Photography Journal

Poland Elopement Photographer | Bridal Adventure Session | Sopot, Poland

My husband and I spent a large part of our European tour in Poland as an opportunity for me to reconnect with my culture and language. Poland is a totally different country than the one we visited in 2007. Jeff and I would joke that the 2007 “Polish neutral” expression was a deep sadness in the eyes with hints of resignation (after learning more about the not so distant history of the region, it’s not an unreasonable position to take). My mom would warn me when I was younger that I couldn’t just smile and say hello to strangers on the street (as we do in Canada) because people would think there was something wrong with me – that I was ‘simple’. But it is different now. It feels open and creative. People were smiling, eating ice cream on park benches, and I heard Polish spoken in every country we visited.

After 11 years away, we first landed in Gdańsk. I was struggling with some vocabulary but doing my best to avoid falling back into English (which nearly everyone speaks now). I connected with a local wedding planner and floral designer, the talented Dorota Janicka-Kurlenda from Gdańska Pracownia Ślubów. Dorota and I hit it off immediately. We shared a vision for a styled photoshoot but I also think we were both excited for the opportunity to practice speaking in another language. Most of Dorota’s clients are Polish speaking so I think this was a fun opportunity to practice speaking “business English” with me. So she spoke English to me as I fumbled along in Polish, picking up and remembering new words every day.

Our mutual vision was to organize a beachy, horseback, boho bridal session and Dorota wanted to incorporate two different looks in terms of floral design. I was up for any adventure so I simply said to her, let’s make it happen! In just a few days, she rounded up an all-star team including makeup artist, Beata Fryz, bridal gowns from Carmen’s Salon, a horse from Ośrodek Konny Kolibki Adventure Park, and model/horsewoman, Zuzanna Kmiecik. We set our alarms for 0245 and met on a beach in Sopot (which is picturesque Baltic coastal town, by the way) and photographed these beauties at the 0400 sunrise.

Working with this team of strong Polish women had a real energy and sense of purpose. Then, as a total surprise, we were contacted by Weselnik, a local wedding magazine, who ended up using several photos for the cover and inside layout for their July issue! So great to work together, ladies! Dziękuję serdecznie!

Behind the scenes:

The lovely Dorota sharing a serene moment with Omega.

Beata Fryz, makeup artist extraordinaire:

The dream team, including Natalia from Ośrodek Konny Kolibki Adventure Park:

And the final product!

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Tin Poppy Elopement

I have been intrigued by the Tin Poppy Retreat ever since I picked up one of their brochures a couple of years ago. I started following them on Instagram and then decided to reach out to Maggie Shook to see if she wanted to collaborate on an elopement styled shoot. Maggie and her husband Jeremy are the most interesting and creative people and I wanted to spend way more time talking with them.

Each unique and inspired accommodation on this beautiful, 160 acre property in the Larch Hills has incredible character and style. It has three rentals available – the Lavender House, Violet Cabin and its namesake, the Tin Poppy. It’s eco (solar-powered!), rustic yet luxurious and an absolutely perfect place for an offbeat couple’s elopement or intimate wedding. If I could do it all over again, this is the just kind of place that I would absolutely get married. Thankfully there are always vow renewals, right?

I collaborated with these fantastic artists/vendors from the central and north Okanagan:

Dress/Veil: Bliss Bridal Kelowna – Facebook | Instagram

Hair/Makeup/Bridal Model: Tanisha Langner of T. Langner Lashes and Makeup – Facebook | Instagram

Groom Model: Zach Langner, Artist – Instagram

Suit/Shoes: J.Crew / Gucci

Floral: Katie LaRone 0f Sweet Pea Flowery – Facebook | Instagram

Jewelry: JC Bradley Jewellers – Facebook | Instagram

Catering/Styling/Venue: Tin Poppy Retreat – Facebook | Instagram

Thank you to everyone involved! It was a beautiful day and I can’t wait to come back and spend a cozy weekend by the fire at this forested retreat in the hills.

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Kelowna Woodland Bridal Session

Such a pleasure to finally work with Sylvia Hajdu from Top Notch Art of Makeup! We had been talking about collaborating for a photoshoot for quite some time. Sylvia is a super talented makeup artist and really fun person to be around. Can’t wait for our next project together!

Thanks to Wild Ginger Floral Design for your GORGEOUS floral crown and Devon from DejaVu Model Management for your mad modelling skillz.

