Lara and Kevin: Langley Wedding 03.26.2011

When Marco and I got married just over 3 years ago, we were so blessed to be able to have our wedding at Newlands Golf and Country Club in Langley! They were beyond amazing! I loved everything about our wedding! I especially loved our wedding photographer Sherri Spierings.

When I first started my own photography business, Sherri was my go to person! She put up with countless emails, numerous questions and she had so much great advice! She has been a huge part in the starting of my business going so well! Thanks Sherri!

I was given the opportunity to 2nd shoot for Sherri in March, and I was so excited!! First to get to work with Sherri and second to get to work at Newlands!

I got to shoot with my camera, but using her 70-200mm 2.8mm IS USM lens, the lens that is next on my list to buy…but at $2500 it’s a HUGE purchase, so I was glad I got to try it! I fell in love with it! It is definitly worth the money! We worked so well together, and I had a blast! We ended the evening off after the wedding back at her house with a drink on her patio! Thanks Sherri for an awesome day!

Lara and Kevin opted to have a First Look done at Bear Creek Park in Surrey! Kevin and his groomsmen got there first to get ready!

Poor Kevin had to wait almost 15 minutes for Lara to walk all the way down from the car!

…it was worth the wait

oh I love first looks!

They both got a bit teary eyed and yes I did too!

I was a tad obsessed with photographing her bouquet! Newlands does AMAZING bouquets. (and I was a little biased….her bouquet was almost identical to mine!)

Lara’s flower girl was just adorable!

Lara and Kevin’s wedding party was amazing! The guys were a blast…always cracking jokes, and Lara’s girls were so attentive…always making sure every hair was in place, and her dress was perfectly laid out!

About an hour into photos Lara lifted up her dress to surprise us with her amazing shoes!!

After Bear Creek Park we headed back to Newlands for the ceremony……Isn’t she just the cutest!?

After the ceremony, Lara and Kevin took a moment alone around the corner from everyone to celebrate those first few moments of being husband and wife!

From the ceremony we headed over to the Newlands owners house to get some photos in their yard. It was so green and fresh! A great Spring day! Sherri and I were so glad the rain held off until later that evening!

I loved their cake!

Congrats Lara and Kevin! Thanks for letting me help photograph your special day!


Jessie and Gary: 02.26.2011 Kelowna Wedding

Jessie, Gary and Ireland are one of the cutest families I have ever had the honor of working with. There is just so much love between these 3 people that you can’t help but stop and smile!

I met Jessie through one of the Mom’s in the Down Syndrome Society of Kelowna, whose photos I did back in the Fall! Jessie and I met for coffee and ended up chatting for almost two hours about our families, our lives, and of course our kids! I was all the more excited for her wedding after meeting her and hearing about her family!

When I arrived at Gary’s Mom’s house on Saturday afternoon, Jessie was one of the first people I saw. She was hiding out in the basement getting ready, peeking through the doors as guests arrived. She greeted them each with a gorgeous, and contagious smile. Jessie was ready to marry her man!

I ducked upstairs to check on Gary and the ceremony site. It was gorgeous! It was the first time I had met Gary as they planned their wedding in a little over a month, but he looked confident and excited to see Jessie!

Jessie and Gary’s adorable daughter Ireland was being kept upstaris so Jessie could finish getting ready. When I crouched down to introduce myself she showed off her pearl bracelet by pointing at it and saying “Off!” After I told her how pretty it was, I overheard her telling other guests how pretty her bracelet was!

Ireland was stationed by the window watching guests arrive for the ceremony.

Jessie’s gown was stunning and it fit her perfectly! With her wedding being so small they opted out of having a wedding party, but Jessie and Gary are so blessed with their friends. There was always a group of Jessie’s close friends and sisters ready to help her with those last minute touches! The love and excitement in the room was so great and so contagious! Jessie made me feel so welcome in such an intimate setting and was sure to introduce me to everyone :)

Jessie’s Mom walked her up the stairs and down the aisle, and Gary stayed so confident and excited as he waited for Jessie to appear around the corner.

