A couple years ago Gina contacted me out of the blue on Facebook and we started chatting pretty much right away. Both of us are in the wedding industry, her passion being hair and make-up so we had many things to chat about. Eventually we met up at a Starbucks and just talked about whatever came to mind - sitting there for a couple hours. It wasn't long before we were setting up model sessions and referring each other for weddings. Each of us respected the other person's work and we also got along great as friends. So when she got engaged to Mike and they asked me to photograph their wedding, I was completely honored. As a photographer, you must be doing something right when a colleague asks you to photograph them. I trust Gina and she trusts me. She knows what I like to photograph and she understands my style. So when we pulled up to the location for their session I already knew - before taking one picture - it would be incredible. Everything lined up - the light, the location, and the couple. If this is what their engagement session looked like, I can't even imagine what their wedding will be like.
The longest day of the year is June 21st. Just a week or so after that Jessica, Alan, and I decided to be brave and get ourselves out of bed super early ... 5am to be exact ... to make their engagement session happen. As you know, sunrise in the summer is freaking early. Too early in my opinion. 5:35am. WHO DID THIS TO US?!
Due to some family obligations, at 9:15pm the night before I made the 3hr trek to Rehoboth Beach and arrived just around midnight. I didn't fall asleep until around 1am and the alarm went off just 4 short hours later. I snagged a coffee on the way out of the hotel - which was terrible -and got a text from Alan a few minutes later. "Do you want coffee?"
Yes. Yes I do.
Coffee in hand, we walked a few minutes before dawn to the beach. I've been wanting to photograph an engagement session at sunrise on the beach on the the east coast for a while. I finally had the chance to with these two as they were willing to get up super early to make it happen. I don't think a lot of people would but I'm really glad they did. I'm pretty sure they were rewarded heavily for their commitment:
When I thought of a wedding in Switzerland before this experience, what came to mind was the Alps, lakes, pristine countrysides, and amazing views. Switzerland had all that as I showed in the previous blog post. But this wedding wasn't any of that. This was local Switzerland. It was a city hall wedding in Lausanne with a dinner following. It was simple yet powerful, easy but challenging, small but packing a lot of punch. It was French. It was amazing.
I was invited to tag along at this wedding by my buddy Aron. Ashleigh and Patrice were having 2nd ceremony and reception in the Toronto area where Aron is from but first, they were formally getting married in Switzerland where they live. So they asked Aron to be a part of that - and Aron asked me to help him out. It was an experience I will never forget.
We spent a day with amazing and friendly people ... many of whom didn't speak much English ... but it didn't matter one bit. Two families from different parts of the world got together to celebrate Ashleigh and Patrice and I was completely honored and humbled to be a part of it. They made both Aron and I feel like we were home - and that we've been friends with them for a long time. Their wedding wasn't what I normally would have pictured for Switzerland, but it ended up being breathtaking and amazing - even without the help of the Alps. The city of Lausanne is absolutely incredible - one that will always have special meaning to me - and it was the most perfect backdrop to this wonderful couple's wedding. It represented them beautifully.
For 4 days back in early June I was fortunate enough to travel to one of the greatest places - in my opinion - in the world. Switzerland was absolutely incredible. Granted I didn't get to see many parts but in the short time I was there I was able to pack in so much. If you'd like to read more of an in depth review of the trip you can check out my online travel journal:
My good friend, Aron, booked a small wedding in Lausanne and asked me to tag along. While it wasn't an extremely last minute trip so-to-speak, it wasn't planned a very long time in advance either. And I had weddings planned on the weekends bookending the trip already. I knew it was going to be tiring and fast paced, however, I also knew it would be worth it.
And that it was. Here are a few pics that provide a good representation of the things we saw and did. I will be posting the wedding pics shortly as well so be on the lookout for those.