Toronto York Region Wedding Photographer – Navy Nhum Photography » York Region Wedding Photographer. Toronto Wedding Portrait Photographer

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The Faces of Hope silent auction and gallery was a success! Thank you to everyone who came out to support mental health and bringing more awareness to this issue. Thank you to all the photographers who donated their time and art, the people who attended the event and most importantly, the participants who had the courage to share their stories. You all are an inspiration, not only to me but those around you. I sincerely thank you for your words of hope and encouragement.

Even if you couldn’t make this event, you can still help someone by visiting the Canadian Mental Health Association for information or to make a donation.  Mental illness is something that affects everyone and being able to find the support is so important.

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PINQuestion: What is mental illness? Who has it and how do you know if you have it?

Mental illness directly affects 1 in 5 Canadians and will indirectly affect everyone at some point in their life. Many people don’t even know they suffer from m
ental illness and therefore never think to ask for help. Although these statistics are staggering, we hardly discuss it or fully understand it. So in order to understand anything, we need to talk and learn more about it and in the case of mental health, discussion can open the eyes of the people who need it most. 

To encourage open discussion and as part of Mental Health Week (May 1-7th), my friend Bryan Weiss and
are looking to share the stories of 8 individuals who have been affected by mental illness (directly or indirectly) and how they have overcome their challenges. Your portrait and inspirational story will be part of a gallery showing and silent auction taking place May 5th, 2017 to benefit the Canadian Mental Health Association.

This gallery and silent auction is meant to help bring a face to a silent epidemic. Your neighbor, your friend, your brother, maybe even yourself… we all may be touched by mental illness but nobody will get through it on their own. Please ask to be a part of this event and give your story a voice and a face.

To participate or for more information please contact:
Navy Nhum – info@navynhum.com or Bryan Weiss – bryan@daytripperphoto.com

CMHA’s Mental Health Week is an annual national event that takes place during the first week in May to encourage people from all walks of life to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health. Visit www.mentalhealthweek.ca for more information.

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Being a professional wedding photographer, I know how important it is for my clients to have an engagement session or just some kind of photoshoot so we can get a chance to work together before the actual wedding. The purpose of these shoots is not just to get some fabulous photos but more so for the couple to get comfortable working with the photographer and being in front of the camera. Not everyone wants to do these sessions or feel like they need to, but trust me, it makes a HUGE difference.  From my 10+ years of photographing people and weddings, I’ve seen even the shyest couples just loving it by the end and getting even more excited for their wedding day. It’s this experience that can help build that necessary connection and trust between a photographer and their subject, which undoubtedly plays a large role in being able to successfully capture the emotion and story. This is especially true for those who may have never been professionally photographed before or are a little camera shy in general.

Having said that, when time is not on your side (or you’re a procrastinator like me) and you want to challenge yourself, you take the matters into your own hands. Although it seems like we live in a world that is obsessed with cellphone selfies, I think the self portrait still has it’s place. Especially for photographers, we’re often the ones behind the camera, missing from the photo or too busy capturing the moments of other people’s lives. I feel that it’s important to take some time to also capture some scenes from our own lives. It also allows us to look at ourselves and photography from a different perspective. I DO NOT , however, agree with daily taking of blurry, poorly lit, bathroom mirror selfies. WHY???? One photo, ok you’re working towards a healthy lifestyle, good on you. Two? Great you’re making some progress and you’re having a great hair day. Three…alright you’re fit and have smizing down, we got it…Four…great, even worse it’s just a close up of duck face for the next 328 photos. UGH.

But I digress…

Self portraits are always a little tricky. A great self portrait requires a little more effort and planning. Between getting your focus, composition and positioning right, the fun factor can disappear quite quickly.

So if you’re thinking about venturing out and doing some self portraits of your own, here are a few tips that will help make the experience a littler easier and more enjoyable. And yes, it’s probably going to take a least 3 tries.

