We’re Rob + Lauren, and we’re super excited that you’re here! We’re a portrait photography team from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We love shooting happy portraits of super fun people. Families, newborns, couples, and individual folks—we adore it all.
Do you recognize these people? Of course you do. We shared their Moving Portrait a little while ago. Well, while Rob was creating that amazing film, I was in charge of the photos.
And I loved every moment of it. Shooting this family was truly a privilege, and you may think I’m just being nice, but I’m serious. They are so beautiful, inside and out, and to get to spend time with them makes me a very lucky person.
Paula, their gorgeous mom, has to be one of the sweetest people we’ve had the pleasure of working with. This session was so important to her, and we wanted so much to really capture the love she has for each of her three kids. Well, I found out very quickly that it definitely wasn’t a hard task. These guys just exude love in every expression and every movement. It was incredible. When we wrapped up and drove home we were both in a daze. Even now, many days later, looking at the photos hits me hard. And don’t even get me started on the Moving Portrait. Geez.
Guys, thank you. From way deep down in our hearts. I can’t say much more than that.
First off, I half-heartedly apologize for the obnoxiously large images in this post, but I really wanted to show them huge. So I did it. I’m sure there were more than a couple people cursing me as they scrolled to view the whole image, but I’m ok with that. :)
Aren’t these two just so adorable? I sure think so. And that’s not just because they brought me snacks.
Yeah, you read that right, they brought me snacks! I don’t know how they knew that snacks are my favourite thing, but they did. And these were snacks from Hong Kong! And…. hold on to your hats…there was beef jerky!!! YES! (In case you aren’t aware of my fondness for beef jerky, you can get some laughs this morning and check out these two photos from our road trip in September. Here&here. Yeah. I like beef jerky.)
So once the sheer excitement of snacks and beef jerky wore off, I found out that Dan and Lillian are pretty darn awesome (not to mention crazy thoughtful). We chatted about food (a lot), knives (yeah, that’s what happens when you put food nerds together), travel, and their upcoming wedding. Yep, these two lovebirds are getting married soon! And I’ll let you in on a secret: they’re pretty excited about it. I don’t blame them, marriage is awfully fun, and I think they are going to be awesome at it!
Guys, thanks a billion for the wonderful evenings and fantastic company. It’s been a blast getting to hang out with you! And thanks for the snacks. I kinda liked them a lot :)
Oksanah and her parents were our third shoot for Ronald McDonald House. And just like the others, our time with them was incredible, and showed us what true strength, courage and love are.
This beautiful little girl just celebrated her first birthday last month, and has been waiting on the list for a heart transplant. I can’t even fathom that. Not just for Oksanah, who is going through a struggle that most adults could never understand, but for her parents, who are there beside her. However, this girl has so much fight in such a small body that it is incredible. And her parents cherish every single moment they spend with her. Seeing the three of them together was beautiful.
I know I get really mushy about these sessions, but really, how can I not? The common thread between all of them has been unbelievable amounts of love. Not sorrow, frustration or regret, but happiness and love. I never have to prompt smiles, or direct interaction, because they truly are happy just to spend time together. We learn so much every time we are lucky enough to meet such incredible people.
This was Oksanah’s first time in the sand. Isn’t that such an amazing moment to get to photograph?
We got to spend a few minutes at the end of the session taking some shots of mom and dad alone, a pretty rare thing these days!
I hope you enjoyed seeing these images! We really enjoyed creating them. And if you are looking for an organization to support, like I always say, Rob and I are beyond proud to be working with Ronald McDonald House. We’ve been able to see firsthand how hard the staff and volunteers work to better the lives of others, and it’s inspiring.
How lovely it was to meet this gorgeous little girl! She had us hooked from the moment we first saw her. We spent a quiet morning watching her, meeting big brother Sam, and shooting as the whole family shared some time together.
It still surprises us how some people can just make you feel welcome from the first moment you meet. And these guys were wonderful like that. We played with Sam while Rowyn had wardrobe changes, helped wipe spit-up, and Rob even turned down the boiling carrots as mom took care of Rowyn. It all sounds like small stuff, and it is, but I think it helps us really get a sense of who the family is. That makes us like them even more, and makes the images a little more real. We simply share a bit of their day, and shoot it, and that’s what we love about photography. Seeing just a small slice of a day really brings you into another’s life in a powerful way.
So I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the new life Rowyn has joined. It’s a pretty great one, and I think she’s really going to love it.
The stills of this awesome family are soon to come, but I just really wanted to share Rob’s latest Moving Portrait with you. I love it.
The mom of the three drop dead gorgeous kids contacted us after she saw an earlier Moving Portrait on the blog. She was so excited to get one made of her family, which makes us extra excited to create one.
Add to that the fact that these four were naturals in front of the camera from the first moment, and we wound up with a pretty magical session. The light was perfect, the weather was warm, and we all just shared a very fun evening together. I think the fun we had is what really makes this Moving Portrait so wonderful.
That, and Rob’s incredible talent. Is it bad form to brag a little bit about your husband? ;)
The Graham family just added a new member. They also just upped their laugh quotient by about 1000.
You see, Ian, the strapping young lad of the group, just got married to Jeanie. I think you can figure out which one she is. :)
And to add extra awesomness to this situation, Jeanie happens to be a very talented photographer in Vancouver! We’ve been e-friends for a while, and when she told us she was coming to Edmonton and wanted to surprise her new family with a photo shoot together we were stoked. We would finally get to meet her in person, and also get to take pretty photos! That’s our kind of deal.
Well, I don’t know if I was completely prepared for how much fun this session would be. I mean, I knew it would be fun, it’s always fun. But I really don’t know if I’ve ever laughed that hard during a shoot. You can probably tell that Jeanie likes to laugh, and she laughs big. I LOVETHAT. And I’m a constant goof, so the two of us together were trouble.
Jeanie is pretty excited to be part of this family, and I can totally see why. Both Ian and his parents have a fantastic wit that had me giggling the whole time (to be honest I think I slapped my knee on at least 3 different occasions). His sisters are also incredibly cool. I spent so much time asking them tons of questions about their very fascinating jobs and travels, to the point where we basically used up every last ounce of light in the day.
The very best part of this session, beyond the laughs, and the gorgeous and loving people, was the fact that Rob and I both felt we had made 6 new friends by the end. Thank you, Graham family, for spending such a fun evening with us, and being yourselves. We really like you.
I realized the other day that our blog header promises “snippets of the hilarious antics we get up to”, and yet I haven’t really been delivering on that promise as of late. It’s partly because our summer is generally packed with client work, and I can barely keep up with blogging all of those sessions. It’s also likely because I doubt anyone would find our antics particularly hilarious, but perhaps they are at least mildly interesting!
And with that exciting build-up, today I’m sharing some “holiday snaps” with you! On our recent trip to Prince Edward Island our digital cameras barely made an appearance. I think we used them once. We returned home to exclamations of “I can’t wait to see all the pictures you took!” and “I bet you shot a million photos”. And we paused, realized that was completely the opposite of what happened, and shrugged. It was our first “vacation” in years, so the cameras stayed put, and we just enjoyed ourselves. And we loved it.
However, you can’t fully turn the photographer off in Rob, ever. So he had brought a Pentax K1000 with him, a gift from a very very sweet client. It’s a simple and sturdy film camera that let him just shoot, rather than worrying too much about the results. And I love love love love love the results. These are some rare images of the people and places that I love, shot beautifully. We spend all our time shooting the people and places that our clients love that we really neglect photographing our own life. These photos made me realize that that is so ridiculous, and I’m resolved to change that. Please make sure you don’t make that same mistake.
Without further ado, some images of our time in Prince Edward Island.
