Last Sunday my new friend, Ainsley, and I did the Barrier Lake Lookout hike. It was a fairly foggy drive in the morning but turned out to be a gorgeous day, sunny and bright. As a hiker it was perfect weather conditions (especially for January!!), but as a photographer I would have preferred a lot more clouds as it was too bright to get decent photos. Normally I wouldn’t even share these photos since I’m not particularly proud of them, but I made a promise to myself to blog all of my adventures so here we are!
This is the same hike as the Prairie View Trail which I did last October. The only difference is the path goes up a bit higher to the Fire Lookout on McConnell Ridge. It’s a fairly short and easy hike, with a bit of a steep incline at the end, about 14k and 600m elevation. The trailhead is at the Barrier Lake parking lot, we got there just in time for the sunrise!
The trail starts along an easy, level path around Barrier Lake until you hit the trees and start ascending via forested switchbacks. There aren’t too many great views until you get to Pigeon Lookout, which gives you stunning views of Barrier Lake and Kananaskis Valley.
After a bit of a break taking in the gorgeous views we continued up to the Prairie View Lookout. There’s a bit of a steep spot in order to get to this lookout but absolutely gorgeous at the top. We interrupted a raven who also seemed to be taking in the views before flying away. From here you get an even better view of Kananaskis Valley & the Morley Flats along Highway 1.
We hung out here for a while, taking it all in before heading Northwest towards the Fire Lookout. The trail to get there isn’t well marked but we managed to find it and man am I glad we did! Absolutely breathtaking views in every direction at the top of McConnell Ridge. Thankfully some snowshoers paved the way for us as the snow was very deep at the top.
We took the same way down, though you can take Jewell Pass which is a bit longer but also beautiful and very popular for mountain bikers. We met up with my friend Sarah & her friends on the way down and walked the rest of the way back with them. We ended the day with some stunning light rays shining through Mount Baldy and headed home.
I met Andy & Dawna through my wonderful friend Kirsty, Andy’s daughter! I was (and still am!) absolutely ecstatic & honoured that they asked me to photograph their wedding. One early morning at the dog park, before I got to know them a bit better, I saw them holding hands on their walk. I remember thinking how happy & in love they looked, I even messaged Kirsty telling her how cute I thought they were haha! It seems fitting that we chose a dog park for the location of their engagement shoot! I had so much fun hanging out with them and their two dogs, Moss & Mia. I cannot wait until their wedding in July!!
Bonnee is one of the owners of Breathing Room Yoga Studio, a place that has had an incredibly positive impact on my life and will always hold a special place in my heart. I couldn’t wait for this shoot, I mean seriously!! A gorgeous family in a beautiful home, what more could a photographer ask for?! We spent the morning making pancakes, playing a bit of twister, goofing around on the couch and ended the shoot with an epic snowball fight that Aris definitely won!
I married an incredibly wonderful man who was kind enough to wake up at 5:30am to drive to the mountains in time to watch the sunrise and then explore with me until the sun sets. Our plan was to drive to Lake Minnewanka and set up there for sunrise but the roads weren’t great and we didn’t make it in time. Instead, we stopped at Barrier Lake which turned out to be a blast. No one else was there so we waited for the sun to rise while throwing sticks and snowballs for Zoe to chase.
After I took about a million photos of Zoe, we made a quick stop in Canmore and saw a few helicopters while we were walking around! Not really something I’m usually itching to photograph but how great is the timing here?! Crazy!
THEN we finally headed out to where we initially intended on going, Lake Minnewanka! I can’t believe I have never done this incredibly scenic drive. Just a few minutes in we were greeted by two gorgeous elk munching away on the hilltop and then a herd relaxing in the field.
After lunch at the trailhead cafe in Lake Louise we stopped for a bit at Bow Lake just to snap a few photos. Num Ti Jah Lodge is closed for the winter but looks like a wonderful place to stay, seriously look at that view!
Our final stop, after many, was Peyto Lake. I’d never been here before either and can’t wait to come back in the summer to check out that infamous blue water. I had such a wonderful time, even though it was about -20°C. I love exploring the Rockies with Ryan and can’t wait to do so for the rest of our lives.
2017 is going to be the year of lifestyle sessions and I couldn’t have started the year with a more beautiful family!! Emily & Brennan run Wild Child Brew, a kombucha brewery here in Red Deer. As soon as I walked into their home and was greeted by two gorgeous hounds, Carter & Sadie, I knew I’d fit right in! Their daughter Molly is also the sweetest little adventurer I’ve ever seen & I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty special when she waved at me! I truly had a blast at this session, there is so much love in their home and I’m forever grateful to be able to have captured these moments between them.