Calgary Lifestyle Photographers-Iceland – Part 2

With a stiff cup of coffee and a fog that engulfed the entire south west of the island, we set off for our adventure to circumnavigate the Iceland. Our first stop was Kirkjufell mountain. Standing at 463 meters, it holds itself right on the border of the ocean. We were like kids in a playground jumping around with excitement. We spent the first few hours in front of the in the Kirkjuefellfoss waterfalls surrounding Kirkjufell. The wind blew water up against us, and with every photo I took a micro-fibre cloth to my lens to dry it off. It made every shot nearly impossible. But I wasn’t upset. I was only overwhelmed with excitement to be in Island.

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Our  next stop was Grundarfjörður where our lives would be changed forever by a hotdog. We casually drove up to a hot dog stand and ordered the Fjourglar (beans, nachos, onions, fried onions, chili ketchup, and sweetmustard). At first bite it was bliss The lamb and prok hot dogs had us at hello. For the next 11 days we ate 15 hot dogs each. If you go to Iceland, you can live off of these things.

As we made our way to our next accommodations we drove miles of wastelands coverage is black sand, pummel rock, and ash. Despite its barren look, it was nonetheless beautiful. Virginia piped up, looked at me and said, “I want photos here.” She jumped out of the car and put on a dress. In the icelandic setting, with fog, mountains, volcanoes and black beaches she looked stunning.

As she walked out into the barren ash-land we posed her all around the rocks and moss. It was so beautiful to finally be shooting in a foreign environment. As we posed every photo differently we could feel the inspiration coming out of the landscape. The red dress stood out with such contrast that we felt a new style flowing out of how we shoot as photographers.
After an hour of shooting it was time to get Virginia inside to warm up and arrive at our accommodations. It was the most adventure filled day we had yet had but it wasn’t over. As we drove to the farm we would be staying at we drove precariously on a gravel road. To our right was a lake and to our left as dozens of waterfalls one after another. We were driving through a valley that would lead us to one of the most beautiful nights we would have. We pulled up to a little house in the valley where we were greeted by the kindest family I had yet met. They served us a tea and toast at 9:00 at night but before we were able to settle in, the father of the house invited us for a walk on their property.
As we made our way through the sheep on his field, and crossed a little stream, we were expecting a short tour of their valley. As the fathers kids skipped along the father turned straight for the mountain beside his house. As he began to climb we looked dauntingly at the mountain. While his sons ran up the mountain we dragged ourselves up into one of the most beautiful views I had ever seen. We stood at the face of a ten tier waterfall that fell straight into the mountain. The icelandic man told us about how important the  waterfall was to the valley. That he had build a generator that powered all the electricity in the valley and provided clean water for his house. The sun sat at a perpetual sunset at 11:00 as the sun would not set this time of year, I felt I had made one of the most valuable relationships I had ever made. I admired this icelandic father for the way he respected his valley, the way he loved his sons, and the way he gave us one of the most incredible nights of our lives.

 

We are Calgary wedding photographers
Please contact us we love to hear from you.
http://calgary-weddingphotographers.ca
403-614-3688

Iceland Day 1

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Months we had spent preparing for Iceland and we were only footsteps away from exiting the plane. You see the travel bug had bitten us some years ago and as we walked onto the tarmac icy winds and a torrential downpour forced us to lean into the wind as we walked. A smile crossed my face as I felt the fulfilling wish of a 14 year kid who dreamed of travelling.

Iceland is 6 hours ahead of Calgary which isn’t a horrible jet, unless you were too excited to sleep for two nights consecutively. Needless to say we were exhausted but that wasn’t going to stop us from taking photos in the downtown of Reykjavik.

Each building was another masterpiece of graffiti which so elegantly displayed itself above a coffee shop. After quickly eating we set out to check out Hallgrímskiekja Church. It was as if Hallgrímskiekja was straight out of Lord of the Rings. It’s tall white beams striking upwards looked as if the castle of Gondor of Lord of the Rings had taken its inspiration right from Iceland itself. Inside gaping windows and gothic arches held the stone ceiling above. Religious or not, this building inspired a trembling awe in you.

Barely able to keep our eyes open we stumbled back to our cozy apartment that we were renting on airbnb. Playing cards and dozing off, we all crumbled into a sleeping coma by 7:00 pm knowing only the sooner we went to bed, the earlier our adventure would continue.

