In Conversation with Toronto Photographer Heidi Lau Photography about her Unique perspectives on photographing a Romantic Modern Wedding at La Maquette Restaurant
You took some beautifully composed editorial shots in the midst of the wedding day activities. Is making time for these photographs something that is important to you?
Yes, the wedding day always goes by so quickly and I always suggest to my couples to block off time in their wedding day for creative portraits. It allows them some time away from all the activities happening the day of their wedding and time alone to soak in the day. It also tends to be the photos that they end up printing after the wedding so it’s important to allow time for that and to not rush through those portraits.
“Life is the flower for which love is the honey” Victor Hugo. This is the quote Jennifer and Michael chose for their wedding menu. How is this inspired quote reflected in the style of the wedding?
Jennifer and Michael kept their wedding very intimate and their love for each other and their family and friends was the focus. All the details they planned was for their loved ones and was thoughtful, not over the top or extravagant.
The wedding of Jennifer and Michael has some beautiful traditional elements as well as some planned activities and staged portraits. How did you ensure you captured each of these important elements with all the significant moments and details?
I always meet with my couples a couple weeks before their big day and go through their wedding day schedule. Knowing ahead of time what is happening that day helps me prepare for capturing those important moments for my couple.
The series of photographs of Jennifer and her father are very touching. They capture a range of emotion and capture a epic moment in time. You chose to take a series of photos of this dance from multiple angles. What was your thought process for these photos?
Father-daughter dances are one of my major weaknesses at a wedding. Something about a dad letting go of his little girl and having one last dance pulls on all my heart strings, it’s such a sweet moment and I love capturing it. The dance between Jennifer and her dad was no different, everyone in the room was emotional watching them have that moment together! I took a series of photos from different angles so that I can get the reactions from not just Jennifer and her dad but of their guests as well.
How does your background in the arts inform your photographic process?
My background in arts really helps with my composition, positioning people and my awareness of colours and light. During art school we studied all those elements extensively and made me very aware of them while I’m shooting which helps with capturing the image correcting in camera and avoiding a lot of correction in post-production work.
How would you describe the style of this wedding day at La Maquette and how did you adjust your style to match and augment it?
Jennifer and Michael are both very easy-going and funny, they wanted an intimate wedding to celebrate with their family and friends which is exactly the type of weddings and style I love to photograph. Also, Jennifer works in the fashion industry so they have great style and made it easy for my to photograph them, they were very natural.
The wedding party and wedding couple used the winding stairway of La Maquette as an entranceway for the wedding reception with each guest making an impression. Are choices like this something you co- ordinate with your couples to ensure the key moments are captured and heightened in the pictures?
Before their entrance to the reception, I asked them how they were entering so that I could position myself properly to capture it. The stairway leading up to the reception was a great touch, it definitely made for a grand entrance.
There is a beautiful photo of Jennifer and Michael that you took right after they were married. Their animated expressions communicate their unique personalities so accurately. What are some of your skills that enable you to do this?
It’s about anticipation as well as communication with the couple. We had chatted about their schedule, how things will happen that day and knowing to what to expect next helps with capturing these really fun moments when they happen. Having my camera ready is very key since these smaller and more intimate weddings things happen a lot quicker.
You adeptly and beautifully captured the ceremony of Jennifer and Michael. What were your impressions of the ceremony?
My style of photography is all about using natural and available light, so having additional outdoor space and natural light is very beneficial for capturing candid moments. Flash tends to be distracting so being able to take photos without it lets me be a little more subtle.
The outdoor patio at La Maquette is adjacent to the Toronto sculpture garden as well as the St James Cathedral is directly across the street from La Maquette. You utilized these key Toronto landmarks in your photography of the wedding. What were your impressions of this location?
I love the blend of old and new architecture, it’s so unique to that area of downtown Toronto. I wanted to make sure to use it in a way that compliments Jennifer and Michael.
“It’s not only the big important moments but waiting for the in between moments and subtle nuances that I really love.” How do you translate this philosophy into your photographs?
I approach it in a way that I would want my own wedding photographed. Capturing the big moments are important but because the day goes by so quickly, I want to be able to remember the little things too. When I photograph a wedding I want to make sure the details and candid moments are captured as well.
On a day off where would you be with your camera?
Taking lots and lots of photos of my daughter! And if we’re lucky, then on vacation taking travel photos!
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