Makeup: Sylvia Hajdu of Top Notch Art of Makeup – Facebook | Instagram

Floral crown: Wild Ginger Floral Design – Facebook | Instagram

Model: Devon Nagle from DejaVu Model Management – Facebook | Instagram 

Dress: David’s Bridal

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Brooke & Dalton

Brooke + Dalton. Celebrating love, everyday.  |  Makeup by Arisa Davis.

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Kate & Callum | Squamish, BC | July 2016

“We came across Paulina through a friend and instantly fell in love with her work. She was the perfect choice of photographer for our Squamish woodland wedding. Being a little camera shy, I was nervous about the idea of working with a photographer. In the end I was grateful to have had Paulina’s calm and reassuring presence with me throughout the day. Callum was hesitant about the expense of hiring a professional photographer – we both agree that it was truly invaluable. We continually re-live the magic with all of our family and friends through Paulina’s talented lens.

We can’t thank Paulina (and her fantastic assistant Jeff) enough. They worked tirelessly and passionately to capture the emotion and excitement of the big day in a unique and stunning way. Far exceeding our expectations. The visual story that Paulina tells includes artistic attention to detail and many candid moments. We thoroughly enjoyed her company and appreciate that she provided us with a fun, authentic and intimate portrayal of our wedding. We would highly recommend Paulina to anyone looking for a photographer!!!”

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Collecting the details | North Vancouver, BC

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Collecting the details before they blur. You fell in love with these details. The gold dipped roses. The monogrammed purses your mother sewed for you and your bridesmaids. Your grandmother’s handkerchief. The expression on your father’s face when he first saw you. The anticipation. The jitters. People that love you by your side, calm and reassuring. Despite the rain, everything would be as you had hoped.

Wedding preparations are some of my favourite moments to capture. I was delighted when my cousin-in-law asked me to photograph her and the closest women in her life while they got ready. Thank you for inviting me, Jana. The day was beautiful from beginning to end. Wishing you and Vince a lifetime of happiness!
xo
Hair: Denise Elliott Beauty Co.
Make Up: Rebeca Coloma – Make Up
Wedding Dress: Blush Bridal Boutique
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bari Jay

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Michelle & Chris | Victoria, BC | August 2015

“We asked Paulina to photograph our wedding after a beautiful outdoor family photo session the previous year. We were so impressed with her eye for capturing such beauty in simple candid shots, and natural ability to work with our children, we absolutely had to have her photograph our wedding.

We were a little worried about how things would go, as our little ones were 1 and 3 years old at the time and not big on standing still! Paulina did not disappoint! She managed to capture the most precious moments in a truly authentic way, allowing the unique personalities of our children to come alive in the photographs.

Paulina has such skill and professionalism, and she played a huge role in helping to create a truly enjoyable and relaxed experience for everyone involved. We chose to have a casual, intimate, family only ceremony and Paulina fit in seamlessly.

We are so thrilled with the quality and natural beauty captured in our wedding photographs and would highly recommend Paulina to anyone!”

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Ayren & Earl | Vancouver, BC | May 2015

“We had such a lovely time working with Paulina and her lovely assistant, Jeff. I so enjoyed splitting up the photo day into two days, that worked so much better for weather, timing, and keeping a certain toddler involved. I found Paulina to be very professional but relaxed in her approach, she took every opportunity with the lighting, timing, and mood to get the best picture possible. There were some posed photos, but we loved the spontaneous, involved, voyeuristic shots. I never felt I had to “hold a pose” during the wedding, as she blended into the crowd so wonderfully to fully capture the moment. I loved the way she got photos of guests, musicians, and events that were happening at the wedding and the focus wasn’t entirely on the bride and groom. Paulina’s generosity and time was so appreciated to document a momentous occasion for our friends and family.”

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Anne & Victor

Otylia Photography {Weddings}

Two beautiful, brilliant friends were married in Boston, MA last summer. While many friends and family members captured happy moments over the course of their wedding day, they didn’t have the opportunity to have any professional portraits of the two of them.

Anne and Victor brought me to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and there, with the luxury of time and a beautiful sunset, we were able to create images they will delight in for a lifetime.

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Emma & Matt | Toronto, ON | August 2014

“We asked Paulina to be our wedding photographer after meeting her through a friend and admiring her work online. She is a wonderful photographer to work with – professional, passionate, friendly and skilled. During our wedding, she captured all the important moments with artistry and authenticity. She communicated exceptionally well, went out of her way to accommodate our ideas (for example, getting up before sunrise to do a waterfront engagement shoot) and impressed us with her polished final product.”

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