I’m a wedding photographer in Victoria, BC and I’ve been capturing memories and creating art for my couples since 2007. Yup, my first name is Jon-Mark and I like to go by Jon-Mark or JM, thanks for asking! I credit my Montreal raised parents for the French flavour. I’ve worked in my hometown of Victoria, throughout Canada, and in 8 countries worldwide from Cuba to Japan to the tiny island of Bali in Indonesia. I’ve shot hundreds of weddings done every which way, and I wholeheartedly believe there are a million ways to do a wedding right; The best way is the way that is authentic to you and all the little quirks that make your relationship unique! There’s nothing I love more than genuine moments with life and energy and laughter! Capturing the joy of the day and making sure you have a blast while we work together are the most
important things to me.
I will work with you to help you figure out what your day will look like and how to plan for the best possible photos so you don't have to worry about it. This isn’t my first rodeo and I might have some insights you hadn’t thought of. Think of me sort of like a wedding-photography-planner!
My approach is informal & professional: I want you to laugh and enjoy yourself while knowing you're in capable hands. I'm more of a photographer than a writer, so take a look around, hit up the FAQ for loads of info and drop me a line if you have any questions at all or would like to get to know each other in person! I’d love to have you and your partner over to my studio for a drink and get to know what you’re all about :)
contact me about
Wedding packages start at $2995 CAD
Most couples spend between $4-5K for wedding and engagement photos they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
Elopements start at $750
Please drop me a line for a complete list of pricing options!
Do you instruct for posing? I’m kind of awkward/unphotogenic.
Most of us aren’t models, so it’s no surprise that the vast majority of couples tell me when we first meet that they’re awkward on camera or they never look good in photos. These are the same people that you now see filling the galleries on my website in my favourite images. The piece of feedback I’ve probably received most over the years is that I was able to put everyone at ease and make them feel comfortable. Part of this is through my flexible, no stress and sometimes silly approach to direction, and part of this is through working with couples that I connect with. Yes I absolutely provide direction wherever needed, but that doesn’t mean your photos are going to feel stiff or posed; Sometimes giving great direction means letting you know where to go, getting you to do something silly and capturing a REAL moment of laughter between the two of you amidst the pre visualized composition I came up with. One of the most important and underrated aspects of wedding photography is choosing a photographer who you feel personally comfortable with; someone that you would actually want to invite to the biggest party you will ever plan, and hopefully someone who makes you laugh. This is why I try to meet in person or over video chat with all my couples who inquire, to give them a chance to see if I am that person for them, and vice versa!
How long will it take to get my photos?
This depends on the time of year, as later in the wedding season my editing load builds up a little more as I’m busy shooting multiple weddings, engagements and portrait sessions every week. Most couples will wait 4-8 weeks to get their photos, and I guarantee an absolute maximum of 90 days in my contract.
How do you prefer to communicate?
I use everything available to me to keep in touch; email, phone, text, Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, you name it. However, if it’s for something important that I might need to reference for your wedding, email is my preferred medium.
Am I allowed to print the photos that you deliver to me?
100% yes, with no size or print restrictions either, no watermarks, no hassle
Are there size restrictions on print size?
Nope, I’ve printed loads of 2 foot by 3 foot canvasses with plenty of resolution to spare. You could probably do a small billboard if you wanted.
How do I book a date?
Head on over to my contact page and send me a message with as many details as you can think of! We’ll figure out a time to either meet in person at my studio in Victoria, or over video chat if you aren’t local. Finding a great personal fit is crucial for the type of natural, intimate images that I create, so I never book a wedding without meeting with the couple first so they can ensure I’m the guy they want to bring to their big celebration! Once we’ve had a chance to meet, to book a date I require a deposit of $1000 and a signed contract which I read through together with my couples to explain all the legalese in easy to understand terms. Bookings are made on a first come, first served basis and a date is not booked until I’ve received the contract and the deposit.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I have two Sony A7III full frame mirrorless cameras each equiped with a veriety of Sigma Art lenses and adapted canon L glass.
How much retouching do you do?
Every image you receive is individually edited for colour, contrast, exposure and style. Some images occasionally require a little more finessing for temporary things like blemishes and pimples, but things like heavy facial retouching, wrinkle removal or body reshaping are not included with my standard wedding packages and are available for an additional fee.
Do you work with a second shooter?
While second shooters are available to be added to any of my packages, 95% of the images you see on my site were taken by me at weddings where I did not have a second shooter. I regularly work with an assistant to help me carry my bag, hold lights, run small errands, and generally free me up to focus on shooting and not have to worry about logistics. Typically my assistant is someone who is keen and learning about photography, and they will often take extra images and get additional angles of moments throughout the day, but I make no guarantees about these images turning out or being provided; If they do it’s a nice little bonus! If you would like to ensure you’ve got multiple angles of the same moments, let me know you’re thinking about including a second shooter in your wedding package.
Are you able to shoot at night or at dark situations?
Absolutely. If you look through my portfolio you’ll find a wide variety of images shot in darkness or unusual lighting situations. Shooting in the dark opens up a litany of options for introducing my own lighting and getting to play around! On the flip side, using off camera lights in dark situations definitely requires a little bit of extra time to set up compared to shooting in beautiful natural light. I’d love to go into more depth about this conversation in person if you’re interested!
How long have you been doing this?
I shot my first wedding in 2007 and have been making my living as a photographer since 2008
I’m not sure I want an engagement session?
I kind of hate the term “engagement session”, but “lifestyle couples session” doesn’t always make sense to everyone the first time they hear it. Engagement sessions were originally a way of getting your photo together to announce your engagement in the local paper. While we still love a great photo to announce a milestone on social media, engagement sessions are much more than that. There is literally no better way for us to get to know each other and for you to feel confident and comfortable with your photographer than through an engagement session. I can’t count the number of couples who have told me they were so nervous about getting their wedding photos taken, but once they went through the experience of an engagement session and got their photos back, they were totally at ease for their wedding day. It gives you a chance to experience how I work and direct, it gives us a chance to talk and get to know each other, and it’s also a great opportunity to create whatever kind of images we want without the timing and location constraints of a wedding day. We don’t always have the time on a wedding day to drive to a remote beach on the coast, at sunset and hike for 20 minutes to the incredible location that you had your first date, but that’s no trouble at all with an engagement. Further, I want these images to reflect this point in your lives and have an authenticity to them that will make them worth far more than a thousand words when your grandkids are looking at them in 30 years. I know it sounds cheesy, but I want to include these little pieces of your lives so that the photos have more to them than a pretty background ( you can have that too! ). For some couples it means going to the place they always walk their dog, or where they love to run together in their running gear, or cooking dinner together at their home with their cat on the counter, or hiking on their favourite backcountry trail, or an evening at the family cabin at the lake cooking on the BBQ with a favourite beer in hand, or doing a puzzle or board game together. The only limitation is your imagination, and even there you can be sure that I’m around to help out and give recommendations. I never force anyone to get an engagement session who doesn’t want to, but I 100% wholeheartedly believe it will make your wedding photos better, and that you will be thankful you did one with me.
Do you deliver RAW files?
I shoot and edit every wedding in RAW to ensure the maximum amount of exposure and colour information is available for my editing, however I deliver edited and finished high resolution JPEG files and do not include RAW files with my packages. If you are extremely interested in having the RAW files these are available with an additional fee and agreement.
Do I own the copyright to my photos once you deliver them to me?
As the content creator, under Canadian copyright law I am the copyright owner of the images. However, you have the freedom to share, print, scrapbook, and use your images for personal use however you see fit. I do not watermark my images and you’re free to print them at your lab of choice if you decide not to use the professional print lab included with your online galleries. What you can’t do is provide them to any sort of commercial entity for commercial use, so if your wedding venue or makeup artist contacts you about using my artwork to promote their business, just send them my way and I would be happy to work out a usage agreement.
