Lisa Mark Photography in Conversation on her creative process & the importance of being spontaneous at this unique wedding
Lisa Marks Photography shares her vision of photography and her experience shooting the wedding day of Joanne and Ari at the Berkeley Fieldhouse wedding venue Toronto.
What a fun idea to rent an Airbnb to get ready in on their wedding day. Was part of their decision the photogenic quality of the space? How do you think this decision paid off?
It was amazing! Not only did we have more space to work in but the clients picked somewhere that jived perfectly with the Berkeley Fieldhouse. As a result their album from getting ready to reception was very cohesive in style.
This wedding is just brimming over with fun! It feels like the best birthday party you have ever had combined with the excitement of a champagne bottle opening. How did you so adeptly capture and translate this energy in your photographs?
It really has to do with Joanne & Ari! They were so joyful. Her relationship with her best girlfriends was clearly amazing and like high school besties. The ‘Mean Girl’ tshirts she had made for each girl were adorable and hilarious! So I just encouraged them to goof around with some champagne and the results were so much fun! We also did a bridesmaids first look which was new for me and I really loved doing!
How do you hit the refresh button in your process as a photographer to make each wedding you capture so fresh and original?
I try to take in the connections between each person and try to show that. Everything from the connection between the couple and their parents to partying with their friends matters. Every wedding is different and offers different creative opportunities. I love shooting in new places, but also try to make Venus I’ve been to hundreds of times new every time I shoot there.
You effectively used the location of the Berkeley Fieldhouse to its fullest potential in your wedding photographs. What did you plan ahead of time and how much was spontaneous?
While this was my first full wedding I have shot at the Fieldhouse twice before – once for a portrait session and once for portraits of the band Sloan. As a result I had explored all the spaces available so I had a general plan of where to go. That being said I’m not much into scouting, and I really love to just look around and see what pops into my mind on the wedding day. The spontaneity is important to my creative process and resulting images are always better for me if I can just go for it.
When you met with the couple what feeling did you walk away with about this wedding?
That it was going to be a hell of a lot of fun! Ari the groom is also a creative (he works in video), so I knew creatively it would be lovely.
The couple had quotes done beautifully in calligraphy throughout their wedding design. How do you feel this inspiration shapes the mood of the wedding?
It gave beautiful details to a beautiful wedding day. The cool thing I learned while designing their wedding album is that a close friend of theirs created these calligraphy pieces for them. So it had even more meaning for Joanne & Ari than just the aesthetic.
The day of wedding pictures of Joanne and Ari have such a natural intimate quality to them. It’s as if each photo reveals a little more about their story while not being intrusive. How did you direct and accomplish these fantastic photos?
Being alone is huge! I have a policy that only me, my assistant, the couple and the video team (if present) may be present during the alone portraits. I work with my couple to create a sense of intimacy and I need them to focus on me, because I then direct their focus onto each other. The result is hopefully those magic little moments between them that I love to capture in my images.
You took some beautiful shots in the urban garden at the Berkeley Fieldhouse. How did you approach these photographs?
Joanne & Ari had told me the garden was one of the reasons they loved the Berkeley Fieldhouse so much. As a result I focused on using my 35mm 1.4 lens for that series as I wanted to show the couple IN the garden, surrounded by nature yet still in the city.
How does your technique and approach change and evolve with each wedding you shoot?
Like anything we improve with practice. I like to think every wedding I get a little better. I like to take risks and my clients like that I take risks. I will always tell them what I have in mind to try for a shot might not work, but luckily for me it usually does! 🙂
What is your wish list as your next technical piece of equipment you have your eye on?
14-24mm lens, for some very specific situations. Also a Mag Mod flash modification system would be super helpful for my next season!
What was the theme of this wedding and how did your shooting style align with it for this wedding?
It’s always hard to put a name to a wedding theme, but it was sort of elegant rustic, just like the Berkeley Fieldhouse. I think my style is always so centric to the couple, so whatever surroundings they are in can change as long as I have that connection with the couple in love.
You mentioned that your favourite shots of this wedding were the night ones taken with the couple in the tent. How did these photos capture the essence of the day and how did you technically approach them as night photography can be challenging.
I loved these because night photography has always been my speciality (I teach photographers in my workshop From Day To Night). I just find it so much fun! The album also ended with these images outside in the tent at Berkeley Field House, and it showed that despite the awesome party, the day was about Joanne & Ari and their sweet soulmate connection together.
On a day off where would you be found in Toronto with your camera?
At a concert:) Music photography is the reason I fell in love with shooting. My music work can be seen at http://lisamark.ca
Calligraphy Artist: Linden Laserna
Balloons – Sugargirlee & Co