Tyler and Michelle: Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta Engagement Photographer

One of the benefits of specializing and working only with couples who are a good fit is that blogpost writing comes SO easily!! We always have so much in common and it feels like we’ve been friends for years.  Whenever I do photos for someone who has ACTUALLY been one of my close friends for years though, writers block sets in! Not because I have nothing to say, but because there are SO many memories, so many amazing things I could say that I don’t actually know where to start and nothing I say ever seems to do them justice. These two are an example of that!

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I first met Michelle through UFV Volleyball! We never actually played on the team at the same time, but UFV volleyball is a small and VERY close knit group of friends  family so we quickly became friends! She hosted many many parties at her house that included cooking late night mini bagel pizzas, flexibility contests in the living room and everyone crowding into the kitchen for pictures!

Michelle is one of the most CARING and thoughtful people I have EVER met. She is sentimental (we could talk about our favourite volleyball memories for hours!) and she always goes out of her way to make you feel special and makes sure you know how much she cares about you. She is ALWAYS smiling, and is SO passionate about everything she takes on.

When she moved to Calgary to finish her Physiotherapy schooling, we all saw photos of this Tyler guy popping up on Facebook. He was very handsome! Michelle seemed super happy!! I finally got to meet him last year and I LOVED him! He is totally Michelle’s match! He’s always making Michelle laugh, he’s adventurous and always planning things for them to do, and he ADORES Michelle! He is always making sure she’s okay and happy!

While staying in Calgary, I got to stay with them for the week and I had the best time! It was so great to get to see Michelle and get to know Tyler even better! These two are just some of the best people to be able to call friends!! They cooked me the most amazing food all week and pretty much spoiled me like crazy!! They took me to their favourite restaurants in Banff and Canmore, and showed me around Calgary!

Oh gosh Michelle and Tyler! THANK YOU a thousand times over for such an amazing week!!! THANK YOU for suggesting Banff and Moraine for your engagement photos. They are some of my most favourite photos I have ever taken, and they mean so much to me that it’s you guys in them!! I seriously am counting down the days until your wedding!!!

LOVE YOU!!

 

Derek and Chantel: Canmore Alberta Engagement Photographer

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Derek and Chantel had one of my favourite engagement sessions to date!  They spent the night showing me around Canmore, Alberta including the spot Derek proposed!! I love that so many of my couples are up for anything. They want to go exploring together. They want to take me to gorgeous places I’ve never been before so I can experience it with them. I love getting to sit in the car on the way there and get to know you guys (or for us Chantel catch up!!) in a way I wouldn’t have if we had just met somewhere for the session! I LOVE that dinner over beer or wine almost always follows!!  It means SO much to me that you guys wanted to take me to a spot that meant so much to you both!

I have known Chantel since highschool. I graduated a year ahead of her, so we lost touch a bit afterwards, but she would send me facebook messages every so often and vice versa to see how the other was doing. Chantel always would add in a line about how much she couldn’t WAIT to be engaged so I could do her photos for her one day! I was THRILLED when I saw on facebook that Derek had proposed and had my fingers crossed she was still hoping for me to do the photos!

The timing worked out PERFECTLY! We had originally planned to do their photos in Kelowna one weekend while they were visiting, but when I realized I would be in Calgary, we decided to be super sentimental (shocking of me right?!) and go back to the spot Derek proposed!

We spent the entire drive out to Canmore from Calgary chatting way about our lives and catching up. I loved getting to finally meet Derek and get to know him better!! I was BLOWN away and SO beyond impressed with how prepared Chantel was! She came with outfits, and ideas and a few props! Not only that, but she hiked up this ridiculously steep trail in HUGE wedge heels!! There is nothing I love more than a girl who appreciates getting all dressed up and looking her best, but has no problem hiking up a hill in her heels and not caring how dirty she gets! :) Chantel you’re the best!!

