I’m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether I’m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!



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November 8, 2023

Megan & Benny | Part I: Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada Family Portraits

Megan & Benny | Banff, Canada Family Photographer

It has been three months since this incredible trip with Megan, Benny, and Palmer. Megan reached out to me asking if I offered any travel family photography. I wasn’t sure if logistically it would come together with our schedules, but we made it happen! 🙂 They flew me to Banff National Park for a quick weekend trip. I’m splitting this trip into two blog posts featuring each full day. So today, I’m sharing their family portraits around the Icefields Parkway and Johnston Canyon!

We visited Alberta, Canada, during the busiest season of the year. Despite the crowds (I didn’t think it was too bad compared to other National Parks I’ve visited), the weather was perfect! We had some smoke lingering from the nearby wildfires, but the views were breathtaking! No wonder this National Park draws in visitors from all around the world! Even though Alex and I have been (separately), we already mentioned going as a family in the future. 🙂

Stay tuned for Day 2! Some of my FAVORITE photos come from this day!!!

The Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Canada

We met late in the morning to grab coffee and lunch at my favorite little spot in Lake Louise Village, Trailhead Cafe. The line can get long, but it’s worth it. And I got to walk there from my hotel, Lake Louise Inn, which was a lovely stay! One morning, I took my breakfast to Bow River around the corner. I soaked in the incredible views of the water and the mountains. So perfect! I also found the critters are overly friendly there, especially the ground squirrel who tried stealing my breakfast! Haha!

After Benny and Megan picked me up, we ventured to the Icefields Parkway to start their family portraits. When we were preparing for this trip, they mentioned they wanted to keep it simple and wear travel/hiking clothes. I’m glad they told me they wanted to keep this time together super casual and laid back. 🙂 We stopped by the infamous Bow Lake, Peyto Lake, and other photogenic spots along the road… or even on the road (as you’ll see below). Haha! During the drive, we got to catch up and enjoy baby smiles. 🙂 We decided to turn around before the glaciers because we saved time to explore Johnston Caynon! After all, the Parkway itself is 144 miles one way!

Johnston Canyon Trail, Banff National Park, Canada

Johnston Caynon was something my husband suggested since he had been to Banff National Park before. Palmer was a trooper because we decided to do the longer hike (and it is not easy being spontaneous with a baby either)! It was a very unique experience hiking through a canyon and seeing waterfalls. Benny got a little friendly with a chipmunk, but I’m pretty sure the chipmunk was hoping for food. Haha!

After our hike, we drove back to our hotels to get little P settled down for the evening with dinner/bedtime. We had to go to bed early because day two had a 4:15 a.m. wake-up call. So I grabbed dinner at my hotel (Legends Restaurant) and had my first poutine and a Wagyu burger. When in Canada! 😉 This first day flew by SO fast, but what a great start to the trip!!

Thank You!!!

Thank you, Megan and Benny, for having me a part of your adventures! What a BLAST. I loved our car ride chats and exploring new places! Palmer is so lucky that she has adventurous parents. 🙂 XOXO!

Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Colorado Springs, Colorado Wedding, Engagement, Maternity, + Family Photographer, also serving Northern + Central Virginia. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!