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Kortright Centre weddings always turn out beautifully, and Alyssa and Anthony’s wedding was no exception!

I’ve had the opportunity to photograph many weddings at the Kortright Centre over the last several years and still one of my favourite venues. Every time i’m there I feel like I find a great new spot for photos so it never gets boring. I love how close this venue is to Toronto but it feels like the furthest thing away from the city! Plus i’ll never get tired of photographing forest ceremonies. There’s just something so romantic about them!

What made Alyssa and Anthony’s wedding extra beautiful is how completely in love they clearly are. They’re the kindest couple and so sweet and affectionate with each other. I barely had to give them any direction at all! Couples often tell me that they don’t photograph well or are awkward in front of the camera. But if you can forget about the fact that you’re being photographed and just focus on each other I promise your photos will turn out beautifully!

I can’t wait to photograph another Kortright Centre wedding soon :)

                

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After your wedding is over, your photos become your memory of the day.

You want your wedding photos to be as beautiful as possible, and to reflect your style and personality. This means finding the perfect photographer for you, then setting the scene for them to create the beautiful images you saw in their portfolio!

Of course choosing an experienced photographer who you trust is most important. But there are a lot of things you can do at the planning stage to make sure your photos turn out beautifully! Things like your venue choice, your wedding day schedule, and styling all play a huge role in how your photos will turn out!

1. DECIDE ON A PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE

There are many ways to define different photography styles these days. One of simplest ways wedding photography styles are often described is ‘light and airy’ or ‘dark and moody’ images. This can often be the best way to narrow your search down.

It’s also important to observe whether the photos you love are created with natural light or artificial light. Are the shadows soft or harsh? Artificial lighting or direct sunlight can create some very dramatic images, which natural light tends to be much softer and more flattering.

My photography style leans towards lighter images, with occasional darker images when it fits the mood i’m trying to create for certain images. I use natural light whenever possible, usually for the entire daytime portion of the wedding. For darker receptions I do use artificial light and off-camera flash.

Some common photography styles

My photography style falls in the Fine Art category, but I also love the Documentary style for capturing emotional candid images during times like the ceremony and reception. I also mix in a small amount a editorial style shots.

Fine Art: Fine art wedding photography is a style that’s elegant, romantic, timeless, organic, and artistic. Many fine art photographers like myself, use film photography to achieve this look. This style draws inspiration from classic art such as paintings. Artistic elements such as lighting and composition are very important, but photos are created to look natural and effortless. On the wedding day, you will be guided into natural looking poses that take advantage of soft natural light. Images usually have a soft, airy, dreamy feel and range between pastel or richer tones depending on the lighting.

Photojournalistic/Documentary: This approach has a very strong focus on candid images. The photographer will provide very little guidance or posing and will instead try to just capture moments as they happen naturally throughout the day. Portraits are often created by asking couples to engage in games or improvise based on prompts. This style is perfect for parts of the wedding day like the ceremony and reception when emotion is most important. But this approach can lead to less flattering portraits and can be difficult for couples who aren’t naturally comfortable in front of the camera.

Editorial: This style is inspired by fashion photography and tries to create images that might appear in a bridal magazine. Artificial lighting is often used throughout the day to dramatic effect. If this style is overused though, images tend to look unnatural and too posed. Plus it often favours serious looks rather than naturally happy images.

Traditional: Traditional wedding photographers put a strong focus on posed photos and much less importance on candid images. They give lots of direction and are very involved throughout the day. They’ll spend lots of time posing the bridal party, bride and groom and family photos. In additional they will often pose the bride and groom for other moments throughout the day that are usually captured candidly by other styles of photography. Rather than capture candid photos of guests, they will usually do traditional ‘table shots’ or ask guests to pose for portraits smiling at the camera. Capturing natural emotion and moments isn’t highly valued.

2. PICK THE RIGHT VENUE

After your choice of photographer, your venue choice probably has the biggest impact on your wedding photos. Keep in mind that it isn’t just your ceremony or reception venue that’s important. Any place that you will be photographed on your wedding day is important, including where you get ready. Your choice of venues should match your preferred style of photography as much as possible.

