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Vanessa + Will’s gorgeous wedding took place over August long weekend at Maple Bay’s premiere wedding destination Bird’s Eye Cove Farm. No detail was overlooked. All of Vanessa + Will’s hard work and planning was evident and came together flawlessly creating one of the most beautiful and inviting atmosphere’s the barn has ever seen.  An island farm property rich in history was the perfect setting for a family of four generations to gather and celebrate. It’s hard to explain what happen’s when we walk into these weekends to photograph the story of a wedding. Typically we have only met the bride + groom once, maybe twice via Facetime. But it is always remarkable how quickly we feel a connection to both of them and their family, we easily  fall into their rhythm of what makes them tick. We wholeheartedly grasped onto a small piece of their world this weekend – and loved every minute of it.  We hope you enjoy each and everyone of your photos, may they be a reminder of the beauty of this day for years to come. Fill up the cozy spaces in your home with these images as a daily reminder to live for the moments you can’t put into words!

This post is a lengthy one, I couldn’t resist!! enjoy : )

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Let me introduce you to two of the greatest people on the planet, Brittney + Ryan!  This smiley, happy couple met on the world wide web! I am a firm believer that things happen at exactly the time they are supposed to. However that may be. And I am so happy that life had its way in helping these two to find each other! Wouldn’t you agree? For their very first date Brittney was fashionably late – leaving Ryan to wonder if he had been…eeeps…stood up. Whoooops of course she would never, let’s just blame border wait times and poor cell coverage for that. Luckily Ryan waited for her and Im sure he would agree that it was worth every minute. As their adventure together began this American-Canadian love story didn’t allow border control to get in the way again. Spending long hours on the road to see each other whenever possibly in their busy teaching schedules. These two are kind, playful, and easy going and are excited to be planning a wedding and an incredible future together – without the commute!

Brittney + Ryan, I – like many other photographers – am continually reminded what an unbelievable privilege it is to step into other people’s lives with the opportunity to photograph them.

Someday, your kids will have this glimpse of their mom and dad – young and full of life.  Someday, you will be able to look back and remember who you were at this stage – wildly in love, professionals, and partners.  Maybe you will recall the sub-seasonal Okanagan temperatures, the chance-of-rain, the branding on your wine bottle, how nervous you felt, and maybe you won’t. But that doesn’t matter. Those are the in betweens, the neither here-nor-there’s. What matter’s the the real life documented here.

Photographs matter.

And your in for a treat, because these photographs speak volumes about a real couple who really love each other.

  1. Lynda & Artie Cooper   –  

    Ryan and Brittney’s engagement pictures are so beautiful. We thought the areas for the photos were well chosen and the colors and the brightness compliment their love for each other. Well done!

  2. Becky   –  

    Love all these locations!!
    Gorgeous session, love the side shots of them holding hands!

Stopa Family

June 15, 2014

Filed under family

 

 

 

A cloudy and cool afternoon was the perfect backdrop for this mid-day family lifestyle session with the Stopa clan! We met up for about an hour to take a walk around Hayne’s Point in Osoyoos before heading off to a family birthday party for a very special 2 yr old! Hayley, Trent, Jackson + Rowan are always a joy to work with. It’s awesome to see how much their littles have grown since our last session. However, there was one thing stayed the same “Teds” the bear joined us again but this time along came his friend Teds (yes they share the same name) and Ally the Alligator. Jackson was a great help as set director for the stuffed animal portraits + as well had good input on many of the portraits of his parents! *wink*

 

  1. Michelle   –  

    Awe what great family shots! Love the location and those people :) ox

  2. Hayley Stopa   –  

    Thank you Erika!! These are awesome, we are so happy with them :)

  3. Andrea Lester   –  

    Beautiful pics of your family Hayley!

  4. Odia Wood-Krueger   –  

    Gak! So many of these to love! :)

  5. Holly Launier   –  

    Beautiful pics Hayley, and Erika you are sooooo talented : )

A little glimpse into Darci + Chris’ beautiful spring wedding day reveals so many layers of goodness!  The afternoon began with Darci surrounded by her girls as she got pampered by her friends at  Tracy Cake Make-Up and Shelly Vickers from High Fidelity Hair Studio. Chris took it easy enjoying lunch at Furry Creek Golf Club with his buddies. Darci + Chris are a captivating couple, and the kind of people who just pour out love and joy onto anyone around them. Their families and friends are just the same. It’s hard to explain but anyone who knows them would agree! They are always a joy to photograph as the love they have for each other is so genuine and flows so easily.

Their wedding ceremony was sweet + simple. Surrounded by nature and their closest of family + friends everyone cheered them on into the next chapter of their lives together!

We enjoyed an beautiful tour of the Furry Creek Golf Club property as we snapped memorable images of Darci + Chris alllll over the place! We cannot thank Jill wedding coordinator (AND momma-to-be) extraordinare + staff enough. They personally  escorted us around the property (in golf carts!) and brought picnic snacks for ALL of to nosh on as we hustled about. Ah-mazing!

