Arynn Photography shares the bright and colourful and fun Berkeley Church wedding album of Andrea and Mathias.
How important is it for you to capture the getting ready moments of your couple in their unique domestic spaces?
Getting ready moments are some of my absolute favourite moments to capture at a wedding and it is always more special when those moments happen in a place that has meaning to the couple. Often times I am shooting at the couple’s home or the home of their parents. This means that there are endless references to the couple scattered everywhere. Old school photos, memorable trinkets and childhood bedrooms. All of these things add dimension to the story that I’m telling.
Wedding photography to me is not just a series of calculated and organized shots but its the telling of who this couple is.
Taking getting ready photos in their personal space helps me know them just a little better, it helps them feel more relaxed and it gives them photos that will be cherished deeply.
You have a background in musical theatre. How do you feel that set of experiences helps you in your profession now?
Musical Theatre was a big part of my life when I was younger and I think that it did shape the way that I see things now. All of life is a stage as they say. Part of the experience I want for my couples is for them to feel comfortable with me. A lot of people will say when we meet that they feel awkward in front of the camera. As a naturally introverted person, I totally relate to this response. And I know the best way to mitigate feelings of awkwardness is to help people get out of their own heads. My background in theater helps me sort of ‘perform’ for my couples in a way and create an almost improvised experience that they are a part of. It happens naturally but it always helps people relax. I don’t want my couples to feel like they have to perform for me but I am beyond happy to ‘turn it on’ for them.
You took some candid playful wedding portraits around the venue that are fun and creative and some more “serious “ ones so that the couple has a wonderful range of moods and feelings captured. How do you direct these moments?
One of the most important things to me on a wedding day is that my couples don’t feel like they are being awkwardly forced into any shot. I can always feel when someone is uncomfortable and that is the opposite of how you should feel on your wedding day. My goal is always to get couples interacting with each other in a genuine way so that each moment feels comfortable and will later evoke a pleasant memory. I don’t direct as much as I create opportunities for them to have those moments naturally. That way when they look at the photos later they recognize themselves in them. Every couple is different and has a different personality so sometimes there are more goofy shots and sometimes there are more romantic shots. I play off the vibe of each couple to give them something unique in the end.
What were your first impressions of the Berkeley Church and how did you prepare to work with the natural attributes of the venue?
The Berkeley Church is such a unique venue and it attracts unique couples. It is always fun to photograph at a venue that has unique architectural elements that add visual interest. With every venue I shoot at I let the venue dictate what my focus technically will be. For example, a venue with tons of light will mean a majority of lighter photos and a darker venue will have more dark photos.
I like to preserve the feel and the atmosphere. The fun thing about Berekely Church is it has a bit of everything so it allows for creativity and diversity.
Before every event I photograph, I look up the venue if I haven’t been there before so I know what to expect but I don’t like to overprepare because I feel like nothing beats reacting to things as they happen and capturing them as they do.
How would you describe the atmosphere and vibe that Andrea and Mathias wanted for their wedding day and how did you respond in the way you photographed their day?
Andrea and Mathias are both incredibly fun and creative people. As soon as we met I knew that their wedding would be one of a kind. And it was! The vibe was very whimsical and playful just like them! Getting to know a couple and who they are is the best way for me to capture things authentically. I let the vibe dictate how I shoot. My style is very bright and colourful and fun and I find that a lot of the weddings I shoot are like that too. When you pick the perfect photographer to go with the vibe you want for your day then everything flows seamlessly.
There were some unique fun elements added in that personalized the wedding and made it fun for the guests. How do you prepare to capture the true meaning of these experiences ?
There were so many fun and hilarious details at this wedding that I loved to capture. They had dice to pay homage to Mathias love for a certain game and pie cookies to reference the fact that it was Pi Day. I know that a lot of thought and energy goes into these tiny details and I love photographing details so I make sure in advance to ask them to outline all of these small things so that I never miss any. It’s also important that we work together on your timeline so that we can prioritize what is important to you. If you have a lot of these fun details then we can make sure I have time to get them all.
Andrea’s wedding dress had a very light ethereal quality to it. How did you capture its essence and the personality of Andrea so effectively?
I was totally in love with Andrea’s dress. I’ve found in my many years that its hard to take a bad photo of a beautiful wedding dress. Of course making sure my couples are comfortable with me from the start means that I can photograph them effectively and show off their personality. Usually a style of dress gives me an idea of what kind of shots will best show it off. A whimsical, ethereal style dress like Andrea’s with lots of tulle is just begging for a good twirl. I can best show it off with lots of movement which also effectively shows off a fun and goofy personality.
You talk about in your media about how ones wedding day may not have to be the “best day of your life” but a really great experience among many. This seems like the exact approach that would make the wedding day better! Have you shared this philosophy with your couples and what is the result?
Of course I love weddings and I think they’re a great way to celebrate with each other and your favourite people. But I also love love! I am a hopeless romantic and I think that your wedding is just the beginning.
Your marriage is going to last a lifetime and it’s going to be filled with amazing days. Keeping this perspective in mind also helps to ease some of the pressure that many couples feel about their wedding. There is a tendency to feel like everything has to be magazine perfect. But in the end it’s your love story and not anyone else’s.
I haven’t needed to explicitly share this perspective with my couples because all of my couples in my entire career have been so chill. I think this is because I shoot with the full story in mind. So I am going to stop and capture the silly moments and the unposed moments. Couples see this and hire me if they vibe with that idea.
What three words would you use to describe the wedding style of the day and what was your response in the way you photographed all the wedding details?
The three words I would use to describe Andrea and Mathias’ wedding would be whimsical, fun and playful.
I knew it would be a true reflection of who they are as people and I was not disappointed. Photographing this particular wedding was a joy because it aligned so much with my style as a photographer. So it was natural to capture their details in the fun and colourful way I usually do knowing this would show them off in the best way possible.
Focusing on the floral designs with their unique sculptural quality, how did you approach capturing them.
I am completely obsessed with Andrea’s bouquet wihch was designed by the incomparable Patchouli Designs. I love it when a bouquet is built in a unique way. I’m sure that whimsical was exactly the word everyone had in mind for this arrangement. When capturing any bouquet I like to have it be held different ways to show it off. It doesn’t always need to be held with both hands directly in front of the body. Such a beautiful design makes photographing it easy.
In a post with a beautiful picture of Andrea and Mathias you say
“The last wedding I got to shoot before all this blew up! It was so beautiful and I’m so glad it was able to happen.”
How was the experience of editing this album different from every other one based on the timing 🙂
This wedding took place mid March. Just before everything began to shut down. The timing was definitely interesting and you could sense some things that were different than they would have been. A lot more hand sanitizer and people greeting each other with their elbows. I made sure to capture some of that because its a part of their story. They’ll never forget it so their photos should reflect it. Even while editing I found myself grinning a bit more than usual. Knowing that this would probably be the last wedding I shot for a while I relished in how much I love weddings and celebrating with my couples. All of this has just solidified for me how important weddings are for people and what they mean for a family. These memories can not be replicated.
Ceremony Officiant : Lori DeFrancesco
Bridal Gown Shop : Amanda Linas
Bridal Gown Designer : Maggie Sottero
Dj : Aaron Milic