After recently moving to Guelph, photographing a Niagara engagement was even more convenient. Traveling there, I would be driving against traffic. As well, the locations available offer such diversity and versatility of photo opportunities. This made this session a win-win for both the couple, Sarah and Blair, and me.
Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm at Niagara Falls destination
First, Sarah and Blair decided to meet at Happy Rolph’s Animal Farm. As the name suggests, I assumed that we would be working with animals. However, that was not the case at all! We started their Niagara Engagement session just outside of the farm along with our special guest, their dog Doogie Schnauzer.
Their website says it all: “A 15.06-acre municipal park on the shores of Lake Ontario, Happy Rolph’s Bird Sanctuary boasts one of Canada’s most exotic collections of flowering rhododendrons. There is also a petting farm, which includes chickens, pigs, horses, rabbits, sheep, goats, llamas, as well as a donkey named ‘Hoti’ — ‘Don Quixote’. Hundreds of ducks, geese and native birds live in the sanctuary’s nearby pond. The pond’s inlet, sheltered by evergreens and bordered by grassy banks and willow trees, offers food and shelter for the resident waterfowl and migratory birds. There are pathways to the lake, bird feeders, and a barn. It is an ideal location for families or school groups to spend a day picnicking and visiting the animals. Happy Rolphs is also available for annual festivals and weddings” (info taken from their website).
Beginning in the late afternoon and almost evening, I was hoping that we would benefit from the transition from daytime, the sunset and all the way into nightfall. At the farm, there was a trail running throughout the park, leading to a peaceful waterfront.
When rain decide to shower us this Niagara Engagement turn into two day event
We made quite a bit of progress before some large, angry black clouds began covering the sky. They honestly came out of nowhere! In my 20+ years of photography experience, I can say that I had yet to be really rained on during a session. Crossing my fingers, I was hoping my track record would hold. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Hoping the rain would pass quickly, we found some shelter under a very large tree to wait it out. Quite the opposite! The rain was getting stronger and there is no end in sight.
It was only the three of us left as Blair’s mother already took Doogie Schnauzer earlier in her car. We decided to brave the elements and walk back to the car. I was completely drenched, which got me thinking about the equipment too. While I have weather-proof equipment, I had never really tested it to this extreme. Thankfully, everything was dry and perfectly in tact when I checked it out back at the car. When the rain showed no signs of stopping, I could see the disappointment growing on Sarah’s face. She was so heart broken because the rain interrupted her carefully made plans for the session. When I said, “Okay, is now time to go get into some warm clothes. But are we continuing tomorrow”, her face lit up! “Tomorrow?? Whatever works for you!!” She was definitely happy to continue.
Take two for this Niagara Engagement
We had great weather the next day when we meet up for round 2. We continued with the planned shots and added a few extras as well. There was so much happiness in their eyes for the entire season. It was a pleasure to be able to help and assist them during this very unique scenario. Being understanding and completely dedicated to their experience is what I do. Of course I would do my best to reschedule after having a session cut short by a torrential downpour no one anticipated. We did so much during the very first day. However, the last 20% we missed would have negatively impacted the entire experience. I refuse to leave to leave these lovely people unhappy.
The cherry on top while finishing the session, was an amazing sunset. This totally solidified for me why I do what I do and why my clients experience is top priority for me. When Sarah and Blair look back on that image for years to come, I know that while they may laugh about the rain interruption, they can feel the amazing emotions that we finished with. The feeling that they will get will be priceless.
The journey continues after their Niagara Engagement session
Fast-forward 3 months after this session to Sarah and Blair’s wedding. It was breath-taking with the best possible weather one could wish for. Doogie Schnauzer made a special appearance here too! Then, this past fall, a year after their wedding, I was blessed to be asked to photograph their maternity session at Ball’s Falls in Niagara. As I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, Doogie Schnauzer was an important part of these as well. Here is an image from that session.
Their wedding is feature in ” What we capture on your wedding day Part I”
My passion and biggest asset is taking the time to make every client comfortable and relaxed before I even pick up the camera. The result? Photos of you that actually look like you at your best! I can prove to you how much you can enjoy having your picture taken. Lifestyle photography is about the experience that happens to be served up along side of some great photos.
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