In search of nature, a change of lifestyle and a second business

Four years ago, we started to focus in our wedding photography business on working with spontaneous and adventurous couples. We didn’t chose these words randomly, but discovered them after an intensive process of coaching. They were the best representation of our life values. I emphasize represent, because they’re words meant to convey a tangible idea and image. We could’ve picked independent, bold, daring, curious or any other synonym instead. But spontaneous and adventurous worked best to sketch a vivid image.

The long version of our life values was: living life on our own terms, follow our internal compass (gut feeling), venture out in nature because it’s where we feel best, embrace curiosity and dare to show our craziest and goofiest side.

More than a brand

Initially, the process intended to give our business a brand by matching it to our authentic self. But the awareness of what was most important to us, impacted every aspect of our being. Together with our business (and wedding photography style), slowly but surely our personalities changed. The more we allowed ourselves to be our most genuine self, the happier we felt. We continued to learn about ourselves, and explored new interests whenever they bubbled up.

As we grew in our confidence and authenticity, so did our desire to share our experiences. And we wanted to elaborate on a lot more themes than just transforming our lives. Topics like reconnecting with our entire being (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually), finding awareness through nature therapy and unplugging, and tuning into our gut feeling for guidance. Our wedding photography business didn’t feel like a suitable platform to elaborate on the subject of changing your life. At least not on a bigger scale. So instead, we decided to create a second business. Which happened during an epic cabin weekend in April 2018.

Horsefly, BC

Let’s first jump back to the Summer of 2017 when Tanja and I photographed a beautiful ranch wedding in a tiny village called Horsefly. Until the wedding, we’d never heard the name. That was, in a non-insect related context (our clients guaranteed us the village wasn’t infested by horseflies). Located 60 km East of Williams Lake, BC it’s a haven of peace and quiet nestled amidst lakes, mountains and forests.

As soon as Tanja and I drove into Horsefly, we felt there was something special about the place. The stunning nature, the peacefulness, the lack of cell phone connection and the overall atmosphere. When we drove home after the wedding, we rekindled our dream of living in a cabin in a remote region. And for me to become a full-fledged outdoorsman. But it also reminded us of our desire to start that second business.

Creating a new business

Then and there, we decided to not postpone things any longer. Within months, rough plans were drawn up together with our Belgian friend and co-founder, Eve. At the same time, we decided that a weeklong retreat was needed to hash out the details of our new venture. What better location, than the place that sparked our imagination in the first place: Horsefly.

We searched, and found, a beautiful cabin on AirBnB. It proved to be the perfect getaway: unplugged from city life and modern technology we felt ready to materialize our plans. For a week, we hiked in nature, watched the local wildlife, enjoyed the complete silence, and drew up our new business. Primal Pioneers was born.

Primal Pioneers

At Primal Pioneers, we tell the stories of our journeys towards a more fulfilling and connected life, by discovering our Primal Self (the most authentic self we all have). By nature, our journeys are an ongoing process, which we experience through trial and error. No one is born in this world with a manual for the perfect, happy and fulfilling life. Which is exactly why we’ve created Primal Pioneers. Because there’s value in coming together and sharing our stories. So we can learn from each other’s experiences, and support one another in the mysterious journey we call Life.


*** 2020 update, Primal Pioneers no longer exists, but the ideas behind it live stronger than ever. We now own a piece of land in Horsefly and are building our dream cabin! ***