Engaged couple at Cherry St. Bridge with CN Tower

Engaged couple at Cherry St. Bridge with CN Tower

This photo was taken in the summer at dusk on Cherry St. bridge with a view of the Toronto skyline including the iconic cityscape. Dusk is also known as golden hour in the photography world because of the beautiful, soft light the setting sun provides. Since sunset changes everyday, I use an online almanac to check when the sunset is for the city that I'm shooting an engagement shoot in to find the best time. Once I find out the exact time of the sunset, I schedule the engagement session for two hours before. This is relatively easy to do in the summer when sunset is around 6-7 o'clock at night, and most people are off work, but it is a bit tricker in the spring, fall, and winter when golden hour happens around 2-3 in the afternoon in Canada.

Cherry Street Bridge is one of the few places in Toronto where you can get a shot of the skyline and the CN Tower without having to leave the mainland. It juts out just enough that you can look back at the cityscape. For this reason it's quite a popular spot for photographers to shoot it whether it's for engagement photos, portraits, landscapes, or even getting pictures of planes landing at Billy Bishop Airport.

However my couple chose this location because it was near and dear to their hearts. Cherry Beach, which is a little bit further down Cherry Street is a place they bike to often to spend their downtime. It's quite a picturesque spot with woods, trails, rocks jutting into Lake Ontario, and a small beach. You can get quite a variety of different shots there without going too far.

With this shot, I wanted to go for a more laid back, bohemian, Urban Outfitter look to complement the bride-to-be's boho outfit. I intentionally included the architecture of the bridge because of two reasons. One is I liked the colour of the bridge. The rusty teal actually makes me like it more. Also I wanted to go beyond the usual Toronto city skyline engagement photo, and incorporating the bridge adds to the composition. The pillar of the bridge was strategically placed a third of the way through the picture with its arms leading the eyes of the viewer out to the rest of the image. Incorporating the bridge into the shot also added more interest in my opinion because it added another layer to the image. The CN Tower is now peeking through the arms of the bridge instead of just being there as it is wont to do in most popular engagement photos.

It took a bit of work to get the CN Tower framed properly within the bridge and also within the frame of the shot that I had in mind, but the bridge is long enough that it worked. It also took a bit to wait until there were no cars passing in front of me to get the clear shot that I wanted, but luckily for now Cherry St. isn't that popular so I didn't have to wait long.

Location: Cherry St. Bridge, Toronto, Ontario.