Date archive: November 2013


{Robyn & James Engagement}

You don’t get married for yourself, you get married because you’re better together than separate.”
― Dirk Hayhurst


All right! This is my kind of photo shoot!


For Robyn & James’ engagement pictures, it was decided that spending some time in the kitchen of his homey apartment would make for some fun pictures.  Hmmm….and what would one do in the kitchen? Cook, of course! They set to work making a gourmet pizza and I set to work photographing their progress!


I’ve never been so hungry at a photo shoot in my life! Watching through my lens as they measured and mixed and chopped and sliced, my anticipation level was high (both for the results of their cooking and the results of the photos!).  I’m sure they noticed my tummy growling! And lucky me, the dough recipe called for beer and there was enough left over to share!


I think that this was a fantastic idea for their session. It gives insight into something that they enjoy, as well as being a setting that they are clearly comfortable in. Not only were there a lot of great candid and spontaneous moments caught on film, there was also opportunity for some more traditional posed pictures as well.


After the prep work was done, the pizza went in the oven and we decided that it was a perfect time to take some pictures of Robyn & James with another hobby: Lords of Waterdeep, a Dungeons & Dragons board game.  I must say, it looks like a pretty intense battle!


And next came the moment we’d been waiting for! Pizza perfection! Time to take the pizza out of the oven! After they sliced the pizza (excellent practice for when they cut the wedding cake), we thoroughly enjoyed all of their hard work….Delicious!


With intentions of getting some beautiful outdoor pictures (as well as walking off our full tummies), we strolled over to Victoria Park where Mother Nature provided a glorious backdrop of autumn leaves and funky trees.


Thanks a million to Robyn & James for feeding the photographer a feast! Can’t wait to capture your wedding day memories!



{Ready For Any Occasion}

“Opportunity is a haughty goddess who wastes no time with those who are unprepared.” 
George S. Clason


Machado Photography does, among other things, portfolios, head shots and portraits. I often get emails from clients who need a new, professional picture for their on-line profile or their business card; it’s all in a day’s work. But Debra came to me with a different request.


Debra is a business woman with a lot on her schedule! Aside from co-owning (with her hubby Carl) both FAB Favourite Accessory Boutique and Twice is Nice Twice the Man consignment store, she is currently in the midst of gutting and completely renovating the house she grew up in. There isn’t a lot of free time on her calendar!


Not only are Deb’s businesses frequently featured in newspaper and magazine articles, but there’s a lot of advertising that goes along with running 2 businesses, too. That’s where Machado Photography and an element of preparedness comes in.


Debra booked a session with me so that we could put together a wide range of photos that she can have ready for any occasion. If a magazine wants to do a feature on her, she doesn’t have to squeeze a photo session with their photographer into her busy schedule; she just goes to the portraits that Machado Photography did and chooses an appropriate one (an image that she loves) that she can give them to use. It’s as easy as that!


When it’s time for the FAB Christmas ads, she has the photos all ready to go…just pick one and build the ad around it. Same for her Valentine’s ad, Spring ad and so on and so on. In a couple of hours we shot enough images, styles and arrangements to cover all of the bases for at least 6 months of print work. Now if there’s a feature to be done about Debra and one of her stores, she can save a lot of time and energy because she planned ahead.


And because of the wide range of images I took, she has some great shots of herself just for fun, too!




Where does the time go?


When Sierra got in touch with me to help her build up her portfolio so that she could apply to Sutherland Modelling Agency in Toronto, all I could think of was “Isn’t she still a kid?”


I’ve know Sierra since she was 9 years old! I used to braid her hair! ( and I used to date her cousin…but that’s a whole different blog!)


For this shoot it wasn’t going to be me doing Sierra’s hair; we had the privilege of professional hair and make up artist MacKenzie Casey from Toronto, who came to Waterloo to work her magic. It was a definite asset for a shoot that included head shots, natural photos, dramatic pictures and editorial images, each needing a very different hair & makeup.


Sierra is an awesome model; she was amazing at taking suggestions and directions and running with them. We were able to create a very well rounded, extremely professional portfolio that showed of her versatility.


Based on these portraits, Sierra should have no problem getting hired by any modelling agency she wants to have represent her!


Can’t wait to see you in the fashion magazines, Sierra!


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{Vanessa & Zack’s Engagement Shoot}

“To the world you may be one person but to one person you may be the world.”
― Bill Wilson


Another perfect fall day for a photo shoot! Mother Nature must have an appreciation for beautiful photography, because I always seem to luck out with such amazing weather!


Becky and I met up with Vanessa and Zack at the Kaufman Flats, a very versatile and captivating forested setting for their engagement shoot. And they brought Chloe; I always love working with pets in family sessions, they usually add some comic relief and lighten the mood! Obviously, pets are family too!


