Mike and Pauline get hitched

We were in Toronto this past weekend for Pauline and Mike’s wedding. Though we’ve been to the city before on separate occasions, we’ve never really spent much time exploring it, preferring instead to use it as a base to your Niagara and wine country.

This time around though, we walked all over the city. From the waterfront to Chinatown, from Chinatown to the Distillery District, and them back around downtown. That Saturday afternoon we arrived, we probably walked seven miles.

Toronto is very New York that way – desegregated neighborhoods that you can walk through. Fancy, high-end stores right alongside grungy ones. In comparison, Chicago is far too spread out for one to enjoy a proper walking tour.

As it turns out, the evening we were there coincided with the 8th Nuit Blanche festival, a Parisian-inspired street art fair that begins at sunset and lasts till sunrise. We had fun chancing upon gigantic sculptures installed at the various plazas or churches we walked past. A tower of stacked chairs, a hollowed out palace constructed entirely from trash bins… The highlight was Ai Wei Wei’s sculpture of thousands of shiny metallic frame bicycles in front of Toronto’s city hall. The crowd there was immense though, so we quickly escaped to quieter side streets.

Pauline and Mike’s wedding was Sunday afternoon, at the old Enoch Turner Schoolhouse. Jeff and I had agreed to help as backup photographers, so we arrived mid-morning to get a sense of the location.

Wedding photography is hard! I can only say I’m glad we weren’t the main photographers (Pauline’s brother had that awesome responsibility). The lighting in the school house was dim, so we kept having difficulty getting the shots to be fast enough. I resorted to using an external flash half the time, but I’m so inexperienced with it that most of the pictures turned out with harsh or weird shadows. It was only with the use of two soft boxes for the wedding portraits did the pictures look anywhere close to professional-wedding standard.

I shot over 1200 pictures on my camera, and it was completely full by the time of the wedding dances. Halfway through, my newly charged battery died, so I had to grab a spare from Pauline’s brother. I’ve since taken a quick once over with the pictures, and have already culled two thirds of them. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get some decent ones at least.

I don’t really remember much of the wedding itself, to be honest. I heard the speeches, saw them take their vows amidst a few tears and lots of laughter , but my attentions were mostly focused on finding the next shot. The food was good though. šŸ™‚

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