Little did Josh and Whitney know when they came to Dallas and Sabrina Kolotylo with their nuptial, which would take place at Island Lake Lodge in Fernie, British Columbia, that the 2014 Rf 30 Rising Stars would be all too familiar with the venue. "My family still lives up there, in a tiny town called Elkford," Dallas says. "As an added coincidence my family actually used to be good friends with the co-founders of Island Lake Lodge years ago, so I had spent quite a bit of time there as a kid, and really enjoyed coming back to photograph it."
To the photographers, this couldn't be more picturesque for an intimate wedding. "Island Lake is one of the most unique places I have ever been in my life; the lake itself is small enough to swim across rather easily, yet it has a small island stuck right in the middle of it, which actually supports its own ecosystem," Dallas explains. "Several animal species live there throughout the year, and some cross back and forth in the winter when the lake freezes over. Add to that the close proximity to the towering mountains and the cozy log cabins that make up the resort area and you have a pretty distinctive venue."
For this reason, their favorite part of the day was definitely the ceremony, which took place in front of an incredible view, held just at the edge of the water, "with the mountains towering up behind the lake," Dallas describes. "The natural beauty of the rocky mountains combined with the incredible and unique island lake make for a fantastic backdrop."
Shooting Josh and Whitney's portraits was another highlight—they ventured around the lake to hiking trails, wandering the winding paths in the surrounding forest, "enjoying the clean mountain air and the peace and quiet of such a secluded place," Dallas adds.
The only downside? Bugs. Considering the wedding took place just at the water's edge, they were unavoidable. "They weren’t the biting kind, which we were incredibly thankful for, but they were a bit of an annoyance," Dallas says. Luckily they had packed bug spray for himself and the wedding party, "and we also kept our time near the water as short as possible," he says. "Once we got a few meters away from the marshy areas, the bugs completely disappeared, so it didn’t end up being an ongoing problem."
In Dallas and Sabrina's Gear Bags
Cameras: Nikon D3S and D800
Lenses: Nikkor 85mm, 58mm f/1.4G and Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART lenses
Lighting: Yongnuo YN560 III flashes on stands with collapsible umbrellas, triggered by a Yongnuo RF603 N-3