Engaged

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Lighthouse Park Engagement | J&H

Where do I begin with this Lighthouse Park Engagement session?!?? I may have *slightly* over-delivered when it came to the amount of images for J&H’s gallery, but to be honest I really couldn’t help it!!! We had the BEST time exploring Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver for their engagement session and got such a wide variety of images & settings within the park for them. We had lots of time together and I LOVED getting to know them better. While it may have been my first time meeting Harman, Jessica and I met over 5 YEARS ago in 2016 at her best friend Maria’s wedding I shot in Manning Park (have I *really* been doing this that long already?! I can’t believe I’ve been officially in business as MKP since 2014!!) Maria & Brad’s wedding day was the most perfect intimate mountain top wedding held up at Manning Provincial Park and I’ve now been lucky enough to photograph multiple weddings for some of the bridal party as well as other wedding guests & friends of these two!

On M&B’s wedding day, as a photographer I’m naturally an observer and honestly Jessica stood out to me even from getting ready photos that morning. She just exuded this happiness and joy for her friend Maria on her wedding day, it was so genuine and you could just tell that she was an amazing dedicated loyal friend. Naturally when J reached out to me a few months ago about her OWN wedding next year, I was over the moon to reconnect with her and meet her fiancé! I’ll save more about these two and how sweet of a couple they are for their wedding next summer, because really… Their engagement session images just completely steal the show!

J&H quickly decided upon a Lighthouse Park engagement session location and it’s not hard to see why. I absolutely love all that this park has to offer for an e-session. You could really pick one spot and stay there for the entire time. Every outlook, beach & forested path is stunning and I could shoot all day long there. For this Lighthouse Park engagement, we started our time together walking down the pathways before heading to the beach! On a Sunday in August, you can never expect complete privacy as the park gets packed especially around sunset but we were able to find our own little corners we could tuck away in.

We explored for almost 2 hours and got to know each other all more as J filled me in on how wedding planning was going – time really flew by! I’m so grateful these two chose me to capture their day, and they were absolute troopers being up for all my crazy ideas for their Lighthouse Park engagement session, including splashing around in the ocean.

P.S. How freaking gorgeous is Jessica?!? I absolutely loveddddd her dress!

Lighthouse Park Engagement Gallery:

Here’s a curated selection of highlights from J&H’s Lighthouse Park Engagement in West Vancouver Gallery…

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All Photos here by Meg Kristina Photography.

Find tips & tricks for styling & preparing for your engagement session on The Blog.

Loved this Lighthouse Park Engagement Session?? Click to check out B+E’s super sweet Gold Creek Engagement Session with their doggy!

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Lighthouse Park Engagement | J&H | West Vancouver

Weddings

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The day is here!!! I’m finally able to share this amazing Oliver backyard wedding with the most beautiful (inside & out) people. What’s more fitting for one of the best couples around on their wedding day? The most perfect weather & venues with all those you love most in the world surrounding you. That’s exactly what this day was.

Oliver Backyard Wedding

Mark & Julia have had to navigate the pandemic over the last year while trying to plan (& re-plan) a wedding. My heart goes out to them and all the couples who had to postpone or drastically alter the vision for what their wedding day would look like as COVID-19 continued to spread globally and new restrictions were announced seemingly daily that would affect carefully-laid plans. These two have an amazing community of friends & family surrounding them. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with some during M&J’s wedding as well as past weddings that they were attending. M&J are so fortunate to have such good people around them and that’s all that mattered to them in dreaming of their wedding day.

Given their strong family values and support system, it was no surprise as plans changed as the pandemic progressed that they settled on an option very close to the heart – M’s family home for an Oliver backyard wedding. I am such a sucker for backyard weddings!! If you’re looking for a wedding day that is laid-back, intimate, relaxing and your love language is quality time this may be the option for you. There is no better setting to get time to soak up the celebration with your friends & family than in the backyard of your family home. How cool was it for Mark to get to have his wedding portraits done in the same field he grew up racing around with his friends in as a kid? I don’t think it can get any more significant than that.

