Kristi and I met working at Earls when I first moved to Calgary, and I was delighted to be asked to photograph their backyard wedding. We already connected for their beautiful engagement photos as Fish Creek Park, and I knew their wedding would be just as amazing! Having had a backyard wedding myself, these are definitely one of my favourite venues for weddings! They always seem to be so personal and intimate and really reflect the couple perfectly. Kristi + Bryce’s house is absolutely stunning and sits adjacent to Fish Creek Park. Everything was to take place in the backyard and they had a perfect sunny day for it.
Kristi was a vision is her ballgown dress and looked like a princess. Her daughter Sayge was in awe of how she looked and couldn’t wait for the ceremony to begin. Kristi and Bryce were married under a giant tree in their backyard which provided a stunning backdrop. They had a heartfelt ceremony, complete with a part to honour Sayge and celebrating their union as a family.
After the ceremony in the backyard, we headed to Fish Creek Park with the bridal party for pictures. I think Kristi and her maids were the most stunning group I have ever seen. Not to mention, their dresses were just perfect against the treed background. But I can’t leave the boys out of this either, their navy blue suits were classic and made them look pretty damn sharp. Kristi has loved dance she was a little girl and her gracefulness really showed through as I was taking portraits of her.
We returned to their backyard, and were greeted by self serve stations of amazing food catered by Fork + Farm. My favourite, obviously, was the candy truck stationed out front. It was a huge hit with all the kids…and myself. Just kidding, the adults indulged too and it was awesome. Highly recommend getting a candy truck folks! I loved their style of just casual seating with stations around the yard to go and fill your plate with. They had everything from Paella, to sliders, to shrimp skewers and it was all phenomenal.
They rest of the evening was relaxed and full of fun and laughter. The dance floor saw some amazing one on one battles which had everyone in stitches. After some wonderful speeches, the sun set and I enjoyed photographing the dancing the general chilling that the rest of the evening brought. Congrats Kristi and Bryce and I wish you all the best with your new little addition that just arrived!
Welcome to my all-time favourite Banff adventure session set in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta which was recently featured on Rocky Mountain Bride. Paula + Johnny are dream clients and I am even more lucky to consider them good friends. They both had dreams of getting married in the mountains where they spend most of their free time. Unfortunately, Paula’s mom was very ill and so they opted to get married where she lived in Ottawa. Paula’s mom ended up passing before their wedding, but it was a beautiful day, full of love, and showcased what a strong bond Johnny + Paula have together. See the blog post of it here!
We decided instead to do a Banff adventure session in the mountains once they got back to Calgary. Both Paula and Johnny are very active and love the outdoors, they even did a hiking engagement shoot! So, when I suggested that we hike up a mountain with all their wedding gear, they didn’t hesitate to say yes!
We hiked up the East end of Rundle Mountain in Banff, without knowing what kind of views it would provide. It was a hike that none of us had done so we figured it would be a good one to try. Oh man, it did not disappoint! Johnny somehow managed to put Paula’s wedding dress and all his suit items into a giant backpacking backpack and hauled it 5km up the mountain. Paula brought a backpack full of lunch and water for them both. They kicked my butt up the mountain, and also had no qualms about getting dressed at the top in -20 degree (celsius) weather!
I loved that Paula had her beautiful wedding dress and thermal underwear and hiking boots underneath. Needless to say we kept the session fairly short before Paula lost feeling in her arms. Fortunately, it was incredible scenery that didn’t need long to capture.
See more of this incredible shoot on the Rocky Mountain Bride blog here!
Julia + Taylor had probably my favourite outdoor wedding of all time this past year. It reminded me so much of my own, so naturally I was fairly biased and loved everything about it. You may remember these two from their engagement shoot that we did in the mountains? They celebrated their day at an amazing house (mansion?) and property in Priddis, just south of Calgary. I love an outdoor wedding where everything happens in one place, because then the timeline for the day is so much smoother and easier to figure out. Julia and Taylor chose to stick to tradition and forgo a first look, so I hung out with each of them separately before the ceremony.
Taylor and the boys got ready in the barn, and we had a fun time taking pictures in the classic cars that were around the property. The were an easy group to get along with and they certainly kept Taylor laughing the whole time. I absolutely love his smile – slightly goofy but really lets his emotion show through. After I was done photographing the boys, I headed over to the girls who were chilling and drinking champagne in the bathroom. I know it sounds odd, but wait till you see the pictures of the bathroom. It’s bigger and nicer than my bedroom! I took Julia out onto the balcony for some epic portraits and fortunately the smoke from the forest fires has dissipated a bit so we could see the amazing scenery.
Their ceremony overlooked the spectacular backdrop that the Priddis property backs on to, and the valley and hills were just visible through the smoke. I loved that I could walk around in a circle around the whole ceremony, and get every angle. I also ran up to the balcony to get a shot of the whole scene. It was a truly beautiful location to say their vows to each other.
After the ceremony, Julia, Taylor, and I roamed the property taking pictures as we went. The positive side of having some smoke in the air, was that it nicely filtered the light and made it flattering no matter what direction I was shooting. J+T were so natural and easy to work with. It was effortless getting beautiful and natural emotion out of them.
We joined the guests for an evening full of delicious burgers, hilarious speeches, and one heck of a party. This one will go down in my history books, so enjoy some of my favourites!
Well I am overwhelmed as I sit down and try to write a year end review as an adventure elopement + wedding photographer for 2017. This year was full of amazing milestones and highs, and also major challenges and hardships. As my second full wedding season spent in Calgary after moving from Ontario, I had set some pretty tough goals for myself which I was thrilled to end up surpassing.
One of my goals was continue increasing my client base as an adventure elopement + wedding photographer, and joining with Pop Up Weddings Calgary helped me to do just that. They create epic elopements that are intimate and special, while creating fun alternatives to traditional weddings. This opportunity allowed me to shoot in some pretty unique locations (like Village Brewery), and meet incredible couples that wanted their special day to reflect exactly who they are as a couple. Many people find wedding planning very stressful and elopements focus on what really matters: two people in love, celebrating the fact that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. No muss. No fuss. Each elopement couple I had this year were so happy with their decision. They chose to authentically do whatever the heck they wanted rather than “what’s expected” or “what everyone else does”.
Another goal was to shoot epic adventure sessions, and I love that people are crazy enough to join me. From a hiking engagement session, to mountaintop cliff edge wedding photos, to exploring the desert in Nevada during a day after session, I truly found my calling as an adventure elopement + wedding photographer and something I want to focus more and more on. Having started out as a landscape photographer while I traveled parts of the world, adventure weddings and elopements are seriously my jam. If you’re not afraid to get your dress a little dirty and are willing to embrace whatever the day may bring, lets connect! This year brought me all across Canada, to Maui, France, Spain, Scotland, and Nevada. I can’t wait to see where my adventures take me in 2018!
For 2017 I also wanted to connect more with other photographers, so I second shot as much as a could, went to some monthly photog meet ups, and decided to go to my first ever photography workshop. Camp collective is an intimate camp for photographers that centers around nature, connection, and creativity. It was amazing to meet so many like-minded badass individuals, and push my boundaries – not only artistically, but also by opening up and being vulnerable. Connecting on a close level with others and hearing that we all have challenges and frustrations is really quite comforting. Yay for not being alone!