Will my photos show up on your website?
As a photographer it’s important for me to be able to show my existing body of work to attract new clients and illustrate what I can do! Typically, you can expect to see highlights from my shoots with you to show up on my website, portfolio, blog and social media. You have the option with your complete galleries to create a password lock so that only people with the password can access your complete set of photos. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances like for undercover police officers or people in witness protection programs that cannot have any images of them online, and of course I don’t want to get anyone hurt and will absolutely respect that.
Any general tips?
The best advice I can give you after having been a part of hundreds of weddings is to be authentic and to only do and include things that actually matter to you. What is a wedding? That means something different to each person, to me a wedding is a joyful party with those who matter most to you who will support you in your marriage. Figure out what a wedding means to you and use that as a starting point in your planning. When starting to plan a wedding, many couples think about the weddings they have attended and often make the assumption that there is a structure or format that must be followed for a wedding, but that’s totally not the case! Some examples include: -Equal numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen ( Doesn’t matter! Not every couple has the exact same number of close friends or siblings to include in their wedding party. Some party members can simply double up if numbers aren’t even. There’s no point stressing out over excluding people or having to add someone who you aren’t that close to just to hit equal numbers ) -Every wedding party member having identical outfits ( Doesn’t matter! Not every bridesmaid feels comfortable wearing a strapless, not every groomsman can always get to the same suit store to buy an identical suit. Not every wedding party member can afford to drop $250 on an outfit. I’ve seen many couples pick a colour pallette for their wedding party and just tell them to pick something that fits within a complimentary colour range or theme, and some couples just say “Do whatever you want!”. You’re the boss, it’s up to you! ) -Doing a cake cutting, or having a wedding cake at all ( Not everybody loves cake! Some people prefer cupcakes, or cake pops, or pie, or cheesecake. One couple I worked with hand made pies for everyone, and instead of doing a receiving line they personally served every guest a piece of homemade pie. Pretty cool right? And probably much more memorable for those guests than a traditional cake cutting ) Having a sit down dinner ( I’ve seen couple do all night appies for a less formal and more intimate vibe, or some couples do a lunch, or some do a small and intimate dinner with their closest friends and family, and have a much larger open invite dessert bar and dance party afterwards, it’s up to you! ) The bottom line is: Don’t design what will likely be the biggest party you will ever plan around obligations, do what you love with the people you love, and you will be thankful for it.
How do I get my photos after?
Your photos will be delivered to you in an online gallery on my website, from the gallery you can print, view, and download high resolution files to your heart’s content. You have the option to password restrict your gallery or keep it openly viewable to make it easier for friends and family to view.
Are you insured?
Yes, I am fully insured with both equipment insurance and liability insurance
Do you have backup equipment?
Yes, my regular set up is with 2 cameras and 2 lenses on my camera harness so I can switch cameras and lenses at a moment’s notice. I also own 3 additional backup cameras and a total of 8 lenses that cover a wide variety of focal lengths.
What is your backup policy for photos?
I only shoot with cameras that have dual memory card slots, so the moment I take a photo it is instantly written to 2 memory cards. In the event of a memory card failure, I have a full backup so no images are lost. Once images are brought back to my studio, they are downloaded to my computer, immediately backed up to my on site backup hard drive, and once every week I bring in an additional backup drive from my home and update it with my most recent photos to ensure I have an offsite backup in the event of a fire or theft.
Is your coverage consecutive?
Yes, all hours of coverage are consecutive. If you’ve hired me for 8 hours and wanted me to start at 1PM I would be finished at 9PM.
What if the wedding runs late, can I ask you to stay late?
Yes absolutely, I don’t schedule any other shoots on wedding days and if you need me to stay for some extra time I’m happy to do so at my additionally hourly rate.
