Aaron and Alicia - Victoria Wedding

I'll tell you this much. One thing I have learned through shooting anything since I started, is that producing any body of work like a wedding is entirely a 50/50 effort. I can only do so much to bring a wedding to life, but I cannot create anything that does not exist. The one constant I aim to maintain is that I give every shoot everything I've got. However, photographers are not wizards, as much as I wish that reality was true. 

From the moment I started photographing these two on Mystic Beach, where they complained not one bit about the drenching rain, I knew they were going to give me so much to work with on their wedding day. In fact, I knew that when I met Aaron for the first time.

We worked at the Butchart Gardens together, back in the day when I had just picked up a camera and practiced my skills on flowers in my lunch break. Aaron is the type of guy that is enthusiastic about anything. He's always thrilled, and he always does everything he can when it calls for it - because why not? That's what I learned about him that summer. Both of us parted our ways when the working season was over. 

A little while later, I found out about this girl who had swooped him up. It's a wonderful story, and you should ask them about it if you don't know it already. It's worth it. They asked me to shoot their wedding. Meeting Alicia, I quickly figured out that she was perfect for him. I felt honored to be the one that photographed moments they will look back on for the rest of their life. 

Here are some of those moments:

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Steph & Brent - Whistler Wedding

The Sea-to-Sky highway is one of the most beautiful routes I have ever travelled, right alongside the road through Helshoogte between Cape Town and Stellenbosch. Fitting that I should end up at one of the most beautiful weddings I've ever attended. The location was Brent's family cabin, nestled somewhere between Squamish and Whistler, with the Black Tusk mountain peaking out through the trees on the horizon. In the backyard, they were to be married by their best friend, Andrew. 

The Cabin, the Sea-to-Sky highway, and Andrew even were no strangers to me at this point. The first time I ever driven on that road was actually with Steph, Brent, and Andrew. We were on our way to the Sloquet Hot Springs for the weekend for a not-so-average engagement session. Andrew is one of their best friends, and tagged along for the ride. We made a stop at the Cabin for the night and I got to meet Brent's family. Steph and Brent showed me around the house and told me about their plans. I got excited. The backyard dropped down steeply to a perfectly sized lake, shared only by a few households, across from which were railway tracks and then another steep incline. Everything about BC scenery one could love was crammed into this cozy little spot by their cabin. It felt great to be taken in as a friend, not just a photographer.

This isn't the only time I felt this way. Brent decided to invite me to his Stag in Ashcroft, BC, where I spent the weekend riding horses with him and his best mates. You really get to know a person once you get to know their friends. I was honoured to be riding that weekend with group of top notch men. 

Just as I was brought right into their lives with open arms like this, so were the guests of the wedding. Everyone felt at home and at ease with anyone at the wedding. Tables were arranged so that friends and family of the Jhala's would mix with friends and family of the Akhursts. It was a most welcoming day for anyone who managed to make it to the cabin. To top it off, it was your very typical and very perfect BC weather that could not have been better suited. Surely, they could not have hoped for the day to have gone better than it did. It exceeded my very high expectations, which only grew and grew as the wedding got closer and I got to know Steph and Brent better over time. 

To Steph and Brent, thank you for showing me an amazing time on your wedding day and for taking me in like a friend on so many adventures that I will never forget. 

Wedding Planning by Filosophi - Steph's dress designed by Carlie Wong - Brent's suit from Beggars Run - Incredible suspenders from Love Jules - Major thanks to the best person ever, Berkley Vopnfjord, for assisting me.

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Kirsten & Jonny - Duncan Weddin

Before Kirsten got engaged, I had never gotten an inquiry to shoot a friend's wedding. She and I had met in a concert's photo pit in 2010 while shooting Rifflandia in Victoria. It is a major honour when a friend asks you to be the photographer for their wedding day, and especially so when that friend is a photographer too. Of course, I was totally thrilled at the idea. A little nervous too. 

As soon as she got engaged, I got to meet her other half, Jonny. The two of them together are delightful, and so is their story. He is from the UK and she is from Canada. They met while travelling in New Zealand and have not been apart since. Travelling is one of the reasons these two met, and one of the things they have spent a large sum of their time together doing. Of course, this became the inspiration behind their travel themed wedding. 

Over the months leading to the wedding, the two of them kept me updated on their plans for the wedding. The more I heard from them, the more I could imagine what the day would be like. I got really excited. These two got my hopes up real high. When they day came around they exceeded my expectations. The killed it and had the best time ever doing it. I had a pretty grand time being a part of it. 

This is what you get when you throw a dozen fascinators, a ring-bearing harrison hawk (YEP), a jager-bomb toast, custom everything, a live band, some owls, a few obscure accents and people who just want to have the best time all into one mix:


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Layla & Cody - Thetis Island Wedding

Thetis Island was the first Gulf Island I have experienced so far. Without a doubt, I can tell you that one of my biggest mistakes while living on Vancouver Island for almost 5 years now is not having travelled to one of the islands. This was a truly beautiful place to explore, not to mention celebrate a wedding at. 

Layla and Cody chose the perfect location for their family and friends to gather. The only thing better than seeing everyone on your wedding day, is seeing them on an island the day before and after it too. I really had a great time working with these two. They knew how to worry about nothing else but having a great time with the people that meant most to them. The expressions on their faces when they saw each other for the first time, when they were officially married, and for practically every other moment thereafter showed a great sense of excitement within the two. 

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Kati & Steph - Nanaimo Wedding

I have to start right out with saying that this is one of the hardest weddings for me to describe. It started when I met Kati in Gastown in Vancouver, last minute, to talk about potentially shooting her wedding. We spoke for 3.5 hours and had to stop it there. I never got to meet Steph, but I figured that if I got on that well with Kati, that I there would be absolutely no problem with her partner of several years. Kati told me the entire story of their life together so far. 

I met Steph on the day of the engagement shoot in their apartment. We clicked instantly, as I suspected we would. After that shoot I knew that the wedding would be something incredible. 

A few short weeks before the engagement shoot, the two of the contacted me with unfortunate news. Their father's health had been deteriorating. What should have been a late June wedding became an April affair. Fortunately, we were able to find a date that worked. At that point I was so invested in their story that I could not imagine the idea of not being the one to document such an important day in such an important year of these two. 

The events that went down on the day of Kati and Steph's wedding could not have been anticipated. The weather suited the story perfectly. Moments were abundant. More emotion was thrown around than I was used to at your average wedding. 

I don't think I've cried that much at a wedding before. Everything was so sincere. Everything was genuine. 

I'm going to leave you with the photographs: 

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Caeli & Jordan - Kelowna Wedding

Coming to the end of the wedding season last year, I had learned a lot of things after working with so many couples. The lessons were not over until Caeli and Jordan's wedding, the last of 2012. Before I started photographing weddings, I had only ever attended one wedding as a little 7 year old ring-bearer. For another 13 years I would never experience a wedding fully until I had the chance to shoot Jordan and Caeli's wedding. What I mean by this is that there are far more layers to a wedding than even a photographer can comprehend in one day shooting.

Jordan was kind enough to invite me to his stag on Friday, two days before the Wedding (phewww). My assistant Grady and I arrived in Kelowna at our hotel and went straight to the party. It's the first stag I've ever attended, and I won't lie... it lived up to everything I envisioned a stag to be like. Perhaps even better than my expectations. In the end, the men were all OK. Jordan never suffered a black eye, no one went missing, and after a few phone calls to find out how the girls stagette was going, it seemed like they were just fine too. The weekend could proceed with no hiccups.

The next day was devoted to family and friends a food and drinks. It's the side of a wedding I've never been a part of, and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to experience. With the amazing Kelowna weather it turned out to be a quite the afternoon. Here I got to know a lot about family and how weddings really bring people together. Having lived in Canada with only my parents and siblings, family occasions are always quite small. Perhaps this is why the event struck me as something so special.

Finally, the third day was wedding day. At this point I was already entirely thrilled that my last wedding of the year was such an incredible experience. It only got better. Caeli and Jordan decided to do a first look, which meant an earlier start time for both the men and woman, and Grady and I. Usually the morning is where I get to know the wedding party and family, but since I had already had crazy adventures with the guys, and met all the girls and family the day before, I was on a first name basis with most people. From then on, one of the smoothest, most thrilling and longest celebrations went on.

I really cannot thank Jordan and Caeli enough for inviting me into their lives so fully. It really got me very excited to start up the season this year. As for the wedding day, I'll leave the rest of the story for you to see through the photographs.  

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Bart & Ashley

I have nothing but great things to say about getting to know Bart and Ashley and how magnificent there wedding was for me. Everything felt in its right place. These two had an incredible and unique connection with one another which I absolutely loved discovering and capturing with my camera. Their wedding ceremony took place in an almost hidden park in Oak Bay in Victoria called Anderson Hill Park. Although small, it had a shear decline to the ocean and provided a backdrop that we don't often see in Victoria - at least, one that I don't think I've ever stumbled across myself. What and absolute gem! It was only complimented by perfect light for the day. Beyond witnessing one of the most beautiful, simple and authentic wedding ceremonies in my career, their wedding had an air of true celebration. Family and friends were there to have a really great time, connect and reconnect with one another, and dance their socks off for these two fine people and the big step they had just taken in their lives. Needless to say, this was a particularly momentous wedding.

