5 star David Thielen Photographic Artistry - Southern Alberta Photographer - Family, Wedding, Nature, Maternity, Newborn, New Born, _D729655

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

If you see a small yellow butterfly flitting from flower to flower, odds are at this time of year it is a Clouded Sulphur Butterfly. According to Naturalist John Acorn on a CBC story there are more Clouded Sulphurs than usual and they are on their annual migration. The butterfly can become a nuisance pest because it likes to feed on crops like alfalfa. However, they also can be beneficial  because they also have an affinity for many plants that are considered weeds.

According to Wikipedia, because the Clouded Sulphurs does not sequester toxins or other noxious compounds from their food plants, they are a favorite food of many insectivores.

I photographed this little beauty with what most would not consider a macro lens, a 150-600 Sigma out at 600 mm. I was on a little photography road trip west of Milk River with my son Preston. 

Somewhere under the rainbow

One thing about summer thunderstorms on the prairies is that they are often followed by a rainbow.

Most of the time the rainbow, while visible, is usually fairly faint. Not this time. I don’t ever remember seeing a rainbow that was as intense in color as this one.

Of course the kids reminded me of the Irish legend about  Leprechauns burying their gold at the end of the rainbow, and thought it would be a good idea to head over to find the gold. They were quite disappointed when I told them that even if there was a pot of gold, we would never find it because as you move, the end of the rainbow moves.

The storm had been in Lethbridge and the rainbow appeared as we traveled down Highway 4. I which I could say that I found the perfect location and waited for all the parts to come together, but the sun breaking through the clouds to highlight the canola field and the old granaries were just a well time coincidence.

Prairie Roads

Looking out across the miles of farmland you can see where the saying “You can watch your dog run away for three days” comes from.  

Located North of Warner, and joining with Highway 4, this prairie road holds a special place in my heart. I remember it first as a Alberta Wheat Pool calendar that was in the Grade 3/4 classroom at the Masinasin School.

If you are old enough you will remember those calendars, a big (well by a nine-year-old’s perspective anyway) piece of cardboard, with a painting of some Alberta scene and the months on a pad of paper stapled at the bottom center of the calendar.

I don’t know why it made such an impression at the time. I can still see it clearly nearly 60 years later. It hung on the wall just to the right of a stand that held books and magazines. The stand was in the corner of the room where Louise Miller taught somewhere around 20 of the local farm kids Grade 3 and Grade 4. It might have been when she pointed out that the scene was local.

If I remember correctly, at the time there were somewhere between 80-100 students between Grade 1 and Grade 8 that attended Masinasin. All were farm kids that lived east of Verdigris Coulee. But I digress.

Missing from this photo is the farmstead that used to be located down at that first intersection. It wasn’t until much later I found out that old homestead that no longer exists belonged to my Great-Grandmother, and that my Mom spent her summers playing in that farm yard. She would let off the Greyhound where the road intersected with the highway and then walk down to the farm.

My next memory is from one day when we were making one of our few trips to Lethbridge, that Dad turned off the highway and onto this road to show us where Great-Grandma used to live. The farm had long been abandoned and Grandma, as we knew her, had moved to Lethbridge to live. At the time I didn’t make the connection between the road and the calendar.

It actually wasn’t until just a couple of years ago, when I was taking Mom to one of her many doctor’s appointments in Lethbridge that she pointed out the intersection and said that was were Grandma Frandsen’s farm had been located and all the pieces fell together in my memory.

My plan is to make a series of photos that depict the road in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  This photo was done on June 24, (my Dad’s birthday) so it’s officially the summer photo. It’s been raining on a regular basis all spring so everything is still nice and green.

The first annex comes down as the first step of demolishing and removing this Milk River elevator

It started with getting inside the annex with a chain saw and cutting the annex off from top to bottom through each of the interior bins. Then an excavator starts to cut through the end. Similar to how a lumberjack will cut a wedge on the side of the tree that they want to fall.

