Red Umbrella and Wedding Photography

Wedding photographer, Federico Vanoli, effectively uses a red umbrella to draw our eye across the frame and back into the gaze of the wedding couple.

Federico has graciously provided a few images for Creative Potager of my daughter Josie and her husband Ryan’s wedding. You see, I was too busy to take photographs that day.

There was the overseeing of the set up for the ceremony.

There was the strengthening of the thin thread for the clasp at the top of the wedding dress.

Just to name a few. But thanks to Federico and his assistant Jo-Ann, we do have some outstanding photographs. I am going to intersperse comments from Federicio (Fede) and then from Josie in between the images so we can savor the experience.

bridesmaid and estition with Josie

When Terrill asked me to write a bio as an introduction to the pictures that I took at her daughter Josie’s wedding, I went for: born in Italy, moved to Canada, living in Victoria. Surprisingly, that did not make the cut, so now I have to redo my homework.

Born in Italy, correct. I’m from a small town in the north, close to Milan. Love brought me to Canada.

I’ve been interested in photography since I was a teenager. I set up a darkroom (which means a room to work when it is dark out) in my parents’ home. I still find magic seeing a picture coming from a white sheet of paper. I’m still using black and white film for my personal work even if it is getting quite difficult to find places to develop it.

Josie with her brother Kris walking her down the aisle photo by Jo -Ann

Self taught, I then attended the Western Academy of Photography in Victoria, in 2009. That experience showed me how complex photography is. From a friendship with one of the teachers, the photographer and gallery owner Quinton Gordon, I got interested in documentary photography. Being an unobtrusive observer and a witness but at the same time having the freedom to give my personal interpretation, be part of a moment but not manipulate it—with this kind of approach I started taking pictures of weddings.

'the kiss"

Being part of a special and joyful moment is extremely satisfactory and rewarding. I like the intensity and the variety of the events, the emotions and the “real” moments.

Josie gives her bouquet to her grandparents who have been married 54 years

I would like to thank Terrill for giving me this opportunity to show some of my work and writing more than a sentence about myself.

Josie has this to say….

There are many aspects of Fede’s approach to our wedding photography that I liked. Before the wedding, he asked a lot of questions, listened well, and made notes.

Fede is quick, and stealthy, and I actually didn’t even notice he was there during the ceremony (but I saw him in other people’s pictures later). He is confident, but humble, and this combined with his happy demeanor was very reassuring (almost soothing) during a very busy day.

So if you have a wedding coming up and you are considering a wedding photographer, I recommend Federico Vanoli and you can reach him by email at

Sprout Question: If you were to write a biography about your creativity what would it say?

Note: Creative Potager has a new page Artist Biography and a post announcing my solo exhibition “SEA, LAND AND TIME.” Please share both as appropriate.

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

just the wedding cake topper

You are not going to believe this. I have not even one photo of daughter Josie and her husband Ryan from their wedding. I don’t even have any photos of Josie in her wedding dress. It seems that whenever it was time to take a photo I was either doing something or preparing to do something or listening so I didn’t miss anything. So we will have to suffice with the wedding cake topper which was hand-painted in their likeness.

I am working on getting a few images to share here from the professional wedding photographers that captured the moment for us. So we will see. In the mean time, I do have another interesting image of the Josie’s bouquet.

Josie’s shoes

and accessories.

Also, close to where I sitting at dinner was a sweet little girl who was resting in a bit of a tired daze on her dad’s lap.

This was one of the special things about Josie and Ryan’s wedding that was different from any I can remember from say 20 years ago. There were fifteen or so children at the wedding. Some of them were tiny babies of three months. Many of their parents had flown with them from as far away as Montreal or drove for 14 hours down the province of British Columbia. Not to ignore the participation of many grandparents and aunts and uncles who also supported in childcare at the wedding, but what was most amazing and pleasant was the active, relaxed and confident parenting of many of the children’s fathers. When I would be out scouting coffee at 6:30 or 7:00 am, there would be three or four fathers feeding small children and babies or taking them for an early morning walk so their mom’s could sleep. All day long and way into the evening there were dad’s packing children around, taking them to the bathroom and helping them solve problems while the mom’s were busy visiting or doing wedding things.

I commented on my observations to Josie and she said that the dads really wanted their wives to be able to enjoy themselves since they had come so far and it was their friend’s wedding and they didn’t want them to be all exhausted and stressed out trying to do all the parenting on top of everything else. And Josie and Ryan for their part had organized babysitters for evenings so both parents could relax. Now how wonderful is all that? And a welcomed change in general parenting practices from what I observed when my children were small.

It was a beautiful relaxing, fun wedding in the most amazing ocean-side setting at Brentwood College. The weather was fantastic, the 140 family and friends had a marvelous time and the bride and groom’s wedding day was perfect.

Sprout Question: Have you ever been so focused in the present that you  completely miss a creative moment?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Roof Top Morning

toe-to-toe bride and her best friend

Did you ever notice that when you use the hand garden shears your mouth opens and closes as you work the shears? No, this is not a gardening post. But I have been out watering, weeding and trimming already this morning… and besides the fact that the tomatoes are blooming, I notices how my jaw was engaged with my hand’s sheering motion.

As many of you know, I was away at one of our children’s weddings on Sunday and returned at dinner time yesterday. I have not edited my photos yet and I when I do I will post them for family on my flickr account. Except for the one photo above, you will have to wait. Our son-in-law was the official wedding photographer and I also don’t want to get ahead of him in posting my photographs. He took his photography training last year and wants to establish himself as a wedding photographer. I think he got some amazing shots from where I was observing so I am excited to see the results.

What I have for you this morning is two roof top photographs taken from my room at the Swans Hotel in Victoria B.C. Canada. These images show the topside and kind of a roof-top-back-alley view of part of old Chinatown.

I have taken photographs of this remaining heritage wall from many angles. The wall was supposed to be integrated into a new development that went sour a few years ago and now the vacant lot is growing weeds and the wall is crumbling.

I am attracted to these kinds of cityscapes that are being reclaimed by the environment. The morning reminds me of the beauty in a moment while considering that everything is impermanent. The environment, my life and the brick wall all continue to wane and will eventually transition into something else.

Sprout Question: How does your creativity bring your attention to your mortality?

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada