The Portrait and Wedding Situation

It’s close to the end of March 2020 and Covid has hit and the media is saturating the viewers with it. It’s time to rethink how the world operates with new viruses, however that is for another topic. The portrait and wedding photography business has been hit hard like a lot of other businesses. Weddings have been cancelled and I have had to adjust to rescheduling and even cancelling weddings. An average wedding is expensive and with people out of work there are obviously more important priorities in peoples lives.

There are some weddings taking place with wedding photographers. I do not support this. Getting married is definitely a milestone in ones life but not for ignoring your health and your guests who would most likely reject the invite anyway. Most venues have been ordered to close. When the pandemic ends is any ones guess, we will see a crush of rescheduling for 2021 and most likely the popular dates in 2021 will be taken in the favorite venues and maybe we will see more outdoor weddings or smaller weddings. The virus has pushed everything forward. I am sad this has happened as couples have been planning their wedding for a very long time only to have it placed on hold or cancelled all together.

Some couples have no choice they have to get married due to immigration issues or family members who are in very poor health. These are all valid reasons. Some will visit City Hall if they are open for this and just get the license and leave the rest till later. In any event as a wedding photographer I am here to help and plan to offer a reduction in prices to help offset the financial losses people are experiencing of late. This will be posted on the main page side tab.

In closing we will get through this and as the economy rebounds our lives will get better. Take Care.

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Small Wedding , Thoughts , Wedding
  • February 25, 2020

Behind the Scenes

Well as a followup to a prior post I thought I would share some insight as to how photographers work, meaning what we do and how we spend our time to make sure you get the best wedding photographs. The first graph shows what people think photographers do and the other graph shows the truth of what we really do on an ongoing basis. It is a lot of work but I am passionate about it. I will come home from a wedding, haul all my equipment out of the car, drag it into the home office then take a breather. The spouse will ask “how did it go?” I will respond and say it went extremely well and explain all the great things that happened. Tired yes but I love it.

The rest of the day I will leave all gear in the office. The following day I will unpack all the equipment make sure I did not leave anything at the venue. Take out the memory cards load them up on the computer but wait I am missing something, darn forgot to make the first coffee. No fuel no photos! Depending on the size of the wedding and the number of photos I take it could be up to 3 days to get it all done, plus all the the other stuff we do.

So there seems to be a lot of misconceptions regarding what wedding photographers actually do all week. It’s perfectly understandable, after all, the only time most people see us working is at the wedding. So I thought it would be interesting to show some graphs on what we do and time spent. Hopefully it will help clear up some misconceptions and give some insight into what goes on behind the scenes after we leave the reception. The graphs will fluctuate but you get the idea!

wedding photographers perception

wedding photographer actual time spent

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Photo Collections , Portrait Photography , Thoughts , Wedding , Workflow
  • February 12, 2020

Cold But Time to Chill

Wedding in the winter are you crazy? Most clients prefer the spring, summer or fall. First off your wedding can be a magical winter wonderland and your wedding will stand out. The weather of course is never something you can control regardless of the season. However during the warmer or hot humid days the bride has to make sure the sweat does not affect the makeup or hair and most likely lots of retouching will be necessary in the heat. In the winter this is hardly ever a problem. Some guests might not be able to attend in the summer dues to vacations and family commitments and if they attend from out of town their accommodations will be less costly.  In terms of clothing you can also wrap your self in some very colorful scarfs, sweaters or shawls to accentuate the wedding dress. If a light snow flurry is happening then this can be very magical for your photos. You can ditch the shoes outside and wear some very colorful boots to (boot) could not resist that one!

The other big plus for a winter wedding is that venues are a lot less expensive and your choice of preferred dates increases. There are many venues where there are many weddings the same day and your time slot is strictly monitored. Winter weddings are a lot less stressful and gives you ample time if the schedule slips for whatever reason. You can forego the cold drinks and instead have a hot chocolate bar with warm deserts, hot toddies and hot spiked drinks. Some venues will have some form of decorations especially near or after the holidays, so these can be used to your advantage. Having a nice fire inside adds to the ambience of the wedding and creates an area for family and guests to gather.

