Evolylla Photography at Berkeley Church wedding venue Toronto with Tammy and Darren on capturing unexpected moments and the important that a couple loves the way their photographer sees things.
You have shot before at the Berkeley Church and its amazing to see how each set of wedding photos are so unique and signature. What do you attribute to your ability to have such a unique perspective for each couple?
A wedding photographer’s perspectives and mentality affect their work greatly. I walk into every wedding with a open mind. Instead of focusing on making certain required / standard wedding images, I let my instinct play a role in capturing unexpected moments. Collectively, these random moments speak for who the couple really is. I just have to appreciate the randomness that makes each wedding day unique, train myself to see these moments, and be prepared to captured them in a way that’s as aesthetically pleasing as possible. So from what I see, I think it’s my couples who are unique and signature and beautiful. My images are merely a reflection of that.
You talk in a previous interview with Berkeley Events (link to other interview) about being informed by documentary photography and this is very evident in your unique beautiful and interesting choices of framing you make in your photographs. What other ways does this documentary influence inform you?
Some people like fantasy and sci-fi movies. I like none of that. I like stories about everyday mundane life presented in a way that attracts your attention peculiarly. I appreciate the little things in life. It’s only little exaggeration to say that I’m meant to be a documentary wedding photographer. It makes my heart happy.
The wedding of Tammy and Darren incorporated Chinese wedding traditions. How did you prepare to capture these moments and how did you feel about the outcome?
In short, I have a Chinese background. But I don’t think it matters. A documentary wedding photographer is excited to see new rituals and capture unexpected moments. It helps that I understand their language though so I hear the inside jokes 😉 The outcome is gorgeous. I especially love how it captured Darren’s embracement of Tammy’s Chinese culture and Tammy’s parents welcoming Darren to the family.
The wedding ceremony in the mezzanine has an abundance of natural sunlight how do you sculpt this light to the advantage of your photographs?
The light in the mezzanine is interesting. It’s one-sided and basically backlit for the couple. It’s the kind of light that some find challenging. I personally find it fun to play with. I’m not exactly a bright and airy photography so I use the light to bring out both the highlight and the shadow. It makes the ceremony images more emotional and evoking.
The day of photographs around the Berkeley Church and surrounding are are exquisite. How did you scout these divine backdrops and how have you trained your eye to look for setting and backdrops that produce stunning results?
I go with a different route for photos the three times I shot at Berkeley Church recently. I just love taking a little risk, finding interesting light and exploring the area. I get bored by routines. This works when my couples are adventures and trust my judgement. Tammy and Darren have complete confidence in me and I feel thankful for that.
To train one’s eyes for photography, I find it helpful to have the habit to pause and see a two-dimension frame of reference in everyday life, with or without a camera. It also helps to remember to move your feet. A frame taken from two steps to the left with bended knees can look quite different from the original stand point.
How would you describe the wedding decor choices and they made and how did you respond with your photography choices to capture them?
Tammy and Darren’s wedding has rather minimalistic decors with an elegant highlight of the colour red. I choose to capture them in cleanly framed photographs with as few distractions as possible.
You spoke about the wedding of Tammy and Darren being beautifully supercharged with intense and beautiful feelings and emotion. How do you capture these very real significant and important moments with such apparent ease and natural ness. What qualities have you developed and cultivated to achieve this?
It takes time and deliberate effort to be a good photographer. Instinct plays a part but no matter how talented you are, it takes time and consciousness to be better. I look at every wedding I photograph and see countless flaws in the images. The emotions which I might have missed. The emotions which I could have highlighted more appropriately. It’s important to learn about myself. It’s more important to learn about myself than to learn from other photographers.
How did you arrive at a shared vision with Tammy and Darren about how their wedding day would be captured and presented?
It’s important that my images resonate with my couples. Tammy and Darren have complete trust and confidence in my judgement. They love how I see things. It’s important that a couple loves the way their photographer sees things. You can’t change a photographer’s vision and perspective overnight. Practically speaking, an engagement session also helps.
There is a particularly fabulous picture you took of Tammy and Darren in the lower level of the church with the sunlight streaming in. How would you deconstruct the success of this shot?
I mentioned about moving one’s feet when framing a picture. It also helps to occasionally turn around. Think openly but look mindfully.
You have the following quote on your website ” Be yourself, I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn’t look like someone else work >) William Klein. What attracted you to this quote and how does it express something vital about the creative process to you?
My work is a reflection of who I am. I take risk. I get bored by routine. To me, it’s not about breaking rules and be different. I’m just not keen on learning about the rules. I don’t find it as relevant as learning about myself and I’m already quite occupied by learning about myself. It’s different to say that I don’t learn the basics to photography. I do. But it’s like in university you get to choose your favourite elective courses as long as you take all your required courses. I’m on my elective curriculum now.
“The four parents went around the tables meeting each other’s families and friends. As I was witnessing the day unfolded, I thought to myself this’s what a wedding’s all about. It’s love in different forms and shapes being celebrated.” This is a beautiful summery of your experience photographing Tammy and Darren’s beautiful wedding. How does each wedding you do build on your perceptions and evolve your perspective?
While some photographers find weddings repetitive, I see something new or touching and often both in every wedding. Don’t get me wrong, wedding photography is not all glamour. But it’s not about what’s in front of you but what you see. The more I appreciate the little things and otherwise unnoticed moments, the more often I see them and the greater urge to capture them. A good photographer takes less time to warm up in each wedding and develops an instinct to embrace intimately and click the shutter at precise timing discreetly.