This Atlantis Toronto wedding picture is depicting the bride, her two year old niece and the bride's sister in law. It is an emotional family portrait that exudes love.
During the bride's preparation for her wedding, I found a clean backdrop and asked the three ladies to stand and do their thing. A few seconds later, the completely forgot about me and gave me this beautiful moment I immortalized. On the left, the bride's sister-in-law is looking at her daughter and laughing. The baby girl, in turn, is looking at the bride, who, is about to give the baby a kiss on the forehead.
I love the way the niece looks at the bride with her big innocent eyes, held in her mothers' arms. This is a simple image, unique in its content yet very powerful through the emotions evoked.
According to the composition rule of odds, a photograph showcasing an odd number of subjects is appealing. Also, the subjects heads form a triangle, which is another pleasant element in a wedding photograph. To create a bit of tension in the picture I chose to place the subjects on the left hand side so that the negative space created on the right balances them visually.
For the processing, I used black and white. Sometimes colors distract viewer's attention from the photograph's message and subtracting the colour adds to the value of the image. This is the case where less is more. Also, to give this family photograph a timeless feel I added a discrete film grain in post production. According to the best wedding photographer in the world, Yervant, adding film grain makes the photographs more emotional at a subliminal level. I learned this during a workshop with the master of wedding photography a few years ago.
This image is purely photo journalistic in essence. In fact, even the best Toronto wedding photographer could not pose a two-year-old child who didn't, at the time, speak English. The subjects were having an intimate moment and I just placed myself in a position where I could immortalize it sublimely.
While this image is not going to win any photography awards anytime soon, it is a very emotional image and very close to my heart. The bride and groom are good friends of mine. In fact after the wedding, the newlyweds invited us to have dinner at their place and we all shared stories from the wedding day.
One of the challenges in capturing this image was to set the proper exposure. By default, a bride backdrop tricks the camera meter into under exposing the image. As such, I had to manually override the reading by two stops in this photograph. I have always maintained that a good Toronto wedding photographer should know his or her equipment in this situation supports my statement. A newbie, would spend a lot of time getting the exposure right and with unfortunately miss the moment.
Part of my improvement process is to self critique my work. I wish I cropped the image slightly different, but at the time I focused on the moment. I captured this shot with an 85 mm 1.2 lens. Because I used a prime lens, the only way I could was to move around the room. Unfortunately, I was slightly too close to the subjects when this moment happened, so I shot this frame a tad too tight. However, that is debatable because one of the photography rules is to fill the frame and then take a step forward towards the subject. That, in effect, means the image is shot even tighter.
Location: 955 Lake Shore Blvd W, Toronto, ON M6K 3B9.