Fireside Chat – f8 Photography Inc.

Posted by Sharon

Today we’re speaking with  Trish Boyko and Matt Ling, the talented duo behind f8 Photography Inc., a Calgary based wedding and portrait studio. I’m a huge fan of their work! They are wonderful, creative people and so fun to work with! Their individual personalities and skill sets complement each other so perfectly. As a team, they deliver an amazing client experience!

Emerald Lake wedding | Photo by www.f8photography.com

Tell us a little about your background and what path led you to starting f8 Photography Inc.?

Trish – “I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of Calgary. I still wasn’t sure which direction to go with my photography. I started assisting photographers: food, architecture, fashion, interior design, weddings, worked at FFWD (Fast Forward), managed a photography studio & through all this discovered I love photographing people. Weddings were my absolute favourite at the time, however over the last 19 years I’ve expanded to families, babies & professional portraits.”

Matt – “I didn’t have too much to do with photography until I met Trish. She needed an assistant at a wedding she was shooting one day and found I really enjoyed it! 17 year later I now shoot the majority of weddings, while Trish focuses more on her portraiture work.”

family session from www.f8photography.com

baby session from www.f8photography.com

Where does your name f8 Photography Inc. come from?

I named the company f8 for many reasons. f8 is an aperture on the camera and considered to be the sweet spot, 8 is my favourite number and a good luck number in some cultures. I like how it is also the symbol for infinity when turned on it’s side and also because of the play on words f8/fate.

In a nutshell, what’s your company policy or manifesto? 

real life. real love. real photography

We’re down to earth people and photographers. We love capturing real moments of love. Whether it’s a newborn baby, a family shoot, an engaged couple or a wedding, we’re always looking to capture the real moments of love and beauty.”

Calgary Wedding Photography |Photo Credit: www.f8photography.com

What three words best describe your photography style?

real, colourful, beautiful

Favourite part of a wedding to shoot and why?

Trish – “I love it when the bride puts on her dress and realizes – this is it, all those years of dreaming and planning – the moment is finally here.  I also love the couple’s portraits when we get them away from the busyness of the wedding day and they get to spend some time alone, look at each other and be themeselves.”

Matt – “I’m a real people person and I enjoy the whole wedding day. If I had to narrow it down I’d agree with Trish and say my favourite part is when we get the couple to relax in front of the camera and we capture real moments between them.”

Winter Wedding at Emearld Lake Lodge | Photo credit www.f8photography.inc

You’ve been shooting weddings for awhile now and have achieved many awards and accolades over the years. What’s your proudest achievement to date?

It would have to be photographing the cover of Calgary Bridal Guide last year and also for Matt getting a job as a photography instructor at SAIT.

Speaking of being involved in the wedding industry for so long now, how do you manage the shooting, editing and the day to day running of a business while maintaining a balance with your family life?

It’s a continual effort to create balance. We keep Sundays as family day with our kids and plan vacations. We love camping and occasionally escaping to Mexico – something to look forward to and get us through when it gets busy! We also involve our kids in our work whenever possible, sometimes bringing them along to out of town weddings or getting them to help with family and baby shoots. They’ve even been hired as models for shoots or to help wedding planners with wedding set up!

Boyko -Ling_family, f8_photography_inc

Flower Girls Photo Credit by f8 Photography Inc. (www.f8photography.com)

As a husband and wife team, what’s it like working together? How do you make it work and how do you handle creative differences?

It’s not always easy working together, we had to learn our strengths and weaknesses. We created specific roles and tasks that we each do, and that helps. We had a business coach who really helped with this and we learned to allow each other to do what we’re each best at. For example, Matt is great with people and meetings. I’m great with organization and running of the business. I often say Matt is the face of f8 Photography, while I run the show behind the scenes.

Next question is for Matt. The wedding industry is still predominately a female industry. In addition to your wife Trish, you have two girls at home, is this why you have a ‘mancave’? To get away and unplug?

“Yes definitely! I escape there to play guitar, listen to records and watch boxing. It keeps me sane.”

What’s on your playlist?

Trish – “Bob Marley, Leonard Cohen, Joel Placket, Johnny Cash and Top 40.”

Matt – “From Nick Cave to Bo Didley, anything from Bloodshot records… blue grass, old country, folk, rock.”

Next one is for Trish. You say you almost always “have a bird accessory on you somewhere”? What’s that about?

“I love sitting and watching birds; they relax me. Having a bird accessory reminds me to relax a bit throughout the day.”

What’s your favorite activity or hobby to do in your spare time?

Trish – “Riding my bike, either in spin class or on the bike paths. I’m a huge reader. I read at least a book a week if not more.”

Matt – “Riding my motorcycle, playing guitar, hanging out in the shed (aka mancave).”

When you’re not shooting weddings, your family spends a lot of time in the mountains. What’s your favourite thing to do in the mountains as a family?

We usually just try to go to the mountains to relax, enjoy the scenery and maybe do a short walk in the woods. It’s great to get out of Calgary and see something other than buildings and vehicles. I (Trish) grew up in the mountains (Rossland BC) and crave seeing them often.”

Any advice for couples trying to choose their wedding photographer?

Choose someone you genuinely like and get along with. You’ll spend the majority of your wedding day with them and you want it to be a fun, relaxing experience. Look for someone who’s photography style reflects you as a couple. We focus on capturing the real moments of love between couples – another photographer’s style might be high fashion, or super grungy. Choose a photographer whose style you love!

Calgary Questions:

What’s your favorite neighbourhood and why?

Ramsay! It’s where we live! It’s near the bike paths and two rivers. It has a community feel and we have great neighbours! It has close access to everything we want: farmer’s market; great coffee shops and live music venues.

What’s the last great meal you ate? Where and What?

Trish – “The Coup. I ate my favourite vegan meal. It’s a broccoli, spinach tofu stay on rice noodles – to die for!”

Matt – “Blaze Pizza – ‘build your own pizza joint’ with as many toppings as you want – delicious!”

What’s Calgary’s best kept secret?

The Alberta Corner Store in Ramsay. It’s been a convenience/grocery store for over 100 years and it’s kitty corner from our house! They’re open everyday from 10:30am to 7:30pm. They sell everything from milk to drywall anchors, to 6 kinds of dog food, to wasbi peas and pre made meals. It’s the heart of our community and we LOVE having it so close.”

You can read more information about f8 Photography inc. in our True North Collective wedding directory, or see a couple of their weddings on the pages of CMC here and here.

Thank you Trish and Matt! We always enjoy speaking with you!