Well… this was officially one of the coldest engagement sessions I’ve ever photographed. It was cold. The kind of cold where you can’t feed your fingers or toes at all after 15 minutes. It was entirely worth it for this beautiful Snowy Forest and Mountain Kelowna Engagement session.
Can we just talk a minute about Lindsay’s dress?? Firstly – Lindsay is stunning. Then she puts this dress on and magic happened! I actually can’t believe that she braved the cold for so long in this dress!
Lindsay and John – thank you SO MUCH for braving the cold with me! And for going along with it when I said “Just one more!” 8 or 10 times…!
I went on a trip to California… almost a year ago, and I am finally writing about it now! Well, the truth is…. I get a little vulnerable in this post, so it’s been sitting, waiting to be posted. Waiting until… I don’t know. I guess until I was brave enough to press “publish” and really put myself out there.
I decided that I needed to go to a photography workshop. I was feeling a bit stuck with my work and I needed something that would help get me excited about photography again and push me. Being my own boss means that there is nobody here telling me that I need to work harder, so workshops are super important!
So, I chose to go to the Heck Yeah Photography workshop in Joshua Tree, California. The speakers were amazing and well… California! I am a HUGE fan of heat and sunshine, so enough said, right there!
My main goal in attending this workshop was to push myself out of my comfort zone. Direct and photograph couples in front of other photographers (who were all amazing, and this is terrifying for me), learn some new techniques, get close to people and do things that I would normally shy away from. You may notice that a lot of the images in this post are closely cropped. I used to shoot from afar and never get too close to my couples for fear of making them uncomfortable. Turns out that in my experience, more often than not, the closer you get to people, the closer they feel to you, emotionally. The more willing they are to let go and be themselves while being photographed. This is a great thing for me because I love it when my couples become vulnerable and allow me into their emotional, intimate, and connected side with their partners. The more love, the more snuggles, the closeness… that’s what I want! I didn’t photograph from the sidelines this time and for me, that was a huge accomplishment.
Speaking of being vulnerable, somehow, Aundrea, from Undresses Moments, convinced me to get in front of her camera. On a mountain. Naked. Oh ok. Yeah sure… what did I have to lose?? My dignity, maybe, but what the hell. YOLO, right? After all, I DID go to the workshop to get out of my comfort zone. To be vulnerable. To have new experiences. I expect my clients to get vulnerable in front of my camera… I should probably give it a whirl myself, right?
Aside from that scariest part of my trip, here are some other highlights:
Climbing the boulders in Joshua tree at sunrise, twice!
Seeing a roadrunner in real life!
Meeting José Villa!
Photographing Ben Sasso and Katch Silva!
So many flowy dresses!
I was attacked by a cactus and spend two hours pulling prickles out of my legs!
Wandering the desert at night whilst drinking champagne out of a coffee mug! (Keeping’ it CLASSY, J-Tree!)
No kids! (hence the last point)
Laying by the pool.
More laying by the pool.
Live bands, bonfires, and casual conversations with many photographers I admire.
Honestly, that list just doesn’t look long enough to do this trip justice…
The point I really wanted to make with this post is this. Get uncomfortable. Let go. Do what you want. Don’t let your anxieties hold you back. I feel like I’ve grow an immense amount personally as a result of my experiences on this trip. I’ve learned to let go a little and make myself vulnerable. When I photograph you, I want you to do the same. Let me in to see who you are as an individual and who you are with your partner. Please be snuggly, affectionate, loving. Connect. I promise we will have fun, it just won’t be all mush. If I can do it…. trust me… anyone can (you too, gentlemen)!
Want to see a beautiful thing? This love, that’s what!
Being a Kelowna Wedding Photographer allows me to explore all the nooks and crannies of the Okanagan. We found ourselves a cute little piece of land that juts into the Okanagan Lake for this session. Despite being attacked by prickly pears (those nasty things hide where you least expect them!), this session was a ton of fun!
You know… the more I try to write blog posts the more I realize that writing is not my forté. I have all the feelings and none of the words.
That being said, I hope you can look at these images and see how much love is shared between these two. How much fun they have together. How strong their connection is. And, also…. how cute their dog is!
Even though I am a Kelowna Wedding Photographer, sometimes, I get to travel to new and fun locations. Riannon & Jon’s engagement session took place on a beautiful day in one of the many forests scattered around Vancouver.
These two have a connection like no other and it is so so so refreshing!
Being a Kelowna Wedding Photographer means sunny weddings by summer and cold, snowy engagement sessions by winter! Often, my favourite locations to photograph couples at are just stops on the side of the road! No two locations are the same and it makes it so that each couple has their own unique engagement images. Tash & Tyler even brought their sweet little (brand new) fur baby, Baxter, along for the fun (Yes, they named him after the dog in the Anchorman movie, which just happens to be one of my favourite movies of all time!). Baxter just wanted to run around and I probably spent the first 10 minutes giving Baxter his own little solo session. I’ve got to say – Tash & Tyler were MUCH better listeners than Baxter!
Meet Erin and Nils. These two are my favourite kind of people – genuine, friendly, affectionate, romantic…
Nils proposed to Erin at her family’s cabin, on the lake, near her favourite tree. As they arrived back at the cabin, her parents cued a recorded version of the song he wrote to her for her birthday a few months earlier.
It’s a scene right out of a romantic comedy!
Of course, we had to incorporate Nils’ guitar into the engagement session. I could’ve sat there and listened to him play all day!
Here is Erin and Nils’ super snuggly engagement session!
Finding beauty in the imperfect is what I’ve really been loving lately. Now, you are going to look at Ceone and Patrick and you are going to think… “Ummm, Heather! These two are perfection!”.
I agree. These two are beauties, inside and out.
BUT… they were happy to let the wind blow in their faces, to let Ceone’s hair blow all over the place, to let the cold water splash on them, pretend those rocks were the most comfortable sofa, and be alright with the fact that the sun fell behind the clouds before we were ready for it to. Sometimes, expectations are not met. We have an idea about how we would like things to end up, but it doesn’t always work that way. We wanted that beautiful Okanagan sunlight. We got it, but only briefly.
This engagement session is proof that when you just let the things you don’t have control over, unfold… beautiful things can happen!
Embrace the imperfections. Be affectionate. Let the love happen!
Being a Kelowna wedding photographer has it’s perks! Aside from meeting lovely people all the time and getting to be surrounded by love all the time, I get to spend a fair amount of time at some of the most beautiful locations in Kelowna. Liz & Brandon are getting married next year at Manteo Resort. They really wanted to capture the beauty that the Okanagan has to offer in their engagement images. Bertram Creek is the perfect location to soak up all the beautiful Okanagan views and the evening light is absolutely stunning!
Until next year, here are some beautiful images of this sweet couple!
Even though I am a Kelowna wedding and engagement photographer, I am lucky enough to get to travel all over the land to magical places to photograph couples in love. Adam and Alannah met me in Revelstoke for their engagement session. It was a rainy, cold, cloudy day. A beautiful, rainy, cold, cloudy day. I love backlighting in portraits, but sometimes, a change in weather is just what I need to make me extra excited about an engagement session.
We started along the water and ended up atop a mountain. After all was said and done, we stopped in at the cutest little cafe called Modern Bakery. So much yum under one roof!
After hanging out with these two for most of the day, I couldn’t be more excited about their September wedding at 50th Parallel Winery!