Your Outdoor Photography Session — How To Prepare

A Guide to Your Outdoor Photography Session with Jena Lee Photographs

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Man, I love photographing outside. There is so much space to move people around, it is so fun to combine landscapes and moments, and the ever-changing light offers endless creative opportunities … Yes, I realize these are probably not the same reason that you love outdoor photos, so let’s get to that.

Most people love outdoor photos because it speaks to who they are as a person. Sometimes my clients request a mountain location because they hike together as a family, some parents love bringing their kids to the beach and want their photos to be near the water. Your photos can literaly be anything you want and I love when families choose locations that represent them and add to their story.

If you have been thinking about an outdoor photography session — perfect for both Family Sessions and as part of Your Baby’s First Year Bundles by the way — I have put together a little guide so you can be as prepared as possible:

1. Clothing

The ever important question, what do I wear? Golden BC and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort are nestled between three different mountain ranges, which means the weather changes a lot and very quickly. It is not uncommon for it to rain, thunder, hail, and then be sunny again all within the hour, especially up at Kicking Horse. I always recommend wearing layers because it will help you stay comfortable if the weather changes and because it will also look great in your photos.

For example, if you are wearing a dress, you could add a hat and a shawl. This adds variety to your photos and gives you freedom to adjust to the weather. Another example, you can get these really great pants that zip off into capris and then also zip off into shorts … I AM KIDDING. Keep those for hiking, do not wear those to your portrait session.

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2. Shoes

Depending on our location, I recommend wearing something that is comfortable and practical. I get people to move around a lot during their portrait sessions to create those wonderful natural and candid moments… so high heels might not be your best option. I love Vans, Birkenstocks, and Blundstones. If those aren’t your style, anything that lets you walk around, slow run while holding hands, and that you can keep on your feet for longer than an hour will be fine.

*While we are here, barefoot = also fine.

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3. Your Kids …

If you can get them dressed and at your portrait session on time, your job is done. I am an expert at taking great photos of kids. I let them lead the photo session (to an extent) and play lots of fun games with them to create photographs that really capture who they are. We will do lots of treasure hunts, skipping, dancing, wiggling, and hugging. They are guaranteed to be entertained and to enjoy taking photos. Most of them don’t even realize the jedi mind tricks I play on them because they are having so much fun. I expect kids to listen, have fun, and be kind, but I never expect them to sit still or be perfect. Even if there are tears, snuggling up to Mom or Dad makes beautiful portraits.

*That being said, if a full meltdown happens we can definitely reschedule your portraits and try again later.

4. What should I bring?

Bug Spray: For outdoor photo sessions here in Golden/Kicking Horse, bug spray is a must. I try my best to have some in my bag, but it’s not a bad idea to spray before you come and during the session as well. The Spring and Fall are usually tolerable for bugs here, but if you have spent any time here in the Summer, you know how savage they can get.

Sunscreen: If we are photographing at the river or will be outside in the Sun, make sure to slather the kids and yourselves before your session. Nobody enjoys a sunburn.

A blanket: This is optional. Blankets make a great prop for wrapping around everybody and for creating a comfortable place to sit down together. An old family quilt or a favourite beach blanket is perfect. Please keep in mind how your blanket will fit in with what you are wearing and feel free to send me pictures if you aren’t sure.

Your kids favourite toy: Sometimes kids want to bring their favourite toy and I think that’s great. If this is a time in their lives when a small object brings them comfort then I absolutely think it will be a great prop in your photos. Anything that adds to your family’s story in a meaningful way is always welcomed.

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5. Time Of Day

Photographers are always stressing about the time of day, with good reason though. The quality of light can affect the whole look and feel of your portraits and it’s important to us that you get what you are looking for. I am going to ask you whether your family are morning or night people and then try to pick a time as close to sunrise or sunset as possible. I realize with kids that staying up a bit later or getting up earlier might affect their mood a little bit, but if we can plan ahead and try to sneak them an extra nap, it has been worth it every single time. You know your kids best, so if you really don’t think the morning/evening will work, I can do my best to find you a great spot in the afternoon. But if you think you can swing it, I promise that morning and evening light is 100% worth it.

