Hamilton Family Photographer

At Home Family Session | Hamilton Family Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

It’s Family Day, so it’s only appropriate that I share a recent Family Session here on the blog, and when we’re chatting location, this is totally one of my all time faves!

The Sung Family is currently in the process of building their dream home and it was at the perfect stage for us to sneak in for half an hour and update their family portraits! I love that not only are the empty walls and unfinished flooring a perfect neutral backdrop for the images, but will totally bring this crew back to this stage in their life when they look at these images years from now. Especially since Briant (their little guy) will never remember it this way.

Take a scroll through, and let me know what you think of the location — a little twist on the typical at home session!

Hope you all get to enjoy a bit of time with your favourite people today!!

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Love (Actually) Exhibition | Real Wedding Moments | Moments -by Lauren

There is a little bit of celebrating and happy dancing going on over here at MBL today!

I’m SO excited to share that one of my images was selected to be part of the Love (Actually) Exhibition in Toronto this February!! This Exhibit is curated by the incredible Scarlet O’Neill at the Gladstone Hotel and showcases REAL moments that happen on a wedding day. 

The description and purpose of the show had me giddy before I even submitted some images, so you can image how pumped I was to hear one of my images will be hanging up along side 33 other photographer’s with the same intention behind their work. So here’s to a little bit of celebrating, and the continued pursuit of keeping things real.

If you want to go check out the Exhibit for yourself - the Show is running from Feb 6th - 24th at the Gladstone Hotel and opening night is February 8th @ 7:00pm!

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Hamilton Family Photographer | LaSalle Park | Moments -by Lauren

Every so often I get to be a photographer and an Auntie at the same time.

This is how that goes…

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2017 : Year In Review | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Every year I’m completely overwhelmed (in a good way) when drafting this post. Not only because I get to look back on all the stories I got to tell in the past 12 months, but because I’m reminded again of how lucky I am to be able to capture these moments.

Last year I broke down how I go about choosing these images, and things definitely haven’t changed. [Check out last year’s post + my reasoning here.] The genuine moments between couples, family and friends top the list yet again, and there are a few of my favourite epic shots as well.

I’m so excited to share these faves with you today, and even more excited for all the stories that are still to be told. 2018 is going to be filled with so many new chapters that are waiting to be captured….if you think you might like some of yours documented, I’d love to hear from you.

So, here they are… the best moments of 2017.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

TOP 10 : All The Feels 2017 | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

One thing I noticed this past year was that I was getting more and more drawn to the images that made me feel something. Not just ones that brought a little smile, but ones that made me pause a little longer. I'm talking about those authentic moments that can pull you right into the image even if you don't know the people or the story behind why they are so special. Being so invested in my clients and their stories, I had such a hard time narrowing this down -- but I did my best to get it down to 10!!

One of next year's goals is to chase these moments, and I can't wait to share some more as they come. These were chosen because they don't need much more of an explanation, so I'll leave you here to check them out for yourself.

(I'd love to know which one you like the most - so definitely leave me a note below!!)

... and a few honourable mentions I just had to include :

The Spencer Family | Hamilton Wedding Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

What comes to your mind when you think of the perfect family session? 

As you’re envisioning it, I’ll tell you what comes to mine…

 

To start off, it’s a session that takes place in a spot which the family feels totally at home…a place that is just “them” and one that they’ll look back on with fond memories of during that point in their life. That same session feels like I’m just tagging along with the family as an extra member (who happens to have her camera with her). It’s one that’s filled with belly laughs, natural silliness and genuine love with every member at any age.

The most important thing that ties the perfect family session together though? It’s not the coordinated wardrobe, or the perfect glowy light (although those things are nice too)… It’s the images that can tell even a stranger what that family is all about. Personalities, stories and emotions jumping out of an image are things that just make me so happy. I also like to hope it’s the exact thing my clients love too, especially when they look back at images years after they were taken.

The session below has all of these things, so it’s one I totally had to share. It speaks to what the Spencer Family would be found doing on any random night together…and that is also what makes it so special. They walked down a path for about 45 minutes, and I helped take care of the rest. It’s them, and it’s awesome.

Check out the family’s take on the session after a few of my faves!

 

"Lauren has an amazing ability to make a photo shoot an evening of fun. She’s super relaxed, goes with the flow of our kids and captures their own personalities in every shot. Lauren made the evening perfect – nothing was forced, the time flew by and we all had a blast. Endless thanks to Lauren for everything!" - Steph + Geoff

"I loved the telephone game, it was so silly, I almost peed my pants." - Kate, 6

 

If this looks like a way you'd like to document your family's current chapter, I'd love to hear from you to plan your custom session. 

Location, Location, Location | Hamilton Wedding + Lifestyle Photographer | Moments -by Lauren

Choosing the backdrop for your session is one of the most important elements that go into planning your time in front of the lens (and it’s also one of my favourites)! I love to work with my clients to find the spot that’s just perfect for them and their portraits that will last a lifetime. Check out a few quick items that go into it, below!

A few things *YOU* need to think about:

1.     Interests + Activities

Kick off your brainstorming by thinking about what you love to do in your free time. Where are you most comfortable? Perhaps out on a trail, maybe strolling through downtown? I always ask my clients to finish this sentence: “On a free Sunday, you could find us…”

2.     Room Décor

Now that the wheels are spinning, also factor in your home décor. What type of location will look good in your living space? Decorating your home with personalized artwork from your session is a perfect way to update your empty or outdated walls. Remember this when you think of potential locations, their colours and backdrop options!

3.     Style

One of the other major items to factor into your thoughts is your own personal style. What types of locations vibe with your favourite outfits? Often times your personal style already goes hand in hand with some of your favourite hotspots, so the connection might be easy to make!

Once you do a little bit of brainstorming, I help narrow things down. Leaving the technical side of planning your session is totally my job, and rest assured you’re not left to figure things out on your own!

A few things *I* have to think about

1.     Backdrops/Settings

I always check locations for what types of backdrops are available. Is there only one usable spot, or are there 10? Is there some sort of variety in this one location or should we add a second? I love using different backdrops during your session so this is totally something I plan for ahead of time!

2.     Lighting

All of your session’s images begin with lighting. I scope out locations to make sure they have some killer light coming through in the best spots. This is a big indicator of how we move through a session as well, so having my game plan in place is super important!

3.     Time

Taking the first two factors into account helps dictate WHEN we should schedule your session. A lot of my clients are drawn to the glow and emotion of my images…and this doesn’t happen by chance. The sunrise + sunset are my favourite times to book a session, and I’ll be sure to let you know when the location we pick will look it’s best!

Now, these definitely aren’t the only things that we will both factor into our choices…but this is just quick cheat sheet to get you thinking. I have a whole list of favourite spots – a “bucket list” if you will – to suggest in case you’re drawing a blank. I love to hear your input and of course explore some new spaces so no suggestion is a bad one to throw out there! Before any session or big day I ALWAYS scout out where we will be heading to make sure it’s a good one + to craft my game plan!

Want to see a few behind the scenes “Before + After’s”? Check out a few cell phone snaps I’ve taken on my scout and compare them with the final product from the session itself!

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Have any cool photo location ideas or hidden gems?! Have a place in mind for your next session? I'd love to hear from you!

2016 : Year in Review | Moments - by Lauren | Hamilton Wedding Photographer

Well folks, here it is – the one blog post that wraps up an entire year’s worth of favourite frames…and boy is it a doozy.

As I was selecting the images that I loved the most in the past 12 months I realized I’m especially drawn to images that have certain qualities to them. I would imagine this is what draws many of you to me as well… as it’s hopefully something that comes through in my style.

First, I’m looking for the light. (Duh). Light is the start and base of every great shot. Some of my faves are the ones where the light just adds that extra dynamic edge to a shot. Sometimes it goes unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention, but at times it can be the focal point too. A flare can sometimes steal the show…but when it’s done properly, it definitely makes my day.

Next, you should know that I’m constantly searching for compositions. I live for something a little different. I love when I find a hidden gem, a new angle, or position my subjects to not only showcase their best self but also the killer location around them. Having a client request I try new or different things, is like music to my ears. You’ll be able to spot these ones right away!

Last, and most importantly are the moments. I would throw the other two of my criteria out the window every time to get shots like this. It’s my total mission, the name of my company and something I want to help create and capture for every- single-client... because I believe in this so much! Forget the overly posed images…I want the ones that capture you and exactly how you’re feeling in that moment. These always stand out to me every time I go through a gallery and hope they are the ones that you love the most too. These images are the easiest to spot, as they are the ones that will make you feel something in your gut or make you smile.

When I check all three of these boxes – it feels like magic and still to this day will make me giddy to deliver the image.

After trying to find some of these common threads in the images, I knew one thing for sure… without a doubt I can say I have the best job on the planet. I get to tell the story of some of the biggest moments in your life…even if they just seem like ordinary ones.

I was lucky to meet so many new friends in 2016, as well as catch up with some old ones along the way.

As the MBL Family continues to grow…I’d love for you to be a part of it!

Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope the moments that make up your 2017 are the best ones yet!

 

Seniors

Where has the summer gone?! As we roll into the final two weeks of August I wanted to share something new with you here on the blog.

At the end of this past school year I gathered up a few of my favourite high school seniors to document them at this point in their life. This is a time where everyone is heading in a different direction, and a time where everything is about to change. The excitement and nerves that I’m sure are running through their heads is definitely something they will look back on in the years to come and is another one of those defining moments in a person’s life. 

It’s one of those moments I want to capture, have some fun with, and eventually help them remember who they were at that time.

Heading into your final year, or know someone who is? I’d love to hear from you to chat about your custom Senior Session before you start your next chapter.