The most marvelous thing about the mountains is that each season transforms the landscape. Winter creates a monotone pallet, the frozen lakes allow for even wider vistas as we wonder out onto them. Spring introduces a teal shade as the buds begin to form, the lakes begin to reveal themselves. Summer allows for greater trail accessibility and the temperatures are more comfy. Fall the light is golden, matching the larches as they change colour for one brief week. So how to choose?
Perhaps you want your couples session to differ from the wedding in appearance, if your wedding is in July have your session in January. Mayhaps first date in October at Lake Louise and you want to capture the autumn colours. Willing to brave the cold for winter wonderland photos, maybe consider February or March, our most wintery months. Willing to go on an early morning hike and have images with a completely unique backdrop, let’s do July or August!
Keep in mind sessions are available on weekdays during the early hours as the sun rise or the couple hours before sunset. This gives us the prettiest and most flattering of light to work with and allows us to create images without too many onlookers if we happen to be at one of the more popular locations. If you plan to use your images for save-the-dates or a guestbook keep in mind image delivery typically takes 2-4 weeks.
The most important thing when choosing a location for your session is that it is a place that reflects both of your personalities. Some may opt for an in-home session, or a picnic in the forest, some urban exploring in the industrial areas of Calgary, or my particular favourite a little hike in the mountains. Consider if any places have sentimental significance or are a nod to your history, career or hobbies.
Together we can collaborate and create something unique to you. When choosing a location keep in mind the time needed to travel and parking. If you are keen on Moraine Lake or Lake Louise in the summer months expect to be there before sunrise to snag a parking spot. If we are venturing into neighbouring parks of Banff or up the Icefields Parkway the morning may begin at 4am – however you have the rest of the day to bask in each other’s company.
Now more on hiking sessions. If you two are up for early mornings, spectacular views, and a session that focuses on the story of said venture, I can suggest a hike of your chosen difficulty. Your hair and makeup may not be perfectly pristine, it may limit your wardrobe a touch, but oh boy is it ever worth it. Let me know if this sounds up your alley and we can start talking specifics. Don’t forget your hiking boots! (I have the bear spray)
WHAT TO WEAR
Similar to the last bittage what you wear should be a reflection of you. Don’t feel you need to wear a long flowy dress if you are more a jeans a plaid type of person, or wear a vest if suit jackets are more your thing. Take this as an opportunity to buy something you have had your eyes on.
Sometimes a pop of colour plays on the more monotonous landscape that is the mountains, other times two people dressed all in black make for my favourite images. Most importantly, be comfortable. See if you are able to step up without much trouble (I have an affinity for having couples stand on boulders).
Avoid large or busy patterns, runners, logo shirts and being too matchy. Check to make sure bra straps, tags or undergarments don’t show through. Tight clothing that won’t allow you to venture off the path may best be left for a quick change at the car near the end of the session. For mountain sessions bring flats to get around – a broken ankle isn’t much fun for anyone. At the beginning of your session feel free to hand me phones and keys so they aren’t showing through pockets.
Have any questions or specific recommendations?
Please feel free to ask
Nearly every single couple will declare how awkward they are in photos. Let me say, I can promise you I am 10x more awkward when having my photos taken. I totally get it. It’s a bit of a strange thing to be the sole focus of a single person for a couple of hours. But it is also a marvelous way to reconnect, to just revel in the environment and each other’s comfort.
Here are my suggestions. Embrace the awkwardness. Very few of the images will be you looking at the camera, instead it is about your connection. Play off those nervous giggles, feel free to nuzzle right in and hide yourself. Talk to each other as you hold each other closely. Make each other laugh, reminisce over your first meeting, your first kiss. Feel free to straight out collars that have gone amiss, move her hair back into place. When walking hold each other’s hands.
That’s okay if you are a super independent hiker (not referring to anyone in particular errr) for the photos help each other up on aforementioned boulders. Try to forget I am there.
It’s very much a give and take for the photos. I will cue you and offer suggestions. Once you have those make it your own. Don’t remain static, rub her arm, hold him tight. Feel free to whisper something in his ear. It’s those in between moments of sort that always end up creating the best of images.