We’re Rob + Lauren, and we’re super excited that you’re here! We’re a portrait photography team from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We love shooting happy portraits of super fun people. Families, newborns, couples, and individual folks—we adore it all.
When Karen & Gary told us they had 3 hours scheduled for us to create portraits of just the two of them on their wedding day, we almost fainted with excitement. I was even slightly worried that we might not be able to handle that much time! But as weddings always go, the hours just raced by, and before we knew it we were done. I’m not sure what it was, but it just seemed like everything was so perfect that day, we were just in heaven.I’m pretty sure Karen and Gary had fun too :)
The ceremony was at the unparalleled Hotel MacDonald. That made the getting ready shots pretty stellar.
Love this one of Gary waiting in the lounge for the ceremony to start.
I think it’s safe to say that the Wedgewood Room is our favourite ceremony spot in the whole city.
There was a wonderful tea ceremony following the wedding ceremony.
This is just so gorgeous. Rob took this one, and when I saw it on the computer I was completely blown away. Karen is so ridiculously gorgeous, it’s kind of not fair.
Ok, I know I have a tendency to talk very highly of pretty much everything. But I enjoyed this lion dancer performance so so so much. I think it was the most fun and entertaining performance I’ve ever seen at a wedding!! I loved it!
I couldn’t get over the stunts they pulled!! Insane!!
I’m still recovering from that wedding, it was just so stunning! Hope you enjoyed the images!
I have a feeling that this is going to be a bit of a routine now, introducing a couple just before their wedding by showing their engagement photos! Karen and Gary are getting married tomorrow and we’re so so stoked for it! I’ll just say one thing: 3 hours of wedding portraits, heck yes!! So check back in one Monday because I KNOW there are going to be some fun shots.
For now, check out their engagement session. Karen and Gary have been together for something like 10 years (give or take, I can’t quite remember!). At that point, I really feel like couples know how to play, and goof around with each other. That makes things fun for us :)
GAH!! I’m so in love with these two shots!!! Mine on the left, Rob’s on the right.
I really hope you guys really enjoy the images from day 2 of this crazy wedding extravaganza. I think there are some really special frames in here!
Starting with this one. Isn’t the light gorgeous? A+ to Rob.
Oh, P.S. If you’re a shoe lover you might want to sit down. Things are going to get crazy. These are Robyn’s morning shoes.
And these are her evening shoes.
Sush’s family comes from Kerala in South India. They are members of the Malankara Orthodox Church. It was our first time shooting a ceremony like this, and it was amazing. Sure, we had to stand for nearly 2 hours, but completely worth it. It was held in the stunning St. Josaphat’s Ukranian Catholic Church.
Waiting to start.
The ceremony was held primarily in Malayalam, their native language. That meant we didn’t generally know what was going on, but here they are blessing this chain for Sush. I believe it is called the “Blessing of the Crown” ceremony, as they used to use gold crowns.
Sush’s father swinging the thurible, which is filled with charcoal and incense.
Love this one of Robyn’s bridesmaids carrying her dress. When there is a combining of cultures in one frame (mendhi with a Western wedding dress) I just get so excited.
We returned to Sush’s parents house for a milk ceremony. Sush’s mom served them chocolate milk.
And they drank it. And that was pretty much the extent of the ceremony! Sometimes they are complex, and sometimes just very simple :)
Then it was time for some cool shots with this stunning bridal party.
I think my blog dudes would smack me if I uploaded the 49 images I got ready from this wedding all at once, so I’m going to do this over two days. Today you get to see part one of this wedding, and tomorrow will be part two :)
We started off with Robyn as she got ready for the Sikh ceremony.
Then it was time for the ceremony. The priest started everyone off with a prayer before the milni ceremony.
The Nanaksar Gurdwara is seriously gorgeous.
The ceremony ends with the offering of prasad to all the guests.
See what I mean? What a gorgeous building.
I love these two. The background looks like a painting!
And our day ended with the doli. Sush and his guys had to bribe their way into Robyn’s house. I love these shots Rob got. He was squished in so tight that he could barely move. It made the shots seem so real, like I’m standing right there.
