Part 1 The Engagement
When I first started out and I was a brand new babe in the world of photography, I had the opportunity to photograph Nikola and Scott. They had just got engaged and they wanted a few quick photographs to use for invitations etc. It was a frigidly cold Christmas Eve day out near Wetaskiwin, Alberta. It was well below humane temperatures for being outside, reaching -35 C with the wind chill.
This whole new world of photography was terrifying to me. I remember trying to rush to get photographs because it was so cold but being somewhat unsure how to get Nik and Scott to interact and move naturally. It was a strange experience for me to be at a loss for words. Everyone who knows me, knows that being at a loss for words is not something that happens very often. However, if there is one thing that I took away from 6.5 years of University it is "fake it until you make it." Let me tell you, I became the master at this. Ask any of my friends from my classes and they will tell you that I was the master at BS-ing until I slowly worked my way to the right answer. What can I say...it's kind of my super power. But I digress.
Part 2. It's Finally Wedding Day
Regardless of my nervousness, the pictures came out great and they were extremely happy. Happy enough to ask me to help with their wedding photographs in fact. Now, I am not one for weddings but this one I happily agreed to. Why you might ask? Well, Nikola is my sister in law. Which means that if I am taking photographs then I don't have to be IN photographs. I like to think of myself as a fairly talented photographer. However, I am not so talented as to take wedding photos and somehow be in them. A tripod can only do so much and I truly hate being in pictures.
So, the wedding day came. I got up early and went over to meet up with the ladies and get some pictures of them getting ready. Being my first wedding that I was the photographer for, I think I took about 700 more pictures then I needed. Looking back, I am sure she didn't need a picture of the makeup on the table. However, I figured "go all out and delete what I don't need." I never want to look back and think "ah crap, I missed something."
After they got ready on the farm, we went to the church in Wetaskiwin for the ceremony and then out to Usona Hall (a very small farming community near Pigeon Lake) for the meal, speeches, and dance. For those of you that are reading this and work weddings all of the time, hats off to you! That was the longest day of my life I think. While it was a happy and fun day, I have decided wedding photography is not for me. I mean, I do 10+ KM races in the ocean where its blazing hot, there's waves, wind, etc and this was harder/tiring. Regardless, their wedding was amazing and I was glad that I could share in on that day in more than one way!
The Wedding Day
Part 3. Dance and Maternity Photographs
Doing photography for family/friends is far more stressful for me then someone who calls me up and books me. Don't take that the wrong way and think customers mean less to me or that I try less. It's just that when I meet a new customer there isn't family dynamics etc to overcome. In general, no family member is going to honestly tell you that they hate their photographs. That being said, I take no offence if a family member hires me and then hires someone else next time. However, if they do book me again it makes me feel pretty proud (you know, how a little toddler puffs out their chest and does their little "I'm proud face) of myself. I was able to provide what they wanted and didn't have the issue of the "sister telling me what to do and feeling awkward in front of me." So when Nikola asked me to do more photographs for her I was relieved and excited. Plus, she lets me go a bit crazy with my ideas so it's always interesting.
Our next session we did together was an "Ode to her dance days." I rented a studio in Edmonton and we played around with some posing, lighting, and dance attire. This session, to this day, produced some of my favourite pictures I have ever taken!
Luckily we got the dance session out of the way because it wasn't long before we got back together for Maternity photographs. One thing we try to do in Nik and Scotts pictures is pick very different locations. So this time we headed out to Wizard Lake where they often camp and boat to get some lake side shots. It was kind of a quick, impromptu session that we crammed in-between boating, campfires, supper, and of course a couple post session beers (sadly Nik didn't get to be a part of that.) At this point they were veterans and ready for what I wanted from them so, the session went by quick. I have to say I really enjoyed working by the lake and am always up for more sessions like this (hint hint readers.)
Dance Dance Revolution
Part 4. The Point of the Title
After what seemed like years of waiting the baby bump most commonly know as "Jim" turned into baby Jack. The funny thing was that both parents thought it was going to be a girl, they didn't find out before he was born. To this day we aren't sure why they chose to refer to the bump as "Jim" when they thought they were having a girl. I guess subconsciously they knew? However, I still screw up sometimes and say Jim instead of Jack (because I'm that good of an Auntie.)
Sadly, when baby Jack was born, I was off galavanting and competing in Denmark. Thus, pictures had to wait a bit. I prefer that anyway. I enjoy pictures when the baby starts to fill out a bit and are a little more lively. Not that Jack was lively. We stuck him in a pumpkin and prepared for the monumental meltdown that we assumed would come from being stuffed in a pumpkin outside. However, Jack just shoved his hand in his mouth and proceeded to take a nap. Really, the only problem that occurred was when we tried to get him out. Being a soft and slouchy baby, it was very difficult getting a hold of him once we got him in there. So we improvised; I held him while mom and dad slowly pulled the pumpkin away from his body. Again, Jack just napped through it all. Apparently he is a pretty chill kid. After that we got some clothes on him and took him inside for a few final photographs.
I feel pretty lucky to have been a part of their #littledepartures the last three years. It is pretty amazing to have a photographic timeline of major moments in a persons life. That person is letting you into their story and their life. Forr that I am grateful. I can't wait to see what is next for them and what is next for my future photographic departures.