Taking a portrait of athlete is probably my favourite. I love photographing people and sports so telling a story about athletes only comes naturaly. Claire Buchar is mtb racer, coach, athlete and graphic designer and also has Czech roots so we have lots of in common. It was great to catch up and work on small project together. Here is my favourite pic from our shoot.
Sometimes the best pictures happen when you don’t plan them at all. Like this picture of my friend Jocelyn. It is one of my favourite portraits so far. We went out to a local organic farm to pick up some fresh veggies when we spotted these beautiful tall red flowers in the fields. First came out the phones and then I went to car to get my camera. We only snapped a few pictures while catching up on gossip and this is the result. Make sure you have your camera handy to capture your every day life moments.
It wasn’t a typical wedding. The local Whistler couple with two small and cute kids decided to tie the knot at one of my favourite spots – Rainbow park. The whole day I was hoping that the rain would just hold off for a few more hours so we could enjoy the ceremony and photo session outdoors without the umbrellas above our heads. Moment the ceremony started, sun came out for a few seconds to give this beautiful couple a nod for approval. The cool part about photographing a local wedding is that in our small town I know quite a few guests as well. That means more stories are shared and everyone is more relaxed around me while I am taking their photos.
As a Whistler photographer, it is always a treat when you get to photograph local couple. Most of the weddings in Whistler are destination weddings so seeing the couple before the wedding is not always possible. When I was approached by Adam, I was thrilled. I don’t get to talk to clients while racing bikes and hanging out at apres later sharing the stories from everyday life while drinking your favourite beverages at the same time. Kari and Adam are both avid bikers and that’s something we have in common. My partner Steve races in the same category as Adam and they switch their spots on podium each week. It is healthy rivalry followed by beer and laughter after the race. Knowing the couple is crucial in wedding photography. If I can give one advice to any wedding couple it would be meeting or at least phone call with your photographer. It always surprises me how many couples rather stick to emails while investing into memories on their wedding day! At the end, each photographer will deliver the photos, but can you feel relaxed and at ease when you are around them? Beside your wedding planner, photographer will spent most time with you during the wedding documenting intimate moments during the day. He or she is the person who is always close to you on wedding day, who is there to answer your questions when things are running late or if something needs to be address right away.
We’ve been planning this session for a year. First we thought we would take maternity photos. Unfortunately, the ideas Czybel had in mind would not work at that time of year, so we postponed until baby would arrive in winter. Again, with winter not really being winter last year, another great backdrop was lost and we ended up postponing until little baby LJ grew up a little. And I am glad we did. Seeing the love and interaction between two brothers is something we would miss otherwise.
We chose Rainbow park, a place where most of the locals hang out on nice sunny day, as our location. Luckily mornings are not so crowded and we had some privacy during our session. The biggest challenge was avoiding the bright sun but luckily there are quite a few shaded spots around.
Mike called me couple months that he would like to surprise his wife with family session for her birthday. We had an awesome chat about his family and also about the ideas for the session. The details were kept for last-minute so Tyla could join the conversation. As our location we have chosen Green Lake spit for a few reasons – it is a local hangout and never too crowded. Mike and Tyla’s family have never been to this spot and they come to Whistler quite often. Also their dog Crosby can freely run around, which he definitely took advantage of during our session.
Another great family session in Pemberton. North Arm Farm definitely became one of my favourite location to photograph at. There are so many opportunities for kids to play or pick up berries. And having Mt.Currie as a backdrop to those pictures is a sweet bonus.
The strawberry season came early this year. As usual I planned a day to pick up some so I could freeze them for summer smoothies later. Coming here for years to pick up local fruit or veggies, I have never thought of this place as a location for a family session. For me, it was a beautiful farm and amazing setting where I came to relax and pick up fresh and organic berries. It was only last year when I thought of bringing a family here. Now it is my favourite summer location to photograph at. Beside Mt.Currie as a background, there are also swings for kids, mini house and small tractor for kids to play on. The options are endless.
In this family session we took little Maia for her first strawberry picking. First she wouldn’t let us eat any of them and kept pointing at the basket. As we collected quite a few she sat down in middle of the field and started to snack on strawberries.
As most of the family shoots they happen during the day when sun is high. This is not ideal for photography and portrait as most people are either squinting or the position of the sun causes harsh shadows on their faces. The best solutions on mid day sunny photo session is find the shade. In this case we were in middle of the open fields so I brought a reflector to bounce some light and get rid off dark shadows.
I met Siobhan and Matt couple weeks before their wedding and we clicked right away. They are outdoorsy and fun couple to hang around and easy to connect with. Soon after the wedding plans we chatted about bike park and trails around. Since the day we met I was really looking forward to their wedding day. Siobhan and Matt decided to have a small ceremony in Whistler, followed by a dinner with close family and head out to party with their friends at Buffalo Bills. It seems like the trend is changing as I tend to photograph more and more casual and small weddings. It is now a standard question to ask if there is anything different from a traditional wedding.
Siobhan and Matt got married on Jul 4th, one of the busiest weekends in town. Beside huge bike race in town, it is also US long weekend and the temperature reached 30+C. The beaches, parks and any scenic locations were packed with people enjoying the hot weather, having picnics and playing games by the lake. It was pretty much impossible to take any pictures of wedding couple at these locations. You always need to have a back up location and local knowledge comes handy in situation like this one. We chose the scenic area in Nicklaus North neighbourhood where we found some privacy for our photo shoot.
Spring season is here and Blackcomb mountain is closing in couple of days. It’s time to switch the gear and get ready for summer. Lot’s of locals take a break and leave for a quick vacation. If you are staying around or visiting during slow season there are still plenty of activities you can do. The deals on accommodation and dining already started and we will see more of them poping up in a week or two.
Here are my top picks:
1. Spring skiing – Whistler Mountain stays open until May 18th, so take advantage of the longer days and head up the mountain for some spring skiing and riding or just for the food with great views.
2. Biking in valley – While Whistler bike park remains closed until mid May, the trails in Whister valley are in prime conditions. It doesn’t matter if you are a begginer or a pro, the options are endless!
3. Golf – If you love golfing, than this is the season for you! The golf courses are opening early due to lack of snow in the valley and there are ton’s of deals for early season golfing.
4. Apres – No matter what activity you decide to do, you should finish it in Whistler style. Choose a sunny patio in the village or Creekside and enjoy the cold beverages.
5. Go fest – an outdoor festival for anyone to get involved in during May long weekend. For more information check http://www.greatoutdoorsfest.com/