15 : Matt & Annie
The phrase “backyard wedding” conjures up a potpourri of mental images. Sift through that mixture and pick out only the best ones: a magnificent white tent, rows of white wooden chairs for the ceremony, mason jar candles and small Edison lightbulbs to light the scene, and a magnificent dance floor. Not to mention an impeccably stylish couple.
Annie had asked me to intersect with her and her bridesmaids as they were getting ready. The energy in the room was a relaxed mixture of laughter and contemplation. Sentimental cards and gifts were exchanged, and everyone collaborated to help Annie get dressed. Ready ahead of schedule, we stole a few unplanned group portraits in the family’s backyard. Next I zipped over to the wedding venue (and Matt’s parent’s house) in time to grab some shots of the guys playing pool and relaxing before the ceremony. After Annie pulled up in a glamourous Rolls Royce, the day officially began.
During the ceremony the lighting situation proved trickier than anticipated. The shade beneath the tent was in stark contrast with the light pouring in along the back, challenging the limits of my camera. Despite having one of the best cameras on the market, sometimes as a photographer I just need to accept the limits of camera technology and work to overcome them creatively. In any event, lighting situations such as these leave me awe-inspired thinking about the contrast in ability to capture a wide dynamic range of lighting between the average human eye and the most advanced cameras yet invented.
Throughout the day, Matt and Annie showed in different ways how important family was to them through speeches and family photos. My favourite detail of the day was the tiny Moleskin notebook given to guests as a wedding favour which included a cute logo to commemorate the day, designed by Annie. A description of Matt and Annie’s wedding would be remiss without mention of Annie’s dress which flowed and twirled in the most elegant of ways.
The day concluded with a prodigious dance party, my first with Mitchmatic as the DJ. Based on my experience, people don’t really dance at weddings as much as Hollywood would like you to believe; instead the guests typically dance for a total of five minutes before sitting down. However, at this wedding, all the guests were on the dance floor, song after song, including Matt’s entire extended family. At one point, Annie’s dad challenged her to a dance-off, which subsequently cleared the dance floor as the guests circled around to cheer them on. Tucked amidst all this boisterous joviality, I captured some intimate moments between Matt and Annie as they danced. My final shot of the evening was a wide-angle of the tent and dance floor, a fitting end to the grandeur of the day.
Location: Calgary, AB
Date: July 20, 2013
Equipment: Canon 5diii, Canon 40d, Canon 24-105mm, Canon 35mm, Canon 70-200mm, Canon 50mm, Canon 580EX
This article about Wedding Photography was written by the Montreal-based portrait and wedding photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle.