Beyond the Haze: Jen & Mike’s Engagement Session

Okay so it looks like I haven’t posted  since 2016 (Yikes!) and I have quite the catch up to do.  I do think that now is the time to pick up this long lost ball that I dropped and start sharing some of my recent work.

I have known Jen and Mike for many many years and earlier in the spring when they asked me to photograph their wedding, I could not refuse.  Fast forward to only a couple of days before their wedding in Harrison Lake, BC excitement and anticipation has overcome me.  I feel inclined and stoked to share their photos from their engagement session last month.  It took place in Buntzen Lake and the docks of White Pine (We spent countless days floating in those waters many moons ago, during our younger and care-free days, but let’s not go there), when the smoke and haze from the BC forest fires had made their way to southern BC.  I have to admit I was a little worried on how the session would turn out, but together with the lakeside mountainous backdrop, it made for such gorgeous images!  Thanks again BC, you truly are beautiful!  

To follow my adventures as a wedding photographer this weekend or to see my recent work, follow me on instagram (@mjphotovan)… Who know’s when my next blog post will be (kidding not kidding!).

Photograhy: Yours truly
Hair + Makeup: A Perfect 10 Beauty,

Good Vibes Only with MD Designs

“I have a such good feeling about this!” Megan from MD Designs said to me on our drive to the shoot, just beaming with excitement.  Having photographed her for her engagement photos a couple of years back, and knowing how much of a great experience it was photographing her, I was really stoked to create some amazing images for her new website.  Megan had recently took a giant leap and left the corporate work to start her own design studio.  Specializing in branding, website design and everything in between– online and in print, she is a designer, a mastermind of ideas and draws inspiration from her travels and our own backyard.  She has the ability to juggle multiple killer ideas for multiple clients at a time which amazes me.  Megan has a colourful personality to match her talent and I wanted to bring that out in her photographs while staying true to her brand.  In today’s world where people refer to social media for everything you must have high-impact and striking images that elevate your brand to grab the attention of your future clients.  Why settle for mediocre images to represent your business that you have invested your heart and soul into?

We shot at a newly painted alleyway in downtown Vancouver buzzing with selfie-takers, tourists and people shooting hoops.  There was indeed an infectious good vibe in the air that day which set the tone of our session.  We had a few different coloured backgrounds to work with and also discovered hidden gems (thanks to a fellow photographer and fashion blogger).  It didn’t take long for us to complete the session leaving us super pumped with the images we took.

My time with Megan has made me realize that I need to shoot outside more.  Nothing beats having this great multifaceted city as my background.  She also made me realize that as long as you keep a positive mind and a happy heart, everything else will just fall into place.

For those who are thinking of freshening up your business and branding, check out Megan at

Some kind words from our client:

“I hired MJ Photography for my personal branding photos and because my work is very creative I wanted the images to be unconventional and feel personal at the same time. I don’t know how Marissa did it, but she captured my true brand essence. The images speak for themselves! It was such a fun experience to shoot with Marissa and never in my life have I ever LOVED photos of myself this much. I feel extremely proud to showcase these images on my website and marketing materials. I never felt overly posed, was 100% comfortable and was never rushed. Marissa’s talent and professionalism are absolutely stellar, second to none. I felt that she truly cared about my shoot, my brand and me! Marissa understood exactly what I needed, took my concepts and transformed them into images that perfectly encompassed the evolvement and growth of both me and my business. If you are looking to take your brand and business seriously, you need professional branded photography and you need to hire an expert. I will be rebooking with MJ Photography in the future and I have recommended her to all of my clients. Invest in quality images to take your brand and your business to the next level!” 

Megan Dufresne
Owner and Creative Director
MD Designs

Unapologetically Cheryl

She knew exactly what she wanted to achieve when she hired me for her rebranding images.  Metamorphosing from Guest Blogging mentor for women writers and columnist for Huffington Post to author of an upcoming erotic crime thriller trilogy, she has ever-so boldly unleashed her inner vixen and empowers driven women to do the same.  She provides a kick ass (or an ass kick) pep talk via multiple social media groups daily.  This woman is on fire and I am thrilled to have captured her flame in photographs.

We first met to go over some inspiration material she collected and I knew right away that she had come to the right place.  She wanted seductive.  Powerful.  Alluring.  It was perfect.  I was stoked and so was she.

The day of the shoot she met Auzsha from A Perfect 10 Beauty and we all created a game plan for her hair and makeup.  Like all my other clients she fell in love with the setting– a Penthouse studio loft located in Gastown with a killer view of the city.  “Let’s shoot out on the balcony” she requested.  

And so we did.

We had fun, we laughed, and danced to Beyoncé.  After a few wardrobe changes, yoga-like poses and a bold red lip application, the shoot was over.  I started editing while she embarked on her three week trip to Britain.

Her being overseas never slowed her down.  She dealt with business and stayed connected with her following on social media.  With drastic change comes a drastic change in audience but she has shown that there’s no f*cks given and that she is staying true to her bold self.  There’s no stopping her.  It also served as further inspiration to me when editing and stylizing her images.  

We met again for her Reveal Session after she returned from her trip.  I had printed her images, matted each of them, along with a handmade archival folio box for her matted photographs.  I was finally about to present her stunning images before her and I couldn’t be any more excited.  When she entered the room and saw them, her reaction was priceless.  I’ve done my job.  I was satisfied.  Not only will she have these photographs of herself for many many years to come, she will also use one of these images for her book!

As a new fan of hers, I can hardly wait to get my hands on her novel, Angel Of the Night… and as her photographer, I can’t wait to see my work on the jacket cover!

“Collaborating with Marissa was an absolute blast from start to finish!

Heading into the process with a strong vision for our shoot, I met with Marissa and together we created a concept for the images. Marissa helped with styling and clothing before the shoot too and I felt supported at every stage. During the shoot itself, Marissa and her make-up artist Auzsha were my dream team! They worked tirelessly to obtain our desired shots and didn’t stop until we had it. I felt comfortable on set due to their contagious energy and positive spirit. We had a LOT of fun! And then the final images – would they live up to my initial vision? No. They SURPASSED it!

I am floored by Marissa and her team. If you need images, you need Marissa. Simples.”

- Cheryl Muir, Author (

Find her on Facebook and Twitter as @cheryljmuir

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