Alexandra & Chris | Hamilton Engagement Photography | Bayfront & Locke St, Hamilton, ON

A couple weekends ago I had the pleasure of working with my newest couple, Alex & Chris!

They were brave souls who handled the cold weather like pros.   Although it was one of those days where if you stood in the sun it was cozy, but the shade was miserable.   Anyway, needless to say we stayed mostly in the sun.

These two didn’t need much direction or encouragement to relax and try to be affectionate with each other–it just happened.    And although we chose locations, and outfits, etc. all this loving and happiness here is purely authentic.

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The first spot we went to was where Chris proposed–down by the Bayfront on this very bench.    The Bayfront is also the location of their first date. aadiptych DSC_2604-EditaadiptycDSC_2684-Edit DSC_2711-Edit

To warm up we beetled over to Chuck’s Burger Bar on Locke St where they graciously let us take over the resto for a bit!   If you haven’t made the trip to eat here you are doing your mouth a disfavour.   You need to go now.   We only had time to order a GIGANTIC plate of fries, and yes, I helped eat them, but they have a succulent variety of burgers and poutines.  You must visit if you’re in Hamilton or make a special trip if you’re out of town.

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Then we played chicken in the street for a while.  That was fun.

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And somehow the whole shoot came back to french fries!   I can’t explain it…but french fries are really important to any healthy relationship.  As you’ll see below…

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Congratulations Alexandra & Chris!

Even though it looks cold in these photos you have undoubtedly warmed the heart of every viewer.

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See you in June!

*If you liked this post and want to share the love please leave a comment below!  I’d love to hear from you!*

Baby Brighton | Hamilton Newborn Photographer | Hamilton, ON

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Katie and James are one of my newer Bump-to-Babe clients and we’ve had SO much fun with all their sessions.   I can’t encourage all of you out there enough to trust your professional to do their job and they will surprise you!  (And this applies to most tradespeople and professionals.)   Putting restrictions on & trying to control creative professionals will stifle them and bore you with the results.   So do yourself a favour and collaborate with your creative professional–you’ll be so happy with the products–I promise!

Anyway–all that to say, Katie and James encouraged me to do my thang and also brought a lot of great concepts forward and together we’ve brought them to life!    You should check out their very popular maternity session here.  It was so well-received that it was featured on a couple different baby blogs in Canada and the US!

Little Brighton came pretty early–about 3 weeks–so things were a little bumpy for the first week or so, but by the time we shot this lovely newborn session at Katie & James’ house she was doing awesome and was SUCH a great little model!

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After some family pics and pics with Mom and Dad we got her to sleep and she stayed asleep–it was awesome!    She was so cooperative to get posed and moved around and have things put on her head and moved around–she was totally conked out!

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The day before this session I’d been doing some reading on newborn photography and in that article the author mentioned that babies almost always smile during newborn sessions, but you just need to be ready for it.   In retrospect of all the newborn sessions I’ve done I realized she was RIGHT!   I just wasn’t ever expecting it–when I should be.  So once we got Brighton in this position we waited….and waited…and before long we got a sweet little smile.   But not before an awesome frown.   That girl can frown!

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If you remember the maternity session you’ll remember the above little birch-bark crown I had made—we included it in the shots in the bookstore and outside on the bed.      And if you’ll also recall, we did a number of shots in the bookstore–a special pastime for Katie & James.   So to finish we hung out in Brighton’s room reading books and snuggling.   (I say ‘we’ but I didn’t snuggle.  Although that would have been nice…)     Finally, please note the pic of their cat–this guy….just blows me away.  I’m not a ‘cat-person’ per se, but, wow.   Right?

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Congratulations Katie & James!   Look what you made!  She’s lovely.

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If you like what you see–check out some of my other posts too!   But more importantly please leave a comment to let me know you liked it!

Sometimes I feel like I’m in an empty auditorium.   Sniff…

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:

Steam Whistle Brewery

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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!)

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.

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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Emily & Paul :: ENGAGEMENT :: Hamilton, ON

Emily & Paul and I came together through the lovely Charmed Events coordinator Tiffany <3.   Tiffany and I go way back and we’re always looking for excuses to work together and hang out!  Thanks for connecting us all Tiff—we had an awesome time!

We shot all of this at the studio at 270 Sherman in Hamilton.

