Engagement: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise at Banff National Park

“What’s the most beautiful place you’ve visited Justin?”
Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Let’s do your engagement photos there.”
This was how the initial conversation started.

Joey had proposed to Michelle in Acadia National Park.
They wanted to continue their epic adventures in an epic location.

“We thought about it – let’s do it!!!”

A little backstory:
I had visited both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise in Banff National Park back in 2011 with my family.
I recall the beauty of both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
It’s on my bucketlist of those places that I was really hoping to take photos with an amazing couple.
Honestly, for minimal effort (of walking from the parking lot) you get maximum views.

Michelle, Joey, and I have mutual friends and we knew from their friend’s wedding so we were already off to a good start.
They asked me if they could invite some of them along.
I replied with a, “Yeah – sounds great!” thinking it would be maybe 2-3 more people.
I later realized 7 other people would be joining us.

Cold sweat rain down my back.
“What did I get myself into..?”

But to be honest, this was THE BEST idea of 2019.
Everyone who came along was on board and were the hype team for them.

Short and sweet:
Thank you everyone for literally breezing your butts off for these photos.
You all were fantastic and supportive of the crazy ideas and I really appreciate taking the time to explore + get to know each other!
I imagined it going in a completely different direction.
I didn’t get hurt or injured or lose anything, so that’s a plus!

My only regret:
We should have bought more beavertails!

Thank you for introducing this song to me:

(NSFW) – This song is stuck in my head now

Also, a big thank you to:
Paula Wang of P Made Baked Goods
She is the biggest supporter and promoter of my work – but even more a wonderful friend and lifesaver.

She was the one who provided the food recommendations for trip and so all my hard life decisions were decided.
** I’m indecisive when it comes to food, sorry! **

Lake Louise Engagement Photos

Lake Louise:

We flew into Calgary and decided to throw our bags into our hotel.
We had a little bit of down time before the night, so we decided to make a visit here.
I thought it would be a good way to break the ice, to the views and also to be in front of the camera.
Joey and Michelle are very very very camera shy people – you wouldn’t expect it based on their personality, but I appreciate them opening up quickly and being themselves.
They decided to be a little bit more casual and represent their favorite football teams, Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles.

For anyone who hasn’t been there, it’s right in front of the hotel.
Just for a little bit of background, it is a man-made lake and while that might take away from its beauty, it was a good eye opener on what to expect for the rest of the trip.

Lake Louise
Lake Louise Engagement Session
Lake Louise Engagement Session
Lake Louise Engagement

Moraine Lake Engagement Photos

Moraine Lake:

We rested after a long trip and decided to do a sunrise engagement photos to avoid the crowds.
We woke up around 4am or 5am, bought some Tim Hortons (when you’re in Canada lol), and made our way.

Honestly, this portion of the engagement session was a dream for me.
We got a lot of the photos we needed then right as we are going to end, it began to snow.

Literally a Korean drama scene.
*Mic Drop*

I suddenly went into full adrenaline mode.
With the hype squad behind me (and a bit of Usher playing in the background), this became the most memorable part of the trip.
*** I did not green screen this! ***

Moraine Lake Engagement Photos
Moraine Lake Engagement Session
Moraine Lake Engagement Photos
Moraine Lake Engagement Photos
Moraine Lake Engagement Photos
Moraine Lake Engagement Photos
Moraine Lake Engagement Photos

Lake Agnes Tea House

Lake Agnes Tea House Hike:

We had a day off and decided to do a quick hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House!

A little background:
It is rated as a moderate trail and takes most people around 1 to 2 hours, more or less depending on fitness level.
The elevation gain is 400 metres (1,312 feet). From Lake Agnes you can hike to the top of the Little Beehive or Big Beehive.
The Lake Agnes Trail is an accessible and relatively short hike up to the Lake Agnes Tea House which was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901 as a refuge for hikers.
The trail has an elevation gain of 1,312 feet and offers fantastic views of the Nokhu Crags and Lake Louise.

Lake Agnes Tea House Hike
Lake Agnes Tea House Hike

Emerald Lake Engagement Photoshoot

Emerald Lake:

We left for one more engagement photoshoot and made our way Peyto Lake.
We arrived and realize it was closed due to foundational renovations so we decided to make our way to Yoho National Park / Emerald Lake which was an hour away.

This was the best decision since it was extremely windy that day at Peyto Lake.
Emerald Lake was the opposite and provided all the views and feels.

Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake engagement photos
Emerald Lake photoshoot


Exploring the Town of Banff:

It’s a relatively small town so most of the time we were shopping for gifts, eating, or snacking.
Definitely hit up Beavertails if you have the chance~!

Oh! And we celebrated one of the friends (shout out to Stef!) birthday by celebrating at a Drag Show~!
This was a first and it was fun dancing with you all and getting into some fun interactions with people along the way lol.

town of banff

Calgary – Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library Photos:

This one was a random find as we explored Calgary.
This wasn’t on our list; we heard from locals we should visit.

I fell in love with this place as it’s architecture and design with the combination with playing with natural lighting is incredible.

Calgary Public Library
Calgary Public Library

If you are having your wedding in the Washington DC area and are looking for a photographer, please don’t hesitate to contact me or e-mail me directly at kunimotojustin@gmail.com

You can find all my pricing and information here~!

I frequently travel for work – having worked in Germany, Japan, Scotland, and Iceland last year – but still take on many weddings in the local Washington DC area as well!

Check out more of my work – TeamLab Borderless Engagement in Tokyo, Japan!