Jamieson is both a Modern and Experienced GTA Wedding Photographer. After leading as the head of photography for one of Toronto’s most successful and prestigious wedding photography studios, Jamieson is pursuing the industry as himself. His style is a fusion of his classic expertise in wedding photography, with modern fashion, chaos imagery, and candid moments. Winner of multiple international awards, his mission is to bring his clients out of their everyday selves and highlight their candid personalities. Even with years of wedding photography experience, Jamieson looks forward to bringing something extraordinary and new to every shoot. Jamieson only takes a limited number of weddings each year in order to provide the highest level of focus, creativity, and service to his clients. If you are interested in booking Jamieson Dean to shoot your wedding, please use the Contact form on this website.
How long have I been shooting?
I’ve been shooting weddings in Toronto since 2001. I actually co-founded one of the more popular wedding photo & video studios back in September of 2001, and helped to build it to what is still one of Toronto’s most successful and prestigious studios. When we first started we actually specialized in wedding videography, however my passion for photography eventually steered me into the head-of photography position with the company. I left that studio in 2009 in order to spend more time with my growing family, and to explore a more unique style of photography that could only be offered as in independent wedding photographer.
What are some of the keys to my photographic style?
Flexibility, like the ability to fold almost in-half. Just kidding! Although I have been known to exhibit rubber-like flexibility while shooting in order to achieve a better vantage, that’s not the flexibility that I’m talking about. To me, flexibility comes in the form of being able work in a wide variety of conditions and situations effectively. I’m what is referred to as a “strobist” wedding photographer. A strobist is something of a hybrid between the studio and the photojournalist. What this means is that I often employ various forms of off-camera lighting to enhance available lighting, overcome difficult lighting, or create unique lighting. A big part of working with all of these tools is to know not just how to employ them effectively, but when to use them and most importantly, when not to. This only comes with years of experience.
Flexibility in terms of ever changing, never stoic style is also key. Photography is a fluid art, always changing as styles pass and new styles emerge constantly. My philosophy is simple: Adapt, Adopt, and Abandon. To me this means that I am always learning; always open. The ability to adapt is a photographer’s greatest asset. It means adopting new techniques as technology and artistic style is ever changing. It requires keeping a keen eye on what’s emerging, and having the wisdom to do the most difficult thing; abandoning what has become dated. This is easier said than done for some. Often it means that years of learning to do something the “right way” have become redundant, and are now simply the “old way”. A strong photographer is one who is flexible enough to let go of that which truly does not matter, and is willing to abandon everything they’ve learned in order to learn something new.
What cameras do I use, and why?
For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been using mainly Canon digital 35mm bodies. Currently my main body is the Canon 1Dx, with my second/backup body being the Canon 5D Mark III. The absolute single most important feature in a camera for me is dual memory card slots. This allows me to shoot on two cards at the same time. I’ve seen media cards crap-out on photographers while shooting, sometimes resulting in unrecoverable loss of images. I couldn’t imagine getting two-thirds the way through a wedding, only to have a card die, and losing someone’s wedding images! For this reason, I ALWAYS shoot on two cards at the same time; one as the main in raw file format, and the other as the backup with jpg files. If something can go wrong, it probably eventually will, so leave nothing to chance!
What is my favourite lens?
The 70-200mm 2.8. It’s a big, heavy, long lens, but it gives a great separation between subject & foreground/background. It allows me to focus of what I want the eye to be drawn to, and blur the background to the point where it doesn’t distract or take-away from the subject. I often shoot wide open with this lens in order to maximize this effect. I even choose the 70-200 for group shots much of the time, where most photographers would prefer to be closer to their subject. It’s a great lens for shooting candid reception and ceremony photos as it allows me to keep a distance, so as not to “spook the prey”!
My runner-up would be the 85mm 1.2. It’s the low-light king of lenses. It’s slow to focus, heavy, expensive as all hell, and doesn’t even zoom! What it does do, it does VERY well; shallow depth-of-field. The plane of focus is so narrow on this lens, I can focus on the tip of an eyelash, yet have the eye out of focus. The background can be blurred so much that I can make it almost unidentifiable. This can be useful when you can’t choose the location and have to work with what you’ve got. This lens paired with the Canon 1Dx is about as good as it gets right now!
Where does my inspiration come from?
No simple answer to that one. Music sometimes. Fashion photos other times. Generally speaking, I think I try to pull inspiration from the mood of an event or subject that I’m working with. My goal is not to impose my style or mood onto a shoot, but rather to highlight and maximize the soul of events and subjects as they exist. I want to enhance and capture the dynamics that are already there; not alter them to conform to my own vision. This is important to me. I actually almost want to be a different photographer every time I shoot. Every person is unique. Every couple is different. By making the concious goal to capture “them” I am constantly adjusting my own style around the subtle cues that whisper inspiration. Every couple’s photos should be unique and appropriate to them. From the character of the images, to the location, and even the lighting.