Archive for the ‘i do moments’ Category

This post marks my 206th blog post, my first gig as a photographer and a bridesmaid (at the same time) and caps element’s 2013 wedding season. A season that extended from May through to the end of September took us to Vancouver, Calgary, Maple Bay (x2), Shawnigan Lake, Rock Creek, Osoyoos (x2), Kelowna, Winnipeg, and Kamloops. It felt like I travelled a BAzillion kilometers to capture love in so many different ways! Thank you newly weds for such an enjoyable time. I value your creativity and for trusting us to document your most special day!  Thank you to everyone who borrowed me a bed even though many times I was crashing as more of a guest than a friend crawling in late at night and disappearing in the wee morning hours. I appreciate all of you more than you know ; )

Kimberly + Harley, your wedding was one that I was looking forward to in anticipation for a long time! The words I have to express how wonderful this day was are many. Get ready!

The morning started when we stepped out the hotel at Sun Peaks into heavy rain. The sky was THICK. Molasses thick. It was heavy, and my heart sank a bit in that moment. It couldn’t be raining, not today! We covered up and ran for cover as I silently prayed the weather would break.

We arrived at the Jette Ranch where the smell of coffee was drifting through the house and Kim was starting to get her hair done. Obviously disappointed by the weather in Heffley Creek but smiling non-the-less. The hairdresser told us it was sunny in Kamloops! There was hope! Makeup and hair was finished and just as Harley arrived for the first look the clouds broke. BOOM SHAKE THE ROOM – hallelujah it’s time to get married! Surrounded by every cowboy and cowgirl in Heffley Creek (and some from Kentucky too) Kim + Harley exchanged their vows. We witnessed a beautiful wedding ceremony under a trellace that Harley built for Kim on the edge of a cliff overlooking the pasture below.

Malcolm and I were lucky to BOTH be included in the wedding day – and we got to make a toast together. I thought it might be fun to share to give a little history on K + H.

“erika – I met Kim while studying Pharmacy at the University of Saskatchewan. Isn’t she stunning tonight? After grad we both headed west myself to the Okanagan and Kim to Vancouver Island. Malcolm and I got to know Harley during our last year in Osoyoos, he instantly became one of our closest friends. His charm quickly won us over – his cornbread and famous apple pie may have helped too.

malcolm – Erika would often borrow Harley’s dog Leduc. She always called them her Tuesday’s with Leduc. She would take him on walks and runs all over town, he never even needed a leash. Such a southern gentlemen he is – wish I could say the same thing about Harley… I love this guy he is friendly and honest and seems to have an endless amount of tales to tell. We always enjoy our time spent together. Erika often mentioned the need to find him a girl which would be perfect because that meant I would spend far less on beer.

erika – rewind to October 2011. Kim, Rachelle and I were heading to Maui. During this girls trip I really got a good idea of the kind of man she was looking for. At that time Kim was pretty much done with BC and ready to head back to Saskatchewan. Back to big skies and her horses. It was one day after we returned home from Maui when I decided it would be a good idea to play a little match maker with two of our best people we know. We were packing up our home to move to the island. Harley was “helping” us by drinking the rest of our beer : ) Earlier that day I had been on the road and thought about setting up Kim with Harley. Everything she confided in me in Maui lined up with everything I knew about Harley. I was so excited I pulled over right there on the highway between Oliver and Osoyoos and called her.  I told her about him and suggested she check out his Facebook profile and left it at that. Later that night while we were sitting around with Harley I said “hey Har check out my friend Kim, she’s cute – on Facebook – he obliged and started flipping through her photos on my iphone. Malcolm continued to chat away when we heard a familiar apple vibration and things got a little quiet. In his southern drawl Harley says “I’m going to have to go ahead and give this back”. Harley played it cool and handed the phone back to me. Across the little screen was a green text bubble that read “Hey! I checked out his page and Harley’s really cute!!”. And well that was that! Followed by a prompt phone call from Harley their relationship took off like a prairie wild fire. We knew we were in trouble.

malcolm – fast forward to January 2012 – Harley’s first visit to the island. We decided prawning and beach bonfires would be a fun thing to do on a first date. After consuming 300-400 prawns on the beach well we didn’t see much of Kim + Har for the rest of the weekend! We knew crustaceans were aphrodisiacs…but well we never really believed it, until now. A few more Skype dates and a few expensive flights along the way and before summer hit Kim was packing her bags! The rest is history and now – here we are!

erika – We’ve had a short time knowing these two as a couple and look forward to the adventures we know we will have together in the future. To Kim and Harley – GOOD LUCK AND BOTTOMS UP!!!!”

My top 5 favourite things from this wedding (in no particular order) 1. The BEST bootstompin’, two-steppin’, line dancing crowd i’ve seen in a long time. Burning holes in the dance floor till the wee hours of the morn 2. Harley’s emotional greeting of his family and friend immediately following the wedding. 3. the dinner TRIANGLE that guest got to wail on to get Kim + Har to kiss 4. Kentucky Moonshine shots (read Harley’s homemade apple pie) 5. Watching Kim ditch her high heels for wool socks and her boots ; )

BIG thanks to Liza who took on the role of the lead photographer so that I could embrace the ‘maids role when I needed too, your the best!

Friends + Family – if you would like to place an order for prints or view K + H’s entire gallery of images click on the PRINT SHOP tab in the menu above. The PASSWORD is married (if logging in from a computer) OR 62b7 (if logging in from a hand held device)

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Now if you haven’t already…(in my very best Kentucky accent) ya’ll better grab a tissh-yu-Ah (read tissue) because some of yaaa’ll are bound to come undone.

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Brides Dress – Viva Bridal, Kamloops

Bridesmaid Dresses – Weddington Way

Hair – Ally Health + Beauty

Makeup – Strut beauty + Design

Flowers – Art Knapp, Kamloops

Stationary – Modern Invitations

Catering – Olena + Lenny Johnson

Decorations- LOVE sign – Highberry Dew: a Design House

                        – Props + Tables – Rusty Nail Home Decor + Events by Kate

 

 

 

 

 

 

When my youngest cousin Melissa asked me if I would photograph her wedding I was thrilled! Of course I would. Melissa is the kind of girl that without even trying bring a whole lot of joy and cheer to my life. She always has with her silly jokes and big smiles! Often thinking of other first and sending you that unexpected text or phone call out of the blue just to “check in and catch up”. When Jeremy came into her life I felt she had found her match!  As I recall we were on a big family vacation down in Cuba and she had juuuust started to date Jeremy. Together we left Manitoba and is -40 with windchill for +30 white sandy beaches. Heaven right?! We thought so! But after a few days in paradise she was pretty much the most homesick person you ever did see. There were not enough cervasa’s to help shake her blues. She missed her man big time! Jeremy is the kind of guy that will help whenever possible, he had a generous and warm heart, and great with electronics! Melissa + Jeremy truly bring out the best in each other. When they got engaged last year we couldn’t wait to celebrate their wedding day with family and friends! Together they have created a home that is welcoming and full of love, where they relax with friends and appreciate good times together. There wedding day was a reflection of just that – lot of love, laughter! M + I look forward to visiting again soon!

It was extra special that my long time girlfriend and photographer Becky of B2Photography in Winnipeg agreed to join me. Becky and I first picked up the cameras together working for our high school year book, we would go out and shoot each other and pretty much anyone we could convince to get in front of our lens. Then take our films to the IGA where Becky worked in the photo lab to have them developed. Years flew by and we both started our own businesses in different provinces and alway said how much we missed shooting together. 12 years have passed and FINALLY dreams came true and we shot our first wedding as a team! I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to cover M + J’s wedding day. THANKS B!

 

 

 

Mandi + AJ were married in early September at the beautiful Cedar Creek Winery on a bright and sunny day surrounded by their closest family and friends. Gorgeous styling was provided by Stage it Right  – this was our first time working with Stage it Right and they did not disappoint! The setting was stunning and just right for sweet ceremony. Everyone enjoyed a causal wine reception at Cedar Creek immediately following the ceremony. Mandi + AJ’s guests gathered at the Laurel Packing House where the scene was set for a cozy and intimate evening to celebrate the newly weds. Guest’s raised glasses to toast Mandi + AJ after many funny and heartwarming stories were told of the couples exciting adventures together. Thank you for including us as part of your special day – we hope you are enjoying your incredible honey moon!


We knew it was going to be a wonderful wedding having know these two for several years. From the moment we booked Kelly + Joe. When we learned where the wedding would be. When we learned what their love looked like after their engagement session. And all about how much they loved each other + their families. We knew it was going to be goooood.

but we had no idea.

From the very beginning of the day when we met up with the girls getting ready at the Walnut Beach Resort, everything was so relaxed – Kelly a bit nervous but still full of smiles and lots of laughter with her mom + girlfriends. Joe arrived for their first look which took place right on lake Osoyoos. Kelly snuck up behind him and greeted him with the biggest of hugs. Joe smiled so wide we thought his face might explode. BIG SMILES, BIG HUGS, BIG LOVE! After a few snaps we grabbed the wedding party and off to frolic in the hot desert sun and then seek some shade + lunch in the orchard of a local friend (thanks Evan!). Kelly created such and gracious timeline that allowed for so much photo creativity and a great afternoon with their wedding party. We thank you for that! After the orchard lunch break we headed up to Arosa Ranch and spent a bit of time down by the lake for a few more wedding party snaps – SHOUT OUT TO THE WEDDING PARTY – you guys offered such great energy + support to K + J and to us too! Props to you guys for asking to hold our reflector so that we could both shoot and offering us water and treats. amazing. thank you! more BIG LOVE.

As Kelly walked down the aisle her veil got caught up on one of the chairs, she started laughing as her dad rescued her from the chair. Together they giggled and continued down the aisle. Kelly + Joe exchanged vows as the sun fell low in the sky.

Dinner was prepared by the very talented chef Chris Van Hooydonk of Artisan Culinary Concepts (I photographed his intimate backyard wedding in 2011). It was a joy to watch Mikkel work alongside him as he served up one hell of a spread. Guests raved about every plate. It was fun to listen to everyone at our table chatter about  their food experience enjoying “the HUMMUS” or “the HEIRLOOM Tomatoes”. The meal he created was indeed unforgettable by many.

Joe’s brother turned out to be one of the most hilarious and animated MC’s we have ever had the pleasure to listen too. Turns out Kelly + Joe have funny friends, a lot of them. Feeding off of each other’s jokes all night every speaker was on a roll – nearly bring the whole darn tent down with BOOMING laughter. oh we loved it.

 Thank you K + J for sharing yourselves, your family + friends with us. You all are so wonderful! Thank you for allowing us to share this very, very long blog post. We thank your kick ass timeline for the opportunity to snag all the delicious photos. This is but a taste of some of the incredible images captured  from your wedding day.

wedding planning – parasio events

flowers – polka dot door flowers + gifts

 

 

 

 

Jamie + Doug – The PHOTOBOOTH

October 1, 2013

Filed under i do moments

Pretty much the most outrageous of all photo booths I have ever operated. Jamie + Doug got married this past July – check out their wedding post HERE if you missed it! This group was begging for the photobooth to open and were non-stop for the 1.5 hours we operated! When all was said and done it looked like sesame street threw up all over, well, everything! Here are some of the highlights!

See a photo you gotta have? Shoot me an email info.elementphoto@gmail.com

 

 

Ashley + Gavin first noticed each other during their second year of undergrad back in 2006 during a biology class. Ashley had asked her friend for Gavin’s name and soon spotted him walking out of a building at Uni. She stepped out on a limb and boldly said “hello” to him as he jogged down the stairs, a startled Gavin tripped up and  nearly fell down the stairs! Later he found her an introduced himself one day in the Library where Ashley was studying. He learned that Ashley loves to play soccer and he helped her to find a team – the timing was right and they hit it off!

Ashley started off the morning of their wedding with her 4 bridesmaids at the Watermark Beach Resort where the girls had their hair and makeup done. When they were ready they left for Ashley’s family farm to put on her gown and finishing touches where her grandma would be able to watch. Meanwhile, the boys headed to the church to greet guest and waited for the traditional ceremony to begin. The guest poured into the pews, we soon realized this may be our largest wedding to date! After a beautiful wedding ceremony we headed back to the Pereira Farm for portraits. The wedding party was so fun to work with and quite the educated bunch. We knew if anything went wrong, we were in good hands! Most importantly, they kept Ash + Gav laughing all day!

It was a joy to watch Gavin take care of Ashley all day. He doted on her every need and couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Their love for each other is so genuine, so simple. Truth be told, every now and then a couple’s love move’s us to tears (well Liza anyways, hehe). After shooting the series of the two of them on the horizon in the desert she dropped her camera from her face and immediately started wiping the tears away. It was so good! There was a moment when we were standing amongst the sage brush in the desert. I had them cuddled up and his hand was on her cheek, foreheads together, arm around her waist. I asked them to close their eyes, breath, enjoy the peace, relax and take it all in. She closed her eyes, breathed in – and out, he didn’t. He didn’t close his eyes. Instead Gavin quietly kept watching his new wife and smiling. Taking it all in.

florals – flowers on main

hair – Kelsey Carvalho

makeup – Ashley Patrocinio

catering – Kirby McFadden of Mckia’s restaurant, Osoyoos

cake – Sugar Sweet Cake Company of Kelowna and Lake Village Bakery of Osoyoos

dj- Spencer Jones of bmac productions, Kelowna

Bride’s dress – Bliss Bridal

bridesmaids dresses – Ten Fashions

decor – paraiso events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda + Chris planned a breathtaking mountain top ceremony in the most unique and secretive locations we have yet to shoot. Every now and then we meet a couple that inspires us with their love, and their creative gumption. Amanda + Chris are just that couple. We met up with them and jumped into their 4×4 truck and after a few miles of gravel, Chris turned the truck off-road and head headed through the forest and into open pasture. We continued to climb higher and higher, and when we came to the crest of the pasture we looked down over the pristine Kettle Valley and Amanda’s childhood playground. At the far end of the pasture was the original homestead where they planned to exchange their vows. We were completely awe-struck and couldn’t wait to start snapping some photos. Amanda got dressed in the field behind the old house. She had such a quiet confidence about her, all the while so, so relaxed. As I photographed some portraits of her just before she saw Chris she whispered “I’m so glad your here”. See? She’s amazing. Thank you Amanda!

She rounded the corner of the home and walked toward Chris all smiles as their son Dace watched. They ceremony was simple and sweet. The sun continued to drop and the landscape continued to reveal even more beauty. We started their the portraits in the best light we could have wished for and Amanda + Chris couldn’t take their eyes of each other. Amanda had arranged for her horse to join us, which Dace LOVED and so did we.

Thank you both for one of the most magical evenings of the summer. We feel so privileged that you choose to include us in your intimate ceremony and for sharing such special piece of your lives with us. For this we thank you and wish nothing but the very best in the adventures ahead of you!

styling by – cricket + bean

dress – bliss bridal

florals – polka dot door flowers and gifts

 


 

Logan + Ryan officially started dating in high school just before Logan took off for a one year Rotary exchange to Brazil. That year Logan travelled around Brazil, finished a year of school, took up Portuguese while Ryan played hockey and thought about Logan ; ) Logan’s experience’s in Brazil found a forever place in her heart and together her and Ryan and family have travelled there many times since. Her Brazilian family travelled all the way to Canada to participate in their beautiful wedding at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm. Logan + Ryan’s wedding day and weekend festivities were deeply centered around family – a wedding party full of siblings and cousins, her Dad delivered one of the most beautiful message’s to the couple during their ceremony and all 3 of Logan’s “Dad’s” got to walk her down the aisle!