Now for a more personal note. This year was hard. Extremely hard at times. At the beginning of the year my parents left for 13 months to live and work in South Africa. While they were away, my grandmother’s health declined and she was in and out of the hospital all year. I spent almost every second or third day visiting and chatting with her, and on her bad days, just sitting beside her bed editing while she napped. She has been in my life since I was very young, and we often had many chats about our Christmases spent together and my grandfather, whom I was very close to. She also was a very accomplished lady and I cherished hearing about her travels and adventures that she had when she was younger. In the late summer, her health took a turn for the worse and I knew the time was nearing. It was heartbreaking seeing her go through such a drastic change over a couple of months. It also was especially hard on her that her family all lived overseas. In the end, she ended up passing away only a few weeks before my mom (her step-daughter) returned home, which was extremely tough for them both. I am so grateful that I was by her side and provided company and comfort over the year. It made me extremely grateful for this amazing career I have chosen, and the flexibility it provides me. I miss her dearly.
Another challenge I was faced with was when I randomly decided to visit the optometrist for the first time in about 20 years. I have always had perfect vision so was honestly just too lazy to ever bother before. At the exam they found a sizeable hole in my retina and they weren’t able to tell me much else except that I have a huge blind spot in my right eye. About 1/4 of my vision is actually blocked in my right eye. I never noticed because your brain fills in the missing information – pretty incredible right?! A retinal specialist told me that this was either a deformity that I was born with, or something that was possibly getting worse over time which would eventually lead to blindness in my right eye. Pretty terrifying to say the least considering my love of photography and sports.
It shook me pretty hard that the main aspects that I have centered my life around could be drastically affected or not even possible anymore. After months of follow up visits and far too many eye drops, I am happy to announce that the hole is not getting any bigger so fortunately this is probably something I was born with. I will continue to have follow up checks to make sure, but for now I am so grateful that I will be able to follow my passion and continue to capture epic love stories in wild places.
Finally, the night before my last wedding of the year, my worst nightmare happened. I have been severely allergic to peanuts my whole life. Somehow I have managed to go 30 years without ever having a severe reaction. But that perfect record came to an end at the rehearsal dinner of my two clients. Apparently everyone in the world knows what a Móle sauce is…except for me. I thought it looked like delicious bbq pork. As soon as my tongue and roof of my mouth started swelling I knew I was in trouble. I had to quickly explain to the bride what was happening and apologized profusely for having to cut out early. Not wanting to make a scene by calling an ambulance, I ended up taking an uber to a nearby hospital. Fortunately, after a few hours of IV antihistamines and a shot of epinephrine I was as good as new. I photographed their stunning wedding the next day doped up on Benadryl. Luckily I was having so much fun that the drowsiness didn’t get to me! Not to say there is ever a good time to go into anaphylactic shock, but the night before a wedding, while in a foreign country, and on my own, was not ideal. Let’s hope I can go the next 30 years without another reaction!
If you are still reading, thank you. I appreciate that you are interested in a snapshot of what this year looked like. To end on a more positive note, I am going to list my three favourite things from 2017:
1. My hubby and I bought our first home and I still can’t believe how perfect it is. Adulting, while being terrifying, is incredibly awesome!
2. I was fortunate enough to travel and shoot in 6 different countries this year. I don’t believe that any book or lesson is ever better than traveling and interacting with different people/cultures. Each new place I visit is always humbling and eye opening. I am truly grateful for all the couples that I get to photograph, near and far. Each and every one of you has gotten me to where am I today. Thank you for trusting my vision, creativity, and craziness.
3. I ended the year second shooting for the incredible Carey Nash in Lake Louise. He is a world renowned photographer who I have looked up to for a long time, and I was humbled to join him for a day and simply shoot and chat as we made our way around Banff & Lake Louise. For how established he is, I have never met anyone so kind, funny, and down to earth. Despite being socked in with snow everywhere we went, he created amazing images and left me, yet again, inspired for the future. Thank you.
Finally, I am going to leave you with a few of my favourite images from this spectacular year. Thanks for following along and listening to my ramblings.
Merry Christmas to you all, and I wish you nothing but the best for 2018!
I am excited to share this amazing adventure engagement session that was published on Mountainside Bride! Paula + Johnny are super outdoorsy and love spending their free time hiking in the mountains. They were a bit nervous about doing an engagement session, so I figured taking pictures while out hiking would be a fun and easy way to get them to relax. As it turns out, they were super easy to work with and total naturals!