They leave the outside walls while they cut out the second set of bins from the center, and then its time to start taking out the outside walls, letting gravity do its thing. You can see the cut made by the chainsaw is starting to slowly widen.


Milk River Elevator Demolition

The final seconds of the Milk River elevator.

evators in Milk River will not be there this fall.

Family Photography Southern Alberta

Capture your families happiest moments forever

Family Photography Southern Alberta

“How You Can Capture Your Family’s Happiest Moment, And Hold On To It Forever…”

If Your Family Is The Most Important Thing In The World To You…

If You Want A Memory You Will Cherish Forever…

If You Realize How Quickly Things Can Change…

This Information Will Be Priceless To You.

Dear Friend,

   Your family is changing so fast, isn’t it? Your children (and yes, they will be your “children” even when they’re married and have kids of their own) are growing up, and becoming more like adults every day.  Don’t you wish you could just “freeze time” and hold these special moments forever?

   My name is David Thielen, and capturing wonderful family memories is what I’ve devoted my life to. I’m a professional family photographer, but more than that, I’m just like you… I’m a family person.

We Can Stop The Clock.
Memories Are The Most Valuable Thing We Own.

   Can you relate to this at all? I wake up every morning and wonder where the time is going. Do you ever do that? Have you noticed that, the older you and your children get, the faster time seems to fly? I’m very lucky – I get to see my grown-up son Todd and my grown-up (and married) daughter Erin on a semi-regular basis.  They both live here in Grand Rapids too.  But there’s one thing I regret…

To Have A Fine Family Portrait Of My Dad, Mom, Myself and My Family

   This is going to be hard to believe. I’m a professional photographer, and I never had a family photograph created of my family when my Dad still living. 

   What I wouldn’t give to be able to go back in time, and capture those moments.. That’s one of the reasons I became a professional photographer – I want to help other families hold on to their family memories forever, and never regret not having a family portrait done.

Throughout This Page You’ll See And Hear From Families Who Have Had Their Lives Forever Enriched By the Lasting Memories Of Family Portraits —

— But There Were Things Even They Didn’t Know When They Started Looking For A Photographer…

   If you’re at all like most of the families on this website, you probably haven’t given a lot of thought to having a family portrait created.  Don’t worry – that’s pretty normal.  You’ve got a lot of things going on in your life.  Life is busier and crazier

5 Myths, Mistakes, And Misconceptions About Having A Family Portrait Created – The Stuff 99% Of All People In The World Don’t Know:

   By visiting my website, you must at least be considering having a portrait of your family created. Well, that’s great – you will probably never make a decision that will bring you more lasting joy.  However, there are some things you NEED to know before you and your loved ones step in front of any camera.  By the time you finish reading this single page, you will know everything you need to know about how to have the perfect family portrait created – the one you will cherish forever!

   You may feel that having a family portrait done is going to be a lot of work on your part. Well, it isn’t!  In fact, that could almost be one of the “myths or mistakes” right there. As long as you know the information on this site, it won’t be any work at all on your part.

                                                             ….So, let’s jump right in!

#1 Myth, Mistake
Or Misconception:

“There’s No Way To GUARANTEE
I Will Love My Family Portraits.”

   WRONG! Depending on who creates your family portrait, that is.  Just suppose you had a family portrait created, and your son or daughter didn’t look natural in it.  The photograph was “ok,” but it didn’t turn out spectacular.  Should you have to pay for it?  ABSOLUTELY NOT! I believe strongly that no one should ever have to pay for a photograph that isn’t PERFECT. That’s why I am the only photographer in Grand Rapids to offer the following guarantee:

CHECK THIS OUT – A Guarantee Unlike Any You’ve Ever Heard:

If Your Family Doesn’t Look The Happiest & Best They’ve Ever Looked Together In These Photographs – If You Don’t Cry (tears of joy) When You Look At Them – You Don’t Pay Me For Them.

