Love In Banff: Cullen + Chelsea

I met Cullen a few years ago purely by coincidence. I was just getting into wedding photography and knew that I needed some material to work with if I was going to start booking anything (Cause #Marketing). I arranged a styled shoot in the middle of a terrifyingly cold winter (shout out to Laura and Chris for freezing their beautiful butts off for me). I thought it would be fun to reach out to a videographer and start making some friends in the industry; I had found Cullen’s company, Old Coal Media, a few months earlier and completely loved his work! So, I reached out on Instagram to him to introduce myself and let him know what I was planning. Cullen was ALL in.

Cullen + I made all the arrangements over email and didn’t meet face-to-face until we met at Colors Beauty & Wellness where Laura was getting her hair and make up done (by Jordy Rempel for the shoot. We instantly connected, found we had a lot in common, and it was really easy to find a flow and work together.

I didn’t meet Cullen’s wife, Chelsea, until this shoot we did in the mountains of Banff, Alberta. Another instant connection for me! She’s totally adorable and a total sweetheart.

Cullen + Chelsea

Cullen + Chelsea took a bit of a break from life back in May of 2018. Chelsea is studying to be a nurse, so she wanted to take some time to unwind after a crazy year of school. Cullen, being the thoughtful and adventurous husband that he is, didn’t even hesitate to plan the most epic road trip for the two of them. They hopped in their car and took a few weeks to drive out to BC from Manitoba and back again. Seriously, it looked like the most beautiful trip ever. Check it out on his vlog! Sign me up for a BC road trip through the mountains like, yesterday!

The Encounter

I happened to be in Banff in May for a workshop called WeThree Workshops hosted by Tricia Victoria, Kat Gill, and Sharon Litchfield with my dear friend Xandra Photography. Cullen and Chelsea reached out to me when they saw some of my Instagram stories in Banff and were thrilled to realize that we were about to cross paths as they made their way home! We instantly knew that we needed to meet up for a rooftop dinner in Banff.

I told Alex the plan to meet up with some friends from home and we looked at each other with mass excitement as we realized the opportunity we had presented to us. We both said to each other almost simultaneously, “OMG WE NEED TO DO A PHOTOSHOOT WITH THEM!” So that was that. I reached out to Chelsea and told her the plan - she was immediately on board; I mean honestly, if you happen to run into Manitoba friends in the mountains and they are total BABES, you’re going to want to whip out your camera and not ask any more questions.

The Shoot

What a frikken dream. Alex and I headed to Johnson lake to meet Cullen and Chelsea. Unfortunately, the lake was still quite frozen because of the cold mountain air in May! But, no worries because the mountains rose high and the trees stood tall all around us. We all jumped in our cars and drove a little way down the road to an open field with a forest backdrop.

I can’t even describe how the mountains bring me to life. Never mind running around with a dreamy couple watching them laugh and play. Cullen and Chelsea were so full of joy during this shoot; they were literally down for any direction we threw at them and Alex and I were chalk full of inspiration after coming off a workshop high!

Basically all this to say:  If you are in the Western Canada or the Pacific Northwest and you want an adventure session in the mountains, I’m there as fast as I can get to the airport and jump on a plane!

We ended the session and had our cozy little dinner on a rooftop in the heart of Banff in the middle of May. Surrounded by mountains on every side, we clinked our glasses and celebrated new friendships, learning experiences, and freedom to be.

xx. Caitlin