Chic Magazine || BOKEH || Claire Dam Photography


It’s me!

I’m in the thick of wedding season + revamping my branding AND building a new website so I’m a little swamped.  BUT somehow I managed to squeeze out an article on bokeh for Chic Magazine–and the mag came out today!

01-Front Cover

Here’s my spread–nice eh?  And if you think THAT looks sharp you should buy the whole magazine to enjoy all 140 pages!  Yes, 140 pages of glossy goodness.






Cool eh?

Now you know a little more about bokeh and about what I’ve been up to lately!

Special thanks to all the clients who made my article so pretty to look at–Karyn & Nick, Fehn, Chia-Yu, Bek, Katie, Jodi & Marc and Kate!   You’re all too gorgeous to NOT be in magazines.

And HECK while we’re at it–here’s a tiny sneak peek at my new website–super stream-lined and simple, letting the images speak for themselves, (without the use of chevrons…).

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The Collaboration :: Vintage Wedding Dresses :: Hamilton Wedding Photographer

For those of you who have been watching the excitement on Facebook or Instagram a few weeks back a bunch of us got together and shot a vintage wedding dress shoot!

It was organized by me but after that I just let everyone do their thang, and these are the gorgeous results!

The only drawback was that there were TOO many photos…


Below are two installments of four dresses.  I’ll post the other half on Friday!  Stay tuned…

And check out what Jane & Hollie of White Elephant are saying about the shoot here at their blog.


And I want to show the credits here and below–so you don’t miss it!

Wardrobe + Accessories: White

Flowers:  i fiori by Beverly Zaruk

Hair & MU: Aimee Carreen Stricker

Event Styling: Bre of Breanna Black Event Planning +

Model Styling: White Elephant + Claire Dam Photography

Photography: Claire Dam Photography

Assistant: Maria Simmonds

And special thanks to Ashley, Frank & Bruce at 270 Sherman!




Jewel tones of green are THE colour of 2013!





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How Great Gatsby, hey?

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Another adorable cocktail wedding dress with the sweetest little collar and metallic details in the fabric.



Check out that hair-piece by Bev at i fiori!!!!!  Dying!





A sweetheart neckline for a sweetheart.  Wedding dresses don’t have to be white.

They should sometimes be pink.


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In case you missed it above–here are the members of ‘The Collaboration’

Wardrobe + Accessories: White

Flowers:  i fiori by Beverly Zaruk

Hair & MU: Aimee Carreen Stricker

Styling: White Elephant + Claire Dam Photography

Photography: Claire Dam Photography

Assistant: Maria Simmonds

Fall Family Mini-Sessions: Hamilton Photographer

Hey folks!

I’m offering a few evening mini-sessions for families who want to get some shots done but are on a budget!   They will be held on a few week-nights in the coming weeks, so contact me for dates and to chose your time-slot.

A mini-session this time of year is great for back-to-school memory keeping, Christmas cards (yeah, I said it…Christmas!), or just for fun if you haven’t had a family portrait done in a while.

Mini-sessions last about 20-30 minutes, include a few different poses for your family, individual shots of each family member and a few group shots of just the kiddies.  From that I will post a few of the best of your photos in a private online-gallery of which you can choose 2 images to receive as digital negatives.    Any additional images can be purchased a la carte or bundled if you want to buy more than 10.

$150 (including 2 digital negatives of your choice)

Please contact me for details!

Trash It or Treasure It Winners!

Wow!  Once again I was overwhelmed by all the activity surrounding this contest!

Not nearly as many entrants this time, and I fear it’s because of how complicated I made it to earn extra points.   But, live and learn, and congratulations to those who persevered!   You blew any competition you had out of the water!   THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who voted.  It was a lot of fun!

So the winner of the Trash It photo shoot is

the wonderful

Liz McPhee,

from glorious Hamilton, ON!

