The Love (Actually) Exhibition

The Love Actually Exhibition was born out of a love for real moments and a deep respect for our community. Over the holidays, while in the middle of one of my little day dreams, while I was suppose to be editing a wedding, I started to dig deeper about the importance of the work we wedding photographers do. There has been so many times where people ask what I do for a living and when the word "wedding" is attached to my job title, I get a look of "sorry, you'll make it someday" or even "isn't that cute?!". And yet, we are documenting a day that has so much importance. It has deep meaning, ever lasting memories and also, can we talk about the amount of money & time that goes into this day?!? I don't take what I do lightly and it's not easy work. I have a deep respect for the people who trust me to document their day. The wedding photographers I know do this work because they truly love it and they are some of the most hard working people I've ever met.  But, back to my story. After said day dream, I had an idea and considering I can see the Gladstone from my window, it was no surprise I thought about them in terms of where to host this idea of mine. I reached out to Jenny Morris at the Gladstone (the digital marketing coordinator) and we set up a meeting, then there were a few emails between her, myself and Lukus (the director of exhibitions), then came a name for the show (Jenny is actually responsible for it's perfect title) and soon enough it really was all coming to life. 

Before I had even selected the photos for the show, Blogto was kind enough to share the concept of show with the Toronto community. You can read the article here. I think one thing that makes me the happiest is the title of their article, "These Toronto photographers will make you believe in Love Again". Love & happiness seems to have been forgotten with all the negativity filling our world, news, dinner tables and social media feeds. And, as important is as it is to focus on the real wold events and hope for better days, I think we must remember that there still is love, hope and a good in humanity. My hope is that this exhibit really shows that and reminds you the importance of love in real moments.

She Does the City did an interview with me this week to dig even deeper and I was so humbled by their feature on Tuesday morning.  I think having the love of the community in a community driven show is just that much sweeter!

The above photos are just some of the "real moments" that I've been lucky enough to capture and timestamp for the beautiful souls I've met this past year. Each one of these couples have a special place in my heart and I feel so lucky to witness the array of emotions they felt and let be seen on their wedding day. From sheer excitement to a deep happiness that resulted in a quiet emotional response, I'm so thankful for the trust they had with me to just be themselves. This is the heart of the work I do. It's all about the connection I have with my clients and I'm so thankful for each one of them that treated with me with heart and care.  

The above photos are the beautiful wedding days of: Abigail & Chris, Adena & JJ, Adrianna & Dave, Amanda & Brian, Samantha & Joey, Claire & Sal, Becca & Chris, Katie & Colin, Erika & Daniel, Meaghan & JF, Samantha & Chris, and Sarah & Chris. All images are taken by me Scarlet. Selecting my own image for the show was incredibly hard as I am truly married to so much of my work, therefor I had my peers pick the image that will be on display and if you want to see it, you should come on by the Gladstone!

My artist statement goes a little something like this: 

The Love Actually Exhibition is inspired by the immensely important real moments that make up a wedding day, and the people within the wedding community.

There has been a big shift in the direction of wedding photography over the past dozen years. And, while many still make a beautiful career with the more ‘pose and shoot’ type of photography, there has been an emergence of photographers who focus on the candid and genuine interactions between people that create truly real moments in photographs.

After being witness to more than just a few weddings, and having just gotten married myself, I’ve come to understand the value and beauty of a real moment. Weddings are real days, full of real emotions and real relationships. Weddings are not a production, so why should they be treated like one? Weddings are full of love, happiness, and dozens upon dozens of moments that will live on in the minds of who were a part of this special day.

I think too often people forget the beauty of being simply present, and that one moment alone is worth more than any final line on the wedding budget. Sometimes people get swept away in the million of details and plans of the day, instead of connecting with the people that will outlive the details & plans. Yes, all these elements are important and play an vital part in making your wedding - well, your wedding. But, once planned, trust in the people who you’ve enlisted to be there for you and be fully present to what is happening around you with the people you’ve chosen to be with. Weddings are about seeing the big picture. And, I believe that each ‘picture’ here represents just that.

The wedding community is so vivacious and full of artistic, professional and heartfelt individuals. There has definitely been a transition from seeing one another as competitors, and instead, as colleagues. The community has been moving in a direction of supporting one another, referring each other to clients who are the right fit for them and even creating functions that act as a way to bring everyone together with the aim of bettering our community. There exists support, trust, and even friendship. 

Each photo in the collection is laced with love and happiness. Each photo is of a real moment from 'the day'. Each photo carries with it something important that will forever be remembered by the couple who said "I do", or the friends and family that were given the honour of sharing this day. Each photo showcases the work of a group of wedding professionals that work with heart and commitment in making their client's day flawless, and lay the scene for them to build all their memories upon. I hope you feel love and happiness from every one of these moments. xo

The contributors who are a part of the show areBlush and Bowties, Danijela Pruginic, Daring Wanderer, Erin Leydon, Frances Beatty, Hugh Whitaker, Inna Yasinska, Jenn & Dave Stark, Jessica Lee, Kimon Kaketsis, Laura May, Laura Rowe, Liat Aharoni, Lisa Mark, Lynzie Kent - Love by Lynzie, Maison Blanche, Melissa Sung, Olive Photography, Rebecca Wood, 3B Photography, Sara Monika, Sara Wilde, Scarlet O'Neill, Tami Klein, Tara Lilly, Tellie Hunt of Hunt and Gather Floral, Ten 2 Ten Photography, TJ Tindale

Click on their names to see their gorgeous work and what area of the wedding community they are a part of. Not all the contributors were photographers as some were wedding planners and even one was a fabulous florist.

Fun fact:  My subtitle for the show was "Real Men Do Cry". I was so emotional when some of the people submitting had sent through photos of grooms, fathers & male friends who were in tears in the photos. I think that to be strong enough to truly let yourself feel all yours emotions and be affected by the people around you, well, it's the most beautiful thing in the world. My hat go off to every individual who is honest in their feelings and emotions. I think our world would be a better place if instead of making fun of someone because stereotypically their sexe shouldn't be "weak" by letting themselves be vulnerable,  we liberate sensitivity. I think if you want to shout out to the mountain how you love someone, then do it. And, if you also just want to bring them coffee in the morning, that also is just as equally beautiful. 

Other fun facts:

  • This is the second time I've curated a show, but this is the first time it's in the realm of the wedding industry and features mostly the work of my peers (I have two images in the show, one submitted by a florist and one by myself).
  • I built all the frames with the help of Jacob Kind who is a building master of all things beautiful. Also - I should never be allowed to use industrial crazy glue again, my hands have definitely seen better days.
  • I had no idea how long the instal would take. Thank goodness for the help of Tami Klein (you can see her below holding her own photograph), my friend Jess, and my little brother Shane. It was a long, long but lovely day! (If anyone wants to lend a helping hand on take down day let me know, I'll pay you in love and wine!)

Special thanks goes out to QSQ for all the beautiful work in printing all the photographs, Jacob King for supervising & building all the frames with me and also Jenny & Lukus at the Gladstone who made this little day dream idea of mine come true!

Opening Reception: TONIGHT! aka February 9th from 7-10pm. There is no official RSVP but you can give us a better estimate on numbers by going here and letting us know if you'll be there! 

I'll be there, the one in black with a big smile on my face and possibly a glass of bubbles in my hand. Can't wait to meet you and warning, I'm a hugger. Remember, this is a community show about love and I hope you carry the happiness from this show into the rest of your year and if you are a bride or groom, I hope you let this exhibition show you the power of just being present on your big day and also, to know the raddest group of people to have along side you on your big, beautiful love filled day!