In the Garden | Ottawa Milestone Photography

This age is one of my favourites to capture. Baby has just learned how to sit often, they are full of smiles and generally in happy spirits. Best part - they can’t crawl away yet! Since it was beautiful outside, we opted to do the session at the Ornamental Gardens. We started off with a lifestyle approach with snuggles and nursing on a blanket in the grass. We tried to have him sit in the grass afterwards, but he wanted nothing to do with it. I put a blanket down, nope. Even inside a bowl, not touching the grass didn’t fly. Thankfully, the gardens has a rocky path, so we went there and he was happy. Such a personality already.

I asked mom some questions about how our session went:

  1. What made you choose an outdoor versus indoor?

    Outdoor was chosen because it was a lovely time of year. The weather was warm, flowers and trees in bloom and we love the outdoors. There are so many beautiful outdoor Ottawa locations.

  2. Were you happy with the outcome?

    Very! The Arboretum has many unique and picturesque areas.

  3. Has he gotten over his fear of grass?

    LOL! Yes, he has. It still took some time but by mid-summer he was happily travelling all over the grass.

  4. Did you have a favourite image - which?

    I love the image of him on the path, sitting in the basket, with the little smile on his face. That expression comically followed him giving a heavy dose of side eye to the nearby foliage. It was fun! There is also an earlier image of him breastfeeding (the camera looking over my shoulder) that is very special to me.

  5. What made you choose to dress him in orange? I personally loved the bold choice, but I don't see it often.

    I'm not known for travelling the beaten path. Those little overalls were also a longstanding favourite of mine and our three sons wore them. Orange is one of my favourite colours and I find it really makes blue eyes shine.

 a mother nurses her son outside in ottawa
 an infant boy sits in a wood bowl with a smiling expression on his face looking at the camera
 a infant boy sits in a wood bowl outside in a garden with a happy squinty expression on his face
 an infant boy sits in a wood bowl in a garden in ottawa looking at the camera
 a baby boy sits in a wood bowl on a stone path looking up at the camera with two little teeth showing

Home Sweet Home | Ottawa Lifestyle Photographer

In home family sessions are perfect for those cold winter days, blah spring muddiness or simply as an alternative to an outdoor location. Some families find it stressful to get outside for sessions, so this option is a great way to still capture your family; in the comfort of your home. Family snuggles on the couch, love, playful moments. Your life - as you live it. Maybe you enhoy baking with your children. Let’s capture it! The messy fingers, flour smeared on their cheek, little licks of the batter fresh from the bowl. Perhaps crafting and painting is your jam? Great! Let’s do it! Chubby fingers grasping a paintbrush, poking holes in play dough, sneaking kisses in between gluing pom poms.

This sweet family chose to play. We hung out in their older son’s bedroom. The toddler roamed around, we did some reading, mama nursed the littlest and dad played with some fun toys. We ended the session with giggles on the couch downstairs.

 a family sits together on a bedroom floor mother looking down at toddler who is looking at camera dad is holding a book
 a little boy sits on the floor of a bedroom wrapped in a knitted blanket looking towards the camera
 a family sits together on the floor in a bedroom playing with toys brothers looking down
 a family sits together on a couch happily interacting with each other one boy laughing
 A family sits together on a couch brothers looking up at the camera

A sister | Ottawa Lifestyle Photography

In home newborn lifestyle sessions are a great alternative to a posed session for capturing your growing family. Many families with young siblings choose this option for ease and comfort. I come to your home between 1 to 12 weeks post birth to capture your new family member. We often use two rooms in your home - typically the master, the nursery or the living room. It is mostly based on lighting and space as well as where you are most comfortable. Natural areas of your home that you would commonly use.

For this family we used the master bedroom and living room area. It was a very laid back session - mama nursing her new little one while dad played with big brother. We had some fun and snuggles in the master as well as a quiet moment with mama on her own. These moments are truly beautiful and oh so fleeting. I’m honored to be able to capture this special time in their lives.

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 a father and son sit together with toys boy playing with guitar while dad looks down at him
 a mother holding her newborn baby girl eyes open looking into camera
 a father holds his newborn daughter her feet hanging over his arm
 a family sits together on a bed mother holding newborn baby with a toddler playing with dad
 a mother holds her newborn in her lap holding her hands looking down in a bed
 a mother sits on a bed holding her newborn looking down at her

Natural | Ottawa Newborn Photographer

This sweet little one’s parents are drawn to natural and earthy colours and items. Their home decor reflects a rustic feel. When filling out the questionnaire, they requested natural props and earthy tones. I immediately thought of greenery and a branch nest with the wee little one wrapped up in the middle.

