You have photographed a wedding in all three of Berkeley Events venues. If you pick a picture that stands out for you from each wedding what would they be?
Becca + Darin: there’s a shot of them sharing a kiss during the reception. most of the time, couples spend the evening being pulled in different directions in different conversations. I love when my couples finally have a moment to be together and enjoy one another. there’s something so romantic and genuine about coming together and realizing that all these people are here for you – to celebrate you – i don’t think any one is able to not feel the warm and fuzzies!
Liz + Tom: the moment for me was when Liz saw her Dad just before her ceremony. it’s obvious they have a very close relationship. everything seemed to stand still for a long time. it
was so emotional for both of them. it was one of those times where i had to wipe my eyes, from behind the camera!
Katherine + Levent: I always love the first moments after a ceremony . . . that feeling of “WE DID IT!”. the expression on the couples face is always priceless. For Katherine + Levent, it was quite apparent they were feeling the love for one another, and the love from their friends and family.
The beautiful wedding you photographed at Berkeley Church clearly struck a chord as it was shared extensively. What made this wedding shoot an “iconic romantic wedding”?
The response to Rebecca + Darin’s wedding totally caught me by surprise. To start, Rebecca has impeccable taste (as is obvious in all of her decisions in regards to design and details). What I think really worked for them is that they really didn’t try to do copy any of the Pinterest worthy weddings already out there. I remember talking to her about how the plans were going and she said she was having such a hard time narrowing down to one particular “style” or look. In the end, I think they allowed themselves to a look that is eclectic as they are – choosing what they liked and just sticking with it. I think that’s what made their wedding unique and so loveable. What can be more beautiful and romantic than being completely and truly yourself.
The Berkeley Church wedding had, in the bride’s words, “a colour scheme that was hard to pin down, but in the end it became a mix of corals, peach, blush pink, and orange with touches of gold and silver. I was most excited about finding the dresses for each of the ladies in my bridal party.” How did you highlight these choices in your photography?
I just let the elements speak for themselves. Taking the time to document everything and paying attention to every last detail!
How does your photographic style intersect with the documentary/photojournalism category?
I would say that my style strongly fits into this category. I find little reason to intrude in the flow of the day. I only come out of the shadows for the portrait sessions. Although I plan ahead for the best light and locations, some light direction helps bring people together and looking like they fit together. But everyone (the married couple, family, friends, bridal party) all have a natural rapport with one another – I find that if I allow my subjects to naturally connect with one another, I will have the most beautiful and honest images I can ever hope to deliver.
How is your process affected by new technologies in the photographic arena?
I am super happy about how digital cameras capture images in low light. During receptions, I try not to use too much flash, especially for the more candid moments. Popping a flash gives me away and people start to put their guard up. If I’m able to go unnoticed, I am able to capture moments between friends and family that are amongst my favourites – the kind of warmth that makes me melt.
In each of the three weddings the quality of light varied greatly. How do you master and optimize each different lighting situation you encounter?
I think the best advice I’ve ever been given is know your gear and how to use it. Being able to change settings quickly is so key when documenting a wedding. I’ll be walking from indoors to the outdoor space and a moment can unfold before my eyes (BUT OH NO! my camera is still set for indoors). If I can be quick enough to adjust my settings, I can manage to capture it before it fades. There really is no “trick” – it just takes time to be so familiar with your equipment where t’s basically becomes a part of you. In addition, after some time, a photographer will come to know which angle looks best in what light, when to use flash, when not to use flash, when to shoot in the sun and when to get into the shade. And yes, open and even shade is always your best friend!
Airship37 in the Distillery District differs from the other two venues in that it has an rustic industrial atmosphere. Your pictures from this wedding have such a distinct open look to them. How did you maximize the attributes of this venue in your photography?
I love the different spaces of Airship37! I really wanted to show the different spaces well – I mostly did this by stepping as far back as I could and shooting wide. I think showing context is a big part of being a storyteller.
The Berkeley Fieldhouse wedding had an outdoor ceremony. How does your approach vary for shooting outdoors?
For ceremonies, shooting indoors or outdoors does not change my approach very much. I’m always looking for the best light and the best angles. Sometimes there’s more flexibility with where I can stand for an outdoor ceremony vs. shooting inside church but overall, I mostly concern myself with capturing my couples unobtrusively; respecting their space as sacred and allowing their friends and family to enjoy the couples vows as they would expect (and not having a photographer blocking their view!).
The look and style of your photography is particular and varied in each wedding and yet there is a signature look that carries through. What do you see when you view all three wedding together?
I see three couples who are so excited and genuine about making things official. There’s just a whole lotta love going around!
Each wedding you shot created a story on its own in the pictures. If you had a tagline for each of these three weddings how would it read?
Becca + Darin: sweet, gentle and romantic
Katherine + Levent: emotional train wrecks
Liz + Tom: it’s all about the love.
How has the interaction that photographers have on Facebook and Instagram affected your work? Has the interaction led to any insights?
I love using Facebook and Instagram to get to know my couples better. If my couples are open to “friending” and “following”, I love to keep in touch on either (or both) platforms in the months leading up to their wedding. I find that if my clients and I can get to know one another, it leads to an easiness that allows me into their intimate realm on their wedding day. If I’m able to cross that line from vendor to friend (or at least something warmer than a stranger!), I will be able to capture the most true and honest moments that may have been difficult to capture otherwise . . . and that is the goal at the end of the day, isn’t it? Uniquely honest images?
What are some of the personal projects as a photographer you like to pursue?
More photos of people. i have always loved taking photos of people – i don’t think that will ever change. i am working on some new portrait projects – hoping to do one or two over the winter while there’s a bit more time.