Justin + Jen :: Steam Whistle Brewery :: Toronto Distillery District Wedding

I had only met Justin and Jen once before their wedding day–and it’s always a little unnerving to show up cold at a wedding without much of a relationship with the clients.  But with Justin and ‘Jenner’ and the entire wedding party I was instantly welcomed into the celebrations!

I only wished I’d had the opportunity to hang out with them before the wedding :)

GETTING READY!

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It was a party!   The girls got ready all in one room at the Residence Inn.

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I love how Jen is both unafraid to be a little goofy and just kinda gorgeous!   My favourite kind of lady.

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Final touches…

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CEREMONY:

St. Mary’s Parish on Bathurst

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PORTRAITS:

Liberty Village, Toronto

The girls were troopers!  It was about -17 C that day and those girls were so cooperative dropping their shoulders and not ‘huddling’…too much.

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Second stop–to warm our skin and our bellies!

The Brazen Head, Liberty Village

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RECEPTION:

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COCKTAILS + DINNER + DANCE

Jen and Justin started their reception off a little differently and I REALLY liked it!    After guests did a shot before entering the receiving line, they introduced the wedding party and went right into one big dance and invited up all the guests!

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THE DANCE!

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Congratulations Mr & Mrs Van–it was truly a pleasure working with you, your families and friends–however brief.

*Please leave a comment below because I’m really insecure and easily crushed when people don’t show me some love!   If you don’t want to leave a message I also accept gift cards for massages.*

And–if you like what you see, ‘like’ me on Facebook too!

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 Make-up artist: Natasha Apostolidis from MAC

Hair: Bruna Mata

Flowers: Jo-Anne Sexton

 Dress: Paloma Blanca

Caterer: Food Dudes   (these guys were amazeballs by the way!   The servers will remember me as the photog stuffing her face with little burgers.)

Cupcakes: Prairie Girl Bakery  (also, SO yummy!  Loved the bride’s cupcake: vanilla cake + REAL strawberry icing.  SO GOOD!)

2013 MARATHON Schedule!

Hey everyone!

I’m finally able to announce the 2013 Marathons for families, couples, friends, and any combination thereof!

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Here’s how it works:

-There are 8 spots available for each Marathon date.

-Each session is 20 minutes long–and yes, we get TONS of awesome images for you to choose from in that time.  Promise!

-We will all meet at scheduled times throughout the day in one location in Hamilton, and move around the location on foot to a couple different spots during your 20 minutes.

-Your marathon session fee includes 2 large, unmarked digital files of your choice.

-You can either come into the studio or view your gallery of 20-30 images or schedule an online gallery.

-*NEW: There is a $100 (before tax) Minimum Order Requirement that you agree to spend on any printed, digital or canvas items of your choice.   It will be included in your deposit.   You can read more about it here: http://clairedamblog.com/2013/02/01/new-policies-2013/

The marathon session fee is still just $120 + HST!   YAY!

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DATES:

Saturday, June 15th

(raindate Sunday, June 16th, Father’s Day)

and

Saturday, Oct 19th

(raindate Sunday, Oct 20th)

*This session is perfect for getting those family photos done in time for Christmas!*

And if there’s enough of an overflow I will consider a September Marathon.   Please contact me if you’d like to reserve a spot for September.

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LOCATIONS:

The Dam Farm in Lynden.

(12 minutes from Dundas, Ancaster & Brantford.  20 minutes from downtown Hamilton.)

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TIMES:

TDB (will depend on the session and the time of year–but most likely in the afternoon.)

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FINE PRINT:

1) You need to pay 100% of the marathon fees ($235.60 total) at the time of signing and submitting your completed contract before you can secure your spot!

2) Marathon fees are NON-REFUNDABLE!  But they are transferable to other Marathon sessions.   (If you cancel you will be reimbursed the $100 Minimum Order fee).

3) If you are a no-show at your Marathon session your session is non-refundable and non-transferable.

4) You must be ON TIME!   Any late-comers will be able to shoot for the time remaining in their time-slot only.

5) You must be available on both your session date and on the precautionary rain-date (the following day).

