Holiday and Christmas Season Photography in Downtown Toronto (Member Feature)
Photography by Tdot Studio member Kevin Braganza / Writing by Mike Simpson
Do you want to take holiday photography in Toronto? It’s an absolutely wonderful time of the year for shooting, as the colourful lights brighten the dark winter days and nights.
Toronto is chock full of spots to shoot, and our community member Kevin Braganza has lots of experience with shooting in the city. Kevin offered us some tips. As you can see if you visit Kevin’s gallery, there are many sweet locations around Toronto for delightful holiday photography, whether you are looking for cityscape and street shots, architectural or artistic photography or portraits of friends, family and clients. Christmas and holiday season beings creative opportunities and you should take advantage.
Some photos from the featured photographer:
First image above is the super big Christmas tree at Distillery district and the second is the iconic Gooderham building, also known as the Flatiron building, in downtown Toronto (in a terrific neighbourhood referred to as “Old Town Toronto” or “St. Lawrence Market” neighbourhood.
Spots for our Holiday Shots
There are many places to shoot locally but some of our favourite spots include:
- Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall
- Distillery District
- Union Station
- Royal York Hotel
Kevin says. “Nathan Phillips Square, Distillery District Winter Village, Union Station’s Skating Rink and Fairmont Royal York are some great spots that showcase the great Holiday Spirit in the city. And I’m sure there are other places out there I’m yet to explore.”
Additional favourites in the downtown, as suggested from our staff include the well known Brookfield Place and its various decorations, along with the lights and trees inside office buildings like Commerce Court, Scotia Plaza and shopping malls like Eaton Centre. Don’t forget the window displays on Queen St outside the Hudson Bay store!
A few more lovely spots:
In the first image above we get a terrific shot of the Christmas tree in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, while the second image captures the front of the Union Station, Toronto’s classic train station, in the heart of downtown.
Photography Tips and Techniques
Kevin advises you to prepare and take a good look around before shooting. He says, “Before you start shooting, scout the location to identify the best possible composition options. Using repetition, framing, symmetry and rule of third composition techniques can definitely helps in getting good shots.” Good solid advice from someone who cultivates a strong gallery at this time of year.
“Before you start shooting, scout the location to identify the best possible composition options. Using repetition, framing, symmetry and rule of third composition techniques can definitely help in getting good shots.”
Kevin seeks unique compositions and describes how he used the star at the Distillery Winter Village to frame the Christmas tree and that many people loved the idea. He further advises that “If you want clean shots in low-light settings a tripod is your best friend.” Definitely pays to use a tripod or perhaps a camera with good internal stabilization. With a slow shutter speed you can sometimes get a little ghostly figure movement which can look very artistic and let your shot focus on the setting. Of course a faster exposure time will freeze your subjects. Experiment and try both!
Christmas and the holiday break are awesome times for family get togethers and personal outings to refresh and reinvigorate. While we try to stay active in winter, getting out in pursuit of sparkly bright holiday photography can totally inspire us to capture something beautiful.
Where are you going to shoot this season? What places inspire you most in Toronto? Do you have recommendations outside of the downtown? Send us an email note and let us know what you think. (Subject line: “holiday shots”).
Wishing you a great holiday season from Tdot shots, Tdot Studio and Tdot.com! Happy Holidays and Happy New Near! See you in 2023!
Be sure to follow the photographer!
Kevin Braganza aka @kevin.braganza
We featured Kevin in our Tdot Shots Five Questions interview series. Have a read: