The Toronto wedding was a Sunday Brunch wedding. What elements of this choice made this a unique wedding to photograph?
This wedding was so unique for a few reasons and had me so excited to capture it. A usual wedding typically starts in the late afternoon, followed by cocktails and then dinner. A brunch wedding follows the same formula, except it’s all so much earlier in the day. One aspect that I loved was the entire wedding was naturally lit which was awesome. Another was cocktail hour started at noon, which meant the guests were for the most part day tipsy and everyone knows that being day tipsy has a different vibe and feel.
You talk about THE HORA! as being “my favourite thing to shoot.” You did such a lovely job of capturing this special part of their day. What techniques do you employ to ensure you don’t miss precious moments like this?
Thank you! I think most photographers will agree with me when I say the hora is pure chaos and sometimes a little dangerous, in a good way. The best method for shooting a hora is to not be afraid to get right in there with everyone. If you stand on the outside, you’ll miss the good shots. You have to stand in the middle with everyone, which often times means you may get stepped on and elbowed, but hey if that’s what it takes to capture the hora, I’m game!
The pictures you took during the wedding ceremony at Berkeley Fieldhouse have such an intimate and candid feel to them, how did you navigate the day and venue to achieve this?
My goal as a photographer, especially during the ceremony, is to not be seen or heard but still manage to capture all of the special and intimate moments. Before the ceremony takes place, I’ll scout out the space and determine the different areas where I’m going to be to capture everything. I do my best to choose different angles and perspectives. Often times when my clients see their images, they will remark that they had no idea I was even taking the photos and how did I get so many different angles.
The beautiful portraits you took of Estefania and Miron around the Berkeley Fieldhouse venue have a fresh fun feel and a sense of adventure to them. It’s almost as if the couple were simply exploring together. How did you work with the couple to get these lovely keepsake photographs?
My approach to portraits with all of my couples is to keep it real, natural and to just have fun. The couples I work with always stress that they don’t want stiff posed photos and so I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve to create natural photos with a candid feel. I want my couples to look at their portraits and say, ‘that’s so us’ rather than, ‘remember when Alex made us do those weird poses and we were so uncomfortable.’
How would you describe your style of photography at this wedding?
Estefania and Miron stressed to me that they wanted their day shot purely in a photojournalistic style, which is exactly how I shoot all of my weddings. Everything was documented as it happened. Nothing was staged, forced or recreated.
The documentation of this wedding has such a keen sense of place in Toronto’s downtown urban setting. You completely portrayed a sense of the neighborhood, its pulse and personality. Was this something that was important to the couple?
Definitely. I think it’s always important to tell the complete story of a wedding day and with that comes documenting the surroundings of the setting in which it takes place. At the end of the day, I want my couples to be reliving their wedding day when they look at their photos.
The moments of the wedding guests you captured are so emotive and full of the joy of the day. What is your approach in photographing all the aspects of the wedding?
Wedding photography is all about telling the story of a wedding day and including all of the aspects that make up that day. When a couple has a wedding, they’ve invited their nearest and dearest favourite people, so it is incredibly important to document all of the guests enjoying themselves. I make sure to get the reactions during speeches, the emotions during cocktails and the moments that the couple doesn’t see. My favourite part of a wedding reception is the dancefloor and you’ll always find me right in the middle of it getting all of the really sweet moves of your guests.
What makes a brunch wedding special from your perspective?
Who doesn’t love brunch?! I think what made this wedding special was it turned into two different events. There was the morning ceremony followed by a brunch reception which ended in the late afternoon, and as you can imagine a lot of guests were really enjoying themselves and didn’t want the party to end so everyone who wanted to continue walked down Queen St to a bar patio and continued the celebration there. It became two different celebrations, which I thought was a really fun idea!
What considerations did you have to make in your process as the wedding was taking place seamlessly indoors and outdoors?
To be honest, this wedding was a ton of fun to shoot because of the fact that it was during the day and I could shoot solely with natural light. Majority of weddings, the reception is at dinnertime and once the sun has set, the flash usually has to come out. At this wedding the light remained the same throughout the day, indoors and outdoors. The Berkeley Fieldhouse is such a great venue to shoot at as well because there are tons of neat little areas. So it’s always important to make sure I’m checking out all of the spots and seeing what’s going on everywhere.
As a photographer you are very prolific in your own personal photography, exploring, traveling, exploring with divergent subject matter. How does this translate to advancing your skill set and range of abilities as a wedding photographer?
I think in order to become a great artist you have to practice your craft every day. For me, that means taking photos almost every day. It also means being aware of how light works, paying attention to human interactions, body language and emotions. And in doing so this helps me better understand my clients, it helps me be able to work in conditions that I have no control over. I don’t have any control over the weather or how the light is going to be and I don’t have control over other people’s emotions. But I do know how to be adaptable and to work in varied conditions and to go with the flow.
Venue: Berkeley Fieldhouse