many have her in them? If the answer is not too many, make this mom’s time to shine. Why not gift her a photoshoot to make her feel special?

Photos capture amazing things. When it comes to a mom, professional photography can capture her beauty, her rough edges, her tears, her love, her inner warrior. 

How to Set Up a Mother’s Day Session

Gift Certificates are a great option for a Mother’s Day photoshoot. Let mom choose when her shoot will take place. After all, this occasion is all about her. 

Perhaps you want to make her day extra special? If you go with a monthly payments package you can capture mom (and the family too) all year round! This package makes it a bit easier on the wallet as it breaks it down into monthly payments. 

Give the gift of photography this Mother’s Day and capture Mom’s inner warrior! Contact me if you’d like to set up a session, or if you’re mom and want to use your gift certificate.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) monthly payment packages Mother's Day gift ideas Mother's Day photo gift ideas mother's day photo packages Mother's Day photos Mother's Day photoshoot professional photographer professional photography Fri, 24 Apr 2020 07:15:00 GMT
How to Choose Your Wedding Photography Package How to Choose Your Wedding Photography Package | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Choose Your Wedding Photography Package

Choosing a professional wedding photographer can be a trial in and of itself! There are already so many choices a bride and groom need to make for their wedding day. It’s enough to make your head spin!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed...if you’re the bride and groom who need to make a choice...let me share with you how to best choose your wedding photography package. I will have to ask you the following questions, and then you can go from there.

Question 1: Do you want before & after shots (i.e. a ‘first look’)?

A wedding photographer does more than just the day of shots. Some of my packages include an engagement photo session in addition to wedding day coverage. If you want to announce that happy moment to your family and loved ones, then choosing a package with this option is a must. If, however, you’d rather have coverage for the day of the main event, that’s fine—you’ve narrowed your options down at least.

I personally have had ‘first look’ shots taken when I got married, and have not regretted it since. There are so many intimate moments and beautiful shots that can be taken when you’re not really thinking about it. Some of the best photos I’ve captured involved brides being so present in the moment with the people they love around them. 

If you’re still debating before and after shots, perhaps my blog post can help you make your decision?  

Question 2: Do you want/need the extras?

By extras I am referring to the other details that typically come along with your wedding photos in a package. Each bride and groom have their unique wants and needs when it comes to photography, so be sure to re-evaluate these options before you make your decision.

● Number of hi-res images from the wedding

● Wedding album

● Prints as well as digital copies on a USB

● Engagement photoshoot

● Canvas

● Online gallery

● Guest books

Decide with me if you’re looking to hire me as your wedding photographer whether or not these extras are what you’re looking for.

Question 3: What does your budget look like?

Your budget for photography should be double that of what you intend to spend on other details, such as the dress, the cake, etc. That’s because with all of those extraneous things, anyone can wear a dress, anyone can bake a cake and eat it, too...but each photograph is a unique glimpse into what’s taking place. It doesn’t matter whose wedding it is; no bride and groom are the exact same. That’s why a lot of couples choose a bigger budget when it comes to their wedding photography.

However, not every couple’s budget is exactly the same either. If you’re already struggling to pay for the wedding, then it may be the best choice to go with day-of coverage so that at least you have the photos to show of your big day. If your budget has a lot more cushion room, and you have no intention of getting married again, then budgeting in all of the extras are well worth the money. Like I said, each wedding day is unique and different; your wedding photos should be exactly that, as well.

Question 4, i.e. The Big One:

How do you want to remember your wedding day?

Do you want to view it in bite-sized snapshots? Quick pics? Instagram? 

Do you want to view photos on a phone, where any moment can be removed by accident in the blink of an eye? 

Do you want to remember a day in a way where every moment feels intangible, even false?

Or, would you rather be able to hold each moment in your hand, and reflect on them with a cup of coffee or tea in one hand, and your spouse by your side?

I know which one I’d pick...because I made the choice a long time ago, to do the latter. 

I have no regrets.

Choose your wedding package today and contact me if you have any questions at all. I look forward to meeting you both.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) how to choose a wedding photography package photographer photography professional wedding photographer port coquitlam professional wedding photographer vancouver bc professional wedding photography wedding photo package wedding photographer port coquitlam wedding photographer vancouver bc wedding photography wedding photography package wedding photos Sun, 05 Apr 2020 07:15:00 GMT
7 Ideas of How to Pose with Flowers 7 Ideas of How to Pose with Flowers | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 7 Ideas of How to Pose with Flowers

Deciding to be bold and different with your spring photoshoot? How about flowers? Many think a picture with flowers must consist of the generic, bouquet-holding pose only. Why not dare to be different instead? Try one of these seven ideas for your next session.

1. Cover One Eye with One Flower

Be careful not to poke your eye and cut the stem off. It may seem a bit silly at first, but with some practice in the mirror and the right size of flower, you will end up with some great photos.

2. Flower Buds in Your Hair While You Lay on the Ground

It is impossible to place them yourself so have your photographer or a friend place them for you. Finding the perfect location such as an empty field will help with the contrast. Smaller flowers will work best for this pose. Make sure you pick a colour that will go well with your hair colour. 

3. Place Flowers on Your Shoulders

This is a simple pose with beautiful results. It can highlight a beautiful bouquet or just flowers as well as your outfit for this photo idea. Play around with how you hold the flowers on your shoulders; it will help you find out which side works best, the left or the right, and how best you should stand while holding them. 

4. Bring them Close to the Camera

This idea works best with a bouquet. It’s a great pose for formal occasions such as prom or for a wedding. You can have the flowers be the focus and you blurred in the background, or vice versa. 

5. Take a Sniff

You know the term “stop and smell the roses”? Well, why not make it a pose? You can play around with a single flower or bouquet. This pose works for many types of photos from formal to casual.

6. Place Behind Your Ear

An easy pose is to place a flower behind your ear, with or without the stem. This is a great pose for a beach scene, especially somewhere tropical, but you can play around with it anywhere you like. 

7. Plunking Yourself Down in a Field of Flowers

One of the easiest poses of all! A great option during spring photos, or when the time is drawing near for special events such as grad. Set yourself down and breathe in the smell of fresh flowers in bloom.

The key takeaway from these tips is, have fun while playing around with these ideas and feel free to come up with some of your own! Don’t forget about colour, what flowers are in season, what will enhance your outfit and your surroundings. Also be sure there are no flower allergy reactions; it would be a shame if the shot featured a big sneeze!

Flowers are awesome any time of year, but spring is definitely the most popular. If you’d like to start adding flowers to your poses and get some beautiful photography results, contact me!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) how to add flowers to your spring photos how to pose with flowers how to post with flowers for photos photo posing ideas photo session photo session ideas posing with flowers professional photographer professional photography spring photos spring photoshoot Wed, 11 Mar 2020 21:00:00 GMT
What to Wear for Springtime Photo Sessions What to Wear for Springtime Photo Sessions | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - What to Wear for Springtime Photo Sessions So you’ve booked a springtime photo session! That’s great! Naturally you’re probably wondering what to wear and how you want to appear in your photos, especially if it’s outside. Spring is the best time to take off your winter coat and step outside for fresh air and sunshine.

It’s a beautiful time to go outside. Are you not sure how to dress up for photo sessions during this time of the year? If so, here are my tips.

Tip 1: Don’t Compete with Nature

If there are cherry blossoms in your photo sessions, you don’t really want to compete with the gorgeous backdrops. Try to put on colours of clothes that complement those lush, soft petals. Keep the colours more neutral, as opposed to flashy. These are some good ideas:

● Whites

● Creams

● Light blue

● Denim

● Seafoam green

● Corals

● Peach

● Pinks

● Grey

Photos by Cheryl - what to wear for spring photos example 1Photos by Cheryl - what to wear for spring photos example 1

Tip 2: Light is Right

Spring is all about being light and airy. Think flowy dresses for mom and daughter...a button down shirt for dad and son. Add a light jacket, light scarf, and cute (but comfortable) shoes—remember your feet will be in some of the photos—and a hat. 

Photos by Cheryl - what to wear for spring photos example 2Photos by Cheryl - what to wear for spring photos example 2

Make sure you are comfortable for standing, sitting, twirling, and tossing children in the air. Spring has sprung, and we want to embrace that. 

Tip 3: Dress for Rain (Just in Case)

Some spring days in Vancouver BC are soggy! That’s why it’s a good idea to dress for rain in case the forecast calls for it. Again though, we don’t want to dress too heavy for the weather—going back to the light and airy feeling, all you may need to add are rain boots and an umbrella to keep dry.

If it does rain, don’t let that get you down. Let your kids have some fun and jump into puddles (mom, dad, don’t be afraid to join them!). Maybe a rainbow will make a guest star appearance if the sun comes out?

You’re ready to rock your spring photo session! Please contact me if you’d like to get photos taken of you and your loved ones during this stunning time of the year. It would be my pleasure to help make some new memories along the way!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) how should I dress for my photo session in spring how to dress up for photoshoot in spring photographer port coquitlam professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography spring photo session what to wear springtime photo sessions what should I wear for spring photos what to wear for family photos outside spring what to wear for photo session Tue, 10 Mar 2020 21:00:00 GMT
My Favourite Spots for Cherry Tree Family Photo Sessions in Vancouver My Favourite Spots for Cherry Tree Family Photo Sessions in Vancouver | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - My Favourite Spots for Cherry Tree Family Photo Sessions in Vancouver Cherry trees are my favourite thing to photograph in this season! The colour of a cherry tree’s blossoms are so vibrant when they are at their peak blooming stage, and they make for some amazing photography opportunities!

This year’s cherry blossom season in Vancouver BC is predicted to be between April 6-26. Because it is such a short season, I tend to get bookings very early! It’s better to plan for it now, than it is to wait until later.

We have many varieties of cherry blossoms, but the two most common are the Akebono and Kanzan. Both boast light pink to darker pink blossoms. These make for fantastic backdrops for photos, especially when the sun comes out and shines in just the right way.

This is one of many reasons why I love doing outdoor photo sessions for families and couples this time of the year. If you’ve signed up for a session, here are a few places that I will be considering for cherry tree photos.

1. David Lam Park, Vancouver

If you enjoy the idea of cherry trees with Vancouver’s skyline in the background, this is the best spot to capture such pictures. It’s a very grassy area amidst all of the hustling and bustling of downtown Vancouver. There’s lots of room for the kids to run and play and enjoy the warm spring weather while cherry tree petals bloom brilliantly from behind.

2. Burrard Skytrain Station, Vancouver

What makes this location unique is the fact it’s an underground station. However, when you emerge from said station during this particular season, you’re bound to see some amazing cherry tree sights you can’t help but get a picture of. Pause from the business for a moment and enjoy the natural sights (maybe I can get a good shot of you doing so too!).

3. Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

This is one of the most popular spots for good reason. Did you know it used to be a rock quarry? Since its initial creation it’s been transformed into a floral dream come true. There are flower gardens galore, with cherry blossoms forming amidst the other splendid trees the park has to offer. The park is also a major spot for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which makes for a fun activity for the whole family.

4. Granville Plaza (200 Granville Street), Vancouver

This address consists of several park benches and trees within the financial district. The square itself provides that much-needed breath of fresh air amidst the urban setting. The waterfront is close by for even more photo opportunities during your session.  

5.  Andy Livingstone Park (Expo Boulevard), Vancouver

Not only is this park full of recreational things to do, but also it includes an off-leash park for dogs. Your pooch can join in with photos if you want (let me know beforehand though!). Families can play at the playground and have fun experimenting with different posing ideas while playing.

6. Garry Point Park, Steveston

For those who want some of BC’s beautiful beaches in their cherry tree sessions, Garry Point is a fantastic waterfront location. It’s located on the southwest corner of Richmond, very close to the historic Steveston Village. Its Japanese garden is a must for such opportunities to see the cherry trees at their most glorious.

7. Lafarge Lake, Coquitlam

I take a lot of photographs for my clients in this location for a lot of reasons: 1) it’s very close to my studio and 2) I just love it. There is so much room for opportunity in photography here, in all the seasons of the year. The lake is beautiful 24/7, but when the cherry trees are in full bloom, it’s so perfect that I can’t not take photos.

8. City in the Park (Station Hill Drive), Burnaby

Cherry trees, a fountain, and comfortable seating all contribute to the spectacular photo ops you can expect from the City in the Park. Flowers galore. What’s not to love about it this time of the year?

9. Central Park (near the Pitch n’ Putt), Burnaby

This particular spot near the Pitch n’ Putt mini golf course is host to several gorgeous cherry trees. Feel free to explore the rest of the park during your session as there are tons of things for families to do (other than admire the trees, of course). This is the spring season; embrace the warm weather, and let your heart be as light as the breeze itself.

Would you like to celebrate the cherry blossom season with your family? Want to get photos taken of your day? Contact me if you’d like to see my rates. Monthly packages are a great choice also if you want to get all four seasons in Vancouver BC taken with your family this year!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) cherry tree photos family photo session family photo sessions family photos family photoshoot photographer port coquitlam professional photographer professional photography professional photography port coquitlam spring family photo session spring family photoshoot spring photo session spring photos Vancouver BC cherry trees Vancouver cherry trees Vancouver photo locations where to see cherry trees in Vancouver BC Mon, 09 Mar 2020 20:47:20 GMT
7 Tips to Prepare You for Your Engagement Photoshoot 7 Tips to Prepare You for Your Engagement Photoshoot | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 7 Tips to Prepare You for Your Engagement Photoshoot

Whether you are engaged to be married already, or you think the question may be coming up soon, there are a few things that can make a marriage proposal extra special. Some couples sign up for an engagement photoshoot to celebrate the occasion; it’s a beautiful reminder of when, how, and why you got engaged in the first place. 

Much like the engagement itself, you can make your photoshoot extra special. From what to wear to places to go, here are seven things to keep in mind before your upcoming session. 

1. Definitely Go Professional

This part goes without saying, but it’s so true. A professional photographer will ensure you get the best photos of your engagement while organizing the session and catering to your needs and comfort. The best tip is to book your engagement photoshoot with the same photographer who you wish to do your wedding photos. This will give everyone the opportunity to get comfortable and connect prior to the big day, and that sense of comfortability makes for wonderful photos at your wedding. 

2. Dress for Comfort

Clothing matters in terms of being comfortable. Why? Because if you wear something new you have never worn, if it’s too tight or clingy and uncomfortable, you may spend the session rearranging yourself in this outfit. Such discomfort really shows in photos! 

Pick out an outfit that makes you feel fantastic. If you do decide to go with something new, make sure you do a test run (a date night perhaps), and with plenty of time to wash in case of spills, stains, and other such mishaps. When choosing your outfit, consider also how they will photograph; for example, pieces that flow nicely as you move are best for the ladies, especially if you are doing an outdoor engagement session. 

3. Splurge on the Professional Makeover

This tip is more optional, but it’s a good idea if you don’t feel confident in your own skills. Adding slightly more makeup to an everyday look may ensure you don’t appear washed out. If you are using a wedding day stylist for your hair and makeup, this might be a valuable time to have your consultation with them prior to the photo session.

4. Take the Day Off

By making it a day-long affair, you are not only giving yourself plenty of time for great photos, but also you’re not rushing yourself or your photographer. Starting your day in this mindset will help feel connected and romantic with your betrothed before, during, and even after the shoot has taken place. Why not start your day off with coffee or brunch at your favourite spot? You could invite your photographer to meet you there and even get a few shots in before moving on to your next location. 

5. Location, Location, Location

Make sure your engagement shoot is yours. You decide where you want to have your shoot. Where are you most comfortable as a couple? Have an at-home session if making coffee or a meal together at home and snuggling on the couch is your preference. Or if you are the adventurous type and like activities such as hiking, perhaps you want photos of you doing these things? Don’t be afraid to explore incorporating these kinds of activities into your photoshoot. You don’t have to have the same generic engagement photos as everyone else!

6. Going Outside? Schedule Around the Sun

There are peak times of day which are the best for photos because of the lighting of the sun. If you are looking for a golden light, a.k.a. the golden hour, just before or after the sun sets is the perfect time to shoot. It helps to be aware of what time the sun is supposed to set or rise if you are going for this lighting. For sunrise, that early, early morning light can be the most romantic and perfect for an engagement shoot. Early afternoon may sound like a good schedule-wise time, but the light is much harsher with the sun directly overhead.

7. Kiss!

If you’re not used to getting your photo taken, it can make you nervous and/or tense. Kissing your fiancé/fiancée not only makes for a romantic moment, but also it can help you relax, connect with your partner, and forget you’re in front of a camera, all of which makes for more natural and extra special photos. 

