{review} Mango Studios

High fashion & contemporary photojournalism make Mango Studios a leader in Toronto weddings

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Far before we met Mango Studios in person, we knew Mango Studios. The photography house (and gallery) is a leader in the Toronto wedding photography community, a well-earned designation having turned high fashion and contemporary photojournalism into an option for any Toronto bride with an artistic eye.

As staff at The Ring browsed through Mango Studios’ portfolio, we felt like we were looking at a vintage film strip that told us a story of each wedding Mo Govindji and his team of expert photographers have shot. The subjects are elegantly portrayed in a setting that reflects their personalities and style and showcases their beauty. The Mango Studios location in downtown Toronto is fittingly in the Queen West fashion district, which reflects their combination of fashion photography and photojournalism. What began as an extension of Mo’s family’s portrait and wedding studio/custom framing business has, ten years later, turned into his own unique studio, style and a dedication to offering personal service with a high appreciation for cutting edge conceptual design.

Mango Studios offers anything from contemporary framed prints to raw wood mounted pieces and their one of a kind brand of coffee table wedding albums. When we met with Mo and his photography team we could tell that they bring a strong mix of fun and creativity to every shoot and they’re truly passionate about what they do. Let us tell you more…

Personally speaking…

Mo and his business partner, Nancy DaCosta, founded Mango Studios in 2004. But Mo had been in a similar business for several years before that. He told The Ring that his father has run a portrait and wedding studio with a custom framing shop for his entire life and has shot countless weddings himself. So, Mo feels that Mango Studios is more of an extension of what he grew up doing rather than a studio he actually started. “I took what I learned growing up in my parents’ studio and added my own contemporary twist to it – crafting the style that makes Mango unique.”

Mo graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts Degree. But, more important, he says, is the practical knowledge of photography, printing, framing and post production that he has learned through the family biz.

Nancy graduated with a Visual Arts Degree from York University and Mo says, “She’s also a fine art painter with a great eye for light.” Zach studied at the University of Western Ontario in London and Concordia University in Montreal and graduated with a double major in Fine Arts and English Literature. “He has exhibited his work across Canada in Toronto, London and Montreal at events such as Nuit Blanche in Montreal and Contact in Toronto.”

These experts make up the Mango Studios’ team who told us, “Our storefront gallery tells a story about who we are. We’re simple, yet sophisticated – elegance with an edge.” Their studio is also super chic and applicably located in Toronto’s fashion district. Together the Mango Studios team has shot about 300 weddings since their business opened in 2003. But weddings aren’t the only place their expertise gets showcased as there’s also a big fashion and commercial part to their business. “We’ve shot covers of many top artists, including Danny Fernandez, Massari and Belly to name a few,” says Mo. Some of their commercial clients include Nokia and Costa Blanca – just more reasons that make this studio one of the biggest names in Toronto.

A passion for passion…

After having shot so many weddings, Mango Studios’ inspiration for making each one unique doesn’t seem to falter. Mo says that they’re inspired by the unknown. “We never know what’s around the corner – there’s so much to create and explore through our photography and the fact that every shoot is totally unique. Every person, relationship, family dynamic, model, light, location and venue changes so drastically from one shoot to the next that it always keeps us on our toes.”

This dedication to building a strong rapport with each one of their clients is what Mo says is one of the many reasons that brides choose Mango Studios for their wedding day photography. “Taking someone’s picture is such a personal thing and it’s impossible to do without having a good connection to your subject,” he says. “We truly love what we do over here and love being able to spend all of our time with people in love.” He added that this ‘love of love’ is what really drives the Mango team and draws people to them. We think their well-known name and style might also have something to do with it.

“Fashion photography meets photojournalism”…

Trying to pinpoint one thing that Mango Studios does best is a bit tricky. Even Mo had a hard time with this question and noted, “In the photography field you have to wear many hats to be the best.” Many photographers are known for one particular style, but he feels that Mango always gives their clients a wide variety of looks from their shoot – “from high fashion to documentary photojournalism.”

But, if he had not narrow it down, Mo says that personal service is what Mango Studios first and foremost does best, followed closely by their level of appreciation for design and creating the best possible albums and prints. “I’ve branded my style as a ‘shooting for design’ approach,” he says. By this he means that Mango always shoots with a finished design in mind and bases their shots around their clients’ taste, style, and décor while still trying to keep their shots timeless in the process.