If you love romantic, bright and airy images, make sure you choose a venue with lots of nice natural light. Outdoor venues are always best for these types of photos. But if you’re indoors, this means light coloured walls, high ceilings and big windows.

Many Fine Art wedding photographers, like myself, achieve the soft dreamy look of their images by shooting film. It’s super important to have nice natural light when using film, so if you fall in love with this look, make sure your venue choice will work!

Maybe the most important venue for photography on your wedding day is your portrait location. It’s a good idea to choose a ceremony or reception venue that also provides a beautiful space to do your portraits on site since it saves travel time and means you don’t have to pay an extra permit fee! Also keep in mind that many photography locations reserve their spaces exclusively for their own wedding clients so finding come place for photos in downtown Toronto can be difficult. It’s even better if the entire wedding can be done at the same location.

I almost always recommend doing these photos outdoors. Make sure the location your choose has a few different areas with beautiful backgrounds to work with. For my style of photography I recommended either natural backgrounds (think trees, lakes, fields etc) or a neutral toned building with classic architecture. Another important thing to look for when having an outdoor wedding is a venue that offers some shaded areas, and positions the sun behind the ceremony spot.

Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea to pick a venue that offers an outdoor ceremony and reception so your photos can be taken with natural light. It’s also important in Canada especially that the venue offers some type of rain backup option!

3. PLAN YOUR WEDDING DAY

Timing is super important when it comes to creating beautiful wedding photos. Every wedding is unique so I always work with my couples to create a photography schedule that work for them. But there are a few basic things you can keep in mind!

It’s all about the light

When I advise my couples on their wedding day schedule, the first thing I always look up is the sunset and solar noon times for their day. Solar noon means the sun is directly above, which is basically the worst time to take outdoor photos since this creates harsh unflattering shadows.

The rule of thumb, is that photos tend to look better closer to sunset as the sun gets softer and lower. On a sunny day your photos will have a beautiful warm glow about an hour or two before sunset. For this reason I always advise having your ceremony in the late afternoon (for summer weddings).

First look or not?

One of the biggest scheduling decisions is whether to have a first look or not. This can be a great opportunity to enjoy some time together before the ceremony, and means you don’t have to squeeze all the portraits into your cocktail reception!

One thing to keep in mind is that some couples are nervous before the ceremony and find it hard to relax so the photos can look a bit less natural. Also, the light is usually less than ideal. If you choose to do a first look, I still advise couples to try to do it later in the afternoon if possible. If it’s a sunny day, it’s a great idea to schedule another 20 minutes just before sunset to take advantage of that beautiful light! You will also be so much more relaxed and comfortable being photographed by this time!

4. STYLING

Your decor, details, clothing, hair and makeup fall under this category and they all play a role in how your photos will turn out. The most important thing is that your styling reflects your personal style. You want to feel like you, but the most beautiful or handsome and confident version of you! But styling can also be important in creating different style of photos.

The dress

For example, if you want portraits that look natural rather than stiff and posed, think about selecting a dress that moves easily with you and falls nicely without much adjustment. Taking time to rearrange your dress each time you move makes authentic, natural images almost impossible and uses up lots of extra time. A dress that isn’t strapless and has nice movement in the skirt area works for most brides. The right dress should make you feel beautiful, comfortable and confident!

The Flowers

One of the most important parts of styling is your flowers. They will be in almost all of your wedding photos, and can become a really important part of the photo. Often they’re the main bits of colour that show up in your photos. Splurging on a really beautiful bridal bouquet can really elevate the look of your wedding photos!

Flowers are a bit less important for the reception, but can really set the scene for the evening, and are especially important for venues that don’t have much personality. When placing centrepieces, make sure they don’t block faces though so your photographer can capture all those candid expressions through the night!

Details

Details such as your stationery, your shoes, or your even your perfume bottle can also be important in setting the scene. I always start the day photographing bridal details such as these, which I see as kind of the introduction to the story of your wedding day. It establishes the style and vibe of the rest of the day.

5. ENJOY YOUR WEDDING DAY!

Planning for your wedding photography is important, but the best thing you can do on the actual wedding day is relax and be in the moment! If you hired the right photographer you should be able to just trust them to do their thing!

