2021 – Calgary Photographers Year in Review
2021 proved to be a unique year for Calgary photographers. What started off extremely slow, turned into a busy year. As the pandemic dragged into it’s second year, many plans were delayed, schedules were changed, and in some cases weddings had to be canceled as some of our international clients found they were not able to travel across borders due to travel restrictions.
Calgary Wedding Photography
I would be lying if I said we had no worries about the future of our company as we lost booking after booking and found ourselves repaying contracts for clients who found they could not have their weddings as originally planned. The nerves eased as new clients called and the wedding industry started to pick up once again. What originally looked like another slow year, turned into a great year for wedding photography.
While we were fortunate to work with some great venues we have used in the past, we got to visit many great new locations as well. Coulee Creek Farms started our year and ‘WOW!!!!’ this place is awesome. The outdoor wedding was amazing and on what was probably one of the nicest days of the summer. The property features a large barn which housed the dinner and party, a lake which provides an incredible backdrop for photos, and miles of beautiful views, this was a great way to start the year.
We also got to see the great people at Outright Entertainment once again and as always, they kept the party going until well after we left. This wedding also featured another first for us, a STUNNING black wedding dress handmade by ‘Customs by Shirley’.
We have photographed many Canmore weddings, however this was our first at this outdoor location at Canmore Nordic Center. Smoke from the BC wildfires changed our photo plans just hours before our helicopter trip to the top of the Rockies for the couple’s photos. With heavy smoke, it became too dangerous to fly in the mountains so we found some locations around Canmore that were closer to the ground.
An Inveremere Wedding in Beautiful BC
We also found ourselves in Inveremere, BC photographing a wedding at the amazing ‘House of the Friesians‘. This spectacular property is my favorite wedding venue of 2021. As we made our way up the winding dirt road to the property, I began to wonder if we were on the right road. As we came around the corner we came across the owners of the property who simply said to us ‘When you are starting to wonder if you are lost, just keep going and you will find your way’…advice that holds true in life as well as for finding your way through this massive location.
The bride and groom got ready in their own spectacular locations before making their way to the meadow overlooking the mountain valley. In true fashion, our bride was brought to her wedding by a horse drawn carriage. It was a first for us and I sincerely hope not the last. A short drive took us to the cliffs overlooking the lake which made for spectacular wedding photos.
Glencoe Golf and Country Club provided the backdrop for our next wedding as we returned back to Calgary. With spectacular views from the clubhouse and grounds, this location is a Calgary photographers dream. Large windows ensure that the fall colors are seen from every angle. Our final wedding of the year brought us to The Ranch House, located just outside of Okotoks. A great location for an intimate wedding, the large rock fireplace provided the perfect backdrop for the wedding.
A New Ceremony for Calgary Photographers
We often get contacted for engagement and wedding photography, however it was a first for us to photograph a Syro Malabar engagement ceremony. It was a spectacular day filled with friend and family and many amazing dances. I love getting to know the families and forming a bond with them as well as the clients. In this case, the groom’s uncle insisted I try an ‘Indian Coffee’….another first for me and I guarantee it won’t be my last. AMAZING!!
New Staff Member
We love our photographers, and I truly believe that I get to work with some of the best in the city. Erin, our main second shooter, continues to work with us and provides incredible images to all our clients. Along with her great sense of humor, she is our top photographer and is loved by all our clients. Nathalie again proved she has an eye for capturing unique angles and absolutely rocked the weddings she worked with us at again this year.
We also hired a new associate who proved to be a fantastic addition to our team. Luka is young lady who has a knack for making clients feel comfortable and to let loose and have fun. We look forward to working with her on many more weddings in the coming years.
New Wedding Photography Equipment
This year was a big year for us as we made big use of our new lighting gear. Our new powerful strobes allow us to create many new looks even on the brightest of days. The remote systems continue to allow us to adjust settings while remaining hidden so we do not distract from our clients.
As the year came to an end, we also upgraded our camera system. We have been using a Canon 5D Mark III for the past number of years. It has been an amazing camera and a true workhorse in the photography industry. Like anything however, it came time to step it down from being our main camera and the search for a new camera began.
The Canon R5 mirrorless system is our new main camera. With 45 MegaPixels of resolution, and an incredible eye-tracking target focusing system, our photos are sharper than ever before. The new camera features a higher dynamic range and represents an incredible leap forward in camera technology. We are excited to be using this new state of the art system in all of this years photo sessions. As we always maintain two professional bodies, we still will have our 5D Mark III with us all the time as a back-up.
Adapting to Maintain the Business
I have always had an interest in product photography. All the tricks and techniques to make the images that make a product look so incredible. As the wedding photography industry came to a grinding halt, it seemed to be the perfect time to look at diversifying our little business. With that the Calgary Product Photography side of our business was born.
It has proven to be a great new service line as we offer composite images, images for Amazon listings, and a multitude of other options. From artwork, to plumbing fixtures, to dog toys we have photographed a wide range of items and continue to grow on a near daily basis.
While some people believe that you should stay focused in only one area, ie: weddings, family, etc, a strong and diverse background help us stay on the forefront of Calgary photographers. Using our skills learned doing product photography, allows us to create incredible ring and detail photos when doing wedding photography. Likewise, using tips from headshot photography ensures that our bride and groom portraits look their best.
We had many people this year take part in our headshot photography sessions. From actors to business executives and a variety of people in between, this year our headshot photography was kept busy. Sessions were kept quick and easy and our lighting set-up allows us to have a quick turn around for our clients. While our studio…aka our garage, could use a make-over, it worked great for the purpose we needed it for. Our headshot set-up also is fully mobile allowing us to pack it up and take it virtually anywhere, ideal for a company that is looking for new headshots for its staff members.
All New Website and Galleries
If you are familiar with our website, you likely noticed a massive change in it earlier this year. After growing beyond what our previous host was capable of providing us, we branched out on our own and developed and coded our own website. The new website allows us much greater access to share information with all our clients and potential future clients, while allowing us the ability to work behind the scenes to keep us ranking well with Google’s ever changing algorithm. To say this was a HUGE learning curve is an understatement however I think the final product is definitely worth it.
Along with a new website, we have new gallery hosting. While there is a slight con, in that we can only have 25,000 images in the system, by cycling the photos out after a year, we are able to ensure there is room in the system for all the upcoming weddings and events that we photograph. The new gallery offer us many more options and new vendors that allow us to supply high quality images and products to our clients. In the end the new system is a great new addition to our online presence.
As always, we continued to offer our preschool and kindergarten photo sessions, which were once again a huge hit. With every graduate getting their own cap and gown to keep, the smiles were endless. Family sessions were also big this year as we had clients from as far away as San Francisco come to Calgary and have family sessions done.
While early 2021 definitely proved to be a challenge, it will be remembered as one of our best years. New friends, new venues, and new vendors all came together to turn the 2021 photography season into a great success. We have many more exciting events scheduled for 2022 so be sure to follow along and see what the coming year has in store for us. From product photography, to wedding photography, to headshots, and virtually everything in between, your Calgary photographers are working hard and constantly introducing new techniques to keep everything looking great.
Patton Photography is a professional photography studio based out of Calgary, Alberta. Our signature style offers a clean and modern look to your photographs while maintaining a professional photograph. Contact us anytime to sit down over coffee for a stress-free conversation.
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