victoria photographers

A Sunny Next Day Wedding Portrait Session at Pitt Lake // Mel and Matt

Melanie and Matt explore Pitt Lake during their wedding portrait session in Pitt Meadows // Victoria Wedding Photographers

If you saw our blogs of Melanie and Matt's engagement session and wedding, you know how both featured Mel and Matt smiling and celebrating through some very heavy rain. West coast, wet coast!  Sure, it's fun to dance in the rain, but it's also nice to celebrate love in the sun and warmth.  When the opportunity came to do a portrait session with Mel and Matt again at Pitt lake in the summer, we jumped on it!  We loooove "next day shoots" (well, for Mel and Matt it was more of a "next season" shoot"), when the couple dresses up in their wedding attire and heads out for another portrait season.  It means we can spend time with them without the constraints of timeline, pressure to return to guests, and more freedom to pick days and times where the weather might be more favourable and the light is just right.  What a day we picked for Mel and Matt, the weather was the complete opposite, the location was just as gorgeous as their wedding location, and Mel and Matt were looking as stunning as ever!

Here are some of our favourites:

Sunset Engagement Session at Sandcut Beach // Elizabeth & Will

Victoria Wedding Photographers // Exploring the rocky Sandcut Beach on Highway 14. 

Fewer things in this world are nicer than a Westcoast sunset at the beach, so when Elizabeth and Will suggested doing their engagement session at Sandcut Beach, just north of Sooke, we were all about it!  It's become one of our favourite island spots since moving over from the mainland. 

The walk down to the beach crosses over boardwalks through mossy forest, through tunnels of enormous west coast trees, up root-covered hills, and finally, descends down a staircase that emerges onto a beach covered in large rocks.  As the waves lap at the shore you can hear the peaceful repetitive chatter of the stones rolling out with the waves. 

This evening at the beach was no exception to the beauty we've come to know of Vancouver Island's west coast beaches. Elizabeth and Will wandered the beach hand in hand, traipsing over rocks and logs, up onto waterfall ledges, and basically anywhere I pointed.  We love adventurous couples!  The waterfall was a bit low on water, but it gave us the opportunity to explore the river pools and grooves in the rocks up above the falls.

We ended the shoot just as the sun dipped below the horizon, heading back into the dark trail to the parking lot.  It was an awesome evening!  Thanks, Liz & Will! 

Intimate Wedding at Wild Renfrew and Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew // Holly and Alessandro

Holly and Alessandro host their nearest and dearest at Wild Renfrew for their wild and intimate Botany Beach Wedding Ceremony // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Since moving to Sooke on Vancouver Island a couple years , Port Renfrew quickly became one of our (if not our most) very favourite places.  A quiet, rugged, wild, and mysterious pocket of coast line takes the breath away of every visitor. Winter storms are dramatic, wildlife is abundant, and the landscape is humbling. Our first trip there was a cold and grey November day as huge green waves crashed against layers of black angular lava rock. Like liquid glass colliding against a book of razors. We could only stand there and stare, mouths agape. Just around a bend from there, a short hike through twisted cedars, sitkas and firs, is a smooth refuge of flat beach, sheltered from ocean winds and pock marked by tide pools that teem with sea life.  One doesn't need to wonder why Holly and Alessandro, geologists, would choose this on all places to host their family for their intimate wedding. 

Holly and Ale got ready for their day at the Wild Renfrew cabins, overlooking the Port of San Juan, and mountains filled with new and ancient growth forests.  As a small group, their friends and family walked down to Botany Bay and gathered closely for their ceremony officiated by an inviting and humourous  Port Renfrew local Reet Buckler.  Eagles soared overhead, sea lions played in the kelp bed, and waves crashed rhythmically on the rocks.  After the ceremony and champagne, we stole away with Holly and Ale to explore the coast more for some adventurous portraits.

Thank Holly and Ale for having us there to be a part of your beautiful, natural, an intimate day. We hope you love the photos!

