Even the word Dubrovnik brings up pretty exotic ideas in my imagination. I was there once back in 2012 with friends on an Eastern European roadie, so when Katie & Tim dropped the invite on me to shoot their wedding in Croatia this past summer I was speechless. From the moment they said go, it was some extensive planning as we’d be taking our 4-month son on this adventure with us. He loved the trip, my wife loved the chance to explore a new country, and I got to put Katie & Tim in front of the camera in arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. We arrived a week early to do my scouting, and get everything in place for the shoot. Then, to honour a previously set shoot, I had to fly back to Canada for 72hrs before hopping on a pair of red-eye flights to get back to Dubrovnik with some days to relax before the wedding shoot. August in Croatia is beautiful. Hot as….lets just say really really hot, but with the water of the Adriatic Sea at your toes it all seems to work just right. On the wedding day, it was a game of keeping out of the sun for too long, loads of cool drinks, and AC breaks. We did the reveal close to the hotel in an awesome patch of trees on the shore, then off to the old city to the spots I had found during my scouting mission. The trick in Dubrovnik in the middle of the busy tourist season is to avoid the masses of people swarming everywhere. It’s not easy to do, but not impossible either. Then on to their ceremony at the most insanely gorgeous venue – Sponzi Palace- really was out of a dream. From there back to the hotel for an outdoors reception with the breezes coming off the sea. Ana & her team from Dubrovnik Luxury Weddings pulled everything off without a hitch and kept things running smoothly. Such a fun day, tons of fun memories, and a trip that will go down in my books as a best of the best. Katie & Tim, if you’re reading this: Thank you.
Well, if you haven’t noticed, it’s damn cold outside. I’m happy to be having a real winter season this year, but I’m already longing for some warmer days, like this one back in August. It was a perfect late summer day- light breeze, a little sun, a little cloud, and the sweetest couple. I had an insane month – including back to back shoots in Europe, but was able to make my schedule work to get to capture their wedding. The engagement session we did out in the mountains served up enough rain to last a year, and thoroughly soaked all three of us and my camera gear, so it was a pleasant change to get such a perfect day for their wedding. We hit a couple spots near their ceremony venue, then out to some favourites I know of in Cochrane before making it back for the ceremony and reception. I had to pry myself away that night to go back to the airport to double red-eye back to Europe and got to dig into their photo editing on the way – so happy for these two, and thankful they asked me to be there to shoot their amazing wedding day!
I met Emily a few years ago while I was shooting one of her sisters getting married, so it was a real treat to get a message from her inquiring about me shooting her and Brian’s wedding this summer in Calgary. I remembered how awesome her family was, and knew her fiancé would have to be a stand up guy to get mixed up with the ‘Gordon Girls’. Meeting them for the first time to discuss wedding plans, then again during their engagement session my suspicions were confirmed – and these two make a perfect couple. I had so much fun just watching them interact with each other, let alone taking pictures of them on their wedding day – so much fun, so much play, so much love. The weather was, well, it was Calgary summer weather – a bit of everything, but even the rain showers couldn’t put a damper on their celebration. To cap off the night, I dragged them out into the pouring rain – them, me, my camera equipment, flashes, everything getting soaked for one final shot. It was so worth it – thank you Emily & Brian for asking me to shoot your wedding, hang out with you all day, and racing out into a downpour without a moments hesitation!
Kananaskis is my not-so-top secret little place south west of Calgary, where I have spent countless hours in my life. I am fortunate to have a small cabin in the woods, still with no running water in the winter and no cell service any time of year in this beautiful and picturesque valley. When Kelsey first contacted me about shooting her and Blaine’s wedding this past summer I couldn’t have been happier. We even headed out there last fall to do an engagement session including one spot that later was used in the movie The Revenant – yep, it’s a pretty special spot. Fast forward to their wedding day and as the girls were getting ready the planner was quizzing Kelsey about having the ceremony indoors or out with the storm clouds moving through the mountains. She stuck to her plan to have it outdoors, and it worked out perfectly. Just as they were saying their I do’s, the clouds parted and a warm beam of sun painted the side of the mountain. We had it for some of the family photos, then as we headed off to do the bridal party shots the clouds threatened again, but allowed just enough time to get out and get a bunch of shots with this fun group. The reception was full of laughs, a few tears, and some unreal dance moves!
If you’re wondering where you should have your wedding next summer, may I suggest Whitehorse. I had been there once before a couple years ago, but spending the weekend there to shoot Anna & Ryan’s wedding really opened my eyes to what a fantastic place it is. Whenever I’m visiting a new city for a wedding shoot, I spend a lot of time scouting the area – on foot, by car, sometimes even by boat or by bike. I was blown away by how pretty and unique this community in the Yukon is – wonderful friendly people, nature all around, and the perfect backdrop for a wedding shoot. The wedding was just a couple days before the summer solstice, and it took a little getting used to the sun hitting the horizon near midnight. We had some luck on our side and got one of the nicest, warmest June days you could ask for, which added one more perk to an already special day. I loved getting to capture their wedding, in a place that is so special to them, and now a special place to me – filled with a ton of wonderful new memories.
Love these two – and the incredible wedding they had this summer! I have been lucky enough to shoot a number of beautiful Ismaili weddings over the last few years and each one builds on the last in some special way. I’ve seen the ceremonies enough to know what to expect, and yet I am still awestruck by each separate event. It was no different for Farah & Nabil – on a day that was threatening a healthy dose of good-luck wedding day rain, we got to St. Patricks Island in Calgary just in time to avoid the drops, and still capture some beautiful images. Seeing them hold each other with the white fluff floating through the viewfinder almost made me think it was snowing – magical. Some tips for the uninitiated at Ismaili weddings: m&m’s are much more than just a tasty candy, the sapatia is harder to break than you think, you might need a waterproof enclosure for your camera at the Pithi ceremony, and watch out for flying beetlenuts.
Michelle & Jerry found their way in front of my cameras the other week – a wicked fun couple that were up for anything I threw at them – a great precursor for their wedding this summer!! I’ve picked a few sneaks to share from our esession downtown – I love working with the evening light in the city.