Mar
24
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT FLORIDA’S BOK TOWER…

“Cassandra and Josh met in 2005 when they were both attending a music program. Josh was enhancing his piano skills while Cassandra focused on the guitar. They began dating shortly after.

Eight years later, Josh knew it was time to put his proposal plan into action. He had pieced together bits over the past year. Cassandra has always loved Disney – so he knew it would take place there. They are both close to their family, so Josh had to casually invite a few others to their next outing. Josh picked out a beautiful three stone diamond ring – all set on that front.

Next step? How to make it happen. The day of the proposal, the families headed to Disney and made their way to Cinderella’s castle. They took some photos with a handful of variations and group swaps. The whole family. Just Cassandra and her parents. Just Josh and his parents……

Soon, it was time for Josh and Cassandra’s photo. He looked at her and whispered, “Do you know why they are all here?” Cassandra looked around blankly and Josh’s step-father tossed him a little black box. Cassandra immediately began to cry. “

huge thanks to

EMILY KATHARINE

for sending this one over share.

head on over to EMILY’S BLOG for much more of her latest work.  she’s got a lot of her sleeve you don’t want to miss.

Mar
23
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT TORONTO’S WARD ISLAND…

“The couple, Sarah & Steve, their adorable pup Fiona and I all hopped on the ferry one gorgeous afternoon. Ward’s island is the only inhabited island off of the Toronto harbour front and it was packed with city folk looking to escape and catch some rays. We explored the quirky cobble stone walk ways (there are no cars on this island, only foot + bike traffic) and ended up on some private docks that the owners were thrilled we were incorporating in their shoot. “

super stoked to have

DARING WANDERER

on the blog.

and guess what?  this couple’s wedding already happened.  so it’s coming up shortly on the blog…so hold your horses and stay tuned for this afternoon.

Mar
22
2015

{EVER OURS AFTER HOURS} NORDICA PHOTOGRAPHY…

pretty sure you guys are getting the hang of #everoursafterhours.  but if not,  again just as a reminder, i’ve grown antsy with targeting brides and grooms as the sole readers of this blog and have felt that the wedding photography/videography community has given me and this blog so much more.  so while still featuring the most beautiful wedding photography there is out there, but i am gearing this blog with a direct focus on and for wedding photographers and videography.  so it won’t be just a place for you to be wow’d by their work, but to learn the “why” behind their work, to get to know photographers and videographers that are the game changers or ones that in their tiny little corner of the earth are just getting it done.  i have always, ALWAYS, prided myself on the that community that i have the fortunate experience of knowing and featuring.  for the past five years, i have surrounded myself with such a beautifully talented community of wedding photographers and videographers.  so i’m just going to build on that this year and give them the spotlight they deserve.  i’ll be highlighting photographers almost every week.  but obviously if i have the time, i’ll be featuring more but it’s all dependent on the photographers who have the time to answer too.  it’ll be up on Sundays and it’ll just be a chance for photographers to kick back after shooting a wedding, grab a coffee, and have a lazy Sunday read.

this sunday’s ever ours after hours is highlighting

NORDICA PHOTOGRAPHY

if you don’t know Jakob and Cole of Nordica Photography, you have been hiding underneath a rock.  i am super honored to be able to share their work in my “Best Of” two years running now.  but just really stoked they took the time for this.  these guys have truly pushed the boundaries of wedding photography and kept a lot of you motivated  to up your game and perfecting the art.  their breathtaking work isn’t just on the grand scale of the most exotic and beautiful backdrops, but also on the tiniest of moments between their couples.  what i also truly appreciate about Nordica is the fact that want to share their knowledge and help others kick their butt in high gear and take their photography to the next level.  they are the ones behind Way Up North (which just sold out)  that has a killer line up of speakers that hope to help add that extra umph to your photography and your business.  but seriously though, it truly is such a joy to follow their work and constantly be in awe of what this team is capable of.  ok, i’ll stop fangirl-ing over here and let them talk.

How did you get your start in wedding photography?

