Shooting Sara and Brian's engagement session was one of the most, if not the most, fast paced and craziest shoots that Sheena and I have done in recent memory! That is on top of the fact that Sheena had to carry around lighting gear through thousands of people since we were at the world famous Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in late August... while being 10 months pregnant. Sara's family operates several games there so there was a lot of personal significance attached to that location in addition to the awesome backdrops and very unique locations for photos. Brian works at a BMW Mini dealership and brought along a pretty cool "toy" as well for the shoot. Shooting at the CNE had many advantages and challenges. There were so many amazing locations that kept popping up to photograph Sara and Brian that it was a bit overwhelming to have to use some discretion and hold back from having Sara and Brian run from place to place. I didn't want to tire them out too early in the evening:) Having a family that owns several booths was great in that we were able to have some games all to ourselves and I was allowed to climb up into some of them to get the perfect angle. It also meant that we had all the props we could imagine to use in the shoots (no, Brian didn't actually spend $500 to win those toys for Sara, but I'm sure he would have if she really wanted a stuffed Bart Simpson).
The ambient lighting was dropping quickly once we arrived so all of the lighting came from Sheena holding up our big softbox off to the side which prompted many onlookers to either ask us who the famous people were or to give me dirty looks for having a pregnant employee work late into the night. We thought of some funny responses but didn't want to get too distracted and invite conversations from complete strangers.
Sara and Brian were so fun to work with and were up for anything, which is always great to hear as a photographer. They didn't mind holding a kiss for several seconds as I waited for the perfect shot of them in between people walking by nor did they mind walking into a shady looking stairwell near the end of the night to snap a candidesque-like picture of the couple sneaking away for a second. I also loved that Sara and Brian came with tons of their own ideas for shots! Shooting the couple on the Merry-go-Round was really fun and I had to keep reminding myself that those horses kept on moving up and down since they must have head-butted my camera every couple of seconds! Probably, my favorite backdrop for Sara and Brian was the Princess Gates since they are so widely recognized and every time I have visited the CNE in the past I have always mentioned to Sheena how nice a shot it would be to have a couple stand where we photographed Sara and Brian while having an off-camera flash behind them to provide rim light while capturing the brilliant glow of the city. Well, FINALLY I was able to do this and it couldn't have been with a couple more in love and one that has the same appreciation for the CNE and the city as I do.
We can't wait to photograph Sara and Brian on their big day in April!
Gary + Sheena