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!!   "

Subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of this post to be the first to know about studio promotions and events!

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!

Want a chance to win a photo shoot with your Bestie(s)?!?

In celebration of spring right around the corner, why not give all high school students the chance to win a FREE BFF MINI SESSION! Simply follow the instructions below to enter!

1. Follow @leighagraf on Instagram 2. Like this post and tag your BFF(s) in the comments 3. Post a photo on Instagram of you and your best friend, or repost this image, tag @leighagraf in the comments and use the hashtag #minisessionwithLGP

The contest will run until 10 pm on Friday, March 4, 2016 and is open to high school students. The winner will be drawn at random and announced Monday, March 7. They will receive a 30 minute mini session for 2-3 people, along with 10 digital files with Leigha Graf Photography.

Banff Travels. Red Deer Photographer

Because it's tuesday.  And this was filmed in April.  And it's already October.  And I can't believe how much kids can change in six months.

Thought those were good reasons to share.

A little video of our Banff travels.

xo

SCOTLAND . TRAVELS

Red Deer Photographer Scotland Travels

This trip to Scotland wasn't something I had planned for a long time, yet I feel like it was planned for me.  It fell into my lap, with my oldest son qualifying to play in a Team Canada golf tournament there.

I definitely wouldn't describe myself as a confident adventurer on my own, and am super thankful for my husband for his encouragement to go.  And sometimes you are given opportunities you just can't say no to, and you have to say yes.

Perhaps we should all do that more often.

Most of my touring, other than my trip into Edinburgh, was done solo. I'm not sure if any of you have traveled this way or experienced this, but it kind of puts a new perspective on what you see. It's quiet. And it seems as though the space between you and what you see are closer. More connected. A stronger sense, if you allow yourself to listen, as to what the story is telling you.

And after coming back home, I stumbled across this quote ....

".....Whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you, but in a totally different form. And if you go towards it with an open heart and a real watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you. And I think that that was one of the recognitions of the Celtic imagination: that landscape wasn't just matter, but that it was actually alive. What amazes me about landscape, landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time."  John O'Donohue

So what I hope what comes across to you in this collective images of Scotland is what it felt like to be there. To be in a place that was so in tune and confident with what it is. From the people, to the land to the feeling in the air. Unapologetically strong, wild, real and honest.

Red Deer Photographer Scotland Travels

1.  THE STREETS OF ST. ANDREWS & THE HOME OF GOLF

St. Andrews is small, quaint and quiet.  Just how I like things.  It is located on the East side of Scotland along the ocean and mainly known as the Home of Golf.  However, it has so much more to offer.   The University is also a large part of the town, along with being a weekend tourist destination for UK locals.

Red Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels St. AndrewsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels St. AndrewsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels Red Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels

 

2.  WEST SANDS BEACH, ST. ANDREWS

The beach runs right along the golf courses of St. Andrews, and is famously known for being the incredible backdrop for the beach scene from the movie Chariots of Fire.  The type of beach with miles of white sand, people on horseback, dogs playing fetch in the ocean and wind in your hair.

Red Deer Photographer Scotland Travels West Sands BeachRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels West Sands BeachRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels West Sands BeachRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels West Sands BeachRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels West Sands BeachRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels

3.  THE PLACES GOLF TAKES US

It still seems surreal that I was in SCOTLAND, watching this boy do something he loves.

Red Deer Photographer Scotland Travels St. AndrewsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels GolfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels GolfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels GolfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels Junior GolfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels Junior GolfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels GolfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels golf courseRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels golfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels golfRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels junior golf at the openRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels junior golf

4.  THE LANDSCAPE

Quite often when I am wandering the golf courses and watching my boys golf, my camera in in hand.  Not only taking photographs of them, but there is always so much beauty in the landscape around.  And in spending four to five hours surrounded by it, I can't help but feel grateful.

Red Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels

5.  EDINBURGH

The obligatory tourist visits to the castle and the royal mile.  Along with the hundreds of other people who had the same idea on the same day ;).

