Well I am overwhelmed as I sit down and try to write a year end review as an adventure elopement + wedding photographer for 2017. This year was full of amazing milestones and highs, and also major challenges and hardships. As my second full wedding season spent in Calgary after moving from Ontario, I had set some pretty tough goals for myself which I was thrilled to end up surpassing.

One of my goals was continue increasing my client base as an adventure elopement + wedding photographer, and joining with Pop Up Weddings Calgary helped me to do just that. They create epic elopements that are intimate and special, while creating fun alternatives to traditional weddings. This opportunity allowed me to shoot in some pretty unique locations (like Village Brewery), and meet incredible couples that wanted their special day to reflect exactly who they are as a couple. Many people find wedding planning very stressful and elopements focus on what really matters: two people in love, celebrating the fact that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. No muss. No fuss. Each elopement couple I had this year were so happy with their decision. They chose to authentically do whatever the heck they wanted rather than “what’s expected” or “what everyone else does”. Three photos of couples who are newly engaged smiling at each other the middle couple is same sex outdoor wedding photos surrounded by foliage

Another goal was to shoot epic adventure sessions, and I love that people are crazy enough to join me. From a hiking engagement session, to mountaintop cliff edge wedding photos, to exploring the desert in Nevada during a day after session, I truly found my calling as an adventure elopement + wedding photographer and something I want to focus more and more on. Having started out as a landscape photographer while I traveled parts of the world, adventure weddings and elopements are seriously my jam. If you’re not afraid to get your dress a little dirty and are willing to embrace whatever the day may bring, lets connect! This year brought me all across Canada, to Maui, France, Spain, Scotland, and Nevada. I can’t wait to see where my adventures take me in 2018!

For 2017 I also wanted to connect more with other photographers, so I second shot as much as a could, went to some monthly photog meet ups, and decided to go to my first ever photography workshop. Camp collective is an intimate camp for photographers that centers around nature, connection, and creativity. It was amazing to meet so many like-minded badass individuals, and push my boundaries – not only artistically, but also by opening up and being vulnerable. Connecting on a close level with others and hearing that we all have challenges and frustrations is really quite comforting. Yay for not being alone!

Now for a more personal note. This year was hard. Extremely hard at times. At the beginning of the year my parents left for 13 months to live and work in South Africa. While they were away, my grandmother’s health declined and she was in and out of the hospital all year. I spent almost every second or third day visiting and chatting with her, and on her bad days, just sitting beside her bed editing while she napped. She has been in my life since I was very young, and we often had many chats about our Christmases spent together and my grandfather, whom I was very close to. She also was a very accomplished lady and I cherished hearing about her travels and adventures that she had when she was younger. In the late summer, her health took a turn for the worse and I knew the time was nearing. It was heartbreaking seeing her go through such a drastic change over a couple of months. It also was especially hard on her that her family all lived overseas. In the end, she ended up passing away only a few weeks before my mom (her step-daughter) returned home, which was extremely tough for them both. I am so grateful that I was by her side and provided company and comfort over the year. It made me extremely grateful for this amazing career I have chosen, and the flexibility it provides me. I miss her dearly.

Another challenge I was faced with was when I randomly decided to visit the optometrist for the first time in about 20 years. I have always had perfect vision so was honestly just too lazy to ever bother before. At the exam they found a sizeable hole in my retina and they weren’t able to tell me much else except that I have a huge blind spot in my right eye. About 1/4 of my vision is actually blocked in my right eye. I never noticed because your brain fills in the missing information – pretty incredible right?! A retinal specialist told me that this was either a deformity that I was born with, or something that was possibly getting worse over time which would eventually lead to blindness in my right eye. Pretty terrifying to say the least considering my love of photography and sports.
It shook me pretty hard that the main aspects that I have centered my life around could be drastically affected or not even possible anymore. After months of follow up visits and far too many eye drops, I am happy to announce that the hole is not getting any bigger so fortunately this is probably something I was born with. I will continue to have follow up checks to make sure, but for now I am so grateful that I will be able to follow my passion and continue to capture epic love stories in wild places.

Finally, the night before my last wedding of the year, my worst nightmare happened. I have been severely allergic to peanuts my whole life. Somehow I have managed to go 30 years without ever having a severe reaction. But that perfect record came to an end at the rehearsal dinner of my two clients. Apparently everyone in the world knows what a Móle sauce is…except for me. I thought it looked like delicious bbq pork. As soon as my tongue and roof of my mouth started swelling I knew I was in trouble. I had to quickly explain to the bride what was happening and apologized profusely for having to cut out early. Not wanting to make a scene by calling an ambulance, I ended up taking an uber to a nearby hospital. Fortunately, after a few hours of IV antihistamines and a shot of epinephrine I was as good as new. I photographed their stunning wedding the next day doped up on Benadryl. Luckily I was having so much fun that the drowsiness didn’t get to me! Not to say there is ever a good time to go into anaphylactic shock, but the night before a wedding, while in a foreign country, and on my own, was not ideal. Let’s hope I can go the next 30 years without another reaction!

If you are still reading, thank you. I appreciate that you are interested in a snapshot of what this year looked like. To end on a more positive note, I am going to list my three favourite things from 2017:

1. My hubby and I bought our first home and I still can’t believe how perfect it is. Adulting, while being terrifying, is incredibly awesome!

2. I was fortunate enough to travel and shoot in 6 different countries this year. I don’t believe that any book or lesson is ever better than traveling and interacting with different people/cultures. Each new place I visit is always humbling and eye opening. I am truly grateful for all the couples that I get to photograph, near and far. Each and every one of you has gotten me to where am I today. Thank you for trusting my vision, creativity, and craziness.

3. I ended the year second shooting for the incredible Carey Nash in Lake Louise. He is a world renowned photographer who I have looked up to for a long time, and I was humbled to join him for a day and simply shoot and chat as we made our way around Banff & Lake Louise. For how established he is, I have never met anyone so kind, funny, and down to earth. Despite being socked in with snow everywhere we went, he created amazing images and left me, yet again, inspired for the future. Thank you.

Finally, I am going to leave you with a few of my favourite images from this spectacular year. Thanks for following along and listening to my ramblings.

Merry Christmas to you all, and I wish you nothing but the best for 2018!

Much love,
Laura

An engaged couple embrase and wrap their arms around each other in a moody wooded area A bride and groom in Maui stay on a path beside palm trees and the ocean A black and white image of a bride and groom wearing traditional Indian dress embrasing each other in the last hour of sunset A happy couple sits and laughs together in purple flowers and grass and a wedding picture with the bride looking at the camera as the groom kisses her on the cheek A bride and groom in traditional Indian dress are silhouetted holding hands against a setting sky A bride and groom embrace as the backlit sun hits them and they stand under giant birch trees Bright green evergreen trees stand out in a fog the is rolling in Three different bride and grooms pose for wedding portraits on a bridge, in a forest, and in a brightly lit field A black and white image of a bride and grooms faces under her veil and a photo of a couple cuddling on a chair in a vintage rustic room Three wedding couples, a traditional indian bride and groom, a couple walking down a treed alley, and a close up of a bride and groom with their faces touching A black and white photo of a bride and her daughter cloaked in her veil as they sit on a couch A bride with a horse on either side of her, and a bride and groom walking along a dirt pathway as he holds her dress up and they smile at each other Moraine Lake showing off goreous blue waters, green forests, and massive mountains in the background A bride and groom in traditional indian dress face away from the camera and snuggle their forheads together as they watch the sunset in the Nevada desert A lesbian couple embraces in a field, a newly married couple hug and smile at the camera, and a bride and groom pose on a pathway A bride rests her head on her groom A rainy wedding day with a bride and groom outside under an umbrella standing near puddles

Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterest

Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park

A little while ago I headed out to Banff to photograph J+T for their Lake Minnewanka engagement session! It was a typical May day filled with crisp air, sunshine, and gorgeous clear mountain views! Julia + Taylor got engaged in the mountains, so it was a perfect location for their shoot. Lake Minnewanka, while being an incredibly popular tourist location, is one of my favourite places for engagement sessions because the area is so beautiful and there are some hidden secret spots a 10 minute hike away. The landscape offers some of the best mountain views, and the lake and rocks provide so many options for photos! There’s a crispness in the air and the light is amazing. Plus you don’t have to wait until 10 pm that amazing golden hour of light!

