Hello! I am Amanda Lachapelle - documentary wedding photographer located in the heart of the Niagara region. I love - love and use my photography to focus on real moments; capturing the deep connections between my clients and their families and the love shared by all. 

How long have you been working in the industry? 10 years this October!

What makes your business unique? No, but seriously photography is such a funny thing - poses can be copied, the way a photographer processes a photo can be imitated but the one thing that can't be duplicated is the photographer's point of view. I approach the day with my own unique life view I am a mom, a (very happy) wife, a daughter, a big sister, a storyteller and use these points of view to try and interpret my clients story with my whole heart. I want to give my clients photos that they can look back and really *feel* the love present on their wedding day. I want them to remember taking that breath before walking down the aisle, I want to give them photos embracing their parents and grandparents, I want clients to see how happy they were as they walked into their reception or had their first dance and how full of love the room was. These images aren't just meant to be timeless pieces of their history together but they are also touchstones. Marriage is a long journey and I want to create images for the hard days that remind you how much you love each other and how on that day you were surrounded by love and support. 

Favourite part of your business? People and their motivations, loves, desires and behaviour have always been interesting to me. I love meeting new clients and getting to know whats important to them, hearing their love story and in some cases their life story and then getting a chance to tell that story. I love meeting their Grandmas and Poppys and hearing about how they fell in love, I love seeing the parents of the Groom who have been married for 35 years kissing like teenagers on the dance floor, I love Brides and Grooms who dance, laugh, and love without abandon - not caring who is looking or what anyone thinks. This is the reason I get up in the morning is to meet these people and hope to be lucky enough to be there to tell their story.

What inspires you? Love , laughter and light - the first two are emotions that motivate the feelings behind the photographs I take and then there is another side of me that is inspired when I find a great patch of light that highlights or enhances the emotions in the image. I like to use them all together to create storytelling images that my clients love. 

Who is your mentor/hero in the industry? I have close photography friends in the area who I respect and admire (Ang & Dan from Gemini Photography, Morgan Falk, and Shane and Jenny Reed {Reed Photo} ) who are not only doing the most wonderful and beautiful work but are really awesome people. Industry wide I have learned a lot from Lisa Mark (Lisa Mark Photography) - she has been a fantastic inspiration and a completely open book. She is not only an accomplished and amazing photographer but she is real as can be. Truthfully though my true heroes are the people I've never heard of. The ones doing this every weekend without any kind of recognition - whose souls and insides are on fire for this job and when I stumble upon their work it takes my breath away but no one even knows who they are - it's not about the limelight or pats on the back - its about the love and the work.

On your day off...where will we find you? In real life you'd probably find me with my sleeves up - chasing after one of my boys, maybe in the kitchen cooking (I love experimenting without recipes) or perhaps canning/preserving with my husband, cuddling up with him and watching some tv or barefoot in the garden. In my dreams I'd be in a hammock with a good book on a sunny summer day by the lake. Before I had children I was always reading and now it is a guilty pleasure I only really get to indulge in - in my off season. There's nothing better than getting lost in a really great book!

If you weren't a wedding photographer, what would your dream job be? My dream job would be something in music I think - I grew up in a very musical family. I played clarinet for 11 years, I was always a part of choir (in church and at school), I love karaoke and usually know what song it is within hearing the first 15 seconds of any song. Perhaps I'd be a DJ but really I have always thought talent discovery would be fun - going to clubs or shows and listening to artists; trying to find the next big thing or even picking music that fit the mood of a tv show or movie. 

What great wedding trends are you seeing this year? Smaller and more intimate weddings - a large portion of my contacts this year it would seem that the trend is going more towards intimate affairs that allow couples to have everything that want without compromise. Smaller weddings also allows them to really spend time with each and every guest. 

Do you have any practical advice for couples planning a wedding? Breathe, stay off Pinterest, remember what it's really about. List your priorities and don't be afraid to remind yourself about what they are throughout the process - its easy to get swept up in planning and comparing with what someone else had. Take the day for yourself and enjoy it and I mean really enjoy it; cry, dance, laugh, hug people and smile ALOT. Don't worry about any foibles or flaws - move on and keep reminding yourself to stay present in your day. Look around at the faces of your guests, your family and your partner and try to really take it all in.