Adventure Wedding Photographers
Jelger Vitt & Tanja Aelbrecht
Being adventure wedding photographers goes hand in hand with loving adventure and expecting the unexpected. Knowing when to go for that epic action shot on a cliffside, or pausing to capture a quiet moment in a meadow is something Jelger and Tanja Wedding Photographers seem to have mastered. Scrolling through the images on their website feels more like escaping into an adventure travel brochure than viewing a wedding portfolio.
Jelger Vitt and Tanja Aelbrecht make up adventure wedding photographers “Jelger and Tanja”, a husband and wife team based in Vancouver, Canada and they pride themselves on being known as wedding photography company catering to spontaneous and adventurous couples, just like them. The lifelong adventurers quit their jobs and moved from Belgium to Canada to start their photography business more than 7 years ago. It was a big risk, but one they suggest everyone try.
“We believe in starting over in a foreign country with your partner at least once.”
Starting Over & Switching Gears
Back in Belgium, Jelger was a lawyer who dabbled in photography, while Tanja was a physiotherapist who had never even picked up a professional camera. Jelger says he knew he wanted to start his own business to get away from the negativity of being a lawyer. “Everyone’s always in a bad mood because even if they win, they still have to pay you.” Jelger got tired of being someone no one wanted to see, so he immersed himself in the positive environment of weddings and brought Tanja along on the journey.
“I was constantly telling him how to run his business so he asked me to join him and over time he mentored me and taught me all about photography.”
Picking a Path as Adventure Wedding Photographers
The couple knew they wanted to shoot weddings, but they weren’t sure what type of sessions would fit best with their personalities.
“We decided to hire a business coach who helped us focus on reflecting who we are in our photography brand.” Tanja says they knew they wanted to appeal to adventurous people and loved the idea of shooting in hard to reach places. They credit their coach with helping them pursue adventure sessions and attracting the kind of clients craving the epic shots constantly featured on their website all of these years later.
Once they started blogging about their passion for nature and love of adventure, the bookings started rolling in. One in particular still stands out for the couple as a sign that they were doing something right.
“It was a small wedding with a couple that were wrangling horses on a ranch. So the whole wedding was about the two of them being on the ranch and they rode their horses during the shoot and it was very adventurous, but also very intimate.” Tanja says it was one of the first weddings where they felt like they were doing what they were meant to do. “It was the tipping point for us. We knew that was what we wanted to keep doing.”
One of the couple’s favorite photos to date came out of that shoot. “Jelger took a photo of the couple kissing with running horses in the background and when we saw that photo, we were like, okay. This is good.”
Authentic Adventure Wedding Photographers
Being authentic adventure wedding photographers is important when you’re trying to stand out in a saturated wedding market, but for Jelger and Tanja, it’s more than just business. “We want to attract clients that we connect with. We want our couples to really know us and feel like we would want to hang out with them after the wedding.” That’s why the “About Us” page on the Jelger and Tanja Photographers website doesn’t even mention photography. They’d rather share who they are and what they’re all about, and according to their fun facts page, that includes a 10-year plan that moved them to a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
Be sure to visit Jelger and Tanja’s website and give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook. If you’re an adventurous couple in the Vancouver, BC area, and you’re recently engaged, you might have just found your wedding photographers.
Want more inspirational content? Check out a few of our other features, like the one on Being Yourself featuring Jorge Santiago.
Written by Sabrina Sabbagh