Magical Christmas Portraits of a Baby and his Family

Yesterday was Baby K’s Four Month Old Portrait Session for his Watch Me Grow series of Baby Portraits. And of course, Christmas was our central theme.

I set up my portable studio at this family’s home in Millarville, AB. I love being able to bring my studio to my clients, especially when young babies and children are involved. It allows them get all the rest they need, minimizing the need to interrupt their schedule, and keep to their normal routine. This was especially important yesterday, as both Baby K, and his sister,  were a bit under the weather, with seasonal colds.

It was a pretty challenging session, both technically, and working with Baby K. I wanted to create a very magical, Christmasy feel to the images. Trying to balance the light levels to incorporate sparkling Christmas lights, as well as properly exposing everyone, and trying to work with a sick baby, kept me on my toes. But I love a challenge, and creating memorable, keepsake images is always worth the effort!

Baby K’s first set of portraits features him in a special hat made from the fur of their beloved family pet. These images are so special, as his sister was photographed in the same hat when she was a baby.

Holiday Baby Portraits Christmas Baby Portraits

Big Sister S was a good sport as always and proudly held her little brother for some portraits.

sibling baby portraits

As a reward, she was treated to a Portrait of herself in her Elsa dress, giving Olaf a warm hug.

Elsa dress portrait

And what could be better, or more special, than a classic holiday Family Portrait in front of the Christmas Tree?

Christmas Family Portrait

I absolutely love this holiday portrait of Baby K as he naps by the Christmas Tree! A very special moment to treasure.

Christmas Baby Portrait

To Baby K and his lovely family, thank you so much for the honour of capturing Baby K’s first moments and milestones. I wish your family a very wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to working with you and capturing more portraits of Baby K in the New Year!

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Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow…

Today was our annual, “Let’s try to get a decent winter portrait of you boys in time for Christmas”, kids portrait session, with my boys. It was a gorgeous wintery day, with perfect conditions, at my home studio near Millarville, so we went outside to make the most of it.

Beautiful, fluffy, fat snowflakes, and warm temperatures, made for excellent portrait taking conditions.

Then it was just a matter of trying to find some outdoor winter clothing suitable for a Christmas portrait:)

The boys were cooperative models, but mostly I just let them do their own thing, and be themselves, allowing for some fun, candid portraits.

Winter Kids Portraits Kids Christmas Portraits

Kids Winter Portraits

Kids Winter Portraits

Kids Winter Portraits

I love these candid portraits of the boys giving each other some brotherly love.

Brotherly Love

After weeks of warm, Chinook weather, the boys were super excited to see snow again. We just hope it stays for Christmas.

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Family Portraits-Warm Moments Captured

Yesterday I had the honour of helping the Littlewood family from Millarville celebrate their family’s special bond, with Family Portraits.

Al and Brigitte celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary this summer, and their extended family very generously gifted them with a Portrait Session, a very wonderful and thoughtful gift.

It was a beautiful fall afternoon to spend together at their lovely home.

We captured some great moments of Al, Brigitte, their daughter Kelly, and even Mocha the Cat.

I so enjoyed spending time with this very warm family. I admire their closeness, and smiled inwardly at the mother-daughter banter that went on throughout our session.

Al and Brigitte, Thank you so much for having me capture some portraits of your lovely family. Enjoy your sneak peek!

Millarville Family Portraits

Individual candid portraits

Mother daughter portraits

Anniversary portraits

father daughter portraits

Millarville Family Portraits


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Watch Me Grow-Two Month Old Baby Portrait Session

Yesterday was Baby K’s Two Month Old-Watch Me Grow Session. How quickly two months have passed, and Baby K has grown a lot already since his Newborn Session.

It was a gorgeous fall day here in the Foothills, with the autumn colors in their full glory, the perfect day for our on-location session in Millarville. Baby K’s mom understandably wanted to incorporate autumn and Thanksgiving into his portraits. Gathering a bit of inspiration from Pinterest, she provided the pumpkin props for these portraits. Their neighbor, whose yard is gorgeous, happily agreed to allow us to shoot in her yard, and make use of the beautiful shrubbery and foliage.

We set up the props, and I shot fast, as Baby K was not too sure about being plunked into a pumpkin. He was a good sport for several minutes, allowing me to get some great shots of him, and a few with Big Sister S, before deciding that he really was not happy about the whole pumpkin thing.

Fall Baby Portraits Fall Baby Portraits Sibling Baby Portraits


After he made up his mind that he was not happy, we had a hard time getting him to be happy again. He did co-operate for a few family portraits, before deciding it was all too much. He really just wanted to cuddle, and have a nap. Since babies really do run the show:) we of course let him have his way. I tagged along to get some nice lifestyle images of Baby K, enjoying his nap and cuddles.

