Charmed Cortes Island Eco-Chic Wedding // Darshan & Alex


Wedding Photographer - Artistic Nude Engagement Portraits - Cortes Island


Yes, Darshan and Alex are as fun, interesting and neat as they look! And yes, I’d have to say this was one of the most fun, interesting and neat weddings I’ve ever had the privilege to photograph. I’m going to be honest: when incredibly talented photographers (and friends) ask you to team up with likes of the awesome Shane Deringer to shoot their wedding, you feel pretty damned honoured AND a wee bit scared! These images are from my camera. I’ve had a chance to see a few of Shane’s on his Facebook feed, and you’re in for a treat when he posts his version of this epic, magical, giddy celebration.



Cortes Island has long been a part of Darshan and Alex’s life. It’s not just where they met, it’s a place where the spirit of the west coast is palpable. You arrive by intention. If you’re coming from the mainland, you take a ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, then a three-hour trip to Campbell River, followed by another ferry to Quadra Island, and then yet another ferry to Cortes. When you arrive you’re greeted with pristine lakes, lagoons, forests and seaside cottages. With no real winter, and an emphasis on sustainable living, the island is enchanted. People in this community of about 1,000 residents often hold your hand when they speak to you, an unexpected but wonderful way to make friends.

Darshan and Alex put a lot of their own hearts into creating this celebration. The day before the wedding, we had a chance to do some artistic nude portraits in the gorgeous botanical gardens on their property. They chose to have their first look at the nude rock where they met. All their closest friends hid Darshan so Alex could come up the same trail and see her revealed in her bridal attire. They then paid homage to the Coast Salish First Nations with a traditional smudge ceremony, followed by a quick swim in the lake to cool down before the wedding ceremony. Guests were told to dress in bright, loud colours, which looked great with all the felt crowns Darshan and her mom made for everyone. They were taught a special song with three combined harmonies, to greet the bride and groom (and flower dog) as they walked up the aisle, bringing the couple to tears. When the vows were finished, it was time to break up into teams (according to felt crown colour) and compete for dinner. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. We enjoyed golden hour with live music, some silliness, and dance performances… followed by a “first dip” Cortes Island style just as the sun was setting. Darshan and Alex, I feel privileged to call you both my friends. Being a part of your ceremony was a beautiful experience. I hope your lives are always filled with the same silly giddiness as your wedding day.


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I adore the words said during the wedding ceremony:

“Alex, Darshan, You met at the local nude swimming hole here, maybe 13 years ago.  Alex, something happened just before you met that set the little neck hairs on end. Your intuition told you to pay attention… That you were going to meet someone very important. Very soon. When you got over the crest of the hill on the lake trail, there was only one person sitting on the rock that day. Overcome with a profound sense of destiny, you had the courage to head right over, take your cloths off and introduce yourself. You had a memorable conversation. In fact, it was remarkable. A deep meaningful connection. When you saw her a couple of days later with a boyfriend, you were rather dismayed, disappointed and your faith in destiny was a little shaken. But, perhaps it was just a timing issue. ‘Cause funnily enough, over the years, you kept running into Darshan at that same spot each successive Summer. More deep, meaningful connections ensued. And though you had abandoned all hope of this union, you thought many times that you’d like to meet a woman just like Darshan.

Darshan, you felt a powerful connection to Alex right from the start. But you didn’t feel the sense you were ready. So, you waited. Also, there was that boyfriend…and then another one. And, meanwhile, over the years there was a tremendous amount of personal work to be done. When you deliberately reconnected with Alex, you knew. Like a struck by lightning kind of knowing. That Alex was the one. And that you were ready. You knew that you knew that you knew.”


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  • Jennifer Karach Avatar
    Jennifer Karach
    blank Christina and Derek were a dream to work with on our wedding day. Beyond their ridiculous talent and skill in capturing candid moments, they are kind, FUN, and have a gentle way to calm and lead you through the day. Christina has a way of picking up the slightest cues and adjusting quickly to make everyone feel comfortable. We hit the jackpot with these two. (and our guests were all blown away too)! - 8/21/2022
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    Cara MacRae
    blank Christina did a wonderful job for our newborn lifestyle photos! We were looking for someone to capture our new baby in our home in a candid and natural fashion. Christina made us feel so comfortable, guiding us but capturing us in a natural way! We are blown away by her talent and will definitely be hiring her for family photos in the future 😊 - 7/27/2022
  • Kevin Abma Avatar
    Kevin Abma
    blank AMAZING PHOTOS!!!! Christina captured some fantastic, casual, and candid shots of our family. Very professional and easy to work with. I definitely recommend her. - 6/10/2022
  • Melanie Baker Avatar
    Melanie Baker
    blank What an amazing experience! We have two young kids and Christina was able to keep them enjoying themselves and having fun all while capturing some fabulous photos! We highly recommend Christina and will be using her for any future photos! - 12/08/2021
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    Cheryl Oates
    blank Christina is amazing. Her positive energy will bring out genuine smiles in you and your family as she finds creative and beautiful ways to capture you, just being yourselves. I love the photos Christina took of our family. She was professional and the turnaround time was super speedy. I will certainly book with her again and would recommend her to anyone looking for a family photographer. - 12/03/2021
  • Alison Strumberger Avatar
    Alison Strumberger
    blank Unreal! I could not be happier with my family's decision to ask Christina to take our family portraits. Not only is she a friendly and warm individual, but she is clear and prompt in her communications and an absolute professional. Christina made us feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, and was amazing working with our tiny children (1 and 3 years old... not the most obliging subjects!). The resulting photographs are gorgeous... they far exceeded my expectations in how they captured real moments of joy and intimacy (er, they had me in tears at work!). I absolutely hope to work with Christina again and recommend her in the highest terms possible. - 10/28/2021
  • Angela Lee Avatar
    Angela Lee
    blank Christina captured our moments so beautifully and the slide show made us cry and smile at the same time! Since we were having a small wedding and kept everything so simple, we only booked for 3hrs of her time. She was super quick and amazing at capturing details in such a short time! To be honest I was a little nervous about the photos before I received them because some of us, including myself, aren't photogenic and always put on awkward smiles when we stare at cameras but as soon as she sent us the sneak peek photos after just one week of our wedding my worry was instantly gone. We were oohing-and-aawing (lol) at the photos and some of my family and friends photos turned out like magazine-grade photos! I think she is more than a pro (she was so personable and understanding + flexible) and we all highly recommend her. I really feel proud to have an eye to see her fantastic photography skills through her portfolios in her website and reached out to her for my wedding. - 9/17/2021
  • Bessie Nuk Avatar
    Bessie Nuk
    blank Christina photographed our wedding many years ago and we just had our family portraits taken again with her. She is fantastic at what she does. It's not easy getting such gorgeous looking pictures that is so natural, especially with kids smiling, yet she manages to capture those quick moments and in such a perfect way. Thank you so much Christina! - 9/01/2021
  • Jennifer Avatar
    blank Christina is a very talented and personable photographer. She made the whole experience so fun and made us feel at ease. We are in love with our wedding pictures and highly recommend Christina to everyone! You will not be disappointed. We will definitely use Christina’s services in the future for family photos. Thank you for capturing the essence of who we are and our special day! - 8/22/2021
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    M “Mad Max” Max
    blank Anyone can take a picture but Christina brings them to life. An absolute amazing talent.
    Well worth the time and effort that comes with getting so many people together for a shoot.
    - 7/28/2021
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Victoria BC

I live and work with gratitude as a visitor on the unceded territory of the WSÁNEĆ (Saanich), lək̓ʷəŋən (Songhees), Wyomilth (Esquimalt) peoples of the Coast Salish Nation.