I have a confession. I don't love 'normal' maternity photography. I find it too wholesome and just a wee bit boring... But every year I try to challenge myself to branch out creatively and try something new, and this year I decided to take on Maternity.
When I conceptualized this series, I wasn't sure how I would get pregnant women on board with it. I wanted to shoot materntiy boudoir-style, but with a touch of mood and grit. This flies in the face of traditional maternity, and I wasn't entirely sure that a single person would 'get it', let alone want to pose for it.
I wanted to capture how strong and beautiful the pregnant body is, without over sexualizing it. I wanted other pregnant women to see themselves in these images, and to feel a tugging at their hearts and bellies.
No flower crowns. No long flowing gowns. Just raw, simple, beautiful beautiful bodies in all their glory. Powerful, emotive, gritty.
A big thank you to Columbia Garden's Winery Guesthouse for being the perfect setting to bring my vision to life. And, of course, an even bigger thank you to the incredible women who lent their time and their gorgeous bellies to this project. Thanks for believing in my artistry.
After shooting Maternity this way, I am not sure that I ever want to shoot it any other way again.
There is something so special about maternity sessions for couple's expecting their first child. The excitement and nerves are palpable when I ask the couples about how "ready" they feel, their what their plans are for the newborn stage. It's an honor and a privledge to be able to capture couples on the precipice of this incredible, life-changing event. All of pregnancy is so magical, but those last couple of weeks are especially lovely.
I feel like Kelly and Ryan's engagement session was like 4 sessions in one!
1. The mountain top.
2. The bus sematary and ghost town.
3.. The smoke bomb.
4. The lake shore.
This 2.5 hour session was epic beyond measure. Each backdrop brought it's own atmosphere, with Kelly and Ryan absolutely slaying it every time.
We had hoped to start the session at the top of Idaho Peak, but unfortunately were met with snow and ice mid-way up the mountain. I suppose we shouldn't have been suprised, considering it was late October. Instead we 'settled' on some gorgeous mountain vistas from a view point lower down the mountain, and then spent the rest of the session in the abandoned silver mining town of Sandon, BC.
Sandon was derilict & creepy in a 'tetanus-shot-waiting-to-happen' sort of way... and it was absolutely perfect. I've always said that I like a bit of edge and grit in my sessions, and Sandon gave us all that and then some.
We finished off the session on the shores of Slocan Lake, in beautiful New Denver, BC. The lake was stiller-than-still, with the water looking like glass. The surrounding mountains, in their various shades of blue-grey, made it feel like we were shooting in a painting.
I can't imagine a more perfect enagement session.
Emily and Brad.
These freaking hustlers.
When Emily and I initially started emailing regarding booking their Wedding and Engagement Session, she told me that Brad "hated having his photo taken" and mentioned that a short session would probably be best. Ok, no problem! I am no stranger to clients who aren't super comfortable in front of the camera and I always aim to make things as short and painless as possible.
What she didn't tell me was that she and Brad were really, really ridiculously good looking. Also that they're SUPER in love and very snuggly. Also that she'd have along props like the perfect woolen, picnic blanket, and a robin's egg blue truck, and their outfits would be brilliantly styled... And, oh yeah, did she mention that the shoot would be on their wooded acreage with the dreamiest rustic backdrop options?
Needless to say, this 'short-session-because-brad-hates-having-his-photo-taken' session turned into a 1.5 hr long session that I had to PEEL MYSELF AWAY FROM because it was solid-freaking-gold from start to finish.
These two are getting married next summer, and I am basically counting down the days until it happens. If their wedding is anything like their enagement session, it's going to be cataclysmically incredible.
I first met Kylie and David very early this past summer when they were a bridesmaid and groomsman in one of the first weddings of my 2018 season. I remember distinctly taking a couple photographs of them together (it's not unusual for me to find out if any members of the wedding party are a couple, and making sure to get a couple nice shots of them together) and someone taking the piss out of poor David about how he hadn't yet proposed, despite them dating for 8+ years.
So imagine my surprise when just a couple months later, Kylie reached out to me to say that she was newly engaged (YAAAAYYY!) and wanted to chat about working with me. I was so excited for them!
It was great to see these two lovely human beings again, and this time to get to get to know them a bit and hear about their love story. Starting in Saskatchewan, then heading west to the Kootenays, and evening spending a year in South America, these two are no strangers to adventure! I'm super stoked for their Rossland I Do's next summer.
How beautiful is this growing family? Oh, I just love them!
I first crossed paths sort of coincidently on Instagram, and then again later in another capacity also on Instagram (what can I say-- I'm allllllllllll the hell over instagram!) It was really fun when she reached out to officially book a shoot and we got to actually meet in person!
We met up at Nancy Greene Lake for a snuggly, fall-ispired maternity session. Of course it was a no-brainer to bring along the furry-big-sister-to-be and include her in a few shots. This little family is new to to the area, so we spent a good chunk of their time talking about the pros and cons of small-town-living (of which there are many!) and bonding over a mutual interest in cloth diapering.
This sweet babe is due any day now, and I could not be more thrilled!
I have a confession to make: I was nervous for this wedding.
You see, the thing about photographing weddings, the thing that gives professional wedding photographers the edge over nonprofessionals is experience. After you have shot, 10, 20, 30, 100 weddings you get a pretty good idea of how they tend to go down. And knowing how they go down gives you the ability to anticipate things before they happen so that you have the right lens, the right camera settings, and you are in the best possible spot to capture them when they do. There is a comfort in this experience that makes you feel like you 'got this', like your skills and experience and wedding know-how will carry you through.
But here's something about weddings:: they're not all the same.
Especially when they are, say, a Sikh wedding ceremony, and you are used to shooting your standard issue 'North American/Christian rooted' event.
So despite the fact that I have shot 110+ weddings, I'd never shot a Sikh ceremony before (Hindu, yes. Thai Buddhist, yes. But never Sikh). And so, I was nervous for Brian and Simrun's.
Prior to their big day, I watched hours and hours of Sikh wedding videos on YouTube. I read countless articles explaining how Sikh weddings go, and what each ceremony means and symbolizes. I scrolled through tons of other photographer's Sikh Wedding photos. I didn't want to miss a single significant moment, or inadvertantly create any major faux pas or taboos. Fortunately for me, Brian and Sim believed in me whole heartedly, and were happy to answer any question I had.
Guess what? The day went off without a hitch!
There are too many significant moments for me to mention here, but I would suggest that if you're interested in learning more about Sikh wedding traditions, you check out this site and this site.
If you ever have the oppurtunity to attend a Sikh wedding (or a wedding of any culture/religion other than your own!) I strongly advise that you Carpe the hell out of that Diem and go. Go with an open mind, ask questions, be polite, be humble, and have fun. Life is so short. Any time that we have an oppurtunity to broaden our horizons and experience something new is a gift.
Thank you to Brian, Sim, and your incredible family and friends for the gift of this experience. I hope we did your day justice.
I'd also like to thank my AMAZING second shooter (and good friend) Shauna, who kicked serious butt (as per-usual) and was such a wonderful help this day. She is responsible for all of the Groom's/Guys getting ready photos that you see below, as well as all of the dance-floor photos. Shauna has a REMARKABLE skill (and passion) for dancing photos and her work truly is spectacular. She is based in Vancouver and her 2019 is filling very quickly.
I had the immense pleasure of photographing Laura and Bodie's super intimate wedding all by myself, one overcast day in August.
These two lovebirds may only have had 9 guests at their ceremony and reception, but that didn't stop them from over looking a single, gorgeous detail. Their ceremony arbour & set up was one of the most striking I have seen to date!
Just moments before Laura walked down the aisle, we felt a few ominous drops fall from the sky, but miraculously the rain held off until well into the evening. I personally love the mood of a grey wedding day, and I think it married perfectly (pun intended) with their decor and ambiance. I would not have changed a thing. Not one thing.