I was so excited to meet up with Julia and Taylor for their Lake Minnewanka engagement photos. Ever since we met they have felt more like friends than clients. I find it can be awkward for couples to be photographed with people nearby watching, so we walked a little further away to get some privacy! Julia and Taylor did a great job of cuddling and laughing all through their session. Honestly, that makes my job super easy!  Julia also killed it when I aksed her to climb and hike through a few tough spots to get to pretty locations for me, even though she was wearing high wedge shoes (ummm hello – ideal client!). Congrats to the both of you and I’m really looking forward to your wedding in Priddis this summer! Here’s some of my favourites from their Lake Minnewanka engagement.

Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park Lake Minnewanka Engagement Session in Banff National Park

 

Save

Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterest

A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow

I am excited to share this amazing adventure engagement session that was published on Mountainside Bride! Paula + Johnny are super outdoorsy and love spending their free time hiking in the mountains. They were a bit nervous about doing an engagement session, so I figured taking pictures while out hiking would be a fun and easy way to get them to relax. As it turns out, they were super easy to work with and total naturals!

I suggested starting the session at Barrier Lake to take a few fun pictures in a driftwood teepee and on the beach. However, we were really looking for some snow for their adventure engagement session though, so we continued on to the Spray Lakes area and started hiking up the nearest trail we could find. We decided to keep hiking until we got to a neat lookout with (hopefully) some amazing mountain views. Pretty much anywhere in the Rockies, if you hike for long enough you will reach an amazing lookout spot. Sure enough, we did! We took some spectacular pictures surrounded by snow and mountains.  On the way down, the most beautiful soft snow started to fall. I’ve decided that winter is one of the most romantic seasons for engagement sessions, and I love when couples choose to brave the cold and snow for pictures!

We finished the session at the Reservoir, taking pictures as the sun set behind the beautiful snowy mountains.

See this link for the full post on the Mountainside Bride blog -> mountainsidebride.com/wintry-mountain-engagement-shoot-in-kananaskis-country-alberta/

A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow A beautiful adventure engagement session in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta at Barrier Lake, Kananaksis, and Spray Lakes with 360 mountain views and snow

Save

Save

Save

Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterest

2017-02-01_0002I am so excited to announce that I am doing a 2017 wedding photography giveaway this year! I love being outdoors, and want to capture spontaneous and adventurous couples in wild places. Do you and your partner enjoy hiking, canoeing, climbing, or breathing in the fresh mountain air? Are you planning on a nature wedding (outdoor venue, cabin, mountain setting, or other fun location)? Canada or International! If this sounds like you, enter to win a free wedding photography giveaway!

Here is what’s included valued at $3500!

– 9 hours of wedding photography coverage by Laura Barclay Photography
– a free engagement session
– 400-600 high resolution, edited images on usb
– an online, password protected gallery of all your images

**Contest is open to all couples, so feel free to tag and share on a friends wall who may be the adventurous type!**

Here’s how to enter this amazing giveaway:

1) Follow/Like Laura Barclay Photography on Facebook or Instagram (or both!)
2) Share or re-gram this contest to your Instagram or Facebook pages (or both!)
BONUS – tag friends on Instagram who are also engaged for extra entries!
3) Send an email to info@laurabarclay.ca with the following information:

– Your first and last names (bride and groom)
– Your phone number
– Your wedding date
– Your wedding venue (and location)
– A photo that best represents the two of you as a couple
– A little about your adventure wedding! What do you envision/have planned for your big day?
– Some sentences that describe the two of you as a couple… your love story! I want to hear how you two got together and why you’d love to win this giveaway!
– Please state that you read the rules and that you agree to the terms of the giveaway.

Good luck!

The Official Rules for the Laura Barclay Photography 2017 Adventure Wedding Photography Giveaway:

You must be 18 or older to enter, and have a wedding date set between April 1st, 2017 and December 31st, 2017. Your wedding can take place in Canada or internationally.

Couples who have already booked or inquired with Laura Barclay Photography are not eligible to participate in this giveaway.

Please do not enter this giveaway if you are already booked with another photographer. I am not out to steal business from other photographers.

Your date must still be available in my schedule to be considered, or your date must be flexible.

You must have a set date for your wedding when entering this giveaway, or be able to set a date within 2 weeks of winning.

The Laura Barclay Photography giveaway entries will be accepted from today, until February 28th, 2017 at 11:59pm. I will then choose three finalists, who must be available to chat some time from March 1-8, 2017, because even though I am giving away free wedding photography, I want to make sure that we are a great fit! The winner will be notified via phone/email at the number and address provided and will be announced on my blog, Facebook, & Instagram on March 13th, 2017.

Should you win this giveaway, and if your wedding is taking place more than 100 kilometers from Calgary, you must agree to pay for all travel expenses for Laura Barclay Photography. I will make all travel arrangements but will keep the costs low..don’t you worry!

A contract must be signed and returned to Laura Barclay Photography within 2 weeks of winning, along with any travel expenses that will need to be paid for the actual wedding day.

Only one couple will be awarded this giveaway, a full day of professional photography by Laura Barclay on their wedding day, and approximately 400-600, high resolution digital photos.

This wedding giveaway prize cannot be sold, traded, transferred, or exchanged for cash or any other item or service.

The winning couple also agrees to be featured on www.laurabarclay.ca, as well as on any other publication that Laura Barclay Photography wishes to submit to. The names and images of the winning couple will be used by Laura Barclay Photography for promotional purposes.

By participating in this wedding photography giveaway, you agree to be bound by these official rules.

Save

Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterest

2016

Around this time of year, people start sending me Christmas cards, but with little time on my hands here is recap of my 2016 as a Calgary Wedding Photographer. To say that the last 365 days have been an absolute blur would be an understatement. 2016 brought so many wonderful things in to my life, and I can’t believe how quickly it flew by! What an incredible year it’s been. One of the best and most memorable for sure, and the busiest yet! I thought I would write a brief review of this last year as the next one creeps up quickly. That’s the best part about life is you never know what’s coming up next!

Calgary Wedding Photographer

Where would I be without all of my amazing clients! This was my busiest wedding season yet as a Calgary wedding photographer (having moved my business from Ontario). I have so many people to thank for that! If at some point I’ve photographed you or are going to photograph you, I want you to know how truly thankful I am for your business. Being able to wake up everyday and absolutely love what I do is pretty rare I think. I couldn’t ask for a better career and am grateful that you have all trusted me to capture your special love stories or life adventures!

Styled Shoot

Near the beginning of the year I had to opportunity to shoot my very first solo styled-shoot.  Thanks to a few local wedding vendors we put together a beautiful styled winter wedding in the heart of downtown Calgary at CharBar restaurant. Our industry is full of incredibly talented people and it always amazing to see their vision and beautiful work. I am also extremely grateful to be a part of such an encouraging and supportive wedding community. We push each other to improve and create our best work, and I’ve become a better Calgary wedding photographer because of it.

