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This Sweet Valentine’s Day Elopement Was Shot On An iPhone XR And The Photos Are Incredible

  |   By Alison McGill
Photography by Tomasz Wagner shot on iPhone XR.

Vancouver couple Marie Pigarowa and Derek Gee describe themselves as an unconventional couple, so it only made sense they would chose to get married in an unconventional way. Just before Valentine's Day, on February 12th, the pair snuck off for a romantic elopement set against the dramatic and beautiful backdrop of Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park in Oregon. “This is where we were engaged and the Oregon Coast is probably one of the coolest places we’ve been to,” Marie shares. “We love exploring and the Oregon coast beautifully captures that adventurous feeling.”

Marie says they chose to elope for a few reasons. “We aren’t traditional people so it seemed very us. Also, while we loved the idea of a big wedding, it just wasn’t our style or something we were prepared for budget wise.”

To capture all the romance and sweeping scenery of their most intimate affair, Vancouver photographer Tomasz Wagner used the new iPhone XR. The camera in Apple’s latest device is built for capturing moments just like this elopement thanks to some shiny new features including enhanced portrait and bokeh mode, increased low light capabilities and Smart HDR which brings more highlight and shadow detail to photos.

“The iPhone XR surprised me with its speed and responsiveness,” Wagner says. “The shutter was incredibly fast which made for some fun animated gifs. Additionally, HDR helped keep the image flat which give me lots of range while editing. The phone is perfect for capturing beautiful travel moments and landscapes like the backdrop to Marie and Derek’s wedding and to integrate into my photography kit alongside my regular equipment.”

Check out the amazing images Wagner captured using the iPhone XR from Marie and Derek’s wedding day.

"I wanted both an intimate but open portrait of Marie, displaying more of her posture as we spent some time in this architecture studio in downtown Portland," Wager explains. "I usually reach for a wider lens in these cases so the XR's camera right into my usual shooting style with and portrait mode capabilities." "It was a dark and foggy day, but this one window coupled with the XR's great low light capabilities made this portrait with Derek possible, especially with all the dark wood in this eclectic home," Wagner shares. "Here I used portrait mode with the natural addition of soft light and haze from the XR's lens," Wagner explains. "With it being February and coastal weather always a bit temperamental, it was important to stay close and warm as the wind cut through us!" "I used portrait mode here to apply depth of field and separate Marie & Derek from the background, capturing their expressions as they enjoyed each other's company in a place that has become doubly important (where they got engaged and where they decided to get married)," Wagner says. "What's interesting is the XR only needed half a face to detect and apply said depth of field." "Here I used portrait mode again with  in-camera studio lighting to add a bit of light to Derek's face," Wagner says. "I love this candid shot of him rocking the dino socks, finishing off his champagne, and enjoying the wind in his hair." "This shot is a great example of how well the X's Smart HDR handles its dynamic range between the brightest and darkest parts of the image," Wagner explains. "As the water moves in, Marie & Derek escape the rocks to enjoy the last bit of sunlight." "Marie knew she was going to get her beautiful Truvelle dress dirty during our time together but at this moment the ocean snuck up on them for one more attempt," Wagner says. "Capturing Marie's split-second expression here with a fast shutter was priceless!" "This is a favourite moment with Marie & Derek as I had them balance on slippery rocks while throwing the bouquet to one another," Wagner says. "Timing these kinds of action shots is pretty challenging (not just for the right composition but to have everything in focus) so having a fast shutter certainly helped in this situation." "While photographers normally use a wide angle lens when shooting landscapes, I decided to use the XR's digital zoom so that the sheer scale of the environment didn't take complete precedence over the couple," Wagner shares.

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