Behind the Scenes of 2020

This post is is definitely the most popular of our annual recap posts. And by that I mean, you guys let us know now and all year long how much you look forward to seeing all our Behind the Scenes (BTS) photos – particularly the ones of Dave running in and out of our veil and night shot, haha!

All of that being said, I am always so nervous and apprehensive about posting these, despite the fact that it is actually pretty fun (and funny) to put together. I tend not to think about my posture or anything along those lines when I am shooting, so sit back and prepare yourself for some super unflattering images. So, similar to last year, here’s what you can expect in these photos:

  • very unflattering angles;
  • weird facial expressions;
  • squinty eyes;
  • really bad posture (including, but not limited to, hunched shoulders);
  • shots of the back of my head (and my teeny, tiny pony tail);
  • A few low quality phone photos;
  • Dress fluffing;
  • Veil tossing;
  • Finger pointing (although less than in previous years, haha!); and
  • of course, Dave and Stephanie the light testing subjects.

Typically Dave and I do our individual preps solo, which usually means there is little to no BTS of this part of the day. But covid changed things up a fair bit this year and Dave actually ended up joining me to a prep and grabbed some shots of me doing my things (in between grabbing the candid prep shots of the ladies getting their hair and make-up done of course).

But honestly, I think the best BTS prep photo here is the last one in this series. In case you haven’t seen him all dolled up for wedding days, Dave pretty much always wears a bowtie, and a real one at that. So he is pretty good at getting them tied, but apparently he is best at it when he can do it as if it is on him. And thanks to one of the awesome groomsmen that found this setup as funny as I do, we have a photo!

Once prep is done we often move onto First Looks. They are more and more popular these days and I personally love them (so much so that we did one ourselves actually). In general, Dave sets up one half of our couple, and I bring in the other. We both end up giving our couple individual pep talks and let them know how the whole thing is going to work, and for our brides there is also the obligatory dress and veil fluff. We tend to get in each other’s way up until this point, and then after that we are pretty good at watching our couples with one eye and the other camera position with the other eye. But there are still times when I have to crop a Dave out of a shot (or a me out of his shots).

And along the same lines as that bowtie assisting shot from earlier, Dave does almost all of our boutonnieres these days. Occasionally I will do one here or there, but Dave is way better at it than I am (fortunately he doesn’t read my blog posts so he will never hear this, haha!). But the aspect of clothing that I am better at is veils. Most hair stylists will fasten it in with bobby pins, but 9 times of out 10 that sucker pops out at some point and I end up reattaching it for our brides. No biggie. Although, it was funny when Melanie’s got caught in the middle of her ceremony and since I was the only one who knew where the bobby pins were (as I was the only one around when I put it back in), I quickly walked up the aisle and helped her maid-of-honour detach it. Luckily it didn’t take very long and everyone found it highly entertaining!

As you probably already know, Dave and I light test for each other frequently throughout the wedding day. I think the time when we do it the most though is right before ceremonies. There isn’t a lot of time to adjust settings once things get going so we end up having each other walk up the aisle, stand at the front of the aisle, and just generally be patient while each of us makes sure we have our settings just right. And yes, Dave likes to use props when he does it – I believe his phone or camera are often placeholders for bouquets (or a spouse if he is at the head of the aisle) and in one particular shot he got a little theatrical and did a mini-rendition of Hamlet with a flash modifier (to bounce flash or not to bounce flash).

We often get asked where we are during the ceremony, well let me show you.
I tend to stand at the front of the aisle and shuffle sideways as everyone gets to the front. Meanwhile, Dave actually stands at the rear and grabs shots of our bride being walked down the aisle showing off that gorgeous train, but occasionally he jumps around and grabs a couple shots from the side as well. Honestly, he tends to be wherever he knows I am going to need him to be – he’s good like that.

And in the special case where he captured video for our good friends’ wedding, he did double duty, grabbing shots from the back and side of the ceremony while simultaneously ensuring another camera was capturing video and our sound recorder was positioned just right for both the couple and string trio.

Quick little shot that didn’t really fit in any other category: Dave found a keyboard set up and ready to go at Tara + Dion’s wedding and being the avid pianist he is, he just couldn’t resist. But don’t worry he cleared it with the actual musician (also there was no one but the two of us in the building at the time, hence the lowered mask).

We have a bunch of big group shots from this past year, and the trickiest part about them was spacing everyone out to allow for social distancing while still getting them all in the frame. Luckily though, this example of me telling them my standard blurb is from pre-pandemic days and we were able to squish everyone in nice and cozy.

As usual, we don’t have a ton of BTS photos from our wedding parties. I think this ends up happening because we are both shooting away pretty much the whole time to try and keep this part of the day as short and sweet as possible. But this tends to be the part of the day when I point the most, and in pre-covid days, I get the handsiest too as, more often than not, I end up just pushing and pulling people (nicely) where I want them to go. I just find it’s faster, especially if anyone has already been to the bar!

2020 came with a few special weather conditions for our couples, you know, in addition to that good old pandemic most of them already had to deal with. But we bring along weather deterrents to all of our weddings, from blankets and towels to our vast collection of umbrellas, we’ve got your covered – literally. Plus, Dave is always there to give you the coat off his back, block you from the wind, snow, or sleet as much as possible, and of course, he is always waiting just out of frame to get you umbrellas back if we do a shot without them, or get all of you wrapped back up to avoid the dreaded frozen bridesmaid.

Quick little story. At one of our final weddings of the year, we brought along our collection of clear umbrellas. They were definitely needed and greatly appreciated by our couple and their wedding party. But since we moved right into other photos and then their ceremony after the rain stopped, we just tossed them in a pile on the side. Well, hours later when we were packing up to go home, we forgot about them completely. We were about half way home when we remembered them and since they were not only expensive, but also hard to find, we turned around. But don’t worry future couples, we got them all and they are ready to go for you (but let’s hope we don’t need them)

We also apparently don’t have a ton of BTS shots from the Bride + Groom portraits portion of the day. Just a few of me adjusting bouquets so they don’t look like they are attacking the back of grooms’ heads, and of course, fluffing and adjusting dresses and veils.

And now comes everyone’s favourite BTS photos, veil photos, which is also known as Dave running away from our couples! This year he turned the tables on me and got a few shots of me doing the veil shot from my end, and since I also happened to be sitting on the ground at the time, it really isn’t very flattering. But all’s fair in BTS photos I suppose.

The pandemic definitely changed how many BTS shots we have from receptions, since we didn’t end up staying for many receptions this year, but I do have these two – and sadly they are both of me. I am not sure what I was shooting in the first one, other than something having to do with Alexis + Peter since this is from their wedding day, but in the second I had just stolen Dave’s great spot for shooting Tara + Dion’s first dance. I think he was a little bitter, hence the photo.

Well, here’s the second set of photos that everyone seems to love – night shots! We didn’t do too many of these this year as the reduced wedding sizes often resulted in us leaving before dinner (and therefore before nightfall), but the ones we did do were pretty darn fun. I have included both the Dave in and Dave out of the photo versions so you can see what the finished product looks like, as well as how the shots actually got lit!

As I have mentioned a few times now, we had the extreme pleasure of capturing our dear friends’ wedding this year. And since they were our friends, it meant we got a little special treatment (particularly since Dave was technically also a groomsmen for this wedding – in addition to his photo and video duties). We had our own table and table name, both Dave and I got flowers for the day (!!!), Dave cuddled up with friend before the ceremony, and we were even included in the Lego figures the couple put together to represent everyone at their wedding (yes, that is Dave in the suit with the giant hair – it was a look he had in university which is where we met the groom).

There are vendors who get BTS shots as part of our couple’s regular photos, like hair stylists, make-up artists and officiants, but most of us do our best to stay out of the potential spotlight as much as possible. But while I was grabbing shots for this post I did find a few shots of Dianne from the Museum of Nature, Bob from Octave Entertainment, Steve and Amanda from Stonefields, and one of the Stonefields waiters (sorry I didn’t catch your name) doing their thing making sure the couple and all of their guests are super well taken care of!

At the end of the night, we do our best to remember to grab a selfies with our couple (please excuse the unedited phone photos). It’s about 50/50 as to whether or not we actually remember (as can be told by the fact that I sadly don’t have one from every 2020 wedding – although we do have a random selfie Dave took in a reflection while waiting for me to do a night shot), but they are such a fun way to end the evening! That is, before I make Dave act as a pack mule again and put everything back in the car while I grab a few more candid moments and/or reception details.

And new this year: BTS of newborns! Or, I suppose, to be more accurate, it would be newborn as this is all from a single session. An added bonus to your friends having babies is the fact that you can take advantage of them being in the studio and get some BTS shots. When Baby Alice came in with her parents I had Dave join us to grab these shots and even though I gave him almost no instructions or guidelines whatsoever, he did a wonderful job! Although, to be honest, it took him a second to remember how to use the camera as it had been nearly 7 months since he shot anything haha! Also, he spent pretty the same amount of time shooting as he did chatting and playing video games with Alice’s Dad.

But he still captured changing clothes, to settling Baby Alice into her positions and transitioning her smoothly, adjusting her tiny fingers and inevitably giving her some bum taps to keep her settled, Dave really did captured some great moments. He even grabbed a shot of when I had to wriggle the pacifier out of her mouth! But I must admit, I think my favourites are the ones where you can see Cathy + Andrew cuddled in the background just watching adoringly as their baby girl poses so adorably.

Well there you have it guys, I think that about wraps things up for this Behind-the-Scenes post. I hope you have enjoyed scrolling through these photos and seeing what things are like from behind the lens during another wonderful (albeit smaller) wedding season!

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