I feel like I've made friends with these two, and that's what really makes me so happy to work in this industry. Every year I invest a lot of time into all of the couples I shoot, and it's great to come out at the end having learned a lot more about life while making a few friends on the way. Without futher ado, Bart and Ashley:

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Marc & Vanessa

Vanessa is all smiles, all the time. On her wedding day she was even more so. It was so contagious I felt like I was the one having the best day of my life. She carried that smile all the way down the aisle to Marc, with the occasional teary moment on the way. Marc and Vanessa wanted to enjoy their entire day, with no rush, and no hassle. Their ceremony was early, and afterwards we hung out at their house for lunch with the wedding party and some family members. Then, Vanessa got back into her dress for the second time - both times at record breaking speeds for all the weddings I've shot in my career. We explored some of Victoria's beautiful scenery afterwards and took some pictures. Everything was so much fun because we allowed enough time for that to happen, and took it at a pace that kept everyone in good spirits. At the same time, I don't think anything could have gotten in the way of this wedding party and them having fun times. This was echoed by possibly the funniest speech I've ever heard in my life; the Viking speech by Robyn and Louisa. These two had me almost rolling on the floor in cramps. It wasn't easy to shoot. The reception was at the Fireside Grill, where I tried lobster ravioli for the first time (and it was remarkable, if you're wondering). The family was brought together with food, music, and dance, and more music, and then some more dance. Here is their story:

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Tessa & Aaron - Vancouver Wedding

From the moment I met up with Aaron on the wedding day, there was happiness. It was in his smile, on all of his friends faces, and somehow it was in the air. The same with when I met up with Tessa. Happiness was radiating everywhere. You can imagine what it was like to witness these two seeing each other for the first time that day, Tessa walking towards Aaron, while him and his gang of Ukulele musicians surprise serenaded her with a song he had written just for this occasion. After being a witness to all of this, I was super happy. Enough so, that a heelclick was necessary. Now let's get back to the celebration...

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Amanda & Robert - Wedding

Jumping between shooting Robert and Amanda prior to their wedding, I noticed that they were virtually stress free. They wanted to have a good time, and you could tell that they would let nothing get in the way. What was noticable was their level of excitement, and they weren't afraid to show it. Once they finally saw eachother and got married, their energy was through the roof. It was hapiness in it's purest form. It was unstoppable.

It was beyond my expectations, which were really high for these two, and I'm sure they could not have imagined what a swell time they would have either.

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Aaron & Tessa - Engagement

I've always wanted to shoot an engagement (or wedding!) on Granville Island in Vancouver. It is one of the most photogenic places I've laid eyes on, filled with lots of fresh food, colour, and really fantastic vibes. Coincidentally, I can't think of a better location for Tessa and Aaron to have spent the afternoon hanging out and letting me take their picture. Both are food enthusiasts, with Aaron knowing absolutely everything about baking bread, and Tessa working in the wine industry. Beyond that, they're both just fun people, and I think this location really complimented their personality quite well. But, more on them later. I'm excited to be shooting their wedding next week in Vancouver, so you can export more soon.

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Natasha & Joel - Wedding

I'll tell you like it is: something is so right for these two to be with each other. They are the most calm and collected pair I have ever taken photographs of. Everything about their wedding struck me as genuine, like it was meant to be. The timing, the people, the speeches. The undeniable love I saw in these two when they stood in front of their families to be wed.

All of it.

I am so happy to have been a part of something so real.

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Tanya & Mike - Parksville Wedding

When I met Tanya, I felt a great sense of peacefulness from being around her. That feeling followed through onto the wedding day up-island at Tigh-Na-Mara. It was a quick, 2.5 hour shoot, something I don't generally do, but considering I had never been to Parksville, I thought it would be a nice little adventure to embark on right before Christmas. Their wedding was very small, and slightly out of the norm for me. It's good practice to work in new environments and set-ups, probably the reason I love wedding photography so much; you're always on your toes. Spending time with Mike and Tanya made me feel so at ease with the world, perhaps because they were so connected and sharing something that was very mutual, and incredibly beautiful. Perhaps it was the calm of the ocean. The beaches in Parksville are lovely, and I am so glad that all of these things came together to create some meaningful imagery.

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Sarah and Sjoerd

"So I gotta ask, which band are they? Where are you guys traveling from?" said the baffled gentleman in the washroom shortly before I left to see the Bride. Breakfast rocked with the guys, and apparently it got people in Floyd's curious. Sjoerd and his gang aren't in a traveling band together; however, pretty much all the people at the table are musicians - including yours truly.