*Please leave a comment for me at the end–show me some loving.  I feel all alone here…

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This shot was right out of the gate and I knew after this moment that we were going to have a lot of fun in this session.   It helps that we were being serenaded by some dancing minstrels up on the 2nd floor.

Strange things happen around here and I’ve stopped asking questions.

The minstrels left a door open into one of the warehouses I don’t usually have access to so we sneaked in and took some sassy shots in the old stairwells.

There’s a bit of a height difference between them.   Not sure if you noticed.

After a good warm up in our civies we all got changed into more formal attire–and by we I mean ‘them’.   I was still in my jeans.

This is up on the rooftop overlooking a lot of Hamilton.   Paul is from Scotland and besides lulling me with charming Braveheart-flavoured accent, (yes Braveheart could be a flavour…) he was telling me that Hamilton is a lot like his town near Glasgow–only “100x better”.    Good for Hamilton!

Look at that heel kick again, hey?

Congratulations Paul & Emily!  After meeting, working and laughing with you I am so looking forward to your lovely September wedding.  And all the kilts!

(Who am I kidding?   That’s why I agreed to take this wedding.  For all the kilts.)

And please leave a comment for me!

I made it into the Top Five! Now go vote for me to get into the Top Three!!!

Well–part of my motto for this year was ‘Be Fearless.  Be Humble.  Keep Learning.’   
And I can say that this Chic Critique contest is really putting all of that to the test.

Most of you know I made it into the Top Five thanks to your votes last week!  THANK YOU!    This 2nd assignment wasn’t what I hoped it would be and consequently I have been humbled and am certainly learning!  My critique was a mix of love, like and serious dislike–it was a tough night considering I’d been at the head of the pack last week.

Voting has begun and we will be going from the Top Five to the Top Three–so two of us are “going home” in 24 hours.   I will freely admit the shot I submitted isn’t my best, and isn’t the best among the images from this week–yet I feel so strongly that I should be a part of the Top Three.   I know I have what it takes to ‘wow’ you again!

Please go vote for me now to keep me in the game!  I know, and I think a lot of you know, I can do this!  If anything go vote for the only Canadian who made it to the Top Five!  GO CANADA!

EVERY VOTE COUNTS!
http://chiccritiqueforum.com/idolvoteformobile

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support and enthusiasm in these exciting/challenging days!   I can’t wait to announce to you all that I’m in the Top Three!
Claire

ps. Here’s a shot that I chose not to submit but I liked a lot—go here to see what I actually submitted!!!

Chris & Lee + two :: Hamilton Engagement Photographer

I’ve known Chris, aka Foster, for a LONG time–since I was 15! Foster and I even shared a house together with a few other friends down on Bay Street in the beloved Hammer.

So when he and his fiance, Lee, asked me to be their photographer I will thrilled to be a part of their new lives together!

Congrats you guys!

First stop at the Baltimore House on King Wm. in Hamilton–definitely a place you kids want to check out if you haven’t already.  By day a Hemingway-esque cafe and by night….a Hemingway-esque bar!  (The author of diuretics.)  There are even signs that encourage the patron to stay as long as they like and write!   Adorbs.

We didn’t write anything…but we did document the start of a new chapter in Lee & Chris’ life…aw….too much?


Lee & Chris told me that they loved winding down at the end of a long day teaching (they’re both teachers!) and lounging on the couch watching their favourite TV shows.   I love a good lighting challenge–so we played around with that concept a little.   I don’t think their mantel at home has ram skulls and angels perched on it, but you get the idea.

After a lovely visit at Baltimore House,  we met up again at Princess Point in Hamilton/Westdale.   There’s a lovely little spot here among the towering oak savannah (yes, it’s actually considered a savannah of oaks!) where we set up the little couch, brought out some special musical instruments and finally got to include the +2 pooches in the shoot!




Congratulations you four! 

June Art Bus :: Hamilton Portrait Photographer

A couple weeks ago we had another bus full of Art Crawlers who were shipped over to 270 Sherman to enjoy some of what she has to offer.   Once again I opened up my studio to anyone who wanted a free portrait–with one catch: you HAD to dress up.  Even a tiny bit.

I’m not going to post the photos from the people who came in on the bus–but I will post shots of some of my friends who came in for the bi-monthly Open House.

Next Open House: August 10th!  630-830pm

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