I’m going to try and paint a picture of what it took to make this shoot work. Firstly, I have to thank Josh & Leigh who were willing to hike up a mountain for the sake of photos. I can’t convey enough how incredibly lucky I am to have such wonderful (and adventurous) clients!
Flew out of Toronto at 6:30am, charged on 3 hours of sleep and obviously coffee. Approaching Calgary, I looked out the window and was surprised at how green everything was. Calgary was incredibly lush due to a two week stint of heavy rains. Two weeks of rain that stopped on the day we arrived in Banff …
Leigh and Josh drove all the way from Saskatoon to meet me. We met deep within Kananaskis Country (south of Banff). Once you enter the Rockies, cell reception is no more. You’re greeted by mountains, rivers and lakes as far as the eye can see. The enormity of these mountains is something else – pictures don’t do them justice.
Everything had to be perfect in order for us to get to the top of Mount Sarrail. The hike was a daunting 12km including an 800 metre climb (which felt like a 50% incline).
Finding each other in the parking lot was tough because everyone was out hiking with their families and dogs, it was packed! Thankfully, we found each other. It was time to depart. Armed with chocolate bars, Gatorade and red bulls we started the hike. It was a little alarming that most people were headed the other way. Our plan was to get the best possible light while at the same time not get stuck in the dark.
Throughout the hike, we had plenty of highs and lows. Everything was new. I wanted to stop everywhere for photos but we had to make it to the top. My favourite part of the climb was when we saw a lovely older couple coming down the mountain. Keep in mind that we were the only people going up at this point. We proceeded to have a nice chat with them. I was convinced we were 90% up the mountain, the gentleman laughed and gave me this look that I’ll never forget, “Well, you’re 90% of a third of the way up.” Great! Three city folk trekking up an advanced hike, reality had set in.
We took it slow and steady and bonded throughout. We became a team and at this point pictures weren’t even on my mind. We just wanted to make it up in one piece to prove to ourselves that we could overcome this.
We reached the top in one piece. We had the whole place to ourselves. We were so detached from any city and all other people. It was serene. The first view of the lake was bittersweet because we knew how hard it took to get there, plus we would have to endure way down. I’ve seen some beautiful places in my life. This rivals them all. At the time I kept repeating how I would never do this again. Sitting here at my computer right now, all I can think about is going back up there. These photos have so much more meaning because we know the effort it took to get them.
Leigh & Josh, I’ll never forget this weekend. Thank you for being incredible!
Cheers and thanks for coming by,

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