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Tuning out to Tune in

Photo by Ryan Brenizer Photography

Admit it.

We’ve all done it.

Texting at times when we probably should not have. Talking on the phone a little too loudly in public places. Updating Facebook statuses when we should be paying attention to our company instead.

I’ve done it. I do it. But that doesn’t make it good or right. And I’m trying to change it.

I have a two-year-old son and the last thing I want him to see is his Mom on the iPhone when we go to the park or go on a family outing together. It tells him that he’s not important. It tells him that I don’t want to spend time with him. Yet, time and time again, I see this kind of thing all over at places like Science World and playgrounds where parents are disengaged and disinterested. And it just makes me really sad.

Let’s change gears a moment. It’s your wedding day. Everyone is happy, laughing, talking. It’s a time of gathering family and friends ~ some of whom you may not have seen in a very long time, some who have walked through the worst and best times with you as a couple, people who know you ~ as in really know you. And then the cameras come out. With the flashes. And the iPhones, Blackberrys and Androids. During the ceremony. In the aisle. Even behind the altar. At the first dance. In front of the cake for the first cut.

You may see where this is going.

This idea has been going around Facebook today and it all began for me with a particular posting on Facebook. And then I saw a few more gems on the Offbeat Bride. I thought it was just too important to skip over and not comment on because as technology gets increasingly more accessible and instantaneous, we forget to live in the moment during important events such as weddings. Even though there are many moments in my life that I would love to hold in a frame, I won’t simply because standing behind the lens takes me out of the moment. This is why most of the time when I am with my family, even on a special outing, I won’t bring along my big camera. I don’t want to miss the important things in life because I was too busy thinking about how I wanted to frame the shot, exposing it properly, what shots I could take afterwards. This is what professional photographers are for *wink*

Perhaps this might explain things better and give some more practical reasoning too, from a photographer’s perspective.

The Unplugged Wedding

Some Wording for an Unplugged Wedding

I’m not saying don’t take pictures, don’t Tweet and don’t Facebook at weddings. Just maybe think about the where and when of it. Giving the bride and groom your attention on their wedding day will mean the world to them and may be more meaningful to you as a guest, too.


DJ and Jen :: Smithers Wedding Photographer

DJ and Jen. You may remember them from their super rad engagement session. You know, the ones that rode the scooters, threw popcorn around in the movie theater and snuggled with their cute pup, Dexter? Yup, that was them.

What an amazing, fun-loving, family-first, devoted couple I got to photograph on their wedding day. And the creativity to fuse their movie-themed engagement session along to their wedding day was brilliant. I absolutely LOVE it when couples take the time to somehow weave all these elements together. I’m a big sucker for continuity and I think that this really pulls it all together. So excellent job, you two for carrying out the movie-theme throughout!

The details were fun from the custom-made movie posters using some shots from their engagement session to the little awards ceremony at the reception where Jen and DJ handed out trophies for “the furthest traveled” and “the best fascinator.” And when the lights dimmed in the theater to present a short movie about their lives together the past few years, well, let’s just say that I really wished I had a Kleenex handy because I sure could have used one.

Everything was pretty much perfect ~ the bride and groom looked smashing, the weather was great, the guests were beaming, the food marvelous and the music loud. And Jen’s fascinator, red headband and sash with the roses on it? A girl can never have too much can she? *wink*

Love you guys, thanks so much for having me at your wedding, I enjoyed getting to know you both and all the best in your married life together!


Dress: All for Less Warehouse

Flowers: Larkspur Floral Designs and Arrangements

Hair: Chelsea Henkel

Makeup: Kim Dehoog

Ceremony Venue: Roi Theater

Reception Venue: Round Lake Hall

Wedding Cake: Ali Howard

Caterer: Heidi Westfall

DJ and MC: Jesse Butler, Northern Lights Audio


A Summery Invitation

I think it’s pretty sweet when I get wedding invitations in the mail. It gets me really excited for what’s to come and I love to see how creative couples are with their invitations. I got this one in the mail this week from Eric and Lauren. Lauren is a graphic designer and created this beautiful pink and green invitation that folds up, accordion-style.

Brides, if I am shooting your wedding, I’d LOVE to have one of your invitations! And it will probably get featured on my blog *wink*

Thanks for sending me your lovely invitation, folks!



Jarusha Brown - Woah! Awesome! Designers always have the best invites!!!

An Oceanside Affair

I don’t normally post weddings out of sequence and I don’t normally post this many in a preview but this is a little bit different. Noreen and Jeremy are celebrating their second reception in Hong Kong this week and I was asked if I could provide a few images to show their 200 guests what their Oahu wedding was like.

Gladly. It was gorgeous!

I thought since I already had these images prepared, why not share them? There will be more to come in the future, promise!


Jarusha - AWESOME!!!! Can’t wait to see more from that magical, sweaty, sweaty day ;D

Oahu, Hawaii :: Day 1

Well, back in cloudy ole’ Vancouver here and I must say, it’s really been bumming me out the past few days. Yes, I was spoiled for a whole week of glorious, warm Hawaiian sun, endless aquamarine beaches and all kinds of tropical plants and animals. Right now as I sit here in my office with wool socks, my fleece-lined slippers and a wool sweater on…….well, let’s just say I’m a little sad!

I had such a wonderful privilege to travel to the island of Oahu to cover a wedding at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore but first, it was time to take a few days off and relax. My traveling companion, Jarusha Brown, and I had a great week hanging out in our swanky (OK, well, not so swanky but it was still pretty nice!) 36th floor condo that was two blocks from the beach and traipsed around nearly the whole island in our little zippy white Fiat.

Our first day out, we did quite a bit, starting off with a grocery shop to Safeway and stocking up on all kinds of veggies. Note our lunch above. I ate so many avocados that week. Yum! We did a hike up Diamond Head in the sweltering heat, but made sure to bring lots of water and treated ourselves to some shaved ice afterwards. What a great thing to do the first day upon arrival in Oahu and I would highly recommend it. The views were spectacular!

We then drove north towards Hanauma Bay, which was Jarusha’s pick. Excellent choice and I wish we would have had more time there. The bay is a conservation reserve with a reef that is full of all kinds of sea life. A few feet into the water and you’re already on the coral, snorkeling around with the colourful fish.

I’ve got a few more days of travel images to post PLUS…….two weddings among other personal things. We’ll see how I manage!

Until next time!