The evening rounded off with a delicious dinner – thoughtfully selected plates to satisfy any appetite. Guest’s continued to celebrate the happy couple sharing stories and heart felt best wishes for the future! My favourite being one that Chris’ mom shared. She was on her busy Vancouver commute home after work and happened to notice a young couple laughing and walking along with their arms intertwined. They were happy, radiant, and they looked so in love – she thought to herself – how nice.  As she flew past them, to her surprise she recognized her son Chris and his fiance Darci! Such a sweet memory!

Thank you D + C for inviting us to capture your special day – big love to you both.

Dress by – Joanna Delaney

Flowers by – Our Little Flower Company

Wedding Coordinator (Furry Creek Golf Club) – Jill Weekes-Dickson



  1. Becky   –  

    Gorgeous!!! Love the shots on the beach!! <3

  2. Lin Snow   –  

    These are beautiful!

  3. Simon Snow   –  

    so awesome! Thank you!

  4. Gorgeous! Breathtaking! So romantic!!! Just re-lived that perfect day. I love you both so much!!!

  5. Amanda Bear   –  

    Incredible photos!! thanks for sharing love <3

  6. Katia Somerville   –  

    I love love! Excellent photos, and what a stunningly beautiful couple- I'm so happy for you guys <3

  7. Teresa Breakwell   –  

    I have a feeling I will be printing lots of your photos…

  8. Janine Deanna Sept   –  

    LOVED EVERY FRAME! WELL DONT FRIEND!!!

  9. Janine Deanna Sept   –  

    well DONE*

  10. Erika Walter   –  

    Janine Deanna Sept Thanks so much!! LOVELY phone chat with you tonight – keep in touch! MUAH!

What’s in my BAG?

April 29, 2014

Filed under just for fun

 

 

 

Every once in a while I will get email’s or Facebook messages from clients and friends asking me to weigh in on “what camera do you think is better for me?” or “what type of lens should I invest in?”. Sometimes clients want to know what gear Im using at sessions or while we are working together.  I am always happy to provide some advice where I can but I thought it would be a good topic for a blog post! What IS in my bag?

The photo above showcases most of my lenses the only one missing is the one that I am shooting the photo with!

On a typical wedding day I have my 35mm f/1.4 on my camera 70% of the time (I LOVE LOVE LOOOVE this lens), in my ShootSac I pack my 50mm f/1.4 and my 24-70mm 2.8 which I like to call my ‘workhorse’ and is on my camera the other 30% of the time. There are 6 handy pockets in the ShootSac. In one of my pockets I carry a wallet full of unused memory cards at the front (at least 32G) and all filled memory cards go in the back of my card wallet. I store 1 unused camera battery in another pocket. I don’t carry my flash in my ShootSac but you certainly could!  I will carry this loaded ShootSac on me all day. During the ceremony I will have my Juju bag by Kelly Moore usually stationed at the back row with my 70-200mm f/2.8 ready to go where I can easily pop it on to get in nice and close without being disruptive! My flash, and my macro lens stay in the Juju when they are not being used, along with extra batteries, cleaning cloths, business cards, my cell phone, wet naps and bag of almonds or a protein bar for a mid day energy boost!

I hoped this has helped you! Leave a comment and let me know – and feel free to ASK MORE QUESTIONS!

M + E – Ucluelet

March 9, 2014

Filed under inspiration

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Recently M and I took a weekend off and visited the west coast! We have been back living on the island for 2 years and still had not made time to get out to Ucluelet or Tofino or anywhere even close since our return. It was time to make some time! So on a whim we booked 2 nights in a cozy little cabin complete with hot tub and great views of the inlet. I prepared a few delicious meals (as the little town of Ucluelet shuts down most restaurants and cafes during the off season) and we were off! We filled our first evening with a rocky sunset hike, taking a few fun photos and experimenting with reflections, then checked out some local property for sale. Our first full day we layered ourselves in warm clothes and rain gear and took to a soggy coastal hike along Florencia Bay. Watched some bald eagles race for their dinner on the shore line, listened to the sea lions and practiced our head stands (its a work in progress for me…more on that later!). We chowed some home made tomato basil soup and built a little fire under the  protection of a big ol’ tree and ate our soup with giant mussel shells – because we forgot our spoons! The next day we were off and hit SNOW on the pass! YaY! We made our way to Cathedral Grove (read OLD GROWTH Douglas Fir FOREST – some trees more than 800 yr old) and took the rare opportunity to view the GIANTS in their snowy coats. They dwarfed us. The massive clumps of snow falling from the branches a 100 meters up and ongoing snowfall made picture taking tricky. Hard to get a clear focus from all the chunky snowflakes getting in the way! It was GORGEOUS!! A little seafood chowder and shopping at Coombs Market to wrap up the trip! Our little getaway made me so excited for a spring and summer full of adventures with M! We have lots of trips planned so stay tuned, we can’t wait!

