I arrived at Bodega Ridge on Friday afternoon to Pat lugging logs of wood to around on the top of ridge. It was a few hours before the rehearsal/welcome dinner, and the groomsmen were making an alter from scratch. I was sweating just watching them, and I’m sure my arrival was as good of an excuse as any on such a hot day to take a break. Morgan came to meet us, and together we took a quick tour of the place. I had been looking forward to Pat and Morgan’s wedding since I first met them in Vancouver six months before and as we walked the property, I could tell how excited both of them they were to get the weekend started. I couldn’t wait either – their wedding ceremony site overlooked the gulf islands, the dinner tent sat under a giant arbutus tree and the smell of fresh seafood was almost too much.
Morgan and Pat, like myself, are from the east living in the west. Their friends and family were slowly but surely rolling in from what seemed like every corner of Canada to Galiano Island; a remote gem of a place in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. It took flights, rented cars, and even an overnight at the ferry terminal if I remember correctly to get everyone there. A bit of an effort, but for anyone that has travelled knows the effort of the journey make the destination all the more sweet, and the few days I spent with Morgan and Pat truly unforgettable.
It was a wedding for the ages, and I couldn’t be happier to share their wedding photos this morning.
From Squamish to Galiano Island, Victoria to Vancouver, and Manning Provincial Park. My first full summer wedding season in British Columbia has been better than I ever expected. It has been a few months of travel, photography, great couples, and ferry rides in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Last summer I dreamt of shooting on the ocean and in the mountains and this summer it is a weekly occurrence.
I’m happy I’m only halfway through.
I’m excited to finally get my hand’s on a copy of Gestalten’s The Journey a fine art table book highlighting the extraordinarily scenic routes of train travellers across the globe. It is so awe inspiring to see my photos from a train journey through the Scottish Highlands so large, and alongside great European rain routes. It makes me want to travel again.
It was 5:30 in the morning when the sun crested over the mountains. We’d started up to Garibaldi lake the day before and then in the depths of the night after two hours of sleep we packed up camp and set off through bear country for quite literally what felt like the top of the world. The Black Tusk.
The view was so ridiculous, and water so fresh we drank from the stream. We danced on the summit; exhausted, and freezing. Brian brewed some coffee with the last of our camping fuel, and with wet feet from the last of this year’s snow we headed down on a high.
Each year Canada Photo Convention names the best 30 wedding photographers under 30 across the country, and yesterday morning, with a little red Facebook notification I woke up in the ranks of some extremely talented shooters (this year, as well as past), some of who I call my friends, and some who’s work I’ve admired for years.
I’m so damn pleased to be a part of that list. Actually pleased doesn’t really accurately describe it. Exultant is better. I feel Triumphantly happy.
Industry awards are like the extra icing on a cake that really doesn’t need any extra, but you’re feeling like a sugar high that afternoon so the icing is like tasty gold. Unnecessary but delicious. I love photographing, creating, and crafting a tangible memory for the people I work for. I love meeting new people, the travel, and the new perspectives photography as brought into my life. I’d love what I am doing recognition or not, and because of that it seems ridiculous to say that being recognized in the Top 30 this year has given me such a strong sense of validation I didn’t know I was missing.
The Canada Photo Convention asks you to put yourself forward to be evaluated by your peers (the contest was judged by three of last years winners), and by photographers that demand a certain quality of work from themselves. It isn’t easy to put yourself out there, and the work I knew I would be up against made it harder. I’m so glad I did though, the recognition has allowed me permission to feel like after four years with my head down working, I’m where I should be, and I have a place at the table as a photographer.
Below I tried to pick a handful of photos that illustrate exactly how I’m feeling inside.
My work will always be a collaboration with the people I work for in combination with maybe a little serendipity; so it would be impossible to finish this post without thanking every couple I’ve worked for in the last four years, being named in the Top 30 Under 30, which I’m exultant about, would have been impossible without you.
To check the rest of the winners from coast to coast you can click over to the Canada Photo Convention’s page: Top 30 Under 30 Canadian Wedding Photographers (and just worth a mention 22 of 30 names this year are of women. Rock on girls, its great to see equality in action!)
Erica and Kyle invited about 180 people across the globe and all 180 of them flew, or ferried out to Vancouver Island’s historically handsome, and x-men movie made famous Hatley Castle.
180 people. That may be what you would call the event of the year. (so glad I got the invite!)
It takes a certain couple to convince a weddings worth of guests to travel so far, and those certainly excellent people are Erica and Kyle. Wonderful friends, wonderful families, adorable kiddos; I could write novel but no one really wants that so I’ll stop myself there and share just a few stunning (if I do say so myself) Hatley Castle wedding photos.