Today’s photographer interview is with Samara of Sarelle Photos based in Toronto, ON! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

My Husband and I (Chris & Samara) are the creative force behind Sarelle Photos. For us life boils down to good food, wine, adventure, our awesome dog and hanging out with people who make us laugh. We are currently based out of the GTA, but travel all over. I started our business in Montreal in 2007, the year I graduated with my DEC in Photography. I’m going on 11 years now of shooting weddings with about 300 under my belt, having started my carer first by freelancing for other local wedding photographers.

When Chris and I met back in 2009, he jumped on board with me, and fell in love (with both me & wedding photography). After a few years of travelling back and forth shooting between Toronto and Montreal, we decided to move our home base to Ontario — 9 Months ago to be exact! We got married this summer too! So it’s been a big year for us.

See more after the cut!


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How did you get into wedding photography?

Growing up I was fortunate to have parents and a grandmother who were avid travelers, and brought me and my brother around the world with them. My first big trip with my grandmother at 11, took me to Switzerland where I was gifted with my first camera. I probably took about 32 rolls of film that trip, and I’ve never put the camera down since.

My first year studying photography, I nervously applied to a Wedding Studio. Once I shot my first wedding I knew this was the field for me. Chris was originally studying to be an architectural photographer, but once (with a lot of coaxing) he shot his first wedding, and he too was hooked. Being around happy people is addictive!

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What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

I think we both can agree on this, it’s definitely the part where we get some alone time with the couple – be it 10 minutes or 2 hours, before the ceremony or after. Being around a couple who are experiencing one of the happiest days of their lives is incredible. It’s also a great time to let lose and joke around a little.

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What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

I don’t really have one, but Chris does – one time we were shooting on a private island near Montreal, when during the dancing, Chris was doing his “thing” and split his pants — ha! I still make fun of him today!

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What is your favorite venue and why?

There are a tons of places we love, but we welcome and look forward to new places and experiences for the challenge! Recently one of our favourite places has got to be Le Select Bistro in Toronto. It’s an upscale French bistro with just the right atmosphere and mood for an intimate, smaller wedding. Draped red velvet curtains with 20 foot ceilings. A glass wall leading out to a private stone patio (good for rain or shine) and stellar food too!

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Nikon or Canon?

Whatever clicks! (though at present we use Canon.)

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What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

AHHH! This question kills me… everywhere! If I absolutely had to choose right now – The Giants Causeway in Ireland! Chris, anything with a desert… “the more Laurence of Arabia the better”.

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If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

I love the photos from JFK and Jackie’s wedding — super classic but real. I would have loved to shoot it!

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Be organized with everything! This is the business of people’s memories. Back-up your images multiple places, have a digital and print copy of contracts.

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What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?

The first priority should be for you to be comfortable with the photographer. It’s a lot easier to relax in front of the camera when you trust and know the person behind it. Practical advice would be to make sure to see multiple full weddings before booking. So your expectations are in line with what is being produced!

Thanks Samara! For more information about Sarelle Photos, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Samara? Add them to the comments below!

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