Jessie and Chris came from the Toronto area for a snow Whistler winter wedding with their friends and family. The day of the wedding, we had a massive pacific frontal system roll in, causing a massive snow storm.
The wedding was a private house up at the Taluswood neighbourhood, which is higher up the valley than what I’m used to, and as a result, it was really snowing. Rather than heading to one of my regular locations, Chris and Jessie found some nice spots along the ski out trail from Whistler (we actually had people skiing by us during the photos). There was a big lookout tower that made for some cool shots.
Chris’s son Connor seemed more interested in playing in the snow than having photography taken. Still, was a lot of fun.
Eventually the snow drove us to cover. We moved the cars out of the driveway and garage (there didn’t seem to be anybody else staying up there at the time). I was lighting them with an off camera flash, but for this shot the flash didn’t fire, and with a fair amount of Photoshop work, it made for a neat photo.
The reception was at the house after the ceremony where they had some sparklers and Jessie threw the bouquet.
While we were coming down from the watch tower (which was a great location), I put my foot down on what I though was some solid snow, but was actually the iced over over space between the step and riser. I ended up falling about six feet down the stairs, landing in a (luckily) big poofy snow bank. I was okay, but my camera bag was packed with snow. This is where it’s really important to have a supply of cotton bandanas. I always carry at least two or three, as they’re great for wiping down wet or dusty camera gear.
Jessie sent me an e-mail with a couple of photos she really liked. One was a shot of a couple with a snow storm backlit with a flash. It’s actually something I’ve wanted to try for a while, but despite shooting 12 weddings in Whistler since December, I haven’t had enough snowy weather after dark until now to try it. The regular off camera flash set up I use, the Nikon SU-800, has to be in line of sight, so it wasn’t going to work for this shot, so I packed a set of radio slaves and a short background stand. I lit them from the front conventionally with a soft box, and then put the SB-800 flash on the background stand about 10 feet behind them. As I’d never done this before, I tried power setting from 1/8th to full to get the right amount of light to light up all the snow. It took a surprising amount of power on the flash, as the snow was just sucking up the light.
Camera: Nikon D3 and D700
Lenses: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8
Lighting: Nikon SB-900 flash, SU-800 controller, and a small softbox on a light stand. SB-900 and SB-800 fired by radio slave for the first shot.