Kate and Cody decided to have a destination wedding in the Okanagan at beautiful Gatzke Orchard in Lake Country. The day was hot (real hot!), sunny (the perfect light!), and fun!
The bridal party got ready at separate private residences. Both Kate and Cody were exceptionally calm and excited to see each other as Kate walked down the aisle. Kate’s Mom and Dad were incredibly proud to walk their only child down the aisle and the love they have for their little girl was written all over their faces, all day! Dani Coey sang as Kate walked towards her groom. Kate’s florals by Lavender and Lace Floral Farm were beautiful, as were the bridesmaid’s bouquets.
Gatzke Orchard’s ceremony location is a beautiful spot, overlooking the lake. Despite it being incredibly hot during the ceremony, Marjolein Lloyd moved the ceremony along perfectly, as she always does! Guests and the wedding party were so happy to move into the shade and have a cold one after the ceremony. Thankfully, orchards have lots of trees. Lots of trees = lots of shade!
The reception was a great time with lots of food, drinks, hilarious photos of Kate and Cody as kids, touching and funny speeches, and DANCING!
I’ve known this Momma since I moved to Kelowna and I have been fortunate enough to get to know her and see her family grow. Her adorable little boys are the sweetest little things you’ll ever lay your eyes on! Lisa is actually one of the most beautiful people I know – inside and out, by a long shot!
It’s people like Lisa and her family that keep me doing what I’m doing. I actually have the best job!
For the Brown’s session, we adventured around Knox Mountain on what should have been a cool fall day, but ended up being a warm summer day! I guess that being a Kelowna Family Photographer means that I have to be ready for fall or summer at any given moment between August and October!
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)!
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!
Often times, children don’t want to have their photographs taken. But if you make them love you, they will let you take their portrait! During this session, I gave piggybacks, raced, rolled around on the ground, went on a Bear Hunt, let the kids take pictures, and I even wiped some noses. After a small incident involving a dog and an adorable little girl, the session was under way and we were having fun!
I know Laura through the wedding industry – she is an incredible wedding planner and owner of English Rose Weddings. She’s the best to work with at weddings and behind the camera!
Thanks for letting me hang out with your adorable family, Laura!
Lindsay and Mike get married in just over a week. They’re having an intimate backyard wedding at a private home on Kalamalka Lake. It’s going to be beautiful!
We went out for an engagement session earlier this week and nearly got rained out. It had been sunny all day, but thankfully, the rain held off until the very end of the session. It was thundering and lightning like crazy and I even managed to capture a bolt of lightning in one of their images! We finished off the session with some Starbucks (Chai latte, yes please!) and wedding talk!
I CAN. NOT. WAIT. for their wedding! Stay tuned for their wedding preview!
Why am I always lost for words when I really have so much to say? I think it’s because I don’t know how to word it without thinking it sounds cheesy. So… I’m just going to lay it on thick here.
This was an emotional wedding. Tears. Lots of tears. ALL DAY. And I loved every second of it.
Lizz & Kevin decided to have their outdoor wedding in the backyard of a close friend. It was beautiful, intimate, and fun! I actually lost track of time during the reception and stay two hours late because I was having so much fun.
Family is the most important thing in the world to me. It’s also the most important thing in the world to Lizz & Kevin. We had a connection right away and I am sure that had something to do with it.
There is so much I love about this wedding. Where do I start? Point form is the answer to my problem here. These are all the things I loved:
The fact that Lizz wore an earring that was the letter “K” for Kevin. How sweet is that?!
The way that Kevin looks at Lizz. You’ll see it yourself. He admired, and I mean ADMIRED her, All. Day. Long.
Their dog, Luna, was the ring bearer.
Speaking of Luna, they made their own wine for the reception, which they affectionately titled “WINEmaraner”. Get it? Because Luna is a Weimaraner.
One of the bridesmaids gave a speech written by Luna, and it was HILARIOUS. This wedding speech (and anyone who attended the wedding knows exactly which part I am referring to) goes down in history for me.
Kevin’s mother sang not once, but twice. It was nothing short of beautiful and brought everyone to tears. Especially Lizz. She cries a lot and it’s adorable.
I have a throw blanket obsession and there were throw blankets for the cool evening. What more do I need to say about that?
There were lots of children running around barefoot and swinging on a swing under a willow tree.
Lizz & Kevin ate their cake on Royal Chinette plates. Firstly, throwback to my childhood. Secondly, I love that the plate choice didn’t matter. Because it’s about the love. Not the details.
There were FIVE flower girls. Absolutely adorable. It was just another one of the ways that Lizz incorporated her family into the wedding.
They way that Lizz checked in on all of her bridesmaids, family, and friends to make sure they were happy and comfortable.
Lizz’s wedding jewelry included family heirlooms. They were beautiful!
If you love to see emotional weddings, there’s a goldmine of photos awaiting below. I meet wonderful, beautiful couples every year. Lizzy and Kevin are the epitome of “perfect for each other”. I don’t think I’ve ever met a couple more in love and more suitable for one another than these two. Please enjoy this beautiful wedding!