I suggested starting the session at Barrier Lake to take a few fun pictures in a driftwood teepee and on the beach. However, we were really looking for some snow for their adventure engagement session though, so we continued on to the Spray Lakes area and started hiking up the nearest trail we could find. We decided to keep hiking until we got to a neat lookout with (hopefully) some amazing mountain views. Pretty much anywhere in the Rockies, if you hike for long enough you will reach an amazing lookout spot. Sure enough, we did! We took some spectacular pictures surrounded by snow and mountains. On the way down, the most beautiful soft snow started to fall. I’ve decided that winter is one of the most romantic seasons for engagement sessions, and I love when couples choose to brave the cold and snow for pictures!
We finished the session at the Reservoir, taking pictures as the sun set behind the beautiful snowy mountains.
See this link for the full post on the Mountainside Bride blog -> mountainsidebride.com/wintry-mountain-engagement-shoot-in-kananaskis-country-alberta/
Around this time of year, people start sending me Christmas cards, but with little time on my hands here is recap of my 2016 as a Calgary Wedding Photographer. To say that the last 365 days have been an absolute blur would be an understatement. 2016 brought so many wonderful things in to my life, and I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! What an incredible year it’s been. One of the best and most memorable for sure, and the busiest yet! I thought I would write a brief review of this last year as the next one creeps up quickly. That’s the best part about life is you never know what’s coming up next!
Calgary Wedding Photographer
Where would I be without all of my amazing clients! This was my busiest wedding season yet as a Calgary wedding photographer (having moved my business from Ontario). I have so many people to thank for that! If at some point I’ve photographed you or are going to photograph you, I want you to know how truly thankful I am for your business. Being able to wake up everyday and absolutely love what I do is pretty rare I think. I couldn’t ask for a better career and am grateful that you have all trusted me to capture your special love stories or life adventures!
Near the beginning of the year I had to opportunity to shoot my very first solo styled-shoot. Thanks to a few local wedding vendors we put together a beautiful styled winter wedding in the heart of downtown Calgary at CharBar restaurant. Our industry is full of incredibly talented people and it always amazing to see their vision and beautiful work. I am also extremely grateful to be a part of such an encouraging and supportive wedding community. We push each other to improve and create our best work, and I’ve become a better Calgary wedding photographer because of it.
Just before the busy season began, my new hubby and I took ourselves to Vancouver Island for our honeymoon. We spent 5 days hiking the Juan de Fuca trail, which was some of the most beautiful hiking we have done in Canada. We managed to have perfect weather and all around had a blast. After living abroad for almost 4 years, we were glad to stay in Canada for our honeymoon and travel more of this beautiful country that we call home. After our hike, we spent a week surfing in Tofino and relaxing in our beach cottage which came equipped with a hot tub!
This year also saw me taking a leadership role as one of five captains for my Ultimate team (Wild). It was a big learning curve trying to figure out how to balance both a demanding summer wedding schedule and summer team. I had an absolute blast and learned so much from my fellow captains and teammates. We finished fifth at the National Championships and I couldn’t have asked any more of this amazing team!
As I turned 30 near the end of the year, I felt encouraged to be entering a new decade. This year has many exciting projects and milestones ahead. I can’t wait to share them with you as they happen!
Lastly, here are some of my FAVOURITE IMAGES from this year. It was hard to narrow these down into a post that wasn’t irritatingly long. 2017, you have a lot to live up to!
I had so much fun with my 2017 adventure wedding giveaway, that this year, I have decided to do an adventure elopement giveaway! I want to offer all adventurous couples out there a chance to win full coverage for their elopement anywhere in the world.