I could go ON and ON about these two! How hard they laughed together, how sweet they are, how they’re always holding hands whenever they can, or whenever either of them are talking they can’t help but touch each other gently on the arm or the shoulder, or how much Chantel reminds me of Charlotte from Sex and the City and Derek is Daniel Craig all the way! I felt like I was photographing celebrities (and James Bond!) but I will let the photos show you how incredible these two are together! :)

Thank you so so so so much for an AMAZING night!! I had such an amazing time and it meant so much to me that you showed me your favourite spots in Canmore!! :) Can’t wait to see you both in September!!

xoxo

 

Exploring Banff, Moraine Lake Alberta Photographer

I get sentimental about mountains. They take my breath away and give me goosebumps and sometimes even make me cry. I get this exhilarating urge to get the perfect viewing spot so I can stand there and just take them all in. It really is true when they say “the mountains are calling and I must go….”

Banff and Moraine Lake has always been on my bucket list of places to go to. In fact, they were #1. I have crept instagram accounts and made lists of all the places I wanted to see in Banff along. Moraine was #1. When I found out our Volleyball Nationals were in Calgary, I quickly and somewhat impulsively decided to stay the week after to explore Banff. When two of my brides found out I would be there, they excitedly signed on to help me explore Banff and do their engagement photos at the same time. (Check out Instagram for their sneak peeks!)

I am learning lately, and through a conversation with Laura (My roadtrip through Banff buddy!) that there is a reason for how our life is timed. There’s a reason behind why we are delayed, why some things happen sooner than we want or expect, why some things get put off until later, and why some things come out of nowhere and take us by surprise. There is a reason. We just need to trust it.

So many little things along this trip confirmed this. Laura was in Calgary at the exact same time I was, so we got to explore Banff together. There literally wasn’t anyone better to do this with!! I am a sensitive person. I get giddy excited over mountains, I need moments of quiet to take it all in, followed by bursts of vibrant conversation. There will be singing. There will be dancing. There will be more moments of silence…sometimes long ones, where I just need to take it all in and absorb every single detail so I never ever forget this moment. Laura strives to live fearlessly. She believes that’s when life’s golden moments happen….when we allow ourselves to be fearless. Our mutual favourite book is Daring Greatly….so we let each other lean in and fully experience this day to it’s fullest. We didn’t rush. We didn’t have set plans, we just got in the car and figured it out as we went. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had and I am so grateful I got to spend it with you Laura!!

Banff was everything I imagined it would be and MUCH MUCH more! The pictures don’t do this place justice at all! The overwhelming height of the mountains is more than can ever be explained! The fact that there’s mountains literally EVERYWHERE you look was amazing! I was in heaven!!! If you don’t follow me on instagram already, snoop away and check out the video I posted of the drive down to Moraine. I couldn’t stop laughing I was so excited to finally be there!! I can’t WAIT to be back in August!!! (hint hint for those wanting Banff or Moraine engagement or couples photos!!)

Thank you Thank you Thank you Laura for driving, for being a stellar car dance partner, for understanding I may tear up, for sharing in my enthusiasm over the endless mountains, for allowing me to be sentimental, for engaging in those wonderfully deep conversations we always end up having, and for being all around an amazing person! :)

…and now I leave you with a whack load of epic mountain photos.

Grassi Lakes

Three Sisters Peaks…I had to take this photo!! I have two sisters :)

Seriously?! This is how close the mountains were!!!

Lake Minnewanka! We couldn’t believe people get to go here on a regular basis for picnics!

AHHHHH!  Turned the corner and these were literally feet from our car!!

Two Jack Lake. Seriously. Just wanna grab a canoe and head out! But those mountains. seriously.

We decided to splurge on lunch and enjoy the patio at the Banff Springs Hotel. It was DELICIOUS! and the view did NOT disappoint!

