Toronto Wedding Photographer Mango Studios

Toronto Wedding Photographer: Mango Studios

Here at Kimberfire diamonds are our passion, and there is nothing more beautiful than seeing a diamond become part of an engagement or wedding ring. It is so rewarding to be able to play a role in our clients’ engagement and wedding day. Jewelry is just one of many aspects of the wedding industry and, through our blog, we enjoy meeting and learning about other companies in our industry. Our interviews also provide valuable information and tips from the experts to help you make the most of your big day.

Recently I had the opportunity to interview the team at Mango Studios, a Toronto wedding photography studio with offices in downtown Toronto and Miami, USA. Mango Studios is a tight knit team of award winning photographers and artists, with over a decade of wedding experience. They also photographed our CEO Jonathan Goldberg’s wedding last year and he was blown away by their impressive work.

Could you please give us a brief overview of Mango Studios and your services?

Mango’s goal is to produce beautiful and timeless photography for its clients. We aim to do this through a collaborative effort of creative artists and individuals who band together to leverage their own unique abilities to create better work together.

At Mango, we believe in teamwork, supporting and encouraging new ideas, and striving to be and do better every day. We all come from different backgrounds and have our own unique set of skills and creative frameworks. Together, we share an enormous wealth of knowledge and passion for photography. We are curators and creators of the most beautiful, timeless images. We are there to capture the most special moments in your life so you can cherish those photos forever. We have photographers who specialize in all areas of photography – from portrait and event photographers to interior and product photographers. We also offer a wide range of in-house design and custom framing services.

How did Mango Studios get started, and how long have you been in business?

Mo and Nancy first met in 2004 and have been inseparable ever since. Pairing Nancy’s visual talent with Mo’s business acumen, they decided to conquer the world together. They wrote down the letters of their own names and realized Mo And Nancy GOvindji shaped MANGO, and the rest is history. Mango has been capturing weddings and events for over 12 years!

What kinds of packages does Mango Studios offer?

We’ve got something for everyone. All of our packages have been created to offer the best options for your special day. Our packages start from six hours of photography all the way up to twelve, but everything can be fully customized to suit each individual client. We also offer time with photographers à la carte, meaning they can be easily added to packages. For the couple that wants to be taken care of from start to finish, we offer packages that include fine art albums, engagement sessions, and photo booths.

How did previous education and/or work experience help shape the Mango business model?

The entire team has a diverse background in both education and work experience, from the university educated to the self-taught photographer. We look for special people with a passion for the arts, who love people, and remain calm under pressure – all attributes necessary to shoot a busy wedding day. There is a degree of competitiveness to the team, and, as iron sharpens iron, every team member strives to do better in every shoot. We take turns designing with each-others’ images and reviewing shoots so that feedback can be circulated, and the quality Mango is known for can be achieved. What’s most important is that every member of our team is highly trained in-house. As a team, we believe in growing together and toward the best creative style to suit our couples’ needs.

How would you describe the Mango photography style?

Like any creative field, photography is always evolving. We believe a strong relationship between photography and design is the foundation to creating incredible images. This plays a huge part in our photographic style. We accomplish our unique approach of storytelling through this fundamental stage of getting to know you and your unique story. We focus on capturing every detail of your wedding day or event, while being sure to get candid moments and memories that will last forever. Trends come and go but what we’re after is a classic, timeless approach to creating images to withstand those passing trends, and that is how we groom our team.

What tips can you give to a couple who is looking for a wedding photographer?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is a big decision and it’s important to do your research and make sure you can trust your photographer, and be confident and excited about the photos they take. Some important tips are:

  • Find out what happens in case of an emergency and the photographer is no longer available for your day.
  • What do turnaround times look like?
  • Look at a couple of COMPLETE weddings to really get a sense of the work, not just a few photos of their best work.
  • Find out how long have they been in business, and if you know any friends/family/other vendors that have used them. There are plenty of novice part-time photographers that may be in business one year and not the next.

I see your company often travels to shoot destination weddings. What’s your process when shooting abroad?

Our team loves to travel, and each destination wedding brings with it a new and exciting experience. In terms of locations, we love travelling to new (to us) spots like the mountainsides of Florence, or the Island of Anguilla. We’re happy to say there are some locations now that are becoming old favourites like the One and Only Club in the Bahamas, or the Four Seasons in Hampshire, England. Like any local wedding, every destination wedding is unique and we treat the process of shooting it as such. We do our best to ensure lots of scouting online and in-person before the event day. One of the most important things when visiting a new country is to familiarize yourself with the light there. It can look wildly different from one country to the next and, as a photographer, understanding light is everything.

How do you help the couple and their wedding party feel comfortable in front of a camera?

