Early in my career as a Toronto wedding photographer I realized that one of my competitive advantages is delivering a variety of looks and images to my clients. Besides the environmental portraits shot with a wide angle lens, I also photograph tight images in a portrait format.
After capturing the love between the bride and groom in the previous spread of the wedding album, I decided to shoot a bit tighter so that besides the beautiful background, the couple can see their reactions as well.
I have to admit that I love planning the wedding day well in advance. In fact, I discuss the big day during my first consultation with the bride and groom.
Often the couples are floored by the number of questions I asked them. When will the bride preparation start? Will they have an outdoor ceremony? How big is the wedding party? At what time does the cocktail hour start? How many guests they expect? Are there any specific pictures the couple would love to have taken? Can we visit the wedding venue before the couple special day?
I particularly want to see the banquet hall and discuss any moments so that there are no surprises on the wedding day. It is especially important for me to stop the venue before we start shooting there to observe the light and plan how to illuminate the banquet hall. I don't want to scramble during the reception for additional lights and so on.
Liberty Grand is a splendid venue in besides its classic elegance, it poses challenges for the Toronto wedding photographer who is lucky enough to book a wedding there.
The truth is, this particular venue is not one of the most affordable ones but there are ways to obtain a few discounts, especially if you have a winter or a Sunday wedding.
But I digress! Coming back to our photograph, in this particular image of the bride and groom we can see the couple interacting with love and romance. More specifically, the groom is holding his bride and I was fast enough to capture the moment of an impromptu kiss.
In wedding photography there are a lot of moments that cannot be re-created. A professional photographer has to develop a six sense to anticipate such moments, position himself in the perfect spot in order to capture them masterfully.
There are so many things that have to align in a documentary photographers shot. First, because he does not prompt the couple, he cannot ask them to redo the kiss. As such, a candid photographer has to be an expert from a technical standpoint, physically fit and a good observer of human behaviour and body language.
In my photography career I had the honour to work with plenty of professional photographers in the Greater Toronto area and only a few of them are masters of candid photography. There is no right or wrong approach when it comes to documenting a day. There are some traditional wedding photographers who capture gorgeous wedding day images of the couples. Sadly, they are becoming slowly extinct because today's bride wants more dynamic imagery and drama. Next, and the other extreme you have the you are photojournalists who simply observe the wedding and never interfere.
Finally, you have artist like us who work perfectly between the two extremes. We can direct formal photos and the bride and groom photo shoot but simply observe the moments unfolding during the wedding ceremony and reception.
The type of photography style you prefer is irrelevant. What matters is to deliver beautiful images to the couple, pictures that they, the families and guests and more importantly their children will love forever.
In my opinion, regardless of how talented a photographer is, experience always trumps talent. While we are a team of very talented artists, we always strive to improve our craft in order to survive in the Toronto wedding photography arena.
When a studio sleeps on its laurels and stops learning and innovating, it is a sure sign that they will disappear. The just a matter of time until that happens.
Location: 25 British Columbia Rd, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3.