You’re now ready to show your love via engagement photography! If you’re looking for a professional to take the photos for you, contact me today. I’d love to meet you two!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) engagement photographer engagement photographer near me engagement photographer port coquitlam engagement photography engagement photoshoot how to prepare for engagement photoshoot photography preparing for an engagement photoshoot professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography port coquitlam Sat, 15 Feb 2020 18:30:00 GMT
Valentine’s Day Photo Ideas that Don’t Have to Include Romance Valentine’s Day Photo Ideas that Don’t Have to Include Romance | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Valentine’s Day Photo Ideas that Don’t Have to Include Romance February is the month of love! However you feel about Valentine’s Day, there’s no denying that it has an effect on everyone. Some love the holiday; others really hate it; several more don’t care one way or the other. 

I have something to tell you about this holiday: you can celebrate it even if you don’t have anything romantic to do. Valentine’s Day to me is a celebration of love—not just the romantic kind, either. Let me share with you some lovely Valentine’s Day photo ideas that don’t have to include romance.


The family who gets photos taken together usually stick together! Even if one or more members move out and away from home, or they follow their own path, there’s always a reason to get family photos taken. Getting Valentine’s Day photos can make an afternoon between parents and their kids or a mom and her mom together a sweet one. 

Kids and newborns

Nothing says pure love as much as parents when they look at their child. No matter how old they get, having photos taken with your kids or your brand new bundle of joy can make for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day picture—or two, or three, or more! 

Even if the little one bursts into tears while the photoshoot is taking place, you have ended up with a very real photo—sometimes those photos are the best kind to have!

Your besties!

Friendship is a very powerful and very strong form of love. Some people are friends for over 20 years! Not just the married kind of best friend, either. Wouldn’t it be something to celebrate your bestie for once on Valentine’s Day? Come up with a game plan and spend the day together—you never know what opportunities await in photo form!


Talk about a great Valentine’s Day gift and reason to get photos taken rolled in one! Grandparents and grandkids are sure to have fun spending time together while photos are snapped in the background. Photos can also make wonderful Valentine’s cards themselves! Some grandparents love to make these cards while others may be happy to receive them in their mailbox. Maybe this Valentine’s Day is a good time to get together with Grandma and Grandpa (especially if the last time you saw them was around Christmas!).


I don’t mean simply romantic anniversaries between husband and wife (although if that’s what you love doing this time of the year, go nuts!). Some anniversaries such as when you became besties for life or the day you adopted a new pet can fall on this holiday too. If it’s been a while since those kinds of photos were updated, snap away—you may discover some shocking changes have happened since last you spent time together! 


Some people were born on Valentine’s Day itself! And not everyone has the same personality or love of red and white heart decorations. Celebrate your birthday on Valentine’s Day your way—who knows, there may end up being some pretty fun memories captured on camera the day of!

Want to celebrate Valentine’s Day without the romance? Do you need some new photos of your family or best friends, or both? Call me if you think I’d be the best professional photographer for the job. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) event photography family photographer family photographer port coquitlam family photography holiday photography photo sessions photographer in port coquitlam professional family photographer professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography things to do for Valentine's Day Valentine's Day photo ideas Valentine's Day photo session Valentine's Day photos Fri, 07 Feb 2020 18:30:00 GMT
5 Reasons to Get Valentine’s Day Photos Taken 5 Reasons to Get Valentine’s Day Photos Taken | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 5 Reasons to Get Valentine’s Day Photos Taken Valentine’s Day is a funny sort of holiday; it’s looked upon with both great affection and great displeasure. Some get wrapped up in the act of spreading their words of love and care to others in the form of tokens, flowers, candy, etc. while others view it as an over-commercialized day designed to make people miserable.

Honestly, I love Valentine’s Day. To me, it’s a time when you can reflect on the years spent with those you love and remind them that you will always care about them. One way you can do that is by switching things up and instead of giving your loved ones flowers, get photographs taken. Here are five great reasons for getting Valentine’s Day photos captured this year.

1. It’s a holiday of ‘firsts’

First date, first kiss, first time trying a new activity...Valentine’s Day is a day full of ‘firsts’ whether we are single or taken. Just because you are single doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun either! You can make Valentine’s Day a ‘first’ for trying to bake a new recipe, or go someplace you’ve never been to before, and get photos taken of the end result or while you’re involved with your activities or travels. 

A really cute idea if you’re stumped on Valentine’s date ideas with your spouse, fiance/fiancee, or long-time boyfriend/girlfriend is to re-enact your first ever date as best you can, and have photos taken of that too! Then you are free to compare and contrast how you’ve grown as a couple, and see how much stronger your love is now vs. then.

2. You want to do something with your family

Valentine’s Day seems a little too focused on love between couples, doesn’t it? I know the origin of the holiday was dedicated to that kind of love, but there is love that can be celebrated both on February 14 and all year round. There’s the love between you and your family; the love in your eyes when you look at your children, teenage and newborn; the love between you and pets; the love you have for life itself. 

If you and your family are also tired of giving each other stuff, give the gift of photography for a change of pace and get some family photos for Valentine’s Day. You may find it’s something you’ll end up wanting to do every year!

3. You’re a very loving person

Like I said, not everyone approaches this holiday with scorn and bitterness. Some people are very loving and adore the holiday. In some people’s minds Valentine’s Day means celebrating a feeling that transcends materialistic objects. To them, things like Valentine’s cards are someone’s way of telling another person they care about them—and to a great deal of people, that can make a world of difference. 

If this is why you celebrate Valentine’s Day, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t capture that loving side of you in photographs. You could get photos taken as you give out cards to your friends, or get your family to participate in a photo session with you as you celebrate your love for each other. Love is the ultimate triumph over hatred; a photo session is a great way to express that side of yourself.

4. It’s a great activity for February

February for some can be a disheartening month. Maybe you’re going through a difficult time in your life, or an awful experience for you took place in February in the past. Also, like January, February in BC’s Lower Mainland can be pretty grey and cold, which doesn’t help if you don’t like winter.

However you look at it, a Valentine’s photo session can be a great activity if you’re stumped on how to celebrate, or you feel down, or you feel like you need to do something different. Even if the weather is lousy, there are plenty of photo opportunities you may discover along the way that captures your best side—even if you feel like that’s tough to find these days.

5. It makes a sweet gift idea

If you’re really romantic, you may be considering getting your sweetheart something to remember you by. Photos as a Valentine’s gift may end up wowing your sweetheart since you’re skipping the cliche kind of gift and instead going for something more memorable. If it’s your first Valentine’s Day together, this could end up deepening your new relationship as a result. Even if you’ve been married for so long, giving this kind of gift can be a great reminder in terms of gifts that you still want to spend the rest of your life with your love.

However you approach this holiday, do so with a little love—it could be what you really need. Call me if you think I’d be a great fit to take Valentine’s Day photos for you and your valentine or your family!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photo session family photo session ideas family photographer family photography family photos holiday photography holiday photos photo session professional photographer professional photography themed photo session things to do for Valentine's Day Valentine's day Valentine's Day photo session Valentine's day photos why to get Valentine's Day photos Sat, 01 Feb 2020 18:15:00 GMT
Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos

Headshot photos are meant to make a statement. Not only do they show people a picture of you, but also they reveal your personality. Choosing a location for this type of photoshoot can add to that glimpse of yourself. However, you have a choice: indoors or outdoors. Which one is better? How do you decide? Let’s go over the pros and cons of each before you make your decision.

What an Outdoor Photoshoot Would Consist of

When getting headshots taken outside, you have a variety of options when it comes to location, such as a staircase, a brick wall, or greenery. Many effects can be digitally added, such as blurring the background and adjusting the lighting.

Outdoor photoshoots offer natural lighting, which gives you more mobility to pose for pictures without having to worry about your photographer setting up or tearing down an entire set. This gives headshot photos a more organic and authentic feel and look to them. These types of headshots are becoming more popular as time goes on, since they are more adaptable for social media and online profiles. 

For those who work outdoors or want to showcase their products in natural light, this kind of headshot photo session can show you working in your element. 

What an Indoor Photoshoot May Consist of

With an indoor studio photoshoot, everything is controlled by the photographer. There will be adjustable lighting and backgrounds options available to suit you. You can use faux outdoor backgrounds and various lighting options. Without people in the background while outdoors, when indoors you can open up more to the camera if you are shy. It is easy to change your wardrobe if need be, and a bathroom is usually readily available when needed for makeup applications and touch-ups. 

Indoor headshots allow for comfort and little to no distractions. 

Photos by Cheryl - Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos (Indoor Studio Example)Photos by Cheryl - Outdoors or Indoors? Pros & Cons of Each for Headshot Photos (Indoor Studio Example)

Advantages of Outdoor and Indoor Photoshoots


• Unlimited background options. From the ocean, to the grass, to brick walls, staircases, beaches, and so on, the possibilities are endless. 

• Natural sunlight. There’s no need to worry about fixing the lighting too much; just some tools to help guide the light when needed.

• You can create an atmosphere or theme. Make use of the surroundings, the buildings, trees, sky, beach, etc. For someone who works outdoors, they can be captured in their element.

• No time or space restrictions. Studios can be big, but the outdoors goes above and beyond. When doing an outdoor shoot, be sure you make the time to not be rushed. This will ensure you get the best photos. 

• You see the beauty of nature at its finest. You can experience the changing of the seasons, the leaves on the trees, the soft rain, or the piercing sun. Like I said, the possibilities are completely endless. 

• If you are really nervous about getting your photos taken, there is something about being outdoors that puts people at ease. I've seen many clients relax so much more when they are outside.


• No weather worries. When indoors, you won’t get wet or overheat. 

• Your and your headshot photographer can play with effects and studio lighting. There’s no worrying about additional ambient light sources. 

• Comfort and convenience. Indoor areas can provide air conditioning, clean toilets, electric sockets, dressing rooms, and other amenities to help to create a relaxing environment. You can control the environment and set up the photoshoot according to your needs and preferences.

• Privacy. You can choose who is with you during the photo session. No looky loos from passersby or distractions. 

Disadvantages of Outdoor and Indoor Photoshoots


• Not much privacy or security. Your location is wide open, with anyone able to watch the photoshoot. Public places are public, meaning they are more often than not filled with people. It can be a challenge if you’re going for something specific.

• Possible inconvenience of no toilet or washroom nearby. Or, any other facilities that might make a headshot photoshoot more comfortable and convenient. 

• Unpredictable weather. Even if you are prepared, it can still put a damper on your photoshoot if it starts to rain depending on what you’re going for. 


• Limited time due to rented or borrowed space if you’re getting headshot photos inside a studio, room, or space. This means working with a schedule is absolutely necessary. Every minute matters. 

• There can be location restrictions or rules depending on the venue. This can cause problems if the rules interfere with how you want to have your headshots framed.

No matter what you choose for a headshot photoshoot, make sure to put your trust in your photographer. They will know how to work with the space and location to give you great headshot photos. In my case, I excel at coming up with a schedule for indoor photoshoots, so no minute is wasted on my watch.

Do you think I’d be a good fit? Do you feel more confident in choosing your location? If you answered yes to both of those questions, give me a call! I’d love to find out more about you and your preference in location!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) headshot headshot photo session headshot photographer headshot photographer port coquitlam headshot photography headshot photos indoor headshots outdoor headshots outdoor vs indoor headshot photos photoshoot" professional headshots professional photographer professional photography where to have headshot photos taken Fri, 17 Jan 2020 18:45:00 GMT
The Top 5 Reasons to Get Headshot Photos Taken in January The Top 5 Reasons to Get Headshot Photos Taken in January | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - The Top 5 Reasons to Get Headshot Photos Taken in January

January is usually considered to be a pretty quiet and even gloomy month. The holiday decorations are taken down and put away, the weather turns bleak and blustery, snow keeps falling when we have to go to work—the list goes on.

However, in my eyes this month is a fabulous one! It’s a month where new beginnings and new opportunities await; in today’s case, I’m referring to business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees who may also be feeling in need of some light and colour this month. One way you can get that is by getting professional headshots! If you’re still hesitant about the thought, let me reassure you. Here are five excellent reasons to get new headshot photos taken in January.

1. New year, new you, new company

January is the month of renewal; after all, it is the official start of the New Year. This month can represent reflection on how far you have come in terms of your business, its brand, and yourself and/or your staff. If you plan to rejuvenate your brand, or you plan to open a brand new business this year, this is the perfect time to show your company’s best and new side and how much you’re willing to stay in touch with the times. 

2. It’s been a while since headshots were taken

The business you run now is not the same one it was 10 or even 5 years ago. 2020 is not only a new year, it means there’s a new you and a new company altogether. Why not showcase yourself and your employees and what you have to offer to the rest of the world with updated headshots? The fashion style in your old headshots may also be in serious need of an update as well!

3. You’re updating your social media and website

Headshots aren’t just handy for job hunters and budding entrepreneurs. Business owners nowadays understand the significance of staying relevant online. If you’re getting new headshots, you can add the new photos to your website and promote them on social media. Since January is a quieter month, your customers are more likely to be in tune to new updates on social media more so than in the previous month. That means there could be a lot of likes and shares in your future, and a lot more visits to your website’s about page! 

Updating these aspects of your company will also make Google and other search engines happy since they pay attention to things like content updates and new photos. The more up to date you keep your website, the more likely you’ll rank higher in search engine page results. That means everyone wins when you update your headshots, especially you!

4. It’s a quiet time before the year gets going

We often associate the rest of the year with very busy occasions—there are holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and several other events to look forward to. However, for the present time being, you may find there’s not too much going on for your business other than preparing for the months onwards. This means you can fill in your time with getting new professional headshots before the crazy rushing months follow afterward and you don’t have any spare time anymore. Having these photo sessions take place can also give you and your staff something to look forward to as well if things are a little too quiet.

5. The photos could be part of your marketing campaign

If you’re stumped on ideas for promoting your company, this is an excellent time to work on that. Going back to my first point about the new year = new you, you can use that as a marketing strategy in and of itself. Use your new headshot photos to showcase your staff on social media and announce them in an e-mail newsletter. You can also promote them as an update on your website and create content based on that update as well, adding a call to action to convince customers to check out the new site themselves. These are all great ways to get your company name known online and introduce yourself to new long as you get new headshot photos taken in the first place, of course!

There’s no better time to get professional headshots than now! What are you waiting for? Give me a call to see if my photography skills are exactly what you need! I can capture your best side during this quiet (and busy!) stage of your life!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) headshot photography headshot photos new headshot photos professional headshot photography professional headshots professional photographer professional photography why to get headshot photos why to get headshot photos in January why to get new headshot photos taken Mon, 06 Jan 2020 18:45:00 GMT
Why You Need to Create a Family Photo Album this Year Why You Need to Create a Family Photo Album this Year | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why You Need to Create a Family Photo Album this Year

With all of the busy things life keeps throwing our way, it can be refreshing to slow down and reflect on those beautiful moments you’ve had with your family. A photo album can show you some of your most favourite memories and nowadays people are opting in to ensure those memories last forever. With this thought in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you how precious those moments are. Here are some good reasons why you should create a family photo album this year.

Maybe the old one was lost?

Sometimes disaster can strike when you least expect it, such as a flood or a fire. If you have only ever taken real life photographs and not scanned them and backed them up to the Cloud, then odds are high you could lose some of your most precious memories in these unfortunate events! If this sounds like what happened to your own family photo album, I’m very sorry. I’m sure those were such treasured moments to you; I know how it feels to have a great loss. If your old photo album was lost to this kind of disaster, perhaps now is a good time to create a new album. Maybe you’d like to re-enact the moments you remember capturing in those days?

A new album sparks great conversations

When the weather is too miserable and cold and rainy to go outside, why not make a cup of tea and revisit your fondest memories for a while? Looking at all of the photos you’ve put together in an album can be a great way to spark some great conversations, especially if there’s someone who’s never seen them before. The albums can follow a theme, or you can show your favourites and tell the stories behind each one. You’d be amazed at how fast time will fly by just talking about your photo album!

Holding it in your hands feels GREAT

As fancy as technology and digital photography is, nothing beats print. There’s just something so satisfying about putting the beautiful colours and scenes of your life onto paper and then binding them all together into one thick study book. You can pick it up, feel the weight and heft of it, and know that you’re looking at a lifetime’s worth of photographs that will last just as long. What you have in your hands will be with you forever. (Plus, albums make great gifts too!)

It could be part of your resolution

Everyone knows how difficult it is to stick to a New Year’s resolution. It’s especially true if you live a busy lifestyle and can’t find the time to slow down even in quiet months like January. Regardless, some resolutions made for the New Year can be worth sticking to year round. Maybe your resolution this time is to actually record the moments that 2020 has to offer? Remember though it can be pretty tough to get great memories in photos if you’re not in them too!

This year, make it a point to be present in the moment and have photos taken of you too. You could be captured in some pretty sweet photos in the process!

It’s 2020!

2020 is not only a new year; it’s the first year of an entirely new decade, one that’s filled with so many incredible possibilities. Maybe this will be the year when your kids move out for the first time ever; or you retire from your career; or a family member dear to you has a new baby, gets married, or opens their first ever business. Perhaps it’s a special anniversary year for you and your spouse? Or someone has a milestone birthday? Whatever the occasion may be, be sure to capture every moment you can this year. Your family will be so happy to revisit these moments after the fact!

