Perfectly Imperfect Family Photography

Emotional, Joyful, Tender, Playful Moments.

For years I tried changing the way I captured families. I tried convincing myself that the standard, eyes forward, everyone smiling portraits were the only type of sessions that families would want to book, pay and hire me for.

You see, I first picked up a camera when my children were toddlers because I wanted to capture authentic moments of their childhood. I wanted to remember the feeling of that specific moment in time and that specific emotion they were experiencing. And so, that’s what I did and I loved every single image I captured. In fact, I have a portrait of each child hanging in my bedroom and guess what they look like? They are wet (because they had just stepped out of the pool), their hair matted, and sitting in overgrown grass with dandelions surrounding them. These are real portraits of my real kids, and they are my favourite.

So what does this mean for you, someone looking to hire a family photographer where the options of photographers are endless?

I can only tell you what an experience with me as your photographer will be like. It will fun, relaxed, directed and perfectly imperfect. My goal is to capture the emotion of the moment so when you look back at the images you will remember what it felt like at that time. I love families acting like themselves and interacting with one another.

Here are some examples. I hope you enjoy!

To book your session, please contact me HERE.

Tim & Martina

When I first spoke with Martina about the possibility of photographing her and Tim's upcoming small, intimate wedding in Horseshoe Valley I knew it was going to be a very special day for them. Surrounded by only their very close family, the day was just as you'd expect - laid back, intimate, emotional and surrounded in love. Their dogs made appearances in family portraits, I heard the story of how Martina and her family landed into Canada as young girl, and I felt the love and admiration between everyone present. I am so very lucky to have met them and spend just a fraction of time with them on this special day. 

Wedding at Belcroft Estate

Who: Names Withheld

What: Outdoor First Look, Ceremony and Portraits, Indoor Wedding Reception, and Outdoor Dance

Where: Belcroft Estate, Gilford, Ontario

When: May 2018

I have never photographed a wedding at Belcroft Estate, however I attended one there many years ago. It's a perfect location of rustic feel, mixed with incredible views and structures. The Getting Ready Room for the bride and bridesmaids takes you to a stunning loft with large windows overlooking the pond and water fountain. The Man Cave is completely outfitted with a pinball machine, pool table and vintage cars. The rain stopped just in time for their First Look and held off for rest of the day so the bride's wish of an outdoor ceremony and courtyard dance could take place.

I am thrilled I had the opportunity to spend the day with this amazing couple, at this beautiful venue.

 

 

Mom & Me 2018 Mini Sessions

What a beautiful day it was! I could not have asked for better weather for this year's 3rd Annual Mom & Me Mini Sessions. The sun peaked in and out of the clouds with a gorgeous breeze, and the families were spectacular, like always! As a mother, there is something I hold very near to my heart when it comes to making sure mom gets into some photos with her children. I know with certainty that moms cherish these images forever. I also know that having photos of yourself with your mother is something that is irreplaceable as your parents grows older. This year truly filled my soul!

Saskatchewan Wedding

What better way to kick off the 2018 Wedding Season than throwing it back to 2016 and sharing with you one of my favourite weddings to date?!

When Tiffany asked me if I'd be interested in photographing her wedding to Aaron in Weyburn, SK, I was thrilled. Tiffany is not only my cousin, but a beautiful woman with an equally as beautiful family. Knowing that I was travelling to Saskatchewan to be a part of her very special day left me with butterflies and excitement. For those that have visited Saskatchewan, you know the landscape is quite different than British Columbia, Alberta, most of Ontario and definitely the East Cost as well. Driving from the airport with my uncle to Weyburn, I took in all that surrounded me and the beautiful countryside that was so vast and different than my own. 

From rain and rainbows to nothing but golden sun at dusk, this wedding was definitely one for the books!

 

 

Mom & Me 3rd Annual Photo Sessions

I am really looking forward to officially kicking off 2018 with my 3rd Annual Mom & Me Photo Sessions in Tottenham!

These sessions truly fill my heart and soul - seeing moms with their children, laughing, telling jokes and stories, and also the quiet moments - all captured into timeless images to keep forever. These images are irreplaceable and hold so much meaning to the family members.

