WHAT WE WANT YOU TO KNOW BEFORE YOU HIRE ANYONE:
1. You need to actually like us.
First off, I really hope you choose me to be your photographer because you like to be around me. I hope you saw someone that you could imagine sharing your wedding day with. That you could see me as a friend who spends more time with you than anyone else on the most important day of your life. See what I mean? It is a BIG deal. We are all spilling just a little bit of ourselves into our social media, platforms and websites, hoping you see the people we are. That our character will be a deciding factor for you.
2. Please. Please. Please don't let the dollar amount make your decision for you.
Your wedding day comes once in a lifetime. It is a beautiful, emotional, AMAZING day that you will spend hours pouring your heart and soul into. Your photographs are the only remaining part of that day for you to hold onto (besides your spouse). Trust me when I say, it is worth investing in. Be reasonable if you have a smaller budget BUT do not choose based on price alone.
My suggestion is to make your photographer one of the top priorities when are you setting your budget. Choose a day, book your dream venue and then grab the photographer! Work around those three factors.
3. Consider stylistic choices!
I do not mind getting suggestions for posing or props, I really don't. We will totally shoot something that might be important to you (that is the job!) BUT please consider the overall vibe of the photos that your photographer is trying to put out there. That part will not be easily swayed, even when you give your suggestions. After all, it is not only our business but our art.
For instance, I am not a very 'pose-y' photographer. I love candids, putting you in situations that evoke real emotion and that are usually a little more light-hearted, giving you a chance to showcase yourselves as a couple. I do allow for some posed photos for your wedding day but I do not micro-manage. If you are wanting more posed, editorial shots I may not be the best fit for you. And that is A-OK!
Also, consider the type of light they like to work with, the themes or styles of weddings they typically shoot and have as part of their portfolio. Typically, those are the types of weddings they want to shoot again. There is a reason they have those shots on their websites. They are trying to draw those cliental.
WHAT WE WANT YOU TO KNOW AFTER YOU HIRE US:
1. We are more than your typical wedding vendor.
I can not speak for every wedding vendor or even every wedding photographer, but I think I can safely say this. Your wedding photographer is going to be with you throughout your wedding planning, working on details with you that will give you AMAZING results. Do not hesitate to ask your wedding photographer any questions. We want to help! And may just have some great insight.
I repeat, you are NEVER a burden. Asking questions helps us both prepare for the day!
2. Engagement photos are a must!
I suggest to all of my wedding couples that engagement photos should not be skipped. These photos give you a chance to see us in action, to get you comfortable in front of the camera (it is a little awkward at first and no, you aren't the only one who feels this way) and we can get to know each other better! It is also great for us because we want to get to know you! I want to know what you are going to be like on camera, how I can better prep for the wedding day and I just LOVE getting to know my couples. They are all rocking awesome.
WHAT WE WANT YOU TO KNOW AFTER THE WEDDING DAY:
1. Share. Like. Post. Follow.
Social media is a wedding photographer's best friend and worst enemy. It is time consuming and stressful. However, it is free marketing and showcases our hard work. It really is the best of both worlds. BUT, it really helps us out when you share our photos, tag us and follow our accounts. This honestly honours us so much and helps spread the word about our business, allowing us to keep doing what we love. I won't out right ask you to post but it is always, always, always appreciated. We love to know that the time that has been put in has paid off!
2. You have a friend for life.
I can't say this for everyone but literally, I love all of my clients. You probably chose me because you could see us being friends, enough to spend many hours with me planning and preparing for your big day. Meaning, of course I love hanging with you too!
I am here for you if you need any professional services (duh) and we do have to have a professional relationship when it comes to logistics but hit me up with any questions, concerns or prayer requests. Do not be a stranger or consider yourself "just another client." I have built a relationship with you that I intend to keep just because you are out-of-this-world fantastic.
Photographers, feel free to leave your two cents in the comments below! If we don't agree on all of this, that is totally OK! Or if I missed anything, let the people know.
Cheesy photo taken by Caleb Rempel
"Who am I?
Who am I?
I'm Leah Rempel!"
So, this clearly doesn't sound as eloquent as Jean Val Jean (if you don't get this reference, watch Les Mis and thank me later). But I want to give a solid introduction as to who I am and what I value. I want to be transparent. Here are 5 things you need to know about me.
