Gabrielle + James Engaged

I am truly looking forward to the wedding of Gabrielle and James this summer. G+J are two Calgarians and are planning a backyard wedding on Okanagan Lake to celebrate.

It’s only fitting, since it was in Kelowna overlooking the lake where James asked Gabrielle to be his, and she said yes… It took three first dates and four years to get where they are today!

Their engagement session was the first time I had met these two, and I didn’t really know what to expect. We had mainly conversed via e-mail, and James was always very polite and professional. I knew they were both engineers, but that was it! As I waited for them in downtown Calgary, I was anxious to meet them. And as soon as I saw Gabrielle’s beautiful smile and her TOMS shoes, I knew we’d get along just fine! These two were fun, laid back, super cute and very down to earth. I am so excited to be a part of their wedding, because even though I had just met them, it was obvious how great they are together. How in love they are. How respectful they are…

Thank you two for inviting me to be a part of your wedding, and I look forward to August!

Calgary and a little sneak peek!

I love to travel, and because of this little obsession, lately, I feel like I have been living out of my suitcase! My hubby informed me last night that I have spent more time away this month than I have been home. Oops…

This past week, I was in Calgary, spending time with family, friends, and meeting up with some amazing clients as well. I find that because the Okanagan is such a gorgeous place to get married, many Albertans and Saskatchewanians (is that how you say it?) come our way to tie the knot.

I started the week off with an amazing visit with two of my favorite women. We met in college going to journalism school 12 years ago, and now we meet over wine and laugh about where our lives have taken us. These friendships were started because of common interests, and even though our lives have drastically changed, our friendships are still as strong as ever.

As my time in Calgary moved on, I met up with more friends and more amazing family, which I realized how many important people I have in Cow-town! On top of that, I was able to work with some of my bride+groom-to-be’s as we get ready for their 2012 and 2013 weddings!

Since all posts are better with photos, I will end this with a sneak-peek of Gabrielle and James’ engagement shoot. More to come tomorrow!

the mawhinney family

Calgary is a special city, and this is a very special family…

This past week, I  spent my time in the Calgary working and visiting with some of my favorite people. I will take some time later to re-cap my week, but for today, I want to share with you the images from one of the beautiful families I was lucky enough to spend some time with.

Sharla and I have been good friends for many years. We went to photojournalism school together, and she is one of my dear friends as well as a wonderful photography peer (Eye of the Beholder Photography). And even though we don’t see each other often, when we do, I adore every minute that I spend with her. And even though it was difficult to say goodbye, I am so glad for every minute of my visit.

Sharla and Gord, you have a special place in my heart, and I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do. xo

Erin + B and the bump

I have known Brendan for many, many years. As a teen, me and my best girlfriend used to crimp our hair and put on our bangles (so we looked like cool rocker chicks) and go watch the boys play. They were musicians, and I was absolutely one of their biggest fans (and still am!).

The boys moved to Vancouver to chase after their love of music, and it was here where Brendan also started to chase after Erin. Erin is this adorable, beautiful, sweet girl who stole the heart of B, and just a few years ago, they were married at Summerhill Winery in Kelowna.

Now they are building their life together in the Okanagan, and are getting ready for the new addition to their family. I feel so lucky to have been a small part of this adventure, creating a few images that will hopefully act as beautiful reminders of the start of their journey in becoming a family.

I feel blessed to know both of you, and I hope you enjoy! xo

Here is the complete family – 3 and 3/4’s! Brendan, Erin, sweet Bailey and baby!And I’ll end the post with a few final images of Erin and her belly in their beautifully re-done bedroom. Props to B for getting all the painting done for our photo shoot day!


birthday inspirations

The countdown is on to ‘birthday week’ at our house. Ry’s and my birthday are just 2 days apart, so it’s always very exciting coming into May. Not sure what we are up to this year, but for now, I’ll dream of what it could be, would be, should be!

To start off, we’d better be sportin’ some killer outfits, starting with this gorgeous dress by Top Shop and a sweet man-cardie for Ry, compliments of JCrew for Men (not sure if he’d wear it, but I’ll try!).

And if we’re outdoors, how hot would Ry look with these RayBan Sunnies?! So cute!

And the photographer in me has always wanted to try having a photo booth at a party! They look ridiculous and fun, so why wouldn’t I want one!

photos credit Amanda Nistor – Ruffled Blog

Living in the Okanagan Valley, we are influenced by the fabulous wine culture, so when I saw this drink chiller made from the reclaimed remnants of a wine barrel, I thought, I need one! This Wine Barrel Chiller from Viva Terra is pretty sweet, but I think this could also be a DIY project for someone super handy – like my dad (hint, hint).

