Colette tells me that she is usually the kind of girl who when she walks into a room, you know she’s there: that is, she has a frenetic energy about her, an outgoing personality and vivacious spirit that makes her stand out in the crowd. Funnily enough, that’s not what I saw. I saw a woman who possessed an inordinate amount of self awareness, of quiet reflection, and who also has one of the best smiles I’ve ever had the good fortune to photograph. I can see it there in that smile, that she is also happy, and that in the right settings that happy would come out as bubbly, as a dynamo of positivity. But this day, when it was just she and me, a white wall and a camera, she was quiet. It was a sunny Sunday morning, she was off to go for a run, she was peaceful…really peaceful. And in that peace she was extraordinarily beautiful.
For those that follow this blog, it is no secret to you that I love Shari Nakagawa. Not only is she the brilliant photographer behind Sushi Rice Studios, a dog-lover extraordinaire, and general all around super fun gal, but she’s also one of our brides from 2013. Thus this PP session was a little bit different: I knew Shari, I’d had her in front of the camera twice before, only just in a very different context. Now she wasn’t in a wedding dress (dark teal BTW…rock star!), it was just her, and me, and a white wall…and I knew what I wanted to get.
Shari is super fun – like the kind of fun that’s always up for anything, that will be the first one to jump at any crazy adventure, and that leaves you with a perpetual smile on your face. Aside from being a photographer, Shari is also a belly dancer and she has great hair, so I simply asked her to show me some moves and get the mane flying. This is what happened…LOVE
I’d also brought along my hula-hoop…just in case. In case I got stuck shooting someone really stiff and I needed inspiration. Well that was definitely NOT the case here, but the hula matched Shari’s spirit so it seemed a good idea. And she’s good at it too! Seems before she took up belly dancing she used those moves to win a few hula contests as well. Awesome.
Thank you Shari for trusting me yet again, and for always being up to playing. We need a photo date…soon!
From the first moment I saw Brittany’s picture on Facebook I knew I wanted to photograph her – those eyes! And then I saw Jay and knew that what we could create together was going to be something really special. How fantastic that they happen to be engaged! Now all I needed was them to agree to meet with the crazy photographer who was stalking them, find a date and get them into the space that would work best as a canvas.
Jay’s a tattoo artist and Brittany has a kick-ass 80′s punk look going, so the obvious choice for space was an urban landscape, one that was as inked as they, right…Chinatown and into Gastown it was. But not the pretty bits. For these two I wanted juxtaposition, I wanted a setting where the glamour of their style would shine against barebones layered textures, where Brittany’s beauty would not be vying for focus against cherry blossoms and other glories of Spring. What we came away with has me deliriously happy – and I really, REALLY hope we get to do it again!
Vancouver urban engagement photos
I have to admit that I’ve been a fan of Shane Deringer’s photography for a few years now: his ability to capture the essence of not only his subjects but of his inherently West Coast setting is, in my humble opinion, second to none. The use of light and atmosphere give his images an ethereal, romantic feel that has as much to do with his manipulation of the environment as it does his subject matter. In short, I love his work. So you can imagine how excited I was when he walked through the studio door as one of the subjects for my Photographing Photographers sessions.
As with most photographers, Shane hates getting his picture taken, or at least he was extremely uncomfortable with being the solitary subject in this white wall series. Maybe that’s why he seemed so exposed. Or maybe it was because Shane was in a really raw place emotionally…I’m not sure what the magic formula was, but these are some of my favourite images to date. Thank you Shane, for being willing to be seen. Ultimate gratitude from one photog to another.
This is Jody – she said she was shy, that she was nervous…she wasn’t sure how she would look in photos. Like most photographers, she loves looking at people, but hates them looking at her. When I looked at Jody I saw pure beauty: beyond that actually, like, British super-model beauty…with a heart and a spirit that just sang with joy. It took less than a minute (and a quick peek at the first shot) for Jody to loosen up and let her playful side shine. I love this girl! Not only is she a fabulous photographer – check out her work at Jody Wigar Photography – she’s an incredible subject. Her happiness is contagious and you just want to keep smiling when you’re around her. And did I mention she’s gorgeous?