Andrew Joanisse Photography Discusses the Art Of Capturing Lovely Iconic Wedding Images : At La Maquette Restaurant
You beautifully utilized the surrounding urban area of La Maquette to its fullest potential in this lovely wedding. Did you research the site and calculate the potential for capturing images?
Ideally, I usually try to visit before to see what it’s like. I look at the physical space and the type of light it has. La Maquette has great features inside- checkered floor, beautiful chandelier, large windows, and a beautiful garden. I also check out different places we can walk to in order to get a variety of images. Different colors, textures, background scenery all play into it. Sometimes I don’t get that chance to visit beforehand so we improvise based on what’s available and also what each couple wants. Some people don’t mind getting their feet dirty and dress or suit a little messy. Others don’t want this at all so we use what’s around.
How would you describe the style of this wedding in three words?
Elegant. Playful. Alive.
These wedding images tell a compelling story of the wedding day. How do you ensure your photos capture the story of the event?
I always try to capture the details, use natural light, and try different compositions. Most photos taken standing from the height of human eye look relatively normal. It’s what we’d see standing there looking directly at something. This looks good but sometimes it’s less interesting. I play around this trying to get different angles, perspectives, and close-ups of details you might not notice or otherwise forget. I crouch down, look from behind something, get on top of stuff. I look at hands, contents of pockets, capture hugs and smiles. I want the couple to look at the photos and see something new or see something differently. We move through the day and capture the reactions and the story gets told in a pretty natural way.
There are some wonderfully iconic images of the wedding party of Kayla and and Adria’s wedding. Was this the original intent that there would be some direction and staging with the party to achieve these results?
Most of my weddings have minimal staging. My style is mainly candid and most of my clients prefer this look to capture their wedding. It tends to make people feel most relaxed and comfortable which translates into more natural looking photos. I give minimal direction and people loosen up as we chat. With group shots and family there is always some organizing and planning, but aside from that, decisions are made as we go. With such a happy day surrounded by close friends and family, people tend to forget about the camera.
As a photographer you seek out opportunities to take portraits, street photography as well as travel photography and share these pursuits in your blog. How does this regular practice amplify your opportunities on a wedding day?
I started off as a photographer taking street shots and travel photography in variety of places and settings. Not everyone wants their picture taken and others love it, but taking pictures of people has always been the most interesting for me. I was out meeting people on the street and getting more confidence to approach strangers and talk to them before (or after) taking their picture. Travelling allowed me to practice shooting in less than ideal conditions. Places where you can’t control the light, direct the people, or take time in framing the picture. These experiences have allowed me to take a quick thinking, adaptable approach to my weddings.
The red dresses of the bridal party paired with the white bouquets was a striking combination with the traditional white wedding dress and red bouquet of the bride. How did you use these design choices to create striking images?
The style of the bride and groom really sets the stage for the wedding. I am there to capture their wonderful choices and find the details they so carefully thought out. Beautiful people and beautiful locations lend themselves very easily to beautiful images. I work with the lighting of the space and the composition of the photo, but Kayla and Adrian took care of the details. The co-ordination of the reds in the flowers, dresses and socks matched perfectly with a street car passing so we used it to our advantage.
The outdoor wedding ceremony was at La Maquette patio. How did you strategize to maximize this location in your photographs?
Kayla and Adrian took advantage of the September weather on patio of La Maquette by having the ceremony outside. Being outside allowed me use the natural light and space to capture the intimate ceremony. The interesting architecture of the building surrounding and green space gave us a variety of shots. The sculpture garden and waterfall give a unique look to the photos that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
La Maquette is surrounded by nature being beside the sculpture garden and with St. James Cathedral right across the street. How did this shape the feel of the wedding and play into your photographic choices?
I love to walk around for wedding photos. Toronto is great for this, and La Maquette was no exception. This variety is what I love! I The mix of garden, brick, glass, and modern architecture gives so much to work with and play around with. The somewhat abstract statue of whitewashed cars stacked on top of each other was great to have in the background and shoot around. I had to look this up afterwards to see what is was. It’s 7 replicated Honda Civics painted and stacked. How great is that? We crossed to St. James Cathedral and walked through the garden pathways. We used the imposing church for scale and for it’s great arches and lines.
What in your opinion makes an image compelling?
For me, a compelling image draws my eye to a subject and evokes some sort of further thought. I don’t mean that there is nothing else to look at in the frame but a subject that has been chosen intentionally and portrayed in a way you might not have noticed it. A certain color, texture, or detail. Composition and lighting play a big part in what looks good and makes a really good picture.
You were creative in using different light sources in the photography at this wedding. What are some of your techniques for this lighting challenge?
I normally try to use natural light as much as possible and this stayed true for La Maquette. Upstairs, there is especially nice light coming in through through the glass curtain wall. When necessary, I use a diffused flash and a monopod for a little more stability. The camera pulls in a lot of light and the lenses are fast so I often get by without the use of off-camera flash.