Being outdoors is what I live for, and I want to capture spontaneous and adventurous couples in wild places. Do you and your partner enjoy hiking, canoeing, climbing, or breathing in the fresh mountain air? Are you planning an outdoor elopement? (outdoor venue, cabin, mountain setting, or other fun location)? Canada or International! If this sounds like you, enter to win a free adventure elopement giveaway!
Scroll down for all the details!
Here is what’s included:
– full elopement coverage by Laura Barclay Photography
– 300-400 high resolution edited images
– an online, password protected gallery of all your images
**Contest is open to all couples, so feel free to tag with your engaged friends who are the adventurous type!**
Here’s how to enter this amazing giveaway:
1) Follow Laura Barclay Photography on Instagram
2) Tag three friends on my Instagram post and list where you want to get eloped
3) Send an email to email@example.com with the following information:
– First and last names
– Phone number(s)
– Elopement date + location
– A photo that best represents the two of you as a couple
– A little about your elopement! What do you envision/have planned?
– Some sentences that describe the two of you as a couple… your love story! I want to hear how you two got together and why you’d love to win this giveaway!
– Please state that you read the rules and that you agree to the terms of the giveaway.
You have until MARCH 18 to enter! Good luck!
The Official Rules for the Laura Barclay Photography 2018 Adventure Wedding Elopement Giveaway:
You must be 18 or older to enter, and have an elopement date set between April 1st, 2018 and December 31st, 2018. Your elopement can take place in Canada or internationally.
Couples who have already booked or inquired with Laura Barclay Photography are not eligible to participate in this giveaway.
Please do not enter this giveaway if you are already booked with another photographer. I am not out to steal business from other photographers.
Your date must still be available in my schedule to be considered, or your date must be flexible.
You must have a set date for your elopement when entering this giveaway, or be able to set a date within 2 weeks of winning.
The Laura Barclay Photography giveaway entries will be accepted from today, until March 18th, 2018 at 11:59pm MST. I will then choose three couples who must be available to chat some time from March 18-25, 2018, because I want to make sure that we are a great fit! The winner will be notified via phone/email at the number and address provided and will be announced on my blog, facebook, & instagram on March 31st, 2018.
Should you win this giveaway, and if your elopement is taking place more than 100 kilometers from Calgary, you must agree to pay for all travel expenses for Laura Barclay Photography. I will make all travel arrangements but will keep the costs low..don’t you worry!
A contract must be signed and returned to Laura Barclay Photography within 2 weeks of winning, along with any travel expenses that will need to be paid for the actual wedding day.
Only one couple will be awarded this giveaway, full coverage of professional photography by Laura Barclay, and approximately 300-400, high resolution digital photos.
This adventure elopement giveaway prize cannot be sold, traded, transferred, or exchanged for cash or any other item or service.
The winning couple also agrees to be featured on www.laurabarclay.ca, as well as on any other publication that Laura Barclay Photography wishes to submit to. The names and images of the winning couple will be used by Laura Barclay Photography for promotional purposes.
By participating in this adventure elopement photography giveaway, you agree to be bound by these official rules.
Amy + Gord chose a Fish Creek Park Engagement and I couldn’t have been happier! There are endless places that are great for couple portraits there. You can usually find some sheltered spots even if the weather isn’t great. As a puppy-mom myself, I was also excited that they wanted their dog to be included in a few shots, because I love including pets! How cute was she just sitting on the bridge while I took photos of them in the background!
Both Amy and Gord wanted to include their riders jerseys for part of the shoot because it had quite a significant meaning. For her birthday, Amy unwrapped the last present from Gord, and sure enough it was a riders jersey. She was slightly underwhelmed, lets say, not being a HUGE fan herself. That is, until she turned it over and it had his last name on it. He proposed with a beautiful ring, and after the shock wore off came the tears and the yes’s. Kudos Gord – love it!
We took our time wandering around Fish Creek, and I kept being amazed at the way Gord looked at Amy. You can tell they love each other, and both had a great time getting pictures taken together. At times, they were so natural that I just back away and let them interact. Amy was game for anything, which I appreciated, including sitting in the grass in white pants. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can never keep clothing white!
