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I was raised in a northern community and found myself drawn to camping, hiking and exploring at an early age. After high school I started out on my first international backpack trip and before I knew it, nearly ten years had passed, and I had traveled around our globe many times. During my years abroad I had the good fortune to meet some great people…two of which, a young Danish photographer and a Parisian artist, set me on my path to photography. I had no formal education in photography but I saw the world quite differently than many others I knew.
My greatest success was meeting my wife Colleen, who comes from a completely different background. She is well educated and encouraged my passion and has taught me how to pursue my dreams with hard work. In our nine years together she has given me three amazing little backpackers. I’m goofy, I laugh a lot and I don’t take life too seriously. And when I take photos I don’t just want them to be pretty, I want them to be pretty freaking awesome.
Why did you become a photographer?
At first it was just to document my travels and to have some memories of the amazing far off countries I visited. It wasn’t until I was settling into a permanent life back here in Canada that I started to find people were interested in my images, buying my artwork, and telling me that my pictures told a story and made them want to visit a place they probably never thought they would have. Since I love to share my experiences with others and love taking pictures, this worked out! Also, I’m a very nostalgic person and there isn’t a photo I have taken that I can’t close my eyes and bring myself back to that moment in time. Photos have that incredible power, which is so rewarding to me. I love being able to resurrect memories for the people I photograph.
Who have been the biggest influences in your life (photographers or otherwise)?
My parents. They had me at a young age and left their remote hometown and followed an opportunity for a better life. Life wasn’t easy when we were young but they taught me to explore, be independent and take risks. For photography, Sebastiao Salgado. His early work is quite dramatic and I am drawn to his framing and powerful emotions.
How would you describe your photography style?
My work has continued to change and develop over the past 15 years. I’m not sure I can label it, but from my travel background I’m drawn to wide spaces and powerful and intense portraits. I lean towards the dramatic even though my personality is loose and light – perhaps that style of imagery is my outlet for my dramatic side?
Do you have a favourite wedding or wedding moment that you’ve photographed?
I’ve been fortunate to shoot in incredible places with fun brides and grooms which has lead to some pretty cool weddings and shots. I don’t think I could pick one favourite and I’m just happy that people trust me with them. The new father in me has really changed the way I view weddings from when I had no children. Of my three kids I have two daughters, so every wedding reminds me that one day I hope to be lucky enough to walk these princesses down the aisle.
What are some wedding day photography tips that couples should keep in mind?
Each couple and the photographer have their own personality and style. Speaking on behalf of myself I want to remind couples that this day is about bringing family and friends together one time! No two weddings or emotions are ever the same so your day will be yours, and your images unique to your wedding. So you might have images in mind from Pinterest or somewhere, but it’s likely impossible to replicate them, and they may look forced. Trust whoever you hire on your wedding day to capture the real moments that mattered to you that day and take time to enjoy your day and the people surrounding you.
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Visit Carey’s blog to see all his latest adventures!
Jennifer + Team | Jennifer Bergman Weddings
Edmonton Wedding Planning + Design