Hi there! My name is Lyn Ismael, I’m a Toronto wedding photographer serving The Greater Toronto Area, Kitchener-Waterloo Region, and most destinations around the world. I believe that weddings are celebrations of two families merging together as one, with two people in the centre of it all dedicating themselves to each other in marriage.
Being a member of several professional organizations such as PWPC, PPA, and Fearless Photographers, my job as your wedding photographer is to freeze your memories to show you what your day felt like, more than showing you what it looked like. I prefer shooting raw emotions above everything else to illustrate your relationships with the people you love.
I’m known by my Facebook and Instagram acquaintances as “the one with the dogs”. Our dogs, Lady Boo and Mr. Rue are everything to my husband and I. Every morning, we feel blessed to be woken up by them with cuddles and kisses and then later on greeted by wagging tails whenever we come home each day. They are our family.
I was born and raised in the Philippines. Even though I’ve called Canada my home for the last 19 years, my heritage still has a strong hold on who I am as a person. Filipinos have high regards to their elders; we put family first; and we enjoy life by being fed well.
My mother has got more balls than any person I know. When she was 15, she left the countryside to find a job in Manila. At a very young age, she was already independent and self-sufficient in a society that was pretty much patriarchal during those days. Years later, she raised me as a single mother with the help of my Aunt who on her own was also a strong woman. As the Philippine economy in the 80’s were in shambles when I was growing up as a child, she took her chances and emigrated to Canada so she could work and give me a better life. She sacrificed 7 years of her life without me at her side. I’m not a mother myself but I can now appreciate how hard that must have felt. I owe everything to her.
My favourite photographer is Vivian Maier. She was an American woman who worked as a nanny for forty years and pursued photography in her spare time. She took hundreds of photos of people and architecture not for fame or money. She just did. Her work was discovered two years before her death when a collector named John Maloof got a hold of her prints and negatives at an auction from a storage unit Maier owned and had failed to pay rent on. Although Maloof was unable to find Maier before she passed, her work has been hailed as one of the best street photographers of the 20th century.
How My Journey Began
It wasn’t until I started planning my own wedding that I was introduced to the diversity of styles that collectively form the world of wedding photography. I thought wedding photos only comprised of formals. You know, the traditional bear and grin type. I wasn’t completely fond of those. Luckily, I found out that a branch of wedding photography called wedding photojournalism existed. Images that froze moments and captured emotions drew me in. When I chose my own wedding photographer, I chose someone who had those skills.
When I got my photos back, the photos that showed the story of the day were my most favourites of the bunch. The one of my mother giving me away in particular. That image may not mean much to other people who sees it. But to me, the way she held my hand, her downward gaze, her entire expression, sums up how much I meant to her and she to me. This was an image that portrayed her story, something that will live on even beyond our lifetime. I am always grateful to have that.
That image made me realize the power photography holds on its subjects. That’s how my journey began.
To get a better insight on how I capture moments on your wedding day and to get a better feel of my approach in wedding photography, view my Weddings Portfolio.
To see how I photograph what makes you unique as a couple on your engagement sessions, while keeping your experience relaxed and fun, check out my Engagements Portfolio.
To check out my most recent work and what I’ve been up to lately, please visit the blog.