Mission horse ranch pre-wedding shoot: Carrie and Kei

Carrie and Kei emailed us after they’d seen the photo of Andrea and Eoin in front of the running horses. Carrie told us she loved horses and dreamed of having a pre wedding shoot with the animals in Vancouver. Tanja and I loved the idea and we set up a skype call with the Hong Kong based couple. Within a matter of weeks, Tanja managed to transform Carrie’s dream into a wildly awesome photo shoot.

Things started off with logistics and they were challenging to say the least. The shooting date would be at the end of the Summer so weather would be a gamble. However since Carrie and Kei would fly in from Hong Kong just for the shoot postponing was not an option. Next up was finding a suitable shooting location. Finding horses to ride is one thing. Locating horses that can handle standing still to take photos is a whole different chapter. Not to mention the fact that Carrie would be wearing a bridal dress. Our past bride Andrea had trained her horse for months to the feel of a bridal dress on its back. Tanja found the perfect solution: Mustang Stables in Mission, BC, a ranch with horses trained to work in movies.

A few weeks later, under a grey and gloomy sky, Tanja and I drove to Mission. I don’t think I’ve ever consulted the Accuweather app so many times in one day. After some back-and-forth, we discovered the ranch’s hidden entrance in the forest along the road. Shortly after Chunyen from Formosa Bridal arrived, who’d cooperate with us on the shoot for makeup, hair and bridal dresses. And finally Carrie and Kei had found the hidden entrance too. Meanwhile, the grey clouds had packed together and the first rain started to fall. All I could do, was consult the Accuweather app. It promised a clear afternoon.

While Chunyen did her magic, Tanja and I scouted the ranch grounds as well as the surrounding areas, including the nearby Cascade Falls Regional Park, an unexpected surprise and great tip from the ranch owner.

For starters we took Carrie and Kei to Cascade Falls. In addition to horses, they wanted to show the stunning West Coast nature in their photos. We couldn’t have been in a better location. The couple bravely went along in all the scenes we led them to: the suspension bridge next to the roaring falls, the banks of the gushing Cascade Creek and along the forest trails. Finally, while leaving the park, I glanced in the rearview mirror and noticed the beautiful yellow colored leaves on the trees that lined the street. We quickly parked the cars and took photos of the couple in the fall setting until thick rain drops urged us to return to the ranch.

The final part of the day, was the ‘piece de resistance’. Carrie and Kei would get to ride horses as we took their photos. The rancher led two beautiful, groomed horses out of the stable and helped Carrie and Kei mount them. So far they’d only ridden smaller Asian horses. Slightly intimidated at first, the couple impressed me with how quickly they found their groove with the animals. And the rancher was always nearby for the moments when a horse decided to test its riders authority.

We strolled around the ranch grounds, hunting for good light and photogenic backgrounds. The couple did fantastic, as did the horses except when they decided to snack on nearby greens, which did make for hilarity. Time flew by in a blink.

We finished the day off with photographing Carrie and Kei on various spots around the ranch in the early sunset.

Carrie and Kei, thanks again for working with us to realize your dream pre wedding shoot and for braving the rain. You two are amazing! Stay adventurous!

Mission horse ranch pre-wedding shoot photos

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