We met Betina 5 years ago, when she was a photography student applying to be our associate photographer. It was impossible not to like her; she is, quite possibly, the sweetest human being we’ve ever met. Her passion for photography was evident, as was her talent, but it was her hard work practicing her craft, begging for critiques even when it was hard for her to hear what we had to say, that was really admirable. This commitment certainly paid off and she has become an absolutely incredible wedding, family and street photographer, as well as a skilled editor for our post-production company, The Image Salon. But beyond being an awesome associate photographer and editor, anyone who is lucky enough to know her will tell you that she is just a truly wonderful friend.
Which is why when Betina came to us one morning, her big eyes full of tears, with the news that Marc-Etienne had proposed over the weekend, we immediately offered to be their photographers. Nothing was going to prevent us from being there; not even giving birth to our daughter Charlie just 2 weeks prior to their wedding! (Luckily I felt great!)
With Betina’s family coming all the way from Brazil, the day was all about family… the family that Betina made for herself in Canada through friendships, Marc-Etienne’s family who took her as their own, and of course this new giant family all coming together to celebrate. As a wedding photographer herself, Betina has seen a lot of weddings and she knew the ingredients to the perfect wedding day: emotion + dance party. And that’s exactly what they managed to achieve. The energy was so perfect all throughout the day that even 2 week old Charlie seemed to sense it, as she was just perfectly sweet all day, allowing her parents to do their thing.
We feel so lucky to have been the ones to photograph this family reunion of a wedding day, for a really special couple. We love you, Betina and Marc-Etienne, thank you for trusting us to document it all!
It’s been a quiet year on our blog… but it’s been everything but quiet in our lives. 2016 was a challenging one for us in many ways, giving us one of our highest highs: our daughter Charlie, and one of our lowest lows: the sudden loss of Daniel’s father.
But back in June, before either one of these events rocked our world in completely opposite ways, there was a spontaneous trip. A trip we’d intended to take 5 years earlier for our honeymoon, but that we never got around to actually taking. It took a seat sale and our favourite motto: “Just Do It” (borrowed from Nike), to convince us, and before we knew it we were on our way to Iceland with our 2 year old son Max and my 7 month pregnant self. We rented an RV and planned a rough itinerary to take us all the way around the country in 7 days. We planned some stops, but mostly we planned to be surprised.
It’s hard to describe this place, or this trip. The scenery, the fresh air, the adventure that allowed our little family to have… it was just so special.
We pet Icelandic horses on the side of the road… danced in front of waterfalls at midnight… skipped rocks on a lake reflected by an endless sunset sky… ran through smelly sulphuric clouds on an otherworldly geothermal field… drank glacier water straight from a river… watched the waves crash into bright blue icebergs… got our hands dirty with black sand (well, that was mostly Max)… ran halfway up a mountain in the pursuit of a herd of sheep (Max again)… soaked in a 100 year old pool surrounded by mountains… and again in a cliffside hot tub at midnight… and again in a geothermal pool in the rain…
This magical place gave our family of 3.5 exactly what we needed at that moment in our lives; solidified us and gave us a life-long priceless memory just before life threw some major changes and challenges our way. We can’t wait to return when the kids are older and make some new memories in a land that now holds so much meaning to us.
When you think of destination weddings you tend to picture a beach and palm trees… and that’s exactly why Alycia and CJ chose to get married in the mountains of Colorado; they wanted to mix it up! Alycia visited Steamboat Springs on a business trip years early and she loved the sweet little town and thought it would make for the perfect location for her small, low-key wedding to CJ. Alycia and CJ actually live in different cities; Alycia in Houston and CJ in Chicago, so a third, neutral location for their wedding was a great choice.
While it wasn’t the typically snowy scene one might expect from a Colorado mountain location, the massive log home and stone and wood church where the ceremony and reception were held made for a warm and cozy setting. Since music is a huge part of CJ’s life, his friends who happen to be world renowned musicians serenaded the small crowd with a private concert that had everyone singing along. It was a completely unique experience for us and everyone absolutely loved it. Some of the catering staff even stayed long after their shift ended so they could listen to the show. My personal favourite was their rendition of Elton John’s Daniel, which they improvised to modify the lyrics to make it about a photographer. I don’t think Daniel’s ever been personally serenaded at a wedding before!
We often brag about the keenness of our couples to trek through less than ideal terrain for their day-after portraits, but I think Alycia and CJ deserve extra shout-outs for trekking through feet and feet of snow… in the cold… AND the rain, for just a handful of portraits! CJ and Daniel both rocked some Moon Boots for the occasion, and Daniel took one for the team (the team being he and I, as I was several months pregnant) when he unexpectedly fell waist-deep into a pile of snow, got one of his boots stuck and had to shovel it out with his bare hands! It was an adventure, to say the least!
We certainly felt the weekend vacation vibe that Alycia and CJ were hoping for, and it was a pleasure to spend a few days in the quaint town of Steamboat Springs to celebrate this couple in a really unique and down-to-earth way. Thank you for inviting us along, Alycia and CJ!