Nordica Photography

Document You // Amber & Bryan

October 3, 2011

Up until now we’ve been offering engagement sessions as a part of our wedding photography packages.

Engagement sessions are very popular in Vancouver, as well as pretty much anywhere in North America, and the idea is to get photos done together before you’re getting married.

That’s all fine and dandy, and we dig the idea of doing a photo shoot before the wedding. It’s an awesome way for us to get to know couples and it’s a great way for couples to get an additional set of photos, as well as to get comfortable with us.


What we don’t like, however, is the term ‘Engagement Session’. We think it’s lame, to be honest, and the notion of an “Engagement Session” feels contrived and fake.

Another thing we don’t like is that so many people get the photos done in a place that has no meaning to them, doing things that mean nothing to them. Like awkwardly posing in a park they’ve barely even been to just because it’s nice, it’s safe and it’s what people are “supposed to do”.

That’s not what we want to offer couples.

But we do want to do photo sessions with couples before their wedding. So that’s why we’re replacing the engagement sessions with another, slightly different kind of session. Taking the good parts of engagement sessions and getting rid of the bad ones. Starting with the name.

We call them “Document You“.

We want to photograph people in their element. Document them.

So basically, “Document You” is a photography session where the couple and their personalities are in focus (mind the pun). We document the things that matter to the couple. We join them in their element, in something that is meaningful to them.

It can be as simple as having a beer together at the bar you always go to. Or go bowling together. Or spend an evening on your boat. Or go to a hockey game.

It can be anything, really, as long as it’s real.

That brings us to the experience we recently had at the Sundance Guest Ranch, just outside of Ashcroft in the British Columbia Interior.

Amber and Bryan live at the ranch so we decided to do pictures with them in their element, where they spend so much of their time together, doing the things they usually do. We were thrown into a situation that’s far from what we’re used to, but Amber and Bryan felt totally comfortable doing their thing. Which is exactly the point.

We want to document you and the things you do together. We don’t want to take posey photos of you in a park.

Document You.

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Amber and Bryan’s western Document You session was featured on The Lane.

By Cole & Jakob  

Hide Show 105 comments
  1. Andria Lindquist

    incredible concept. so simple really, but genius. this post was KILLER. man that light and just everything, BRAVO.

  2. Brian Davis

    I'm blown away. Probably one of the most unique and timeless engagement sessions I've ever seen. The scenery, the skulls, and the natural beauty and love of the couple is just unreal. You guys rocked this.

  3. ryan flynn

    brb, let me grab my jaw off the floor.

  4. Johanna Hietanen

    Maybe it's just one of those days when everything makes me cry. Or maybe you're just that good.

  5. Tyler Branch

    standing ovation here guys.

  6. hugh

    not. fair. amazing.

  7. Phil Chester

    Theres no compliment or comment I can make that would do justice to how incredible this set it. So inspiring. So refreshing.

  8. benj haisch

    absolute domination.

  9. The Awkward Photographer

    Gorgeous. I just died a little. My favorite image: ranch-wedding-010.jpg - the composition is amazing. You must have been laying on the ground. Freakin' fantastic work guys.

  10. Kristi Wright

    You guys are amazing. These images are stunning and romantic.

  11. Rachel Pick

    Gorgeous. Light, tone, horses and love.

  12. John Bello

    Sensory overload. So sick. oh man. speechless.

  13. Dennis Pike


  14. Stephen Rotondo

    totally awesome evocative images - i love it!

  15. Rik Pennington

    I can't stop looking at this. Just brilliant.

  16. Ryan Brenizer

    So good it makes me angry. The stars aligned here.

  17. Cassie

    Wow these are amazing!! There are so many of them that I love. The lighting is so great and your composition is simply amazing! Great job

  18. Joey Chandler

    Nice Cart Wheels! And the dead tree shot is amazing. Great work.

  19. Shyann

    These are amazing, growing up with horses only made me love it more!! :)

  20. todd hunter mcgaw

    ye shall be rewarded.. i need to buy you fellas a drink... now.

  21. tobiah

    True art, so mesmerising! I have to get you to take me and my wires photo one day!

  22. gabe aceves

    next level shit my friends.

  23. Kat Braman

    this is like something out of a movie. so dope.

