Thunder Bay Wedding Photography and Cinema

Your Story Starts Here...

January 12, 2016 in Weddings

llison​ and Michael were married on a fabulous August day at Fort William Country Club. Her best friend (Teddy, not the Maid of Honour) was by her side the entire morning while she got ready. I loved their faces looking up at her while she was getting into the dress.
I asked a few questions about the other to both Allison and Michael and both had trouble keeping it together with the thought of the other. It was so nice to see. Congratulations!

January 5, 2016 in Weddings

We knew this was going to be fun wedding from the moment they walked through the door.  For Jessica, music is a part of her life.  We spent the time capturing her at the piano playing Canon; which was also their processional march.  Their ceremony was at Redwood Church.  The words from Pastor Joel were so inspiring that they became the soundtrack of the film.   After a beautiful ceremony and reception we were invited to their after party at Jessica’s parents camp (that’s cabin or cottage for you outta towners!).

We were there to film, but we were treated as guests and ended up spending the entire day with their friends and family.  This is what we love about our job….the fact that it doesn’t feel like one.   We met them as clients and left as friends.  Who could ask for a better job?


November 21, 2015 in Weddings

When Ted and Tammy told us they would be nervous in front of the camera we were up for the challenge! Any couple who has contacted us knows the emphasis we put on being a good fit for the day. Getting to know a couple puts them at ease once the cameras come out. We started with a beautiful evening out at Centennial Park. I fell off a fence and hobbled around while they giggled a bit. It wasn’t long that their true personalities were shining through.

Wedding day was a true family affair. With Robins coffees starting the day at their house Tammy was glowing watching her friends and daughter get ready. Instead of going to a hair salon to capture the girls get ready we did the opposite and followed Ted for a shave and trim. It was a beautiful ceremony in the historic St. Andrew’s Church. The formal shoot was in a rural settings on a hot, hazy, July day. The bridal party took the good advice of staying well hydrated by hanging out in the bus until the fluids were gone. We got some great shots in a rural setting. Ted pulled a few ticks from Tammy’s dress (he didn’t tell her until a few days later!).

Here’s the highlights of their day.  Congratulations again to this wonderful couple.

Imagine Photo Cinema wins Silver for the second year in a row!

WPPI – Wedding, & Portrait Photography Internal held their annual conference and expo in Las Vegas, Nevada February 27th, to March 6th.  Each year, nearly 13,000 professional and aspiring photographers and filmmakers attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to grow their business, experience new products and solutions from major manufacturers to improve their productivity, and enjoy the many attractions in Las Vegas. WPPI is a week-long event combining educational seminars with a major industry trade show and networking events, all designed around learning the latest techniques, building new relationships and growing a business in a friendly, fun environment – all at one time, in one place.

Along with attending insightful workshops hosted by the best in the industry WPPI also offers a Photo and Film competition to recognize its best.  Last year we scored Siver (marks of 80+) in both the Wedding and Commercial category (click the links to watch the entries).   This year we repeated the award in the wedding category.

We pride ourselves in storytelling.  A great story is about the couple; not the flashy reception hall or exotic location shoot.   That’s what I hoped the judges would see.  When competing with film makers from around the world who have amazing locations for backdrops and wedding budgets close to the price of a house, it’s seemed impossible to score with a wedding shot at Wild Goose and the Slovak Legion.  Yet, we did.   Winning this award re-enforces the idea that story should come first.   Big thanks go out to Brittany & John for being themselves; not only on their wedding day but on their engagement shoot as well.  Without them none of this would be possible.   Now it’s time to move on and take what we’ve learned to make 2015 even better!

Check out John & Brittany’s wedding film on the blog!




Wedding Myths: Two Mediocre Photographers vs. One Amazing Artist

The topic of “1 wedding photographer vs. 2″ has been a hot one for several years now.  We recently saw a local post from a bride requiring a second shooter for her wedding; saying she only wanted to book a photographer who provides two.  A quick google search will provide hundreds of topics from around the globe on this very topic.

You don’t need a second photographer.  However, it appears that brides still choose to take quantity over quality when it comes to 1 versus 2 photographer packages.   It’s true!

The key word in that last paragraph is “quality”.  For those photographers who offer two, highly-trained, professional quality photographers (with the proper price tag associated with it), I tip my hat at you for keeping quality an important aspect of your business model.  However, for those photographers who offer 2-photographer packages for cheap, it only cheapens you and the industry.

We see it all the time….budget photographers offering “2-shooter wedding packages” for half the cost of the competition.  Sure, the photos might be under/over exposed, off-coloured and composed poorly, but somehow they still manage to book up year after year.  Why is that?  Because they have recognized the “quantity vs. quality” bride has made her mark in the wedding world.

