CARLEEN | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAD 2016

I had worked with Carleen's family a couple of years ago for her sister, Shaelynn's graduation portrait session and couldn't wait for Carleen to visit the studio.

One of the options I always give my grad clients is to book their session on the same day and time as a friend.  This gives you an option to not only have your full indivdual portrait session, but also images together.  And memories to share! Carleen and Alex decided to take me up on this offer, and I will publish those images in a seperate blog post.

Carleen knew that she wanted a combination of inside the studio and outdoors.  During her pre-session consultation, we went through her clothing selection and I went to work designing a custom experience just for her.

DRESS: Carleen purchased her amazing dress from Prom affair in Edmonton.  Her review was that they were very  helpful and had a nice selection. Her dress design was Paparazzi.

PINK BLANKET:  Urban Outfitters

WORDS OF ADVICE:  Book pictures , hair and make up artist early .  There is very little time that day for make up so the good times get taken up quickly .  Nice to get professional pictures well ahead of time and trial the dress and hair and makeup!  Professional pictures are so worth it as they are long lasting memories! 

HAIR: Lindsey from Crop Hair, Red Deer, Alberta

MAKEUP: Nathalie Grzech, Faces by Nathalie, Sylvan Lake, Alberta

HIGH SCHOOL:  Notre Dame, Red Deer, Alberta

FUTURE PLANS: Carleen is attending Ryerson University in downtown Toronto .  She is in 4 year degree for BFA in Performance  Dance.  Research  which universities for the field you love that are highly rated and live your dream !  

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!

KATELYN | RED DEER PHOTOGRAPHER | GRAD 2016

At our pre-session consultation Katelyn knew right away that an in studio session would be perfect for the type of portraits she wanted.  And I couldn't have agreed more!  

It's incredibly important to me, for my studio clients' sessions to feature two - three different, unique looks.  Not only to represent different aspects of their personalities, but it also happens to be just a little (okay, a lot) more fun. 

Traditionally, graduation photos involve a cap and gown and 5 minutes of the photographers time. It's my hope, to personalize this extraordinary milestone and celebrate the ending of one chapter and start of another. Therefore, graduation sessions are completely customized, by working together with my clients and to collaborate on their session in order to truly show who they are.

And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a few extra details from Katelyn's session....

CLOTHING
DRESS: Sherri Hill purchsed from Gemini Bridal in Edmonton
BURGANDY DRESS: Urban Outfitters and the black hat is from a store called Blonde in Kelowna
WHITE DRESS: American Eagle
FLORAL CROWN: Greenery from Stems, Red Deer and made my moi :).

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

HIGH SCHOOL ATTENDED
Notre Dame, Red Deer, Alberta

FUTURE PLANS
Katelyn is atteninding Okanagan College in Kelowna and is pursuing her business degree.

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!

5 TIPS FOR VISITING THE VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK . NEVADA

Last April we had a stopover in Las Vegas on our spring family holiday. Since neither of us, or our kids are really into any of the typical Las Vegas 'things to do' options, we ventured out of the city to something that is more our style.  So, if you are anything like us, perhaps you will find this helpful to check out The Valley of Fire State Park if you ever find yourself in the area.

Valley of Fire State Park Nevada

1.  ABOUT A 45 MINUTE DRIVE

The state park is about a 45 minute drive from the north side of Las Vegas. And as a bonus a drive through the desert is always an added bonus.

valley-of-fire-state-park

2. $10 ENTRANCE FEE

The entrance fee per vehicle is $10 daily.  There is a fantastic visitor centre as well with exhibits featuring geology, ecology, prehistory and history of the park and nearby regions.  They also have information on the hikes available throughout the park.  A must stop when you first arrive. 

3. PLAN YOUR VISIT EARLY OR LATE IN THE DAY

As with any visit to the desert the heat can be a little overwhelming in the middle of the day.  Especially for kids.  And me ;).  We visiting the park in April in the middle of the day and found it was tolerable, however I wouldn't recommend it if you had younger children.  Hats, sunscreen and water are all musts.

valley-of-fire-state-park

4. MANY EASY HIKES TO CHOOSE FROM

In the couple of hours we were there, we managed to get in two hikes.  Our first one, the White Domes Trail is a must see.  It is a loop trail, at the beginning featuring an area that was used for the filming of a 1966 movie.  In the middle of the hike you find yourself in the area pictured above, a long slot canyon. 

valley-of-fire-state-park

5.  DON'T MISS THE PETROGLYPHS

Petroglyph Canyon is a short in and out hike.  These ancient rock carvings are spread throughout this canyon and are defiantly worth slowing down to take a peek.

valley-of-fire-state-park

I hope these images and tips inspired you to get out of the city and into nature on your next visit to the desert!

 

The Bloom Collective: Simple

I belong to a photography forum on Everything Bloom called The Bloom Forum.  The site is a fantastic resource for online workshops of all kinds.  Everything from creativity, editing, business and shooting.  Back in December, they announced a project they were pulling together for 2017 called The Bloom Collective.  The main purpose was to pull a few photographers together to curate a collection of images each month based on a theme. And on a whim, I threw my name in the hat and said why not.  I can hold myself accountable to making 12 images this year for creative purposes, right?  Right.

January's theme: Simple. I excited to see where this project goes throughout the year. 

the-bloom-collective

THE BALLERINA EVENT 2017 - REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 2017 BALLERINA EVENT!

The Ballerina Event is back for another year!  This year I am excited to offer two unique options on two different days.  The first event will feature sessions in the white, natural light studio.  Images from last year can be seen on this blog post found HERE.  The second day we will create dramatic, action images for the more experienced dancer.  Examples can be found on this BLOG POST.

Registration is simple. Decide which style suits your dancer and their personality, then click this link, which takes you straight to the booking calendar with dates, times and payment.

Any questions at all, please email me at youandme@leighagraf.com!

Studio Dance Portraits

Many of the clients I photograph, either for grad or teen sessions, also have a love for dance, and are often interested in incorporating this into their time at the studio.  

Knowing that I am never one to turn down a challenge, along with having a love for always trying something new, we were able to create these images together.  

These types of portraits can either be combined with a full session experience, or a session all on their own. Feel free to contact me for details and product offerings!

The Ballerina Event

Hello friends! I'm excited to share that The Ballerina Event dates will be announced later this week. Keep a watch out on social media, the blog or subscribe to the newsletter to be the first to know.  

In the meantime...here are a few of my favourites from last years event day!