I love asking parents questions about how their sessions went or for a little info into their family life:

  1. Did you feel like your session captured your style?

    Yes, it had a very earthy natural feel to the photographs.

  2. Do you have a favourite image? Which one and why?

    Favourite image....I would say between these two (fourth and sixth image below)

  3. What do you love most about being a parent?

    I love watching M. enjoy experiencing the world. She’s so inquisitive, curious, clever and is always so happy to have new experiences.

When booking a newborn session, your session is fully customized to your taste, suit your nursery, the colours on the walls or to complement the style of your home. I absolutely love how this session turned out.

 a newborn lies wrapped in a brown layer inside a twig nest with greenery surrounding her in background
 a newborn lies wrapped in a brown layer with cream bonnet on a knitted blanket in a wood branch nest with green leaves in the background
 a newborn baby is wrapped in a brown layer on cream fur with her feet sticking out
 a newborn lies in the chin on hands pose on a blue polka dot blanket with a white bow tie back and knitted wrap layer
 a newborn baby lies on her belly in the bum up pose close up of her little rolls
 a newborn girl in a side lying pose on a green blanket with a pinecone natural tieback
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Floral Smash | Ottawa Baby Photography

Seriously can not get over this little cutie and her cake smash session! The colours, the cake and her adorable little face!

She was unsure about the cake – a very dainty eater. She used her fingertips to scoop some icing and lick it off. Even though she ate it slowly, she still really enjoyed the tasty cake and she still made a little mess either way! Too cute, check her out below. Don’t let her serious expression fool you, she has a silly side too!

I think it was pretty special how we incorporated the same flowers we used around the bowl for her newborn session as part of the background for her cake smash.  These little touches are what makes your session meaningful and unique Even though cakes are included in the session fee – provided by a local baker, Decadent Desserts, you are more than welcome to bring your own. They brought a gorgeous floral cupcake cake from Cupcakes by Miryame - click to view more of her fabulous cakes!

 a little girl sits inside a basket surrounded by flowers giving a funny smile to the camera
 a little girl sits in a twine basket with flowers all around her smiling up at the camera
 top view of a floral icing cake
 a little girl sits beside a floral cake with her hands outstretched touching the icing happy expression on her face
 a little girl sits with her cake for her milestone session icing on her fingers and face flowers in the back
 a top view of a baby girl sitting with her cake for her milestone session icing on her figners and face
 a little girl sits with her floral cake for milestone cake smash session silly expression tongue out

Ottawa Fall Photography Sessions 2018

It’s that time of year again!! The trees start to turn beautiful shades of colours and take our breath away. Apples sprout on trees… mmmm pie. The air is perfect – crisp, cool and comfortable. I absolutely love fall and more so love fall photos!

Here’s the deets on this year’s fall sessions. Two locations – both in the west end. First weekend will be trails, second weekend will be a pond.

 fall photography sessions taking place in Ottawa area with families

Bring on the knitted sweater and fun boots!! Book your session today! 

Beauty of Winter | Ottawa Family Photographer


I know not everyone thinks of doing family photos in the winter, but they can be so pretty. The crisp white snow, the patches of ground showing through, the branches covered in a fine blanket of snow. We talked about a few options for location and ended up going to Mer Bleu Bog in Ottawa. It was a tad chilly – no lie. They were rockstars! Had fun with this sweet family and so glad I brought a blanket for them to warm up underneath with. It ended up coordinating with their outfits so well that we used it in some shots. I absolutely loved the styling of their clothing they wore. Love the look of layers on clients.

I asked her a few questions afterwards to get a better idea of how she thought her session went. I love doing this to see client’s perspectives.

1)      What were you most worried about for your session?

I was most worried about the cold frigid air, if we would be warm enough and if my son would cooperate.

2)      Why did you choose to do your family photos in the winter? Are you happy with the outcome?

Chose to do winter because I have a summer and spring session with Michele already and want to complete all the seasons. I am very happy with the outcome.

3)      When planning your session, a few location options were offered and you decided on mer bleu. What made you pick this spot?

It was a different location than I have used before and very unique.