Red Deer Photographer Scotland Travels EdinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels EdinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels EdinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels EdinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels EdinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels EdinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels edinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels edinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels edinburghRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels edinburgh

6.  THE FLOWERS OF SCOTLAND

Some bits of beauty.

Red Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland TravelsRed Deer Photographer Scotland Travels

PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO TOUR: THE AFTER

red deer lifestlye photographer

And finally, I'm excited to share with you the Photography Studio Tour!

As with any project, one of the best parts is seeing it finally come together as you had envisioned. And, as a creative person who doesn’t always (but just about always;)) finish what she starts, creating, building , designing and styling this space was gratifying.

After a solid two months in planning with my favorite designer, Lindsey Johnson, and contractor Saka Builders, we started demolition in October 2013. And thanks to their commitment and hard work, we were able to finish and shoot our first sessions in the middle of December.

After you have had a chance to see the tour, don't forget to check out the 2 previous posts to this 4 part series:  Studio Tour: The In Between and Studio Tour:  The Before.

red deer lifestlye photographer

Being a natural light photographer, moving the studio shooting area to the opposite end of the space, made such a big difference. We were able to install 5 windows, which face west and north. Ideally, a full north wall would have been amazing, but as with any renovation, you are limited in working with what is already existing.

red deer lifestlye photographerred deer lifestlye photographer

As I focus my business on children, families and women’s portraiture (through Honor Studios, of which I am co-owner), I didn’t require a lot of area for storage of props and such. Rather, a couple of makeup stations, dressing rooms and a relaxing atmosphere was a must.

red deer lifestlye photographerred deer lifestlye photographer

I hope you enjoy the little peek into my country studio. And perhaps one day you will have a chance to visit!

PS: For anyone interested, a list of resources is at the bottom of the article.

red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer red deer lifestlye photographer

red deer lifestlye photographer

RESOURCES

Couch: Hudson Madison Pink Chairs: Kijiji Square Coffee Table: EQ3 Round Coffee Table: Hudson Madison Rug: Overstock Long Sofa Tables: Ikea Pink Silk Curtains: Etsy - Avec Dieu Gold Chandelier: Red Deer Lighting Beige Bench: Home Sense Gold Hooks: Anthropologie Makeup Table: Custom Made Makeup Mirrors: Structube Makeup Stools: Overstock Wall Sconces: Restoration Hardware Coffee Station Cabinet: Kijiji Pink China: Antique Bathroom Vanity: Home Depot Vanity Hardware: Anthropologie Bathroom Mirror: Home Sense Bathroom Light: Restoration Hardware Changeroom Curtain: Ikea Chandelir in Changeroom: Ballard Designs Love Print: The Calm Gallery Headboard: Overstock Bedding: Etsy - My Shabby Chic Shop Clothing Rack: Allen Display

STUDIO TOUR: THE IN BETWEEN

red deer photographer studio tour

We began the demolition and reconstruction on the studio in October of 2013. After a couple of different revisions we settled on a few of the following guidelines:

  • Floorplan. Moving the shooting area to the back of the studio, which allowed for a couple of great additions. More natural light, because we were able to add additional windows. As well, in the previous floor plan, clients had to walk through and past the shooting area to get to our seating area.
  • A warm welcome. Upon entry, I wanted clients to feel relaxed and welcome, therefore having a clean, organized, inspiring place was important.
  • Good lighting. Not only in the shooting part of the studio, but also in the makeup areas and the lounge area. Bright, but still warm and relaxing.
  • Original. As challenging as it is to consider every single detail when designing a space, the results are worth it. I wanted to be sure that everything that was chosen for the space was unique and interesting.
  • High and low. As you will see in the next follow up post, STUDIO TOUR: the after, items were purchased everywhere from a variety of places such as ikea, etsy, kijiji, Hudson Madison and Home Depot. Be resourceful and determined to fulfill your vision.

If you haven’t yet, bet sure to check out the previous post to have a peek at the before tour.

And stay tuned for the next post in this four part series, "STUDIO TOUR: THE AFTER", which will be published next Tuesday.

 red deer photographer studio tour red deer photographer studio tour title title red deer photographer studio tour title title title title title title red deer photographer studio tour title title title