Imagine Creative Passion – mark@mark11.com

Author Archive

Sledding Shoot in the BC backcountry near Golden

_D3X0691 _ND88177 _D3X0785 _D3X0540 _D3X0652 _D3X0673 _D3X0821 _D3X1019 _D3X1069 _D3X1197 _ND88006 _ND88051 _D3X0571 _ND88151 Panorama3What an amazing way to start off the month of April – only fool was the one who wasn’t out enjoying the mountains that day! Had an incredible day shooting for Rocky Mountain Riders based at Kicking Horse Mountain Ski resort in Golden, BC


Ashley & Mike – Winter Esession in Banff

It’s always a great day when you have to head out to the mountains to shoot – be it for the ski hills, scouting new locations, for a commercial client, or on this day for Ashley & Mike. We lucked out and had a fairly mild morning to run around the quaint town of Banff, getting out on the ice and away from the town to capture a handful of pictures for this wonderful couple. Ashley has been in front of my camera before as part of a bridal party, but it was the first time with Mike. I loved their suggestion of bringing out ice skates for a few pictures followed by a warm coffee and stroll down the main avenue. It will be great to see them again, only this time as they prepare to tie the knot!DSC_6604 DSC_6328 DSC_6334 DSC_6343 DSC_6351 DSC_6425 DSC_6506 DSC_6434 DSC_6680 _D3X6717 _D3X6726 _D3X6777 DSC_6643 DSC_6729 DSC_6742 DSC_6776 DSC_6850 _D3X6791 _D3X6804 _D3X6860


In her shoes…

 

Of all the detail shots I capture on a wedding day, I have to admit that my absolute favourite is the one of the shoes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a pair of red-soled Laboutin’s or a comfy pair of Chuck Taylors, the shoes chosen by a bride speak volumes about their personality and always provide a great opportunity for an image. The shoes set the foundation of the gorgeous woman above, and give her that little something extra on her wedding day. I love the craftsmanship that goest into each pair – with a countless assortment of materials from leathers, to beading, to sequins, to metals, and even jewels. High heels at a Jamaican beach wedding? Why not! Flip flops at the Banff Springs? Sounds great! Converse high tops at Emerald Lake Lodge? Bring ‘em on! Until the next pair of heels finds their way in front my lens, here’s a few favourites from the last few years…
_D7X0043 _D3X0428 _D3X0695 _D3X0702 _D3X2272 _D3X1035 _D3X2439 _D3X2704 _D3X3675 _D3X3688 _D3X4533 _D7X2744 _D3X6146 _D3X6450 _D3X6470 _D3X6526 _D3X6535 _D3X6536 _D3X7442 _D3X7447 _D3X7496 _D3X7696 _D3X8122 _D3X8129 _D3X8146 _D3X8397 _D3X8687 _D3X8692 _D3X9355 ND8_3245 _D3X9359 _D3X9363 _D3X9448 _D3X9472 _D3X9497 DSC_1457 _D3X9526 _D3X9614 _D7X0485 _D7X0638 _D7X1235 _D7X1882 _D7X2743 _D3X7525 _D7X4872 _D7X4896 _D7X4909 _D7X6813 _D7X7283 _D7X8242 _D7X9074 _M113737 _M113746 _M117649 DSC_1454 KateJonWedding-3 KateJonWedding-4 MoniqueAndrew-305-2 ND8_0246 ND8_0255 TAWedding-132 TAWedding-135 ND8_3244


Alison & Jay – Calgary Esession

With their wedding coming up right around the corner I thought I’d share a few of my favourite shots from the engagement session I did with Alison & Jay. They are such warm and genuine people that you can’t help but simply enjoy spending time with them. I can’t wait to be there to capture their March wedding day – I know it’s going to be amazing!!_D7X9512 _D7X9475 _D3X8711 _D3X8844 _D3X8771 _D3X8915 _D3X8932 _D3X8938 _D3X9006 _D3X9017 _D7X9575 _D3X9055 _D3X9084 _D3X9117 _D3X9172 _D3X9192 _D3X9248 _D3X9328 _D7X9337 _D7X9416


