In conversation with Toronto wedding photographer Alixandra Gould about Cara and Adam’s intimate wedding at La Maquette wedding venue Toronto.
How would you describe the look and feel of this lovely Toronto wedding?
This my absolute favourite type of wedding day. It was a tasteful, intimate wedding. It had so many beautiful, creative touches and you could tell that everyone in attendance truly loved the couple. Everything was perfectly planned in advance (Cara had the best itinerary EVER) so they were able to have the relaxed vibe they wanted.
How did you arrive at the stylistic choices for the look and feel of the wedding shoot with the couple?
Everything about this wedding was natural and uncontrived. I tried to reflect that in the photos by taking as many candid shots as possible, and keeping it simple with the portraits and detail shots. As with most weddings I photograph, I want the images to stand the test of time, so I strive for a classic style.
How would you describe Cara’s wedding dress choice and how did you use it as a visual cue for your beautiful photography?
Oh that dress! It’s so lovely when a bride steps outside the box a bit with her dress as it adds so much personality to the day. When I saw it, I knew this gal had style. That vintage, classic, old Hollywood look inspired me to incorporate as much of that aesthetic as I could.
Maquette has a distinct Art Deco historical style. How did you incorporate this stylistically into your photography?
As much as I could! Like the dress, the venue has a very distinct look to it. Why would you ever just photograph the bouquet on a chair when you could photograph it on an antique table with a vintage, French poster in the background? Couples choose venues like Maquette because they offer something a little different, so as a photographer, you need to honour that by including it in the collection of images. It’s all part of the visual narrative.
Cara and Adam’s wedding ceremony on the patio of Maquette had a garden inspired romantic theme. How did you accentuate this in your photography?
It’s such a unique little nook in the city, and it feels like a bit of a secret garden where no one can see you expect your close family and friends. I tried to accentuate the beautiful brick walls, iron gates and pretty garden as backdrop to the vows. Where the ceremony happens is a big part of the wedding narrative, and deserves to be highlighted.
How do you master the art of using the available natural light in the setting to achieve your beautiful results?
Natural light is EVERYTHING to my style. But not all natural light is equal. We did the couple’s photos when the sun was very strong in mid day, and although it makes for a great atmosphere, mid-day light is a nightmare if you’re a photographer. So putting them in the shade was the best option to diffuse the light. St. James Church helped with that. As the sun went down, we were able to get a few beautiful backlit shots as well. Because the ceremony space is sheltered, it’s perfect for softening the natural light as well. And then the big windows let beautiful rays stream into the reception area, which is rare. I do my little happy dance when I see a reception area with big windows.
You chose stunning iconic locations in the venues downtown core location for some day of portraits. How did you source these settings and how do they add to the overall look of the wedding story?
Cara and Adam live in the neighbourhood, so it was important to them to include the local scenery. St. James Park provided a lot of what we needed. It has that visually interesting mix when the city meets green space. And it actually represented something about them, which is such a nice personal touch.
You do a beautiful job of creating a balanced and symmetrical look within the boundaries of your photographs. What is your process for selecting what is inside the frame?
The first thing I look for is light. I’d take great light over a not-so-great backdrop any day. But once I find that light, I make sure that everything in the frame guides you towards what’s important. That’s usually the couple but not always. There are framing devices everywhere: doorways, trees, arches, window frames, table arrangements, whatever. I leave out any unnecessary elements as they can be distracting.
What is the biggest creative influence in your life?
My wonderful clients, hands down. They inspire me every single weekend to do something new, creative, and beautiful. Their individual personalities and couple vibes allow me bring a fresh perspective to every wedding.
How do you ensure your photographs tell the full wedding story of a couples big day?
A photographer’s job is more than creating a collection of beautiful photos. It’s our job to create a visual narrative of the day with all it’s emotions, details, big moments and little moments. It’s important to discover what the overarching narrative or theme is, and make sure you represent that in the photos you choose to create (and the ones you choose to leave out). You need to have an intention for your images.
Photographer : Alixandra Gould Photography
Florist: Stok Floral and Design
Make up and Hair: Blushing Beauty
Officient: Denis LaBuick
Entertainment: Chris Lobo/DJ Teen Wolf (Alright Hear This)
Dress: Sottero and Midgley and Kleinfeld
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Grooms suit: Indochino
Cake: Brazil Bakery and Pastry
Invitations: Paperless Post