2018 was a pretty hectic year for us again, photographing a total of 37 weddings! We started the year off in January and flew to Australia again for a wedding in March. This week and next week, I’ll be posting a two-part series so you can see the Behind The Scenes of Samantha Ong Photography for 2018 and how we capture our magic as a wedding photographer in Toronto and Melbourne!
If you’ve followed along with our annual Behind The Scenes series in the past, you’ll come to know that we spend a lot of time fixing bridal dresses to make sure it’s picture perfect. Often, my husband Elliott will be my “dress fluffer” but sometimes I find it faster to just get in there and do it myself. Below, you’ll see me at Emmy and Jae’s intimate wedding at George Restaurant as well as Emily and Nhan’s wedding in Melbourne where I’m fixing the bride’s dress. You’ll see Elliott and I fixing boutonnieres and hair as well!
Below, you’ll see me talking to the bridesmaids on getting their robes up for a pretty shot at Leah and Philip’s wedding. Then, photographing the Chinese Door Games and the tea ceremony.
At Stephanie and Dickson’s wedding, we had an early start to the day photographing the Chinese door games and tea ceremony.
Above, on the right-hand side you’ll see that first looks can happen anywhere! For Samantha and Louchlyn’s wedding in Vaughan, they didn’t plan on having a first look at all but on the day, I convinced them to do an impromptu one in the lobby of their hotel before we jetted off for bride and groom photos at Kortright Centre. This meant keeping my camera ready at all times – even coming right out of the elevator!
We were also lucky to be able to photograph around the beautiful grounds of the Bayview Golf and Country Club for Stephanie and Dickson’s wedding. Since it was such a long day, we tried to do our very best to get all the family formals and bride & groom photos done as efficiently as we could. Elliott was great in helping coordinate all the people and fixing Steph’s bridal dress.
But like I said, sometimes it’s easier for me to just get in there myself!
Natalie and Jacky’s wedding day was a seriously long one! We started the day at 7am to capture their getting ready before a fun set of Chinese door games with the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Natalie and Jacky’s wedding day involved four sets of locations for bride & groom photos. We photographed at Casa Loma, Humber Arboretum, the City of Kleinburg and The Doctor’s House. Elliott was a big help in getting the bridal dress perfect for Natalie each and every time!
Back to Samantha and Louchlyn’s wedding (below, left-side), you’ll see why I love the beautiful grounds of Kortright Centre. But as much as it looks beautiful in photos, the grounds make it super dirty for bridal gowns. So we always try to keep the dress off the ground as much as possible and then “fluff” it out for photos.
R and P’s beautiful Tibetan wedding started off at home and then moved to Canoe Restaurant in Downtown Toronto. Below, you’ll see how I capture the bridal details such as the bridal bouquet, the rings, jewellery and the wedding invitations.
Since R and P’s wedding took place on a Friday, we were lucky to have most of Cherry Beach to ourselves for photos. We then witnessed the gorgeous sunset as we dined at the modern Canoe Restaurant on King Street.
We then went on to photograph Vanessa and Paul’s wedding which started off at the Four Seasons and then we went off to photograph their bridal party photos at the Humber Arboretum before capturing their reception at The Manor.
At Vanessa and Paul’s wedding reception, Paul surprised Vanessa with an all-boy band dance performance that blew everyone’s socks off. The whole dance floor was filled with people trying to get a piece of the action on camera which made our lives as photographers difficult in getting lots of angles of the showdown! I don’t like to get in the way of people’s view or their camera’s so that they can enjoy the wedding as they should, so sometimes I get crawling on the floor and popping up in the weirdest places to get a good shot as well!
You’ll find that we use natural light as much as possible outdoors, but sometimes that means shaping the light with reflectors. My favourite reflector is the 5-in-1 reflector by Westcott.
For Josephine and Jon’s wedding, we were back at the gorgeous Kortright Centre. I love capturing in the forest but as mentioned earlier, with all the twigs on the ground – it can tear beautiful bridal dresses.
Josephine wore a stunning Pnina Tornai bridal dress from Kleinfeld Canada and matching cathedral length veil and we know how precious this dress is! We tried our best to keep it off the ground as much as possible and then laid it out when we did photos. It was actually a rainy day, so both her dress and her veil were wet making it difficult to “fluff out” but we did our best we could with it and the results were amazing!
Anum and Hussain’s wedding at the Ismaili Centre Toronto was another long day but we still made sure to take the time to get everything perfect. Elliott has become a pro at attaching and fixing boutonnieres. Photographing at the Ismaili Centre is literally a dream with all that natural light and architectural beauty!
You may remember Tiffany and Benny’s wedding at the McLean House of Estates of Sunnybrook from 2017, but in 2018 we captured their anniversary shoot for them in the incredible sunflower fields! It was really important to make sure to get some lovely veil shots for them and Elliott has become a master at this!
Below, you’ll see how I keep bride’s from falling from their very long veils and making sure they’re kept as clean as possible before their wedding ceremony! Here I am photographing Julia and Colin’s wedding at The Estates of Sunnybrook and that famous mauve pink bridal suite!
I’ve mentioned this many times before but I love photographing at The Estates of Sunnybrook since there’s so many indoor and outdoor locations to utilise!
Apart from fixing dresses and hair, we spend a lot of time coordinating people and even cleaning up the ground! Elliott always helps me to make sure the ground is free from distracting elements (fallen leaves, twigs, garbage, etc.)
You’ll also notice that I try to choose clothes that are comfortable since we get in all sort of awkward positions! Last year, I had a lot of difficulty trying to hide my pregnancy a little to try to not draw attention to ourselves. Pregnant or not, we always want to blend in with the crowd so that people don’t notice us. We’ve had so many compliments from both our clients and guests over the years when they’ve told us how amazed they were in that we were able to capture all these moments without ever seeing us throughout the day!
Above is Elliott at Alice and Chang’s wedding at Casa Loma, doing what he does best – helping me coordinate the crowd and being a second eye with those droopy boutonnieres! For some reason they always end up sagging throughout the day and need a little pick me up by doing a re-pin. There’s nothing worse than shooting fifty family photo combinations and the groom boutonniere is droopy that whole time!
Elliott has been an incredible asset not only on wedding days, but also on engagement shoots too. Sometimes he’ll tag along and be my second eye and help me fix hair and even helping me direct my couples when I’m shooting from afar!
Hope you enjoyed our Behind The Scenes 2018 post so far! I’ve only just gotten through the first half of the year for 2018. Stay tuned to next week for the second part of our two-part series and see more Behind The Scenes the rest of the year!