WITH JILL + JOE
My first ‘’adventure session’’ with two of the sweetest, down-to-earth people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Joe + Jill have been in my life since high school, and have become two of my best friends. They’re actually two of the biggest supporters I’ve had in my life, and inspired me to make the move from Ontario to Alberta! So of course I cried with happiness when I found out about their engagement, and then cried AGAIN when they told me they wanted to fly me out to take their engagement photos!!
Having a day full of hiking, laughing, beers, love, and views that you’d only think you’d see out of a movie, we started the day early. Leaving Calgary at 6am, we were mountain bound enjoying coffee and car jams together to get us pumped of the day ahead.
Lake Louise is one of the most popular tourist spots in Banff. Actually probably one of the most popular in Canada, and gets packed with millions of tourists every summer. You can totally tell why though- its picture perfect no matter what the season! Its a super popular spot to visit (check out some of my other sessions at other times of year, such as beginning of summer and middle of winter) One of my most favourite times to visit this spot however is in that transition time between summer + fall (because I won’t lie- fall doesn’t last very long in the Rockies), and at sunrise. Not only are the views and colours absolutely stunning, but it is WAY less busy than any other time of the day! So we shared the lake with a few people, but definitely not the crowds the lake is used to seeing everyday.
Next stop: Johnston Canyon. Hitting this spot next was perfect because it added a little more of an ‘’adventure feeling’’ to our day considering that none of us had ever been to this spot before! Hidden in trees and rock walls and canyons, we hiked (just a few) kilometres up the boardwalk trail to our destination.
This particular spot is a hugely popular place for photographers and avid hikers to visit- even considering there’s no ‘’actual’’ trail. The most amazing part about finding the access point to this spot was a) Jill’s and I’s teamwork for her to change outfits in the middle of the forest packed with tourists, and b) every other tourist and hiker clearing the space for Jill + Joe. There was a decent amount of people visiting this spot in the canyon, but once they saw the three of us preparing and start moving around for photos- almost everyone left! Probably one of the most ‘’Canadian’’ things I had seen was everyone letting Jill + Joe take the stage in such a public spot, but also giving them the privacy to feel comfortable enough to let loose and be themselves in front of the camera.
The views of Tunnel Mountain are a ‘home spot’ for these two. That was the first thing they told me: ‘’this is our favourite spot in Banff. By far.’’ And I totally understood why. The views of the mountains with the valley and the Bow River running through it totally gave me that feeling of ‘’mountain love’’. Mix that with these two lovelies and all the love they have for each other, and the sun that came out on this beautiful day helped reflect that warm feeling you get when you look at your favourite person.
Ending off the day at Lake Minnewanka was the most relaxing way I could imagine ending the day with Jill + Joe. After some beers and a plate of nachos for a break in downtown Banff, we ended our day here just before sunset. Because it was so close to sunset there weren’t many boats on the water, and not too many people walking around. But the calm of the water, the colours of the sunset hitting the mountains, and the warm breeze blowing through rocking the dock was worth the entire day.
As a photographer my goal is capture people being real with themselves and the ones they love, in UNreal places. This day not only meant the world to Jill + Joe because they captures memories that will collect with future memories they continue to make on their adventure of a lifetime, but it also meant so much to me. Not only did I get to discover a place that I would soon call home, not only did I get to watch two amazing friends of mine start this lifelong adventure together, but I got to capture those memories that they will hold so dear to their hearts for the rest of their lives. Thanks Jill + Joe for being so amazing and letting me be apart of your epic adventure!