vancouver island wedding photography

Lone Tree Hill Engagement Photos in Victoria // Samantha and Chris

Sam and Chris hike Lone Tree Hill for incredible sunset views during their engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Oh my gosh, this weather!!  After 2 weeks of rain in Victoria, it seems we're finally having a taste of spring and a hint of summer.  The day the clouds broke we ventured out to celebrate the sun by doing Samantha and Chris' engagement photos at Lone Tree Hill.  Not only did we have unbelievable light, accompanied by stunning views, but we had great time chatting and exploring with Sam and Chris. It was refreshing to watch their lighthearted, silly, authentic connection as they romped around the hill and cliff edges, flirting and laughing the whole time. It all felt so very summer!  

We can't wait to watch how much fun these two are going to have during their Saanich wedding in June!

Shawnigan Lake Engagement Photos // Jacqui and Sean

Packers fans unite as Jacqui and Sean romp and dance around Shawinigan Lake during their sunset engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

It's been almost two years since we moved to Vancouver Island, and we've felt at home since we got here!  We've met so many great people, and experienced so many new and wonderful places. One of our favourite things to do is to find out about and explore a new-to-us place that is a long time love of our couples. We've heard so many great things about Shawnigan Lake and it's always been on our radar to visit, but it was even better to head there to do engagement photos for Jacqui and Sean, who have Shawnigan Lake summers near and dear to their hearts.

They brought us to Shawnigan Wharf Park near their parents' house to walk the decommissioned train track trail, and watch sunset over the lake. We had a great time photographing as these two romped around the park, danced on the dock and then donned their Packers jerseys and cheese-heads for some laughs. We really caught a glimpse of Jacqui and Sean's dynamic, what makes them such a great couple, and so fun to be around.

We can't wait for their Bear Mountain wedding!

New Westminster Engagement Photos // Cathryn and Robert

We explore New Westminster's board walk and back alleys during Cathryn and Robert's engagement photo session // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Winter and spring are often chalk full of engagement sessions for us, and we've been riding the dizzying high we've gotten as we jump from one to the next!  It's an exciting whirlwind for us, and a huge moment for our couples as they plan their weddings whether their wedding is quickly approaching, or over a year away!  New Years Eve may seem like a long way off to some, but for Cathryn and Robert, who are hosting their Brix and Mortar wedding that day, we're sure it feels like it can't come fast enough!  Hosting an urban wedding at one of the most unique and romantic wedding venues in downtown Vancouver, an urban engagement session seemed very fitting for the theme! What a better place to do it than right in Cathryn and Robert's hood in New Westminster!

We met up with C + R on a sunny saturday evening, with clear blue skies and golden sunlight and they took us on a tour as we snapped pictures! We strolled through the brick alleyways, counted all the new and trendy cafes, and explored the boardwalk near the River Market for sunset. 

Thanks so much Cathryn and Robert for showing us a great time and so many of New West's new gems! We can't wait for your wedding

Devonian Regional Park Engagement Photos // Kayla & Cole

Kayla and Cole explore Devonian Regional Park in Victoria during their engagement session photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

We've had a great taste of winter lately here in Sooke!  Today brought a gentle sprinkling of snow, a few nights ago we had gail forced winter winds here in the Victoria area. That didn't stop Cole and Kayla from venturing out for a gorgeous sunset at Devonian Regional Park during their engagement photo session!  

We met Kayla and Cole last year to talk about their July wedding at Prospect Lake, and we've been excited ever since!  It was fun to get out and enjoy an evening with them in Metchosin for their engagement photos.  Despite the wild winter winds, Cole and Kayla were all smiles and adventure we we made our way through the woods, and made our way on to the empty beach as waves crashed upon the rocks. They even put on brave faces as we perched them on a rocky cliff to get creative and take a panorama style portrait of them, as the sun went down.

Check out some of our favourites below!

