Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer Shares Tips for Photos on the Island

I have been a Vancouver Island wedding photographer based in Nanaimo since 2005. Although I am located centrally on Vancouver Island, I have photographed love stories all over Vancouver Island. Evidently I have a few tips for couples planning their wedding photos here. I know couples always want their day to be a fun adventure they can remember through incredible images that they love and hold deeply in their hearts.

For this list I am going to focus on tips I would give a couple getting married anywhere on the Island. They might be planning their wedding photography in Victoria, BC or further north of the Comox Valley.

Tips for Weddings on Vancouver Island

Tip #1 – Look for Portfolio Imagery in Bright Sun When Selecting Your Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer

Bride and Groom image captured by Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer
LEFT: Shot against the sun and off camera flashes were used to brighten the couple and preserve the detail colour in the background.
RIGHT: Also shot against the sun to give that beautiful glow on the top of Sabrina’s hair and a reflector was used to brighten the faces and give beautiful soft skin.

Life on Vancouver Island, BC is especially gorgeous in the summer. It is a dream backdrop of a Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer. Most couples want their guests to have memories of what we call island life. Many couples plan their wedding for the summer. As a result, they are getting their wedding portraits taken anywhere from 2-5pm. At this time the sun is often straight overhead presenting some lighting challenges. Experienced wedding photographers will know how to work off camera flashes and reflectors to help preserve the colours and expose skin tones nicely without having to over expose everything else.

Portfolio imagery in overcast light will always look nice and soft. Pay close attention to images captured in bright sun. Is the sky exposed nicely? Are the skin tones natural? Are the eyes free from distracting shadows? If yes, you’ve got a winner that can handle the harsh light on wide open island terrain.

Tip #2 – Schedule an Evening Portrait Session

Night shots of couples by Vancouver Island Wedding photographer

As a resident of Vancouver Island, I know we have so many ‘photo-worthy’ backdrops. Telling your wedding story wouldn’t be complete without sneaking out for a break in the evening to show how different the location looks at low light. Head out 30 minutes before sunset if you prefer warm light or 15 minutes after if you prefer cool blue light. This break often makes any husband or wife really happy and refreshed.

Tip #3 – Expand Your Geographic Search for Wedding Vendors on Vancouver Island

You aren’t just going to find an extremely talented Vancouver Island wedding photographer here, but tons of other great vendors to work with too. Many vendors are happy to travel, not just your wedding photographer. Spend time researching vendors in adjacent towns / cities as most of us consider the whole Island our home base.

Want to know who I love working with? Download my pricing PDF from my investment page and check out some of my Favs.

Tip # 4 – Polarizing Filters are Essential for Wedding Photographers on the Island

Use of polarizer at wedding ceremonies
I used a circular polarizer on my lens in these images to show off the vivid foliage and sky.

Without getting too technical, an important piece of equipment I keep in my bag for photos is a polarizer. My personal style is freezing moments how a couple might see them in their best memory. In short, a polarizing filter will preserve the gorgeous blues and greens we get on sunny says PLUS eliminate reflection on water (if desired).

Tip # 5 – Make Your Wedding Party Comfortable

Wedding Party on beach in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island

The Island can be rugged and many portrait locations include some walking/hiking in and hanging out for awhile. Encourage bridesmaids wearing heels to also bring some flats to make the walk in easier. Pack some water if it is hot out and bring an extra layer if it is cool or windy. Additionally bring extra hairspray and bobby pins to make sure hair is cooperating with the wind. Oil blotting tissues aren’t a bad idea too. Finally, pack some snacks and water to keep the energy up. Many Island locations are in the open sun which means little shade for staying cool on a hot summer day.

As a quick shout out, if you really want to be comfortable during your portraits ask your hair and makeup artist if they offer a service where they will join you for your portraits. Jessica Churcher Makeup Artistry for example will come along for touchups and assistance. She goes above and beyond to make this part of the day a success for the couple and photographer.

Bonus Non-Photo Tip – Remind Off-Island Guests to Reserve Ferries

Ferry to Vancouver Island

This might be obvious to us Island folks, but a friendly reminder to guests traveling to the Island with a vehicle to reserve their ferry weeks or months ahead of time.

If you have any other questions about preparing for your wedding photography on Vancouver Island feel free to connect with me.

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