We totally realize that not everyone feels comfortable and confident being photographed, and that is completely normal. Our job is to make sure that we capture your event perfectly, that your photos turn out amazing and that you have some fun along the way. Doing engagement photos is such a great way for the bride and groom to not only feel comfortable being photographed, but to also really get to know their photographer. We aren’t there to make you look posed, but more so to prompt you so we can get those perfect shots.

Mango Studios works with a team of photographers, artists and designers. How do you decide which team member works on which wedding?

Mango has a consistent photographic style across the board. Our in-house event coordinators meet with our couples to learn more about the details of their big day. Once we get to know our couple, the venue, and all the details of the day, we pair them with the photographer that we believe best suits the couple as well as the overall vibe of the wedding.

Being a huge dog lover myself, please tell me more about Bernie the Boston Terrier, your social director.

Bernie is a lover. If he could greet everyone who came through our doors with kisses, he would. He definitely likes to make his presence known around the studio, especially during lunch time when he can be a little nosey. As our social director, he keeps us sane during our busiest times and shows the whole team love after a long day. His likes: ping pong balls, balloons and bean bag chair naps.  His dislikes: measuring tape and knit sweaters.

How big a part does social media play in your business?

Social media is such a huge part of our business! Long before a couple gets engaged, they often take to social media to search for vendors and get inspired. We are constantly on all social media channels, updating our content to reflect the Mango brand and showcase our work. It’s the great connector of our time. We love to use social media as a tool to connect with other amazing vendors in the wedding industry and couples around the world.

What is the most challenging aspect of working in the wedding photography business?

Truthfully, it’s the work/life balance. Weddings and events can take up most of our Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the busy months of May to October, and that can be a challenge for some. Our team is dedicated to providing our best work with the quickest turnaround times possible, so we’re also hustling Monday to Friday to deliver amazing images to our couples. We foster an environment that’s fun for our team with lots of amazing moments spent together on a regular basis.

What sets Mango Studios apart from the competition?

We’re storytellers first and foremost. Our approach is driven by each couple’s unique story, who they are, and their personal tastes and design interests. It’s driven by what music they listen to, where they eat and the places they travel. Each story is unique, and our approach is timeless and cool with a distinctly cinematic style. As a small boutique of photographers and designers, we treat each member of our team as well as each of our clients like family. From the moment you step into our studio, you will be greeted by a dedicated event coordinator who will walk you through the entire wedding photography process. We want to create an inviting atmosphere and take photos that truly capture our couples as the individuals they are.

Having been a part of so many weddings, what advice can you give to a couple to get the most out of their big day?

It’s going to be the most exciting day of your life, so savour and cherish every moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff; things most likely won’t go as perfectly planned but don’t get bothered by it. It’s going to be a very busy day, but do your best to spend some quality time together as husband and wife if you can. Take a few moments to stop, take a deep breath, and remember how special it is that every person in the room is there to celebrate you and your love!

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your company and insights with us.

Thank you, it’s been our pleasure.

If you are interested in learning more about Mango Studios or booking them for a wedding or event, please visit MangoStudios.com.

Toronto Wedding Photographer Raph Nogal

Toronto Wedding Photographer Raph Nogal

At Kimberfire our specialty is diamonds and many of our clients come to us looking for an engagement ring. People really put their heart into choosing the right ring and we love being a part of such a special moment in someone’s life. After the engagement the next step is finding wedding bands, and we are dedicated to helping people find their perfect fit. It is truly an honour to be a part of their wedding day, as they exchange rings to make a lifetime commitment.

Another profession which works side by side with couples on one of the most important days of their lives is that of the wedding photographer. I interviewed Toronto based wedding photographer Raph Nogal to get an insider’s look at working in the wedding industry. Raph Nogal is a nationally accredited and award winning professional wedding photographer. His work has appeared in numerous magazines and blogs, and he is known for his creative, editorial, and modern photography style.

Sara: How long have you been a photographer for and how did you get started in this business?

Raph: I first picked up the camera in 2007, following my honeymoon in Costa Rica. I became a bit obsessed and found it to be a great creative outlet as I pretty much stopped doing art since attending Cawthra Park’s Regional Arts Program in Visual Arts in 2000. I started my photography business on a part-time basis in late 2009 and have now been a full-time photographer since 2013.

Sara: What is it that drew you to wedding photography?

Raph: It was the fact that as a wedding photographer, you need to be a master of various sub disciplines… you need to be a photo-journalist, a portrait photographer, an event photographer, a fashion photographer, you need to know how to use natural light, studio light, you need to be good with people, with macro work and the list goes on and on. I also love the fact that no wedding is ever the same. There are different dynamics, different weather conditions, different locations, and different family relationships. It keeps things interesting.

Sara: On average, how many weddings do you shoot a year?

Raph: I try to cap myself at 25 weddings per year, but have had 27 last year and again 27 this year.