An Autumn Road Trip Around Iceland // Matt and Sayde's Personal Adventure

Matt and Sayde's great big, landscape loving, road trip having, honeymoon - babymoon adventure in Iceland // Victoria Wedding Photographers

Way back when Matt and I first started talking and getting to know each other as friends, we talked mostly about photography, and camera stuff in general.  As time went on we chatted more about our hobbies, our childhoods, and things we had hoped to accomplish and do in the future - bucket lists, if you will.  One of the things that embodied all of those things was the experience of past travels, and dream of future travel. We made lists of all the places we wanted to visit, and shared photos of interesting landscapes from places we wanted to see.  Norway, Croatia, Australia, and beyond. One place that came up in almost every conversation and photo share session was Iceland, which crept quickly to the top of both of our lists of must-see places. Fast forward four years to 2016; we were getting married and we were planning a honeymoon to Iceland.  For those who don't know, 2016 was an eventful year for us as we moved to Vancouver Island, worked hard to establish our wedding photography in Victoria, and then got married ourselves.  We decided to wait a year and take our dream honeymoon in a less busy times!

With this postponement of our honeymoon came the most wonderful opportunity: photographing a series of destination elopements in Iceland.  Perfect! Not only would be be travelling, meeting interesting people, and photographing a place we'd been dying to see for years, but we'd also get the opportunity to get to know, and photograph, adventurous couples who were as filled with Iceland wanderlust as we are. You can find each of their elopements in our blog.

This post however is about our personal trip around Iceland in the days leading up to the elopements we photographed. We started our road trip in  Reykjavik and travelled counterclockwise around the ring road, stopping everywhere that made our jaws dropped.  Our jaws dropped almost every ten minutes down the road.  We were awestruck not only by the striking, and often times surreal, landscapes, but also by the way we often felt like we were the only people there, the way the sun hung so low along the horizon on autumn days that it seemed like sunset all the time, and the way the northern lights danced like rivers through the sky at night. So many times we found ourselves staring, or gasping, and asking out loud, "Could this possibly be real?!", as we tried to pinch ourselves awake from what felt like dreams.  

Without further adieu (and because I promised Matt I wouldn't write a paragraph for each photo about the geology of each location, and the saga histories that revolve around them), here's a few highlights from our trip!   Make sure to check out the drone video at the bottom as well! 

 

We also made a video featuring footage from our drone throughout Iceland!  Check that out below:

Reykjavik Elopement in Iceland // Farrah and Lance

Farrah and Lance elope in Iceland at the Blue Lagoon, black beaches, with a sunset vow exchange at Seljalandsfoss // Victoria Wedding and Elopement Photographers

We met Farrah and Lance through our friend Emma of Emma McCormmick Creative, and were so excited when they told us that they wanted to elope in Iceland and have us there to take the photos!  Like all of our couples, Farrah and Lance had their own unique way of doing their elopement, and we loved photographing the whole experience.  Farrah and Lance had a not-so-secret elopement, and even had a handful of family members and friends along to share in the day.  A mini wedding! We  love it!  

The day started out dark, with rain clouds looming over Reykjavik and as far as we could see: we assumed that our lucky weather streak had run out.  Our only option for the day was to follow the road in any direction that might lead us towards any sort of light. What a great decision that ended up being!

Black lava rocks, topped with bright green moss is what covers most of the Reykjanes Peninsula where we decided to head.  At Blue Lagoon, the vibrantly blue pools of water cut a contrasting path through the green and black blanket. They're made all the more vivid by their stark white silica borders.  For Farrah and Lance's first look, it made for a very surreal setting, even as rain threatened to pour on them.  From there we headed east, where we were treated to black sand beaches; their grassy dunes stretching for thousands of acres. Here we found an absolute absence of people, and warm sunlight bursting through dense fog, creating an otherworldly and romantic atmosphere.  

Farrah and Lance had saved their vows just for Iceland, and they were hoping to be able to exchange them at a waterfall at some point through the day.  As the day wound down and the sun began to set, we made our way further east to Seljalandsfoss, stopping along the way to visit with some Icelandic horses, and trying to coax them into cuddles with the promise of apples. We made it to Seljalandsfoss just in time for a glorious sunset, which couldn't have been more perfect for Farrah and Lance's romantic vow exchange.

Thank you Farrah and Lance! We had such a great day with you and your squad, chasing the light, fishing for horses, and walkie-talkie-ing like truckers between our vehicles!  Congratulations to you both, we hope these memories last forever!

