12.16.16   |   View More: PhotoTips

Holiday Photo Tips

The holidays are a great time to photograph your friends and family. So, whether you're using a smartphone or maybe Santa brings you a new DSLR - the following 4 tips can help with the creation and preservation your images.  
1: Get Level with Children 
It's easy to whip out your camera or phone and just start shooting but if you drop down to your little one's level, you'll often get a better image.
2: Move in Closer 
Not sure about your home but things can get a little messy around here. Nine times out of ten your pictures can have more impact by getting in closer. If you're using a camera with a zoom lens - zoom in tighter. If you are using a smartphone try zooming with your feet - ie just take a step or two closer. This is always a better option over using the digital zoom - ie pinching the screen.
3: Shoot Moments 
It's so easy to ask your subjects to stop and look at the camera - we do it all the time :) This time of year is full of activities so why not try and capture some moments as well. The simple things happening around us all the time are so easy to take for granted but may make for some of your favourite images as the years go by.
4: Backup your images! 
More images are being created today than ever before in history. While it's wonderful to have so much recorded, we all run the risk of losing these electronic bits. I've heard many sad stories about failed hard drives and damaged smartphones.  
You really want to have at least two digital copies of everything you shoot. There are numerous cloud based services that can automate this process. We use Dropbox - Apple and Google also have tools you can use that cost very little.  
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about setting something up for your images.
2.7.15   |   View More: Weddings

Top Wedding Songs

We asked our good friend Scott Rideout - aka DJ Skills from True North DJ Services about what's hot right now and here's what he had to say... 
We often get asked, "what is the most requested song at the moment?" In a mutli-aged event, the truth is, there are songs from the past that are far more effective than many recently released songs. Equally important is not what is played but when it is played :)  
So, with these things in mind, here are a few of our "top tracks" we use to keep the music diverse, and the dance floors moving: 
10. Stand By Me... with a twist ;) (Ben E. King) 
9. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) 
8. Uptown Funk (Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars) 
7. Happy (Pharrell Williams) 
6. Wagon Wheel (Old Crow Medicine Show or Darius Rucker) 
5. Fresh Prince of Belair (DJ Jazzy Jeff & the fresh Prince) 
4. You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC) 
3. Push It (Salt n Pepa)  
2. Heave away (the Fables) 
1. Be Faithful (Fatman Scoop & Faith Evans)  
Happy dancing! 
True North DJs

2.2.15   |   View More: Families

Photography Workshops

New camera for Christmas? Not happy with the results you've been getting as you try and document your family? 
Learn to take better pictures and support a great cause! We specialize in consulting with parents who want to take better family pictures.  
We do family photography workshops every month with between 2-5 people. The sessions last about 2 hours and take place at our home / office in Hammonds Plains. Sign up with your spouse or a friend and we'll find a time that's convenient for everyone.  
We ask that each participant donate $50 to Pediatric Palliative Care Service at the IWK - once you sign up - we'll send you the link where you can contribute directly to the IWK. 
Contact Us about your session today!
9.23.14   |   View More: Weddings

Heather & Drew

Heather and Drew are a fun loving couple who were married in Halifax this summer. Very excited to share some images from their wedding! 
Coordination: Elegant Productions 
DJ: True North DJ Services 
Venue: Saint Mary's Boat Club 
Catering: Certainly Cinnamon 
Flowers: The Blossom Shops  
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9.22.14   |   View More: News

5 quick tips to better pictures

Whether you're using a smart phone or the latest DSLR, the following 5 tips will help you take pictures with more impact. All the images in this blog post were shot with an iPhone.  
1. Keep it Simple  
In life and photography, keeping it simple is usually best. If you can position yourself so that there are fewer distractions in the shot, the more impact it will have. Can you move to eliminate distracting elements like exit signs, bright lights or clutter?
2. Get Low  
A cool perspective that we rarely get to see - put your phone/camera right at ground level and angle it up and see what you can see.
3. Shoot multiple angles  
Shoot the same scene from 3 different angles. This can get you thinking creatively and make for more interesting compositions.
4. Take multiple shots  
When you're photographing people - more images are better - take at least 5! Use burst mode to ensure you get good expressions. The image below was the last of 6 - some had eyes closed and others were a little blurry but this one was just right :)
5. Turn on the grid on your camera's display and use the rule of thirds.  
Get your main subject off centre. You'll notice that all the preceding pictures follow this rule. That's it for now - have fun and happy shooting!

8.8.14   |   View More: Weddings

Kayla & Joseph

Kayla & Joseph were married in Halifax on June 21st - surrounded by many friends and family. It was a beautiful day from start to finish and here are some of our favourite images.  
Venue: Price George Hotel 
Wedding Planning / Event Design: Elegant Productions 
Cake: City Girl Cakes 
Flowers: Brown Eyed Susan's 
Hair: Melissa from the Hair Factory  
Makeup: Vicky Mina Makeup Artistry 
Transportation: Tri Star Classic Motor Tours
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3.12.14   |   View More: Weddings

Winter Wedding!

