Rocky Mountain Fairytale - Bridal Fantasy 2018

Greetings dear friends, seriously, where did 2017 go? I cannot believe a whole year has passed and I am sitting here once again, getting ready to prep a booth for the expo, to meet all your gorgeous brides and to also gather all my thoughts and gratitudes for this amazing experience.

This past year was defined by truly amazing, genuine relationships in my life. Through grieving the loss of my dad - it's not that immense loss that stands out in my mind but the golden hearts that expand big enough to fill that empty space back up. I would never have been at The Fairmont  with the Bridal Fantasy family in the first place if it wasn't for Janine and her team at Fabloomosity  for taking a chance on me many moons ago over a bridal editorial for Instagram. I cannot express my gratitude or love enough because truly - where would I be without you guys?

The whole Bridal Fantasy team that they assemble for these shoots is just .... downright gobsmacking. I wish I was a poet in moments like these. But I'm not, I'm just a tiny Ukrainian girl with a laptop + a glass of wine trying to put together something that might one day resemble a functional blog. Thank you ALL from the very bottom of my heart for including us in this whirlwind. Here's to 2018!

Check out Harrison at Glass Stone Cinema's incredible BTS video of the shoot:

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Rose Red + Violent Blue

I reunited with Chelsey and Zach for a fun morning session at Mercer's Tavern during the holiday break amidst the freezing cold snap blustering around us outside! Chelsey is one of those golden souls that dances into your life and you know you have to keep her around forever! This was my first opportunity to meet Zach (the whole long distance thing makes it even more difficult to get all your buds acquainted!)  and truly, I was blown away by his kindness and openness. I've said it before, and I will say it again - but getting to see your friends live their best life is one of the truest joys I've known. I'm endlessly happy you two rock n' rollers found each other despite the seas of chaos that life presents us. Always an honour! XO

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An Engagement of Punk Rock Proportions

Karly and Rodney are possibly my favourite couple combo I have met this year! They are two young, amazing parents with a connection that warms your soul all the way to your very toes! I love couples like this because they challenge the stereotype of what "awesome parents" look like in our heads - proving to us all once again that tattooed beauties are forever the kings and queens of the world! I was honoured when they asked me to join them for their engagement session at The Holy Roller with their punk rock son. I hope these images make you smile as much as they do to me!

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Once Upon an Autumn Eve

Halloween is a very special holiday for some of us. For me and my troupe of spooky pals - it rivals Christmas! I always like to do something different just to celebrate this magical time of year! This year it was a shoot with all of the amazing people I could wrangle together by bribing them with hugs, high fives and a guaranteed adventure! This awesome set would be nothing without all of you and I hope you know how much I appreciate you guys! Please enjoy this Southern voodoo inspired love story editorial! Let the credits roll: Floral Creations by Fabloomosity, Hair + Makeup by Behind the Blush,  Real-Life Lovers + Beauties: Heather + Chris, Styling + Props: Rhonda of Simply Green Style and BTS Video and Shots by my doll Kaespo.

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Michelle + Jesse.

A week away in paradise with these babes! Jamaica, you stole our hearts (and broke our livers!) Truly, this place is paradise. The white sand, turquoise waters and rolling skies - in my mind, this is what heaven looks like! Michelle has been a long time beautiful soul in my life, we met through work and I'm truly honoured to be one of the sixty-eight magical humans that travelled down to witness this beachy union! These photos make me smile because already I forget how beautiful this setting was... I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Michelle and Jesse, wishing you endless golden years! Thank you both so much for opening your arms and welcoming me into your family for the week. XO

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Chelsie + Eric.

These two. Where do I begin? I met Chelsie years ago through one of my best girlfriends and I instantly fell in love with her love for life and easy-going nature. Not long after, I met Eric. He's genuine, kind and has a zest for life that matches Chelsie's. Their wedding day was exactly that!

It was a warm late October day (superbly warm, actually!). With a love-filled ceremony tucked away at a golden golf-course spot we then left for photos behind the Varscona Theatre. Smoke bombs, a train, confetti and a wedding party so beautiful they belong in a magazine - this was a dream day! We ended our photo journey back at the golf course with tons of tear-filled speeches, delicious food and bountiful drinks. It was truly the perfect fall day! Congratulations Chelsie and Eric, I am so honoured to have been a part of your day! #BeckGoesHam

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Andrea + Cam.

My darlings, it's so amazing the people that come and go in your life. It's the best part of this job - and I find I'm constantly marvelling at all these beautiful people around me now! Cam and Andrea are no exception! This is a power-house couple! Great sense of self, solid in their connection, already well-off into their careers for their young age - it was truly such a pleasure to be a part of their day!

Their thoughtfulness and care showed in every detail of the day. From a father-daughter first look to a photo op at the chocolate shop from their first date, to a reception spot at her grandmother's house with the most epic Edmonton river valley views you have ever seen! I cried I think three or four times this day - looking to my awesome assist, Allison, for strength to find her crying too! Take a look through some of the best moments of their day!

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Rachael + Sean.

Rachael and Sean, where do I begin! I met these two literally ages ago when we were back in high school through my beautiful cousin, Jen. I've seen them grow from a a teenage punk rocker + dancer to two beautifully accomplished adults with a really solid connection. This day was SO fun. From the Disney infused details, their bulldog fur baby walking down the aisle with them, smoke + confetti cannons, to the epic thunderstorm chasing us that served for the most magnificent backdrop. I couldn't love the two of you anymore and it was truly an honour to be a part of your day! Wishing you all the golden moments that life can bring.

We got to shoot alongside the very talented Morgan Gold - this was his first attempt at a wedding! I think you will all agree - he did a dynamite job! I've attached the video below:

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Ashley + Justin.

Greetings and my biggest apologies on such a delay sweet friends! 2017 has been a year unlike no other, truly. One day I'll locate the proper words to talk about it all - but this month I am dedicating my time to blogging ALL the amazing couples from this year! 

I connected with Ashley over Instagram back in 2016 - we chatted over email then met for a tea one night to discuss their wedding. As soon as I saw her - bright purple bob, bright and bold tattoos and the eyes of an old soul - I knew this was going to be a couple I would vibe with.

So, their special day rolls around, I pack up my gear and head out to New Norway. It was a beautiful Alberta prairie day - dry heat, rolling skies, all the lush colours of a good spring. The country drive was soul soothing. We gathered in the cutest tiny chapel with their closest family and friends, snapped some photos at the farm Ashley grew up on and finished out at the lake for a BBQ. I swear, I tell every couple they're my favourite, and I genuinely always mean it! But Ashley and Justin hold a special place in my heart. They're genuine. Their connection is stunning. The only thing more stunning are their warm, welcoming hearts. Here's a few of my favourite snaps of the day!

Glory-us.

So when I leave here on this earth, did I take more than I gave?

Today marks not only the summer solstice - today is one month since we lost our beautiful father. Though nothing feels "normal" (as we know this is a sorrow that now accompanies us through our mortal journey) a talk with a co-worker today finally inspired me to write a few of my thoughts down.

One of the few photographs we have of "young dad" - and my current favourite.

One of the few photographs we have of "young dad" - and my current favourite.

Death is as natural of process for us on this journey as birth is - yet (most of us) ignore it and it feels like no one can talk about it in any proper way. But the whole talking piece is really necessary. So I'll share with you my thoughts; when this day comes in your world, just know that we are out here! Loving and ready to hold you in this space.

The people who arrive in these situations - and those who disappear - are surprising. When the dust settles, you will very clearly be able to see who stands with you. This is a (hidden) gift. Experiences of this magnitude will push you into a new space, and there isn't room for all of your old life there anymore. Outside of these few "angels" - the rest of everything feels like useless chatter and it just falls away. What used to stress me out a mere month ago - no longer has any effect on me. I know exactly where my heart lies.

When I see my siblings now, it literally feels like my heart is exploding out of my chest because I see so much "Dad" in them. I see his giant grin, his love of laughter and life, his generous heart - I see all of him. And I know that having twenty-seven great years with Dad and a lifetime with this stunning family marks me a lucky lady. If I wasn't quite sure of eternal life before, I am now. 

"I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave
And the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name."

Soul spill + verbal garble. I will tell you right now - that it is your job as a good human to wake up every morning and do the very best you can. Tell all the people you love that you love them, every single day. Do the absolute most wicked job at your work as your can. Make an impact. Create community. Spread the love. This life is so short, each day wasted is already too much. There is so much inane, negative content out there - I hope this post stops you and makes you reflect, even for a moment. 