McKenzie Bight Engagement Photos // Amanda and Alex and puppy, Kenzie

Amanda and Alex (and their puppy Kenzie) explore the trails at McKenzie Bight in Victoria during their engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers

If you know us (or even just passed us on the street haha), you know we're crazy about dogs. You can imagine the excitement we had this month when we photographed not one, not two, but three engagement sessions in a row that featured our couples' furry best friends!  Our most recent were Amanda and Alex, and the new addition to their family, Kenzie, who was named after one of Amanda and Alex's favourite Victoria trails, and the location of our engagement session with them: McKenzie Bight Trail.

With the rain storms that have been pouring down on the west coast lately, we ended up hitting the sunny-autumn-day-jackpot on our photos with Amanda and Alex.  It was fun to get to know Alex and Amanda as we explored around the trail that these two have grown so fond of,  and to watch as sunlight filtered through the leaves, as their puppy dashed around up and down the trails, and as heaps of seals floated around the base of a river waiting for fish as the sun dipped behind the hills.  Amanda and Alex have such a great connection, and have so much fun together that we just can't wait for their Metchosin wedding at Pearson College next year.

Thanks so much for spending a fun afternoon with us, Amanda and Alex! We hope you love your photos as much as us!

Bastion Square Engagement Photos in Victoria // Stef and Ryan

Stef and Ryan explore Laurel Point, Bastion Square and Parliament in downtown Victoria during their engagement photos // Victoria Wedding Photographers 

We love getting the opportunity to work with other creatives, and other photographers. We're especially excited when other photographers trust our vision, style, and personalities to have us come photograph their wedding day!  When Stef and Ryan hired us to photograph their upcoming wedding in Ucluelet, we were over the moon to get these two photographers and their weiners on the other side of our lenses.  Made you blink: they have weiner dogs.

With Stef's love of Victoria, and her frequent visits to Vancouver Island to see friends, we knew that Stef and Ryan would really want to get their engagement photos taken right here in Vic.  With an end-of-season holiday planned, we lined up their holiday with our schedules to make sure we could get together!  Joining Stef and Ryan on their holiday would be their sweet dachshunds, Farfel and Harvest, and of course, heaps and heaps of November rain.  But as you know, when the ran comes, the tourists go.  We ended up spending the afternoon with them strolling around Laurel Point, and running through alleys in Bastion Square without seeing another soul. We had the city to ourselves it seemed and our laughter echoed through the empty streets!  

Thanks Stef and Ryan for braving this dark and rainy day to have some rainy day fun, and a seemingly post apocalyptic adventure with us! We can't wait for the wedding!

Hastings House Wedding on Salt Spring Island // Kim and Chris

Kim and Chris' gorgeous, hazy, outdoor Salt Spring Island Wedding at Hastings House // Victoria Wedding Photographers

As wedding photographers on Vancouver Island, we love the opportunity to island hop to photograph our wonderful couples. We've photographed on Salt Spring Island a few years ago, and just couldn't wait for the opportunity to go back!   When Kim and Chris invited us to photograph their intimate outdoor wedding at Hastings House, we jumped through the ceiling!  

When their day arrived in August, we knew it was going to be a beautiful one. The skies were hazy with forest fire smoke, and glowing with rich orange light.  Anything the sun touched was painted gold and seemed to radiate with warmth. 

With what Kim and Chris had told us about their wedding, we knew it would be a memorable event as well.  Not only do Chris and Kim have amazing chemistry, and the uncanny ability to make each other and others laugh (and laugh often!), they also added many personal touches to make their wedding as intimate and meaningful as possible.  Hastings House happens to be the place where Kim's parents married almost two decades ago.  With Chris' parents coming all the way from Perth, Australia for the wedding, Kim also got Chris' brother to fly in from Hong Kong for the occasion... to surprise Chris a couple days before the wedding. Boom! Excuse us while our hearts explode.  Of course, the wedding wouldn't truly be a "Kim and Chris Wedding" if there weren't a ton of hilarity and quirkiness involved!  From the guys' custom Indochino suits with tropical liners, to Ice-ing their friends at dinner, and Kim Ice-ing Chris during the garter grab, our stomachs hurt from laughing.  We also have to give a very special VIP shout out to Kim's maid of honour, who spotted a bee in Kim's veil as she approached the altar.  Knowing that Kim is allergic to bees, she promptly grabbed the veil and shook out the bee so eagerly that she pulled it clean off her head, saving Kim from a potential epi-pen prick and a trip to the hospital, and effectively breaking the ice for the ceremony by causing an uproar of laughter from everyone! 