While the weather wasn't cooperating - as it often doesn't - Nicole and David's wedding still had a cozy winter feel. White Point was the perfect setting and we had the pleasure of working with some of the best wedding professionals in the business including:  
Venue: White Point 
Decor & Coordination: Elegant Productions 
Music and Lighting: True North DJ Services 
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9.23.13   |   View More: Families

What to Wear

Like to share a couple of images of my family for illustrative purposes... 
The first image is from an impromptu session without a lot of thought to wardrobe. We have stripes, patterns, logos and bright colours. All fine on their own but this creates a pretty busy look and it takes attention from where it belongs - peoples faces.
A year later with a little planning we have a much better result. Darker solid colours - blues, blacks and greys go a long way to creating a nice family portrait where all you notice is the beautiful setting and all those smiles :)
2.4.13   |   View More: Families

Great Valentine's gift for Mom!

Looking for a thoughtful valentine's gift this year? If your special someone is also a mother, give her the gift of a family photography session.  
We have special gift certificates all boxed-up and ready to present - they include a 1.5 hour session and an 8x10 print and are specially priced at $150 plus HST. We only have 5 left so Email Us to get yours today! 
9.11.12   |   View More: Weddings

Meet our new Associate!

We’re very excited to welcome Shannon George to the Alex MacAulay Photographers team this month! We’ve been really lucky to get to know her personally - we photographed her wedding, and we wanted to give you the same opportunity to get acquainted. So, here’s a little interview with Shannon, in which she tells us how she got into photography, shares some of her favourite photo shoot memories, and gives us the lowdown on a few of her favourite things!  
A Nova Scotia native, Shannon tells us a little about her return to Dartmouth after some time away! 
I am a Bluenoser through and through:) However, my husband Wyatt and I had the fantastic opportunity to move to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in 2007. After nearly four years, terrific work opportunities, forming wonderful friendships and experiencing the birth of our first son Everett, we returned to Nova Scotia in early 2011. We are happily back to living in our hometown of Dartmouth and have welcomed baby Levi into the mix!
We asked Shannon how long she’s been a photographer, and about what drew her to the field of photography in the first place. Here’s what she had to say: 
I am fascinated with people! It's my curiosity about people and what's going on in their lives that brought me to photography. This medium allows me to meet many different types of personalities - people that without photography I would never have the opportunity to spend time with. 
I've had a love of photography for as long as I can remember. Though I was probably about 17yrs old when I knew that I wanted to be a professional photographer. After three years of photo school and three more years of assisting photographers first in New York City and then back in Halifax, I formed my own company in 2002. 
Although Shannon’s been fond of lots of past photo shoots, she gives us the lowdown on two in particular that were especially memorable: 
There are many shoots that I really love, however my shoot with Clyde and Evangeline definitely stands out. This was a completely unplanned shoot in 1998 yet turned into one of my most important projects. Clyde and Evangeline were retired farmers who lived in Belmont, Nova Scotia. I met them by chance and Clyde asked me to photograph his potato field. I agreed – but only if he would stand in the field (I photographed people after all!) The photographs that were created shaped the way that I moved forward with photography. I think of those photographs as I approach every project, every assignment. They offered such honesty. I learned that everyone has an interesting side to them, an interesting story to be captured. Clyde and Evangeline have both passed on now and I'd like to think that I have become a better photographer since those early days with my Hasselblad and Kodak Tri-X 400 film, but those images will always be very special to me. 
Paul and Kathy's wedding stands out too. It was one of my first weddings, and it was the first time that it really hit me that I didn't have to shoot like a traditional 'wedding photographer', that I could incorporate my editorial style into weddings. So I did! Little did I know at the time that photo journalistic weddings were soon going to become so accepted and that I was about to fall in love with The Big Day!! 
Shannon told us about her dream location for a photo shoot: 
For years, I have wanted to photograph Newfoundland and it’s wonderful people. Some of my best friends are from Newfoundland and I cannot believe that I have never even been there for a visit! I am definitely looking forward to starting that project one day. 
Since we want to make the most of the outdoors this summer, we asked Shannon if she had any personal stories or general thoughts regarding outdoor shoots. Here’s what she had to say: 
Locations play a primary role in my work. I love watching light and location scouting. I draw much of my creativity from choosing just the right place that suits the concept and the person (or people) that I am working with. There is never a dull moment with the ever-changing weather of the Maritimes! 
On what she likes to do when she’s not behind the camera... 
I am enjoying being a Mum of a very active 3 year old and a very hungry 8 month old:) Life is very full and very busy with the boys. I am thankful to have an awesome husband who brings laughter into every one of my days. We became friends in grade three and I thank my lucky stars that he is part of my life. I love spending time with my folks, road-tripping with the family, discovering new places and meeting new people. 
On a few of her favourite things... 
I love to cook. I love to eat! I love listening to the radio. ‘Q’ with Jian Gomeshi on CBC One is a daily ritual for me. I love music too! Wyatt and I are learning to play the ukulele and I have high hopes of also learning to play my banjo someday. Maybe I’ll have enough free time once my kids move out! Ha! 
I love weddings! I love going to them and I love photographing them! My heart skips a beat every time that I am a part of that moment that the couple first sees each other on their wedding day. It’s such a special time in life and I truly love being a part of it. I find it thrilling to know that my wedding clients will look at their images for years to come, that they will mean something to their children and to their families. 
I also love wedding dresses!! Even though I happily married my long time sweetie five years ago and I have no intention of ever wearing another wedding dress – I LOVE looking at them!! The style, the fabric, how the light hits them - they are works of art!! 
So there you have it! We’re so happy to have Shannon as a member of our team, and we’re so excited for you to have the opportunity to work with her, too! Do you have any questions for Shannon? Feel free to leave them in the comments section! And of course, here are some of her wedding images... 
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