West Coast, London, Stuffed Animals, Alice in Wonderland and Pumpkins - Creative Engagement Shoot

"West Coast, combined with London and some stuffed childhood friends. Sprinkle in some 'Alice in Wonderland'... Ok - got it!

Jenn and Darryl wanted their engagement shoot to represent a few important key items:

Shooting the "Grandma friendly" versions up on the cliff. Almost stepped on a snake :-(

  • Vancouver - obviously.
  • London - their first vacation together and fond memory
  • Two specific stuffed animals - two of their most important childhood friends: "Buddy" and "Georgie". For them, they represent their journey from "old life to new life together"
  • Alice in Wonderland - because it is surreal and different
  • Pumpkins - both love Halloween, and Darryl proposed with a set of carved pumpkins. Very important!

What can I say, the guys are creative! But how do we turn this into an engagement shoot? No pressure. In addition, we also had to make sure we get some more traditional,  "grandparents friendly", shots in as well.

After several brain storming session (with the appropriate amount of beer to help with creativity), we got the concept nailed down: "Surreal Tea Party at the Beach". Get the ocean and the mountains: West Coast - check! Tea Party? London - Check. Buddy and Georgie will be somewhere in there as well - double check. For the "surreal" part, Jenn liked the idea of picture frames floating in the air. Ohhhhhh Pinterest - we have a love/hate relationship, but ok, done - check. Pumpkins? Hmmm we figure that one out later. Assume "check".  

Hmmmm maybe shoot another day? Photo by VanCityBuzz

Hmmmm maybe shoot another day? Photo by VanCityBuzz

We picked Whytecliff park as a location for the shoot. For us, it doesn't get any more West Coast then that.

Wait, turns out it does: Rain! And not just a little. The first shoot had to be postponed due to... wait for it.... Tornado warning! But I digress.

Planning The Shoot

We had quite a few things to plan and organize to make their dreams come true.

Taking a break, waiting for the sun to set, and shoot some fun pictures in between.

  1.  Make sure there isn’t a storm or twister brewing at yourlocation. After the first failed attempt that made it to the top of the list
  2. Rent table, chairs, linen,
  3. Get china for tea party
  4. Get goodies for tea party
  5. Make flower arrangement
  6. Make sure the equipment is ready. Not only did we have to bring in the big strobes to overpower the setting sun, but also rig up something to hang the frames from. Given the remote location, everything had to work - notime torun back to studio for anything.
  7. Candles, pumpkins, other props, etc

Shooting at Whytecliff

On the day of the shoot:

Now we are just being silly....

Now we are just being silly....

  1. Get Maik to lug all the stuff to the beach
  2. Fight off speedo-clad people on the beach and explain what you are doing over and over again
  3. Set everything up in the perfect location with the help of our amazing Stephanie
  4. Send Maik to take the "grandparents friendly" pictures on the nearby cliff as the couple arrives
  5. Play with the seal that comes to visit
  6. Call Maik while he is with the couple on the cliff to ask if that was him screaming like a little girl
  7. Get confirmation it was Maik screaming because he saw a garter snake (Comment from Maik: "Hey - I almost stepped on it").
  8. Call Maik to hurry back as the "perfect location" is about to be flooded by the rising tide
After the shoot, ready for beers... Nirvana, Maik, Stephanie, and our couple - Jenn and Darryl

After the shoot, ready for beers... Nirvana, Maik, Stephanie, and our couple - Jenn and Darryl

After that, the shoot was a blast. We had so much fun, and attracted not only quite the attention from the various beach gears, but also envious looks from other couples that came to the beach to take the boring "sitting on a log cuddling together" pictures.

Jen and Darryl are so much fun, creative, witty, adventurous, with a great sense of humor. I am super excited about the outcome, one of which is going to make it onto the studio wall as a big metallic print to bring out the color and mood of the shot.

The final money shot. This will make it into a crazy-cool metallic print for the studio...