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.

21 : Stephen and Ashlea

I was deep in the photographic zone taking portraits of the ladies in the wedding party, when I was pulled out of my visual trance by a new auditory input - the sound of “Duke of Earl” playing in my ears. The quiet, unassuming gents in the wedding party had been transformed into a buzzing, 7-piece a cappella ensemble. Who knew such resonating chords and rhythms were hiding beneath those smart navy-blue suits.

Stephen and Ashlea first met at Edmonton’s Folk Fest, and music has played a central role throughout their relationship. Music played a key part throughout the day, from the aforementioned a capella during the photo shoot, to the rhythmic 11-piece band, the Retrofitz, that danced the party into the new year! Stephen and Ashlea wove in several Jewish traditions throughout the day, including the Horah, leading to a priceless expression on Ashlea’s face as she was hoisted on a chair high above everyone’s heads. Stephen and Ashlea picked the perfect wedding favours: a mixed cd from bands they’ve seen live together.

Putting aside the opulent 1920s dresses, the luxurious furs, and the classy peacock boutonnieres, there were two elements that made this wedding a photographic success: locations and time.

To celebrate the old-timey spirit of Stephen and Ashlea’s wedding, we picked the Hotel Macdonald and the Mercer Tavern as the primary shooting locations. With these venues as the backdrop, I captured the group’s candid and casual interactions. Fortuitously the weather in Edmonton on NYE was mild, and we were able to take individual and group portraits outside along the 104 St Boardwalk. Moving to the 104 St Parkade I set the elegance of the wedding subjects against the brutalist architecture, the contrast resulting in a striking series of land-ports.

One conversation that every couple should have with their wedding photographer is about how much time should be set aside for group photos; Stephen and Ashlea happily indulged me with three hours. Instead of rushing between locales, we had time to top up our martini glasses and relax as a group. I set aside time to photograph each member of the wedding party individually, and the bride and groom each with the most important people in their lives.

With guests all dolled up in their 1920s attire, and the Retrofitz playing some timeless music, Stephen and Ashlea’s wedding was a splendid way to ring in 2016.

Tech Specs
Location: Edmonton, AB
Date: December 31, 2015
Equipment: Canon 5diii, Canon 6d, Canon 35mm, Canon 85mm, Canon 70-200mm
Music: The Retrofitz

Up Next
On Thursday I throwback to Gus and Adam's Vancouver wedding.

This article about Wedding Photography was written by the Montreal wedding photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. She often travels to Edmonton and other cities to shoot weddings and other projects. If you or someone you know need a wedding photographer, send her a message on the contact page!