Danielle Meredith Photography documents all the beautiful expressive moments of Holly and Mike’s romantic Boho inspired wedding at Berkeley Fieldhouse event venue Toronto.
“I want to get to the nitty gritty of your day where all the action and love are.” The wedding pictures you took at Holly and Mike’s wedding do precisely this telling the story in well chosen expressive moments. How do you accomplish this?
I’m not afraid to be in the middle of things (when the time is right). I try to focus on their moments and expressions to help them relive their feelings for the rest of their lives. I’m also very open on social media about being an emotional and energetic person so I end up getting wonderfully emotional clients. I also try to capture their surroundings to complete the story of their day.
You capture interesting perspectives and create dynamic compositions in your shots. What are some of the reasons you think you are successful at this?
Thank you! I’m not big on post processing after I shoot. I want the day to look exactly as it was so I try to capture it right the first time, which means moving around a lot and making sure the backgrounds are already nice with not much clutter etc. If you get it right in camera then you don’t have to edit as much afterward and the clients get the best representation of their day.
What are some of the ways you cultivate and refresh your unique way of seeing things and how does this translate into the process of your wedding photography?
The couples are the unique ones, not me. I’m so lucky to head into different relationships, families, and interesting weddings that are so fun to document. I shoot that uniqueness for them because no couple is the same. I owe everything to them for trusting me to capture who they are. Maybe focusing so much on the couple’s fun and adventurous ways is how I keep a fresh perspective. Everyone interacts and moves together differently.
How did you communicate so effectively the character, emotion and spirit of this wedding?
I’m a really silly and energetic person who loves to laugh and I quickly realized Mike and Holly, as well as their friends and family are the same. We kept each other’s energy up and Mike and Holly said yes to everything I suggested, which shows their character in such a great way. When the couple is fun and willing to run down the middle of Queen Street then the photos are bound to be full of spirit.
There is a wonderful quality of exploration and playfulness in the wedding portraits of Holly and Mike in the space, what was your method for achieving this?
There were so many spots to shoot at the venue so it was awesome. I’m not afraid to ask them to explore and play even in some not-so-typical spaces. I get right up in their grill sometimes (with a bit of warning… kind of? lol) because I know the end result will be a lot of smiling. When I first hear from a couple through my website they have already answered some questions to help me understand them and make sure I can fully capture their day as they hope it to be captured. I think the photographer needs to fit the couple just as much as the couple needs to fit the photographer. Everyone shoots with a certain energy and I am definitely very playful and outgoing so I tend to work most with couples who reflect that.
How do you render authentic moments and beauty at the same time?
I definitely luck out with beautiful, fun couples and venues. Such as yours! A lot of my couples are nature or architecturally focused depending on if I am in my hometown (cottage country) or if I head down to the city. Holly and Mike are a great mix of both. However, if there are moments that a backdrop isn’t quite right at the time I will ask the couple to move around to better light or a better backdrop if needed so that their photos are stunning through every aspect of their day. Sometimes you can’t and of course not every photo will be perfect but I do what I can to pay attention to little things like that. It’s rare that I have to do much directing so I can just creep around and focus on the emotions of the day.
What from your perspective made this wedding fabulous?
The laid back, rock n roll vibe. Holly and Mike nailed it with the simple, beautiful decor, the great venue, and their carefree attitudes. They were in it to get married and party with their friends and they did just that. There was no fussing, just happiness all day. It was awesome.
An interesting part of a wedding is that two families are creating a strong connection. In essence the photographer is communicating this process. What were some of the considerations at this wedding for capturing all these important moments?
Holly and Mike’s wedding was especially unique for this as her family is from England so it was fun seeing the different traditions (especially the amazing outfits!) that meshed for their day. I try to find moments when their parents are connecting and laughing or when Mike and Holly saw friends they may not have seen in awhile. Those smiles and hugs say it all on a wedding day.
Holly and Mike’s wedding had a beautiful nature inspired romantic aesthetic in the design. How did you respond to this design in your photographs?
The Berkeley Fieldhouse has really beautiful light inside no matter what time of day it is. I knew the simple, beautiful greenery they used was an important element that connected them to nature so I photographed the room a few different times in the day to show the textures and details in unique ways. The changing light always makes for really cool detail photos. I tried to find soft romantic light and then edgier light because I think Mike and Holly balance those sides so well in their relationship, which reflected their day.
It was so fun that Holly and Mike really personalized the space ( especially the treehouse ) and made it reflect their personal aesthetic and interests.
Yes that was awesome! It’s your wedding day so it should say “you”. They did an awesome job of that without going over the top.
Why did Holly and Mike choose this setting for their wedding and how did you respond to the space based on this?
From Holly and Mike: “We loved the fact that it felt like being an outdoor setting but being downtown Toronto. Holly could easily envision our perfect day once she saw the space.”
I loved the venues backdrops so we really wanted to capture that. We explored the space thoroughly. I also love their travelling/outdoors and insanely fun vibes so myself and my second photographer Megan Ewing focused on their personal details but also their fun spirits. We kept the energy going all day and so did Mike and Holly. They were crazy fun through every moment in their day. Not many couples dance to Led Zeppelin for their first dance, which is a huge indicator to how awesome they really are. We got involved in their day not only as photographers, but as friends and used the beautiful venue to our advantage.
How does travel inspire your photography process?
Travelling opens your eyes to new people, cultures, and experiences that not only bring you amazing joy but sometimes push you outside of your comfort zone. My husband, son, soon-to-be baby girl, and I travel minimum once a year not only to get away but to experience different lives. Every time we come home we bring a piece of that culture with us into our lives and attempt every day to live with a little less and focus on each other more. I think doing this is reflected in my photography because I could be in the middle of the woods with only the couple and I don’t think we’d need anything else. They are together experiencing something and that’s exactly what a wedding day is about… a new experience together and a commitment for lifelong adventure together. That’s what I capture.