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Wedding InterviewsWeddings

Callum Pinkney Photography Created high-energy images that easily fit into place with quiet, peaceful portraits at Gillian and Daniel’s Berkeley Church Wedding

 “At each and every wedding, my vision is to not only photograph the day in an honest perspective, refusing to repeat what I have done or have seen before, but I also try to ingrain the energy I feel from the day. These wedding photographs have done that beautifully, perfectly. Take your time looking at this Berkeley Church Wedding venue Toronto. It was a special day.” Callum Pinkney Photography
What three words best describe Gillian and Daniel’s wedding and how did you respond with your photography?

Energy, Laughter, Unpredictable. Before Gillian and Daniel’s wedding, they focused on making sure I was ready to have a good time. I responded by preparing myself to create high-energy images that easily fit into place with quiet, peaceful portraits. I wanted to really balance their energy in the full wedding collection, not just when it was obvious. The photos show lots of hidden energy or unpredictability in an otherwise unsuspecting photograph.

What are some of the advantages of having shot in the Berkeley Church before?

The Berkeley Church always surprises me with the ways I can photograph it, and depending on the style and setup the church can look completely different. The pure advantages of already knowing the Berkeley Church pays off in spades; I know the spots that I consider ‘classic’ portrait and places I should return to later in the evening for more creative pursuits. Knowing how the lighting will fall at Berkeley gives you the time to really hone in on your subject and what you want to accomplish visually.
Your photography has a fantastic equilibrium where your view at times challenges the notion of beauty. An example is the shot with Gillian and her bouquet where the urban brick ground, the bride and the bouquet all weigh in as beautiful. What are your thoughts on this?
Interestingly, that little cove in front of the church is my favourite. The colour contrast between the red brick and green brick on the ground allows for interesting shots, especially with floral pieces.
The creative portraits you created of Gillian and Daniel in their spaces getting ready create rich views into their lives and results in  a time capsule for them to see where they were at the moment they got married. What is your approach when taking these pictures?
Creating a natural perspective with relevant details is so important to my work. A bride and grooms energy really dictates the way I may look to portray them through composition, perspective, or even with many or minimal details. For example with Daniel, he can go from calm, collected and deeply intense, and do a 180 within moments to break out into dance, song or hilarious joke. His two portraits, one near a light, and the other outside showcase him in both ways, and creating that authentic representation is the approach I try to remain focused on.
How do you take pictures during a wedding reception that are meaningful to the couple?
To photograph meaningfully for a couple during the reception, I think it is important to briefly take a moment to consider the couples’ natural energy and personality, and also the previous hours of the day. A wedding reception is a cocktail of one part emotion and other part energy. It is the period in a wedding day that creates balance to the sensual, quiet, and romantic ceremony of the day.
In wedding photography, the camera is in essence a visual mirror to a couples’ day and with that I simply try to aim my mirror in the right direction. Giving a couple photographs that reflect them in an honest way, bursting with energy or solemn and dignified, is my ultimate goal. What you see in Gillian and Daniel’s wedding reception is raw energy with friends and family, but really deep love between each other that is fun and spontaneous, as seen in the reactions to stories and jokes.
The photographs of the decor and setting of the wedding make the viewer feel like they are a guest at the wedding. How did you do this?
The part of wedding photography that I become frustrated with the most as an observer is the disconnect. What I truly want from wedding photography is the feeling of being present, even when viewing from thousands of km’s away. With that, you often see me alongside guests as opposed to shooting from far away.
Decor, especially at tables, is so tactile. They are pieces that guests touch to connect them. I always look to photograph decor that isolates the decor in a positive way, begging for a tactile response even if you cannot touch the decor.
The angles and composition you use for the wedding ceremony in the mezzanine at the Berkeley Church capture the essence of the moment while still leaving space so as to not spoil the mystery and intimacy of the moment. What was your approach?
The mezzanine at Berkeley is one of my favourites as a Toronto Wedding Photographer. The light that emits from the big windows creates not just beautiful symmetry but gorgeous possibilities for alternative angles. It is really easy to photograph a ceremony on the mezzanine from the balcony side, but I really wanted to force myself to provide angles that demanded intimacy and mystery to some of the ceremony. Thankfully, I was able to curl myself behind the wedding party and remove major distractions with angles that I do not think Gillian or Daniel would have thought to see their own wedding from. Ultimately, it paid off and instead of the angle that was easy and shot a hundred times before, I captured moments with unique perspectives.
Who are your favourite photographers and why?
I wish I had just one favourite photographer, it would make this answer so much easier. I try to draw creative vision from all forms of art, movies and of course photographers. In the last couple years my favourite creatives have been Dan Winters, Annie Lebovitz, Wes Anderson, Tim Burton, Andrew Wyeth to name a few.
If the Berkeley Church could talk what would it say to you as a photographer?
Berkeley was built in 1871; first and for a century a working church, briefly as a film studio, and later as we know it an event space. If Berkeley could talk, I imagine it would have fascinating stories of a lifetime observing all walks of life. Within, surely, would be a reminder of a Canadian history, and the culmination of so many cultures coming together to form the make up of the country and the city today.
You talk about the necessity of revealing a glimpse into who a person is in your photography. How did you so effectively photography Gillian and Daniel?
The most essential way into revealing a glimpse of a person in photography is to be honest about the emotion you’re showing. Important moments are not always about the big smile, or the weeping at the first dance.
During Gillian’s first look with her dad, there is a photograph as he enters the room and in that very frame you can see both excitement in movement from dad, and an honest moment of nervousness from Gillian. The fleeting nervousness in that moment for Gillian may have felt like hours, and you can see the deep breath she takes just a moment before, preparing to reveal her wedding dress to her dad. The photographs following provide more context, a beautiful, honest reveal of a bride and father with a close bond.