Venue: CharBar, Event Planner: Amanda Dunville, MUA: Katie Kerr, Cake: Frost Cake YYC, Florals: Hen & Chicks, Decor & Rentals: Orange Trunk, Mens Attire: Espy, Bridal Attire: Pearl & Dot, Bridesmaid Attire: Frocks, DJ: Local DJ, Officiant: Tamara Jones, Rings: Adorn Boutique

Honeymoon

Just before the busy season began, my new hubby and I took ourselves to Vancouver Island for our honeymoon. We spent 5 days hiking the Juan de Fuca trail, which was some of the most beautiful hiking we have done in Canada. We managed to have perfect weather and all around had a blast. After living abroad for almost 4 years, we were glad to stay in Canada for our honeymoon and travel more of this beautiful country that we call home. After our hike, we spent a week surfing in Tofino and relaxing in our beach cottage which came equipped with a hot tub!

Ultimate Frisbee

This year also saw me taking a leadership role as one of five captains for my Ultimate team (Wild). It was a big learning curve trying to figure out how to balance both a demanding summer wedding schedule and summer team. I had an absolute blast and learned so much from my fellow captains and teammates. We finished fifth at the National Championships and I couldn’t have asked any more of this amazing team!

Coming up…

As I turned 30 near the end of the year, I felt encouraged to be entering a new decade. This year has many exciting projects and milestones ahead. I can’t wait to share them with you as they happen!

Lastly, here are some of my FAVOURITE IMAGES from this year. It was hard to narrow these down into a post that wasn’t irritatingly long. 2017, you have a lot to live up to!

xo Laura An engagement session with snow, hiking, teepees, adventure, and lots of laughing A wedding party dressed in red stands in the Rocky Mountains in Banff with snow at their feet and mountains behind them A styled winter wedding shoot at CharBar restaurant in downtown Calgary sees the bride and groom getting married with the skyline behind them Pictures from a couple who are hiking the Juan de Fuca trail for their honeymoon A newly engaged couple sits on a park bench with the Bow RIver behind them at sunset A newly engaged couple and their dog pose on a bridge in Fish Creek Park with a beautiful treeline behind them A set of baby toes in black and white, a family holding their new child while sitting on their bed, a girl splashes in puddles in a bright pink rain coat, and a new baby on a clean white bed An urban engagement shoot with a couple standing in front of a brick wall and graffiti art  A cake smash shoot of a one-year old Asian girl in a bright pink tulle skirt and a onsie with the word one on it A black & white image of a bride slipping into her dress with her mo and bridemaids helping, a newly wedded couple standing in a forest, and walking down a dirt path hand in hand A pregnant mother stands backlit against a window in the black tank top, and a maternity shoot of a husband and wife in front of a white fireplace A bridal party stands on a bridge, a bride looks on as her husband gently kisses her cheek, and the bride and groom stand in a forested park  A family of six all giving each other piggybacks while standing in a field, and four siblings wrap their arms around each other while looking out at the landscape A bride and groom kiss in a roadway lines with beautiful bright yellow fall leaves An engagement picture with the couple framed in a lake with mountains in the background, fall trees with bright yellow leaves, and a dramatic sky A sunset engagement shoot where the guy is lifting his lady with the sun directly behind them, and kissing in a field with bright yellow autumn trees behind them A husband and wife and their young daughter pose in the fall foliage surrounded by trees A bride smiles with her bouquet as she is framed by green leaves and kissed gently on the cheek by her husband An engagement session with the couple surrounded by fall foliage  A family of five walk hand in hand along a field of grass while all smiling and laughing A family with two young boys pose with a red wagon and with one boy on Dad A couple pose with their dog and kiss amongst brilliant yellow fall foliage A little boy walks with the help of his mother A couple pose with their St. Bernard dog amonst grass and leaves Calgary engagement session in the Rocky Mountains at Grassi Lakes with the couple standing in front of a beuatiful mountain view A couple pose with their young daughter on a cold winter day surrounded by trees and yellow grass Balck and white images of a sleeping newborn baby and his parents kissing while he is wrapped in their arms

A young girls smiles at the camera while being held in her mom and dad Two identical twin girls peek over their parents shoulders at the camera An engagement session in Banff with the couple posing next to Lake Minnewanka with mountains in the background

Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterest