I'm a wedding and portrait photographer living in Vancouver, BC with my husband Randy. I photographed my first wedding when I was only 17 years old - and I've photographed over 200 weddings since! I am an avid bookworm, lover of green tea, pretty nail polish & my Labradoodle Harley. Thanks for visiting!
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Our Love Story
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What are the top things you want to convey to potential clients with a first (probably cyber) impression?
Oh! I love this, knowing what you want to portray to clients is so important, that’s what creating a brand is all about. You’re right, 99.99% of my clients first impression will either be through a) my social media or b) my website or c) my blog. I need to make sure I have a consistent brand throughout the various mediums. Of course, social media will be the most personal and most current, my blog will be the next and my website will be the most curated and least often updated. (Although I try to update it at least twice a year!)
I want to convey that I CARE about individuals and their wedding. I genuinely love their story. I also want to convey that I can create natural images and they’ll have fun with me while they create them. Finally, that I’m experienced – no situation can make me stress. I’ve seen it all, I can handle your wedding and your crazy family. ;) Care, Creativity and Experience.
What is your best advice about starting a photography business as a teenager?
Don’t let age stop you. There will be people who love that you’re young and going for it and there will be people who talk smack behind your back about how they’d never trust a seventeen year old to shoot their wedding. Great. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, gravitate to the ones who love and support you! There’s nothing you can’t do, just because you’re a teenager. Use that passion and free time that “adulthood” doesn’t allow you to pour your heart into learning and building your business.
How did you know Randy was the one for you after dating for less than a year?
I love these questions, they always make me smile. Love talking about our dating months! Once I got over all of the ups and downs of analyzing and being terrified of this new “relationship” thing, I really trusted Randy. We shared with each other and he knew my heart and… everything just fell into place. There was so much peace. The moment I knew I loved Randy was on an afternoon in July, three and a half months after we started dating. I’ll write about it more in depth when I share that part of Forge, our love story, but it was so clear to me I needed to say those words to him. (Words he had said two months before!) Three weeks later, we went away for the weekend to his mom’s house on Vancouver Island and I had an even more emotional moment of “Holy crap, I really really really love you.” I was overwhelmed with emotion and love for him and I couldn’t imagine getting to that place with anyone else.
When are you going to start having kids?
Depends 100% on the day you ask me. ;) I’m joking. Kind of. Some days, I’d really like to have kids next year, other days, we think more about 2-3 years from now. So, we’ll keep you all guessing. We could have a baby next year. We could have one in 2018.
How does your typical “time with God” look like?
I try to start every morning on the couch with my Bible and journal. I’ll read a chapter or two and really try to reflect on what the words say. Lately, it’s helped me to write out at least a couple of verses in my journal. Sometimes I’ll paraphrase what I’m written afterwards and make some point form notes of things I’d like to be praying about. I find it really helpful to narrow in on “takeaways.” For example, this morning I was reading Ephesians and I was challenged to replace any temptation for foolish talk or crude joking with thanksgiving. That simple step was really impactful for me. And definitely would have been missed if I tried to read 10 chapters a day or something. Focusing on the small lessons and trying to apply them as best as I can.
What is your favorite VSCO preset?
Honestly, I bought the VSCO presets Film Pack 01 a couple of years ago, choose one film preset (Portra, I think?) with no grain and made some colour changes and decrease in contrast and boom! That’s what I apply to every image. I don’t use any other presets, only the one I’ve changed.
Now that you are married with an awesome husband and a dog are you more hesitant to book destination weddings compared to a few years ago?
Heck yes! You got that right. The wedding *really* has to be worth it. I do charge travel for destination weddings… but the reality is… if I have to travel a full Friday and a full Sunday to the wedding and back, I don’t charge for that time. (I know some photographers who do!) So really, I’m “working” or my normal life is interrupted 3 days instead of 1… for the same amount of money, if that makes sense. This year, I’m shooting a couple weddings in Courtenay/Comox, because we love and have so many friends there and one wedding in Tofino, because that’s one of my favourite places on Earth. Randy’s coming with me to all destination weddings this year, but it’s definitely more work with a dog and now that we’re more settled, I think twice before booking one! (However, brides, if you’re reading this, send your Vancouver Island weddings my way. I seriously love going to the Island.)
I’d love to know how much direction you give on a shoot! Do you “pose” clients, or do you hang back and let it happen as it happens?
I hope to do a few videos on my YouTube channel in the future about posing! But yes, I definitely pose and direct my clients. I think it would be really uncomfortable as a client to stand in front of a photographer and have them say, “Do whatever you want!” Hah! Direction is a must. I rarely stop talking while I’m shooting and if there is some silence I laugh and say, “If I’m quiet it means you’re doing awesome! I love it!” I’ll often set couples up into various poses but clearly explain they aren’t stuck to a certain look, they are welcome to laugh, kiss, look at each other and do what feels natural to tweak the pose. I hope that helps!
If you enjoyed this post, please let me know by commenting! And feel free to add other questions either in the comments sections or via email for a future FAQ post.