This day came as a shock for us. Now I pour over these old photographs with a renewed and deep love for the job we've been gifted as photographers. We are invited into peoples lives for a day - voyeurs with fancy lenses. We create the images that they display at future weddings, family dinners and clutch onto in death. It's incredible. And overwhelming. All at once.

I got my breath, I got my faith and I remember why I came.

Heather and Ben - Country Love at Home

I was blessed enough to meet Heather through our beautiful mutual friend Dani White (a killer hairstylist from Rock It Out Salon if you're in the market!) back at Bridal Fantasy in January. Heather and Ben are getting married next summer in New Brunswick and wanted to capture some cozy at-home snaps for their engagement photos. Their adorable dog Opey couldn't resist stealing the spotlight! Thank you both for welcoming me into your home, it was truly an honour to spend the afternoon with you both!

Sunday Cozy

Smoke on the Mountain

My dearest dreamers, this might be my favourite memory of the year! Three days ridiculousness and wedding magic at Jasper Park Lodge! How does the story start?

It starts back in April with my first meeting with the FaBLOOMosity team. Every now and then a moment will stop you in your tracks, and you know that life will be different from here on out. And this was one of them. Finding a team of local madhouse geniuses that see magic in the mundane, live to create and have dark romantic souls just like you... well that's one in a million. We were instant friends and this Bridal Fantasy magazine shoot marked our first project out together!

Next up, the Bridal Fantasy team... holy BANANAS! Words do no justice for how much I love you all! I remain in a state of sheer gratitude for getting to join the team on this project. Meeting you all was the best part of it all! Glass Stone Cinema Brandie Sunley Grant Olson Photography you are all major rock stars, major

If this trip was a flip book, you would see: frozen models in elegant furs, a rose garden of dreams, two stunning grooms roaming the grounds, giant bouquets straight from a dreamland, sun-laded days to snowy mornings, Janine scaling a mountain, pastel smoke bombs and Janine scaling a mountain, a herd of mountain sheep, more of Janine scaling a mountain and the entire team creating a confetti storm of rose petals.

The cherry on top of this all was that I got to share this experience with my photo warrior and sister, Donna! We've travelled the globe together. We got bed bugs together. We drink too much whiskey, laugh and cry together. This was the ultimate way to end of the wedding season together! Until next time, XOXOX!

Huge thanks to Harrison from Glass Stone Cinema for this amazing video! Immortalizes the memories, forever! Check out his Vimeo channel here.

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Lovers Alone Wear Sunlight

A little more than a year ago I met the most talented, ridiculous, kind-hearted, genius, metal/history buff couple that you could EVER FIND. Legitimately, I tell everyone that Amy and Tanner of Paragon of Design were born in the wrong lifetime. They are the definition of "Renaissance" in the modern day! Masters of All Trades, there is nothing they can't do! Back in the summer we were chatting about how rad a goth wedding editorial would  be (stick with us...you wouldn't be this far if you too didn't have a dark soul!) Picture Apocalyptica meets wedding! Before you know it, the team was assembled and as per usual we were already too far off into our photoshoot dreamland!

This is Amy's wedding dress, can you believe it! Top hat, cake topper, guest book, entire outfits, accessories and styling all handmade by Paragon of Design. You just don't meet people who have this many incredible skill sets anymore! Special thanks so my forever teammate Donny Lynn Photography for shooting this with me!! You always keep my laughing and keep my energy checked when I am spinning out. And to you, sweet Kaespo, thank you for painting my cello! I know that was a terrifying, nail-biting experience! You did a stellar job. Even more amazing now that I get to keep that as a memory to tell my kids about when they pick it up! Stunning makeup by Ashley Skrocki and hair by Stephanie Herwynen. Enjoy XO!

Bold Will Hold

My love for tattoo culture started young. Even though I grew up playing classical instruments, I idolized Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Kat Von D and can still recite every Bad Religion lyric ever written. So I suppose, my niched obsession for portrait photography inked gals and ghouls was in the stars.

There will never be enough great coverage of these alternative beauties, but I'm proud to contribute my small body of work to the cause! I love you guys, I'm so lucky to have you all as dear friends now. Thank you for gracing my lens! One day we will walk around with our ink-laden bodies and will no longer receive the comments, "You know that's permanent right?" "What are you going to do on your wedding day?" "You kids will think you are scary looking!" Keep on rockin' LOVE YOU ALL. Horns up!

70s Inspired Hair Collaboration - Kaitlyn Lumgair

I absolutely ADORE hair collabs, I live for them in fact. Especially when we find each other through the Instagram waves and bond as sisters over strange cocktail combos at Earls! Kaitlyn is an extremely creative stylist from Eveline Charles and had wanted to do some create some grunge-editorial portraits with gels and vintage styling. The location was set for Hotel Macdonald and Kaitlyn's team of mega-talented women was assembled! Not to mention our gorgeous models Anya, Joyce, Emily and Brandi... I mean, look at them... this city is full of the most gorgeous creatures! Thank you to everyone for joining us on this adventure - it was a cold long day, but my soul is completely spilling out everywhere in joy at these images! XO

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The Chad.

I met Chad Hepditch from MODE Models a few months ago at our Bridal Fantasy runaway-shoot in Jasper and was absolutely charmed by him! Hilarious, obsessed with Amy Winehouse, killer jawline and the King of Posing - we couldn't resist stealing him back on home turf for a Friday afternoon shoot with some cool graffiti walls. Eternal thanks to my love Donna Lynn Photography for the crazy laughs and endless willingness to hang out with me and engage in some off-colour banter. Chad, I cannot WAIT to see you in Gucci ads and NYC billboards one day. Big dreams, baby. For even bigger destinies. XO

DragonHaus Magazine Volume 2

I truly cannot say enough beautiful things about our city. Everyday my heart is overfilled by all the stunning people that I meet. The story behind this magazine is no exception! I met Jen Hammer years ago in Renee Robyn retouching workshop. Flash forward a couple years and we're both off working in our respective fields photography and she contacted me to inquire about a feature in her new magazine, DragonHaus. It's an awesome local spotlight on the subcultures of our city! Cool alternative artists, musicians and tattooists. Please check it out and send her all your love and support! Thank you Jen for this double editorial + cover feature, you have my endless gratitude!

Goth Bridal: Florals by FaBLOOMOSITY | Dresses: The Bridal Boutique  | HMUA: Emily of Blushed Beaute \\ London Fashion: Styling by Miss Aniela and her infamous team (Endless FSE Love!) |  Location: MC Motors

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FRENCH FAIRYTALE Opalus Magazine: Issue 9

If you live in Edmonton and have had the pleasure of meeting Malorie Shmyr, you are a lucky one. This woman is completely loaded with enough charisma, talent and ambition for four humans! One golden star amongst her list epic accomplishments is creating Opalus Magazine. This is a stunning, wonderfully off-centre fashion and art mag. You must click through and check it out, you will not be disappointed! Thank you Malorie for the interview and including my images in this issue! Truly an honour - you are a gem to our city. 

I leave you with the images from my French Fairytale feature. XO!

Opalus Magazine Volume 9
Opalus Magazine Volume 9
Opalus Magazine Volume 9
Opalus Magazine Volume 9
Opalus Magazine Volume 9

A Surprise Proposal, Matt + Jaimi.

Some of you know, and many of you don't... but I get the great pleasure of having dual careers and packing my weeks with a ton of different projects! Variety is truly the spice of life. My day job introduced me to this amazing couple back in the summer and I've had a (minor) obsession with them ever since. They're wonderfully smart, quirky, talented, hilarious and they share the most charming romance I have seen in a long time! So when Matt asked me if I would photograph his surprise proposal I was "100% head and shoulders" in! It was a very chilly Friday afternoon in December and the stage was set by my beautiful boss, Kristin. We had tricked Jaimi into this adventure by telling her I needed lifestyle winter couple photos for some ads coming up in January. This is what happened next:

The Setup
Congratulations Matt + Jaimi - I couldn't think of a more perfect match! XO Bre

Congratulations Matt + Jaimi - I couldn't think of a more perfect match! XO Bre

Tatiana + Adam, Engaged.

There's nothing quite like Canadian winters. Unpredictable, bone-chilling and breathtaking. This gorgeous couple reached out to me and asked for an engagement session that included all their favourite spots: a coffee shop, a book store and the Legislature. Our day rolled around, it was -27 and snowing and they rocked it! Here's some of my favourite snaps of the day. XO Bre!

Love of Mine
Dream a Little Dream