Photography is Isabella Villani's heart and soul. Based in the vibrant city of Toronto, she travels both near and far, capturing on camera inspiring love stories. Isabella was raised in an Italian family, and her summers in the south of Italy, surrounded by culture and warmth, have deeply influenced her artistic vision. With genuine passion, she authentically documents precious moments, adding a touch of romance and fervor to each frame. Isabella's major goal is to transport her couples to the timeless intersection of past and present, where emotions come alive. In an interview with us, Isabella opens up about her amazing journey and the magic she creates with her camera.
We'd love to hear your story! How long have you been into wedding photography, and what sparked your passion for it?
I started my professional photography journey about 8 years ago capturing mainly fashion, & portraiture. I fell in love with capturing love stories in 2020 when I started capturing engagements, couples, and weddings. It was the emotions, the romance, and the intimacy between the couples I shot that really sparked my passion for it, and being able to capture something so raw and so real and having the opportunity to freeze those beautiful moments between my couples to be able to cherish forever is truly so beautiful.
How would you describe your photography style and approach?
I aspire to capture organic moments exactly as they are — with warmth, romance, and fervor in an editorial and modern light.
What's your pre-wedding routine like to prepare for a shoot?
My pre-wedding routine normally consists of me making sure I know exactly what is scheduled for the wedding day, going over the couple's timeline, shot list, and any special requests. I will also make sure to do a venue visit if I am able to or have never shot at their location before so that I am prepared and not scrambling to find great spots the day of. I will also hop on a call with my couples before their wedding day to make sure they are at ease, answer any last minute questions they have, and go over my approach for their day to make sure we are all on the same page. I also ensure my equipment is clean and working properly to avoid any potential tech issues. Lastly, the night before a wedding, I try to get to sleep early to be well-rested for the big day ahead!
You work with both digital and film. But which one resonates with you a bit more, and why?
Yes, I shoot both digital and film! It is very hard for me to decide which resonates with me most because both have their beauty, however I really do love how analog photography has made me a more intentional artist. It has truly allowed me to slow down, and capture my photos a lot more intentionally as opposed to continuously clicking my shutter with little to no thought.
Connection is key, right? How do you form that special bond with your couples before their big day?
Connection is very important to me. I always want to make sure I have a connection with my potential clients before booking them. I start every inquiry with a discovery video call to see them face to face, and to get to know them, their love story, and their vision for their big day to ensure we align with one another.
How do you maintain a balance between directing a shot and letting moments unfold organically?
It honestly depends on the couple. I do my best to ensure most of the moments I capture are as natural as possible. Prompting my couples to interact, and move with one another naturally. However, if something looks unnatural I am always there to let my couples know to make a few changes if needed, to ensure we get the most flattering images of the two of them.
Is there a particular part of the wedding day you just can't wait to capture?
I personally really love capturing an emotion-filled ceremony along with the couples’ portraits!
In your opinion, what traits really set apart a top-notch wedding photographer?
I would say a top-notch wedding photographer puts their clients first! Not simply capturing images for your portfolio, or because you saw some inspo on Pinterest that you really wanted to recreate, but intentionally making sure your clients are happy and knowing what is most important to them in regards to their wedding photos.
Out of all the places you've been to for weddings, which three destinations stole your heart?
Italy is definitely a destination that will forever steal my heart. Italy is a second home to me as I grew up there every summer. Every time I visit, especially when I am there capturing a wedding, I feel right at home and I'm always captivated by its beauty, culture, fashion and food! This year I had the opportunity to shoot a wedding in Mexico which was such a dream! And, lastly, I would say Toronto — simply because there is so much variation and beauty close to home.
And lastly, how do you stay inspired?
There are a few things I love to do to ensure I stay inspired. I love planning creative shoots throughout the year and enjoy connecting with other creatives. I also love revisiting my favourite artists, listening to different music, watching movies, and looking through fashion magazines. Traveling is a big source of inspiration too! And I also take time to rest when I need it.