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The Full Package: The Carmichaels Are the Local & Experienced Choice for Lasting Memories in Banff

Sharon and Malcolm Carmichael have been providing and capturing memorable experiences in Banff for more than 25 years.
Sharon Malcolm Carmichael Photo for Article

Behind the lens is Malcolm, whose expertise as a professional photographer saw him selected as the Director of Photography at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler and earned him a 20+ year spot as one of the official sports photographers on the Canadian Alpine Ski Team. Along with the team of experts at Alpine Peak Photography and working alongside Sharon, an elopement wedding planner, the duo have captured more than 3,000 weddings to date.

Sharon channels her more than 20 years of experience in the wedding industry to provide the ultimate boutique and romantic experience through Elope in Banff. She leads her team in giving couples a small wedding experience with a big impact. From just the couple or the couple and a handful of friends and family, people come from all over the world to experience Elope in Banff’s unique service.

The entrepreneurial duo don’t stop there. Couples can enjoy their latest venture, Banff Log Cabin, a cozy getaway for two nestled in the mountains.

With so many years in the photography, wedding and event industry, the Carmichaels have seen many changes – some of which strongly impact their clients and guests.

“Things have evolved,” says Sharon. “When photography went from film to digital, a lot of photographers exited the market because now, instead of relying on experience and education, anyone can simply hit a button and digitally edit the photos later. Bookings have evolved too. Instead of working with travel agents, people book directly online.”

With a solid reputation across photography, wedding planning, and boutique accommodations, the Carmichaels decided not to exit the industries they loved as the barriers to entry came down. Instead, they continued to adapt and evolve, combining their experience, education, and vision with emerging technology and processes. The result? Rapid growth across all three brands. Experience counts, and it shows in their products.

Now, with COVID, the Carmichaels are adapting again.

“COVID is devastating for everyone in Banff,” Sharon admits. “As a wedding planner I cannot book hair and makeup or even a restaurant reservation with the current restrictions, but hopefully that will change at the end of May when new changes are announced.”

However, with a foundation already in place for small weddings and events, experienced outdoor photography, and remote cabin where food can be delivered without contact, they forge ahead. And their guests are grateful. They see the difference that experience, grit, and entrepreneurship make – and for Sharon and Malcolm, that differentiation is very important.

“Many people jump into the wedding and photography industry for quick cash,” shares Malcolm, “but we focus on exceptional customer service, our depth of experience across our brands, our reputation and our extensive network of relationships with local suppliers.”

Sharon adds, “There are lots of ‘instant experts’ – anyone can put up a website and buy ads that take the top spot on Google searches, or clone your business name or an approximation of it to get online rankings. This is why it’s important for consumers to do their research. When you take a closer look you can see who has experience, high organic search rankings, independent reviews, and who is passionate enough to do photography, weddings or accommodation rental full time, not as a side business. With our photography, Elope in Banff, and our log cabin we are 100 per cent focused on the businesses. We do this full time. We are the real deal and that is reflected in our service and reviews. We do not ‘pay our way’ to the top on any platform and we always choose an ethical approach in everything we do.”

The Carmichaels are just as passionate about supporting their local community as they are about their craft and during he first lockdown, Malcolm shot over a 120 family porch photos and raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations in the Banff area.

Sharon and Malcolm are humbly proud to accept numerous awards for Alpine Peak Photography, Elope in Banff, and Banff Log Cabin, including: three Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice awards, a perfect 5/5 rating across more than 300 reviews for Alpine Peak, Over 500 reviews (the leading review collector in Canada) for Elope in Banff, a Best Log Cabin Retreat Award from Log Cabin Hub, a number 1 spot on TripAdvisor for nine years, and many more.

For experienced, award winning service from a team committed to your best interests, you can rely on the Carmichael’s experience. With their brands you can have the memorable, romantic, experience in Banff you deserve.
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