I had so much with this family, and their little girl is just so adorable. Her eyes and smiles are stunning. Love them xoxo
In this digital age it's important to take the time and savour our special memories. We have so many pictures stored on our phones and computers that for the most part we forget about them. Except for those late night scrolling sessions when I should be catching up on some sleep...please tell me that I'm not the only one that does this.
I've done the hard work for you and have created a short list of some great companies that are offering some awesome products and services. These companies are offering some really unique products that look so cool you'll want to display them in your home, even if you are a minimalist, and they score great in the quality department too.
Check them out, in no particular order, and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you if you think there are any other companies out there that I should give a try.
I loved ordering through Mixbook. I had a great experience, and I can’t stop talking about them to my friends.
Mixbook offers so many great options to choose from, but this time I ordered a hardcover photo book and some Christmas cards (which will be coming in a future post), and I will definitely be ordering more books and prints from them in the future. The quality is fantastic, and their software made the whole process so easy! I hadn’t ordered from them before and I didn’t know what to expect, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out.
easy to use software
The ability to stop and save your work
Variety of fun printing options
sign up for a new account and receive up to 50% off of your first order
I came across Parabo Press through Instagram, and what really drew me to them was some of their unique printing options, they really do offer everything! Oh yeah and their prices are great. I was very pleased with my square softcover photo book and square prints. I love that the printing paper has a thicker feel to them, makes them feel more luxurious than the drugstore prints that you can order.
I have a discount code for 20% off prints that is good until the end of November - STACR
Variety of fun printing options
they offer a free set of 25 square prints
can order by mobile app
Like I said, I was looking for companies that offer a unique variety of printing options and oh man social print studio delivered. They have so much to choose from that I actually had a hard time choosing :) I ordered business cards, mini square prints, and photo strips :) and I can’t wait to go back and order more! These will make for some great gift options. I am so pleased with the quality of these little prints. Also I have to mention that the customer service is fantastic. They are so friendly and quick to help, and I love that they are a small studio that handles everything themselves, so you know exactly who is handling your precious memories.
variety of printing options
small studio that provides hands on service
can order from mobile app
Pikto is a great Canadian company. At first I thought it was a pro photo lab that was only available to professional photographers with premium prices, and although they do offer a professional photo lab experience, Pikto is definitely available to everyone :) I decided to try out their eco friendly softcover photo book. The software was super easy to use, great price, the shipping was fast, and my book looks and feels great!
offers professional printing services with a variety of options
can order from mobile app
Artifact Uprising is one of those companies that is a classic. Everyone knows them, and for good reason. Although this company is one of the pricier ones compared to the others I have mentioned, I have to include it for good reason. The quality and luxurious feel is just top notch. This time I ordered one of their newer additions, the Everyday Photobook. I got giddy opening up the package, and as any other paper lovers out there will understand, I love the feel of turning each page. Artifact Uprising has a minimalistic and classic aesthetic that applies to all of their designs allowing all of their products to look beautiful in your home.
simply beautiful designs
easy to use software
can order by mobile app
Over the years of working with families and taking family photos, and honestly since having our family photos taken, I have come up with a few ideas to help you prepare for a family photo session.
Lower them! Lol
Expectations covers a few points, so here we go…
Remember that they are kids. Expect meltdowns, wardrobe malfunctions, hunger… probably things you can’t even think of yet. It might all happen, so this way when any and/or all of those things inevitably happen, you’ll be prepared and at peace with it.
Kids don’t understand why we want these photos so badly. So pick the time of day that they are in at their best. Maybe it’s after nap, or maybe its first thing in the morning. Whatever works best for your kids.
Please parents don’t stand next to or behind the photographer and yell ‘say cheese!’. Yelling and demanding young children to look at the camera to smile with only stress them out and make for unflattering photos. Step aside and allow the photographer to naturally interact and talk with your family. Help the photographer capture your child’s true personality by talking and coaxing out the smiles gently.
Pinterest and Instagram can be such a curse sometimes. They fill our heads with a million different ideas, which can be great for a jumping off point but anything more than that and its too much. What I mean is, its perfectly fine to talk to your photographer about a mood or feeling or a special location that you had in mind. Even a single special pose that you want, but please leave the rest of the shoot to the photographer. The session is the fun part for any photographer. We thrive off of the creative high that we get during a shoot. If you come to us with a list of all your favourite shots that you saw on Pinterest, you’ll never be happy. Because most of the time of the session will be wasted on trying to perfectly match each pose and they won’t turn out the same anyways.
Sidenote: My family just had a session the other day for our annual Christmas card, and my daughter slammed her thumb in the car door. So the shoot was delayed due to a crying girl who now had a black and blue thumb, and a pink puffy face from all the crying. Of all the things that I prepared for I did not think that would happen. But my packed lollipops did help :)
1. Talk to your family members about the photo shoot. Explain everything that is going to happen. I love showing up to a shoot where the kids already know my name and are excited to show me their smiles.
