Author Archives: Ryan Parent

Christine & Ian’s Wedding | The Ornamental Gardens

Last August, I had was glad to be able to work with a familiar face. I not only have taken pictures for Christine before, but i’m also friends with her brother. This time it was for her wedding. While the ceremony and reception were held at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, we took the wedding party and family pictures at the Ornamental Gardens at the Experimental Farms. Before the big day, I went to the site to scout out some good lighting. The day of the wedding, it was a very bright and sunny day therefore we had to find some shade. I had found the perfect place and was ready to start, however, an hour later when the bride and groom arrived, the sun had moved just enough to ruin the light in our planned location. The  good thing about shade is when some disappears in one place, it often moves somewhere else therefore we went further in and took the pictures on the other side of the gardens. A small note on the Experimental Farm….

Created in 1886, this beautiful site is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa bordering on the historical Rideau Canal. The Ornamental Gardens are one of the many beautiful sites at the Experimental Farm. Its divided in different areas such as the rock garden, various flower gardens (irises, roses, lilacs, etc…) and hedge collections. This public space has been a favourite location among couples and photographers alike and is sure to add a beautiful natural element to your wedding photos.

Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornamental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm Ornemental Gardens at the Experimental Farm

Carmel & Joshua’s Heritage Backyard Wedding

This summer, I had the great pleasure of working with Carmel & Joshua. They had decided to fly in to celebrate their special day with their friends and family. Being that they live in the United Arab Emirates, most of our correspondance had to be done overseas however I had a chance to meet them the week prior to their wedding. I knew, after our meeting, that they were going to have an easygoing wedding. All in all, it was a very low stress day to cover. They tied the knot at their parents’ heritage home in Woodlawn Place in Brockville, Ontario. This house holds lots of history and provided a beautiful scenic backdrop for their lovely outdoor summer wedding. The reception was also held at the family estate and was composed of an intimate crowd of close family and friends.

Besides shooting their wedding, I also took pictures of the bride at Maplehurst Manor. located at 1258 Country Road 2 in Maitland, Ontario. Built in 1827, this Victorian style stone manor, located on the bank of the St-Lawrence River, offers plenty of charm and lovely scenery. This quaint manor has three rooms to offer to guests, one of them being the Victoria Suite in which the bride is pictured below. Aside from their overnight accommodations, their beautiful carriage house built of old stone walls and exposed wooden beams creates a perfect mix of old rustic charm and simple elegance. Lastly, there’s the manor’s garden. With its wooden arbour and stunning scenery, the space is the perfect backdrop for your intimate outdoor ceremony.

Carmel at Maplehurst Manor Carmel at Maplehurst Manor Carmel at Maplehurst Manor Carmel at Maplehurst Manor Carmel at Maplehurst Manor Carmel at Maplehurst Manor Carmel & Joshua's Carmel & Joshua's Ceremony Carmel & Joshua's Ceremony Carmel & Joshua's Ceremony Carmel With Her Bridemaid
Carmel & Joshua

The Marshes Spring Wedding

Last summer I had the pleasure of shooting Mark and Alison’s wedding at The Marshes in Kanata. The rain held off perfectly and we had a blast. The Marshes is a great golf course with amazing service and food. The lodge is built with an all wood interior that makes for a very warm and picturesque atmosphere.

Alison Mark Wedding at The Marshes

Alison Mark Wedding at The MarshesAlison Mark Wedding at The Marshes Alison Mark Wedding at The MarshesAlison Mark Wedding at The Marshes

How a Wedding Photographer can Make You Feel More Comfortable

The number one thing that clients frequently tell me is “I feel awkward in front of the camera”. As a wedding photographer its my job to make people feel more comfortable. I have a few different tricks I use to help people feel more comfortable.

First is I respect physical proximity. Often I will take photos with long lenses to give the appearance that I am very close but actually I am quite far away. The farther away from a subject I am the more comfortable they will feel.

Second is that I don’t point the camera at people for too long. Generally people feel comfortable knowing a camera is pointed at them for only a second or two. I first visualize the photo and get my settings in order and then I will ask someone to smile or capture a candid shot. From when they smile until I take the photo is ideally  under a couple seconds. After that people start to get a “fake smile” feeling.

Finally I make sure not to take too many consecutive photos of someone. I will shoot in short bursts to ensure we get a shot without a blink but generally I don’t like to take a burst that is longer than a couple seconds. People start to feel awkward when tons of photos are being taken of them in a consecutive sequence.

When I cover weddings it is one of my highest priorities to blend in with the flow of the day. Every wedding is different and I am always trying to ensure that I adapt to each wedding both socially and physically. I try to be social throughout the day. I find when I have introduced myself to people and have a bit of conversation they feel more comfortable with me taking their photo.


Calabogie Peaks Wedding

Last summer I shot Calabogie Peaks for the first time. Shauna and Ben’s wedding was one of the more memorable weddings I’ve been to in a while. We took the chairlift to the top of the ski hill for the ceremony and got some amazing shots overlooking the area below. Here are some shots from the day.

Calabogie Peaks Calabogie Peaks | Ottawa Wedding VenueCalabogie Peaks | Ottawa wedding venue

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Thank You

I’d like to thank everyone who made this year possible at Parent Studios. First I would like to thank the team that was there for me whenever I needed. So much more goes into a completed wedding photography product than just the wedding day production. Thanks Charles, Brad, John, Tina, Joshua and Eric the main photographers who helped cover the weddings. Our second photographers and back-up photographers Scott, Tsone and Anna who covered Groomsman shots, large ceremonies and everything else our main photographers couldn’t be at and are always on call for the main photographers. The Virtual Assistants Bob, Chad and Alex did an amazing job keeping admin tasks under control. I’d like to thank Graham from Ottawa Booth for helping with culling, 1st level editing, printing and all our accounting.  I’d also like to thank all the Ottawa Wedding Vendors who I worked with. You where all amazing this year and helped make our jobs easier. Finally I would also like to thank all the wonderful couples who trusted us to cover your weddings. We really do put our heart and soul into every single wedding. You really are what makes it all happen and I couldn’t be more appreciative. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Years with your families and friends. Take care and be safe.


Here’s a couple shots from the past. So far this is my favourite cake cutting photo I’ve ever taken…

31Somkeat and Derek's wedding at Cedarview Golf and Country Club.

Wedding at The Marshes

Last summer I had the opportunity to shoot Deric and Sarah’s wedding at the Marshes Golf and Country Club. I must say this was one of my favourite wedding venues of the season. Great locations for photos, lots of nice gardens, a really cool tunnel, nice stone work, and some train tracks. One of the biggest challenges as a photographer is working with tough locations but at The Marshes its easy to find great places to shoot.

Here is a post that our co-op student Alex Sarna wrote about The Marshes:

The Marshes golf course is one of the nation’s nicest golf courses available. It is Ottawa’s leading facility and brings a very fine event experience for people planning a special event. This course was designed by golfers to be used by other golfers. Because of the unique design of the course, it allows the golfer to move around quickly and enjoy the game. The Marshes pays serious attention to quality and detail. The golf course welcomes golfers of all abilities.

The Garden Terrace Rooms can accommodate 150 people. They are composed of 3 rooms. Each room can hold about 50 people. The rooms are ideal for events, meetings and seminars. Each room has a nice view of the clubhouse gardens. The atmosphere is rich and very relaxing. The decor has stunning finishes that have beautifully selected natural colours.

The Marshes clubhouse hosts all kinds of events such as weddings, meetings and tournaments. They have a nice ceremony room and cozy lounge that has the perfect atmosphere for guests and players to relax after a long event or game. The Marshes also offer food services at the Ironstone Grill for a terrific dining experience. The elegant stonework and lighting relaxes people as soon as they enter.

At the Marshes, golf is not just a game. It is also considered a business opportunity or a social gathering. They offer different kinds of packages to suit everyone’s budget. Some packages combine an overnight stay at the Brookstreet Hotel.

The Marshes | Ottawa Wedding VenueThe Marshes Country Club | Ottawa Wedding Venues

Andrea and Mark’s Strathmere Wedding

2 years ago I was contacted by Andrea and Mark about shooting their wedding this past summer at Strathmere | Ottawa Wedding Venue. I knew after meeting them that it was going to be an fun and easy going wedding. After many months of waiting we finally got to their wedding day this past August. What made this day so unique wasn’t only the great couple, great location but also the unique lighting that day. It rained all morning and then just as we went out for portraits the rain stopped and left us with a beautiful soft light that was really great for photos. Here are some of the photos from the portrait session along with a little write-up about Strathmere. Thanks to our Co-op Student Alex Sarna for the information about Strathmere. We highly recommends Strathmere Lodge for your wedding and events.

Strathmere is Ottawa’s 200 acre country retreat on a farm. It is located in North Gower, Ontario approximately 25 minutes from Ottawa. It has been in business for over 30 years and hosts many kinds of events such as weddings, mother’s day brunches, holidays and corporate events. Thousands of people come to Strathmere every year because of their reputation for providing high quality hospitality services at reasonable prices.

Their facilities include 2 major event sites and 36 bedrooms. Their services include event planning, catering, accommodation and administration services. Strathmere is proud to deal with their clients in a friendly, ethical and caring way. They are also committed to giving their clients the best value for their money. Barbecues, dinners, garden parties, teachers parties, holiday and family gatherings are also featured.

Some of the activities that they provide include swimming, bonfires, road hockey, riding bicycles and volleyball courts. This is to ensure that all the visitors will have a nice time with their families. It offers several wedding styles such as winter weddings, weddings in season and dream weddings.

Photos by Ryan Parent

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Ottawa Photographer’s Co-op Program

Parent Studios has been working for two years now towards creating a co-op program with Algonquin’s photography program and local Ottawa high schools. We are offering a hands on approach while teaching the students the basics of photography (lighting, lens, camera functions), photo editing and file management as well as web design and marketing. The program offers assistance to photographers of various backgrounds and interests. Whether the student is interested in photography as a hobby, a part-time job or a full-time career, Parent Studio will ensure that they will know how to be able to run their own business by the end of the program. If interested in joining the program, feel free to send us an e-mail through our contact page.

This year’s high school student was JoAnnie Lefebvre. She is 16 years old with the interest of pursuing photography as a career. Here’s a blog by JoAnnie.

I’ve always had a passion for the arts. It’s influenced my life greatly, whether it’s dance or visual arts, I have always been a part of me. It’s such an important part, that I’ve dedicate my four years of high school to the Specialized Arts Program in the Visual Arts as well as focus the last two years for obtaining a Major Highly Specialized in Arts and Culture. A program which enables me to receive a diploma with the seal of the program which is recognized by many universities and offers many avantages when it comes to studies in the field of choice. This program is offered for students who are in the Specialized Arts Program in visual, musical or dramatic arts and wants or is thinking about pursuing a career in the arts. Boursaries are offered specifically for these students. As well as completing two co-op credits, there are many courses offered with the program like first aid and fall prevention. There are also other classes like event planning taken one of the two years of the program.

I try my hand at different aspects of visual arts like sketching, painting and photo creations/editing and photography. I guess growing up with picturesque scenery like Rocky Mountains and gorgeous national parks in Alberta and travels around Canada had it’s hand in my artistic influences. It became more of a passion during my grade 10 so I decided to enroll in the Majors in Arts and Culture Program which gives me the opportunity to do a co-op in a field of visual arts that interests me. I had many different ideas of domaines where I wanted to do my co-op, such as interior design, graphic design, photography and event planning. I started researching different places that I could do a co-op placement starting at the beginning of september. It was a long process that had it’s highs and lows and it took a lot of time and effort on my part and my co-op teacher. Which is why when Ryan Parent Photography agreed to accept me as a co-op student, it was a great reward to the many hours put in finding it. I had the support and encouragement of my co-op teacher and all of my art teachers. I still remember what my art teacher told me when I started talking about my new co-op placement, it was rare that photographers accept students and that I was very lucky for this opportunity. I do consider myself lucky to have this placement and have as much freedom with it. What I liked about working with a photographer is that I’m able to work from home, the hours are very flexible, I get to meet interesting new people and I’m always somewhere new. I’ve had the chance to wander around the downtown core, around parliament, along the Ottawa river and the Glebe. Another great part of my co-op is the unknowing of where I’m going to be from one day to the next as well as the freedom to experiment with different techniques and differents types of photoshoots and not feeling rushed to do something. Overall, it reflects my style and personality: very social, creative and laidback. It’s only been a few months now since I’ve started my co-op and have learn alot and I hope to keep learning throughtout my placement. Since starting my placement back in September, I have done photoshoots with models, architecture, nature, kids, animals, and some standard studio photoshoots as well as working on my website.

Here’s a couple of photos taken by JoAnnie and an engagement shoot last month. This was her first ever engagement shoot!

Photo by Co-op Student Jo-Annie

To see more info on our page on the Ottawa Photographers Co-op Program