Steve and Kumiko {Granville Island Engagement}

Steve and Kumiko reached out to me early in 2015 about shooting their September wedding, which would be taking place in Vancouver, BC.  I am from Vancouver, and I started my business in Vancouver, but I no longer live there. However, that doesn’t stop me from seizing every opportunity I can to go back and work/see friends and family/eat sushi! So obviously, I eagerly agreed to be their photographer.

The thing was, Steve & Kumiko didn’t live in Vancouver either. In fact, they had NEVER lived in Vancouver! And none of their family lived there either. They had simply visited the city once, years before, and had enjoyed it so much that they figured it would be a great place to get hitched. Planning a wedding from afar is never easy, but it’s particularly not easy when you have almost zero ties to the location at all! These are some ambitious folks!

With neither of us living in Vancouver itself, I was not able to meet with Steve and Kumiko in person until we were both in the city for their big day. Fortunately, Steve & Kumiko agreed that working together once before their wedding celebration was super important. So even though we were pressed for time, we managed to squeezed in a very last minute engagement session the day before the wedding. Thus proving that it’s never too late for an engagement session!

Despite a forecast for rain, weather was absolutely gorgeous and we had such a wonderful time. Getting to spend that hour with them before the excitement of the following day was so beneficial. We built up a really good report, which made everyone’s lives (and the photos!) easier on the wedding day itself. Plus, they got to take home some pretty rad images (if I do say so myself).

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Mini Engagement Sessions with Weddings

Over the years I’ve shot for people I know well, and for people I don’t know at all. I’ve photographed the weddings of some of my closest & dearest friends,  and I’ve shown up at a weddings having never once even *met* the bride and groom. What I have come to realize is that knowing a couple can make a real difference in how relaxed and comfortable everyone feels with each other on that all-important day, and also with the resulting wedding photographs themselves. I’ve learned that whenever possible, it’s best to KNOW the couple- their passions, how they met, what makes them laugh, what makes them tick.

That is why at the start of 2014 I decided to include Free Mini-Engagement Sessions with all my Wedding Packages. This 30-60 minute outdoor session not only gets you some bangin’ photographs to mark a super exciting time in your life (your engagement! hello!), but more importantly, it gives us the chance to get a feel for each other. Laugh, share insecurities, make an inappropriate joke, break the ice, be real. So that when I roll up on the morning of your wedding day, while the bride is in her underwear with her hair half done and one false-eyelash hanging off, we can laugh about it like two friends and keep on trucking.

Occasionally I get inquiries from folks who are in the early stages of wedding planning, and they are wondering if they can perhaps get a bit of a discount if they “waive the Engagement Session”. Or, could they maybe just “give the session to a Family member who just had a new baby”, etc etc? All understandable questions for a couple for doesn’t want/need/have time for a pre-wedding photo shoot! However, for the reasons listed above– because I find working together once before your big day SO beneficial to everyone involved, my answer to these understandable inquiries is no. No, I can’t give you a discount if you don’t want it. No, you can’t pass the session onto a friend or family member. No, you can’t trade the 1 hour engagement for an extra hour of wedding coverage. It’s just for you, and just for your engagement.

Your wedding day is one of the most intense, stressful, magical, beautiful, emotional, crazy, incredible days of your life, and your photographer is going to be within 20ft of you for 90% of it. Don’t you want to KNOW who your photographer is, as a human being?  Don’t you want him/her/their team to know, really know, who YOU are?

Do the engagement session, folks! And if, for whatever reason, you just can’t do the engagement session, at least meet your photographer for a couple of drinks and appetizers* somewhere. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. It’ll show up in your Wedding Photos.

 

* Wanderlust Photography happily offers “drinks & appetizers” dates to all Wedding Clients. Hell– I’ll go on a drinks & appies date with just about anyone, anytime for that matter! Holla!

Lisa and Vik. Vancouver Engagement.

Lisa and Vik came to me as a “word of mouth” recommendation from one of my fabulous 2013 brides. I met with this Doctor/Nurse pair on a grey, drizzly, February day at one of my favourite cafes in Vancouver. We chatted about their wedding, their vision, and my approach to wedding photography. I was immediately taken by a few things about them::

1.) How STUNNING this couple is. I mean, look at them!

2.) How rad their ‘East Meets West’ wedding is bound to be– Hindu ceremony with western reception. Awesome!

3.) How down to earth the pair of them are.

They came to me, they said, because their friend assured them that their photos would be relaxed, pain-free, with no cheese or gimmicks— they had come to the right place! I don’t do cheese, and I most certainly don’t do gimmicks.

Their engagement session was a few months later. We chose Queen Elizabeth Park for it’s cherry blossoms & green space– though, admittedly we seemed to miss the cherry blossoms at that particular place by about a week or two. Ah well! We easily made due!  We laughed through basically their entire session, and generally had a fabulous time together. It was wonderful getting to spend a little bit of time with this busy couple before their big day. I am so looking forward to their August I-Do’s!

