Imagine Creative Passion – mark@mark11.com

Destination

Hannah & Conrad – Spring wedding in Radium/Invermere BC

 

It’s that time of year again, when the days start getting longer, the trees start to put on their green summer dress, and I find myself at some really incredible weddings. Hannah + Conrad put on such an occasion out in the Columbia Valley last month. I spent many summers playing in Windermere lake and rolling down the sand hill, so returning here was like returning home in a lot of ways. A week before their wedding I headed out from Calgary to do my scouting, and was reminded of how fantastic that drive is. Rolling through the mountains of Kootenay National Park and passing through the ‘rock gates’ of Radium twice in one week – I felt spoiled. When their wedding day arrived, mother nature made sure to throw a few wildcards at us with some heavy rain, some dry hours, and a little blue sky as we headed back for the reception. The ceremony was held at Eagle Ranch Resort, a beautiful golf course & facility adjacent to Invermere, with the reception being held just across the highway at the newly built Copper Point Resort. I loved the attention to detail that they put into their wedding, and all of the extra hours Hannah put into making sure it went off without a hitch. I’m still a little shocked that they had no problem rock climbing up to an outcropping of bright orange rocks – in their dress shoes no less! Thank you both for your amazing energy, trust in the creative process, and simply being so fun to hang out with!!_D3X1912 _D3X1938 DSC_5312 _D3X1981 DSC_3909 DSC_4013 DSC_3922 DSC_3973 DSC_4123 DSC_4171 DSC_4345 DSC_4561 DSC_4377 DSC_4722 DSC_4796 DSC_4900 DSC_5121 DSC_4961 DSC_5030 DSC_5081 _D3X2087 DSC_5383 DSC_5489 DSC_5651 DSC_5414 _D3X2245 DSC_5674 DSC_5544 DSC_5743 DSC_5762 _D3X2527 DSC_4160


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


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


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


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


Delanie & Mike – Surprise winter wedding at Kickinghorse mountain in Golden BC

 

 

I’ve known Mike a number of years now and was so happy for him when he met Delanie. They are such a fun couple to hang out with, and it’s especially true when their awesome son Holden is in the mix. I was asked if I’d be willing to make the trek out to Kickinghorse Resort just outside Golden BC in the days between Christmas & New Years. I couldn’t say yes fast enough! It was a blast to be out there for four days, getting to know each of them better, and the great friends and family they brought out there for the surprise wedding. The ceremony was both beautiful and intimate, taking place in the great room of a massive hillside chalet looking out towards the mountains on the far side of the valley. We headed into Golden for a few shots – many thanks to the crew for braving the cold weather and deep snow! This was a special wedding to shoot and one I will never forget._D7X8228 _D3X4102 _D7X8249 _D3X4155 _D7X8273 _D7X8212 _D7X8389 _D7X8404 _D3X4115 _D7X8372 _D3X4315 _D3X4329 _D7X8518 _D7X8507 _D7X8571 _D3X4388 _D7X8710 _D7X8680 _D7X8643 _D7X8590 _D7X8566 _D7X8558 _D7X8759 _D7X8743


Alyssa & Trent Trash the Dress

 

 

A few sneaks from a recent ‘trash the dress’ shoot in Mexico._D3X2125 _D3X2195 _D7X7392 _D7X7490 _D7X7501 _D7X7580 _D7X7799 _D7X7824 _D3X2183c _D7X7845


