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Holy Rosary Church Wedding Photographer

During my career as a Toronto wedding photographer I learned to not only react to events as they unfold but also anticipate them and be ready to capture them. The recessional is such a moment, and I always shoot like a madman the bride and groom exits from the church. In a wedding, the recessional is that inflection point where you switch from a serious and inherently intense format to a more relaxed one. After all, everybody's thinking about the big party that's about to follow and often I saw brides and grooms opening up and allowing me to capture splendid moments. In this wedding picture, the bride and groom are shown exiting the the church hand-in-hand. The groom has an obviously proud demeanour  While the wife has raised her left arm holding the bouquet in a sign of victory. Her beautiful figure is illuminated by a genuine smile. In the foreground, to the left of the image we see a few guests filming the exit of the bride and groom with their phones. On the right-hand side, some of the guests are applauding, others are smiling looking at the couple.

This photojournalistic picture of the bride and groom had its own challenges. First, this church was very dim lit. As such, I wanted to incorporate artificial light, but unfortunately the priest did not allow it during the wedding ceremony. However, he was fine with us flashing during the processional,  recessional, and of course during the family photos that followed. To illuminate the scene, I simply bounced the flash into a white pillar inside the church. Although Holy Rosary Church has white ceilings, there are so tall that one cannot bounce the light into the ceiling. 

Despite the candid nature of this photo, and the little time I had to prepare, its composition is impeccable. The bride and groom are positioned in the centre of the image which gives them prominence. They are surrounded by a multitude of leading lines that emphasize the importance of the newlyweds in the wedding picture. The first set of leading lines is formed by the pews on the right. Next, in the foreground, we can see at least three guests who point their cell phones towards the bride and groom directing our attention to the couple. Even more important, the rest of the audience is looking towards the bride and groom creating virtual leading lines that highlight the subjects. Finally, I applied the Dutch tilt technique whereby I rotated the camera around its axis by about 7°. That makes all the horizontal lines in the frame become diagonals, which gives the image dynamism. 

When I look at this wedding photo, I remember my own wedding. There is a striking resemblance the bride and groom's outfits and the ones I wore at my wedding. In nature this is a pure documentary portrait of the bride and groom captured during one of the peaks of their wedding day.

To create this beautiful photojournalistic image, I used a can of 35mm lens shot wide open.

Because the wedding guests wore various colours that were competing with my subjects, I decided to make this a black and white photo. I also added selective dodging and burning to emphasize the subjects and tone down the bright iPhones in this powerful image.

Location: 354 St Clair Ave W, York, ON M5P 1N4.

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