Three floors up from the Ryerson Artspace, Scarlet O’Neill affectionately greets everyone that walks through the doors of her very first curated photography exhibit.

The Love (Actually) Exhibition is a spread of diverse wedding photography. The intimate venue in the Gladstone Hotel showcases work from O’Neill’s colleagues and peers in the wedding photography community. Each image is accompanied by captions describing what makes each photo meaningful. The photos are all candid, seeking to illuminate the raw love and happiness in weddings.

“For me, it’s really important that people understand that weddings aren’t cheesy. I’ve been doing this for 14 years and it’s really changed even over the last five years. People really focus on real moments, it’s about candid moments. There’s a whole camp of us (who feel) it’s not just pose and shoot,” says O’Neill.

Pictures at the Love (Actually) Exhibition at the Gladstone Hotel on Feb. 9. Emily Theodore/Ryersonian.


The relaxed, “caught in the moment” imagery says so much more about the couple. They transport the audience into an authentic moment. “I think that’s part of the beauty of weddings, that life is not perfect and that the imperfections are so beautiful,” she says.

Erin Leydon, a featured photographer in the show, sees the trend in candid photography as well. “Scarlet specifically wanted images that weren’t posed, but I think that is a theme. I find that whenever I have a client or potential client that comes to me, they’re always saying that they love that in my images,” said Leydon.

There’s a story behind each photo, a reason for its inclusion in the show. Still, as a lover of weddings, O’Neill insists that she has no favourites.

“I love the happiness that’s there all day. Everybody’s always in a good mood, everybody’s feeling really good about themselves, everybody’s really excited and happy for one another. So it’s like, just cool to be part of that, and to capture it and be around it,” she says.

“And love is pretty cool too,” Leydon says laughing, as she looks over at her boyfriend who came along to see her work.

The exhibition is running until Feb. 26.

Check out some more pictures in the gallery below.


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