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baby Violet

March 7, 2014

Filed under bambinos, family

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Meet baby Violet just 3 weeks old! I had a great morning hanging out with Mark, Kelsey and Violet in their downtown Victoria condo. It was a beautiful spring day and the sun poured into their suite. We chit chatted about her pregnancy, amazing midwife experience, new business ventures (she is a co-owner at Parlor Salon here in Victoria) and the Top 20 under 40 Business + Community award Mark recently received for his work with the Victoria Highland soccer team! It has been an exciting couple of months for M + K, with so much to be thankful for. Violet was a joy to work with! And can we just say THAT HAIR!! Adorable! She rocked that wee little headband with so much style ; )  Violet was calm and alert for the beginning of the session but after a snuggly cuddle with dad she drifted right off! It was so great to meet people I had long heard about (friends of friends of friends and a small town – you get the picture!) and connect with them in their home capturing them doing life. Thanks again!!

.

 

  1. Lena Thompson   –  

    Beautiful family and Violet is so adorable.

  2. Donna Elenko   –  

    Be still my heart!

  3. Donna Elenko   –  

    Be still my heart!

  4. Gail Milliken   –  

    Such gorgeous pictures, beautiful memories!

  5. Laurie Robb   –  

    Wee Violet is so very lovey. Congratulations you two.

  6. Linda stone   –  

    These beautiful pics of such a lovely new family actually brought tears to my eyes. Congraulations again Mark & Kelsy and may many more great memories be made!!!!

Hardison – 1 YEAR!

February 25, 2014

Filed under bambinos, family

It’s amazing how time flies and little people grow! Hardison celebrated his first birthday the day before this session. We had a lot of fun re-creating some photos from his new born session just 12 months before! Of course this time he was MUCH busier and curious about my camera. We had fun playing most of the morning! Some of his favourite things include – his books, his blue striped stuffed dog, his chevron blankey and his nanny (who made a guest appearance in this session and was a huge help getting the giggles out of him!). Things we LOVE about Hardison – his soft curly hair, his many different expressions, the way his face crinkles up when he cries, his toothy grin, how HAPPY and loving he is, and how his version of peek-a-boo looks a bit more like “face-palm”!. Ohhhh I could go on… : )

His parents wrote him this note that they published on facebook on his birthday. It really struck a cord with me and I hope they don’t mind if I share. It’s so GOOD!

“One year ago we said hello to the most amazing little boy. Just like the cliches lamenting “how time flies” we find it hard to believe that he is a year old already, and it is especially hard to watch the weeks go by now that he is developing faster and faster all the time. On the one hand we are so happy to see each new step, but at the same time we really just want to hang on to each little moment! (it would also be nice to hang on to some of his clothes for more than a week! #sprouting).

We feel extraordinarily lucky, and we feel grateful every day that he is the kind of beautiful, loving, joyful, pleasant, incorrigibly happy (#clapyourhands) and hilarious little boy that he is, and that we are becoming a family more amazing by the day as a result of his rather boisterous assistance (#insistence).

Mostly, though, we are especially proud of the fact that he has already learnt both of his first names, “Hardison”, and “Don’t Touch!!”, and is learning to ignore them both equally well (#perseverance).

Hardison, on your 13th birthday, when you are old enough to log into whatever archival system holds this ancient inter-web Facebook thingie and read this note, know that we love you with all our hearts. (mind you, we will probably print this out and paste it into your baby book, so maybe try there first… #ancient) xoxo, Mom & Dad (#sappy).”


 

Lululemon Holiday PARTY!

February 7, 2014

Filed under just for fun

I feel so lucky to have been invited BACK with my photobooth to the Lululemon holiday party!! A second year in a row and the lemons BROUGHT IT!! Featuring an assortment of topical fruit and a wind machine this year this group knocked it out of the park!

There were sooo many delicious photos I could not possibly blog them all! For a complete re-cap of the shenanigans and some behind the scenes shots too please head over to the Print Shop to view the FULL GALLERY! Here you are able to fill up  your photo cart and order prints as well!

NOTE – if logging into the GALLERY from a mobile device the PROOFING GALLERY ID is 676c

This fall I collaborated with my best gal Tacy from Highberry Dew – A design house to create a west coast holiday feast! The custom styled shoot was conceptualized by Jean Crowder, MP and her support team for her annual Holiday card. Styling provided by the lovely Tacy the shoot features local pears, hazelnuts, holly berry, cedar plank salmon and some treasures from her private collection.  Look for more styled collaborations to come in 2014!

  1. Tacy Rockwell   –  

    SO fun!!! What a FABULOUS day! Love ya sistah! Imma can't wait to get twerk on some more collabs with ya!

  2. Devon Gillott   –  

    nice work ladies!

  3. Nicole Westre   –  

    Love it!

  4. Becky   –  

    Awe, you girls are fun! The last pic is my fave cuz you’re in it :)

  5. Erika Walter   –  

    Thanks Devon!

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