And lastly, if we’re having drinks, we’ve got to cute them up, and what better way to do that with feathers?! DIY drink stirrers with a little duster at the end. Love it! Thanks 100 Layer Cake girls for the idea! Love, love, love that blog!

Happy Friday, everyone!

behind the scenes…

Sometimes during a photo shoot, you have to improvise, think on your toes, go with the flow. And on this specific photo shoot, we had a few things to juggle! Thankfully, I had my lovely assistant, Christina with me for the day… here she is. So cute!

As you can see, we were shooting in the rain, which is always a fun little challenge! But we also had Lucy, Darin and Lyss’s puppy with us. As much as this was wonderful, she was oh, so excited to play, play, play! Eventually, Christina had to help keep Lucy entertained so I could snap a few photos of just Lyss and Darin. So, I had the cute couple perched on the rocks with C and Lucy playing behind us, and this is what I see (watch Darin’s face)…

Apparently, as Christina was trying to throw to ball down the beach, Lucy somehow got right in the line of fire! Thankfully, Lucy is one tough cookie, but really, if y’all know Christina, she’s pretty strong, but she’s no Babe Ruth – so Lucy was just fine! 😉

Here’s a pick of Alyssa and Lucy a few minutes later, and Lucy was still ready to play! Couldn’t keep her eyes off the ball!

But seriously, a big thanks to Christina for being a wicked assistant on our rainy day! xo

maternity session with Laura + Jason

If there is a word I could use to describe Laura, it would have to be delicate. I have known Laura for a very long time, as I remember celebrating early childhood birthday parties together. She was friends with my brother, so we spent a lot of time running around our small town together.

And the only memories I have of Laura are sweet ones. She was never mean, she was always thoughtful, and now that I know her as an adult, she is still the perfect vision of those qualities.

Laura is going to be the strong, yet understanding parent that every child deserves to have. She is going to love that little baby, cherish every smile, every giggle, every tear and every moment. And even though I only met Jason the day of our photo shoot, I can see how much he adores Laura and that little baby that is growing inside her.

Laura + Jason, I am so excited for you two, and I know you are going to have a wonderful time building your new family.

jess + john + baby

The last few weeks of pregnancy is such an intimate time of life. Your baby is almost full grown and resting up for their big entrance into this world. The mom and dad-to-be are going through every emotion in the book. Excitement, anxiousness, nervousness, joy.

John+Jess were married almost 2 years ago, and are looking forward to their due date which is only 2 weeks away. Between trying to prepare for their little bundle, J+J took a break to walk with me through the woods of Stanley Park.

These two have supported each other through their careers, through traveling the world, created a home together, and now are creating a family together. I could not be more excited for them, and I know they are going to make the most amazing, loving parents any kidlet could ask for.

Just before I headed out, I snuck a few final images of Jess’s baby bump in her beautiful bedroom. I wish you all the luck in the world as you begin your life as a family, and I can’t wait to see what this little bambino has in store for you! xo

Alyssa + Darin Engaged

I could see how much he loves her. I could see how much he makes her laugh. I could feel the connection between them that is calm and beautiful and real.

Alyssa and Darin met fighting fires in the mountains of BC, and they got engaged 4 years later at the top of a mountain as Darin’s knee dropped into the snow. Every part of their relationship is such an honest reflection of who they both are. And this engagement session was no different.

Most times, if the rain is out, an engagement session may get re-scheduled for a better day, but this time, we were getting it done. Rain or no rain. So, myself, Alyssa, Darin, Lucy (their beautiful puppy) and Mother Nature headed outside to work it out.

I do not think there could be a session that would reflect these two better. We got wet. We got muddy. There was no opportunity for it to be anything else but real. A little rain, a little mud, and a little love.

Thank you Lyss and Darin for inviting me to be a part of this. I cannot wait until your wedding in September, and I hope you enjoy your images.

Oh, Darin. This was Lyss trying to warm Darin up with a couple of smooches! He loved it…

Their beautiful puppy, Lucy.

This is probably my favorite image from the day. A kiss in the rain. Simple and perfect…



Stay tuned for the ‘outtakes’ from this session. I think there may have been an attempt at the Dirty Dancing lift, and some classic expressions that you are not going to want to miss! Happy Thursday!