Toronto Wedding Photographer

Category: Photography

Wedding Albums – The Pros & Cons


So what’s the truth about professional albums? 

Are they really better than the do-it-yourself type albums?  Are they worth the price?  And by the way, what is up with the price of those albums?!?  Are photographers just secretly mean and want to squeeze new couples for every last possible penny?  While any good magician never reveals how the tricks are done; a good wedding photographer should be able to speak openly and candidly about their products and discuss pros and cons.

Price – What are you really paying for?

The first thing people think of after hearing the term “Professional Photo Album ” is price since pro albums have a reputation for being notoriously expensive.  I can’t count the times I’ve heard people say “So, why should I buy a pro album when I can make one myself from Pikto and save 75% of the cost?” and I cringe every time.  Answering this question is not simple!  In order to properly answer this question, you have to open a flood gate worth of information about albums, paper types, ink types, quality, layout, formatting, etc.

When you pay for a professional book, you are paying for 2 things in particular: the cost the photographer incurs to print the book (materials) and the cost of having the photographer design the book (design).

Materials – How much does paper really cost?

Wedding Photographer Album

Big secret #1 … wedding photographers do not print their own books.  The technology required to not only print books but bind them goes far beyond the capabilities of any normal studio.  There are a handful of companies throughout the world that the pro photographer will belong to who print and bind the books that the photographer designs.

The paper that professional quality albums are printed on is top-quality paper, specially coated with a protective UV spray to ensure that your colours stay true and vibrant for years to come.  And speaking of colour…

Design – Good design &  consistent style

When you were looking for a wedding photographer, I bet you chose the one whose style you liked the best.  Afterall, photography is an art – and like any artist, each photographer has their own style.  So let me ask you this… why would you hire a photographer, whose style you adore, to shoot your wedding, but then attempt to design your own book with a layout and style that some random website gives you?  Seems silly to me.  It’s like cooking a five-star meal  and serving it on old paper plates.

Albums can take upwards of 20 to 30 hours to design the first draft, depending on the number of pages required. A good photographer will also include one or two complimentary revisions where the client can swap around some photos or try some different layouts.  This way, clients still have some control over the album that they are paying for, but they are working with the talent of their photographer to ensure that their visions come to life in a well-thought-out and breathtaking design.

Unreasonable mark-ups

As I mentioned, the cost of the book is basically materials + time needed to design.  So what’s up with thse $3,000-$5,000 albums that you see being offered by some photographers?  Are they made from gold?  Did they take 200 hours to design?  What could possibly justify a price like  that?  

Unfortunately, like some vendors in the wedding industry, some photographers have absolutely unreasonable markups on their albums that can’t be justified by the amount of materials or design time that have gone into the album.  These photographers are the reason that people automatically roll their eyes at the idea of professional albums – because of the reputation of the albums being extraordinarily expensive.

Keeping secrets

Wedding Photographer Style

Ask your photographer where they get their albums from.  If they refuse to tell you which company, don’t buy the album.  There… I said it.

As I mentioned above, there are a handful of printing and binding companies in the world that are of professional quality.  These companies only service truly professional photographers – they will only register you once you provide your business ID, tax #’s, your website, etc.  They charge high prices for their materials, but they are worth every penny because they are the best possible quality.  There are some other printing services; however, that claim to be professional – but when you compare their products to a truly professional product, the difference is obvious.  Their prices, though, are a fraction of what a professional printing house will charge.

So what am I trying to get at?  If your wedding photographer won’t tell you where the albums come from, it might be because they aren’t using a truly professional service!  Maybe they’re using a do-it-yourself site, too!  Afterall, those sites charge less which means your photographer would make more.

Book Now and maybe add an Album to your package

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Wedding Photographer – Who Chooses Bride or Groom

He proposes, she accepts, they kiss.  Before their lips even part, her brain is already swarming with ideas for the wedding!  After some internet research, the couple go together, hand in hand, to interview different vendors.  At the meeting, the bride asks millions of questions while the groom sits there silently.   After a long interview and a plethora of questions asked, the bride seems satisfied but turns to the groom and asks for his opinion.  He mumbles “Uh…. I don’t know.  It’s fine I guess.  I really don’ care.” . The bride then second guesses her choice of vendor because her fiancé’s reaction and they leave the meeting, contract unsigned, date unreserved and with the burden of a looming argument once they reach home.

I have asked a former couple how they made it through their wedding planning successfully? The Bride said, because her husband made one thing clear from the start: if he said “I don’t care” about something, it means he truly doesn’t care and he doesn’t need to ask 40 questions.  They agreed that the phrase “I don’t care” would not be used negatively, it would simply be used if they didn’t have strong feelings either way for the subject they were discussing. 

The point I’m trying to make is this as a Wedding Photographer:

Don’t second guess your decision on a vendor you love just  because your fiancé doesn’t have an opinion.  There’s a good chance that they simply don’t care and they are just happy to know that you are happy.

