This years VIWIA were the best yet! Not only because we (and by we I mean Courtney!!) took home an incredible 2 awards -but also because I was reminded just how much fun everyone in the wedding industry on Vancouver Island is to spend time with! The night began pretty differently than I (Steve) thought it would when fellow amazing photog Kelsey Goodwin invited co host Jon-Mark Wiltshire up to the stage in DRAG! Not only did JM dazzle - but he invited a few select guys in the wedding industry to join him on stage... to embrace their inner beauty. You can see me with a gorgeous wig below!
After that craziness the awards were underway! One the things we love most about the VIWIA's is the blind judging! The judges have no idea who's images they're looking at, and there is no bias! There are 8 awards given out in the photography category, so we spend a good amount of time (because it is HARD choosing!) our top images from the past season for paid submission. Here are the photos why we chose to submit this year, along with which categories we submitted to! Lets start with the 2 Categories we brought home awards in...
Best Wedding Detail Photo
We love the Detail category - and have won this award 3 out of the 7 years of the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards! Most years a ring photo has won and it drives Courtney crazy - not because she doesn't love rings - but because there are so many other stunning details that make up a brides or a grooms look! Courtney's image of Dana's dress hanging on the reception barn at Birds Eye Cove Farm is officially the FIRST TIME something other than a spectacular ring shot has won the award for Best Wedding Detail! We love this photo because of the framing, the symmetry, the use of reflection (thanks to an iPhone!), the blue sky with the warm wood tones and of course the stunning gown! I'm pretty sure Courtney went supersonic when I told her she had won!
Best Groom Portrait
Definitely one of our all time favourite Groom Portraits! We call this one Mountain Man. Jenn (Mikes wife) called this one SEXY MAN...LOL! We're all about creating images that will go in frames on nightstands and giant canvas prints on walls!! We had ventured all over the place in Strathcona Park - and Courtney stopped when she saw the way the light was settling behind Mike! We shoot in all types of light - but love that perfect evening light (that we don't often get on a wedding day)! Court is always laying in grass, sand, rocks and this time it was worth the mountain chill! For Courtney - there is nothing better than shooting up towards a groom to give the shot a powerful, Citizen Kane feel! Combine that with dramatic, hard light - its the perfect recipe for a successful Men's Portrait! I was pretty sure Courtney went supersonic when I told her about her win in the Detail category...but she lost it when I called to tell her about this one! First she congratulated ME on the win...and then it hit her!
Best Wedding Couple Submission #1
We loved so many things about this image! First - the history! These are the woods that Lisa spent her summers playing barefoot in (yes - she was barefoot on her wedding day too!). Her family cabin is just up over the hill, and the entire area was full of amazing memories for her! Courtney loved the way the stream captured their reflection, the towering trees above and the technical challenge of lighting this image! For Court...it just had that magical look and feel to it which made it an easy submission choice!
Best Wedding Couple Submission #2
I (Steve) loved the mirror like symmetry in this image! Again - the reflection (what can we say! We LOVE reflection!), the connection between Ben and Christina and this being one of their favourite beaches! Judges also typically like looking for triangles in photos and you can see a few here in the arms legs and reflection!
Best Wedding Couple #3
We couldn't resist submitting a third image to this category! Every time we look at this image, we think of a beautiful pastoral painting. Its relaxing, intimate, bold & colourful all at the same time! We loved the mixture of flash complimented by the soft sunlight hitting their hair, the leading lines of the rustic old farm fence & gravel road, and the lush greens of late summer!
Best Wedding Day Candid
While kids, babies and grandparents often win this category - we are suckers for a tear inducing, emotional, first look. The above image is Darrin seeing Kayley for the FIRST TIME as she got to the top of the aisle in the church. I mean...we were crying. This is one of our all time favourite moments on a wedding day. Whether we see it at a first look ahead of the ceremony or at the ceremony - it is always breathtaking to see a reaction like Darrin's!
Wedding -Best Bridal Party Portrait
We just loved the back lit old barn at Bird's Eye Cove! There was something so traditional about the set up, and the down to earth element of the rustic barn - we just loved this image.
Best Bride Alone Portrait (Wedding Day)
We loved Dana's award winning Dress! It flowed beautifully and combined with her cathedral veil - it made for some amazing images! This was one of our favourite bridals because the motion, framing of the bride at the dip in the mountains and the clouds creating some beautiful drama!
Best Engagement Photo
We know judges love a photo that tells a story - so we chose this one as we loved the location, the warm fire and cool sky! The location of this image is the same place where I proposed to Courtney some 12 years ago as well - so it gave us all the feels!
While we not every photo won we were honoured to walk out with two stunning diamond awards for Wedding Detail and Groom portrait! It was fun trying to choose what to submit and trying to figure out what judges would connect with. We are excited for next year and will keep fighting for best overall photographer on Vancouver Island.
After the awards show, there was a fantastic celebration reception! Four Frames Photo Booth had a couple of booths set up to get some fun gifs and photos! There was live music, drinks, food and a lot of great mingling with some of my favourite industry peeps! It was the perfect way to cap off such an awesome, successful night! We can't wait for next year!