We found the most perfect ballroom for a wedding! Please book it and bring me!!!! ;)

Laura tested the lighting for me ;)

From there we took the long scenic route along the Bow River Parkway to Moraine. SO WORTH IT. Around the first corner we saw 8 elk!! One was literally just a few feet away!

I had seen Castle Mountain on Instagram SO many times and always wondered where in Banff it was. Turned the corner and BOOM, there it was! :) I was so pumped! It’s a big ass mountain!

Lake LOUISE!!!!! I loved the colour of the water, but was too excited for Moraine to stay very long!

After a 5 minute look around, we hopped back in the car and headed to Moraine. We wanted as much time there as possible!!

This corner took my breath away! The way the light hit the dust spots on the window, and the staggering height of the first mountain gave me goosebumps!! It was weird, it almost prepped me for the magic of Moraine…almost. It gave me a little preview of how blown away I would be!

I wanted to take it in as much as I could and barely take any photos at first. It was so hard. We just stood in awe of it.

When you explore Banff with another photographer, sunset photos are a must. There’s no way we can sit still when that golden lighting hits.

We kept looking for something to give us a reference so the photos would somehow show a little bit of how immensely high these mountains were. We spotted this guy a few minutes later!!! Thank you size reference man :)

I took a photo of this to remember the heights….cause I’m a geek like that….and I knew my Dad would care.

Moraine is 1.8km above sea level. The tallest mountain in the valley is 3.4km above sea level. That means that when we were sitting at the edge of the lake, we were looking up ONE POINT SIX km INTO THE AIR. That’s really freakin tall!!!

Banff. I fell in love with you way harder than I thought. See you in August! :)

 

Cheaton and Kiran: Pitt Lake, BC Engagement Photographer

 

Cheaton and Kiran are still working on planning their wedding, and wanted to get their engagement photos done as soon as possible to celebrate!! I didn’t get the chance to meet them before their photos, but I could tell how excited they were from Kiran’s phone calls!

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Both of them are currently living in different cities, and if the timing works out they get to spend one weekend a month together! I was so honored that they chose to spend one of their weekends together with me doing their photos!!

We went back and forth on locations for awhile. Kiran had seen some of my previous photos and knew of our mutual LOVE of the mountains!! We sent photos back and forth for a few weeks and finally decided on Pitt Lake! Neither of us had ever been before, but it came highly recommended from other photographers (seriously the local photography community here is amazing!) and google images! haha

The night we met was PERFECT! The sun was already starting to show off when we met, and we spent a good two hours exploring Pitt Lake and the surrounding area! We met the cutest puppy, and took some iphone photos for some canoers who headed in for the day! It was the best kind of exploring! Cheaton and Kiran were so easy to talk to, SOOO photogenic (which they swore they aren’t! hmmmm I think they lied!) and it felt like I had known them for years! Their goofy sides came out near the end, when I asked them to practice their first dance. Cheaton broke into this funky dance and had Kiren laughing so hard!! They first met through football, so they decided to end the night off with their jersey’s and some friendly tackles :)

Cheaton and Kiran it was SO amazing to hang out with you both!! :)

Volleyball Nationals – Calgary

The blog has been SO quiet! For those who follow my Instagram account will know already that I spent 10 days this month in Calgary!! It was a whirlwind of activity after activity and although it was a blast, I am glad to be home and slowed down a bit….for now anyways! A few people have asked why I was in Calgary, and it was for two reasons! The first reason was Calgary was the host city for the 2015 Volleyball Canada Nationals!!

Some of you may know already, but Marco and I first met 11 years ago while playing Volleyball at the University of the Fraser Valley. Since graduating, both of us have been wanting to get into coaching and back into Volleyball again somehow.

Last year we reached out and coached a U-13 girls team in Chilliwack and had SO MUCH FUN. We moved to Abbotsford last Fall and we hoped to help out with a team in some aspect again this year. Marco went to the first meeting for the club with some warnings from me…..”don’t commit to anything yet”, “remember how much work it was?”, “make sure they know we have two kids and can’t take on a team just us.”

