Megan + Ken // engaged!

September 18, 2014

Filed under she said yes!

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They met online–something that can go either way – really really good, OR not so much. For Megan + Ken it was the right time and the right person and they hit it off! Funny how that happens–how you can go along living your life and one day someone comes into your story and there’s no looking back.

We went to Megan + Ken’s favourite summer spot for their portraits–Neck Point Park in Naniamo. We took a wander through the forest, spent sometime practicing a little magic eye time on the picnic blanket (reminiscent of their first date!). Followed up by time at the beach, a visit from a pod of porpoises and the most GORGEOUS sunset! Megan + Ken will tie the knot next spring at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm and we can’t wait to capture it!

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This little beauty of an album was delivered to it’s Okanagan home last week!

I am so HAPPY with how it all came together and how K + H’s image selection really painted a beautiful story of their wedding day. The element wedding albums are classic, clean and modern. These trendy albums are wrapped in an cover photo selected by the couple.  Our wedding albums display beautifully in the home, a great conversation piece and keepsake from your wedding day. The part I love the most is that I design these albums together with my clients. You are involved every step of the way so that you get exactly-what-you-want! The design process is simple + efficient. Every book is designed with clean layouts, lots of care and attention to detail. The albums are printed on fine art, museum quality paper with vibrant and vivid archival inks. When you open up the album you see a full panoramic display of your photos, there are no cuts or gutters in the binding. The element wedding albums are printed on matte paper that is rated to last generations without discolouring, yellowing or fading. 

(Note – this is a 10×10 album with 19 spreads, a smaller 6×6 version is also available and was created for the Groom’s parents).

Interested in working with me to design your album? Let me know!

“In 50 years the most photographed generation in history will have no pictures. Print what you want to preserve.”

-Missy Mwac

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Tanya + Chris // engaged!

September 9, 2014

Filed under she said yes!

 

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Tania + Chris travelled from Squamish to meet up for a costal engagement session on the island! They booked a weekend in Victoria with their beautiful Rhodesian Ridgeback Bailey and we made the most of it. Capturing some sun drenched images, having ice cream, talking about travelling and getting to know each other better. These two will say I do in 11 days in Osoyoos (my favorite old stomping grounds). There is something about September weddings in Osoyoos, or anything in Osoyoos in September for that matter. I just LOVE it. I am looking forward to seeing T + C soon and celebrating their love!

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My brother-in-law James and his wife Megan are getting ready to welcome their first baby – AND our “official” first niece or nephew! Obviously J+M are very excited and I took the opportunity to capture their happiness with a few photos. Megan was relaxed, comfortable and easy going throughout the early evening - wearing pregnancy so well who can believe she was 8 months plus a week when these photos were taken. We all think she should really do this more often ;).  I recruited the help of my best girl Tacy of Highberry Dew – A design house to work her creative stylings for a couple of scenes for M + J. I loved her idea to incorporate the custom antique children’s bed and “Junior” bunting, a nickname coined by the expecting parents for their new babe. She also had Megan do a bit of homework gathering 3 of her food cravings to bring to the session. Styled on Tacy’s antler tray in 3 small plates we find – gummy bears, snap peas and crackers. With snap peas being Megan’s ultimate favourite!

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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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