Banff Springs Hotel – A Classic for Wedding Couples and Banff Photographers Alike

If you have never heard of the Banff Springs Hotel, “Google it” and have a look at the images section.  You’ll see a massive castle sticking up through a forest high in the Canadian Rockies.  It looks surreal, like something out of a fairy tale and for many young girls who visit the hotel as a child, it becomes their dream to get married there some day.  The best wedding photographers in Banff, know that Banff Springs Hotel weddings are always amazing to photograph for a variety of reasons.

Hotel In Canada

One of the key reasons it’s easy to capture great images here is the hotel’s location in Banff National Park; there are 360 degree views of the breathtaking Canadian Rockies.  A short drive will take couples to beautiful waterfalls, majestic forests, pristine mountain lakes and amazing vistas.

Banff Wedding Photographer

Another reason top wedding photographers in Banff love working at the Banff Springs Hotel is because of its architecture.  There are very few, if any, buildings in western Canada that rival it’s elegance and grandeur.  Not only does the exterior of the building provide countless unique background options, but the indoor photography options are just as appealing.  The intricate stone work, spiral staircases, polished floors, and huge vaulted windows provide amazing indoor natural lighting options and a large variety of outstanding backdrops.  For those planning an indoor wedding, or a wedding during a time of the year when the weather is typically not ideal this can be a huge consideration.  The best wedding photographers in Banff know that an entire wedding, including the portrait session, can be photographed within the hotel if necessary, which is true of very few other hotels.

Banff Wedding Photographer

The Banff Springs Hotel also provides couples with a variety of options in terms of where to host their wedding within the hotel.  There are 3 large ballrooms for bigger weddings, several smaller spaces for more intimate sized groups, as well as an option for outdoor weddings on the terrace.  Banff photographers love the variety of settings that really allows couples to customize their day.

Top Wedding Photographers in Banff

Couples planning a wedding at the Banff Springs Hotel that want to hire one of the best wedding photographers in Banff should consider hiring Alan Maudie.  He has photographed weddings at the Banff Springs Hotel, in Banff, and in the Canadian Rockies for over a decade and is known locally as a specialist in mountain wedding photography.  As one of the top wedding photographers in Banff, he focusses on helping couples relax and enjoy their day while creating natural looking portraits and candids that capture true emotion.  Email Alan at email@alanmaudie.com

Best Wedding Photographers in Calgary – photographing weddings in Calgary during the Stampede

Top wedding photographers in Calgary understand why couples might want to get married during the Calgary Stampede.  It’s called “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” for a reason and couples who are having lots of family and friends coming to town for their wedding want to show off all that their home city has to offer.  Coming into town for a wedding and then spending the following week enjoying Stampede and exploring the nearby National Parks makes for an amazing holiday for guests.  Flying to a different city can be really expensive for some guests, especially if paying for a long flight, and couples sometimes feel a bit guilty about this.  Making sure guests have other options after the wedding to make the most of their flight expense can mean a lot to couples.  There are some pros and cons to having a wedding in Calgary during the Stampede.

Calgary Wedding Photographers

The Cons:

Even high-end wedding photographers in Calgary who are used to working with couples with large budgets can tell you that it gets really expensive to plan a wedding during the Stampede.  Most restaurants know that they will be able to book a corporate event or host a large party that will generate more income than a wedding.  So if you are lucky enough to find a venue you can expect to pay a premium, especially if you want to be in the downtown core.

Calgary Wedding Photographers

While expense might be a deal breaker the bigger issue may be how busy it is during the first few weeks of July.  Literally thousands of people come into Calgary for the Stampede.  Hotels are hard to come by and restaurants are busy.  The best wedding photographers in Calgary have their favourite locations and areas to use in the city and sometimes these are occupied by street events or just to busy to use.  In addition, parking will be difficult, especially if you have a large wedding party.

Calgary Wedding Photographers

The Pros:

The Calgary Stampede runs for 10 days at the start of July.  There are some other great times of the year to get married in Calgary but the city is often looking its best at this time of the year.  Weather is also a variable in Caglary, but July is usually when the rain stops the the weather warms up.  Top wedding photographers in Calgary know that weather plays a big role in how the wedding day runs.

Calgary Wedding Photographers

The city is alive and full of excitement during the Stampede.  Stampede offers world class rodeo events, exhibition grounds, fair, food, and popular musicians.

Wedding Event Hall

Couples planning a wedding in Calgary during the Stampede that want to hire one of the best wedding photographers in Calgary should consider hiring Alan Maudie.  He has photographed hundreds of weddings in the Calgary area and specializes in creating natural and relaxed portraits of couples and while quietly capturing candids of your day creates a legacy that will last beyond you.

Email Alan at email@alanmaudie.com

A Calgary Family Photographer Talks About Creating Natural Portraits

I am a parent and a photographer, so I do understand what parents are after when they come to me looking to hire a Calgary Family Photographer.  Mainly they are worried that their kids are getting bigger and they don’t have a set of photos that shows their personalities, expressions and character at that time.

Calgary Family Photographer

There are quite a few different approaches to photographing a family and this post doesn’t speak to all of the options.  My approach is probably best described as photo journalistic coverage of a planned activity.  Or to paraphrase my clients “photos of family that don’t look overly posed.”

Calgary Family Photographer

When I first started photographing Calgary families I found it extremely painful.  The parents told me they wanted a portrait, so I did my best to arrange everyone and then tried to get a photo where every person was looking at the camera and smiling.  Wow, just writing a description of it seems boring and painful.  For starters, kids don’t want to sit still, or look at a camera or smile on cue.  Most young kids can’t smile on request.  Their true smile only comes out when they are laughing.  Long story short, this approach wasn’t for me.  As a Calgary Family Photographer what I wanted to do was just basically walk around a park, neighbourhood, or natural area with a family and take photos while they interacted with each other.  How do you sell that though?  Its always easier to show people what they will get versus trying to describe it so I started to make a collection of the types of images I wanted.

Calgary Family Photographer

After I finished doing the more traditional portraits I asked families to take a small walk and try to ignore me and my camera.  I told moms the portraits are done, don’t worry about the kids getting their clothes dirty.  Just let them be kids and let me take photos of it.  This strategy worked really well and the resulting images made it easy for me to sell other families on the concept.  Now at a typical family photography session we will just go out and wander around an area with limited direction from me.  I still believe a traditional family portrait is important, but now I look for the perfect opportunity for it, get the parents in place and then bring the kids in at the last second.  The key is to tfake the photos quick and move on.  If you don’t get it don’t worry, just keep going and try again later.  In short, keeping the kids moving and busy is the key.

Calgary Family Photographer

Now when I get families looking to hire a Calgary Newborn Photographer I can show them these types of photos, explain that the same kind of shoot can be done for a maternity session and then when their children are a bit older we can do something similar.  The goal for a newborn shoot for me it to document the baby and get a record of how cute and tiny they were.  Quite often couples who are hiring a Calgary Newborn Photographer aren’t even really thinking about what kind of shoot they will want when their kids are older so it’s nice to introduce them to this option and plant the idea.

Calgary Newborn Photographer

Alan Maudie is a Calgary Family Photographer based out of Calgary, Alberta.  He is a father of 3 and in addition to offering Calgary Newborn and Maternity Photography is also an accomplished wedding photographer.

Is Banff a Top Destination for Weddings?

While killing some time the other day I searched “Top 10 Wedding Destinations” and as expected a bunch of top 10, 50, 100 type articles popped up.  What surprised me though was that Banff, Alberta wasn’t on any of them.  While I do understand why beach destinations tend to dominate these lists, there were quite a few other non-beach locations listed and no mention of one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. As a Banff Photographer I thought I would write a short article to outline why I think Banff should make most “top” lists for destination weddings.  For those unfamiliar with the area, the Town of Banff is in Banff National Park in the southwest part of Alberta.

Banff wedding photographer

First off, as all the best Wedding Photographers in Banff know, it is an epic location for photographing weddings.  Waterfalls, mountain tops, meadows, lakes etc.  I have been photographing weddings in Banff for over a decade and on the wedding day I always run out of time before I run out of options.  The hardest thing Banff Photographers deal with is making sure you don’t keep the wedding couple out too long on the portrait session!!

Banff wedding photographer

Banff Photographers never get tired of photographing wedding in the Canadian Rockies because the seasons are so different.  While this is a nice perk for those lucky few who get to work in Banff through all seasons, it is also great for prospective couples because it gives them a few more options.  Winter weddings in the Rockies are completely different than summer weddings, so much so its almost like they are two separate locations.  The summer months bring long days with sunsets at 9-10pm while durning winter months the sun can dip behind the mountains as early as 4:30pm.  Wildflowers in July are beautiful and amazing fall colors arrive by September.

Banff wedding photographer

Guests coming from non-mountain locations always appreciate visiting the area because its so different from what they are used to.  Those American guest visiting from the south get to escape the heat.  Most guests have been to a few beach destinations, so when you plan a beach destination wedding it can be hard to impress guests.

Banff wedding photographer

If you want to impress guests look no farther than the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  Nicknamed “The Castle” it is no wonder so many brides have dreamed of being married there ever since their first visit as a little girl.  The best Wedding Photographers in Banff will be able to incorporate both the exterior and interior of the hotel into your wedding days photos.

The Castle

Banff offers so many options to couples both in terms of landscape and venues and if that isn’t enough you don’t have to look too far for more stunning natural beauty. Banff photographers will have many options for couples within Banff National Park such as Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and even Peyto Lake, which can be reached on the wedding day with some planning.  All of this is an ease one hour drive from Calgary’s International Airport, making it an a simple location to fly into for most North America guests.

Wedding Photo
Alan Maudie is a Banff Wedding Photographer based out of Calgary, Alberta.  He was born and raised in the Canadian Rockies and has a passion for documenting mountain weddings.

When should we do our engagement session? – Calgary Wedding Photographer Alan Maudie answers a common question

I have been a Calgary Wedding Photographer for the past 10+ years and on average shoot around 20 weddings a year.  Most Calgary Wedding Photographers offer an engagement session to couples either as an add-on or part of their coverage.  I try to keep these sessions informal and fun.  Actually, I try to keep all my photography that way, but even more so with engagement sessions where I am often trying to convince the skeptical groom that being photographed can be a good time.  There are some key pointers/suggestions that I make to couples who are planning a session.  For now I’ll talk a bit about the various different seasons of the year and how they work for engagement sessions or any portrait session for that matter.  I realise not all readers are in Calgary or even Alberta, so please keep in mind that this advice is specific this part of the world.

winter engagement session Calgary

I won’t sugar coat it, planning a winter engagement session in Calgary is usually and exercise in patience. There are very few days during the winter where there is fresh snow on the ground but it’s not -20 or snowing sideways.  Some of the best wedding photographers in Calgary know “winter” shoots usually work better in the mountains where snowpack is more consistent and the weather is sometimes a bit more moderate. I spend a lot of time in the mountains and calling me a Banff Wedding Photographer wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.  Some years I do more weddings in the mountains than I do in the city.  I have photographed quite a few winter weddings at Lake Louise and it is usually pretty reliable for snow.  Banff photographers also struggle with a lack of snow at times too, so best to check out the webcams first and make sure there is actually some snow on the ground before driving out.  Having said all that, if you do time a winter session right it can be really amazing, so worth the hassle.

Banff winter engagement session

My favourite two times of the year for engagement session in Calgary are early summer and early fall.  Calgary photographers know that June typically starts off great and ends up wet, so you might not want to plan anything too late into June.  Fall is in my opinion the best time of the year for an engagement session or Family Photography session in Calgary.  As we move into September the light gets better and the fall colour starts to appear.  The season typically peaks around the end of September, when the leaves come down, but October can be really nice too some years.

alanmaudie-may-engagement-session-calgary

alanmaudie-june-engagement-session-calgary

alanmaudie-fall-engagement-session-calgary

My least favourite time of the year in Calgary is April, it is basically really ugly.  The unsung hero though for me is November.  Not every November works out, but more often that not there is a week of weather where the temps are warm and there isn’t much wind.  If you can plan on getting out to do your shoot in the late afternoon there are some perfect sunsets.  It has an amazing California look to it.  Have fun!

alanmaudie-november-engagement-session-calgary

Top Urban and Natural Calgary Wedding Photography Locations

A Calgary wedding photographer has a wide range of locations to select from.  Calgary is a beautiful city that has the Canadian Rocky Mountains as a backdrop and the famous Bow River flowing through town. In addition to all the natural beauty in the area, the city of Calgary also has some amazing urban options from old sandstone heritage buildings to modern architecture.  A skilled photographer working with a great couple will have a lot of fun creating memorable Calgary wedding photography. Some of the high-end wedding photographers in Calgary simply love the range of options from urban streetscapes to mature forests.

Please have a look at some of the best Calgary wedding photography locations:

1. Fish Creek Park:

The best thing about the Fish Creek Park is that it offers a location that doesn’t look or feel like a big city.  It’s also a year-round option where an experienced Calgary wedding photographer can shoot any time of the year. The open fields with sweeping skies and the quiet treed areas of the Fish Creek Park makes it one of the best Calgary wedding photography locations. This beautiful park is in the same area where the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant is located, which makes it easy for the couple to sneak out of the wedding reception with their photographer at sunset.

Fish Creek Park Wedding Photo
2. Charbar:

Located inside the old Simmons Buildings in the East Village, the Charbar (http://www.charbar.ca/)  is a versatile location that can be used for both Calgary wedding photography or engagement shoots. The best thing about Charbar is that this character location can accommodate weddings and receptions too.  The home like atmosphere of Charbar’s brick interior and low lighting provides photographers a perfect environment for photojournalistic wedding photography.

Charbar Wedding Photo
3. Confederation Park:

With a central location near Downtown, Confederation Park has beautiful trees and manicured lawns that offer a great location for more traditional Calgary wedding photography.  The parks urban setting makes it a favorite for many Calgary wedding photographers to use for their wedding and family photography shoots.

Confederation Park Wedding Photo
4. Langevin Bridge:

The Langevin Bridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langevin_Bridge) is an incredible Calgary wedding photography location that has the added bonus of being oriented perfectly for sunsets. Also known as the Reconciliation Bridge, this bridge has rustic classic look and is known to be a great place to take urban looking wedding photos any time of the year.

Lethbridge Wedding Photographer
5. Crescent Heights:

This scenic overlook is a favorite Calgary wedding photography location because Crescent Heights provides a perfect view of the downtown skyline.  This location lets an experienced Calgary wedding photographer provide a wide range of options for wedding couples.

Calgary wedding photography location
If you are looking for experienced and high-end wedding photographers in Calgary, who have over a decade of experience choosing the perfect wedding location and executing the best wedding shoot then consider Alan Maudie. He would love to talk to you and discuss your Calgary wedding photography project help make your day relaxing and enjoyable while utilizing some of the best locations Calgary has to offer.

Feel free to send me an mail at email@alanmaudie.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible! Or stay connected with us through Facebook, Twitter, Google+Instagram and Pinterest social networks!