Rian + Grant were married last summer at Hycroft Manor in Vancouver. On a day that was simply perfect, with a couple so totally in love, it would be so easy to get caught focusing solely on our couple.
But a wedding is about so much more than two people. Yes, it is a wedding day and, as such, there is a celebration around that. Yes, the couple is always at the center of attention. But we have never worked with a couple who did not want their entire story told – each has wanted to see what they miss, what happens when they aren’t looking. Their job, as the newly wedded pair is to have eyes for each other, and they trust us to pay attention to everything else (as well as them).
Rian + Grant have stunning portraits of the two of them, there are dozens, of images from the ceremony and reception that focus on them alone. We could share those with you here and you would Rian + Grant’s day, but in this post we want to show you the day enjoyed by everyone else (with a few of our wonderful couple in the mix).
We love details – the dress, the shoes, the flowers. But we also love the details of the place. The WHERE of a wedding is such an important consideration (along with those other wonderful details).
One of the challenges I give myself at each wedding is to photograph the shoes in a different way. It’s a tough challenge, but one I try to meet every time. I still photograph the shoes in a way our bride expects, but it’s fun to play with the juxtaposition of a dirty backdrop and a gorgeous pair of shoes.
These kinds of moments make my heart melt. I LOVE how happy Rian’s mom is. I don’t think the smile left her face all day – even through the happy tears you could see it.
These kinds of moments with the guys are some of our favorites. We try to be as inconspicuous as possible, but find it works really well with the groomsmen. These are the kinds of moments our couples don’t see or experience.
And, of course, a first look…
A first look is almost always followed by the photo session. It’s a time when emotions run high and the nervous energy and excitement create amazing tension and intimacy in our images. While we obviously make portraits of our couples, we’re also interested in the subtle things that make them unique.
Working with the bridal party is another part of the portrait session we love. We keep thing light and fun, looking for the connections between them all. Often we find simply encouraging them to “talk amongst themselves” creates the mood we’re looking for. We choose the light, we choose the location – the rest is all them.
Couples go to great lengths to personalize their events. Everything from the floral to the way a table is set to signature cocktails and the choice of canapes is subject to our lenses.
One of our favorite parts of the day happens during the reception. We love the speeches. We love hearing the stories told and learning a little bit more about our couples. And we love the reactions people have to those speeches. It can sometimes be challenging to photograph those reactions – you have to keep your eyes open, move fast, and think even faster. In a dark and crowded room the challenges are obvious, but even in a relatively open setting like this it can be tough. We have rules about this kind of thing – we will never block someone’s view for more than a moment, never walk in front of the person giving the speech and never let them see you watching them (it changes their reactions when they are camera aware). If you work hard and pay attention, though, you can do it.
Once the dancing begins, Steve and I like to explore the venue, looking for people who slip away for a moment or two. Invariably, while the girls are all dancing, the guys head outside for a drink, a cigar, and conversation. We like to find them, photograph them, and slip away unnoticed.