Today I have another great mixed studio session to share with you! A combination grad and family session that was held entirely in the studio creating clean, classic, timeless portraits.

For those new here, the studio is located in the central Alberta town of Sylvan Lake, just a short drive from Red Deer. I love that I am able to serve my clients with these timeless studio sessions that put the focus on them!


It’s only been a year and a half since I blogged last. NBD, right?! To say I have some catching up to do would be an understatement. Or should I just start over? Haha

It kinda seems fitting that I dust off the old blog again with Kim’s session. We photographed the outdoor images in the fall of 2017 at MacKenzie Trails in Red Deer, Alberta, however the dress portion of her photos were taken in the new studio in Sylvan Lake….and she was my first client there!

Here’s to more blogging and sharing. I really do believe it gives you, the client, a better idea of what a session with me looks like from start to finish. Something that is just not the same with one photo shared on IG or Facebook.

Leigha xo


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!

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

Nathalie Gzrech, Faces by Nat, Sylvan Lake, Alberta

Lindsey Thurber, Red Deer, Alberta

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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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!

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.

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 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."

Notre Dame, Red Deer, Alberta

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

"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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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.