Brad Quarrington Photography Expertly tells the story Andrea and Mark’s Modern Vintage inspired 1871 Berkeley Church wedding.
You live in a historic property you are lovingly restoring. How has this experience added to your ability to respond to the 1871 Berkeley Church venue ?
Living in a historic property ourselves, it really gives us an appreciation for older historic buildings being preserved and enjoyed.
How would you describe the wedding style that Andrea and Mark chose for their wedding design and how did you respond in capturing all the wedding details of the day?
I’d describe the wedding style as modern for the attire and decor, in a beautifully vintage setting.
What were some of the priorities that Andrea and Mark had for their wedding day and how did you respond with your photography?
Family photos (both candid and formal) were important to them, as well as candids of guests enjoying themselves. Also, using lighting was a necessity but not anything to intrusive or that would take away from the vibe of the building interior.
What were some of the ideas you discussed with Mark and Andrea when you first met with them about your wedding ?
I don’t recall discussing specific shot ideas . We did discuss the “getting ready” photos for both Mark and Andrea at the Grand Hotel, which is perfectly situated within walking distance from the venue. We also discussed the itinerary and family photos, as well as capturing candid photos which I do anyway. I like a ratio, on a wedding day, of about 80% candids, and 20% formal or structured photos.
How do you find the “decisive moment ” in your photographs in the busy wedding moments.
Anticipation is key, which I think comes with experience, plus great peripheral vision LOL.
What are some of the ways you study light and how to use different lighting sources to your benefit so that you can make great decisions in the moment at weddings?
I’m constantly trying to learn from other photographers I admire and artists as well. Also, trying new techniques is important. One of the best decisions I ever made regarding this was my education at Humber College’s photography program. I originally learned on film (in high school and college) and this really taught me to get things right in the camera, not Photoshop.
What were some of the decisions you made at Andrea and Mark’s wedding about the mood and feeling you wanted to create with your lighting choices ?
I knew that for the time of year for their wedding date that there wouldn’t be much for natural light, so I got my assistant to direct an LED light I have, on full power, toward Mark and Andrea for their entrance to the ceremony, and the ceremony itself. For the rest of the wedding I either used flash or just lighting from the venue itself, or the DJ’s lighting.
This photograph is so expressive of the couples joy and communicates all the excitement of the wedding day in a subtle way by capturing the exact candid moment. What are some of the ways you are able to get these precise moments?
Being ready in advance of the ceremony and knowing what settings I want is important. I’ll even take a few test shots if needed, using my assistant as a stand in.
“As we’re prone to do, with our curiosity, we checked a lot of doors to see where they led. One little red door opened up to a tiny side courtyard, with hanging Edison lights.” The result was some beautiful wedding portraits of Mark and Andrea. How important is it that you are ability to be agile and find the best photo opportunities in any setting ?
It’s incredibly important! It allows me to make each wedding unique for my clients and honestly it’s one of my favourite things about shooting weddings. I photograph all over Ontario and I love seeing new venues and shooting in new places; discovering new things.
What is your approach for getting beautiful wedding portraits? How much do you direct and cue your subjects and what are some of the most successful things you do in the moment?
I don’t like to overly pose clients for photos. I want them to be themselves. To try to accomplish this I joke and keep the mood light and even joke a bit and have a good time along with everyone, but in a responsible way. Getting good reviews and feedback that mention this let me know that I’m on the right track with clients.
How would you describe your photographic style and what are some of the biggest influences that effect your process?
I want my photographs to feel timeless, with none of the editing fads or gimmicks that seem to come and go. Here are some of my biggest influences for my photography (I can expand on them, as to why they are, if you need?): Diane Arbus, Joel Witkin, Fyodor Dostoevsky, James Joyce, Susan Stripling, Parker J. Pfizer, 90s alternative music artists, native Canadian art, The Group of Seven.
What informed your decision to present some of your wedding photos in black and white?
I originally learned on B&W film, so to me it’s SO important to include some black and white images. It’s part of that timeless feel, I believe. It’s so classic and fundamental.
You work on your own personal projects including some style shoots in different unique settings. What do these experiences bring to your versatility in capturing a wedding day?
These shoots allow me to try new technical things and creative concepts that I otherwise might not get to with client shoots, without worry of failure if they don’t succeed. I can use the positives I learn and lighting or shooting techniques going forward with weddings etc.
Reflecting back what were some of the decisions that Mark and Andrea made about their wedding day that you feel made the wedding a success?
Picking the lovely venue LOL! Seriously, I really appreciate and love when my couples just trust me to do my thing. Plus, I loved Mark and Andrea’s sense of style!