Kootenay Wedding and Family Photographer: Best of 2019

Choosing the best Kootenay Wedding and Family Photographer for you

This time of year is one of my favourites. Not just because I get to see people I don’t usually see, or enjoy foods I don’t normally eat, or go on adventures the weather and time don’t usually allow, but because I get to go through all of the photos I’ve made with my awesome clients. My clients are the people who push me to be the best British Columbia wedding and family photographer I can possibly be. And in choosing my favourite photos from 2019, I get to re-live all these moments all over again. And that’s what photos are for!


As a documentary wedding and family photographer, my photos are generally candid and unstaged. I rarely tell people what to do because they rarely know I’m making a photo of them. However, during portraits, I give lots of direction so everyone is comfortable and able to be themselves. Rarely do I make anyone look at the camera, and always do I make people feel good about the photos we’re making. In celebration of the relationship between my client and I, the following five photos are my favourite portraits from the year.

Wedding couple stands under the Milky Way in a starry night wedding photo
Erica and Tim under the Milky Way. I’ve always wanted to make a Milky Way wedding photo, and I finally got a clear sky on a dark night in the Slocan Valley, and a willing couple to make this image. We took a moment from their Vallican Whole Community Centre wedding reception to make this portrait under the stars. Erica said it was her favourite part of the wedding because it was a moment that they got to spend, quietly holding one another.
Bride stands in a beam of light on Kootenay lake
Alex and Amrit got married in Nova Scotia, but came to Kaslo for their private vow ceremony. This is a wedding portrait of Alex on the shore of Kootenay Lake. I feel the portrait is as much about the landscape as it is about Alex. Both are powerfully beautiful.
Wedding portrait of couple in the clouds
JJ and Todd were married in an intimate wedding ceremony on the shore of Kootenay Lake. It was storming all day and we weren’t sure whether the rain would hold off for their ceremony. While it didn’t rain, the sky gave us these amazing clouds. With the weather being a unique part of their day, I wanted to make a portrait of them literally in the clouds.
Wedding couple on the bank of Kootenay lake
This is Alex with Amrit on the shore of Kootenay Lake. It was late fall, when the snow had covered the alpine and the trees were turning colour along the water. I personally feel there are not enough late fall weddings, and I wanted their portrait to show the variety of weather at elevations–a key character to Kootenay living and one of the things that make the Kootenay region so beautiful.
Couple kisses on their wedding day as a cat snuggles their legs
This is Lara and Luke in the backyard where Luke grew up in Balfour. I wanted to make a portrait of them where Luke played as a kid, but now he’s here with his wife, starting a life he likely never dreamed of as he played outside. Kootenay weddings are often in someone’s backyard, but it’s especially sweet when the yard is where you grew up, and now the child you’re raising with your wife can be part of this essential feature of your life. Lara also loves cats, and this cat just waltzed into the frame as we set it up!


As a documentary wedding and family photographer, the details photos I make are generally in the moment. I tend not to set things up and would rather make photos of people using the details, rather than the detail by itself. When details have context, they tell more of your story. The following six photos are my favourite details photos from the year.

Bride gets her wedding dress as daughter watches
As JJ took her dress down from the hook, I made a photo from outside the building for two reasons. One, to show the venue where they were getting ready because the whole family spent the weekend there. Two, I was also hoping I could get a natural smile from JJ as she took down the dress. But way better than I could have staged, JJ’s daughter happened to peek out from the adjacent room. Her mom hadn’t let her see the dress, so this was her first chance. This photo describes some of their playful relationship, as well as the venue detail.
Dog licks his lips on couple's lap holding hands
This is Zero, with his humans Cherie and Norm. Norm has really long dreads, Cherie has amazing tattoos, and Zero is the cutest dog in town. I love how his tongue matches her heart, and Zero really does have both their hearts. So rather than a photo just of each of those things, I combined them all in this frame.
groom kisses bride with tear on her cheek
Tara and Patrick’s wedding was incredible. Not only was it really emotional, but it was storming almost all day. I worked really hard to make a photo to symbolize the rain, as well as the emotion. Here, Patrick comforts Tara as a tear slides down her cheek.
Details of wedding attire during wedding shoe game
Shoe and sock details! This was during their wedding game, and gave an active details photo of all the thought that went into their foot and sock choices.
Couple walks together under a stormy sky with rainbow
They got married between downpours. A rainbow photo was only appropriate.
Mom wipes tear away from son's cheek
Tim and his mom cried easily. It was beautiful and clearly something they shared. So I made a photo of them having a moment collecting themselves. I imagine she did this many times for him as a child. And even as a married man, she’ll always be his mom and will still wipe his tears. It makes me cry, too!
Wedding portrait of couple at Kettle falls, christina lake wedding
This photo doesn’t look like a typical detail. But it’s a detail of where they used to go make out!


