This is one of my favourite engagement photos taken in Toronto, more specifically in Ramsden Park.
I'm not a big fan of props because they can easily derail a photo shoot. In my career as a Toronto wedding photographer I had numerous cases when, because of props, the brides and grooms lost focus. As such, the photoshoot focus shifted towards the prop as opposed to the bride and groom. While I'm not 100% opposed to props, I discourage them.
However, this situation was different and I realize that a prop with drastically enhance the quality of this image. Consequently, I used one of my red smoke bombs to create this dramatic engagement photo.
I asked Katerina Taylor to hug each other and gave them posing directions. Then, I pulled one of the smoke bombs, lit it and gave it to Taylor to hold it. The red smoke creates a beautiful backdrop that complements the blue outfits of the couple.
This is an ambient light photograph shot with a Canon 35 mm F1.4 lens set at F2.5. I positioned the couple in such way that the sun was behind them. The backlighting separates Katerina Taylor from the green background and brightens the smoke. In photography, one should always backlight the smoke to make it look vivid.
In terms of image manipulation I enhanced the smoke colours in post production. Also, I used a smoke brush to make it thicker. Finally, I added a slight vignette to make the subjects more visible.
First, the pose is very romantic. The engaged couple is hugging each other and their lips are almost touching. Second, the red smoke adds drama and collar to this picture. Third, the composition is special. I positioned the couple on the right side of the frame, and the smoke creates a leading line. As viewers of photography, we are conditioned to read and image from left to right. As such, your eye travels from the left of the image, then your gaze is captured by the red smoke and goes directly towards Katerina and Taylor.
Location: 1020 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 1P7.