We were so happy to return to Bird’s Eye Cove Farm for their Aug 4 2013 wedding. This time we got to collaborate with the lovely Tacy of Highberry Dew for the wedding day stylings. She brought Logan’s wedding day vision to life in such awe-inspiring ways, from the amazing hand crafted Chandelier, to the LOVE Marquee lights and tiny ID tags found on guests mason jar cups.

This was a wedding weekend we waited for all year, we wished it would never end! Years in the making and thoroughly enjoyed by all. After an emotional first look, these two chased us around the farm saying an enthusiastic “YES” to all our ideas and even bringing a few of their own. Log + Ry this is what we love about you two – always up for anything and we thank you for giving us your 100% trust and creative freedom. Logan + Ryan truly bring out the best in each other. They are the kind of couple that brings out the best in other’s too, you can’t help but want to soak up time with them (+ their incredible families!). We love you both, and feel so fortunate to have found our way into your lives, thank you so much for sharing this day with us. We look forward to the adventures to come!

Big thank you to the staff at Bird’s Eye for always being so helpful + supportive. And a special thanks to Malcolm for his carpentry work and rafter jumping + the team lead by Bryn + Tacy for the installation of that rockin’ chandelier.

 


 

 

Our friends Doug + Jamie planned a simple and intimate summer evening wedding ceremony in their backyard. Jamie got ready for their first look with her mom and her sister’s at Doug’s childhood home. Putting other’s before herself she made busy by curling hair for all the other woman (cute!).  The men relaxed outdoors while Doug got ready, having a few rum’s and snacking on fresh prawns caught that morning. The two met for the first time that day in the shade of their sheep and llama pasture. Doug was so excited to see her, instead of waiting for Jamie to approach him he turned around and met her half way! The whole afternoon and evening was very relaxed and calm, just what they were hoping for. Portraits wrapped up and then they got ready for their private ceremony. Their only guests were close family + a handful of friends. The ceremony was lead by one of their mutual best friends and guest gathered around listening to Doug + Jamie exchange sweet vows that they written for each other. After the ceremony guests enjoyed a causal BBQ dinner catered by Just Jakes (best!!). The gorgeous florals were grown + provided by Flowers by Reayane of Salt Spring Island (reayane@hotmail.com). We co-ordinated the biggest family photo sesh in element photo history – it was awesome! If your looking for your photo please check out D + J’s complete gallery of images by clicking HERE  (password married).

The following day, Doug + Jamie invited all their friends to celebrate their union. Friends arrived to a delicious BBQ dinner, and were entertained by some of the funniest stories about the adventurous couple, life-sized j-j-j-jenga, swimming, volleyball, Photo Booth (photos coming soon!), and together we lit up the BEST dance party under the stars!

 

 

 

 

If you know Sarah + Kevin you know they are a couple overflowing with positive energy. They love movies and road trips, car shows, oldies, family and friends. Kevin surprised Sarah with a proposal in Vancouver after gathering a group of friends to join them at “evil dead” and help him pull off the surprise for Sarah!

On sunny day in Maple Bay, Sarah + Kevin exchanged rings in the middle of the rolling pastures at Bird’s Eye Cove Farm. Guests were entertained by a very animated ceremony that the couple had spent months working on to create something that was uniquely “theirs”. They ran, they laughed, guests participated, a story was told, bubbles were blown, and loving vows exchanged. The gathered for a delicious meal where funny memories were shared about Sarah + Kevin reflecting on the 6 years that brought them to their wedding day. The night rounded off with my favourite, a big ol’ dance party!