We've been so fortunate to photograph so many beautiful weddings of couples who are so deeply connected to each other, the people around them, and have an insatiable lust for life!  We're so grateful when they let it all show on their big day.

Thanks Kim and Chris for having us along to photograph your wedding, and capture all those amazing moments. We hope you love the photos. Here's just a few of our faves!

Tips for Looking and Feeling Awesome in Your Engagement Photos

Some great suggestions on how to look and feel amazing during your engagement photos, from Victoria Wedding Photography team, Pebble and Pine Photography.

Let's start with why we love engagement sessions so much!  We get asked a lot by couples if engagement sessions are a totally necessary part of getting married.  The truth is, they aren't.  You can get married without having engagement sessions and your marriage is still just as legal, haha.  However,  we've found that engagement sessions are so valuable because they are a great way for us to get to know our couples a bit more before the wedding.  It helps us to see how you interact with each other, get to know your dynamic as a couple, and how we can best make you feeling comfortable and confident in front of the lens so the wedding day is effortless and has a smooth natural flow to it.  It's also incredibly helpful and fun for our couples who are preparing for the big day.  It shows you how we work as a photography duo, how you feel being photographed, and help you to get more comfortable in front of our lenses, so that you have less to feel nervous about when your wedding day comes. 

 In our experience of photographing weddings, we've found that many of the couples we work with have not had professional photos done together before working with us.  They often have questions about how they can best prepare for the engagement session, so we've put together a handy little tips list.  That way, you can put your nerves at ease, and feel excited!

First and most importantly to remember; this is not a do-or-die list.  As with all advice, follow it to the degree that you're comfortable with, and that feels right for you!

Ability to move freely. 
Because we’ll be walking around, and getting the two of you interacting with each other, the ability to move around with ease is the best way to feel natural in front of the camera.  You want to make sure that you can wrap your arms around each other comfortably, and also be able to walk and sit down without worrying what your clothes are doing, or feeling restricted by them. We also love taking candid photos of you guys just spending time together, so the less you carry with you (purses, backpacks, etc), the more spontaneous the photos can be.  Some couples like to make sure they can keep their phones close by, or like to bring a small makeup/lip touch-up kit along which is totally fine. In those instances, we will usually just carry those things for you in our camera bags until you need them, so they don’t show through your pockets and clothes.

Wear the clothes, and do the hair and makeup style that make you feel like the most confident, comfortable, and vibrant version of yourself.
Keep in mind that when you look at your photos later, we want you to feel like your photos are a reflection of your true self, not a costumey version of yourself.
Our best advice is to not wear clothes, or get hair and makeup done to an extreme or style that feels unnatural or uncharacteristic of you. The best way to look good on camera is to feel like yourself! 
Brides who are planning to have hair and makeup done at the wedding often opt to have some hair and makeup for the engagement session, to see how it feels to be photographed with it done.  Typically it’s slightly more toned-down, and less formal than it would be on the wedding day.  The best way to look good on camera is to feel like yourself! 

Decide on a location you love and feel comfortable in.
We encourage couples to choose a place of significance to them, and a place they feel comfortable in.  We love engagement sessions to tell some kind of story and have a flow to them, so that you don’t feel like you're just standing in front of the camera posing the whole time. If you're in a place you love and are excited about, you'll feel more at ease in front of the camera.  This way we can get you interacting with each other to really capture your personalities, and your dynamic together.  A lot of couples choose walks on the beach or the woods in areas they like, or decide they want to have a date night, like a wine-and-sunset picnic somewhere.  Other couples choose to have their photos taken doing a hobby they enjoy doing.  We like to chat with our couples about ideas that work best to reflect their life together.

