Edmonds & Mckinlay Photography share their unique process behind capturing Carlie and Mark’s sparkle and glam themed Stunning Airship37 wedding.
What jumps out is the bright beautiful quality of your images. The whole wedding appears to have a heightened almost surreal feel to it, much like a style shoot while still being very natural and relaxed. How did you achieve this?
Thanks for the kind words! Part of our job as photographers is to make sure that not only the couple looks amazing but that their surroundings works well with what they’re wearing and doing. Although we’d like to, we certainly can’t take ALL the credit for that though. Carlie and Mark planned the decor for their wedding in a really striking, visually interesting way. The dresses (both Carlie’s and her bridesmaids) were gorgeous and the colours (navy) worked well with the surroundings, both at the hotel where we took their portraits and at Airship37.
Airship37 can be a very dramatic venue with its high ceilings, ample natural light and the freedom to create any environment for an event due to its open concept industrial structure. How do these attributes contribute to the success of your beautiful wedding pictures of Carlie and Mark?
The great thing about Airship 37 is exactly that – loaded with natural light, bright because of the light walls and nice high ceilings which makes the space feel like a blank canvas. It’s basically a photographers dream! Between the amount of light available and the bright, simple yet striking decor that Carlie and Mark planned, we were set up for a stunning celebration.
What are the main goals you have when setting out to capture a wedding with your cameras?
Our main goal when we photograph a wedding is always to capture the people we’re photographing as who they truly are (while looking their best, as folks do at a wedding!). Most people we photograph are not models in high-fashion photoshoots as their day job, and who wants to look back on their wedding and not recognize themselves because they were posed in a way they would never normally be? We make it our mission to help them look good and feel confident, but also capture the true essence of them and their relationship on their big day.
You captured the exhuberance and joy of the event so completely with your candid photographs. How do you manage to get these moments?
Thank you! It’s a compliment to hear that it came across so clearly because it’s one of the things we aim to capture throughout the day. It mainly involves mingling and people watching. We look for genuine moments happening between the guests, and try to include enough context in the photos to give it some character and flair. Trying to capture people at their finest in the midst of a celebration is a great part of our job – it’s hard not to love what we do!
The wedding of Carlie and Mark at Airship37 had a very sophisticated elegance to it with just the right amount of sparkle and glitter. Your photographs highlight this atmosphere perfectly. How important is it for the photographer (like yourself) to understand the couple’s vision for the overall look and feel of their wedding?
Personally we think it’s very important. We met with Carlie and Mark to chat about their vision for the day and the photography (as we do with all clients) and it was clear to us that they were going for a more edgy, editorial feel to their day. Knowing these details ahead of time helps us to ensure we get the types of photos they’re looking for. In this case, sparkle and glam!
This quote on your website is so interesting and well thought out. How do you feel this philosophy played out in the wedding of Carlie and Mark? “I turned my interest towards capturing the moments that people really want to remember. Now, nothing makes me happier than hearing from my clients that I was able to capture a moment just as they remembered it, or that my photo showed someone as they truly were.”
Great question! And I LOVE that this quote actually came into play in its truest form at Carlie and Mark’s wedding. There was a moment at the end of their (beautiful!) ceremony when the officiant introduced the couple as husband and wife for the first time and Carlie gave a fist pump and let out a ‘Whoop!’ That moment put a huge smile on my face and I was so happy when I was looking through my photos later and saw that we’d caught that moment on film.
You select a few pictures to present in black and white versus colour. What pre-empts this choice?
It really depends on the photo – there are a few reasons why we might prefer black and white over color. Sometimes there are distracting lights or objects in the background that really stand out in color, but aren’t as noticeable in black and white. Sometimes the texture of a black and white photo amplifies an expression on someone’s face, or a moment taking place. Black and white can do a really nice job of accentuating a moment and quieting the surroundings, while still allowing the surroundings to give the moment context.
What is the shot you are the happiest about that you took at this wedding if you had to pick one?