2013 – (What a) Year in Review

As 2013 drew to a close I found myself looking back at one of the most incredible years. Again, I was lucky to be witness to so many beautiful weddings, and get to meet countless amazing and inspiring people. Every single wedding was one of a kind, and with each picture I captured there are wonderful memories I cherish. I logged a lot of miles both on the ground, on the water, and especially in the air. In May, my wife and I were on our honeymoon with stops in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and reaching Everest Base Camp. We were treated to a blizzard at 18,000′ on Cho-La pass followed by a spectacular morning walk along the Gokyo Lakes. I wasn’t even home for 72 hours before hopping back on a plane to Jamaica for a destination wedding shoot. After returning from the beaches, we again were on the move, this time to Italy for a very special wedding shoot just south of Florence. Before going home, we made one stop at Cinque Terre – a place that I can’t wait to get back to! Back in Calgary for a few weeks, then again I was heading across the Atlantic ocean, this time stopping in Iceland en-route to a shoot in Norway. I’d never been to that area of the world, and was treated to a very unique Norwegian wedding with roots going back to the vikings. With camera in hand, I was also in British Columbia numerous times, up north for my annual steelhead fishing trip, shooting at the luxurious Minette Bay Lodge, and getting as far west as Tofino for a wedding this fall. I was hoping for sunshine, but couldn’t believe the window of amazing light that waited for us in between the ceremony and reception. Stories, images, emotions, sunsets blending into sunrise and the next adventure awaits. Wherever this finds you, I hope that 2014 is an incredible year, the very best one yet. Without further delay, and in no particular order, here are just a few of the images that found their way onto my camera sensor that now reside in my mind & heart.ND8_9179 _D3X0105 _D3X0287 _D3X0577 _D3X0641 _D3X0487 _D3X0852 _D3X0872 _D3X1416 _D3X2273 _D3X2427 _D3X2956 _D3X3110 _D3X3167 _D3X4037 _D3X4259 _D3X4381 _D3X4388 _D3X5123 _D3X5344 _D3X5796 _D3X5925 _D3X6438 _D3X6713 _D3X6896 _D3X6916 _D3X7299b _D3X7376 _D3X7403 _D3X8274 ND8_2210 _D3X9472 _D3X9811 _D3X9957 _D7X0081 _D7X0375 _D7X0819 2 _D7X3658 _D7X3922 _D7X4298 _D7X4869 _D7X5511 _D7X5673 _D7X6049b _D7X6526 _D7X7383 _D7X8077 _D7X8841 _D7X8927 DSC_4154b GokyoPanorama IMG_1392 ND8_0633 ND8_0705 ND8_0883 ND8_2182 ND8_2221 ND8_2558 ND8_2656 ND8_2811 ND8_3096 ND8_4045 ND8_4100 ND8_4352 ND8_4504 ND8_4655 ND8_5497 ND8_6830b ND8_8681 ND8_8749b ND8_8855 ND8_9054 ND8_9266 ND8_9315 ND8_9416 prayerstoneB ND8_9285 _D3X6960


Justyna & Bryan – Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Italy

 

One of my favourite presents this year arrived in the form of an invitation to join Justyna & Bryan in Italy to shoot their wedding. If you haven’t been, it’s one of those countries you immediately fall in love with. Buzzing through the twisty roads south of Florence in a peppy little Alfa Romeo is something everybody should get to experience. We arrived there a few days before the wedding, allowing us some time to head out to the coast, and scout the locations closer to where the wedding was taking place. Pulling up to the Castello di Montegufoni I couldn’t believe my eyes. They had chosen such a phenomenal place to tie the knot that I fear my words won’t do proper justice to describe what it was like. Walking through the massive wooden doors, past the thick stone walls, and into the courtyard was like walking back in time a thousand years. Just to think that this building had witnessed generations of families, battles, and changes to the world outside left me in a state of semi-daydreaming. On the morning of their wedding I went to join the girls getting ready adjacent to the impressive Italian garden. Many laughs were shared, more than a few tears of joy, and the odd glass of bubbly (and the even ones as well) made the rounds. Between the best friends and close family, there was love everywhere. I felt the same going to capture a few images of the groom getting ready with his brother, and best friends. We did the pre-ceremony reveal in a room that had a rich history and even more ornate decor. Getting to witness Justyna seeing Bryan for the first time, and him seeing her, is something I won’t ever forget. When a couple looks at each other they way they look at each other, you know you’re watching something truly magical. We did a few shots in and around the castle, then packed into the cars and headed off to the locations I had found earlier that week. Getting back to the castle, we had a bit of time before making our way to the courtyard ceremony. Beautiful surrounding, soft music coming off the harp, and the scent of the Tuscan countryside mixing with the sweet scent of roses all made for a memorable experience. From the ceremony we moved over to the reception room, and following the delicious dinner, hilarious and heartfelt speeches, we then were led down to a cellar for the party & dancing. I loved every minute of the trip, and will forever be thankful that Justyna & Bryan put their trust in me to capture this once in a lifetime wedding. _D3X7133 ND8_0275 _D3X7107 ND8_0309 ND8_0344 ND8_0181 ND8_0255 _D3X7182 ND8_0354 _D3X7151 _D3X7308 _D3X7364 _D3X7370 ND8_0433 _D3X7416 ND8_0442 _D3X7432 ND8_0472 ND8_0480 ND8_0485 ND8_0518 _D3X7451 ND8_0592 ND8_0594 ND8_0532 ND8_0618 ND8_0633 _D3X7476 _D3X7512 _D3X7533 _D3X7583 _D3X7693 _D3X7712 _D3X7800 _D3X7848 _D3X7909 _D3X8002 _D3X8371 ND8_0705 ND8_0776 ND8_0871 ND8_0883 ND8_0940 ND8_1034 ND8_1081 ND8_1119 ND8_1138 ND8_1157 ND8_1183 ND8_1202 ND8_1214 ND8_1260 _D3X8088 ND8_1281 ND8_1946 ND8_1361 ND8_1374 ND8_1477 ND8_1545 _D3X8115 ND8_1596 ND8_1735b ND8_1841 _D3X8075 _D3X8120 ND8_2051 ND8_1882 ND8_2090


