Being asked to photograph a friend's wedding can be a great honour, but it comes with some caveats. James Reid, a Toronto-based magazine and wedding photographer and owner of Expose Yourself Event Photography, offers advice on what you should consider before saying yes to your friend's request. Plus, find his expert tips on how to take great wedding photos.
Here are 10 secrets to better shots.
Before you say yes: 1. "Don't underestimate the pressure that's on you and decide honestly if you want to photograph the wedding. If the photos aren't great, your friend will never forget it," says Reid.
If you're worried you may not be able to deliver the bridal-magazine shots the couple seems to expect, bow out politely.
2. "Remind the bride and groom that you get what you pay for," says Reid. Tell your friend that even if you take great amateur shots, you're not a professional. It's important to tell the bride and groom that you don't have high-end equipment, technical lighting and an assistant that a professional photographer has at his or her disposal – not to mention their experience with Photoshop, which can make almost any so-so shot look great.
They may want to consider hiring a pro for the "official" shots, and rely on you for candid, behind-the-scenes images. That way they'll get a good mix.
If you've said yes: 3. Find an assistant. "It's always great to have an assistant to carry gear or help wrangle people together [for group shots]," says Reid. Enlist someone you can rely on in advance.
4. "Dress as nicely as you can, but in a way that you can still stand on a ladder or chair. So if you're a woman: no gowns," says Reid. You'll want to think twice about wearing those sky-high heels, too.
Page 1 of 2 – Discover six more expert tips for capturing amazing amateur wedding photographs on page 2. 5. Bring enough memory! "Even if you have to borrow them, bring as many memory cards as you can," advises Reid. You're going to be taking hundreds of shots – maybe even more. You can edit the digital images down later and show the couple the best shots.
Also, shoot in RAW format if your camera can. It may use more memory, but the shots will be better quality, says Reid.
6. Get the shot. And then shoot it again. "The most important thing is to shoot way more than you think you need. You will have a group of people in their nicest outfits that may never be together again for another 20 years," says Reid.
"Be confident that you got a shot with no one blinking. Shoot and shoot. Overshoot, and edit later," he adds.
7. Take similar shots. Captured a great image like the bride's mother arranging her daughter's veil? "Shoot it three more times in three different ways," says Reid.
Try a different angle. Zoom in or out. Change your setting. That way you can guarantee you've captured a perfect moment.
8. "Shoot items the bride and groom spent a lot of money on," advises Reid. Think still life images of the wedding cake, place settings, floral arrangements and the bride's shoes.
"They've spent a lot of time planning all the details, so it would be a shame not to capture them," says Reid.
9. Avoid direct sun when shooting outdoors. "If you're out on a bright day, try to find an area of open shade where the subject isn't in direct sun, but is still brightly lit by the sky. This prevents harsh shadows on their face," says Reid.
"If direct sun is unavoidable, try using a flash. It fills in the dark circles under eyes," he adds.
10. Always take group shots. "Sometimes the bride will say she doesn't want group shots. But she will," says Reid. For great group images:
• Scan the faces in the group to make sure everyone's visible.
• Get everyone to stand closer, even if they're already close.
• Tell them if they can't see the camera, it can't see them.
• "Shoot a minimum of six frames per group shot. Shoot it all now because you won't have the chance again," warns Reid.
Keep those toes nice and warm this winter with this super simple knit.
Keep your tootsies toasty with a cozy pair of hand-knitted socks that are sure to be the favourite pair in your drawer. This easy (and free!) pattern is knit in Fine Tweed Yarn, which is made up of a mix of superfine alpaca, soft merino wool and viscose for warm and soft sock.
Knitting Tips: The Anthony Socks are an intermediate level pattern, and a great first foray into knitting socks. You'll have lots of practice picking up stitches, purling and knitting in the round on double pointed needles. Don't be intimidated by the heel, it isn't as hard as you think. By the time you finish the first sock, you'll be tackling the second with confidence and excitement.
Materials: - 1 skein (Women's size S, M, L), 2 skeins ( Men's S, M, L) of Americo Fine Tweed (25% Superfine alpaca / 55% Merino Wool/ 20% Viscose) 100g / 465 yards (425 m) - 2.5 mm (US 1) set of 4 or 5 Double-pointed NeedlesNOTE: if you prefer a denser fabric, you can use 2.25 mm needles. Socks will be slightly smaller, but not significantly - Yarn needle or crochet hook - Stitch holder
Note about the yarn:Americo Fine Tweed is available through Americo Original online and at select yarn stores. You can substitute for other fingering weight yarns in your stash. Remember that you will need 1 skein for women's size S, M, L and 2 skeins for men's S, M, L.
