Mommy And Me Photography Sessions

photshoot with mom

Mommy and Me Photography Sessions

I love taking photos of moms and their children as I get to capture one of the purest emotions between two people. Mommy and me sessions are regular family sessions with a focus on mother’s day.

Get an updated photo with your mom

When was the last time you had your photo taken with your mom? Months ago? Years ago? Let this one be a special photoshoot performed by a professional photographer. So many of my clients tell me that it was their first ever photo session with their family.

When we become a mom or dad, we get lost in the busy pace of parent life and forget about the connection with our own moms. We are still their babies, and they are still our moms. They have a place in our hearts that can never be filled by anything else. Sometimes we can’t express our love in words. A special gift can be full of precious messages that warms their heart.

Mother’s day gift certificates

With mother’s day coming up, most of us are thinking of a different present to give them this year. Not like fulfilling your annual duty. Something special that you just don’t gift a random person. If you are in Calgary, I got you covered! A surprise gift of photo session together would be a great mother’s day gift. A photograph to remind them how much they mean to you. A gift that would be kept forever. Besides it is a two-way gift. A gift for your mom and yourself.

Alpina Photography-Mother's day gift certificate

Choose your location, customize your session!

Be it an outdoor shoot at a park, at your house or senior’s place, we can accommodate your mommy and me session wherever possible. If there is any special bond, a shared interest or thing between you and your mom, we can make it a themed session using that special “thing” as part of our session.

We can even do this in the form of 3 generations (grandma, mom, child) or include other family members in some of the photos.

Being a forever-gift that you can customize and personalize, photography is one of the best gifts for Mother’s day. Besides digital copies to share on social media, you also have an option to order prints to frame or put in an album.

You can book your mommy and me session online from “family sessions” page of Alpina Photography website:

www.alpinaphotography.com/family-sessions

 

Here is a little gallery of mom-children photos.

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 www.alpinaphotography.com

 

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.

www.alpinaphotography.com

pinar@alpinaphotography.com

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? 😊

Cake Smash In The Park

 

 

After a 2-month Corona virus lock down in Calgary, I had my first regular photography session last Friday. It was also my first outdoor cake smash session. Little McKenzie just turned 1 and her family wanted to celebrate this big milestone with a fun cake-smash. Since it is the most beautiful season of all, with the weather warmed up and trees turned to green, I wanted to give it a try and use the nature as my backdrop instead of paper or fabric backdrop and the sun as my main light instead of studio strobes. I was so excited. I started working with the color scheme based on the outfit mom wanted to use for cake smash. I prepared matching banners and made a whole new flower hoop which would go perfect with spring theme. I put together some other settings for different looks during the session. Even though it is a photo shoot with a focus on baby smashing and eating cake, to make it more versatile I always add different props to the scene before introducing the cake to the baby. In a park setting it is easier to change background by simply moving from one place to another. For an outdoor birthday session, I chose Edworthy Park and set up my studio at the meeting place before the clients arrive, so we could start as soon as they come. Babies at this age don’t stay up too long and get tired easily, so I don’t want to waste any of this valuable awake time.

I brought different outfits for each different settings.

First a fairy dress with a matching headband to go with the flower hoop. I used a big wooden bowl and some fluffy layer in it for baby to sit.

Second outfit was pink jumper to use with the pink-yellow decorated balloon basket. Third one was baby’s own cake smash outfit with a fluffy pink tutu skirt and a onesie that to be used with birthday garlands and cake.

I even prepared a fourth setting as a bonus if baby endures all three stages and still doing good, McKenzie succeeded to reach this bonus stage. Main prop for this setting was a white toddler size rocking chair with blue wool layer staged with some white/blue flowers in the back and a mini white lace umbrella attached to the chair.

Since this is a photo shoot conducted with Covid safety measures it was a touchless photo session, wearing a face mask.

As communicated with before, mom was going to be the main person to pose the child. So she followed my directions on where and how to place the baby, which way she should be looking, propping the feet so this cutest part of the baby can be seen in the photos.

The cake was made by grandma and brought to the site. As always, we started with non-cake poses. After the flower hoop and the balloon basket we switched to the most exciting stage of the session: Smashing the cake. 3 year old brother helped a lot at this stage, showing his sister how to smash the cake and letting her feed him cake and make her laugh so hard! After some rather serious looks, we finally were getting some big smiles and laughs. Cake’s sweet taste may have helped too.

At the end, we did some family poses and the bonus setting. Baby McKenzie did great throughout the session.

It was a very fun photoshoot for everyone. . Instead of sitting in the studio, we were enjoying outdoors in a picnic mood. Those cute 1 year old hands covered with cake icing will always be remembered with these photographs.

I loved this outdoor cake smash idea soo much that I want to do all my summer time cake smashes in the park as long as mom wants it too.

 

Here is some shots from this session. Click on images to view higher resolution.

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