2013-2014 Calgary Flames Fire & Ice Crew

 

One of my favourite shoots to do every year is with the NHL Calgary Flames Fire & Ice Crew – also known as the Big Country Ice Crew. I had been thinking of a few different shoot concepts that would work well this this energetic and fun group, and knew I had made up my mind when this particular idea took root. Like any commercial shoot, there was a lot of planning that happened in advance, testing different lighting techniques, building the required props, and securing access to facilities and coordinating tight schedules. It was a fair bit of work, but I couldn’t be happier with the results. I had a blast working with them, but I definitely wasn’t working alone on this project. A huge thanks to Ryan for subjecting himself to a shower of sparks and lighting dozens and dozens of sparklers, and for being my extra set of hands and eyes at the shoot. Also, I’d like to thank Madd Pretty for doing a fantastic job of making sure the crew looked their very best in the makeup chair. Also, I couldn’t have pulled this off without the help and support of the Calgary Flames employees (especially Greger),  Scotiabank Saddledome, and the Ice maintenance crew. Finally – thank you to all the beautiful and fun women from the Fire & Ice crew!!ND8_2558 ND8_2469 ND8_2414 ND8_2450 ND8_2238 ND8_2287 ND8_2477 ND8_2656 ND8_2255 ND8_2503 ND8_2372 ND8_2550 ND8_2339 ND8_2324 ND8_2209 ND8_2395 ND8_2569 ND8_2581 ND8_2811 ND8_2602 ND8_2621 ND8_2655 ND8_2709 ND8_2679 ND8_2689 ND8_2716 ND8_2739 ND8_2565 ND8_2760 ND8_2771 ND8_2783 ND8_2799 ND8_2805 ND8_2815 ND8_2561


Shannon & Mark – Amazing fall wedding in Calgary

Picture this: A man named Mark gets engaged to a woman named Shannon. Just so happens they get a referral to speak to a photographer by the name of Mark Shannon. Coincidence? I think not! I really had to do a double take when their inquiry came in – and throughout both our Sage-supported engagement session and during the course of their wedding day, hearing ‘Mark’ & ‘Shannon’ had me feeling like my head was on a swivel. These are the kind of people that you love being around – very creative, and incredibly positive, and simply a treat to get to know. You could tell a lot of thought went into their wedding, with rich fall colours throughout, and attention to detail at every turn. The ceremony, held at Shannon terrace in Fish Creek Park, was very personal and beautiful, officiated by a close personal friend of Shannon & Mark’s – Abby Charchun (who just happens to be a bride I got to shoot just last year). I think their ring bearer did his best, and just about succeeded in stealing the show! We did the photos close by the ceremony venue, and in the adjacent forest, before heading off to the reception. Again, walking into the room you could tell it was going to be a special evening, with the music provided by Musical Twist DJ’s. Knowing that Mark was an accomplished chef, I knew the food supplied by Devour Catering (his former employer) would be second to none – needless to say I was not disappointed. Both Shannon and Mark had planned some performances for each other, Mark with some beat poetry, and Shannon with a song (with backup vocals provided by the entire bridal party). It was a spectacular day, and I really feel lucky that everything aligned so that I could be there to capture the opening of the next chapter of their lives together.  _D7X9683 _D3X9554 _D7X9752 _D3X9638 _D3X9602 _D3X9472 _D3X9517 _D3X9865 _D3X9903 _D3X9957 _D3X0050 _D3X0031 _D7X9935 _D3X0262 _D3X0328 _D7X0187 _D3X0374 _D3X0405 _D3X0577 _D7X0081 _D7X0142 _D3X0659_D3X0931 _D3X0763_D3X0872 _D3X0997 _D3X0973 _D3X1089 _D3X1136 _D3X1395 _D3X1403 _D3X1433 _D3X1660 _D7X0266 _D7X0539 _D7X9866


Courtney & Owen – Rainforest Wedding in Tofino, BC

 

