The 2019 wedding season kicked off with some familiar faces in a familiar place, the Broadview Hotel, in the heart of my former neighbourhood of Riverside, Toronto’s not so hidden gem anymore in the East end of downtown which played host to Seana and Bryce’s winter wedding.
I met both Seana and Bryce a few years ago when I photographed her sister Danielle’s wedding at Boehmer restaurant. At the time we joked that if I did a good enough job that sometime in the near future I’d likely get to be photograph Seana’s wedding, and here we are, a few years later at the Broadview Hotel fulfilling the prophesy. After my first experience wit their families I knew wholeheartedly that this wedding was going beyond enjoyable and relaxing.
It’s also cool for me to get the insight on family traditions and habits including Seana’s grandmother wearing her vintage dress that she wore to her own daughter’s wedding and Danielle’s wedding a few years ago, was a moment I was personally looking forward to. I was also excited to potentially unconsciously capture re-created moments like the bride’s grandfather taking a portrait of her much like he did years ago with his other granddaughter. In all facets of my work, I’m always habitually drawn to photographs that I’ve taken of familiar people, I’m given an unconstrained perspective of who people really are at times which gives me a personal feeling of nostalgia that can’t quite be explained but somehow comes through when looking at the images. A unique and rare opportunity as a wedding photographer, so I wanted to make the most of it as much as I possibly could.
Winter weddings are somewhat rare here in Toronto, but anytime I get the privilege to capture one, I often wonder why they aren’t more popular. The Broadview Hotel was the perfect place for their winter wedding as a matter of fact. The rustic and modern interior of the hotel provided limitless opportunities for us to capture artistic images, the glass rooftop made for a romantic setting for the first look and portraits. The ceremony was also held on the glass rooftop, and being treated with a sunny winter day, the entire ceremony space was filled with pale light through all the windows as the sun began to slowly set. The entire ambiance of the day was vivid and an homage to people who appreciate a retro-modern industrial vibe that truly represents the current feeling of living in Toronto.
Of course, the neon Broadview Hotel made an appearance at the end of the evening, providing the vintage aesthetic to bring the entire day together as the bride and groom enjoyed a moment alone to appreciate the ephemeral nature of their thoughts, emotions and the entire day leading up to that point.
I wanted to represent this feeling as much as possible, the help of analog film played a huge role on this day for that very purpose. Shooting rolls of Super 8mm film to accompany some 35mm film helped me capture a tangible feeling that could only be truly experienced in the present moment otherwise. I grew up watching Super 8 footage of my family and always remember getting extremely sentimental watching the films, no matter how old I was or how many times I’ve re-watched the same reels, I was always brought back to a moment and place in time that would be otherwise fleeting, I could still somehow live in that moment over and over again through those sentimental emotions.
I wanted to do my very best to give Seana and Bryce the opportunity to look back on their beautiful wedding day and feel that way about their memories. We’ll always somewhat forget the mundane details, but we rarely forget how we felt.
If you’d like to feel a bit of that nostalgia, the Super 8mm highlight clip is at the end of this blog post.
Song/Album of the Day
White Horses - Tyler Burkhart - 2012-2016 (Album)