Monday, November 19, 2012

The Honest Truth and the Power of Snow

This morning I woke up to the pounding of heavy Vancouver rain outside on the roof and the constant grey sky of it being 4 o'clock all day (for those of you who will never experience 'day light savings' it gets dark way too early here in winter). And started my morning routine:

- step one - coffee.
- step two - load up the laptop and see the emails and daily feeds.

PART ONE: Simple - Jeans &  T-Shirt

I called my couple that is scheduled for their engagement session later this afternoon to confirm or reschedule (due to the intense rain) and she told me that they wanted to stick with today but they are simple and easy. That thinking about what to wear made her anxious. And it got me thinking because I did a post about clothing for your engagement session and honestly it doesn't apply for every couple. And that's awesome because you know who you both are and what you care about. I don't care if your in jeans and white t-shirt as long as you feel beautiful. I say this to all my couples and especially the bride - 'do whatever it is you need to do, to feel beautiful'. If that means putting your hair in a pony tale and wearing your favourite glasses, do it.

Because... it's not about what you wear that will create emotion. It's about the two of you creating emotion. I have a rule that I tell my couples on their engagement session - you need to touch for the entire session. Whether that be holding hands, or if the groom wants to rest his hand on the small of her back. Touch. I usually get the best burst of laughter and giggles when I state the rule, and then comes my favourite photos of the couple.

The power of touch can set you at ease, bring comfort and above all relax and connect you. That electricity that flows through each of you while you hold hands, hug or kiss - that creates emotion. And I'm addicted to seeing true emotion.

Part Two: The Machine & All Things Vintage

One of my favourite photographers posted a link to a AU photographer's blog titled 'The Mason Jar Manifesto' and her response and it got the wheels in my head turning. Especially after talking to my bride this morning.

"I have been extremely discouraged lately at the direction of Wedding Blogs and publications only wanting DETAILS...it's not about the story of the couple, or the beauty of the emotion caught on film. They want to see the flowers in a vase, a vintage plate, a bouquet sitting on a vintage chair. As a wedding photographer...that does NOT inspire me. When my clients look back 30 years from now at their wedding images, which images are going to evoke emotion and nostalgia in their hearts...it's not going to be the shot of her shoes on a pillow." - Amanda K Photography

I love details and I can totally overdose on shiny things, crystals and lace. I love photographing the details and stylizing all those special things put together because they relate to you as a couple. I was first published in a wedding magazine, and I felt like it somehow legitimized my career choice. Finally, I was recognized for being a photographer. I received the magazine and the photos in it were nothing I would have chosen, only two photos were about emotion between the couple, and the smallest. The rest was details. Mind you they were gorgeous and beautiful details. Over the years now, I've been published in various publications and blogs and the big thing are 'The Details'.

When I read the post - I found myself relating to the couples saying one of two things; firstly - we're just simple and going to have a simple wedding, no extravagant details or two - what publications to submit their engagement session and wedding and how they can stylize their engagement session for publication. I've had couples like Jonas mentioned being slightly ashamed that their wedding wasn't 'over the top' and thinking I wouldn't enjoy photographing it.

I LOVE YOU ALL REGARDLESS.

That's it. Your wedding isn't another job, it's special for me too!

My favourite part of photographing the wedding day is the couple portraits, the one hour I get to spend with the two of you is my favourite. It's the most real and I love it. It's watching a fairy tale in front of my camera. The emotions that are had during that deep breath of relaxing when you can just deflate into the arms of your love, or hold hands and know that your each others - that is what it is all about. And that is why majority of my photographs on my blog & Facebook aren't of the details (even though I absolutely love details and things that personalize) - most the photos are portraits of each of my couples.

If you love details, and you always play scrabble as a couple - it makes sense if you want to personalize it. If you always go for picnics together, fishing, at home on the couch watching movies with popcorn - it's apart of who you are as a couple. But don't buy into the trend if it doesn't apply. I am a graphic designer and photographer and I love special details. I love personalized invitations and little extras and I probably will do some of this for my wedding and absolutely work with a planner so I don't go into DIY coma one day. But at the very core of it - it's about finding your teammate and who you want to play this game called life on your side. You are planning a marriage not just a wedding.

Verlon and I joke around all the time that one day we will just go to the court house. Mind you I picture it very much like Big & Carrie's wedding from Sex and the City - including the shoes. And it's because all I really want is the love of my life and nothing else compares to it.

Part Three: Love & Snow

We were in Whistler this past weekend and it seemed like the odds were not ever in our favour. We had car trouble, hotel trouble, and terrible weather for the beginning of it. I photographed one of my couples there and it was incredible. It felt like the only thing that went right despite the weather. I spent the next hour or so with this amazing couple and was wrapped up in photographing their love. Time stopped for me. We wandered the Village Stroll in the POURING rain and they still were smiling. And all that mattered was the emotion between these two, and excitement for their wedding. The rain only kept pouring harder and it was cold and I asked them - can we lose the umbrellas - are you okay getting wet? They closed their umbrellas and got soaked. Her once curly professionally styled hair drenched in water falling around her face. His jacket littered with rain drops. And nothing mattered because she was wrapped in his arms and they danced, they kissed, they hugged in the rain, in the middle of the square. That was their engagement session, and I was lucky enough to photograph it. Thank You.

After returning to the hotel (fearing at this point we didn't have a room... long story folks) I knew that if nothing else happened this weekend - I was where I was suppose to be and the highlight of the weekend was that amazing session.

The day went on and we sipped our favourite wine - 'Moon Curser'. Our friends who joined us - Dayne & Shelley supplied good company and more wine. And at about 12 am we were playing music outside on our balcony watching the Village and loving the Christmas lights on trees. It grew late into the 'morning' and Verlon and I found ourselves alone outside with one of our favourite songs playing on speakers and it was snowing. I slowed dance with my best friend in the snow and nothing else mattered - all we needed was each other. 




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