   That’s my guarantee and personal promise to you. As far as I know, there’s no other photographer around that will make you this super guarantee. These photographs will be completely meaningless to you unless they convey the real emotions and relationships between you and your loved ones. That’s the only real reason to have a family portrait created.

   So, if FOR ANY REASON you feel that the photographs I create for you are anything less than perfect – if you don’t actually cry when I show them to you for the first time, you don’t pay me for them. It’s that simple.

Obviously, I’m totally confident that the portraits I create of you and your family will be well beyond anything you imagine.  I believe completely that these photographs will become your most prized possessions – that, if your house were on fire, you would grab them on the way out of your burning home.  This is not arrogance. I can’t stand arrogance. No, this is a complete belief in my abilities to capture natural, real emotions and family relationships unlike anyone else.  That’s what I’ve devoted my life to, and that’s why I can’t wait to photograph your family for you.

So, To Restate, Here’s My Fantastic DOUBLE GUARANTEE:

If you are not THRILLED with your photographs – if you are dissatisfied for ANY reason at all,
I will do two things for you:

1st – At NO CHARGE, I will photograph your family again, and make sure that anything that wasn’t perfect is fixed, without you paying another cent.

2nd – If I am absolutely unable to thrill you – if I’m unable to create a photograph that you feel you will cherish forever, I will refund EVERY PENNY you invested in them.  You don’t pay for your photographs unless you love them beyond expression!

If I don’t end up being your photographer, make ABSOLUTELY SURE your photographer offers this strong of a guarantee. If they are good, they should back up their work by taking all the risk off of you.

#2 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:

“All Family Portraits Are Created Equal.”

     INCORRECT.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  If you’re at all like most people, you’ve probably had this question going through your mind:  “How do I choose the right photographer?” In fact, you may even have thought of someone in your family – an uncle, a grandparent, even a friend – who is a bit of an amateur photographer.  Why not just have that person create the photograph of your family?

Question:  “Just Suppose Someone Were To Create The Perfect Family Portrait – One Where You And Your Loved Ones Looked Better Than Ever, Happier Than Ever – A Portrait That Meant The World To You – What Would That Be Worth?”

   No price tag can be put on your family’s memories. They are and always will be priceless.  So, why would you ever want to gamble with those memories?  It’s just a question of whether you believe a portrait of your family could really mean that much to you.

   If you were sick, and had to go to a doctor, would you want the “cheapest” doctor, or the best one?  Well, there’s really no question. It’s the same thing with your family’s memories.  You can certainly find a cheaper photographer in town.  But there are other things to consider than just price…

The Photographer You Choose Should Care About YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR MEMORIES, Not Just About “Making A Buck” Off You.

   I pride myself on becoming a family friend of every family I photograph.  I’ve even had some clients invite me to their houses for birthday parties and such. You see, I didn’t get into photography to get rich.  Believe me, there are better (and easier) ways to make a fast buck.  I actually went to college to become a journalist. I could be making a WHOLE lot of money if I’d stayed in that line of work.

   But I CHOSE to become a professional family photographer.  Why did I make that career choice? Because I finally realized that all the money in the world meant nothing to me if I didn’t feel like I was making a difference. 

I Realized That Memories Were Priceless – That There Was No More Noble Or Wonderful Profession Than To Become A “Memory Giver.”

   I didn’t become a photographer because I liked to take pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the “art” of photography, but that’s NOT the reason I first picked up a camera. As a child, my mother and father didn’t have many photographs taken. 

   My entire time growing up, I can’t remember a single photograph being taken of the three of us together. But, early in my career, I created a portrait of my Great Grandmother. I cherish that photograph – it means the world to me and it is still hanging in my mother’s house.

She passed away over 30 years ago , that photograph is priceless.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like not to have that photograph sitting on the desk in my office. I look at it every single day – it is one of my most prized possessions.

I Only Wish I Had A Photograph Of All Three Of Us Together.  That Would Be One Of The Most Priceless Things I Own.