Their Story

If you didn’t see their engagement session at Lighthouse Park, I met these two at their friends Angie & Dan’s destination beach wedding in Cabo in 2019. It was so special to be able to catch up with A&D (Dan was in the bridal party!) as well as others from our time in Mexico! I really love this whole group – they are a blast to hang out with and I truly hope to see them all again soon. One thing is sure – M&J’s Oliver backyard wedding won’t be the last I see of this crew.

Something we didn’t touch on while telling their engagement session story on The Blog was the story of them… Their love and how it all began! What’s funny about how I met these two in Mexico was that in reality… These two also met in Mexico! (I’m sensing a theme here 😉) 8 years ago M&J found themselves both staying at the same resort there. After meeting and connecting there, they both returned to Canada where they inevitably found their way to each other. At their first hang out, they commemorated the occasion with tequila M brought from… where else?! That kismet trip to Mexico! They quickly found themselves joined at the hip, falling in love with each other while hiking their way to mountain peaks and exploring the beauty of nature. These two love the outdoors almost as much as J loves M’s cooking!

The Wedding Day

Oliver Backyard Wedding Gallery:

When I asked them what is one dream they have for the future together, they said to build a family & life together in their future home. I can’t wait to watch these two grow even more together while hiking mountains and conquering life’s peaks & valleys! 

Here’s a curated selection of highlights from their Oliver Backyard Wedding Gallery… Congratulations again my dears!

Getting Ready | Spirit Ridge Resort, Osoyoos BC:

First Look | Spirit Ridge Resort, Osoyoos:

Bridal Portraits | Nk’ Mip Winery | Spirt Ridge Resort:

Bridal Party Portraits | Nk’ Mip Cellars | Spirt Ridge Resort:

Ceremony | Oliver Backyard Wedding:

Sunset Bride & Groom Portraits | Okanagan Backyard Wedding | Oliver, BC:

Reception & First Dance | Intimate Backyard Wedding:

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photographer for the authentic joyful & adventurous
www.megkristina.com
All Photos here by Meg Kristina Photography.
Loved this Oliver Backyard Wedding Story & Gallery? Click here for more Wedding Love on our Gallery Page.   

Need a smile? Check out this River Rock Resort Wedding in Richmond BC.

Geek out over all the highlights & cheesy captions over on Instagram @megkristinaphotos

Limited 2022 dates available.

Vendors:

Getting Ready Venue: Spirit Ridge Resort | Nk’ Mip Winery
Marriage Commissioner: Ted Allen
Dress: The Bridal Gallery | New Westminster
Special thank you to their families who hosted, catered, decorated, supported, and helped put this wedding together!

Oliver Backyard Wedding | Spirit Ridge Resort

For Brides

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When it comes to styling your engagement session, making sure you feel comfortable while coordinated without looking too matchy-matchy is easier said than done. It can easily be one of the most agonizing parts of styling your engagement session.

Engagement sessions are meant to be fun! An opportunity to get to know your photographer & to get more comfortable moving in front of the camera before your big day. Sometimes stress and thinking how you’re looking throughout the session can take a beautiful session and tarnish the idea of it in your mind. All too often, I find myself as a photographer falling into almost more of a life coach position with my clients – and it’s no doubt why! As photographers, we are dealing directly with people’s own image & self-worth.

Now, a look into my mind behind the camera as a photographer… Sure, we all can take a bad photo every so often (some of us – LIKE MYSELF – more than others lol), but this is usually a result of an image taken while the subject is talking, mid-blink, or just not ready! These images are considered an instant reject in my field, & are tossed away as junk. This just isn’t deliverable. However, every other photo in a gallery I deliver. When I shoot it, edit it and deliver it from my perspective ALL I see is how genuinely beautiful you are in your own skin. However when we as individuals carry our own insecurities into our perspective (along with our hopes & misconceptions (thanks IG and social media) ) into their own gallery, people aren’t always happy with the image they see looking back at them because it distorts against that which we don’t like in ourselves. This just breaks my heart, because you are all so freaking beautiful it’s not even funny. Each and every single one of you. It is my job to do everything in my power to have the lighting, camera settings, pose and positioning within the image lined up and creatively just for you BUT my goal is always to capture the moment authentically true to who you are in that moment and in your connection. You are beautiful in that and in each & every moment. To help you feel more comfortable, we also must feel confident. I find if you feel good, you look good and vice versa.

