The Rodgers Engagement Session at Edmonton’s William Hawrelak Park

A Glowing Afternoon at Hawrelak Park


The Engagement Session at William Hawrelak Park

For Maxine and Andrew’s engagement session, we travelled up to Edmonton. We met the couple in the sprawling William Hawrelak Park on the edge of the North Saskatchewan River. The park is made up of 68 acres of grassy areas, paths, woodlands, and a 5-acre lake. It is also an epicentre of sorts in Edmonton. The park hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including the Freewill Shakespeare Festival and the Servus Heritage Festival. For the second year in a row, Hawrelak Park will play host to ‘Ice Castles’, an acre of handcrafted ice sculpted wonderland. When we entered the park, we came across the new sculptures that were just beginning to take form. We made sure to keep them in mind for later in the session.

We met the couple at Picnic Area 1, and we started the shoot off by a tree that looked like it came straight out of a magazine. Its snarling branches framed Maxine and Andrew like open arms. Miraculously, there was a patch of green grass under the tree, on top of which a layer of burgundy leaves had begun to build up. Some of the leaves still clung to the branches, spread out like a red fan. It was such a beautiful backdrop. We even had Maxine and Andrew climb into the branches! Right after us, another photographer used the spot for a family shoot and had the kids to climb up onto the strong limbs of the tree. It really was the perfect spot to begin the shoot.

From there we moved into a wooded area and photographed them through the boughs of the spruce trees. As we moved out onto one of the back paths, we came across the Great Sweater Run, a fundraiser 5-10k for the Campus Food Bank. Participants all wore ugly Christmas sweaters, and seeing all the runners jogging by in their outfits added a nice festive spin to the day! After they’d jogged by, we moved out onto the path. The surrounding trees looked moody and incredible, so we backlit the couple on the winding leaf-strewn trail. It was a bit of a gloomy day, but the sun peeked through and gave us beautiful warm diffused light to compliment our own lighting.


Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane

From there we packed up and went for an exploratory walk around the park, hoping to find a bridge. On the way we talked a bit about them as a couple, and discovered that they’ve been together for over a decade! Andrew also reminded Maxine that they spent their second date right there in Hawrelak Park, where they skated on the frozen lake.

We didn’t have any luck finding the bridge, but while walking along the edge of the lake we found a great bench surrounded by big beautiful trees. The sun was still peeking out, and it peered through the leaves and branches behind them. We couldn’t have asked for better light. We spent a little more time along the paths until the weather began to cool off. Maxine and Andrew were ready to wrap it up, but first, they wanted to check out the ice castle. The fenced off castle was still under construction, but Maxine talked some of the workers into letting us photograph in front of the emerging sculptures.

The sun was just starting to set, casting a beautiful warm light over the crystalline shapes. We got some great shots of Maxine and Andrew in front of the glowing ice sculptures. After that, we wrapped up and went our separate ways. We had a lovely time with them in Hawrelak Park, and I hope you enjoy their photos as much as we did capturing them.


View the Online Gallery

There is an online gallery of all their images that will be available for the next 30 days. From the online gallery you are able to favourite images, order prints and share the gallery with your family and friends. The gallery can be accessed via the link below and you can contact Maxine and Andrew directly for their secure password.


We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to photograph Maxine and Andrew’s engagement photos and we are really looking forward to joining them on their wedding day.

Want to share in the experience? Contact us today for a free consultation or to book a portrait session!

Engagement Photos Calgary – JM Photography © 2017


Some of my Favourite Photos from Maxine and Andrew’s Session


The Rodgers’ Engagement Session Credits

Date | 11.26.16
Location | William Hawrelak Park
Photography by Jeremy Martel


Learn more about our studio

JM Photography offers Calgary brides the very best in wedding photography! Our unique style and best in class experience is one of a kind. Each wedding is treated with the greatest of care and creativity, resulting in breathtaking imagery. We also offer Calgary newborn photography, capture maternity sessions as well as family portraits.

We are one of the top studios in Western Canada, servicing the Calgary area, including but not limited to, Canmore, Banff, Cochrane, Chestermere, Airdrie, Lethbridge, and Red Deer. We also offer coverage in Edmonton, Vancouver and to destinations worldwide.

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  • […] We had the fortunate opportunity to photograph this amazing couple’s engagement session. Be sure to check out their entire engagement session post where we share their personal love story here: Andrew & Maxine’s Engagement Session. […]

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