I normally don't share anything on this blog other than my professional work but I think it's my responsibility to alert other photographers of any possible scams. I find the photography community in Toronto very friendly yet at times competitive because of its saturation of talents. Being a full time freelance photographer isn't easy. It's a shame that some take advantage of our vulnerability. Ignore the scams if you will but better still share a warning so together we build a stronger community.Read More
How exciting it is that Evolylla Photography was rated one of the Top 50 Documentary Photography Blogs & Websites By Documentary Photographers on FeedSpot.com. Being a documentary wedding photographer based in Toronto, it's the highest honour to be listed with some of the best documentary photographers worldwide. On the top of the list, there was British Journal of Photography, a collective of the latest photography news and features since 1854. The goal at Evolylla Photography had always been to combine wedding photography and documentary photography to achieve this alternative genre, namely documentary wedding photography that emphasized on artistic expressions and storytelling through documentation of fleeting candid moments and capturing of the otherwise unnoticed real emotions. This recognition by FeedSpot.com as a noticeable documentary photographer in the community was huge to me at the best timing possible. It reminded me of the core of my journey in wedding photography and photography in general and pushed me to stay focus with Evolylla Photography.
Documentary wedding photography sounds unfamiliar to most. Some brides and grooms have a difficult time differentiating a documentary wedding photographer's approach versus a non-documentary wedding photographer's. Some associate documentary wedding photography with un-posed, candid wedding photos and interpret it as the opposite to fine art and traditional. Personally, I don't find documentary wedding photography contradicted with fine art wedding photography nor traditional wedding photography. Rather, they can coexist. On the other hand, it's only partially right that a documentary wedding photographer takes un-posed and candid wedding photos. Documentary wedding photography is largely founded on a photographer's approach to documenting a wedding and the way we see weddings.
Here are the top 5 questions I've been asked the most as a documentary style wedding photographer:
1. What inspires a documentary wedding photographer?
Moments. I'm keen on capturing even the most mundane moments so much so that it became a habit. It became a way I interpret the world. There's a story behind every frozen moment. Each moment is unique and no real expression can be replicated. This makes a documentary photographer the perfect match for story-telling wedding photography especially for couples who treasure both the big and small moments.
2. So does a documentary wedding photographer put candid moments over posed photos?
The short answer is yes. A candid moment cannot wait while a posed photo can. In the example below, the little kids attracted my eyes as I'm posing my bride and groom for a portrait at Nathan Phillips Square. This set of photos documented an elopement in Toronto and a random candid moment can be a story in itself when the couple look back to their special day. After the first picture, we still have the opportunity to take a posed portrait as planned. It’s the little moments that connect the dots and give a story a life.
3. How does a documentary wedding photographer approach portraits?
I'm drawn to natural expressions and unique moments. When approaching wedding portraits and engagement photos, I try to initiate a moment and let it unfold itself. The result is capturing the couple in their zone. There's no one magic word to make every couple relaxed, behind the scene there's occasionally a cold joke, occasionally a long conversation and other times just intended silence.
4. What do black and white photos mean to a documentary wedding photographer?
We love black and white photos if you ask me. Monochromic image takes away distractions. My wedding photos tend to include a good portion of backgrounds and a black and white picture helps to either emphasize on subject of focus, or deemphasize the centre point of a photo and assist our eyes to move around the picture to read the story in and behind it. As Swiss photographer and documentary film maker Robert Frank famously said, "Black and white are the colours of photography".
5. What else is important in documentary wedding photography?
A sense of humour and appreciation for imperfections are important in my approach. I don't go to a wedding with a mental shot list but instead an open heart. I find this approach works the best for me. I often captured the least expected moments and again these moments give life to a story. It helps me to illustrate a personal story instead of producing a set of cookie-cutting wedding photos. My wedding photography intends to capture the intimate relationships that are unique to each bride and groom and their favourite people. On top of it all, a sense of humour never hurts.
I didn't know at the time the level of passion I would have for being a documentary wedding photographer. I started intuitively. It might not be love at first sight but it's definitely growing love that stood the test of time; like the kind of love in marriages. That could be another story in itself. I'm not going to elaborate too much on why wedding photography, but instead how I took the first step to become a freelance wedding photographer and, in my humble opinion, you could freelance too. Sustainability was driven by two main factors, passion and money...Read More
The short answer might surprise you, as a full time professional in this gig, I'd say that no one really needs a wedding photographer. But, it should be more than just a yes-or-no answer to this question and I have my humble opinion on this one of the most debated topics in wedding planning...Read More