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Friday, January 30, 2009

Portrait Session: Cyndi

Here is my story:

Today Grit and I went out to Boundary Bay Airport and met a lovely lady named Cyndi for her portrait session! We laughed, we froze, we laughed some more! Cyndi is really funny, has a contagious laugh, is almost exploding with positivity and feel-good emotions. Simply put, Cyndi kicks ass. The End.


We had an awesome time with you Cyndi! I hope you like the photos, and had an awesome time too!

Mike + Grit

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Deep Thought on 'Capturing Moments'

I was writing a few things out for my new site today and something occurred to me. Its kind of silly and strange, but I wanted to know your opinion:

When talking about photography, a lot of people use the term (or variation of the term) 'Capturing Moments', right? Or TAKING a photograph. Doesn't that sound negative? 'Capturing'... sort of like 'Hi, I saw this moment and took a picture, now I have it in captivity! MWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!' *insert thunder and lightning here*....

Personally, I think that the moments that are NOT photographed or even remembered could be considered as 'captured' but captured by TIME.... in the sense that we will never see them again...

SO, having said that, I think as photographers (pro, amateur, whatever), we are 'RELEASING moments'.... like releasing something into the wild. The moments then fly wherever they may, but freely, not caged or captured. Doesn't that sound more positive? I tell ya, its little 'tweaks' like that thats going to change the world ;)

And don't even get me started on the term 'freezing time'... its just way to cold out to talk about that.


by the way, here's a random photo I took YEARS ago....obviously before my wedding photography days lol. Its nothing fantastic, but when I wrote this, for some reason this photo popped into my head... maybe not the BEST illustration to go with my thought, but hey... its a mountain goat...sheep...thing in mid air!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Foggy Day in White Rock Town ;)

Today was a wonderfully foggy day, so Grit and I decided to head down to the beach for a walk. At first I wanted to bring my camera to snap some cool fog photos, but once we got there, the fog was so amazing that we just went NUTS snapping photos of each other! We are slowly trying to get Grit more involved with the photography, so today was a great day to get her playing with the camera... and my LORD, after seeing the photos, I think she can show ME a thing or two!!!

We had a blast today snapping these photos and being outside together on a beautiful Sunday, and I hope you enjoy the photos! Don't forget to leave some blog-lovin' comments! :)



Friday, January 16, 2009

Wedding 101: Getting Started - New Bride's Checklist

I was sitting at my computer today browsing over wedding sites and came across this awesome article over at, explaining in great detail every little bit of the 'What to Do when Planning A Wedding". I really thought this would be something that EVERY newly-engaged couple would NEED to read, so I sent out a few quick emails, asking if I could post it on my blog, and a few hours later, here it is! 

Hope this at least helps de-fuzz any potential wedding planning ponders!



Wedding 101: Getting Started - New Bride's Checklist

by Kori Ellis,

Congratulations on your engagement! There are probably a million things running through your mind about what to do next. Should you book a reception hall? Run out and buy your wedding dress? Take a moment to breathe a little bit and review our wedding checklist.

This checklist will give you a general guideline of what to do and when you need to do it. You can adjust it to fit your schedule but be sure to adhere to your timeline as much as possible. During your wedding planning, don't stress out. If you feel overwhelmed, reach out to your husband-to-be, mother or maid of honor to help you. Your engagement should be a happy time. Take time to relax and enjoy it. Don't turn into a bridezilla!

Editor's Note: we have tried to link each task on Kori's lists to the corresponding search on, so you can quickly find some initial articles, tips and services to get you started on the particular task. Some searches will be more useful than others :-) Try as we might, we do not yet cover every imaginable wedding thing - but we're working on it!

Wedding Timeline

12 Months or More in Advance

9-12 Months in Advance

6-9 Months in Advance

4-6 Months in Advance

2-4 Months in Advance

6-8 Weeks in Advance

4-6 Weeks in Advance

2-4 Weeks in Advance

1 Week in Advance

  • Review details with the ushers

  • Attend the final fitting (make sure your bridesmaids do too)

  • Confirm seating arrangements

  • Pack for your honeymoon

  • Pack an emergency kit for your wedding day

  • Give the final head count to caterer

  • Re-confirm with all vendors; pay any balances

  • Finalize rehearsal dinner plans

  • Attend bachelor/bachelorette parties

The Day Before Your Wedding

  • Get a manicure and pedicure

  • Make sure someone picks up tuxedos

  • Attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner

  • Go to bed early!

Your Wedding Day

  • Wake up early

  • Get your makeup and hair done

  • Get dressed and head to the ceremony

  • Make sure to eat properly

  • Relax and enjoy your day

Print out and use these checklists as a guideline when planning your wedding. You can adapt them to your specific needs and change the timeline as necessary. Try to book your vendors as soon as possible, particularly your wedding reception site. Keep in mind that some of the more popular locations book more than a year in advance.


The End ;)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Top 20 Favorite Engagement Photos of 2008

It took some time to get this Top 20 list completed as well, but now that its done, I can't take my eyes off if it. It has helped me remember how much of an amazing year 2008 was, and how lucky I am to have met so many amazing people! There are so many great memories that shine through these photographs, and I cannot stress enough the importance of an Engagement Session. Among many things, it is a great way for us to get to know each other before the actual wedding day, and snap some fun photos in the process! One of the key points I strive to make my business known for is being able to capture 100% Raw and 100% Pure emotion in my photographs. The best way of doing this is to have a stronger bond with my clients than just "he's our wedding photographer". It has to go WAY beyond that, I want to make sure "Michael Wachniak Photographer" is not just a business, its an experience!  :) I LOVE the fact that there are some people out there that have actually introduced me to their best friends and closest family members as "This is Michael Wachniak, he kicks ass and climbs trees!" LOL!! I should really have that on a business card or something ;) Anyways, if there is no bond between myself and my clients, the photos just will not be up to my standards. I try everything in my power to make sure the clients are feeling comfortable, and I really feel it shows through my photographs.

So without further ado, here are my personal favorite Top 20 Engagement Photos of 2008!
(in no particular order!)

yup, I really do climb trees ;)

Here's to a kickass 2009 season!



p.s. I was assisting a fashion shoot yesterday with my buddy Todd Duncan, and he snapped this photo of me in mid-laugh. 

I would like to personally apologize for looking like this when I laugh, I had no idea...

This just looks painful... I swear I'm only laughing...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Top 20 Favorite Wedding Photos of 2008

I think one of the best parts of being a photographer (at least for me) is that when you look at one of your own photos, you can remember exactly what was going on at the moment it was taken. I can say with complete confidence that to ME, these moments really are frozen in time, and I will always remember certain things from each and every one! So, having said that, not only would I like to share some of my favorite 20 wedding photos of 2008 with you, but I would also like to share with you exactly what I was thinking when I took them! 

Warning: Please don't think I'm a dork, I'm only human! :P

***each quote refers to the photo above it.***

"I hope people don't think 'what a horrible photographer, he cropped her face out!!!'... All I want for this shot is a detail shot of the veil and dress!!!"

"WOW! now THATS a kiss!"

"How do I make this shot look like it ISNT taken outside in the freezing snow/rain in the middle of one of the coldest winters Vancouver has seen in decades????"

"There is NO way ANY camera can capture how beautiful this light coming in looks in person!"
- don't get me wrong, the lighting in the photo looks amazing, but really you had to be there. It truly was angelic.

"Stupid leaves! Stop moving so I can get the lens flare from the sun!!!!! AHHHH!" 
(I think I was tired) :)

I remember thinking to myself: "Please don't turn away until I take the photo! Please don't turn away until I take the photo! WOOHOO! She didn't turn away until I took the photo!"

"I-A-M-S-O-J-E-A-L-O-U-S-R-I-G-H-T-N-O-W" ;)

I was trying to make her laugh, so the first thing I said to her was (and in a rather high pitched voice): "Youuuuu're getting marrrrrried... Youuuuuu're getting marrrrrrrrried!" 
 yup... I'm a pretty fast thinker! :/

"The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly."
 (I can say this because the one on the right is my brother in-law) ;)

"Ben please don't drop her!!!! There's a lot of thistles around!!" - Thank God he didn't!

I actually remember just staring in absolute amazement during these moments, and even though there was loud music playing, I can still remember very clearly the WHOOSH! WHOOSH! WHOOSH! of the flames.

I remember thinking this was so quiet and sincere, and even though I originally set this shot up (the veil over their heads), the truly beautiful moment was really between just the two of them.

I very clearly remember thinking "I am so lucky to have shot her sister's wedding a few years ago and now to be shooting her wedding. I really feel like part of the family with these guys. Thank you so much."

"Well, people certainly aren't going to wonder where this shot was taken!!"

This is my best friend of 15 years, Ben. At this moment I remember thinking that if someone came to us when we were 14 and said "Hey, when you grow up, YOU are going to get married, and HE is going to be your photographer!", we'd probably think they were 'A few fries short of a Happy Meal'! Well, it happened, and I will always be greatful to have seen my best friend married to the love of his life.

"No one will ever know this shot was taken in her garage..." ..oops! Guess they do now!

"Hrmm... I think it would look better if I Photoshopped that bench out of the photo later on." 
- Yup! :)

"What are the odds that the cruise ship I worked on for 6 months in the Caribbean would be going by us on the Sunshine Coast at this very second?" (it was doing the Alaska run roundtrip from was pretty cool to see the Coral Princess again lol)

"Cool! These lights remind me of 'Close Encounters of a Third Kind'!!!!!"

"Hrmm... off-camera lighting... how hard can it be?" - hard? no. takes practice? yup! Chris + Lynn, I was totally trying to channel some vibes from you while taking this shot lol! 

Here's to a fantastic 2009 Wedding Season!



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