There’s something truly magical about the west coast. I have felt the draw to head over the rocky mountains and to the rocky shores of BC ever since I was young. I lived on Vancouver Island for 6 years, and there is definitely part of me that never leaves the island when I left for Calgary so many years ago. When Courtney and Owen mentioned that they were planning a wedding in Tofino I had a hard time holding back my excitement. Even though hopping on a plane would’ve saved some time no doubt, I savoured every kilometre of the drive, the ferry, and then the twisty highway that leads across the island from Port Alberni to the picturesque town of Tofino on the west coast. Being the rainforest, it definitely lived up to it’s reputation on the wedding day save for a couple precious hours when we were out to do photos. I couldn’t believe our luck, walking outside mere minutes after buckets of water were falling from the sky, to see bright sunshine and blue skies. The attention to detail at their wedding was amazing – you could tell a lot of thought had been put into every personal touch. After running around with the crew for photos, we returned for the reception, capped off by a beautiful display of fireworks launched from the beach. Whoever came up with the idea of playing the theme song from ‘Reading Rainbow’ during the cake cutting, brilliant! I loved every minute of that trip, their wedding day, and relish the thought of heading back out to the coast for the next adventure. _D7X8696 _D3X5876 _D3X5563 _D3X5625 _D3X5830 _D3X5946 _D7X8242 _D3X5963 _D3X6082 _D7X8203 _D3X6100 _D3X6398 _D3X6438 _D3X6521 _D3X6694 _D3X6738 _D3X6744 _D7X8111 _D3X6796 _D3X6849 _D3X6896 _D3X6925 _D3X7010 _D3X7123 _D3X7198 _D7X8771 _D3X7617 _D3X7508 _D3X7560 _D7X8841 _D3X7890 _D3X8095 _D7X8939 _D7X8961


Amrita & Avneet – Luxurious Sikh Wedding in Calgary

It was a year and a half ago that I first heard from Amrita & Avneet about their wedding. From our first communication and my experiences covering Sikh weddings, I knew this would be an amazing event. When we met up to discuss what kind of photography coverage they were looking for, I was already seeing beautiful vibrant coloured saris, ornate jewelry, family gathering from all over the world, music, non-stop dancing, and special ceremonies that have taken place for thousands of years. For the uninitiated, a Sikh wedding is truly a feast for all of your senses. As a photographer, it is a treat to say the least – and Amrita & Avneet’s wedding week did not disappoint. I spent five straight days with them at their homes, with their families, and at the gurdwara for their formal ceremony. Many thanks to Steve Dutcheshen for coming along as the very talented second photographer on this massive undertaking. There were lots of laughs, some tears, and memories I won’t soon forget. The following images took place over two of the five days – witnessing the opening of the next chapter for this incredible couple. I can’t wait to see what Ricky and his team from Videogenic put together from the footage captured along the way. A huge thank you to the family for making me feel so welcome during the week, and for helping things move along so smoothly._D3X2791 _D3X2224 _D3X2447 _D3X2322 _D3X2339 _D3X2607 _D3X3070 _D3X3161 _D3X3249 _D3X3365 _D3X3481 _D3X3503 _D3X3886 _D3X4046 _D3X4141 _D3X4245 _D3X4388 _D3X4701 _D3X4793 _D3X4885 _D3X4994

And after such an incredible day, things began anew Saturday afternoon at the hotel…_D3X5062 _D3X5067 _D3X5084 _D3X5092 _D3X5101 _D3X5155 _D3X5166 _D3X5167 _D3X5236 _D3X5238 _D3X5256 _D3X5293 _D3X5308 _D3X5330 _D3X5344 _D3X5378 _D3X5392 _D3X5440 _D3X5456 _D3X5461 _D3X5474 _D3X5519 _D3X5566 _D3X5580 _D3X5588 _D3X5652 _D7X4786 _D7X4830 _D7X5419 _D7X5447 _D7X5499 _D7X5511 _D7X5514 _D7X5522 ND8_3204 ND8_3229 ND8_3244 ND8_3266 ND8_3302 ND8_3319 ND8_3325 _D3X5728 ND8_3414 ND8_3572 ND8_3605 ND8_3752 ND8_3759 ND8_3807


Carol & Jamie – Kananaskis Engagement Session

Had a fantastic time shooting in the mountains the other day with Jamie & Carol – just a sample of the shots below!_D7X7910 _D3X5314 _D7X7997 _D7X7845 _D7X7825 _D3X5433 _D3X5241 _D3X4685 _D3X4757 _D3X4854 _D3X4900 _D3X4963 _D3X5123 _D3X4663 _D3X4557 _D3X4480 _D3X4433 _D3X5190 _D3X4395


Holly & Chris – Beautiful Cochrane Ranche House Wedding

It’s pretty rare that a wedding goes off exactly as planned. Sometimes it could be something little such as slightly mismatched socks. Other times, you could find yourself shopping for bridesmaids dresses on the day of the wedding because the ones you had custom made weren’t completed in time. Yes – that’s the situation that Holly & Chris faced the morning of their wedding, and with the help of their bridal party they pulled it off. I couldn’t believe how well Holly & girls handled it – nothing could hold this group back from what ended up being a fantastic wedding & reception! It was a bit of mad dash to get everybody together, dressed, and to the ceremony close to the planned start time. It was a beautiful Saturday out in Cochrane, and following the ceremony we did some shots on site, down by the small stream, in the forest, and then off to another location I had scouted with just the newlyweds. Returning to the reception, they had some very heartfelt speeches, a surprise beer keg delivery, and the groom’s brother pulling a triple shift as MC, groomsman, and DJ. I loved getting to spend the time with these two – picking up right where we left off from the engagement session we did out near Radium BC. _D3X0105 _D3X8604 _D3X8526 _D3X8733 _D3X0061 _D3X0231 _D3X0373 _D3X0383 _D3X0487 _D3X0524 _D3X0571 _D3X9087 _D3X9118 _D3X9428 _D3X9465 _D3X9507 _D3X9879 _D3X9962 _D7X4641 _D7X4659 _D7X4751 _D7X4782 _D7X4869 _D7X4933 _D7X5267