Our path was definitely unique. Long story short, we graduated with master degrees in marketing in 2007. From there, parted ways and reconvened in Vancouver at the end of 2009. We wanted to do weddings and start a business together, but knew it wasn’t going to be easy. So 2010 was spent hustling and doing as much non-wedding work as you can think of. All the while, with every handshake we said we were wedding photographers. Eventually people associated us with that and the brand grew. There are many more stories to share about how we started, but at the root of it all was a desire to start a business and apply a style of photography we loved to weddings.

What is unique about your style of shooting?

What makes us unique is what makes every artist unique: the vision. No one can ever copy that.

Include one of your images that is your most recent favorite and explain why you love it.

Cole: If I answered this question tomorrow I’m sure something different would be written. For now though, this image from Iceland comes to mind. The conditions were absolutely brutal that entire day – the wind was unrelenting, it was pouring rain, and freezing cold (none of those points were exaggerated – it was awful). But for me, sometimes those harsh conditions in hardcore environments are the key ingredient for making something memorable because it shows a motivation to do something others might shy away from. That particular picture stands out because it involved because completely pounded by a wave which came up from a cliffside like a volcano of water which the couple stood on a natural archway, but that entire day stood out because it was just a grind. Also, that wedding was one of the few I was able to photograph with Jakob this year and it was great to be able to make that happen.

Jakob: The most recent work is always what I like the most. It’s always been that way, probably always will be. So right this moment, I’m most happy with this image from a wedding I shot in St Lucia recently. I like it because of how the couple is part of the composition – an important part of course, since it’s a wedding portrait – but not the entire focus of the image. Even if it wasn’t a wedding photo, I would still like and be proud of the shot. Which leads in to my mantra as a photographer: Shoot work the same way you shoot your personal photography, and good things will happen. Both from a personal perspective and from a business and branding perspective.

What do you struggle with the most? Business wise or shooting wise.

Maintaining goals is a welcome challenge. Without goals, motivation can sometimes be hard to come by so creating new ideas and striving to achieve exciting things is a constant in our business. This isn’t a struggle to the extent that we’re battling to come up with new ideas – quite the opposite – but creating new goals certainly drives us and keeps us determined.

Where do you see wedding photography heading next? Where would like to see it go?

The service aspect is what we see having the greatest potential for change down the road. Photography will always have trends and evolutions with gear, styles and technology, so that change will remain constant. But service on a whole is evolving at a remarkable rate in all industries due to changing consumer expectations and a new perspective on ones’ value of time. So, that’s sort of a vague answer, but we feel the service aspect of the industry is going to experience the greatest shift.

If you could send one message to the wedding photography world, what would it be? (Basically, your life motto)

“Inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and get to work” – Chuck Close

What drives you as a person and as a wedding photographer?

Cole: Before I had my two little girls, my answer would have been completely different. With those two little monkeys now being the biggest part of my world, everything I do is for them and that drives me. As a wedding photographer, my answer is quite a bit more selfish. I am driven to create work that I love, first and foremost. If I love what I’m creating, then I know the clients will as well and they’re the most important part of the entire business equation.

Jakob: What drives me as a person? That’s a question with many answers, but professionally, I’ve always been motivated by seeing how far I can go. Whatever it is, I try to aim as high as possible and do whatever I can to reach those goals.

What is it like to work as a team?  

Our working relationship is totally unique, and hard to grasp even for ourselves at times. When we started in 2010, two guys doing wedding photography together was odd enough to some, so for it to evolve and five years later we’re still going is definitely unique.

We make this work in two ways: Delegation and having goals. With delegation, we have an unwritten rule that the one of us will do a single task, and we never have the two of us working on the same thing. It might sound obvious, but in the early days it was an oversight for us to have both of us answer the same email (for example). So having work allocated to each of us has worked well. With having goals, we always put Nordica first and our own vanity second. That’s difficult for some to grasp – especially in a creative industry where self-fulfilment is important – but we’ve always been that way. So long as our brand is succeeding, we will receive the long-term benefits and we have always been on the same wavelength with this.

As for benefits and pitfalls, there are obvious ones for each. With pitfalls, we don’t always agree on everything as we are very different people, but we know one another well enough by now to understand we’ll work towards a reasoned conclusion that’s best for the brand in the end. So we’re sort of employees of Nordica’s in that sense, which some may see as a pitfall. But certainly the benefits outweigh the pitfalls because we are very determined to grow Nordica into something great, so having like-minded people on the same team working everyday towards something makes the journey more seamless compared with being an individual.

