Change & Growth | Fort McMurray Photographers

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The thing about life is that it’s always changing.

In a lot of ways I love change, but in a lot of ways I don’t like it not one little bit.  Like when this year my husband was to be posted in Edmonton, and my home and place of work would change.  I didn’t like that at all.  But, then he got a transfer to Fort McMurray so we’ll be staying put!  I’m very happy about that.

This is our home.  We’ve watched it grow from a one radio station city that played hard rock and only hard rock all day long (hard rock is good, but variety is nice), where people came with a five year plan, and women were easily out-numbered three to one (that’s probably a generous number).  We are now growing into a family city where people want to raise their own families, and where even new comers are happy to show those who speak negatively about our city exactly where they can find Highway 63 South.  This change is beautiful, and inspiring, and so absolutely exciting to be a part of.

I was going to write an “End of Year Review” that talked about my work, goals and amazing clients.  But, the happiest news this year is that we’re staying, and have the fortune to continue being a part of the growth of Fort McMurray and showing the rest of Canada that this is a great place to live, work, raise a family, and dream big.  Here are some of my favorite photos from this year (featuring some of my oh so amazing clients, of course!) to prove it.

1.  People do get married in Fort McMurray, and we have amazing vendors to help brides with venues, decor, hair and makeup, dresses and jewellery, cakes and cupcakes and flowers.  One of our proudest moments of 2014 was a feature in Weddingbells magazine of a beautiful winter wedding, with tons of personality in the details!

(The following photo is obviously not shot in Fort McMurray…but hey if you’re not getting married here, why not go tropical??  That dress was bought right here, though!)

2.  It’s true that you can’t beat a Fort McMurray summer, with sunshine that goes on for days (literally).
But, Fall, Winter and Spring are beautiful as well!

3.  Women are no longer out-numbered.  Incredibly beautiful, sexy and brave – I’ve met dozens this year just like this.  They are all overcoming fears, celebrating life’s precious milestones and hard work.

4.  Families are started here.  In fact, LOTS of babies are born here! There’s evidence of this everywhere.  You don’t have to go far from your house to see a young mom pushing a stroller, a couple expecting a new little one, or a brand new school being built.  I am very excited for these precious little people, and the opportunities that they will have here!

5.  We work hard and dream big!  Some will say it’s money that affords us the opportunity to make our dreams happen (yes, I totally just called that out).  I disagree.  I believe it’s because we’ve seen first-hand that hard work in a rapidly growing city gets you noticed and/or gets you that promotion you were hoping for.  We are driven by this, not money, to make things happen.

This year, like every other year, I wrote down my goals.  They are posted on my computer monitor, and I will scratch each one off as I accomplish them.  My biggest goal for 2014 was to attend a photography workshop.  Not just any workshop, I needed to learn from the best in the industry.  Going to New York City and New Jersey to a workshop with one of the very best in the business, Cliff Mautner, meant I had to work harder this summer but it paid off in a big way.  It was, by far, the best thing I could have ever done for my business and myself (see my review and more photos here).



While in New York I had the great pleasure of shooting an engagement session in the middle of Central Park…I never imagined fate would put me there.  Now my dreams and goals are even bigger for 2015!


This girl is definitely dreaming big…Nashville kind of big!  Becca Hess has been working her butt off this year recording an album in Nashville and will be pitching it in 2015.  I spent a day with her to help put a visual to that beautiful voice.

6.  Finally, the big one.  Fort McMurray is not a baron nuclear wasteland.  It’s actually quite beautiful, with tons of gorgeous locations for photos…not one truck was spotted bulldozing down trees during these sessions of Fort McMurray residents enjoying the beautiful outdoors that is this city.  And, that’s all I have to say about that 🙂

Thank you so much for making 2014 a year that not only met and exceeded those goals written on a stickie note, but you have all forever changed me. You invited me into your lives, your homes, your families, you trusted me with and allowed me to share your vulnerabilities, your accomplishments and your most memorable days.  Here’s to a wonderful 2015, may you all experience personal growth and change in only the most positive ways possible, just like our beautiful city! xo
Photos featured here:
Another end of year review here

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Hi, I'm Chrystal (she/her) and I'm so happy you're here! 

If you're looking to feast your eyes on couples in love, raw emotion and vibrant scenes, you've come to the right place.

I'm an Edmonton wedding photographer for couples madly in love, and those who love to laugh right from their hearts (and bellies).  Over the past 10 years I've been very lucky to photograph weddings of all kinds and sizes including Christian, Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, Fijian, Chinese weddings and all sorts of fusions.  I've photographed teeny tiny elopements to grand celebrations, LGBTQ+ weddings and inter-racial weddings, as well as destination weddings in places like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Las Vegas, Canmore, Banff, and Newfoundland - in addition to the beautiful Edmonton weddings and Fort McMurray weddings I've had the privilege to be a part of.  

I would love to here more about you.  LET'S CONNECT!