It’s a bloody miracle Brett still wants anything to do with us. Having spent the better part of the last two years witnessing, recording, watching, and editing our life, he knows more about us and our creative process than anyone ever should.
One of two Bretts, he had the luck (misfortune?) of filming and producing Two Mann U, a wedding photography course to end all wedding photography courses. Given our (well, Lanny’s) relentless pursuit of unreasonable expectations, the 2MU filming and editing process was a colossal undertaking, to say the least. And a revealing one.
Brett witnessed the inner workings of our shiny and not-so-shiny creative process. He learned how to keep the camera rolling through awkward marital spats. He learned how to appease the Lanny factor. He saw just how the Two Mann sausage is made.
Even so, after all that, Brett and his fiancé, Shawna, willingly hired us to photograph their wedding. We were honourably bewildered.
Due to Covid, Shawna and Brett opted for an intimate elopement at the world famous Banff Springs Hotel. Just the two of them — with one big caveat:
“We’re going to spend the morning reading each other love letters from our family,” Brett explained. “And then, after that, you can arrive to start shooting.”
Our diplomatic reply was something along the lines of, “What the actual fuck, Brett!?”
You see, Brett knows our approach (document everything). He knows our values (emotional moments). He probably knows these things better than anyone else on the planet.
It would have killed us to not document that experience for them, and Brett knew it. So a compromise was made. Only one of us would be there for the letter reading, and we’d document those moments as quietly and stealthily as possible. We won’t tell you who got to do it, but let’s just say one of us got to shoot, and one of us got to edit. (Wild guesses? )
All morning long, those sweet letters filled the air with loving words from cherished ones. They laughed. They cried. They felt it all.
One thing that was made abundantly clear that morning, is that these two have made a HUGE impact on everyone in their lives. And that includes us. Which is why we’ve decided to write them our own little letter.
Dear Shawna and Brett / Brett and Shawna,
We couldn’t decide who’s name to write first, which is weird. Usually one combination or the other just feels right. Either phonetically, or personality-wise, or maybe just because we happen to know one person better than the other. But for whatever reason, there’s no obvious choice for you two. We’ve seen how beautifully unique you each are, in your own ways. We’ve witnessed the way you talk and listen to each other from a place of pure equality and support. Shawna doesn’t go before Brett. And Brett doesn’t go before Shawna.
But we met you first, Brett. And we thought we knew you. Your cool sense of humour. Your refined appreciation for food, coffee, cocktails. Your commitment to creativity in every facet of your life. But we didn’t really know you yet. We didn’t really know you until we met Shawna — more specifically, when we met Shawna and you together. Shawna filled in the blanks for us.
Shawna, you light Brett up in so many beautiful ways. And your 3,459 different facial expressions light us (and our cameras) up too! They each reveal another whimsically delightful shade of Shawna.
Brett and Shawna, or Shawna and Brett? Either way, we’ve come to know and love the synergistic couple of distinct individuals you are.
We are honoured to have witnessed what we witnessed. Thanks for trusting us to be there for it all — the quietly private moments included.
Erika and Lanny