If we had one piece of advice for people working as a team in this industry, it is to put the legacy of your brand before yourselves as individuals. Nobody ever told us that, but if we were to share one lesson with “the 2010 version of Cole and Jakob”, it would be that.

What makes you confetti throw at the end of the day?

Cole: Easy. My wife, Therese, and our two little girls, Asta and Embla.

Jakob: I drink whiskey at the end of the day.

 —

Nordica Photography is based out of Sweden and Canada, but obviously travel world wide.  there’s really no other way to describe their work, so just go see if for yourself on THEIR SITE and THEIR BLOG.

Mar
16
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT IOWA’S WEST OKOBOJI LAKE…

super duper thanks to

AMANDA BASTEEN

for sending this lake engagement session over.

head on over HERE for more of Amanda’s latest work.  she’s had some good ones up her sleeve that you’ll want to see for yourself.

Mar
12
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT ALBERTA’S ICEFIELDS PARKWAY…

i am utterly astounded not only by the beauty of this backdrop and this couple, but also with the work of

BRITTANY ESTHER PHOTOGRAPHY

super thankful that she sent over this Icefields Parkway engagement session all the way from Alberta, Canada.

and more so, super thankful that this bride and groom were willing to wake up at the crack of dawn to go on this adventure.

loving Brittany’s work?  well head on over to HER BLOG for more of her latest work.  i guarantee you’ll get lost there for awhile.

Mar
08
2015

{EVER OURS AFTER HOURS} PAIGE JONES…

again just as a reminder, i’ve grown antsy with targeting brides and grooms as readers of this blog and have felt that the wedding photography/videography community has given me and this blog so much more.  so while still featuring the most beautiful wedding photography there is out there, but i am hoping to gear it to wedding photographers and videography.  so it won’t be just a place for you to be wow’d by their work, but to learn the “why” behind their work, to get to know photographers and videographers that are the game changers or ones that in their tiny little corner of the earth are just getting it done.  i have always, ALWAYS, prided myself on the that community that i have the fortunate experience of knowing and featuring.  for the past five years, i have surrounded myself with such a beautifully talented community of wedding photographers and videographers.  so i’m just going to build on that this year and give them the spotlight they deserve.  and one of the first things is to highlight photographers every month.  my aim is to start with twice a month, but obviously if i have the time, i’ll be featuring more and it’s all dependent on the photographers who have the time to answer too.  it’ll be up on Sundays and it’ll just be a chance for photographers to kick back after shooting a wedding, grab a coffee, and have a lazy Sunday read.

this sunday’s ever ours after hours is highlighting

PAIGE JONES

i discovered Paige shortly before Photo Field Trip last year when she sent over her work to share and even luckier that i got to meet her at Photo Field Trip.  I was completely blown away by her truly amazing photography and how yes, she does a spectacular job with her storytelling, but more so with those fleeting moments of joy and love that with a click of her camera, it’s captured forever and will be cherished for a lifetime.  i don’t know how she does it.  she just has magic, maybe.  she’s truly been a joy to keep featuring on this blog and following her work has been a highlight of 2014.

How did you get your start in wedding photography?

I had a decent consumer-level dslr throughout college, but I seldom used it. After graduation, I used some graduation money to buy a new dslr (the nikon d90)…I played around with it for about 1.5 years and then after I got married, I was trying to find a job (graduated in 2009 – wasn’t easy!), and I had a 2nd interview with a promising company and I didn’t get it. I was one month into marriage, living in a new city, jobless and sad haha. For our one month wedding anniversary, my husband bought me the 50mm 1.8 and told me to try this photography thing. I offered 10 free shoots to the first people who emailed me, and threw up a really crappy website. Throughout my “10 free shoots” campaign, word of mouth spread through our little community…then a friend of a friend of a friend needed a wedding photographer on a 1K budget – I said “I’ll do it!”…and thus began my journey into wedding photography.

What is unique about your style of shooting?