   Time is the one thing that none of us have enough of.  It’s the one thing that money can’t buy.  It’s the one thing that we all would give just about anything for.  Through photography, we can hold on to the moments in our lives that we wish could last forever.  And, if it’s done correctly, these same photographs can become almost like works of art that we display in our homes for everyone to see and share.

Don’t Make The Decision As To Who Will Photograph Your Family Until You Chat With Me. There Are Things You’ll Want To Ask The Photographers…

   There’s no cost, and no obligation to just chat with me, and it will make the whole difference as to how great your portraits will look.  Simply CLICK HERE to find out how to contact me by phone, just to chat. 

   Don’t worry. I’m not going to try to “sell you” on working with me. I’m already very busy, and I don’t need to pressure anyone to work with me as a photographer. I’ll just talk to you about your portraits, and help you discover what your photographs could be like. 

   If you decide to have me create your portraits – great.  If not, no problem.

#3 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“Family Portraits Have To Be Created In A Professional Studio – And They Have To Look Boring.”

   If you’re like most people, when you think of a PROFESSIONAL family portrait, you think of all of you gathered in front of a “painted background” in a photography studio, posed unnaturally, and all saying “cheese” as the photographer snaps the picture.  Now, is that something any family will cherish for a lifetime?  I think not.  Yes, it may capture the whole family together, but it will never capture your family relationships – your family’s love.

   Picture instead: All of you gathered in your favorite room in your home.  Or outside on the new deck you just had built.  Or in your backyard by the pine trees that give your yard so much character.  All of you are dressed in clothes the photographer helped you choose – clothing that conveys your individual personalities, but still looks great together. 

   Well, that’s what makes all the difference, and that’s what I will do for you.

And This is SO Important:  All Of You Feel Totally Comfortable In Front Of The Camera!

   Do you know ANYONE who feels totally comfortable in front of a camera?  I’ll bet you don’t. I don’t. Nearly everyone I’ve ever met tells me the same thing: “I never look natural in pictures.”  The last thing you want is a photograph where you or your family members have that fake “posed” look on your face.

   That’s why it’s so important that you feel very natural and comfortable with your photographer.  Just think of how great your family would look if your best friend was creating the photograph.  They would all look so happy and natural! I take pride in developing very close relationships with all my clients, and their entire family. 

   Plus, I understand the “psychology” of photography.  Learning the technical aspects – what lenses to use, what lighting looks best, how clothing adds and subtracts weight on film – all of those things were only the tip of the iceberg.  Without being able to make each and every one of your family members look and feel comfortable (and natural) on film, all those technical things would amount to nothing.

You’ll NEVER hear me utter the words “say cheese.”

   That’s a surefire way of getting expressions that look totally fake and unnatural. No – a great photographer knows that, in order to get a great expression from a subject, you need to get to know that subject a bit – to know what will make them smile naturally.  That’s what I do, and I love it!  I will get to know your whole family so well, and they will feel so comfortable with me, that their expressions will be perfect every time.

#4 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“There’s No One To Help Me Make Choices About Clothing, Hair, Makeup, Location, etc…”

   Okay, normally you would be right thinking that. However, I pride myself in being different. I’m going to help you with all of those things, WHETHER I’M YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER OR NOT!

My Years Of Experience Photographing Families – Yours FREE – Without Any Obligation.

   Okay, by now you are probably considering having a family portrait created. You may even be considering choosing me as your photographer – but I don’t want you to make that decision just yet.

   No matter who creates your photographs for you, you will need to make some decisions. What clothing should your family wear? Where should this photograph be created? How heavy should the makeup be on the ladies in the photograph? There are a number of things to think about, and I will walk you through all of them personally.


Pick up the phone, and call my studio. CLICK HERE for the number.

   Even if it’s after business hours, still call right now. I’ve got an answering machine that is just waiting to cheerfully take your message, and I’ll personally call you back so we can chat.  Just let me know when is a good time to call you back. Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to “pressure” you at all into working with me.  Plus, there’s no cost at all for us just to chat.

