Mar
23
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT TORONTO’S BALZAC’S COFFEE…

“We chose Balzac’s in the Distillery because its mix of glamour and industrial was totally perfect for us. It felt like a space we could move into. It has a ton of personality, which is what we wanted our wedding day to be full of. Having such a charming venue also meant way less decorating and prep work!”

i’d say this is one of the sweetest most intimate weddings i’ve ever shared.

huge thanks again to

DARING WANDERER

for sending both the engagement and the wedding over to share.

head on over HERE to check out more from Jessica of Daring Wanderer’s work.  absolutely beautiful storytelling.

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
20
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT HOUSTON’S CHATEAU COCOMAR…

this wedding here is one i don’t feel like i did justice with featuring the right images.  cause every single one that

JOSEPH WEST

sent over was damn near perfect and i wanted to share them all.  so what you have to do is go over HERE and see the entire thing and then you’ll see what a prime example of beautiful story telling and beautiful moments from a wedding day looks like.

thrilled to have Joseph West and his work on the blog.  an absolute master at what he does.  i can’t even begin to describe it so go see for yourself on HIS BLOG.

Mar
19
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN…

always stoked to have

CASEY FATCHETT

on the blog with this Manhattan wedding.

head on over to CASEY’S BLOG for more of his latest timeless work.

Mar
18
2015

{ELOPEMENT} LOVE AT OREGON’S WAHCLELLA FALLS…

“My husband and I had been together for ten years when we decided to finally make things official. After he proposed, we got to work planning the wedding we always thought we ‘had to have.’ In the midst of it all, we kept joking about eloping – but would quickly shrug it off. Even though we’re both private, laidback people who don’t crave the spotlight or a big fuss, we didn’t want to disappoint any of our family and friends. So, instead, we tried everything we could to make our wedding feel more like ‘us.’ We planned a casual destination wedding that we hoped would feel like a vacation for our guests (who are scattered across the country) – but six months into our plans, we couldn’t ignore the feeling that our hearts just weren’t in it and found out that traveling posed problems for many of the people we invited.

Once we saw that we were making both ourselves and our guests unhappy, we decided to call off our plans and finally allow ourselves to imagine running off an adventure to elope. It felt so natural and so right; suddenly, all of the enthusiasm and joy that had been missing from our original plans finally kicked in. We shared our decision to elope with our parents and a select few (all of whom were wonderfully supportive) but decided to surprise the rest of our loved ones upon our return. We hatched a plan almost overnight and before long, we had booked a flight to Portland, OR, found an officiant, pleaded with our wonderful photographer (Mandy Fierens) to come with us, and finally felt truly excited about our impending nuptials for the first time since we got engaged. In the early morning hours of August 17th we hopped on a plane and after a hellacious, thirty-hour travel nightmare, finally landed in Portland where we hurried to get a marriage license and check into the lovely house we rented for the week. The next day, we hiked our way up to a scenic overlook at Wahclella Falls with donuts, champagne, and my dress in tow. With Mandy and her fiancé (now husband!) Kevin serving as our witnesses, we happily sealed the deal after nearly eleven years.

There were moments after we decided to elope that I thought we were crazy. For a while it seemed unlikely that we could pull it all off (especially when our travel nightmare nearly ruined the whole thing!). Finding an officiant who was willing to hike to a waterfall wasn’t the easiest thing in the world and neither was making plans for our ceremony, sight-unseen, from across the country. We also struggled with how to break the news to the family and friends – with our loved ones being scattered all over the country, the timing and presentation of our news was a bit tricky. We finally settled on sending announcements in the mail with a link to a video that captured our big day – and luckily, the responses were positive and loving across the board! So many things could have gone wrong – and almost did – but in the end, we knew that no matter what happened, as long as it ended with the two of us celebrating a decade of love and a lifetime to come, that everything would be okay. And it was.”

 i am beyond thrilled to have the work of

MANDY FIERENS

on the blog, especially with this elopement.  the falls as a backdrop is just beyond.

you’ve just got to head on over to MANDY’S SITE for more of her work.  it’s just solid gold storytelling AND pure emotions beautifully captured.

Mar
17
2015

{REAL WEDDING} LOVE AT TACOMA’S EVENTS ON 6TH…

such a heartfelt wedding captured by

JESSICA UHLER

for more from this Tacoma wedding, head on over HERE, then mosey around JESSICA’S BLOG for more of her latest work too.