The Prosperity Stories: Lauren McCormick Photography

August 19, 2023

Meet Lauren McCormick and Erik Zijdemands. Together they have built a collection of brands in the wedding industry, including Ottawa Elopements and Calm & Collective. We asked them to share their Prosperity Story, and you can read their answers below.

What sets you apart from your peers and differentiates your company, and how do you feel that has helped you succeed?

Delivering an excellent client experience is at the core of everything we do. On a deeply strategic level we believe that good wedding photography does not only mean delivering high-quality wedding photos, but also an incredible client experience. 

We believe every client deserves this in a wedding photographer, which has led to us starting Calm & Collective, a wedding photography collective built upon these same values. One photographer can only shoot so many weddings in a season. By teaming up, we are able to provide over 100 clients with our approach to wedding photography every single year.

How do you build a trusting relationship with the client?

We provide support that goes beyond the scope of what we’re hired for. Before a wedding day, we help with the planning since that directly impacts what we do (ie keeping the timeline on track helps to deliver great photos and ensure our clients get the imagery that they want). On a wedding day, we try to go above and beyond to exceed expectations and further instil trust. For example, we carry an emergency kit with us everywhere we go. We often step into roles we weren't initially hired for (like pinning boutonnieres, or making sure our couples eat, etc). After the wedding day, we make sure to always stick to what we promised our clients and deliver their photos to them as soon as humanly possible, since we understand how exciting it is to see the photos of one of the biggest days of their lives!

How can you help clients stay on budget?

Right from the very first interaction with our clients, we ask thorough questions to ensure we advise them on the best package that suits their needs. We don’t ever try to sell to people, we consult them on the best wedding photography solution for their day. We also have a thorough run through of their timeline before their wedding day to ensure we have enough time to capture everything they want (and not need to charge for extra hours due to unforeseen events).

How would you describe your photography style? 

Our photography style is candid and documentary to the core, keeping everything as it was intentionally thought out to be and preserving moments in time. Through a deep connection with our clients, a strong ability to empathize, and a knack for anticipating moments, we're able to capture people being exactly who they are – as if we're not even in the room. Our couples aren’t thinking about having their photo taken, or how they’re standing. They’re experiencing the moment as it happens and feeling comfortable expressing their emotions in a deep, connective way. This allows us to capture the pauses; the hidden moments between heartbeats, and the “in-between” candids that truly depict the couple’s chemistry and tells the story of their day.

What is the wildest 'wedding planner' request you have had for a wedding?

We once photographed a Biplane elopement, where the couple recited their vows on the tarmac of an airstrip, and jetted off afterwards in a biplane as newlyweds! Lauren trailed them as a passenger in a second plane in order to capture photographs of the couple up in the air. To do this was quite challenging: we removed the door of the second (photography) airplane in order to give Lauren the space she needed to lean out of the plane door to get the right shots and angles.

Published by TAAG Corporation

©TAAG Corporation 2023

Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0)

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