What was your favourite part of this wedding that you feel contributed to its success?
The Date – NYE is such a magical day to begin with, it’s a day of reflection and hope for good things to come.
The couple planned such a romantic, fun, energetic and memorable evening for their guests. It was a great way to end 2019, and a fabulous way to start 2020.
The venue choice – Berkeley Church is such a special venue. It’s a Historical building that provides a blank canvas for couples to work with and create their own unique look and experience for their guests.
Derek The Wedding Coordinator – Prior to the wedding Derek and I were on the same page wanting to know as much info from each other in order to make Cara and Andrew’s wedding flow seamlessly. I’ve worked with many coordinators over the years but Derek’s attention to detail was something special. Furthermore, his ability to multitask and make anything happen in the moment, created a special experience for the guests and most importantly the bride and groom. He was like the wedding genie!
The Candlelit ceremony – what could be more romantic than exchanging your vows in a candlelit ceremony surrounded by family and your closest friends.
The décor – Stunning! Tables were adorned with pink and gold which gave a fresh yet vintage vibe and beautiful floral arrangements everywhere you looked. The candlelit dinner provided a romantic and intimate feel for all of the guests.
The flowers complimented the couple’s décor colours, while the different shades of red added a festive feel. On the table each place setting had a gorgeous hand written thank you note from Cara and Andrew attached to a festive cracker which contained a little trinket and paper crown.
The balloon drop!!!! – When the clock struck midnight there was a balloon drop from the ceiling. Hundreds of pink and gold balloons gracefully fell upon the crowd as they welcomed in 2020. Such an awesome surprise for the guests, and a great photo op for Shannon and myself.
Thank you! As the wedding photographer you are directing, creating and capturing/producing the formal and fun photos. The week of a wedding I always visit and scout the venue. Scouting closer to the wedding date gives me an idea of three key things. Familiarizing myself with the venue layout, lighting during the specified time and the weather. During my scout I plan out spots for photos with the couple, the wedding party and family. Even though my favourite setups and photos are typically in the moment, I feel you need to be organized and have contingency plans. Overall, the most important attribute to a successful shoot would be having good detailed conversation and communication with your couple and knowing what their limits are.
Weather can always be unpredictable. With winter, one things always for sure, it’s cold! For a December wedding I typically have to have several conversations about the weather and going outside for photos. On the day of, some couples just say forget about it! Cara and Andrew were not this couple. From my scout I had spots throughout the Berkeley Church that were both inside and out. I was so happy that Cara and Andrew agreed to keep each other warm and step outside, while the Berkeley Church provided an amazing backdrop. We got some awesome shots and even the entire wedding party came out for an informal and playful setup.
How do you shoot the design elements at a wedding so beautifully to capture the intention behind the design?
When shooting décor I typically like to photograph it from three different perspectives in order to fully show its beauty and ambiance. First a close up of the item itself whether it’s a vase of flowers, candleholder, party favour etc…. Secondly a wide shot of the items together before the guests arrive, and thirdly the guests interacting within the décor. These shots are always important to the bride and groom as allot of time and energy has gone into the “décor decisions” and its so amazing to see it all come together piece by piece and as a whole.
Because this wedding was part of the holiday season and had element of a family holiday party how did you capture this in your photography?
This was my third wedding that I had photographed for the Masterson family. I first met Cara and Andrew 10 years ago when they were dating. One of the best parts of my job is that I get to capture and be a part of people’s most special moments. It connects you and builds a relationship with their families. The focus is on the bride and groom but the importance of the wedding is bringing two families together. Before every wedding I always go over the pertinent details with the couple. Their immediate family and wedding party and what their connection is, whether it be a brother, a best friend from public school or Cara’s grandmother who’s about to turn 100. Having met Cara’s family on several occasions, and learnt about Andrews, I had a better understanding of the relationships and was able to capture special moments with their closest people. The fact that this was during the holiday season just adds a bit more significance to the already special photos.
What were some of the consideration made for the fact that is was a New Years eve wedding and how did you respond with your approach for documenting the wedding so beautifully?
From our initial meeting both Cara and Andrew vocalized that they wanted their reception to be a fun and memorable night for not only themselves but for their guests. They both realized that this was not only their wedding but also everyone’s NYE celebration. They delivered! Following a cocktail hour and delicious 3-course dinner, they opened up the dance floor and had an awesome DJ. The anticipation for NY could be felt throughout the whole room. Champagne was flowing; hats, glasses and 2020 attire were passed out prior to the surprise balloon drop at midnight. Capturing this from a photographer’s point of view was fun but also strategic especially when it came to balloon drop. The best part of having two photographers covering such a large event is that you can get two different perspectives, and can be in two different places at the same time.
What are a few of the qualities you feel you need in a photo for it to be excellent?
Lighting and the connection!
For any photographer lighting is so important as it sets the mood and feel for a photo. I love clean, even, natural light. I am always looking for it, as I find it captures the most accurate representation of that moment. I also love experimenting with more direct/harsh light as it can really create some beautiful artistic shots.
My main goal when photographing couples and or people in general is to capture them connecting. That one moment when they lock eyes can only create the most natural smile and expression, especially when they love each other deeply. For Cara and Andrew, they are so in sync and compliment each other greatly. Knowing their history and seeing first hand how kind and thoughtful they were with one another that day allowed me to capture them in such a significant way.