Author Archives: Ryan Parent

Guest post by Alan Viau the Wedding Officiant

Over the past few weeks I have been asking some of my favorite vendors if they would be interested in writing a guest blog post for my blog. When I spoke with Alan he jumped on the opportunity. I always enjoy working with him. If you are still looking for an officiant make sure you contact Alan. He will make your ceremony exactly how you dreamed.

Making your wedding ceremony picture perfect:

The typical on-location wedding that I conduct lasts about 20 minutes. To the couple, it will seem like an instant. They will rely on the wedding photography to remember the moment in the years to come. I work very closely with photographers like Ryan to ensure that the best memories are captured.

Most experienced photographers have run into the church minister, who often decrees that no photographs are to be taken during the ceremony. The couple may get one or two furtively taken photos of their ceremony. Unfortunately, some of the best moments where the couple commit to each other and show the emotional bond between them will be lost.

I work closely with Ryan so that all the best memories can be captured. I want it to be a picture perfect wedding. I make it a priority to plan the wedding shots with Ryan before the wedding. This I know that the couple will have cherished photos of the ceremony.
Over the years, I learned the following really helps capture the special moments:

I discuss what’s happening:

This is a simple practice that I do just before the wedding starts. I go through the ceremony, highlighting special events, such as readers or rituals like the Unity Sand Ceremony. Then Ryan knows what is coming up. I also give him the cues for key times in the ceremony, like when the couple will kiss.

I work with Ryan on the visuals:

On-location weddings can offer some challenges for photography. I work to ensure that we have the best light for the couple and a suitable background. I want to ensure we have the best possible shot available. Before the ceremony starts, I ask Ryan about all the angles that will be best and adapt what I can.

You won’t see me in the background of your key moment shots:

In most wedding photos, you see the minister in the background during the kiss. Sometimes, the photographer will be clever and hide the minister behind the groom. All these are awkward compromises. I instruct the couple to hold the kiss for ten seconds, and then I just step out of the way. The result is a beautiful photo of the couple’s first kiss at the wedding ceremony. Keep it simple, just a nice embrace and smooch.
The feedback I get from couples is phenomenal. The bride and groom are so appreciative of the attention that has been placed on making their day memorable and picture perfect.

If you’re interested in learning more about Alan, check out his website: Ottawa Wedding Officiant | Alan Viau

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This is a shot from Lori and Roberto’s Wedding on April 30th, 2011 at the Blessed Sacrament in Ottawa.

Photo by: Ryan Parent

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Winter Wedding on Wedding Bells Website

A few weeks ago I got an email from a couple saying that Wedding Bells had posted their wedding pictures on the website. I remember first meeting with Josh and Kat and thinking they were one cool couple. The wedding took place at Strathmere in Ottawa. I always find winter weddings quite romantic. The fire burning, a giant Christmas tree, butternut squash soup… oh man I can still taste the food!

Since the wedding I have become friends with Josh and Kat and we continue to stay in touch. There is nothing I like more than becoming friends with a couple after their wedding.

Thanks guys for such a memorable wedding! Click below for a link to the feature.

(Kat and Josh’s wedding on Wedding Bells)

A Photographer’s Perspective on Orchard View Weddings

Orchard View Wedding & Conference Center offers both indoor and outdoor weddings, promising natural and beautiful options for your wedding photography. The location is approximately 20 minutes south of downtown Ottawa, and can accommodate anywhere from 10 to 400 guests (indoor weddings) and 50 to 2500 guests for outdoor weddings.

The lake, the gazebo and the bridge offer several opportunities for great photographic composition, making your wedding album stand out. Whether your wedding is in the spring, summer, winter or fall, Orchard View promises great photographic opportunities.

Orchard View | Manotick Wedding Venue

 Orchard View Wedding and Conference Centre

Wedding at The Chateau Laurier

The Chateau Laurier is in-arguably one of Ottawa’s most elegant and prestigious venues for a wedding ceremony. It was built between 1909 and 1912 for travelers stopping at Ottawa’s Union Station right across the street, and developed into one of Canada’s most prominent Hotels in 1923 when the Grand Trunk became part of the Canadian National Railway. Since then it has played host to thousands of special events and housed many elite members of society; ranging from distinguished political figures and heads of state to celebrities and royalty visiting from overseas. For many years Ottawa Photographer Yousuf Karsh, one of the world’s most well-known and accomplished portrait photographers, resided and maintained his studio within the Chateau’s walls.

Last summer I had the privilege of covering Heather and Geoff’s wedding here. It was definitely one of my funnest weddings of the year.
Their laid back attitude made the day so fun. Here are a couple shots I took outside.