  1. Have a plan – Knowing what you want or having some ideas will help you utilize your time more wisely (very important if you’re chasing the light or on a time crunch)
  2. Tripod – A must have if you plan on being in the photo and getting a steady shot…unless you feel comfortable putting your camera on a random surface and hoping for the best.
  3. Remote – Again a must have unless you like to do 10 second running intervals between your camera. A good wireless remote will let you take your time getting to where you need to be and taking multiple shots if you need to without having to walk all the way back to press the shutter again.
  4.  Focus – Set your focus before you’re ready to take the shot. I usually manually focus on something in the same area that I’m going to be in, that way when I go to press the shutter, it won’t automatically try to re-focus and potentially focus on something else. Your aperture and depth of field will determine how much room you have to move if you’re not in exact spot you focused
  5. Composition – Try to pre-visualize your shot and consider your composition before getting in the frame. Where will you be? How will that look? This will save you time and steps. Also be aware of your surroundings and where your camera is located. If those kids running around make your nervous about leaving your camera on the tripod,  then you should probably wait for the traffic to clear.
  6. Just go with the flow – Shot not turning out like you thought? Oh well, move on. Take a random shot or try something else. Once it gets too serious or you get too frustrated, it’s not fun anymore and that probably means poopy photos.

Obviously these may not apply if you’re out and about and just get inspired by a reflection, a moment, a scene or a certain light. In that case, just do whatever works best for you. Finally, not a tip but a request. For the love of god, please don’t hashtag “authentic” in your self portraits.

As a follow up to my previous post of my selfie engagement session, here are a few outtakes that consists of missed focused, bad timing, trying to stay warm, confusion about whether or not the camera was going off and just randomness :)

 

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What do you do when you’re bored, hate the cold, have a tight timeline and need a photo challenge? Shoot your own engagement photos obviously :D

When Devon and I got engaged, I already knew I’d be a 1.5 year engagement person because really 12 months is just not enough time to plan a wedding without wanting to lose your mind.  Well it’s been almost two years but we’re getting there haha. Coincidentally, the April wedding date will be exactly 2 years. Totally not planned and I didn’t even know until my friend Ana pointed it out. She’s very good with dates and I get her birthday wrong every other year LOL (luckily she’s also very forgiving). So why the selfie engagement session? Why didn’t we just hire a professional photographer? Well it kind of started off as a joke about shooting our own wedding and engagement so I figured why not! I was also kind of bored and was looking for a photo challenge anyway (NOTE: The wedding photos will not be selfies. Ain’t nobody got time for that!).  It was also because we literally had one day that we could do this before it got cold as we knew our opposite working and upcoming travel schedules would take us into late November. I’m just not made for the cold :( and there was no way in hell I’d be outside for these in the winter haha. The conversation went a little something like this:

“What, summer’s over?! WHEN? HOW? Damn, it’s cold already. K let’s do this. But the only time we have is this weekend. Good enough!….IT BETTER NOT BE COLD AND RAINY! (shaking fist)”

And so we were off to Tobermory up in Bruce Peninsula, the first place we went camping together. To be honest, I was kind of looking forward to being on the other side of the camera for once and having someone else tell me what to do but this was super fun and challenging. It was a great exercise in timing, posing, composition and seeing how much suspense I could handle as I watched, in what seemed to be slow motion, kids running by my tripod and $5000 camera setup…Everyone survived. I had also considered doing some aerial drone shots but considering the wind that day, it was probably a good thing that I didn’t. Maybe I should write a How-To post about taking selfies and your own engagement photos :D

It was pretty cold by the end and there were still tons of people but we did it! Overall I’d say the shoot was a success! I wasn’t concerned about fancy props, intricate lighting and all the things that sometimes overpowers the subject in a photo. All I wanted was at least three good shots and I’m happy with what we got. Even more important was the experience. We had so much fun doing these and spending the day hiking at one of our favourite spots, it made these images that much more special.  I have to say a big thank you to my fiancé Devon for being so patient and understanding with my often random photography ideas and adventures. It helps that he’s a photographer too but on this trip I made him do a lot of jumping on pointy rocks in his fancy shoes and none of them turned out haha.

I can’t wait for April 26th, 2017 :) You’re bringing a selfie stick right? ❤

 

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Stay tuned for the bloopers… :)

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