Genuine, intimate and romantic wedding photography in Montreal

This is a real world Nikon D750 review and explanation of my leaving Canon for Nikon.

The Nikon D750 was annonced on September 15 2014. I took possession of 2 D750 with the following lenses on October 3rd 2014. I shoot with a AF-S Nikkor 20mm f1.8G, Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art, Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art, AF-S Nikkor 85mm f1.8G and AF-S Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 ED VRII. I had been a loyal user of Canon products for 8 years but the lack of quality updates, new technology implementation and some image quality factors made me change to Nikon.

Why did I suddenly switch to Nikon after some many years? The dynamic range of raw files from recent Nikon camera caught my attention (DXOmark gives it almost 2.5 stops more DR compared to the 6D) . The new -3ev AF system was a new more low light capable AF system from Nikon, which already offers an amazing AF system. I had issues with blue noise in the dark areas of my Canon files. I also had banding issues even in lower ISO settings from the Canon 5D MarkIII. The last issue was that if you underexposed your image by only 2/3 of a stop in high ISO (5000 +) then you would loose so much dynamic range that some of the files became unusable to my eye.

The body is a touch small in my fingers especially with a 70-200mm f2.8VRII attached to it but it’s still workable.

Ross Harvey’s review also helped sway me in since it was a real life, real world review.

I mainly shoot weddings and events. When I switched, I had 14 days to learn the new menus and to find a solution for replacing the amazing Canon flash system (ST-E3 RT and Canon 600EX-RT) because I was shooting my next wedding on October 18th. I was asked to second shoot a wedding with a talented wedding photographer from Montreal – Sophie Asselin on October 11th (YES 8 days after purchasing all my Nikon gear). The weddings images you will see in the gallery are from that wedding.

The solution for the flash system was found in Yongnuo i-TTL Flash trigger YN-622N and YN-622N-TX i-TTL LCD transmitter. I can now control the iTTL or Manual output of my flashes from the top of the Nikon D750 like I did before.

Why the Nikon D750 and not a Nikon D4s?

For me the D750 answers all of the issues I had with my Canon 5DIII. Clean ISO up to 8000, great low light AF, Usable AF points not only the center point, no banding in low ISO and great dynamic range. The issue I have with the Nikon D4s is the weight of the body and lack of resolution to my eyes because I have been shooting 21mp since 2008 (Canon 1DsMKIII).

I was hesitant on the 1/4000sec shutter but with such low base ISO, I can still shoot wide open in daylight.If not, even if the images is touched overexposed, we can bring it back without damage in post. The quiet mode on the Nikon cameras is far from being quiet. They should look into this since I really appreciated this with Canon.

The confidence on the gear was shaky for the first hour while shooting the wedding. After that, I stopped looking at my LCD just captured moments and photographs.Speaking of which, the tilting lcd is nice for some angles but I wish there was a lock to hold it in place. I fear I’ll rip it off one day.

The wedding on the 18th of October 2014 went really well. (The couple have asked me not to show images from the wedding so I am respecting their request)

I have noticed a bigger number of keeper shots from the evening which most of the dancing was shot at 3200 iso, f2 and 1/100sec. I have noticed a major difference in the WB of the Nikon system compared to the Canon. It’s definitely warmer. The black area in my images are definitely cleaner with less noise and no banding.

The AF worked really well. I had tested the camera in low light at home against my 5DIII before I sold all my Canon gear. It better by a good margin. Locks faster and more precise than my previous cameras. It also kept pace with subjects coming closer or walking away from my camera in AF-C.

I have found a major issue with my B camera. When using AF assist from the Nikon SB-910 or Yongnuo 568EX and the center AF point, that particular camera front focuses pretty badly. When I contacted Nikon, the camera had less than 2 weeks and a replacement or even loaner was out of the question. 8 Years with Canon in which I only had 2 issues (70-200mm f2.8L lens coming apart and 50mm f1.4 AF motor breaking which I got a loaner while the repair was taking place) Let’s say that the relationship with Nikon customer service doesn’t start well after only 2 weeks with the brand.

After further testing, I have came to the conclusion of never using the center AF point with any AF assist. Once the wedding and event season is over, I’ll be sending the faulty body in for inspection and repair. Let’s see how warranty work goes with Nikon…

UPDATE ON REPAIR

Exactly 7 days after I dropped it off at the Nikon Montreal office ,Purolator showed rang my door bell to deliver my camera. They changed the AF system. It now works beautifully. AF is now precise and consistent. Thank you for the timely repair and home delivery.

The reasons behind my lens selections are pretty simple.

