In late April I had the pleasure of collaborating with Toronto fashion designer Andy Jones during the premiere of his line titled, #WERK2013, at Fashion Art Toronto 2013 (FAT 2013). Although the collaboration was in the form of a video project showcasing his clothing, a side benefit of the work was that I had amazing access for photography. Not only were we seated in the front row, but I was given access to the preparations behind the scenes. Below are some of my images from the last two nights of FAT 2013.
My personal efforts at street photography seem to always slow down around winter time. I lose my passion and my inspiration, and I also fear losing the tips of my fingers to frostbite.
This past winter was especially capricious with its inability to settle on either freezing or thawing. We had rain, we had cold, we had fog, and even a few debilitating snowstorms. Up until yesterday, winter seemed to have an unrelenting grip on Toronto. Last week was especially depressing with the chilly weather and nearly horizontal rainfall. On most days, bringing my camera along was not an option; when I did, I was too busy struggling with my umbrella and guessing from which direction the wind will gust next. I don’t recall having ever seen so many umbrellas reduced to their tattered skeletal forms. Fortunately, mine survived.
One of the perks of being a Toronto wedding photographer is the great food we’re treated to at the weddings we photograph. If you’re a foodie and love photography, you should give your current job serious reconsideration, because wedding photography may be your true calling. Just kidding! I rarely get the time to truly savour the experience; the nature of my work means that I’m constantly looking out for the next captivating moment. In such a context the food becomes a delicious way to quickly refuel for the rest of the night.
Keeping with the topic of food, I would like to introduce you to Ally and Chris. Their wedding last year had a novel and refreshing approach to the wedding dining experience: a delicious buffet cooked up by the fine kitchen at Sleepy Hollow Country Club.
My day started shortly after noon, when I drove out to meet the bride at the Aurora salon and spa at which she was preparing. They had booked the entire facility for her entourage of bridesmaids and family. After finishing up with the ladies, I drove over to the Hilton where the groom and his men were preparing. They were booked in the “presidential suite”, a large and well-appointment hotel room. There was plenty of natural and artificial light, as well many opportunities for creative framing. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.
I followed the brigade to Sleepy Hollow. The groomsmen were ushering guests towards the terrace where the ceremony would take place. As the guests were taking their seats, I surveyed the immediate grounds for a unique angle. My goal was to avoid taking the same pictures as last week’s wedding photographer. This is always my goal, but there is a very fine distinction between avoiding the ordinary and being too avant-garde with your approach. The images need to have a sense of novelty while maintaining the good taste and sensibility that photography at a wedding deserves. I found just the angle from an area beyond the trellis that dropped towards the golf course. The position provided me with a great view of the proceedings while minimizing, if not completely nullifying, my presence to both the bride and groom and their guests.
After the ceremony was complete and Ally, Chris, and their witnesses signed the marriage documents, the guests dispersed and the fun commenced. There were plenty of drink, hors d’oeuvre, and jovial chatter. This continued for the rest of the evening. The self-serve buffet encouraged many conversations as guests formed lines leading to the gastronomic delights.
As the night was drawing to a close and I was packed to leave, I decided to take a breather before driving out. I went for short stroll along the path surrounding the golf course. The air was heavy with humidity and must’ve attenuated the noise from the party behind me, because it quickly became very quiet and very creepy. The silence turned into an eerie soundtrack as I approached a small depression that was overgrown with cattails. I’m not familiar with the terminology of musical instruments and sound, but I would describe the sound as a mixture of low cords on a banjo and a didgeridoo. I figured I was near a knot of toads. Never a dull day being a Toronto wedding photographer.
The collection below features some of my favourite photographs from the day. I hope you enjoy them.
It’s typical for a Toronto wedding photographer to gush about couples they choose to feature on their wedding blogs. In reality, due to the nature of the business, it’s rare for the photographer to have genuine knowledge of the bride and groom since the wedding day is often the only time they’ve spent an extended period of time with their wedding photographer. (In fact, Skype has become a popular and convenient option to face-to-face meetings for my clients.) Laura and Alex, however, was a special case.
I have known them as a couple since the beginning of their journey nearly six years ago when they were working for the same company in different departments. As for me and Alex, you can trace our friendship back to the third grade. The school year was already underway when the teacher introduced the class to a small blonde kid, holding his mom’s hand. Just as she was about to leave, Alex turned beet-red and started to cry. What a great first impression!
It didn’t take us long to discover that we lived in the same apartment building: he on the fifth floor and me on the fourth. Given our close proximity, we naturally became the best of friends, despite our minor personality differences: I liked art and he liked hockey; I had an old Nintendo and he had a fancy Playstation; he had a little brother and I was an only child.
Skip forward twenty years to the present and he’s all grown up and married. I’m honoured for having had the opportunity to witness their embarkation towards life’s next destination. The wedding ceremony and dinner reception at Eagles Nest Golf Club was classy and dignified. The delicious food and mouth-watering desserts did not go without notice.
I did my best to capture the celebration both as a a friend and a Toronto wedding photographer. My aim as usual was to shoot in the style of photojournalistic wedding photography. Enjoy!