I'm officially married now! Today on February 29 Tracy and I got married at the Dominican Republic in Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa.
As I mentioned before I photographed all of it myself with a tripod and Pocket Wizard remotes, except for the actual ceremony. I even photographed Tracy and her dad walking down the aisle and than handed my camera to Tracy's dad, my mom as well had my second camera the entire time. All I can say is, hire a professional :) It was a very interesting experience for me as a wedding photographer to be on the other side of the lens. Everything was very different, much faster when you are actually the groom. We forgot many things we wanted to do, didn't have time for many things we planned. It was a great day and I'm happy that I could spend it with my close family! We have a couple more days here in Punta Cana and I'm planing to spend it with my wife swimming, playing in the ocean, and eating as much cocolate as I possibly can!
Tracy and I would like to thank all the people very much who made us a great video with your wedding wishes, it was awesome!!! And of course thank you very much for everyone visiting my blog!

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The rest of the people arrived yesterday evening. Our flower girl, Toni, is finally here with her family, Jerry, Tracy's Dad, and his wife Yvonne.

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Another day in the sun! Its great to be here! Here are some photos of us.
Today is a national holiday here in the Dominican Republic; Independence Day. Its all great but we couldn't buy any Internet time because of it.

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I'm not sure if I will have a good night sleep tonight. I'm so sunburned its not even funny! We are still waiting for 3 more people to arrive tomorrow but 8 of us are finally here and loving it! We spent most of the day playing in the ocean and I had a vacation day away from my camera. Well I took couple of shots when a group of us went for a dinner.

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It was a very long day for us. Today Tracy and I did some engagement photographs. All photographs I took myself on the tripod, using Pocket Wizards. Of course it didn't come out as good as it could if I were to photograph someone else, where I would be able to hold the camera and see and compose the shot, but it worked out pretty good anyway. I tried to hide it but if you look closer you can probably see the pocket wizard in my hand on some of the photos. For the photographs we drove out to a small town about 40 minutes away from our resort and my sister was able to come out with us to keep us company. By the end of the day we all were pretty tired but had a great time!

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Today we went sea kayaking. It was very cool. The water was great and I'm sure I will be very sore tomorrow after all the kayaking and than swimming afterwards.
Today my sister arrived to the resort. Tracy and I went to the lobby to meet her and we were waiting for a little more than 30 minutes. When my sister still didn't show up, Tracy asked and it turned out that my sister arrived 5 minutes before we showed up at the lobby and she was in her room this whole time. Our parents and Tracy's sister with her boyfriend will arrive tomorrow evening so hopefully we will not miss them :)

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This morning we stopped at the spa so Tracy can book some time there for the morning on the day of the wedding and it started to rain. It lasted only a couple of minutes but it rained a lot.
I did a little more snorkeling in a different spot today and it was very good. I was able to see many fish and different corals. Other than that we didn't really do very much, just hung out around the resort.
Eating chocolate covered sausages and cakes is great but I think I should take advantage of some fruit selection available here around the resort.

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Some of you who know me better knew it was coming... A Naked Run II. If you would be interested you can see the Naked Run I in one of my posts from August 26.
Tracy and I went snorkeling today and it wasn't very exciting. We didn't see very much so we didn't swim for very long. On the way back to the hotel I decided that it was time for a Naked Run II. As you can see, I started with some stretches, got naked, and than ran for a bit on a beach :)

We just came back from one of the restaurants here at the resort and it was great! I'm very impressed, by my fast calculation our dinner would be about $150 in one of the restaurants in Calgary and the food was much better than many restaurants we tried in Calgary. I am very happy with some of the food here!

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Today we went for a little hike on the beach to another direction from our resort. It was a pretty short walk, about 20 - 30 min one way, but it was pretty cool. On this side of the resort, the ocean had much bigger waves and we had fun jumping in them. I really like the beach at our resort its probably the best one we been to so far! To the left the ocean is very calm and great for snorkeling (I'm assuming, we didn't go snorkeling yet but will hopefully try today). In front of the resort we have some waves to play around, and to the right we have bigger waves if you are looking for some more fun :)

We are staying in the Dreams Punta Cana Resort and Spa, about an hour drive from the Punta Cana airport. As you know, I'm here to get married. We were planing to get some engagement photographs done in a little village called Altos de Chavon. But today we found out that it would cost us $280 US to take a taxi to go there. That is a little more than we can afford so we are coming up with a different plan for our engagement photographs. I'm planing on doing our photographs myself, just having a tripod and some remote camera action, and hopefully we will have some photos done on Monday. It will be interesting to see how they will turn out, being the photographer and an object at the same time. Some more bad news. I wanted to visit a lake here in the Dominican Republic located on an other side of the country and we found out that it cost $570 US to get there :( pretty expensive so we will not be going. Too bad; I don't know very much about that lake so I am not that disappointed, but it would be nice to photograph some flamingos and crocodiles.