And the winner of the Treasure It photos shoot is,

of course, the lovely

Liselle Dochstader,

from Mississauga, ON!


Congratulations ladies!   Both of them will have their own private photo shoot with me sometime in the next 6 months.

The Trash It photo shoot will involve just having fun in the wedding gown.  We might go for a dip, canter through a field of long grass, jump in mud puddles…who knows!  Stay tuned… :)

And the Treasure It photo shoot involves creating a more candid, relaxed environment that will immortalize the gown while preserving it (for the most part)!


If you’re interested in booking your own Trash It or Treasure It photo shoot get in touch ASAP!

The first 2 people to email me will

receive 50% OFF

their Trash It or Treasure It shoot!  (only one spot available for each type of shoot for a total of 2 discounted shoots.)

And finally, in case you haven’t heard, every new member to the Wdfotos by Claire Dam group on Facebook, will receive a 15% off coupon towards the portrait shoot of their choice!   But you need to claim it.  Go to my facebook page here and click on the offer icon on the left side of the page.  Or click here and go directly to this limited time offer!

Go to my website for my extensive portfolio and my contact information.  April is already booked SOLID and May is 1/3rd full.  So book today!

Looking forward to an excellent season everyone!


Lovely Esther

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Some of you may remember the February Boudoir photo shoot contest, and our lovely winner Esther!   If you saw her photos you may have thought they weren’t very traditionally ‘boudoir’ for a contemporary photographer.

My perspective on boudoir photography came after I learned that in the early 20th century, when the boudoir was just becoming fashionable, it wasn’t necessarily a room to lay around in, dressed in one’s lingerie.  It was a lady’s private bedroom, sitting room or dressing room.  It was the first time a woman had the autonomy to her own space in which she was free to do and entertain who she wanted to.     The boudoir came to represent a woman’s true passion, interests, and where she could speak freely!   (And I’d also like to note this was the same time in history as women’s sufferage!)    So I hope that explains my unique take on ‘boudoir’ photography!

I’ve posted a few photos from her shoot over the last couple months, but part of the arrangement with Esther was that once she received her finished photos she would send me a little write-up about her thoughts and experience with the shoot.

I know how much I was blessed and touched and inspired and excited by this project-but I was eager to hear what Esther thought about this highly unusual opportunity!

These are her thoughts.  I hope you can take a moment to read her letter, and that it will give you a better understanding as to why she was nominated in the first place and why I had to photograph this beautiful, strong, amazing woman!  (text in bold is mine)


I am writing this letter in response to the beautiful photos that you took of me back in January. I want to begin by sharing with you my gratitude that you took your time to organize and offer this experience to me. This is something I don’t think I would have ever initiated on my own behalf. I have learned so much in the process and would like to share some of that with you.

Firstly, I want to express how much it meant to me to be nominated by my friend Rashmi for this photo shoot. She was able to recognize that this would be something that I would benefit from, knowing that it would be extremely meaningful at this point in my life, this point in my healing journey, to record and to document, myself. Her thoughtfulness and kind words reflect her deep support for me, for our friendship, and serve as a testament to her loving nature of helping the people around her. I know that I would have never gone about doing something like this for myself, on my own accord.

So… a photo shoot. I have to say the whole thing kind of scared me at first because I don’t like looking at myself. In fact until the last year, I was content to stay as invisible as possible. It is not to say that I didn’t like the way I look or my body, because I have never had much of a problem with that, but more so, I didn’t like to get any attention from other people.

During this last year there has been a tremendous amount of change in my life. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer again (it came back after 16 years of being cancer free), thus leading me unto an existential questioning of my life, how I had been living… In the process of my personal change as I confronted many of the emotional issues surrounding my illness, my long-term relationship also dissolved as I realized that I needed to carve out my own space at this moment in time. I moved out, separated from my partner, and became a single mother with two children.  I went through surgery again over the summer, which led to me losing my voice for 6 months following. That period was marked by some fear, as here I was with children and barely able to raise my voice above a whisper. I couldn’t work, and wondered if my voice would come back. All in all, the time was much needed for me to process what had just happened. Without a voice I was forced to stop, listen, and reflect, which is exactly what I did. In this space of calm, and deep meditation, I re-connected to myself and rediscovered. I wondered where I had been hiding all these years.

