Mountain Locations for Portrait Photography

Calgary lifestyle maternity and newborn photographer, maternity photos in the mountains, a family in Kananaskis Country

Make it a Mountain Experience

Our Canadian Rockies are breathtaking. I have spent countless hours exploring and hiking all over Kananaskis Country and Banff over the past 10+ years. Every time I stumble upon a new hidden gem, I immediately think “this is so incredible and I can’t wait to take people here”!

So here is a list of my favourite mountain locations for portrait photography. Have a look through and let’s plan that photo session and mountain experience!

*Please note that this is designed to be a part of my consultation process so I am not giving away exact locations. I also encourage scheduling your session on a week day and/or early morning or late evening when possible to ensure that the location isn’t too busy.*

Kananaskis Country Mountain Locations

Calgary wedding photographer, couple in the mountains at sunset for their engagement photos in Kananaskis Country

Kananaskis Location 1

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1 hour
Accessibility: some walking required, less than 1km
Time of year: May to November

This is the ultimate have fun with your kids, let them run around, explore, play in the sand, throw rocks in the water location. It is perfect for mountain lovers who want the gorgeous mountain landscapes without having to go on a long hike. And if you are lucky, some mornings are still enough to get a stunning reflection in the water. No promises though, we never know what we are going to get. But even when the wind picks up, this spot is still absolutely stunning (and wind in the hair is always welcome)!

Kananaskis Location 2

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 45 minutes
Accessibility: some walking required, less than 1km, uneven terrain
Time of year: year round, but March and April are the best months to explore this area

This is a year round destination, but it offers something extra special during the winter months. How amazing is it that we can walk into a frozen canyon and be surrounded by rock faces? March/April is the absolute best time to go because with the snow melting, you get all of the beauty of the rocks in the creek bed and the gentle moss on the ground.

Kananaskis Location 3

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1.5 hour, partly on a dirt road
Accessibility: direct access after parking
Time of year: June to September

If you are looking for a wide open area by the water with magnificent mountain peaks towering over you, you have found it! This area is absolutely stunning at sunset or sunrise. Whether the lake is frozen over or not, this location will give you a breathtaking mountain experience.

Kananaskis Location 4

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1.5 hour, partly on a dirt road
Accessibility: short downhill walk to access the water
Time of year: April-May

This location is the early spring alternative to locations 3. The ice turns back to water earlier in the season so I prefer it for early spring sessions.

Kananaskis Location 5

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1.5 hour, partly on a dirt road
Accessibility: some walking required, less than 1km
Time of year: May to September

This is one of the most unique places I have found while hiking in the mountains over the past 10 years. An enchanting moss garden nestled at the base of the mountains by a creek bed. You do not have a lot of views of the mountains unless you hike further in, but it is the perfect spot if you are looking for a wild and free look. We can even combine it with a few pictures in front of the mountains by making a pit stop a short drive away.

Kananaskis Location 6

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 45 minutes
Accessibility: direct access after parking, uneven terrain
Time of year: year round, recommended for golden hour sessions

Located at the very end of the foothills, this wide open green space is covered in wild flowers and offers amazing views over the mountain peaks. A short walk down the hill will take you right to the water. The reeds add a wild and free feel to the photos; you are completely surrounded by the beauty of nature. And if you feel like walking a little further in, the path will take us to mossy patches and other gorgeous mountain views.

Kananaskis Location 7

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1 hour
Accessibility: direct access after parking, slightly uneven terrain
Time of year: year round

If getting your feet in the sand and in the water on a hot summer night while watching the sun set over the mountains peaks is what your after, this is the place! The teal water and and stunning mountains will make the perfect backdrop your photos.

Kananaskis Location 8

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1 hour
Accessibility: direct access after parking
Time of year: year round

This is a fantastic year round mountain location. It is easily accessible, somehow always quiet (still a fairly well kept secret in Kananaskis Country), and quite small so it is easy to explore the whole area during our session. On top of that, it looks like an enchanted forest during the summer and a winter wonderland once the snow starts falling!

Kananaskis Location 9

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1 hour
Accessibility: easily accessible with a short walk on a flat path
Time of year: year round

With a beautiful meadow filled with wild flowers by mid to late summer and impressive views over the valley, this is a great place for sunset photos. Run freely through the field until we get to the edge of the hill and then sit down for some intimate portraits while you get to take it all in!

Banff Mountain Locations

Drive time from Calgary city limits: 1.5 hour
Accessibility: easily accessible (location 3 is the most accessible)
Time of year: year round

All three of these Banff locations are by the water, absolutely stunning and offer incredible mountain views.

Banff Location 1

Banff Location 2

Banff Location 3

These are some of my favourite places, but we are certainly not limited to this list. The Rockies will never cease to amaze me and I am always up for a new adventure! So if you want to go somewhere different, let me know and we’ll make it happen!

The Government of Alberta introduced a conservation pass for Kananaskis Country.

You require a valid National Parks Permit to enter Banff National Park.

Make sure that you have the valid day pass or yearly pass that applies when heading out for our session!


Let’s start planning your perfect photography session!


Valerie Richer | Wedding and Lifestyle Family Photographer

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