1) I am a follower of Jesus Christ. If you have followed my accounts or journey for any length of time, this will become quite apparent to you. I am unashamed of this as it literally saved my life. It is daily transforming every part of me. I want to love deeper, live a life of forgiveness and grace while serving the lost and marginalized, just as Jesus did. I want to admit that I fall short every single day and my worth is only determined by God, who has covered all of my sin.
2) I am a dedicated wife and mother. I truly do not deserve them but I have been blessed with an amazing little family that just keeps surprising me. Caleb is the most devoted husband and my best friend. Never have I met someone so loving, life giving and wise. Micah is our precious son who is teaching me about my own selfishness while at the same time giving me a clearer picture of how God loves me. He is fearless and sweet. Not enough can be said regarding Caleb and Micah. They are the most precious gems. I am so in love.
3) I am a teacher. I taught in the public schools for 2.5 years but I have been a teacher at heart my whole life. Surrounded by teachers in my family means that I have been deeply impacted by teachers on every level. One day, I hope I can go back and teach on a more full time basis but my giftings are not being wasted right now as I teach English as a Second Language once a week and lead a book study. Not traditional teaching roles but they still allow me to use my gifts to serve others. I love to share what I have learned, get creative and lead with intention, all valuable assets as a teacher and now a photographer!
4) I am a life long learner. I LOVE to read books, listen to podcasts, take classes and listen to those who have gone before me. This means that my brain never stops spinning! I am constantly reflecting, perfecting and growing. This also means that I can be really hard on myself. I feel like I will never know enough or there was always more that I could have done or could have said. What I am realizing is that that is the truth and it is 100% ok.
5) I am an "obsesser." If I get hooked on something, I am HOOKED. If I watch a movie I like, I will look up the actors and find out every movie or production they were ever in. I will watch every interview they ever did. If I love a product, I will find out everything I can about it and tell all of my friends. If I heard something that made me think, I will tell anyone that might find it remotely interesting. But let's not say I am a stalker or creep.. let's say that I am a dedicated supporter. I would also like to say that this makes me a pretty loyal person. I truly do lead with my heart and I will be your biggest cheerleader!
6) Bonus Fact: I am so far from perfect. I am a hot mess mom. I am a wife that doesn't treat my husband the way he should be treated. I can be irresponsible and selfish. I hold grudges that I should let go of. I often judge first and love second. I am an emotional, anxious wreck. I am a work in progress. On social media and online, we show our best selves but no one has all the answers. No one is without flaws or imperfections. No one has it all together. We are in this together.
Sending you all of my love!
When I met Josh and Kirsten for the first time earlier this year, it was one of those times that you just really didn't want to lose them to anyone else. They are so thoughtful, polite, and you just know that they are totally in love. These are my kind of people.
Josh proposed to Kirsten at the same spot he told her he loved her for the first time near Coal Lake. She remembers having to make a quite a hike to get out there in the winter but it was totally worth it. Coal Lake is right below Josh's parent's property where we went for both engagement and formal portrait sessions.
Their wedding day was so sweet and put together with tender love and care. One of their favorite memories was walking out of the church after they were married and embracing each other. Down below, is one of the photos I caught of that moment. That building could barely contain their joy. They were HUSBAND and WIFE. The best. The rest of the day had so many unique details like a popcorn bar (Thai Sweet Chili popcorn is a game changer!) and homemade bouquets. One of my favorite features was group dances led by one of their friends (never have I wanted to be a guest so badly!) It looked like an absolute blast.
One of the things that I will remember is the thoughtfulness of including her dad who has passed away. She wore his flannel shirt while getting ready and placed a white rose on the piano during her ceremony. Tears flowed (that wasn't just me, was it?) when a letter from him was read by her brothers. So thoughtful and so sweet. This is the kind of person she is.
Kirsten says that married life has been amazing. They don't have to say goodbye at an end of an evening and they love just hanging out. They even went on a second honeymoon! Jealous.
Kirsten and Josh, you are truly a beautiful couple with so much love. I see such an amazing future together for you as husband and wife. It really is the greatest adventure with your best friend. Congratulations my friends (seriously, can we stay friends. You guys are amazing)!
Some If you have had me as a photographer and asked where I think a good spot would be for your photographs, you will have gotten the frustrating answer of, "I love when you choose a spot that means something to you."
You are thinking "WHAT!" Yet you answer sweetly. "Well, we do not really have somewhere like that" or "We will think about it but I do not have somewhere very close that is meaningful."
Here is the thing. I love when we are in a place that is comfortable for you and that draws you out of.. you! It is the best and really defines my style.
However, I of course have some favorite spots for photos that have been highlighted throughout my work. Here are my top 5 with some example photos. Some of these I have only visited once before but I love the backdrop they give, the flavor of the city they exude or they have just been very memorable shoots!
1. The University of Alberta Campus
When I walked the campus of the University of Alberta, all I could see was photography locations. The greenery is stunning and the architecture is gorgeous. Literally, you have such diversity in styles and spaces. I have done a maternity session here as well as wedding formals.
2. Terwillegar Dog Park
This space has open spaces, a small beach next to the North Saskatchewan, and narrow walking paths. Yes, this is a dog park but it is so beautiful and it is large enough you do not have to even get close to a dog to get the perfect photograph.
3. Fort Heritage Precinct - Fort Saskatchewan
This is where I had my own family photos done. That is how much I love this spot. There are old buildings, a gazebo, trees, pathways and a look out that it is to die for at sunset. The grounds are almost always open to take photos but you can also pay to take photos inside some of the buildings.
4. Edge of the Earth
This is just a little spot in a residential area that is in the Riverbend area of Edmonton. It is a lookout that is between the Fort Edmonton Footbridge and the Terwillegar Footbridge. The view is spectacular especially as the sun is going down. I had the most amazing maternity session with Colter and Carla here.
5. The Shaw Conference Center
If you are looking for an amazing indoor shooting location, this is it. I often see people looking for indoor locations in case the weather is not looking as they hoped. The Shaw has amazing lines that make stunning composition. There is also a little lookout that overlooks the river valley and has the Edmonton skyline the other way out side as well. Phoenix and Dylan had their engagement session here!
Photographers, where is your favorite place to shoot in the city? Friends, where is somewhere you think would work perfectly for a photo shoot?
Phoenix and Dylan's wedding day was a beautiful day in July. There may have been a little bit of anticipation built up as they have been together since 2001. They met while working at Denny's. She was in love with another man by the name of Mark Wahlberg, who just didn't seem take notice of her affection. Dylan teased her about it and the rest is history (Thanks Mark!). Years later and three babies later, Dylan proposed in their living room.
The wedding day was full of sentimental moments (a lifetime of love will do that).
"One thing I (Phoenix) remember is just before he left for the venue, I talked to him in the hallway and kissed him. The next time I saw him, he was watching me walk down the aisle. Our son didn't want to give up the ring pillow, and my sister- the maid of honor- told him he could keep the pillow after we were done and he thought that was a good deal. Dylan had to check with the officiant to make sure he was done repeating the vows, which I thought was adorable. My hand was shaking when Dylan put the ring on it; it didn't feel real until then."
When I asked what she felt was unique to her day, she responded with so many things that just made me all gooey inside and my own memories came flooding back from that day.
"The ceremony included family vows, which were suggested by our officiant and I'm really glad we used. My good friend smudged the room before the ceremony, and the smell of the sweetgrass made me feel at home. The readings were Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare and I Carry Your Heart with Me by E. E. Cummimgs; these are two of my all time favorite poems. The sonnet is very romantic and talks about commitment, the Cummings piece is about passion and love, which I thought was very fitting."
Since they have been together for a long time, she says not too much has changed since their 'I do's.' However, she also says that now he glows with pride every time he says, "my wife." I hope you never lose that Dylan!
Congratulations Phoenix and Dylan! I wish you so many more years of love.
Venue and Catering: The University of Alberta Faculty Club
Cake: Creme de la Creme Cakes
Officiant: Barbara Day
Firstly, I have to say that I have known Heather for a LONG time. Let's just say a lifetime because basically it is that minus 3 years. We were country neighbours! Which if you do not know what that is, it is when you can get there in 15 minutes from your house. Driving. Our roots are DEEP!
When Heather asked me to photograph their wedding, I was incredibly honoured. Steven and her had a small wedding in mind with only a few family members, so to be present on her special day was an incredible privilege. It was a very unique intimate wedding, full of laughs and so reflective of who they were as a couple. I remember telling Heather over and over again how I loved how they went with their gut and had the day they wanted. From them, I would not expect anything less.
Their love story started when Heather and Steven met online on eHarmony. They dated for three years and learned that they fit perfectly together with their many shared 'nerdy' interests. When Steven asked Heather to marry him, it was with breakfast in bed (what is better, am I right ladies?). Heather claimed that any guy that asks you to spend the rest of your life with him when you haven't even brushed your teeth yet must really mean it. TRUE LOVE!