2. Make sure everyone has eaten before the session, trust me hangry families do not equal a fun shoot with smiling faces.
3. Bring treats :) There is nothing wrong with a little bribery when it comes to getting THE shot. I’ve used small lollipops, smarties, gummies etc. Something small that can hide in pockets or hands and that won’t melt. The easiest way to get a kid to smile is offer a little treat.
For teeny tiny ones, it’s helps if there is someone else behind the camera with a little toy to catch their attention. And sometimes bringing their favourite stuffy to hold in the pictures makes all the difference.
4. Pack back up outfits (for parents too), nice clothes for photo shoots always seem to attract little accidents.
5. Pack the car with all the extras (clothes, snacks, water, entertainment, props) ahead of time so that you’re not running around like a crazy person and rushing everyone before your session.
WHAT TO WEAR:
I think this is the one that most people focus on.
Move over matching outfits, and make way for coordinating outfits. What’s the difference you ask…well let me help you. For matching think of those family photos where everyone wore the same blue jeans with the same white t-shirt and barefoot. That’s matching, and even though those are really simple pieces that most people would probably look good in, there’s no variety to entertain the eye. Let’s have fun with this! For coordinating there could be a few different colours or prints but they all fit together and complement each other if that makes sense. Have fun with each persons personality.
What I like to do is pick one person’s outfit as a base and the rest branch off from that. Sometimes it’s just one piece of clothing that sparks ideas for the ‘whole look’. Keep a relatively simple colour scheme: one or two colours with a fun accent. Textures and layers make for interesting outfits. Avoid large logos or busy graphics that can be distracting.
Most of all make sure that everyone is comfortable and dressed appropriately for the location and time of year.
You can check out my Pinterest page for some ideas, or if you’re really stumped feel free to reach out to me about it. We can figure it out together.
*Remember to always dress for the weather and the location, overheated or freezing family members don’t make for happy photos.
Also if you are picking up some new outfits, please have everyone try them on a week beforehand. That way you have time to pick something else up if something doesn’t work or look the way you’d hoped.
LAST PIECE OF ADVICE:
Most of all just relax and have fun!
The best photos are often the little moments in between the poses of you just being a family. Just try to relax, play, and be yourselves, and enjoy the experience. You’ll get the best representation of your family that way.
Disclaimer: I am human, and I make mistakes, often! Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. These are my thoughts and I have only the best of intentions.
They say it takes a village...and after a living through a summer with both my girls I can conclude that yes it does. This post was really hard for me to write, that’s why its so late because I kept putting it off! SO here it goes…
In my last post, click here to read, I was just starting off the summer, and now that we are now within the last 80 days of the year, and my eldest is back in daycare, I’ve taken the time and many nights to reflect back on how this summer went.
Wow raising two kids is hard yo, and this summer was intense. I bow down to all stay at home mamas out there, you are amazing.
I have learnt a lot about myself this summer, some good and not so good things. I definitely thought I was a more patient person that’s for sure. But the biggest lesson I learnt was that it does take a village to raise a child(ren), it’s okay to ask for help and take help when it’s offered, and most importantly you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. I think the last one is the hardest for mothers to learn, or at least it was/is for me.
It took me many tears, low points, and friendly reminders to realize that I’m important in all of this as well, it’s not just about the kids. I’m very lucky that I have such a great support system around me.
I don’t mean to make the whole summer sound so depressing, it wasn’t. As hard as it was, I know that I will never get this time back with my kids, and yes we did create many great memories. For that I will always be thankful. BUT that doesn’t mean that it’s not hard work. I just want all the mamas that are out there, and possibly struggling, to know that it’s okay to have that glass of wine or it’s okay to go have a manicure or even it’s okay to tell your husband that you just need to leave for a few hours in order to be a better you. Or even better, call up a friend or other mama and both of you go out. It’s more than ok, it is a necessity.
Ok ok enough preaching about self care (i can write a whole other post on my favourite podcasts) but what did we actually get up to this summer… well part of my village is in Saskatoon and that meant making a trip back to Saskatoon for a month to visit with family and friends. Wow, I totally forgot how hot it can get in Saskatchewan during the summer. I felt like I was melting the whole time, but hey at least it kept the mosquitoes away :) We had such a great time with our family and friends with lots of visits to the park, BBQ’s, festivals, baseball games, late night smores just to name a few. And I can’t thank them all enough for their love and support. And oh my, we ate a lot of ice cream :)
Before we left Saskatoon, we had to get some family photos done. Hiring a local photographer for a quick family shoot is a great way to document your travel and family memories. And of course it helps that my bestie Juli Labrecque is an amazing photographer. We have to get in front of her lens whenever we are back. I can’t recommend her enough though, she’s the type of person that you want to be friends with as soon as you meet her.
We absolutely love how these turned out, enjoy!
Disclaimer: I am human, and I make mistakes, often! Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors. These are my thoughts and I have only the best of intentions.