Email me right away to receive your contract and payment info!

info@clairedamphotography.com

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Jen & Dave :: WEDDING! :: Windsor, ON

It feels like FOREVER ago that Dave and Jen got married…oh wait…it WAS!    Since they got married a few days before Christmas there was a few weeks of holidays for me and then my husband and I bought a house and sold our house just in the last couple weeks.  Poor Jen & Dave have had to wait this long before seeing their full preview.  :(

But it’s here and it’s a HUGE preview!  (Can I post them any other way?)

GETTING READY:

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CEREMONY:

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PORTRAITS:

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THE TWISTED APRON:

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RECEPTION:

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Congratulations Jen & Dave!

*Did you know you’re six times more likely to experience feelings of contentment by leaving a comment below?  It’s true.  The University of Be-Kind-Leave-A-Comment did a study recently and they’ve concluded that it’s nice, not only for you, but for the author of the blog, if you…

please leave a comment!

BRIDE’S HAIR: Renata Spatafora from Rouge Salon and Spa (3090 Dougall Ave, Windsor, 519-962-3000),

BRIDE’S MAKE-UP: Freelance MUA – Mariane Roberto (marianeroberto@hotmail.com,  519-980-6672)

FLOWERS: Country Flowers and Gift Shoppe

CAKE/CUPCAKES:  Sweet Revenge

WEDDING GOWN: Elegance by Alfred Sung

RECEPTION VENUE: St. Angela Hall

RECEPTION DECOR:  It’s A Swanky Affair

Special Thanks to: THE TWISTED APRON

New Policies & Procedures :: 2013

H

ey everyone!

I want to keep you all abreast of some minor and some noticeable changes at Claire Dam Photography.

Please get in touch with any questions: info@clairedamphotography.com

Thank you for your support and loyalty!  Here’s to a great 2013!

C.

1: PREVIEWS/SNEAK PEEKS

Starting Jan 1, 2013, sneak peeks will be posted only AFTER clients have chosen the images they want from their online galleries.   Clients who are receiving ALL the digital files as part of their package (such as weddings and some Bump-to-Babe-Bundles) will have their sneak peeks posted sooner.

2: ONLINE GALLERIES

Starting Feb 1, 2013, galleries will no longer be available for viewing for 7 days.   Clients will have their gallery scheduled at a time that’s convenient for them and will be able to view the gallery as many time as they like in a 24 hour period only.   Clients who fail to place an order within those predetermined 24 hours will be subject to a $50 + HST reposting fee, and images won’t be sent to the client until the $50 + HST is paid in full.

Clients are welcome and encouraged to come into the studio to review their gallery with me!

3: MARATHONS

There is now a Minimum Order Requirement (MOR) of $100 applied to all 2013 Marathoners–$100 (before tax) must be spent on digital files, prints, cards, albums or canvas.

This new policy does not apply to Marathoners who signed up before Jan 1st, 2013.

4: WEDDING CONTRACTS

As of Jan 1st, 2013 all contracts for weddings must include the following:

– parking passes/permits as needed for all venues on day of engagements & wedding for up to two vehicles (primary shooter and 2nd shooter.)

– meal for all photography vendors–up to three–when photographers are staying more than 30 minutes into the wedding dinner.

– clients are NOT allowed to submit photos of their wedding to other vendors (such as hair and MUA) without prior consent from me.   Clients are asked to connect me with their vendor and I will gladly supply images to the vendor on your behalf.

5: RECOVERING LOST IMAGES

Most sessions are purged from the computer AND harddrive within 6-12 months of the client’s session.   They are then archived and put into storage.  Sessions that have been archived as digital files are subject to a $150 + HST restoration fee if the client is looking to replace their existing digital files due to any kind of loss.   The replacement of prints that have been archived are subject to the $150 + HST restoration fee plus the current fees associated with reprinting the images.

6: PROPS AND STAGING

This is an old one but was never ‘announced’: the use of my props, accessories, furniture and staging is only applicable to those who schedule a full-session (90 minutes), wedding clients and newborn sessions.   For use of props and staging in mini sessions, head shots, and marathon sessions at fee will apply.  Fees are based on the item(s) and the location etc.

7: STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

It is up to the client to follow through with any outstanding complimentary printed goods–such as prints, canvases and albums that are included in packages.    Any outstanding printed goods that are not claimed within six (6) months of receiving your images (either in the form of prints or digital files) will become null and void.

