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: www.alpinaphotography.com

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

 

A sunday walk at Bowmont Park

 

I love Calgary for offering beautiful nature walks just 5 min drive away. This Sunday we went to Silver Springs Boardwalk which is the upper side of Bowmont Natural Environment Park. Summer months are like a party in the nature areas. Flowers from all colors can be seen on the side of the pathways. I love the wild Alberta rose the best as it smells like heaven. The happiest flower of all is daisies. Symbol of youth and innocence. It’s not a flower known for its scent, but I love daisy’s wild scent. It takes me to my childhood.

The wooden walkway all the way to the river is so cute and joy to walk on. The little streams come together and flow down to the river through a rocky path along with a small waterfall. The soothing sound of the flowing water is like a music to your ears. At the end of the boardwalk, you arrive a nice look out by the river. This is where we take our first break watching the birds bathing in the water and the people rafting on the river. From there we took a steep climb which wasn’t long and we were on the top of a hill overlooking Bow River, Paskapoo Slops, bridges and railroads. This is my favourite spot to take photos. The view is amazing, sky is beautiful. I never did a family session here as there is some hiking and climbing involved, but I would love to if anyone is interested. From here you have a nice long pathway to enjoy the view of the beautiful valley and Bowmont Park. When the pathway forks you can either go down to the Bowmont park and little lagoon or continue to a high deck sitting on top of another hill. It is a nice deck with benches where you can enjoy the beautiful view and have some rest.

On our way back there was a crazy wind which later turned to a rain storm. It was like a natural attraction for the kids as they were walking against the wind gusts with hair flying in the air.

I enjoyed taking photos of my favourite people playing with the wind, laughing like crazy!

Seriously, does anyone want a family session at upper Bowmont Park? 😊

Love is All Around

 

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 would be a perfect engagement photography theme.

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. So we went with their timing avoiding stormy weather. Checking the blossoms and the weather everyday. On the other hand, 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!

On our day of shooting, we decided to do it just a couple hours before, 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.

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 a spare 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.

Here is some of the shots from that day. Click on images to view in high resolution.

Porch-raits / A Novel Trend In Pandemic Times

What the heck is a porch-rait? It’s basically a portrait of the porch people tongue-out

During Coronavirus lock-down, a creative photographer came up with the idea of taking friends’ portraits from a distance, at their porches, windows or balconies. It has spread all around the world faster than the Corona virus itself. In this isolation time where we stop meeting with people, porch-raits has been a way of spreading positivity and cheer. Connecting with people through a fun photography project was a great idea that has gotten photographers out of their homes and put a smile on people’s faces. At the beginning I didn’t feel like doing it as it was still cold and snowy in Calgary but, when it started to get warmer, it turned into an attractive and fun thing to do.

I was drawn into the porch photo idea, also because I LOVE PORCHES.  Seriously, I love everything about porches. Doors, windows, stairs, pots, railings, plank floors and everything that goes along with it. When I’m walking on the streets the front porches of the houses always catch my eye. That pretty “home sweet home” feeling! When you add your family to this view, it completes the cozy home picture where we live, be loved and belong. There is no place like home!

So the last couple of weeks, I’m enjoying the spring in the air, going to different neighbourhoods, capturing beautiful smiles. Families cuddled on the front steps, giggling kids, pets, babies…♥♥♥

One of the lovely people I photographed told me that they just bought and moved in their new house right before the lock- down and this porch-rait of their family will be a beautiful memory of their first days in their new house.

I actually started thinking of making these sessions permenant minis especially for people who just bought their new house!

 

 

Tags: calgary family photographer, calgary family photography, Coronavirus, covid19, family mini session, family photo, family photographer, front steps project, home sweet home, isolation, porch photo, porch-rait, social distancing, professional photography service, outdoor family portraits, family pictures, family photos, family pictures on the porch, kids photography, children’s photography, porchraits, porch-traits

Valentines Day Contest

We did a photography session give away contest for Valentines day and we received great response! One of the contest rules was answering the question “where is your favourite spot in Calgary for outdoor photography” and the answers were varied. I must admit, there were places that I didn’t even hear before. I will be checking them this spring and discover new locations for my spring blossom sessions. It was so much fun to interact with people on a subject that connects us.  I want to share all of the answers here. I can’t wait to go and take beautiful photos!

 

  • Bowness Park (this one swept most of the votes)
  • Fishcreek Park (this was the second most popular)
  • Prince’s Island Park
  • Confederation Park
  • Edworthy Park
  • Baker Park
  • Riley Park
  • Shouldice Park
  • Nose Hill Park
  • Big Hill Springs
  • Birthplace forest and botanical gardens in Silversprings
  • Downtown/Stephen Avenue Walk
  • Peace Bridge
  • Carburn Park
  • East Village
  • Eau Claire
  • SAIT area
  • Inglewood bird sanctuary
  • Reader rock garden
  • Hamptons NW
  • Nikka Yuko Japenese Garden in Lethbridge
  • Banff
  • Public Library
  • Elliston Park
  • North Glenmore Park
  • Anywhere with blue sky (I love this one, easy to find in Calgary)
  • Anywhere with cherry blossoms in the spring
  • By the river
  • Near Didsbury
  • My own backyard 🙂

Tags: Alpina Photography, business portraits, calgary family photographer, calgary headshot photographer, calgary kids photographer, calgary newborn photographer, calgary photographer, calgary photography, environmental portraits, giveaway contest, Valentines Day, valentines day 2020, valentines day giveaway, valentines giveaway