The search for wedding photography locations can be an evasive task. Even more so, if you are looking for winter wedding photo location that works for indoor and outdoor photo sessions. My husband and I got married this past February and we certainty felt the limitations when it came to searching for a great photo location during winter. Even our photographer was unable to find the spot that would offer both indoor and outdoor photo opportunities at this not so balmy time of the year.
Yes, Toronto offers tons of great outdoor wedding photo locations that work well during warm months, yet options are very sparse when it comes to winter time. Since we had experienced constant struggle with the usual spaces available during summer time, we decided to look outside of the box. As I was venting to one of my photographer friends about this frustration, she mentioned the fact that she does many professional photo sessions at AirBnBs. I was immediately intrigued and of course rushed to the website as I was curious to see what my options are.
The first few times me and my husband scanned AirBnB we came to realize that most spaces are catered to the comfort and convenience of those folks looking to spend the night on the town. After scrolling through posting after posting filled with living room and bedroom pictures, we started to evolve our search criteria. After all, we weren’t looking for a place to overnight in, but for a place interesting enough to be in our wedding pictures!
It is important to know that most photo worthy locations in the city come with a pricey fee, permits vary from $300 to $500 and even go up higher depending on how much time you would like to spend in the space. Since we were on a budget and most of our photography fund went to hiring our amazing photography duo, we wanted to find a better deal! Going back to the AirBnB search, we realized that searching for higher rate locations will give us more options with interesting decor and architecture. Plus, we reached out to the owners with a request of a lower fee. Since we only needed the space for a few hours and weren’t technically spending the night. This is how we came across our perfect spot!
Our choice for wedding photo session location was a bright and open house on Lakeshore West. We saw the pictures and knew immediately that this was for us. As the owner was an antique collector, so the space was overflowing with incredibly interesting pieces. From medieval tapestries, to 17th century French sofas to Egyptian engravings, there was history and uniqueness everywhere. Not to mention that the backyard was on lake Ontario and offered a stunning view of the Toronto skyline, which was perfect for our outdoor pictures.
Factors we considered when looking for our Toronto winter wedding photography location
As mentioned above, we wanted to save some money when it came to the photo shoot location. Therefore renting an AirBnB for a few hours was a perfect solution for us. We lowered the price from full overnight cost since we were only in the space for a few hours.
TIP: Reach our to your AirBnB owner with a request of lower cost, since you will only use the space for a small window of time
Ability to capture interesting images indoors or outdoors, preferably both
This was a big one for us, since we are both photographers and feel strongly about using natural light in as many pictures as possible. Our criteria was tied as much to interesting background as to our photographers ability to find the perfect lighting. The location we picked featured two story windows which flooded the space with natural light. Our outdoor space was right on the lake and overlooking Toronto’s skyline.
TIP: Natural light is always the best when capturing portrait photography.
Proximity to ceremony and reception hall locations
Depending the schedule of your day, you will want to consider the length of travel from the ceremony location to the photo shoot space. Also, give yourself enough time to be back in the reception venue before everyone else arrives to catch your breath.
TIP: Using Google maps to determine time spent traveling gave us a good snapshot of the day and was one of the factors that we considered when building the schedule.