I first met Angela back during our studies at Ryerson’s School of Journalism. Like me, she was doing her second go-around at post-secondary and we both had pretty specific goals and expectations from our time in the program. We actually had the pleasure of working together on a few assignments and projects and even back then I knew Angela was going places with her career. She was always one of the strongest writers and journalists in the program. There was little surprise on my end when she told me about her job working for the CBC as a producer for documentaries and television programs, a place that many of our colleagues back in University wish they could have I’m sure.
Anyway, I was really taken aback when Angela and David approached me regarding photography for their wedding. It’s always flattering and humbling when someone who knows you on a more personal level trusts you with this sort of responsibility, and as a photographer, there’s nothing I enjoy more than creating meaningful photographs for people who have been part of my life in some way, shape or form.
Like me, David and Angela have an alternative, indie-edge to them, so when we met for coffee I wasn’t surprised when they went over the details of their wedding. An important element they wanted us to capture was their newly renovated loft apartment (in an old newspaper printing factory of all places!) in the heart of downtown Toronto in a very understated neighbourhood. David took on most of the renovation project on his own and the effort and love put into the final result were both stunning and obvious. It was an almost studio-like place for us to capture Angela’s getting ready photos, the cute and quaint neighbourhood street they live on made for a telling location for some portraits of the Bride. Of course, Angela's Bridal fur coat and the retro 1970’s RV Van made for a nice touch too. The urban-city lifestyle that is so prominent in Toronto is very much part of their day-to-day life, and I was happy for the opportunity to capture that on the wedding day.
What really got me though, on a personal level, was visiting David in his parent's suburban home. Seeing him get dressed in his childhood bedroom, seemingly untouched by time, really echoed some level of nostalgia within myself and my creative mind. Plastered all over his bedroom was posters of iconic bands and musicians from the grunge era. Nirvana, David Bowie, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. all of these bands were cornerstones for me in my youth. People like Kurt Cobain were direct influencers into my first creative endeavor, music, and to this day music continues to influence my photography and creative vision. It was amazing to be able to connect with David on this level, if not only subconsciously.
Since the world of art plays a heavy role in their lives on some level, it was only natural for them to hold their intimate and private wedding ceremony at the beautiful ARTA Gallery in the historic Distillery District in downtown Toronto. Being surrounded by their close family and stunning works of art, set the table for a beautiful ceremony that lead to candid emotions and pure happiness. It was special for me to see an old friend get married but also be able to be the one to capture that happening, a rare opportunity.
They followed the ceremony by exploring the Distillery District’s Christmas Market for some couple’s portraits. Having their wedding in November resulted in the perfect formula; the natural beauty of the fall season and the dramatic change of life’s cycle, coupled with the exuberant atmosphere of the Christmas market lead to cinematic and impact scenes for us to capture.
The reception was held at Tappo Restaurant, just down the street from Arta Gallery in the Distillery District, and we were treated to some of the best authentic Italian food I’ve had the pleasure of chowing down in the Toronto area. The restaurant created such a rustic and chic environment, especially being candle lid throughout, it really felt like we were in a little corner of Italy enjoying a family-style wedding dinner celebration, and since David’s family is Italian, it seemed quite fitting.
This was probably the best way I could’ve ended my 2016 wedding season.
Album of the Day - The Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream