Life by Selena Photography
Montreal portrait & wedding photographer


The official blog of Montreal portrait and wedding photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. Explore her signature photojournalistic style and stay up to date on her latest wedding and portrait photography projects here.

20 : Emily and Royden

We carefully walked through the snow down the hill into the Lynnwood Ravine - or at least we tried. The well-worn path down into the ravine was coated with ice, and our trendy footwear inadequately met the task of helping us keep our footing. I hadn’t walked down this path since junior high, but it was still an old-familiar from years of walking between Lynnwood Elementary and my best friend’s house. Emily and Royden are also acquainted with every tree and bump on the path of this hill from frequent walks through the ravine with Deoghi, the family dog. Luckily, the ravine floor was less heavily trodden, and we were able to more easily walk. With the ravine to ourselves, it wasn’t long before we decided to let Deoghi run free to frolic through the snow.

In my last post I talked about about challenging myself to execute different photographic compositions. With Emily and Royden I exploited the grandeur of nature in the ravine to capture wide angle land-ports. During this shoot it began to feel much more natural to compose the images with huge swaths of empty space lingering above the subject’s head.

As a part of my self-critique of the previous shoot, I noticed that I was shooting directly to the subject, with no layers between me and the couple. Maybe it was just a result the clean lines of the Old Strathcona buildings, an effect of the location. Regardless of the reason, with Emily and Royden I consciously put some layers into the photos. I traipsed through the woods, angling the camera towards the couple such that some mountain ash trees were in the foreground, berries shrivelled in the cold like pruney bathtub fingers in water.

My favourite shots using empty space were taken in the final minutes of the photo shoot as we walked up the hill to exit the ravine, the light of the magic hour reaching its peak. By this time, delightfully indifferent to the intrusion of my camera in their space, both Emily and Royden are at ease in these shots, the warm light caressing their faces and filtering overhead through the trees. I think you’ll agree that the soft light really accentuated Deoghi’s features, and the details in her fur.

After completing this couples session, I felt confident, sharp, and on top of my photographic game, perfect timing for Stephen and Ashlea’s NYE wedding a few days later. Photos from this to follow on Monday.

Tech Specs
Location: Edmonton, AB
Date: December 29, 2015
Equipment: Canon 5diii, Canon 35mm, Canon 85mm, 
Canon 70-200mm,

Up Next
On Monday I share photos from Stephen and Ashlea's NYE wedding!

This article about Portrait Photography was written by the Montreal-based portrait and wedding photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle.