I was connected to Dylan and Alycia by a past client of mine who wanted to give them a photo session with me as part of their wedding gift. I’m so grateful for this connection because I had an absolute BLAST on our session together.
Dylan and Alycia were traveling to Canada from San Francisco for the very first time with a stop over in Squamish for their honeymoon. They had no idea where to shoot and left the locations entirely up to me, but they did know that they wanted to get a few photos at their super cute Airbnb cabin. When we had our chat over FaceTime, I was able to get an idea of their travel plans which helped decide where to shoot.
It would’ve been so easy to just suggest the Sea to Sky Gondola and call it a day, but I really wanted something unique and show them the true Squamish local experience.
As promised, we started off the session at the cabin they were staying at. The cabin was perched up on a slab of granite, tucked away from the busy highway and sat right next to the water with sweeping views of the Howe Sound and Tantalus Mountain Range. We spent some time getting acquainted over a cup of tea and they showed me all the cute spots this little west coast paradise had to offer. I’m definitely looking this place up a booking a weekend getaway for Justina and me.
While driving up to Squamish, I made a pass by Murrin Park as one always does and I saw, from the corner of my eye, a mass of people playing and ice skating on top of Browning Lake. It then occurred to me that it was still winter and Squamish is WAY colder than Vancouver. Walking on a frozen lake was the perfect way to experience Squamish as a local and being from The Bay area, it’s probably not something Dylan and Alycia would see very often.
Murrin Park was way too busy (as usual) so I decided to take Dylan and Alycia to Alice Lake Provincial Park. We got there at the perfect time. There were cars in the parking lot, but other than another couple walking their dog, we were the only people on the lake. By this time, it was about 3pm and thanks to my experience shooting in the mountains (and my sun tracking apps), the sun was in the perfect spot just filtering through the tops of the trees.
For our last unique location, I knew I wanted something that resembled a mountain top, but without the long and arduous hike. I also wanted a location overlooking the Squamish Chief as a backdrop. For this, I called upon my rock climbing experience and recalled the perfect spot.
I remembered one mid summer evening where a friend and I decided to sleep under the stars on top of the Squamish Malamute. At the time, the Malamute was still privately owned so we were technically trespassing, but since then, the land has been acquired and added to the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. When I camped here years ago, the area had been logged and the dome shaped granite monolith looked quite desolate, but since then many of the trees have grown back and it has turned into quite the beautiful spot.
We navigated through the overgrown trail and found ourselves on top of this granite bulge surrounded by incredible views. To the north, we had the iconic Diamond Head Peak, to the east, we had the gigantic Stawamus Chief, to the west, the Howe Sound and Tantalus Range and down south, the sweeping Sea to Sky Highway that connected it all together.
Our session concluded with a stunning winter sunset and an easy descent back to the parking lot… we did get a little lost, but eventually found our ways… haha. Dylan and Alycia, it was so great meeting the two of you and I hope you two enjoy the rest of your Canadian west coast adventure!