• Vanessa Jeakins

Elopement Photographer in Ontario

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

I was never going to photograph weddings…

As a photographer, there are many subjects to focus on, but I had decided early on that weddings weren’t a good fit for me. It wasn’t a lack of appreciation for romance and love, though admittedly I’m not a particularly ‘mushy’ kind of person. It was the big stressful production of it all…the fact that couples spent a small fortune on one day, that could have gone towards a downpayment on a house instead or the fact that there was a rigidity to planning a wedding - the industry standard having been set years ago that everyone had to conform to.

How I ended up being a wedding photographer…

The day everything changed for me, was when a good friend asked me to be her wedding photographer while I was living in a small town in B.C. a few years ago.

At first I automatically pushed the idea away and quickly proclaimed that I wasn’t a wedding photographer and she should find someone else for the job.

After a bit more conversation, I was agreeing to photograph her wedding with actual excitement!

Here’s the thing - the way she described her wedding, it didn’t sound like any other wedding I’d ever been to - it sounded fun and relaxing!

This couple were doing everything they wanted to do, and nothing they didn’t.

They were planning a wedding that really and truly felt like them, one that reflected their values and their interests and that made sense to them.
I was stoked.

Their wedding still stands out as one of my favourites to this day.

Their outdoor ceremony was in an area they regularly spent time in with their family. Afterwards we drove to a secluded spot near rushing turquoise waters for our couples photos and took our time finding unique spots. We even kicked up some atmospheric dust for our photos using the groom’s pickup truck! There was no pretension or stressful timeline, just fun and excitement and the two of them committing their lives to each other with their closest friends and family.

After dinner, I put my camera down and joined in the fun, dancing the night away on a dirt packed dance floor under a huge white tent in the middle of a big field, then fell asleep, exhausted and happy, in the wee hours of the morning in a tent laid out under the stars.

Over the next few years, I went on to photograph many more weddings and marvelled that I could love being a wedding photographer so much! Being in the mountains and the valley, people tended to be a lot more relaxed and each wedding had an element of the outdoors in it.

It turns out I loved being a wedding photographer - I just never loved the idea of what I thought weddings had to be.

What photographing weddings in the mountains did for me as a photographer, was show me that I could connect with those couples who felt as I did and really wanted that intimate day that reflected their values and felt right to them, and not just because it's what the wedding industry had deemed to be necessary.

When I first starting noticing the term 'elopement photographer' being used to describe exactly the kind of weddings I'd been photographing, I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to be going forward.

Today, with many couples craving a more authentic experience for their wedding day, the term eloping has broadened to represent those ceremonies that are smaller and more intentional. Often it's just the couple, the officiant and their photographer!

Elopements today are often planned with just as much thought towards the details as big weddings, however the couple allows themselves the freedom to pick and choose and create an experience that truly resonates with them and their lives.

We can now view an elopement as a wedding day that is intentionally smaller, intimate and focused on the individuality of the couple, their lives and their love-story.

I'm beyond excited to meet those couples who are planning their intimate wedding or elopement in Ontario and who are looking forward to including all the things they do want into their wedding day, and none of the things they don't.

Are you one of those couples? The ones who dare to be different or who crave something unique? Let me help you enjoy a stress free, completely authentic, wedding day of your dreams. Go to the contact me page and let's get started!

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