Beautiful images will happen naturally if you’re feeling calm, happy and in love! Also, don’t be afraid to show emotion, whether it’s laughter, affection or tears. Cry over that sentimental speech from your mom, give your new husband or wife lots of hugs, and shares laughs with your best friends. Years from now I bet those will be your favourite photos to look back at!

If my photography style fits your vision for your wedding day, I would love to hear from you!

The post How to Get Beautiful Wedding Photos You’ll Love Forever! appeared first on Toronto Wedding Photographer | Lushana Bale Photography.

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I’m basically in love with these sun drenched Casa Loma wedding photos!

I can’t believe i’ve been a Toronto wedding photographer for 7 years and haven’t had the opportunity to shoot at Casa Loma until now! It’s one of the most beautiful venues in Toronto and

Beyond the stunning venue, Raquel and Andrew’s wedding was one of my favourites because of all the wonderful moments I was able to capture. I love weddings that are full of emotions and really appreciate working with couples who enjoy their day to the fullest, embracing all the laughter and tears. It was clear throughout their day how close Raquel and Andrew are with their family and friends, and how much they all care about each other.

Capturing days like this remind me why i’m a wedding photographer. I had such a hard time narrowing down which photos I wanted to share on here!

Even though Raquel and Andrew’s wedding was incredibly stylish and took place at a castle, the whole day had an easy going, relaxed vibe. I especially loved that they had their reception in the glass pavilion outside. It’s no secret that I love outdoor weddings! The gardens are beautiful and it’s the best view of the castle!Their wedding was in September, but it happened to be a crazy hot day. Like hottest day of summer temperatures. But we pushed through the heat in the gardens to get their Casa Loma wedding photos! Because really, how could you not?

I also was in love with Raquel and Andrew’s style. You can never go wrong with a fitted lace dress, long veil, and Jimmy Choos. Andrew was stylish in his modern blue suit as well. Plus they chose pretty calligraphy invitations, pastel florals, and white bridesmaid dresses. Their day was pure classic elegance!






  
  
 
 

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This was my first time photographing a Doctor’s House wedding and I fell in love with this adorable venue!

The little historic white chapel is so cute, and the gardens surrounding it are perfect for Doctor’s House wedding photos! But having a great bride and groom is always  more important than a beautiful venue, and Alli and Marc were a complete pleasure to work with! Not only is Alli the most gorgeous bride, she and Marc are also totally down to earth, easy going and so sweet together! Alli and Marc actually live in Alberta and planned their entire wedding long distance, so they booked me without meeting first. I was so happy that I was able to do their engagement session while I was nearby on a trip to Banff though! It’s always so much better when I get to know couples before their wedding so we’re nice and comfortable with each other on the big day!

If you missed it, click here to see there Moraine Lake engagement session.

There were tons of beautiful details in this wedding. I especially loved Alli’s stunning ballgown dress, the pastel florals, and the dusty blue bridesmaid dresses. My favourite part of their wedding though was probably the speeches! I always love speeches like these that range between hilarious, sweet, and touching. I love being able to capture those genuine moments and expressions, and there were so many it was hard to narrow down the photos to post here!

             

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The Hamilton Art Gallery is one of my favourite wedding venues!

The all-white walls and huge floor to ceiling windows are just perfect for wedding photography! I also love that it has a space for an outdoor cocktail reception. Outdoor cocktails receptions make it so much easier to capture candid moments. Plus there’s even space for an outdoor ceremony!

Allison and Kent decided to have a first look and portraits at the Whitehern Historic House and Garden. Just a block away from the Art Gallery, it feels like a little piece of Europe and is the perfect place for wedding photography!

I’ve said it lots of times before, but the flowers can really make or break your wedding!

I loved Allison and Kent’s wildflower inspired reception decor. There were dozens of individual flowers arranged in delicate glass jars. It felt like being in a field of flowers! Allison’s lush oversized bridal bouquet was also the perfect complement to her beautiful Vera Wang ball gown dress. I loved that she had the dress customized with drop sleeves and several other touches to make it uniquely her own!

One of my favourite details of the day is Allison’s ring, which I learnt was custom created with a diamond from her mom’s ring, bought by her dad who passed a few years ago. I was also so touched that Allison kept a reminder of her dad with her all day in the form of a little photo locket attached to her bouquet.

Kent and Allison were also such a fun couple to work with!

They’re super easy going, have the best quirky sense of humour, and are clearly very much in love. To top things off their reception had so many amazing emotional moments to capture!

         

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Whistle Bear wedding photos always turn out to be some of my favourites!

The last time I photographed a wedding here their new ceremony venue wasn’t quite finished, so it was fun to see it all done this time! It’s basically the perfect venue for a ceremony since it lets couple have an outdoor wedding even if it rains. This definitely came in handy for Amy and Marc’s wedding as it rained pretty much all day! But that’s actually one of the reasons I love this wedding!

One of the most common questions brides ask me is what happens if it rains. From a photography point of view, there’s really no reason why a rainy wedding day should be any different. I have no problem grabbing a couple big umbrellas and heady outside. Outdoor photos are always worth it. But as a bride, I know it can sometimes be hard when the weather doesn’t cooperate. You want your day to be perfect and are probably imagining looking back at bright sunny images.

Honestly it’s been years since i’ve had a wedding where we actually had to go outside in the rain for photos. Usually we get lucky and there’s a break in the day. But for Amy and Marc’s wedding it started pouring just as we were about to do the first look! We had a rain back up in place, but when I saw the beautiful Airbnb they had rented, I knew we had to do photos there! I’m so happy that Amy trusted me enough to go out in the rain. I love showing that rainy photos can be just as beautiful as sunny ones. Plus it gives me the chance to create some romantic, moodier black and white images!

My advice to any future brides is to embrace things that might go wrong on your wedding day and focus on enjoying every moment as much as possible.

One of my favourite things about being a wedding photography is meeting some amazing couples. Amy and Marc planned their wedding from out of the country, so I didn’t have much chance to get to know them before their wedding day. I was so impressed by everything I learnt from hearing their family talk about them in the speeches. Not only is Amy one of my prettiest brides, but she’s an accomplished Phd medical researcher, and Marc is a successful doctor. Their family and friends were all so kind and easy to get along with as well. They had a 14 person bridal party, one of my largest ever, but they were actually easier to work with than many smaller groups!

After the ceremony there was a break in the rain so we snuck off to take a few more photos in Whistle Bear’s pretty forest. The beautifully decorated reception with greenery and pastel florals was the perfect end to these Whistle Bear wedding photos!

           

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I talk a lot about how much I love weddings that are unique and incorporate little details that are unique to each couple. Emily and Yuri’s Kelowna wedding was full of sentimental meaning from start to finish and I fell more in love with it with every new detail I learnt about!

First of all, they wedding was held at Emily’s grandparents’ apple orchard estate in the beautiful Kelowna countryside. Emily and Yuri said their vows on the front lawn of her grandparents’ home, surrounded by a flower garden they had been tending to all year to get ready for the wedding.

The reception was housed in a barn on the estate, decorated with flowers grown by Emily’s mom and full of beautiful diy elements. Maybe my favourite detail was Emily’s lacy bohemian dress, which her mom made for her!

Of course the setting was pretty perfect for photos too, with rows of apple trees just waiting to be picked and views overlooking the Okanagan valley in the distance. Their wedding was in the middle of a bad forest fire season, but luckily it rained the night before and cleared out most of the smoke for their wedding day.

The whole day matched Emily and Yuri’s easy going personality, and I felt like I was photographing a friend’s wedding! Plus I always love working with other creatives like Emily, who’s an artist. Thank you again for inviting me over for such a special day :)


         

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I’m basically in love with these sun drenched Casa Loma wedding photos!

I can’t believe i’ve been a Toronto wedding photographer for 7 years and haven’t had the opportunity to shoot at Casa Loma until now! It’s one of the most beautiful venues in Toronto and

Beyond the stunning venue, Raquel and Andrew’s wedding was one of my favourites because of all the wonderful moments I was able to capture. I love weddings that are full of emotions and really appreciate working with couples who enjoy their day to the fullest, embracing all the laughter and tears. It was clear throughout their day how close Raquel and Andrew are with their family and friends, and how much they all care about each other.

Capturing days like this remind me why i’m a wedding photographer. I had such a hard time narrowing down which photos I wanted to share on here!

Even though Raquel and Andrew’s wedding was incredibly stylish and took place at a castle, the whole day had an easy going, relaxed vibe. I especially loved that they had their reception in the glass pavilion outside. It’s no secret that I love outdoor weddings! The gardens are beautiful and it’s the best view of the castle!Their wedding was in September, but it happened to be a crazy hot day. Like hottest day of summer temperatures. But we pushed through the heat in the gardens to get their Casa Loma wedding photos! Because really, how could you not?

I also was in love with Raquel and Andrew’s style. You can never go wrong with a fitted lace dress, long veil, and Jimmy Choos. Andrew was stylish in his modern blue suit as well. Plus they chose pretty calligraphy invitations, pastel florals, and white bridesmaid dresses. Their day was pure classic elegance!


 

 
  
  
 

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So, I when I first decided to do this recap post I thought i’d quickly throw together maybe 50 favourite images from the year. Then I started really looking through all my images and realized i’ve done way more than I remembered! Limiting things to 50 images was basically impossible. I’ve tried to narrow things down as much as possible without leaving things out though!

Winter

Winter is usually the slowest time of year for wedding photographers, but this year things were unusually busy. The year started out with some beautiful editorial shoots, and a much needed break down in sunny Charleston and Savannah.

See more from this downtown Toronto wedding shoot at the Great Hall.

See the rest of this Charleston NC shoot here.

Spring

2018 was a particularly long and cold winter. Remember we had yet another snow storm at the end of April? So I started the spring off escaping to my hometown of Victoria BC for a few weeks. It was the perfect mix of hiking, exploring beaches, and I had the opportunity to connect with some amazing west coast wedding vendors to put together one of my favourite editorial shoots! Luckily things eventually warmed up from the start of my spring wedding season!

See more from this Vancouver Island wedding inspiration shoot

Spring weddings. The weather started to warm up for most of my couples!

See more from this wedding

Summer

This summer I shot some of my favourite weddings ever, and had some amazing travel experiences! First up is this dream wedding at a medieval castle with a vineyard in Italy!

Click here to see more from this destination wedding in Tuscany.

Can you think of anywhere better to get engaged than beautiful Cinque Terre?

See more from this Cinque Terre engagement.

We explored Tuscany, all the little villages of Cinque Terre and finished off our trip in Rome.

After a very short break back in Toronto, we were off again for another magical destination wedding, this time on Quadra Island!

Read the full blog post from this Quadra Island wedding.

While we were over on the west coast we also spent some time in Tofino. We got in several beautiful hikes, ate the best fish tacos, and soaked up that relaxed pacific northwest vibe.

Back home in Ontario, I finished off the summer with these beautiful weddings!

See more from some of the weddings featured above! Trinity Chapel WeddingSummer Camp Wedding | Casa Loma Wedding

Fall/Winter

Fall started off with one last destination wedding to Kelowna, a few more local weddings, and then was spent basically non-stop editing to make up for all the time spent travelling this summer!

We finished the year off with a trip to England to visit Dave’s family, and then spent some time relaxing on the south coast. It was the perfect way to recover from weeks spent indoors editing!

The post 2018 Year In Review appeared first on Toronto Wedding Photographer | Lushana Bale Photography.

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I always get excited when an inquiry for an Ontario camp wedding lands in my inbox!

I absolutely love the relaxed vibe, getting to spend the day outdoors, and of course the beautiful scenery! They’re always a dream to photograph! Taylor and Mike chose a summer camp just outside the Kawarthas near the village of Bancroft. Taylor and her bridesmaids got ready at a gorgeous cabin on the edge of a lake, while Mike and the rest of their guests each had little private cabins around the lake at the summer camp. They got married with a beautiful view of the lake as their backdrop then settled in for an intimate dinner at the lodge.

Despite the rustic and remote setting, this wedding had so many pretty details! The flowers from a sustainable florist in Hamilton were definitely a highlight! Taylor’s colourful bouquet full of spring wild flower was one of my favourites to date! Their dining room was filled with peonies and their alter was the prettiest mix of pink blooms on white birch. I also loved Taylor’s beautiful vintage lace gown and adorable vintage polka dot shoes!

For some more camp wedding inspiration, also check out one of my other favourites, this Algonquin Camp Wedding.

    
        

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