As Jessie rounded the corner the whole room got very still and quiet as everyone got their first look at Jessie. She was STUNNING!

The ceremony was beautiful. They talked about not only the joining of two people but the joining of a family. The love that was bringing them together. Their vows were confident, sure and spoken with a huge smile.

I will admit I got a tad teary eyed as they were pronounced husband and wife! I always cry at weddings and Jessie and Gary’s was so intimate and romantic that a tear or two escaped.

For family portraits we headed out to Gary’s Mom’s backyard and wow was it ever cold! My car had registered -6 on the way over and it definitly felt that cold!

They took a moment together as a family while Ireland played with the neighbours dog.

After family photos, Jessie, Gary and I headed over to Sarson’s Beach Park. Sarson’s park is gorgeous! It’s right on the Lake and there was no one insight! This may be due to the cold cold weather, but we took advantage of the quiet park setting!

Jessie and Gary rocked the photos! We only had about 15 minutes outside for these photos as it was -6! They were awesome!

After the ceremony they had a quiet dinner at Raudz Restaurant in Kelowna. It was such a great little restaurant! It fit their wedding perfectly. I loved all the quotes written above the kitchen!

The overall feel of the day was just Love. So much love for this family. So much love for each other. Jessie and Gary are so blessed for everyone they have in their lives. They are so blessed to have each other!

I am so honored to have been a part of their day. I am so glad to have met them and consider them friends! I hope you guys have an amazing time on your honeymoon in Cuba! :)

Maintenance for Marriage

Marco and I have been married for 3 years now, and people still call us newlyweds! How long does that phase last for? Some days it definitly feels like the honeymoon is most definitly over, and other days it feels like we just met and the butterflies are still very much there. Those butterfly days seem to be getting further and further apart, but they are being replaced by something much better…With Valentine’s Day right around the corner I thought I would write a more serious post on marriage, what it looks like on a day to day basis for us, and what it means to us….

Yes we do fight…alot? I don’t think so….we fight about his wet towel on the bed, my tendency to be a neat freak, his dirty dishes onthe floor by the couch, my short temper, his obsession with sports on TV, my obsession with a long list of weeknight TV shows…..but I consider these all normal, and none of them by any means deal breakers! Our arguments revolve around household chores….pet peeves…and all the regular annoyances that come from living with another person.

We started our marriage off the way all good young Catholics do. With the mandatory marriage prep. We went into it not expecting much, and pretty positive it would be flat out boring….we were pleasantly surprised. It did have it’s boring moments, and cheesy moments, but there were a few couples that gave really great advice…..

One couple in particular really touched us… They had been married for around 10 years (I can’t remember the exact time), and had 6 kids! They were so in love. You could tell by the way the looked at each other, and spoke about one another. They had God in their marriage, and so much love. I remember leaning over to Marco and saying ” I want to be them!” (well minus the 6 kids!). I loved how full of life and passionate about each other they were.

The most significant thing they said to us…I remember it so clear….was that when you have kids your marriage has to come first. Not the kids. Your marriage. To have a happy family, the parents have to be happy. If a marriage fails, a family fails. Being Catholic and raised the way we are, divorce is not and never will be an option. We are in this for life. So the husband related their marriage to a car! (figures hey?!) He said that you would do regular maintenance on your car to keep it in pristine condition, but why won’t couples maintain their marriage? Why won’t they put in the time and effort to keep it in it’s finest form? To this day they still attend marriage counselling once every couple of months, and have regular date nights without their kids. Not because anything is broken, or wrong, or needs fixing….but to improve….to become closer….to maintain that happiness and closeness to one another.