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English Bay Proposal [vancouver proposal and engagement photography]

Back in October I had the pleasure of coordinating with Max to shoot his planned (secret, of course) proposal to his wonderful girlfriend Danica. Having shot one of these before, I was able to give some tips on how to pull it off– He brought her to very specific pre-determined spot at a pre-determined time. Myself and my second shooter for the day were there, ready and waiting.

It went off without a hitch, I was able to capture the moment as it all went down! We had planned to do a quick Couple’s Photo Session right after, but unfortunately it got too dark, too quick. The sun went down, quite literally, within minutes of the proposal happening.

But you know what? No big deal! The ONE moment that couldn’t be recreated was captured… and that my friends, is what Photography is all about.

Jon and Michelle. [Vancouver Proposal Photographer]

Jon emailed me about a month before his session from San Francisco, where he lives. He wanted to know if I would be interested in working with him to capture his WEDDING PROPOSAL on camera. It took me all of 2 seconds to say, “Oh, heck yes!”

He explained that he and his girlfriend were about to go on an Alaskan Cruise which would have it’s final port of call in my lovely Vancouver.  He had never been to Vancouver, but thought that it would be a beautiful city to Pop The Question in. His further research concluded that Queen Elizabeth Park, more specifically, would make the perfect backdrop for this once-in-a-life-time moment.

In the following weeks, Jon and I secretly corresponded by email, text and phone call to plan the big moment. Because Jon lived in San Francisco, I did not have the opportunity to meet him before the big day, so all communication had to be done in secret. This gave planning a whole new layer of complexity! As a woman myself, I know how persceptive we ladies can be, and I knew that one false move by Jon or myself could raise red flags, and Michelle could be onto us in a heartbeat! I absolutely didn’t want to tip her off, or (worse!) I did I want her to think that sweet Jon was ‘sneaking around behind her back’. YIKES! We had to be careful!

Having never been to Queen Elizabeth Park himself, Jon asked me if there were any specific locations within the park that I might recommend for the act to go down in. I immediately thought about the Waterfall. It was in a secluded corner, so they’d have privacy… Plus, it was surrounded on several sides by bushes, so I would have plenty of hiding spots. In lieu of meeting in person, Jon sent me photos of himself & his lovely Michelle… and even a text message on the morning of the Proposal to inform me of what this mystery couple would be wearing… so hopefully I could recognize the couple when I saw them.

Essentially, this was the plan: I would need to be ready and waiting at the Waterfall in Queen Elizabeth Park at 10:30am. Jon & Michelle would arrive shortly after. They had NEVER been to this park before, and fingers were crossed that they’d find this one, specific location without any trouble… and without cluing Michelle into what was going on. When they got to the pre-determinded location, at the pre-determinded time… I would be lurking in the bushes, ready & waiting with my camera. After I captured that magical moment, we’d slip off and do an impromptu ‘Engagement’ Session around the park.

Easy enough, right? As long as all parties followed these instructions to a T– it would be no problem. If they got there too early.. Or if Michelle suddenly decided that she didn’t want to goto Queen Elizabeth Park at all.. or if there were randomly hordes or tourists in our spot… the whole thing could flop.

Well.

Suffice it to say: It didn’t.

In fact, it was a resounded, incredible, magical success.

Oh, and she said YES.

Arielle and Josiah {Vancouver, Trout Lake Park Engagement Photography}

Arielle & Josiah came to me with a simple email inquiry and a simple vision… A “Vintage/’Notebook'” Inspired Engagement Session. Could I do it, and was I available? I responded with an enthusiastic YES! But what I didn’t expect was how beautifully this session would come together.

I did not meet Arielle and Josiah in person prior to this session… and in fact, their initial inquiry was sent to me only one WEEK before the session took place. However,  the result?  My favourite engagement session to date. Working with these two was an absolute dream. It didn’t hurt that they are both so comfortable in front of the camera and so clearly in love. Rarely does a session comes together this beautifully and effortlessly. I am still in awe.

Becca and Alex- The Engagement

I have a confession… I recently shot a beautiful wedding at The Burnaby Village Museum with a gorgeous couple. I spent all morning creating the blogboards for a blog entry about this very special day… Then, when I went to post about the wedding, I realized that I had never blogged this couple’s ENGAGEMENT! How in the world did that slip my mind?! My goodness.

So, it’s with pleasure (and a little bit of embarrassment for being so late!) that I share a few images from Becca & Alex’s Fraser River Park Engagement Session. Their wedding post will follow shortly! My apologies for the delay in getting this up. I hope you find it worth the wait!

Becca suggested Fraser River Park for their session and I was very excited to check it out. I have lived in Vancouver for most of my life but had never in my life even HEARD of this park. But, I am always keen to shoot in new locations! Fraser River Park did not disappoint–it is a gorgeous little oasis of coastal serenity, located just 15 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Vancouver. It was very fun exploring a new place with this fabulous couple. I’ll definitely go back, but I think I will always associate it with Becca and Alex and their wonderful engagement session ❤