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Let’s start planning your portraits!

If you are ready for your own portraits, please get in touch here,  I can’t wait to hear from you 🌻


 

Jena_SelfPortraits_2018-July 05, 2018-12_WebSize Jena LaRoy completed her Professional Photography Diploma at Langara Collge in Vancouver British-Columbia and then returned to her hometown Golden B.C. to launch her photography business (2017). Jena helps you create heartfelt portraits that tell your story and takes pride in helping her clients print and display their images so that they can bring you joy every day. 

 

 

Happy 1st Birthday, Emma 🌻

One whole year of adventure.

All of our phone calls and appointments had to be scheduled between camping trips, family visits, and adventuring. The Petrovics Family takes every opportunity to spend time with each other and planned their Summer full of outdoor activities. Every time I see them, they have new stories about which hikes they have completed and which of British-Columbia’s lakes their two daughters, Brooke and Emma, enjoyed the most.

We all celebrated Baby Emma’s first birthday in their backyard garden playing with bubbles, riding in the wagon, and singing songs to keep her smiling. One of my favourite things about this family is that even though they were all awake the whole night before with Emma, they rolled with everything and kept their photoshoot planned as usual.

Jennifer said something along the lines of ‘if we rescheduled, it would be something else, and that’s our life!’

I have loved getting to know Jennifer and Jordan better and watching their little family grow up. I love their laid-back attitudes, the strong girls they are raising, and how family oriented they are. Thank-you again for having me take your family portraits this year ♥︎

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Family Photographs in the Mountains — Visiting Golden British-Columbia and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Welcome to my hometown, Golden, British-Columbia and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

I am always proud to tell people that I am from this beautiful town and that I love living and having a photography business here. Each year, many travelers love visiting our area to enjoy the outdoors with their families and friends.

Some people come here to see mountains for the first time, some come to meet Kicking Horse Mountain Resort‘s resident grizzly bear, Boo, and some come here seeking adventure on our endless bike trails and whitewater rivers. There is something here for everybody and we love having you here to visit.

No matter what inspired you to visit Golden BC and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, make sure to document your special moments with whatever kind of camera you have. If you are a do-it-yourself type of family, you can read my Tips for Great Summer Family Photos here.

Or, if you would love to have your family vacation professionally documented here in the Rocky Mountains, consider booking a season with Jena Lee Photographs while you are here.

Here is everything you need to know:

In-Person or On-the-Phone Pre-Consultation:
A quick pre-consultation is required to arrange a date, time, and location for your Portraits. This can be done in person if you are already here in town or via phone-call if you are planning ahead. At your pre-consultation, we will also discuss what you should wear, what kind of groupings/moments you would like to capture, and how you would like to display your portraits afterward (printed, digitally, or both).

Your Photo Session:
During your photo session is your time to relax and enjoy spending some time with your loved ones. Sessions are easy-going with lots of chatting and movement, which is perfect for families that might be a bit nervous in front of the camera and for kids who love to be busy. Sessions are designed to make you feel comfortable, create authentic moments to capture real emotions and to leave you feeling connected and full of love for one another afterward.

*Parent disclaimer: Kids are encouraged to run around and have fun during photo sessions. They are free to be themselves and you are free not to have to worry about them sitting still. We play lots of games and move around a lot so they are entertained and having fun while also creating beautiful portraits without even knowing it. That being said, if things really go south and the kids are in full meltdown we can try your photo session again the next day at no extra charge.

Your Ordering Session:
After your photo session, you will meet with Jena one more time to view your beautiful gallery of images. At this time, you will be guided through choosing which images you would like to purchase for printed display or digital sharing.

Most families love a lot of their photos and end up purchasing an Album and one or two favourites for hanging on the wall. Plus, each photo purchased for print comes with the identical web-sized digital copy so you can share with everyone online too! You can have your digital images right away and your printed products will be drop-shipped to you back home (for Canadian and U.S. residents only).

Same Day Service Available:
In most cases with enough notice, Jena Lee Photographs can offer your family same or next-day service. This means that you can see your photos a few hours later or the next day, which is ideal for families who are only visiting Golden or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for a few days.

