Who Said “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path” Buddha
So you’re in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area. What do you shoot? One of the best spots I’ve found is the Trappist Monastery. Actually, it’s just outside Winnipeg. It’s in a small town called St Norbert. I’ve personally spent many, many hours at the Trappist Monastery park, shooting weddings, family portraits. But by far my favorite part is shooting the building, architecture. The old monastery just comes to life with exuberance! Or should I say I come to life, and get excited, whenever I head out to take pictures of it. The monastery is open all year round 24 hours 7 days a week. If you are heading out after hours take care, the gate to the parking lot is closed, but everyone parks on the street an walks in. The best way to describe the area is it’s the architectural ruins of “Our Lady of the Prairies”. It was first opened in 1882. The Trappist Monastery was a thriving community of monks pursuing a life of prayer, work and contemplation. I understand, it was a self-sufficient community consisting of barns, stables, granaries, butter and cheese factory among other business. But as the city of Winnipeg grew, the Monks decided it was time to distance themselves from the city. They sought refuge further out in the flat prairie lands. I understand that in 1983, the monastery had a fire. It ravished the church and the residential wing of the building. It left behind what you see today.
Let me offer a couple of last words of advice before you head out. First be prepared to spend a couple of hours. Once you get there, you will find it’s a magical place to shoot. Not only the main church but the grounds offer so much. It oozes with photographic opportunities. Second, just because the sun has gone down don’t leave just yet. The Trappist Monastery has light’s. Well, it did the last time I visited. It’s a great place to do ‘painting with light’ and has lots of nooks and crannies where you can hide a flash or two.
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