Gauge: 36 stitches and 44 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in stocking stitch using 2.5 mm (US 1) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge.
Abbreviations and Terminology: K, k: knit P, p: purl Rib: Rib (bed), ribbing – a pattern stitch – has vertical columns of knit and purl stitches, side by side, with elastic properties. Examples: (K1, P1) aka 1 x 1 ribbing; (K2, P2) aka 2 x 2 ribbing etc. k2t (slant to R): Knit 2 together - Insert the needle into the front of the 2 knit stitches from left to right. Draw the yarn through to the front knitwise, and drop both stitches from the needle. p2t (slant to R):Purl 2 together - Insert the R needle into the front of the next 2 stitches, from R to L. Draw yarn through both stitches purlwise and drop these stitches from the needle. ssk (slant to L): Slip-Slip-Knit - Slip 2 stitches knit wise onto the R needle. Insert L needle into the front of both slipped stitches and draw yarn through to the front. Drop both stitches from the needle. DPN(s): double pointed needle(s) - A needle with points at both ends; used in sets of used singly or in sets or 4 or 5, for knitting in the round; also used for working narrow pieces of knitting, or for cable patterns Grafting: Hold the needles parallel with the purl sides facing each other and the needle tips pointing in the same direction. Thread a tapestry needle with a tail of yarn long enough to get across the entire row of stitches that are being grafted. Before you begin grafting you need to do two actions to set up for the technique one time only. First: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the needle closest to you as if to purl it and pull the yarn through leaving the stitch on the needle. Second: Insert the needle into the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit the stitch. Leave the stitch on the needle and pull your yarn through. Now you are ready to follow the 4-step technique called grafting: Step 1: Insert the tapestry needle into the first stitch on the front needle knitwise, and slip the stitch off the needle. Step 2: Insert the needle into the next stitch on the front needle purlwise and leave it on the needle. Pull the length of yarn through gently. Step 3: Insert needle into the first stitch on the back needle purlwise, and slip it off the end of the needle. Step 4: Insert the tapestry needle into the next stitch on the back needle knitwise and leave it on the needle. Pull the length of yarn through gently. Repeat these four steps for a few inches / cm. End at the end of your steps so you know where to start up again. Use a crochet hook to adjust the tension of the yarn you have been weaving through the stitches to match your gauge. Continue to end. Tip: I find an easy way to remember what I am doing after the initial set up row is to say over and over: Knit 1 slip it off, purl 1 leave it on, purl 1-slip it off, knit 1 leave it on. Eventually you just remember what you are doing.
Finished Foot Circumference: Woman's S, Woman's M, Women's L, Man's S, Man's M, Man's L 7.5 8* 8.5 9 9.5 10 inches 19 20.5 21.5 23 24 25.5 cm
Instructions: Leg: Using a 2.5 mm (US 1) size needles, cast on 68(72, 76, 80, 84, 88). For a stretchy cast on, we used the Twisted German Cast on for our sample. Instructions for it can be found here. Alternatively, you can use a long tail cast on using a needle one size larger for the cast on only. Arrange stitches as evenly as possible on 3 DPN's. Place marker and join, being careful not to twist the stitches.
Work k2, p2 ribbing until piece measures 3 inches (7.5 cm). Now work in stocking stitch, until piece measures 8 inches (20.5 cm), or desired length, from the beginning.
Heel: Knit across 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) stitches. Turn work, and purl across 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44) stitches. These are the heel stitches.
Place the remaining 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44) stitches on a spare needle or stitch holder to be worked later (called Instep stitches ).
Heel Flap (using the Eye of Partridge stitch pattern) Work back and forth on the heel stitches as follows: Row1: (RS) *Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in back (wyib), k1: rep from *. Row 2:(WS) Slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front (wyif), purl to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2 until the following number of rows have been worked 34(36, 38, 40, 42, 44)
There will be 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) chain selvedge stitches on both edges of your work.
Turn Heel: Row 1 (RS): Knit across, 19(20, 21, 22, 23, 24) stitches, ssk, k1, turn work. Row 2 (WS): Slip 1 purlwise, purl 5, p2t, p1, turn. Row 3 (RS): Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before gap, ssk (1 stitch from each side of gap), k1, turn. Row 4(WS): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before gap, p2tog (1 stitch from each side of gap), p1, turn.
Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all heel stitches have been worked, ending with a WS row.
There will remain 20(20, 22, 22, 24, 24) stitches.
Heel Gusset: Knit across all heel stitches and, with same dpn (needle 1), pick up and knit: 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) stitches, along the selvedge edge of heel flap: with another dpn, (needle 2) work across the held instep stitches; with another dpn (needle 3), pick up and knit: 17(18, 19, 20, 21, 22) stitches along the other side of the heel, and knit across half of the heel stitches. Total stitches: 88(92, 98, 102, 108, 112) stitches.