My parents just returned home to PEI. My mom was born there, and my dad moved there at a fairly young age, so for them PEI is home. They came to Alberta for work, and to raise my sister and me. Once we were both done school they got out of here post-haste, and went back to the Island. And if you’ve been there, you’ll completely understand why they never got it out of their system. This is their home, out on the East shore, right on the water.
And this is me, on their beach, hunting for shore glass. Every time we have ever gone to a beach, my mom would walk up and down, looking for the smooth, worn pieces of glass. When I was young I thought it was the most boring thing you could possibly do. But this time I found the practice very relaxing, peaceful, and downright enjoyable. Especially when most of my time is spent on the computer being bombarded from all sides by distractions, focusing on something so simple, with the sound of the waves as your music, was such a welcome change.
Rob was quite engaged in the book “Making Ideas Happen” during our trip, to the point where he would ignore me. So I made him put down the book. He then started taking pictures, still neglecting to play with me, so I decided to steal the book. Thus my very pleased expression. :)
PEI is full of small fishing villages that are amazing for exploring and photographing. This place was about 5 minutes down the road from my parents home.
I warned you these were holiday snaps, I never said they were especially interesting ;)
Now, I did say I found shore glass hunting to be enjoyable. But I still get bored after a while, so this is a common scene. My mom and dad hunting, and me, sitting on the beach, playing in the sand.
We were in New Brunswick for a family wedding on Rob’s birthday. We went to East Side Mario’s, and my family relished the opportunity to embarrass him by telling the waiter it was his birthday. So he got a free piece of cake. This is a fake smile though, the cake wasn’t very good. It’s an impressive fake smile though, isn’t it??
My mom is a dedicated beach comber for sure. We were hanging out in North Harbour when she spotted a bit of sea sponge in a lobster trap. There were stacks and stacks of lobster traps around, so she had the idea that perhaps there were more treasures to be found. Well, she was right! She found a couple dozen sea urchin shells in one of the traps, so squeezed her way into the maze to “liberate” them.
I love love love this shot. She thought it was pretty funny that Rob was photographing the operation. In the end though she got a pretty impressive haul of shells, and it was the talk of the island for a couple days ;)
I adore this image. This is an organ in what was my great grandmother’s house.
It’s almost become a tradition to take this shot. You see, Rob and I met because of a similar photo. I found his blog because I was intrigued by an image of a guy backflipping on a beach. I clicked, read, commented, and the rest is history. Perhaps we continue to take this shot to ensure that I still find him interesting and impressive. ;)
At my great grandmother’s beach, Rob teaches my mom how to skip rocks. She still needs to work a bit on her form.
And I absolutely love this shot too. No matter where we are, Rob will always gravitate towards the water and throw stuff into it. So this is Rob.
This family is wonderful. I really wish you could meet them. I don’t think I stopped smiling for one moment during this whole session. And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t flawless. There were tears (little Avery may not be our biggest fan in the world), it was quite chilly out, the sun just didn’t want to make an appearance, and Max the dog was more interested in rolling around in the grass than posing. But that all just made the experience more wonderful. Honest.
You see, I’m developing this theory. We’ve shot a lot of portraits now, and I’m starting to get a sense of what makes a portrait session truly great. And for me, it’s simple: realness.
And yet, we show up, two strangers with big black cameras, and ask to be shown who you really are within the span of 2 hours. That’s not an easy thing to do at any time, let alone with someone you’ve never met in person who is going to be capturing every moment for review later. To be honest, that scares me. What if I look weird? Or my kids don’t behave at all? What if I make an ugly face when I laugh? What if?
And yet, some people just seem to do it. I’m not sure how or why, but it just happens. And on those days I sit back, watch, shoot, and truly enjoy, because I really love watching people interact. I have so much fun watching mom soothe her little one, or the kids chase each other around, even when I’m not even shooting. The entire experience of a portrait session is wonderful for me, not just taking photos.
But then you add in the photos, and isn’t it just magical? That we can watch these incredible folks in front of us just being their amazing selves, and capture that, hopefully, in one frame. It’s not easy, and if you’ve ever seen us shoot you’ll know we take thousands of frames in any one session, in the hopes that we’ll get that one.
