Kat Rizza Photography captured the adventurous urban elopement and city hall ceremony of Toronto couple Kate and Kane and celebrated the day with stylish and glamorous portraits at the Berkeley Bicycle Club.

Kate and Kane eloped to city hall and you captured stunning elopement pictures at the Berkeley bicycle Club. What was the spirit behind their wedding day and how did you capture this in your photographs?

Thank you for those kind words, Kate and Kane were a dream couple for me to photograph! They were totally chill, stylish and great collaborators. Initially they planned on having a big warehouse loft wedding but quickly realized they just wanted to be married and didn’t want to spend so much time planning. They reached out a few days before and said “hey, I know this is unexpected but we’re eloping on Monday instead, by any chance can you come?” Of course I was like “heck yeah!” and started making a plan. BBC was my first choice for a portrait location because it’s beautiful, the surrounding area has a distinct old Toronto feel and its close (enough) to City Hall. Because of the spontaneousness of their decision to elope, I really wanted to focus on the two of them and because they’re a creative couple, I wanted them to look and feel in sync with their surroundings. BBC was perfect for that!

You talk about capturing a wedding as “its about where you’ve been and where you’re going. Destinations unknown but you’re going together.” You can see how thoroughly you accomplished this in the photography of Kate and Kane’s wedding ceremony and portrait session. There is a sense of wonder, possibility and adventure . How do you achieve this?

Hehe thank you. I think it’s because I’m not very good at “branding” so I don’t have a well-defined photography style. When people talk about my work they often say “I don’t know why but I love it” and I think that’s great! I try not to stick to routines and treat every wedding/elopement/job as a new project. I believe in collaboration and view wedding photography as a 50/50 job. My couples show me who they are, I lend some technical knowledge and a bit of creative direction and together we make something unique.

The urban city shots of Kate and Kane are interesting in that they are very site specific capturing epic Toronto landmarks. Its fun that the portraits shoots are locations that a tourist would visit and document.  The portraits you took  have a very personal editorial quality to them and carefully crafted compositions in contrast to quick travel snapshots which creates an interesting tension in the photos. What were some of the considerations when constructing these shots?

Well, I just adore that our Toronto City Hall looks like a spaceship so I love photographing there! I try to do something different every time because there are so many available angles and fun plays on light – I’ll never run out of fresh perspectives there. I consider the personalities of my couples: what they wear, how they walk etc. and in conjunction with that, I look for great light, clean backgrounds and unexpected views. I think that’s the difference with a pro photographer and a tourist snap. There are so many considerations going on all all times (light, angles, backgrounds, colours, lines, tones, focal lengths, lens choices etc.) so you can’t utilize all techniques in every frame – there is a lot of decision making happening. Photography is more than a camera so the tourist is trying to capture a feeling and the pro knows how to.

A part of your practice is you create mood boards. How do you feel this regular practise of observation and documentation fuels the success of your wedding elopement and engagement photography?

I suuuuuure do 🙂 I got inspired to share moodboards from a boutique perfume company I found in Mexico City. Moods totally dictate how we feel and how we act and since they’re constantly changing, I think it’s important to keep track of them so we can recall ideas at any given time. I’m kind of a maximalist with experiences so I quickly move to the next thing without always giving myself enough time to process and reflect. Having moodboards to represent a trip or a summer helps me recall feelings that I can combine with my present state to make something new. Oh man, that sounds hectic and maybe kind of silly but it’s true!

The outfits of Kate and Kane are so integral to the style of the photographs. Did you work with the couple on how their style choices would affect the photography and mood of the shoot?

I did not, that is all them! I think if you see the family photos you can see where they get their style from. And I agree, it’s what made the photos come to life. Kate & Kane are a perfect example of meeting your photographer half way. They created the vision, I helped solidify it.

You fully utilized the potential of the Berkeley Bicycle club composing fun shots in the kitchen and exploring all the unique qualities of shooting in a Toronto Mansion, What was the inspiration for choosing the Berkeley Bicycle Club as a location and how do you feel the choice paid off in the end results?

I’m glad you think so! I’ve photographed there a few times but I still don’t think I’ve fully realized the potential yet. There are so many interesting nooks and crannies! There’s a really cool Skylight in one of the upstairs rooms that I want to use one day. I’m also looking forward to seeing it in different seasons – I think it would look gorgeous surrounded by snow! Kate & Kane are a true Toronto couple and I wanted them to have something unique and meaningful. I don’t love shooting in parks because it could be anywhere, I like context so give me a cityscape any day! On that note, BBC was kind of an obvious choice. It allowed for photos that are original but timeless, sort of historical but also new and fresh. I love it there and can’t wait to return 🙂

Berkeley bicycle Club

Kat Rizza Photography