The round now begins at the Centre Back Heel:
Round 1: Knit to the last 3 stitches on needle 1, K2tog, k1; knit across all instep stitches on needle 2; at beginning of needle 3, k1, ssk, knit to end - 2 gusset stitches have been decreased.
Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there remain: 68(72, 76, 80, 84, 88) stitches.
Foot: Work even in stocking stitch until piece measures from the back of heel: 6.5(7.5, 8, 8, 8.5, 9) inches [ 16.5, (19, 20.5, 20.5, 21.5, 23) cm ]OR about 1.75(2, 2, 2.25, 2.25, 2.5) inches [4.5(5, 5, 5.5, 5,5) cm ] less than desired total foot length.
Toe: Round 1: Needle 1- knit to last 3 stitches, k2t, k1; Needle 2- k1, ssk, knit to last 3 stitches, k2t, k1; Needle 3- k1, ssk, knit to end (4 toe stitches decreased). Round 2: Knit.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there remain: 32(36, 40, 40, 44, 44) stitches.
Repeat Round 1 only until there remain 12 stitches for all sizes.
Knit the stitches from Needle 1 onto Needle 3. There will now be 6 stitches on each of the two needles. Cut yarn leaving an 18 inch (46cm) tail. Graft the two sides of the toe together.
Finishing: Sew in all loose ends.
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop with its own line of quality yarns, knitwear patterns and accessories. Americo’s yarns are made exclusively in the Andean highlands of South America, using only natural fibres, including luxurious wool, llama, alpaca, cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo and its in-house design lab are based in Toronto, offering international shipping from its online store: americo.ca/shop.
On Hollywood's biggest night (aka the Oscars) the stars always look incredible. Here are our favourite looks and trends from the 2017 Academy Awards.
Our favourite red carpet dresses from the 2017 Oscars ranged from red hot (Ruth Negga) to classic (Taraji P. Henson) to super romantic (Hailee Steinfeld). See our favourite looks from the Academy Awards below.
Ruth Negga in custom Valentino
Image by: Getty Images
Negga, who is nominated for her role in Loving, paired a demure dress silhouette with a fiery colour. We love the lace detailing on her custom Valentino gown—which she paired with Irene Neuwirth jewellery (including that incredible crown. That blue ribbon she accessorized her dress with? It’s to show her solidarity with the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union).
Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo
Image by: Getty Images
This dress is the most romantic. With pastel colours, metallic florals, a delicate scalloped neckline and soft flowy fabric, Hailee Steinfeld is the picture of feminine romance. Good thing she paired this stunning dress with a smoky eye to keep things young and modern.
Olivia Culpo in Marchesa
Image by: Getty Images
Culpo not only wore a stunning custom gown from Marchesa, the gown was made in collaboration with Stella Artois to benefit Water.org. We especially love the fringe detailing and that delicate black bow at the waist.
Octavia Spencer in Marchesa
Image by: Getty Images
Spencer looked stunning in this silver, feathery dress by Marchesa. The feathers look artful—not gimmicky—and the colour is gorgeous. Take notes people, because this is how you embrace texture on the red carpet.
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
Image by: Getty Images
We love this plunging neckline on Michelle Williams—and the fact that she swapped her usual column gown for this softer silhouette. The two tone blocking isn’t something we usually see on the red carpet, but to combo of classic black and soft golden shimmer are subtly elegant.
Viola Davis in Armani Prive
Image by: Getty Images
We’re suckers for a stunning red dress—so Viola Davis’ off-the-shoulder number is one of our faves. The neckline is super flattering to her toned arms and she wisely chooses to let that colour own the look by keeping hair, makeup and accessories simple. Bravo.
Busy Phillips in Stella McCartney
Image by: Getty Images
More velvet on the red carpet! This strapless hunter green dress is so flattering on Busy Phillips. The polka dot panelling and rounded neckline make this simple silhouette much more interesting.
Emma Stone in Givenchy
Image by: Getty Images
Stone goes for the gold (a trending colour) at the 2017 Oscars. This delicate and detailed (That fringe! The beading!) column gown isn’t as risqué as past red carpet choices for the actress—but of course she stuns in just about anything. Is anyone else getting old Hollywood vibes? Applause all around for this outstanding look.
Not many women can pull off a dress the same colour as their skin tone, but Nicole Kidman is a red carpet pro—so she does it effortlessly. The delicate beading and 90s-era neckline have us swooning over this Armani Prive gown.