Prenatal shoot in Edworthy Park

 

A handful of the shots I did with Clare & Steve the other day – so excited to meet their little one!!
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Lacey & Adam – September Engagement Session

I just had to post a few from the engagement session I did with Lacey & Adam the other week – an amazing couple I got to know almost a year ago in Mexico. Their wedding next summer is definitely going to be a blast!!
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Shafeena & Hussein – Calgary & Cochrane Ismaili Wedding

This incredible couple came my way through a referral by the very talented Jenn Dystra of Open Image Photography, and in hindsight it was like I was being given an amazing gift simply getting to get to know Shafeena & Hussein. I was lucky enough to work with them both in Toronto on their engagement session (part 1), and their cowboy themed Calgary engagement session (part 2) in addition to the Pithi ceremonies and their Nikkah (wedding ceremony). From the first time I spoke with them during our Skype meeting I knew I liked them. They are such genuine people, and after meeting their loving parents I knew where this came from. Their wedding day was a classic August summer day in the prairies, with endless blue skies, warm sunshine, and wheat fields slowly making the transition from green to yellow. Prior to the wedding day, I scouted a beautiful location on the edge of the city limits. Normally the kind of place you might just drive by, this one stood out and worked as a perfect venue for their reveal. From there we headed off to another location in Cochrane closer to Glen Eagles golf course. Shooting the Nikkah outside was a treat, as every other Ismaili wedding I had done was indoors. It was incredibly heartfelt and barely a dry eye was to be seen. Following the ceremony we headed off to do a few more shots on a bluff overlooking the quaint townsite, with the towering peaks of the rockies far off in the distance. Again, watching them get to see each other for the first time all dressed to the nines in more ‘western’ wedding clothing was something I won’t soon forget. These two are in love – the way they look at each other, the compassion they show for each other, and how they talk about each other – the term soulmates couldn’t be applied more appropriately. Hussein’s speech had me in stitches – his now being able to get rid of the other ‘men’ in Shafeena’s life – Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton… etc… good luck with that!! Going through the process of editing their wedding I realized that my heart & mind are still processing what my eyes witnessed and camera captured that day. Thank you both._D3X4864 _D7X3672 _D3X5069 _D3X5063 _D3X5213 _D3X5217 _D3X5374 _D3X5135 _D3X5324 _D3X5463 _D3X5534 _D3X5814 _D3X5824 _D3X5958 _D3X6008 _D3X6172 _D3X6226 _D3X6258 _D3X6401 _D3X6560 _D3X6569 _D3X6591 _D3X6660 _D3X6686 _D3X6707 _D3X6829 _D7X4198 _D3X6834 _D3X7066 _D3X7074 _D3X7080_D3X7102_D3X7403 _D3X7463 _D3X7545 _D7X3922 _D7X4084 _D7X4298 _D7X4515_D3X7299b


Jennie & Ryan Engagement Session Sneaks

 

 

A few from the quick shoot I did with J&R the other day…_D7X7355 _D3X2471 _D3X2531 _D3X2543_D3X2651 _D3X2678 _D3X2742 _D7X7397 _D3X2831 _D3X2930 _D3X3090 _D3X3116 _D7X7288 _D7X7416 _D7X7453


Kerra & Mark – Canmore Engagement Session

 

 

Just a few sneaks from the engagement session I did with Kerra & Mark in Canmore. Gotta love being ‘dragged’ out to the mountains on such a beautiful day!!_D3X1323 _D3X1310 _D3X1278 _D3X1386 _D7X6939 _D3X1413 _D3X1470 _D7X6538 _D7X6582 _D7X6592 _D7X6648 _D7X6690 _D7X6710 _D7X6768 _D7X6789 _D7X6837 _D7X6934 _D7X6880 _D7X6989 _D3X1349


Janice & Daniel – Wedding reception in Calgary

 

 