As a documentary wedding and family photographer, the wedding party photos are a fun time to get everyone interacting, so I can make lots of in the moment photos that show their personalities. I tend to set up scenarios and make them do funny word games, which really brings out peoples’ relationships. They’re always tons of fun. The following three photos are my favourite wedding party photos from the year.

Bride and groom share a moment with their wedding party
Erica having a moment with her maid of honour. Tim having a moment with his best man. I couldn’t have directed the perfection in this image. This is why I let people just be themselves–this is so much more rewarding than anything I could make up!
groomsmen throw the groom in the air at christina lake wedding
Matt is the pillar among his friends–he’s always there for everyone else. So we made a photo reversing that relationship.
Bridal party portrait in nelson bc rainstorm
This is a more typical stand-and-look image. I always make a “safe shot” like this. But this one is one of my favourites because you can see how hard it’s raining, but they still look fantastic. I really love rainy weddings, and I love the symmetry of the lines and shapes in this image. Added bonus: this is the Big Orange Bridge, affectionately known as BOB to the locals.


As a documentary wedding and family photographer, the wedding reception is FULL of everything I look for throughout the day: symmetry, emotion, details, personalities, and all the feelings. By the time the dance floor gets rolling, everyone has forgotten that I’m there, and nearly every one is ready to cut loose. This is also when the most unbridled excitement happens. Where the rest of the day tends to be happy tears, the dance floor is full of silly, skill and smiles. The following eight wedding reception photos are my favourite from the year.

couple gives toast at christina lake wedding
A time for reflection during the speeches, when everyone is the room is listening to how grateful the couple is. This is such a special moment for the couple.
Girl does handstand on wedding dance floor at Blaylock mansion
This little wedding guest was totally in her own world, while grandpa and his granddaughter danced nearby.
groom pretends to strip for his bride during first dance at vallican whole community centre wedding
Kyle surprised Britney with a strip tease for their first dance. I love the looks on their faces, caught in the act, while someone cheers from the crowd.
dance floor at the vault in nelson bc
Everyone is having a good time right here. Every single person. So much fun!
first dance detail of the rings
Ring detail during their first dance. I love the connection here, both in their hands and their heads.
dance floor party at nelson bc wedding
Every day of the week. That is all!
cowboy dancing at wedding
The wedding dance floor is a great opportunity to make layered images–photos where there are multiple stories being told. Here we have the obvious couple spinning with her face in focus through their arms, but also the couples to the left and right–the left are totally into each other and the right are welcoming people to the dance floor. Then, a gem, far to the right. One of the groomsmen with his shirt unbuttoned. Ready to party.
big janga game at nelson bc wedding
And this is about suspense. Wedding games are another fun time to layer people with different reactions. We know something is about to happen, and the different expressions of suspense are fun to look at.


The engagement session is less about getting your photo taken than it is about us getting comfortable with one another. These sessions are integral for me as a wedding photographer. In order to shoot documentary photography the way I do, these sessions give you a sense of how I work, and what it’s like to be around a camera. Plus, we get to go somewhere we won’t have time or access to get to during your wedding. The following are my favourite seven engagement photos from the year.

Couple laughs during a snowstorm in a larch forest
The first snow of the season! The last larch of the summer! The cutest hug in the world!
Jasper national park engagement photo in front of Mount Edith Cavell glacier
Toques, glaciers, plaid. It doesn’t get much more stereotypically Canadian than this!
Couple dances in a sunset engagement photo
Shannon and Fraser are really good dancers. The light was also really good. Win-win!
Engagement photo in front of Mount Christie
Justine and Stephen are from Grande Prairie Alberta. When out-of-town clients book me for their wedding, we always find a way to meet somewhere for their engagement photos. This is in Jasper National Park. I was up there for running trip, and they went there for a romantic weekend. It worked out perfectly, as did that larch matching the highway lane line!
Silhouette of couple with their dog on a mountain
Kane is such a good boy. Erica and Tim wanted to bring him to their engagement photos, and of course, the answer is always yes whenever a dog is involved. He wouldn’t be joining them t their wedding, so it was really important that we made photos with him. This photo is also really special because Kane recently passed away. So here he is, with his people, in the clouds.
Couple embraces in a field
Just a sweet romantic meadow make out sesh.
Engagement photo of couple with their dog
They’re from the coast, so I found a location where they could be reminded of that for their engagement photos. I caught their reflection in the water, and waited until their furry friend took a drink.