Because these sessions tend to book very quickly, I am opening registration now. 

Session Details:

When: Sunday, May 6th, 2018 Beginning at 9:30am (rain date is Saturday, May 12th), running in half hour increments until 3:30pm. 

Where: Tottenham Conservation Area

Length: 25 minutes

What's Included: You will receive a password protected, online gallery of 10-15 high resolution images available for immediate download. 

Investment: $125 ($50 due upon booking to reserve your spot)

To reserve your spot, please contact me HERE with your desired time slot.

Please note: these time slots are booked on a first come, first serve basis and only held to those who have paid the booking fee of $50. 

 

 

Winter Family Session

You know the stars are aligned when you book an outdoor winter family session on a date in January, and have family travelling for the session from Windsor and Toronto. Secretly, I had been watching the forecast for 14 days prior, and each day leading up to it, wishing and praying for warm enough weather to spend some time outdoors. This particular Saturday in January the temperature sat around plus 5 and it was a spectacular day for an outdoor winter session, thankfully!

 

 

How Did It All Begin?

"How long have you been doing photography?"

"What got you into photography? Did you go to school for it?"

"What are your favourite things to photograph?"

These are some of the questions I receive frequently from friends, new clients and prospective clients. So, I thought I would address it, provide my background with photography, when I started and why. 

As a child I loved taking pictures. Way back then (the 80's and 90's) it was 35mm film cameras. I remember distinctively getting a cheap camera from McDonald's one time and using it for nearly a year until it broke.  Following that, I had various inexpensive film cameras and still have my parents old Pentax 35mm film camera. I loved film and the thrill of dropping the roll(s) off to the local Kodak store in Haliburton, Ontario, anxiously awaiting to pick up the developed images. There was something so exciting to see the final product on glossy 4x6 paper. That is however until I opened the envelope and saw that over 75% of my pictures were either over exposed, under exposed, or just plain missing the heads of the individuals I was trying to capture! I was terrible and I remained terrible for the next 20 years! 

Nonetheless, my desire to have photos of my friends and family overrode my utter lack of photography skills. To compensate for those 75%,  I just took more photos to increase my chance of 'decent' ones. 

I decided to up the ante when my second child was born in 2010. With the invention of digital cameras, all was not lost anymore on wasting paper (poor trees!) on my awful photos. Thank goodness! By this time I had a Canon Point and Shoot but was frustrated by trying to take photos of my two kids and have the image turn our blurry, out of focus, etc. So, blindly I ventured into Best Buy and purchased my very first DSLR - a Nikon D3100. I had absolutely NO idea what I was getting, only that it had to be better than what I was currently using because it was more expensive, bigger and looked much nicer! HA!

This is precisely the time when I remember the quote by Sam Haskins: 

"A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said 'I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.'

He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: "That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove."

While I noticed a difference right away once I started using the D3100, I also came to the realization that photography was a whole new language to me and in a world of its own. 

 Nikon D3100. Out of focus. 

Nikon D3100. Out of focus. 

 Nikon D3100. How do I get her face in focus and not her hand!!??

Nikon D3100. How do I get her face in focus and not her hand!!??

 Nikon D3100. Honestly, what was I trying to do here?! 

Nikon D3100. Honestly, what was I trying to do here?! 

For roughly 4 years I read books, took online courses and shot religiously 5 days a week. Now, three external hard drives later and onto my third laptop, I'm finally producing images that I've been trying to make since I first picked up that camera. Thankfully I have amazing friends and family who allowed me to practice on them. One of my mentors once said that giving away free photo shoots is like gaining a free education, and I couldn't agree more! Without the unconditional support of these people in my life, I wouldn't be where I am today! 

Once I understood F-Stop, Shutterspeed and ISO, I started learning about manipulating natural light and flashes. And it was only in 2015, after being a part of back-to-back mentoring programs, did my photography business really take off. I began making images like these: 

 Nikon D3100, Lake Simcoe, Orillia   

Nikon D3100, Lake Simcoe, Orillia

 

 Nikon D750, Tottenham, ON

Nikon D750, Tottenham, ON

 Nikon D750, Tottenham, ON

Nikon D750, Tottenham, ON

Currently I shoot with a Nikon D750 and upgraded my kit with a few different lenses. I am proud of the work I am producing now, just as I am proud of the work I produced in 2010. While many, I'm sure, thought I should stop and find a different hobby, it was the people who never doubted me and my sheer stubbornness and determination that kept me going. 

My advice to those wanting to start up photography is to never stop shooting! Like any skill, you need to put in the time and hours to better yourself. And don't ever let anyone tell you that you should stop pursuing your dreams and passions!

If you are looking to work with a mentor who loves people and photography, look no further! I am currently offering 1 hour mentoring sessions at $125. This session can include various topics, such as finding the light in your home, how to take better images in your surroundings, Aperature, ISO and F-Stop, basic Lightroom and Photoshop editing.....etc. Any questions you have, we can cover it!

To book a session, please contact me HERE. This offer is valid in Beeton, Tottenham, Alliston and Schomberg. Outside of these areas? A small travel fee will apply. 

 

Fall Family Sessions 2017

I am thrilled to announce that I have one session date left for Fall Family Photo Sessions: Saturday, October 28

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Session Details

These are 20 minute outdoor sessions for families of 4 or less, and include 15-20 high resolution digital images (provided to you via an online link to a password protected gallery for immediate download). Mini Sessions take place in Tottenham only.  Session Fee is $125

To book a spot, please email me or fill out the contact form HERE.

Session FAQ's:

How do I book a session? Email me with your preferred date and time. I will confirm via email your confirmed spot. A non-refundable $25 holding fee is due upon booking to reserve your spot. 

What is included in the fee? The fee covers your pre-determined type of outdoor session. Within 2 weeks, you will receive a link to an online, password-protected gallery where your images will be available for direct download until December 31, 2017. 

Can I order prints? Of course! The digital files from your session are included in the fee, however you will also have the option to order prints directly from your online gallery. These can be shipped directly to your home. 

Can my mom (dad, aunt, sister, etc.) order prints? Yep, you can share your gallery and password with anyone you choose and they can order prints or download the digital files. 

What happens if we need to cancel? Email me and we will figure out an alternate plan for your session. 

 

 

 

Julie + Brady

This past weekend was the most perfect time for photographing families outdoors. The temperatures were perfect in South Simcoe County and the leaves are just beginning to change. 

Here's a look at one of the awesome families I met on Saturday. 

Interested in booking a session? Limited spots still remain for mid-week evening sunset sessions and weekend sessions. Please contact me HERE for more information. 

 

 

Stories of Home / Caledon, ON

Another area of photography that I thoroughly enjoy is Home and Real Estate Photography. Not much of person who has an eye for interior design myself, I love immersing myself in others homes, and experiencing all the things that are important to them. You can tell alot about a person and a family by what they surround themselves with. 

This post from Stories of Home comes to you from Caledon, Ontario. This home was originally built by a family who lived there for many years, watching their children grow and move on. Circumstances happened, as they do, and the time came to sell this property. Enter my clients, a professional interior designer and her equally established and skilled husband. Together, they transformed this house from a late 1980's out-dated home, to the strikingly beautiful piece of art it now is. 

Here are some before and after images. 

If you're interested in seeing more images, click through below. 

For details on this listing, please check out the MLS listing HERE.

 

Summer 2017 Journal

As summer winds down and we start to prep for the autumn weather and school beginning again, I like to think back on the last few months to what we did. 

I've always wanted to be a journal keeper, but never follow through on writing in one. I realized tonight that I use my photos as a journal instead. With each date folder in my library I am immediately taken back to that specific time, date, smell, ocassion and feeling. It was a wonderful summer, spent meeting new people, camping with friends and family, and spending lots of time exploring new areas.

Here are some images from my summer spent with my family. 

Nick + Amanda Wedding / Tottenham, ON

The day started with overcast skies, and brought rain and beautiful sunshine periods throughout this gorgeous backyard wedding. Held on a large piece of property in Tottenham, the groom's parents opened up their home and yard for Nick and Amanda's big day. Willow trees were the most perfect backdrop for the couple's ceremony, and rolling fields with dark clouds for their portraits. It was a gorgeous day!