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We are Calgary wedding photographers
Please contact us we love to hear from you.
http://calgary-weddingphotographers.ca
403-614-3688

Victoria, BC

The sun broke over the ocean and peaked through the window of the room I was sleeping in. It was time to take photos. At the crack of dawn Colin and I stumbled out of his house to a view any Albertan wishes they wake to. The clouds humming over the mountains, the fog steeped like a tea that welcomes you in the morning. We were off to Gold Stream Park.

British Columbia is natural a rain forest. Wet, green, and full of warm lighting. On our way to the hike we shared stories of our childhood, about the good things we take for granted in our lives, and about how important it is to capture every moment together. We were off to take photos at the Trestle train bridge. Standing 600ft tall I couldn’t wait to feel my feet walking over every plank of wood.
The incline of the hike was steep but the reward was great. Standing above a valley and waterfall we watched the sun light the century old bridge. We sat and enjoyed everything the world could offer us.
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On our way down, the light began to warm through the trees and created some spectacular photos. We were able to enjoy our environment in a whole new light. Shooting her Victoria was a treasure chest. I was able to create things I never had the opportunity to create in Calgary.

The trees gave a perspective of how tiny we were as we stood underneath them. With every shutter of the camera, with every creative spark that leaked from me, I thought to myself “Art is long, and life is fleeting.” How blessed I am to live the way I do.

As a wedding photographer in Calgary I’m always looking for new angles and unique landscapes to photograph.

Lost Alone the Way

This weekend I flew to my hometown, Victoria BC. Something settled into my heart. Like a ghost finally finding its body. A smile creeped across my face. “Peace.” I thought to myself.
It only took one step off the plane until I realized how familiar home will always be to me. The trees were green, drenched in fog, and the sun hid behind softly illuminated clouds. My childhood raced through my heart and I remembered every cherished friend I grew up with.

In light of my childhood I thought to myself, as young adults ask themselves “Who will I become?” Hell, every person of every age ask themselves that. But we very rarely ask ourselves, “Who will I choose to be?”

For anyone that has grown up with Victoria, you’re raised with this firm belief in the truth that you’re very separated from the rest of the world. You’re raised an islander. You’re stuck right in between the hippies, the surfers, and the Sunday drivers. Yet I never understood the depth to which these things shaped me.

You see, Calgary is in many ways the anti-thesis of Victoria. We move fast and we move hard. We’re a city that loves to push limits, who breathes ambition and exhales production. In so many ways I have found my own identity in business. As a wedding photographer, a business owner, and as a Christian this is what we do. But if this is how the city has shaped me, did I really choose to become the man I am today?
These questions riddled me over my stay in Victoria. My old friend Colin was gracious in offering his couch for the weekend. Strangely had not seen each other in 5 years. Yet nothing had changed between us. 5 years of silence was washed away into ocean as the two of us recounted our childhoods together, shared every new and wild thing about one another, and once again become best friends. Yet there was something very different about us.

Midway through a hike with Colin I hung my legs over the train bridge suffocating in anxiety. I sat 600 ft. above a rainforest as Colin led me through the island I had grown up in.

I had forgotten so much of my life in Victoria and I had forgotten so much of who I was. As I watch a Colin walk along the rotting train bridge the sunrise marked every step he took further away from me. I felt a lump sitting in my throat.
As I watched my best friend make his way further in the sun and further away from me, I realized my age has hardened me, has changed me, and distanced me from the man I want to be more like.
I’m writing this post out of a love for my best friend Colin McColl. He is a man who embodies the islander spirit. He loves to give, he rarely furrows his brow, he never envies and he harvests every ounce of peace the Pacific tides bring in.

Spending this weekend with him gave me a wild reflection of myself, how I have been shaped by Calgary, how I’m both proud and ashamed of who I am. How the core of who I am will never change and how I restlessly desire to be changed. In this city of hustle and bustle I write this in conflict with who I want to become.
I want to become I man who loves to give, who rarely furrows his brow, who finds peace in a very messy world. Who is honest with how he feels, who gives in to his desire to explore. Who pushes himself in photography, in ministry, and in his love for God.

So I leave you with this one question that I fall asleep asking myself. “What will you do with this one wild and precious life?”

A Winter Wonderland in Canmore

On the morning of February 14th the town of Canmore woke up to a perfect blanket of snow. We couldn’t go wrong in the Rocky Mountain landscape that was surrounding us. It was the most ideal condition for a winter wonderland wedding. We had been looking forward to Vee and Clarke’s wedding for months and the day had finally arrived. I’m sure they had felt the same way.