I want high sharpness, fast AF, reliable AF and good light transmission. Size and weather sealing don’t matter to me but weight and build quality do play a small factor.

I have been shooting prime lenses since 2009 when I lost my photojournalist job at a local newspaper in Montreal because of a lockout. My lens selection while working with Canon equipment were the Canon 24mm f1.4L, Canon 35mm f1.4L, Sigma 50mm f1.4 ART, Canon 85mm f1.2LII (I had recently switched to Sigma 85mm f1.4 because of AF speed), Canon 100mm f2.8LIS macro and Canon 135mm f2L.

When looking at the lens offering from Nikon, I tested the 1.8G series lenses (28, 35, 50, 85) which I found to be mostly ok except for the 85mm f1.8G which is phenomenal.

I decided to go with 2 Sigma lenses from the Art series. The 35mm f1.4 ART and 50mm f1.4 ART are considered some if the best prime lenses offered today. Sharpness, AF speed and reliability with very little distortion make these two lenses spectacular. I would have never touched Sigma lenses prior to the ART line. Before that the ART series, I found Sigma lenses to be slow in AF, not very sharp and have poor build quality. They also offer a 7 year warranty in Canada ūüėõ

I went with the Nikkor 85mm f1.8G lens in the Nikon lineup because of it’s sharpness, weight and reliability to achieve focus. It feels pretty light compared to my other lenses. I chose the 1.8G over the 1.4G because I find AF to be faster on the 1.8G even if the 1.4G is a touch sharper.

Now to replace my 135f2L I chose to go with a trusty Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8VRII. Big aperture, great stabilisation and sharpness all met my expectations.

I really really really wished Nikon would update their 1995 AF DC-Nikkor 135mm f2 design or that Sigma could make a 135mm f2 ART series lens that would be stellar because I am not a fan of the weight that a 70-200mm f2.8 brings to my photography.

I have received my Nikkor 20mm f1.8G lens while I was posting this review. I went out to shoot some images. My initial reaction to the lens. Lightweight, fast AF, sharp even wide open, strong vignetting and not supported by LR yet. Hopefully support will come soon.

Overall, I know I made the right choice with my camera and lens selection for switching to Nikon. I am already very happy after 4 weeks of shooting. I have been using the Adobe DNG converter to convert my RAW files in DNG to process via LR 5.6.

Here are some shots taken with my 2 Nikon D750.

 

Like I predicted after the engagement photoshoot, this wedding was fun and filled with love. I love these weddings, you know, the ones that people are present and celebrating for the right reasons. Emotions were present throughout the day but they “only” made me cry a couple of times hahahaha

Serena and Jeremy tied the knot this past Saturday august 30th 2014 in Ottawa. They shared this unique moment with family and friends in a stunning backward wedding.

To my biggest surprise, Jeremy was so laid back with the presence of the cameras (remember he hates them). Serena like always was beautiful. So much that she asked Jeremy’s if his reaction on the first look was real or fake. He was simply breathless and amazed.

The emotions continued on during the speeches which were filled with fantastic humour, great thoughts and loving memories (insert: I cried)

Thank you so much for allowing me to be your photographer and to capture the story of your wedding.

Lots of Amore for you guys!!!!

Photography by Montreal wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour¬†assisted by Js D√©nomm√©.

Katheryne and Jeff officially and literaly tied the knot yesterday in Old Montreal at Chateau Ramezay. These two happy, go lucky, easy going, giggling love birds have been together for over 10 years already. They pledged in front of family and friends to stay true to themselves, cherish one another and love each other until they grow very old. 

Cheers to both of you and have a great continuation to your love story. 

Photography by¬†Montreal wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour
assisted by Matthew Earnest Allarie

I can simply resume this engagement photoshoot with simple words like love, laughter and fun. Erica and David choose to use the background of St-Sauveur for their engagement photoshoot. While driving up from my home, it rained here and there. When we met in St-Sauveur it started to rain so we decided to head out to David’s family cottage near by. The rain stopped on our way out there.¬†

We used the beautiful view and access to the water to create some great portraits and little moments. We then went back to the village to get some more ‘urban’ images.

Now I know that this wedding will be a blast and loaded with laughter! Did I mention that they are fun.¬†They have there little cute things that they do such as¬†a high five and then down low ūüėõ I love it!!!

