Christmas Sessions In Calgary

outdoor christmas session

Christmas Sessions in Calgary


It’s that time of the year again, and I am so excited for Christmas photo shoots. If you are wondering what your options in Calgary for a Christmas photo session are, let me tell you about our Christmas themed sessions at Alpina Photography.

Christmas is hands down, the most festive holiday of the year. It’s a premium family time that brings people together, taking a break from the everyday hassle and connecting with each other. As a child, it was my most favourite holiday which felt like living in a fairy tale. Decorating the house, writing post cards for the family and watching Christmas movies was the biggest fun for me. Years passed and I grew up be a mom of two kids, but the inner child gazing into the snow globe and dreaming stayed the same.

Photography being my passion, I live a double Christmas joy capturing holiday memories for families,  painting a picture of love and happiness.

Instead of Christmas minis, which feel like serial production with the same theme and concept, I tend to do regular family sessions with Christmas theme customized to each client. If you feel the same and want to go beyond the cliché mall Santa photos we can together create a personalized Christmas session for you. In that manner, we can capture unique photos for your family with the choice of location, decors and style on your mind. If you are busy, you can leave the whole session design to me, which is my pleasure. Like many other portraits sessions, Christmas family photos can also be done both outdoors or in the studio.


Ourdoor Christmas Sessions

Christmas-themed outdoor photo sessions can be a fantastic way to capture the holiday spirit and essence of the season against a natural backdrop. In the outdoors, we can create beautiful photos with the winter’s natural soft light, landscape in the background and if we are lucky, snowflakes falling from the sky. Besides,  the whiteness of the snow covering the ground makes beautiful bright photos where you can add some vivid colours with clothing and accessories.

Here you can read more about winter time outdoor sessions from a previous post: Photo Shoot In The Snow

When we do outdoor portrait sessions, you can determine the style and feel of the photo shoot. We discuss your ideas and vision for the outdoor Christmas session. You can share your preferences for locations, props, and the overall style you want to achieve. The location can be your favourite park, an inner city neighbourhood or downtown Calgary. As for props, we can incorporate some small items such as holiday garlands, cozy blankets or coffee mugs. If you have a specific Christmassy article, place or vehicle, we can definitely use it in your photos.

Outdoor sessions result in more candid images with some action shots and genuine emotions. These are not posed photos where the photographer tells you exactly where to stand and what to do.  The biggest benefit of outdoor sessions is that large outside space gives a wide range of focus and framing options from landscape to portraits, from action shots to shallow dept of field. Not being confined in a limited space gives the photographer freedom of focal length and bokeh (blurred background) options. We get the advantage of being creative with composition, using variety of different lenses including wide angle, zoom or prime lenses.

Studio Christmas Sessions

Christmas photo sessions performed in the studio could be the right option if you are looking for posed photos, staged with curated decors and colours in front of a certain background. Alpina Photography has a wide selection of Christmas props and decors, especially for children.

My home studio is located in Montgomery NW and free street parking is available. Studio sessions take about 45-60 minutes in average. Since it is indoor, we are free from the weather conditions and you can dress as fancy as you want. Definitely this is the right time to shine under the studio lights!

As a portrait photographer who doesn’t believe the portrait photos has to be taken in a certain way, I am always open to ideas and personal touches during a photo shoot. Indeed, it is a perfect balance of what you envision for your photos with the experience, creativity and mastery that the photographer brings to the table.

For studio Christmas sessions, coordinate wardrobe choices for yourself and any family members involved in the session, ensuring that everyone is dressed in a way that complements the festive theme.

If you need Christmas outfits for your kids, I may have something for you. Wardrobe usage is free. We will be discussing the style, background and clothing during our pre-session phone meeting. Some clients prefer plain backdrop with a touch of Christmas décor in the back. If you are one of them, you can share your vision during this meeting as well.

Whether you choose outdoor or studio session, on the day of the photo shoot, relax, have fun, and enjoy the experience with your loved ones. Since a relaxed and joyful atmosphere will help create beautiful, candid holiday memories.

Ready to start planning your session together? Get in touch!

If you want to secure your session date, you can book here

Fall Family Photos: Where to go, what to wear

family picknik in the park

Fall Family Photos: Where to go, what to wear

Fall is the most popular time for family photos. Maybe the amazing colours of the season makes it so popular or the cooling weather and upcoming holidays reminds us the family time. Fall evokes feelings of warmth, coziness, and togetherness. These emotions can translate well into family photos, capturing the love and unity within the family.

Fall often brings families together for gatherings, making it a convenient time for family photos. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, a birthday, or simply a weekend reunion, families can use these gatherings as an opportunity for a photo session.

Autumn is known for its stunning natural beauty as the leaves on trees change colors. The vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows create a picturesque backdrop for family photos, making the pictures visually captivating. Soft, diffused autumn light, which occurs as the sun sits lower in the sky makes fall photos even more beautiful, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Where to go for fall photos in Calgary

Calgary, Alberta offers a variety of picturesque locations for fall family photos. The city and its nearby parks and natural areas provide stunning backdrops with vibrant autumn foliage. Here are some excellent places in Calgary to consider for your fall family photo session:

1. Bowness Park

Bowness Park is the first place that comes to my mind when it’s time for fall family photos. The park offers picturesque lake views, walking trails, a kid size train tracks and a historic lagoon. The fall foliage and reflections in the water makes for beautiful images.On the river side the rocky shore is another fine spot for photos. When it is close to the sunset time, the leaves on the trees look like little lanterns shining through the pathway.

2. Nose Hill Park

Known for its panoramic views of the city, Nose Hill Park features rolling hills, wide open grassy fields and treed areas.


Nosehill Park

During the fall, the park’s tall grasses and trees turn beautiful shades of red and orange. Since it is a big park, be ready for long walks, but it is worth for blue sky and yellow grass on the sunny hills. You can also see some wild life here. It is a perfect place if you like golden hour photos and silhouettes. You can check out my blog post about nosehill park photo session here

 3. Fish Creek Provincial Park

This is one of the largest urban parks in Canada and offers a diverse range of landscapes, including dense forests, open meadows, and the picturesque Bow River. The park’s trails and bridges make for great photo opportunities.

4. Edworthy Park

Edworthy Park is situated between the Bow River and the train tracks, providing scenic views of the river and the surrounding hills. The park can be accessed from Wilwood SW or Montgomery NW. Google map will direct you to the south entrance, but if you live in the north, you can also use the north entrance where Angel’s Cafe is located by the bridge. On the weekends it is busier, you have a better chance to find parking in NW side of the park. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables throughout the park, making it easy to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. When you come to this park for a photo shoot, there are multiple spots to visit. One is the Edworthy bridge connecting south and north sides of the park. Another one is the tall tree area behind the central playground on the south side. It is a perfect place for soft light and perspective shots giving a sense of depth to your photos. For open space photos, I recommend north side of picnic sites 8 and 9. This is also the place where you will find apple blossoms (so called cherry blossoms) in the spring time. To include the river in your photos, you can go down to the river shore, but it may be a bit challenging to avoid people in your photos as many people go there to swim the in summer. If you want a foresty look, you can go past the train tracks and follow the bike path in the east direction. I had a couples session here. They brought their cat, dog and wine, we had a full wagon filled with stuff haha.

couple in the park

Edworthy Park

5. Silver Springs Boardwalk and Botanical Garden

When going north on Crowchild Trail, If you turn left to Silver Springs way, you have two options for your fall photos. If you go right from the first intersection you will arrive Silver Springs botanical gardens, if you go left, you will come to Bowmont Park, also known as Silver Springs Boardwalk.
Boardwalk offers wooden pathway cleaving a grassy area with vibrant yellows and reds along the way, then you will walk through a treed area and then arrive at the Bow River. The lookout at this point is a beautiful spot with the alluring river views. I have a dedicated post about this park if you would like to read, click here. If you climb up the wooden steps ahead of this point, you will see a breath-taking view of the river, train bridge and Paskapoo slops. This maybe a rough spot for the families with babies as you don’t want to climb those stairs carrying a baby.

I recommend Silver Springs Botanical Gardens for those who have little ones or elderlies in the family. Botanical gardens offer a nice flat area which you immediately arrive after parking. The light here is perfect for fall family photos, as it comes filtered through the yellow and pink coloured leaves. You can go into the treed areas for a forest look. The wide walking pathway is a great spot for big families. Beware that this is an off-leash area so you may not want to choose to have picnic here. Once I did a cakesmash session there. We managed to protect the cake during the photoshoot but it eventually got smashed by the dogs, not the baby, haha.

6. Strathcona Ravine

This is a hidden gem in the SW Calgary nicely camuflaged behind the houses and streets. Actually there is a secret entrance to the park from a cul de sac. Since it is a ravine, you go down through wooden steps alongside trees, which makes a great photo location by itself. Through the pathway, you are surrounded by tall trees with narrow trunks. You feel like you are in a forest, not in the middle of a residential area. Strathcona Ravine is a perfect place to get some pretty fall family photos. The sun beams filtered by the tree leaves provide a warm ambience. If you follow the path in the NW direction, you will arrive a wooden boardwalk with lush foliage with interesting plants and more trees. If you choose this place as your photo location, do not go there too late as it is like a canyon and you cannot get the last rays of the sun and it will look dull without sunlight.

7. Confederation Park

Located in the heart of Calgary, Confederation Park boasts a lagoon, tree-lined pathways and wooden bridges. It’s an excellent spot for capturing the fall colors. You may need to wait until October to see bright yellows in this park but it is worth the wait. You will not want to leave the park even after the photo shoot.

8. Riley Park

This park features a beautiful garden with a wide variety of flowers and plants. In the fall, the garden is transformed by colorful leaves, creating a lovely setting for photos. Huge trees on the west side of the park make you look like you are somewhere in BC. Warm colours of earth on the ground look so inviting with the shadows of the tree trunks and branches. Riley Park wading pool area is also a nice spot to capture some yellow leaves where the tree branches hanging all the way to the ground. For little kids, I usually look for trees with low branches.

9. Prince’s Island Park

Situated in the Bow River, Prince’s Island Park is known for its picturesque bridges, water features, and walking trails. The fall foliage along the riverbanks can be particularly stunning. At Prince’s Island Park, it is possible to get both groomed urban park looks and a wild park feeling at the same time. Beautiful trees by the river nicely blocks the downtown buildings. It’s up to you if you want to include the highrises in the background in your family photos.

10. Stanley Park

This urban park in Calgary’s southwest offers a tranquil setting with a small lake, walking paths and plenty of trees that turn vibrant colors in the fall. There is also a playground if you have kids. You can get some awesome fall family photos at the beach area, and then if you continue walking on the pathway towards the Rideau bridge, you will arrive at a brighter place and will see the turqoise waters of the Elbow river between bright yellow leaves. My favourite colours in one frame! What else can I ask for?

11. Lindsay Park

This park in the mission area, gets so pretty yellow all around in the fall. Little body of water, bridges and wooden fences offers great photography opportunities. If you have kids, they can enjoy the playground located in the centre of the park at the end of the session.

12. Carburn Park

Another hidden gem in the SE Calgary. I found this park when I was searching for a nearby photography location for my clients to make it convenient for them, as they had two little kids and a baby. In Carburn park, A beautiful lagoon with a little island in it provides amazing views for your fall family photos. It doesn’t matter if the park is crowded, when you turn your back to the lagoon, there will be only nature in the background of your photos.

13. University Research Park

This is a beautiful little park, located near the University campus in NW, with a lovely duck pond in the middle. If you are looking for a peaceful and quite place, then this is it. Along with the duck pond, it features a wooden deck next to the pond, a treed area and a wooden bridge over a little stream. There is a playground for little kids on site. Perfect for families with babies.


What to wear for your fall family portrait session

The fall season allows for a wide range of clothing choices, from cozy sweaters and scarves to stylish boots and hats. Families can have fun coordinating their outfits and expressing their personal style in photos.

Choosing the right clothing for a fall family photo session is vital for creating a cohesive and visually appealing look. Here are some tips on what to wear for a fall family photo session:

Coordinate, Don’t Match: Instead of everyone wearing the exact same outfit, aim for coordinated colour schemes. Choose a colour palette with complementary or analogous colors. For fall, warm tones like earthy browns, deep reds, rich oranges, and muted greens work well.