How far in advance should I book?
Some couples book as far as 2 years in advance to ensure they get the photographer and vendors they really want for their wedding as I’ll sometimes receive as many as 20 inquiries for a single date. Generally speaking, most couples book 9-15 months in advance, and the further ahead you book the more likely I will be available for your date. If your date isn’t yet set, feel free to drop me a line and find out which days I’m still available before booking your venue!
Can you shoot in rain or bad weather?
Do bears shit in the woods? As a wedding photographer in the Pacific Northwest for more than 10 years, I’ve shot in more than my share of bad weather, I was even featured in an article of Digital Photographer Magazine (UK) for my wet weather wedding work. My equipment is weather sealed and my rain jacket is ready, and I’m happy to help you figure out the additional challenges of unexpected weather on your wedding day. I’m game if you are!
What is your policy for rescheduling due to bad weather?
While I’ve shot in every type of weather out there, my personal aesthetic definitely leans towards warm, sunny days with glowing backlight, crisp shadows and deep silhouettes. For this reason, I’m always willing to reschedule portrait and engagement sessions due to unideal weather. Obviously this isn’t an option with wedding days but I will help you develop a game plan to make the most of your rainy wedding day should it happen. I got married on a pouring wet day in August several years ago and know first hand how unpredictable west coast weather can be, so it’s always good to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. This means ensuring you’ve got a tent(s) available if you’re having an outdoor reception, and can mean sending your cousin to the dollar store to pick up umbrellas on the wedding day. We’ll figure it out!
What happens if you get sick or injured?
This is one of the things I go over with my clients when we read through their contract together. In a decade of doing business, I’ve never missed a wedding for any reason and I intend to keep it that way, but it’s still important to have a plan in place if the unexpected does happen. Because I’ve never missed a wedding, it’s not practical for me to have a full time on call high quality photographer waiting in the wings for me to get injured. So to cover for this I have a broad network of photographers I know personally across BC and North America who I would feel comfortable calling on to cover for me in the event of an emergency, who would provide identical coverage and service to what you were guaranteed in your contract, and if there were any price discrepancy I would bear that cost myself. I’m also a member of several professional organizations that have emergency request systems in place for this exact type of scenario, so in the event of none of the hundreds of quality photographers I know personally being available, I could reach out to my professional organizations to put out a call. Bottom line is, I will never, ever leave any of my clients stranded without a photographer.
How many images are included with your coverage?
Every package includes a guaranteed minimum number of delivered images that works out to around 45 images per hour of shooting. However, this number is an absolute minimum and when deciding which images to deliver I do not work around a target number of delivered images. What this means is that I will never hold back on delivering a good photo because I’ve already reached a quota; If an image is sharp and in focus, well exposed, has good expressions and is NOT a duplicate ( Nobody wants 17 photos that are almost identical but for a 4 degree movement in somebody’s arm ) then I will deliver it. This typically equates to approximately double my guaranteed minimums. Every wedding day is different though and certain variables can mean some weddings end up with more final images than others.
Will you block my guests’ view on the wedding day?
I do my utmost at every wedding to be a photo-ninja and create as little disruption and distraction as possible for your guests. I’m never in the same spot for very long, which allows me to provide a wide variety of angles and perspectives, and ensures that even if I happen to block a guest’s view for 20 seconds, I will not block or impede their experience for any extended period of time. I always check in with my couples to find out their preferences and priorities; Some couples want me to be an invisible fly on the wall, and some want me to get as close as possible for important moments. It’s up to you!
Have you worked with videographers?
Yes and I would love to provide you with some recommendations! I’ve worked with video teams of all varieties and always communicate clearly and positively to ensure we can both capture the imagery that we have promised for you. Sometimes having a video team there will mean they show up in some of your images, that’s unavoidable, but the best videographers know how to work together with photographers as a team to ensure the client receives the best possible experience, images and video.
Do you take any breaks on the wedding day?
