The amount of times I have written about my love for this family is a billion times, for sure. They really are the best. Some of our dearest friends and my most loyal clients, Niomi and Myles are some of the best. So much so, I am bringing you TWO blog posts on the same day of their latest family adventure, little Jayden.
This shoot was at the Kinsmen Park in Edmonton, along the river valley on a gorgeous June day. I love the sweet moments down by the river valley where we convinced Eli to approach his baby brother. What a kid!
Porcha and Dallas are the real deal. I mean it.
I met Porcha and Dallas in 2017 when I hosted a teenage girl event at my former junior high. I asked for them to come in and answer questions about what it means to have a healthy dating relationship. Well, the girls fired questions at them about dating, marriage, friendships, athletics.. And they took it like total champs. I gave them a gift certificate for my photography for them to use however they wanted and didn't hear anything back for a while..
Fast forward to Spring 2018 and Porcha sends me a Facebook message saying she is pregnant and was wondering if she could still use the certificate. Of course, I said yes and then said she could let me know when she wanted a shoot when it came a little closer. I said the usual, "Don't hesitate to ask any motherhood questions" line which I have said to others before (fully meaning they can ask me ANYTHING. I am an open book) and she said yes! So, we got together for coffee at my house while my little guy napped and talked all things motherhood. It was such a special meeting for me and we became pretty fast friends from there.
Motherhood is a difficult road but it is best done with a community of encouragers at your side. I am so thankful for those who were there to answer my questions and calm my doubts, I can only recommend you find your people to be there for you too.
Also, the maternity shoot was a blast! We had the best time shooting down at Terwillegar Dog Park in South Edmonton last fall and it was again, a very special experience for me. These two have a very deep, beautiful relationship and only speak incredibly highly of the other person. I have absolutely no doubts that their little man, James, is going to have the best family to grow up in. What a lucky little dude!
Some If you have had me as a photographer and asked where I think a good spot would be for your photographs, you will have gotten the frustrating answer of, "I love when you choose a spot that means something to you."
You are thinking "WHAT!" Yet you answer sweetly. "Well, we do not really have somewhere like that" or "We will think about it but I do not have somewhere very close that is meaningful."
Here is the thing. I love when we are in a place that is comfortable for you and that draws you out of.. you! It is the best and really defines my style.
However, I of course have some favorite spots for photos that have been highlighted throughout my work. Here are my top 5 with some example photos. Some of these I have only visited once before but I love the backdrop they give, the flavor of the city they exude or they have just been very memorable shoots!
1. The University of Alberta Campus
When I walked the campus of the University of Alberta, all I could see was photography locations. The greenery is stunning and the architecture is gorgeous. Literally, you have such diversity in styles and spaces. I have done a maternity session here as well as wedding formals.
2. Terwillegar Dog Park
This space has open spaces, a small beach next to the North Saskatchewan, and narrow walking paths. Yes, this is a dog park but it is so beautiful and it is large enough you do not have to even get close to a dog to get the perfect photograph.
3. Fort Heritage Precinct - Fort Saskatchewan
This is where I had my own family photos done. That is how much I love this spot. There are old buildings, a gazebo, trees, pathways and a look out that it is to die for at sunset. The grounds are almost always open to take photos but you can also pay to take photos inside some of the buildings.
4. Edge of the Earth
This is just a little spot in a residential area that is in the Riverbend area of Edmonton. It is a lookout that is between the Fort Edmonton Footbridge and the Terwillegar Footbridge. The view is spectacular especially as the sun is going down. I had the most amazing maternity session with Colter and Carla here.
5. The Shaw Conference Center
If you are looking for an amazing indoor shooting location, this is it. I often see people looking for indoor locations in case the weather is not looking as they hoped. The Shaw has amazing lines that make stunning composition. There is also a little lookout that overlooks the river valley and has the Edmonton skyline the other way out side as well. Phoenix and Dylan had their engagement session here!
Photographers, where is your favorite place to shoot in the city? Friends, where is somewhere you think would work perfectly for a photo shoot?
Carla and Colter. One of my favorite couples on the planet. You guys, these two have WAY too much fun together. I think I was laughing so hard this session, that my cheeks hurt all the way home.
Carla is a good friend of mine from my first year of teaching. We were in the trenches of as first year teachers (It is no joke, y'all. That first year is tough!). We quickly became friends as we tried to problem solve all the world's problems together.. and by that I mean our student's problems. We spent probably the first hour to hour and a half after school together decompressing before spending another five to six hours getting ready for the next day before waving goodbye to one or the other at 8 or 9 at night.
Carla has been talking about babies since I first met her, so when she told me she was pregnant, you could see her doing her inner happy dance from the smile on her face. For all those who don't know her, just know she is going to be an AMAZING mother. It doesn't hurt that Colter is also an absolutely, out of this world, stand up kind of guy. I have already seen him in action as a very hands on dad. You can't beat that. Since this shoot earlier this summer, they have had a baby boy named Rowan and he is a total cutie (duh, look at his parents).
Unfortunately, these two have moved to Oregon for Colter's schooling. Luckily, I love Oregon so I am determined to get down there. I am going to seriously miss them. In the mean time, I am going to look at these photos to make myself feel better.
I love when photography brings people together. In this case, Carina and I have known each other since our junior high volleyball days. Honestly, I was so stoked that she asked me to photograph her maternity photos for her first baby.
These two were so sweet and we had a lot of fun shooting in some amazing light that evening. Earlier in the evening there was rain but we hit that beautiful glow that follows rain. It was the epitome of 'spring.' New life and fresh beginnings.
I love any couple shoots but since becoming a mom, the maternity shoots have really got me right in the feels. There is so much sweet anticipation of that new baby coming to takeover.. I mean, enter their home. All kidding aside, I really do love the excitement that a new baby brings and when it is the first, it really is the last few moments together alone as a couple.
Since these photos have been taken, Carina and Steve have welcomed their precious baby girl into the world! Leave them your congratulations in the comments!