Early in my career as a Toronto wedding photographer, I learned that the big day is hectic and often things run late. After all, the bride has to look perfect for her ceremony or for the first look.
In this particular wedding at Liberty Grand, things ran smoothly until one of the guests complained she like her hair and makeup. That triggered a series of delays. Between you and me, besides taking gorgeous photographs, the job of a professional photographer consists of also keeping things run smoothly. In addition to that, the photographer has to keep his calm and reassure the bride everything will be alright no matter how tight the situation is.
To avoid catastrophic situations such as running out of time and not being able to take proper bridal portraits, I always ask for more time that I need to photograph the bride. In my consultations and my tips for brides I emphasize the need of having at least two hours for the bridal photo shoot. In reality, probably half an hour would be a decent amount of time to take some beautiful portraits of the bride and her bridesmaids.
However, in my experience 99% of the weddings run late in as the seals say, "two is one and one is none." More often than not, even though the brides allocate two hours for pictures before the ceremony, on average, we usually get about 40 minutes.
Many photographers in the greater Toronto area have no plan when they start documenting the big day. In all honesty, I was the same before attending a workshop with Jerry Ghionis, one of the giants of wedding photography. Jerry confessed that about 90% of his pictures are must take shots. Early in his career he constructed a list of photographs to take on the wedding day. The truth is, often things run out of control and lacking a solid plan is a recipe for disaster.
I'm often asked by the bride and groom, during the consultation, if I find creativity on the couple's special day. My answer is a straight no. Creativity is scarce under pressure and often we, professional photographers operate in reactive mode. Because the timeline keeps changing, all the plans you made are useless. Also, creaking a good photo takes a bit of time. Even actors and models take a full day to create that cover of the magazine shot. We are talking here about professional photographers taking pictures of actors and models, in controlled environments (studios) with expensive and reliable equipment. That is the reason why the less time we have for the bride and groom preparation and for the photo shoot, the last dramatic the images.
The image of the beautiful bright ring on her earrings in preparation for the outdoor ceremony at Liberty Grand is a classic one.
Because you were running out of time, I quickly asked the bride to sit and put on her earrings. In that particular position, I snapped no less than five images. First, I to an environmental portrait of the bride. Second, I capture a close-up of her. Third, I shot a detail of the hands holding the earring. Fourth, I took a picture of the shoes and last an over the shoulder image of the bride looking at her bridesmaids.
As a professional photographer, you learn how to maximize opportunities even under severe time constraints. In fact the ability of pre-visualizing a series of shots is key to becoming a successful photographer. That ability, saved me numerous times in my career and allowed me to create complete wedding albums for my clients.
In this photograph, to emphasize the importance of the bride, I used a portrait lens shot wide open so that only the beautiful woman is in focus.
The image flows nicely because the viewers eye starts travelling from the top left, meets the bride's eyes travels along the sinister diagonal and exits through the bottom right corner of the picture.
Creek balance in this shot, I placed the bride on the left and framed the image so the pillow in the background counterbalances the bride. Both the brides all eyes and the pillow are placed along the sinister diagonal, which gives the image dynamism.
Location: 25 British Columbia Rd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3.