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.

Weddings at Museum of Civilization

Museum of Civilization – Wedding Destination

By: Ottawa Photographer Alex Sarna

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the perfect setting as it overlooks the City of Ottawa and the historic Parliament Buildings. It is quite a romantic location with a beautiful view and incredible architecture surrounding the building. It is even better for your out-of-town guests to see and enjoy! It will make the bride and groom feel like a king and queen on their special day walking through this castle of a museum.

Its grounds offer a nice mix of spectacular green landscapes and modern architecture that allow for stunning pictures.It also offers many facility rentals to choose from. You can contact the gourmet catering directly and book an appointment to visit the venues. The museum even offers a food tasting event, so brides can see what styles of food they would like to have on their wedding night.

Many couples make this museum a destination wedding venue as they come to Ottawa for their wedding. Sometimes the museums bookings have both the ceremony and reception. The Grand Hall is the showpiece for the museum. It’s a large space that can easily accommodate over 400 people. As a wedding venue it is a great location with lots to offer and growing in popularity.

Featured in Ottawa Wedding Magazine

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Here are some shots that were published in Ottawa Wedding Magazine. Check out Ottawa Wedding Magazines website 

Wedding Dreams

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My photos were published in Wedding Dreams Magazine with an article that talks about How to Choose The Right Photographer for your Wedding.