I met Janice & Daniel a few years ago while in Mexico shooting a destination wedding for their friends Lindsay & Aaron and immediately liked them. They’re both incredibly fun people, and when they asked if I would be interested in doing some photography for their Calgary wedding reception I didn’t even hesitate. The had a very private ceremony in Vancouver, then threw a huge bash at the delicious Bonterra restaurant in the beltline area of Calgary. For those of you who’ve never been, the food is amazing and enjoying out on their secluded patio makes it all the better. I joined the girls at the Sheraton and had a brief window to get some shots of her dress, and the final touches of them getting ready. I had arranged for Daniel to meet us close by, and it was such a treat to see them see each other all dressed up for the first time. Janice looked stunning in a very slim fitting Nicole Miller dress, and Daniel looked pretty sharp in his tailored suit. We had a little over an hour to do some shots in the core, then headed over to the restaurant for family photos and dinner. It was a beautiful night and I had a lot of fun getting these two in front of my lens!!_D3X9917 _D3X9834 _D7X9585 _D3X0021 _D3X9875 _D3X0092 _D3X0125 _D3X0152 _D3X0159 _D3X0188 _D3X0218 _D3X0262 _D3X0308 _D3X0287 _D3X0343 _D3X0408 _D7X9657 _D3X0426 _D3X0450 _D3X0563 _D3X0580 _D3X0598 _D3X0641 _D3X0645 _D3X0712 _D3X0765 _D3X0802 _D3X0809 _D7X9725 _D3X0875 _D3X0879 _D7X9744 _D3X1373 _D3X1087 _D3X1403 _D3X1278 _D3X1416 _D7X9857


Fernie Brewing Company – Big Bottles & Sampler Pack

The new FBC sampler pack came to the studio this week. I’m sorry, but the beer has to stay here. And, I think I’ll keep the two bottles as well. ND8_8252 ND8_8267 ND8_8264 ND8_8244


Monica & Jonas – Destination wedding in Norway

It’s not every day that going to shoot a wedding involves three flights, with stopovers in Toronto & Iceland, followed by a 4 hour drive North of Oslo, but this summer I did just that. I had met Monica and Jonas six years ago while shooting at a cat skiing lodge in Fernie, BC, and at the time they dropped the hint that when they got married they would bring me over to shoot it. That’s exactly what they did and getting to be there in Norway for a little over the week was an incredible experience. I immediately fell in love with the people, the welcoming friends and warm family that surround Monica & Jonas. Needless to say, my first trip to Scandinavia blew me away and planted the seed of what will be many trips to come in the future. Their wedding ceremony was a perfect reflection of their personalities ranging from the unbridled energy of Jonas and Monica to the wonderful historical Norwegian customs and wedding attire. Monica made her way down to the ceremony serenaded by local musicians, and Jonas arrived via wakeboard and peeled off the drysuit James-bond-style to reveal his Norwegian bunad (ceremonial attire). The rain didn’t even make a dent in the experience as the ceremony carried into a massive lake-side party / reception with skits, more live music, speeches, and revelry. I think I’m really still only part of the way in processing everything I experienced those 8 days in Norway – a country and people that now hold a very special place in my heart. _D3X7613_D3X6467 _D3X6625 _D3X6839 _D3X6898 _D3X6948 _D3X7010 _D3X7067 _D3X7257 _D3X7319 _D3X7376 _D3X7423 _D3X7435 _D3X7493 _D3X7586ND8_4275 _D3X7617 ND8_4679 _D3X7655 _D3X7745 _D3X7782 _D3X7930 _D3X7983 _D3X8028 _D3X8126 _D3X8274 _D3X8286 _D3X8034 _D3X8543 _D3X8635 ND8_4295 ND8_4352 ND8_4384 ND8_4413 ND8_4543 ND8_4655 ND8_4781 ND8_5047


Molly & Robbie – Fantastic Summer Wedding at the Ranche in Fish Creek Park

 

This summer I’ve been lucky enough to work with a bunch of very fun and creative couples, and suffice to say that Molly & Robbie have just set the bar that much higher. I met Molly some years back when she was in a bridal party I shot, and got to know Robbie when we met up for their stampede-themed engagement session last summer. They are both incredibly animated and fun-loving people and the same holds true for their friends & family. I joined the girls at Lather salon in Kensington in the morning, then headed off to shoot the guys and get the photobooth up and running for their reception. (The photos from this photobooth shall remain for the exclusive viewing pleasure of Molly & Robbie, unless they decide otherwise, or I put a disclaimer on my blog!). The ceremony was held at the beautiful Ranch restaurant in Fish Creek park – a venue that I always look forward to visiting for the great surroundings, and delicious food. I have to say that the flower girl and ring bearer pretty much defined ‘cute’! We had a beautiful warm summer day to have the ceremony out on the lawn, and used the time between the ceremony & reception to get a few shots with the family, bridal party, and of course with just Molly & Robbie. The fun continued right through the dinner & dance, and they even went as far as bringing the grilled cheese truck by for midnight snacks – how awesome is that!!!?? All in all a blast getting to work with them and be part of their wedding day.
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Jamie & Kevin – Fantastic Calgary summer wedding

 