Part of that is where styling comes into play. In my experience, everyone, regardless of their shape has an area of their body that they are self-conscious about, so recognizing what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colours that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos. This can go a long way in styling your engagement session looks.


While I don’t claim to be a stylist (you’ll find me in dog fur covered leggings and an old hoodie with a messy bun on my off days at best), I HAVE found a few areas of focus over the years for helping to create your best and more flattering silhouette for you. This works for ANY body type to keep in mind when styling your engagement session outfits.

3 Areas of Focus When Styling Your Engagement Session:

  1. SILHOUETTE:
    Ladies: Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature.  Cute, shorter-length dresses photograph beautifully as well. Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! I recommend avoiding shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress! It’s also important to find something that is comfortable and that you can move in – if that’s jeans then you’re just like me, I understand! Dressing in layers can also help to add texture and movement to your images!
    Gents: Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust me when I say it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look. If the temperature permits, you could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of colour from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
  2. COLOUR PALETTE:
    As someone who almost exclusively wears black & neutrals (with a big white cat & 75lb Golden Retriever, YES I do always look like I’m wearing my pets – don’t judge; and yes I own a lint roller 🙃) I still cannot stress this enough… I am in no way against certain colours – we ALL have our favourites, but when you’re photographing and editing a session, there are colours that just translate better into photos and are more flattering both to the eye but long term as styles change. Primary colours can absolutely take over an image. Colours such as bright green, royal blue, canary yellow, fire-engine red, & purple aren’t always ideal for portraits. My go-to’s are earthier or dark jewel tones. Colours such as charcoal, mocha, beige, tan, mustard, rust, navy, forest green and burgundy all top the list of recommendations. Not quite your look or feel? The camera also loves shades of soft pink and muted blues light neutrals like heather grey, creams, leather brown and white. Opting for this softer colour palette fits beautifully into almost most natural outdoor environments depending on the look you’re going for. 
  3. ACCESSORIZE:
    Layered necklaces, a nice wrist watch, a bowtie, a big oversized hat, jean jackets & booties, a scarf, stacked rings, & a lip ring. Any & every accessory can add depth and a story behind your images & your personality. I love when couples bring extra accessories they are wearing that can be played with during the session and can add a great element when styling your engagement session!

Extra Fun Tips:

Want your engagement images to have that extra something to them & look more put together & complete? Bring a little extra something with you – any accessory will do! A freshly-picked flower bouquet for you to hold or put on something else from a local flower stand, a blanket you picked up in your travels, a picnic basket or charcuterie board, or rowboat, is a fun way bring a little extra romance to everyday objects. 

Make it Special:

Your engagement session should always be specially unique to you and who you & your fiancé are as a couple! Are you two both complete and utter Star Wars nerds? Bring all your Star Wars stuff and we’ll have a lightsaber duel to end the session. Did you guys find yourself at McDonalds for your first date, & almost every date after that? Let’s grab some McNuggets, fries & McFlurries to snack on throughout!

Coordinating Looks:

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your fiancé’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family. So if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now he has his own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your colour palette. Most of my brides choose their dress first, and then put together their fiancé’s outfit based on that.

Let the Professionals Handle It: Hair & Make-Up Advice 

Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of my brides’ checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. I personally don’t trust myself to do my own hair usually let alone on my wedding day – I’m completely hopeless in the beauty industry which is why I happily sit back and let the professionals take care of it for me! Whether it’s lash extensions, brows or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and photographs like a dream.  This also serves as the perfect opportunity to have your trial with YOUR own make up artist for the wedding day. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Most of my brides feel their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a typical day! So if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera — and brides love the final result. 