Marco walked in the door a good 3 hours later grinning. “We got the U-18 girls team!” haha my reaction was “WHAT?!” Apparently the “don’t commit to anything until we get a chance to talk it over first” comment hadn’t lasted! Not going to lie, I was NERVOUS! What the heck were we going to do with a U-18 team! Also not gonna lie again, that age group intimidated me a bit! I originally went to College to be an elementary school teacher for the sole reason that highschool kids intimidated me! Marco’s enthusiasm quickly spread and I immediately called one of my best friends, and fellow UFV alumni (and highschool teacher!) to ask her to assistant coach with us! She was in!! It was a go!

Tryouts were INTENSE for us! We all got clipboards, the girls had numbers written on their legs corresponding with their names on our boards, and we got to walk around and make notes. The parents watching up in the bleachers didn’t make it any less overwhelming! Once we relaxed into it though, it was so fun getting to watch these girls play and choose the ones we wanted to make up our team!

We had SUCH a fun season. Not only were these girls amazing players, but they are some of the BEST girls I have ever met! They taught me so much over the course of the season. Mostly all the cool words and phrases….bae, on fleek, sauce me that water….I definitely felt every single one of my 30 years some practices, especially when I got to practice with them and didn’t recover quite as quick as I had in college!! They also discovered a few weeks into the season, what I do for work and that I write a blog!! A few of them came to practice saying they had spent hours reading it the night before…followed by “when will we get to be on your blog?!” (So this is for you guys!!)

We ended our season off with a trip to Calgary for Nationals! It was a big trip to wrap our heads around! Two of the girls had never been on a plane, and Marco and I were trading in our two young kids for 13 seventeen and eighteen year olds!!! It was like having 13 younger sisters for 5 days!

They played amazing! It was an overwhelming event. It was one of the largest single sport events ever held in Canada, with approximately 10,000 athletes and 800 teams across 3 venues. There were 14 year olds all the way up to the World League men’s and women’s teams! It was such an amazing experience to be a part of, even for us coaches. You realize how small the volleyball community is when you start recognizing coaches, and refs back from our college years! I loved watching the girls take it all in!

It was the best they had played all season!! I was so proud watching them come together as a team and play their hearts out!!

So before I get too sappy….Jenn, Brynna, Karissa, Caroleena, Kiren, Verity, Mackenzie, Gabe, Cassidy, Kailene, Michaela, Katie and Kennedy here’s your blog post!! I LOVED every single minute of coaching you all!! I am so proud of your season, how you bonded as a team, and how you represented the club at Nationals!! You made us laugh, you made us so frustrated (I mean c’mon you put our mattress in the bathroom!), you made us insanely proud and I feel so glad to have gotten to been a part of your lives!! I miss you all already!! Wednesday and Sunday nights just won’t be the same without getting to see your faces!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep in touch!! (and you 17’s COME BACK NEXT YEAR! We couldn’t imagine coaching anyone else!)

LOVE YOU GIRLS! :)

And here’s a few photos from our Nationals journey!!  WOOPA!!! ;)

 

Note how the male coaches spent the ONE HOUR flight vs the female coaches!! haha

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Don’t ever leave your phone unattended!! It was selfie central! :) 

Check out the two in the mirror :)

The girls thought it would be HILARIOUS to prank me and Marco. So front desk GAVE THEM A KEY TO OUR ROOM! haha seriously without ID or anything!!

And they put our mattress in our teeny tiny bathroom. And then left a note “Love you guys!!”

We got to see World League Men’s Canada vs Cuba! Such amazing Volleyball!!! Canada won in 3!!

Me and Care scored a Charger for our rental car!!

Some warm up in the street with a mini volleyball! haha they crack me up!



Thank you girls for SUCH an amazing season!! LOVE YOU! :)


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