Winter Weddings – Pros and Cons explained by a Banff Wedding Photographer

Couples come from all over the world to get married in Banff and the majority come in the summer months. It’s not a secret that winter in Canada transforms landscapes but in terms of photography the top wedding photographers in Banff know that the landscape is completely different. For starters, the blues and green hues of the lakes and rivers are gone, frozen and buried in snow. Banff Photographers have to embrace a different colour palate and endure some trying weather conditions. The reward can be pretty amazing though!

Most couples looking to hire one of the top wedding photographers in Banff will expect the photographer to have a good understanding of where the best locations are. Winter Wedding Couples will want snow and ice and expect the scene to look like a Christmas movie. The reality though is quite often weeks will go by without new snow in or around the Town of Banff. The ground can be bare exposing mainly brown grass, and it can be a pretty depressing monotone of mainly browns and grays. Experienced Banff Photographers will know where to go to find snow and how to make the most out of the not ideal conditions.

Banff Wedding Photographer

One of my earliest experiences as a Banff Wedding Photographer taught me a really important lesson about winter wedding photography, namely, have really low expectations for your bride and groom’s ability to “tough it out”. They will be very enthusiastic months ahead when dreaming about their winter wedding. On the actually wedding day though, when it is – 10 degrees Celsius with a strong wind, they will soon decide that 15 minutes of photography is enough. The lure of a warm room and drinks with their guests will be a tough force to fight!

As a Banff Wedding Photographer with years of experience photographing winter weddings I have learned that location planning is the key to success. Another key is explaining ahead of time to the couple how the schedule during winter shoots works. There has to be time allotted to warming up. I try to use locations where I can get the shot set up while the couple stays warm in a vehicle, then get them out at the last minute and only have them out for as long as necessary.

Banff Wedding Photographer

While the landscape changes a lot between summer and winter the biggest overall difference for a Banff Wedding Photographer to keep in mind is the sunset time and sun angles are really different. Depending on where you are in the valley sunset could be as early as 2:30pm! As all Banff Photographers know, your favorite place to shoot in the summer might not be an option in the winter simply because the sun never hits it.

Banff Wedding Photographer

As one of the top wedding photographers in Banff, Alan loves the challenges of a winter weddings and draws from his years of experience to make the process as enjoyable as possible for the couples. Email Alan at email@alanmaudie.com

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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.