With the stress of us moving to Kelowna, Marco starting his career, having a toddler, and starting my own business…and reflecting back on our marriage prep on our anniversary in December, we thought it would be beneficial to each other and to our marriage to see how we could improve. How can we find the silver lining in stressful situations and use it to our advantage? How can we be closer? So for Valentine’s Day rather than us doing flowers, or a romantic dinner we gave ourselves the gift of maintenance….the gift of each other….of being passionate about our marriage. We decided to have one night a week where we don’t watch TV, where we aren’t on the computer, where we just enjoy each others company…talk about our week…how things went, what upset us, what went well….we also set a goal to have atleast two date nights a month, where the focus isn’t Luca, but is us. Where we can truly focus on each other.  Marco is the best thing that has ever happened to me…..I will do anything to make our life together what he deserves.

So this Valentine’s Day, enjoy the flowers, dinners, and love letters (I will be posting my favourite on V-Day…stay tuned!)….truly love the one you are blessed to be with…thank them for being in your life….and give them the gift of maintenance….those priceless gifts of appreciation, passion, respect, admiration, friendship and love.

A First Look?

Right now is down time for photography. Christmas orders are placed, most of the photoshoots are done for before Christmas, and everyone is gearing up for the holidays! In my downtime this year, I am doing as much research and growth as I can. I am taking advantage of this time to learn as much as possible.

I bought Jasmine Star’s Wedding Photography workshop and I LOVE IT! It is 32 videos long, and I am slowly making my way through it with a very cramped hand! I have taken so many notes, and have such a new look on shooting weddings already…how to put the couple at ease, how to make the day run smoother, how to get the gorgeous pictures you see in magazines, etc!

While watching one of her videos, I discovered most of her clients have a “First Look”. Now Iam very familiar with the idea, I just didn’t realize it was so common! I was curious to see what you all thought of this, and to get peoples opinions. Here is the feedback I got!


Alex “AGAINST! There is no way he’s seeing me before I walk  down the aisle!”


Liz said that she herself had a first look and it was the best. Her wedding day was laid out so that there just wasn’t time in between to get photos done. It made for such a relaxing day.


Chantale  said she goes back and forth with what she will do when she gets married. She likes the idea that guests don’t have to find things to do inbetween the ceremony and reception and feels it would make for a more relazxing day.


Megan “Nope! Not before! When I get married, the first time my hubby sees me in my wedding dress is when they open the church door, everyone stands and I walk down the aisle…his reaction it going to be my most looked forward to moment of the entire day!”


Angela “Definitly before.” Her and her husband Steve had a first look on their wedding day, and she said it was wonderful to spend an hour with him, and the photographer. It made for a very private, romantic hour together. And it was nice for the guests to not have to wait.


Nicole “No! Loved the look on Ben’s face as I walked down the aisle, a very emotional moment!” The pictures were a blast as we got to live in that “holy crap we are married” moment!


 Steve (Angela’s husband)  From the guys point of view! Thanks Steve! He said that it was very relaxing to have photos done before. There was still a huge thrill in watching her come down the aisle still…had butterflies in his stomach. Got to mingle with guests between ceremony and the reception. The day was such a blur, that that hour of photos in the morning was by far the most relaxing part.


Marco (my hubby!) He likes the idea. Can make the day less stressful, but is a traditional guy and wouldn’t have wanted to do it for us. Loved seeing me walk down the aisle. (awwwwww)



Me!  I go back and forth too! When Marco and I got married, we had a full Catholic mass, and a very traditional, romantic wedding. We were married December 29, 2007 (almost 3 years!), so it was a Christmas themed wedding, with hunter green, Christmas red, and ivory with gold accents! It was very formal, very dramatic, lots of candles….very warm and cozy at the same time too…one of our friends commented that our reception hall was like being inside a giant snowglobe…as we were married in the conservatory at Newlands in Langley. 

When planning our wedding, I personally never even considered a first look. I was very traditional and I wanted the wedding I had dreamt of as a little girl….with that grand entrance down the aisle….I was very caught up in the emotions and in what it meant to me to be a bride.

So we didn’t have a first look and at the time I was against them for our wedding. Now, as a photographer, I love the idea. To be able to capture a couples first moments seeing each other on their wedding day, completely private, so filled with emotion, and to have that relaxed hour to get those photos done without any stress about timing, and other guests etc. would definitly make for photos with a different feel to them.

I have seen photos from a first look and they are stunning…they are so full of love…so full of raw emotion, and looking at them they tell the couples story.

As a photographer, it also gives me more time to capture the details of the reception before guests start to arrive, I have more time to focus on other photos and capture other elements of the day!

As a past bride I understand what it means to walk down the aisle and watch your future husbands expression as he sees you as a bride for the first time….to give you a good idea of what it means to me, I am tearing up right now thinking of our wedding day! I am such a sap! If I ever get the honour of photographing your wedding, I will be crying right along with everyone else…weddings are just such an emotional, happy, joyous occasion and I love them SO so so much!

So to wrap it up, as a past bride, I love the tradition in the first look being as you walk down the aisle…I loved Megan’s comment that when those church doors open and everyone stands….that is when he will see me first! I just love that….it warms my heart!

As a photographer I love the emotion, privacy, and relaxation of a first look, I love the idea of being able to spend that intimate time with the couple, and to capture those amazing photos.  I will more than happily shoot whichever you decide as a bride.

It is YOUR day, YOU are the bride!

Which story made you tear up…when you think of your wedding day what works best for YOU! I will be so honored to share in your day, that I will get caught up in the glory of your stunning day!

* Thanks to all the future and past brides, and grooms who gave me their thoughts! I loved reading them! Would love to hear more feedback on what you had on your wedding day, what you are going to have or what friends have done! Remember every comment before Christmas day equals one can of food to the local foodbank!

A much requested addition to Best of 2010

I am amazed by the feedback on my Best of 2010! It means so much to me! Tons of you commented that you thought Leah’s 6 month picture with the pink flower should have made the cut, so I am officially adding her!

Thanks again for your feedback and support! I have gotten some amazing compliments, and it is so touching!

The best of 2010

This year I have been so blessed. I have my dream job, an amazing husband and son, a wonderful family, incredible friends, and a lot to be thankful for as this year draws to a close. I still have a few photoshoots left while I am in the lower mainland over Christmas, but I thought I would put together my “best of 2010” before the Christmas season really got busy.

Now I am a Christmas fanatic! It is by far my favourite time of year. The house has been decorated for almost three weeks, every room smells like Santa’s cologne, our Christmas tree is lit and decorated, our railing is wrapped with lights and garland, and outside is covered in giant red bows and white lights! It is AWE-SOME!

When I sat down this morning to put together my best of 2010 folder, I planned on choosing 10 photos, well 10 turned to 15 and 15 turned to 25. whoops! I have just had too many great memories of this year…met too many wonderful people and shared too many moments with many many clients. I am so blessed to have the best clients in the world! I have truly treasured meeting each and every one of you, and look forward to what next year will bring me.

To all of you who have followed my blog this year, thank you so much. I am not a writer at all, I am not overly funny, witty or poetic, and still you read! I am very humbled, and always surprised that so many people read! Looking at the stats today, my most popular blogs are usually about my son, which makes me smile! He is the light of my life!

The 25 photos I chose, aren’t necessarily my best photos, technically or composition wise. They are simply my favourite…they are photos that spoke to me, moved me, or ones I simply fell in love with. They either made me smile, or tear up or just stop and look at for that half second longer. Yes two of them are of my son, but come on….everyone knows I couldn’t have done a best of 2010 and not included Luca bear!

Here they are, I hope you enjoy them! Would love to hear your feedback!

Merry Christmas!

The first photo was one I took this year on our annual Manning Park trip. It was our 17th year camping there, and Luca’s first time. We had a blast, and one of the most memorable spots there is Rainbow Bridge, which we jump off every year! I had to include this one for my family! It just brings so many amazing memories just looking at this picture.

A few people nominated this photo for my best of! Baby Noah was amazing to take photos of! He was such a model, and amazingly adorable!

This is one of my favourite pictures of all time! My gorgeous friend Jayme, and her amazingly handsome hubby Dylan. They modelled for me so I could build up my wedding portfolio, and wow were they ever amazing! They are just so in love, and that came through in every photo I took of them!

