WITH SHEENA + ANDREW
Now when I tell you this adventure session came to be with a lot of hard work, but even more luck- I’m not kidding. If you’re interested on how we made this adventure happen, keep reading! (But even if you don’t the pictures are still un-fricken-believable)…
Sheena & Andrew are from the eastern side of Canada, but travel to the Canadian Rocky Mountains often, as they’ve fallen in love with the place just like so many others (aka me…. definitely me). They also have e love for camping and canoeing, and knew that they wanted to incorporate that love into their engagement photos. We tossed around the idea of me meeting them in Algonquin Park in Ontario as I travel there quite a bit & this is their go-to canoe spot, but they decided they wanted a place that meant even more to them- Moraine Lake in Alberta.
If you’ve been to Moraine Lake, you know how it can be almost impossible to actually get to the lake depending on time of day, day of the week, and time of year. Now July long weekend- definitely no exception to the crazy amount of people trying to see the iconic blue mountain lake. We decided that we would try to meet later in the afternoon closer to evening, hoping that the crowds would have dispersed enough for us to be able to find two parking spots for our vehicles. Our first snag when planning this session was finding out that canoe rentals at Moraine Lake only run for a certain amount of time and end before we would plan to be on the water. Luckily, after some research I found out that you are able to bring your own canoes, as long as you have a permit! This goes for all personal water crafts within Banff National Park- you need a permit! BUT luckily it is incredibly easy to get, and helps keep the waters safe from cross-contamination from other lakes and rivers! You can get your own self-certification permit to bring your own canoe/watercraft here.
After setting up two different rentals for canoes with the University of Calgary (one for Sheena & Andrew, and one for me and my partner Josh aka ‘Captain’) we made a plan to meet at the lake parking lot later in the evening. Josh and I drove out extra early to the iconic lake, to find ourselves stuck in a line of cars leading up to the parking lot. We had a feeling this would happen, hence why we left early, but did NOT expect it to be as insane as it was. People and cars everywhere, shuttles being stuck behind lines of cars trying to find parking- just absolute gong show. However, luck was definitely on our side that day when a kind driver allowed Josh & I to take their parking spot just as we were going to give up. So after getting all set up, and realizing we had loads of time to kill, we went on our own little canoe adventure around the famous Moraine Lake! You can find a little about our personal adventure here.
After getting back to the parking lot, I scouted out the long line of cars seeing if I could spot Sheena & Andrews red canoe I knew they had strapped to the top. Oh ya- another note about travelling to Moraine Lake- there’s absolutely no cell signal. So we had made a plan where if they hadn’t heard from me after a certain time, that meant I was at the lake. If I had messaged them, it meant that I wasn’t there and we would have to make a different last minute plan (hey, what’s an adventure session without a little risk!?) Anyway, I scouted out the line, and by lady luck herself- I see their car int he distance! I RAN up to their car in excitement, and as I was trying to catch my breath I walked alongside their car explaining to them that we might not have the chance to find a parking spot for them. Meaning they’d have to turn around and try again in a little while. But with lady luck on our side yet again- a kind gentleman overheard our predicament, and offered his parking spot to Sheena & Andrew so we could make their adventure session happen!
We talked about our luck over burgers made from our portable grill, and couldn’t believe after all the stress that we were able to make this night happen. After burgers and a celebratory drink, we hopped in the canoes and set out on the iconic blue water that makes Moraine Lake so stunning.
lease remember to always have life jackets with you, and to have the proper boat safety equipment with you no matter what kind of water craft you’re on 🙂
We also had walkie talkies that we would use to communicate for when we got too far apart from each other- honestly a life saver.
Seeing the excitement on their faces was when it really hit me that we actually made this happen, and we were actually doing what we set out to do. Which when talking about it sounds iconic, but you don’t feel how truly amazing it is to canoe on Moraine Lake until you actually do it. And to be able to make it happen for a couple who truly loves the Canadian Rockies- even better.
As the wind picked up, we decided to head back to shore so Sheena & Andrew could do an outfit change, and we could amen some memories from a different viewpoint of the lake.
You could tell that this felt like home to Sheena & Andrew. They were completely comfortable being themselves and being real, even though the views and scenery around us was completely UNreal. To be able to photograph people who appreciate the environment around them as much as I do is truly a privilege, and makes you appreciate it even more.
Sheena & Andrew aren’t the only ones who have had adventures & their photos taken in front of Moraine Lake. If you want to see more sessions that have been held at Moraine Lake, you can see another summer session here, or one that has that winter wonderland feel here. Or, another canoeing session in a different part of the rockies here!
And just because the sun goes down, doesn’t mean that the adventure has to end! Sheena & Andrew embraced the beautiful weather we lucked out with, and took in the purple & pink twilight sky that could be seen through the valley. These two definitely fit the description of adventurous and determined, and took advantage of the fact that they were fully one and able to embrace the moments as they were happening. Cannot thank you both enough ❤️