For this one I feel like I’m part of the conversation. It’s a perspective we don’t usually get, being up that close and personal, but I love it so much.
And for the record, they did finally manage to bribe the girls enough to get in :)
And I’ll end on this one. Highly emotional, but so impactful. Sush leads her out of her parent’s home as they are tied together with a scarf. Robyn throws grains of rice as she leaves.
This post is a lot more philosophical than we normally put up on here, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Rob and I chat quite a bit about art, beauty, photography and life, and it’d be really great to hear what others think of all this crazy stuff that goes on in our heads!
So, recently we watched Match Point again. It’s a truly brilliant movie. Truly. It needs to be watched a few times to really appreciate all the subtleties. But my favorite line is this:
The man who said “I’d rather be lucky than good” saw deeply into life
This weekend we shot a very intense wedding. Two days, 23 hours of shooting, two ceremonies, and an unbelievable number of images created. Last night when we got home we were just exhausted, but can never sleep right after a wedding, so we usually peek at some of the photos.
It was then that I came across this image and was just totally stunned.
At first glance this image looks fairly straightforward. But I URGE you to stop and give yourself some time to look at it. Really look at all corners of it. Take the time to see the tones, the colours, the background. Note where your eye travels across the image.
Now that you’ve done that, I’ll tell you how I see this image. First off, it’s important to note that this hasn’t been edited at all. It hasn’t been cropped to create a better composition, it hasn’t been given contrast, had the colours changed, or the exposure tweaked. It is completely straight out of the camera. (I gave it a touch of web sharpening so you can see the details well at this size, but that’s truly all). I wouldn’t even put our logo on it because that would ruin it. That’s how deeply committed I am to showing this image are purely as possible.
The first thing I noticed was the absolutely perfect composition. Notice the space on either side of his shoulders. It’s pretty much perfect. Notice where the center of his neck is in relation to the two lines on the wall behind him. It’s pretty much perfect. Notice the fantastic lines in the image. The lines of his jacket, his shoulders, his tie, his shirt, his jaw, the peak of his lip, the small goatee. See how those lines all play together in such wonderful harmony.
And now where does your eye travel? It first hits on his white shirt and his tie. The brightest point in the image. The interesting thing here is that the tie isn’t in focus. If Rob was thinking when he took this, he would have focused on the tie. But he didn’t, he made a bit of an error almost, and focused on the face. So since the tie isn’t in focus, your eye tries to find something else to look at. Something to anchor to. It then travels up to the strongest point of contrast, which is his chin. Then you see his lips. I know this sounds so creepy and weird to say, but from an artistic standpoint they are perfect. The tone, the shape, the subtle expression. Perfect.
Then your eye drifts down, takes in the wonderful colours of the boutonniere, and lingers on the forms because it’s not quite in focus. The lines of his jacket then bring you down to the bottom of the frame, completing the journey.
(NB. That’s why my eye does every time I look at this. Your eyes might have a completely different trip, which is the beauty of art, it’s so completely subjective.)
Now, by this point hopefully you can see what I mean when I say that this image is absolutely perfect to me. I wouldn’t change anything at all. Nothing. There is nothing I feel I could do to make it any better than it is.
That’s a bold statement to be sure. And trust me when I say I’m not bragging. That’s where luck comes into it.
Rob took this image. I’ll be the first to say that I think he’s a wonderful photographer, and has a great eye for composition. But Rob isn’t this good. He’s not perfect. This image he created was not the result of him seeing all these little elements, and then pressing the shutter. He saw a lot: he saw the lines on the wall, the beauty of the groom’s outfit, knew he wanted to crop out most of the face to keep the focus on the details, and wanted the shoulders squared (essential to the composition) and the head turned (also essential). But Rob could not have possibly intended to create such a perfect frame. He was lucky. Very very lucky.
When I realised that this perfect image had been created, and it was a result of luck, I started to think. How much amazing artwork is the result of skill combined with heaps of luck?? Obviously skill is an essential part of creating great art, but does luck bring it to that next level more than we realize? It’s just a hypothetical thought, but what if Da Vinci had inteded another expression for his Mona Lisa? What if he was trying to do something else? And now all these years later, the smile is what we see as his brilliance? Now I’m not saying Da Vinci wasn’t brilliant. I’m just using a well known example to suggest that maybe luck is a huge huge part of being an artist. Some days you’re lucky and create something that transcends your skill level, and some days you’re not, and what you create is pretty standard.
To me, this image isn’t just a wedding photo. It’s a piece of art. I’m completely serious when I say that I intend to send this to our printer, and have a very large canvas made. I want to look at this photo every day, and enjoy the experience of looking at it. That’s what I get when I see it: an experience.
But perhaps I’m totally crazy? Maybe we are seeing more into this than exists. But I’m so very in awe that so many elements seemed to unite so perfectly to create this. So much chance. I don’t think images like this just happen every day, and so I wanted to share something that really excited us.
I really hope you enjoyed this diversion. Tomorrow we’ll be back to our regular program of crazy awesome photos (including acrobats, unbelievable reception rooms, Indian Orthodox ceremonies, painterly landscapes, and even a Bentley :)
I’d like to introduce you to these two stunning people, because they are going to be on the blog on Monday! Yep, these kids are getting married this weekend. We met with them this week to chat about the big day(s) and holy smokes. It’s going to be spectacular!!!! That is a Monday morning post you definitely don’t want to miss!
Ok, check out that image on the right. With the bird. It’s trippy right? One of my favourite images I’ve created this year, no lie.
Man, I can’t wait until this weekend! This wedding will be the definition of epic. Just wait.
Wow, this is truly somewhere I never expected us to be, but all of a sudden we find ourselves at the beginning of this project, and it seems like the perfect place.
Before I get going, I’ll warn you that this might be a long post. But I strongly urge you to read it all through, since there are contests and giveways involved :)
On Thursday we went out to Pigeon Lake to do a family session. We expected nothing out of the ordinary, but instead walked away with buckets and buckets of inspiration.
You see, this family session was scheduled to start with a few portraits of the grandparents. Typically we would end up shooting these portraits in front of everyone else, and have about 5 minutes to do them. That’s when you default to very stiff, formal posing. Not too fun. But we were left alone with these two wonderful people, and given half an hour to create some images.
I’ll be totally honest, I was so nervous! This was something I’d never done before; posing an elderly couple. But instead of trying to change my approach because of their age, I just did exactly what I do when I pose one of our wedding couples. I asked them to snuggle, to kiss, to look at each other. I asked them questions about their wedding, their marriage, and just enjoyed chatting with them. When we came home a few hours later, after spending the rest of the evening with their kids and grandkids, we took a quick peek at the images. I sat there and was just stunned. Let’s let the images do the talking for a little bit…
These two have been married for 44 years and are truly truly in love. When we realized the importance of that, that’s really when this project started.
I asked them what their “secret” was to such a long and happy marriage. She paused, thought about it, and gave me such a simple and poignant answer. “Stay alive”. Loving for these two is easier than breathing.
Rob asked her if her husband was still as good looking as when they got married. She replied “He’s even more handsome than on our wedding day”.
This one almost reduces me to tears every time I see it. I mean, think about it. 44 years. That’s almost twice as long as my whole lifetime, and they still cuddle and snuggle and kiss and just truly enjoy being around each other. Their connection has grown stronger since they were married, and we want so much to be able to capture that.
I want to share a couple sentences from an email I received from their daughter when I shared one of these images with her, and told her of this project:
What you captured in that picture, is what I’ve grown up with all of my life—that love…that connection that was there on their wedding day and has just grown stronger and stronger and stronger through the years. They have always expressed their love with deep affection…growing up on the farm, it was never a surprise to see him hugging her in the kitchen or her sneaking a long kiss from him out in the barn. We got used to it, and that was our version of “normal”…
When you photograph a couple on their wedding day, you photograph the beginning of hopes and dreams.
When you photographed my parents 44 years after their wedding day…you photographed the fulfillment of hopes and dreams that went beyond the scope of anything they could have imagined on that wedding day…it’s definately an inspiration to those who follow in their footsteps.
