Part of my favourite part of a wedding is capturing all the little details. A wedding is made up of hundreds of little details that a bride and groom potentially spend months, or possibly years, thinking about about. Sadly many times these go unnoticed, or blend into the overall picture. It’s great to get photos of the details to include with the photos or in the album to tell the full story of the day. Here’s my top five from last year (and maybe a bonus one or two).
A hall, an amazing dress, and just the right light streaming in the window combined to show of all the texture and detail in this gorgeous wedding wedding dress.
Simple photo, showing the bride’s shoes in front of the bouquet from a Harrison Hot Springs wedding. I love the way the light fell behind them on the wall, giving that great warm glow.
Another simple photo of the wedding rings. I arrange them on the pillow that the adorable ring bearer walked them down the isle on not long after.
People can be details too! This is Adam, or at least some of him. We were at his house in Abbotsford while he and the best man were getting ready. This was the calm before the couple of shots of scotch as we got ready to head out for the wedding formals.
Last but not least I love how this is a a detail photo of the bride’s rustic looking bouquet (and cupcake, and drink), but still tells the story of the Abbotsford reception, dancing, fun, and the beautiful bride and her daughters dancing in the background.
Ok, you know I can’t just share 5…. I’m just not built that way!
This is the hand made wedding dress that Trish wore for her wedding in Coquitlam. Made by a friend especially for the wedding, and a work of art.
High heels, bouquet, and the dresses in the background. All of the getting ready for a wedding in one photo!
Last but not least, for some reason I’m just in love with this photo of Tara’s wedding dress hanging up. It’s simple, beautiful and feels wonderfully innocent somehow.
So that’s the latest in the Top 5 series, next week…. Top 5 most fun photos!
Remember if you’re interested in a free consultation for wedding photography head over to the Contact page and submit your name, email address and wedding date!
Have you just gotten engaged and are starting to realize that there are a lot of decisions to make about the wedding. Having attended many weddings now, and been involved in the planning, I wanted to start a series of posts with educational content to help with some of these decisions!
Should I get a Wedding Album or Digital Prints
In the wedding photography world, there are (basically) two ways of getting your photos, either a printed wedding album or digital prints. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. You may wonder what the differences are and why you might choose one over the other.
Seriously, who has a wedding album anyway? This is something that your parents have, right? This is the easiest option and you will end up with a nice small DVD or flash drive with high resolution images you can print yourself (probably, check with your photographer first). Easy to share with your friends, backup for safe keeping, and generally a cheaper option.
Without a printed version, it’s possible that the DVD or flash drive can be corrupted. This happened to one of my clients a couple of years ago, about six months after the wedding I got a call saying that she had tried to do something with the USB key and it showed no files on it! Luckily I still had the originals, and was able to get her a copy, but if I hadn’t, or wasn’t around…. shudder… I don’t want to think about that. You have to employ safe file storage and be careful with them. Another downside is that in digital form you’re less likely to look at your beautiful images. I have some amazing wedding photos, but I only ever see the few I have printed out. The rest are sitting (still, I don’t want to say how many years later) in a folder on my archive drive called “Wedding Photos To Make Album With” 🙁
This is to say that chances are no matter what your good intentions are, it’s very possible that your images will be uploaded to Facebook and then stuffed in a drawer never to be seen again. These are the memories of a very special day and you don’t want to forget about them!
A Printed Album
Remember a moment ago I was asking who has a wedding album anyway? Well, you’re probably thinking about that old leather album with photos glued into it, or using those little plastic triangles in the corners. If you think this way, you probably haven’t seen the offerings that are available these days. Nowadays there are gorgeous, high quality flush mount albums where your wedding images are displayed full page on high quality, thick and luscious paper. Combined with different materials and cover options you can have a true work of art that you will feel proud to show your friends and family.
Images courtesy of GTA Imaging
A printed album can look gorgeous and be a keepsake that is handed down to your children and your children’s children. I remember a story that I heard from another wedding photographer. When at wedding fairs he would hand out a floppy disk with his name and email on it as his portfolio. Of course people would stop and ask if it was a joke? This let him talk to them about how an image isn’t “finished” until it’s printed, and how if you had your wedding album on a floppy disk (as people would), chance are it will be obsolete, and unless you have the equipment to read whatever your digital wedding photos are on, you’ll be out of luck. Of course USB and DVDs are “modern”, but more and more computers are being sold without CD or DVD drives, and even the almost universal USB is slowly being replaced with new technologies like USB-C, Thunderbolt, and others. Apple has even made a MacBook with a single port (and it’s not compatible with your USB flash drive. It’s just a matter of time before this becomes more and more the norm. You may think this is years away, but it will come faster than you want, and it would suck to be stuck with the equivalent of a floppy drive sitting in the drawer with all your photos on it and no way to read it!