The only break I take on the wedding day is a short dinner break, typically no more than 10 minutes. This gives me a chance to refuel and recharge for the rest of the reception. I always extend my coverage by an additional 10 minutes to cover my break time.
Do I need to provide dinner?
Yes, I ask that you provide 2 meals like the ones your guests have for me and my assistant to take our only break. We’re typically seated at a table with guests ( we don't mind filling out the randoms table of guests that don’t fit in to any particular group ;). Vendor tables are fine as well, but if there is a vendor table I ask that it be in the same room as the rest of the dinner if possible, that way if something unexpected or important happens during dinner I won’t be down the hall eating in a storage room and totally unaware of what’s going on. Where possible, it’s best if I can eat at the same time as you and your partner, that way when you’re eating, I’m doing the same and not taking photos of you chewing, and when you’re done and mingling and chatting with guests I'll also be finished my dinner and able to get candid moments of you together with your guests.
Can we go to multiple photo locations on my wedding day?
Absolutely. I will work with you to design the best possible schedule for including the locations you want while maximizing your photo time and ensuring we aren’t spending half the day in the car. This goes for engagement sessions too.
Do you shoot destination weddings?
I LOVE destination weddings. I’ve shot weddings throughout Canada, the US, Mexico, Cuba, Turks & Caicos, Bali and Japan and would love to work with you to find out how you can have incredible photography wherever your wedding adventure takes you. Shooting in new places energizes me creatively and the bonding experience of travelling together is like none other. Every location and destination wedding is different, whether you’re going to Tofino or Tahiti, so contact me for a custom quote!
What do you charge for travel?
Because I love travelling and shooting in new places, I aim to make bringing me to wherever you’re going as accessible as possible. This means I don’t charge you for my travel time, just my direct travel expenses like gas, food, airfare, accommodations etc. Every location is different and travel expenses can vary throughout the year, so contact me for more details.
Do you shoot elopements or only full weddings?
Yes absolutely! I love the intimacy, freedom and flexibility of elopements, and that we can create incredible images out in the wilderness that with a traditional wedding would often be difficult to fit into the schedule. Because most weddings happen on the limited number of Saturdays that tend to have good weather on the west coast, my regular minimum booking for Saturdays is my base wedding package with 5 hours of coverage. Because elopements are typically shorter than the 5 hour minimum, they cannot be booked further than 60 days in advance for Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays. Elopements happening Monday-Thursday can be booked up to 1 year in advance.
What forms of payment do you accept?
I try to make it easy, so I can accept cash, cheques, credit cards through Square, and Interac e-transfers (preferred).
What's your payment structure?
A $1000 deposit is due at the time of booking. 50% of the remaining balance from your package is due 6 months prior to your wedding date, and the final balance is due one week prior to your wedding date. If you’re booking your wedding less than 6 months in advance, the deposit is 50% of the package total and the remainder is due one week prior to your wedding. If the payment structure is the only barrier between you and incredible photos, drop me a line and we may be able to work out a payment structure that works for you, and I also offer a wedding photography gift registry that allows your guests to contribute to your photos!
Do you have recommendations to how to schedule a wedding day?
Absolutely. In fact I prefer it if we can figure out the schedule together. I’ve seen weddings scheduled a hundred different ways and know how much time is typically needed for the various parts of the day and when the light will be best. Everything changes depending on the time of year and the number of guests and the style of wedding, so let’s sit down together a figure out a schedule that maximizes you wedding enjoyment and your photo time! Where possible, I always try to set aside some time for photos with my couples close to sunset on their wedding day for the best possible light.
What do you wear to a wedding?
My aim at every wedding is to blend in as if I were a wedding guest. This typically means dress pants, leather shoes and a collared shirt- never jeans or a t-shirt. I check in with every couple to see how formal their wedding attire expectation is and make sure to match that while still wearing practical enough clothing that it doesn’t impede me from doing my job.
Do you shoot formal and family photos too?
