Winter sessions are always a bit tough in terms of location choices and also the experience of the shoot since most couples don’t want to look like Michelin Man. Shelly and Raghu picked one of my FAVOURITE locations in Toronto for their engagement session! The Berkeley Church and Field House offers SO MUCH character and options, truly a photographer’s dream! I can’t say how much I love this place and I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!
We went back and forth to pick out places that has sentimental value to Shelly and Raghu. Berkeley Church is where they met during a function. I really appreciate when a couple puts some thought into putting together a photo session that includes elements and locations that has sentimental value for them. They can really connect with the place and with the images afterwards. It makes a big difference!
We later went to Liberty Village to visit one of their favourite cup cake pages, For the Love of Cake. They offer a ton of different funky flavors! Got to try their Guinness chocolate cupcake!
I met Athena and Benson through Debbie, a friend from school, and I knew that I did not have to convince them much since Debbie did most of the convincing for me!!
This is our first of two engagement shoots and took place in the fall. We wanted to focus on some fall fashion and I encouraged Athena and Benson to put some thought into the wardrobe selection. They actually brought their entire wardrobe to the shoot!! hahha!!
I was able to find this half torn down barn near where I live and everything seemed safe enough to shoot at. Sad to say that it’s probably completely torn down at this point.
Looking forward to the next shoot!
Jenny and Johnny wanted to incorporate a place that meant something special to them in their engagement session. So naturally, the place where Johnny proposed to Jenny would be the perfect spot!
We decided to just having a nice casual day of wine tasting in the wine country. I had to pick out some spots and who better to ask than my buddy DFang. David, a wine consultant, invites me to go up to wine country a few times a year where I get hammered while he has sophisticated conversations with industry people, classy.
The weather was amazing and the light was perfect with a slightly overcast day with pockets of sun near the end of the shoot. We went around to a few spots to enjoy the afternoon and stopped whenever we saw something cool. Very relaxed and casual and it absolutely shows in the images!
Thanh and Henry had a beautiful engagement party. Very intimate with family and close friends.
They had a traditional Vietnamese engagement ceremony which is considered very important in the Vietnamese culture. Back in the day, this is essentially when both families would meet for an arranged marriage. Safe to say this is probably not the first time Thanh and Henry met!
The ceremony was hosted at Thanh’s place, everyone pitched in to prepare for the Henry’s arrival with his family. The groom’s side arrives bearing gifts as a tradition. These gifts include betel leaves and areca nut fruits (trau cau), wine, tea, husband-wife cake (banh phu the), sticky rice, other foods, and jewelry. They are placed in red trays as red will bring good luck, very similar to Chinese culture! In addition to the other foods, a whole pig is roasted is to be carried in by two of Henry’s buddies. The bride’s family graciously accept the gifts and the families meet inside. The groom’s side representative asks the bride’s family for her hand to be united with the groom. Thanh appears and you can tell Henry’s anticipation by his smile! The couple offer a prayer to the ancestors asking for approval of the marriage. Then Henry drop a knee and for a traditional proposal in front of the families! The families formally introduce each other and everything is official! Then it’s on to the amazing feast that Thanh’s family prepared!
I’m amazed at the similarities of the Vietnamese culture and rituals with the Chinese culture! I’m so thankful to be able to be a part of this ceremony and seeing so many different cultures all the time!
Can’t wait for Thanh and Henry’s wedding next year in July! Stay tuned for their upcoming engagement session!
After a very successful first E-shoot with Simat and JT, we’re scheduled for their second session with their wedding just around the corner.
I’m telling you, these guys came nails done, hair done, everything did! They cared a lot about results of the engagement session and came very prepared.
The first shoot was a low-key, romantic themed shoot so we wanted to mix it up with something different. We headed to downtown Toronto and strolled around King West to capture an urban theme. This is one of my favourite type of sessions! Just behind the modern facades of Downtown Toronto’s street remains a very rustic deterioration of past structures. So much texture to work with!
This is Simat and JT’s first of two e-shoots we are having and I was prepared to go all out to impress them. Simat was really set on a rustic farm, country road themed shoot but unfortunately the weather didn’t work out but I’m sure they are kind of glad it rained after seeing a sneak peak of this shoot!
We hit it off right away and the shoot was amazing! Simat and JT are a super easy going! They came all dressed up and decked out for a very intimate and romantic themed shoot and the results definitely show how being prepared paid off. Amazing amazing location, beautiful decor that worked so well with the atmosphere. Props the staff at Café Mirage for making it happen! Lovely atmosphere and great food and drinks! They have four locations and everyone should go check it out!
I could tell Simat and JT appreciate the finer things with their attention to detail, they’ve put this much effort into looking great for just the first e-shoot! Can’t wait for the second one coming up in two weeks!
Big thanks to Pris for helping me out throughout the shoot!
PS. To give credit where credit is due, this was very much a Z Molu inspired shoot. It’s hard not to bite Z’s style when I work for him week-in week-out where we tackle location and lighting challenges together. In my defence, an associate is suppose to mimic the style of the boss, don’t hate
Back in August when we did the summer theme, we planned too many locations (Graffiti Alley, Harbour Front, Center Island, Dundas Square). It was fun, but quite rushed. At the end of the day everyone was dead tired!
This time we focused on two locations and spent more time at each place. It was mostly overcast for the day and perfect for portraits. The day started out the same way and we met up to subway downtown together. First stop was UT campus. The place owns Waterloo campus hands down, so much history and heritage in the buildings. Another opportunity to understand how to use the monster with an engagement shoot. Second stop is the distillery. Not much needs to be said about this place. Beautiful textures everywhere.
We tried for a more relaxed and candid look (that’s the style they wanted) so I told PYeung to take the lead while I sniped off to the side for a portion of the shoot. In my opinion, that doesn’t work out too well Even though they’re not looking my way, they were still being posed. It’s more natural when I have them interact among themselves. The expressions are more natural and pleasing.
All in all, great light, great settings, great people. It was difficult to screw up.
*still lots of editting to do, check back for more shots, focusing on getting better skin tones*