Vendor Spotlight: Honorary Banff Photographer – Steven Wallace Photography

rocky mountain engagement photos

Your wedding photographer is in charge of capturing the most important moment of your life. So, it’s no surprise that people put so much time, thought, and research into deciding which Banff photographer to hire for the big day. But what should you be looking for during all that research? It should go a lot further than just the photos you like best. 

Your wedding photographer is likely the person with whom you’ll spend the most amount of time and who you’ll interact with most on your wedding day. So it’s crucial that you choose someone who will put you at ease and produce the results you want.

A wedding photography business that embodies both these qualities is Steven Wallace Photography, a husband and wife team who love nothing more than getting out into the Canadian Rockies and photographing until they run out of film.

But who better to tell you all about it than the man himself? Steven took some time out to chat with us about life, family, and what it means to be a Banff photographer! 

Steven’s Story

Tell us a little about yourself! 

I’m a brand new dad!  It’s hard to think of anything more exciting than that right now.  My wife Amanda and I just welcomed our son Jasper (named after the national park) into the world this past August.  I feel so incredibly thankful and lucky that I married the woman of my dreams and now get to raise this amazing little dude with her.

We currently live in Atlanta, Georgia along with our ridiculous and awesome cat Bob.  I’m originally from Calgary and have dual citizenship with the US and Canada. I fell head over heels for Banff and the Rockies on our honeymoon ten years ago and I’m so grateful to be able to photograph there now.  I travel back to Alberta as often as possible and love that I can call both places home!

I’m a big nerd about a lot of things – especially analog and film photography.  I worked for 9 years in a photo lab and camera store and received my BFA in photography. These days, I still develop my own film and even co-host a film photography podcast. 

I’m always happiest walking and hiking and getting to explore a place both in nature and in cities.  While I’m an old punk rock and hardcore kid, I love music of all kinds. I’m always on the lookout for a good cup of coffee and think breakfast food is the best food (we had a brunch buffet at our wedding).

One of the only things I really don’t like is chocolate.  I know it’s weird and I’m sorry! But hey, that means there’s more for everyone else to enjoy right?   

engagement photo sessions in Banff

How did you get started in wedding photography?

A few years after I really started getting into photography, my friend Tim Harman asked me to help him shoot a wedding where he was a groomsman.  I mainly captured the shots that he couldn’t while being in the wedding party and did some basic second shooting. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew that I loved it.  

From that point on I was hooked.  I wanted to learn everything I could and worked so well with Tim that we kept shooting together for over ten years.

What services/packages do you offer?

I love to connect and build relationships with people and capture couples, families and weddings of all sizes!

I offer full-day wedding and elopement coverage, couple, family, and individual portraits, and surprise proposals and engagement sessions.  

Where is your favourite spot to shoot wedding photos around Banff + Canmore?

Everywhere! I’m so inspired by the incredible beauty of the Rockies that I feel lucky to shoot anywhere in the mountains.  

I definitely have a soft spot for the glacial blue lakes like Moraine and Bow Lake, but then I also love the feeling you get shooting down in the mountain towns.  There’s also something amazing about being on top of a mountain and shooting there, too.  

banff photography

How would you describe your philosophy when it comes to shooting wedding photos and working with couples on the day?

My philosophy when it comes to shooting weddings and working with couples is to really capture their personalities and who they are in this amazing moment. I do everything I can to put them at ease and help them enjoy things.  Weddings are supposed to be fun!  

Like I said, I’m a big nerd, so I’m always down for telling a dad joke or bantering with people to help loosen things up.  I know how awkward it can be getting in front of the camera! 

I’ll never ask a couple to do something they’re not comfortable with just for the sake of a photo.  However, if you’re up for climbing up a steep trail in your wedding dress or dangling over a lake – then let’s do it!

How would you describe your aesthetic as a Banff photographer?

I’d describe my aesthetic as vibrant, joyful, and timeless.  I want to give people photos that will still look good and bring them joy 50 years from now.  

The fact that I shoot on film has a huge influence on the style of images that I create.  I really feel that film has a look and quality to it that can’t be replicated by anything else.  I love the way it makes me photograph – even when I’m using a digital camera. Shooting film makes me slow down and really stay present and connect with the people I’m capturing.

wedding photography in  banff

What are the most frequently asked questions you hear from couples?

