Reflecting on a candid photo of my dad and stepmom at a wedding

I was going through some of my older work today and came across this photo. This was shot back in 2011 at a wedding reception that was being held at the National Arts Centre, and what some of you who know me personally may notice is that it’s a photo of my dad, Tony, and my stepmom, Jane. They just so happened to be guests at this wedding.

But the thing is… I’ve taken hundreds of photos of them—at family dinners, birthdays, vacations, heck I even shot THEIR WEDDING—but I’ve never seen myself capture a more joyful and candid moment of the two of them than this one. 

I think I truly do put on a very different ‘hat’ when I go to work. I really don’t think the physical presence that Ben-the-family-member carries himself with when he spends time hanging out with his own family could have elicited these expressions out of these subjects. I think that Ben the professional wedding photographer must have showed up to work that day. 

Coming across this picture today reassures me that as a wedding photographer, I’m a master of my craft. Not even my own father (who hates having his picture taken and always puts on a rather uncomfortable-looking, fake smile) could get in the way of me just switching on autopilot and doing a great job at work that day.