June 2, 2015

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! :)

 

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