If you are visiting Golden or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, consider having your family vacation documented here in the Rocky Mountains.

Jena LaRoy completed her Professional Photography Diploma at Langara Collge in Vancouver British-Columbia and then returned to her hometown Golden B.C. to launch her photography business (2017). Jena Lee Photographs helps you create meaningful portraits and offers full custom design, framing, and image-printing services so that you have physical images to enjoy, not just digital dust. 

For more information about booking your own family photographs, please visit the Client Guide:

Client Guide

The Michener Family

In many years time, when your children look back on these family photos, what do you hope they feel?

That they are unconditionally loved and that our family moments together are cherished.

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Jena LaRoy completed her Professional Photography Diploma at Langara Collge in Vancouver British-Columbia and then returned to her hometown Golden B.C. to launch her photography business (2017). Jena Lee Photographs helps you create meaningful portraits and offers full custom design, framing, and image-printing services so that you have physical images to enjoy, not just digital dust. 

For more information about booking your own family photographs, please visit the Client Guide:

Client Guide

Capturing Great Family Photographs This Summer — Jena Lee Photographs

We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.

— Winne The Pooh

Family vacation time is a lot of things. It’s exciting to spend quality time together and also sometimes hard to be so close for days/weeks on end. It’s fun to try new things together and to create new memories. Sometimes a family member is being missed or sometimes a new family member is being eagerly anticipated. Whatever season your family is in, when you strip everything down it’s just nice to be together and to explore new areas.

Here are a few ways you can be sure to capture some great moments together and to document your trip:

  1. Bring the device you are most likely to use: It’s great if you have a big DSLR camera and a giant lens for zooming in on your family; however, your big camera won’t be much help if it’s too annoying/heavy to take out of the bag. If your phone or a small point and shoot camera is what you are most comfortable with and what you are most likely to use, then that’s the perfect tool for the job.
  2. Get yourself in the frame: Bring a tripod or get creative by carefully using your surroundings to prop up your camera/phone so that you can be in the picture too. Alternatively, take a good old-fashioned family selfie… Bonus points if you have a selfie stick.
  3. Attach great memories to your photos: The best time to take a photo is during or right after a moment you never want to forget. Our favourite photos are usually the ones we associate with a valued memory or experience. If your kid is discovering something new or you and your significant other just accomplished something together, make sure to capture that moment.
  4. But also, be present: Taking family vacation photographs is important, but so is being present for the actual moment. It is all about balance, try not to live your vacation through your phone screen. Enjoy your moments together, take a quick picture, and be present for your family.
  5. Print your photos when you get home: Living in this digital world is fun because not only can we see our photos right away but we can also share them with friends and family pretty much in real time. I always remind my clients to keep it classic by printing out a few favourites so they have them forever, even if they just go on the fridge or in a photo album. Printing your photos is the only way to guarantee their longevity, because we are all too familiar with lost phones, broken phones, software updates, corrupt files … Plus, printing them lets you see pictures of your favourite people every day 🙂
If you are here visiting Golden British-Columbia and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and would rather have somebody else do the documenting, consider booking a portrait session with Jena Lee Photographs. I would love to help you create beautiful photographs of you and your family here in the mountains.
Otherwise, I wish you a Summer full of relaxing days, warm nights, and effective bug-spray.

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Jena LaRoy completed her Professional Photography Diploma at Langara Collge in Vancouver British-Columbia and then returned to her hometown Golden B.C. to launch her photography business (2017). Jena Lee Photographs helps you create meaningful portraits and offers full custom design, framing, and image-printing services so that you have physical images to enjoy, not just digital dust. 

Please visit the Client Guide for more information about photography sessions with Jena Lee Photographs:

Client Guide

 

Alopecia Awareness with Brooke

The hardest step she ever took was to blindly trust in who she was.

— Atticus

I am going to keep this writing short and sweet because I could go on and on about how beautiful and full of light this woman is. My friend, Brooke, has been dealing with Alopecia — an auto-immune disease that attacks the hair follicles — her whole life. This year, Brooke’s alopecia has changed from being manageable, to losing chunks of hair every day, to finally taking control and shaving all of it off. 

