I have worked as a Toronto wedding photographer for a couple of decades. I haven’t counted recently, but I bet that I have photographed over 1,500 weddings! Lately, I have been thinking a lot about this wonderful crazy work that I do – why I do it, what I love about it, how it has changed over the years, and how lucky I am to be in a profession that is so interesting and ever-evolving.
Over the years I have witnessed many happy moments, lots of funny ones and the occasional sad one. I have met some of the most genuine and inspirational people on both sides of the experience – the wedding couple and their family and friends, and the suppliers who work so hard to make the day seem like magic for their clients. I have also had the bad luck of working with a few clients and colleagues that make me wonder why I am the business. Thankfully, that rarely happens.
Toronto wedding photographers are an eclectic group. Some have formal training like me: I studied photography at Toronto’s OCAD University where I also teach it today. Many photographers are self-taught and have gained experience in the field. Regardless of how they got into the business, most give 100% to their clients. I know I do.
When I first started working as a Toronto wedding photographer most of the shooters were men. Now, many wedding photographers are women. They bring a female aesthetic to wedding photography – softer images, a different compositional style, and an interest in taking pictures of events, people and details during the day that don’t normally make it into the wedding day photographic record. Two of my Heartline Pictures team are women – Melanie and Annie, and my second shooter is a women. Combined, our shooting styles are the real deal and a complete package.
The cross-cultural exchange in Toronto is amazing. I have photographed weddings of couples with roots in every corner of this beautiful planet. Even though I am a seventh generation Canadian whose ancestors came from Britain, I have gained a deep understanding and appreciation for the rich wedding rituals and customs of people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Several years ago I exhibited some of my work from culturally diverse weddings in an exhibition called “Globalization at the Alter” for the Toronto Contact Photography Festival.
After all these years, I am still incredibly excited by my work as a Toronto wedding photographer. Even though much of the wedding day follows a script, the creativity and personality brought to the wedding day by the bridal couple makes every wedding unique and full of surprises. And, at the end of the wedding day I can’t wait to download my digital files to see the results.
p.s. I’m the guy closest to the bride in the photo below.