As a kid, I was a nerdy tomboy who devoured books and played kickball in the street. I used to page through my dad’s dusty old National Geographic magazines, falling in love with certain pictures. I would clip out my favourites with scissors and remix them as collages. … A marble statue jutting out of a black lava field. A boy with grimy hands holding a bouquet of radishes. A girl changing the oil under her pickup truck. A fisherman’s wrinkled grin. … I think looking through those pictures is when I first fell in love with photos.

I didn’t start taking photos until I was an adult. While working as a French-to-English translator, I enrolled in an evening photography class for fun. And got hooked. I got my start in wedding photography shooting a friend’s wedding in 2009. Things snowballed from there and what was once a hobby turned into my new career. I quit my day job in 2013 and now I spend my time meeting new people, shooting their weddings and making beautiful photos.

I love my job. I get to photograph weddings of all types, from intimate family getaways in the Quebec countryside, to big celebrations at Montreal’s largest wedding venues, to queer weddings at aquariums.  I’ve gotten to photograph weddings on a boat and on a tiny island and on top of the Olympic Stadium. Thanks to Montreal’s multicultural character, I am also lucky to photograph weddings from a diverse range of cultures.

With every new wedding, I get to be parachuted into a different family and welcomed behind-the-scenes to the chaos of everybody getting ready. I’m so thankful for this opportunity. I get to witness loving moments between family members and the little personal moments between long-time friends. When you trust me to wander through your homes and lives while you experience the adrenaline of your wedding day, I am able to capture your story with beautiful images.

Montreal Wedding Photographer Esther Gibbons
Photo: Nadia Zheng
Photojournalisticweddingphotographeratwork Photo:JackieRicciardi
Photo: Jackie Ricciardi
Montrealweddingphotographeratwork Photo:NadiaZheng
Photo: Nadia Zheng
Professional Associations

What’s your wedding photography style?

I am a photojournalistic wedding photographer. My approach is mainly candid because I want your photos to reflect who you really are. I look for natural moments that are happening or just about to happen.

I do provide friendly guidance during the group portraits and the wedding couple portraits. Usually this means that I’ll suggest an easy interactive pose or an action and then you can make it your own.

But during the majority of the day, I focus on capturing the feeling of the wedding, documenting the spontaneous moments happening and photographing the authentic emotions of your loved ones.

This means you can simply relax and enjoy the presence of your loved ones who are all together in one place to celebrate with you.

Do you retouch all the photos?

I post-process all the photos you receive in your collection. The level of retouching you see on this website is a good example of the editing I provide on all images. I correct lighting, cropping, contrast and enhance colours to make your images gorgeous and ready to print.

I don’t do extensive retouching like body reshaping, removing wrinkles or removing objects or people from the background, etc. If you only want photos of your guests looking their absolute best with pristine makeup, there are several photographers who can make your wedding look like it was shot for a fashion magazine. That’s not me. I want to celebrate your authentic self, imperfections and all. They are what makes you unique.

Do you travel for weddings?

Yes! While I’m based in Montreal, Quebec. I frequently travel to photograph weddings throughout Canada and the US.

What kind of equipment do you use?

I currently use Nikon D750 camera bodies with a variety of lenses. During most of the day, I carry two cameras on me. Wedding guests are often curious why. Each of the camera has a different type of lens, so I can always be ready to get both wide-angle photos of things happening nearby and telephoto shots of people far away.

During the reception, I set up a few light stands with flashes in corners of the reception hall. With these back lights and the flashes on my camera, I can control the light to get creative images even in dim reception halls.

Do you have a second photographer?

While I can absolutely cover your wedding solo, I do offer a second photographer in certain packages. You’ll always have myself as the main shooter, but the addition of a second professional photographer can have great benefits. For example, if you require photos in two different locations at the same time (like if you’re getting ready in different homes), using a second shooter means I don’t have to clone myself. At other times, my second photographer will get a different view of the same moment (like your parents cheering during your first kiss).

Can you hold our wedding date?

I often get inquiries for the same date from different couples. So to be fair to all, reservations are on a first come, first served basis. I can only hold a date once your booking is complete (contract filled out and signed and first booking payment received).

Do you photograph same-sex weddings?

Absolutely, I do! Read more about same-sex wedding photography.

What happens if it rains at my wedding?

Weather is always out of our control. The good news is that there are always creative solutions for rainy weddings. If the rain is light enough, I still shoot a brief portrait session with my wedding couples outdoors. Rainy days can make really romantic photos. To stay dry, we use umbrellas and overhanging structures like porches, dense trees or underpasses. If the rain is too strong and the wedding couple prefers not to head outside, I can always find creative angles inside a church or reception hall. If it looks like rain, we can also plan on an alternative indoor location. But, if you are an adventurous wedding couple, I will happily follow you outside, no matter the weather. I’ve shot in pouring rain and winter snow!

How much time do we need for portraits?

Since I work in a documentary style, I spend most of the day taking candid photos as the day unfolds. However, I believe that setting aside time for a few posed photos with your family and friends is important. I’m happy to look at your wedding day timeline with you so we can make sure there’s enough time allotted in the schedule for all the portraits you want.

Here’s a guideline for how much time the formal wedding portraits usually take. These times are just an estimate, since every wedding is unique.

  • First look – 15 minutes
  • Family group portraits – 3 to 4 minutes per group on your list
  • Wedding party – 30 minutes
  • Wedding couple – 1 to 1.5 hours
Montrealweddingphotographeratwork Photo:AdamFeldstain
Photo: Adam Feldstain
Weddingphotographerupinatree Photo:JohnKoo
Photo: John Koo
Award-winning wedding photos

I’m thankful that some of my favourite wedding and engagement photos have been recognized with awards from organizations like the Wedding Photojournalist Association and the Professional Wedding Photographers of Canada. It’s always an honour, a challenge and an inspiration to participate in photo contests with some of the best wedding photographers from across Canada and around the world.

See more awards