Tag: 2018

Red Deer Family Photographer

Sometimes you just find those special people that make life better. And you wish you had met them sooner…

These are those types of people. The Sereda family is comprised of 4 lovely individuals- and one of them has a special place in my son’s heart. His name is Nash. My son, Liam’s first best friend. Liam and Nash met in kindergarten and hit if off right away, It may have been their mutual love for Minions, or maybe just because they sat at the same table… but they became close with a friendship I didn’t expect from 6 year old boys.

Liam often came home and talked about his new friend, but I didn’t get to meet Nash’s equally cool mom until later in the year. And I wish I had met her sooner. Maybe I could’ve convinced her NOT to move to BC… or maybe not. I can’t compete with the mild winters and beautiful beach just down the street from their new house. Either way, I am glad our sons connected, because we did as well. I think it was our mutual worry that our boys wouldn’t make friends, and relief that they found someone so special.

Well, all of that couldn’t keep them in Alberta, and they moved out west this summer. Fortunately (by the grace of God), we were headed out that way for summer vacation, so we stopped in and the boys were on cloud 9. They had their first sleepover, but I don’t know how much they slept because they were so pumped! It was a meaningful visit and I look forward to more… they’re just those kind of people….

I took some quick photos (it was blistering hot, so they had to be fast!) of this beautiful family… and I think I could get used to photographing there!

So, if you have people like that; people you wish you had met sooner, that you know you could be close with… take advantage. Spend time getting to know them (cause you never know when BC will steal them away!).


Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Childrens Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

our boys.

Red Deer Kids PhotographerRed Deer Photographer Red Deer Kids Photographer

Please feel free to follow my work on Instagram and Facebook.

Also- fall is a beautiful time to capture some family photos… just sayin. 🙂

Red Deer Family Photography

Red Deer Family Photographer

Red Deer Family Photographer

Think back to your house growing up… or your grandparent’s house. And what was on the fridge? Drawings? Photos? Probably both? And on the walls of the hallway? I’m guessing a lot of you would say that there were framed photos of family throughout the years (some we didn’t really want on display?)  Pictures of our middle school fashion mistakes, awkward smiles, and large-and-in-charge hair styles. But also beautiful memories that we are reminded of that mean the world to us. (And who didn’t love looking through old photo albums?) Graduation, weddings, the arrival of babies, etc. The reason they are there is because they show the things that we feel are important. We enjoy looking at the faces of people we love, and places we made memories in (vacation photos). And if you ask anyone what the first thing that they would grab in case of a fire? Photos. Photo albums. Or computers filled with pictures yet to be printed. They are priceless.

In fact, my husband, just this weekend, lost his phone while kayaking. He doesn’t care about how much money it cost, or the information on the phone. But he was heart-broken to lose irreplaceable photos of our kids. It’s just something that we can’t focus on (and I’m making sure to backup my own photos from my phone!) Pictures aren’t just ‘pictures’… they are a link to those we care about.

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this blog post. As a photographer, it’s my job to remind you of the importance of taking photos often. Not JUST when you feel pretty enough, or thin enough, or think the kids are old enough to behave. The truth is, you don’t know if all of those you love will be around when you feel ‘ready’ for a family photo session. A fellow photographer friend was photographing a wedding in Mexico recently and offered family sessions to the guests. One of the families who got theirs done was one with 2 little kids. They were beautiful photos on the beach and really showed the connection and admiration they all had for each other. A few months later, the young father tragically passed away. These photos went from being a nice keepsake to an irreplaceable memory that will be cherished like no other.

Now I don’t write this to scare you into getting photos taken… and I’m right there with you, not wanting to be in front of the camera… but I encourage you to get those people you love together and take photos of the memories you make together. Your kids won’t care if you could stand to lose 15 pounds, or your clothes don’t fit the way they used to (and trust me, everyone is feeling the same about themselves)- those little people want to see you. And only you the way you are. Right now. Maybe you have baby weight that’s sticking around, or are waiting for your hair to grow longer, or you think your session would be less stressful when the kids are a bit older. (Trust me, I have two kids- I know how stressful they can be). But don’t wait. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, just do it for your kids or the people who love you and want to have reminders of what you mean to them.

(Ever heard of ‘preaching to the choir’? Yup. That’s happening right now.)

The fact is, we are getting our family photos taken next week and I don’t want to. I know I’ll look at them and think my arms are too big, or I need to lose my jowls, and my waist has disappeared… but I’m doing it for my kids. I want them to remember me how I am… cause this is it. Baby weight and all. And I want them to look at photos of themselves on the walls of our house and know they are important in this family.

It’s funny- we do this for ourselves- waiting until we change a bit more into what we want to look like. But we do the opposite for our kids. We want to capture every moment and milestone and awkward stage because it is who they are. And yet, we want to forget what we look like now, and focus on what we could look like in the future. (Again, this post is as much for me as it is my readers.)

So take the photo. And GET IN the photo. And if you need someone to take them, I happen to know a girl 😉





If you want to see more Red Deer family photos, kids photos, or get more info on booking a session, please get in contact with me! Summer and fall are the best times for photo sessions (evening light in the long summer days is simply divine!) My email is danielle@belovedlifephotography.com. Or just hit ‘Follow’ on Facebook or Instagram!




Salt Flats Stylized Session

Do you have one of those friends that is always there to kick you in the bum when you need it? Like, they see the potential in you, and don’t let you forget it, or give up, or give in….

I do. Her name is Candice, and we haven’t been friends that long, but it feels like we have. See, she’s a fellow photographer. Another boss babe. A mamapreneur. A goal digger. Whatever the label, she’s that. And she does not hesitate to remind me of what she sees in me (and she tends to see way more than even I do).

So, when she asked me to come to a Salt Flats Stylized Session workshop in Utah, my initial response was a big old, ‘nope.’ I don’t have the money. I don’t know if I can get someone to watch my kids. The guys putting it on mainly shoot weddings and I don’t want to learn about photographing weddings. I can’t get on a plane. (I don’t fly well. At all.) I don’t even know the guys putting on the workshop. Again, I don’t have the money.

And her response (that I knew was coming), was ‘we’ll figure it all out- you need to come.’ So that’s what we did. We drove 15 hours one-way (to avoid the plane). We figured out the finances. She talked to the photographers putting it on, and they weren’t teaching wedding photography. They were teaching about business development. And personal development. Two things I could use some help on.

The two photographers were Montana Dennis (montanadennis.com) and Chad DiBlasio (diblasiophoto.com) Both have some serious talent.

But, like I said, we weren’t there talking about wedding photography. Or anything technical. Not even social media. We were talking about value. What we put value on, and how it differs between people. And how to value yourself.

We all stayed in a house together for a few days. We ate and drank together. We talked about some really deep stuff. And laughed and even cried. It was well-needed. Not just for my business, but for me.

On the second day, we all packed into a few cars and took a 2 hour drive out to the Bonneville Speedway in the Salt Flats. This place is insane. It used to be this enormous salt lake, but it’s dried up and left this thick crust of pure salt. It’s huge. Like miles and miles of salt. And the Bonneville Speedway is where they break records for the fastest vehicles on earth. Seriously google it- it’s crazy.

Chad and Montana (neither of which are from Utah) had organized a few models for us to photograph and it was a dream. One model from Arizona, a boyfriend and girlfriend, and a couple girls they met the day before, working at Anthropology in the mall. We rotated between them all, taking unreal photos in this mystical place. I took my shoes off to feel it and it wasn’t super comfy. It hurt, actually. Super pokey. (Us Canadians compared it to the look of a frozen lake… but so much cooler)

And I tasted it. Cause hey, it’s just salt!

One thing that’s been on my bucket list for years, is to ride in a car with a professional driver and go ridiculously fast. I don’t want to drive it, cause I would be scared (and I don’t drive standard)… so, since we were in the best place to do so, we tried it. In a Honda Fit. The tiniest car that they have at the rental place. And probably the tiniest engine too. But Chad pushed it to it’s tiny maximum and we broke 100 mph. I was pumped. To see a video of us driving out there, check out my instagram (@belovedlifephotography)

And a trip to the states isn’t complete without visiting Hobby Lobby (Candice’s first time!) and Target. And Chick-Fil-A! That chicken is unbelievably tasty.

We turned back and drive another 15 hours home. Through an incredible snowstorm. Stayed in a bare minimum hotel in Montana, where we watched reality TV and ate pizza. And car karaoked 90’s songs like you wouldn’t believe.

I’d say it was worth listening to that friend who recommended this crazy trip- wouldn’t you?




I’d love it you stick around for future posts, and thanks for being here for this one.

Red Deer Children's Photography

Who is Danielle? Beloved Life Photography

Welcome to my first official blog post as Beloved Life Photography… Some of you may have noticed a change around here, including my business name. I have been “This Beloved Life” since 2006, but recently rebranded and dropped the first word, hopefully making it easier to remember…

Now that that’s out of the way- I’ll tell you a bit about me… Danielle.

I’ve been a photographer since 2006, when I mainly photographed weddings. I’ve now done over 100, and still love to make photos that the bride and groom cherish, but I’ve changed my role, and have been assisting other photographers for a few seasons. It really is a great part of what I do, since I am not wanting to stop wedding photography, but now have more time for my family and other sessions. I simply photograph for the day, then hand over my memory card and relax- no editing for me. And I work with some incredible girls who rock the whole wedding photographer thing… seriously. Shout out to www.candykoated.com and www.lindsaynickel.com

My new inspiration is portraits.

Single, powerful, connected photos of people from toddler to grad. Girls, boys, confident, shy, outgoing, or relaxed… I love themed photo sessions (think Circus-inspired, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, or the Lost Boys… without cheesy costumes)

But I also feel that simple, natural portraits can portray something that the parents (or even the child) has never seen in themselves. And that is my magic.


Some random things about me:

  • I have a son that is six and he loves Pacman and Minecraft. He hates vegetables and haircuts.
  • My daughter is three and is easily bribed with candy and Paw Patrol. She eats anything and everything but is still teeny tiny (I envy this trait)
  • My husband (of 12 years!) works super hard so I can stay home with my kids (and support my thrift store shopping addiction)
  • I love anything that has to do with the Beatles
  • I love Jesus and have dreadlocks and tattoos…a rare combination
  • The Edmonton Oilers are my favourite hockey team and I’ve been a faithful fan throughout their terrible last few years.
  • If I could hire out one job I really dislike, it would be cooking. I hate cooking.



People sometimes ask where I came up with my business name… and it’s all based around the word, ‘beloved.’ This word has always been a powerful one to me. People always say, ‘I love you. I love her. I love him. I love tacos. I love….’ But when someone says, ‘She’s mine. He is my beloved.’ it just made it deeper and stronger. It’s my power word. So I wanted a business name that used that word, but wasn’t limited to weddings (since that’s what I was photographing at the time)… so I thought about what I wanted people to value.

This BELOVED life.

Another thing people ask me about a lot is my hair (or they just stare and try to figure it out, which is cool too). I’ve had my dreads since 2016 and I love and hate them. They are an excellent conversation piece (yes, I wash them. Yes, I’ll probably have to cut my hair to get them out. I get them maintained every few months, and yes, they are heavy. If it wasn’t in dreads, my hair would be almost down to my bum, and no, nothing lives in them. As far as I know.) But just like anyone else, I often think of changing my hair, but it took a long time and lots of work, so I’m not ready yet. (Sorry mom)



Beloved Life Photography

My first job was bussing tables at a restaurant on Gasoline Alley, Red Deer. My favourite job (aside from photography, obviously) was teaching preschool. I only did this for a year before I got pregnant with my first, but I’d love to go back one day. The stories those kids tell….and seriously, who wouldn’t want to play and read books all day?

Beloved Life Photography

I am super close to my parents. Not only do we see them multiple times per week, but they live literally 5 minutes from us. They help get my son to school, babysit when I have sessions, help with random projects (like completely gutting and renovating our whole house), and make us supper (remember how much I despise cooking?)… oh! And they randomly show up to shovel my walk and driveway. I know…I can’t believe them either. They are the hardest-working people I know. My mom works at a school AND runs her own home staging business. (Central Alberta Home Staging)

Red Deer Photographer

This is me photographing my daughter… she cried and fussed the whole time- so never feel bad if your kids act out during a session. It happens to ALL of us!

Beloved Life Photography


If you’ve read this far, you are a trooper.

Thanks for hanging out with me. I have some exciting posts coming up and would love to share them with you.

And in the comments: What was your first job? Dream job? And what job would you hire out if you could?



Photos by Candy Koated Photography