Celina was my first client! Her and her hubby James, now have two sons, but this photo was taken when she was expecting her second!

This one is so Lower Mainland! It just reminds me of home. In my show in Kelowna, so many people asked if it was in Vancouver! Nope! It’s at Whonnock Lake, where the bride’s Dad is actually the President! (long story! haha) They also modelled for me, and were equally amazing to Jayme and Dylan…so incredibly in love, and so perfect for each other!

I always felt this next picture just had to go hand in hand with the previous picture….just can’t have one without the other….they are a pair to me somehow!

LOVE LOVE LOVE this wallpaper! And Noahs hair! He was just so peaceful looking in every photo….such a newborn!

Gorgeous Jayme again. This one was lighting for me. It was just perfect! It always looked like her dress was glowing!

A one year old girl and balloons….need I say more? So much fun, laughter, curiousity and excitement!

Beth looked like a model for a children’s magazine! Just so serious, and full of personality. I would love to meet her again when she is older! She seems like she will be one who is wise beyond her years!

My Luca bear! Definitly naptime, and this is the face I get before naptime! It just breaks my heart and makes me want to give in and cuddle him to sleep…Everytime my Dad sees this photo, he says this face is because Luca misses him.

Gorgeous pregnant Melissa! She just had the most perfect pregnant belly I have ever seen. Both her and her hubby are firefighers, and Melissa is just the epitomy of strong, beautiful woman! She gave birth to a baby girl just last week! I was wrong!

This family just made me smile. Twin one year olds who were insanely busy, and who had the most patient and loving parents ever! The twins were just adorable, and they were just one of the most beautiful families I have ever met. This just seemed like such a private family moment together.

ah Laken! I love this photo more than ever! I still haven’t figured out if he is laughing at me, or screaming at me! Whichever it is, he is so full of emotion!

The Olson’s. Another of my favourite families. I have known them for about 5 years. They had tried to get pregnant for many many years, and were unsuccessful, so Laken is an extra special blessing to them. He is just perfect!

Tiffany and Jamie! So in love, so fun. I got hugs from both of them at the end of their shoot! I have no doubt their wedding will be a blast! Tiffany is just so gorgeous, I had to show her off again!

Luca bear again! I promise it’s the last one. (I hear both cheers and groans of disappointment! haha) Eating his dried cranberries and hamming it up as usual. This one is just so him.

Kolsen giving his Mom a kiss! Such a great family moment! From experience I know kisses from a baby are simply the best!

Oliver! Such a busy busy busy boy! I spend a good half an hour in August running after Oliver just trying to get a photo of him looking at the camera! Finally I got my blue butterfly photo! (for those who read Nora Roberts will get that!)

This one should be in the dictionary for “slept like a baby” I wish I could sleep this peacefully!

Heather gave me the honor of being her wedding photographer next year, and she expressed how much she LOVED her ring, so I knew getting some photos of it was a must.  I was very nervous as I don’t have a macro lens and I had never photographed rings before. I was so worried as to how it would turn out. Turns out my lens doesn’t do too badly! And Heather is one lucky girl. This ring is stuning!

Laken at his newborn session. Just so alert, curious, and full of life. This one to me is so exciting…it just captures the newness of babies…and the potential of their futures!

This girl just brightened up my entire month! She was so loving, and bright and amazing. She was so curious about my camera, and was just delighted when I would show her a photo of her on the back screen. It just reminds me of that day and how great it was to meet those 4 families!

Leah! My good friend Nicole’s daughter! She is just amazingly sweet! I feel like she should be having a tea party in this picture !

Brodie has the most amazing eyes. My first photoshoot with my 50mm. I loved the lens, and loved this little guy. Definitly got my workout at that photoshoot, but this photo just made me stop and love his eyes!

The Forciers! I love this photo….it is such a real family photo. Posed, formal looking photos are my least favourite, I prefer the fun, relaxed candid ones that really capture the family! I have known Vanessa for 7 years, and I love seeing her so happy, and with such a gorgeous family!

I hope everyone has a fantastic rest of 2010!