The Great Hall, Styled Bridal Shoot

Styled bridal shoots have quickly become one of my favorite creative processes to play with new techniques, tryout new equipment, play with fun lighting, and have given me the chance to work with a variety of other amazing wedding vendors who I totally fan-girl over on Instagram on a daily basis.  Over the past year and a half since starting my business, I dove headfirst into the world of wedding photography, and on looking back I realize that nothing else has helped me learn and grow as a photographer as much as creating styled shoots has. 

Having the chance to experiment and shoot creatively without as many outside pressures and distractions has helped improve my confidence tenfold when shooting real weddings.  Shooting diligently and consciously on styled shoots has helped me get to know my equipment inside and out, and although I doubt I'll ever fully understand the intricacies of photo editing (dumb question alert: what the frick actually IS a tone curve and how do I use it properly?!?!) I've learned more and more about my style and what kind of look I like in post.

Most importantly however are the relationships I've been able to build through collaborating with other amazing wedding vendors.  Working with other vendors, from florists, to hair and makeup artists, to stylists and venues, has helped open the door to developing a wide range of both personal and professional relationships with people in the industry whose work I admire.  This was so important for me as I transitioned from being a girl running a small organic farm in the country, to a downtown toronto dweller working in an entirely different industry from anything I'd studied or understood before.   Creating a community as a work-from-home entrepreneur is so important and so daunting when you're getting started, and I owe so much of where I am now to the friendship, trust, and support from people like the amazing vendors listed below who helped pull together this beautiful styled shoot.

If you're ever looking to collaborate, chat business, or just starting finding your own place in this massive wedding industry, send me a message! I'm always happy to chat. :)

Photography: Corynn Fowler Photography
Hair: Bridal Hair Collective
Makeup: Mobile Makeovers
Venue: The Great Hall
Dress: Hayley Page from Sash and Bustle
Florals and Table Styling: Leaf and Bloom
Calligraphy: Cecile Lau Calligraphy
Veil and Accessories: Laura Jayne Adornments
Ring: Anouk Jewelry
Model: Brynne from Plutino Group

Studio: Gesture 1

A quick creative shoot looking at the movement and details that pull a series of photographs together.  I've loved working on creative collaboration projects like this one with other vendors and artists over the winter.  Continuing to practice shooting in the off season, getting to work with other photographers and learn new shooting styles, and really having the time to dissect my work without having it pile up has really helped me become much more comfortable using my camera as a tool to create the images I see throughout a real wedding day.  Despite the business of the wedding season, I hope to keep working on shoots like this to continue growing as a photographer, so that one day, maybe, I'll find my portfolio feeling like that of a true fine art wedding photographer.  #workgoals

HMUA: Mara Bundi
Model: Lauren Shea from B&M Models
Dress: Ulla Johnson
 

Shooting Film: An Introduction

Last year I decided that I was going to begin incorporating some good old fashioned film photography into my professional wedding work.  I love everything about film.  The colours, the textures, the way film reads light differently from my digital sensor, the thought and time that goes into planning each film shot, I was (and still am) absolutely infatuated with every aspect of being a fine-art wedding photographer.   So, in the fall I started getting the ball in motion to move my business in this direction.  So far, it hasn't been an entirely easy process, so for the sake of both my own reflection and helping anyone else who is interested in moving towards film, I've decided to write about what I'm learning along the way.

I'm a meticulous planner, organizer, and maker of 'Pro's and Con's' lists.  I spent countless hours researching and agonizing over minute details between camera bodies and film stocks, lens coatings and light meters.  I finally went out and bought my first medium format film camera, a gorgeously restored old Hasselblad 500CM with a zeiss lens; and 50 rolls of film, fuji 400 colour in 120 format.   This used up a significant portion of my savings, so my camera then sat in a heavily padded bag for several months, emerging only to be photographed by my digital camera.  Ironically.  I was too scared to start shooting with it and risk 'wasting' money on developing rolls that didn't work out.

Eventually, I realized that I would have to start shooting with my new investment in order to actually learn how to use medium format film, so I started researching how to shoot properly.  Somehow, in all my hours of camera body research, I had neglected to look up how to actually USE my camera.  I found out that colour film can create all kinds of different 'looks' based on how it's shot and processed, so I turned to the pro's at Richard Photo Lab to teach me all about pushing and pulling film, light conditions, and how I can create my own personal film aesthetic through working with them. 

To start with, the Richard Photo Lab blog is fantastic and I learned so much just by spending an afternoon scrolling through their posts.  I definitely recommend checking out their blog next if you're interested in using film.  On top of that, they've been fabulously helpful chatting with me by email about learning to shoot film.  They're based in California, so with foreign exchange and shipping it's been a bit pricey to develop my rolls with them, but to work with a lab whose work I consistently like, and who have been endlessly helpful to me as a learning resource, it's been well worth it!

Below are some of my first rolls of 120 film I shot.  I created these images at a styled shoot, which was the perfect place to get started.  I could work at my own pace without any of the external pressures of a wedding day, but I also HAD to shoot some rolls because the other vendors involved were keen to see it in action.  I'm happy with some of the results, and not so happy with others.  I still have a lot to learn about using my camera smoothly, and a long way to go to know how my film with react to different light, (to be honest I'm even still learning how to use my light meter properly), BUT I can't wait to shoot my next rolls of film and keep working towards shooting professionally with my Hasselblad (aka learning how to keep track of my dark slide).

xo
C

Vintage Inspired Bridal Shoot Featuring the Copper Collective

I worked on this amazing bridal editorial shoot in collaboration with the talented girls who own The Copper Collective, a curated online vintage clothing company based out of Collingwood, Ontario.  After finding a gorgeous second hand wedding dress on one of their shopping trips, we started pulling together plans for a clean and rustic styled shoot focused on their amazing vintage find. As with all inspired creative projects, the pieces for this shoot fell into place beautifully, and I had the most fabulous time working with such a talented group of people to pull off our first styled bridal shoot!

Vintage wedding dress:  The Copper Collective
Florals:  Janna Dekker of Wildernis Florals
Calligraphy:  Alex Ruston of Honour Bright
Hair: Pure Organic Hair
Venue:  Tremont Cafe
Jewelry: Jessica Wolfe Design
Model: Claire Woodhouse

Thank you all so much!

xo
- c
 

Menswear Shoot

This styled menswear shoot was really one of the first times I've photographed someone in the studio (having just practiced on myself and food settings before this) and I had such a blast working with our lovely model and makeup artist.  I can't wait to put together another styled shoot in the studio soon!

Hair and Makeup: @caitlinsam.makeupandhair

Model: Nicole Zorkin from @carolynstalent