But, here’s the scoop……Two mediocre photographers are as one as one fabulous photographer.   A real good one can can capture your entire day including formals as well as candids and can edit those images to perfection.   It’s true they can’t be in two places at once,  but they are experienced at moving through crowds, time management and possess ninja like skills….and make it all look natural.  More often than not, we’ve seen the two shooters not be in two places; instead they follow each other around.

Still don’t buy it?  Here’s the reality and it is blunt.  If you still want that super-cheap 2nd photographer here’s what you’ll probably get:

  • The 2nd shooter is simply an avid amateur posing as a true professional
  • The 2nd shooter is a highschool or college student getting their co-op hours
  • The 2nd shooter is an untrained friend or spouse of the primary photographer
  • The 2nd shooter simply responded to a Kijiji ad request for a 2nd shooter job that offered a few bucks and may have never worked with the primary photographer before (No relationship between photographers = many photo bombs!  Do you really want to have that happen?)
  • The 2nd shooter probably doesn’t have pro level gear and probably has no backup gear, either!
  • The 2nd shooter more than likely doesn’t have liability insurance
  • Did you want that 2nd shooter because you wanted each photographer in a different place at a different time?  Well…
    • The primary photographer may still insist on shooting everything themselves (ie: groom in the morning + bride in the morning) because they know the 2nd shooter can’t pose people as well as them and that their work isn’t consistent or reliable
    • This means that your wedding day schedule will end up the same as it would have been had you simply hired the 1 amazing photographer instead!

These shoe-string budget photographers who offer 2 photographers for the price of one probably won’t be around in 3 or 4 years.  – how would you feel if your “cheap and affordable” wedding photography went out of business before delivering your final product to you?   We need to see a re-emergence of the quality over quantity bride – the bride who values the true artistry and talent in her vendors.  The wedding industry showcases some of the most exquisitely talented individuals; whether it’s chefs, photographers, decorators or florists, and these talent vendors are taking a hit with the disappearance of the quality bride.


February 4, 2015 in Weddings

Sophia and Nick visited the studio this evening to view the premiere of their highlight film and they couldn’t be happier. Sophia said she couldn’t wait to show it to her family. Family is something that was apparent to both Sophia and Nick during their ceremony and reception and was talked about quite a bit during the speeches. To hear that getting wedding video was totally worth it for them before they got home is an incredible feeling. Now that they have seen the highlights (probably more than once by now), here it is for you.

January 27, 2015 in Weddings

I could tell from the moment I met them that they were in love. The way they looked at each other, smiled at each other, and gentle displays of affection made me realize early on that they would fun and easy to capture. We had a fun evening at the Cascades. I asked John a simple question of how they met and I received one of the most heartfelt answers ever!

I always love when couples write their own vows. It’s incredibly personal. And it’s a snapshot of who they are today. It’s because these vows are so personal that it’s hard not to get emotional reading them or even listening to them. That was quite apparent when Brittany asked if she could kiss John after his vows. Here’s the story of John & Brittany. Their day, and they’re snapshot in time.

A wedding is usually the mark of a new life together.  We had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at their new life together as they begin construction of their new home.  A quick few minutes out of town took us to the footprint to what is now their new home.   The outdoor theme continued with post ceremony pictures at Vickers Manor followed by the reception at Stepstone.  It was a beautiful evening under the tent.  The night was full of great speeches, surprise guests (Psy), and a few skeeters.

A destination wedding in Thunder Bay? Why, yes! Tim and Shawna’s story started here in Thunder Bay, so it is only fitting that their wedding story starts here as well. They met here several years ago as students at Lakehead University. A typical lunch time date consisted of going to Maltese Grocery, getting a sandwich and taking it to Hillcrest Park to enjoy the view. When they told me this story and mentioned how much they missed that we suggested they grab a sandwich for old time’s sake.

What better way to get to know a couple than see them come back to the place where they used to hang out when they were dating! It’s customary at a reception to recognize the out of town guests but, at this wedding it would have been easier to introduce the local guests. It’s interesting to see and hear their perspective of a Thunder Bay wedding. I don’t want to give up the rest of the story.

Congratulations Tim & Shawna!


Alan & Izabela

2014wppi16x20-SilverAward 100x100We were so thrilled to not only place, but score high enough to win a Silver Award of Excellence at WPPI in Las Vegas this year.  What is WPPI you ask?  The Wedding Portrait & Photographers International hosts an annual competition for photographers around the world.  This year they opened it up to film makers.  This film scored in the top 30.  We were over the moon given the good company we were in.

I know that awards can be very self serving.  Couples don’t tend to pay attention to awards.  I’m guessing many have never even heard of the award.  But for us we see it as a recognition of work the reaffirms us that no matter where you live and what gear you use the potential for great work is possible.

Thanks to John & Marinna for being a part of this.

Alan & Izabela