I recently posted the Super 8 for this superb wedding in Calgary and I’m proud to now post the images. This wedding meant a lot to us personally because of how gracious Teryn & Steve have been to our studio. When we arrived to our hotel before the wedding, we had 3 wrapped presents waiting for us. The first gift was Teryn & Steve’s favorite Canadian film, the second was a map of Banff National Park (which we toured on our day off) and in the final gift were CD’s from their favorite Canadian bands (Feist, Sam Roberts, Winter Sleep, Dan Mangan, etc). We had yet to meet them and already they were beyond hospitable to us. We also knew how much these two loved film. They only own film cameras and that’s how they have chosen to document their lives.
The wedding was amazing and their friends and family were so lovely to document. We even had seats at dinner with some of their best friends. This wedding will go down as a very high point to an already amazing summer of weddings.
I asked Teryn and Steve if I could ask them a few questions about their wedding and why they chose to fly A Bryan Photo to Calgary from the American South. This Q & A can be found at the end of this post.
Team A Bryan Photo! I loved having the incredible Kristopher Orr come and assist me in his hometown.
Q & A with Teryn & Steve
Your wedding was in Calgary, how did you decide to fly in two documentarians from the American South?
Photography has always been a very important part of our lives and long before we were engaged, we discussed our wedding photographer- who would we choose to shoot such an important day? After Steve proposed, we spent hours scrolling through wedding photographers’ portfolios. We had a few ideas of what we wanted, but mostly we just tried to imagine ourselves in their pictures. And mostly we failed.
A lot of photographers seem to favour an editorial look with strong backgrounds and fierce poses. Now we’re all for fashion photography, but when most people do model-fierce-face, it looks more like indigestion. Not really the look we were going for.
We wanted our wedding pictures to reflect how we FELT more so than how hawt we were. We wanted our grandchildren to be able to look through our wedding photos and see how much their grandparents loved each other. The more photographers we looked at, the more disappointed we became. No one seemed like a great fit.
Eventually we found a local photographer that we planned on using but it never felt quite right.
One day while Teryn was wading through the near-100 blogs on her reader looking for wedding inspiration, she stumbled upon a video link. It was the 8mm of Melanie & Patrick’s wedding made by A Bryan Photo. It was also love at first sight. We watched it over and over and over again. It was exactly what we had both been quietly hoping for- timeless, heartfelt and personal.
We raced through Bryan’s website, scrolled through each album, shocked into silence that we had found exactly what we had been looking for. We felt like we were a part of each wedding and knew each of the couples. You felt the excitement, the nerves, the relief, the love. You felt like their friend. It’s a good thing we live in Canada, because if we had seen any of these couples in the street we would have launched ourselves at them, demanded a hug and told them how happy we were to have been at their wedding!
We hadn’t planned on hiring a videographer, but that 8mm cemented it in our plans. Back to Google we went, trying to find a videographer that was a little closer to home. No luck, though. We couldn’t find anyone in Calgary, or even Canada, who was able to tell the story with such character and emotion the way A Bryan Photo did.
We decided to book the 8mm right away, but we were still a little unsure about flying two photographers across the continent. Our families thought that we were crazy to bring our photographers in from Birmingham when there were so many photographers close to home.
Eventually we realized that we had to go with what felt right to us. A Bryan was just perfect on so many levels. Plus, they looked like a lot of fun! It seemed like every week the guys posted a new video of themselves doing anything but working- Monday morning dance parties, sweet scooter tricks, and surprisingly well-choreographed musicals. They just seemed like the kind of people you’d want to hang out with all the time, which was a pretty awesome choice. You spend a lot of time with the photographer on your wedding day, and (aside from the obvious benefit of it being more fun) having a photographer who tells jokes puts you at ease and you can tell in all Bryan’s work that the smiles are genuine.
Your vows mention that “you promise to always use film cameras to capture your moments”. Why is film important to you two?
For us, there are so many things to love about film. The colour, the depth, the texture. But more so, I think we love the time it takes to set up a shot with film. You don’t just point your camera at something and shoot fifty frames, you have to think about it. While you’re metering for light and choosing film, you consider the image, the composition, what that shot means to you, and what it says about you.
Rather than a shot taken in passing, it becomes a dialogue between you and your environment. You set up your shot and wait for the perfect moment to take the shot. Your subject leaves an impact on you and you on it.
And really, film cameras are just so much fun. Nothing will ever beat to the sound of the shutter or the feel of advancing film. You can’t help but fall in love with them.
What is one word you hoped your friends and fam would use to describe their experience at your wedding?
Oh gosh, this is a tough one. It’s hard to narrow it down to just one word, but if we HAD to (and Bryan is a taskmaster so I guess we do) I think it would be “warm”. We so wanted our guests to feel welcome and comfortable and loved and appreciated.
What is one specific memory that you will always take with you from the day?
One of our favourite memories from our wedding day was walking though the shower of sparklers held up by our friends and family at the end of the night. Looking back and seeing everyone we loved laughing together and twirling sparklers was the most incredible sight.