I’d say her session was a success. Lots of cuddling, images full of love and fun. I can’t wait to see them next fall to complete her “seasons” sessions. Maybe after seeing her session taken in the winter, you may decide to do your family photos during that season.

 a family stands at mer bleu bog in ottawa in winter dad holding the toddler son under a blanket child cuddling father's chest mother hugging boys back
 a father holds his son in his arms both smiling at camera with toddler wrapped in a plaid blanket in winter
 a mother holds her son looking down at him as his face rest on her body outside in winter in ottawa
 a mother holds her son resting her face on his giving him affection and love outside in winter in ottawa
 a family huddled together on wood bridge at mer bleu in ottawa
 a mother and father cuddler their son under a red shawl at mer bleu in ottawa in the winter
 a couple romantic posed on wood bridge in winter at mer bleu in ottawa

Paint Smash-ing Good Time | Ottawa Milestone Photography

I loved how different and fun this was! Both this sweethearts parents are very creative people and a paint smash was right up their alley.  Her mother brought her in wearing a vintage green smocked dress that her grandmother had made for her own children. They chose a few colours - red, blue, green and white - usually i suggest 3 or 4 colours for the best impact. When introduced to the paint she went to town. Painted with such determination and charisma. No surprise that when it came to cleaning up in the bubble bath that she was full of smiles and splashes. I had so much fun capturing this paint smash. I loved her expressions! Check them out below.

I provide the paint, white one piece and canvas, so all you need to worry about is bringing baby. The wonderful thing about this type of session is that you get to KEEP the canvas as a memorable keepsake. Hang it proudly!

 a girl sits on a white iron bed wearing a green old fashioned vintage dress smiling off to the side in ottawa photography studio for her milestone session
 a girl paints on a canvas for her one year milestone smash session in ottawa photography studio
 a girl uses her hand to paint a canvas during her one year milestone smash session in ottawa photography studio
 a girl paints her leg with her hand during her milestone smash photography session in ottawa studio
 view from above a girl sits painting with her hands a colourful canvas for her one year milestone photography session in ottawa studio
 a canvas painted by a one year old for their milestone smash photography session sits complete
 a girl sits in a white metal tub filled with water and bubbles for her one year milestone paint smash in ottawa photography studio
 a girl splashes water towards camera from a white tub with excited expression on her face during her milestone smash photography session in ottawa studio

What is a milestone session?

A milestone session is just that. To celebrate an achievement!! For babies it would be holding their heads up, sitting unassisted and their first birthday! Milestone sessions capture the fleeting moments your baby has for you to look back on. Their expression as they lift their heads with wrinkly foreheads, tiny toes curled together, little chubby hands gripping their feet.

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I provide all the props and accessories for your sweet little one’s session and have many outfit options available to choose from. You are welcome to bring a special outfit from home to mix with mine or just use the studio outfits exclusively.  Usually there are 2-3 outfit changes in the length of the session.

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My cake smash sessions are very simple set ups so the main focus is on your baby. One neutral coloured paper backdrop and some minor accents or props if requested would be used. I love sweet, simple and timeless! The cake is included in your session fee and simple styles and colour to be chosen by you with the baker and any allergies to be mentioned to her. Pick up will be taken care of by you either the night before our session or morning of. We can also do a smash alternative – painting! Or a different food interest – melon, berries, spaghetti, tacos… the list is endless. This session ends with a bubble bath clean up.

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Did you know I offer prints and products through a professional lab calibrated to my computer? For milestone sessions I usually recommend a keepsake album. There are so many special moments captured that it makes it hard to choose which ones to print, so an album to flip though is amazing. I offer two unique options for albums: a lay flat – where the pages lay flat and a hand torn – it gives an extra bit of luxury feel.

7 Lifestyle Photography Tips

I’m often asked how I took personal images of my family. “What did you do to get them to look like that?” “How can I take them like you?” “Can you share your secret?” I often try to do mostly lifestyle when capturing my family, only because I love the candid, natural rawness I get from them. So I decided to compile some tips for shooting images of your children.
 

TIP #1 LET IN THE LIGHT!

Indoor light can be tricky, so open those curtains, even the door if you’d like to get some of that beautiful natural light inside! I try to engage them near a window if I can, otherwise place myself with my back turned towards the window without blocking it and watch the scene unfold. If you’re outside, do your best to hang near the shade during harsh mid-day sun, shoot in the early morning or late evening.

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TIP #2 THOSE ANGLES THO

I always recommend getting down to your subject eye level and shooting straight on versus the natural go-to of many that stand and shoot downwards. Then, experiment with your angles. Shoot over their shoulder as they draw a picture, from behind to get the reaction of a sibling interaction, from above as they're reading a book capturing the details of their lashes and little fingers. Use plants or banisters to shoot through or frame your images.  Perspective is everything.