   When you call, we’ll chat briefly about the things you need to know. I’ll tell you a bit about me. I’ll answer all your questions about how to prepare for a family portrait. It won’t be a long call, but it will be one of the most important calls you make.

#5 Myth, Mistake Or Misconception:
“There’s No Rush To Have A Family Portrait Created Right Now.”

   You know how things are. If you don’t pick up the phone right now, and at least call me to chat about your family portrait, you will probably get swamped with other things, and forget all about it.  Then, before you know it, a year – two years – five years have gone by. How different will your family be then?

   You see, time is ticking…. and it’s never going to stop.

First, Your Child Takes His or Her First Step. Next, Learns To Ride A Bike. Later, Gets A Driver’s License.  Graduates From High School. Gets Married.  Starts A Family Of His or Her Own.

   These are precious times, and although things will change, this moment never has to slip from your fingers. 

   Don’t put this off.  You know how life is. We put things off, and before we know it, everything has changed.  If your life is half as crazy as mine is, year after year you find yourself frustrated at the things you wanted to do, and never got done.  A family portrait is something you deserve.

Plus, You Will Save 50% By Acting Right Now!

   Just suppose you call my studio and chat with me.  Just suppose you decide you would like me to be your photographer.  As long as you are one of the first 49 PEOPLE to call me (for your FREE chat), I will send you a 50% OFF certificate in the mail that will allow you to deduct 50% off the creation of your family portrait! 

   What does that mean? All you do is call me to chat. I’ll answer all your questions about family photography. I’ll send you your 50% off certificate. If you decide to have your family portrait created by me, you may use this certificate to save 50% off the creation of your images!  It’s that simple!

Life is so terribly short. But, at the same time, life is such a wonderful gift.  And the memories we keep of these moments with our family will last forever.

Why Your Family Portrait Will Become More Valuable To You Than Anything Else In Your Home:

   Do you have a photograph of your family that, if you were running from your burning home, would be the one thing you save (other than your family members, of course) on the way out?

   Now, I’m not talking about a “snapshot” that was taken during a family outing on the Fourth Of July.  I’m talking about a wonderful photograph, created by a professional photographer, that not only captures your family’s true bonds and relationships, but also does so in a way that you’d be proud to display openly in your home for the rest of your life.

It’s Not Too Late. This Moment, Right Now, Can Be Held Onto For The Rest Of Your Life – For You To Share With Family And Friends.

   You don’t have to make a big decision right now. You don’t have to choose your photographer – you don’t even have to decide that now is the time for your family portrait. Just take one small step toward holding onto your family’s happiest moments RIGHT NOW.

Just Call My Studio, And We’ll Chat. And, Remember, If You Decide You Want Me To Create Your Family Portrait, Save 50% Off It’s Creation.  It’s All Up To You.

Once again, CLICK HERE for my studio number, and you can call any time. If I don’t answer, just leave your name and number at the beep, and I’ll call you back. If you’re thinking of this family photograph as a GIFT FOR SOMEONE, let me know, so when I call back, I only ask for you, and don’t spoil the surprise!

The Perfect Family Portrait Is Only One Phone Call Away…

   Make the call now. It will be a call you will be glad you made for the rest of your life. I look forward to hearing from you.


David Thielen

P.S. – Remember, call me just to chat, and if you’re one of the first 49 people to do so, I will send you a CERTIFICATE FOR 50% OFF the creation of your family portraits! There’s no cost, and no obligation for this chat. Your family portraits shouldn’t be trusted to any photographer who doesn’t realize what a responsibility it is to make sure these portraits are perfect. These are your memories – don’t trust them to just anyone.  You’ve nothing to lose, and so many great memories to gain. Call my studio now – no cost, no obligation – CLICK HERE TO CALL ME (no cost, no obligation)!

P.P.S. – STILL NOT READY TO CALL?  That’s okay.  I can still give you some more secrets FOR FREE in the mail.  If you’d like more information about family photography rushed to your mailbox, simply CLICK HERE to have more secrets rushed to you.