Photography by Wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour

3 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, 1 karaoke, 1 gorgeous bride, 1 handsome groom = a fantastic love story with a great party. I first met Jean-Fran√ßois¬†when I was working at Lozeau. A funny, always go lucky happy man. He met Catherine¬†over 3 years ago and life both changed for them. Like she said in her vows, the greatest compliment she had gotten before meeting her man was: “You are the most beautiful sad woman in the world.” It all changed when they met and started their love adventure together. She his beautiful but now also a happy woman.

I received the request to photograph their fabulous wedding when I was photographing Jean-François motorbike in the greater Montreal area.

I left on friday with my wife and daughter to go for a 3 day trip in Charlevoix. I left with some stunning images, great laughs, meeting fantastic people and I got to walk in the St-Lawrence river with my wife and daughter.

Thank you both for allowing me into your personal lives and giving me the opportunity to capture your wedding day under great weather might I add.

Cheers to both of you and keep singing, laughing and loving each other.

A great young couple tied the knot yesterday in Montreal at The Wave events center. Both young designers they met at a portfolio presentation event. Karl-Fr√©d√©ric admitted that although Ariane his super talented, he might have noticed more her good looks then her work that night. They didn’t know it yet but faith had just united their destiny together.

I would see these two fun, loving, genuine and funny regularly at Infopresse events. I remember I took one picture of them together and then it became a tradition. Ariane told me at the time that she loved my images because she felt natural and beautiful while looking at them. I hope I delivered that same feeling for both of them.

It’s hard not to love these two. They are positive, fun, loving, genuine and funny although Ariane is often alone laughing at his jokes. Hey! he admitted it!

Cheers to both of you and keep on smiling at each other.

Annabelle and Julien got married at L’Est√©rel suites and spa in the Laurentians.

They had met in high school but none had reached out to each other. There path crossed once more 9 years ago and this time, they got hooked on each other. From their union came their two fabulous children.

These two lived their wedding like they intended to! Having a great time with family and friends.

Cheers to Annabelle and Julien!

Photography: Montreal wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour

I met Sophie-Anne and Dominic¬†when I worked part time at a photography store here in Montreal called Lozeau. It’s easy to get along with these two lovebirds since they both are charismatic, funnny, genuine and easy going. They love life, the people around them and they live life to the fullest…A quick example is how Dominic proposed to Sohpie-Anne. They were 40 feet underwater surrounded by about 30 sharks in the Bahamas. Sorry guys but Dominic always goes big. Better try harder on your proposal.

When Dominic asked me to capture their wedding, I of course agreed instantly. I also remembered a wish that Sophie-Anne made to me one day while working at Lozeau. She told me that if she would ever get married, she wanted me to capture their special day.

26 of July 2014 comes along and after a 2 hour drive from my home to Victoriaville, I am now at the residence of the Padois family. They live in a gorgeous part of the country.

This gorgeous, unique and emotional wedding included in some tears of joy and sadness but most importantly lots of genuine love for each other and their guests.

Thank you two for allowing to capture such an important day and I also want to thank you for being yourselves. You guys are truly awesome. Lots of love!

Photography: Montreal wedding photography – S√©bastien D’Amour

Another great engagement session in Montreal. We started in the lovely and famous Parc Lafontaine. Jeremy hates the camera and Serena is easy to make laugh and really put Jeremy at ease. He doesn’t like to be the center of attention. SO I simply told him that he wasn’t, Serena was and he was simply Serena’s favourite accessory. These tow love birds are getting married on August 30th in Ottawa and if the wedding goes like the E-session, we should a have load of fun.

Photography by Montreal wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour

A fabulous wedding on this friday July 11th 2014. The ceremony and wedding reception were taking place at Pavillon de la Jama√Įque at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal. ¬†I was present to cover their fantastic ceremony and the base of a weeping willow tree. The ceremony was touching and unique. Even their 2 kids prepared a surprise speech for them. I have now known Isabel for about 5 years since I photograph many events for Infopresse¬†but I have grown to know her real intimate, emotional and people loving personality on her wedding day. Samuel is a frenchman that came to Montreal on a short trip plan (like every other french person in Montreal) and never left since this lady stole is heart over 11 years ago. Their fantastic love story brought them 2 very cute and fun children. It was an honour¬†to capture your wedding day and share tears of joy with you! I hope Samuel can share this with family members that couldn’t come. Cheers and Congratulations! Photography by Montreal wedding photographer S√©bastien D’Amour

I’ve known Nick since 1997. He’s a great man that loves life, golf and his wife! He called me up to ask if I was interested in capturing the photographs of his 2014 Gatineau wedding. Of course, I agreed. Then I met Annie. This shy, happy go lucky, fun and emotional woman. Photographing their wedding was a treat. People cried, people laughed, people had fun and genuinely enjoyed themselves.

