It is no secret that Yorkville is my favourite pre-wedding and engagement photography location in downtown Toronto. First and most important, Yorkville boasts beautiful Victorian houses that constitute the perfect backdrops for pre-wedding and engagement environmental portraits. Also, Yorkville is abundant to with high and shops whose windows I often use as a background for my pictures. Even more importantly, there are plenty of restaurants, ice cream parlours and coffee shops in this affluent district so besides the posed photographs I can also capture candid images of my couples eating an ice cream, having lunch or enjoying a double espresso. As a Toronto wedding photographer, I know how important it is for my clients to receive a large variety of shots ranging from staged images that look like Vogue ads to photojournalistic shots of them sharing an ice cream, for example, . Next, parking can be easily found in Ramsden Park (minutes from Yorkville) on Hazelton Ave or on Scollard St. or Barryman St.
I photograph this particular image in front of the Oxley Public House. What drew me to this location was the intense red colour of the walls accentuated by blue windows. As my couple was dressed in blue and red, I thought that would perfectly match the colourful backdrop offered by the Oxley Public House.
As such, I positioned my couple on the right hand of the picture and made sure that one of the buildings windows was framing them perfectly. Regarding posing, I did not give them strict directions, but I rather asked the couple to be themselves and have a moment as if no photographer was taking pictures of them. That had a calming effect on the couple, so they started interacting with each other and smiling naturally. I just made sure that my composition and the timing is right and created this beautiful photo. Speaking of composition, the couple is perfectly balanced by a tree situated on the left side of the frame. The primary colours red, green, and blue present in this image is making it appealing and giving it stability. Because the background is red, the engaged couple dressed in blue stands out. Also, the window in the background is framing the couple perfectly.
One of the dangers of shooting environmental portraits in busy locations in Toronto is that many distractions could potentially compete for attention in the picture. I'm talking about pedestrians, cars, garbage bins, etc. However, in this image, we avoided all the above distractions by starting the photo shoot early in the morning when the Yorkville streets were empty.
When my potential clients see this image they invariably asked me where it was taken and if we can shoot there. It is a soft, romantic engagement photo with a candid feel despite the fact that was clearly staged.
To capture this engagement environmental portrait I used the Canon 35mm 1.4 shot wide open.
In post production I corrected the white balance, then as usually, I applied skin softening where needed, increased the colour intensity and selectively dodged and burned the image to highlight the subjects (the engaged couple).
Location: 121 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1C4.