Match your engagement style vibe to the atmosphere and style you’ve planned your wedding. 
Weddings nowadays have become less of a traditional mould, and more of an expression of your relationship.  Chances are, you’ve planned your wedding to reflect your personalities, your style and taste, and of course your eccentricities.  We recommend matching your engagement style to fit amongst the same general style of your wedding, and your own personal style.  Some couples consider themselves more outdoorsy and adventurous. Some couples vibe with boho, whereas others are more modern and edgy, etc.  So to avoid feeling uncomfortable or inauthentic to yourself, we usually recommend couples dress in what Matt refers to as, “casual plus, or better".  It's a spruced up version of your own real, personal style.  For example, a couple we shot last year, during a beach sunset, described their outfit choice this way, “we chose outfits to that we would wear to a beachfront patio, on a night out for dinner and drinks with good friends we hadn’t seen for a long time.”   

Complement each other’s style. 
This is not a suggestion to wear a matchy-matchy couples onesie outfit, though that would be hilarious. We do, however, recommend your clothes complement each other’s style and scale of formality. We’ve found most couples have a similar style anyways, but we just throw this in as a tip.  For example, if one of you is in a suit jacket, the other might not want to wear those oh-so-cozy LuLus and gym top.  Or, if one is in a brightly coloured, patterned summer dress, the other probably wouldn’t be rocking the Johnny Cash all-black-from-head-to-toe look.  You're both individuals, but these photos show how you complement each other as two equal parts of a whole.

Play off the season and location.  
This all goes with the goal of feeling comfortable and natural in your surroundings. We want you to dress and feel awesome for the weather, and location you're in.  Heels aren't always the best shoe choice for snowy mountains or sandy beaches. If you're planning to rock a strapless dress at the top of Cypress in the winter, bring along a cute jacket to wear.  If you're planning a romantic summer sunset on a hot beach, leave that parka at home and wear layers instead. 

I know, I know! This isn't one of Andrea and Eddie's engagement photos. But we love their use of vibrant colour and eccentric prints to show their personal style. Don't be afraid to be bold, friends!

I know, I know! This isn't one of Andrea and Eddie's engagement photos. But we love their use of vibrant colour and eccentric prints to show their personal style. Don't be afraid to be bold, friends!

Don't shy away from bright colours or prints, but avoid fluorescent neon materials. 
Bold prints and vibrant colours can be a great way to show your personal style, but be weary of fluorescent and neon.  Think Olivia Newton John in her 80’s aerobic leotards.  While these types of colours are mostly seen in workout and road-worker attire to promote visibility and road safety, they have started to pop up in regular style as well for a visual punch.  Great in real life, but these fluorescent and neon colours are so reflective that they’ll reflect their own colour onto your skin in photographs.  If these colours are on the front of your shirt, they will often cast their colour up onto your face and your partner’s, even on a cloudy day. (We’ll have a photo in the blog to show an example of this effect.)

A good night sleep, proper meals, and lots of water! 
This is just a general rule for day to day life, but it applies to the day of your photoshoot as well.  If you’re nervous the night before, try to hit the hay early to make sure you’re not tired the evening of your session. If you’re busy with hair and makeup on the day of, make sure to allot time for food and water through the day of your the photo session.  It’s the best way to look vibrant, feel refreshed, and stay excited through your photos together. Plus, as we all know, it’s hard to smile and feel lovey when we’re hangry. 

 

These are some of our prep / attire tips. But again, only follow these to the degree that you’re comfortable with, and don’t feel restricted by.  We usually spend a few minutes at the start of each photo shoot to let you guys know what expect so that you know how to interact with each other and the camera during the photoshoot. We’ll shake out all those nervous, awkward feelings at the start so you guys can feel awesome in the photos! 

 

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