As a documentary family photographer, we spend our time doing things that you enjoy doing together. The purpose for me during that activity is to find creative ways to illustrate your relationships and your personalities, as well as your environment and your values. I love family photography because I always leave the session with a feeling of hope. Families are simply doing their best, all the time. It’s vulnerable to have your photo taken. But for those who have photos of their childhood to look back on, those people have an infinitely important gift: a portal to their family history. I think it’s so important to be photographed, to see your life and your emotions through someone else’s eyes. I guarantee you the honest beauty of you interacting with your kids is one of the longest lasting gifts you can give them.

The following photos are my favourites among all the awesome families who shared their days with me.

Girls chase their grandma on Kootenay lake
Granddaughters chase their grandma along a beach on Kootenay Lake. Grandma was really playful, and the girls were always following her lead. I think the photo is a perfect representation of what they’ll remember about these days when they get older.
Kids chase their dad
Who doesn’t remember chasing their dad?
Two moms laughing in front of wood pile
The next three images are of Kate and Deanna, awaiting Florence. When I make prenatal photos, I try to show the dynamic in the relationship. Deanna is more playful, Kate is more the rock. You can see that in this photo, as well as how they hold each other in the bath tub. But even more so, as Kate moves a lock of hair out of Deanna’s eyes as she nurses their baby. Teamwork makes dreams work, and this baby was a dream come true for them.

Two moms in bathtub Wife brushes hair out of wife's eyes as she nurses

Kids playing on the shore of kootenay lake
A day on the lake. Harrison pulls his cousin’s life jacket, wanting him to play, but he’s more interested in a bug on the rock. A sweet illustration of their dynamic.
Girl chases her new dog in Lion's park, nelson bc
Role reversal! Sophie the dog teases Bekka with the frisbee.
Dad plays with his sons by kootenay lake
Many artful photos include triangles. Here we can see the relationship of the boys with their uncle, demonstrated with the composition including two triangles.
grandpa looks for minnows with is granddaughters.
I love this moment of reflection. Grandpa searches for minnows, as his granddaughters watch and learn. They will no doubt remember these summer mornings.
Girl runs into a doorway after taking off her play clothes
A little girl changes out of her play clothes as she runs inside the house.
Couple snuggles on bed with their new baby being breastfed
A quiet moment with their new baby, Sammy and My Tram are engrossed with her tiny features as My Tram breastfeeds.
Two young kids kayaking in Kootenay lake
I absolutely love this image. These two little guys are on a kayak in what could be the middle of the lake. They’re so small out there, in a giant world.
Family photo on streets of nelson bc in fall
The following three images are group portraits. Rather than having everyone sit in one spot, I like to make you walk through beautiful places (like this street by my house)….
Kids throw leaves on their parents
… throw leaves on your parents’ head to make them laugh…
Family photos at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park
…or get all the kids and their kids on the teeter totter. This one was a big challenge to make and I absolutely love how it turned out.

The following five photos are from a Day in the Life family photography session on Alex’s graduation day. Each image shows a bit of who he and his family are. In order: Alex wrestling with his cousin, Alex getting his tie put on with the help of his family (a ritual for men on special occasions), Alex having a group photo made as their female friends tell them where to stand, Alex having a pizza break with his boys in the change room where they met playing hockey, and finally, Alex and his friends in the cavalcade that goes through town in honour of the Nelson BC 2019 Graduation class.

boy wrestles with uncle Graduate tries to put on his tie Grad portrait in Nelson BC Backstage at nelson bc graduation Grad cavalcade on Baker Street in nelson bc

It’s nearly impossible to choose the best Kootenay wedding and family photographer. “The Best” is purely subjective. But I do hope that in describing why these photos are my favourite, they can help you decide whether I’d be the best wedding and family photographer for you. If immortalizing your family history is important to you, or you simply like artful and purposeful photos of people you love, please get in touch with me here. I’m so looking forward to meeting you.

Categories: families & babies, weddings & engagementsTags: , , , ,