8: LATENESS & IDLING

All clients after Feb 1st, 2013 are held responsible for their tardiness to sessions and during sessions.   Clients will be made aware of their session start and end times and must adhere to those schedules accordingly.   Clients who arrive late, arrive and are not ready, or pause the session to change, take phone calls, eat, ask to travel to different locations (not already predetermined), fix hair and make-up etc. won’t be given extra time to do so, but will have their sessions end at the scheduled time.   If time allows, the photographer can continue shooting for an additional $250 + HST per hour minimum.

Katie & James :: A Not-So-Wintery Maternity :: Hamilton Maternity Photography

Welp.  This is officially one of my favourite shoots of all time.  Period.   And it’s joining another maternity session (with Annie) that was one of my ultimate favourites.  Am I turning into a maternity photographer…exclusively?!

Katie had clear ideas about her session–outside, wintery, and a bed.  No problem!  I’m used to carrying around entire living rooms or bedroom sets for shoots!  I prepped for the cold by sewing real fur blankets for Katie (repurposed from old fur coats), and had a spot all picked out when suddenly all of our lovely snow melted!   And what’s worse was that my location now looked nasty sans snow and avec brown muddiness.

Fortunately I was still ‘on holidays’ so I had time to search out a new and WAY better spot (where I saw the deer family :), AND locate an amazing bookstore nearby as well! (A last-minute idea!)   We were so SO fortunate that the owners of Bryan Prince Bookseller  let us descend upon their lovely shop for 30 minutes before heading out into the woods.   We couldn’t have ended up in a better spot!

(*Also note–the introduction of my new line of baby crowns!   Different barks lined with furs.  I love them.  Below is birch lined with rabbit.  Of course, all sustainably harvested/repurposed.)

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We had gone from about 2′ of snow and -10 Celsius to zero snow and +16 Celsius in about two days–and as sad as it was to lose the snow it was way more fun being able to truly enjoy being outside on a bed of animal furs in the middle of January!   Can you imagine?  It was nuts but awesome.

As you can see, Katie is just a natural.   A natural (looking) redhead, a natural beauty and a natural in front of the camera.  It was such a pleasure working with her.  Oh yeah, and that other guy, James.  I think he had something to do with all this…

(*And for posterity those are my lumberjack socks.  We literally traded socks because mine fit the scene better.  Is that weird?)

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SO PRETTY!  GAH!

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So I think my only safe move after this is to retire.  Or just work exclusively with these guys.

Congratulations Katie and James!

Can’t wait to greet your little babe with a fur-lined crown.

Join my Facebook group so you can see the next two sessions from Katie & James the moment they’re published!

And please, leave some love for me and Katie and James if you like what you’ve seen!

Location: Bryan Prince Booksellers, Westdale

Location: Westdale Park

Make-up: Caryl Baker Visage

Hair: by client

Special Thanks: to my main squeeze, Ken, for helping us get the bed set up!

Baby Levi :: Hamilton Newborn Photographer :: Campbellville, ON

Back in the summer a really dear old buddy of mine gave birth to their first–a skeptical-looking little man, Levi.

We met on their parents’ farm near Campbellville on possibly the most humid day every recorded in history, ever, where we sweat it out and dodged deer flies–doesn’t this sound idyllic?

It was actually!  It was just fun hanging out with my friends and meeting this little man!    He’s a big, chubby, smiley guy now–so enjoy this walk down the country-lane, friends.

*Oh and leave me some blog-love at the bottom here–I know you’re all out there!  …I have to believe you are…sniff….*

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Congratulations again, you guys!   Thanks for letting me meet him so soon and for being so coopertive on such a sticky day!

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liked the post?  liked the picutres?  LEAVE A COMMENT PLEASE!

My Charitible Giving for 2012–it isn’t too late for you to donate!

Whew!

I COMPLETELY forgot that I had to donate before 2012 ended.   Fortunately I was able to make almost all of the donations I had hoped to between 2pm and 3pm on Dec 31st, 2012.    I’m such a goon.

Now I’m not doing this to toot my own horn–I’m doing this to bring more awareness to some really awesome charities in my area and abroad!   And also I believe in accountability–so no secrets here: I give away at least 10% of everything I earn through Claire Dam Photography.

