Ok, I’m ready to start shooting again.
Welcome to 2020. I’m pretty stoked that we’re now in “the twenties”. I’ve actually been waiting for this for years; the 1920s has drawn me in for as long as I can remember (I want to do a flapper-styled shoot) and there was just something about the sound of saying the year between 2001 and 2019 that didn’t sit right with me. It took a long time for me to get used to saying “back in oh-three” and I could never get on board with “we’re taking a trip in seventeen” (I don’t think anyone ever said that). But I think that by next year it’ll be possible to drop the leading “twenty” “two-thousand” from the year number and just refer to it as “twenty-one”. Right? Man, I hope so.
Ok, back to 2019.
This. Freaking. Elopement. Astryd knew what she wanted. As a wedding photographer, this is absolute best-case scenario. The truth is, many many brides don’t and that’s totally ok. I didn’t. I wanted to go to my favourite place, say some vows and end up with beautiful photos and beyond that I had no vision. I feel compelled to apologize for it, but now, being on the other side of the lens for so many similar weddings, I know that many factors of the wedding will come together organically, and that just choosing West Coast is a styling choice in and of itself. It is a place that often forces you to go its way, even if your plans are different. It’s powerful and beautiful and so often the reason people choose to say “I do” here.
But Astryd was prepared and inspired and when the camera came out, she just shone.
It all started with a rainy afternoon.
It was torrential. Heidi and I stood there at the trailhead, getting straight soaked, and when John and Astryd arrived with Emilie from Elope Tofino, it looked like it was going to be a wet ceremony. Thank goodness for clear umbrellas.
Then we got to the point, and a funny thing happened. The rain stopped.
Rainy elopements are dramatic, but there is something to be said for staying dry (if only temporarily).
Best ringbearer: Shelby.
Cox Bay was just pounding in the background. The fog in the distance, the mist from the water. THE MOST west coast day September could ever offer.
I got to be a witness at John and Astryd’s wedding. Maybe one day I won’t get excited about witnessing. Maybe. But I doubt it.
After the ceremony, the photographer’s fun begins. These are the moments I live for.
Be warned: the following photos are, in short, spectacular. Tooting my own horn? Sorry, not sorry.
If I could control the sun, I would make it do this all the time and I’d never become tired of this view, this moment. This particular shot is a go-to for me. I barely need to direct it – I just run ahead, and tell the couple to make their way toward me as we’re heading back down from the point. The light doesn’t always act the way one hopes – of course – but it’s a pretty amazing view regardless. To me, it’s symbolic of the journey; it’s beautiful, although there are hazards. Go slowly together.
AS IF this elopement hadn’t been incredible enough already, Astryd said the words that every west coast photographer hopes for. It’s so compelling, the ocean. Tide was low and ascending, the swell was minor. I put down my sail bag at the shoreline (amateur mistake, I know) and off we went.
I said low tide ascending, right? At one point, a wave washed over the tops of my boots and I turned around – John was standing at the water’s edge with Emilie, and the water was heading STRAIGHT for my bag. Oops. Astryd and I waved our arms and shouted, and John’s lightning-fast reaction saved it! Thanks again, John.
Driving home from Pacific Sands that day, I was antsy to start editing. This is one of those elopements that will stay with me forever. I love weddings and elopements – I’m legitimately stoked about every single one. But Tofino pulled out all the stops that September day.
Thank you to the awesome vendors who brought this one together.=