Layering: Fall weather can be unpredictable, so layering is a great option. Sweaters, cardigans, scarves, vests, and jackets not only keep you warm but also add texture and dimension to your photos.

Avoid Loud Patterns: Large or busy patterns can be distracting in photos. Opt for simpler, subtle patterns or solid colours. Plaids, subtle stripes, or small floral prints can work if they fit within your chosen color palette.

Textures and Fabrics: Embrace the textures of fall. Wool, knit, tweed, denim, and corduroy can add depth to your photos. Consider using some fabrics with texture in your outfits.

Dress for the Location: Think about where the photo session will take place. If it’s in a park with colourful foliage, earthy and warm tones may work best. If you’re in an urban setting, you might go for a more polished or casual look depending on the vibe.

Accessories: Accessories can enhance your outfits. Hats, scarves, belts, and statement jewelry can add personality and style to your photos. Just be mindful not to overdo it; less is often more.

Comfort is Key: When you are getting ready for your fall family photos, make sure everyone is comfortable in their outfits. Uncomfortable clothing can lead to awkward poses and expressions. Ensure that the kids’ clothing allows for movement and play.

Shoes Matter: Don’t forget about footwear. Shoes should match the overall style and colour scheme. Closed-toe shoes or boots are often a good choice for fall sessions, as they keep feet warm and can look stylish.

Consider Skin Tones: Think about how the chosen colors will complement your family’s skin tones. Some colours can make skin appear washed out, while others can enhance it. Jewel tones often work well for a variety of skin tones.

Test Outfits in Advance: Before the photo session, have everyone try on their outfits to ensure they fit well and are comfortable. This can also help you spot any potential issues with colours or patterns that clash.

Be Weather-Ready: Bring along extra layers or coats just in case the weather turns chilly during the session. These layers can also be incorporated into the photos for a cozy look.

Personal Style: Let each family member’s personality shine through in their outfit choices. This adds authenticity and individuality to the photos.

Avoid Logos and Branding: Clothing with large logos or branding can be distracting in photos. Opt for plain or subtly branded clothing items.

Remember that the goal is to create a harmonious and visually pleasing ensemble that reflects your family’s style and personality while complementing the fall season’s colours and atmosphere.

If you haven’t booked your fall family photos yet, let me help you nail down some unforgettable family moments this fall. You can call or book your session online from the website, choosing the time works best for you.

9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

We all take photos with our cameras or cell phones daily. Especially with social media becoming an important part of our lives and the development of smart phones equipped with cameras pretty much shaped our habit of taking photos so, one can ask why I would hire a photographer after all.

During the point and shoot era, dreadful photos filled our photo albums. We kept them for the sake of “memories”.  After many years of struggling with terrible picture quality and blurry images we took with our point and shoot cameras, finally we have cell phones that can take some fine photos as long as we have no problem with “image resolution” or “composition”.

Let me tell you about an anecdote from a few years ago:

We were at a restaurant, dining together with old friends first time after many years. I wanted to take a group photo as a memory from our get-together. My friend said, let’s ask the waiter to do it, so all of us would be in the picture. When the waiter took the photo, my friend wanted to see it before letting him go. I found it kind of offensive and unkind, thinking “who can fail to take a simple cell phone photo” My friend checked her phone and she burst into a laughter saying “our heads are missing”  I was both shocked and embarrassed for both the waiter failing to take a simple photo, and us being such jerks making fun of this, but I couldn’t stop myself laughing either 😊

Paying attention to including all important human parts in the frame, the second photo was much better with some lighting issues.

Cell phone cameras are terrific tools as an aid in our everyday life. We use them often when we are shopping, when we want to document visible health issues to share with the doctor, collecting inspirations for our art project, file sharing and so on.