When I got to Annie’s parents home in Gatineau, I started to capture some details about her dress, their rings and more. I could see that she was a little stressed. Once she got dress, she told me she didn’t want to cry anymore since she cried enough in the morning. Guess what, I didn’t listen hahahaha. I got her dad to come in to see his fabulous princess. Emotions flared up and they had a genuine daughter-father moment which made me think of the day my daughter will get married. Of course, I joined them in the crying…lol

We then proceeded to the first look at the National Gallery of Canada. I had envision the location of their first look after capturing an engagement session at the Gallery. The artful images came out perfect. We then walked to the Fairmount Chateau Laurier in Ottawa to have a more european look at the images. I found that their attire would fit in nicely in such a feel and look.

The family then joined us for the family and group pictures. We still cried and laughed a little.

Annie and Nick got hitched at the √Čglise Saint-Fran√ßois-de-Sales in Gatineau.¬†We still cried and laughed a little.

I wish you two love birds the best and keep your fun, loving and genuine personalities. It was a real treat.

BTW, the weather was once again awesome!

Photography by S√©bastien D’Amour – Montreal wedding photographer.

Assisted by Js Dénommé.

Reception: Club de golf Le sorcier

Jf and Cath wanted a total variation from the look of their wedding that will be on August 16th 2014 in the Charlevoix area. Their wedding will be held in the forest at a family members residence. So we went in the old Montreal to capture some fun, romantic, urban photographs. They requested one image to be captured at sunset with the Montreal skyline in the background.

I found a couple of areas where some funky and bright colours brought some energy to the scene. They laughed and goofed most of the time but want can you do when love and fun join together like these two.

Cheers and let’s rock you wedding in August!!! Can’t wait.

Photography by S√©bastien D’Amour – Montreal wedding photographer

CIBC Soccer Nation event in Montreal!

So today, yes on a saturday, I was not capturing unique and fabulous wedding images. I was actually covering the CIBC soccer nation event that was held in Montreal. The event revolves around a huge viewing screen that was setup outside in the beautiful sun.

The first game that was showcased was Brazil VS Chile! The brazil fans came out strong for the gathering. The game was exciting and stressful. Great soccer to watch. You’ll see in my photographs the various emotions that fans lived today during the game.

Fans could also entertain themselves during half time at a playstation Fifa 2014 section. They could also get free face painting. They could enter a challenge to win a Brazuca.

Photography by S√©bastien D’Amour – Montreal event photographer

 

On this lovely father’s day of 2014, I had some great fun with Catherine and Olivier walking around in the sun for around two and a half hours. The greatest compliment I get from these two lovebirds is the faith and confidence they have in my vision to capture their personality while creating unique and artful photographs. We started by walking around the¬†National Gallery of Canada¬†to capture some great moments and laughter. We then proceeded towards the¬†Fairmont Ch√Ęteau Laurier to use the fabulous patio for a more european feel to the images. Me and Olivier were getting a little to hot in the sun so we went for the cover of shade at the Rideau Canal historic sites, we took this sun break to capture some unique images with cyclist going by. We finished by walking back on the boardwalk of Alexandria bridge were I captured the fun, cute and lovely vibe that they have between them. Even if it was my first fathers day, I had a blast capturing these photographs. Photography: Montreal wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour

Elle and Michel met in 2008 and became a couple on April 2009. Since that day, they have been holding each others hand and laughing along the way. They got married at Michel’s family farm in Cap Sant√© near Quebec city. The wedding was held in the middle of the woods surrounded but nature, the sun and loving family members and friends. Their laid-back personalities made this event fantastic. Friends and family came from all over to witness their bond in mariage. While looking at the images, you can hardly tell that Michel doesn’t like to be photograph.

Congrats to you two once again for your wedding, love and bond celebrated on May 24th 2014.

Assistant/Second shooter: Js Dénommé

Copyright: Montreal wedding photographer – S√©bastien D’Amour

An election campaign viewed from the inside…

Like you all know I also photograph events. I was commissioned to capture the images for the Coalition Avenir Québec during the 2014 election campaign. The 35 days of photographing various situations and events was a whole lot of fun. Heres a big set of images that showcases various moments during this election campaign.

Photography by: S√©bastien D’Amour

Hi everyone,

I have just seen the results of the 2014 winter PWPC and I am pleased to see that I have 2 images that won some awards. Many images of the competition are fabulous and I want to congratulate each winner and participant of the contest. We can see that wedding photography is growing in creativity, capturing genuine and emotional images.