Wedding Photographer - Dock Side in Muskoka
Dock Side in Muskoka – Toronto Wedding Photographer

This is especially true with wedding photography!  Most grooms will check out a photographers website, take a quick 10-second look, and say “Okay, that’s fine”.  A bride, however, will spend hours if not days looking at the site, analyzing the pictures, the lighting, the composition, the overall style.  On the wedding day, the bride will be loving every minute of picture taking, while the groom could care less – he’s just looking forward to the booze at the reception.

So when it comes to booking your vendors especially a wedding photographer, please hear me out, brides:  There’s no point in forcing your fiance to “choose” something they simply don’t care about because there’s a very good chance that they have no strong opinion and will simply be happy to know that you’re happy!

Check out some of our happy couples here

And for the Grooms if you are all about the party Check out this DJ here

Your Toronto Wedding Photographer

When do you hire your wedding photographer?

One question that comes up time and time again is “When do you hire your wedding photographer ?”. I’m a not sure why it’s such a popular question because I thought the answer was simple: BOOK YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!  Seriously, brides and grooms: AS. SOON. AS. POSSIBLE.   Why ? (it’s really quite logical, when you think of it):

The Average Length of an Engagement

  • The average Canadian couple is engaged for approximately 19 months.
  • After getting engaged and celebrating with family, couples typically choose their date and immediately sit down and start looking for vendors.

Which Vendors get Booked First

  • The vendors that the vast majority of couples book first are: reception location, ceremony location and photographer.
  • This means that these major players can book, on average, 15 to 18 months in advance.

Popular Wedding Dates

  • Some wedding dates are simply more popular than others.
  • August and September remain the 2 most popular months for weddings followed by July, October, June and July.
  • If you’re getting married during a popular month it’s more crucial to book your vendors as soon as possible because their stands a greater possibility of them already being booked.

Those where three really great reasons why you should book your photographer as soon as possible.  Still not convinced?

Toronto Wedding Photographer - Book Early

Here are a few more key pieces of advice for hiring your wedding photographer (or any vendor):

Email inquiry does not guarantee you the date:  

  • Never assume that just because you sent an email to inquire about their services that the vendor will hold that date for you.  Dates are formally reserved only when a deposit is placed and a contract is signed.

Book your consult as soon as possible:

  • If you are not ready to schedule a consult do not email with an inquiry because there is a good chance that in between the time of your original email and the time that you are ready to finally meet, someone else will have booked them.

Minimize your consults:

Do not wast your time, meeting with a dozen different vendors.  Use their online portfolios to narrow it down to 2 or 3, your consult should be the time that you decide whether or not you have chemistry with them – not view their portfolios.

If you love the service your vendor can provide and you really feel that chemistry with them then I suggest booking them at the consult!  If you’re sure about your choice of vendor there is nothing wrong with securing their services.

There is always the chance that a vendors prices can increase over time; as the cost of running a business increases a vendor must increase the cost of their services to compensate.  When you book your vendor and securing your package, you are securing that price, too!  This means that by the time your walk down the aisle rolls around you could be saving a lot of money compared to that vendors current prices.

Toronto Wedding Photographer - Book wedding early

Your Friendly – Toronto Wedding Photographer

How to Create a Wedding Budget

Toronto Wedding Photographer - money

Where to start?

The decision to have a wedding is huge for a couple. They deciding to spend their life together but there is also the strain of affording the perfect wedding. Having everything they want on their special night can be a big strain you finances. The main focus for any couple when creating a wedding budget would be to concentrate on what they are looking to get out of their wedding; how much disposable income the couple has together and how much money they need to have left after planning their special day.

Step #1: Decide your total budget for the whole wedding

This must involve all costs associated with a wedding, from venue to food to the wedding photographer all of the tips that you plan to provide to workers after the fact. Make sure you also take into considerations any minor issues or need for side cash that might arise during the wedding. Generally, an extra $2000 would be recommended just because it is always good to have a nice bumper fund.

Step #2: Consider all of the possible items, venues and food that you will have at your wedding

Sometimes, this step is easier to accomplish at the end of doing some basic planning for your big day. Until you know more than the basic details it’s difficult to decide how much everything will cost.

