Posts Tagged ‘Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden’

Best Portrait Photos of 2020 – From Photography by Tanya Plonka

Friday, January 15th, 2021

best Lethbridge portrait photos of 2020

Weddings and events may have been postponed in 2020 due to COVID, but once restrictions eased up in the summer, everyone was grateful to spend time outdoors with their families! I was so thankful we have such beautiful, wide open outdoor spaces around Lethbridge so I could keep photographing all of these awesome families. I ended up hoarse on many occasions from yelling through my mask, but it was always worth it.

Two of the biggest trends I noticed this year were all of the babies who arrived (and these aren’t even the quarantine babies yet!) and all of the larger families who made an effort to celebrate important anniversaries and birthdays. I adapted quickly by bringing most of the newborns outdoors on warm days and talking their parents through poses. Everyone did so well!

Some highlights from 2020 include not one but TWO marriage proposals, a cat birthday, and a few more secret projects to come that I can’t share yet, including album art for local musicians and a children’s book. Each season was so amazing this year, from the long blossom season we had to the vibrant colours in the fall. Even the early snow was warm enough for outdoor photos!

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Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Autumn Portraits [Sonny & Kimiko]

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden autumn portraits

Sonny turned the exciting age of 70 this year and was able to break his birthday into several small celebrations to practice social distancing and keep group sizes down. For one of these celebrations, he booked Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden autumn portraits with his wife Kimiko for the final weekend the garden was open for the season.

Everything aligned perfectly for us! The colours were extra vibrant this year, there wasn’t a hint of wind, and Sonny’s actual birthday happened to coincide with this beautiful day. Sonny and Kimiko are adorable together after nearly 50 years of marriage, and their garden host and I shared in the delight of watching the couple giggle and embrace.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend this extra time at Nikka Yuko this year. (One of my hobbies is taiko drumming, and we got to be the final performance of the season!) The garden is by far one of the most beautiful places in Lethbridge, and I can’t decide if I like the fall colours or spring blossom season more!

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Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden Engagement Session [Natasha & Ernest]

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Japanese Garden engagement session

Natasha followed the advice to find someone who makes you laugh in her relationship with Ernest. During their Japanese Garden engagement session, Ernest never went more than a few minutes without cracking a joke and making Natasha (and me) laugh!

I first met Natasha through her work. She is an amazing florist in Calgary who owns Flower Aura by Natasha, so it was fitting many of the flowers in the garden were still in bloom.

Nikka Yuko is currently offering photoshoots outside of regular garden hours to better accommodate social distancing. This meant we had a super private photoshoot and walking tour of the Japanese Garden with not a single person around! It was definitely worth the couple making the drive down for the day to take advantage of this gorgeous spot.

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Nikka Yuko Wedding Photos on a Smoky Day [Jannette & Adrian]

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

Jannette & Adrian, Nikka Yuko wedding photos

Jannette and Adrian may be one of our most enthusiastic couples this year! They were both very excited about the photography planning from the very beginning and I loved Jannette’s level of involvement in all of her wedding details. Together we reached the decision of doing Nikka Yuko wedding photos for the majority of their portraits. As soon as they walked into the Japanese Gardens (the first time either of them had visited) and exclaimed, “Wow!” I knew we had chosen the perfect location!

The air was heavy with smoke that day but it didn’t get anyone’s spirits down. Everyone spent the day laughing and having fun, and the couple were so excited and willing to go along with every photo idea we had. This meant climbing over rocks in the water and spending a little extra time in a cathedral length veil that was struggling to survive the day!

We had a blast laughing with them all day and appreciated how much time they set aside for portraits, including an extra evening photography session around sunset.

Congratulations, Jannette and Adrian!

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Japanese Garden Morning Wedding Photos [Brittany & Brent]

Monday, May 6th, 2019

Brittany and Brent, Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden morning wedding photos

Brittany and Brent had the honor of being the very first wedding to take place at Nikka Yuko this spring. Their Japanese Garden morning wedding photos took place half an hour after the garden opened for the season!

Since their ceremony was not until the late afternoon, Brittany and Brent opted to have a first look in the morning. Rather than see each other for the first time in church, the first look allowed for intimate photos of the exact moment they see each on the wedding day. (We love this because it usually means less stress for the couple, fresher makeup and flowers, and a more relaxed timeline.) We had Brent turn around when Brittany was only a few meters from him. You could see the exact moment the corners of his mouth started to curl up into a smile! Brittany swears his tears were on their way, but Brent held it together!

After the Japanese Garden photos, we headed west for some views of the coulees and then family photos in Indian Battle Park before the couple was on their way to their ceremony. We had so many great moments to pull them away from their friends and family. I couldn’t get enough of how adoringly they looked at each other all day.

Congratulations, Brittany and Brent!

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Best of 2018 – A Year of Weddings from Photography by Tanya Plonka

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

best Lethbridge wedding photography of 2018

2018 was a great year! Cam and I spent so much of the year with people totally in love and the joy was contagious. These probably aren’t truly our best wedding photos from the last year, but they definitely made me smile going back through the memories!

This year we saw a bride ride a horse for the first time ever in her wedding dress, photographed through smoky skies, and laughed at far more hilarious kids than any past year. Like, so many kids let loose this year that there must have been some memo passed around at the beginning of the wedding season.

Even though I picked most of these out of my blog edits, I made it a goal to choose photos that have never been on social media! There’s a good chance you’ve never seen most of these. Unless you’re my mom – she reads and likes pretty much everything I post. (Hi, Mom!)

I hope you enjoy looking through our best wedding photos of 2018 as much as I liked choosing them!

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