Mo adds that their clients’ styles are very similar, “They have a taste for the finer things in life but at the same time are still very down to earth and have a strong appreciation for the artistic eye.” So, it’s a good thing that Mango Studios say they offer such clients a cutting edge conceptual design and a strong mix of fun and creativity for every shoot. Not to mention an impeccable reputation, not just among brides, but in the whole photography biz.

Services & packages

Mo told us that the Mango Studios’ product mix varies from gig to gig because almost all of the work they do is customized to each client. “We offer anything from contemporary framed prints to raw wood mounted epoxy coated pieces,” says Mo. But the one thing that Mo says has made Mango stand out in the industry from day one is the fact that they’ve always offered their unique brand of coffee table bridal albums in every one of their packages. “I did so knowing they are a tremendous amount of work to create; however, I believe they are the best way to express and display the character of a wedding day,” Mo told The Ring.

These books are the most popular product that Mango Studios offers. “They are unique, stunning and timeless,” Mo told us. Not to mention time consuming as Mo says they spend over fifty hours on each design from the initial concept to the finished product, which he adds is almost unheard of in the industry. But the amount of effort and creativity that goes into these books is totally worth it – just check out the samples on Mango’s website to see for yourself.

Packages at Mango start at $3500 for coverage and a credit for prints from the studio. Comprehensive coverage with one of Mango’s signature coffee table books is $5500. What Mo loosely terms, ‘the works’, comes with a larger coffee table book and a matching set of books for parents, or custom artwork for approximately $7500. “We’ve come up with price points to work with all budgets,” Mo told us. “Our packages are designed so you know what you are getting up front and there is no hidden up sell later.”

Mango’s payment structure is also pretty fair. It’s spread out until after the wedding when couples get their high resolution files in hand. A third of the package is due upon booking with another third due two months before the wedding (Mo says usually during the engagement session). Then the final payment is due when you get your disk of photos. “This is great because the bride and groom can immediately start making prints and copies for family and relatives.” The final payment is usually due about two weeks after the wedding.

But since Mango is so flexible, if this payment plan doesn’t work for you, they can arrange one that works better. They also offer a photography gift registry where brides’ and grooms’ guests can make a contribution towards their package as their wedding gift to the happy couple.

Details, details, details

• Packages start at $3500 at Mango and go up to $7500.
• A flexible payment plan has you paying a 1/3 of the package price at time of booking, another 1/3 is due 2 weeks before.
• The balance is due about 2 weeks after the wedding when you get your disk of photos.

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Contacting Mango Studios…

To learn more about Mango Studios, contact Mo Govindji, Nancy DaCosta or Zach Hertzman directly by email using the form below. 🙂 Mango Studios’ ultra awesome gallery is suitably located at 9 Davies Ave #203 in Toronto. You can also send a request for an appointment and view Mango Studios’ online galleries on their website at www.mangostudios.com.

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Read what other couples & experts have said…

we are getting married this year and the first thing we were sure to book was MANGO STUDIOS. their worked is above and beyond any other photographer we met with. every person we dealt with at the studio prior to booking with was helpful, attentive and sweet. their is a price point for everyone, and we are so happy we get to have the mango team to capture our special day. my sister had them as their photographers and the pictures are some of the best i have seen. they may not carry around 100 lenses and lights with light stands, but thats because they dont need it. they capture the intimate candid moments better - and have a philosophy as natural light photographers, which produces better pictures. we booked an engagement shoot with them and it was so amazing to interact with them before the big day! they made my fiance and i feel good infront of the camera and have all the little tricks to make you feel comfortable. our pictures turned out more than amazing. they even helped us design fine art prints, which they framed for us too! i cant wait for them to shoot our big day... and am just as excited to have one of their custom designed albums to have as a family heirloom.
- Ariel

Mango was amazing! So happy we had Tyler and Zach shoot our day. The images are everything we expected and more. Great service great product.
- Amy and Jeff

Monica & Sergio - We are so happy with the way the pictures came-out, and the experience was great. We had so much fun! THANK YOU SO MUCH! We love our pictures
- Nataly
Mango Studios