So while a printed album is awesome, it’s got it’s downsides as well. The photographer needs to know how to design the album to tell the story of the day, taking photos as the day goes on not just of the bride and groom, but of little details that fill out the day to tell the story. There’s also the back and forth in album design. You’ll get a proof version and will have to go through it and give the photographer your feedback. It might be as simple as swapping a photo here and there, or getting rid of great aunt Marge (you really only invited her because you had to), but this can take time and delay your final album.
Depending on the photographer, you may have to pay extra for digital images, or they may be included with your album. This will depend on them, and I can go into why photographers are so possessive of their images in a later blog post.
Get printed images
Tells a complete story
Beautiful presentation and options
Keepsake that can be passed down
Can take time to get designed
May seem old fashioned
Need to get digital images as well
Can be more of an investment
Can print yourself *
Digital already, no need to scan
Easy to lose images
Subject to obsolescence
No permanent, physical object to touch and feel
If you don’t print them, you may forget them
I currently offer both albums and digital only options, as you can see from the investment page. Honestly, I’m torn, there are pros and cons to both, but I can’t help but endorse having a gorgeous, well designed keepsake of a wedding album as what I encourage couples to invest in.
* Note that not all agreements that you sign with your photographer will allow you to print digital images. Please read the agreement you have carefully to see if you have “print rights” and discuss this ahead of time to make sure that everyone’s rights are explained.
I’m not exactly sure how Tara and Alex found me for their wedding in Coquitlam. My friend, works with the wife, of his cousin….. something like that, it’s all very complicated, but at the end of the day I got to be part of the beginning of these two young people’s lives together!
Tara got ready at her grandparents home with her parents and bridesmaid (her sister).
I got to see a few lovely little moments like this in amidst makeup and jewelry.
I love capturing the little details from the getting ready, along with of course the lovely dress!
The rings were gorgeous.
As was the bridesmaid.
The ladies getting ready.
When the girls were ready to go, I raced over to Alex’s parents house, where the groom’s side of the family was getting ready. I captured this awesome moment of the guys learning to tie a proper bow tie from youtube videos!
In the end it all worked out. Everyone had their bow ties on.
The best man, Raphael, had a very important speech to give, and was a little nervous as he paced by the window practicing.
When we were all ready go head to the Port Moody Station Museum for the ceremony the guys all had a shot, checked their ties, and realized they were looking good!
The Port Moody Station Museum is a great little museum dedicated to the early days of the railroad in Port Moody, with the key feature being an authentically styled railroad car, with the ceremony taking place inside! Super cool (though honestly, a little tight space wise, photographically speaking, but so worth it). First though, we did a “first look” where Alex got to see Tara in her dress for the first time!
Formal photos of the bride, groom, wedding party and family.
Next, ceremony time! Like I said, inside of the train car was a bit tight, but we all squeezed in.
The officiant was great, making sure the two held their poses and looked up at the camera at the right time (sometimes not the easiest to remember to do in the heat of a wedding, and sadly I can’t yell directions from the sidelines duringthe ceremony).
The reception was held at Alex’s parents condo, an intimate room filled with friends and family catching up and enjoying the day.
Cutting the cake with it’s cute little cake topper.
The night was great wine from Classically Corked Wine and food supplied by Austin Gourmet. The first dance and father daughter dance was amazing, Alex and Tara had practiced it for some time before and pulled it off great.
I almost didn’t well up a little at the father daughter dance as well. Almost.
The night ended with friends and family dancing away and partying, and celebrating the newly married couple and the beginning of their life together!
It’s always a good practice to look back at the previous year and think celebrate successes. I’ve been very proud of the weddings that I was at and wanted to share my Top 5 favourite formal wedding photos from 2015.
Beautiful Amy and her bouquet at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. This is one of the hottest (temperature wise) weddings I’ve done. It was in the mid-30’s and nothing but blue sky as far as the eye could see. The resort luckily has lots of shaded areas where I could capture the bride lost in thought for a moment. – Amy & Jason Harrison Hot Springs Wedding
We did the formals for Adam and Amanda at Abbotsford City Hall, a lovely area in the middle of town with a park and fountain. Lots of great times. We shot this toward the end of the day and I thought it shows their love for each other. The biggest thing I remember is leaving the park with the bride and groom and their small wedding party and coming through an Indian wedding which was huge (we’re talking a literal bus dropping off people). The contrast between the two cultures was huge, but the smiles on both of the brides was the same as they greeted each other and exchanged congratulations. – Adam & Amanda Abbotsford Wedding
Alex and his best man mugging for the camera while his bride was warming up her hands behind us. It was a November wedding and a bit cool, but that didn’t stop the smiles on both bride and groom (in fact the whole wedding party) from being huge. This was my first time at the historic Port Moody Station Museum, and I hope to go back. The wedding took place in a train car. Like, inside the train car. Super fun and I had as much fun as the bride and groom did I think. – Alex & Tara Port Moody Wedding
I love getting a photo from an unusual angle. Sometimes it’s more fun if you don’t tell the couple what you’re doing, and if they trust you they just go with it. I think I just told these two to hold each other and look into each others eyes and forget about me for a moment. I went around behind her and captured this lovely moment. – Adam & Amanda Abbotsford Wedding
Sometimes the world conspires to give you a great photo. A combination of the great location of Harrison Hot Springs marina, a lovely couple, and an amazing sunset gave me this amazing photo. I can’t wait to see this printed out large on a canvas and hung on the couple’s wall where it belongs! – Amy & Jason Harrison Hot Springs Wedding
So that’s my top five formal photos from 2015. I can’t wait for the next instalment of this series!