Well, it may not be the most technically perfect image in the world, but Lynette, the gorgeous mom of this family, described the very first image in this post as being completely and utterly them. Their life. In one frame.
Here it is again:
Doesn’t that just make you what to know these guys? I sure do. And in that sense, isn’t it really a perfect family portrait?
Wow, this has been a busy month! We still have another solid week ahead packed with portrait sessions, and then the quiet of winter will start to set in. I won’t lie, we’re looking forward to a bit of a break, but at the same time as I look back at all these fun sessions we’ve been shooting I can’t wait until the Spring so we can photograph more amazing people!
So today I’m hitting you up with a few sneak peeks at what will be coming to the blog soon. Some of these will be right away, some have a couple weeks to go, but as you can see there is lots of fun stuff coming up!
First up, we shot the Graham family a couple weeks ago. Man, what a wonderful group of people, so much great conversation! And who doesn’t love some corn in their photos??
And the Witherspoon family, I think I spent the entire time laughing. I always enjoy a solid monkey impression as well.
This is Rowyn, such a beautiful newborn who was welcomed by a very adorable family.
And Sara, a past wedding client now anticipating another big life change. So gorgeous. Her husband Doug made an appearance as well ;)
Dan and Lillian, frontrunners for cutest couple ever. Our evening with these two was beautiful, with tons of laughs and snacks! I love snacks. And laughs!
This past weekend was Walk to Remember, such a powerful day shared with over 700 people. Can’t wait to go through these images, it was an incredible event.
We also got the chance to meet the beautiful baby Oksanah and her parents, our most recent Ronald McDonald House session.
And last, but absolutely not least, we spent a couple evenings this month photographing our goddaughter, Lila. I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do more. She’s pretty much the best person in the universe. And I swear I’m not biased at all. ;)
Hope you all had a lovely weekend, and we can’t wait to share tons more photos with you! After this week I’ll have a bunch more to tease you with!
I took this really pretty picture of a rainbow for Klyment. I know he loves it.
Rob never gets in my shots. Never. Not once. He’s so awesome like that…
Often I’ll start talking about “our printer”, and how he did this, or he says that. And people look at me rather oddly. It takes me a moment to realize that they were envisioning a machine, rather than a person. These days that’s often the case: printer means the big grey thing on your desk that spits out letter sized sheets of stuff.
I was the same way until we met Klyment, our printer. And now I realize that a printer can be a person. A craftsman. Some may even say an artist. Printing well is very difficult, and requires skill, creativity and dedication. Klyment has all that and more. He’s also an exceptionally talented photographer. Basically, as I like to say, Klyment is unbeatable. Don’t even try.
The fun part is meeting Leanna, his other half. She’s his muse, his model, and his balance. Klyment is intense, Leanna is relaxed. Klyment is tall, Leanna…well…isn’t ;) He can spend countless hours talking photography with Rob, and Leanna will patiently listen. Or maybe she doesn’t listen, I don’t know. But I suspect she has picked up more information about photography than most photographers out there, without ever shooting. These two work together in a way that is so wonderful to observe, I felt very lucky to get to do so.
This shoot was so enjoyable. I was nervous, to be certain, as Klyment is very very good. Sure, he corrected my posing a couple times, but he was happy to just get an opportunity to be in front of the camera, snuggling with Leanna. Or at least he pretended to enjoy the experience, for our sake :) I’m not sure he was too keen on my rather open-ended approach to direction. It’s my Psychology background, I enjoy giving vague instructions to see how people react. But I figured, “Too bad Klyment, it’s my shoot!”
One of my favourite things to do when shooting a couple I know is look for those unique moments of their interaction that I would normally miss when we’re just hanging out. Shooting makes me notice. Those inside jokes, the look they get when they’ve totally relaxed with each other, and the laughs. I love the laughs.
Hope you enjoyed these images of such a gorgeous couple, inside and out!