Sara: How would you describe your photography style?

Raph: It is a fusion of editorial and photo-journalism. I love playing with light and having hard light and deep blacks and high contrast and giving clients some direction to bring out their best, but I also like the natural moments and pure unedited emotion that happens on the wedding day.

Sara: Who or what inspires your work and images?

Raph: Inspiration comes from a lot of places – movies, fashion, music, and my own experiences. Photographer Jerry Ghionis, for example, has played a tremendous role in shaping me as a photographer. I also enjoy the work of Two Mann Studios and get inspiration from the community of Fearless Photographers.

Sara: Do you have any tips for couples who are looking for a wedding photographer?

Raph: Well this may be a bit blunt, but “You get what you pay for”. I have heard all the stories of couples trying to cut prices and hire photographers that don’t have a lot of experience. There is nothing wrong with no experience and we all start somewhere – the problem is when those photographers “practice” on paying clients.

I also encourage all couples to do an engagement session with your photographer. The relationship building and working relationship is so important to put them at ease before the wedding day. Out of all the wedding vendors, you will see your photographer the most – before the wedding, at the wedding, after the wedding, album design, album pick-up. I also suggest that couples get a wedding album. We lost that tangibility of things these days and they have been replaced with awesome gadgets… but there is nothing like photographs on paper. That family heirloom will be cherished for generations.

Sara: How do you help the couple and their wedding party feel comfortable having their photos taken?

Raph: It all starts with trust. The couple has to trust me, or else they will not open up. It has to be fun and it’s up to the photographer to make it fun for the couples. Your personality has to shine though.

Sara: What has been your favorite wedding venue to photograph?

Raph: I don’t really have a favourite. Toronto has so many beautiful venues, each with their own charm – places such as Eglinton Grand, One King West, King Edward Hotel, Distillery District, just to name a few.

Sara: What is your all-time favorite image you have taken?

Raph: This is such a tough question. I really don’t have a favourite. Some images are emotional, some are artistic, so it’s so hard to pick. I guess if I had to pick an image that has had the most impact on me it would be an image I took of a bride kissing her father just after the ceremony. It was an organic moment and I just happened to be there. To me, this image really represents the reason why I’m a photographer. I found out three days after the image was taken, that the bride’s father had passed away. How honoured was I to witness and immortalize that moment for the bride.

Sara: What are the most requested images or scenes the couple wants to have photographed?

Raph: Luckily I don’t get my couples asking me to replicate images they found on Pinterest. My couples are looking for something different, not the stuffy same old poses… different angles, cool lighting, etc, which is exactly what I offer.

Sara: What is the craziest thing you have done to get a perfect shot?

Raph: Probably going waist deep into water, but I’m known to lay down a lot, as well as climb things – just for a different vantage point.

Sara: Have you ever had something go wrong at a wedding and how did you handle it?

Raph: On the way to one wedding I was cut off on the highway and a car side-swiped my car. Luckily I always leave earlier than I need to, so I had enough time to hop into a rental car to get to the wedding while my car got looked after.

Sara: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Raph: Being a wedding photographer is really physically and mentally demanding. You have to be on-point all day. You have to anticipate things, be at the right place at the right time, find the right light, the right angles and make sure everyone is looking their best. It’s usually a 12-14 hour day so afterwards my brain feels like it’s on fire. I’m pretty much useless the following day – which is why I only photograph one wedding per weekend.

Sara: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Raph: To know that I’ve made a little mark on the world, especially in my couples’ history. When I give them images that are different, unique and beautiful I know they will keep and cherish them forever.

Sara: If you hadn’t become a photographer what do you think you would have become?

Raph: I used to be an environmental consultant so, if I hadn’t quit that to pursue my passion, I would likely still be stuck doing something I didn’t enjoy.

Sara: How much does social media play a part in your business?

Raph: These days social media is a must. It is, however, very time consuming and the rules are constantly changing – you just have to keep up.

Sara: Having witnessed so many weddings what advice can you give to a couple on how to get the most out of their big day?

Raph: Get to know your photographer – it will help with the whole photo-taking experience. Know that the wedding schedule is a “floating schedule.” Don’t plan for a speech to start at 7:47 pm. It will never happen. Don’t sweat the small stuff, at the end of the day you will get married and it will be a great party. Don’t let small things ruin your day.

Sara: Thank you so much for sharing your work and experiences with us. Hopefully some of your advice will help other people find the perfect wedding photographer for their big day.

Raph: Thank you very much!!

If you are interested in seeing more of Ralph Nogal’s photography or would like to book an appointment with him, please visit RaphNogal.com. And if you are interested in finding the perfect engagement ring, wedding bands, or any other type of high-end jewellery then Kimberfire “A Brilliant Way to Buy a Diamond” is the company you have been looking for. Please visit us at Kimberfire.com.