Hi everyone, I’m Michelle Yip, the new intern at Wedding Editorials and this is my encounter for my first day shadowing them at a wedding!
“It will be better to get to know you on the job than just over coffee”, and that’s what we did. I was picked up at 11:40am by Claudia, whom I exchanged emails with regarding my internship. We got to talk, and know each other a bit as we headed straight to York Mills Gallery to prepare for Wedding Editorials’ signature series, Portraits On White. Finally after looking through their work for months, I got to see how everything is done. I was super nervous but excited because after weeks of research done on Wedding Editorials, I knew they were a tight-knitted team and that they know what they’re doing. So, I didn’t want to mess anything up!
It was fast paced. Claudia and I reached York Mills Gallery, and Justin was waiting at the front doors for us. We quickly brought all the gear into the building, and began to set up. After setting up for the Portraits On White for the reception that was going to take place later that night, we headed straight to Tyndale Seminary for the creative portrait session. Ashley and Josh and their their party were waiting for us. Being crunched on time we barely got to introduce ourselves before we jumped straight into shooting. Although it was a bit chilly that day it didn’t stop us from shooting outside. Everyone was a trooper, they braced the cold, and it paid off with beautiful images. The whole group had fun smiling, laughing, and creating spontaneous conversations with each other for the camera. No flashes were used, we only shot with available light which creates a raw aesthetic that’s refreshing since I am mainly taught how to use artificial light such as strobes or flash in studio back in school.
After shooting with Ashley and Josh we went straight to the church where the ceremony would be taking place. During the wait, we did prep shots since we weren’t able to do that in the morning. The whole party was in the room watching as we recreated the prep shots, but Claudia and Justin were calm under the pressure and time limitations. They had each others’ backs whether it be shooting from a different angle, using different lens, or expecting what’s coming next so they can cover each other. The prep shots might have been contrived but no one would have thought less because the results looked candid since the subjects didn’t appear conscious of the camera. I always thought shots that were contrived would always look contrived, but I learned that when you give clear directions (a skill I have to work on) to the subjects, the results can be intimate and raw.
A cute slideshow was playing of Ashley and Josh as all the guests were waiting in anticipation for the ceremony to start. Once the ceremony started I was able to witness how great of a team Claudia and Justin were, their nonverbal and verbal communication skills were a testimony to how experienced and skilled they are. They knew what to expect, how to interact with the guest, and how to be authoritative without being offensive. For example, right before the couple kissed, they gave each other a look and a nod, confirming they both knew what to do. Right after the kiss, they backed up in front of the couple, covering every moment as they exited the sanctuary as Mr and Mrs Chu.
The evening went on as hundreds of Portraits On White were being taken during the reception. I had no idea how much energy it took to create them. The shooter has to be able to bring out the vulnerable side of their subjects, to capture the in-between moments while being unguarded themselves, willing to step outside their comfort zone to make others laugh, relaxed, and comfortable. After watching the process of shooting the POWs I gained a deeper appreciation for them. The moments that were being captured were so genuine that I found myself smiling and laughing along with the subjects.
By the end of the day you feel like you know the couple inside out, and the team as if you knew them for years. I was definitely tired after the 12 hour day, but I got a glimpse of how it’s worth every moment since it was devoted to making sure the couple’s day was recorded so that they can look back to their images, and relive the day they promised to love each other for life.
What a great first experience! I will be back for another 🙂