I love being presented with a challenge, and when I met Renée and Derrick, he propositioned me. Derrick had popped the question at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto and taken a selfie of them. His vision was to recreate the selfie exactly a year later with a series of CNE engagement photos.
Luckily for us, the date fell mid week, so we knew we would be dealing with less crowds. If you have ever been to CNE, you’ll know how chaotic it can get. From trying to find parking and navigating the sea of people to nestling yourself to the front of the crowds, I knew this would be a challenge. Funnily enough, it ended up being the constantly changing lights that proved to be my biggest battle. However, years of experience and patience have allowed me to master the art of hiding any frustrations and causing unnecessary stress to my clients.
Derrick’s vision was to document their experience as a storyteller vs posing them against backdrops. Ironically this has been my chosen style of journalistic photography for a number of years. My aim has always been to retell the emotional journey. We started out by capturing their expressions and energy as they played the iconic fairground games and explored the kiosks. The vibrant colours and bold lettering of the rides and stalls were the perfect contrast to their much softer and neutral attire. As they grabbed themselves some candyfloss, I used the opportunity to have some fun with the two of them holding the treat.
Candy floss, carousels and sky rides showed how fun a session can be with these CNE engagement photos
It brought me back to my childhood as we rode the carousel. The natural smiles and excitement that they were exuding meant it was easy to capture their emotions. As we headed to the sky ride I offered to give them a unique perspective on their original photo. I jumped in the car ahead of them so I could take photos of them as they recreated the proposal selfie. This different perspective not only captured their emotions but the surroundings and energy of Toronto.
The sun started to dip behind the horizon and the bright lights of the exhibition came on in full force. Trying to work with lighting that is constantly changing and flashing is definitely a challenge for even the most competent of photographers. Capturing the garishness of the lights while not letting it take away from the subjects required patience and trial and error. I ended up using the lighting from illuminated advertisements and the ferris wheel to enhance the nighttime portraits. One of my favourite images was at the end of the evening. It was as they sat on the seats of a game with the booth attendant holding the infamous cuddly toy. It summed up the experience of the fair and yet they were pictured in their own little bubble of happiness.
Playing with perspective in these CNE engagement photos
When shooting in busy spaces I try to do as much of the hard work as I can on location. Whether this means positioning myself so I have less obstructions or people in the background, or taking my time to get the right lighting. It is amazing what can be done in photoshop, for sure. However, to me the talent is not having to depend on the program entirely to alter your images.
It was so fun working on their CNE engagement photos! I loved collaborating with a couple that had such a clear idea of what they wanted. By planning out our session and times, we were able to capture the sunset, twilight and night time all within a 3 hour window. Before your next photoshoot, let your photographer know if there is a particular vision you have or time of day you would like to capture to retell your perfect story.
Here you can see another Toronto engagement photo session where my couple replicate their proposal.
My passion and biggest asset is taking the time to make every client comfortable and relaxed before I even pick up the camera. The result? Photos of you that actually look like you at your best! I can prove to you how much you can enjoy having your picture taken. Lifestyle photography is about the experience that happens to be served up along side of some great photos.
Family Photography for families that like to move around and enjoy their photo time, Wedding Photography for couples looking for a mixture of photojournalistic, contemporary and traditional images and Professional Corporate headshots that are far from cheesy and stiff.