In my career as a Toronto wedding photographer, I learned to immortalize the moments as they unfold. This image, capture during a King Edward Hotel wedding reception, feature the bride and groom performing a traditional Macedonian wedding custom of breaking the bread and dancing with it. According to the Macedonian custom, the Godfather picks a round sweet bread and starts dancing. All the other guests join him by forming a circle resembling with the Jewish hora. The the bread and the hora symbolize continuity with no beginning or end, similar to the wedding bands. During the dance, guests often throw money at the dancers symbolizing prosperity and good luck. Towards the end of the dance, the bride and groom take the sweet bread and dance with it. After that, the break it trying to seize most of it. According to the Macedonian tradition, whoever ends up with a bigger piece of bread will rule the roost.
This splendid wedding picture captures the exact moment when the bride and groom broke the bread. Looking at this image, it feels like everything is moving in slow motion, like a scene in the movie Matrix. The groom, on the left, is holding his part of the bread. The rest of it, broken into three separate parts is flying in the air. There are a lot of bread crumbs suspended in mid air between the bride and groom. This is a top story of the image and occurs in the foreground. In the background, the guests are captured exhibiting various emotions. Towards the left of the frame, immediately next to the groom there is a boy who is watching the scene with big beautiful eyes. Next to him, most probably his father is smiling and looking at the bride and groom. His wife is filming the moment. Next to her there is another lady who was laughing and clasping her hands. On the brides right, her sister-in-law is yelling something and applauding the same time.
The beauty of candid wedding photography is that the emotions are genuine. Despite the fact I am a big guy, I find that the guests often ignore me as opposed to smile into the camera. As a documentary wedding photographer, I learned a few tricks to make myself invisible if you wish. First, I move slowly so that I don't attract attention. Second, I don't talk at all during such scenes but rather focus on the moments. Finally, unlike other Toronto wedding photographers who pull their massive telescopic lenses (70 to 200mm comes to mind) I use prime lenses. They are small, light, offer high quality and more important they make me look like an amateur photographer. At some weddings, I'm only a few feet from kids and they ignore me. That allows me to capture gorgeous candid photographs. In the past, when I was rocking the zoom lenses, the guests were becoming aware of my presence when I was pulling my massive zoom lenses. As a result of using only prime lenses, I can deliver a larger number of documentary wedding photos to my clients.
To be consistent with the documentary nature of this photograph, I selected a black and white processing. I also added a vignette around the bride and groom to emphasize them in the frame.
Location: 37 King St E, Toronto, ON M5C 1E9.