Ammonite Falls Hike . Vancouver Island

As some of you know, we packed up from Red Deer in the middle of March and headed out to Vancouver Island for a month long stay.  The majority of our time was spent with the boys doing their off season golf training, however, we were able to fit in a little bit of downtime here and there with visiting family and taking in a few hikes.  Despite the uncooperative weather ;).

Ammonite Falls, just outside of Nanaimo, was one of our afternoon trips.  As I know some of you visit Vancouver Island as a holiday spot, I thought I would share a little more information about the trail and falls in case you want to add it to your travel plans.

* Location: The trail is just 15 minutes west of Nanaimo. Paved roads and easy to find using google maps.
* Parking: There is a small lot just past the trail entrance. Google maps takes you to the road where the trail starts, however just drive past this and you will see the parking lot ahead.
* Time: This is a in and out trail to the falls. We had our two dogs and went at an average pace and it took about 1.5 hours
* Difficulty: The trail is really well groomed and considered easy.  Getting down to the bottom of the falls is more difficult and needs to be navigated using the rope system available on the trail. Also, the bottom of the viewing area is rather small and enough area for a few people at a time.
* Geocaching: We didn't manage to actually find any on our hike (this seems to be a recurring problem for us, haha), but there were quite a few noted on our GPS.

If you have any questions at all about the hike, don't hesitate to send me an email! 

Leigha

BREANNA | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAD 2016

Today seems like a good day to feature another 2016 Grad, right?  I managed to post five of last years sessions, but have about 7 more to share. Time to get refocused before 2017 is over ;).

I loved Breanna's session from start to finish.  We hadn't met prior to her and her mom visiting the studio for the first time, which was during their pre-session consultation, and I knew right away she was my kind of girl. Especially after she showed me her inspriation photos for her session and I loved the style! 

Again, thank you Breanna (and mom!) for choosing me to photograph you for your graduation. I hope you treasure these images for years to come!


CLOTHING
DRESS: Echo Bridal, Calgary, AB
OUTFIT #2: Turtleneck borrowed from a friend.
OUTFIT #3: Pink shirt from Urban Outfitters and Jeans from Zara

HAIR AND MAKEUP
Nathalie Gzrech, Faces by Nat, Sylvan Lake, Alberta

HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDED
Lindsey Thurber, Red Deer, Alberta

FUTURE PLANS
Breanna is taking a gap year and upgraded some of her classes last semester.  She is also travelling through Europe and Southeast Asia. And has enrolled in commerce with a major in marketing at UBC and U of C for next fall. 

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PALM SPRINGS | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | FEBRUARY 2017

This is a big milestone for me.  I filmed and finished processing another video. *insert big fist pump*! I am sure many of you photographers can relate. First you see a beautifully shot and edited video (can you say Hailey Bartholomew), then you think, "I want to give that a go!". And so you do. And you shoot and shoot. And film and film. Then you try to sit down and edit the beast, and three days later, pull yourself out from behind your computer. Yea? And let's not get started on sourcing music. Again, yea.

HOWEVER, after I returned from the NAPCP retreat in January, Rya inspired me to get back at it. Her class, and discussion around motion, was such a good reminder as to why I love it so much. 

What I am also finding is this. And perhaps it is just my kids, or the fact that they are boys, but they are really drawn to motion (and videos) much more. I can often find them reminiscing and watching the past videos I have created. (You can find a few uploaded on my Youtube channel HERE.)

So. While we were in Palm Springs a few weeks ago, and I was doing one of my favorite things (watching my boys golf together), I managed to film these few (okay a lot) clips. I have been wanting to document this story for a long time. Because these are the days I don't want to forget. And I don't want them to forget. And I feel it more stronger than ever that photos and stories only grow in value over time. 

Here's them. On the course. February 2017.

Alex | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAD 2016

Today on the blog is Alex's turn! This one (as well as many of my clients!), makes me feel even more sentimental about how fast these years do go by. I think I met Alex's family around 10 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. And here she is graduated and onto a new chapter. As amazing as it is to watch our kids grow up and become their own 'adults', sometimes it doesn't make graduation any easier on us moms and dads!

Alex has been kind enough to share with us some extra, super helpful, tips and advice for all of you upcoming graduates. Thank you for taking the time to do this Alex!


