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 have seen, I hope to provide some new location ideas for those looking for a unique experience and a unique landscape. Here are some of my suggestions for an engagement session in and around the Banff area:
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 anytime of the day. The other benefit of this location is that you are able to shoot at a smaller alpine lake half way up the hike. Shooting here provides a couple with a wide variety of mountain views. This location is accessible July-Early October.
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 The trail on Mount Indefatigable is no longer maintained, but access is still allowed.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.
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 an 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 🙂
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 May – November.
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 are 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 4×4 and winter tires.
There are a number of other amazing locations that I like to take couples for their engagement sessions. If you are looking for a unique experience and unique engagement photos, feel free to reach out here.