Bushra and Asif Pre-Wedding Party

First off I would like to apologize for not keeping my blog up to date over this summer. We’ve had a really busy year, now that the 2010 wedding season is over we’ll be able to share some of our new photos. Keep your eyes out for new posts over the next couple weeks.

Last year I had the privilege of being invited to take photos at my first Bangladeshi engagement party. Bushra and Asif were so much fun to work with and I loved their creative input into the final product. I always consider clients ideas when photographing, since my ultimate goal is to make the bride and groom happy with their photos. After shooting the engagement party I was invited to photograph their wedding as well. It was a huge production, complete with 3 days of events. On the first day there was a party for 400 guests held at brides parents house. The party was complete with amazing food, a DJ, live entertainment and decorations like I’ve never scene before.

Here are some of my favorite photos from Day 1 of the wedding.

Thanks again for stopping by my blog and stay tuned for lots more to come!

Photos will be loaded soon! Blog still under construction.

Bushra and Asif’s Pre-Wedding Party


Teriq and Reales Wedding

Here are a few of my favorite shots from Teriq and Reales wedding. The were such a great couple to work with.  Their ceremony was at Lago, then we went to the National Art Gallery for formal shots and finally ended up at Centurion Hall for the reception. Any brides looking at locations I highly recommend these 3 places. The bottom photo was taken by my second photographer Charles.

National Art Gallery | Ottawa

National Art Gallery | Ottawa

Engagement Session at Mackenzie King Estate

Here are some shots from Rebbecca and Bryden’s engagement session. We decided on Mackenzie King Estate. Being my first time shooting there I was quite excited to try out this new location. It turned out to be one of my favorite spots to photograph at. Brides out there looking for a cool location for their wedding or engagement session definitely have a look here. Even if you are looking for a romantic place to go on a date, hands down this is my favorite spot. Any photographers in Ottawa looking for a place to bring your brides and grooms check this place out!

Mackenzie King Estate Information

Civil Wedding

A couple weeks ago I got to be the photographer at my first ever civil wedding here in Ottawa. There were 4 guests and the entire wedding lasted 30 minutes. There was an exchange of vows, putting on the rings and a first kiss. The ceremony was preformed by a judge and was very intimate and actually quite refreshing. It was by far the most relaxed wedding I have ever attended. After the ceremony we went around City Hall and took some portraits of the couple. To any couples out there there that want to keep it simple and save some money for the honeymoon, I gotta say go for a civil wedding.

Ryan Parent | Ottawa Wedding Photographer

Vintage Wedding Photos

Ever since childhood I have always had a fascination with vintage things. I used to snoop around my grandmothers, check garage sales and loiter in antique stores just to get a fix of the olden days. This fascination has never really gone away and now that I am a photographer I have developed a love for old photos. Since it can take a long time to sit around and wait for a photo to look old, I have started experimenting with ways of getting it done faster. There are two ways of making a photo look old. Digitally or “manually” (couldn’t think of a better word). I have been trying a bit of both.

To make a photo look old digitally it involves a lot of Photoshop. Generally you want to add texture by adding different backgrounds, then add tints, color casts, dodge, burn and vignettes. Basically doing the opposite of what I usually do to a photo to make it look good.

Now I haven’t quite nailed down the “manual” side of things yet but Ill keep you posted. This involves taking a photograph print and adding textures by using heat and abrasives. To add the old photo color I have been experimenting with soaking photos in tea, coffee, wood polish, lemon juice etc… After doing this then I would re-photograph the print and re-print it.  This way you don’t have dried coffee and lemon juice on your photo.  The bottom line is there is a lot of trial and error involved.

In the wedding market there is a huge demand for vintage weddings and I really want to reach these couples with photography. One thing I have learned since becoming a photographer is “Do what you love”, in my case its “Photograph what I love”. What I’m hoping to do with all this, is create a Vintage Wedding Album. I want to offer couples a custom wedding album that looks like it was made in the 1800’s. Right now I’m still developing the album with a friend of mine. I will keep you posted on our progress.

Take care everyone!

Ottawa Wedding Photographers | Ryan Parent Photography

Engagement Sessions

Here are a couple shots from my latest engagement sessions. Lately I have really been focusing on improving my engagement shoots. Since the engagement photos can easily end up very “posey” I have learned that I have to make it something other than an engagement shoot. I usually tell the bride and grooms to pretend they are on a date and I’m a third wheel. For 1 hour be that couple that everyone gets annoyed at for public affection. Just let loose and show your love for each other.Wedding photographers all have different techniques for getting natural photos of a couple but the key is to get natural shots. Get them comfortable in front of the camera.  I just do my best to document the couple on a date.

Thanks for stopping by!

Ottawa Wedding Photographer | Ryan Parent Photography