I think it would only be appropriate to start this post off by picking up where I last left off. The week of the of my last Blog post. I discussed briefly about a jam packed week of photo opportunities and went more in detail on 1 of the 4. At some point during the week I sent a friendly message to a local Wedding Photographer by the name of Chantal Routhier. Chantal was listed as 1/3 Nova Scotians on Wedding Bells: Top 30 Wedding Photographers In Canada. I was introduced to her through a couple of the guys I shoot with from time to time on Instagram. Mike Bernie (aka Eastcoastkid03 on Instagram) invited me on a day trip in the Spring and said we would be picking up Chantal along the way along with 2 other local photographers. During that trip we went to a little area passed Lawrencetown Beach and I ended up picking Chantal and Scott's (Another 1/3 Nova Scotians in The Top 30) brain about wedding details and prices.
I met with Chantal on the Sunday of the following week on the Waterfront for a quick coffee. Well needless to say that quick coffee date turned into a 4 hour discussion that included anything from photography to relationships, along with an elderly gentleman asking to use my MacBook to message a girl on Match.com. (While hyperlinking Match.com I found out he never did sign out of his account, hope Captian01 found some luck). Anyway, the main purpose of our meeting was to go over details on an upcoming wedding that she seemed would be a great learning experience for myself. My goal was to just do an understudy or an internship if you will. She was happy to have me come along and reached out to the Bride to see if she'd mind having a second shooter at the wedding. She said she'd love to have me! I really don't think anyone is ever going to say no to having more angles of their Wedding Day.
Later that week she went into detail about the wedding. It was going to be a small sized wedding, only 50 people and being held at Boscawen Inn in Lunenburg. It seemed like this wedding was meant for me. It wasn't a large party and located all under one roof. Everything would be happening at the gorgeous Boscawen Inn, from the two parties getting ready to the reception. On a side note, anyone who has never been to The Boscawen Inn, you're missing out. It sits on the hill, centrally located in the heart of Lunenburg. This 128 year old Victorian structure was originally built in 1888 as wedding present (The Irony), It was honestly a real treat.
Fast forwarding a couple weeks to June 24th, I found myself a day away from the Wedding Day. I had all my gear prepared and even borrowed a lens from a close friend. Although being me I of course waited to the last minute to get an outfit for the wedding. If you have read all of my blog posts you might remember my mentioning of going backpacking overseas, or should I say my failed attempt. Long Story short, I didn't plan properly and the plan fell flat before it even got off the ground. I mention this because before this I had a brilliant idea to rid myself of all the things I wouldn't need or want to store. Like all of my dress clothes. Definitely wasn't the smartest idea I have ever had... So I was 1 day out and had nothing to wear thanks to Past Bernie. Luckily I have had past success at Value Village. I headed there the night before and my luck continued finding a great pair of navy slacks. I had another strike of luck with the Gap having a 70% off Mens button ups. Success.
We arrived at the Inn very early in the afternoon and headed straight to work. I was blown away by how gorgeous The Boscawen Inn was. The mouldings, the decor, the paint choices for each room and even the furniture. It's a very photogenic venue. We decided to make our presence known and just let both the Bride and Groom (Rowena and Murray) we had arrived and would start shooting after finding a spot to tuck our gear. After a small introduction to both, we immediately took to getting some detail shots of the venue and the items that were prepared for the wedding. Chantal took time and showed me some pointers, careful to show me some of her go to shots. I feel like at this moment I should mention that during the meeting Chantal made a point to tell me that what made her decision to have me come on as her Second Shooter easier was our difference in shooting style. She was confident that I didn't want to BE her, but just to learn. So with that being said, I feel like that gave her the confidence to confide in me some of those aforementioned go to shots.
I was very lucky to have Chantal's continued confidence as she sent me to get shots of Murray and his groomsmen getting ready while she went to visit Rowena and the girls upstairs. I also should mention that the Groom and all of his family/friends invited are Australian. From what I understand the lads from down under have quite the reputation for being rowdy at times. I was left in a 10 x 12 room with The Groom and 4 of his closest friends drinking. The time spent with them getting ready gave me a glimpse of the full show we'd get at the reception later on during the night.
After spending some time with the guys I decided I would go sneak upstairs and see if I could selfishly get some shots of the Bride and her Bridesmaids getting ready. I wanted to make sure I left at the end of the day with full memory cards and a reassurance I had enough shots to showcase my ability to tackle a larger project like a wedding. I got into the room just as the Bride was getting her veil on. We got the girls to pop some more champagne (They had no problem whatsoever with that!) to help make the scene a little more relaxed and fun. Again capturing some of my favourite moments for sure. There was lots of laughter, a few near spills, and great pointers being given to me as the only Male in the room! That is until Rowena's father entered the room, which left us outnumbered 6-2..... All jokes aside, this was one moment that almost led me to join Rowena in tears. The simple joy expressed by her father when seeing her in her wedding dress was something I'll remember for a while to come.
Soon after that memorable moment we rushed down to get a few more shots and then composed ourselves for the Ceremony. Again Chantal asked me to focus more on the guys during the Ceremony. I spent a few moments capturing the girls as the came down the stairs and then followed behind and started capturing the guys. I for whatever reason thought the Ceremony would be some long and excruciating thing, but It was honestly over before I got into the groove. I had gotten all the staple moments. The two at the altar, candids of them staring at each other, the wedding party, then a mishap of one of the rings being left upstairs, the eventual exchange and then finally the announcement of newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Bragg.
Thanks to a very organized Chantal we ran through the family photos after the Ceremony, making it easier for us to steal the wedding party and take them to a few different spots around Lunenburg. We explored the streets in search of some places for whole group shots. We ended up on the waterfront and found ourselves using one of the many colourful house, that make Lunenburg what it is, as our backdrop. From here we took Rowena and Murray alone, ushering them close to the water. We used various nautical touches in the photos. Even at one point we found ourselves in a little boat the was docked on the wharf as some sort of museum. The natural light plus the rustic features of the boat made for some great photographs.
We sped back up to the Inn so the Bride and Groom could get themselves situated before dinner. During the dinner the host would periodically read little notes that were written by the people who attended. Each seat was presented with a pencil and comical little paper that had a story with blank spaces for your own creative input. They went back and forth with speeches and the little notes read by the host, It made what usually can be a very dry part of wedding very enjoyable! This went on until food was served. After the Bride and Groom were finished, Chantal took that time to steal them for a couple more shots as the sun was going down.
Again we found ourselves back on the waterfront of Lunenburg, however this time we focused solely on the newly wed couple. We took advantage of some of the best light of the day. I used this time to focus on some video. I didn't mention this throughout the post, but along the whole day I had been taking little moments to take little videos here and there. Whether it be accent pieces or the cake or the Bride and Groom themselves. Here I decided that I would cap off the video with these final shots. I figured what better than this gorgeous couple on the boardwalk in Lunenburg during sunset to finish a video. The rest of the night was spent with a lot of laughter, some wicked dance moves, and ton more photos. There were many funny moments. Also the addition of a live band really gave a great experience. They played a lot of classic tunes and a few I had never heard, including one where all the guys on the floor at once took their pants off and danced around! Apparently this is some sort of hilarious tradition at weddings in Australia!
With all of this being said, I'd like to give a big thank you to Rowena and Murray. Without their consent I wouldn't of been able to take part in this wonderful day. It was truly something I will remember for quite sometime. I also want to thank Chantal Routhier for agreeing to have me come when she has plenty of people asking to be a second shooter for her weddings. It meant a lot to have that level of trust and confidence bestowed upon me!
I am so excited to be able to finally share all these photos and excited to hear the reactions of people on the video I did for this lovely couple!
Click this photo to see the Video
Congratulations Rowena and Murray Bragg!!