It was going to be a good day ahead, filled with moments, triumphs, guitar slides, love, joy, family and really, really good food. After shooting for 16 hours, I had no idea how many images I had taken that day, except that I had filled all 11 of my CF cards, totaling 96 gigs of data. It's only when I got around to editing the files that I realized I had taken 3430 images. This was a new record for me. Kind of ridiculous, you might think...and you would be absolutely right. Insane, yes, but if you know the frightening pace of successive moments throughout the day, you would understand. Unfortunately I can't put them all in one blog post, but while I'm in the mood for breaking personal records, I can still bombard you with the biggest post I've ever crafted.

Here's to live bands, umbrellas, hand-made toffee apples and boutonnieres, orchards, the Dutch, sailors, the love Sarah and Sjoerd have for one another and... really, really good food:

If you left this post smiling, you should subscribe to my Facebook Page where you can keep up to date with everything I post in the future. Otherwise, show some photography love by hitting the like button just below and make my day.

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Terron and Mariko

Right from the start, I could sense that Terron and Mariko were wildly in love with each other. They told me stories about how they met, trials and triumphs in their past, what they saw in their future. I feel honoured to have documented a part of this couples' life together. Now...I can't go back in time and photograph all the glorious moments that these two have had together, but at the very least, I am able to tell this part of their life through these pictures:

If you enjoyed these pictures, you'll likely enjoy the next few sets I have lined up to post on my blog. You can easily keep up to date with all my photographic ramblings and facebook exclusives by subscribing to my Facebook Page.

Sarah and Sjoerd - Preview

Here's a quick look at one of the images from Sarah and Sjoerd's wedding the other day. Stitching together Brenizer (or Bokeh) panoramas like this one is a lot like shooting a roll of film. You have an idea of what you've got, but you're never quite sure until you've processed the images and waited quite some time - all the while, there is this jovial uproar bubbling inside of you as you anticipate the final product. This one in particular was stitched together from 44 images, shot on the 24-70mm f/2.8L @ 70mm @f/2.8. I really can't wait to bring you all the stories from their wedding, it truly was a momentous day.

Keep up to date with Sarah and Sjoerd's wedding pictures and facebook exclusives by subscribing to my Facebook Page.

Terron and Mariko - Teaser

I'll save all the juicy stuff for the entire post, but let me tell you this: Terron and Mariko deserve major props for throwing an incredible wedding. So many small things that they made their own made the day very unique. It's always a pleasure to be there when your new found friends finally take the plunge and get married. These two are also receiving a slight touch of fame. An engagement photo I took was accepted into a national contest for, and within 24 hours they have received 300+ votes. People love these two. If you are as much a fan of Terron and Mariko as I am, take a look at the Competition, and place your votes on some of the magnificent talent in the running for this years best engagement photo of the summer time. As for choosing teaser photos - major pet peave. I am huge on telling a story, and breaking the day up is always hard, so I have selected three very random images to share with you until I get through the final edit.

If you'ld like to throw them a vote, check it out here.

Tiffany and Chris

Sometimes I am lost for words and I think my pictures can tell a better story, but there are a few things you should know about this wedding. It was not conventional. There was no ceremony. Tiffany and Chris got married a few days after they contacted me to shoot their wedding in a more private setting, but the wedding was not over. As you know, the ceremony doesn't come without some sort of celebration. That's what this day was like for me. It was non-stop celebration thrown a few days after the actual ceremony. After shooting so many weddings this year, it was refreshing to get things done differently. Bride and Groom got ready in the same house, there was no rush to get to the ceremony, family pictures were done after the first dance. Everything I knew about how your wedding day is supposed to go down was spun around. I must say, one of the reasons I love wedding photography is this: it keeps you on your toes. No matter how good you are at anticipating events, things will change, a random driver may ram into the car owned by one of the groomsmen as you are leaving, or you may have to stop at Safeway while the bride picks up some champagne. These things will happen, and it makes the 15 hour day worth every minute. These are the things that happened at their wedding:

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Tiffany and Chris - Sneak Peek

There is a lot I can say about Tiffany and Chris, and all the good times that were had on Friday, however; This is a sneak peek, so I am going to leave you hanging until I get all the images finished. Here are a few images to tide you over until then.

Emily and Craig (second-shooting)

I must confess, it has been quite some time since my last blog post. I have a lot coming your way soon, though, so don't give up on the blog just yet. When I'm not shooting this year, I'm second-shooting. Either way, I have gotten a lot of shooting done in the past few weeks and I hope to bring it all to you soon. In this post's case, I second-shot for the wonderful Jesse Holland. I had a really fun time editing these images because they reminded me how awesome the day really was.