Jason + Steve gay wedding portrait in old Montreal Sister hugs sister during wedding speech in Ottawa

Loves has no borders or limits. Some guest even drove over 6h and thru a blizzard that hit the east coast of the USA to come and live this romantic Montreal wedding. It makes me smile to see what we are willing to do to witness true love.

Nina and Kevin got married on January 3rd 2014 at the Auberge Saint-Gabriel in Old Montreal. I remember when we first met, they discussed about romance, warmth, love and lots of candles. This intimate and charming wedding was decorated by A Belle affair weddings and events. Nina was hiding in the Grenier room when I saw her for the first time. She looked stunning in her wedding dress even while she had a little shot of vodka to calm her nerves. Family gathered for the ceremony.¬†Kevin was excited and couldn’t wait to get married to the love of his life. Little did he know that Nina was also excited and very little nervous. Why would they be nervous when they know that from this day on, their love will be united in mariage. Walking down the aisle, we could see the excitement on Kevin and Nina’s face.

Once the union was celebrated, we went down stairs in the Auberge to capture their love story. The Auberge offers some great background for dynamic, romantic and unique wedding photography.

The reception was in the Grenier room which is beautifully decorated with small lights and a fireplace. The fire was very welcomed since it was -30 degree celsius outside.

Wedding photography by Montreal wedding photographer S√©bastien D’Amour assisted by Jean-S√©bastien D√©nomm√©.

“Just to be clear and to answer the question everyone wants to ask but isn’t comfortable enough to ask, this is a gay wedding” said Steve during his speech. Everyone at the reception bursted in laughter.

I met Jason and Steve at their lovely Montreal home. I think we talked for ¬†45 minutes about them and their wedding before they asked me the question: “Do you have anything with homosexuality?” and me to answer: ” Nope. Our heart loves another human being which makes us feel important, unique and allows us to be genuine. You love whom you want to love.”

So fast forward 3 months and their we are on September 28th 2013, Jason and steve’s wedding day.

We started with capturing details of them getting ready for the big day. We then proceeded for a photoshoot at the¬†Montreal Olympic Park¬†since they both love the structures around that area. We took the time to also shoot next to the new¬†Montreal Planetarium. What an amazing structure and background for amazing photographs. Steve and Jason gave me the opportunity and time to express myself creatively and I will always be grateful for their trust.¬†¬†I remember Steve telling me that he wasn’t perfectly comfortable in the public because of the reaction that people might have. I am so happy that is joy, pride and ¬†his faith in me broke that barrier. He wasn’t shy in front of my camera and I felt like I was capturing the genuine relationship between them.

The ceremony was held at le Palais de Justice were family and friends were gathered. After some tears of joy and laughter, we went out to capture some more images of them in various settings that I had scouted for them to represent their personalities. The evening ended at the Montreal Sheraton airport hotel. The had a fabulous cocktail in the garden and a magnificent reception in le Grand salon.

I know we read this all the time on other photographers blog and facebook post, but this was one amazing personal and creative experience for me with great clients.

Wedding reception: Montreal Sheraton airport hotel

Photography: Montreal wedding photography – S√©bastien D’Amour¬†– assisted by Js D√©nomm√©

Genuine Montreal wedding photography – Julien + Miryam

In 2010, I went to Whistler, British Columbia to spend some 9 days with my brother while he was working on a reality tv show Called Occupation Double. I was equipped with my photography camera and the goal was to go hiking to take pictures and just be outside with my brother. I quickly spent a lot of time with the crew that was working on the show. We went hiking, playing Frisbeegolf, to the movies, to the restaurants, to the bars and more. On that trip, I met Julien. Julien is a good looking man who loves art and he is especially playful. Positive, driven and always having a good time. He contacted me to photograph is wedding that was taking place in St-Hyacinthe, Qc. I met Miryam when I came over for supper at their home to discuss their wedding day. I could easily see the love, the tenderness and the fun that they had as a couple.

There fun nature shows through the images. Be it from the preparations where laughter was surrounding me, to there unique dance coming down the aisle after the ceremony to the fabulous decoration and colour palette fir the whole day. I must say that the montreal wedding planner, Genevi√®ve O’connor, did an amazing job at incorporating their personality through out their day and decorations.

Getting ready: H√ītel des Seigneurs

Ceremony: √Čglise Saint-Jude in St-Hyacinthe

Reception: Maison d’Evelyne

Wedding planner: Genevi√®ve O’connor

Photography: Montreal wedding photography – S√©bastien D’Amour