Vanessa came armed with some specific imagery that she and Zack wanted to emulate, which is great. It gave me an idea of what look they wanted to achieve with their pictures, and it gave us a starting point to work from.


Everyone has an image in their mind of how they want their pictures to turn out. There’s no better way to make sure your photographer is on the same page as you than by bringing along some examples. Some photographers don’t like their clients to do this, they feel that it stymies their creativity, but I don’t mind at all! It just suggests a style and certain elements that I can keep in mind during the session. It can be an added challenge…and Machado Photography is always up to a challenge!


We definitely got the pictures that they requested:)


One other thing to note: Vanessa wore a beautiful bright yellow coat for some of her pictures. Don’t be afraid to wear bright colours for your shoot! Don’t feel like you should wear black or white or other neutrals for all of your pictures; bring along something to wear that reflects your personality! There’s certainly nothing wrong with neutrals, but feel free to switch it up!


Congratulations Vanessa & Zack! Looking forward to your wedding next year!
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{Monica & Jeff’s Engagement Shoot}

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”


I have mentioned before that if a bride and groom book Machado Photography for their wedding, I STRONGLY encourage them to book an engagement shoot with us as well. A wedding photographer is an investment in your memories of one of the most important days of your life; you want to be absolutely certain that you have the right photographer to get the best images possible, a photographer who will work with you and have a creative vision that meshes with yours. Sometimes the engagement shoot functions as a mini test run, a getting-to-know-you session.


I was recently asked by Monica & Jeff to photograph their wedding. The thing was, they had already had an engagement shoot with another photographer. The pictures from that shoot were nice; Monica & Jeff liked the pictures….but they didn’t LOVE them. That makes for an interesting situation. Should they invest in another set of engagement pictures? The answer was yes!


The engagement session acts like a “trial run” for the wedding. I can get to know the couple, see how they interact with each other, find out how comfortable they are in front of the camera and if necessary, find out how to make them more comfortable. Some couples don’t need or want much direction, they just go with it. Some couples want a bit of direction, want their photographer to make suggestions. By the end of the engagement shoot, I know what the couple wants out of their photos…romantic or serious or funny, sweet or elegant, modern or old-fashioned, posed or spontaneous.


After a bit of brainstorming, Monica & Jeff & I headed to railway tracks that ran through a wooded area, armed with some fun props like a blanket, a book and some cheerful red umbrellas. And then we had some fun! We had a great variety of scenarios to work with, from romantic story-telling to walking the rails, and of course, the beautiful fall colours which worked to our advantage! We even made a little detour to an historical school building; architecture changes the mood of photos significantly. Monica & Jeff are naturals in front of the camera!


I think you’ll agree that the pictures turned out beautifully. Now Monica & Jeff have engagement photos that they LOVE, and I am absolutely prepared to get the best possible photos at their wedding next summer!


Congratulations Monica & Jeff!
Published on:
November 8, 2013 1:29 am

{Ferreira Family Photos}

I’d rather sit alone on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.

Henry David Thoreau

*And I would rather be in a pumpkin patch, crowded with family, than alone OR on a crowded velvet cushion!!!


A pumpkin patch is such a wonderful place to be; nothing beats the crisp autumn-ness of a day on the farm! The huge and fun-filled Shantz Family Farm was the perfect setting for the Ferreira Family photo shoot!


As if my assistant Shannon and I weren’t excited enough imagining the potential creativity for the day ahead, we arrived on the farm to find a thick fog settled across the pumpkin patch…spooky! What an amazing photo opportunity! We went straight to work  to make sure we got those shots in the foggy field before the sun came out and chased the ambiance away.


We had a lot of action lined up for the morning, and with a group that big, it takes a lot more shots than usual to make sure we get those perfect portraits. With a dozen people, there’s a higher likeliness that someone will be blinking or not smiling or talking or distracted when I press the shutter; that amounts to at least 5 times as many pictures for me to take!


As part of the Ferreira session, we planned to spend time with each individual family, get the kids together for some photos (we found some great wooden chairs that made perfect props!), get some shots of the grandparents with their grandkids, get portraits of all of the ladies and pictures of all of the fellas….mission accomplished! It’s amazing what you can do when you’re determined!


Machado Photography is happy to offer up suggestions for scenic places to go for your next photo shoot, but we’re always interested when you have interesting locations already picked out. Don’t be shy about asking us to come out to a place that you love or that has sentimental attachment for you. Think outside the box; it will make your photo session even more personal!
{My Assistant Shannon @ The Ferreira Family Shoot}
I always join in on the fun! In the beginning of the photo-shoot I’m a photographer, by the end of the shoot I feel like I’m part of the family:)
Published on:
November 7, 2013 4:08 am
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