And I want to encourage YOU to give!   There’s still time today or you can donate in 2013–either way most of you Canadians will be eligible to receive a portion of your charitable giving BACK–one of the benefits of being a Canadian!

I encourage you to look for ways to give locally–as well as globally.

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List of Donors for 2012

Financial Donations:

Living Rock

“Living Rock supports youth ages 13-25 who are at-risk of falling through the cracks in our community. Living Rock is responding to youth with a variety of risk factors such as poverty, mental illness, addictions and the disenfranchised.  Together with the support of generous partners and supporters Living Rock aims to alleviate the effects of poverty and to provide opportunities for youth to move beyond their circumstances with the right supports in place.

Each year Living Rock Ministries responds to more than 20,000 youth visits.  Living Rock seeks to ENGAGE youth where they are at, through meal programs, food bank and through safe and relevant social recreational programming. Living Rock ENCOURAGES youth through pre-natal and post-natal care, housing, one to one and crisis support.  Living Rock EQUIPS youth for a brighter future through pre-employment and employment programs.”

City Kidz

“We exist to increase resiliency and inspire big dreams for Canadian children living in low-income communities by providing inspirational experiences and nurturing personal relationships, one child at a time.”

Hamilton Victory Gardens (via Good Shepherd)

“Hamilton Victory Gardens is committed to:

Providing local seasonal fresh organic produce to the marginalized community through local food banks and hot meal programs.

Encouraging a sense of community by having volunteers of all ages, and from all ethnic and faith backgrounds and social status, work together for a common cause.

 Reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

 Creating part of the local sustainable food system.

 Fostering the preservation of arable land and, where possible, using non-arable land within the City of Hamilton.”

Good Shepherd Women’s Shelter

“At Women’s Services, we strive to provide a place of sanctuary, safety and support for women (and their children) dealing with issues such as: woman abuse, violence, homelessness, mental health, and poverty. We are privileged to offer programs that provide support, give hope and restore dignity.”

Hamilton Christian Fellowship (my church!)

“We bless the Church of Hamilton in all its diverse expressions,  and  we’re so glad to be part of all God’s doing in our City! As a first priority we seek the Presence of God, and the ministries of worship  and  prayer are fundamental to our corporate life.”

The Home of Joy

This organization is close the heart for my entire family as many of us have visited and lived in the Philippines working with the Filipino people–specifically with those at the Jabez Center.  Currently The Home of Joy is in CRITICAL need for funds in order to keep it’s doors and arms open to the orphaned of the Philippines.

“Home of Joy residential facility located at CGM Jabez Christian Center, Pala-pala, Dasmarinas City, Cavite. The residential facility runs a 24-hour service providing alternative family care to abandoned, orphaned and surrendered children.  They stay until permanent placement is made through adoption or reconciliation to respective families of the children.
 
Home of Joy ministry started in 1977 by taking care two children from the jail, whom CGM named as David and Jonathan.  To date, about 2,000 children has been admitted and provided love and care. Ever since, less than 300 abandoned children were placed for adoption, while around 200 children were reconciled to their biological parents or relatives.”

Safe Refuge

(founded and operated by my old midwifery supervisor, Naomi)

VIDEO HERE.

“Safe Refuge is a ministry to rescue women and children who are victims of the abusive Asian sex industry. Founded in 2007 in Manila, Philippines, Safe Refuge has taken in dozens of women and children in crises, seeking to meet their physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. As the only shelter in Metro Manila that takes in pregnant women who already have children to bring with them, Safe Refuge seeks to help the mothers find the healing to start over with a changed life. Meeting medical and pregnancy needs is part of how Safe Refuge helps people through difficult life circumstances on a journey of healing and restoration through Jesus Christ.”

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Donations of Time and Talent:

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

“To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture.

NILMDTS trains, educates, and mobilizes professional quality photographers to provide beautiful heirloom portraits to families facing the untimely death of an infant.  We believe these images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring the child’s legacy.”

HELP Portraits

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“Founded by Celebrity Photographer Jeremy Cowart, Help-Portrait is a community of photographers coming together across the world to use their photography skills to give back to their local community.

In December, photographers around the world will be grabbing their cameras, finding people in need and taking their picture. When the prints are ready, the photographs get delivered.

Yep. It really is that easy.”

