Welcome, Vernon, Kelowna, and Everyone Abroad
I am a full time wedding photographer who lives between Vernon and Kelowna, British Columbia, in the beautiful Okanagan Valley. My goal is to create emotional symbolism in my photographs. To deliver professional and affordable service, with a splash of imagination. I've won a few awards and have been recognized in this past decade for wedding photography, so there must be something to it. My service and style are unique in the Okanagan. It prides and humbles me to receive such recognition for it.
I've heard you're coming here from a few sources. Welcome, those who come from referral. The greatest compliment a photographer can receive is a recommendation. Those who saw me in YLW Cover & Centre Page, Pulp Magazine, Vogue Brides, The Morning Star, Reddit Wedding Photographer Top 3, Vertigo Art gallery, PetaPixel, ISO 1200 Magazine, Right this Minute TV Show on MTV, Fearless Photographers, or any other of my print, newspaper, or magazine references - Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for taking the extra time out of your day to not only enjoy my work, but come and see what else I have to offer.
My promise to you is that I will never ask anything of you that is not honest. I am only interested in real emotions, real expressions, and real smiles. So that everything you see when you look back on your special day is nothing but the most authentic record of the day.
To be honest, weddings excite me like nothing else does. My images are intimate and personal, often quiet. That bit of nervousness right before the ceremony, that look of excitement when the bouquets first come in, that expression when the groom first sees his lovely blushing bride. The speeches make me teary, the first dance lights me up. I live for the raw emotion and vulnerability weddings bring along with them. That goes for you, and your guests. At your special event, everything should be documented. My mission is to make images that actually mean something to you - more than just a pretty picture.
Not to say I don't enjoy a good family shoot or a maternity shoot. Kids can be so unpredictable and candid. I'm second oldest in a family of nine children myself, so I'm not stranger around children! Click here to see what I've been up to lately.
Maternity photography is an art in its infancy. I think there is a lot of work to be done by the pioneers brave enough to take it on. I believe this work is of the utmost importance. My shoots are among the most demanding in the business, but also the most rewarding. Click here if you'd like to see some recent work.
I also enjoy teaching. At the moment, I'm teaching five classes on photography a week, comprised of over 60 students every two month semester. We have beginner lessons, advanced lessons, and level three lessons. I'm honored to have many established photographers taking the advanced lessons. It reminds me that in this craft, we are here to learn. And there's always something to learn.
The average photographer lasts about five years in this business. To be honest, my fifth year was one of my most stressful. This is why I am celebrating my tenth year with such pride. In those years, I've had a lot of time to fall in love with this art. There's nothing like waking up in a new tropical destination, sipping coffee out on the patio.This extends to every area of my work - my prints, and also my business. I have to freedom to run it like I believe all small businesses should be run: There are no extras or hidden charges. You will pay exactly what you planned to pay. There is no surcharge for paying Visa or Mastercard on-site or in advance. I have the most flexible payment plans in the industry. I do my best to under promise and over deliver. My turnaround time is among the best in the industry. I put entire wedding albums up on the blog - not just a few of the best photos of the day. I've worked in too many jobs where I've seen customers confused and stressed over payment and extras, and I've vowed that would never happen to even one of my clients. Draht Photography is straightforward and simple. Some people called it idealistic, but with over thirty weddings booked a year, I believe people appreciate this kind of honesty. Check out my FAQ for more information about the business side.
And besides - It's not just the photos. The stories behind them entrance me. A wedding out in the wilderness, a few friends sharing some drinks under a bridge, an elderly couple proudly posing with their new grandchild. They're all reminders of why I do this. I love meeting the brides, chatting with the bridesmaids after the ceremony, hiking to the top of a mountain to get that elusive fog shot. They are markers in time, a weapon against the quiet forgetting.
The stories we capture will live on, our children will look at our faces on LCD screens, trying to get a glimpse of us. Of our lives, our passions. Some of us were born to travel, some to write. I was born to put this story together.
I grew up second oldest in a family of nine kids. I remember my parents being gentle, at least they were at first. Our mornings were porridge, afternoons were making up comedy shows and biking around the neighbourhood until the street lamps turned on.
Soon adulthood kicked in with all the accompanying responsibility. I found myself at Future Shop, selling cameras and shooting weddings. I loved it, but I wanted to shoot weddings all the time. My style was by the book – using all the classic forms of compositional theory – rules of depth, colour theory, mixing artificial and natural light. 24 point posing.
In 2014, I quit my job and dedicated my life to capturing light through camera lenses. Before long I found myself wanting to spice things up. Helium, taking photos in the sprinklers, old barns, christmas lights....the list goes on. At first I was worried that I was the only one with these crazy ideas. To add to it, I have an affinity for outdated lenses and old colour correction techniques. Fortunately, since then I've found that there's a small, but very artistic, community of brides, grooms, and families eager to help me achieve my passion.
From Jamaica to Vegas, from California to Hawaii, this ride couldn't be any wilder. There's plans, there's books full of poses and props and scenarios to try. This has been the most exciting ride I could have possibly imagined. And I can't wait for what comes next.