Say, “Cheese!”

Pic of old school cameras I took during a trip to Uruguay in 2008.

We have officially chosen our photographers! Yay! I honestly had restless sleep for two to three nights over this decision.

Our photography selection process was similar to our wedding planner and venue selection processes. We considered several options, chose 3 that looked most promising, met with the top 3, and chose the winner. No more shopping around. No more comparisons. J and I decided to keep our decision making process simple–we want to limit stress, confusion, and uncertainty. J and I are similar when it comes to decision making–we trust our gut. We go with our instincts. Upon reflection, I wonder if that’s what bonds us? Many forces (cultural, religious, familial, sociall) opposed our relationship, but there was an element, a feeling that drew us together and we heeded to it.

Sorry. Got a bit tangential there. Back to the photography selection. I’ll review our Top 3:

1. Phototerra

Phototerra is a photography studio originating in Montreal, led by principal photographer Michael Greenberg. He has won  several national wedding photography awards, and he recently took home a Grand Award at the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International event in Las Vegas. Another one of their photographers, Daria, is among the top 15 wedding photographers internationally. One look through their website, and you will understand why. They recently opened a second studio in Toronto and are looking to expand into the Toronto wedding market.

We first met Tally, Micheal’s sister and manager for Phototerra, at a wedding show in January at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. A mesmerizing, colourful Sikh wedding video playing on the widescreen TV caught my attention. I was awestruck by the camera angles, the edits, and the transitions between scenes. Tally immediately  greeted us in her friendly, open manner and sat J and I down. She asked questions about us, our wedding, and she showed us striking photography from a Sikh wedding. Their photography style was unique, and I was floored.  Tally’s enthusiasm for Sikh weddings was unexpected and she did not hesitate to note our contact information.  To say the least, she was not shy about following up!

J and I anticipated Phototerra’s costs might exceed our budget, but we both LOVE the work we saw, so we decided to delude ourselves: Maybe it won’t be so bad! We met with lovely Tally in the Phototerra studio in the Distillery District, where she continued to seduce us with additional work showcasing Phototerra’s magnificent ability to capture the colours,the people, the style, the traditions of Sikh weddings. Unbelievable. The pictures emoted. The pictures talked to us. They whispered in tantalizing voices: “Hire Phototerra! Who cares what the cost is?”

Unfortunately, our bank accounts care about the cost. If we had a few more thousand dollars to spare, we definitely would have gone with Phototerra. Alas, J and I were able to resist Tally’s temptations.

2. Darryl & Vicky

Darryl & Vicky have been shooting together for about 2 years now. They are based out of Toronto, ON. J and I actually have a tonne of small world connections with Darryl & Vicky–it really is strange how tiny our world can be. I have been following their photography for a bit, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen. We met with Darryl & Vicky at a Starbucks in good, ol’ Scarborough.  Their portraits are breathtaking. They have an uncanny ability to capture emotion and personality . Their photojournalistic (I think I just made up a new word) style is en pointe; they can really capture the feeling of the moment. There is also a certain…je ne sais quoi…about their pictures. There’s an element of cool, which probably has to do with the fact that Darryl & Vicky are just cool. Plain and simple. Their prices are also very reasonable, and they work with you to create a personalized package that fits with your budget. A definite bonus.

The only downside: they haven’t shot a Sikh wedding before. There always has to be a first for everything, and yes, sometimes you have to give the newcomers a chance. They might see something differently, they might capture moments that other photographers overlook. J and I really contemplated this–hence the restless sleep (well, at least for me. J seems to sleep without issue). Pure pragmatism helped me decide. J and his family are not Sikh. I (along with my family andwedding planner) will be explaining the process to them. I didn’t want to have to explain everything to my photographers as well. I didn’t want an extra thing to worry about.

3. Kumari Photo & Design

Our wedding planner recommended Kumari to us; she has worked with them in the past and had only good things to say about them.

Kumari is composed of Monty and Sangeeta, a husband and wife team and two photographic soul mates (as they describe themselves on their website). We met with them at their bright studio/home in Toronto just northwest of the downtown core.

There was an instant connection.

I’m not sure if it was the damask black & white curtain hanging in their front window (I LOVE damask), the fact that they’re vegan, their stairs without a railing, the cookies they baked us, or Monty’s relentless search for a dairy-free, wheat-free snack after realizing I can’t eat their homemade vegan cookies. Whatever it was, there was a spark. They asked us about our engagement story. They asked us details about the wedding day we hadn’t even thought about (detail-orientated–I LIKE!!). They asked us about our vision. They asked about our ideas. We chatted for over two hours! They have an artistic and slightly quirky style J and I appreciate. And we LOVED their work. They are also willing to take risks. Their ability to capture colour is fantastic and very important for Indian weddings. The amount and intensity of colour at Indian weddings is unlike a Western wedding, and it can be really easy to overexposure colour. I’ve seen several Indian wedding photos that are too yellow, or too orange, or have colours that slightly bleed or are not sharp. Kumari does colour well. Overall, though, it really was that instant connection and Monty & Sangeeta’s genuine interest in our wedding that won us over. Being comfortable and connected with your photographer is priceless. J and I went with our instinct and that gives us confidence that we made the right choice.

I will keep you informed about our engagement session. We already started brainstorming some great ideas!

I’ll try to put up my next post within a couple days. It’ll be about my favourite thing in the world (other than J’s smile…awwww): shopping for clothes!!!




7 thoughts on “Say, “Cheese!”

  1. I love your blog! It is so entertaining and really makes my day! I got a couple of my co-workers reading this because they’re ears won’t stop hearing me go on about your wedding everyday until Oct 16th…so I thought instead of me rambling in their ears they can just read about it! 🙂

  2. LLB,

    Wow, your blog is AMAZING! We’ve also decided to go with Kumari, and Sangeeta told me about your blog. I’m trying to plan this long distance and your blog is pretty much doing half the work for me. Thanks for practically being my wedding planner! Can’t wait to hear all about your big day, I’m sure it’ll be amazing (knock on wood)! Thanks again!


    • Hey Preeti,

      Thanks for your feedback!! Good job on booking Kumari. Aren’t they awesome??? Glad to see that my blog is helpful!! Let me know if I can help you with anything else!! Send me an email anytime!


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