You just have to turn your head right now anywhere in Alberta and nature’s gentle assault of fall foliage is everywhere. I am sure it has something to do with the gorgeous, warm Indian summer we’ve experienced. The countryside has just exploded in riotous colour, and I can’t stay away! It was my third straight day of fall photo shoots out of town- this one being about 1.5 hours from Calgary for longtime friends of mine from my ship days, Tara and Jose. I had just pulled over to snap a quick, irresistible photo of a palette of autumn shades when I realized the one thing that makes a photographer’s blood run cold….I left the camera itself at home!  I had packed all my lenses, filling my camera bag. I’d emptied all my SD cards, I’d charged up my batteries, brought all my props (pumpkin, chalk, chalkboard,blankets etc). But I’d left my camera body on the kitchen counter, where I’d planned to sling it over my shoulder as we headed out the door.  For a moment, pulled over for my shot, I just laid my head on my steering wheel and felt tears welling in my eyes.  My heart sunk on so many fronts- I didn’t even have a point and shoot stuffed in my camera bag, or a spare body I usually had in the back seat. Nothing. What on earth was I going to do??! John keep me calm, keeping things grounded and logical, as we sat, reeling.

Tara and Jose had booked a hotel to stay in the Sylvan Lake area overnight, and we were on her grandfather’s most beautiful piece of land to do the shoot, arranged with his lovely tenant Jack who had hospitably rolled out the tequila and rum for a pre-photoshoot, nerve calming shot. A shot before the shoot, so to speak!

Tara and Jose (from Calgary and Panama respectively) met onboard one of the Carnival ships while working together on there as ship’s staff.  During my stint on ships as an IT Officer, I had been “forewarned” to watch out for Tara when I got out to the high seas where I worked for almost seven years of my life. Our mutual friend Mike knew us both and knew we’d stand a good chance of potentially running into each other one one of 20+ Carnival ships, (with us both being slightly loud and definitely socially outgoing blondes!)  Social media has facilitated us staying in touch all these years, and they are dear friends living here in Calgary with me in a nearby neighbourhood, with 2 beautiful children. During our photoshoot yesterday I told them that their children M & E take the best features and qualities of both of them resulting in very lovely kids indeed.

As I made my way to the house, I began having cool-headed John text a few of my contacts, dictating a few messages to get a back up plan rolling into place! As fate would have it, Shannon and Felix, two great friends from the Red Deer area (and part of the vibrant Alberta photographic community) happened to be in town for #ChaserCon, a storm-chasing convention that I likely would have attended myself if not for these shoots. (Learn more about ChaserCon here). Within moments Shannon was en route back to my place in the deep south to retrieve my camera from my place, while John simultaneously lined up his awesome mother with the key!

As I pulled up the driveway, I began composing in my head how I was going to break this news to dear Tara, who was out on the front step to greet us. As I laid out the bleak news, her smile didn’t even shrink, and she waved her hand to dismiss my concern. “Jack was just inside showing us his new camera- you can use that! Don’t worry Christy, things have a way of working themselves out!” I was incredulous, and yet, not surprised at how amazingly she processed this showstopping obstacle, and as we walked into the house I looked back at John with the biggest look of relief on my face. His handsome face reflected back the exact emotion! What a relief!  Had this been any other client this could have been completely disastrous-involving return trips, some massive disappointment in me by my client and hours of feeling rotten driving on my part. But not my infallible, kind-hearted friend Tara.  I really am lucky to know the amazing people I know in my life. Just wow!

Meanwhile, Shannon had texted me to inform me that the camera was now in hand, on its way to Red Deer area, serving to further calm me. She even sent (in true Shannon formation) a hilarious selfie of her and my cat, as “proof of life” for my #Nikon! She had Felix inspect the cam for memory cards and charged batteries as they drove. I cannot put to words the peace of mind this gesture provided, and just knowing that an awesome friend from the seriously amazing pool of Alberta photographic talent community out there was so unhesitatingly ready to help me, just further served to warm my heart!  Even half of #teamtanner was brainstorming who had Nikons in the area, as she lives in this part of Alberta too. 

So it ended how you might imagine- Jack my lifesaver and new friend loaned me his Samsung NX1 for a real field test, and I switched it to Manual mode, threw my card in and shot raw files, and the shoot went on! In this amazing location and with these beautiful people, it would be impossible to not get beautiful results, and I’m pretty happy how things look in post-processing! Nicely played, Samsung. Jack-you’re my hero! – sincerely, Christy

Doing family portraits in the Calgary, Alberta area and portrait and landscape photography around Alberta, the camera is almost never out of my hands. Next time, however, I’ll double and triple check that I have the most important piece of gear with me before arriving at my distant photoshoot location!

Have a wonderful workweek!

#lessonlearned #blessedbymyfriends #phew! #stayingbusy

Auburn Bay family portrait photographer Calgary photographer

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