Happy Thanksgiving Baby K and family. We promise not to put you into any more pumpkins:)


Family Baby Portraits candid baby portraits


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Sweet Senior Session

Wednesday evening’s session with Kristen was a lot of fun. We captured some on location Senior’s Portraits of her, on her parent’s ranch located in the foothills, between Bragg Creek, and Millarville.

This red haired beauty was totally in her element, as we hiked around the ranch, climbing onto bales, opening cattle gates, ducking through barbed wire fences, and visiting the horses-she is very much a county girl at heart. With her love of animals, the outdoors, her shy sense of humour, and down-to-earth demeanour, Kristen is a real pleasure to work with.

As such, we focused on capturing natural, county girl portraits of Kristen. I was grateful for her mom’s assistance as she hung out with us, offering suggestions, holding my reflector, and bringing out Kristen’s best smiles, by making her laugh.

Kristen is in her Graduating year of High School. I’m hoping her Senior Portraits will be for her, a great way to celebrate this time and place in her life. A way to celebrate her quiet confidence, and pay tribute to how her outer beauty matches her inner beauty.

I’m hoping Kristen’s Portraits will inspire other High School Seniors to celebrate their uniqueness, and this amazing, special year of their life, with a custom Seniors Session-Tailored just for them.


Okotoks Grad High School Seniors Session Kristen_G-73tw Kristen_G-166 Kristen_G-249tw2 Okotoks Grad High School Seniors Session

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A Gift of Gold

Here’s a little sneak peek from yesterday’s Family Portrait session taken around my home studio, near Millarville, AB.

Melissa and Doug, and their three great kids joined me for an absolutely beautiful evening of fall photography in the foothills.

All of us thoroughly enjoyed the warm fall sun, the brilliant colors, and the mesmerizing mountain views. Our photo shoot took us for a bit of a hike, as we explored several great spots in the area, allowing us to make the most of the scenery, and take in a variety of views.

The kids were troupers as they endured encounters with a red ant, a spider, and our excitable 7 month old puppy.

We kept our session going right until the last golden rays of sunlight gave us their gift of magical light.


Millarville Family Portraits Millarville Family Portraits Peters-119tw Foothills Family Portraits Foothills Family Portraits

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Elbow Falls Engagement Session

This weeks’ Throwback Thursday takes us back a few years ago to a beauty of an engagement session, with Nick and Amanda, at Elbow Falls, west of Bragg Creek, AB, one of everyones’ favourite destinations in the Kananaskis country.

It was a lovely late fall day, and the cooling spray from the falls was refreshing, as we explored the rugged scenery.

Nick and Amanda were not shy about posing for portraits on the edge of the rocks above the falls, allowing me to capture some great images of them in this breathtaking landscape.

Using my 80-200 mm Nikon lens, I was able to compress the landscape a bit, and achieve images that captured Nick and Amanda in this big scene.

Unfortunately, as I was capturing these engagement portraits, my lens hood, which never did secure properly to my lens, fell off into the falls, never to be seen again:(


Amanda_Nick_044TW Amanda_Nick_051BW Elbow Falls Engagement Portriats


Once we were finished at Elbow Falls, we then drove back to my home studio, near Millarville, AB, for a few motorcycle themed portraits.

Nick owns Navntoft Motorsports in Black Diamond, AB, and had a friend loan him a cool vintage motorcycle for some pictures. My long, curving driveway was the perfect spot to capture some motorcycle action, as Nick and Amanda rode the bike up and down for some great action sequences. The neighbour dogs, along with their own dog, joined in the fun.

We then captured a few more portraits with the bike, and included their dog, that they’d had together for several years.


Engagement Portraits with vintage motorcycle Engagement Portraits with vintage motorcycle


We continued to shoot right into the “golden hour” which is the best light for portraits. Clients are always rewarded when they stick it out until nearly sunset.


Foothills Engagement Portriats Foothills Engagement Portriats

An engagement session is the perfect way for a couple to get to know me, and what its like to work with me, before their wedding day. My Wedding Collections include your Engagement Portrait session, as a great value added feature. If you’ve just got engaged, and you’re planning your Wedding for next year, I’l love to capture some fun, casual, and romantic images for you!

I had the honour of photographing Nick and Amanda’s wedding the following summer. Thanks for the fun guys, and I know you’re both living “happily ever after”.


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First Times, Last Times, and Capturing all of the Memories

After reading the poem that circulated recently, “The Last Time”, I found myself feeling very wistful, yet bitter sweet. My oldest son is six and in grade one this year, and my youngest just started pre-school for the first time this fall. Anyone whose children have reached school age, knows that once a child attends school everyday, they undergo a subtle transformation. Their independence becomes stronger each day, and suddenly their minds are filled with ideas that didn’t come from you.