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It was horrible watching it slowly fall out and having to constantly sweep it up off the floor. My husband helped me shave it off and it felt so good.

For somebody to gracefully take a big life change and choose to fully embrace it is no small triumph. It takes incredible strength on the inside and spectacular support system on the outside, which Brooke kept saying she is so thankful to have.

Brooke explained to me that she has many friends and family who have been there for her throughout her journey, but has not been able to find many other support resources specific to Alopecia here in the Kootenays… so she started her own.

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Brooke literally said the words: I think that this was meant to happen to me and be what I do in life.

We talked about how having no hair was a big adjustment at first, but now feels quite liberating and comes with its own perks. We laughed about how she didn’t have to worry during the lice outbreak in one of the schools she was studying in or how simple her morning routine has become.

I know that whatever comes her way, Brooke will always see it as an opportunity to grow and help others.

Thank you for thinking of and trusting me for your photos Brooke, it was truly my pleasure ❤︎

Brooke has started a Facebook group for anybody with alopecia looking to join a safe and supportive community. Click this link to visit!

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Brooke has started a Facebook group for anybody with alopecia looking to join a safe and supportive community. Click this link to visit!

 

Little Unicorn Swaddlers for you, from Jena Lee Photographs.

There is a little bit of a promotion going on at Jena Lee Photographs (which you may have seen if you already are following along on Instagram).

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As part of the new Your Baby’s’ First Year photography bundles — more info. about them here — Jena Lee Photographs is including one of these beautiful 100% organic cotton Little Unicorn swaddlers when you book your photography sessions.

On a first come first serve basis, you can choose one of these Little Unicorn swaddlers to wrap your new baby in for your photography session with Jena Lee Photographs. This offer is available only for Your Baby’s First Year bundles, where you get to bundle two or more photography sessions for ultimate value and to perfectly preserve your first year together.

Available sessions include: Maternity – Fresh 48 – Newborn – 3 Month – 6 Month – 9 Month – One Year Birthday

 

If there is a particular swaddler that you love, make sure to act fast and guarantee your blanket and your spot with Jena Lee Photographs. I can’t wait to hear from you ❤︎

 Book Now

Your Baby’s First Year — Jena Lee Photographs, Golden B.C.

Select three or more occasions to document you and your baby’s first year together.

As a new parent, you already have a million things and questions running through your brain. Learning how to breastfeed or wondering about bottle feeding, being unsure of how much crying is within normal, adding up the few hours you slept last night, trying to figure out if you have ever loved anything so much before …

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Before you know it, you will be feeding them with ease, getting into the swing of things, and sharing your experiences with other new parents. Before you know it, a year will go by and they will start walking and talking. Then you will have a toddler, a child, a teenager, and you will lovingly hold on to the sweet distant memories of them squeezing your finger with their tiny hand. 

Jena Lee Photographs wants to help you preserve your favourite moments together forever and is pleased to introduce Your Baby’s First Year photography bundles. Available photography sessions include Maternity, Fresh 48 (first 48 hours of life), Newborn, 3-Month, 6-Month, 9-Month, and One Year Birthday. 

Available sessions include: Maternity – Fresh 48 – 3 Month – 6 Month – 9 Month – One Year Birthday

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Always remember your first moments with a Fresh 48 session and capture their growing personality with lifestyle photography throughout the year. You can build an heirloom album, a custom coffee table book, or a signature wall collage to display your photographs and enjoy them forever.

Jena Lee Photographs is located in Golden BC and also serves Invermere, Banff, and Canmore areas. Get in touch for more information about Your Baby’s First Year bundles today.

 Book Now

Jena Lee Photographs’ Beautiful Line of Print + Display Products

If you have followed along with any of my social media accounts (Facebook or Instagram), you know that I am thrilled to offer my clients a beautiful line and high-quality print products for them to choose from to display their new photos. Everyone loves the experience of looking through the albums, and prints and then choosing their favourite product for displaying in their home. 

