8 : Michael & Steffi
We creep along a gravel road that is obscured by fresh white snow. The car’s feeble heater laughably failing to keep the windows clear, we repeatedly scrape them to survey the frigid prairiescape. We spot a bale of hay, snow-dusted and oddly majestic. Squirrel-like, I dash out from our snowmobile to scope out the area. The spot will work. I wave for them to join me. After a few quick photos, Steffi’s bare skin starts to freeze. Back to the car. We lurch forward another 20 metres to an opening in the trees. The three of us pile out and take a few more shots. Back to the car. We stop at a red barn. This time the whole wedding party jumps out. It is positively freezing outside; temperatures are colder than the Australian best man and maid of honour have ever imagined possible. Although I typically prefer not to expose my subjects to conditions which would precipitate hypothermia, shooting in -40C was exhilarating, and resulted in some wonderfully spontaneous images.
Not long before congregating for our photographic sojourn on planet Hoth, Michael and Steffi were separated by hundreds of kilometers. Necessity obliged them to nurture their bond through more vintage methods of communication. which they paid tribute to by incorporating them into the wedding day. Early on the morning of the wedding, Steffi penned a letter to Michael which I delivered shortly before the ceremony. Later in the day they warmed up in front of the fire and read aloud a favourite passage from The Hobbit.
For many people, getting married changes little, but for Michael and Steffi it marked their triumph over geography. I can’t quite articulate it, but somehow this sentiment was palpable throughout our mid-November shoot; a potentially fracturing experience was faced with grace. Their having overcome the hostility of separation and their now overcoming the cold pointed to a deep-seated commitment for one another.
Michael & Steffi : Happy 4th Anniversary!!
Location: Cardiff, AB
Date: November 19, 2011
Equipment: Canon 40d, Canon 50mm, Canon 28-105m
In studio with Aunt Magda Ceramics with photos of vases rather than faces.
This article about Wedding Photography was written by the Montreal-based wedding photographer Selena Phillips-Boyle.