  24. fer juaristi

    speechless guys, love it!

  25. Girish

    That's a great idea of getting the real "feel & emotions". I am sure this is going be a superb idea liked by all couples. Their everyday environments and locations will make them more comfortable and help get better pictures. Fantastic photographs. Beautiful landscape, horses and the couple. Amazing use of the light and back light specially with Amber's pictures. Always good to see your posts. By the way, the overall site looks a little different, any changes.

  26. Sam

    So much goodness here...Awesome!

  27. nadine

    so beautiful.

  28. Chelsey

    Stunning, really. As a horse lover myself, this made me feel at home while I looked at it. Great coverage, and such an awesome concept!

  29. J Shoda

    Phenomenal. Love the concept and it's not hard to see it resulted in some amazing images.

  30. Caroline Ghetes

    This is so legit, it's scary.

  31. eadwine

    superb series!!

  32. Kellee Walsh

    The light, the horses, the dust. Magic!

  33. Eric Yerke

    I agree with your words regarding the terms engagement session. Anyways, this set is killer. You guys find the radness in everything

  34. sam hurd

    what ryan said.

  35. Amari Kenoly

    The use of light in this set was amazing.

  36. olivia leigh

    what?! awesome.

  37. Alyssa Schroeder

    Ahhh. Too many amazing photos. I cannot handle it :)

  38. Andreas

    Brilliant guys! So good!

  39. Jakub Majewski

    Gentlemen, I really like your philosophy of photography. Your thinking about people and photography ... Thank you for another lesson !!!

  40. michele bowman

    love, love, love these. so beautiful.

  41. Darin Collison

    Just. Freaking. Amazing.

  42. scotty

    mf. how its done boys.

  43. john benavente

    man the horse shot. i want one :)

  44. ryan chan

    too good for words...........

  45. Jacek lovely

    brilliant as usual !!!

  46. Andrea

    Mind officially blown.

  47. Maximiliano Barros

    Nice pics

  48. Jamie

    Um, yeah. Awesome. Love your reasons too. I really have no words that express what I think about this, so I'll stop now. :)

  49. Eric Kotara

    So full of win. Genius idea and outstanding work.

  50. Blake Burton

    this is probably one of my favorites I have seen from you guys. Truly amazing work the entire way through! very inspiring.

  51. andy stenz

    um. WOW! this is so amazing i don't have words. my mind is blow. the shot from the ground with her on the horse. oh my.

  52. Michelle

    Wow, wow, wow!

  53. TianChad

    I like this photo the most!! The wind~ the color and the golden time

  54. Hilary Mercer

    oh my goodness. This is probably one of the best sessions I have ever seen. Everything about it is perfect. You need to submit this to someone. Seriously amazing!

  55. Mike Cassimatis

    Holy sh*t you guys. This is absolutely amazing. These photos are stunning and I can only imagine how important and meaningful these must be to Amber and Bryan. What a beautiful documentation of their lives. Bravo.

  56. nirav

    Incredible idea and love how amazingly well done this is guys!! Way to set the bar higher and higher.

  57. Jenn Stark

    Incredible set of images. Like, among the most stunning I've ever seen. What an incredible gift to this couple & I'm guessing a very true representation of who they are. Well done.

  58. Amber

    just a wee post eh guys?! You guys rock, seriously rock. From the depth of my heart, thank you.

  59. Krystal

    A beautiful couple, breathtaking landscape, wonderful photos. I'll admit I was a little disappointed to see the photo of Amber leaning into Bryan against the fence line blurred to focus on the fence post... That looked like a beautiful moment and could have been my favorite shot of them - instead of a piece of wood. I love the documentary style, but feel like they got a little lost in some. Nevertheless, there's something about the "West" and horses that is eternally romantic and pure. Something to be said for the eye that captures it in a lens - very talented. Great use of the light!

  60. Andria

    Your guys' work is beyond superb.....the B&W with the tree is divine. Well done!

  61. Mathias

    Brilliant. Truly an inspiration to follow your work. Several pictures in this session is just so out of this world I would be happy to take one of them in a lifetime!

  62. Chris

    W O W . . . . . amazing.

