Paul & Olivia - Engagement Session

I was really excited to get to shoot Paul & Olivia's engagement photos. Until the recent demise of HMV Canada, I had worked with Paul for a while and while I didn't know Olivia, I knew Paul was a big gooey dork underneath his bushy beard when it came to her and I was excited to get to capture that (and have proof to show our coworkers!).  

We took these photos at Jack Darling Park, which is located on the lake shore in Mississauga, ON. The park was busier than I expected; we arrived to find it overtaken with families and groups that had moved in for the day, complete with tents and barbeques, something we sure didn't do when I was a kid! We found a small gap in the waterfront underneath a willow tree and decided to move in. 

These two were all smiles and laughs and it was nearly effortless to capture them being naturally themselves, silly, sweet and in love. With the sun setting through the trees behind us, we settled in at the rocks on the water to knock off some more shots before the light was lost. At the end of the night, I spotted the ice cream truck that gave us our final shot, one that brought the shoot together neatly. If I had to sum up the shoot with one shot, it would be that one.

*Click on a photo to see full-size.

Farrell & The Tale of Gear Failure

Photographers put so much trust into our gear - trust that it's going to help us do what we want to achieve the outcome we are looking for, and trust that it's not going to fail mid-way through. Gear failure is a bit gut-wrenching.

I showed up to the parking garage in Kensington Market to shoot with Farrell with my camera in hand, ready to take some portraits with the Toronto skyline looming in front of us. A few frames in, something seemed wrong; Farrell wasn't in focus. I tried trouble shooting, but I came to the unfortunate conclusion that my camera was back-focusing, which meant it needed some TLC from the good people at Nikon and it wasn't going to be fixed then and there. 

Patient Farrell made lots of silly faces while I tried to get my bearings, and I decided I was going to go manual focus. I have photographer friends who go manual focus most of the time (legends!), but I wear glasses and can't see well far away, so trying to be precise and depending on these ol' eyes is not a great combination. But you do what you have to do to get the shots, right?

It wasn't easy, but it was definitely a lesson in patience (for both of us, I reckon) and in the end we came away with some good shots, boisterous laughs, and a sense of accomplishment. I felt lucky this snafu happened when it did, as I had a company event to shoot the next day, and luckily had a second camera at home to save the day. Lesson learned? Test gear meticulously before a shoot, and bring a backup if you can. What a rookie mistake!

Have you ever had gear fail on the job, photography related or not? I'm curious how it went! Let me know below!