Make 2020 your year to capture precious family memories. Would you like some help getting a family photo album put together? Call me and let’s find out together if my skills as a family photographer are what you are looking for!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photo album family photographer family photographer port coquitlam family photography family photos photographer port coquitlam professional family photographer professional family photographer port coquitlam professional family photography professional family photos professional photographer professional photographer port coquitlam professional photography Fri, 03 Jan 2020 18:30:00 GMT
Holiday Events You Should Get Professional Photos Taken Of Holiday Events You Should Get Professional Photos Taken Of | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Holiday Events You Should Get Professional Photos Taken Of

No matter what event you are celebrating, some holiday events are worth capturing professional photos of. They make great gifts, as there are many things you can do with photos nowadays. You can also have them printed out in copies and placed in an album, which is another great gift idea too!

If you’re stumped on which holiday events are worth capturing, perhaps I can help. Here’s a list of some great holiday events and ideas that are worth getting professional photos taken of, no matter what year it is.


Trick or Treating:
It may not be an event per se, but if you have kids then trick or treating is a part of their growing up. Capturing these moments with photos is a wonderful way to see your child’s personality changing, with each costume they pick and each moment they grow up.

Halloween Parties:
Getting photos of adults in Halloween costume is a real treat, especially if it’s someone you would have never suspected to dress up. There may be some very silly moments, especially if alcohol is involved, but you will most definitely have captured people having a fun time, which is what everyone likes to see. 

Since Halloween is around the time of harvest, there are some places that may have festivals surrounding this festive tradition. Examples are pumpkin festivals, corn mazes, etc. These are wonderful events to capture photos of, especially if it is a new experience or an annual tradition.


There is usually a Santa Claus parade in many towns that make a big spectacle every year. If you have kids who are in the parade or other family members or friends who are participating, this is another great reason to get professional photos taken. Parades display the community’s creativity and bring people together to celebrate the theme. 

Christmas Parties:
If you have a staff Christmas party every year, especially with fun games and gift exchanges, you may want to ask a professional photographer to get their camera ready. Having a photo booth set up can also make for fun photo opportunities! After working hard all year round, this is your time to let loose and bond with your coworkers (and maybe the boss?). 

Family Dinners:
This may be the only time of year all your family gets together, so capturing the moment with photos is precious. They help to keep the memories of family members who can’t celebrate with us anymore and to watch those young ones grow up. 

Neighbourhood Lights:
Another idea that is not necessarily an event but it can be a tradition in many people’s families. Drive around the neighbourhood looking at all the Christmas lights displays. It’s neat to get photos each year of the lights and the people admiring them, to see who decides to try and outdo the displays in the next year. 

The New Year

New Year’s Eve Parties:
What a wonderful way to ring in the New Year, by capturing photos of the last day in style! You might be with your best friends, your family, your coworkers, and/or complete strangers. All while saying goodbye to this year and hello to next.

Family Traditions:
Maybe you all get in your pajamas and watch movies bundled up in blankets with hot chocolate; maybe you make it a dance party; maybe you have a big homemade dinner, or maybe you order takeout. No matter what it is, professional photos of your New Year’s Eve experience are a keepsake worth holding onto. 

Any Holiday Event You Want to Celebrate

You may celebrate Thanksgiving with a trek out to Rocky Point Park, Father’s Day by going to a local “Show N Shine,” Mother’s Day with an annual tea brunch, or St. Patrick’s Day with the parade or an Irish tradition. The holidays help keep memories alive. Having photos of these events can bring out the best times we had with our loved ones.

Perhaps you’d like a professional photographer’s help? Maybe I have what you’re looking for in terms of holiday photos! Give me a call. I’d love to hear what kinds of traditions you honour each year for these festive occasions!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) Christmas photography family photographer family photographer port coquitlam family photography family photography port coquitlam Halloween photography holiday event photography holiday event photos holiday events holiday events to take pictures of holiday party photography holiday photography New Year's photography professional holiday party photos professional photographer professional photography professional photography port coquitlam professional photos Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:00:00 GMT
Why Photo Sessions Make the Best Gifts Ever Why Photo Sessions Make the Best Gifts Ever | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why Photo Sessions Make the Best Gifts Ever It’s the season of giving! While there’s nothing quite like a pile of presents under the tree, nowadays more and more families are opting for less than materialistic kinds of gifts for several reasons.

I’m a fan of the phrase “It’s the thought that counts” and nothing says thoughtful quite like photography. If you’re still not sure whether or not to consider getting professional photos taken, then you need to read this. Here’s why photo sessions make the best gifts ever, whether or not it’s the holiday season.

For the mom or dad who has everything

Don’t you hate it when you find that perfect gift in the store, and then when they open it they say, “Oh, I already have this.”? I know some moms and dads are really tough to get gifts for! They may have everything they need in their life, both the materialistic and the non.

Photo sessions as a gift idea for the mom or dad who has everything is a wonderful idea for so many reasons. For one, the best kind of gift you can give them is time spent with them (and it’s very likely that’s all they want!). For another, it may have been years (think over 5, or 10, etc.) since the last time you were all in a photograph together. Why not celebrate your hard-to-shop-for loved ones with a gift they can enjoy for years after the fact?

Great for grandparents

Some grandparents are pretty hard to shop for too! Honestly, most of the elderly I’ve spoken to have always said that their favourite moments in life are when they spent it with their children and grandchildren. If you’re a parent, you can show your mom and dad how much the kids have grown and that they’re healthy and happy after the photo session has been done. For grandchildren, having a photo session with their grandparents can be a fun day for everyone involved! Grandparents get to spoil the kids rotten (as they should!), and the kids will be extra excited—you never know, it could make for some interesting photo ops!

When people visit from out of town

Someone’s presence can be gift enough! Why not add to that extra sense of joy by having your loved ones from out of town join in with your photo session? If you only get to see your best friend, spouse, or grandparents every so often due to long-distance reasons, you can cherish the time you spend together while knowing you’ll be able to reflect on it and have that rejuvenating sense of joy all over again.

A gift full of priceless memories

I know this sounds like a broken record at this point, but it’s true: your presence to some is gift enough. For those who can’t have your presence all of the time, even though they may want to, a photograph may be just enough. Perhaps an album of the photo session will make the gift even nicer? (Your choice.)

This year, give the gift of photography! Contact me if you would like to book a photo session with your loved ones, both the ones you only ever see once in a while and those you are closest to, day in and day out.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photo session gift photo session photo sessions photography session port coquitlam family photographer professional photo session professional photographer professional photography why photo sessions make the best gifts Fri, 06 Dec 2019 19:45:00 GMT
5 Reasons to Get Christmas Family Photos Taken Every Year  

5 Reasons to Get Christmas Family Photos Taken Every Year | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 5 Reasons to Get Christmas Family Photos Taken Every Year

I love this time of the year. There’s something almost magical about snow, twinkling Christmas lights in the evening, and all of the traditions that are upheld come Christmastime every year. 

What are your family’s traditions? Do you celebrate with all of the usual like a Christmas tree, a turkey dinner, and presents? Or do you celebrate other holidays this year, such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? Perhaps you prefer to honour the Winter Solstice, or maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas at all and prefer to be present where it’s quiet, or go somewhere tropical this time of year?

Every family celebrates Christmas and the holiday seasons in their own special way. Why not get photographs taken of your favourites? Here are five great reasons to get Christmas family photos taken every year.

A recap of the year altogether

For some families the holidays are the only time of the year when they can have a visit from or go to visit their beloved relatives due to location, work, how far to travel, etc. If this is the case for your Christmas or holidays this year, take this opportunity now to get out the camera! You never can tell how much life can delay your loved ones from visiting you for years after their last visit.

Great Christmas card idea!

The tradition of sending photographs in cards or as the cards themselves in the mail is one that’s lasted even to this day. Some families customize their digital photos after the session so that it’s more festive before they print them out and send them to the post office. A lot of families can get really creative about their photo opportunities too!

Has it been a while since the last time you sent Christmas cards to your family and friends? Maybe it’s time to make that your new family holiday tradition. It’s always nice receiving mail that’s not just another bill to pay or junk mail, whether you decide to send it by e-mail or to a physical mailbox.

It’s also a great gift idea

Some people are practically impossible to shop for this time of the year, aren’t they? It can be a hassle to please everyone and make sure someone gets at least one present that will both suit their needs and personality plus has to be met within your budget. Not everyone has the luxury of affording the latest mobile phone on the market for their kids or a new espresso machine for their mom and dad either. 

Photo sessions are both cost-effective and meaningful gifts for the holidays. Taking part and getting great photos involves everyone, not just you and the photographer.  

Every Christmas is different—just like families

Just because you enjoy celebrating Christmas in your home doesn’t mean you do it every year! Some families travel to other places where they reunite with friends and loved ones they haven’t seen in years. Others may opt in for giftless Christmases to save money and waste from wrapping paper and boxes. With a photo session, you can record how you decided to celebrate the holidays and who you enjoyed them with. Plus, cleanup is easy once your session is paid for—all you have to do when it’s the day of is dress up and show up. That’s it! 

It’s fun for everyone!

For certain sessions I photograph like my Christmas minis, I usually have a lot of beautiful and fun props for you and the kids! Some of my clients have also added fun extras to spice up their photo session, like a trip for ice cream. Just because you’re getting your photos taken doesn’t mean you have to be forced to sit still and smile for the camera. Some of the best moments are taken when you’re in the midst of playing with your children, or they’re playing with a toy together, or you’re gazing at the beautiful Vancouver scenery on a cold winter’s day. The holidays are all about fun too—so enjoy your time with the family and let your love for them shine through in your family Christmas photos!

I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and a safe and warm holiday season! Do you think I’d be a good fit for your Christmas photos this year? Contact me and let me know! I look forward to meeting you! 

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) Christmas family photos Christmas photo sessions Christmas photos family Christmas photos holiday photos holiday photos for family port coquitlam professional photographer professional photographer professional photography why to get Christmas photos of family taken every year Tue, 03 Dec 2019 21:56:43 GMT
10 Things You Can Do for Your Portrait Photo Session 10 Things You Can Do for Your Portrait Photo Session | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 10 Things You Can Do for Your Portrait Photo Session

At some point in your life you may need to have a professional photograph taken, whether it be for your business, as a gift, for a family function, or simply for the experience. Whatever your reason may be, it always helps to be prepared for professional photography sessions. Here are you things you can do to prepare yourself for your upcoming photoshoot.

1. Bring Your Vision to Life

To get the best kind of photos, you’ll want to make sure that you and your photographer are on the same page when it comes to the vision, theme, and idea you want for your photoshoot. Before your session, you should talk with your photographer to discuss the location, your wardrobe, a theme, or any other ideas you may have. Be sure that if you have any concerns, such as comfort issues, to make them aware from the very beginning. 

2. Get Some Sleep

It’s normal to feel a little nervous before a photoshoot, but that sense of unease can be easily captured on film if you don’t get enough rest. Ensure you catch as much sleep as you can, starting at least 3 days before your session. This can help ensure you are relaxed and at ease even while the photos are being taken. 8 hours of sleep a day will help there to be no dark circles around your eyes the day of the shoot, and you will not be yawning either. It’s best to be alert, refreshed, and relaxed during your portrait photo session.

3. Stay Hydrated

Make sure you are well hydrated by drinking lots of water. It will help keep your skin healthy and supple as well as make you feel refreshed. If your photoshoot is going to take place outdoors, and it’s a hot day, having water bottles around is a must to prevent overheating, sunstroke, and fainting.

4. Figure Out Your Fashion

Once you have decided if there’s going to be a theme with your photographer, the next step is to figure out the proper clothing, footwear, and accessories to wear during the session. Also, be prepared with a backup plan in case location becomes compromised or unavailable at the last minute. A good example is a weather issue, if the shoot was planned to take place outside. If you go ahead with your plan for an outdoor photoshoot, you may need to adjust your wardrobe so you do not get soaking wet. 

5. Have a Makeup Session

If you are planning to wear makeup, make sure you have a test makeup session with the clothing you plan to wear during the shoot. Not only will this ensure that it works well with the clothing, but also it’ll help your photographer, who may need to adjust lighting if something reflects. 

Doing this also helps you to figure out if the makeup you want to use will bring out your whole look, as well as remind you not to be too playful with your looks on the day of the shoot. Stick with what works and what makes you stand out and look your best.

6. Relax About Body Image

Do not worry about your body image!! Your photographer has your best interest at heart and will ensure you feel comfortable in your skin. If you and your photographer discuss it, you can have them edit in some touch ups. But make sure you are very clear if you wish to do so! The point is you should be comfortable as yourself, not worrying about what anyone else thinks. The best photographer will make sure they capture you being you. 

7. Strike a Pose

Stand in front of your mirror and practice various poses. See what works for you. Depending on what theme you decide to go with, look up various poses that go with the theme. For example, if you are going for something professional for work, practice poses that are determined, confident, and focused. By practicing poses, you’ll help your photographer capture some great shots and you will be able to better communicate what they ask for during the session in terms of positioning and poses. 

8. Entourage, Anyone?

If you are comfortable about it, bring along one person, either a friend or your spouse or a family member. Too many can get very distracting. They can be your safety net and your mini cheer squad if you need some pep. They can also help be your assistant if you need something. They are your positive vibes, a motivation team. This is especially helpful if you are a shy person and/or having issues with body positivity. There’s nothing greater than being with the people you love who bring you up when you need it, and getting great photos as a result of this encouragement. 

9. Be Prepared

Reiterating what was said with clothing, have a back-up plan for your wardrobe, makeup, and location. In the off chance something changes, you want to be prepared for weather issues or a location change. These preparations can range from hairstyles to the season of the year, to simply moments that are too good to pass on.

10. Have Fun!

Breathe and relax. Put yourself in your photographer’s hands and let yourself be in the moment. Whether or not this portrait photo session is for work, family, or something else, you should always make sure you are comfortable and having a good time. This ensures that your personality shines in each shot…which is what the real end goal is, no matter what kind of photoshoot you are going for. 

Ready for your portrait session? Not sure if you think I’d be a good fit? There’s no better way to find out than to get in touch with me. You may find that I really am the professional photographer you’re looking for!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photographer family photography headshot photoshoot how to prepare how to get ready for a photoshoot portrait photo session portrait photoshoot portrait session preparing for a photoshoot professional photographer professional photography professional photoshoot what to do before photoshoot Sat, 23 Nov 2019 19:00:00 GMT
Why You Absolutely Need a Professional Photographer for Your Milestone Event Why You Absolutely Need a Professional Photographer for Your Milestone Event | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why You Absolutely Need a Professional Photographer for Your Milestone Event Some milestones are so significant you can never get them back. Sure, everyone has a birthday to celebrate, and who doesn’t love revisiting the photos from the Christmas party at the office at a job you love?

There are some moments that are so precious, though, you can’t get them back in real life—and if the photos taken aren’t the greatest, then you only have a blurry idea of what happened. Here are some more reasons why you absolutely need to have a professional photographer for your milestone, whether it’s a birthday party, a wedding, an anniversary, and so many more.

DIY just doesn’t cut it sometimes

Sure, technology has been improving the smartphone time and again, and the cameras you find nowadays on tablets and phones are becoming as sharp and hi-def as the professional’s camera. You know what’s less professional though? Taking a photo and then finding out it’s got a big thumb covering part of it up. Or, a blurry shot due to a phone brought out too fast to really focus on.

Some moments are just too good to not photograph, but it’s these moments when DIY really just isn’t cut out for the job. You may think it’s cheaper to use your own phone as a camera, but you get what you pay for and that includes photos too. 

Unless you’ve actually taken a class on photography or have mastered the selfie, chances are those photos you always wanted at your wedding day will look terrible if not done right. So resist the temptation of being cheap with your family or wedding photos and pay a professional to get the job done. Your family doesn’t deserve having only cheaply made or cheaply taken photos—so why settle for that?

Where are you?

Tell me if this sounds familiar: the look on your child’s face when you bring their birthday cake into the room is so priceless that you immediately search your pocket for your phone. Too late though; by the time you aimed your smartphone at the scene, the candles have been blown out and the look of pure joy is gone. So, too, is that moment. 

Even when you do capture that moment...wouldn’t it feel nicer to be in the photo with your child?

We can get so wrapped up in our own busy schedules that by the time it occurs to you to get pictures of yourself in that moment, the moment is gone. It happens every day. You could say it is a fact of life, but it absolutely does not have to be. A professional photographer can capture you in that moment too, whether it’s cuddling your newborn baby or having a moment with your newly betrothed, or you’re spreading awareness of a charity event you are passionate about.  

Last moments of something precious

Not to be morbid on purpose, but some of the most precious moments in life can be the very last ones. For some, that birthday party for their mom may be their last due to an illness, or your favourite photo was taken before a tragedy took place. I’m sorry that sounds very dark, but it’s true. In fact, my father is one example of someone whose last moments were caught on film. He passed away shortly after we had hired a photographer to take our family photos. 

