The Poetry of Small Details | An intimate wedding in Toronto
The Poetry of Small Details:
We had been to enough weddings to know what we did and didn’t want in terms of photography. We didn’t want an obtrusive photographer who would become a distraction during the ceremony. (Nor, for that matter, did we want our guests to be more focused on their phones than what was happening in front of them!) And we didn’t want to sacrifice the solemnity and seriousness of the commitment we were making to each other simply for the sake of engineered, stagey photo opportunities.
So when we reached out to Moussa to do our photos, we communicated this to him and he assured us that he would be a fly on the wall, that we wouldn’t even notice him. We had worked with him previously on a volunteer project, so we knew he would take great photos, but I was amazed that – just as he promised – I had no awareness of him at all during the ceremony. My focus was where it should have been, on my vows and my partner, while Moussa quietly did his incredible work.
And then we got all these wonderful photos back that captured those moments beautifully, without disrupting or becoming part of the ceremony itself. It was like magic.
A small but significant point, and one that is indicative of Moussa’s attention to detail, was that he got lots of evocative shots of the flowers and other decorations, mostly before the guests arrived. I doubt Moussa was aware of how much time we spent making all of our own decorations, flower arrangements and printed matter for the event, but I was delighted that he documented them so thoroughly and artistically. In that sense, the photography didn’t just capture the various feelings of the day, but really honoured and showed off – to best effect – all the work that went into making it a special day in the first place.
Moussa really knows how to take advantage of light and space. As soon as he arrived, he set to work getting a sense of the room, the lighting conditions, and the resulting possibilities. He clearly knows where the good opportunities are. When we got the photos back, they were bathed in beautiful sunlight, streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating the faces of our guests, or of my partner and me in a brilliant shaft of light in the alley beside the restaurant. He took moody, impressionistic shots through windows and in reflections that you would not be surprised to find in the finest pictorial magazines. And all without drawing attention to himself or disturbing us. That candid, at the same time journalistic and highly aesthetic, quality to his work is something we really wanted, and will continue to cherish whenever we revisit the pictures.
Of course, we got the spectacular close-ups and directed shots of ourselves, our families and friends that we wanted, but I take just as much pleasure in the poetry of the small details and little moments that Moussa was able to find, in the midst of the larger ceremony and bigger emotions, without disturbing our guests or the delicate balance of the moments themselves. We couldn’t be happier with the result.
Thank you so much, Moussa, for capturing our memories in amber for us to revisit and relive for years to come. We can’t thank you enough!
June 4, 2022