At Home Engagement Session | Okotoks Photographer

At home sessions are always my favourite--for a number of reasons, but mostly because people feel the most comfortable when they are in their own space. Also a bit because the space that you create to live in says a lot about who you are as a family. 

This is a special family to me. I became friends with this mom right about the same time as when she was embarking on a new journey of being a single mom. She launched a ridiculously successful business (Rebel Bean Coffee) and was doing just fine on her own THANK YOU VERY MUCH when she made the fateful decision to hire this really great guy named, Chris, to build her a fence. Things after that are, as they say, history. They are getting married in the new year, but to celebrate their engagement, I knew we had to include the fence that brought them together. And, as any single mom will tell you, when you marry her, you marry her kids--so, it's more than just an engagement session. It was their first session as a family. With their cat and their brand new little puppy, their backyard was the perfect location. 

I just want to add that I have never seen a groom to be who just could not for the life of him stop smiling. These two are just ridiculously in love and ready to get married. It is a beautiful thing to witness. I cannot wait until their wedding day.

Some big love to start the week off right :)

~ Dana

Jack Graduates from Grade 9

You can tell that Jack is so excited to let his mom take these photographs. But, I don't care. So there. 

His style influence is Dev Patel. Can you tell? ;) Truly, he wouldn't let me cut his hair so...there you are :) At least he let me go into the dance which is more than lots of his friends let their moms do. The invitation said 'parents welcome from 6:00-7:00'. Of course it also said 'semi-formal', but I guess that there are multiple interpretations to both phrases.

But, in all honesty, my sweet boy has grown up into a very tall, sweet young man. I am so proud of him...not because he is so handsome(I mean--he is...come on)...not because he is so smart(trust me on this one, he is), but mostly because the friends he has chosen to walk through junior high with are all outstanding young men. Funny, sweet and caring young men who will no doubt remain his friends through to high school graduation. I feel like we will be seeing the same boys in his grade 12 grad photos and I love that about him. 

Grade 9 graduation means different things to different schools. To his school, it means that the grade 9's get a special day that includes a massive water gun fight--they fill a pool and let the kids fill their weapons from that....the teachers reportedly had buckets as their weapons. They then enjoy a bbq before coming home to change for the end of the year dance. Their school has two gyms. One of them is set aside just for grade 9's with snacks, 2 photos booths, a lounging area of couches, and general chaos. I shoved these awesome young men into the photo booths. They indulged me by wearing the props--most of the kids would not do this, but these boys ROCKED THOSE PROPS ;) Especially Jack with his tiara which he kept adjusting in his mass of epic hair. (he hates when I say epic so I added that in just for him).

These are some of the photos we took to remember the day....

To all of the mamas of little ones out there...take all the photos you can, but remember to take it all in as well. Stop and experience the moment from time to time. Because, in a blur that toddler will be almost 6' tall in the photo booth of his grade 9 graduation.

Much love to my sweet boy...watching you and your sister grow has been the greatest gift of my life.

~ Jack's mom

Okotoks Maternity Photography | In Studio

When you are expecting a baby, there is such a special connection between you and your partner. It's that combined feeling of anticipation of what's to come and embracing the fleeting moments of what has been. For me, I love to capture that special connection through my lens. It is by far, one of my most favourite things to photograph. And, this couple made it so easy with their natural and relaxed connection. 

For all of my maternity clients, I have a large studio wardrobe available for you to choose from for your session. I can even have a hair and make up artist come to the studio to help you feel relaxed and more comfortable. I have found over the years that the things people worry about the most prior to their session are what to wear and how to look your best. I have tried to eliminate that worry. Contact me to set up a consult if you would like to learn more.

For now...here are some of the images I created for this couple to remember this time. I hope that one day, their child will look at these pictures and see the love and connection which welcomed them into the world. 

~ Dana

Downtown Engagement Session | Calgary Wedding Photographer

I am getting so excited for this couple's wedding in a couple of weeks. It's going to be a gorgeous mountain wedding. Because they will have a largely nature backdrop for their wedding photographs, we decided to head downtown to Inglewood and the East Village for their engagement photos. Just to give them some variety from the images we create together.

Okay, I'm going to admit something there....I'm always a little bit nervous when I meet people for the first time. I'm a wee bit awkward and nerdy, so I'm always afraid that I won't be 'cool' enough or 'something' enough...plus, I genuinely want to do my best for each of my clients. So, the adrenaline is always making me a wee bit frenetic. I say that only because these two were so nervous to have their picture taken. I'm sure they were wondering why they were putting themselves through the stress of engagement photos when their wedding was only a short time away. But, here's the thing...by the end, we were all so relaxed with each other. It's a big part of why I do engagement sessions with all of my clients. You see...nerves are even more heightened on the wedding day--add to that a timeline and sometimes things get a little nutty. By spending some time together in a relaxed and laid back way, we are truly making things easier on ourselves for the main event. 

So...enough chit chat...here are the photos we created together.