Already with my growing young boys, so many precious moments have slipped away. Baby cuddles are long over, and so many of our children’s “firsts” have come and passed for our family. It’s only natural feel a bit sad, when without realizing it, these precious moments with our children, have become the last time.

And even though I take many, many pictures, I’m never sure if I’ve captured all of these things to hold onto forever. I hope I’ve done a good job, and I’ll continue to document as many ordinary, everyday moments as I can.

I want to capture every phase they go through, each discovery they make, the games they’ll play for days on end, until suddenly they don’t play that anymore.

And although I feel wistful for the moments that have come and gone already,  there will be so many wonderful moments yet to celebrate.

And through all their developments and changes I must remember that my children still believe in magic, small wonders still amaze them, and it will be a long while yet before they are “too cool” to imagine, play pretend, or get silly. Mommy and Daddy are still their heroes, they are still each other’s best friends, and although we can’t slow down time, all is right with the world.

baby chick in child's hands small wonders small wondersrainy day portraitaction kids portraits action kids portraitsSheepRiver-11 SheepRiver-40

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Fabulous Fall Family Portraits

In order to get everyone inspired to have Family Portraits taken this fall, here a family portrait throwback from last fall, taken by my home Studio near Millarville, AB.

The Varty’s are an awesome family from Millarville. They are close-knit, and very devoted to each other. They are dedicated volunteers, and pillars in our community. But the best part is they were super fun to work with, with their antics, and quirky sense of humour. I really enjoyed our session, and getting to know this family a bit better.

Like many families out there, the Varty’s had never had professional Family Portraits made. They decided it was high time to make the effort, and make the investment (before all of their children are grown up, and leave home;)

And although it was challenging to get everyone scheduled for our session, it was well worth the effort.

Last fall was much warmer, and we didn’t have all of this snow, and unseasonably cold temperatures. In fact, the leaves had only just begun to change colour by the time our session date arrived. But despite the fact that the leaves were still mostly green, we enjoyed the amazing scenery, and captured some wonderful portraits. It was important to really showcase the mountains in the background, which are such a dominating part of our lives here in the Foothills. We wake up to them, we watch the sun set behind them, and they are always part of our view.

Individual kids portraits family kids portraits Sisters Portrait Millarville Family Portrait Millarville Kids Portrait


Besides all the regular poses, we had plenty of time for some fun, candid portraits, as well.


candid Family Portriats


Dorianne, like many mothers, was a bit daunted at first trying to choose clothing for her Family’s session. I think they pulled it off very well, and got it right! They can go right up there with other great examples of “what to wear for your Family’s Portraits.


Mountain view on location family portraits

Once all of this snow melts, I’m looking forward to more fabulous fall Family Portrait sessions.


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Celebrating The Last Year of High School

Here’s a throwback from a few years ago of a High School Seniors session, taken for a family friend.

Lindsay had just finished High School, and these portraits were taken in the late summer, just before she embarked on her new life-College adventures, living away from home for the first time, and the thrill of being a small town girl, going to live in the big city.

I love how these Senior portraits really capture Lindsay at this major turning point in her life. She’s a self-confidant, beautiful young woman, beaming with the radiant optimism of youth, and the true belief that all of her dreams and goals are possible, with some ambition and hard work.

There’s only a hint of shyness, as she contemplates what her future may hold, and the challenges she may have to face.

High School Seniors Portrait


Not much longer a girl in her parent’s home, these lifestyle Portraits capture Lindsay pursuing one of her passions-Art, and drawing.


Lifestyle Teen Portraits


These were taken in her parent’s yard, as she reflects on her many happy memories here.

Casual High School Seniors Portraits High_School_Seniors-4


We then went across the road to Lindsay’s Grandparent’s farm to capture some images at this childhood refuge, and origin of many happy moments.


Teen Portraits


Out in the big open field, as Lindsay contemplates endless possibilities, and dreams.

Teen Portrait in a Wheat Field


I have never understood why, but Senior Portrait Sessions, such as this, have not yet caught on here in Canada. In the United States, High School Senior Sessions are all the rage, with every young person and their family investing in this type of session, to have these fleeting moments documented, at this amazing turning point in their young person’s life.

Here in Canada, the majority of families are content to allow the major corporation Life-Touch, to spend 15 minutes with their Grad, and those are the only Portraits captured of each High School Senior, during this amazing transition in their life.

If you will be Graduating this 2014/15 school year, or if you are the family of a Grad, I’d like to offer you something different. An alternative to mundane, run-of-the-mill Grad Portraits. I’d love the opportunity to capture each Grad as an individual, spending 1-3 hours creating portraits showing who they really are. Up to 2 locations, outfit changes, and personal props to show each High School Seniors’ interests, hobbies, and personality. (Before they leave home, and are out in the big wide world on their own). I hope you’ll give me that opportunity. I know you’ll be glad you did!

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