Lifestyle

Calgary Portrait Photographer - Little Women Project 2018

Little Women Project - Teenage Girls

Having a teenager has got me rethinking everything. I remember what I felt like, how I walked around the halls in school and was so insecure. I was mostly uncertain with who I was, what others thought of me. So, having a teenage daughter myself and being a photographer, I decided with permission to get a specific group of girls together a week or so before their school year begins and photograph them for the next four years of high school. This year will be our first year.

My goal is inspire within. Meaning, I hope to show teenagers how to look within themselves for validation instead of outward. Now, I know that is may not be a realistic goal but I feel as though I have to try. I’m choosing to photograph them, via being an active participant both in a few portraits and also more candid or girl lead.

Some background info : I’ve always been inspired by one of the most influential sociologist, Charles Cooley and The Looking Glass Theory that I studied back in my university days. I want to see if we can challenge how we see ourselves while we are still forming out ideals of who we are, a teenager. In the looking glass theory, we determine our self perception based on what others think or feel who we are. I know that this is something we will always do but I strongly feel we can also influence ourselves by shutting out the external noise and look inside for who we are.

Here is year one! 2018-2019 School Year , 9th Grade

Madelyn, Victoria, Natalie, Maddie

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  Madelyn Weston -Average, Funny, Tiered, Adventurous

Madelyn Weston -Average, Funny, Tiered, Adventurous

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  Victoria Francis - Creative, Funny, Weird, Nice, Smart

Victoria Francis - Creative, Funny, Weird, Nice, Smart

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  Natalie Rensby - Kind, Funny, Happy, Talented, Adventurous

Natalie Rensby - Kind, Funny, Happy, Talented, Adventurous

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  Maddie Hodgson - Silly, Proud, Passionate, Smart, Kind

Maddie Hodgson - Silly, Proud, Passionate, Smart, Kind

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Calgary Family Photography - Downtown Calgary Family Session

And Then There Were Three

Families aren't always born into existence but made by love. So, when you feel your heart tugging at you and you know your purpose is to become a parent there is nothing, and I mean nothing, that can stand in your way until your heart is made whole.

Adam and Jarom both knew that they were meant to be fathers. So, they opened their hearts to find exactly what they needed, their son. 

The moment I met these three, I became smitten within moments. I mean how could you not? Their manboy's cheeks are just amazing and when he smiles your heart melts like butter on a hot day. I swear I could have hung out with these three gents all day and I am forever grateful to be able to capture what love looks like for them. Please enjoy every great new chapter Adam and Jarom because your whole world is simply beautiful. 

Much Respect & Love 

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Calgary Family Photography - Glenmore Reservoir Family Session

Hodgson Family

Spending time with one's family is basically, the best thing ever, to this particular Calgary family. They are sort of inseparable and I mean that in the very best kind of way. Its not always a guarantee that I will get to capture siblings that are actually close and each other's best friends. It even takes me back to my own youth and a time in my life when I felt carefree and connected to my little brother. 

What I love even more about this family is their ability to laugh at just about anything while loving each other unconditionally. It is something I couldn't just see not but also feel. It is also, my personal wish for every single family I meet and work with.

What the Hodgson's have is priceless and I think the world needs a bit more of. So, please enjoy the Hodgson family in all their glory and look out for the best dad pose I've seen this year.

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Much love and respect Hodgson Family

Calgary Family Photographer - Family Portraits

The Skulsky Family

Sometimes you just have to have fun no matter what. 

That's pretty much what this family did and I am so glad. After all, isn't that what we teach our children for the most part? Stay youthful at heart and live the most joyful life you can while being good humans. 

Here is there fun filled family portraits.

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Calgary Family Photographer - Newborn Photography

Welcome Nash Hart

New beginnings and new adventures. They are what makes the heart skip a bit, make your palms, and sometimes your eyes, sweat a bit. he he Ok, sweat, tears... they are the same thing really.

