Elena and Matt are the adventurous type.  They didn’t want to settle for the usual engagement photos, but rather had the idea of heading for a mountain top.  I suggested Morro Peak, a shorter hike that offers incredible views of the Athabasca river valley.  The summer was busy for everyone, so it was only a week or so before the wedding that we managed to get out for our hike.  It was a beautiful day in Jasper, and we set out in the late afternoon, aiming for sunset.

We found some great views, but we didn’t find the right trail.  It had been awhile since I had climbed Morro and I led us up the wrong direction, getting us thoroughly misplaced.  By the time we got rearranged, the sun was getting lower and lower so we decided there wasn’t enough time to make it to the top.  Instead, we made do with what we had.  On the way down, the wind whipped up and storm clouds were threatening.  We even had a bit of rain blowing through the valley.  Our luck shifted, however, with the appearance of a beautiful double rainbow arcing down into the valley south of us.

We may not have gotten to the top, but we certainly got an adventure.

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– Brian

Snow in September is not unusual in the Canadian Rockies, but a few days before Jill + Tyler’s Canmore wedding we got a whole, awful lot of it.  With nearly two feet of snow on the ground two days before the wedding, it was a huge relief for everyone when the day dawned bright and sunny, and the green grass showed it’s face again under snow capped peaks.  Not only did the day begin beautifully, but it was perfect in it’s entirety.  There was so much emotion and sincerity between these two and their families, and it was evident in every aspect.  There were also some incredible friendships, and those resulted in far more than a few friendly insults, jokes and laughter.

Jill and Tyler chose not to do engagement photographs, but we did get a chance to spend an afternoon together well before the wedding.  Jill is incredibly organized, and so it was so good for all of us to be able to drive around Canmore so that I could show them the locations I had in mind for their wedding photographs.  This was a great opportunity for collaboration, and we were able to choose the best spots to suit their vision.  I had a vision in mind as well, but it wasn’t nearly as beautiful as the real thing.  Have a look for yourself!

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Venue – Grande Rockies Resort

Music – DJ Ben

Photography – Brian Van Tighem

 

– Brian

Holly + Peter travelled all the way out from Ontario to the Rockies for their wedding, so we didn’t have a chance to meet before the big day.  Fortunately they chose a great time of year and a great venue, so there was nothing to worry about.  Grande Rockies Resort always does a wonderful job of handling the details and planning, and as usual I had lots of ideas in mind for photography locations.  Not to mention, Holly was a very organized bride so we had everything laid out and ready to go before they arrived.

As it turned out it wasn’t just a warm day for September, but it must have been one of the hottest days all year.  The Groom and his men handled the intensity admirably, and Pete’s brother kept everyone in good humour.  We braved the sun to take in a few of Canmore’s beautiful views, and then returned to the resort for a wonderful dinner and some very entertaining dancing thanks to DJ Patrick Smiley.  These two were humble and gracious hosts, and it was a pleasure to be a part of their day.

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– Brian

A sweeter couple than this pair you will not find.  These two beautiful souls came all the way out from Switzerland to tie the knot in the Canadian Rockies.  They were both so happy to be able to experience the mountains of Canada, but truly they would have been happy anywhere at all so long as it was with eachother.  Beryl (the marriage commissioner) and I have had the pleasure of being a part of a number of intimate elopements like this, but the union of Susanne and Christian was one of a kind.  I wish these two the very best that life can bring on their adventure together.

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– Brian

I really love these two.  They are both so kind, thoughtful, and professional, and I can’t wait for their wedding at Jasper Park Lodge this summer.  We first met in Calgary and hit it off right away.  Within a couple of months they managed to find time to sneak off up into the mountains where we met up to take some engagement photographs.  I was determined to get the best afternoon light possible, as summer was coming to an end and the days tend to offer the most beautiful horizontal light.  As we drove out from Jasper, most of the valley was already in shadow.  Luckily, the spot I had chosen has a fortunate break in the mountains where the sun shone through, highlighting the forest and gracefully painting the mountaintops.   They coordinated perfectly with the subtly changing fall colours of the rockies, and we came out with some great results.

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– Brian

Candice and Kevin had a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony with their two best friends and their two beautiful children on Pyramid Island in Jasper.  We had planned to go to Medicine Lake with just the two of them for portraits afterwards, but as the ceremony finished rain clouds were closing in over the peaks.  Candice asked me if it was worth driving all the way up to Medicine Lake with the weather as dismal as it appeared.

Yes, I said.  It’s always worth driving up to Medicine.

With the peaks and meandering river channels fading into the mist, I think we made the right choice.

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Ceremony: Pyramid Island

Marriage Commissioner:  Gloria Kongsrud

Photography:  Brian Van Tighem, White Leaf Photographs

 

– Brian

Mandy can make a schedule like no other.

She and Trent were moving from northern Saskatchewan out to Vancouver, which as any Canadian knows is a hell of a long way.  She got in touch a couple weeks before they were going to be passing through, hoping they would have a chance to set up some engagement photographs with me on their way.  They planned to split the trip by spending the night in Hinton and heading on in the morning.  I suggested we get an early start and meet part of the way between Jasper and Hinton to make things simple for them.  We agreed to meet at Pocohantas before sunrise so that we could get the very best of the day’s light and they wouldn’t lose any time on their transit.

As it turned out, they rolled into Hinton around 1AM, not leaving much time for sleeping before our early start.  However, cowboys aren’t afraid of early mornings, so everything worked out perfect (if maybe a bit sleepily).  Here are a few photographs of the pair and their dogs in the soft sunrise light along the beach at Jasper Lake and at the airfield.

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– Brian

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