I met Amy and Jason early this year when a friend of theirs passed on my name. We met and it was a great fit. They are a fun and energetic couple, and Amy has one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard. I’ve lived in the Lower Mainland of BC all my life, but I’ve never actually been inside the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel, how insane is that!? The location was fantastic, well setup and very nice to have hotel, spa, beautiful gardens for the ceremony, and dinner and entertainment all in one location.
The ceremony was a simple affair, just the two of them, the wedding party, in the gorgeous sun beaming down at the back of the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel and Spa.
The first dance didn’t make me cry, not even a little, no siree..
Amanda and Adam had everything you could want in a summer wedding in Abbotsford. Sunny and gorgeous and warm (maybe a bit too warm at times)! The bride and groom got ready at their own houses (well, him at his, her at her friends). Before the ceremony they took their wedding party to the great gardens at the Abbotsford City Hall for some great sun-drenched formal portraits. The ceremony, and following reception, took place at a quaint little community hall called Straiton Community Centre. What you’d think was your standard community hall, but decked out in it’s Sunday best (as it were), it worked just perfectly for these young kids! The wedding photography was relaxed and informal and they hardly even noticed I was there!
Adam and Amanda, thank you for trusting me with your wedding photography. I know it was very important to you and I’m so happy that I had the time with you to create these images. You and your friends and family welcomed me as one of their own and I’m proud to say I was part of your day!
Denis has been my friend for many years now, and I was honoured when he asked me to be his wedding photographer. It was the first time I had met his bride-to-be, Irina, but she made me feel like part of the family right away. The two are awesome together and I enjoy meeting up when we can for dinner, drinks, and (of course) techie talk (we are both programmers and tech guys as well). This was the first wedding I’ve done in Stanley Park, and it was a great day for firsts. The ceremony at the Brockton Clubhouse was filled with family and friends, followed by some formal portraits on the grounds nearby. Stanley Park‘s location in downtown Vancouver has a great view all around, so no matter where you look there are mountains, or sea, or rolling green lawns. It’s a meticulously maintained area. The clubhouse has some interesting history as well, and has been around since 1927.
Thank you Denis and Irina for trusting me for your wedding. I’ve never had so much fun watching crazy Russian wedding games!
I love that as a wedding photographer I can offer engagement photography. In fact, it’s one of the best things that I can do with a couple who I’m shooting their wedding. This is often done as an add-on for the wedding photography package and has a very specific purpose. First, it lets you get used to working with me. You get to see how I work, how I get you to move around, how I arrange you, and whether I’m funny, serious, or goofy (hint: it’s a little of all three!). Mostly it makes sure that on the big day you’ve got a familiar face that you’re confident with for your wedding photography, because you’ve already spent a day with me shooting your engagement photography.
Secondly, it lets me get used to you. Are you nervous in front of the camera? How well do you take direction? Do you smile naturally or do I need to crack a joke before the reaction feels natural? All that stuff will help me immensely when I’m at your wedding and working to get the best photos in the shortest amount of time.
This is Jason and Amy. Goofy and fun, with two of the biggest and smiles I’ve seen. Amy was hard to get to stop smiling. Luckily that wasn’t required today. We wandered up and down Fort Langley‘s waterfront walk through the marine trail. The weather was perfect and we stopped at a few different on the way.
See what I mean about the smiles? Oh, and you probably think that we ended up in the forest, far from town, but no, this was just a little bit of landscaping scenery outside of the new apartment buildings on the Fort-to-Fort trail. The sun setting added the perfect little glint in the eye for these two lovebirds.
As the evening sun set, Amy and Jason drew their initials in a heart on the sand and watched the sun go low over the horizon.
I’ve known Richard since we were 6 years old. Literally. He joined the tiny elementary school of Thornhill in grade one to a school of about 60 kids total (K-6). I’d love to tell you that we were friends, bonded in the trials and tribulations of young adulthood, partied together while in high school, and remained friends to this day. Sadly not true… he was just another kid in school, sometimes struggling as the new kid into a tight knit band of children, and we mostly drifted in our own directions throughout high school, and lost touch until years later.
However, we did meet back up years after and became friends again. He was a pretty cool guy who’d gone through a lot in his life but had found a wonderful girl, Kirsten, to spend his time with and join his family with hers. The two of them compliment each other in all the right ways, and you can truly feel their love for each other and their families.
The wedding was a simple affair, a backyard setup in the country town of Maple Ridge with delicious food but more importantly, friends and family. I was honoured to be a part of it and privileged to call Richard and Kirsten my friends.