West End Vancouver Wedding Photography | Doug + Sarah

Doug and Sarah, die-hard Canucks fans on their wedding day.

I recently had the profound fortune to travel back home to Vancouver from Toronto to photograph Doug + Sarah’s West End wedding. Fortunate in that one, Doug is my oldest friendwait, the friend that I’ve had the longest! And two, as a ‘coastie’ newly transplanted to the 416, Toronto’s humidity was straight up driving me crazy.

On top of that, the wedding was in the middle of the Vancouver Canucks playoffs run and the city (not to mention the bride, groom and most of the wedding party) was buzzing with Olympic-esque energy. Needless to say I was stoked to be home and in truly good company.

Now, we all know how the Canucks’ run ended so no need to get in to that – they played well, lost to a more deserving team and will be back in force next year -‘nuf said.

Now to the wedding… We started at Sarah’s father’s home in Dunbar where my amazing second, Angela Stearns hung out with the girls to shoot the hair + makeup. I headed down to Doug’s brother’s in the Davie Village to get the guys suiting + booting. We all converged at Immaculate Conception Church on W. 28th (just a short jaunt for the ladies) for the ceremony. From there, it was on to Stanley Park and the Vancouver Rowing Club for the reception, and family and wedding party photos.

It was a beautiful, sunny Vancouver day and an amazing opportunity to reconnect with an old friend (and now a fellow journalist). If you’re in the Kelowna area, listen for Doug on the radio!

Ok, time to let the pictures do the talking. Doug, Sarah, thanks again for a great day.

 

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CBC News Multimedia | The Fighting Season by Louie Palu

Things change fast but for the moment, we got Top Story!

This is a multimedia story I helped produce for CBCnews.ca. Its my first piece since starting a new job as a multimedia producer with the Mother Ship in Toronto. The story features a Toronto-based photojournalist by the name of Louie Palu.

Louie’s spent the better part of the last 10 years documenting the war in Afghanistan, 18 months of which on the frontlines, both embedded with Canadian ISAF troops and ‘outside the wire’ photographing Afghans caught up in the conflict.

His pictures are instantly captivating and I was struck when seeing them on his website (louiepalu.com) for the first time while doing research for the interview. These are heavy hitting images. A mix of perfectly composed portraits of Marines worn beyond their years next to gritty, caught-in-the-moment combat photos. Beautifully composed, many of the images spare us, the viewer the reality of scenes Louie can describe in graphic detail. A burden of imagery he carries but has artfully placed outside the frame of his pictures. The mans been deep into a conflict most of us know shockingly little about and come away with a body of work that could have taken a lifetime to amass.

In meeting Louie for the first time, just ahead of shooting this CBC interview, you could feel the energy coming off him. It had been five months since returning from his last trip to Afghanistan but it felt like he had just stepped out of the desert. Still wearing his combat pack (containing a MacBook instead of military provisions), Louie was a positively-charged force, full of stories and emotion tied to his time spent away. Our time together felt like a flash and I feel like we only just scraped the surface. Plus, he was an awesome guy. A dude who loves his craft and has taken his camera to places most never see. Personally, his story was a perfect way to start my journey into this new job.

Check out the piece, The Fighting Season – named after the gallery show Louie’s putting on at the Kinsman Robinson Gallery in Toronto.

Hit the link to watch the video on CBCnews.ca

The Fighting Season: Louie Palu’s front-line photography of the Afghan war – World – CBC News.

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Travel Photography | Aloha from Waikiki

Just another day in paradise.

Weddings, kids, a house, a new job (in Toronto)… Life gets complicated so, when one evening a couple months back myself and three long time buddies got to talking Hawaii, an amazing thing happened. We followed through.

We’ve all been there, around a table. Beers. Someone says, ‘we never hang out anymore… we should take a trip… lets just get outta here,’ and everyone agrees but when it comes to actually pulling free of commitments – jobs, families, planning a wedding – the weight of reality sets. ‘No I can’t… I’ve got this thing,’ or ‘I can’t afford it right now.’ Good reasons. Responsible choices. But this time, the seeds to a bona fide bro trip were planted and within a few short weeks, the stars aligned, vacation days were cashed in, spouses and partners… placated, tickets purchased and accommodations booked. Seven nights, eight days surfing Waikiki. Friends, brothers even, marking a milestone in our lives with a trip. Doing something we all love. Surfing… and looking at girls. No better place than Waikiki.

We grew up surfing together in the frigid, often angry waters of Tofino and the Pacific Northwest… trips to Oregon and Washington punctuated our post-secondary careers with summers spent planning the next foray. Ski in the winter, surf in the spring and summer… we’ve been to some beautiful (and still my favourite) places to share waves and good times, but never had we hopped a plane together. Never was there a better time than now.

Joe is getting married in July. Rob just sold his first house – a fixer-upper-flipper. Jake just got a big promotion and moved his family – two young girls, a live in nanny and full-time wife/working-mom from Pemberton to Vancouver… boxes still unpacked. I just got a new job. A real, full-time career that has taken me to Toronto – where I’m writing this – far from the ocean and mountains I’ve always thought of as home.

This little trip to the islands was more than a simple getaway. It was four friends deciding to mark a turning point.

So, until the next one… here’s to friends! Same time next year?

 

 
And a little obligatory GoPro vid action from the lineup at Waikiki. Thanks to Jake for the edits!

And another from a snorkel adventure to one of my favourite spots on the North Shore:

And finally, the whole whack of photos from the trip up on Flickr:

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