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Oh, the Costumes! | 2011 UVic NSS Grad Reception

Disclaimer: This post is full of text and photos! I hope you find as much joy scrolling through it as I did photographing, editing, and writing for it!

One of the things I love most about what I do is the opportunity I have to meet so many incredible, fun-loving people—a special evening a couple of Saturday nights ago proved to be no different! Last year a friend connected me with the University of Victoria’s Nursing Student Society to photograph their 2010 UVic NSS Grad Reception and do a photobooth; photobooths are a great option for events (weddings, business parties, you name it!) and I had an absolute blast photographing their reception, so when I was asked back for this year’s reception by the wonderful Sarah Anne Koster (thanks for rooting for me, Sarah!), I was thrilled!

This year I wanted to do something different—I figured for this very special group of brilliant individuals, ready to start out on sparkling careers bettering the lives of patients and others around them, I’d like to try something new, so instead of packing up the big white backdrop I’ve often carted to events or weddings, I daydreamed of how I could make this photobooth the best ever! The idea to construct my own custom backdrop came to mind, but without any sewing skills, the idea quickly fizzled…that is, until my generous Auntie Chris (recently turned Brentwood Bay neighbour!) offered to help me create what I was thinking of! We made the connection that she could make my photobooth daydreams come true on a Wednesday…but the event was happening that Saturday. Was it a challenge? You bet! Was it impossible? Not with her amazing sewing skills!

We headed to the fabric store on Thursday, and after drawing up markings with an eyeliner pencil, enjoying a little wine, nursing some handcramps from cutting, and realizing we (and everything around us) was covered in glittery sparkles from some of the fabric, we were well on our way to having a fun new backdrop. I really have to give complete credit to Christine for all the sewing—I never even touched the sewing machine…and that’s probably a good thing! By Friday afternoon, Christine had completed the sewing portion of the backdrop and I LOVE how it turned out! Plus, the gold and glitter streams of fabric completely fit the “Hollywood Glam/Red Carpet” theme the grad class had chosen for their evening! Thank you so, so much Auntie Chris for making this backdrop happen!

This year’s grad reception was held at the Fairmont Empress and I set up the photobooth in the gorgeous Palm Room, which was a perfect setting! During the evening, guests could drop by and have their photos taken in their beautiful gowns and handsome suits! Oh, and they could get all glammed up with wacky costume pieces! This photobooth was not only improved by the generosity of my aunt and her sewing skills, but also by a fellow photographer, Tamara Poppitt, and her suitcase of fun! The day before the event, Tamara offered to lend me her suitcase of props and costume pieces; I picked up the suitcase on my way to the event and didn’t even have a chance to open it before setting up the photobooth, but all the orange feathers bursting from the hinges were promising and I knew whatever else was in that suitcase was going to be great! Thank you T!

The last big thank you of this blog post goes to my lovely sister, and assistant, Rachel! Rachel was a great help during the event, but if you really wanted to see how we work together, you should have seen us carrying all the gear from the car to the venue; let’s just say there was a lot of wind, and a lot of giggles as a certain unnamed pair of girls struggled with a great many number of bags through the streets of Victoria, barely able to see straight because of the violent pull of the wind on their hair. Rachel, you are a trooper! Thanks for laughing through the struggles with me!

Without further adieu, I present to you some of my favourite images from the 2011 UVic NSS Grad Reception! In homage to those graduates who rifled through the costume suitcase to find the perfect accessory to their formal attire, a majority of the images in this blog post are of costumed guests! These images are just a small collection of all the wonderful graduates in attendance, so if you remember having your photo taken but can’t find it in this collection, you can view and order from the full event collection right over HERE. I’ve enabled the gallery so you can order watermark-free digital copies (individual images or the entire gallery!) as well as prints! Just explore the “Downloads” tab of the shopping cart feature! For the couples and groups featured in this blog post, feel free to head on over to the Courtney Clarke Photography Facebook Fan Page and tag to your heart’s content—I don’t know everyone’s names, but I’ve just uploaded an album there, so I’ll leave this part up to you!

Of course I love photographing everyone, but this first couple was one of my favourites to visit the photobooth; their creativity for posing was hilarious! They totally had me laughing, so you’ll see them pop up (or, in the spirit of the bunny ears, should I say “hop” up?!) throughout this post!

Even without costumes, the photobooth still brought out all kinds of fun!

The bunny ears and pink garland necklace were some of the most popular items of the evening; photobooth perfection!

The next couple of pictures feature one of the honourary un-costumed couples to make this blog post! Breaking form a little, but how could I not, with the cute look they’re giving each other in the image below?! I think these two might have had the biggest smiles I saw all night, and they were so, so sweet! Thanks for visiting the photobooth!

You can see why I had to include a few more images of this fun couple, right?! I’m pretty sure they were made for photoboothing together!

Thanks again to all the magnificent graduates who stopped by the photobooth! Congratulations on your many achievements—wishing you all the best as you continue to grow and explore your field! I sincerely hope our paths cross again in the future and I have more opportunities to photograph you all!
April 25, 2011 - 11:02 AM

Rachel - Fun pictures Courtney! I love the props and the background!

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