The ceremony and reception was hosted beautifully at RedStone Golf Resort in Rossland BC. After a blustery ceremony on the green, their handful of guests were invited onto the (covered) patio for champagne, hors d'oeuvres and a beautiful dinner.
August in the Kootenays. 'Tis the season for two things:
2. Forest Fires.
Hayley and Adam got married on one of the smokiest days of the year. Though our immediate area was not threatened by fire, our region (and nearly the entire southern part of the province, it seemed) was cloaked in a thick smoke from the fires that ravaged so many communities the North, East, and West of us.
Many photographers shooting in these conditions will spend countless hours in photoshop and lightroom trying to "edit out" the smoke... but, personally, I kind of love the eerie ambiance that it created. There's something so beautiful about a bride as lovely and delicate at Hayley, against a gritty, smokey-filled sky. Edit out the smoke?! Not a chance.
This extremely large wedding party was a ton of fun (and a lot of work to wrangle!) Hayley and Adam are so lucky to have so many wonderful friends who were keen to celebrate their love. Even though I often have to use my loud, stern, photographer's voice to keep rowdy groom's men in line, I truly would not have it any other way. I love the happiness and joie de vivre that cames with a big wedding party and wouldn't have it any other way.
The ceremony, with over 200 guests, was hosted beautiful at the groom's parent's home in Fruitvale, BC. Afterwards, guests were invited to the Fruitvale Memorial Centre for dinner, and merriment.
As with the majority of my weddings this year, a shout out to Jesse for all his help. Also a shout out to Apex Multimedia who were present doing videography. I don't often get to work with videographers but it's always a treat when I do. Other vendors include:
Hair Styling: Luca Hair Studio, & Jones & Co Hair
Makeup: Alex Hitchcock
Flowers: Jill Colussi
Catering: Kootenay Catering
Cake: Sweet Dreams Cakery
Videography: Apex Multimedia
DJ: Kootenay Sound
These images are protected under international copyright law and are the exclusive property of www.wanderlustphotography.ca. Vendors, DO NOT download without my written permission. If you would like to use one of these images please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I may send you a watermarked, high-res copy.
Hilary and Jeremy said 'I Do' on the hottest day of the year. 42 degrees celsius with humidity to boot. To say it was 'hot out' would be an understatement. Between photo ops, you could find the bride and groom (but mostly the groom) chewing ice and being fanned by whomever happened to be standing by and had a spare hand. It was uncomfortable and sticky, but depsite the heat it all managed to be completely magical as well.
This beautiful couple had a small ceremony for family only, with a big party reception being planned in Mexico later this year. The very intimate guest list made it possible for the bride and groom to hold the event at the lake-house of very dear family-friends. It's no secret that I adore itty-bitty weddings like this where the couple has quality time to spend with *every* guest, and the love and commitment of the couple takes center stage rather than pomp and pagentry.
After Hilary and Jeremy's super sweet first look on the dock, we board a boat and headed to the North End of Christina Lake for portraits in a jaw-dropping old growth forest. Hilary's gown against the backdrop of those sky-high trees was something straight out of a fairy tale. Not to mention, the temperature in the forest was a few blessed degrees cooler than out on the lake, and I don't think any of us ever wanted to leave.
But leave we had to because these two had a knot to tie! So, back on the boat we went to make it to their ceremony on time.
With Christina Lake and the surrounding mountains as their backdrop, Hilary and Jeremy exchanged vows and became husband and wife.
With portraits done before the ceremony, the couple was now free to enjoy cold drinks and appetizers with their 20 guests while waiting for dinner to be prepared. The incredible meal was a combined effort of the couple's parents, as well as the owners of the lake-house and generous hosts of the event. We dined on the groom's mom famous (and oh-so-delicious!) meat balls, beef tenderloin, and so much more! It was really special to have these wonderful family recipes featured at such an important event and really went to make the day that much more poignant.
A special thanks to Deb & Munro Pickering who graciously hosted the event at their wonderful lake-house, and Mozel Tov to the beautiful bride and groom! This was such a wonderful wedding to be part of. My only regret is not being able to stay for nighttime a swim in the lake before my drive home.
35-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!