Think about the last time you looked through your parent’s old photo albums or flipped the pages of the book you printed from your last family vacation. Each photo is looked at with intention and a smile. Perhaps some brought on laughter from an old memory or caused tears from remembering a lost loved one. This is the way photographs were originally meant to be enjoyed, physically in real life for you to look at. Clicking through images online just doesn’t bring the same joy and nostalgia the way printed photographs do.

Don’t get me wrong, Jena Lee Photographs is not anti-digital photography. I am pro social-media, pro iPhone-photography, pro digital photos. In fact, Jena Lee Photographs includes a watermarked social-media image with every printed image purchased — because if you are anything like me, you love sharing your images online with friends and family. Document your images however in whichever way is best for you, just make sure you print them out too!

… and when you are ready to have your most cherished memories professionally photographed, we will work together to choose which print products are the right one for you and your home.

Without further ado, I am happy to introduce Jena Lee Photographs’ carefully selected line of Print + Display products:

Leather or Linen Heirloom Album 

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This album is incredible. Its heavy weight sits comfortably in your hands while also speaking towards its quality and durability. The Heirloom Album comes with thick sturdy pages that lay flat on the table and are each custom designed by hand.

There are a variety of luxurious linens and leathers to choose from. You can match your home or pick a colour that catches your eye. The leather or linen Heirloom Album is available for all photography sessions and can hold between 20-50 images — that’s enough room to include every image, in case you love them all.

 

Artisanal Wooden Memory Box

If you want something different from a traditional photo album/book, the Artisanal Wooden Memory Box is for you. This is my personal favourite Core Product because it is handmade, unique, and gives you the ability to hold each individual photo in your hands. There are small boxes to display your entire photo session or large boxes that you can continually add to over the years. Each photo is mounted onto 3mm styrene board so that it stands up on its own in the box, ready for you to look at.

Signature Wall Art 

A classic way to display your absolute favourite portraits. All wall art comes ready to hang and can be framed or float mounted (see picture below). Each piece is built to last for generations and is laminated to protect against dust and fingerprints. You can choose to exhibit large statement pieces or you can create a collage that grows with you and your family over time.

I love the print products! How do I get my own?

When you are ready to have your extra-special memories professionally photographed by Jena Lee Photographs, all of these display products will be available for you to choose from plus the line of ‘Add-On Gift Items’ which will be introduced next week.

Your first step to displaying these gorgeous products in your home is to book your photographs with Jena Lee Photographs. There are Lifestyle Family sessions or various newborn/baby sessions available. To start your perfect family photos, leave Jena a message and she will personally get back to you within 2 business days.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Book Now

Angela + Navy — Six-Month-Old Baby Photography

Angela & Baby Navy Mae

Angela said what every parent says but truly means with their whole heart: “It sounds cliche but I just want her to be happy.”

Navy is one of the happiest six-month-olds ever. Anybody who meets her wants to keep her. I want to keep her, all you have to do is look at her and Navy is thrilled.

“I also want her to go to college and to go through that life experience, meet other people and cultures… I want her to turn out fabulous like her mum!”

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I couldn’t agree more, fabulous is correct. Spending the morning with Angela and Navy was like hanging out with old friends. There were many things to talk about with many baby cuddles in between. It is a true pleasure when someone can speak honestly and openly about themselves and their experiences. Angela has a calm confidence in herself that came through in the stories she shared with me about her life and new experience with her and her partners new baby, Navy.

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Angela explained about her pregnancy with Navy and how she was born breech, which means that she was born bottom first instead of head first. It’s clear that Navy still finds this position quite comfortable and that it is how she prefers to sit. When left on her own, it’s only seconds before Navy has her foot in her mouth or her heels above her head.

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Navy inherited her love for people and being social from her mom and has the busyness and energy of her dad. She inherited her names from family members and is always wrapped in a sentimental sweater or blanket. Her mom explained that she found her voice last week and hasn’t stopped babbling and yelling about things. She likes to grab everything and hold everything, all while continuing to stare into your eyes and smile.

Thank you to Angela for being such a lovely mom and to Navy for being the character that she is. I loved spending the morning with you both xx

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