Don’t Overthink It!

One of My Fav Reminders: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! Have you thought about rocking a romantic gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! You can always do one casual look and then change into a more glam outfit but most of my clients find their fancier look is the one that all their favourite images are of. At the end of the day, styling your engagement session can look however you want it to, as long as it’s genuinely authentic to you and you feel comfortable.

Finally, don’t overthink it! I always say the first 10-15 minutes of any session are WARM-UP and that goes for both yourself as well as myself as the photographer! It’s like stretching before a creative work out as a photographer, and this allows you time to warm up to the camera and forget it’s staring you down and the rest goes by in the blink of an eye. All the time you spent stressing over how to go about styling your engagement session will be long forgotten. Despite all that we mentioned, the biggest thing to remember is don’t sweat the small stuff, relax, live in the moment and enjoy your session! This time is meant to help you adjust to being in front of the camera so you’re able to be in the moment throughout each & every second of your upcoming big day. Making sure you’re comfortable is my top priority, and I promise you we’ll create some amazing moments for you along the way.

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Found this article on Styling Your Engagement Session helpful?? Click this link to discover more Wedding Planning Tips on The Blog!

Check out our 3 Favourite Fraser Valley Florists for Weddings by clicking here.

Let your inner wino out with Jessica & Steve’s Glass House Winery Summer Wedding here on The Blog.

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Styling Your Engagement Session | Langley Wedding Photographer

Engaged

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This Lighthouse Park engagement session at sunset in West Vancouver just makes my heart so happy! I met Mark & Julia at their friend’s destination wedding at Sandos Finisterra in Cabo San Lucas. I happened to be shooting it back in November 2019 – all before COVID-19 and the pandemic were ever a thing. It truly is crazy to think of the last year and a half we’ve all had since then! Anyways!!

These two were just the absolute sweetest on the trip and I loved getting to know them a bit. Everyone in the group truly was amazing and I really made some fantastic genuine connections & friendships. Thanks again Dan & Angie for having me tag along! Their wedding was actually one of the last ones I shot before taking a step back from the business for a while. Lots was transpiring behind the scenes for me. After being in the industry since 2014 through lots of dramatic life changes & stressors, it was a really overdue much-needed healthy break. The funniest part of it all was the fact that the pandemic coincidentally hit just a few months later. While I was fortunate as this allowed me to be *relatively* less affected on the business side, my empathy for all the couples who had weddings altered or postponed felt overwhelming. J&M ended up getting in contact me while I was partially offline during this period. After reconnecting, I knew I wanted to sit down and hear more about their story…

@ D&A’s Sandos Finisterra Los Cabos Wedding

While I’ll save the fun details for their wedding blog, these two are the absolute sweetest! I have so loved every interaction I’ve had with them and you can very plainly see how well they compliment each other. From their kismet initial meeting in Mexico to the life they’re building now, they fall into each other so naturally it’s no wonder they found their way to one another.

LIGHTHOUSE PARK ENGAGEMENT GALLERY:

With their wedding just TWO short weeks away at the time of writing this, I’m anxiously anticipating celebrating their day with them in my old home, the Okanagan. In the meantime, here’s a curated selection of highlights from their Lighthouse Park Engagement Gallery in West Vancouver. I’ve had lots of fun playing with enhancing my style & posing over the years to bring out the best in your love & joy in life, and I had so much fun putting a bit more of a moody spin on some of these images for these two. I am so excited to finally share this session with you all…

Sunset at Lighthouse Park West Vancouver:

Blue Hour:

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All Photos here by Meg Kristina Photography.

Loved this Lighthouse Park Engagement Session?! Click to check out T+H’s romantic moody fall Engagement Session in Pitt Meadows!

Let your inner wino out with Jessica & Steve’s Glass House Winery Summer Wedding here on The Blog.

Want to Learn More about Wedding & Engagement Pricing & Info? Click here.

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www.megkristina.com

Booking 2022 Weddings & beyond.. ✨

Lighthouse Park Engagement Session | West Vancouver