TIP #3 IT’S IN THE DETAILS

Sometimes, the details are important in telling a story, or capturing the realness of your child. The pudgy knees of a new walker, tiny hands holding a crayon,  that look a sibling gives, messy toes full of sand, or the way she twirls her hair when she’s tired. All of these moments are what we will treasure from their childhood.

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TIP #4 SHOW YOUR ENVIRONMENT

Close ups are great for impact, but let’s not forget the environment as a whole. Pull back too so the surroundings can be showcased. Those are just as important in telling your story. Real life is messy, don’t let toys scattered about or a pile of laundry on the couch deter you. Tidy if you must, but certain clutter comes with having children in a house – a lovey on the floor, a blanket tossed on the couch, a favorite stuffy beside them – leave those! They are a part of your child’s life and will be beautiful reminders of who they used to be.

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TIP #5 NO NEED TO LOOK

Remember, they don’t have to be looking to make an image beautiful. Some of my favorites are of them not looking towards the camera. Capture them playing with their favorite train set, reading a bedtime book quietly, eating a snack or while they nap. I have sometimes helped create moments by making them laugh with a joke or setting up a sprinkler and catching those moments. Encouraging them with their play, but not directing them.

TIP #6 BACKGROUNDS

Watch your backgrounds and shoot in a way that fits your style. Whether you want to be inside, at a park, forest, downtown or a field that calls to you. Think about how you will use these images – an album, print some out or hang some canvases.

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TIP #7 BLURRED LINES

Sometimes capturing your family there is very limited light available and lit leads to a little motion blur. That’s ok, don’t discard it. Lifestyle sessions can have a little blurriness because of all the movement there is. A higher shutter can help you reduce that if the light allow you to.

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Drop me a comment and let me know if these helped you capture your family’s special moments.

Life with Boys | Ottawa Family Photographer

This sweet family belongs to my cousin. These two funny, charismatic, sensitive and energetic boys are her world. It’s kind of fun watching your childhood friend-cousin you grew up with wade through parenthood. It’s even more fun getting to capture their interaction. After our session I asked her a few questions to see what she felt. I love asking clients different questions as it either helps me grow or I can see things through their eyes.

1)    Looking through your images, is there one that stands out? What makes it special?

It’s hard to pick just one, but the one at the end in the field with F in my lap, they were starting to get tired and it really kind of captured our family dynamic.

2)    I know location was very important to you, were you happy with where we went?

I was so happy with where we went. I knew what kind of visual I wanted but you cultivated every single space at the location and the end result was beautiful.

3)    Do you feel your children were captured in their natural state? Id not, what could be different?

Almost too much! You’re seen all of F’s silly faces! It’s hard to get them to smile. But my favorite moments you captured when they didn’t know you were taking the picture, the little laughs, the secrets. It was great seeing those little moments captured.

4)    Was there an awesome moment during our session that was captured… which one?

After all we went through to get a nice picture by the beach the one of them on the stump is by far my unexpected favorite. I think you might even got a bit muddy in the bushes for that one but we had a laugh and saw some cool wildlife.

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Natural | Ottawa Family Photographer

This lovely family purchased a gift voucher from the Parents of Preemie Association (PoPA) that I donated for their online auction. The PoPA provides packages to parents of premature babies in the NICU of Ottawa Hospitals.

They emailed to book a fall family session and we chose a diverse location in Kanata with lots of leaves, a bridge and a pond. I like to walk with families during our sessions to get to know them a little and have the children get used to me before starting on poses and taking their pictures. An hour family session is what I usually recommend for first time clients so they have some warm-up time to get to know me. 

We checked out the pond area where the ducks like to swim, across the path where they threw leaves up in the air, walked over to the bridge and had them stomping across for a fun family moment, and ended in a little forest-y path. It was such a beautiful day and was really a lot of fun to know this family! 

It's always interesting to see what people think of how their sessions went. So I asked them some questions once they received their final images.

1. Is there a special moment during your session that was captured? Which one? 

I love that you captured the kids' real smiles when they were sitting together on the wooden box.

2. Do you feel your family was captured naturally? Did you prefer the posed or more candid images? How come?

I like the combination of posed and candid images. It's not easy to get great candid shots when one of the subjects decides not to cooperate! But in the end, we're very happy with the results. The posed images have a natural feel to them as well, which is what we were looking for.

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