Hamilton Christian Fellowship (see above)

Jessica & Paul Kwapis–Medical Missionaries in Nepal (my old roommate!)

And LOTS of sessions for deserving families in my area

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OK I need to prepare for New Years’ Eve with our friends–I still have to pack my snow-pants and toboggan.   Because THAT’S how cool adults spend their NYE.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And Happy Giving for 2012 and 2013!

Elijah’s 6 Month :: Hamilton Baby Photographer :: Hamilton, ON

Yes!  The latest and greatest blog post is up and on this little man’s birthday.   I totally didn’t mean to schedule it this way–it was meant to be!

(sorry don’t know why the images are all mis-sized!  Looks like amateur hour over here…)

I’ve happily know this wee family for a long time now–I was there for his parents engagement, their wedding, this little man’s newborn photos and then his 6-month photos.   It’s so fun being able to watching a family grow from two individual people into many people belonging to one family unit.   Pretty cool actually…

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Wardrobe change!

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We had grand plans to recreate a special shot that we did for his parents’ engagement photos–involving a lot of balloons and a baby floating away in a cradle while mom & dad jumped after him.   It would have been really cute, but alas it was so incredibly windy the balloons knotted, popped and were basically blowing horizontally.   Fingers crossed I get another chance to try again!

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I love this series of photos below–the lighting, the evergreens, the blanket–it’s all just sweetness.

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Happy Birthday little E!  You are TWICE as old today as you were when we took these photos and I’m guessing twice as cute!

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Rooftop Twins :: Chic Critique Photography Idol ::

So this post is a brief synopsis of the last assignment I did for the Photography Idol contest back in September.    The theme was emotion and/or motion.    I ended up with mostly emotion because it wasn’t nearly as windy as I had anticipated up there on the rooftop at 270 Sherman!

I put a call out for twins and my nephew actually ended up responding saying he was friends with twins….REDHEAD twins.   My favourite.     Being as non-creepy as I could be I got in touch with the girls and their parents–and everyone was really pumped to do the shoot!   And it helped that White Elephant once again agreed to supply the wardrobe!   We met at White Elephant and the girls had a chance to try some fun dresses on before settling on 3 (and one of my own from home).

I wanted to play with twins and that intimacy and understanding that comes with being so closely connected to a person–genetically and relationally.    I was also hoping to play around with some Wes Anderson-esque ideas.   There’s something very unique about his lighting that I didn’t hit exactly–but it was very fun trying.

I want to thank the girls so much for being so willing, and cooperative and pretty—and for obliging my weird posing and set-ups!   And thank you to their parents for being so happy to drive the girls around and get involved in this shoot!

Lastly–show your love by leaving a comment below!!!

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*the image I submitted to the contest*

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Thanks again for your support–leave a note below!

Bre the Mountain-Woman :: Chic Critique Photography Idol Contest :: Halton, ON

Now that most of the paying work is completed I’m able to spend a little time going over the tens of thousands of pro bono images I took this year!   One of the most exciting such sessions was this one with one of my recent brides, Bre, and her new husband Josh.    This sessions was the 1st assignment for the Chic Critique Photography Idol Contest that I entered and won recently!    These images have never been seen–and I’ve been anxiously sitting on them waiting for the time when I could finish a few!
To be honest though, I’m mostly motivated because I have to submit the images to the magazine so they can figure out the layout for my spread in the January issue :)

*A little disclaimer though: if the images seem crooked to you, they aren’t.  It’s an old, homemade cabin, so the old fella isn’t as squared off as he used to be.
Without further adieu:

-models: Bre + Josh
 + plymouth rock chicken
-assisted by: Rita
-hair/mu: Bre & Anna
-wardrobe + accessories: supplied by White Elephant
-props + accessories: The Joneses!
-smoke: provided by the sweat and tears of Josh
 
 

And if that wasn’t enough there are more…

*Image submitted to contest*

Thank you to everyone who offering their help, ideas, clothes, wolf pelts and antlers!    Special thank you to Bre & Josh who happily came all the way from London on the hottest day EVER to wear multiple layers of pelts and pose by a FIRE.    You guys are awesome.

I’ll let you all know when the magazine comes out!  ***Please show me the love–leave a comment below!   I have really low self-esteem.***

Thanks for your support <3

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