Heading to meet up with the girls on the morning of Jamie & Kevin’s wedding I knew I would be in for an amazing day. She had assembled a great group of friends and family to help her get ready, and they definitely kept her entertained. I love working with people who keep such obviously close friendships – makes the day just that much better. Even a little tumultuous Albertan summer weather couldn’t throw things off. The stormy weather would produce some great clouds, and if we were lucky wouldn’t soak us while we ventured out into the countryside to do some shots. Driving south to the church, I had beautiful blue skies in front of me, and some of the darkest clouds behind. Fortunately, it only rained during the ceremony, while we were all inside. Afterwards, we headed on to some spots I had picked out to take advantage of the rural setting of their church. To top it off, we had three cars with us for the shoot – sorry for taking you guys down the gravel roads! The mosquitoes did their best to get in every picture, and find any patch of exposed skin to sample. From there, we headed to Heritage Park and got a chance to do a few shots in the town area, before the rain chased us back to Gasoline Alley. For those of you who have never been there, it’s probably one of my favourite venues to shoot. They had a large wedding group, but there was lots of space, fun retro backdrops at every turn, and delicious food. Eric Electric kept the party going and it was pretty safe to say they were all having a blast when I finally ducked out around midnight. Thank you both for putting on such an amazing wedding day and letting me tag along to capture every part!_D3X6140 _D3X6125 _D7X9458 _D3X6131 _D3X6306 _D7X9612 _D7X9575 _D7X9708 _D3X6326 _D3X6365 _D3X6438 _D3X6472 _D7X0146 _D3X6543 _D3X6593 _D3X6713 _D3X6738 _D3X6779 _D3X6916 _D7X0192 _D7X0240 _D7X0251 _D7X0291 _D7X0344 _D7X0401 _D7X0498 _D7X0356 _D7X0526 _D3X6952 _D3X6960


Hong Kong – Nepal (Everest Base Camp) – Tokyo – Honeymoon!

When my wife first suggested that we do the Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek in Nepal for our honeymoon I thought it was a crazy idea. Then I thought we’d be crazy not to – and so began over a year of planning, preparing, breaking in equipment and getting everything in order for a month in Asia. As the departure date drew near, and the to-do list finally shrank, we were both bursting at the seams with excitement. We planned to stay in Hong Kong for five days en route, then carry on to Kathmandu just prior to the start of our trek. Getting into Nepal after the week in Hong Kong was definitely going to put us through some serious culture shock as we were about to find out from the moment we stepped foot into the airport. Luckily, Jasmin found an amazing little hotel that was a perfect place to hide from the chaos of the Thamel streets. After a couple days we jumped on a bus and headed to the Chitwan National Park just north of the Indian border. While there we stayed at the Sapana Village Lodge (again, Jasmin tracked this gem down), and explored the area on foot, in the river, and topped it off by getting to see some rhinos by elephant back. While out on a walk one evening we came across the following people and landscapes, which in hindsight really felt like a dream:ND8_8855 ND8_8830 ND8_8854 ND8_8838 ND8_8836 ND8_8816 ND8_8819 ND8_8940 ND8_8879 ND8_8893 ND8_8865

Getting back to Kathmandu, we had a day before our scheduled flights to Lukla – one of the craziest airports in the world. The weather gods had other plans in mind, so after camping out at the departures lounge for 12 hours, we hopped on a helicopter and made it the landing site with conditions that made getting on the ground tricky to say the least.
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Waking up the next morning we started the EBC just outside Lukla, and were met with incredible scenes at every turn. We often saw these carved prayer stones along the trail, as well as massive carved boulders. Looking up I noticed a building cut right into the side of a sheer cliff that reminded me of some of the Anisazi ruins in the Grand Canyon of Arizona. ND8_8974 ND8_8980 ND8_8991

During the day we criss crossed a swollen glacial river, often sharing the bridges with long trains of pack animals (donkeys down low, yaks up higher). The one rule we were reminded of was to stay on the high side of the trail since the animals would often try to ‘nudge’ you off the trail. On one of the days a yak broke loose from it’s heavy load and sent the group of scattering as it raced up the trail. ND8_8992

Arriving into Namche Bazaar we instantly fell in love with the place. Maybe it was the natural amphitheatre setting, the hard slug of a hill you have to do to get to it, or the fact it was the first place where you could get a real coffee! We stayed two nights here to acclimatize, and explore the surrounding area. ND8_9011

That night, looking out the window of the tea house, I noticed how many more stars you could see in dark sky – absolutely amazing.ND8_9005 ND8_9042 ND8_9049 ND8_9054 ND8_9067

Leaving Namche, we had a beautiful day to get to our next stop Tyangboche, one of my highlights. ND8_9059 ND8_9071 ND8_9166 ND8_9075 ND8_9081 ND8_9089 ND8_9107 ND8_9093 ND8_9128 ND8_9165 ND8_9159 ND8_9168

That night, with the stars again out in force and even less light pollution I headed out with our new friend Claude to do some astro photography. What a treat – hiking in the dark to look back at Tyangboche under a blanket of stars. ND8_9179b ND8_9175

The following morning we awoke to a blanket of fresh snow covering everything around us, including the impressive Ama Dablam 22,349′ next to Tyangboche. The skies were clear and blue and it felt like perfect spring day. ND8_9183 ND8_9187 ND8_9191 ND8_9194