We have 6 a-la-cart restaurants here at the resort, and so far 3 of them that we visited were pretty good. So far Mexican is my favorite, and I don't usually like Mexican food. The resort puts on a different show every night and this evening we went to see one of them.

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Another day in Paradise! We have some live wild birds around the resort, some turtles, and lizards.

We had a very nice walk on the beach. About an hour and a half one way so we walked for about 3 hours plus did some swimming on the way. We walked only one direction from our resort and it took us this long to see an other resort. I love it! In Mexico they had one resort on top of another, not very good for romantic walk on the beach :)
If you are like me and think you will not sunburn your legs because they are hairy, well its not true, after this long walk I can see that I did burn my feet and some parts of my legs. Oh well, what kind of a vacation this would be without getting some sunburn.

I was walking around the resort, looking for some nice spots to take photos at and than I saw some local men fishing at the sunset in the ocean. My photojournalistic instincts took over and I tried to get some shots of them. I had my backpack on my back and was about knee deep in the water when a big wave came and covered half of my backpack. Luckily my laptop, that was on the bottom of my backpack is still working :)

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Our first day in paradise! We didn't do very much our first day here. Just walked around, got familiar with the resort and what is available to us. They have a great area with tennis, table tennis, air hockey, billiards, darts, etc. The beach is very beautiful. The water in the morning was a little colder than I like it but after lunch it was much warmer and we had a great time playing in the ocean.
As you can tell, we will not have problems with the Internet, for a price they have wireless Internet available in the lobby and its great for my laptop, so I will be posting some updates for sure!

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The day of our departure is finally here and early morning Mandy drove us to the airport. The flight wasn't very long and watching couple of movies helped to pass it faster. You can see a beautiful view from the airplane window when we were leaving sunny, snowy Alberta.

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NOTE: I will be out of the country for the next two weeks.
I'm very excited! Tomorrow morning I will be on the airplane to the Dominican Republic. I'm not sure what Internet access I will have but I will try to post updates on my blog as often as I can. Right now I have to go and pack!

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Today I had some more very bad news about my car, but I'm not going to go into the details.
In the evening we had a great surprise dinner with a bunch of our friends. Tracy and I are getting married on February 29th in the Dominican Republic and we are leaving next monday on the 18th. Couple of our friends organized a dinner for us in a Vietnamese restaurant and surprised us by inviting many more of our friends. It was great to see everyone, some of them I didn't see for a very long time.
Food was good and we had a great time! We also received a wonderful gift, that I'm sure soon will hold one of our wedding photographs. Thank you very much for everyone who was able to make it, and thank you for the spending money, we will use it not very wisely in the Dominican!

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We were planning to drive to the Banff National park with our photo club this weekend but because of the pretty cold weather on Saturday, many people couldn't make it and the trip was postponed.
I'm a little sore this morning. Yesterday evening we had some friends over for supper and after we played some Wii games. The boxing is actually a pretty good work out :)

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This evening I photographed some college volleyball, Mount Royal Cougars played against SAIT Trojans. As always games involving SAIT are very popular with photographers, because SAIT has a pretty nice journalistic program and many students come to the games to photograph some sports. I personally counted seventeen photographers at one point, it was pretty crazy.

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My baby is back! I finally got my car back from the shop and I gave it a big hug when I first saw it. I have been very frustrated for the last couple of days. Because of the extreme temperatures we been having lately (-48C with the wind) some things got frozen on my car. Air suspension was frozen and my car looked like a lowrider sitting very low on its back tires. Plus PCV valve had frozen and caused oil leaks from PCV system and valve cover gaskets. So I lost 8 liters of oil, most of it in my garage :( Also they found that I had to replace my alternator (very expensive).. Anyway after close to $5000 spent in repairs I have my car back.

During this time I was frustrated and even thought I would have to sell my car and buy something else. After doing all the research I ended up with two other choices that I liked, but probably couldn't afford anyway. After getting back into my car and driving it for a little I remembered how much I loved it and I really hope I won't have to sell it anytime soon!

Two photos above are used from www.carwalls.com, my favorite site for car wallpapers.

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It was a pretty busy weekend for me. Today I had an opportunity to photograph Gloria Vargas in my photo studio. She is an opera singer and she needed a headshot done. She is a very nice woman and it was a pleasure to meet with her and her family.
After the photo shoot I had to run and have a late evening meeting with a very nice couple in Calgary, whose wedding I will be photographing this summer.

This Friday and Saturday Tracy and I were very busy doing a 2008 Bowness Trojans Classic basketball tournament. This is the second year we have done this tournament. It was not the most profitable tournament but I think I ended up with some great shots and I'm sure the kids will love them. The fans at the Bowness high school are great, they are really into the games and were probably the loudest fans I have seen so far. This got me more excited about the games and made me want to take better photos :)
I put together a small slideshow with some photographs from this tournament in my slideshow section, you can take a look by clicking here. Please feel free to contact me if you didn't have a chance to purchase any photographs.

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