I’ve seen so many touching photographs of women my age with their mothers, grandparents sharing a private kiss, families having a party—you name it, there is something absolutely precious about these moments that are worth capturing. You just never know what life has in store, or when that beautiful light in life will go out. Moments like that are always worth recording.

Once in a lifetime events

Not everyone is going to travel to exotic places like Italy, or open more than one business in their lifetime. Some occasions are considered to be once-in-a-lifetime events that should really be captured in their best light. Weddings are a huge example, but so too are headshots, grad photos, or group photos for a business’s grand opening. 

Sure, you can ask anyone with a smartphone to take the photos, but that goes back to my point about doing it the cheap way. If you want a sense of professionalism and elegance from your photographs, and they’re for once in a lifetime events, then hiring a professional photographer is the only way to go.

Don’t let these milestones pass you by. Some memories are worth treasuring for years, even decades, in the future. Give me a call if you think my professional photography fits what you’re looking for your next milestone. It doesn’t matter what the occasion may be—let me help capture such precious moments for you. It will mean the world to everyone to see you inside those moments, too.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) event photography milestone event photography milestone photography photographer in port coquitlam photos of milestone events port coquitlam photographer professional photographer professional photography Thu, 14 Nov 2019 19:00:00 GMT
Why Telling a Story in the Photos I Take Matters So Much to Me Why Telling a Story in the Photos I Take Matters So Much to Me | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Why Telling a Story in the Photos I Take Matters So Much to Me Everyone has their story to tell. Everyone. Photographs are an incredible way to share touching and meaningful stories that resonate to those who view them. Sometimes written text accompanying these stories help too, like in the case of the Fosters and their modern Indian wedding (which you can read about here!). 

I’ve always put my clients first when it comes to their photo sessions. They are why I always, as a professional photographer, want to find out and capture their story. There are so many reasons why doing this matters so much to me.

Behind the scenes looks are popular

Some of the best stories I’ve heard have come from watching the behind the scenes glances of the people who want to make a beautiful event come to life. It could be a wedding or a child’s first birthday. I love being able to share people’s stories with the rest of the world. 

As it turns out, I’m not the only one either! Some of the remarks I’ve gotten on Facebook and Instagram have gushed over how cute or beautiful or sweet a wedding or newborn photograph looks when I post it. For me telling stories with photos is a trend that will never fall out of style.

Making photos more authentic

I have never been told that I am inauthentic or phony. Every photo I take and every person I take photos of are real people who have stories to share. 

Whether it’s at a public event or a family reunion or a party, I always talk to the people who hire me before the session takes place. It’s not only part of my job, but also so much of what I do involves planning and being organized (but also making room for spontaneous moments if the opportunity arises! Because you just never know.). It’s this sense of organization around my photoshoots that has helped me make all of the photos you see in my galleries authentic and genuinely heartfelt.

Spur of the moment opportunities galore

At certain times you may discover a photo opportunity that’s so good even if it wasn’t in the original plan. One great example is when I asked the newlywed Foster couple to take their dance to the beach. The sun was setting and their song was playing in the background. 

Real spur of the moment snap decisions are one of my favourite things to do as a professional photographer. Some moments are absolutely too good to pass on and sometimes things don’t go according to plan—because they become even better plans in the end! Even if you do make a plan, it’s good to have that little leeway so that a certain glimpse of the story you’re reading is shed in a whole new light.

Timing becomes everything

Some of the coolest photos I’ve taken have involved the very non-technical art of timing. The speed in which a beautiful photo opportunity occurs versus that of your finger on the camera button is a technique that all professional photographers aim for, but very few achieve. One example I can think of is this awesome shot of a hummingbird that was in my garden:

Photos by Cheryl - hummingbird photograph taken in 2019Photos by Cheryl - hummingbird photograph taken in 2019 I’m sure that by the time you thought to take out your phone to get a moment like this on camera, that moment was already gone. If I can capture a moment like this, then I can get shots of your kids at their most fidgety too, or even beautiful seconds in time that maybe you didn’t realize were happening. These are sights that no phone, no matter how fast you whip it out or how advanced your phone is, can create. 

There’s beauty everywhere

We take so much for granted because we live in a distracted state of being 24/7. Technology is at our fingertips now more than ever, but that same gift can also be a curse if it’s not used responsibly or it’s used too much. 

Technology can distract us from what’s in front of our faces. The colours change from season to season, and the weather can brighten a dark day. And did you know there’s beauty in the way you look at your children and spouse you’ve spent your life with?

Beauty is everywhere. Maybe it’s time you let someone help you realize it. Photos can help tell that beautiful story you’ve always wanted to share, but never really could articulate it into words. Why not let the imagery speak for itself instead? 

I would love for you to tell me your story. Contact me if you think I’d be the perfect match for your photos. I love hearing stories from every single one of my clients. I’m sure you’ve got one to tell too!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) authentic photographer family photography family photos professional photographer professional photography wedding photography wedding photos why telling stories in photos matters Fri, 01 Nov 2019 17:45:00 GMT
Chad & Ashley Foster’s Dream Beach Wedding in Ucluelet BC Chad & Ashley Foster’s Dream Beach Wedding in Ucluelet BC | Photos by CherylChad & Ashley Foster’s Dream Beach Wedding in Ucluelet BC

Ever since I my first ever session in Ucluelet BC I’ve been dying to share these photos of Chad and Ashley Foster’s dream beach wedding come true!

When I first talked to Ashley on the phone it was to do an engagement photoshoot for them. When I heard their plan was to get married in Ucluelet BC, that’s when I started asking questions.

After doing weddings for 18 years I really want to concentrate on weddings that are a little different. That means travelling within BC, or being in a quirky/different location. This modern Indian wedding of Chad and Ashley’s totally fit the bill. 

My husband doesn’t usually join me for weddings, but we worked this wedding together. He was such a huge help.

Ucluelet is full of stunning ocean views, beaches, rugged rocks, sunsets, and beautiful lodges. I love exploring new places and to photograph this wedding was a dream for me, and especially a dream come true for Ashley and Chad.

Setting the Scene for this Modern Indian Wedding

The road to reach Wya Point Resort was long and rugged. Once we got there, I saw the most gorgeous lodges, each one different from the rest. Chad and the men were in Lodge 1, while Ashley and her girls were in Lodge 9. I loved that I could spend time with each of them before their big moment. 

A hill led down to the beach. The bridesmaids walked down this path and were met by the men at the beach. 

Ashley’s mom walked her down and when they got to the beach, her dad walked her the rest of the way. Chad was in awe the entire time.

The beach was private and the ocean crashed behind them. The ceremony was beautiful, filled with tears, joy, and a few giggles.

And then, they were husband and wife.

Letting the Bride and Groom Have Their Moments

After a bit of time to hug and pose for candid shots, we headed to another beach on the same property with just the bride and groom. This is so important for the newlyweds to get some alone absorb what’s happening. To take a step back, talk, laugh, and share intimate moments together. 

This gorgeous beach, with rugged black rocks and ocean waves, was an amazing backdrop. I was in heaven taking these photos, and Ashley and Chad had time to just be in the moment. Ucluelet is truly a dream location to take wedding photos.

When we returned, we did the wedding party photos and family photos, and then just chilled out. There were fun games on the beach, delicious appetizers, and delightful drinks.

A Change of Style that Honoured Heritage

Before the reception the bride and groom headed back to the lodge. Now was the time to take off the traditional wedding attire and honour the bride’s heritage. The colour of blue that they chose was outstanding! I got to witness and photograph a few of their traditions. I was honoured to be part of it.

Finally came the moment to go back down to the beach. It was so great to see the guests’ reactions to the clothing change.

The rest of the evening was filled with amazing food. Beautiful speeches were made, sweet dancing was beheld, and then the party really started.

How Ashley and Chad Decided on Their Indian Clothing

Originally Ashley and Chad were going to do the Ucluelet wedding as a symbolic one, and their friend Mike was going to help get them ‘married’ in a traditional Indian wedding at home. That way, everyone would be happy. Upon examining the cost, however, they decided to make the destination the real deal and invite everyone; whoever decided to come, would come. Amazingly, everyone came! 

When the date got closer, Chad and Ashley went to her grandparents’ house who expressed how nice it would be to see them in traditional Indian well as to surprise everyone. Chad being the great guy that he is said, “Sure, let’s do it!”

The outfits they ended up with were so elegant and simple and perfect for wearing at the beach.

True Family Stories & Traditions

Family was truly the main theme and dream for the couple, and this thought extended into their preparations prior to the wedding. Before they exchanged their rings at their wedding ceremony, Chad and Ashley were on the hunt for a wood-engraved ring for Chad. It had to be wood because Chad...well, he loves being out in the wilderness! Along their way the couple came across a ring engraved with the symbol of Eternity from Welsh culture. This was perfect as Chad is half Welsh and half German!

Ashley never got to meet her now-husband’s grandmother Isabella, but they stories shared with her described her as the most beautiful woman and of bonds strong and true between Chad and his grandparents. To this day Chad’s grandfather speaks of her as if it were the first day they met.

Also at the head table, Chad's mom brought down candle holders that were from her dad and mom's wedding. It was the very same thought and gesture that went into the rings, which also went along the theme of ‘something borrowed’ that was beautiful!

Dances to Remember

Before the couple’s main wedding dance, there was Chad’s dance with his mom, and Ashley’s dance with her dad. This was huge for them because family means so much.

“My mom and dad split years ago, which divided the families,” Ashley said. “One thing I saw when I envisioned my wedding was the families being together and enjoying each other's company. Chad understood how important that was to me and helped me make that happen! With making this a destination wedding...well, they had to be together, and thankfully they all enjoyed each other with a lot of reminiscing.”

Since this was my first wedding ever in Ucluelet, I deferred my questions to the wedding planner. That part of the island is known for its spectacular sunsets. Even on cloudy days, the sun usually comes out. About an hour before sunset, Suzanne said that her optimism had waned and we probably wouldn’t get one.    

Not long after though, the sun started peeking through. We grabbed the bride and groom for a few photos, but they were anxious to get back to the dancing. The only problem was that the sunset just kept getting better and better. Finally, we came up with the idea to bring them back to the beach for a dance.

Suzanne and I had Steve (the DJ) play Chad and Ashley’s song that they originally wanted to walk into for the reception. Given Ashley’s culture, her grandparents wanted them to walk into the wedding dhol beat (Indian instrumental), and again Chad being the amazing guy he said “of course”. But then, to have the couple dance to their song, as the sunset just got better and better, was not something the bride and groom expected. This was a spontaneous and unexpected surprise for them, but a richly rewarding experience when all was said and done.

Their dance truly could not have been more romantic. The photos turned out amazing, and I know that that scene in their minds will never fade. 

The Vendors Who Helped Make this Dream Wedding a Reality

It is truly amazing the number of people who can band together to make one couple’s dream of a beach wedding come to life. 

Naturally first credit goes to Ashley and Chad’s wedding planner Suzanne Ryles from West Coast Weddings and Events who was amazing! Many of the questions I had were deferred to her, since this was my first ever wedding to photograph in Ucluelet.

Thank you to Mark McKeough from On the Beach as the wedding videographer. 

Catering credit goes to Paul and Tony from Memphis Blues, who came with their food truck to the Island.

Both the flowers and cake were generously contributed by Willowbrook Safeway Extra. 

The beautiful wedding cake you see here was made by Ashley’s mom and aunt! The icing and plain cake came from Safeway as well, but these two women are the ones who put it all together with this spectacular result!

All tables, tents, chairs, etc. came from Smashing Glasses in Tofino.

Ashley’s wedding dress came from Lisa’s Bridal in New Westminster. They were amazing at making you feel like it was your special day and really looking for your vision. Ashley found it on day one and only went into that store! 

The bride and groom’s Indian outfits and change of clothing came from Frontier in Delta. So beautiful!

Outfits for the groom and his groomsmen were from Moore's, and the bridesmaids dresses were from David's Bridal.

Steve Barr was the DJ and he was amazing with taking special requests! He did Indian music for his first time and rocked it.

Many thanks to Wya Point in Ucluelet for providing a private and beautiful setting for Ashley and Chad.

And of course, all photos taken here were taken by me, Cheryl Kathler from Photos by Cheryl “who was also like having another party planner!” according to Ashley.

It really was a dream come true for Ashley and Chad. Did you like what you saw here? Maybe I’m the best fit for your big day. Contact me if you think we’d be a great match. Let’s talk about making your dream wedding come true!

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) Chad & Ashley Foster wedding 2019 professional photographer professional wedding photographer professional wedding photography ucluelet bc wedding ucluelet beach wedding wedding photographer wedding photography wedding photos wedding photos ucluelet bc Fri, 18 Oct 2019 18:47:46 GMT
5 Ideas for Autumn Themed Family Photoshoots 5 Ideas for Autumn Themed Family Photoshoots | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 5 Ideas for Autumn Themed Family Photoshoots

Do you or your family have any traditions that take place in autumn? We all love the thought of capturing such moments on our phones, but sometimes it feels really nice to be a part of those photos yourself. Seasons come and go, but memories in photographs are forever.

To me, autumn is the best time of the year for photos, not only because of the gorgeous scenery, but also because of the holidays and traditions I get to share with families. If you’ve booked a photoshoot with me and aren’t sure where to start, perhaps I can help. Here are 5 ideas for an autumn themed family photoshoot.

Back to School

That first day or week of going back to school is a big deal for families. Many take photos of their kids all ready with the backpacks and either their big grins or frowns holding a sign, which has their name, age, and what grade they are going into, and sometimes little extras too. 

Why not get these types of family photos professionally shot each year? It saves you the trouble of trying to get your phone angled exactly right. You can be in the photos too, with your big yahoo grin that the kids are going back. Maybe you can get a picture taken of you waving from the front door, then a picture of you in your pajamas while on the couch or your favourite armchair holding a glass of wine. 

There is so much you can do to make back to school creative for you and your family. Why not get the photo of the kids coming home from their first day (providing it goes smoothly)? They may have been grinning to go there but frowning coming home or vice versa.

Fun with Leaves

A nice fall family photo can be messy if you want it to be! Vancouver BC is filled to the brim with parks where all the browning leaves are on the ground. Leaves can be fun for the whole family! Run through the leaves, play with them, or roll around in them. The bonus part is knowing there are professional family photos being taken while you’re busy having fun. 


There are so many things you can do with this holiday that many don’t even realize. Ideas are in as much abundance as the holiday itself! You could do a costumed shoot (if you’re bold), getting someone dressed up as a turkey, or just ask for a simple round-the-table dinner shoot.

You may have a tradition you do every year such as going around the table saying what you are thankful for. Why not create a photoshoot around that idea? Perhaps you all wear ugly sweaters for fun; you can have a shoot sitting around the fireplace, or somewhere in the living room, or maybe in the back yard. 

Food is a big to-do when it comes to Thanksgiving. I’m sure your family has their own special secret recipe that everyone can’t wait to eat. Why not do a mini shoot of the cooks in the kitchen? Show the appreciation of all the hard work they do putting together such a big and delicious meal. 

Pumpkin Patch or Corn Maze? Maybe Both?

If you are already planning trips to the local pumpkin patch and corn maze, you can turn these outings into family photoshoots. That means you don’t have to worry about being the photographer yourself; you get to be in the pictures too and have a lot more fun! Getting photos of you and your family trying to navigate a corn maze can be super exciting, especially if your hired professional photographer gets lost with you. 

The pumpkin patch can be especially fun. Try to find the biggest pumpkin in the patch; can the whole family fit around it? Or find the smallest ones and have your little ones hold them up to the camera for some beautiful and precious photos. 


This is the family holiday that really puts the care in scare. A photoshoot for Halloween doesn’t have to be just in costume (although those in and of themselves can be extremely fun and creative!). If you all like scary movies, why not do a shoot around that? Whether it be reactions to you watching a scary movie (which can be super entertaining for all), or creating your own little horror film through a series of photographs, the possibilities are endless. You just have to get creative, and being spooky helps too. 

There’s no shortage of fun to be had while getting beautifully shot photos of you and your family. Would you like to celebrate the season with me? Contact me if you’d like to book a photoshoot. The memories you can make this time of the year are priceless and worth capturing. Maybe it’s time you got a professional’s touch so you can be a part of them!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) autumn photos autumn themed family photoshoot fall family photoshoots fall photos family photographer family photography family photos family photoshoot ideas professional family photographer professional family photography professional photographer themed family photoshoot ideas themed family photoshoots Mon, 07 Oct 2019 17:30:00 GMT
5 Reasons You Should Book a Fall Family Photoshoot 5 Reasons You Should Book a Fall Family Photoshoot | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - 5 Reasons You Should Book a Fall Family Photoshoot

I love this time of the year! Fall is resplendent with striking warm colours we see in the scenery and our own layers of clothing. There are more leaves on the ground, and pumpkins are ripening in the fields. 