Also don’t forget Valentines day this can add something extra special to your wedding. From a professional photographers viewpoint a winter wedding provides an opportunity to use the snow to light the scene  and with the proper backdrop the photos can be amazing!

winter wedding

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Thoughts , Wedding

Look at all these wedding photos!

During your wedding I spend anywhere from 2 to 10 hours taking the photos that will be with you for a lifetime. But wait that’s not all I do. Now comes days and days of coffee, in a chair and looking at a computer screen. I need to decide which ones I will present to you. This is of utmost importance. The images I take are like digital negatives so to speak. In the old film days you would take your work into the darkroom to process using chemicals and do your processing there.

adjusting your wedding images

Today we still do the same thing only with computer software. Your wedding images out of the camera are in the “raw” meaning they need to be processed. The RAW format that most professional cameras have looks very flat when first viewed on the screen. The colors look drab and so on. An average wedding might contain over 1500 images or more. My time spent on these images can last up to 3 days or more.

The first thing I do is rate the images as to what I think are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd picks. After this I return to the start and crop, adjust white balance, saturation, brightness and 12 other adjustments just to name a few if needed. I also remove distractions and items that are not required to tell the wedding story. Quite frankly a lot of work goes into getting your images ready, but I am passionate about getting this workflow completed. I then need to upload them to my website and send out an email and link to let you know they are ready for viewing. Lots of eye rubbing, sore back, lots of coffee and my golden retriever staring at me to go outside. When all is said and done, I sit back and look at all your wedding photos. I get a sense of accomplishment now and the best part of all of this is to present them to you!

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Photo Collections , Post Wedding , Thoughts , Wedding , Workflow

Small Weddings are Increasing In Popularity

small weddingNot everyone has a large lavish wedding and a lot of folks just want a quick, small or intimate wedding. There are also people who get remarried late in life and just want a few friends to attend. However they do want professional photos taken of the event. Like everything else in this world costs are rising and the costs of weddings are also getting expensive. A lot of couples would rather put some of that money into a down payment on a home or a trip. Everyone has their own priorities.

Wedding photographers like myself need to adjust to these priorities.  I have seen an uptick in these types of weddings in the industry. Some couples only need you for the ceremony, others need you for the ceremony and the reception and others just need a few candid photos of the immediate family after all is said and done. It depends so the wedding photographer needs to offer a solution to these requests. Most small weddings I have done tend to be no less than 2 hours, so I offer prices that allow this to happen, I just need to know the details in order to quote a price and keep it affordable for the couple.

So if you are interested in getting a quote just email or call and I would be pleased to help.

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Small Wedding , Thoughts , Wedding

Wedding Color for 2020

We have a pantone classic blue for 2020new color of the year! Yesterday, Pantone announced its Color of the Year for 2020. Their pick? PANTONE 19-4052, aka, Classic Blue

The company says the shade is “a timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity,” more specifically saying it resembles the color of the sky at dusk. And while Pantone describes the hue—which is darker than sky blue but lighter than midnight blue—with descriptors like “tranquil,” “easily relatable,” and “relaxed,” their reasoning for choosing a favorite color such as blue, especially in these times where we require trust and faith.

So there you have it from the horses mouth. But you may ask what is this Pantone thing? Pantone the company is best known for it’s Pantone Matching Systems, a special color space used in a variety of industries  notably graphic design, fashion design, product design and printing etc. The printer we use here at Oz Photography is a Pantone Digital Printer. This color blue may not be accurate on your screen but gives you some idea of the color.

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.


Filed Under: Thoughts , Wedding

 You Need Me Today?

Well here I was in the Dundas Driving Park early morning with my golden retriever Jax when my cell phone rang. It was a fellow named Chad. He said he found me online and needed a wedding photographer today! Well I can tell you that I was stunned to hear this! He said his wedding was at Carmens Banquet Centre on Hamilton Mountain.

I have done many weddings there before over the years but this was the first that was booked on the same day! I told him that I was not home but walking my dog, however I was not booked for this day and indicated that I could photograph his wedding, I just needed time to get home and change. I am not sure why this had happened but he sounded like he needed help fast.