Definitely. If you take a look through my full client galleries you will see family photos at every wedding. While these don’t tend to be the most creative or unique images that typically fill a wedding portfolio, they’re a central and important part of a wedding day and I make sure to photograph every grouping that is important to you. For some couples this means a half dozen groupings, for others it could mean 50, whatever the number is for you I’ll be sure to accommodate that when we schedule your day together.
Are your packages taxed?
My services are subject to the 5% Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST). Because I do not provide a “tangible good” with my services ( digital files instead of physical prints ), they are not subject to the 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST)
Do you work off shot lists?
While I work with every couple to ensure I know and understand their photo priorities for the day, including specific areas of extra attention and focus, and detailed family photo lists for those who require it, I do not work off pre-determined shot lists to look to mimic or copy other photographers’ work. What this means is that you can tell me that your relationship with your grandparents is extra important to you and you would love some photos that highlight that, or that you worked extra hard to hand craft all of your stationary yourself and would love some extra images of it, but don’t provide pre determined or contrived compositions for me to track and mimic throughout the day ( i.e. Full length shot of bride in front of mirror looking over shoulder with mother crying in background ). Many wedding magazines and websites like to provide these lists to help protect couples from inexperienced photographers who don’t know to get images of the flowers, and all the bridesmaids, and you and your mother, and your dance with your father etc. You’re hiring me not only for my technical expertise in creating images, but also for my creative judgement and expertise from a decade of wedding experience in hundreds of weddings determining where to focus my cameras and energy. A detailed a contrived shot list or Pinterest board of photos does not allow me to take in and capture your wedding day as it unfolds, but rather creates a distraction from being present for the unique and unpredictable moments that fill each and every wedding.
Am I allowed to put my photos online?
Of course! I know as well as anyone that the main way people like to share their images these days is online ( But you should 100% get some physical prints made!!! ). I only ask that anywhere that you share my images that you would credit or tag me or my website to provide credit for the artwork I’ve created, and that if uploading to a service like Instagram that you would not apply filters overtop the carefully crafted edits I have provided for you.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations are a tough situation that nobody wants to encounter, but we need to have a plan just in case. Because of the nature of weddings happening primarily on weekends during the warmer part of the year, those dates are valuable and limited, and most wedding bookings happen well in advance and dates cannot typically be filled with a late cancellation. Sometimes I will receive as many as 20 inquiries for a single date, and there’s no way to know from year to year which dates may be twice as popular as the weekend before or after. Once you’ve booked your wedding with me, I turn away all other inquiries for your date and as such I need to be protected in the event of a cancellation for the lost work and revenue. To accommodate all of this as best as possible, while aiming to be fair to both my couples and myself, my cancellation policy is as follows: In the event of a cancellation, if I am unable to fill the date with another booking, no moneys already paid will be refunded. This ties into my payment policy of $1000 booking upfront, 50% of balance due 6 months prior to the wedding, and remaining 50% balance due one week prior to the wedding. Should you happen to cancel more than 6 months in advance of your wedding and I’m unable to fill the date with another booking, all you are out is your deposit, as with this much notice there is a reasonable chance I may be able to book another wedding on the date. If you cancel less than 6 months before the wedding and I’m unable to fill the date with another booking, you are out your deposit and the 50% balance, but are off the hook for the final payment. Should I happen to fill the date after a cancellation with another booking, you will be entitled to a full refund, unless we have already shot your engagement session in which case you will not receive your $1000 deposit back.
How far in the future are you willing you book?
2 years is my maximum lead time for full wedding bookings. Weekend ( Fri, Sat, Sun ) elopements cannot be booked further than 60 days in advance, while elopements taking place on a Monday-Thursday can be booked up to 1 year in advance.
Do you deliver black and white photos?
A small portion of the images I deliver (typically less than 5%) are black and white where I feel it better suits the image, but the vast majority of images I deliver will be in colour.