The list below will help you budget:

Ceremony Costs:

  • Clergy
  • Altar Decorations
  • Chair Rental
  • Chair Decorations
  • Guest Book/Fountain Pen
  • Aisle Runners
  • Ushers
  • Gratuity
  • Transportation to Church
  • Rose Petals or Bubbles for the exit

Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Costs:

  • Flowers
  • Bridesmaids bouquet
  • Bridesmaid accessories
  • Corsages/Boutonnières


  • Save the Date Cards
  • Invitations
  • Directional Cards/ Maps
  • Postage
  • Calligrapher(Optional)
  • Thank You Notes
  • Rehearsal Dinner Invitations
  • Party Invitations (Showers, Luncheons etc.)
  • Wedding Programs
  • Address Labels


  • Wedding Dress
  • Wedding Rings
  • Bridal Veil
  • Bridal Bouquet
  • Alterations
  • Lingerie/Garter
  • Bridal Shoes
  • Hosiery
  • Jewelry
  • Gloves
  • Dry Cleaning for the couple
  • Grooms Tuxedo and Alterations
  • Hair & Make-up Artist ( Click Here for a great one )

Other Extra Costs:

  • Wedding Planner or Consultant
  • Location fee for reception
  • Caterer
  • Musician
  • Bar Tender/Servers
  • Alcohol
  • Wedding Cake
  • Table Decorations
  • Centerpieces
  • Dishes/Glassware
  • Linens and Napkins
  • Tables
  • Limo or Car
  • Hotel for Guests

Reception Costs:

  • Reception centerpieces
  • Alcohol (Open bar, closed bar or table wines)
  • Table Decorations
  • Room Decorations
  • Dishes, Glassware (usually compiled into full cost of reception hall)
  • Linens, Napkins, Chair Covers
  • Dj ( Here’s one we recommend )

Engagement Cost

  • Wedding Photographer

All Photography and Videography Click here for a link to our price list

  • Photo Albums
  • Engagement Portraits
  • Photoshoot Outfits

Your Friendly  – Toronto Wedding Photographer

How Many Photos will I receive ?


I want to address the hot-button issue of the number of photos that the bride and groom will receive from their wedding. Whenever I receive emails like the one above, I often try to put myself in the bride’s position.  I envision that she has several windows open in her web browser and is sending the exact same message to several other Toronto Wedding Photographers.  I’m assuming she’s looking to get the most bang for her buck, so she’ll probably end up choosing the wedding photographer who says they will provide her with the most pictures, regardless of whether she actually prefers someone else’s photography style. When it comes to photography, you need to choose the vendor whose style you LOVE.  After all, this person will be creating the wedding memories that you will be cherishing for the rest of your life.

“So how many photos do you take at a wedding? “

There is no way of knowing.  What I do know is that when I go to a wedding, there’s myself and one other photographer, and between us we have;  4x Camera bodies,  4-6 different lenses, lighting, more batteries than you could ever imagine can fit in a belt pack and about 500 gigabytes worth of memory cards (yes, half a terabyte, which is a lot), and then a few extra just for safe measure.  I’m always prepared, and ready to spend 8-16 hours watching the day unfold through my viewfinder, clicking my shutter at every possible opportunity.

What it comes down too

The key phrase in that last sentence was, ”EVERY POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY”  The amount of photos I take at a wedding depends on:

  1. The length of coverage on the wedding day
  2. The length of your formal photo session
  3. The amount of activity going on throughout the day and evening
  4. The amount of little details and accents that make your day unique

So just how do these four key-factors play into your final image count?

The length of your wedding day:

If you chose a 5-hour wedding package, logistically, you will not receive the same amount of photos that someone who chose a 14-hour package would have.  The amount of photos you receive will be somewhat relative to the length of time your photographer is present.

The length of your formal photo session:

Some brides and grooms schedule a large portion of the day for family photos, wedding party photos and formal bride and groom photos. Couples who have 20+ combinations of family photos, have incredibly large wedding parties and want to visit multiple locations for their formal couples shoots will have more photos than couples who choose to take a handful of group photos and then do a quick 20-minute bride and groom shoot.


The amount of activity going on throughout the day and evening:

This is where the candid shots come in. Candid shots are a wonderful way of capturing genuine emotions and reactions on your wedding day. If you choose to get ready in the morning with just two or three bridesmaids, there will be fewer people to take candid photos of. If you choose not to have a receiving line, a cocktail hour or even dancing at your reception, there will be fewer candid opportunities. But maybe that’s what you want, and that’s okay too. Candid moments cannot be artificially created by the photographer – they must occur naturally throughout the day and if the events taking place on your wedding day lead to only a few opportunities for candid shots, there may be fewer candid shots in your final image total, but moments to cherish nevertheless.

The amount of little details and accents that make your day unique:

Part of every wedding image collection are the detail shots: shoes, rings, jewelry, the dress, centerpieces, flower arrangements, cake, decorations, food, etc.  If you choose a wedding package that does not include morning coverage, you will be missing out on many of the morning-of detail shots.  Also, if you choose to save money by not decorating your reception hall, again, there will be fewer detail shots in your final collection.

For full-day weddings I’ve taken up to 2,000 quality photos. Quality photos are taken with a purpose, and are taken to capture a particular moment or a particular detail. Will everyone’s wedding have a final image count of 1,500+ photos? Absolutely not. It all depends on the aforementioned factors. However, in any event, there are many ways to get the most out of your wedding photography and getting the most out of your photos will help increase your image count, and ultimately, the memories you have of this day.


Your Friendly: Toronto Wedding Photographer

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