About halfway along our hike that day we came upon some traditional structures out in the high plains. I was really inspired by the natural stone construction perched in between the massive peaks in all directions. ND8_9202 ND8_9206

After a night in Labuche, we trekked on to Gorak Shep followed by an afternoon hike to our ultimate destination, Everest Base Camp. Quite often we would hike along the glacier, which looked a lot more like a landslide, until you caught glimpses of the ice sheet all the stones were sitting on. It was a huge reward to finally see the little yellow tents come into vision at the far end of the glacier and thinking about the people using that area to stage their ascents of the highest peak in the world. It was also the first day that we got a better look at Everest itself – towering above us as a dark triangle of layered rock in behind Nuptse. ND8_9216 ND8_9218 ND8_9276 ND8_9219 ND8_9277

It’s hard to explain what it feels like to be hiking at this altitude, and really made me wonder what it would be like to go that much higher like the people summiting that same day. We were tired, but it was unlike anything I’d ever felt. That being said, we still had enough left in the tank to celebrate getting to EBC! ND8_9285b ND8_9247 ND8_9290 ND8_9299 ND8_9266EBC Pano1B

A couple days after leaving Gorak Shep, we were on our way to the highest point of our trek, the Cho-La pass (17,782′). The weather wasn’t playing nice, so we ascended a rockfall that soon became a scramble on wet snow-covered boulders. It was tricky, but manageable, although there wasn’t much in the way of a view from the top – even seeing the person hiking 25 feet in front of you was hit or miss. We crossed a small snow covered col, and made our way down a steep descent to Thagnag. ND8_9310 ND8_9315b

The following day we awoke to beautiful blue skies which made the hike to Gokyo that much more enjoyable. We were in high spirits knowing that the most difficult ascents were behind us. Arriving in Gokyo we were greeted by some stunning turquoise lakes. Awakening the next morning, the lakes were perfect mirror images of the towering peaks behind. I had to sneak out a bit early to catch some first light, but it was well worth it. ND8_9322 GokyoPanorama ND8_9331 ND8_9347 ND8_9358 ND8_9356

Leaving Gokyo, we passed by some more beautiful lakes and started our long day of trekking back to Namche. The hills were covered in trails going every which way, thanks to the grazing yaks. We passed by numerous porters on their way up to Gokyo, carrying loads of plywood, and one guy we saw had 90kg’s of rice on his back. You really become much more aware of what you’re consuming and how it has to get there when you see guys like this, often as young as 14-15. ND8_9365 ND8_9368 ND8_9372 ND8_9393

On our second to last day we caught a glimpse of two different types of wildlife – the mountain goat, almost too-perfectly posed, and then a little later we came across a pair of musk deer – with some serious “I mean business” front teeth!ND8_9381 ND8_9390

Descending further into the valley, things had greened up considerably in the two weeks since we last passed through . The most common crops we saw were potato, millet, and wheat. Again, as we got lower in the valley, we saw more and more prayer carvings – this example was one of the few that were quite colourful.  ND8_9395 prayerstoneB

Jumping forward a few days, after departing Nepal, we landed in Tokyo. I was happy to have my heavy pack stored in the hotel, and only took my big camera out on one of the days. It is an incredible city, polar opposite in many ways to Kathmandu. ND8_9415 IMG_1392 ND8_9416And then it was over – 5 weeks on the road, the trains, the planes, the elephants, and the boats. Now Jasmin and I will have to plan our next adventure…


Elaine & JC – Destination wedding at the Grand Palladium in Jamaica

Destination weddings are always a lot of fun for me, and this past week in Jamaica was no exception. I had barely unpacked my bags after returning from 5 weeks in Asia, when I found myself back at the airport climbing onto yet another plane. Only this time when I got out of the doors in Montego Bay, I was greeted by hot and humid tropical sunshine. I had never been to this resort before, and was impressed from the moment I arrived. It’s a really large property, which gave it a nice open sense of space, and worked really well for doing the wedding photos. I had a couple days to scout the area before the wedding, so on the day itself I was able to make the best use of the hour I had been given between the ceremony and reception. I had spoken with JC on the phone a few times and by email, but had never met face to face with him or his fiancee Elaine. Once I got to speak with them on the night I arrived, I knew I would have fun getting to capture their wedding day. They’re both incredibly warm  and easy-going people and pretty much up for anything I had in mind. I had a great time running around with them and watching them light it up on the dance floor once it was turned over to the DJ’s. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for JC & Elaine, and for my next trip to this beautiful country._D7X7421 _D7X7283 _D7X7270 _D7X7235 _D3X2595 _D3X2643 _D7X7383 EDress _D3X2714 _D7X7483 _D7X7609 _D7X7644 _D7X7739 _D3X2839 _D3X2924 _D7X7942 _D3X2928 _D7X7988 _D7X8018 _D7X8120 _D7X8077 _D7X8081 _D7X8162 _D3X3023 _D3X3112 _D3X2956 _D7X8283 _D7X8411


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