Janelle & Jody are now well on their way to their newest beginning with their new manboy. He is exactly what they wanted but more importantly exactly what they needed. Seeing them as new parents was one of the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Sure they fumbled a bit through this or that but what they nailed is their abundance of love for their manboy. So, please join me in meeting their Baby Boy Nash Hart. He will take your breath away.

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Calgary Family Photographer - Mini Fall Family Portraits

The Messer Family

Oh the Messer's y'all are extra special. 

One of my rules when photographing families is they have to be cool enough that I can have a glass of wine with the parents and joke with the kiddos. Life is too short to not work with the best. The Messer's are THE BEST. I swear I just want to go on a holiday with them and bring my camera because I like them that much. 

Thank you for having kids Dawn & Tony

Much love & respect, 

Christy

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 So much love in this fam jam!

So much love in this fam jam!

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Calgary Family Photography - Newborn Sessions

Sakai Family 

The best gift you can give is the one that shows you care. Sometimes folks buy families sessions from me and I must say, its the gift that keeps on giving. I am always honoured to meet and serve new families, especially when I'm the gift! Lucky me!

The Sakai family, welcomed their baby boy into their lives and I have a very certain thought that they will never be the same. This baby boy will be so loved and handsome too. (His parents are gorgeous!)

Take a look see. 

Cheers, 

Christy

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Destination Family Photographer - New Orleans Louisiana Family Portraits

The Staton Family

Well, well, well... when I travel, I also work. It is a simple as that. If I post I'm going somewhere you can bet I will also be shooting boudoir and family sessions too. And, I absolutely love it!!

So, here is the Staton Family. They are near and dear to my heart, as well, they are some of my cousins. When you are asked to be hired by your own family two things happen in my mind. One is are they kidding me, why me? The other is, how do you charge your family? Well, someone made a very valid point to me one day. If your family values you and what you create they are showing their love and support by hiring you. Its not different than when you are paid a compliment and you learn how to say thank you instead of hiding. 

So, Dana, Tony, Riley and Daphne, thank you for cheering me on, loving me so much y'all allowed me to capture your family and for reminding me, I'm worth it. I owe y'all everything.

xoxo Much love and respect. 

Your Christy (your cuz/aunt christy)

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Calgary Family Photographer - Outdoor Family Portraits

Lojo Family Portraits

Watch me explore everyday. Watch me fail and try again. Watch me see this world for the first time for it is because of you that I am here. 

Being a parent can be stressful, exhausting and expensive but seeing your children see the world through their eyes, is what dreams are made of. So, when its hard, when its so consuming remember that you get to hold their hand, cheering them on and you are the reason why they exist. Love them with all you have and stop and watch them experience it all. Its magical.

Charisse, Serge and now their mayboy, Luka, y'all are exceptional. I'm so honoured to have been sent y'all as clients. Seeing y'all is a treat and photographing your family is inspiring. I say this because you see your son's and the magic he sees. You see his brilliance, his curiosity and his determination. Y'all love his smile and laughter with all y'all's might. But, my favourite part is how y'all laugh at yourselves often and truly embody what a parent should be like. I want to be parents more like y'all. 

Thank you both for staying young, being real and great humans. We need more folks like y'all. 

So much respect and love, 

Christy

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Ok.... as if this family wasn't the bestest in the whole world, they also decided to gift some full family photos for their parents with all the kiddos and their kiddos!!! Yeah, y'all are da bomb!

 
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Calgary Family Photographer - Harder Family Portraits

The Harder Family

You never know what lies ahead of you but if you follow your intuition and dreams you are sure to have the universe provide everything you will ever need. So, tell the universe what your dreams are and what you need so it all can come to fruition right before your eyes.

Background Info : Nicole and Graham one of my very first wedding couples EVER and yet, here they are still putting up with me. Thank you isn't enough but it will have to do this time around.

Nicole and Graham now have two beautiful little ones and well, lets just say they laugh at lot, are entertained daily and are busy parents. See what I mean, check out their mini fall family session below. I might want to add, their lil'lady is a lot like her uncle Mike and god help us all. She is going to be what stories are written about. Oh, and bless her momma and daddy! Y'all are all gonna be tough. he he I adore her to bits.... well the whole fam jam actually.

