Quite a few years ago I shot for another Toronto wedding photographer and one of the first lessons he taught me was to look for great emotions in the minutes preceding the ceremony. While other professional photographers start packing in preparation for the main part of the big day, I always keep a camera handy and ready to shoot, should the opportunity presented itself. More often than not, because I keep quiet and observe, the bride and groom give me the expected reactions. Their emotions are so strong and their thoughts so deep, that couples often even forget about me and open up in front of the camera. I captured touches of laughter, tears, parents crying and more.
Before the ceremony, the bride asked everyone to leave so she can have a few minutes on her own. I asked if she wanted me to leave and she said "no, stay if you want." She started looking outside the arched windows at Liberty Grand and for fraction of a second, smiled. It was in that moment when I took this gorgeous photo.
Because the image captures a candid moment during the big day at Liberty Grand, to preserve the purity of the scene I used ambient light. These days, cameras can shoot almost in complete darkness and a professional photographer still gets usable images. Because the large windows of the venue provided a good photograph quality and direction of light, I didn't need to use flash or any other form of artificial light.
I personally love natural light because it allows me to capture beautiful moments without attracting the subject's attention. With my tiny mirror less cameras, I look like an amateur rather than a professional photographer and I don't care. The quality of the images is exceptional and the bride and groom couldn't care less about the type of camera I use. After all, no matter if you shoot Canada, Nikon Fuji or Sony, the best camera is the one you have between your ears.
To create this portrait of the bride, I used a 56 mm F1.2 lens mounted on a Fujifilm XT2 Camera and I shot it wide open to isolate the bride through depth of field.
Because the bride is looking towards the window, I was able to shoot from the short side of the light. In other words by shooting from the shadow side, I was able to make the bride even leaner than she already was.
As a side note, I'm always surprised by how many wedding photographers don't know how to light and pose the bride and groom. The sad reality of our industry is that often new answers don't study the roles of photography before they start shooting weddings.
While I'm not a big fan of rules, I recognize the importance of knowing when to apply them and when to break them.
This beautiful three-quarter portrait of the bride emphasizes her curved body and makes her stand out.
In terms of posing, the image could be improved slightly. The beautiful bride's left arm touches her waistline, which makes her look bigger. I wish I could ask the bride to put her hand in her lap so that there is a bit of a gap between her arm and her body. However given that this is a candid photograph, the emotion beats technique here.
Because the image was shot in portrait mode, the composition is clean and simple. The bride is positioned in the foreground, making her the clear subject of this photo.
With any portrait, I put a lot of effort in making sure that this can looks flawless. This bride had no blemishes at all so I only applied basic retouching techniques. After colour correcting the photograph, I softened the skin and applied a selective vignette eating to make the subject of the image pop.
During the consultation with the couples I often emphasize the importance of good makeup. Makeup can make a beautiful woman look stunning, emphasized her strengths and hide her imperfections. Because the bride picked one of the best makeup artists in Toronto, she looked flawless throughout her special day. It goes without saying that a professional photographer's job is way easier if on the wedding day the subject is photogenic.
As you can see in this wedding album, both the bride and groom look amazing and I focus mostly on capturing moments in the love between them as opposed to posing them to cover any potential flaws.
Location: 25 British Columbia Rd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3.