And now finally, the project. We think it’s so important for this amazing and lasting love to be documented. It’s a cheesy parallel, but it’s like fine wine. Love gets better with time. Thus the name: Aged Love. Love that has time to settle and grow and sort itself out. We want to shoot these couples, talk with them, understand their life together, and create some real, natural and beautiful images that show that strong connection between them! At a time like this, when divorce rates are frighteningly high, I think couples like these two are such an incredible inspiration for all the young ones like ourselves. Who knows, we may even create a short film with all their advice!
To kick off this project, we’re holding a wonderful contest. We want our readers to write in and tell us about their parents’ or grandparents’ love story (we’re looking for the age group of 60+, but we’re flexible). If possible, you can also include a photo of them so we can put faces to names!
Our favourite entry will win a free Aged Love session from us (valued at $500), which includes half an hour of shooting, all the edited files on a disc, and a print collection of our favorite images. At this time the winners will have to be from Edmonton (or the surrounding area) but hopefully we will expand this project to include the whole world!
So send in your entry to love [at] robandlauren [dot] ca. You have a week to send me the stories, and then we’ll announce the winner! It doesn’t need to be long, just a short little outline of their lives together. I can’t wait to hear these amazing stories!
Do let us know what you think of our new personal project! We’re so excited about it, and truly think it’s such a wonderful way to spend our time, learning from these couples, and creating such beautiful images of them! The beauty has very little to do with our photographic skills, and everything to do with the honest love just eminating from them.
Ok, I’ll leave it there for now. But send me your stories!! Right now!
Recently we spent an afternoon with our friends Mark and Andrea, and their little girl Lila. Andrea is a fellow photographer, and we’ve been so lucky to get to know her over the past couple of years. And Lila is just one of those babies that you become addicted to. Seriously. Addicted.
During our shoot Rob created his first Moving Portrait of a family, and I think it’s one of his best yet. Check it out:
Ok, I’m finally getting this up! Wow, it’s been a busy day, but I’m determined not to miss my Monday post :)
Geez. Now I have to write about Jon and Jamie, and that’s pretty incredibly hard. These two are some of the most beautiful people both inside and out. During their speeches, when everyone was saying all these ridiculously nice things about them, you could just see the whole wedding party nodding their heads in agreement. These are the people who live up to those platitudes every single day. They took ridiculously great care of us, and honestly I can’t think of any place I would have rather been on Saturday than hanging out with these two.
I think Jon will dig this portrait. He’s sitting in his Bobcat (recall that he was the dude who did our amazing landscaping!)
Love this one. I hope Jon listened to that sign :)
Awwwww. This is Mr. McDuff, Jamie’s dog. When we asked them if there were any special shots they’d like us to get during the wedding day, he was the only thing on the list :) But look how cute he is!!!
Jamie’s dad the first time he saw her in the dress. Man that guy looks proud.
And then it was Jon’s turn to see her. He looks pretty smitten I’d say. I love these little moments during the ceremony.
And then fun times! This bridal party was hilarious and kept us laughing the whole day.
The University of Alberta installed some new rocks near Saskatchewan Drive. So we made good use of them!!
Ok, I had to throw a couple photos of the flowers up here because they were STUNNING! They were created by La Piazza Dasee and were truly one of the most beautiful bouquets ever (even though I think it weighed roughly 100 pounds ;)
And speaking of flowers, that gorgeous parasol Jamie is holding was also created by them, and is filled with white orchids. Isn’t this just the epitome of a fairytale wedding??
And of course, a little bit of fun and awesomeness thrown in!! Mad props to Jamie for being so fearless!!And for these two for being such awesome snugglers :)
And finally, a true one-in-a-lifetime moment. We snuck out during the reception for some photos around the gorgeous grounds of Red Tail Landing Golf Course and this little bunny kept coming up and checking us out. Then he jumped past these two creating a pretty nifty shot :)
Whew!! That was quite the teaser post! But I hope you all enjoyed it, especially all the cute animals :)
Have a fantastic evening, and keep coming back this week because we have a ridiculous number of shoots we’ve been doing lately and can’t wait to share them!!