Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Steven has had a lifelong love affair with the Rocky Mountains. Banff, Canmore, and the whole area inspires him like nowhere else in the world. He feels truly lucky to be able to help other people experience the incredible beauty of the Rockies and capture important moments there.
His goal is to connect with everyone who steps in front of his camera and really let their own personalities shine through. Passionate about the whole photographic process, Steven blends both film and digital photography, allowing him to create images that are unique, bright, vibrant, and timeless.
Steven's work has been featured in numerous publications, and recently placed in the top 10 of the International Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards for 2018 and 2019 film photography category.
He received a BFA in studio art with a concentration in photography 2010 and has been working full time as a wedding and portrait photographer since 2012. He also holds dual citizenship with Canada and the US which makes it even easier for him to get to work with some amazing people on both sides of the border.
Moraine Lake is only half the size of its neighbour just a 15-minute drive away, Lake Louise. But it’s still a hugely popular destination for hikers, families, kayakers, photographers and most importantly, wedding photos!
The lake has become a world-renowned beauty spot thanks to the soaring mountains and spectacular aquamarine water. So if you’re thinking about Moraine Lake wedding photos, we couldn’t recommend a prettier spot.
About Moraine Lake
Elevation: 6,181 feet (1,884 metres)
Surface Area: 50 hectares (120 acres)
Maximum Depth: 45.9 feet (14 metres)
Location: 8.7 miles (14km) from Lake Louise village in Banff National Park
Nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is glacially fed, which is partly how it gets that distinctive azure shade of blue. When the glaciers around the lake melt, they deposit rock flour into the lake, too. The light refracts off the rock flour and generates the lake’s famous aquamarine colour. As the glaciers melt in the heat, the lake is fullest around June and the summer sun sparkles beautifully off the surface.
So if you’re looking to capture that startling shade as the backdrop to your Moraine Lake wedding photos, be sure to aim for a time between late June and August to avoid disappointment.
If you’re an adventurous couple or you just want the opportunity to take in some famous Rocky Mountain natural beauty on your wedding day, Moraine Lake is the perfect spot.
You can walk the lakeshore quite easily or take some of the easier nearby trails to add some variety to your wedding portraits.
One of the most popular trails is known as The Rockpile Trail which offers arguably the best view of the lake. As you can see below, it makes for some beautiful photos without being too hard on a white dress!
The view from the top of The Rockpile is one of the most photographed locations in all of Canada. It’s known as the “Twenty Dollar View” because it appeared on the reverse side of the Canadian twenty dollar bill in both 1969 and 1979.
Want to take the adventure a little further? Try the Consolation Lakes trail which starts from the same trailhead. This trail is about 1.9 miles (3km) long with the elevation change coming in around 300 feet (90 metres).
While the sparkling blue water might be the main draw for Moraine Lake wedding photos, the area has lots of other beauty to offer, too.
During the Larch season (usually the second or third week in September) the trees in Larch Valley start to turn into a gorgeous golden colour. Hikers travel from all over to enjoy the sight while walking the local trails. It’s a great time of year to capture two natural beauty features that Moraine Lake is known for: the blue water and the golden larch trees.
You might want to plan your photos mid-week if possible during this time – the location’s popularity means it can get pretty crowded!
Things to Do
The best thing about Moraine Lake wedding photos is that the area offers something for every couple. Not into walking or keen to preserve your precious dress? Just relax and enjoy the view!
Want to make a fun activity out of your photo shoot? Hike the trails and enjoy the fresh air and unparalleled beauty of the Valley of Ten Peaks!
If you’re spending a few days in the region for your wedding, we also highly recommend taking the opportunity to go kayaking as well. There’s no more peaceful spot in the world than right in the centre of that beautiful blue water surrounded by mountain peaks.
Don’t Forget to Plan Ahead
Like most places of immense natural beauty, Moraine Lake is a super popular spot. That means parking is limited and you have to pick your moment to make sure you can capture the Moraine Lake wedding photos of your dreams.
The best way to make sure everything goes to plan? Hire a photographer local to the area. There are a few reasons you’ll be thankful that you did:
THEY’LL GET YOU OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Local Banff and Lake Louise photographers know their stuff. And that includes where to go to find the best views with as few interruptions as possible. Not only will you have a magical and peaceful time during your shoot, you’ll have some truly unique Moraine Lake wedding photos!
LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHERS LOVE AN ADVENTURE
It comes with the territory, but Moraine Lake photographers live to hike the areas around Banff National Park. It’s how they capture such incredible shots! So if you’re on the adventurous side, you can be sure your local photographer will be, too.
SCHEDULES WON’T BE AN ISSUE
When it comes to destination weddings, you’re in a bit of a blind spot. It can be tricky to work out schedules when you haven’t travelled around the area before.
However, your local photographer knows exactly how long it takes to travel between Moraine Lake and your reception venue, how long the photos will take, and potential pitfalls.
For example, sometimes the routes are highly restricted due to things like bear activity. With a photographer from home, you may struggle to find alternatives. With a local photographer, they’ll have multiple back-up plans at the ready!
THEY ALREADY HAVE ALL THE PERMITS
Did you know you need special permits to shoot photographs in Banff National Park? Lots of couples don’t even think about it. And why would you if your photographer is local? They’ll have all the relevant paperwork taken care of so all you have to do is show up!
If you’re hoping to capture some memorable Moraine Lake wedding photos, check out our list of carefully selected local photographers.
2020 is already shaping up to be an incredible year! One of the things I’m most excited about is being a part of the Rocky Mountain Wedding Collective. These amazing professionals that specialize in helping people create a perfect wedding experience in the Canadian Rockies. In honour of being part of this incredible group of vendors, I decided to run a Banff Wedding Photography Special
This special is similar to the Canadian Destination Wedding Special we did a few years ago, with a few key differences. The biggest change is that I’m going to offer this to just one couple, and for only specific dates this July.
Here’s the details!
Banff Wedding Photography Special – $2000 USD/$2600 CAD
One Photographer for up to 8 hours of coverage on the wedding day.
Images captured using a mix of real film and digital cameras.
High resolution digital images with print permission as well as an online gallery to share with family and friends.
Includes all travel costs.
Add-ons such as a second photographer, extra days of coverage, and engagement sessions are available for addition fees.
Wedding location is limited to Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis, Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Yoho, and the immediately surrounding areas.
Wedding must take place between July 12-17, or July 20-25, 2020.
I’ve talked many times before about just how special Banff and the Rockies are to us. Whether it’s for a wedding, a proposal, or just a family trip, there’s truly no place like it!
Click here to check out my feature over on the Rocky Mountain Wedding Collective blog. While you’re there, be sure to take a look at the other vendors who would love to make your dreams for a Banff wedding come true!
If you’re planning on saying I do in the Rockies this July, I would love to talk to you!
You can see more of our work here and find out more about us here, and make sure to get in touch!
Wedding proposals are hands down one of my favorite moments to photograph. There’s so much excitement and anticipation leading up to the big question. Planning everything gives me the chance to feel a little bit like a secret agent on a high stakes mission (yep, I’m a nerd). You can imagine how excited I was when Daniel emailed me about wanting to ask his girlfriend Alexa to marry him on their trip to Banff. I knew right away that I wanted to capture this Moraine Lake Proposal!
The timing for this whole shoot couldn’t have worked out better. Having some flexibility was key for Daniel because the weather in the mountains changes so quickly. It just so happened that I had the whole weekend free and was able to get back up to Calgary. He couldn’t have picked a better place to propose. Moraine Lake is one of our favorite places in the word. We’ve shot there a few times and it just keeps getting better. Honestly I’ll take about any excuse to get out to Banff!
I asked Daniel a few questions about what he was hoping for in the photos of the proposal. I loved what he had to say:
“I’m excited to surprise her in a subtle but meaningful proposal, and to start planning our wedding. For the proposal, I want it to feel intimate, unique, serene, and in a beautiful backdrop — we’re big hikers/adventurers, and Alexa (and I too) prefers things that are more simple, private, unique, and meaningful to those that are conventional and flashy. She has an amazing smile that I want to capture as well, both during the actual proposal and hopefully immediately after when we embrace.”
The more we walked, the more excited I was to be a part of things!
Huge credit is due to Daniel for how he planned and coordinated everything with me. He knew he wanted to do things up on the Rockpile Trail at Moraine Lake, but had never been to there before. On top of that we’d never met! He sent me photos of the two of them and told me what they’d be wearing. I did the same thing so he could spot me on the day of the proposal.
We planned it that I would be waiting by the start of the Rockpile Trail. Once we made eye contact, I went ahead up and picked out a more private spot with a view of the lake. The plan was for me to stand in the spot I wanted them to be and just be taking photos of the lake. It went off without a hitch! When they came up I just moved back and kept shooting as if I was just getting the lake.
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After giving them a few minutes to really soak in everything that just happened, I walked up and introduced myself. Daniel and I filled Alexa in on everything we’d planned and how it all worked out so perfectly. She had a feeling that Daniel would be proposing sometime soon, but she didn’t expect it to happen on this trip – let alone at Moraine Lake!
Banff Engagement Session
Once we made sure that Alexa was up for it, we went ahead and did a short engagement session.
Moraine Lake Portraits
They were both wearing their ‘adventure flannel,’ which they joked about always having in pictures when they hike. It only seemed right for these photos!
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We hiked back down from the Rockpile Trail to get some of the amazing views around the lake shore.Moraine Lake Driftwood PortraitMoraine Lake Drift Wood PortraitMoraine Lake PortraitEngagement Session at Moraine Lake CanoesEngagement Session at Moraine Lake DockMoraine Lake Engagement SessionMoraine Lake Canoes PortraitEngagement Session at Moraine Lake DockMoraine Lake Portrait SessionMoraine Lake Engagement SessionBanff Engagement SessionBanff Engagement SessionBanff Engagement Session
The moment we were finished up and I was saying goodbye, it started sleeting. Just one more bit of perfect timing from this awesome day!
Banff Destination Portrait Session
I’m so grateful that I had the chance to help coordinate and capture this amazing Moraine Lake proposal. Congratulations again you two!!
Thinking of planning your own destination proposal or engagement session? We want to capture it!
You can see more of our work here and find out more about us here, but we would love you get to know you! Let’s talk.
It’s no secret that we love Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies. Ever since we went there on our honeymoon, it’s been a dream of mine to shoot a wedding there, so you can imagine how excited I was when Deanna contacted me about her Banff destination wedding! She and her fiancé Alex were planning an intimate ceremony in the Rocky Mountains with their immediate families for the middle of September. From the first few emails we sent back and forth, I knew this was going to be a really special wedding that we definitely wanted to be able to capture. Deanna & Alex are both such warm and welcoming people, and their families are the exact same way. We could tell this wedding was going to be filled with so much joy and love. Plus Deanna loves film photography – so this was the perfect fit!
I’m always hoping for a bright and beautiful day for our couples, especially when the landscape is such an important part of things. The whole time leading up to things I had in my mind visions of the majestic Rockies frame by those brilliant blue Alberta skies. September in Banff is usually pretty warm and sunny during the day – like these photos below. That’s exactly how it was right up until the week of the wedding when a massive cold front came in and brought rain and even some snow with it. The weather in the mountains can keep you on your toes for sure.
Deanna & Alex had been planning an outdoor ceremony but had to make the call to move things inside. Katie at Rocky Mount Weddings was all over it and moved the ceremony into a beautiful space at the Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre, and things went off without a hitch. I’m so glad they had an awesome planner to work with!
It turned out that the rain was a huge blessing. There had been forest fires burning in parts of Alberta and British Columbia for weeks, and the smoke blowing in had gotten so bad that you could barely see the mountains. That rain that I had been dreading actually cleared things out and allowed us to have some amazing views!
Katie from Rocky Mountain Weddings did such an incredible job of staging things at the centre, and all that window light made for the perfect ceremony site!
Things cleared up outside just in time for us to do some family and wedding party photos.
After that we headed off to Moraine Lake for some portraits of the newlyweds. The weather was looking perfect to get out and shoot, but by the time we had made the drive all the way up to the lake, the rain started again and the temperature dropped down to just above freezing.
I had talked with Deanna & Alex before and they were up for it rain or no rain. We started to get things together and grab all the umbrellas when I realized I had left my coat back at the ceremony site almost an hour away, and it was seriously cold out. I’m going to be honest, I freaked out a little bit. I told Amanda I wanted to take a quick walk down to the lake and figure out what to do. She followed me down there, hugged me, and started praying that my coat would somehow show up. As we were walking back to the car to get our gear, Deanna & Alex drove up. It turned out that I had left my wallet in my coat so her dad grabbed in for me and had it in the next car! I seriously can’t believe how much God showed up time and time again here.
Moraine Lake is one of the most visited spots in Banff and is almost always packed full of people, but once again the rain was on our side. The crowds cleared out as we were walking back down giving us the perfect view. Then, just as we were about to start taking photos – the rain stopped, and held off for the rest of the time we were there!
There were so many things that came together perfectly for us to capture this incredible day (including finding an earlier flight out of Atlanta to beat Hurricane Irma). I’ll always be grateful that we had the chance to meet and photograph these wonderful people and their Banff destination wedding.
Congratulations again you two! Thank you so much for trusting us to capture your incredible wedding. It really was a dream come true!
We had the chance to collaborate with and capture the work of some amazing vendors for this wedding!
Ceremony Venue – The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre
Wedding Dress – Casablanca Bridal
Bridal Boutique – Dior Bridal Salon
Groom’s Suit – The Suit Depot
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands – Verragio
Hair & Makeup – Lilies and Lace Beauty Co.
Planner – Rocky Mountain Weddings
Videographers – Parfait Productions
Bar Cart – Orange Trunk Vintage Styling & Rentals
Drapery Over Birch Arch – Special Events Rentals
Bouquets, Boutonnieres & Birch Arch – Willow Flower Co.
Personalized Message Cufflinks – Breadwinners
Bridal Earrings – LanaChayka
Bridal Hair Piece- WeddingGlassos
Bride/Bridesmaids Robes – LeRoseGifts
Garter – GillyflowerGarters
Floral Corners of Birch Arch – MeldrumMade
Cake Topper – ChicagoFactory
Cake flowers – LOT450Shop
Wedding Favors – MJCfavors
Cake Baked by the Mother of the Groom!
Planning your own Banff Destination Wedding? We want to capture it!
You can see more of our work here and find out more about us here, but we would love you get to know you! Let’s talk.