      After the anticipation of hair doing and shoe shining, we headed over to the Cornerstone Theatre which held the most perfect rustic décor. There was much effort put into making this day beautiful and it showed. The low lighting didn’t stop the ceremony from creating a fun atmosphere. Laugher spread throughout the hall that contained genuine love for the couple standing at the alter. It was an amazing experience to witness a wedding that affected each person in the room. Various friends and members of the family beautifully carried out the meaningful ceremonies. It was powerful to capture.

      The sun burst through the windows in the front lobby as the ceremony came to a close. We all headed to a spot inside the busy town that was somehow lacking tourists. There were a few toques that poked out from the treetops but not enough to block the scenery in front of us. The mountains reflecting inside the still water made for the perfect backdrop. We stayed in place taking copious amounts of family and bridal party photos with the celebrations never lifting.

      With the clock on our side, we took Vee and Clarke up the mountains and scouted out some of the most beautiful locations we’ve ever been to. It was worth the drive. We trekked through the snow, climbed on top of our cars, and found some ideal spots. Though we had to jump back into the car a few times to get warm again, it was all part of the adventure of a winter wedding. We even got some food for the way thanks to a Vee’s mom and one of Clarke’s groomsmen.

      It was a good thing we made our way back down the mountain a little earlier than we had anticipated.  We had accidentally forgotten Vee’s bouquet near a reservoir (oops) so we shimmied back up the way we came. We all knew a reception was not complete without a bouquet toss. Once we had retraced our steps and found her flowers, Vee and Clarke fell asleep for the rest of the way back to the reception hall. As fun as weddings are, they can be quite exhausting. But this doesn’t stop us from doing a little dancing.

      To top off the already fantastic day we had been having, we had a quick meal, followed by a little time to run around and capture all of the guests’ lovely dancing skills. The laughter never seized for a moment. The crowd was having a great time and so were we. In our element, great things happen and we couldn’t have been more honored to be a part of it.

      The day we had been so anxiously waiting for had come to a close. But from what I’ve learned, taking photos is only twenty percent of the process. At least we get to relive it. Let the editing begin.

New Years Eve 2014

A New Years Eve well spent is one running around with your camera. We had the privilege of attending Braedon and Kelsey’s wedding on that sunny winter day. Clicking with them from the very first meeting was a hint that we were in for some fun. We were excited to experience the celebration of a wedding on a holiday.

      The ceremony was beautifully pieced together. The light was perfect, letting the option of creative shots reign free. It’s an amazing feeling to do the importance of the ceremony justice. Sometimes we feel restricted, not wanting to be invasive of the guests or distract from the importance of the moment. This time the space was big enough to walk around in without taking away from the bride and groom. It was an ideal situation
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      Once the ceremony was over and the receiving line had gone through, we left to Fish Creek for the family and bridal party photos. Luckily it wasn’t as cold as it could have been, but standing outside in anything less than a winter coat for even a few hours can be tough. So leaving the comfort of the warm church foyer took a dedicated group of great people.

      To distract from the freezing fingers and toes, there was plenty of laughter involved. It’s always an awesome moment for a photographer when you can get a crowd to loosen up and laugh with everyone. Let’s face it; being the subject of a photograph is not always the most comfortable place to be. But being surrounded by your loved ones on such a big day can bring about even the smallest of smiles. They were all focused on what truly mattered that day. Having the same sense of humor didn’t hurt anyone either.

      When the family left for warmer places, Evan and I got a couple of hours with Braedon and Kelsey.  They were a blast to photograph. It’s always a great thing to see a couple that laughs with each other and shows genuine affection without being shy. This is the element that made photographing them a breeze. It’s a treat when the only challenge is the dark lighting. Both of them were easy to direct but to capture them spontaneously was where the truly great photographs were taken. Despite the cold of the evening, these true Calgarian’s were troopers while strolling the streets of downtown in wedding attire.

      Arriving at the Peace Bridge was an exciting moment knowing that these were shots we had never tired before. Modern architecture wasn’t something either of us had photographed much of. Working with the lines and the symmetry of the structure made for some amazing photographs. And when the colors of the sunset hit the icy water below, we knew it was only a matter of time before the light went completely out. Those moments of anticipation were the best photos of the day. It was thanks to Braedon and Kelsey for leading us there that we captured the photos they wanted and got to experience something new for ourselves as well.

      As the day was nearing its end at the reception, the clock was also counting down the hours to another New Year. What an amazing thing to enter another year celebrating the love of a couple. With great food and a lot of dancing we knew we could leave them with satisfied grins. We could finish off the day knowing there was a crowd of loved ones enjoying the last moments of 2014 with a couple that deserves all the happiness in the world.

We are Calgary wedding photographers
Please contact us we love to hear from you.
http://calgary-weddingphotographers.ca
403-614-3688