Lindsay and Blair like to have fun and appear very comfortable infront of the camera. How did you work with this to communicate their personalities so effectively but also create a range of mood in the wedding portraits?
It’s important to me that wedding photos reflect the couple – I like to get to know them, and think about the types of photos they would hang on their wall.
For most couples I work with, they love candid, real emotions, and the best way to create these photos is to: 1) give a couple time to spend together, and b) get them moving! It can be as simple as a walk through a park, or going to grab a drink. Giving two people something to do together allows them to interact as they would normally. With Lindsay and Blair we went for a walk to a nearby park. This gave me the opportunity to capture photos of them walking, taking time together in the park, and also to create wide photos of the city scape – photos that included the streetcars, the buildings, and all the elements that made Lindsay and Blair want to get married at la Maquette.
Wedding photography is storytelling. When a couple looks through their wedding photos, start to finish, I create a collection that lets them relive the day, like watching a movie.
This includes the people, the dancing, the laughs, the ceremony…but it also includes the details that make their day unique to them. Pictures like the venue, the city streets where they’re getting ready, walking the dog in the morning, eating snacks with your wedding party…these are all moments that are part of the wedding day, and bring back feelings and memories when you see them years later.
What are your thoughts on how making time for a first look in the wedding day can add to the wedding experience for the couple?
Oh I love this question! If things are running behind on a wedding day, it can eat into photo time, so I’m always prepared wth options to fit any possible time scenario:) That said, a first look is all about the couple. They tend to have a sense if they want it private, or public, or low key, or energetic, and I take a cue from them. For Lindsay and Blair it was important for it to be a moment that was just between the two of them, and we were lucky to have the Omni King Edward Hotel as the setting for getting ready. It really isn’t about the location, it’s about giving space for a couple to interact – to see and be with each other.
My favourite thing about being present for the ‘getting ready portion of a wedding is there is a bit more time to look around, and take in the surroundings and quiet moments that are a part of it – like looking out the window, and capturing the view of the church that Lindsay saw during her morning.
I never orchestrate what happens in this moment. I like to hide in the corner, with a telephoto lens, and give them time to experience it quietly, together, without interrupting. Once they’ve had that experience, then it’s a great time to capture portraits:) My philosophy is ‘Your Day, Your Way.’
What were some of the reasons that the couple chose La Maquette as their wedding venue and how did you highlight their choice in your photographic technique?
I know it was important for Lindsay and Blair to have a venue that had indoor and outdoor space, and to have their venue be easily accessible to downtown Toronto.
You could say the city was a guest at the wedding, and it was important it be featured:) I love photographing at La Maquette because the venue itself is stylish – it doesn’t require a lot of over the top decor. The windows in the upstairs make for beautiful daytime lighting, and the black and white floor downstairs gives it a fun French flair!
Having the gardens and outdoor area for photos ensured Lindsay and Blair could spend time with their guests, and not have to travel to a third location for photos.
What were your impressions of the outdoor patio space for the wedding ceremony and how did you strategize getting such beautifully composed ceremony pictures?
The outdoor space was really important to the couple, so guests had the option to take a break from the dance floor:) The fun challenge for photography is that the space and lighting outside is completely different than the space and lighting inside! I prepare for this by having a walkthrough with the couple before their day, and ideally around the time that their ceremony is planned. It allows me to see where the light will be, and what angles I can shoot from without blocking anyone (it’s really important to me that family and friends see the couple, never me, during the ceremony).
I use almost exclusively Magmod modifiers for my Canon flashes. It allows me to have a different lighting setup for indoors and outdoors, always ready to go, without missing a moment. Some of the best moments happen at night, and I’m always prepared for them!
What was the wedding style that the couple chose for their day and how did it suit them, the mood of the wedding and guest experience as a result?
I always tell couples to choose 2-3 things they really care about, and focus on those first; everything else will fall into place! For Lindsay and Blair, their top 3 were venue, flowers, and photographer. They had a really strong vision of a downtown wedding that would be relaxed and classy, with a touch of Bohemian fun:) The colour palette of bright pink with touches of garden colours was perfect for the minimalist backdrop of La Maquette. Their choices meant they had a wedding day where, once it started – they didn’t need to make any more choices on their wedding day! No travel, no rain plan, and no setup meant they could relish in the company of their guests and be fully present on their wedding day.
There are some incredible photographs of your couple spending time together on the second floor of La Maquette where their wedding reception took place relaxing before the wedding day begins. What was the idea behind capturing these moments?
Lindsay and Blair had so many beautiful, personal touches to their decor! Lindsay loves flowers (I’m pretty sure she was a florist in another lifetime) and spent a lot of time choosing and curating their florals. The mismatched, colourful napkins? All handmade by Lindsay’s family. With all these personal touches, it was important for them to take a minute to see the room in it’s entirety, before things got going. It ended up that we had extra time between the scheduled photo time and the ceremony, so the upstairs area at la Maquette was a great place to hide them! I find a lot of my favourite photo moments for couples happen when they have downtime. Don’t worry about having spare time, because you’ll relish a minute alone to sit down!
What struck you as an excellent wedding decision that Lindsay and Blair made for their day that you felt paid off the most?
There are two things that struck me as perfect decisions that worked for them. One was to forgo having a big bridal party – because Lindsay had too many friends! So rather than bridesmaids, she invited all her close friends to come up in the morning to hangout, and be with her, without the added space needed for 20 extra people to get ready:)
The other one I loved? Lindsay and Blair lied about the start time to their ceremony! They said it was at 4, when it was really at 4:30. When guests arrived for the fake 4:00 p.m. start time, they were greeted with an open bar of the couples’ favourite drinks. It gave family and friends a chance to hug, and catch up, and relax, before settling in for the ceremony. I saw the difference on the faces – everyone was a bit more present, and connected not just to the couple but to each other.
“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera” Yousuf Karsh What do you think of this quote in relation to how you approach taking pictures?
I love this quote as it relates to photojournalism, and to how I approach weddings. It’s important to capture the photos a couple wants, and to plan ahead for the big moments – it’s a wedding, after all! The first kiss, dancing with your parents, the first look…they’re all important. But when it comes to the candid moments, I spend more time watching and less time clicking:) I think about “what are the personal touches in this wedding? What does this couple do that connects them” – a hand hold, a wink, I look out for small, unscripted moments the show their love…and then I wait for those moments to happen. If someone’s father is hilarious, and they’re giving a speech, I KNOW there will be laughs, and so I’ll keep my camera trained on the couple, and wait for their response.
back what strikes you as truly unique about this wedding day ?
For me what was truly unique was that Lindsay and Blair pulled out all the stops for the things that mattered to them, and then didn’t get bothered by the little things:) They trusted the decisions they made, and the people they hired, and they enjoyed their day without any worries. Also, the truly unique thing was the handmade napkins – because I still have them! Lindsay had so many from the wedding, that she gifted me at least two dozen. I think of them, and that wedding, every time I use them:)
Photographer: Eldie Photography
Invitations and seating chart: Alicia’s Infinity
Make-up: Ashley Readings
Hair: Friend of the bride, Megan Miles
Dress: Ferre Sposa (Mikaella by Paloma Blanca)
Shoes (hers): Rachel Simpson
Shoes (his): Hugo Boss
Dessert: Bakerbots Baker
Music: Playlist by bride and groom!