The Walton-Hutchison’s Sugar Skull Engagement Session at Calgary’s Riley Park

The Walton-Hutchison Sugar Skull Inspired Engagement Session


Creating their The Sugar Skulls

We started our day at Paige and Michaels house in Airdrie, where Michelle Walsh was putting on the final makeup touches. For their engagement session, the couple decided to go all out with a ‘Day of the Dead’ theme. For this, Michelle Walsh decked them out in gorgeous sugar skull makeup.

The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday on November 1st and 2nd, on which people pray for, and remember, family members who have died. One of the most common symbols of the holiday is the calavera (skull), which can take the form of sugar skulls, masks, or makeup. The makeup has become a popular and beautiful art form in recent years, and the makeup by Michelle Walsh was amazing and intricate. To top it all off, Paige wore a bright red rose in her hair, and Michael donned a top hat. She wore a beautiful red dress covered in skulls, and he wore a black suit with a red shirt and bowtie. Paige and Michael’s style is a little on the alternative side, so the choice to do a themed engagement shoot seemed to suit them well.

While they were in makeup we took the opportunity to shoot the engagement ring in against a black and bright pink backdrop. We set the ring atop their adorable skeleton wedding cake toppers to fit with the theme of the day.


The Engagement Session at Riley Park

After three hours of hair and makeup, we met the couple at Riley Park below SAIT. The 20-acre parcel of land is home to the Senator Patrick Burns Memorial Rock Garden, the Calgary Cricket League, and several flower gardens. At the entrance to the park stands a unique wrought iron gate. We began the shoot here and set Paige and Michael behind the snarling gates, adding a bit of texture and grunge to the images.

We then found a nice cluster of trees with some remaining patches of leaves clinging to the branches. We photographed Paige and Michael through the brambles and leftover foliage of the autumn. The day moved into the golden hour, where the sun lit up the surrounding area in a beautiful golden hue. With the light bouncing off of the downtown skyline, we took some individual shots of Paige and Michael. We brought in some of our lighting to really highlight the intricate detail of their makeup. Nearby a massive lonely spruce tree stood in the field, so we headed over and got some wide shots of the couple in front of it.

Then there was a moment in the day where the light hit the trees just right. This created stark contrasts of bright orange light and dark black shadows on the trees. The contrast made a most unique and intense backdrop for their Day of the Dead themed session.

We had a really fun time in the park with Paige and Michael. During the shoot, lots of people came up to ask questions and compliment the couple on their beautiful makeup and outfits. Passer-by’s congratulated them on their engagement, making the shoot extra-special. The session was wonderful, and the theme was a great way to bring Paige and Michael’s unique vision to the photographs.


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 Paige and Michael directly for their secure password.


We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to photograph Paige and Michael’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 Paige and Michael’s Session


The Walton-Hutchison Engagement Session Credits

Date | 10.20.16
Location | Riley Park
Photography by Jeremy Martel
Hair and Makeup by Michelle Walsh with Michelle Suffolk-Walsh Hair & Makeup


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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