Alyssa & Trent – Destination Wedding on the beach in Mexico

I first heard from Alyssa a couple years ago when she and Trent had decided they wanted to be married on the beach in Mexico on 12-12-12. It gave me a lot of time to get to know them, through our numerous phone calls, emails, meetings, and our fun engagement session last summer. It was like seeing old friends when I connected with them at the beautiful Barcelo Maya Beach resort near Playa Del Carmen in Mexico. It was a gorgeous setting, with the water lapping at the snow-white sand, humid onshore breeze, and these amazing clouds that provided a very dramatic backdrop. They brought a fantastic group of family and friends – some of the nicest people you could ever want to meet. We had the perfect amount of time to run around the resort grounds, get out on the pier, and even found time to stop for a quick beverage. The next day I met up with them to take the shoot to the next level, but for those you’ll just have to wait a bit longer…_D3X0975 _D3X1008 _D3X1029 _D7X5851 _D3X1052 _D3X1072 _D7X5885 _D3X1213 _D7X5905 _D7X5913 _D3X1387 _D7X6142 _D3X1323 _D7X6238 _D3X1335 _D3X1431 _D3X1525 _D3X1577 _D3X1616 _D3X1637 _D3X1760 _D7X6678 _D7X6767 _D7X6790 _D7X6846 _D7X6884 _D7X7003 _D7X7053 _D3X1667 _D7X7013 _D3X1695 _D3X1648


Ruby & Chaz – Destination Wedding in the Mayan Riviera

 

When I heard Ruby and Chaz were getting married in Mexico, I definitely wanted to be there. I should say that I had never actually met Chaz until a couple days before their wedding, but from the instant I said hello I knew I would get along well with him. It certainly doesn’t hurt when both he and most of his friends share the same passions I do – skiing, fishing, simply being outdoors. It was a real treat to be asked to make the trip to Mexico in December, leaving the cold snowy Calgary behind for a week. The hotel they chose, the Azul Sensatori was amazing, and provided a perfect playground for photography. There was always something going on that week, and I even got asked to join the guys for a bit of surfing a day before the wedding.They had a special ceremony honouring her Sikh background first, and then after a few photos, a second ceremony down on the beach. The weather was ideal, just hot enough, and the sunlight seemed to last forever. I loved really getting to know these two, not only on their wedding day, but for the week I was with them and their collection of family members and close friends.  I am excited for what the future holds for Ruby and Chaz, and look forward to seeing the rest of the crew when I get back up to Northern BC later this fall!_D3X9663 _D7X3419 _D3X9584 _D7X4409 _D3X0003 _D7X3286 _D7X3609 _D7X3590 _D7X4587 _D7X4824 _D3X9912 _D7X4939 _D3X9898 _D7X4748 _D3X9798 _D3X9996 _D7X3978 _D7X4045 _D7X4260 _D7X4359 _D7X4381 _D7X4746 _D7X5178 _D7X5109 _D7X5222 _D7X4104 _D7X5240 _D7X5288 _D7X5376 _D3X0024 _D3X0044 _D7X5434 _D7X5504 _D3X0212


Negin & Michael – Wedding at the Green Water Resort in Pemberton

One of the best parts about being a photographer is getting to travel all over the place to shoot. Be it commercial work or wedding, there’s always something extra special about getting to go and shoot in an environment for the first time. This was the case when Negin & Michael asked me to shoot their wedding this summer out near Pemberton, BC. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s just a little further down the highway from Whistler. In reality, it couldn’t be more different than it’s much more famous neighbour. The area has a really laid back feel, with the combination of deep lush valleys and soaring peaks all around you. I’ve always loved getting to shoot mountain weddings, and the Green Water Resort provided the perfect setting for this intimate gathering. Even though the rain clouds pretty much threatened to pour the whole day, somehow they held off and really allowed the three of us to explore the valley & nearby town. I’ve had the pleasure of watching these two for some time now, and always enjoy getting to watch how they interact with each other. On their wedding day, the love & playfulness was visible at every turn – with each attention to detail, the unique and personal ceremony, and their amazing friends & family. A big thank you to the very talented crew of Filosophi Event Planning – always a treat to shoot a wedding that has been well planned!


Lindsay & Mike – Destination wedding at Half Moon resort in Jamaica

On a beautiful, warm & sunny day in November, Lindsay & Mike got married. It was one of those spectacular tropical days with the heat of the tropics, the breeze coming off the ocean, and two kids absolutely in love with each other. I have known Mike for many years, and first met Lindsay a couple years back. He raved about her, and it was no surprise when he told me he had proposed some time later. They’ve done so much together, including travelling all over the place, so when they asked me to shoot a Jamaica wedding, I couldn’t be happier. Not long after putting down the camera for the night, the whole wedding party, guests and all, were in the pool, fully clothed! Topped only by watching Mike & Lindsay launching off a cliff in Negril the following day.