I think what’s unique about my style, isn’t necessarily the images I produce, but rather the experience I provide my clients. I’m a very laid back, relaxed person and that’s how I approach weddings. I bring my clients into my own little peaceful world. One of the best compliments a client gave me was back in 2012 after their crazy rager Mexico wedding, and after receiving her images, she enthusiastically wrote back: “omg we love them! and you got so many moments! I don’t even remember seeing you once during the reception, yet you managed to get all these moments. thank you!” – This was such a great compliment for me because that sums me up: unobtrusive, yet professional.

Include one of your images that is your most recent favorite and explain why you love it.

This isn’t a wedding photo – although I did take this while shooting an engagement session in NYC – but this is currently one of my favorite photos ever. I recently printed about 100 photos of mine (trying to get better about that!), and this was one of them…when I received my prints, I just stared at this one for a long time, because there are so many human faces in it…and so many of them are facing my camera. I love a beautiful mountain, or ocean just as much as the next person, but man…humans trump it all. We are so complex, and so beautifully made and being alive is such a gift…I love that I captured this moment of so many humans in one frame. I’m planning on printing this one GIANT for my living room at some point…like 40×60 big ;-)

What do you struggle with the most? Business wise or shooting wise.

I love weddings, and I love all of my clients, and I wouldn’t change these past 5 years for anything. However, I struggle with maintaining my enthusiasm for weddings in general. It’s probably due to this giant industry I find myself in, and how so many of the “things” seem superficial and fleeting…so I constantly have to remind myself to look past all of that and find the genuine moments in each wedding; I have to remind myself that if I were to tear down all the layers of fluff, I’d still find a couple who loves each other, and that’s important.

Where do you see wedding photography heading next? Where would like to see it go?

I think the industry will continue to grow at a rapid pace. More people will continue getting married each year, and more people will start photography businesses each year. Thanks to the Internet, the world is much smaller now, so I definitely think destination weddings are going to become even bigger then they already are, so for someone who loves to travel I find that idea very exciting. I’m not sure where I’d like to see it go from here. I wouldn’t mind seeing certain trends/details die forever, and I’d also like to see some of the empty traditions die off.

If you could send one message to the wedding photography world, what would it be? (Basically, your life motto)

My husband drives me as a person. Not in the 1950’s kind of way, but in the, “thanks for encouraging me, and allowing me to just be me and loving me anyway” kind of way. His support allows me to chase my dreams and take risks. If I’m being honest, my livelihood drives me as a wedding photographer. But what drives me as a photographer is the fascination with the world and how it’s changed and how it’s currently changing. I want to have a million photos in 20+ years so my kids and grand-kids can look back into my vault.

What makes you confetti throw at the end of the day?

Good food and good company. Fill my belly with delicious foods and surround me with good people and I’ll die a happy woman!

PAIGE JONES is based in Atlanta, but has traveled worldwide and passport ready.  she’s also decided to focus more on small intimate weddings this year which is totally my jam.  check out more of her work on HER SITE and HER BLOG.

 

Mar
06
2015

{ENGAGEMENT} LOVE AT THE NORTH CASCADES…

i mean really, that ice cave.  major thanks to

LUCAS MOBLEY

for sending this stunner of an engagement session over to share.

“Amy and David love the outdoors and exploring nature.  Together, they are playful and lighthearted. David never misses a chance to crack a joke and Amy never misses a chance to laugh.   Amy is also a talented wedding photographer (Amy Galbraith Photography), so we wanted to do something extra special for their engagement photos. I was honored that she chose me to be her photographer and felt like I needed to pull out all the stops.

I had a few places in mind that I’ve wanted to shoot at for a while. First was Old Fortson Mill in an extremely rural area about two hours away from Seattle. It’s the ruins of a decaying lumber mill from around 1905. Very few people know about it witch made exploring it extra rad!
 
After that, we headed up a rough dirt road into the mountains stopping whenever the sun broke through the mist.  At dusk we ended up at Big Four Ice Caves. The caves are spectacular and are a bit like a mini Alaska in Washington State.  We toasted to the end of a great day exploring with Moscow Mules surrounded by towering blocks of ice. Not a bad day at all!”

head on over HERE for more of Lucas’ latest work.  the above is just a tiny glimpse of what this guy can capture.