Carson & Holm Photography » Blog

Back in December, Tye and I ventured out to a farm in High River, Alberta for an engagement shoot. We were thrilled to meet Kelsie and Wade and capture their engagement photos in an incredible landscape that holds special meaning for them. I think these photos speak for themselves. Hands down, this is one of my favourite shoots of all time! Everything about the shoot was awesome.

DSC_3429PINFirst off, the scenery was incredible. We were surrounded by rolling hills, majestic horses, golden grass and the big beautiful Alberta sky. The landscape is vast and expansive. You could look around, and see for miles in all directions. This farm was one of the most beautiful locations I have ever shot.


In addition to the amazing scenery, the lighting was amazing! Hello sun flares! We shot this session during the golden hour, just as the light was going down behind the hill. These lighting conditions were perfect, and gave us so much variety in the shots we were able to get.


More important than the amazing scenery and magnificent light was the awesome couple we worked with. Kelsie and Wade are super adorable and it is obvious that they love each other very much. We enjoyed spending the day with this fantastic (and amazingly photogenic) couple.


Thanks again to Kelsie and Wade for choosing Tye and I to take your engagement photos! The two of you make a lovely couple and we had a ton of fun shooting your photos and capturing this exciting time in your lives.

If you are interested in booking an engagement shoot or wedding with Carson & Holm photography, check out our webpage. The Investment Page has full details on our wedding package and what it includes. You can also send me an message with additional questions or arrange a complimentary meet and greet here.


If you can get past the cold, winter photoshoots can be absolutely beautiful! Elements like snow, sun and frost are incredible backdrop and add interesting visual elements to any portrait session. Before booking a winter session, many clients have questions about what they should wear for their session. To help answer these questions, I’ve created a Pinterest board full of outfit examples and have outlined a few tips below on staying warm during your winter photo session.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.13.51 AMPIN

Tip #1: Stay Warm With Full Winter Gear

Staying warm and being comfortable to crucial to getting the best photos during your session. When I plan a winter photo session outdoors, I do two things to keep my clients as warm as possible. First off, I always make sure there is a place nearby to warm up between shots. Second, on every winter shoot we ask you to bring your winter gear.

When I say winter gear, I mean your warmest jacket parka, mittens, boots and hat. Having your winter gear is crucial to the success of our shoot. It means you can stay toasty warm while we are picking a spot to shoot and in between shots when we have a few minutes of downtime.


Believe it or not, wearing warm winter gear can look beautiful for photos. If you chose to go this route, I recommend wearing a solid or neutral coloured coat (without any labels or logos) and accessorizing with colourful mittens, hats and scarfs.

Tip #2: Wear Layers

When a viewer looks at photos taken outside in the winter, you don’t want the first thought that pops into their mind to be that the subject looks cold. Adding layers to an outfit helps make a subject look toasty warm and comfortable (even when they are not). When taking photos outside in the cold, I always recommend dressing in layers. Layers can include sweaters, cardigans, lighter jackets, mittens, scarves, leggings, tights, hats etc.


While wearing layers creates the illusion of being warm and comfortable, Calgary winters still require that you have full winter gear close by for warming up between shots and walking to and from the shoot location.

Tip #3: Neutral Base

Tip number three is something I suggest to clients during all seasons at any time of the year. To create a timeless look for your photos, I always recommend a neutral colour scheme and no logos or graphic t-shirts. Starting from a neutral base ensures your photos won’t look dated within a couple years. It also allows the viewer to focus on you- the subject of the photograph.


Tip #5: Accessorize

I love accessorizing. Accessorizing an outfit for a photoshoot is where the fun comes in! This is an excellent opportunity for clients to bring in their own personality with fashion forward elements like chunky jewelry or bright shoes. In the wintertime, accessories can also include mittens, scarves and hats. I usually recommend selecting winter accessories in natural looking fabrics like wools or other knits and avoiding more sporty looking accessories.


During the winter, it can be fun to also incorporate props that will keep you warm. When shooting outside in the winter, props like warm wool blankets, skates and hot lattes in to-go cups look great and help keep you warmFB__001-69PIN

Tip #4: Stuff you Feel Comfortable in

Before getting dressed for a photoshoot, ask yourself two questions. First off, do these clothes make me feel comfortable? Secondly, do these clothes make me feel confident and good about myself? Being able to confidently answer these questions with a YES will help create me create the best possible photos.

Please note that feeling comfortable in your own skin doesn’t mean throwing on a pair of sweat pants. For some people (like me), it usually means wearing a nice dress and looking fashion forward. For other people, it could mean wearing a nice pair of jeans and a comfy sweater.FB__001-74PIN

Tip #7 If you Have Questions, Ask me!

Before any photoshoot I ask my clients to think carefully about their wardrobe for the day. I am always happy to give feedback. People will often send me photos snapped with their phones of the clothing they are thinking about wearing. I am also happy to accommodate outfit changes if a client is interested in getting a couple different looks out of our photoshoot.

As your photographer, I want to help prep you for your session so we can get the best results possible. A successful photoshoot is about so much more than me, my camera and the light. You need to feel comfortable in your own skin. You need to envision the look you want for your photos and pick your clothing accordingly. The choices you make will have a big impact on your photographs.

If you need some visual inspiration, check out my Pinterest board on dressing for winter photo shoots. Thanks for reading!

I am pretty far behind on blogging our family sessions. Tye and I have been pretty busy over the past few weeks. This session happened back in September. Remember September? Back when it still felt like summer outside. Mike and MJ are old friends of mine. Mike and my husband Eric went to school together and have been best friends since grade one.
150919_MiniSession_038PIN150919_MiniSession_037PINEric and I hosted Mike and MJ for a weekend visit in Calgary, and Confederation Park seemed like the perfect backdrop of a late summer/early fall photoshoot. During this shoot, the leaves were just starting to turn colours and a few had fallen off the trees and were starting to scatter around the ground.


Mike and MJ have two adorable children who were a pleasure to photograph. It was so nice to see Emily play and interact with her sweet younger brother, William. I love gaining the trust of little ones on shoots. I like to remind them that I’m there to play with them.


It’s critical to give kids an opportunity to warm up to Tye and myself before we take our cameras out and start shooting. I find that giving kids, especially toddlers, a few minutes of playtime without the camera is helpful. It helps me gain their trust and capture more happy and relaxed photographs.




Thanks again to Mike, MJ and the kids for making the journey down to Calgary. Tye and I had a blast on this shoot. It was even more fun to spend the weekend together and catch up like old times! Edmonton family and friends: Tye and I will be up in Edmonton next weekend and still have two spots left for mini sessions on Saturday, November 7th. If you are interested in booking your own mini-session, send me an email at


For more information on family mini sessions, click here.

They say the best camera is the camera you have with you, and in many cases, this will be your camera phone. I am a photography junkie and I have several camera bodies that I love. While I love my fancy equipment, there is something special about my phone camera and I am constantly surprised my the high quality photos my phone produces.

Are you happy with your phone photographs? Could your photos use a little help? Over the next few weeks, I am going to show you how to take photographs that you love with your phone camera. Every Wednesday for the next month, I am going to give you tips and tricks for making the most of your phone camera and how you use it to take photos that blow your family and friends away.


Why “Phoneography”?

Phoneography is the art of creating photos with your phone’s camera. This style differs from all other forms of digital photography in that images are shot, processed and shared on the same device. Although my phone camera has several technical limitations, it is my go to camera for capturing daily life.

First off, my iPhone camera makes editing and sharing photographs extremely easy. Editing is easy and only takes a few seconds. This means my photos no longer sit on an external hard drive in isolation. Instead, I enjoy looking at and sharing my snap shots on a regular basis.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetPIN

Second, my phone camera is small, lightweight and by my side at all times. As a mom, I appreciate the compact nature of the iPhone camera. I carry around so much baby gear that pulling out the DSLR sometimes feels like a giant pain in the ass.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPIN

Finally,  I enjoy the freedom and spontaneity associated with a phone camera. I find, I am less concerned with the technical aspects built into the camera. This allows me to focus more on external factors such as composition, lighting and the subject that I am shooting. Ultimately, the lack of technical capabilities built into a phone camera allow me be more present in the moment.

Don’t Be a Hater

Phoneography sometimes gets a bad rap. I believe that good photography is not about the type of camera you use. It is about how a person sees and captures the world. With this in mind, I believe that shooting with an iPhone is good practice, even for a seasoned professional photographer.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPIN

For the most part, the technical limitations of a phone camera do not matter to me. Many of my personal photographs are ephemeral. I am not looking to enlarge and display the vast majority of the pictures taken with my phone. I am simply looking to capture joy in everyday moments. It may be a photo of a beach, my baby or a hamburger. My goal is to capture a feeling, not to create a technically perfect masterpiece.

So forget about the expensive cameras and fancy equipment once in a while. I challenge you to get out there and start taking amazing snap shots with your phone. Be present, capture and share the fun and quirky little moments that life brings with iPhoneography!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetPIN

Do you have any favourite iPhone photos? Share them with me on Facebook, Instagram or send me an email! I’d love to feature them in upcoming posts on phone photography.

The most natural newborn sessions focus on your growing family. During a newborn session, my goal as a photographer is to document your life with a newborn baby. These sessions take place in your home and tell the story of your growing family. I don’t bring props, costumes or bean bags. I don’t put your baby in elaborate or complicated poses. Instead, I focus on your newborn and authentic interactions between you and your beautiful family. Natural newborn sessions are a powerful way to share and remember the early day’s of a baby’s life. These images will be treasured by parents and children alike in years to come.



When I had my baby, I booked a natural newborn session. I wanted to be able to show my son what life was like when he was a newborn. Twenty years from now, we will look at our photos and see the house he came home to. I want him to be able to look back at these photos and see how excited my husband and I were to be his parents. Looking at these photos, my boy will see the love that was a part of our little family from the start.


Natural newborn sessions are not just about the baby. They are also about mom, dad and the rest of the family. Because these sessions are about more than just the baby, it is important for mom and dad to be in the frame. When I booked my own newborn session, I wanted to be able to remember how much my husband and I loved each other in the first few days as parents. I wanted these photos as a reminder of how grateful I am to be a parent. Looking at our photos today, I don’t notice or think about my postpartum body or how I felt uncomfortable in my own skin during this time. I think about what it was like to hold my brand new baby in my arms and brush his cheek with my hand. I wanted to commemorate this change in my life. I wanted to remember what it felt like to be a new mom. I needed to be in the frame to do this.



Having a baby is one of the most life altering things I have ever experienced. There is a 9 month build up and then suddenly, your life is turned upside down! Those first few weeks as a new parent can be a blur. I want to remember the blur. My desire to preserve these memories is what fuels my approach for a more natural and documentary approach to newborn photography.

104_Baby-ViennePINToday, I am grateful my photographer took photos of our daily life. Looking back at these images, I can’t help but smile as I remember the days when we bathed my son in a small tub on the kitchen table. I love to remember the house we brought Luca home to. This is the nursery I spent hours day dreaming about and planning. Last year we moved away from that house and I am so grateful to have images from our beautiful old house. I hope that one day, the newborns in my photographs can look back to the beginning and see much their parents love them.

150509_Twins_031PINIf you have any questions or are interested in booking your own natural newborn session, send me an email at

You can also get additional information on our sessions by clicking here.