On the other hand, photography is a form of art, just like painting or music; not only a tool to document what there is out there. When taking a landscape photo or a portrait, no matter what camera we are using, the purpose is capturing our subject in a visual order that is pleasing to the eye, expressing the emotions in the moment, reflecting the mood of the environment.  For a good photograph we need to melt technique and aesthetics in the same pot. If one of them is lacking, the photo ends up being a dull, lifeless picture. It may be ok for capturing everyday life and sharing only on the social media platforms. If you want some beautiful photos that you would like to display in an album or hang on your walls, then you need a professional photographer.

Let’s take a closer look at the 9 reasons why you should hire a professional photographer.

1. Artistically composed images

When it comes to composition, it takes more than capturing smiling faces with all body parts included in the frame.  If you are looking for more than quick snapshots, you can take advantage of a professional photographer’s expertise, knowledge and experience. A professional photographer has a trained eye to identify the best positions and angles in each situation. They assess the current conditions and location to decide where and how to position the subject to get the best light and a meaningful composition. Good composition is a vital element for artistic images, making it interesting, attractive and unique.

2. Editing that is worth every penny

In most cases Images do not come out perfect straight out of the camera. We do a post processing to make them look their best. Sometimes the weather or current conditions at the photography location may not cooperate with the type of photos we want to attain. High-end editing tools like Photoshop enables us to turn a gloomy photo into a bright happy one, or vice versa. Cleaning up the photo off the bad looks such as a garbage bin, or a car parked on the side of the road makes a huge change on the photo.



Detailed skin retouch is another aspect of professional photo editing especially for portraits and professional head shots. When you hire a photographer, photo editing is part of the package. You can have outstanding images that you will be proud to share or display.


3. Professional Equipment for excellent results

Professional photographers utilize high-end specialty equipment to get the best results for their genre of photography. At Alpina Photography we have top-of-the-line studio equipment for portrait photography. Our most popular studio sessions are newborn, headshots, maternity, family and children’s photos. We also bring our equipment on site for on-location business portraits, couples and headshot sessions.

4. Strike a pose like a magazine cover

I often hear people say, I am not photogenic”. I believe there is a right angle for everyone in which they look great. It is the photographer’s job to find it out and guide you through your photo session on posing to get the best shots. Portrait photographers are experienced photographing all body types and ages, so they know how to make you look slimmer, taller, younger or smaller. They steer you away from frequently done posing mistakes.  Your photographer can advise on how to dress or make up for specific styles and looks.

They can also point you out the best possible time of the day to ensure the best lighting therefore greatest portraits. In Calgary, for outdoor portraits, I advise my clients the exact time and place for golden hour photos, for blacked out silhouette photos and so on. This little girl in the below photo in the below photo is not a model, but her mom was 😊


5. You can be in the photos too

You don’t need to sacrifice anyone from your family to take photos. When you have a professional photographer, everyone will be in the photos, looking their best.

I wasn’t aware of how important it is until I realized I was missing from every single photo I took through the years, except for only a few, which were strictly posed and taken quickly. It’s a matter of passion. Not everyone volunteers to take photos.


6. Easy access to the best photography locations

Photographers know all the best places in your city to take certain type of photos. As a professional photographer, I am always in search of new places for outdoor photography. In Calgary, I have a list of places for family photos, couples’ photos, business head shots or cake smash photos. To get the best results, I do pre-session excursions to the target location and make sure if it will look pretty on the session date. In Calgary, spring comes late, summers and falls are short, so we need to be on the lookout all the time and check the weather and if necessary, reschedule the session. After a strong windstorm, in place of a beautiful park, you can find a post-apocalyptic movie setting for your family photos. It always pays off to scout the place beforehand. 


7. Getting high quality prints

Professional photographers usually work with high end photography print labs that only work with photography companies. The quick photo prints you will get from a local London Drugs or Walmart store will not please you as for quality, colour accuracy or sharpness as their printers are set for “low ink consumption” The bigger problem is, if your photos are taken in a different colour space than sRGB their printers will not recognize it and you may end up with lifeless photos with cold colours, unwanted tints or low contrast.