Until next time Harder Family.... Thank you kindly. xoxo Christy

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Calgary Family Photographer - Calgary Maternity Portraits

Roz & Sheldon's Greatest Adventure

Soon-to-be parents. The are some of my favourite kind of people. They ask questions like, "How in the world will I be able to love this child more than I already do right now? And, they say things like, "I sure hope I have everything we will need. I'm getting so excited to meet my little sweat pea!" It is one of the most amazing stories I get to capture; when love becomes three, or four, etc.

I'm often caught saying how spoiled I am because I have had a front row seat my client's lives. And, I'm so am spoiled rotten. I get to see love firsthand in everyday life.

Rob & Sheldon, may y'all's home be filled with joy, laughter, memories of little yawns, lots of snuggles and pricesless memories y'all can be grateful for everyday. It is what keeps me blissfully happy in my own life and I'm so thrilled to welcome y'all to the club of parenthood. 

Much love & respect, 

Christy

 

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Calgary Family Photographer - Fall Family Portraits

Peters Family

 

I've known you before you were born. I've loved you more than I ever thought I could love anything or anyone. Now, I have to learn how to watch you grown into the person you were born to become. May my heart stand strong.

Raising two boys, balancing all things life throws at you, all the while trying to laugh out loud as often as one can. I must say, these are the folks that are my heroes. As I am too entering the teenager phase in my own home, I can completely relate to Tammy who's son is now a teenager. While having a younger kiddo who still looks at you in thinks you are the knees bees.  

What I'm learning about teenagers, is how they still have you in the back of their mind as we are their first impression of what is the highest standard, however, they tend to keep THAT to themselves. Take note, those teenagers are watching us even closer than ever before because they are beginning to see themselves like you see yourself, human, fallible and vulnerable.  They are comparing their world with the rest and the serious questioning is just starting to begin.

To make things a bit harder, lets teach our child how to become a young adult whilst navigating in a world that isn't always so kind. This is what I call the most challenging of them all. So, lets hold our breath, because I know we all do at times, hope that they talk to us when they need anything and be ready to listen but, answer all the why(s) other folks do what they do. 

Tammy, I want to sincerely thank you for being a mom who loves her boys with your whole heart, you know when something is wrong and you care, you takes time to explain to your kids that you are not perfect and you show them that to truly live means being we must be honest, seek positivity always and that no matter what, you will always be their mom who loves them some kind of fiercely. 

Much respect, 

Christy

 
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Calgary Wedding, Boudoir & Family Photographer - Undisclosed Letter To Me Previous Self

 

Dear Christy, (*BC Days)

Girl, girl, girl you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. Here is a snippet of what is to come. Now, calm the f'ck down and focus, focus, FOCUS!!!!  What I am going to tell you because this will save you from yourself more times than you will realize. 

1. Shit is going to happen, a LOT!

2. Getting married, you will do it twice and it will all be ok. Trust me! OH, and you WILL have two healthy children, despite what the doctors will tell you.

3 The treadmill.... not the physical one but the mental one... Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, get off it when you start to circle in on your thoughts about what if, why, why now, but, or its not how I envisioned it. 

4. You are enough and when you feel like you aren't enough, STOP EVERYTHING and breathe.

5. ASK FOR HELP!!! No one cares about your ego but be careful who you ask. Some folks are waiting to see you fail. F'ck them! Here's a tip : Make a 1x1 inch piece of paper and carry it with you. On it place only the very few people who get a say in your life. You. Are. Welcome.

6. Everyone is doing the very best with what they have been given, today. So don't prejudge, don't assume and don't pretend you understand them until you do. 

7. Expect nothing. Don't get me wrong have goals, visions and dreams but don't go into things expecting things from others until after you have talked about these expectations. 

8. Travel, travel, travel but budget, budget, budget. Its called balance girl, you NEED IT.

9. Credit cards... don't get a lot. Hell, only have one and pay it off every month. (This should be no. 1 of this list)

10. Have a tribe of your own. It will take time to really understand this but you will get there. And, you probably want to have a few tribes to belong too. Thats ok!

11. You will feel more alone than not and that is completely normal. You are a creative! Hey, I bet you didn't even know that!?! Surprise... and you won't suck at it, so PRETTY PLEAE DON'T GIVE UP.

12. Stay relevant with your kids. They need you to want to be involved. Listen to their music, read their books, listen to them don't just talk to them but do answer all of their questions no matter how hard it is to do so. You have only a short time when they still listen to your advice.

13. Invest in good skin care products. 

14. Exercise 3-4 times a week, preferable outside when you can. Especially after you have your kids.

15. You are more than the scared little girl who feels dirty, poor, fat and stupid. You are so much more. You are greatness, you just have to fight to see it in yourself. 

16. Seek out education at least 3-4 times per year in some facet. 

17. Listen to your elders but trust your intuition. They are not always right. Ex. Discrimination and Segregation in the south girl... it is wrong, wrong, so wrong! Choose love always.

18. Sign up for dance classes no matter how old you are; you will not regret it.

19. Date your spouse. Date our kids independently. Spend quality time with your friends. 

20. Technology is not always your friend. This thing called social media is coming for you and it will consume you for a while, but you will figure it out. Remember everything is about balance over insanity. 

21. You will have to travel a great distance to know what home feels like to you. 

22. Letting go. This one of the most important things to always work out. You will loose so much and you will survive it all. So, when you ache all over, you don't want to get out of bed and you cry sometimes because it is f'cking hard to imagine a tomorrow, let go and allow yourself to be mad, sad and call these days 'dip days.'  It will help you.

23. That pain I was just talking about, well you need to resist sometimes because you will use that pain to help others. It will in the end heal you but you will feel like you are traveling through a fog for a while....you will be able to function but it won't be with full cylinders as per usual. 

25. Love yourself so you can have a heart that is full of love for others. 

You got this girlie!

Love you more, 

Christy Lynn 

*BC Days = Before Children Days

 
                                                        Photo by Dana Cole Photography

                                                       Photo by Dana Cole Photography

                                                         Photo by Two Mann Studios

                                                        Photo by Two Mann Studios

                                                        Photo by Dana Cole Photogaphy

                                                       Photo by Dana Cole Photogaphy

                                                       Photo by Dana Cole Photography

                                                      Photo by Dana Cole Photography

"After every storm I've navigated through, I awoke tired but I knew my strength was mighty. I used to be good but know I'm walking toward my greatness. Let today be the day I know that I am enough. " - Me, Christy D Swanberg

 

Calgary Wedding Photographer - Sheep River Falls Engagement Session

Ashley + Brett Engaged

Your hands guide me toward your lips like it knows how I thirst for your kiss. This feeling you orchestrate is like no other and you must be mine as soon as humanly possible.

Ashley and Brett wanted to do their wedding engagements out somewhere that wasn't on the normal beaten path. They searched high and low for it even and had 'scout' days to find the exact location that spoke to them both. They found Turner Valley's Sheep River Falls and knew instantly that it was the perfect spot. So, like any adventurous photographer, I jumped in their big ole truck and off went to capture their love amongst the amazing views of Turner Valley. 

I always want to know my couple's story and by story, I mean stories. We each have a different memory of how it all went down. So, I want all the details, the good, the embarrassing and the sometimes twisting stories of how they because a couple. You know why. I need to know what makes them tick so when they get in front of my camera I tell their story as authentically as I possibly can.

Here is what I saw, how I could tell they are both passionate souls who will never bore of each other no matter the circumstances.  

 
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Thank you kindly Ashley and Brett for trusting me, spending quality time with me and letting me into your world. I cannot wait for your wedding day next summer in Strathmore as I know it will be nothing short of amazing. 

Much love and respect to you both.

Christy

 
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Calgary Family Photographer - Calgary Fall Family Portraits

The Harrison Family

Something I've learned is how you family is the only ones who understand your crazy because they are the only ones the most like you. So, celebrate the crazy, embrace it and know that you are so full of love because of your crazy little ones. 

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Until next year Harrison Family...