“I’m home”…that’s how it feels to be part of this community. Small(er) city charm, friendly neighbors, and short commutes are met with beautiful scenery, towering trees, and endless pathways. The perfect place to capture memorable photographs! > Red Deer Family Photographers
Amy Cheng – Red Deer Family Photographers
Where did my love of photography come from? It developed over numerous decades, with the countless photo albums my mom and I created together. After our family camping trips, we would sit together at the kitchen table, slide each photo into place, then hand write a special memory depicted in that picture. I never realized how important these memories were until I married my husband, and looked through the one (that’s right! ONE!) album of childhood memories that he had. Realizing the impact of these photos in my own life, I fell in love with creating “forever memories” for others. Making sure that they have images and memories to look back on for generations to come.
I cherish all things “family”, no matter how big or small – the growing belly of a new mom, the smell and tiny features of a newborn, uncontrollable laughter of small children, fun (and sometimes “odd”) stories from teenagers, the looks and soft touches a couple gives to one another, and let’s not forget those furry friends with their selfless acts of love and wagging tails!
I love being a “foodie” with my husband and sitting around a roaring campfire with our cocker spaniels. I consider painting to be my ultimate form of relaxation, coffee is an everyday necessity, antique shopping is the best Sunday afternoon adventure and Vietnamese Pho is my favorite quick meal. I’m a planner, dreamer and sometimes (my husband would say “a lot”) a worrier. I love shopping for photography props (it gets addicting!) and surfing the web for the next all-inclusive vacation trip (but not booking it for countless excuses I can come up with!).
Thanks for being interested in me and my work! I hope that one day I can capture some “forever memories” with your family!
Our Favorite Locations to Photograph Families in Red Deer
Red Deer’s history began over 100 years ago. Its name came about from the river that flows through it. The early Cree people called the river “Waskasoo Seepee” translated as “Elk River”. However, the first Europeans misunderstood and translated it as “Red Deer River”. The name stuck and now Alberta’s third largest city became known as Red Deer. From its simple beginnings as a collection of small homesteads and trading posts, Red Deer has now grown into a thriving and modern city based on the oil & gas industry, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, petrochemicals and transportation.
Red Deer has one of the youngest populations in Canada and is surrounded by over 9,100 area farms, pristine lakes, winding river, vast wheat fields and almost 3,000 km in walking/hiking trails (100 km of trails within city limits!).
It’s one of my favourite natural elements to photograph on – a bridge! Whether it’s made from wood or a dark metal version, it can take a photo session in a variety of directions. It can give dimension and a rustic interest to the picture, or the metal option can provide an urban and minimalistic feel. It helps to guide the viewer’s eyes straight to the main subject.
Here’s some of my favourite Bridge locations around town:
Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge – This dark coloured, metal railway bridge was constructed in 1908 and showcases riveted steel, engineered trusses, and a wooden trestle extension. Today it is a Provincial Historic site and only allows bicycle and pedestrian traffic across its walkway.
Coronation Park – When we can’t decide which type of bridge to photograph on, we head to Coronation where we have our choice of weathered wood bridges that weave their way through the park or a newer white metal one crossing over Waskasoo Creek. This park was created in 1937 for King George IV’s coronation and today is a hot spot for many Wedding parties.
Parks are a favourite for most families and it’s easy to see why. It’s a great place to let the kids run free, but it also gives a great deal of variety to the session. In most parks, we can find spots with open grassy spots, large towering trees, fallen stumps, pathways, tall grasses and even some water access. Even during a short mini session, we are able to achieve extensive variety by choosing one of Red Deer’s many park systems.
Here’s some of my favourite Park locations around town:
Kin Canyon – Pine needles cover the ground of the hiking path that leads you through the tall dense forest system, the banks of the creek allow you to forget the bustle of life. A paved bike path provides a convenient way to include elderly parents in the days activities, and a wading pool located here could be the best “bribe” for younger kids in the summer.
Kerry Wood Nature Centre – This park has lots of trails to hike, it’s easy to walk the trails due to minimal stairs, an opportunity to hang out and feed the horses at the barns, cross the walking bridge and access Bower Ponds. The options are endless in this park where wildlife and nature are #1 for learning and preserving. After our session together, take the kids to the Kerry Wood Nature Centre where they can learn about natural and environmental education.
Historic Heritage Buildings
It’s the perfect combination – old historic buildings with tons of charm as a backdrop to your vibrant and growing family’s photo session. Choosing a historic building provides more of an urban feel, with brick walls, stone stairs, architectural details that are great for couples or families with older children. Instead of choosing another park setting for your photo shoot, mix it up by choosing a historic site!
Here’s some of my favourite Historic locations around town:
Old Court House – This two-story masonry structure was completed in 1931. Two large white columns flank the large glass door entrance. A warm brick exterior and stone detailings around the windows and roof create a grand backdrop for any photo session.
Heritage Square – Located downtown, this little historic spot takes you back to the past. It features an old one-room schoolhouse, a tiny octagon-shaped library, a quaint store, wooden sidewalks and lamps from an older period styling. This spot becomes especially interesting during the winter when it is blanketed with some beautiful white snow.
If I lived on the BC coast, or in Eastern Canada, ocean backdrops would be a norm in my photo sessions. But we can achieve a similar look here! We have access to a terrific river system, numerous creeks, and bodies of water. Now if only we had some hotter weather..!
Here’s some of my favourite River locations around town:
McKenzie Trails Recreation Area – Offering some of the oldest trees in Waskasoo Park, this trail system features beautiful water banks surrounded by grand nature. It is especially beautiful during Fall when the gorgeous changing leaves are reflected in the creek.
Gaetz Lake Sanctuary – This was Alberta’s first federal migratory bird preserve and is around 118 hectares. It has numerous trail systems that lead you down to the water’s edge, wooden walkways and bridges to choose from. Seeing the numerous birds and other wildlife is a bonus in this location.
The Open Prairies
Hay bales, endless pastures, sunsets behind the barn. Horses grazing behind the white wood fence in a place where time seems to stop, and if you listen close enough the only thing you can hear are crickets amongst the tall grass. There’s nothing like the tranquil setting of a farm or open field. Let the kids run wild and allow me to capture some completely spontaneous and natural images. Out here there are few rules, just be yourself and enjoy nature!
Here’s some of my favourite Prairie locations around town:
Private Farm – A very special friend of mine has a beautiful farm out near Lacombe that we are allowed to use. With old rustic barns and miles of horse fencing, round hay bales, and tall grasses, let’s create some memories in this most magical and private place!
Surrounding Farm Land – There are countless spots around the city perimeter that are available for us to us, providing that “open land” feel. Let’s be adventurous together!
Interesting Facts & Trivia about Red Deer:
– it was incorporated as a town in June of 1901 and then became a city on March 25, 1913
– our official cookie is the “Caramel Surprise”
– we had the first court case in Canada to include female jurors
– the “Alpha Dairy” (on Gaetz Avenue) was the first milk condensery in Western Canada
– the water tower (called Horton Water Spheroid, located on 46 Avenue) when built, was the tallest water tower in North America
– Gaetz Manufacturing Company was the first company in Alberta to manufacture work shirts and overalls
– three railways came through Red Deer – the CPR (west end of Ross Street), CNR (east end of Ross Street) and the ACR (Mountview)
– in 1884, the last bison was seen in the Red Deer area
– the first outdoor ice rink opened in Red Deer in 1898
CHECK OUT more fun facts here!
Red Deer Family Photographers