Ryan Bolton Photographs the rock star Friday the thirteenth wedding of Jordan and Ash at Berkeley Church wedding venue Toronto and discusses his outlook and perspective on how it was so successful.


“My photography was originally a conduit for my writing. If I was out writing a story, I always had a camera with me.” You come from a writing background, how has this informed your photographic practice?

Absolutely. With writing and journalism, you need to get the full story. To truly capture what’s going on. I bring that approach to my photography; meshing a photojournalistic approach to wedding moments.

What perspective does your work in advertising and communications bring to your perspective when you are photographing a wedding?

A lot of advertising is anticipating emotion. Anticipating how an image is going to make some feel, and then react. When photographing a wedding there needs to be a level of preparedness with capturing “the moments.” You need to be able to anticipate the shots. The action. The emotion.

What does the Berkeley Church bring to the table from a perspective of photographic potential?

Berkeley Church is stuffed with cool angles, different perspectives. For instance, we shot out front on the stairs, we shot the first look in the courtyard beside Berkeley Church. We even found this cool backstreet right behind the church for another few shots. Then, obviously, all the interior shots for our portrait studio.

How did you come to a shared vision with Jordan and Ash for what they imagined their wedding photographs would look like?

Well, I’ve gotten to know them quite well from playing years of dodgeball together. They’re both rock stars, and just discussing their ideas, like having it on Friday the 13th, I knew the vibe and style they were going for. Plus, when you have a skull and crossbones as cufflinks and a black leather jacket that says “Wifey” with a veil that says “Hell Yeah,” you know you’re working with rock stars.

And they nailed it.

If one of these pictures were to be the movie poster that captured the wedding story which on would it be?

Lol. That’s a hard one. Maybe the Nightmare Before Christmas.

There is a vibrancy to this beautiful collection that brings an electricity to the activity inside the frame. What do you attribute this success to?

It’s all about vibrancy for my work. I want my models to look like rock stars. I want the viewer to feel the emotion. To feel the connection to their aura, their soul. I just help bring that to life a little bit.

When you edit a collection of photos to select the best what are some of your criteria for making these choices?

I like photos that tell a bit of a story. Obviously they need to be visually stunning. I want my photos to show the beauty in life. There’s a lot of negativity in the world, and photos that make you feel, photos that make you see the happiness in life are my favourite. Same goes for a lot of my adventure travel photography.

What do you think made this wedding such an epic success for the couple?

It was uniquely Jordan and Ash’s concept. I can’t stress that enough for weddings—to do what you truly love and to create something unique, together. Essentially you’re crafting an epic celebration for your closest friends and family. Jordan and Ash totally did it their way, and that shows.

What are some of the thoughts that go through your mind when you photograph a wedding ceremony?

There’s the constant hum of “How do I make this shot interesting?” What’s the best angle? How do I best capture the emotion?

How would you describe the style and choice of decor for this wedding and how did you bring out the qualities of these choices in your photography?

Traditional with a Friday the 14th twist.

How would you describe your style of taking portraits and how does this play out so effectively on a wedding day?

I always look for the connection. You need to connect with your subject. To bring out their vibe, their aura. I feel that always shows when you properly connect.

There is such a rich texture to your photographs that the viewer gets a tactile experience of the setting. How do you get this effect and what is required in the way you see things to get this result?

A lot of how I capture moments goes back to the first question. I look to capture the full story of a moment. A lot of this goes back to how you view the world. Solid symmetry, leading lines, rules of thirds. Part of it is composing the right shot, part of it is capturing the right emotion.

Berkeley church

Writer | Photographer | ryan-bolton.com