My personal favourite shot from the day was of the ring-bearer (Jagger, the groom’s nephew) coming down the aisle. Jagger had been SUCH a good sport all day with the photo taking and we could tell that he was starting to get a bit tired by the time of the evening ceremony. But when he was walking proudly down the aisle, you could just tell that he was ecstatic to have this special role in his Uncle Mark’s day and I think that happiness was captured in the photo.
There are some great close up shots of the couple and the guests that show the emotion of the wedding in their expressions. You have to be comfortable to get in there. Is this ability something you cultivated?
Thank you! And, great question! Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that we have certainly become more comfortable with getting up close and personal during a wedding day, for the sake of capturing a gorgeous shot. I get a lot closer now than I did when I began! No, in the sense that we often tell our clients to laugh, joke, chat about whatever – basically pretend like we’re not even there! That makes it easy to get close because to the camera, sometimes it seems as if they don’t even notice us.
The wedding ceremony has such a pleasing elegant look to it. Does the open less formally structured space of Airship37 allow you as a photographer to get more uniquely composed pictures?
Absolutely! Airship37 was by far our favourite venue of all the weddings we photographed this summer. The wide open space around the ceremony location meant we were able to sneakily take photos from a number of different angles to get a full picture of the event. And the crisp, clean white walls were AMAZING for us as it meant we didn’t have to do really any colour correction in post-processing, meaning the photos come out sharp and clear (which is what all clients want!) We would LOVE to shoot another wedding at Airship37.
What are the benefits of having the whole event, cocktail, ceremony and reception all in the same venue?
Having everything in one place is great for a few reasons. On a practical side, It cuts down on the number of vendors to deal with and details to plan in advance. It also saves on transportation stress because you only have to get to one place in order for the celebration to begin. It’s also a huge benefit for any out of town guests to only have to figure out how to get to one spot. On a different note, I have found that at weddings with only one venue, guests seem more relaxed and at ease quicker. It’s almost like the party can start earlier because the only thing they have to do is arrive at one spot and can relax for the rest of the event! I’m a huge fan of everything being at one place.
There are some beautiful vignette photos of the couple during the wedding, your pictures are a nice hybrid of posed and in the flow of the event. How do you manage to capture these important moments?
Thank you! That’s what we aim for with our photography so it makes us happy when people notice. Haha! Our favourite photos of the day are typically the non-posed, candid shots when people don’t even know we’re taking their photo. Of course, everyone wants to make sure we have some good, posed family photos so we make sure to schedule some time for those shots during the day but ideally we like to spend most of our time capturing the day playing out as it happens.
What is your favourite part of working with a couple?
My favourite part is getting to hear all the unique stories of how couples found and fell for each other. Added to that, it’s also to see the networks of people that come around them on their special day to help them step into the rest of their lives! I’m also a big sucker for speeches. There’s something so beautiful about getting to watch families and friends share why they love and appreciate one another, and what they are hoping for in life together. It’s beautiful, and contagious!
How do you prepare to take pictures in a new venue? How did you familiarize yourself with Airship37?
Every venue is different and each comes with it’s own unique set of challenges and opportunities to get that beautiful shot. Before a wedding, we meet with the couple and chat about the venue size, the type of lighting and the look they are trying to achieve with the photos. If the venue lighting sounds particularly tricky (no windows, for example) then we may go do a site visit prior to the wedding and get our lighting set ahead of time to make sure there are no last-minute mishaps. With Airship 37, we could tell from the photos on your website alone that the venue would be a DREAM to photograph. With lots of natural light and the walls painted white, the conditions at Airship37 are perfect for getting gorgeous, natural photos at any time of year. When we first arrived at Airship37, we high-fived each other because we knew right away that the room was going to be perfect for getting well-lit photos. All we had to worry about was making sure we captured the moments as they happened!
Photography: Edmonds & Mckinlay Photography
Catering: Berkeley Catering