When I first met Beatrice & Peter over some coffee downtown, I quickly sensed this calming energy about them both. They were excited about their upcoming plans to elope at city hall followed by a full-blown wedding the next week with their friends and family on Toronto Island at the Algonquin Island Association. Their unique wedding plans along with their positive attitudes were infectious, so much so I made sure to come home early from shooting a wedding in Canmore Alberta to photograph their celebration of love.
As we continued to chat about their wedding at the Algonquin Island Association on Toronto Island, the conversation shifted to both their appreciation for the arts, nature and the nostalgic. All these elements were very much present in their wedding day, photography included. Having me use analog film to document the wedding day was a no-brainer choice for them as it provided them with a tangible memory from the wedding day, something they both extremely value. Shooting on 35mm colour film, including some Kodak Ektachrome slide film, created a new layer of depth to their wedding story as I got to work with a more tangible medium to create the wedding photos. It gave me the opportunity to create honest imagery as an active observer throughout every facet of the wedding since my film cameras are so simple that they take down barriers between me and the surrounding world. It also enhanced the beautiful details of the wedding including the bride’s stunning red dress that truly pops on the Kodak film that I chose to use. All these intangibles are exactly why Beatrice & Peter were so enthusiastic about having analog film used to document their wedding day.
The slow and methodical process of shooting film was perfect for Beatrice and Peter since they’re both so patient and easy-going. Despite it being the most humid day of 2019 and facing torrential rainfall (for the second week in a row on their wedding days), they never complained or exuded anything but positive energy and grace, it made my life easier as I knew I could follow their lead and appreciate the wedding day for what it was and we could all focus on the things that mattered, the love between them and their tribe.
The bride and groom arranged for a private ferry to pickup their friends and family at the Harbourfront Centre in the downtown core. The ferry travelled across the lake to and landed directly at the ceremony space in the back of the Algonquin Island Association’s grounds. I took the trip with along with my 35mm Leica camera and took in the fresh air and beautiful sight of the Toronto Skyline as it faded in the distance. I snapped a few frames on the roll of film in my camera and next thing I knew we were arriving at Toronto Island for the ceremony.
As the ceremony took place the sun began to break through the clouds lighting up the bride and groom as they said their vows in front of their guests and the blooming Toronto skyline in the background. The Algonquin Island Association Clubhouse was minimally decorated and the aesthetic remained vintage and nostalgic, just like a childhood summer camp with your best-friends from down the street.
The evening progressed with good food and heartfelt speeches before everyone hit the dance floor (hard) to celebrate the bride and groom. No amount of humidity was going to stop this group as they partied (and marched) harder than any group I’ve ever photographed.
The moment the evening struck, there was an incoming rainstorm that created the deepest blue sky behind the Toronto skyline. I noticed Peter run outside with his phone to snap a photo and just stand there for a few moments as the rain fell on him and he looked on to the natural beauty unfolding before him. I noticed this on a few occasions throughout the entire day where both Peter and Beatrice were lost in the moment, whether it was with each other or a friend, they made it an intention to absorb the fleeting moments of their wedding day. There’s something beautifully powerful about seeing people really live their life especially in such significant moments. To be privileged enough to capture profound beauty like that is something I honestly cherish, and something I’m beyond thankful for as a wedding photographer.
Song of the Day
Lessons for Later - Slow Hollows