CLOTHING
DRESS: Jovani purchsed from Prom Affair, Edmonton, Alberta
Some great advice from Alex: "This was the last store of the day with the dress I had “pictured and chosen” so I was pretty excited but when I tried it on, it did not really suit me!  Though I was a little discouraged the staff there was fantastic and encouraged me to not only try on different colors but also different styles that I had not really considered.  In my mind I went there shopping for a slightly edgy black dress…and in the end I went with elegant baby pink!!  I have never worn or owned anything pink before!  Try on everything you only get to graduate once, enjoy the experience and don’t get caught up in what you or others had imagined, have fun with your dress shopping!"
SHOES: Le Chateau
ACCESSORIES:  I went with simple as the dress is simple and elegant.
OUTFIT #2: The cream lace dress I ordered from China for the Winter Formal and loved it so decided it was a good choice for the grad pics! Shoes were from a shopping trip during dance competition season.  My style is definitely random, a mix of soft and edgy for a unique look!
OUTFIT #3: For the casual shot I went with my everyday kind of look, comfortable and relaxed.  Jeans are Levi’s, basic white tee, choker and a light oversized scarf….one of Leigha’s "let’s try this with it" suggestions!  Boots, again were something from the closet that was comfortable and my “go to” favourites.

HAIR AND MAKEUP
Nathalie Gzrech, Faces by Nat, Sylvan Lake, Alberta
Advice from Alex: "Nat was great she just seemed to know what would work!  She also did Grad day before cap and gown at my house...she's amazing...the makeup stays all day!  "
Hair: Karly and the Worx
Advice from Alex: "Go with what you are comfortable with, you are wearing it all day for grad!  For your pics mix it up a little try hair up and down for some different looks."

"Book hair and make up on grad day in advance...like now!! The day goes by very quickly try to time hair and makeup right after ceremonies and don't overbook your day there is not much time."

HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDED
Notre Dame, Red Deer, Alberta

FUTURE PLANS
Alex is studying Bachelor of Science at MacEwan University in Edmonton, living in Residence. 

ADDITIONAL ADVICE FROM ALEX
"Take some time to think about what kind of pics you want…I coordinated my picture time with my best friend and even though we did not pick outfits to compliment or match each other it worked great! These pics are some of my favourites and it will be a fond memory for me to have spent this time together since we are across Canada from each other now.  Leigha has great ideas and is very talented, she tries to capture something unique about every Grad so that their pictures are special.   Have fun!!   "

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MAKENNAH | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAD 2016

Today on the blog, featured is Makennah's 2016 Graduation session. I had met Makennah for the first time when she visited the studio with her mom and sister for the Mother's Day Event - and couldn't wait to have her visit again for graduation!

If any of you know what springtime is like in Central Alberta, you know the weather can change in minutes.  And that is just what happened halfway through Makennah's session. So, along with capturing a few moody images with the storm clouds, we ran inside the studio once the rain rolled in, brought out the studio lights, and went to plan B. Creating a few editorial style, edgier looks.  Which we all loved.

CLOTHING
DRESS: Bliss purchsed from Durand Bridal and Formal Wear, Calgary, Alberta
GREEN OVERALLS: Hat and outfit from Aritzia
BLACK OUTFIT: Shirt, Aritzia; Booties, Steven Madden; Jeans, American Eagle; Necklace, Stella & Dot

HAIR AND MAKEUP
Janine Lachance, Beauty Mark Pro, Sylvan Lake, Alberta

HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDED
Notre Dame, Red Deer, Alberta

FUTURE PLANS
Makennah is attending Red Deer College and pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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THE BLOOM COLLECTIVE: LOW LIGHT

Here we are, already onto the second challenge of The Bloom Forum's 2017 project, THE BLOOM COLLECTIVE.

This weeks theme was LOW LIGHT. And as such, I bribed one of my kids to hang out in the studio with me for 1 quick photo (at least that's what I told him).

I wanted to keep things simple, quiet and reflective.  Kinda like me.

I also have to share, before signing off for today, that shooting with intention is one of my favourite things. The process of letting the ideas percolate, being inspired by light, music, nature, design, then creating what you had in your mind. That's my idea of fun ;).

RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER

KADIE | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAD 2016

I'm so excited to feature Kadie's Grad Session today on the blog. When I met Kadie for her pre-session consultation, she knew she wanted an in studio, editorial style shoot, with a touch of confetti for good measure. And that's just what we did. 

Also, after having a peek at her beautiful dress, and learning she had a love for interior design, I knew a few shots with the floral backdrop (wallpaper) I had on hand would be fun to play with. This is why I our pre session meeting is so important. A chance to collaborate on unique ideas that are really YOU.

CLOTHING

DRESS: Alyce Paris and was purchased from Elite Bridal in Lacombe, Alberta

CREAM CASUAL DRESS: Free People from

JEANS AND FLORAL TOP: Grlfrnd jeans and a Wilfred tank both from Aritzia

HAIR AND MAKEUP

Nathalie Gzrech, Faces By Nat, Sylvan Lake, Alberta

HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDED

Notre Dame, Red Deer, Alberta

FUTURE PLANS

Attending Mount Royal University in Calgary and taking Bachelor of Interior Design

Dates for 2017 Grad sessions will be announced to newsletter subscribers on February 1st.  Sign up prior to then to have the best selection of limited dates and times.  Remaining dates will be announced to the general public on February 15.  Subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of this post!