darren roberts photography

If you’ve ever dreamed an adventurous wedding off the beaten path, Darren is your photographer. 

Whether it’s a helicopter flying you to a remote location with your guests, multi day backpacking trips to whisper ‘I do’ with only the trees as witnesses, or hiking in the dark to capture that moment you begin your marriage together with the sunrise, Darren specializes in capturing adventure weddings and elopements in bold and memorable locations. Finding those treasured, off-beat backdrops happens to be Darren’s pride and joy. He loves whisking his couples away from the hustle of the tourist hotspots into the wild, towering magic of the Rocky Mountains he loves so much.

When he’s not adventuring with his couples or scouting out the next intriguing location, he’s adventuring with his family: his amazing wife Laura, his four awesome kids, and Bernese Mountain Dog named Skye. Darren also loves a good road trip and can often times be found overlanding North America in Rex the X.

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ABOUT DARREN

As many of you already know, I love finding my couples unique locations when they want to have a Banff elopement or wedding. It’s something I enjoy doing and something I pride myself in as an adventure elopement photographer. A lot of the unique elopement locations I find are a result of personal hiking trips that provide some pretty amazing views and vistas like the ones you’ll see here.

Kaitlin and Tyler originally reached out with a particular area they wanted to hike to. As time went on some of the plans changed and they were open to letting me find them a new place/adventure for their elopement. I narrowed it down to a few possible hiking locations, then we waited to make the final call based on what the weather was doing at each one. A week out we made the decision and we couldn’t have asked for nicer weather and views.

K & T met me at the trail head in the afternoon. We started off our hike in some more relaxed wedding attire and then put the final wedding attire on at our first location near the glacier. It made a great backdrop for some vows, ring exchange, and photos. After that we hiked into another near by valley to continue on for a few more images before the sun set. Once we wrapped things up, we turned the head lamps on and made our way back down the trail in the dark. It was the perfect way to have a private elopement in Banff where K & T could have the place to themselves.

I realize it’s not practical for every elopement I shoot in Banff to go on a adventure hiking for a few hours to get to remote locations, but if that’s your thing I created some special hiking elopement packages for couples who are interested in something like this. If you are interested in a memorable experience to go with the images of your wedding day, feel free to reach out! I love planning these kind of elopement adventures.

Kaitlyn and Tyler: Banff Elopement

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The Top 5 Banff Engagement Locations. With all the love and excitement in the air, Rocky Mountain Bride has teamed up with some of the top photographers in the Rocky Mountain region to share some of their favourite locations to capture newly engaged couples.  So if you've got some new bling to show off this holiday season and beyond, stay tuned. Today, we're sharing Darren Roberts Photography's top spots in and near Banff, Alberta. Follow along to find a gorgeous location for your engagement session! 

Where to have your Banff, Alberta Engagement Photos Captured

When it comes to engagement sessions in the Canadian Rockies specifically the Banff area, I have found that couples either want a unique landscape or a popular landscape/location they have seen on social media. Instead of focusing on the hot spots that many of us have seen already, I hope to provide some new location ideas for those interested in a unique experience and a unique landscape. Here are my suggestions for an engagement session in and around the Banff area:

Sarrail Ridge
This involves a few hours of hiking but takes you to an amazing ridge that provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains with a large lake below. From this ridge, you get 360-degree views of amazing mountainscapes, so it's great to shoot here any time of the day. The other benefit of this location is that you are able to shoot at a smaller alpine lake halfway up the hike. Shooting here provides a couple with a wide variety of mountain views. This location is accessible July-Early October.

Mount Indefatigable
This location requires about a one hour hike to get above the tree line. To go to the true summit requires much more time and delivers some amazing views at a higher elevation, but great views are had about 1/3 of the way up the trail. Once you get out of the trees, you are greeted with great results and can begin shooting. The trail on Mount Indefatigable is no longer maintained, but access is still allowed. This trail is south facing and accessible all year round. 

East Rundle
This location requires about a one and a half hour hike (one way). I'd suggest aiming for a sunrise or sunset session, especially during the summer months as this is a popular hike for locals. This particular location has a lot of nice vistas one can use for dramatic shots. For those who may be scared of heights, it also provides some nice open areas with great backdrops. 

