Why I do, and how I got here

First off, this is my first blog post – How exciting! There are loads of reasons to have  blog on my site, and I couldn’t not have one any longer!

Today, I want to tell you the story of how I got here and what makes me love wedding photography so much.

It all started, in an incredibly roundabout way, with Thomas. Thomas the Tank Engine. As a kid, I started getting into trains – First the wooden stuff, then I started to appreciate the big ones.

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My mother and a 5 year old me in Vancouver, BC

What does this have to do with weddings? Well, pretty soon my dad got a beautiful coffee table book featuring the work of Nick Morant, CP Rail’s #1 photographer for over 40 years. The book was full of amazing photos of trains and mountains, including the famous Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, which now bears his name.


  A train passing through Morant’s Curve headed toward Calgary

I started taking photos of trains at age 14. They stunk. Then I realized that these great photos weren’t photos of trains, they were photos of scenes – Landscapes that happen to have a train in them. This was the turning point! I started to take landscapes, and then, getting my own camera, I started to take photos of EVERYTHING. I even carried my camera around with me every day in high school. See where this is going?

Well, I didn’t. As I developed my style around landscapes and general art photography, I decided that I wanted to be a photographer. Then I decided that was stupid, because photographers have to deal with weddings, and who wants to deal with weddings all the time?


   Not this guy, apparently.

Turns out, I do. Why the change of heart? Well….I kind of fell in love, and not with a camera. 5 years ago, I met Adrienne. (You’ll probably meet her at some point!) She made me into a hopeless romantic who knows the importance of love.


     And the importance of fun!

Okay, so I want to do weddings – am I there yet?! No! Weddings are important. Weddings are hard. You can’t just screw up, there are people relying on you to capture the most important moments of their lives. So I didn’t start saying ‘Yes, I do weddings!’ until I was well and ready. I did lots of portraits, learned about posing, earned a photography certificate at SAIT, and covered as many events as I could until I was comfortable with dark rooms and candids. After years of that, I finally said ‘Yes, I am READY.’

2013 was the year of the first wedding. Days of preparation, months of thought, and years of practice meant nothing to the worry that I wouldn’t be able to do what I had been hired to do – But I did. It was beautiful. Every day was a learning experience, and this was no exception. I learned that planning ahead pays off. I learned that it’s normal to take 30 photos of the moment of the first kiss. I learned that overpowering love makes me tear up. I learned that I could shoot through my tears! I learned to put sandbags on my light stands when I’m taking photos outside….but that one was learned the hard way.

That day was important to me, too. I learned that weddings were what I could devote myself to. And that’s important. Having a photographer that is as devoted to The Big Day as you are means that they care whether they do a good job or not – And nothing makes me happier than doing a great job.

Thank you for this job 😀

-Matthew Hicks