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.

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 a little boy sits on the floor of a bedroom wrapped in a knitted blanket looking towards the camera
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 a family sits together on a couch happily interacting with each other one boy laughing
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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! 

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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Tranquility | Ottawa Lifestyle Newborn Photography

This was the sweetest little family. They booked a lifestyle session to document their family naturally and a newborn posed session to capture their brand new baby’s new-ness. The little toddler was so infatuated with her brother and loved giving him lots of snuggles and affection.

Newborn lifestyle sessions are a beautiful way to remember this fleeting moment in your life. Everyone snuggling in bed together reading a book. Mom sitting in a chair feeding the baby while a toddler crashes toy cars around together. Dad making some coffee while the noise of little children laughing fills the room.

They decided to sit together on the couch. Big sister sat on mom’s side caressing her brother’s little head, then moved over to sit with dad. Lifestyle sessions are pretty much go with the flow. Upstairs they sat on the bed together, also did some fun playing while mom fed the baby.

I just love how natural and casual this session turned out. The rooms we spent time in are rooms I typically ask to use – a master bedroom, living room and occasionally a kitchen or nursery.

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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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