Lake of the Falls
If hiking isn't on the agenda, but the experience is, I'd suggest snuggling up in a helicopter with Rockies Heli and going to Lake of the Falls. The beauty of this location is you'll have it all to yourself and get to enjoy a stunning flight over the Rocky Mountains. This particular location is accessible from June - November. If you'd like a helicopter experience in the winter, I'd suggest going to Landslide Lake. Snowshoes will be provided :)

Darren's Point
This particular location doesn't have an official name, but it's been nicknamed Darren's Point because it's one area I frequent often. I found this particular viewpoint while using Google Earth and it's one I use several times each year for engagement sessions, elopements, and weddings. This location is only accessible by helicopter and by a select number of pilots who are certified to land at high elevations. If you want dramatic views at high altitudes, this is your go-to spot. This location is accessible from May - November.

Icefields Parkway
If hiking isn't on the agenda and a helicopter is out of the budget, I'd suggest taking a drive along the Icefields Parkway (Highway 93). This road goes right through the mountain valley connecting Lake Louise and Jasper. There is no shortage of amazing places that you can pull off to the side of the road and shoot with great mountain backdrops that give the appearance that hiking was involved to obtain them. The highway is accessible all year round, but winter travel is not recommended unless you have 4x4 and winter tires.

Many of these locations shared are in the backcountry and proper precautions need to be taken for any backcountry experience. Please be well informed and properly equipped before venturing into the backcountry for any reason.
Catherine and Matt had a traditional elopement ceremony at Lake Louise followed by some cake and champagne. After that they were game for joining me on an adventure as we explored more of what Banff had to offer. We explored mountain tops, valleys, and even a old dried-up lake bed. Your wedding or elopement doesn’t have to take place at just one location, it can be as adventurous and fun as you’d like it to be; so if you have some ideas or would like some of my ideas, feel free to reach out. Let’s plan something awesome to make your time in Banff especially memorable. 

A Photographer's Guide to the Top Engagement Spots | Banff, Alberta

Nicole and Mario reached out to me about documenting their adventure elopement in Canada. They would be flying in from Florida and wanted an experience that would be both memorable and allow them to truly experience the Canadian Rocky Mountains. We discussed a few options on what that could look like.  We could:
A.) Utilize a helicopter to fly to a mountain top or
B.) We could hike to one that isn’t accessible via helicopter.

In the end we decided it would be fun and memorable to do a hiking adventure elopement. So we began the planning! We looked into a few peaks in Banff National Park, but ultimately wanted to have a summit to ourselves without a lot of onlookers. We opted to utilize Kananaskis, which is a Provincial Park that borders Banff National Park. It is a beautiful area that is often over looked as most people head straight to Banff, but it has equally amazing views and a lot less people on the trails. It’s one of my personal favourite places to go hiking. Nicole and Mario fully trusted me to determine our hiking destination. I narrowed it down to a ridge I’ve hike to before. Upon further discussion, we determined that for the ultimate adventure elopement and best light, we would be up on the ridge for sunrise.

Now how do you pull off a hiking adventure elopement when a bride typically wants to have hair and makeup done? You reach out to an amazing make up artist who is keen on being a part of a fun adventure. We contacted Jenah Walcheske from Blush and Coco. She was up for everything, even hiking to the top with us to do the final touches of hair and make up.

The whole event started with us all driving out to the trail head the evening before. We got a few hours sleep in our vehicles and woke at 1 am to get our bags ready and start the foundational hair/makeup process. By 2am we were on the trail with our head lamps on, slowly making our way through the dark up on to the ridge. We arrived on the ridge at 5 am, with the first hints of light in the mountain sky. We pulled out some lights and from 5am-6am Jenah worked with Nicole on hair and makeup. Mario managed to get a quick cat nap in before it was time for him to start getting ready.

Nicole and Mario wanted to have a ‘first look’. So we got Mario ready and then I took him to a nice look out of the valley where the first look would take place. Next, we got Nicole ready and walked her over to the look out for the two of them to experience seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. After embracing, the sun began to make it’s appearance over the Rockies and we began their photo session at sunrise. The light was beautiful and we were all excited for the views that came with that light. After documenting where we were, Nicole and Mario had a lovely, heartfelt vow and ring exchange. Following the exchange we packed our bags and began making our way back down to the cars to eat some food and catch up on some sleep.

I know a sunrise elopement isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is an experience I love sharing with my couples. If you are looking for a bit of adventure on your elopement or wedding day, I’m game to document whatever we can come up with. If you would like to do something similar to this, I know of several other ridges and peaks that would be perfect. Feel free to drop me a line and we can get the planning under way.

Adventure Elopement Photographer Canada