Jessilynn Wong Photography in conversation about capturing the wedding day of Lindsey and Jeremy at Maquette wedding venue Toronto with creative storytelling, careful planning and attention to every special detail.
How did you become a wedding photographer?
When I was taking photography in school, wedding photography was more about heavily posed shots, not really the kind of creative storytelling work that you see nowadays, so it took a while before I dipped my toe into it. I did all kinds of jobs in the photo industry: photo lab manger, camera sales person, photo assistant, etc. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do, but I loved portrait photography. I loved interacting with people and bringing out their personalities in photos. It made me feel good, so I knew I wanted to do something along the same line. Then a few photographers started asking me to shoot their weddings with them and that’s when I started to see the beauty of wedding photography. Weddings are like nothing else. There are so many emotions and unexpected moments that happen throughout the day. Whether I’ve known a couple for a day or a year, I feel exhilarated about experiencing this time in their lives with them.
What is your approach when you are capturing wedding day portraits and what were some of the advantages of the Maquette location for the day of photos for Lindsey and Jeremy?
I tend to think of the day like a movie. I take some environment shots and some detail photos, and then I come closer to the couple and share their world. The couple getting ready, seeing their friends and family, and celebrating their love together as a couple. I take time to get to know each of my couples so I can create a narrative that’s honest to who they are.
Maquette was very Linds and Jer. And there are so many great photo opportunities in the neighbourhood. My head was buzzing with ideas when they first told me where they were getting married. Front Street has a great environment for urban photos, and the St. James has an of old world vibe with a stunning garden. They wanted the majority of their photos at St. James Park, and their big wish was a photo with an old style streetcar. We did their portrait session in the afternoon before the ceremony and I snuck them out in the evening for a photo with a streetcar going by.
You framed beautiful shots in the St. James Cathedral Park, framing beautiful shots in the setting. How did you plan ahead and style these photographs?
Thank you so much! Prior to the wedding, Lindsey and I did a walk-through of the venue and I scouted the park for spots. On the day of the wedding the light played a big part in deciding where to photograph them. Lindsey, Jeremy, and their bridal party were a lot of fun to photograph. I said very little to get the candid shots of them laughing and goofing off. Things came together naturally and I love when that happens.
Your photographic framing choices at the ceremony of Lindsey and Jeremy are interesting and creative. How did you approach photographing the ceremony?
I like to get a nice variety of perspectives during the ceremony. Their grandparents holding hands, their friends smiling and them reciting their vows to each other. The ceremony is the biggest part of the day and it’s crucial to capture every moment. I want the couple to look back at their ceremony and remember the way they felt and the faces of the people around them.
How would you describe the wedding decor and style at this wedding and how did you capture it so beautifully?
I love the Berkeley buildings. They’re hip and filled with interesting art pieces. Maquette has beautiful light and a great mix of green space and reception space. Lindsey and Jeremy added their own romantic flair with vines of wisteria hanging off the arches and touches of vintage decor through out the reception area. They were going to France for their honeymoon, so they had hints of it throughout, such as an Eiffel tower, French-inspired decor, and Moet flowing throughout the night. Lindsey’s family are also florists, and they made sure every nook and cranny had a vase of flowers and candlelight around it.
How does your work as a lifestyle photographer inform and interact with your wedding photography profession?
I value the relationships I have with my friends and family. When I first started playing with my camera years ago, I photographed all of them. I still have those early photos and when I look back at them I remember what it felt like to be there. Time passes by quickly and nothing has made me realize that more than documenting weddings, family events, and even boudoir photos. I love creating a bit of history for people to look back on.
What are some of your techniques for photographing wedding receptions and what made this setting so special?
I love using natural light. It’s the most flattering light and it’s the light we look at each other most in. I try to use it as much as possible when photographing weddings. The lighting in Maquette is really interesting because there’s a variety of light sources. I used the window light and the light from the chandelier when I could. Once evening came, I used my flash to even out the ambient light. There are so many unique and artful areas every time you turn your head there’s something to look at.
What made this wedding unique and how did you chose to capture it?
I love the mix of art deco and artful decor that Maquette has. It was perfect for a couple like Lindsey and Jeremy who love good food, French style, and a fun time. I really liked how they used all areas of the venue, including the outside space for the cake cutting and the black and white diamond floor for their first dance.
Jeremy and Lindsey chose the very urban location of Maquette. How did you balance presenting the urban vibe of the setting while creating a romantic intimacy in your photographs?
Given the choice I always prefer shooting outdoors rather than indoors. The environment can change the mood of the photo. Stealing them away from everyone to have a moment together before the ceremony and after the reception helped create some intimate moments. Linds and Jer are naturally very cuddly, so aside from telling them where to stand, much of the intimacy happened on its own. Pulling couples aside before and after they become official is my favourite. I think every couple should spend some time alone together to soak in the moment.
Catering : Berkeley Events Catering
Florist : the flower place
Hair/Make up Artist : Toronto beauty group (Jessica jean myers)
Cake & Sweets White Lily Baker
Dontation made to princess margaret cancer foundation
Officiant : Sean Hillamn