I was about to post their wedding photos when I realized that I was so behind on blogging, that I hadn’t even posted their engagement session yet! Sorry guys! I really had a blast with you, and feel like I made two friends, not just clients when I met you.
Last year around this time I ran an adventure wedding giveaway and was contacted by Roshni + Christer. After reading a bit about them, I knew I had to learn more about them and their wedding. When I ran my giveaway, I was looking for a couple doing something a bit out of the ordinary and whom I could relate to. Roshni is originally from the States and Christer from Denmark, but they met while traveling. They have been living in various countries all over the world since meeting. What drew me to choose Roshni and Christer to win my giveaway was how kind they were when I met them over skype, and how they shared my love of traveling and experiencing different cultures.
They decided to have a desert wedding, based at Roshni’s aunts house just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. I was thrilled when we planned to photograph the wedding on Saturday and then spend an hour in the Valley of Fire on the Sunday as a little day-after adventure session. This was a dream couple and location to shoot, and couldn’t wait to tell them that they were the lucky winners!
I had the privilege of staying with the families for three full days, and we spent time playing games, enjoying amazing food, and generally having amazing conversations. It was fascinating to hear that Roshni was a negotiator for the government, which had her placed in different countries for 1-2 years at a time. It sounded like incredibly challenging work, but the places she got to live and experience had me green with envy.
After playing a game of Kubb with their friends and families Saturday morning, it was time for their wedding ceremony. They both wore traditional Indian dress, and both the red and royal blue colouring was spectacular in the desert setting. They had a traditional Indian ceremony, with Roshni’s uncle explaining each step to those that didn’t know each significance. The ceremony was filled with love, colour, and tradition, and I loved every minute of it.
After the sunset ceremony, their guests ate and danced the night away. One of Roshni’s cousins who is a very successful chef, made incredible Indian dishes. There was also traditional Bollywood dancing with the bridal party performing a choreographed routine.
The next day we headed to the Valley of Fire for a sunset day-after adventure session and it was incredible. As soon as we got to the canyon, I immediately wished I could photograph them for days! Sadly we only had just over an hour, but we had a blast wandering around and taking pictures. It was spectacular scenery and a vast difference from the cool blue mountains I am used to in Alberta. I was so thrilled to be a part of their day and was so stoked on how well my adventure wedding giveaway ended up working out!
Now for some exciting news… I’ll be doing another giveaway this year – this time for a full adventure elopement! Stay tuned for this announcement and, in the mean time, enjoy the photos from Roshni + Christer’s Nevada desert wedding!
A little while ago I headed out to Banff to photograph J+T for their Lake Minnewanka engagement session! It was a typical May day filled with crisp air, sunshine, and gorgeous clear mountain views! Julia + Taylor got engaged in the mountains, so it was a perfect location for their shoot. Lake Minnewanka, while being an incredibly popular tourist location, is one of my favourite places for engagement sessions because the area is so beautiful and there are some hidden secret spots a 10 minute hike away. The landscape offers some of the best mountain views, and the lake and rocks provide so many options for photos! There’s a crispness in the air and the light is amazing. Plus you don’t have to wait until 10 pm that amazing golden hour of light!
I was so excited to meet up with Julia and Taylor for their Lake Minnewanka engagement photos. Ever since we met they have felt more like friends than clients. I find it can be awkward for couples to be photographed with people nearby watching, so we walked a little further away to get some privacy! Julia and Taylor did a great job of cuddling and laughing all through their session. Honestly, that makes my job super easy! Julia also killed it when I aksed her to climb and hike through a few tough spots to get to pretty locations for me, even though she was wearing high wedge shoes (ummm hello – ideal client!). Congrats to the both of you and I’m really looking forward to your wedding in Priddis this summer! Here’s some of my favourites from their Lake Minnewanka engagement.