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.
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.
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.
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!