I’m sitting down here, thinking about which direction to go as a Toronto wedding photographer writing about Katie & Megan’s wedding. I can either talk about my thoughts as a wedding photographer shooting his first same sex wedding, or I can do the weak thing and pretend that I didn’t notice;)
Very shortly after I shot Katie & Megan’s wedding, I posted a single teaser image to Facebook. Almost instantly I was asked by another Toronto wedding photographer what is was like to shoot a gay wedding. My response was pretty simple: “You’ve shot a wedding, right? Well it’s exactly like that”. That’s the entire story from a photography perspective. To be honest, I was excited to be shooting Katie & Megan’s wedding, not just because a same sex wedding was to be a new experience for me, but mostly because the girls and I had really gotten to know one another in the days and months leading up to the wedding. We had some great conversations during the planning process, and I really felt like I was a part of their day.
There were two moments during Katie & Megan’s wedding that felt particularly different that any wedding that I can remember. The first was the moment that I finally had the photo shoot down to just the two brides and realized “well, this is different” – visually speaking. I don’t know, I guess I’m just so used to working with a bride + groom that I had a moment where I realized that some of my creative formulas won’t apply…and then I realized that this was a chance to change some of those formulas – that there was an opportunity for more of the “symmetrical” shot concepts that often don’t work with a bride + groom.
The second moment took me a bit by surprise… Normally I don’t really put too much “give a shit” into the signing of the registrar. It’s always been more of a legal formality part of the day. Yeah, it happens at every wedding and it’s important and I shoot it, but it’s never really been one of those moments that I even put into the album or blog. This was very different at Katie & Megan’s wedding. It just seemed to be such a big moment… They were legally married, officially, recognized, for real. Wow. Admittedly, I never really paid too much attention to how significant it was that we recognize same sex marriages. I’ve always been a supporter, but never an activist. It wasn’t until I witnessed Katie & Megan sign that document that I realized just how important it is that Canada is a part of this.
The wedding was incredible. I love the Steam Whistle Brewery, though it does possess some unique challenges from a lighting perspective. Actually, while speaking with another well regarded Toronto wedding photographer, he had claimed that he refuses to take weddings at the venue simply because the lighting is “uncontrollable” . This was true. With the sun just screaming in through one window, blasting some parts of the venue while leaving other areas in complete shade. The reflections causing patchy, mixed light & shadows everywhere. The hot-spotlight beaming down on those at the mic stand, completely drenched in radically mixed light sources that my strobes simply couldn’t compete with…it was certainly uncontrollable. Lately though, I’ve been inspired by the results of photographers who have had success capturing this sort of situation “as it was”. In other words, don’t control it; embrace it. This was a great situation for me to practice this. To capture the moments, the people, and the nuances that were there, as they appeared. The results surprised my in a good way. I can even say that the situation has inspired me to shift my practices a notch or two in this direction since then, and I’m looking forward to evolving even more in this way. One could say that Katie & Megan’s wedding was a landmark wedding in my career, and not for the most obvious reasons.
Kate & Megan, you are both so beautiful, but neither as beautiful separately as the pride, love, and joy that I saw in everyone as they saw you together. Cheers:)