Lake Minnewanka Family Adventure Session

I’ve been thinking a lot about what people tell you is the ‘right way’ to photograph a family. It might surprise many of my clients to know that there is discussion around the proper number of images to show a client—for example….and that I fail miserably at that by all standards. I promise that I am trying desperately to get better…to truly narrow things down and only show images that I truly love. The problem is….well, my Adventure Sessions aren’t much like other photographer sessions. I want the images to both tell a story in a way, but to also truly capture portraits of who you are…and, when the adventure happens in an epic location like Banff National Park…to also share that epicness. The goal for me is far beyond just a ‘family portrait’…it’s truly so much more than that for me. With these sessions, I give my clients a piece of my heart. Truly. The images created from Adventure Sessions are a huge piece of my life’s work. Images that show more than what you look like.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately…all of that…and making some decisions about 2019. A new website is coming(any day really…it’s been almost ready for months so it is time to just FINISH IT ALREADY) and a new way of doing things. I can’t wait to share it with you all. For now…a fun little slideshow and some images for those who are too lazy to watch the slideshow ;)

What I love most about this session is that there is no pretense…this is them. Truthfully, it was kinda cold…so we just went with it. We took a break and had a snack in their camper van. We mostly just walked and explored and had a fun evening in the most beautiful of settings. Soooo…here’s a sample of what they got. The slideshow is about 1/3 of the images we created together.

Only very limited space left for 2019…contact me now if you are hoping for a session.

~ Dana

Summertime Adventure Session

There is something special about visiting the same families year after year. There is a special level of trust that develops and we just relax and hang out while I document their life. I've been documenting this family since their son was a newborn. This year, we went to their new piece of land that they recently acquired. Their plan is to build their 'forever' home here--slowly, over time. I think it is super cool to have photographs of them sitting on the land which will one day be their home. We talked about doing another session here when it is in the framing stage before we get to do one when they are all moved in. I cannot tell you how much I love this idea.

I've been in business for 10 years...photographing for 12. Over those 10 years, I've seen a lot of changes--both in the way that I do things and the way that other people do things as well. These 'adventure sessions' are my ideal way of doing things. The 'slow' answer to photographs. Where I feel free to give my clients everything I've got. Where we work together to create portraits. I never feel rushed during these session...and I try to structure them so my clients can get the best of both worlds--some more casual portraits, as well as, those intimate candid moments that everyone loves so much. There are other more efficient ways of doing things--heck, I even offer a more efficient way which I call Simply Portraits, but these sessions. This is where my heart lies. 

Enjoy a look at this family's time with me. 

Family Adventure Photographs at Ptarmigan Cirque in Kananaskis

Ptarmigan Cirque is one of my favourite hikes for young families. It is easily accessible as you drive to the Highwood Pass in Kananaskis to start the hike. The Highwood Pass is the highest drivable mountain pass in Canada. The road that leads to the pass is, in my opinion, one of the nicest drives in the Canadian rockies. It is always less busy than anything in the national parks, but the views are easily comparable. It opens for the year on June 15th and closes in December. It is one of our favourite Sunday drives. More than once, we have stopped at the pass and quickly done this hike as part of the drive. It is an easy loop which makes it great for kids. The views are phenomenal. The summer months bring amazing wildflowers and the fall brings the gorgeous yellow of the larches. Anytime of the year, my kids have been able to find fossils in the rocks there. So, when this family asked for a session among the larches, I knew exactly where to go!!

This year, with the hustle and bustle of free admission to the national parks, us locals might want to consider spending more time in Kananaskis to beat the crowds. If you do want to take your kids on a hike, try this one. Simply park at the Highwood pass. Follow the path across the road and up into the trees. It is cold up there, so bring a jacket and some water. When my kids were smaller, we always brought Smarties and gave them out one at a time to encourage them to keep going. Once you are out of the trees(which happens really quickly), the views are amazing. And, if you are lucky, a herd of mountain goats might pass you buy ;)

And, just for fun, I'm doing a blog circle with some of my friends so check out Anna Rasmussen's blogpost of Golden Light Family Portraits in Wilmington, North Carolina and follow the links to check out some wonderful photography from across North America.

~ Dana

Neighbourhood Family Adventure | Calgary Photographer

Not all families seek adventure in the ruggedness of the mountains. When babies are small, sometimes just a walk around the block can be an adventure. Discovering fallen leaves. Running into Mama's waiting arms. Just exploring the world around them. Adventure is everywhere if you know where to look for it. Lessons from watching toddlers explore for the last decade(did you know that 2017 marks my 10th year in business?).

So, what neighbourhood do you live in? Kensington, Inglewood, Auburn Bay or Tuscany? So many great neighbours to explore and look for adventure. I'd love to come visit yours.