Taraji P. Henson in Alberto Ferretti
Image by: Getty Images
Sometimes sinple is best. Henson wore a simple navy velvet dress (yes, we know it looks black) with a high slit and off-the-shoulder neckline. She complemented her almost-LBD with a stunning diamond necklace. Simple, elegant and drop dead gorgeous.
Charlize Theron in Dior Couture
Image by: Getty Images
Metallic and gold were clear winners on the red carpet tonight, so it makes sense that the always-stunning Theron would embrace the trend. We love the deep neckline and pleating of this stunning dress.
We're sharing a few simple (and manageable!) tips to make your kitchen feel clutter-free.
1. Keep tabs: Check your pantry for expired cans or jars and discard them. Then, combine any duplicates from what's left and store similar items together. This will help you have a better grasp of your kitchen inventory at a quick glance and make you less likely to purchase an item you actually already have on hand.
2. Find your match: Empty your tupperware drawer and match every container to its lid, getting rid of ones that don't have one. Most of us hold up hope that missing items will show up weeks after they've been lost, but when it comes to tupperware, that rarely seems to be the case! Taking a few minutes to edit your collection every month makes it easier to make the most of what you have available.
3. Know your favourites: Reevaluating your countertop real estate is primordial. Only the items that you use daily (or very often) deserve that prime spot. Items used less than once a week should be tucked into drawers and cupboards.
4. Be picky: Do you really use that egg slicer? Was that grapefruit spoon a useful buy? Take a few minutes to ask yourself whether you could part with those specialty gadget impulse buys. Give those items to a friend or relative who might enjoy them or donate them to a local charity.
Featuring Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep and more!
Pair red carpet veterans such as Amy Adams and Emma Stone with fashion’s newest “it girl", Ruth Negga, and you’ve got yourself a highly entertaining awards season. It all culminates with Hollywood’s biggest night, the Academy Awards, and we’re on pins and needles to see which fabulous gown the Oscar-nominated actresses will wear. Here are some recent runway looks that we would love to see have their own red carpet moment.
Although Adams isn’t nominated for her role in the sci-fi box office smash, Arrival, the movie itself earned eight nominations, including best picture.
Adams almost always strikes all the right notes on the red carpet while favouring Veronica Lake waves and body-conscious gowns in a jewel tone hues.
We think the 42-year-old will go for something a little more subdued because of the lack of a nomination. We’re banking on a black staples column gown, similar to this Armani Privé beauty from the spring/summer collection.
We’re keeping a close eye on the Ethiopian-Irish actress who's been nominated for her portrayal of Mildred Loving in Loving. Negga wowed us all at this year’s Golden Globes when she showed up in a fitted silver sequined Louis Vuitton gown, complete with a gold centre zipper.
Although we haven’t seen a lot of her at big fashion events, from the looks of things she’s a risk taker and she adores a good embellishment such as lace, beading or sequins. We’re thinking she’ll show up in something covered in lace with glittering embellishments, like this gown from Givenchy pre-fall 2017.
Nominated for best leading role in LaLa Land, Stone is the favourite to take home the little gold man, along with slaying it on the red carpet.
Not only does she always nail it on the big screen, but her gown and hair and makeup selections are always top notch. But the best thing about Stone’s red carpet style is she’s never boring, always shaking up her gown and designer selections. This award season alone we’ve seen her in Chanel, Valentino and Alexander McQueen. We’re feeling a floral vibe with a wee bit of colour and tons of tulle, like this Zuhair Murad gown.
This year Streep became the actor with the most Academy Award nominations ever—her nom for Florence Foster Jenkins bumps it up to 20! Meaning, she broke her own record.
Though Streep is much more known for her acting chops than her red carpet moments, she’s always true to her own esthetic. She's been spotted wearing Givenchy at the last few red carpet events, but we think she’ll try something else, something dramatic and simple, like this cape-back silky gown from Valentino.
From architectural masterpieces to classic old Hollywood glamour, the Academy Award winner and nominated (this year for Jackie) star has had some stand-out red carpet moments.
At the Golden Globes this year the expectant mom breezed onto the red carpet in a vintage-esque sunny Prada gown. Portman channelled Kennedy Onassis with a modern take on the former first lady’s iconic bouffant, classic makeup and wore a dress similar to a yellow frock that she once wore to the Metropolitan Opera House in 1975.
Although she’ll likely be wearing a custom gown because of how far along she is in her pregnancy, we think it will be less saturated and more glittery, something with an empire waist and a centred slit, like this sequinned-embellished georgette Zuhair Murad gown.
Williams, who is nominated for best-supporting actress for her role in Manchester by the Sea has been owning the red carpet all season long. She’s the current celeb spokesperson for Louis Vuitton so we know she’ll likely be clad in one of the French fashion houses gowns.