I rushed home in disbelief got dressed and loaded up the car and went. He wanted me to meet him at the C Hotel next door to Carmens which they own and to photograph the bridesmaids getting ready in a suite. I met him in the lobby and told me the suite number. As anyone can imagine the bridesmaids were rushing to get ready with stuff all over the place. They were quite surprised to see me but I indicated that Chad the groom had sent me. I then proceeded to photograph them getting ready. I asked about the groomsmen but he did not require those photos.

Then proceeded to the hall for the ceremony and reception, all went well and Bria and Chad were greatful that I was able to photograph them on their special day. I love what I do and always strive to make my clients happy!

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Thoughts , Wedding

I’m Back!

Wow it’s been a while since I have posted to my blog, lots to talk about though. Portraits have been keeping me busy over the last year and some special projects for clients. Video has certainly been on the increase especially in the 4K arena. These videos take quite a bit of time to edit but at the end look awesome when viewed on a 4K television.

However some wedding clients are asking for this as part of the wedding package and some are asking for drone footage. I have not personally got into the drone area partly due to the restrictions now placed on operators of these drones. Examinations and Licenses are now required by the government in order to fly a drone. The vast majority of areas in Southern Ontario are restricted airspace. If you fly a drone in this area you risk heavy fines if caught. The rules surrounding the use of drones is getting stricter all the time.

The other time consuming aspect of my workflow is printing, I have spent quite a bit of time printing for clients in my lab. I sense this is because a lot of the typical places that folks get their prints are not happy with the quality. While I cannot compete with the prices, you only get what you pay for. One of the benefits of having your prints done by me is that I meticulously make sure that the color is corrected and the right profiles are used along with numerous other adjustments I make before sending it to the printer.

I have also been away on a trip to fulfill my photography passion in Peru, Bolivia and in the Amazon Rain Forest photographing the abundance of landscapes, wildlife and people of these areas. It was a long venture with 10 airline flights in total. Now that I have returned it’s back to what I love the most wedding and portrait photography other than my wife and family of course!

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Portrait Photography , Thoughts , Wedding , Workflow

Giving Back to Community

On Dec 8 at the Dundas Museum and on Dec 13 at the Wesley Urban Ministry Family Center in Hamilton, the Dundas Photography Initiative group came together to help those in need. Typically to have family portraits done is not something that everyone can afford. So based on a world wide event we gather up all our expertise and equipment and set up studio locations at these two locations.

dundas museum studio setupFor the Dundas Museum we had cookies, cake, drinks and cider plus small gift baskets to hand out. We had a team that has now volunteered every year to do the hair and a makeup person for free. The hair stylists are from Putrone Salon

All the members of DPI pitched in from gathering props, posing the clients and taking the actual shots. We then gather all the photos and in the case of the Dundas Museum session we get them printed and deliver them for free.

As for the Wesley Urban Ministry we deliver the prints to the main office and the great folks there inform their clients their photos are ready for pickup. These events give the DPI members an opportunity to use studio lighting techniques, cameras and other equipment.

wesley urban ministry hamilton studioMany donations are given to allow the DPI to hold these events and many thanks to The Keeping Room, Optimist Club of Greensville, Darlyne and Jim Mills, Doug Edwards, Jane Snider, Councillor Arlene Vanderbeek and the Association of Dundas Churches. As a local wedding and portrait photographer I am proud to be part of this initiative.


Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.

Filed Under: Community , Event Photography , Family , Portrait Photography

The Wedding of Dave and Katie

Dave and Katie were married at the Liuna Gardens in Stoney Creek on July 27, 2018. The venue Liuna Gardens I must say the day was the best day I have had in a number of years doing weddings. Katie arrived in an Uber with her bridesmaids and goofed around before entering the venue. The treed property itself is right on the lake with flowers and ornaments all around the grounds. The wedding ceremony was down a walkway right at the lakes edge.

The service staff and meal was terrific. This location is one of my favorite locations for photographing weddings. In the evening the Toronto skyline across the lake was illuminated and was amazing. During the evening photo session a fox would frequent the shoot and walk right behind the bride, not once but numerous times he would leave then return to see what all the fuss was about. I suspect this fox has a den in the area and frequents the waterfront here.

katie in wedding gown

Mark Osborne is a Hamilton Wedding and Portrait Photographer in Hamilton, Ontario.


Filed Under: Candid Photography , Small Wedding , Wedding