Genuine, intimate and romantic wedding photography in Montreal

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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

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

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√©.

This morning I got the surprise delivery from Fedex. This album was supposed to be received only on monday so my clients are going to be happily surprised to receive their album before going to see their family over the week-end.

The album comes in a beautiful leather box to protect it when my clients are going to bring it at their families home.

The album is a great size of 12X16 inch wrapped in fabulous and gorgeous marlboro leather. If you have ever been into a Louis Vuitton store, the smell will bring you back to the memory of the your visit. The texture of the leather is rich. The pages are thick and rigid that will make this album last for a lifetime and for further generations.

The album is a lay flat design with a very small gutter between pages.

I am very proud of this beautiful album that my clients will love for years until they grow old.

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

What’s an unplugged weddings you ask? Simply put it’s a wedding where all photography cameras, video cameras and phones from family and guest attending your genuine wedding are stowed away in a basket and handed back to them when they grab their coat to leave your intimate wedding after the party.

Why do I feel it’s a good thing? Not because of people photobombing your first kiss picture or you walking down the aisle with your spouse. (#1 reason photographers complain the most on discussion forums) but because your guest and family will actually enjoy and live the moment. You also get the occasional bridesmaid that post a picture with the bride on her Facebook or Instagram account. All of a sudden, the groom sees his future wife and the surprise is ruined because of a single little picture.

What are your best memories? Were you busy taking a picture of it or you actually took the time to live the moment to the fullest? We are often told to live like a child and since having a baby girl at home for the last 2.5 months, I started living more in the present and living the moments with her and my girlfriend. It’s been an eye opening experience.

I found this remarkable article about memory and photography in the Psychological Science¬†that studied the correlation between snapping a picture and the strength of our recollection of the event. “Results showed a photo-taking-impairment effect: If participants took a photo of each object as a whole, they remembered fewer objects and remembered fewer details about the objects and the objects‚Äô locations in the museum than if they instead only observed the objects and did not photograph them.” but they also concluded that “when participants zoomed in to photograph a specific part of the object, their subsequent recognition and detail memory was not impaired, and, in fact, memory for features that were not zoomed in on was just as strong as memory for features that were zoomed in on.”

They also concluded that taking a picture ask too much of your concentration to actually remember the details of the object, event or moment.

Wouldn’t you like your guest to actually live and remember your love celebration or do you just want them to add that album of photos on Facebook and not actually live the joy of the moment? I know which one suits me the best.

Cheers,

Jeremy contacted me nearly 2 months ago. He wanted to secretly ask his girlfriend Sarah her hand for marriage. They are from around Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He planned a road trip with Sarah to Montreal and he ask me to capture this unique and love filled moment. Many discussions followed via emails to find a proper location for the shoot and plan how to recognize each other.

On the big day of the proposal, Montreal was hit by a 30cm snow storm but even a storm and an minor automobile accident couldn’t stop their love and his plan. I was posing as a tourist taking pictures on the edge of the clock tower in the old port of Montreal. I saw them walking down the boardwalk and when I saw them stop I started taking pictures and when I saw Jeremy drop on one knee to pop the question, I got closer to capture Sarah’s reaction. Shock is the best way to describe her reaction followed with joy and happiness.

Once the emotions calm down just a touch, Sarah had to called her immediate family. She was so thrilled with the big surprise. She also shared that when they we’re driving down to Montreal for their little adventure, she taught that it would be romantic and fabulous to get asked her hand. She didn’t know it but her wish came true a couple of days later.

We had a blast and all this snow offered a unique look to the city and various location.

Here are the images of this awesome, simple, genuine couple.

photography by Montreal wedding photographer S√©bastien D’Amour

I love wedding photography since I get to capture and record the love story between two people. This responsibility is taken very seriously. I bond with my clients and I want to show their personality in the wedding photographs that we will create together. Wedding photography opens a window upon the intimate, romantic and genuine part of their relationship.

I am genuinely interest in your love story. I find that incorporating the real you allows me to capture the true essence of your relationship. You will notice that my photography is not all about your table setting, shoes and other details. It’s about you and your love. I will capture details that you worked hard at planning but they won’t be the main story of your wedding.

I am an honest, loyal and hard working man. I have always invested my time, creativity, personality, experience in every wedding that I have photographed. Unlike the big wedding photography studios, I guarantee to be the main photographer at your wedding. I won’t ever send someone else to cover the most important day of your life. Your wedding is about you. We collaborate together to create genuine, emotional and romantic images.¬†For this, I like to know more about what you like and dislike. Our connection will lead to authentic photographs filled with your passion, your personality and your love.

I am writing this since I, like my clients, read stories about wedding studios that send “photographers” to photograph a wedding. Some studios will lie to clients and I have a hard time accepting this fact. They will hire multiple shooters during the peak season for the only purpose to make money photographing your wedding (double booking the same date). The reason I have a hard time with this fact is that many will hire “photographers” that actualy don’t care about your wedding, your story and your uniqueness.

I have a suggestion to any couple that are looking for a wedding photographer. Go with a photographer that will be genuinely interested and invested in your wedding. I am not the only one that lives by this standard and I applaud my colleagues that respect their client enough to work like this also. I have to admit that some studios actually showcase a portfolio of the photographer that will be present for the wedding but I can you guarantee that the personality will be the right mix.

Take the time to choose your wedding photographer since he will be the only person present next to you and your better half from preparations all the way until the late hours of the party.

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