  63. Jakub Majewski

    Gentlemen, I really like your philosophy of photography. Your thinking about people and photography ... Thank you for another lesson!

  64. Paul Krol

    wonderful job on these photos as they did a great job of having almost a life of their own with the mood and atmosphere they created in my mind.

  65. Sean

    Amazing work boys. Beautiful, warm, tons of soul. Congratulations to the couple and yourselves.

  66. Ã…smund

    The BW portrait with her eyes closed. Damn.

  67. Lynnie Genho

    Stunning pictures. Now I'm saving all my money to get you guys out here to our farm to document my families lives. And I thought the Iceland pictures were amazing.

  68. Casey

    I like what you wrote about the "Document You." I'm not a fan of those "posey pictures at a park" either! Great work as always!

  69. Adam Cavanagh

    Yep... One of the best sessions I have seen :)

  70. David Josué

    Killer set, It really sets a diference, I love the concept my nordics you nailed it!

  71. leon

    nice work!

  72. ed peers


  73. Natalie Champa Jennings

    The best in the biz. Thank you for your inspiration! Love this blog :)

  74. Josh Mitchell

    Amazing series.

  75. shipra

    I'm taken back by the raw purity of these images. Simply superb and truly important work. Well done!!

  76. Moving forward has a rhythm «

    [...] can see more here if you would like. Nordica [...]

  77. sarah black

    SO very beautiful.

  78. Javier Abad

    Wonderful photos!!

  79. Sachin Khona

    frickin frackin bad ass .. I love the light around the horses in these shots .. Top drawer as always.

  80. Miguel Jimenez

    Love the concept! Time to bring that to Spain before cheesy e-sessions take us over ;)

  81. Linnea | Perhekuvaus | Lapsikuvaus | Vantaa - Häävalokuvaaja Espoo | Wedding photographer Finland | Johanna Hietanen Photography | Hääkuvaus, kihlakuvaus » Häävalokuvaaja Espoo | Wedding photographer Finland | Johanna Hietanen Photography | H

    [...] set of photos from one (well, two :) ) of my favorite photographers, Nordica Photography is this one. Their “Document You” pretty much sums up everything I’ve had on my mind since we [...]

  82. OscarRuizTome

    Fantastico, buenisssiiimo. Felicidades

  83. Leah Thue

    love it!!

  84. Mark

    The shots of the horses wouldn't look out of place in an art gallery. Absolutely stunning.

  85. Deborah Boots

    Very cool shoot.

  86. Chris Mee

    Completely off the scale of awesomeness...mind blown!

  87. zdenek

    you are the best!

  88. Bartlett Pair Photography

    The dust from the horses is lit up so beautifully by the sun. Amazing!

  89. Oli

    Speechless dudes. Wow.

  90. Victoria

    I've been ooggling for at least 30 minutes now.. Simply gorgeous, beautiful talent. Well done

  91. Johna

    Looks like a beautiful place. Great pictures!

  92. Juan Justo

    Simplicity, tranquility ... many incredible things these photographs convey. Above all, says exactly who they are and how they are. Congratulations guys!

  93. Hanneke | Oh Beautiful World

    Wow! Amazing!

  94. JK Blackwell

    This blew me away - wow.

  95. Mike

    Wow, what's some amazing scenery and great images too of course

  96. Rob

    You dropped an awesome bomb!!!!

  97. Anda Alexandra

    That is so lovely and full of life! Original and so very natural :) Loved each shot! And the light is amazing...

  98. Rik Raats

    This is a most touching piece of great art. You have got keen eyes and the incredible talent to write poems with a camera.

  99. Lorenzo Poli

    Absolutely amazing story! Congrats guys

  100. Genevieve ( Miss Gen )

    Beautiful work guys, I love this concept.

  101. Danny T

    Great set of photos. Especially love the black & white shot of the couple next to the tree.

  102. Daniel López Pérez

    Speechless, absolutely amazing concept and perfection at capturing it! You guys are just the best of the best.

  103. Darek

    What a girl:) awsome story. Shot with horses is amazing!

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    I see you don't monetize your page, don't waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because you've got hi quality content. If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search for: best adsense alternative Wrastain's tools

  105. Paolo

    Amazing engagement photography! Very beautiful! Paolo

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