My voice came back in December 2010, just before the photo shoot. It was interesting because the last six months I had spent focusing inwards but I think also taking more of a conscious decision to be more present with myself, to be more in my body, to honour, respect, and take of myself.

I was so frightened to do this photo shoot. I almost cancelled a few times. I tried not to think of it, and on the day felt very scattered. I hadn’t planned anything out, nor devoted any time to thinking about it. I don’t know if I really knew what was going to happen and what the pictures or the process would be like. I showed up and I guess that was what mattered.

When I met Claire I instantly knew that she was someone that I could feel very comfortable with, and that I could work with. She was so easy-going, encouraging, and made me feel right at home from the beginning of the shoot. When she began to take pictures, I felt gradually more and more comfortable, until the point came when I was actually having fun! It became really like a dress-up game… And the hours passed before I knew it. All in all, it was a very positive and enjoyable experience.

Receiving the photos was wonderful. They were really beautiful, some of them looked way better than I had imagined them to be. Claire is an amazingly gifted photographer.

I still find it hard to look at myself but this photo shoot was a beginning.

The power of portraiture into helping someone reclaim their identity is so important, especially in times of upheaval and change, when your body or your role in life is shifting. It is kind of grounding, in terms of freezing a moment, freezing yourself, in order for you to reflect upon yourself. A moment, a breath… a pause.

That is what this photo shoot was for me. A pause for myself, to treat myself, to pay attention to myself, to record myself, to have other people tend to me… What a treat and luxury to have this experience! And to take away with me photos of my body at this moment in time, photos that somehow chronicle this time period in my life, and affirm my health, and really my beauty.

All and all this was an amazing experience and something that I would definitely do again, and also recommend for others to do as well. Photographs are very powerful for me served a healing and life-affirming function.

I thank you Claire for all your hard work and all your talent because it comes through in the photos. You have opened my eyes to something that is very important and have created some amazing memories that I can share with my family.

All the best,


Animal Farm band shoot

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Last year I had a local-band photo shoot promo, offering a free photo shoot to local Hamilton bands.   I did 4 locals acts then, but wasn’t able to squeeze these guys in: Animal Farm.

I like spicing it up with different kinds of portraits and I like the creativity bands need for their photos–so it was a good combo and a fun shoot.

You can check out Animal Farm at or

If you like any of their influencing bands,

The Beatles, Radiohead, Neil Young, Rage Against the Machine, Muse, Silverchair, Queen

you should check them out.


Give boudoir photos for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is JUST around the corner!

If you’ve ever wanted to do boudoir photos, now is the time, just in time to give to your loved-one.   Hey men–give your lady a boudoir photo shoot gift certificate for the gift that keeps on giving to you both.

Or maybe you want to do something fun just for yourself?   Read the quote below from recent boudoir clients:

“I have to say that you are really good! The whole experience was a lot easier than I expected it to be and you really were able to make me feel comfortable throughout the whole process.”


“You seem beyond awesome and super excited about the shoot, so I’m feeling really comfortable and I think this might be the only time in my life where I’m comfortable getting photographed nude – so I’m going to go for it!!”


“WOW! Wooowwww!
You should be very VERY proud of your work Claire! I’m so excited how they turned out! I loved it!
Thank you soooo much! xo”

Boudoir shoots can be done anywhere (at home, hotel, friend’s house, the office..?), can include a stylist who will do your hair and make-up, and can be done as part of a Valentine’s Day Party for you and your single girlfriends! (Although, being single is not a prerequisite :)

Contact me for availability and prices.


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