Snaefellnes Peninsula Iceland Elopement // Meagann & Neil

Meagann and Neil elope amongst basalt columns, waterfalls and lava fields in Iceland // Victoria Wedding Photographers

 

In our experience photographing three destination elopements in Iceland, on back to back days, we took away so many highlights to reminisce about.  We loved getting to know our couples' different personalities, how they met, and what their lives were like back home, away from this dreamland.  One thing we weren't (but should should have been) expecting was the way all three of our couples would plan and execute their elopement in their own special way.  It only magnified the romance factor of an already romantic way to marry, and we felt it gave us an even more intimate look into the couple's relationship dynamic.

If you read Jessika and Mack's elopement blog from the day before, you know that they had legally married in their home state of Colorado a few days before they left for Iceland.  They had exchanged their wedding rings, but saved their vows for their big day Iceland.  As well, Jessika's wedding dress made it all the way to Iceland without Mack seeing it, so they could get ready the traditional way; without the groom seeing the bride, even though they were going to be in the same apartment at the time!   

The following day we met with Meagann and Neil at their hotel to start the day at their Reykjavik hotel, where they'd get ready together to share the anticipation and excitement of the day.  We found it so romantic that Neil would be the person to help Meagann into her wedding gown (insert 100 heart-eyes emojis), before they looked each other up and down with huge smiles, and headed out the door.  Meagann and Neil also legally signed their marriage papers in their hometown in Ontario, where they had exchanged vows and wedding bands.  The unique twist that we love, is that while the two had their wedding bands, Meagann had not yet seen the beautiful custom sapphire engagement ring that Neil had made just for her.  What a treat for us to get to see her face as Neil opened the little wooden box for her during their ring exchange ceremony. And what better place than an isolated area of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula; at the foot of a waterfall, and overlooking an endless field of bright green, moss-blanketed lava, veined by a river speckled with swans.  The warm light shining through overhead clouds, and the misty wind that danced through Meagann's hair and gown only added more drama to an already dreamlike day.  After their ring exchange, we explored more of the Snaefellsnes peninsula area, that Meagann and Neil had fallen in love with their first few days in Iceland.  They showed us areas that we hadn't had the opportunity to explore on our first trip to the area, and it felt like casual day out adventuring with friends as Neil pointed out all the quaint homesteads he was for sure planning to retire to when it came time.  We took in the impressive basalt column cliffs, took a drive through the incredible Berserkjahraun (mad-man's lava field), and they finished the day with some beachside cuddles at Djupalonssandur (the black lava pearl beach).

Thank you Meagann and Neil for letting us be the ones to peer in and capture such an intimate and personal milestone in your life.  We had so much fun driving around an area of Iceland that meant so much to you, and hope these photos hold a life time of treasure for you! 

 

 

  

Beacon Hill Park Elopement in Victoria // Kaiti and Mike

Kaiti and Mike's secret September wedding in Beacon Hill Park in Victoria // Victoria Wedding Photographers

With September being our busiest month, and the month of our anniversary, we weren't really expecting to have enough time to really celebrate our anniversary.  With so many wedding on the docket, we figured we'd probably spend the day editing, consulting, updating our portfolio, catching up on social media, or meeting with couples.  As it happens though, we were given the opportunity to do something very special on the day of our anniversary.  When Kaiti and Mike approached us with their elopement so secret that we'd be the very witnesses on their marriage certificate, we knew that would be the most memorable way to spend our anniversary.  We couldn't wait for the day to hurry up and arrive so we could spend it photographing, witnessing, and celebrating he marriage of a fantastic couple who would end up sharing the very same day! What a treat!

Kaiti and Mike came from the Mainland to elope in Victoria, and to spend a couple days enjoying the city. We met the two of them on that sunny September afternoon in Beacon Hill Park for their intimate elopement amongst a secluded grove of Garry oaks. What a gorgeous place to exchange such heartfelt felt vows, and rings. After their official ceremony, we spent time exploring around the park and beaches nearby, taking in the sights, the sunlit fog, and wedded bliss!

Thanks, Kaiti and Mike, for including us in such a great day, and congratulations on your marriage!  We hope you love the photos!