While their love story is all their own, so was their wedding day. Believe it or not, it was a FALL wedding in October and while they were hoping for autumn colors and textures, they got snow. The morning of, they changed the tires on their car, shoveled the walkway and shoveled the wedding aisle. I ask, is there anything more Canadian?
Heather and Steven started the day together at the house. Milena and I walked in, ready to shoot and Heather greeted us at the door with hair and make-up done in a robe and Steven was on the couch watching something on Netflix. Compared to the usual hustle and bustle of the first few hours of a typical wedding day, Milena and I felt so relaxed and welcomed in. It was refreshing!
Walking down the aisle to "The One" by the Backstreet Boys.
The dogs engaged in some scandalous behaviour just after the ceremony concluded...
The first dance was to "Still the One" by Shania Twain. See what they did there?
While the snow may have been a bit of a damper at first, I can honestly say that watching them together was so much fun. It was a day full of side splitting laughter, whether it be during photos, their inside jokes during their ceremony (including the 'Full House' theme song lyrics being spoken.. took a while for me to clue in on that one), or the "naughty" behaviour of their dogs, there was no shortage on smiles. These two handled the change in their day like champions and because of that, had the wedding day of their dreams.
Heather and Steven, I am so happy for you! This was such a memorable day for me. We had a blast and wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness!
Consider this the Part 2 of my last blog post!
Jacqueline and William got married was a cold day on October 1, 2016. It was cloudy and rainy but these two did not let that dampen their spirits. I remember a lot of smiles, laughter and "Yes Dear"s, all of which are good things to start any marriage!
One of the sweetest moments for these two was when Jacqueline walked down the aisle, a moment that could have sparked a bidding war between multiple tissue commercials. You could literally see love between them, even through the tears... The day was full of tender moments including singing songs of praise to God and sweet nothings to each other. One of the brides favorite moments was when her groom was singing to her during their first dance. Melt.
There was also uproarious laughter! I was introduced to a few new wedding games like 'Deep Thoughts' and a TON of family and friends lined up to give gifts derived from a letter they were given to spell out 'CONGRATULATIONS' as a group. Some of those friends and family members were students of mine. I have to say that I felt like I had to be on my best behaviour all day.. something I hope they usually feel around me!
I asked Jacqueline and Will how things are going for them so far and I got this response:
"It's been great!! We love coming home to our best friend every day! Nice to share all the responsibilities too. Building a life together is very exciting and we can't wait to see what the future holds!"
I can honestly say that I believe God has good things in store for these two, a couple that was held in high esteem by so many throughout the day.
Congratulations Jacqueline and Will! I am praying that your wedding day was only the first of many beautiful days together as husband and wife.
September 24, 2016. Emily and Brandon's Wedding Day.
This was such a special day.
I was so impressed with these two. They handled their day with such grace and class. No panic. No stress. Even when we took a little longer to get out the door for portraits, Emily handled herself so beautifully. Even when her veil flew off her head and got stuck in a tree.. No freakouts. Just giggles and thanking some kind strangers who helped her get it out. Brandon was also a gentlemen, treating his lady with utmost respect.
I think what I appreciated most about these two was their quiet love and admiration for one another. The gentleness and respect they had. The stolen glances. The sweet, romantic kisses. It was like out of a fairy tale.
Congratulations to these two beautiful souls.
Congratulations you two!
Leave them some love in the comments below.
Alyssa and Ben had an amazing day filled with love and many personal details. These photos will only give you a taste of the atmosphere, love and hard work that was put into this wedding. It was so reflective of who Ben and Alyssa are: compassionate, humble, grace-filled people.
I hope that this gives you a small bit of insight into the day that it was and who these people are. I am so proud to know them and can not wait to see what God has in store for them in the future.
Leave a 'Congratulations!' note in the comments below. Please share on Facebook!
xoxo - Leah
August 8: My first wedding.
In the photography world, this is a big 'first.' I was a serious bundle of nerves before the big day but I will say that I am so thankful for these two lovely people to be my first bride and groom. Allyson and Jeremy were so great to work with! I was so blessed with their grace towards me as a first-timer. We had so many laughs from the planning right through to the end of their special day.
Thank you Allyson and Jeremy for a truly memorable day. My love and prayers for you both on this amazing new journey together. You guys are truly the best.
Please take some time to wish Mr. and Mrs. Roberts another congratulations! i.e. Comment below.