Life by Selena Photography


This is a Life by Selena Photography blog featuring recent photographic and video projects by Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. This blog is my new initiative aimed at sharing a wider selection of photos: the spontaneous fits of laughter, the up-dos and the flowers, and your grandma dancing all the young folks off the dance-floor. I’ll be showcasing new projects on Mondays and throw-backs on Thursdays, with a potpourri of smaller projects dusted in between.

35 : Jessa & Justin

It was a dare against the weather gods to plan outdoor shooting locations for an Edmonton wedding in October. I should have known better. Just days before the wedding I was on the phone with Jessa brainstorming possible indoor locations in the face of an imminent Edmonton blizzard. But it came together: the luxurious Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, the symbolic Business Atrium at the University of Alberta, and the classic Hole's Greenhouse. Flexibility and spontaneity, two attributes of a great photographer.

Photography requires a certain duality of mind, a balanced split of attention between the details and the whole. Before taking a photo, I have to focus on individual elements: arrange the bride’s curls, straighten the groom’s boutonniere, balance the manual exposure. But I also have to zoom out and see the scene in its totality. Picture the wide open space and attenuated light filtering into the Business Atrium. I shoot slightly upwards to bring the strong lines of the glass roof into view behind Justin and Jessa’s heads. As we walk through the pedway to HUB, the lines of the wooden arm rails lead inwards towards Justin and Jessa, the burgundy colours along the sides of the pedway framing the couple and perfectly complementing Justin’s suit. Stepping outside for a few brief moments, the falling snow obfuscates the frame between me and the wedding party, the iconic Old Arts building the backdrop to the scene.

Let’s take a moment to talk about greenhouses. My September was filled with greenhouses and environmental portraits on farms (click here to see more). Greenhouses manifest in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but all have one thing in common: sweet beautiful diffused light. If you have a hard time understanding why this is ideal, just imagine the sun’s harsh rays being diffused through the massive opaque glass, allowing soft gentle light to fall around the subject. Greenhouses also offer another important variable in the nucleus of a fall storm: heat. During our post-ceremony greenhouse session, I took Justin and Jessa’s first photos as a married couple. Stepping away from the guests and the pomp, the tension of the ceremony evaporates into a relaxed celebration. Long lines of tomatoes and evenly spaced plants help square attention on the couple like borders around a photo. The greenhouse’s immense space and lines of rooftop windows frame these final land-ports of Justin and Jessa.

Hair: Aiana Burton (Jessa); Ramona Lament (bridesmaids)
Makeup: Calvin Alexander
Flowers: Hole’s Floral (bridal bouquet)
Suit: H.K. Broadway Custom Tailor
Dress: Pure Bridal
Locations: Fairmont Hotel Macdonald, University of Alberta Business Atrium, Hole’s Greenhouse
DJ: David McBean (Edmonton Wedding DJs)
Video: Christian Montiel

To see photos from Jessa and Justin's engagement session, please click here.

This post about Wedding Photography was written and photographed by Montreal photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle. For availability and rates, please contact Selena here.