It really is a wonderful time to take photos. Would you like to remember this season with your family? Here are 5 reasons why you should book a fall family photoshoot this year.

1. School Picture Day was a Bust

Either you missed picture day on their first day of school, or your child’s photos didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would. With a family fall photoshoot, you get to help be in charge. You can make sure no one has a bad hair day and have a lot more fun playing with backgrounds and poses.

2. Fall Photos Make Great Christmas Gifts

A nice fall family photo makes a great Christmas gift, especially for grandparents. There’s nothing like an up-to-date picture of the entire family looking comfortable, cozy, and having fun with the fallen leaves or while in the pumpkin patch. Grandparents get to see the kids, even if it is not in person. It’s a simple gesture that can put a smile on the face of those who receive it. 

3. Autumn is the Best Season to Take Photos

This is partly why I love this time of the year so much. The sky changes colours, the leaves are falling from the trees and changing colours too, and the temperature shifts so outside is not too hot and not too cold. Autumn makes for so much creativity, comfort, and fun for everyone. Whether you’re hanging out in the park under an almost naked tree or walking through the leaves wearing your favourite sweater, fall offers the best scenery to take photos.

4. Everyone Looks Great in Sweater Weather

Speaking of sweaters, there are several types and styles to wear, and everyone has at least one favourite they love to wear during fall. Who wouldn’t want to show off their favourite sweater with a family photoshoot? Everyone looks great, comfortable, and just warm enough walking through the fall breeze just as your family photographer snaps an impressive photo. 

5. It’s a Fun Outing Before Winter Hits

If you are already doing some fun fall things such as visiting a pumpkin patch, navigating through a corn maze, and walking in the park playing with the leaves, why not make a family photoshoot out of it? It gets you out of the house and gets you together with your family while you do something fun and exciting. All the while you’re creating memories and getting photos taken by a professional family photographer as proof of how fun your day was.

Perhaps I can help capture those wonderful fall memories? Contact me if you think I’d be a great match for you and your family. I’d be happy to share my love of the season with you!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) autumn family photos book a family photoshoot book photography session fall family photos fall family photoshoot family photographer family photography family photos photography professional family photographer professional family photography professional photographer why to book a fall family photoshoot Wed, 02 Oct 2019 17:30:00 GMT
How to Back Up Your Digital Photos (& Why You Should) How to Back Up Your Digital Photos (& Why You Should) | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Back Up Your Digital Photos (& Why You Should)

We are in the digital age now, where every photo we take is right at our fingertips. But that picture of your child’s first steps could be accidentally deleted just as instantly, and if it’s not backed up, it’ll be lost forever.

Back before social media and Google became engrained into our lives, we used to have to wait a few weeks for film to be developed. Only afterwards were you able to find out whether or not it was a good photograph. Then, we either stuck them into a photo album, a scrapbook, or a shoe box for safekeeping. Now, we can have our photos all on our smartphones that we carry around in our pockets, purses, and backpacks.

We don’t necessarily have to worry about the accidental deletion by us, but what if the digital camera or phone gets lost, stolen, or broken?

These are the most important reasons why you need to back up those digital photographs of yours, so your precious memories are kept safe!

Generally I recommend you have at least 3 backups of any photo or image on 2 different forms of media and one offsite. That way you don’t have to worry about losing your data or photos.

Here are a few suggestions to make sure your photos, whether it’s of your family, wedding, children, and so on are kept forever.

1. Social Media

Since many of us upload our photos to at least one or more social media site, not many think about this aspect. If your pictures get deleted, or your phone gets lost, stolen, or broken, and you have them uploaded to your social media page, you may be able to download them to your next device or computer.

Facebook is an example that has this option. Simply click on your photo, then click on the menu button on the top right corner and click on save to phone (if you’re on your smartphone). Or you can share an external copy and e-mail it to yourself or send it to a friend or family member.

2. An External Hard Drive or a USB Thumb Drive

Transferring your photos to an external hard drive is simple and pocket-friendly. Just plug in your USB thumb drive or connect the USB cable from the external hard drive to your device. Be careful not to disconnect while copying is in progress to avoid corrupted files! Simply highlight the photos you wish to back up, click on “copy to”, and then select the thumb drive or hard drive you want and they will transfer to the USB drive.

I know from experience that external hard drives can crash. Do not rely solely on this as your only backup.

3. Online Back-up and Cloud Storage Services

There are online back-up services that you can use for your photos and data. Once signed up and you initiate the first back-up, it will run in the background, automatically scan new files, and create back-ups. Most offer unlimited Cloud storage space; some are free of charge, and some you will have pay for.

Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox are examples of Cloud storage services that allow you to upload your photos and files to your storage account via their website or device app. You not only have a back-up, but also file synchronization and file sharing features.

A few other Cloud storage solutions include the following websites:


This online hub lets you create your own personalized webpage (web address included) with unique designs to choose from. The plans include unlimited photo storage and a wide range of photo editing tools.

Amazon Prime Photos:

Not just your favourite online retailer, those who are signed up for Amazon Prime can download the Amazon Prime Photos App. Not only can you store your unlimited number of photos, but you can order photo prints, cards, calendars and more, delivered to your door. There is an awesome feature called Family Vault, which allows you to have up to five people to store unlimited photos collectively.

Google Photos:

If you have an Android device with a Google account, you can set up for your photos to automatically be backed up to your Google Photos as soon as you take or download a photo. It now includes more edition options like colour adjustment, cropping, resizing and more. It is a free account for unlimited storage, but photos can be no bigger than 16 megapixels. For larger sized photos, you must pay to get storage of 100BG.


Another storage site for the professional, Pixpa is not only for photo storage, but offers an online portfolio, e-commerce store, and client galleries. No website knowledge required; you can choose from any number of their themes to showcase your photography work. Their plans have cloud storage space for original files with options ranging from 10GB to 10TB.


The most well-known file hosting service on the internet has a user-friendly interface and its easy use folder system can be used for storing photos and other digital files online. Dropbox works with any computer operating system and has apps for iOS and Android devices.


If you own an Apple device, iCloud is best used as an extension of Apple Photos, however, it is also compatible with Windows. You can upload your photos online and display them in a photo-stream, and like a social media site, you can tag names and locations, and other iCloud users can join the stream by adding their own photos.

iCloud’s free account is 5GB of storage. Paid plans are available for more storage.

Microsoft OneDrive:

Not only does it store and back-up photos, but other kinds of files, so no specialized photo enhancing features here. It uses the same interface as Windows 10, so those with that operating system or have used that operating system may be more at ease with its use.

OneDrive’s free account is 5GB of storage.

4. Computer Storage

A simple and easily accessible means of backing up photographs is to store them on your computer’s internal hard drive. However, since some computer hard drives have been known to fail, it’s always recommended to take another back-up on a different form of media—just to be on the safe side.

5. Hard Copy Prints

For the most important photos in your life, the best kind of backup is to have them printed and kept away either in a special box, photo album, or scrapbook. This way, in the off chance the digital picture gets deleted, corrupted, or what-have-you, you will have an original photograph print, which you can then scan and re-convert it into a digital image.

6. Photo Recovery Software

If your device loses your photos and you haven’t got them backed up, not to worry. There is photo recovery software that can help to recover your photos for you to then back up for no further future loss.

Isn’t technology amazing? With these suggestions and tips in mind, you can safely recollect your most precious memories! Are you interested in making new ones that you can cherish forever? Check out my packages for professional photography such as for families, weddings, and so much more. Contact me if you have any questions at all!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) digital photo back up how to back up digital photos how to save and back up photos how to save family photos photography professional photographer where to back up digital photos why to back up photos why you need to save your photos Wed, 18 Sep 2019 07:00:00 GMT
Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What’s the Difference? Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What's the Difference? | Photos by Cheryl Photos by Cheryl - Lifestyle Sessions vs. Headshots: What's the Difference? With the rise of casual business photos and social media in this digital age, how you present yourself as a professional is changing. Did you know that there is a term for appearing as more casual while also being professional? This style of photography is becoming well-known as a ‘lifestyle session’ or ‘lifestyle photography’.

Today, I’d like to help you better understand the choice in how you can appear in your business’s profile and photos online. Learn what the difference between a standard headshot is versus a lifestyle session, and why more and more people are leaning toward the latter.

Professional Headshots

A headshot is a portrait that focuses on the person in the photo. The term applies to actors, models, and authors, as well as professionals and CEOs. The intention is to show the person as they appear currently, reflecting their best qualities while professionally posed by the photographer either in the office or in a studio. 

With business headshots for corporations, the image is to convey the individual’s or a corporation’s brand identity. The corporation usually chooses a simplified background for all its headshots, while an individual may choose action, experience, or background objects to best communicate their brand. Corporations and other businesses may have a manual for the type and style of headshot they require. 

Other uses of headshots include:

  • LinkedIn personal and publisher profiles
  • Facebook business pages
  • About Us pages
  • Professional Resumes
  • Corporate catalogs, brochures, and advertising material 
  • Company publications and websites, both internal and external
  • Press releases and other announcements
  • Articles and newspapers
  • Author pages

Lifestyle Photo Sessions

If you were to open a magazine and flip to the contributors’ page, you will see a bunch of headshots. Most of them now tend to be of the lifestyle variety, with an example being a freelance writer poking her smiling face in between the gaps of a tree, or a photographer holding their camera. Lifestyle headshots are becoming increasingly popular for their more candid and casual style. Seeing a person in their element is more appealing nowadays than a purposefully posed picture.

Lifestyle headshots, or lifestyle photos, incorporate “real-life events” into the photo session, like an author at a library or bookstore or a family at a park or beach. Since lifestyle sessions are more candid, the poses are candid too, with little to no direction from the photographer which can end up capturing a “rawer” moment in the professional’s life.

The person in the photo may not even be focused on the camera; they could be looking aside, looking out of a window, or doing something that’s part of their business, like a hairstylist cutting or colouring hair. In the lifestyle photos, they are more relaxed and comfortable and are usually in a location setting rather than a portrait studio. One or more outfits may be used, and the choice usually up to the client, but you can ask your professional photographer on what attire you should wear as to what message you wish to convey via your lifestyle photo.

This type of photography can distinguish you from others in your field by your willingness to be different in a modern but professional way, representing your choice of contemporary imagery, attire, location, and facial expression. It can also be used to celebrate an achievement, such as training for a fitness competition.

Using expressive imagery can reinforce a desired personality, which speaks to potential clients as creative and/or self-employed professionals, personal, and business personas are 100% blended. Lifestyle is also great for the solo entrepreneur who wants to showcase different sides of them throughout their website. Often they bring props that help to get that point across.

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Would you like your next photo session to reveal those thousands of words? Contact me today to see if you and I would be the best fit for your photography needs. A lifestyle session could be exactly the key to help you stand out in the business world and look amazing, too!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) business owner profile photos business photos business profiles differences between lifestyle and headshot headshot photography headshot photos headshots lifestyle photo session lifestyle photography professional photographer professional photography what is a lifestyle photo what is lifestyle photography Thu, 12 Sep 2019 07:00:00 GMT
Benefits of Monthly Installments for Photo Sessions Benefits of Monthly Installments for Photo Sessions | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Benefits of Monthly Installments for Photo Sessions You may have noticed by now that I have introduced a brand new set of rates for professional photography on my website, called Monthly Payments Packages. You can check them out here.

You may also be wondering, “What do you mean, monthly installments?” Well, monthly installments are for specific package deals on photo sessions. Instead of paying the total sum upfront, you instead break up that payment into monthly ones at a lower cost.

These are worth your while for a lot of good reasons! Today I’m going to outline the many benefits you and your family will receive when you sign up for this type of package.

1. You get more, while paying less    

99% of the time someone wants to get family photos taken, they may not have the budget to pay for everything in one go. This is unfortunately how most payments are done in Canada, such as for TVs, computers, and so on. However, many of my clients have been families who really want to treasure the memories they have of the children as they grow up. Families have a lot of bills to pay and their budgets are strained. It’s very likely everyone wants family photos for sure, but paying over $1,000 all at once is going to be detrimental and damaging to their wallets and even their lives.

My monthly installments ensure that you get a lot more photos, while also paying less. For example, rather than paying for a year-long photo session consisting of $1,824 right away, you will instead be paying $152 over the course of 12 months, which is much, much more affordable for anyone and their family. The number of photos you’ll get and the precious memories you’ll be able to build per session will also be exceptionally greater.

2. More time spent with your family   

A year can go by fast! To some, it can pass in what feels like the blink of an eye. Kids grow up, and the time spent with them in their childhood is a precious thing. I’m a mom myself, so I know how it is when life gets so busy that it feels like it’s flying right past you.

A single photo session with your family, while it’s lovely, doesn’t really show you that sense of just how many memories were built in the past year. Monthly installments can really bring to light just what went on, and the photos being taken will mean you spend a lot of extra time with your family rather than not—meaning you can live your life comfortably knowing you’ll have proof that those memories were created!

3. Kids change

And they change daily! The things kids go through at their age feels a great deal more than what we’ve become accustomed to as adults. For example, we pass by trees day in and out when we’re going to work. But when you’re a kid, you really pay attention to the little things, like whether the tree has flowers blooming on its branches, or how it sways its leafy shadows in the wind, or how cool the breeze feels on your cheek. In some cases, the kids may debate whether this is a tree worth climbing too!

I doubt you want to turn around for what feels like a second when they’re a toddler and then when you look back realize they’ve aged into a 9-year-old. You can capture the past year in action when you sign up for monthly installments of photographs, as opposed to paying for one session and then that’s it.

4. You may not have time to do it yourself

Sure, we all have smartphones nowadays and as far as features go they’re being developed as more and more impressive. However, there are still times when a photo from a smartphone just doesn’t quite cut it in terms of photography, whether it's your children or maybe you finally scheduled a date night with your hubby. You want to be in the moment with those you love, but with a smartphone you either have to be out of the picture entirely or you risk other people taking the photo for you—and chances are they’re really bad at taking pictures!

Monthly installments are made because I’m a professional who wants to offer you photography that will last for years to come, even if in that moment you don’t think it means much. That last picture you took of your dad or mom may be their last (which I know sounds very grim, but it’s true). 

How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to remember those you loved and have lost? Would you like to reflect on this year? If your answer to any one of these questions is yes, then signing up for monthly installments may be exactly what you need to do, for your sake as well as your family’s.

Contact me if you have any questions about my packages. Alternatively, we can talk and see if I’d be the best fit for capturing your year in photographs. Let’s talk.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photo session family photography family photos monthly installments monthly installments for photos monthly photo sessions monthly photos photo sessions professional photographer professional photography professional photoshoots year's worth of photos Mon, 09 Sep 2019 18:54:28 GMT
5 Reasons for Getting Professional Headshots 5 Reasons for Getting Professional Headshots | Photos by Cheryl5 Reasons for Getting Professional Headshots - Photos by Cheryl

When one thinks of headshots, one thinks of an aspiring actor looking for their big break. This isn’t necessarily the case though. In the real world, the saying “Never judge a book by its cover” is misleading. If you are a working professional, or are job hunting or want to make a lasting impression in the worlds of entrepreneurship or business, making a good first impression starts with how people perceive you the first time they see you. This first impression always starts when they see your photograph. 

In this modern age of technology, everything is online, which means you need to look professional on your LinkedIn page and your business website, since that is where potential professional contacts or clients are going to see you first. 

This and many more reasons are why you need to find a professional photographer who specializes in headshots. They know how to position you and/or your employees and staff, choose the best backdrop, and how to use lighting to get the best possible shots. In addition, they can give you advice on what type of colours and clothing to wear as well as clothing options the day of your photoshoot.  

For these photos, you should be dressed as you would in your work environment. For example, a business executive should wear a suit. If your work environment is more flexible with uniforms, choose colours that flatter your skin tone and hair colour. Solid colours are better than patterns. 

Skip the selfie-stick and go for the professional investment. Here are a few other reasons why you should consider getting professional headshots done.

1. You'll Look the Part

If you want to be treated as a professional, you need to look professional. A professional headshot conveys that sense of authority and respectfulness. If you look the part, potential clients, investors, collaborators, etc. who don’t personally know you are more likely to agree to a first meeting with you.

2. It Will Help You Take Yourself Seriously

By making the investment in professional headshot photography, it means you’re making an investment in yourself; you’re taking yourself and your career seriously. Looking your best can make you feel good, and a professional photo to share with others in your line of work can help boost self-confidence, inspire you to share more of yourself with others, and overcome work-related challenges.

3. You Will Stand Out from the Crowd

A professional photo makes recruiters, potential employers, and important contacts take a closer look at you, especially if it’s high-res and visually pleasing. It reminds business contacts who you are if they only met you in passing at a function or convention, making it more likely they will accept your “friend” or “follow” request online. When it comes to LinkedIn, the professional photo supports and enhances the skills and experience you have outlined in your profile, which helps you stand out.

4. Stay on Top of Everyone’s Minds

Speaking of the social media aspect, by including a professional headshot on your accounts, it will enable people to put a face to the name. It’ll be more likely that you stay top-of-mind to important contacts who look you up, whether before or after you meet. 

A good headshot can give people an idea of your personality before they meet you. A smile portrays approachability; a serious look portrays determination. Your expression should match your personality (though a smile is most recommended). People can also tell a lot just from your eyes. Do you enjoy what you do? That often is filtered through your eyes.

5. It Could Be Your Only Shot

In this fast-paced digital world, most contacts have no time to read more than a few lines of your resume or portfolio. The best chance to make a positive, instant impression on potential employers or customers is a good headshot. A professionally done headshot gives people an idea of what you look like now. If your photo isn’t current, it sends a message of inauthenticity, especially given how much our appearances change over the years.

Now you know more about why they're necessary. Do you need headshots taken of yourself or of your company? Check out the rates on my website for individual or group corporate sessions. If you have any questions at all such as what's involved with bigger groups, contact me.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) company photos headshot photography headshots for business owners headshots for entrepreneurs professional headshot photography professional headshots professional photographer professional photography Fri, 30 Aug 2019 20:00:00 GMT
What to Know About Artificial Vs. Natural Light in Photography What to Know About Artificial Vs. Natural Light in Photography | Photos by CherylWhat to Know About Artificial Vs. Natural Light in Photography - Photos by Cheryl

When it comes to professional photography, I’ve established that lighting is important (if you need a refresher course feel free to check out my last post!). But is artificial light better than natural light? Or are there certain shots that require one light over another? 

My answer is, it all really depends on the situation and setting of your photoshoot as to which lighting is better, as well as personal preference. As a professional photographer myself, the key to deciding on which lighting would work the best is by determining which is more appropriate and the benefits and drawbacks of each before each session.

Let's Get Back to Basics: What are Natural and Artificial Light?

Natural light is pretty straightforward: it’s the light that occurs naturally outdoors. It is harder to control this light since it’s greatly affected by the weather, time of day, water vapours in the air, and the location of your photoshoot. For any type of photography, natural light is more challenging to take photos in (but it’s so worth it at the right time!).  

Artificial light refers to anything like electric lighting, flash and fluorescent lights—anything excluding natural light. It creates various types of colour heat signatures, such as halogen being blue and colder, whereas tungsten is hotter and gives off a reddish hue. There is greater control over artificial light during photo sessions, whether it’s the angle, intensity, distance, or hardness.

When Should You Use Each Light?

Despite artificial light being easier to control, it doesn’t mean I or all photographers can work with it straightaway. There are situations where artificial light is preferred, but not be available to every photographer all the time. This type of light also costs more to use and is used the most in commercial photography, product photography, fashion photography, headshots, and any in studio photoshoots. 

Natural light is free, which makes it more available as a light source. It’s perfect for not needing to, wanting to, or no time to set up a heavily involved shoot. Natural light is most frequently used for documentary shots, street photography, landscapes, and any outdoor images.

Ucluelet BC. Natural Lighting in Photography. Photos by CherylUcluelet BC - example of natural lighting in photography

Artificial and Natural Light Advantages

If you want to have the most control over how a photo looks, then artificial light will be your go-to especially when it comes to post-processing and controlling every aspect of your photographs. Artificial is constantly available any time of day or night, and you don’t have to plan around factors like the time of day and the weather. You can mimic sunlight or moonlight based on the specific type of artificial light you choose for shots, which can give the impression you worked with natural light without doing so. 

Artificial light sources can be simple and inexpensive in addition to applying the more expensive, professional strobe lights. Some can be difficult to set up, while others are quite easy to use. 

In addition to being free, natural light, for the most part, is abundant. All that’s needed is a camera and sunlight or moonlight. Reflectors and diffusers can help to bounce natural light off from the lens, and they’re inexpensive.

Artificial and Natural Light Disadvantages

Artificial light is a bigger investment in terms of money, time, and planning. Professional lighting sources not only require the lights, but also the equipment to hold them in place. This means cost-wise, your photo session is paying for more than one light, the equipment to hold them, and the place or studio in which the shoots will take place, all of which is a big commitment on its own.  

Natural light’s biggest dilemma is how the sunlight varies with the season, location, time of day, and weather. This can result in unexpected contrasts and colours in your shots. When and where the shots are taken will determine the specific look you’re going for, and it may also mean having to adjust plans during sessions.  

Knowing this may help you determine your own personal preferences for your upcoming photoshoot! If you have any questions involving lighting, or perhaps you want to know better how I take photographs for clients, feel free to contact me. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up clicking and come up with a photoshoot plan that works best for you!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) artificial light in studio photography is artificial light best for photos light for photography sessions lighting in photo sessions lighting in photography natural light photo session photography lighting photoshoot professional photographer professional photography Mon, 26 Aug 2019 17:30:00 GMT
The Latest Wedding Trends Every Engaged Couple Needs to Know The Latest Wedding Trends Every Engaged Couple Needs to Know | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - The Latest Wedding Trends Every Engaged Couple Needs to Know

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to photograph some incredible weddings. In my time as a professional photographer, I’ve noticed some very interesting trends in development or in full swing for weddings. Some of these trends I’ve witnessed while taking photos of blissful newlyweds I’ve met in the past 20 years. Other trends I think are slowly but surely making their mark in people’s lives, usually for the better. 

If you’re getting married soon or are planning your wedding, it helps to know what the latest trends are. After all, if you’re getting professional wedding photos then you want those captured memories to be beautiful ones! So to help you out, here are some of the latest wedding trends that I think every engaged couple should know about. 

(PS: if you’re looking for a professional wedding photographer, here’s why you and I might make a great fit!)

Trend #1: Less People = A Much More Memorable Wedding

Let me drop a truth bomb: weddings are expensive! The bride and groom have so much to consider and decide upon and pay for, more so than some couples may even realize. Plus, the bigger your list of people attending is, the more things you’ll have to worry about. How big is the cake going to have to be? How big of a venue will you need if the guest list is huge? What should you do if your family or your beloved’s family is massive? Will you have enough seating and food to offer everyone? 

Everything about weddings adds up in terms of costs. There’s not only the cake and the bride’s wedding dress to pay for. Food, drinks, and cocktails can add to the cost of the wedding. Decorations are another cost and depending on the theme of the wedding (urban, rustic, vintage, or modern) will determine if they need to be DIY or if you need to hire a decorator. And yes, wedding photography can also be an expense (not too too much of one though! View my wedding packages to see why). 

Also… when was the last time you spoke with every single guest on your list? Do you really need to have your third cousin twice removed just because they did a favour for you? Wouldn’t you rather have the people you and your betrothed love so, so much in your life to be in the wedding photos with you? 

This all boils down to trend #1: the less people at your wedding, the better your big day will be. More and more couples are opting in to invite less people to their big day, not only for their budget’s sake but also because life is far too short to spend such a memorable event with people you barely know. 

Less people at a wedding means a more intimate ceremony, a much more fun reception, and way more memorable wedding photos at the end of the day.

Trend #2: BC Destination Weddings

I’ve been to a lot of BC-specific venues in the past year and a bit for photographing weddings! These places in particular have become exceptionally popular not just this year but in the last several. 

  • Ucluelet.
  • Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino.
  • Tigh Na Mara, Parksville.
  • Penticton.
  • Okanagan wineries.
  • Galiano Island.
  • UBC.
  • Whiterock.
  • Whistler.

It’s for a ton of great reasons too. For one, BC’s landscapes are diverse and unique. You have mountains and beaches, rocky shores and green spreads of plains, rural and urban settings all rolled into one area...the list goes on. Every season is full of colour and vibrancy. Many of my clients have created so many wonderful memories in BC before they officially tied the knot, or they have created new ones at these destinations. However you look at them, these BC-specific destinations are not only trendy, they are here for life.

Trend #3:  A Bigger Budget for Epic Photos

I’ve seen lots more couples in the past year and a bit save up for more epic photos and have that be the center of their budget entirely, and they loved the end result! I think this is because they’ve realized something very important. 

A wedding is all about declaring your love for one another, and having that love be shared and treasured and reflected upon years after the day took place. To do that, there needs to be a lot more involvement with the photos being taken. Like I said, following this trend has proven to be worth their while.

Trend #4: Not Every Wedding Needs to Take Place at a Golf Course

Trend #4 is all about personalization. From the flowers to the wedding cake to the decor to the locations for photos, the more personalization that is applied to the wedding, the more fantastic the day will be. There’s no one ‘type’ of bride or groom; why, then, should you force yourself to fit a certain ‘type’ of engaged couple?  

Your wedding does not have to take place in a super fancy golf course or hotel or even a huge castle. While these can be the dream wedding locations for some brides, some opinions do not speak for all—least of all yours! 

Trend #5: Smaller Weddings = Creative Weddings

Going back to the guest list, a smaller wedding can mean investing in other elements that can add up to a really creative wedding in the process. A lot of the trends below are based off of what’s very popular this year in terms of how a wedding looks in the final photography result, ranging from the decorations to the overall look and feel of the event:

  • Minimalist and contemporary themes. Think simple but elegant, streamlined and modern.
  • A return to the classics. For all of the latest minimalism and contemporary decor choices going on, lots of couples are also opting to stick with the classic, elegant choices such as lacy wedding dresses, gold and silver and white decor, and black tuxes for the gentlemen.
  • Lots and lots more colours! This year it’s okay to break tradition and not have a full-on white wedding. Some of the most popular ones this year consist of ivory, blush, and golden hues.
  • Lots of really creative themes. Instead of a colour palette, settings and decor inspired by the couple’s favourite book or movie may be a factor.
  • Monograms. Ranging from on the wedding cake, to on the drinking glasses for guests, to handwritten notes.
  • Couples are choosing to have a bigger budget for wedding photography. This is one thing a lot of couples are saving up for in terms of adding a wow factor even if the wedding is a small one.
  • Mixed colours and custom suits for the groom and his best friends. Because it’s not just the bride’s special day, it’s the groom’s too. 

All of these trends have resulted in some amazing wedding photos even if the occasion is a small one! Having a smaller wedding can also lend a hand to getting creative when it comes to setting up large group photos, or maybe you want to add that personalized touch without having to break your bank account and were inspired by the above list. Either way, there are lots of ways to get creative about your wedding and the photos you’d like to have taken, so don’t feel too bad if your wedding’s budget is not as huge as you dreamed. Sometimes a smaller wedding has ended up being the most memorable day for everyone involved. 

So, now you know about the latest wedding trends. Do you think I would be a good fit for your engagement and wedding? Contact me and let’s find out together! We can rehash what’s popular or what’s on the horizon in terms of weddings and how I could best capture this incredible stage of your life.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) professional wedding photographer professional wedding photography professional wedding photos wedding photo session wedding photographer wedding photography wedding photos wedding photoshoot wedding trends wedding trends canada wedding trends Vancouver BC Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:25:29 GMT
The Importance of Lighting in Professional Photography The Importance of Lighting in Professional Photography | Photos by CherylThe Importance of Lighting in Professional Photography - Photos by Cheryl

Have you ever taken a photo on your phone’s camera and then look at it later? You may be wondering why some of your phone’s photos look so dark in some spots, or blurry, or just not quite right. Chances are, it could be the lighting.

If you’ve got a big life event coming you, you already know you don’t want to look at photos later only to realize the lighting is all wrong! Here are some more points about the importance of lighting when it comes to professional photography.

Setting the Right Mood for Your Life Event

When it comes to creating the perfect image, lighting is such a key factor. Light can determine tone, mood, and atmosphere of the moment in the photograph as well as brightness and darkness.

In order to get the best texture, vibrancy of colour and glow on the focus it is necessary to control and manipulate light correctly. I usually create professional looking photographs with style by distributing shadow and highlights with accuracy.

Light Positioning

The direction in which your photo’s lighting comes from makes a huge impact on how it falls on the focus of the photograph.

  • Flat lighting is light pointing directly onwards, originating from behind the camera, which also causes shadows to fall in the background of the image.
  • Side lighting shows the shape of the focus more and give it a more dramatic look by casting it in partial shadow. An effective common example is Rembrandt lighting (using one light and a reflector, or two lights).
  • Lighting from behind the focus, i.e. the light hitting the side of the focus, makes the moment brighter and gives it an alternative effect, creating a more distinctive and dramatic photo.

Light Shaping

To reduce glare and harsh shadows and diminish blemishes on your focus, adding a diffuser to your light source helps. This gives artificial light a more natural looking and softer result. You can diffuse light in your photos using soft boxes, umbrellas, and sheer heatproof material, all of which recommended to achieve this result. 

Light Manipulating

Using diffusers and reflectors, light can be manipulated to fall on an area of interest in the focus. Collapsible reflectors shape sunlight or bounce the flash’s light with on the area that could use emphasis. Covering spotlights in light shapers enables me to have more control over the direction the light falls and how broad it spans.

At the end of the day, all of this means that it takes a really keen eye and lots (I repeat, lots) of experience as a professional photographer to understand how important lighting is in photographs. It really does matter. Don’t make the same mistake of not taking light into consideration with your next event’s photographs. Contact me if you think my work is the perfect match for your photography needs.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) importance of lighting in photography lighting in photos photography lighting professional photographer professional photography why lighting in photography is important why lighting in photos matters Tue, 30 Jul 2019 20:15:00 GMT
Summer Photography Tips & Ideas for Your Next Session Summer Photography Tips & Ideas for Your Next Session | Photos by CherylSummer Photography Tips & Ideas for Your Next Session - Photos by Cheryl

Summer is a great time of year to make memories with photographs, capturing kids playing, vacation photos, scenery, and so much more. Learn some tips and tricks for your next summer photoshoot session.

Teaching Tips

When it comes to photographing people on a sunny day, it’s best to use the flash to fill in the shadows. Contrary to popular belief, flash isn’t just for the dark. This is true especially for sunsets. 

Photographs are all about perspective; get on a different level. When getting pictures of things such as flowers, being on the ground and looking up with the sky in the shot can really add some unique perspective.

The golden hour (i.e. the period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset, when daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky) is great for lighting, especially when trying to capture the silhouette of a person or object.

Here’s a suggestion called the hula hoop method. Find a spot and pretend you have a hula hoop, drop it on the ground, and don’t leave that circle. Spend at least 15 minutes at that spot. Look for interesting things in depth, take your time, and capture the details.

If the weather is dreary, find a location with lots of texture. Perhaps go to a beach on a grey day where there isn’t a lot of colour? Then, find something fun and colourful to put in the photo, for example, colourful flip-flops, a sand pail, a colourful wineglass, or a beach chair.

If you are somewhere you have been before, pretend you haven’t. Fresh eyes = a fresh perspective. If it’s a popular tourist spot, try to find something different to focus on.

Do you find the shot interesting? If you are passionate about what’s being photographed, it makes the photo that much more professional and high-quality.

Ideas for Great Summer Photos During the Session

If you want to get a shot of children playing, you don’t have to pose them; get on their level! Bubbles are a great background.

Take a day trip without an agenda. Perhaps there is a waterfall you have passed many times but never stopped at, or railroad tracks lined by wildflowers. Go with the intention that you are going to stop in the most random places.

Make sure that you get some of the background in the shot and be creative, especially while travelling. Don’t come home with a ton of photos where people have no idea where you have been. Or better yet, have someone else suggest locations to you (there are some fantastic ideas in this post if you’re interested!).

Places with water can make for great shots, especially splashing water, like fountains and waterparks.

Maybe the day you go on your photoshoot might be a stormy day; that doesn’t mean you can’t capture a storm on the water. Head down to the ocean. You might be surprised.

If you are the one who always takes the photos, be sure to get yourself in some of those photos. It’s about the memory, not how we look.

Hopefully these tips and ideas help your summer photos really shine! If you’re struggling to get yourself in the photos or you want to capture some summertime memories that will last a lifetime, let me help. Contact me if you think I’d be a good fit for your next photoshoot.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photo session tips family photos great family photo ideas photography professional photographer summer photography summer photos summer photoshoot summer photoshoot tips tips on family photo sessions vacation photos Mon, 22 Jul 2019 20:15:00 GMT
My Top 5 Locations for Summer Photoshoots My Top 5 Locations for Summer Photoshoots | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - My Top 5 Locations for Summer Photoshoots Summer is a wonderful season of the year when it comes to photographs! It is a season filled with ice cream cones, a whiff of sea salt on the ocean breeze, and lots and lots of sunshine-filled memories. Naturally along with the season comes an abundance of weddings, engagements, family picnics and beach days, outdoor barbecues and parties, and so much more. All of these summertime events are worth photographing, even if only for yourself!

Whatever the occasion may be, it deserves to be photographed in a location that's worth visiting in the summer. Maybe you’re getting ready for your summer wedding later this season or next year, or maybe you want to go out and enjoy the beautiful day with your loved ones and capture memories meanwhile.

I should add that Vancouver BC has so many venues to offer in the summer, it can make one feel dizzy just thinking about it! While I have already discussed in a previous blog post some great picks for outdoor photoshoot locations, these areas in particular are perfect for summer occasions. Without further ado (and, might I add, in no particular order), here are my five favourite summer photoshoot locations.

1. Deer Lake Park, Burnaby

This is a great spot that combines so many different elements in photography. Deer Lake Park is full of gorgeous gardens, heritage buildings, a boardwalk at the lake, fields, and trees. All of these elements can be combined to create beautiful summer photos, whatever the occasion might be.

2. Osprey Village, Pitt Meadows

This location is all about textures and colours. Osprey Village is a quaint street with little shops painted in different colours. If you love seeing textures in your outdoor photos, this is the place to be. Textures include white brick, wood, ivy, and beautiful storefront windows.

The street ends at the Fraser River. There is a small pier, trails in the woods, a big field, and tiny spots in the trees with rocks and wildflowers. (Note: the featured image for this article was in fact an engagement photo session that took place here!)

3. Whytecliffe Park, West Vancouver

If the ocean calls to you, this is the place. There are awesome spots throughout this part of West Vancouver, from down on the beach to the top of the park where there are sweeping vistas and a great place to watch the BC ferries go by. 

4. Shoreline Park & Old Mill Site, Port Moody

Rocky Point Park is a favourite go-to spot for photos. The downfall of this location is that with all the breweries that have popped up in the neighbourhood, finding parking is difficult.

Do you know about Shoreline Park? If you were to walk from Rocky Point to Old Orchard Park on the other side of the inlet, you will be walking through Shoreline Park. This location is much quieter and it is so beautiful. There are boardwalks, bridges over creeks, views of the inlet…there is a different view with each corner.

Continuing on the trail you will eventually come to the Old Mill Site. As long as the tide is not too high, this is an amazing place to explore, with concrete remnants of an old mill. You have to explore it to appreciate the photo opportunities.

5. Gastown, Vancouver

Taking a walk down the cobblestone streets surrounded by history is amazing. But, have you explored past the main street? Let me take you on an adventure.

I hope these present to you some awesome summer photo opportunities! If you think I’d be a great match for helping you capture your stage of life at any one of these locations, contact me. Let’s get together and talk about some of our favourite summertime stories.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) engagement photoshoot locations family photoshoot locations outdoor engagement photoshoot outdoor photographer outdoor photography outdoor photos outdoor photoshoot outdoor photoshoot locations photoshoot area ideas photoshoot locations photoshoots Vancouver BC professional photographer professional photography summer photos summer photoshoot Vancouver BC photoshoot locations wedding photoshoot locations Tue, 16 Jul 2019 19:59:34 GMT
Bride & Groom ‘First Look’ Photos: Should You Do These? Bride & Groom ‘First Look’ Photos: Should You Do These? | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Bride & Groom ‘First Look’ Photos: Should You Do These?

When planning your big day, sometimes this question will come up between you and me: "Should we do our photos before the wedding?"

Great question, and one that I briefly answered in my last blog post about wedding FAQ, but I have so much more to say that I wrote a longer answer here!

I personally experienced what I call a ‘First Look’ at my own wedding and I HIGHLY recommend it. It isn't for everyone, but it’s very effective in the right scenario. Whenever I photograph a bride and groom before a ceremony, I always ask them later what they thought. Everyone has been so happy that they did it.

How I Help Wedding Couples Decide

To help the wedding couple decide if First Looks are right for them, together we go through a general timeline for the day to see what will be the best scenario. I factor in the time of year. What time does the sun go down, and will we have enough time to capture those moments after the ceremony? Winter weddings have limited daylight. Are you okay with your guests waiting between ceremony and reception? Is there one venue for the day or two? What is your personality? 

There is a lot that goes into the decision. I have so many beautiful stories to tell that involve the “first look.” Generally I meet the groom and his men at the agreed location. We have a chance to chat, joke, and discuss the day ahead—oh, and take some pictures.

The bride and her girls arrive a little bit after that. We have already figured out the most magical way to have the first look.  Once they see each other, they have a chance to cry, to whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears, and to kiss. The moment is theirs and theirs alone. If the wedding party is with them, we take pictures.

The Results Have Always Been Beautiful! 

I always ask my clients after the wedding what it was like to walk down the aisle considering that they had already seen each other. They all basically say the same thing. The ceremony was not diminished by having seen each other beforehand. They were slightly more relaxed and had a chance to soak in what was being said during the ceremony. It was still a sweet, sweet experience for them.

We usually do a few family pictures afterwards and then head straight into a fabulous reception. The guests are happy, the bride and groom are happy, and as a photographer I couldn't be happier. It is an amazing day!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) bridal party photos bride and groom photos first look pre-wedding photos professional photographer professional wedding photographer should we do photos before wedding wedding photographer wedding photos wedding photoshoot Fri, 28 Jun 2019 20:30:00 GMT
Great Ideas that Include the Gift of Photography Great Ideas that Include the Gift of Photography | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Great Ideas that Include the Gift of Photography

Are you tired of feeling stumped over what to get your loved ones for their next birthday present, or Christmas perhaps? Have you ever thought about showing your appreciation after a big event is taking place, such as graduation or prom? Do you know someone who’s a budding photographer themselves?

If so, you’ve come to a good place! If you are looking for gifts for those who enjoy photography or would like to use photos as part of a personalized gift, here are some great ideas that include the wonderful gift of photography!

Gift Ideas for the Photographer or Photography Enthusiast

If you have the budget and can afford to splurge, here are some things a photography buff may want and/or need. 

For the nostalgic photographer using a film camera, perhaps they need some film, which is often a better deal to purchase more rolls.

Other ideas include:

  • Lenses
  • Lighting equipment
  • Memory cards
  • Carrier case
  • Straps
  • Batteries
  • Tripod
  • Camera cleaning kit
  • Photo editing software
  • 100 Photographs that Changed the World (book)
  • National Geographic subscription
  • Lensball
  • White balance filter
  • Remote shutter release
  • Polaroid camera and film
  • Quadcopter
  • Light reflector kit
  • Tickets to a photography event
  • Custom camera strap
  • Photography backdrops
  • Photography gloves/mittens

There are many, many more…

How to Personalize Your Gifts with Photos

You can create so many things using photos, and they all make great gifts! There are some really creative ideas in this list, ranging from minimal to big budget.

  • Photo albums after a big event, such as a wedding or family session
  • Scrapbooks with photos included
  • Handmade cards for Christmas, birthdays, etc.
  • Personalized mugs
  • T-shirts
  • Blankets
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Sweaters
  • License plates
  • Keychains
  • Charm bracelets
  • Photo socks
  • Personalized candles
  • Personalized plates
  • Custom notepads
  • Calendars
  • Collages
  • Digital photo frame
  • Puzzles
  • Wine and other alcohol labels
  • Canvas
  • Tea towels
  • Personalized notebooks
  • Serving tray
  • Playing cards
  • Phone case
  • Magnets
  • Place mats
  • Throw pillows
  • Wood framed posters
  • Photobooks
  • Coasters
  • Charm necklace
  • Photo clock

If you shared a special moment with someone or went to an event like a concert, you can create a collage of photos with things like event wristbands, confetti, and autographs. Or make a DVD slideshow and put some of their favourite music in the background, and have some cool transitional effects and stick some frames and icons around the photos.     

Get funky and try making one of these with photos: bookmarks, a photo memory jar, a photo pendant, a pull-out photo album, photo lollipops, postcards, photo pencils, gift tags, and a picture lampshade.    

The great thing about photos these days is there is so much you can do with them, digitally and physically, and with some of these ideas you can do both!

The creativity is endless. Whether you are on a budget or not, there is always something you can do with the gift of photography when you put your mind to it!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) photo themed gifts photograph gift ideas photography photography gifts professional photographer the gift of photography Wed, 26 Jun 2019 17:45:00 GMT
The Importance of Professionalism for Event Photography The Importance of Professionalism for Event Photography | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - The Importance of Professionalism for Event Photography

When it comes to a special event in your life such as a wedding, the camera on your phone just doesn’t cut it. Here’s why you need to hire a professional photographer for the sake of event photography, no matter how big or small the event might be.

Get Long-Lasting Memories that Look Great

Your professional photographer has invested in expensive equipment, lenses, lighting, and camera. They have taken the time to learn how to use this equipment. They know how to get the right angle with the right light and that can make or break a special moment.

Professional photographers know how to read people. They can get you and your guests comfortable in front of the camera, especially if they are camera-shy. They know how to get the right posed and candid photos for great variety.

They are there to capture your moments, the uniqueness of your event, rather than to socialize and be “in the event” (with exceptions of course). This is their craft; they are an artist, and they want your event to look good. When you share their work, they want it to look as great as possible so that others will say, “Hey, who’s your photographer?”

It’s a trade-off. They capture your moment, and you give them material to add to their portfolio and repertoire to further themselves as a photographic artist.

The phone camera’s pictures are great for those Instagram moments where it is instant and taken in the heat of the moment. But if you want a fantastic, long-term, professional look to your event’s photos, then go for the professional. They know how to make it fun, too!

What Can They Capture?

From small events such as an office gathering to large fundraising galas, professional photographers can capture them all. Here are things you may want to consider hiring a photographer for:

  • Retirement parties.
  • Dinner events.
  • Concerts.
  • Fundraisers.
  • Dignitary visits.
  • Awards presentations.
  • Promotions.
  • Golf outings.
  • New business opening or expansion.
  • Group or individual photos of corporate staff.
  • Weddings.
  • Graduations.
  • Prom.
  • Baby shower.
  • Christenings.
  • Flash mob events.
  • Milestone birthdays.
  • Headshots.
  • Literally any major milestone event or occasion you can think of.

You have nothing to lose by hiring a professional for event photography. Why not give it a shot?

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) event photography photography professional photographer professional photos Mon, 24 Jun 2019 17:45:00 GMT
How to Get Ready for a Family Photoshoot How to Get Ready for a Family Photoshoot | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - How to Get Ready for a Family Photoshoot

If you’re reading this and have already hired me as your professional photographer for your family photos, let me be the first to tell you: I am so excited to work with you! Photographing families is my greatest joy, and it is an honour to help you create and document memories that will last you a lifetime.

This post will help everyone—and I mean everyone—feel completely ready for your family photo session. Photos will always be the most meaningful art you own, and I want your experience to be the very best one! 

For the record, your only job the day of the family portrait session is to relax, be yourself, and enjoy your time spent with your family. I’ll take care of the rest!

How to Choose a Location

Choosing the location for your family photo session is entirely up to you. If you’re still stumped or looking for ideas, I have expressed my favourite places for shooting outdoors, which you can read about in my previous blog post.

If you have a specific location in mind for the session, I can’t wait to hear about it! Perhaps there’s a personal story attached to it (something I always love receiving from my clients!). Or maybe you have special access to a location that others do not.

If you’re not at all sure where you’d like to have your session, then no worries. We can decide together on the best spot for your family.

What to Wear for Your Family Photoshoot

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get from clients is, “What should we wear?” It’s no wonder! Your family photos are not just any photos you can take on your phone—they are an investment, one that you will definitely have to spend some time and money on. Besides adorning the walls of your home, and maybe putting into your Christmas cards, these photos will be passed down for generations to come. So I definitely understand why you want to look your best!

I’ve compiled the following tips on what to wear. Hopefully these will help you feel less overwhelmed when it comes to selecting your wardrobe for the session. Keep in mind that these are all ideas and not exact rules—you do not have to follow them exactly, or even follow any of them. But if you’re looking for inspiration or feel stuck, then perhaps these can help.

Styling Tips for the Entire Family

I often encourage mom to figure out her outfit first, and then build out the rest of the family’s clothing from there. My number one tip is, find something that makes you feel beautiful! If you feel good about what you’re wearing, that feeling will shine out in your photos. Being both confident and comfortable makes a huge difference in how we feel and how relaxed we are in front of the camera.

Styling Tips for Mom

Don’t be afraid to dress up, mom! Dresses are the most flattering clothing for women and they photograph beautifully. Dresses with a sense of movement and flow add an extra touch of grace and elegance to your photos! Consider picking a dress with softer fabrics for an extra romantic and classy feel.

Adding a statement accessory or two is a great way to finish off the look. If you’re looking for a way to tie in your colour palette or to give a finishing touch to your outfit, statement accessories are always a win!

Styling Tips for Dad

Chinos and button-up shirts or henleys make dad look sharp, masculine, and tailored in family photos. Keep in mind that fitted slacks, khakis, or jeans look the most put together and photograph the best.

Dad, go ahead and mix it up by adding a blazer, sport coat, or vest. This is a great way to layer and add colour or additional texture, giving dad’s outfit a nice handsome finish.

Styling Tips for the Kids

For the girls, dresses and skirts are usually a go-to, especially for those fun twirling pictures! Boys look fantastic in slacks, button-ups, or henleys just like dad. Little touches like hair accessories, bow ties, and suspenders can add the perfect finishing touch to your photos.

I always recommend you get the kids to try on their clothes ahead of time to make sure their clothing fits and they’re comfortable in their outfits. This will save a lot of headaches on picture day!

Coordination & Colours

There is this old idea still floating around that everyone in the picture needs to match. This is an old-fashioned idea that’s just not true! Choose colours that go well together, but don’t fall into the trap that you all need to wear the exact same outfit or colour. Coordinating your outfits is way better than matching. Your photos will look far more interesting with some variation!

Consider your home decor. You’ll want to consider its style when picking out what to wear for your family photos. Since a few of these photos will most likely be hanging in your home and on display for a long time, make sure the clothing you select blends in seamlessly with your home’s colour scheme.

I always recommend having at least three core colours in your palette. After you’ve selected your own outfit, take a look at the accent colours in it, and use those to tie in the outfits of everyone else. Make things interesting by keeping each person’s primary colour different. For example, if you’re wearing a cream dress with blush accents/accessories, and brown leather shoes (with your primary colour being cream), your husband could wear navy slacks with a simple cream or blue shirt and tan blazer (his primary colour being tan); one child could wear a blush dress with cream accents, and another could wear khaki slacks with a cream shirt and navy vest.

Wardrobe Colour Guide

Wardrobe colour guide for styling in family photos. Photos by Cheryl.Photos by Cheryl - Wardrobe colour guide for family photo outfits

Finishing the Look

Once you’ve settled on each person’s outfits, you can now start thinking about how to finish the look. Keep in mind that layers and accessories will always give you the most complete look!

For the girls, consider adding a statement scarf, necklace, or hair piece. For the boys, consider adding accessories such as a vest, jacket, belt, hat, suspenders, ties, or bow ties. These are all simple but perfect ways to add a perfect finishing touch to your family photos.

Planning for Success: Prepping the Little Ones

Before your family photo session, pack a bag with snacks, water, and any special toys the kids might need in case they’re feeling extra shy. Most of the time, it’s best that they don’t know you have these on hand so that we only have to get them out if necessary. If the kids are old enough to understand, it’s a good idea to prepare them for the session by explaining what we’ll be doing. Be sure to include telling them we’ll be having fun!

Having an empty stomach can cause your nerves to act up, so making sure everyone has a snack ahead of time is a great idea! A lot of families discuss a fun activity or treat to have together after pictures are done too!  

Once you’ve prepared the little ones physically and mentally, feel free to give them (and yourself) grace. Little kids are who they are, and I know some days don’t go as you originally planned. I really have seen it all, so please don’t panic if your kids aren’t doing what you want them to do...I know just how to get the shots I’m after, and have complete confidence we will get great photos. My goal is always to make this as stress-free and fun as possible for you and your family!

Planning for Success: Prepping Dad

Let’s be honest...when it comes to having their photo taken, most guys could think of a thousand things they’d rather be doing. But something I’ve found is for most of them, the stress of pictures comes from high expectations, the stress of the experience, and the worry about not doing it ‘right’.

It’s time to put dad at ease. Let him know that the best thing he can do is just enjoy his family—and let me do the work. The pressure is off. Let him know how much this means to you, and that you’re glad he’s willing to be such a team player for an hour! And of course, keep in mind that feeling rested and well-fed applies to the grown-ups, too!

Planning for Success: Prepping Yourself 

I know how important these photos are to you! The best advice I can give you is to let go of your need for perfection. This is the biggest anxiety for most moms. It’s okay if your kids aren’t ‘perfect’ during our time together. Remember that I’m very used to working with children, and I’m most likely getting photos, glances, and smiles you aren’t even seeing.

Be sure to give yourself enough time to prepare on session day so you don’t feel rushed and anxious. Your family will follow your lead, so being as relaxed as you possibly can will set the tone for everyone having a great time!

