Kaela Leone is a hybrid digital and film photographer based in Toronto, Canada with a deep love for portraiture, genuine connection, and the little things that make each individual’s story distinctively unique. Kaela Leone shoots worldwide and is deeply experience focused, documentary led and editorial inspired.
Tell us about your business!
I grew up peeking into the dark room in our basement and have always been fascinated by the intentional process of image making – the curiosity it requires, the intentionality. My work has been described as intimate and emotive, which pairs beautifully with unconventional, fashion-forward, modern romantics.
Where are you based?
I live in Toronto, Canada with my sweet wife and our two dogs!
Do you travel for weddings?
Yes! I love discovering new spaces - the colours, textures, languages - and incorporating their natural beauty into the narrative of the day.
How would you describe your style?
Documentary led, editorial inspired. I’m deeply experience-focused and value genuine connection with my couples and fellow vendors. I lead with photojournalism in mind, capturing fleeting moments that naturally unfold, and all of the magical ones that surface in-between. With an eye for editorial compositions, I work with a variety of cameras, both digital and film, to capture wedding days. My goal is to ensure my couples are as present with each other and their loved ones as possible, while documenting beautiful candid moments and timeless heirloom portraits for them to look back on for decades to come.
What is your most memorable career moment?
Any moment I witness between a grandparent and their grandchild is one I hold with me forever. Grandparents are the best. And seeing their joy on your wedding day makes my heart swell!
And on a completely different note, a tornado once ripped through one of my weddings during cocktail hour and for a moment I really thought the building was going to lift off the ground Wizard of Oz style. Luckily it passed through, then aggressively hailed, and finally gave us the most beautiful sunset of all time. All of this happened while my sweet Bride hid away in the bathroom desperately trying to get her ring (sized too small) off her finger as it had started to swell. At the end of the night, the fire department was called to cut the ring off her poor finger! I’ll never forget that day. It really was perfectly imperfect!
What inspires you?
My grandparents, they’ve been together for over 60 years and are the greatest, strongest team I’ve ever known. Their love has illustrated the importance of friendship in relationships and it’s something I think about often and can easily recognize in a relationship. Aside from them, I am forever inspired by films shot on 16mm, Scandinavian design, neo-soul, every single woman in my life, typography, and quiet elegance.
How would you describe your working style?
I’m very extroverted and also a deep observer and empath. I always read the room and take my cues from my lovely couples and their guests throughout the day. When it comes to portraits, most of my couples lean on me for guidance which I’m happy to provide them with. For the most part, though, I like to be unobtrusive, observant, and going with the flow to not miss a moment! Oh, and I am definitely a hype-woman. I’ve tried to suppress it, but alas, it is who I am.
Do you shoot digitally, on film or both?
I’m a hybrid digital and film photographer. You’ll find me slinging multiple cameras at any given moment.
What is a favourite product or service that you offer and why?
Shooting film has always been my preferred medium. Sharing this intentional process with my couples, especially when time allows for portraits, is one of my favourites. In the moments where I’m carefully adjusting my settings, I love glancing over at my couples in their little love bubble having an a-ha moment as they sit with the fact that it’s their wedding day (!). It’s a really special space to share.
Where would you love to travel to for work?
I grew up in a bilingual French-English household and eventually minored in Italian in university which only furthered my love for my ancestral home. While I’ve visited countless times, it would be an absolute dream to capture a wedding in Italy!
Who is your dream client?
Laid-back lovers with a deep love for fashion and design. Who love deeply and openly, care for their people, and have a soft spot for grandparents, babies, and dogs, my favourite guests!