 


Cheri & Darcy – Quesnel BC Wedding Photography

Driving from Calgary to Quesnel is a 12 hour adventure that takes you through some incredible and spectacular scenery. I was glued to the window pretty much the whole way. When Cheri contacted me regarding her wedding in this northern BC city, I was excited to say the least. I’ve known Cheri & Darcy for the better part of 10+ years, but hadn’t seen them in a long time. To get to spend the weekend with them, their friends, and families was wonderful. I did my scouting the day before the wedding, and quickly discovered that there would be far more places catching my eye then hours we’d have to shoot! The weather dealt us a rain card, but this didn’t dampen the spirits one bit. I loved revisiting this wedding through the editing process and am so happy for Cheri & her new husband Darcy. Congratulations to you guys! 


Lindsay & Mike – Vancouver Engagement Session

From the first time I heard Mike talking about Lindsay, and the way he described this amazing woman, I knew she was the one. His eyes would light up whenever he mentioned her. I first met Lindsay while in Vancouver some time ago and immediately knew how much she meant to him. They have a great connection and it was a treat to spend some time with them during a recent shooting trip to the west coast. Their wedding in Jamaica later this year is going to be a blast!

 


Jen & Chris – Wedding Photography from the Merridale Cidery, Vancouver Island

Last weekend I was at the Merridale Cidery just north of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, covering the beautiful wedding of Jen & Chris. Summers on the island are always spectacular, and it’s a real treat to be asked to come out from Calgary to capture a wedding. I’d only been to the cidery once before while doing my scouting, and was very much looking forward to the return trip. When I arrived the girls were getting pedicures out in the garden, and getting things sorted with the flowers and dresses inside the yurt. Jen was calm as ever, and expressed how excited she was about the wedding. Watching Jen being led down the grass walkway by her dad, and seeing the reaction on Chris’s face was something I’ll never forget. Even the tears welling in her eyes as he delivered his vows were pulling at my own heart strings. As I left them at the reception later that evening I smiled as the events of the day circled around in my mind. Congrats Jen & Chris!!



Vina & Raj – Victoria Wedding Photography, Vancouver Island BC

Everything about this wedding blew my mind. From the colours, to the jewelry, to the music, the dancing, to the food, to Vina & Raj. It was such a treat to spend the day with them in Victoria to do their wedding photography. As some of you may know, I used to live on the island and I’ll take any opportunity I can to get back there. I had only just met Vina the day before during their engagement session, but instantly got along and felt a warm connection to both her and Raj. Seeing them dressed in the full traditional attire on Saturday morning was nothing short of spectacular. They truly looked like they were straight out of a fairy tale. I had an amazing time with them, their great families, and friends. 



Andrea & Scott – Edmonton Wedding on Whyte Ave

Andrea & Scott tied the knot in Edmonton last weekend and I have to say it was really an eye-opening trip. I got to meet their friends and families at the rehearsal dinner the night before, and upon heading home I knew Saturday was going to be a blast. Not only do they both have great and warm parents, but their friends are a riot. Edmonton in June is so rich in vibrant greens it’s almost hard to imagine. Growing up in Calgary we’re not always fond of our neighbours to the north, but I have to give it to the capital city when it comes to the scenery of their river valley. Back to the wedding, on a gorgeous, um, somewhat overcast day. We got lucky with only a couple drops of rain during the shoot, and just about warm enough for the girls. I only shoot a handful of weddings in Edmonton every year and this one has set the bar even higher. Andrea & Scott, I hope you guys are having an incredible time on your honeymoon!!


On the beach & in the pool – a.k.a. ‘Trash The Dress’

Having free reign at the beautiful Royal Playa Del Carmen hotel in Mexico was such a treat. The staff was more than happy to let us go where we wanted. I’m pretty used to getting myself into tricky shooting situations that I have to talk my way out of (easier to ask forgiveness than permission when it comes to photography!). Lindsey asked so nicely, how could I refuse to do a shoot for her the day after the wedding? With a gorgeous bride and a stunning backdrop, all I had to do was point the camera and press the shutter…


Lindsey & Aaron – Beach wedding in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

The first I heard of Lindsey & Aaron getting married in Playa Del Carmen was a short message that found its way to my Facebook inbox. I absolutely love to travel, and getting the opportunity to come here to shoot their wedding was an absolute treat. The Royal resort is truly stunning and provided the perfect backdrop for their photo sessions. I have to admit that shooting in the equivalent of 40 degrees celsius comes with some unusual challenges, and going from air conditioned rooms to humid sandy beaches put my Nikons through their paces. I had an incredible time with these two, their crazy-fun east coast families (anybody have any more great Kenny stories?), and their wonderful group of friends from the Western Canada. Now with three days left, there’s a sunny poolside lounger with my name on it.


Emily & Ashraf – Salmon Arm B&B Wedding in the Shuswap

Ash & Em – where to start? I had never met Emily before the wedding day, but the instant I had her on the other side of the lens I knew she could more than hold her own with Ashraf. As long as I’ve know Ash (& the rest of the family), they are a blast to hang out with. What better place to put on an incredible and romantic wedding at a stunning historic bed & breakfast in Salmon Arm in British Columbia? It’s such a perfect place to host a wedding that we didn’t even have to leave the property to do any of the shots. The garden ceremony was followed by a coffee & cake reception inside the turn of the century house. Congratulations E&A, and thank you for taking me out to the Shuswap for the weekend!




Anna & John – Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

When Anna & John first hinted about taking me to Costa Rica with them to shoot their wedding I was excited to say the least. At the time I didn’t realize all that would be necessary to make it happen. I had already been booked to shoot in the Dominican for Sheila & Mike, and knew there wouldn’t be enough time to return back to Calgary before heading south again. Instead, I hopped on a plane that connected through Panama & dropped me off at an awaiting shuttle bus at the airport in San Jose. Although my driver didn’t speak more than a dozen words in english, he proved to be an outstanding spanish tutor. By the time I got to the resort it was dark and pouring rain. Nothing quite prepared me for the resort (Villa Caletas for those of you interested) – as it is perched, and I mean ‘perched’, on the spine of a mountain overlooking the ocean. It is a spectacular boutique hotel and made for a perfect setting for the wedding. I had an amazing week and look forward to getting back to Costa Rica soon!






Sheila & Mike – Destination Wedding in the Dominican Republic

I’ve just returned from a two week, back-to-back destination wedding adventure to the caribbean. It was an amazing trip and I got to shoot for some fantastic people. The first week I spent in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic at a massive all-inclusive resort (the Grand Palladium Bavaro). I had three days to do my scouting before the wedding, and found some great places both on the beach, and on the property. Both Sheila & Mike were more than game for anything I had in mind and we had a blast running around the property. They had a great crew of friends & family down there to support them – and to party on the beach well into the night!



Sheila & Mike – Trash the dress (or just soak it…)

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I’m in the Dominican Republic this week to do a wedding for Sheila & Mike. When they first came down from Edmonton to meet me they pretty much insisted on doing a ‘trash the dress’ session, and even hinted it was part of them selecting me to shoot their destination wedding! So, twist my rubber arm, I was happy to oblige. The thing the pictures don’t show is the massive crowd of people on the beach that gathered to watch (and shoot some pictures of their own!). A couple more days here before jetting off to Costa Rica for the second of the back to back destination weddings. I’ll be posting some peeks here and there every few days.


Tammy & Adam – Canmore Wedding

A few samples from a slideshow I did at Tammy & Adam’s reception on Saturday. I’ll post some more stills later.

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Jill & Adam – Sand in the wedding shoes

Jill & Adam – what’s to say? I was excited when they first contacted me about shooting their wedding. I was really excited when they mentioned it might be taking place in California. Who doesn’t love to travel? I was in awe of how much fun these two are – obvious from the first time I had a camera out for a shoot with them during Stampede. I’ve known Jill and her family for the better part of half my life and have known Adam for just over a year. Suffice to say they’re both cut from the same cloth – amazing people with incredible friends & families. I’m already looking forward to what the future holds for these two. And without further delay, the pictures…




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