Ally from Evolylla Photography digs into her meaningful photographic practise and offers the wisdom and inspiration behind Emily and Antonio’s Berkeley Church Toronto wedding venue.
“I think that emotional content is an images’s most important element, regardless of the photographic technique. Most of the work I see these days lacks the emotional impact to draw a reaction from viewers, or remain in their hearts.- Anne Geddes
This is a quote you site on your media. What is its significance in your photographic process
I like looking at photographs. Every time I see a beautiful photograph, I say to myself wow this is beautiful. Every time I see a photograph that captures emotions, I become speechless and I like that kind of silence. If I can do that with my wedding work, I’d call myself successful and I want to be somehow successful and achieve something personal to me in my life. Technology and our fast culture have made photography a popular media. Same with music and writing and many other art forms. With that, we gain convenience but we also lose active thinking. Only active thinking allows us to look beyond surface. I want to be able to think with photography. I want to capture the soul.
In editing the pictures of Emily and Antonio what struck you as the biggest accomplishment of these photographs?
The one thing that makes me happiest is these photos reflected how Emily and Antonio really are in person and their relationship. They are a quiet couple and their love for each other is very subtle. They are the everyday life people. They live authentically. My approach to wedding photography is rather intimate. I don’t make everyone looks overly joyful and outgoing. Wedding photography is very personal. It’s one thing to make wedding photos that every bride likes and a very different thing to have photos that the bride and groom in the pictures genuinely love because they can see their true selves in the images. Emily and Antonio’s kind compliments confirmed my believe.
“Emily and Antonio were actually a quiet couple with beautiful souls and a strong bond.” how did you translate this view of the couple so effectively to their wedding day photography?
As a documentary wedding photographer, observation is the key. From conversations to engagement session to the wedding day itself, we get to know our couples through active listening and interactions. I try to have the couple co-lead the photography process by making them comfortable and allowing them to interact with each other naturally. It’s my believe that nothing beats natural expression and real fleeting moments. Human is beautiful. Emily and Antonio open up in this process – in a photography process that’s mutual and candid oriented. I must say that Emily and Antonio made this a successful experience. I’m only the facilitator.
How significant to you is the first conversation you have with a couple about their wedding and what are some vital elements you extract from this conversation?
I always make mental notes of their body language. I think everyone including myself is nervous to some extent in the first conversation and we tend to over- or under- communicate ourselves. Body language and the tone they speak and eye contact are more natural. These tell me how the couple interacts with each other and their personalities. This helps me to facilitate the photography process and let their true personalities shine.
There is a beautiful timeless quality to your work, how do you accomplish this?
I like natural looking images that’s story telling. I don’t just make wedding photos. I document weddings. My wedding work is influenced by documentary photography. I love a lot of wedding photographer’s work but I don’t follow anyone in particular. It helps me to focus on the core, the people, the moment and not affected by a fad trend.
Is it is the job of the photographer to tell the story of the wedding in a way that is congruent with the family story and wedding couples vision?
100%. I don’t believe in wedding photography per se. I believe in the individuals and their cultures and stories and their unique vision for their wedding.
Your wedding portraits have a balance between formal posed photographs and candid documentary photographs. How do you blend these styles so effectively?
I personally have a strong vision of how a beautiful portrait looks like. As said I’m influenced by documentary photographers. Their work tend to be classic and natural. I want to achieve the same with my wedding photography. I don’t mind posing as long as it doesn’t look awkward to me. But for sure candid portraits hold a special place in my heart because I find people’s natural expression so soulfully and subtly beautiful. I practice my approach to make people open up themselves in front of the camera. It’s a heart to heart process.
Your framing and composition with the day of wedding couple portraits in the Berkeley Church have an interesting creatively compelling look to them. What is involved in these decisions of how you see a picture?
I want to be a cool photographer so I work on making my brides and grooms look cool. Lol. Does that answer the question?
When you are taking the pictures what format are you imaging them being viewed in?
How big a part do your instincts play in your work?
A huge part. My heart always beats my brain. And my instinct is influenced by my everyday life and my believes.
Conceptually how did you imagine this historical setting of the Berkeley Church before shooting there?
I love the Berkeley Church. Before I visited physically. I imagine all my wedding images there to be black and white and reminded myself to use colors carefully and selectively. The structure, the frames, the lines are so beautiful at the Berkeley Church. All colors is a bonus.
Which is the most iconic picture of this wedding that you took?
One that Emily was crying as she approached Antonio at the ceremony. I didn’t expect this at all. She acted really cool the whole time. Haha. Love it!
Where do you look to for inspiration to push yourself professionally?
Everyday life. If a photographer looks at another photographer for inspirations, photography becomes boring and dull.