Ballerina Photoshoot

 

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.

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

Cake Smash Experience

Today I had a cake smash session with little Owen who just turned 1!

Like most 1 year olds, he didn’t taste much of sweets until his birthday. He was quite skeptical about the cake when we first introduced it to him. Later when he put some in his mouth, he kind of liked it and started exploring what else he could do with a cake. Finally he discovered that he can roll it on the floor like a ball. Paint on the paper with the colored icing. If you leave it to kids, you’ll see the possibilities are endless 😊))

Big brother, who was watching Paw Patrol at the moment appreciated home made banana cake better than the little brother, taking short breaks from his favourite show to have little pieces from cake rolling on the floor. LOL.

Preschool Portraits

This week I was at the University Heights Preschool  to take 2019 student portraits. It was amazing to see how such young kids (3 & 4 year old) can follow posing instructions and surprise you! Some were shy, some were like a rockstar, but results for all of them are beautiful. I am not a traditional school portrait photographer. As soon as I get the “school” type of look, I switch to “free style” and try different poses and let them lead the way. When you leave posing to them, they can be really creative and unbelievably cute!! I’ll post some of them here when I get model release from parents.

As promised, I’m sharing some photos from the preschool picture day. Click on the images to view full resolution.

A day in the fall

It’s Calgary, as everybody knows we don’t have lengthy falls and winter can show it’s face any time with a surprise snow storm. Before this happens, I wanted to capture the beautiful colors of the fall and chose this Saturday as our photo shoot day.

I had a dress from my 20’s. I thought it would be a wonderful photo prop for fall photos. It was big for my 7-year-old but worked fine. She was going to be my model for the day. My son was my assistant holding the diffuser and pulling my equipment wagon. He was very happy with his job unlike his sister who was whining non-stop and refusing to look pretty. I promised them to pay for their work at the end of the day, and she cooperated. The timing was just perfect, we arrived at the park late afternoon and stayed until the sunset. I didn’t know the Nose Hill Park would make a prefect place for fall photos as there are lots of bright yellow trees which are human height so you can easily get beautiful bright fall colors in your portraits. I brought a children size guitar, a wooden stool, some flowers, books and an umbrella. I just loved how all these props worked with the dress. Little country girl in the fall wilderness. I think we can call Nose Hill Park “wilderness” as you can see cayotes and deer wondering around, lucky us, we didn’t encounter any cayotes.  When we got to the top of the hill, I started taking as many pictures as possible in the time limit my daughter was giving me. We emerged into a beautiful meadow which was covered with high grass and unfortunately lots of thorns. I enjoyed the golden hour through my daughter’s occasional whining and took some more sunset photos.

The moment I said, “thank you guys, we’re done” they jumped in the air and  started enjoying themselves/ one is riding the wagon, the other one is pushing it down the hill, screaming and laughing. And I? of course I was running behind them with my camera taking their pictures. Photography is like an uncurable disease and What I love the most is capturing candid photos of people living that very moment in all its reality and emotion. I am sharing here some of the couple hundred photos I took that day. When I asked my kids as we drove back home what was their favourite part of the photo shoot, they said “the wagon ride of course” LOL, I knew it. I paid $10 each for modeling and assisting. What a slave driver! :))

Click on images to view in high resolution.