Carly & Avery - Kelowna Backyard Park Wedding

I’m writing this post after a few glasses of wine, which is, perhaps, how any blog post should be written about Carly and Avery.  They were married September 13, 2014.  Carly did a wicked job of planning the day, she was ON IT (I saw the list(s)) and it paid off, so many guests were saying that she could definitely be a wedding planner.  So many details were pulled together and she didn’t have a hint of bridezilla, she was just a champ throwing down a rad backyard wedding.

Alternate intro: I first knew that Carly & Avery and I would get along when, over beers at their place, they decided to start demo on their kitchen, by kicking and punching down a major wall, that still had appliances and cabinets attached.  And then further when Carly handmade me a hippie toiletries kit with coco dry shampoo, rose water face mist, and some type of toner… I thought, I can see myself getting along with these weirdos, because IM a weirdo.

There were so many highlights of the day: I love being there when everyone’s getting ready, seeing the dresses and suits, and the details coming together, everything the product of so many hours planning.  The speeches at the reception were touching and honest and I for sure cried.  The MC also put together the most hilarious version of the shoe game that I’ve ever seen at a wedding, it was THAT GOOD, check out the photo bride & groom, grandparents, and kiddos all in stitches, when does that ever happen!?! And the last surprisingly hilarious wedding highlight was Avery’s sultry striptease for Carly, before diving for her garter.

The sketchiest part of the wedding was that Carly trusted me to construct a DIY photobooth, which was actually a framed wall and window with a lack of actual structural support.  I leaned it against a tree in the park to steady it. At one point in the night I saw the family cat skitter up the tree and across the top of the wall, playing with fate.  I am so very relived that it didn’t topple over on anyone, and legitimately surprised that I haven’t yet been served with a law suit.

I draw so many similarities between Carly & Avery, and myself & Lofty.  We have beautiful little girls of similar ages who have the same favorite mr. bunny stuffie, we share similar values, goals, and personal challenges.  We have similar taste in home decor, although she does a way better job executing it and I just pin pretty things on Pinterest. It is for these reasons and more that I am so happy to call them friends :) It was so much fun to be there with them on their wedding day!

“I’m seriously in tears with happiness!! Jenna you did an amazing job.  There are so many moments of the day I had forgotten, and it all just came flooding back! I’m so freaking happy. Thank you darlin!! Xoxxoxoxoxxoxxo” - Carly

I’ve chosen some different images to publish with this post for two reasons. 1. I posted lots of my fav images after the wedding last year on my facebook page, and my website, so I want to show something fresh. And also, 2. because the wedding is going to be featured on a wedding blog next month :)  I want to thank my crazy talented second shooter for shooting the ceremony with me, Liz was awesome and captured some gorgeous images, including one of my favorites of the whole day, the first photo pictured below:

Beautiful flowers by Brookdale Heritage Garden.  And food truck catering by Surf Side California!


So, we went to Mexico for my best friend’s wedding! Destination wedding for 70+ anyone? It was a week-long event, and guests began dropping like flies almost as soon as we set up camp at the Ocean Maya Resort, just North of Playa del Carmen; Let the games begin!  There were so many casualties beyond the usual peeling skin that you would expect (although there were a few good sunburns happening as well…) To name a few: double scooter accident causing a nearly severed toe, and road rash on 4 people including a bridesmaid… 13 sea-sick bachlorette crew members, swollen faces & necks for no apparent reason, sand flea bites, infected and swollen toes, sliced open toes, and one heat stroke victim (ahem…) I’m sure that does not cover all the carnage, but provides a snap shot of how fragile our group apparently is. 

Megan and Cody’s wedding was, as luck would have it, on the absolute hottest day of the trip.  It was so much more emotional than I thought in the morning, and then it was just an awesome ceremony and reception.  I knew it would be hot and wet and crazy in Mexico so I only took a film camera along, a Praktica MTL-50, which as I understand it is a German camera from the ’80s, instead of my DSLR & lenses.  I haven’t shot film since I was about 10 years old, and wasn’t entirely sure the camera even worked SO it was kind of fun.  I didn’t do too much shooting, but I definitely got a thrill when I picked them up from the lab!  Megan & Cody wanted to do a “day-after” shoot with their photographer and I got to tag along.  Unfortunately I missed Destination Wedding Photography 101 where you can’t take your camera out of your air conditioned room into hot humid weather and expect it not to fog up… So some of the shots are VERY foggy, such is life!  Now that I have shot one role with the Praktica and am confident that it can actually produce something decent, I’m looking forward to using it more!  Enjoy!

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Tracey & Mark of Crown Photography - Camrose Alberta

I originally planned to publish this on April 22, which is Tracey’s birthday, and also earth day, so therefore bEarthday, but we have been flat out crazy with first a holiday to Mexico (sidenote: I shot only film on the holiday which I am so excited to post about when it is developed #oldschool) and second a move from Salmon Arm to Vernon.  The dust is settling, so blogging commence:

I think it’s probably a rarity that a future lifelong friend propositions you to become her amigo with a note dropped of at your place of employment, but that is the greatness and randomness that is Tracey.  Her husband, Mark, is also great and a long time friend of mine from school.

Tracey and Mark were our coolest cool-couple-parent friends in BC, until the glimmering prospect of Camrose, Alberta stole them away from us.  I do harbour an intense distaste for Alberta for capturing them.  Luckily we moved into her parent’s basement suite so we got to see them whenever they came to visit!  Mark and Tracey are the owners of Crown Photography, and they have done an incredible job growing their business.  I am really so proud of them and know all the hard work they have put into building it the way that is right for them (the kind of pride you feel when you have absolutely nothing to do with their success, but you still feel great for them).  They are consistently pushing themselves to create beautiful portraits using different techniques.  This year they are directing their focus towards weddings and engagements, and what I think is awesome is that they’re offering video services as well.  They aren’t afraid to try out new ideas, and always deliver quality, gorgeous product to their clients.

Tracey and Mark have encouraged me through my introduction to photography in so many ways *cheesy voice* including but not limited to: encouragement to shoot in manual mode; backlighting tips; letting me borrow lenses, including a 50mm which I shot my first wedding with, without which would have been a kit lens disaster, which I also broke; looking at my work; and babbling with me about what it means to be a wedding photographer.

I really wanted to take the time to wish Tracey a happy belated birthday, and to thank her for providing candid mentorship to me as I’m working on my own business, but also for being a really really awesome person, and a great friend.

Mark and Tracey are such genuine people who will always go a billion extra miles for everyone.  Check out some of their work below, but also check out their website  I love following their work online and seeing the directions they are heading towards.

“It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.” 

- Epicurus

All images used with permission from Crown Photography

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