Another issue with prints is that most cameras take photos in 3×4 ratio. If you print your photos in different sizes such as square, 5×7, or 8×10, you will lose some of the image to fit in that size. Sometimes it is part of your arm or ear in a portrait that you must give up when you print it yourself.  When you order your prints through your photographer, they take care of such cropping issues. As a professional photographer, I never order prints as is, but check them and see how they look in the desired ratio and make that photo fit nicely into that size. To be able to do this sometimes I have to go back to photoshop and re-edit the photo or add a section to make it look meaningful or centered.

Professional labs also offer better quality archival paper and variety of print papers such as metallic, fine art giclee or cotton paper.


8. Variety of photography props

You don’t need to worry about props or backdrops when you hire a professional photographer. At Alpina Photography, we have an abundance of photography props from umbrellas to wooden crates, from flower headbands to Christmas decors and newborn size beds. We maintain a big inventory of photo props and backdrops to make your photo project successful, whether it is family photography, kids photography, cake smash or newborn photography we have you covered.  If you have a specific theme on your mind, you can also communicate it during pre-session phone meeting.  We do our best to accommodate custom themes at


9. Convenience

You don’t need to go through the process of planning, scheduling, choosing a location, deciding what to wear or how to pose, editing photos afterwards, finding a good lab to print them out. These are all your photographer’s job.


Hire a Professional Photographer!

If you’re in Calgary Alberta and looking for professional quality photos for your family album, for your website, or for the baby coming into your life soon, give me a call at (403) 926-4832 to discuss what you are looking for and how we can make it happen for you.

Photo Shoot in the Snow

 When the white snow covers the earth, everything looks purer, cleaner and dreamier. While it is actually snowing, probably most of you noticed that magical silence fills the air as if you are in Narnia! Not a few blocks away from Trans Canada highway.

This is a precious opportunity for us photographers to go out and create something beautiful about winter season. New year comes with snow just like a new white page in our lives, ready to start filling it with colourful memories.

When I have an outdoor session in the snow, I always tell my clients to wear colourful clothings or accessories to stand out in that whiteness. With low depth of field, it is easy to blend background noises into the snow’s whiteness and I think portraits appear more distinct with a creamy white background that snow provides. Another advantage of winter shoots is that the sun is always low in the sky, shining in low power, giving us the perfect light. So there is not a narrow window for winter outdoor sessions unlike summer time. (we usually chase golden hour in summer days) We can do it any time of the day before it gets dark.

Of course it has challenges to take photos in the winter. First, it’s cold. The coldest weather that I had a family session was  -10 ֯ C . It was difficult for little kids as they tend to get cranky in the cold, so I go to those sessions well prepared not to lose any time on choosing a good spot or thinking of poses or putting together a theme using props. So I do all these beforehand and when we meet for the photoshoot we start it immediately. Keeping little ones toasty is the most important thing. I recommend putting kids in snowsuits before going in the car, so they can get warm on the way and keep their body heat for a longer time. Those tiny handwarmers come in handy for winter sessions. You can slide the them in your gloves or boots, it keeps warm up to 8 hours.  They are available in most stores from Canadian Tire to Costco. It’s a good idea to keep some in the car, you can never know when you would need them.

In Calgary, we are blessed with Chinook winds that gives us a break from cold winter. It is such a privilege in our cold country. We are lucky to have snow on the ground and wearing no jackets. I even remember one day we went tobogganing with kids and it was so warm and the sun was shining bright, we took off all our clothing layers down to a t-shirt!  As well as -10 ֯ C we have a chance to do a photo session in the snow at +10 ֯ C temperature in this city.

Maternity sessions in the snow would also be great but it is best to do it on a warm Chinook day, so you can pose in a fancy dress instead of big winter coats.

During sessions, I don’t like carrying heavy camera bag on my back so I bring a sled to the sessions to carry my equipment and some props (such as blankets, lantern, garlands) in it and drag along. It also serves as a photography prop and keep little ones entertained.

If you are interested in booking a winter family session at one of our beautiful parks, all you need to do is to choose a date and book it on the Alpina website:

Here is a few frames from recent shoots in Montalban Park (Montgomery), Edworthy Park and Confederation Park.


Ballerina Photoshoot in Downtown Calgary


Couple days ago, I had a special outdoor photo session with a young and talented ballerina. It was such a fulfilling experience that I didn’t want it to end. A sweet combination of my favourite photography genres: Street photography, lifestyle, Portrait and Dance Photography

We planned it together with our dancer’s mom. The locations, poses, outfits and props.

Our first stop was Memorial Park Library. It is the first public library in Alberta, built in 1910.

This beautiful Victorian style sandstone building was a perfect place for ballerina photos with its strongly articulated entrance with ionic columns and lamp posts symbolizing enlightenment. I have always been fascinated with the classical portrayal of a ballerina lacing up her dance shoes. So I took some of those portraits on the stairs with balconies in the back.

Our second stop was Stephen Avenue Walk. My favourite photography location in downtown. The old Hudson’s Bay building would be a perfect place for some dance poses. This building is noted for its elegant arcade which wraps around the east and south facades. Us, photographers cannot resist when we see arches and pillars. That is why we choose it for many occasions from wedding portraits to architectural photography. It was a little difficult to find moments with no people in the background or Calgary transit bus or train passing by, but we made it.

The middle of Stephen Avenue Walk was where we took our next set of dance photos. This was an interesting experience for our young model as she never danced in the middle of a street before. She was very confident under the admiring gaze of people passing by. She was like a live art piece that brings beauty to downtown streets walking around on pointe, twirling and doing relevés, and assembles.

I love to use street furnishings and structures in my portraits, such as benches, lamp posts, hanging flower pots, stairs and bridges. The red dress worked great with red flowers at Olympic Plaza. We even improvised and used a broom as a prop that city workers left on site. 😊

Then we headed to Eau Claire for our waterside, bridge and bench poses. Some shoe lacing and stretching poses went very well and the time of the day was just perfect. 5pm.

I have tons of street dance portrait ideas in my head for fall, winter and indoor.  I can’t wait for my next dance shoot.

Love is All Around: An engagement session in Calgary

Love Is All Around: An Engagement Session In Calgary


Coming up with the photo idea

Love, innocence, wisdom, humor… a few of the things I enjoy photographing. Several days ago I had a photo shoot where I got to capture “love”. This young couple are engaged and wanted some photos captured before their wedding. As soon as the session was booked, my creative juices started flowing. This is the perfect season to capture love with all the spring blossoms creating a beautiful backdrop. I envisioned those old movie scenes where two lovers ride a bike and fool around. I thought it would be a perfect engagement photography theme.

Planning the photo shoot

To turn the vision on my head into reality, I needed a vintage bike with a basket, a treed pathway with spring blossoms, a good weather with no clouds and sunset time. As my couple has been working from home since the Covid 19 outbreak, date and time wasn’t a problem. The most difficult part was the Cherry blossoms. I had to go to our shooting location and check the blossoms every day.  Spring time in Calgary also comes with rain storms, so we also had to watch the weather and avoid any storm clouds. While checking with mother nature regularly,  I started looking for a vintage bike to borrow and I was lucky enough to find one in my neighbourhood just a block away. It’s nice to be surrounded with people who generously offer their help.  The bike was exactly what I was looking for. It even had a basket in the front!

We decided the day and time of shooting last minute based on the weather and blossom status. It requires a lot of effort and cooperation to put everything together for a fine photograph. I have plenty of passion that fuels me to go through all those due diligence and preparations.

The power of team work

Working with people who listens to you and cooperate during posing, makes a world of difference. As a photographer, you get to focus better on your job, pay more attention to little details and be more creative. My style is not imposing my ideas, but rather share them with my clients and see if they like it too. I do this during the planning stage of the session, way before the shooting day. In addition to the theme we agreed on, I also listen to their requests during the photo shoot and let them lead the way when we’re done with staged poses. I like that the bride-to-be brought a pair of high heels for some specific poses as it looks much more flattering with high heels. If we didn’t discuss the theme, mood and style before, she wouldn’t think of bringing extra pair of shoes.

As we started our photo shoot right before sunset, we had opportunity to get some shots with the most beautiful light of the day making your skin glove with a warm hue. In the end, it was a fun session for everyone.

If you are looking for a special engagement session with attention to detail, give me a shout. I would be happy to help realize your dream engagement photos.