Your Portrait Session Checklist

  • Select outfits and accessories

Pack a bag with the following:

  • Comfy shoes for walking in between spots
  • Snacks for the kids that won’t stain
  • Makeup for touch-ups
  • Tissues for runny noses
  • Comfort toys
  • Extra diapers and wipes

Final Thoughts

I know I’ve given you so much to think about. Remember, in spite of everything else, the most important thing is to just enjoy your family. Let this be a time you have fun with each other, tell silly stories, and laugh a lot! At the end of the day, it won’t matter nearly as much if you were having a bad hair day, if the location was perfect or not, or if your kids weren’t listening to your every word. You will look back on these photos and remember those fleeting moments, and how quickly they went. I’m so honoured to document this precious time for you!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any other questions as you prepare for your family photo session!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) family photo session family photographer family photography family photos family photoshoot family pictures family portrait family portrait session photographer for family photos professional photographer Tue, 18 Jun 2019 19:48:27 GMT
Questions I’d Love to Hear Before You Hire Me for Your Wedding Questions I’d Love to Hear Before You Hire Me for Your Wedding | Photos by Cheryl Photos by Cheryl - Questions I’d Love to Hear Before You Hire Me for Your Wedding

As someone who’s worked with wedding couples for the past 20 years, I get asked a lot of questions about taking their photos on their big day. Some of them I get so often, in fact, that I figured why not answer them all here?

If you know someone who’s getting married or was recently proposed to, it’s well worth passing along this information to the newly engaged couple! That way they can make the best, well-informed decision on who is doing what when their wedding day arrives.

Now, here are those questions!

What are your rates/prices on wedding photo sessions?

I offer four special wedding photography sessions: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Naturally the more coverage of your wedding you want, the shinier the metal is that describes the package! You can view my rates for weddings in greater detail on my Weddings Rates page on my website.

How do I get kids to calm down for picture time?

Don’t worry, I’m great with kids! If the wedding party has children in it, I try to get a full wedding party photo as soon as possible, and then let the little ones go. For family photos, it is usually super quick.

When is the best time of the day for wedding photos?

It depends on a lot of things. The weather, for one. The date your wedding is going to take place is another factor. Sometimes the hour right before sunset (this is referred to as the ‘golden hour’) makes for awesome photos!

Generally, I have to shoot around the day’s schedule. I go through a very well-organized timeline to make sure we maximize the day. Sometimes, I will suggest to take photos before the wedding (first look--more on that below). If it is a winter wedding, we probably won’t have enough daylight to do photos after the ceremony. I am flexible and adept in shooting throughout the day.

How many weddings have you photographed?

I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years. During that time I’ve photographed over 120+ weddings.

Do I need to feed you at my wedding?

If you have hired me to cover the reception, then yes, I need to be fed. You have me for the day; I don’t have the option to leave to get food.

I usually suggest to the wedding couple that I be placed at a table with their guests, where I have a siteline to the head table. I also ask if our table can eat right after the family tables go to the buffet. That way I am eating while the bride and groom are eating, but I also have the camera on my lap in case of any great photo ops that pop up.

This gives me a few minutes to recharge and then after the wedding couple has eaten, be ready to take photos of their guests while they visit the tables.

How long after the wedding do I get to see the photos?

As per the contract, my turnaround time is usually 3-4 weeks. The photobooks take additional time as we collaborate together on that.

Why do first looks (photos before the wedding)?

Great question. I personally experienced it at my own wedding and HIGHLY recommend it. It isn't for everyone, but first looks are very effective in the right scenario. Whenever I photograph a bride and groom before the ceremony, I always ask them later what they thought. Everyone has been so happy that they did it!

Do you offer a free consultation to see if we are a good fit?

A free consultation is a must. As a wedding photographer I spend the day with you. It is an intimate relationship and I want to make sure that you and I are a good fit.

Do you have backup equipment?

Yes. My backup gear consists of multiple lenses, 2 camera bodies, 2 flashes, a camera that records to 2 different SD cards, tons of batteries, and chargers.

Will you help with the timeline of the day?

I do really prefer to be the one to help plan the timeline. I have the experience of seeing many weddings from start to finish; there are things that the bride and groom may not even think of.

Should the bride have the photographer come to her home while getting ready, or not?

Coming to the bride’s house is a very personal decision. If she is the type that will be stressed by having an additional person in the house, then maybe not. It also is a matter of budget. Being at the bride’s house does add hours to the wedding photo package. If they are looking to cut back on coverage, this is one option.

Do you have a list of preferred vendors?

Yes, I have preferred vendors. The ones on my list are exceptional and value priced. I used each of them for my daughter’s wedding and was incredibly happy.

Are there ways to reduce the number of hours to conform to my budget?

There are ways to keep within your budget for the wedding. We can talk about the timeline; perhaps there are parts at the beginning or end of the day that we can take out. Or you could have me for the beginning of the reception to capture the details, and then ask a friend to take the first dance photos.

Do you shoot with a second photographer?

No, I don’t shoot with a second photographer. I have been doing weddings for so long that I can pretty much be in two places at the same time! I know what to look for and what to anticipate, and I generally don’t miss a moment. This also saves you money.

Do you have a backup plan if it rains?

Once your venues have been chosen, we’ll come up with a plan based on the locations in the event rain decides to show up.

My family is complicated—how do you deal with family photos for the wedding?

Before the wedding, we list all the family members (the ones attending). I draw a flowchart and find out if there are any people who should or shouldn’t be in the photos together. The couple is then responsible for giving me a list before the wedding day of the people that we don’t want to forget about.   I have seen it all and have a very charming way of making everyone feel good and not awkward when photos are being taken.

How does the deposit/payment work?

In order to secure the date, 25% must be put down. 60 days before the wedding, another 25% is due. The week of the wedding the final 50% is due.

Do you have a backup system in place for the images?

My camera has 2 SD cards, so one of them is a backup for sure. When I get home from a wedding, no matter how late it is, I download the photos onto my computer. These are also on an external hard drive and they are backed up to the Cloud.

I hope this article answers a lot of your questions! If I’ve missed one that you’d love to know the answer to, feel free to send me a message.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) professional wedding photographer questions for wedding photographer questions to ask wedding photographer wedding photo questions wedding photo sessions wedding photographer wedding photos Fri, 31 May 2019 18:57:45 GMT
Why Printed Photos are So Important—Even to This Day Why Printed Photos are So Important—Even to This Day | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl: Why Printed Photos are So Important—Even to This Day

Kids today really don’t know the pain of waiting for photos to be printed before looking at them. When holding freshly printed photographs, we usually remember the moments that were taken and the memories associated with them. Those photos became mementos we kept in albums or boxes, waiting to be pulled out and looked through.

Digital just doesn’t give the same effect. It’s all in the Cloud, or on social media.

Some more artistic people would make scrapbooks around their photos, attaching other little trinkets, headlines, and mementos to the pages telling the story. The saying “A picture is worth 1,000 words” is a great one.

Holding a photograph speaks to your emotions. Have you ever held a black and white photo of your grandparents or great-grandparents? The nostalgia that surrounds that photo can’t compare to the one you see on a screen. In a printed photo, it’s almost like a part of the person’s soul illuminates from the photograph when you hold it and look into their eyes.

Nowadays with digital technology, no one thinks their computer or smartphone is going to crash; they don’t think their photos may be lost forever. When you save a photo online, the resolution may be changed to save space, so it may not be exactly as you took it at the time.

If you need even more reasons why you ought to get your photos printed, here are three:

A Physical Memory 

Printed photos become something our future generations can touch and look closely into. It’s displayed in an album, on a wall, on a desk, or in a scrapbook. There’s no searching through various digital files deep in the depths of online archives you took years ago on your phone. 

Photos create conversation. You can sit your family around a kitchen table or in the living room with a photo album and tell stories about the photos you flip through. It isn’t the same as trying to sit around a computer or pass a mobile device around. 

If you absolutely insist on relying on modern technology, you can always get digital copies as well as physical copies. That way you’re covered. 

Connecting People to Places, Experiences, and Emotions

When you hold a photo in your hands from, say, 20 years ago, you get a feeling, don’t you? Emotions may come to you regarding that moment, the experience you had when the photo was taken, and where it was taken to begin with. It could have been a school trip abroad, or a picture with a family member who has since passed away, or even baby photos that you make this connection to. 

Since we live in such a fast-paced world now, there isn’t always time to flip through images in a digital device. You may not give the same emotional effect or the same connection as you do when you are holding a physical photograph right at your fingertips. 

Take a moment to stop and relive these precious times in your life. 

Printed Memories Gives Us Strength

When we lose sight of our purpose in life or we have our low days, we can forget how fortunate we are and how far we have come in our lives. Some of us have been through some tough times, but when we look at the photos of back then to now, it gives us hope as to how far we’ve come and how much we’ve struggled, but we still came out swinging and stronger than ever. 

It touches our hearts when we look at certain photographs, knowing that it’s going to be okay no matter how bad things seem right now. We want to preserve the good memories to help get through the bad. All of those precious moments are an essential part of us. They bring people together, and make love grow stronger. 

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

]]> (Photos by Cheryl) benefits of printed photographs photography printed photos professional photographer professional photos why printed photos matter Tue, 21 May 2019 19:41:05 GMT
Why Vancouver BC is Perfect for Outdoor Photo Sessions

It should come as no surprise to you that the majority of my photo session clients past and present mainly reside in Vancouver BC. After all, it says so on my website! It should come as no surprise to you that I also love having this city and pretty much the whole of BC as the backdrop to my outdoor photo sessions with clients.

Why do I love it so much? Well, let me count the ways! Here are some excellent reasons why Vancouver BC really is the perfect location for outdoor photo sessions.

It’s beautiful!

Let me get the obvious out of the way: have you seen this place? Everywhere you look, it’s beautiful! Even if you only know about this city through bad news (the real estate market is a hot topic especially), there are so many more good, beautiful, and wonderful things to see regardless.

Before you scoff at me for saying that, I want you to do something next time you go outside (if you live here): take a minute to stop and smell the nearest flowers—and then look up, pause, breathe in, and let your eyes drink in the sights around you. Leave your phone in your pocket as you do so.

Have you seen the way light dances on the street? Do you see those cherry trees just about to bloom? Does the sun not look spectacular in between all of those skyscrapers?

If you take a minute…just one minute…to look around you in Vancouver, that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of its beauty. It really is all around you, here—sometimes it just helps to take a minute out of your day to reflect and remember that.

It’s picture-perfect—every season, every year

Rain, snow, sun—it doesn’t matter how cloudy the sky may be or how clear it is, Vancouver is practically picture-perfect every season of every year.

Springtime allows you and me to see some gorgeous cherry trees in near or full bloom. In summer you can see all of the many shades of green on the trees and every sparkle of light on the water, whether you’re on one of the BC Ferries heading home or you’re walking your dog in the park. Fall is resplendent with a rainbow of warm, cozy, and striking colours in the trees and people’s clothes and even food, especially when you’re outdoors. Finally, winter means freshly brushed snow on the mountains that surround us each and every day in this area, and when the sun comes out it shines over a crisp and clear winter wonderland.

However you look at it, there are all kinds of outdoor photo opportunities galore in Vancouver, whatever season it may be.

Natural light

One thing many people don’t deny about this city is that natural light is all around us. Even on the gloomiest and cloudiest days of the year in this area, a little light can peek in and add a spot of brightness to photos. Some of the coolest lighting effects we often see in photographs and when we’re going about our day are natural in the first place!

Sometimes there are days when the sun hits the world at just the right angle, while the rest of the background may be darker. Other times, the hours when twilight is present or the hour when it’s just after or right before sunset is simply the best for outdoor photos (us professional photographers call this the ‘golden hour’). Whatever time of day it may be, or however cloudy it may appear, you’re guaranteed a fantastic photo session outside in Vancouver any time.

Beaches, beaches everywhere

I love going to the beach—who doesn’t? The ocean is one of the most majestic and splendid natural backdrops for outdoor photographs, and it presents all kinds of fun opportunities if you’re going there with your family! You can grab a picnic basket for lunch and beach toys for the kids and then make a fun day out of your photo session—some of the best moments I’ve been able to capture in my career have been on the beach too! And Vancouver is full of them, from Ambleside Beach to Jericho Beach. It doesn’t cost you a thing to be at the beach, either—all you have to do is show up, and let the good times at the beach roll in like the tide.

Urban or natural? You can have both!

Vancouver is full of not only natural wonders but also urban delights. If you’re a city person at heart, you can still do outdoor activities such as biking. And if you’re a country person at heart, you can still go out into more rural cities and areas such as Surrey and get back that sense of nostalgia without having to stray too far from your apartment in the city. And when it comes to outdoor photo sessions, Vancouver offers both urban and natural backdrops, from Stanley Park, Campbell Valley Park, and False Creek to Fort Langley, Gastown, and the Pitt Meadow Dikes. Not only can you pick having either urban or natural backgrounds, but also you can have both kinds! This accessibility is what makes Vancouver BC such a great location to take photos in.

Memories of BC

I’ve grown up in BC my entire life. All of my most precious memories—the wonderful, the terrible, and the bittersweet—are here in this area. If you’ve lived here your entire life too, then you already know you wouldn’t choose anywhere else for an outdoor photo session.

Vancouver BC is filled to the brim with memories for so many of my clients, from Deer Lake Park in Burnaby, to Rocky Point, to Westminster Quay. I love hearing all of the stories they have to share. I’d love to hear yours, too!

Whether it’s for a big event such as a wedding or as small as a moment spent with your children, you really can never go wrong with choosing Vancouver BC for your outdoor photo session.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

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Benefits of Hiring a Professional Photographer in Vancouver BC Benefits of Hiring a Professional Photographer in Vancouver BC | Photos by CherylPhotos by Cheryl - Benefits of Hiring a Professional Photographer in Vancouver BC

There are some moments that come and go and we’ve long since forgotten about them. But, there are also those really, really special moments where you may say, “I want to remember this for the rest of my life.” Photographs are an incredible means of capturing such moments, and sometimes, those moments need a professional’s touch.

Ever wonder why else people hire a professional photographer? As it turns out, hiring one has a ton of perks! Here are some great reasons you should seriously considering hiring a professional photographer.

You get great photos—not just good or okay ones

Thanks to technology, nowadays it’s super easy to pick up your phone and use it as the camera. For some, it’s convenient and easy to take photos yourself—especially when there’s such a cute or funny moment going on.

However, there’s something about using a phone that just doesn’t quite cut it for taking great photos—yes, I said great, I am not just talking about taking good photos or okay ones. Maybe you have a knack for photography already, but for many, when they are in the heat of that moment, and they use their phone to take a photo, only to fumble with it in the excitement or you find the settings or a filter is switched on--and then, poof. That great photo opportunity and the wonderful moment you were trying to capture is gone. It’s really gone, and you can’t ever get it back, no matter how advanced your phone is or how many features it has. Plus, you forgot to get a picture of someone else who matters in that moment: you.

Technology can’t ever replace what’s happening in the here and the now. But, with the eye of a professional photographer behind the camera, it can at least help you get certain moments back—maybe even build new ones you never thought were possible.

Professional shots taken at just the right time

I’m sure that whenever you have a big day or event planned out, there’s little time for you left to consider getting photographs taken—on top of those, you need to make sure everyone is comfortable, happy, and safe. Doing that requires a lot of time and energy on your part though. You may need to do things as simple as greeting people at the door or something more involving such as making sure everything ordered for a wedding is in its place.

Hiring a professional photographer in these cases is pretty mandatory, as opposed to optional! The best one you hire should make you feel relieved that something as significant as photos are being taken at just the right time, all while thinking on their feet and contributing to the event in their own way. Some of the best shots us photographers can capture really occur in the spur of the moment too! Let your professional look after that part, while you take care of what needs to be done.

Organization matters—a lot

It really does! Especially when a giant photo such as for families or weddings are needed. It is amazing how hard it is to get everyone in the right place and to look in the right direction.

Adults like parents and grandparents, wedding guests, etc. may not know at first where to stand and look or how to pose. Kids…especially the littlest ones…well, they can get pretty bored if they have nothing to do, or they may not know what’s going on. As a result, they may get upset, or fidget, or want nothing to do with the photo session that’s about to take place.

It’s with all of these chaotic elements and more where a professional photographer’s skills can really shine! A professional will always be organized when it comes to getting ready for and during a large photo session. In my case, I can be really creative and I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to help even the grumpiest of people shine in the photo—even at weddings! I help plan timelines, make sure things are going according to plan, and keep everyone on schedule to the best of my ability. And this is absolutely something you want to have when you hire a professional photographer—anything can happen, for better or worse. So long as things are organized, it's all good.

It’s a big day for you—why not look at the bigger picture?

Maybe you’re getting married very soon, or you want to celebrate your father’s milestone birthday. Or, maybe you want to look back at how much you and your kids have grown together. Or, maybe you’re very proud of the event you’ve helped make into a reality.

When we live from moment to moment, it’s all too easy for us to forget how far we’ve come since this very present moment in time, at least up until the event is over and done with. Professionally taken photos of a particular day, moment, or event can help you remember the very best that moment, day, or event had to offer. Best of all, these moments can be shared with the ones you care about the most.

You really can’t go wrong with hiring a professional photographer in certain cases. Go for it!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.

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