Stephanie & Alec’s Joyful Spring Wedding at Kings Riding Golf Club

I love love loved working with Stephanie and Alec.  They’re one of those couples whose enthusiasm and happiness is absolutely contagious; they have the most joyful demeanors, and absolutely cannot stop smiling whenever they look at each other.  Remember them from this incredibly happy engagement session I posted recently? Start scrolling down to see how EVERYTHING is a Kodak moment with these two and their big beautiful smiles. Needless to say, I took far too many photographs on this day!  The first look moment below sums them up perfectly, absolutely unable to contain their joy at getting to start their big day together.  I can’t wait for you to see Alec’s reaction to seeing his lovely bride for the first time!

            They were married on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, spring day at Kings Riding Golf Club in Thornhill, just outside of Toronto.  The ceremony was filled with laughter under a beautiful old tree, a lively lion dance kicked off their reception and startled the kids (and me if we’re being honest), and crispy cream donuts were set at every place setting as guest favours.  There are so many other elements from this day that I absolutely love, I cannot even begin to sum them up here in words.  From Stephanie’s emotional skype call with her grandmother overseas, to their petal-covered recessional back up the aisle, to Alec holding her hand tightly all through the speeches, to their heartfelt parent dances that made everyone (myself included) cry. 

            Wrapping up their evening even more perfectly, the sunset that night had the most gorgeous golden glow.  Plus, as if Stephanie and Alec weren’t already a photographers dream to work with, they scheduled almost a full hour at sunset to take their bride and groom portraits together, allowing us time to capture some of my favorite portraits of the whole summer. 

            Pro-tip:  if you’re wearing a veil for your wedding day, consider putting it back on for your sunset photographs like Stephanie did here.  The light tulle catches the golden sunset light beautifully, and makes for some stunning glow-y photographs to wrap up the day!   

Vendors:
Dress: Yeva Yao
Makeup: Vanessa Elizabeth Makeup
Hair:  Reanna Singh
Linens:  Chair Covers Plus
Flower Wall:  Blush and Tie
Centerpieces:  Botanic Florists
Florals:  Gatherings Studio
Officiant: Sherri Murphy
Lion Dance:  Northern Dragon Gate

 

Melody & Edmond's Elegant Engagement at Queen's University, Kingston

Melody & Edmond traveled from Hong Kong to meet me in Kingston where they first met, on the campus of Queen's University.  We explored their their old stomping grounds and favorite haunts around campus, including the library where they spent hour after hour sitting and studying across from each other, before heading into Kingston.  In town we explored the cutest cobbled streets, open squares lined with gorgeous parliament buildings and restaurants, and visited Melody's favorite buildings (I was amazed by how European Kingston can feel!).  We walked past the go-to restaurants of their university days and reminisced, before finishing our shoot together at the waterfront on Lake Ontario.  I love taking a walk down memory lane together with my clients during their engagement sessions, and it was an added treat to be guided around Kingston together with these two!

I can't wait for you to scroll through and see how sweet these two are together, and I guarantee you're going to fall in love with each of Melody's stunning custom dresses.  She even had some of her talented friends come along to do her hair, makeup, and floral crown during the shoot! 

Travel: February in Europe

In February B and I took a few weeks off to travel around Europe visiting family and friends, and taking time to see some new places for the year before our busy spring and summer seasons began.  We ate our way through London, took trains and wandered the hills in Scotland, bought chocolate in Brussels, walked street art tours in Berlin, and wished we were students again in Oxford. 

Somehow we were lucky to have nothing but gorgeous weather for the weeks we were there, and managed to come home from a trip through Europe in February with sun tans.

I only travel with a film camera these days, as I find I take fewer and more meaningful photographs like this.  So everything was shot on my beast of a Pentax 645 and developed by Canadian Film Lab.  Trying to practice what I preach, I'm working on getting a small album or print set made of photographs from our trip, in the meantime I thought I'd post a bit on the blog.  Does it even happen if it doesn't go on social media these days? :P

xo
- c

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