Do you only shoot on film?

No I don’t!  About 90% of the portrait sessions I do are all on film, but when it comes to weddings, I love the flexibility of being able to shoot both film and digital cameras.  There are certain times when a digital camera really is the right tool for the job, especially for a wedding or proposal so I can make sure to get some preview images to the couple right away!

If you shoot on film, then how do I get my images? 

That’s one of the things I love about shooting film today, you get the best of both worlds.  Once I develop the film it gets scanned in and turned into digital files. Clients get the finished images in a gallery to download right along with any digital photos.  

Do you charge travel fees?

For weddings in Calgary, Canmore, Banff, and the Rockies I don’t charge any travel fees.  It’s our second home and I’ll take any chance to spend time and photograph there!

What is the most important advice you would give to couples when it comes to their wedding photos/choosing a Banff photographer? 

Take the time to find a wedding photographer who you like as a person.  You’re going to spend more time with them than almost anyone on your wedding day, so it’s really important that you get along with them and they can put you at ease.  After all, this is supposed to be fun!

When thinking back over your career as a Banff photographer, are there any moments that stand out to you?

Oh man, there’s never a dull moment shooting weddings!

One wedding that really stands out as meaning a lot to me is the first destination wedding I got to capture in Banff a few years ago.  Ever since we came to Banff on our honeymoon, it was a dream of mine to shoot weddings there. That first wedding made that dream a reality and has led to being able to capture things for so many amazing people in the Rockies.  Plus the couple from that wedding was so incredibly sweet and great to work with. We’ve remained friends since and that’s what I love most about what I do – building relationships with people!

Any final thoughts to add?

It’s such an incredible joy and privilege when couples choose me to capture the important people and moments in their lives.  I just want everyone reading to know how much that means to me and how grateful I am to be doing my dream job!

banff wedding photographer

What his clients say:

“I cannot recommend Steven enough. It’s not just the quality of his photos (amazing) but it’s the quality of his service and professionalism (equally amazing).

Once my wife and I began to plan our wedding, we agreed that our most important purchase overall was the photographer and their product. We shopped and did our due diligence. When looking at all of our options, we found that we kept comparing every other sample work to Steven’s. That was our clear sign.

What we loved and still love about his work is that his photos are not just well lit and exceptionally shot, but they feel closer to true shots. What I mean by this is that when we look at our collection, there’s no distrction due to some weird Instagram filter with some questionable artistic experimentation. Steven is an artist, but he uses his skill to accurately reflect the content of the shot. All of our photos just feel right. We never felt like our wedding photos were someone’s chance to test the “dark and grainy” filter on their editing program.

But there are a lot of great photographers out there with great product. Really, what sold us with Steven’s work is Steven himself. Before signing him, he made sure to speak with us directly about what we wanted and answer any and all questions we had. Additionally, he even instructed us to keep shopping around and make sure we explored all of our options. We did, and as stated, we kept coming back in our review process. Throughout the entire process, Steven was always quick to respond with any questions with his incredibly warm and welcoming personality.

It’s that personality that also made our wedding day so much more manageable. His upbeat yet even-keeled attitude helped my wife and I keep calm and in great spirits whether during photo shoots or just in between. Like most people, it’s difficult to pose so much for photos if you don’t do that professionally. Steven was exceptional at making us feel at ease, always joking around and making us smile or laugh. This shows in the end result. Even throughout the reception, if I needed Steven at a moment’s notice, he was there. I cannot stress how much I saw him work through the entire event.

Again, we cannot express enough how grateful we are to Steven and how fanatic he was at capturing our day. His photos alone are worth signing him. But it’s the quality of Steven himself that sets him apart from the rest.

15/10, would recommend.”

Look no further for the Banff photographer of your dreams. Whether you’re into adventurous hikes, heli shoots, or a more relaxed setting, Steven is guaranteed to put you at ease and deliver extraordinary photographs you’ll be gazing at for years to come!

Get in touch with Steven Wallace Photography:

Visit his website here.

Check out more of Steven’s work as a Banff photographer on social:

Facebook: @stevenwallacephoto

Twitter: @stevenwphoto

Instagram: @stevenwallacephoto

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