WEDDINGS

Hatley Castle and Empress Hotel Victoria Wedding

First, huge thanks to Ryan Flynn Photography, who took me on as a seconding photographer for this assignment of his. Ryan is a great guy!


As I am based close to the city of Vancouver on the British Columbia mainland, heading to Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria is always a treat. I love the feel and sense of adventure and travel when I make my way out there. In order to make the ferry to get to the wedding on time, I had to wake up at a very early hour (i.e. it was still dark and it was Summer time) and make my way through some winding roads. Eventually, I managed to get to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal and soon relaxed once my car and I were on the ferry and on our way across the water.

The first part of this wedding took place first in the Empress Hotel and the ceremony took place at Hatley Castle. My day started with the groomsmen at the Empress Hotel, where the groom and his groomsmen were hurriedly putting on their clothes in order to make it out the door in time. Once we boarded the wedding bus, I met with the bride and the bridesmaids inside Hatley Castle and documented their time hanging out together moments before the ceremony took place. Hatley Castle and the castle grounds surrounding it are beautiful. I later found out that Hatley Castle was used in some of the original X Men movies (the ones with Patrick Stewart)!

After the ceremony, I went with Ryan Flynn and the videographers to Beacon Hill and photographed some of the in-between shots and documentary moments while the more posed photos were taking place.

Story continued below…


The second part of the day led us back to the Empress Hotel in Victoria. At one point during the night, the couple strolled along Victoria’s Downtown Harbour at sun set and had a band on a neighboring dock play their first song dance while they danced to it. The night ended with dancing to an amazing band (to who’s names I did not catch unfortunately) and I went back to my hotel room satisfied that I had been a part of an amazing wedding.

Asian Fusion Styled Wedding "Styled" Shoot

I didn’t want to do the usual styled shoot. 

When Mandy from “Eventful by Mandy” and I came together to brainstorm an idea for a styled shoot, I knew from the get-go that I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do a styled shoot that was more along my style: unposed and more authentic. Mandy brought in the idea of doing an Asian-Fusion themed wedding.

Through some continued discussion, we eventually came up with this idea of what came to be a fusion of a lot of things. Styled but not posed (cinematic, in fact), old Asian influences and homages to the past but in a modern context, classical Shanghai Jazz from grammaphones and Iphones being used for selfies: Asian Fusion.

The idea then was how to form it. As mentioned, I didn’t want to do the typical posed photos. I wanted a narrative, a story and characters you cared about. This led eventually to the creation of “script” that would dictate the flow of the photographs. From there, we found our location, our actors/models (a real-life wedding couple!) and our props and put it all together.

From my friend Jeffrey’s place to the streets and alleys of Chinatown to the final stop at Chinatown BBQ, we wanted to show that there is beauty in the moment but also that styled wedding shoots can have a narrative. We also wanted to show that you can successfully merge the old and the new and create something beautiful in the process.  

Huge shout outs to the following:
Mandy at Eventful by Mandy who helped plan and organize and give life to this project.
Henry and Katbie (@blanc143 on Instagram) who took time out of their newly married life to be a part of this project.
My friend Jeffrey Wong who opened his house to us so we could create scene.
Cathy at Sweetease Cupcakes, who created the amazingly beautiful cake.
The folks at Chinatown BBQ who gave us permission to use a part of their restaurant to create our final scene.

 Our story begins with Kat writing a letter…

Our story begins with Kat writing a letter…

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Brix & Mortar Yaletown Vancouver - Adrian and Wendy - Seconding for John Bello

Approaching a wedding in a documentary fashion is actually quite difficult. As I'm not directing people to pose or to do certain things, I have to be able to react and anticipate moments as they happen. There's no "OK, can you look at Mom and laugh now?". I'm there to document it as how it truly unfolded. Why would I approach things this way? To me, there's something absolutely magical about creating beautiful photographs of real and authentic moments. It's telling your story as the way it happened and not how I as a photographer directed it to be. Candid, photojournalistic and unposed moments are where my photography passion lies.

Adrian and Wendy had a late winter wedding, which meant that it was a bit colder and also day light disappeared quite quickly. However, their passion in dance and for each other soon heated up the place. As usual, I'll let the photographs tell the story from there.

Thanks to John Bello for giving me the opportunity to second shoot for him!

 The groom keeps an eye out for guests.

The groom keeps an eye out for guests.

 A beautiful night at Brix & Mortar Vancouver. Winter time meant that the daylight was gone by the time the evening reception rolled around, which meant that the night lights and the evening ambiance took over.

A beautiful night at Brix & Mortar Vancouver. Winter time meant that the daylight was gone by the time the evening reception rolled around, which meant that the night lights and the evening ambiance took over.

 Uhhh.... OK. No words for this one other than "wedding party games".

Uhhh.... OK. No words for this one other than "wedding party games".

 The passion as these two danced was incredible to watch as it was to photograph.

The passion as these two danced was incredible to watch as it was to photograph.

 And then the crowd comes in to dance with you.

And then the crowd comes in to dance with you.

Brix & Mortar Yaletown Wedding - Pete and Christine - Seconding for John Bello

If it isn't already apparent in my blog posts, I truly enjoy photographing at Brix and Mortar in Yaletown. It's a nice and small and intimate space with a unique ceremony space but the people there are also really cool. 

As per usual, I'll let the photographs and the little bits of commentary do the narrating of this wedding. Just a quick note: That amazing red British car was an awesome sight to see.

Thanks to John Bello Photography for taking me on as a second shooter for this one.

 The groom and his groomsmen spent a bit of time hanging out at the pub next door to Brix and Mortar.

The groom and his groomsmen spent a bit of time hanging out at the pub next door to Brix and Mortar.

 While moments like these can be posed, I love creating them in the midst of the wedding day. It's really tough as everything has to line up just right... but when it does, it becomes something amazing.

While moments like these can be posed, I love creating them in the midst of the wedding day. It's really tough as everything has to line up just right... but when it does, it becomes something amazing.

 That First Dance moment in the Brix and Mortar courtyard :)

That First Dance moment in the Brix and Mortar courtyard :)


FULL GALLERY:

Welid and Savannah's Backyard Wedding - Seconding for Stefanie Cepeda

Welid and Savannah's wedding was one of the first backyard weddings I had photographed. While I thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere and the revelry of larger weddings, I also love the intimacy that comes with small weddings as well. It was a bright sunny day and lended itself to a great day followed by a reception in a hall in the evening.

Photographs taken while seconding for Stefanie Cepeda.

 Candid moments like these aren't taken at random. I'm constantly on the lookout for these moments as they happen!

Candid moments like these aren't taken at random. I'm constantly on the lookout for these moments as they happen!

 I can't recall why this chair was needed? Probably for a place to sit while the couple signs the wedding papers.

I can't recall why this chair was needed? Probably for a place to sit while the couple signs the wedding papers.

 I loved how this wedding was so very small but very intimate and personal. It took place in a backyard! That's Stefanie Cepeda in the background with the camera.

I loved how this wedding was so very small but very intimate and personal. It took place in a backyard! That's Stefanie Cepeda in the background with the camera.


FULL GALLERY: