What a treat it was to celebrate Melisa and Brian's wedding in beautiful Fairmont Hot Springs. Just a 4 hour drive from where I call home, Fairmont is tucked away in a snug corner of south eastern British Columbia, at the tip of Kootenay National Park. The drive there is absolutely idyllic, but nothing can prepare you for how beautiful Fairmont itself is. Wow! What a location.
Being a Kootenay Wedding Photographer has many perks, but being able to shoot in these absolutely unreal settings without having to travel much at all, is definitely one of the biggest. The fact that people travel from, literally, all over the world to experience these spots is a fact that is not lost on me. I hope to return to Fairmont soon-- whether it be for another wedding, or just for a dip in the amazing hot springs.
When I think back to Melisa and Brian's big day, I think I will always remember laughter. Melisa was, quite possibly, one of the most laid back, happy brides ever. Her contagious smile filled every room that she walked into. When you chatted with her, you were struck by just how in love this woman was, and how much joy was in her heart. She was absolutely beaming the entire day, and it was impossible not to smile with her.
The couple exchanged short, simple vows against of the most expansive, stunning views that I have ever had the privledge of witnessing a wedding ceremony. Afterwards, guests were shuttled up the mountain to a ski-lodge-turned-reception-spot. As we clinked glasses, and dined on BC salmon, a small herd of deer tickled out of the surrounding forest and nibbled the grass just outside the windows. It was magical, and something that I will never forget.
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I have a confession:
Historically, I haven't loved Newborn photography. I don't shoot the usual super posed newborn stuff: babies curled up perfectly in baby-sized nests while wearing fuzzy bonnets and matching booties. Don't get me wrong-- there is real value in that sort of work, and I as a mother I 100% get the appeal. It's simply not who I am as an artist. My style is more gritty, real-life, and 'documentary'. I would rather see & capture what life with that particular newborn feels like.
Because of this, I haven't been certain that there was a place for my approach to newborns and families and have generally shied away from these sorts of sessions. Happy instead to stick with weddings, while other local photographers handle the newborn babes (and handled them beautifully).
That is, until recently.
Over the last couple of months I have had the pleasure of shooting a few in-home, 'lifestyle' newborn sessions, which have left me absolutely swooning. I am realizing that perhaps my issue is not that there's no market for 'my style' in newborn portraiture, but rather that I just need to find my Client. People who get what I am trying to do and see the same beauty in their every day moments that I see. Perhaps I can shoot newborns and also create art that I love and feel genuine to me after all.
I want to introduce you to Baby L, Big sister E, and their wonderful parents. When Momma K emailed me when Baby L was 5 days old she apologized (apologized!) for "not setting something up sooner", and was wondering if I could make an in-home session happen ASAP. I was happy to oblige. When babies are this small they grow and change significantly from one day to the next, and capturing those itty bitty toes, tiny curled up fists, and squishy faces while they are still fresh is so important.
I look back at newborn photos of my own son, and am in awe of just how far he's come in his 15 short months of life. Those newborn days feel like a lifetime ago but also (somehow) like only yesterday.
I have such respect for couples who choose to shirk old fashioned wedding traditions, and see the value in customizing their big day to truly reflect who they are, and what they are all about. Dennis and Britney were one of those such couples.
With sweeping views of the surrounding hills and mountains, their casual sunlit ceremony was hosted on Britney's aunt's gorgeous property in Creston, BC. Britney walked down the aisle to Metallica's 'Nothing Else Matters', which could not have been more perfect. Standing with them were their 5 combined children-- the girls as Britney's bridesmaids, and their young son as ring-bearer. It was especially sweet to see the ring bearer perched happily on his Dad's shoulders for the first half of the ceremony.
I was with Britney & Dennis just for the Ceremony and Portraits. After our short time together I wished them well and saw them off to their BBQ reception at another family member's home. I want to thank this wonderful family for sharing such an important day with me (if only for a couple of hours).
So close no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters
Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
And nothing else matters
Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know
I have lived in the gorgeous West Kootenays for nearly 5 years, but have somehow managed to never go to Syringa Provincial Park in that time... and what a shame! This place is GORGEOUS! I was really excited when Tara and Mark suggested having their engagement session here, because it gave me an excuse to make the 45 minute drive to check it out. What a gem it is!
From the lush forest, to the endless kilometeres of beach, to the pristine waters of Arrow Lake, this place is a real treasure. I can't believe that it took me so long to check it out. I will absolutely be back!
Tara and Mark are one of my fabulous wedding couples this year, & they are also parents to two beautiful little girls. When it came time to plan their engagement session, I encouraged them to please bring along their wee-ones so that we could snap a few family shots as well. As both a Kootenay Wedding Photographer, and a Kootenay Family Photographer, I am always stoked when one couple ticks both of my professional boxes!
Seriously though, these sweet girls are obviously the apple of their parent's eyes, and it would be a huge oversight on my part to not include them in some way during the engagement session. We met up at stunningly beautiful Syringa Provincial Park for this session, shooting half of it up in the forest, and the rest down on the beach. What a dream!
Please see my next post for the engagement portion of this sun-kissed session.
34-years-young, Tamara Boden is a Family Portrait & Wedding Photographer out of the 'Kootenay' region of south-eastern British Columbia. She loves being right, going on adventures, snuggling her dogs, husband, & baby boy, roadtrips, indie/off-beat weddings, chubby babies and making people laugh. When not behind the camera or at her computer, you will find Tamara planning her next big trip, seeking out the perfect cup of coffee, and counting all of her infinite blessings. Thanks for stopping by!