This summer I had the great pleasure of photographing some awesome families for a mini session fundraiser.
I photographed 7 families between two locations; Iona and Jericho Beach for a Daycare fundraiser.
Both of these locations have so much to offer so I’m so glad I got to use them for these mini sessions. Click here for more mini session info.
I can’t say enough about all of these families, they were so much fun! And the kiddos were so cute and up for anything. Yes there may have been some candy involved for some, but sometimes that’s what we all need right?
Thank you again to all of the families involved for supporting me and the Daycare.
If you’re interested in booking a mini session you can click here.
Here are just a few of my favourites.
Even though summer is really just beginning, I feel like so much has already happened.
This summer I have both girls with me at home, and oh my goodness we are busy. Mara is an active 3yr old and Emerson is a 7 month old (6 months in the photos) that is crawling up a storm and idolizes her big sister.
I’m constantly trying to come up with full daily schedules to keep the girls busy.
So in these photos the girls were helping me with some location scouting at Iona and Jericho beach. Both are stunning locations and they worked great for some mini sessions that I shot last month (I’ll do a post on those soon).
These girls...wow...my heart.
These girls teach me so much about myself every day, the good and most definitely the parts that are a work in progress. But I couldn’t be happier.
Currently we are in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan visiting friends and family. We’re here for a full month! so I’ll keep you updated on our summer shenanigans.
Here are a few of my favourites so far :)
Congratulations to Kelsey and Mike on their engagement! I had so much fun with my beautiful sister-in-law and her fiance during their photos session at Lighthouse and Stanely park. Now I can't wait for the wedding next year in Kelowna, BC. Yey for love!
Hey Everyone! Meet my pal Dexton, and his mommy.He's a super fun little dude, and I had a great time taking pictures of you both. Isn't his smile just adorbs! Here are some of my favourite pics.
I adore this family. They are so much fun to be around, and those kids are just too cool for their own good.We took advantage of the recent nice weather and headed to the park for a quick session between swim class and nap time! Here are a few of my favs from the day. Thanks to the Ali family for always making it fun!
So its been a while...I guess that's what happens when you have a baby thats teething and sleep training. It's amazing how the brain and body can turn to mush without the right amount of sleep, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel. And it's almost Christmas!!It's my favourite time of year, and I'm so excited to celebrate my daughters' first christmas, and to start all of our own traditions. I'm also excited to start decorating and joining in on the holiday festivities. I have a strict rule not to start any christmas shenanigans before December 1st, but one can always start planning and making lists :) I love lists. So for now i've broken it down into a few categories; Trees, home decor, christmas baking, cards, gifts, and things to do around the city. I'm so excited!! I hope you like some of my holiday ideas. As I go through each one of these categories during the holiday, i'll be sure to post so you can follow along.
[ Tree Inspiration ]
This year I'd like to change up our tree. In previous years my tree has always been gold and silver. Now I think I'd like to create more of a rustic/organic feel with a little bit of a contemporary pop. I really like the natural elements, but also loving the black and white accents. I'm not sure how much I'm going to get away with this year as I'm sure my daughter might try to pull down all the decorations as a tasty snack. So wish me luck!
[ Home Decor Inspiration ]
Keeping with the same ideas as the tree, I think the ideas below are totally doable, and very budget friendly. I already have a chalkboard in my entrance way so that should be easy to add a small wreath with ribbon. The cranberries in a mason jar will make a cute centrepiece for our dinning table, and I can't wait to decorate the mantle with a simple garland and banner. And once the wreath is removed from the card display it can be used year round to display small photos. I think these small and simple decorating ideas are perfectly festive, and great for not over doing it in a small space like a condo.
[ Christmas Baking ]
Christmas baking is by far the best activity that gets me into the holiday spirit. It's a great way to spend the day with family and friends. Put on some holiday music, keep the apple cider (with some spiced rum) flowing, and make an entire day of baking all your holiday favourites. This year I think i'm going to give these mini gingerbread houses a try. They are so freakin cute!!! I also just recently got a copy of Rosie Daykin's new book, Butter Celebrates, and I can't wait to make some of her yummy goodies.
[ Greeting Cards ]
I love getting Christmas cards from friends and family, but somehow I always seem to leave it to the last minute to get my cards out. This year I vow to get them out on time. I have our family photo session scheduled with my very talented friend, Iulia Agnew, and now I just have to plan our outfits (no matchy matchy stuff going on here) and which card design we'll choose to print. There are so many designs out there but these are some of my favourites!
[ Gift Giving ]
I think sometimes we can over complicate the idea of giving gifts during the holidays, and it becomes much too stressful. Last year my family tried something new. We decided to simply draw names and this way you only have to buy one gift. Lets all be honest, we don't need lots of things, and most of the time it turns into exchanging gift cards, which doesn't exactly scream the christmas spirit. So we used the secret santa generator - DrawNames. Its free, and very easy to use. You simply register all the participants and then you are emailed with the name of the person for whom you need to buy a gift. It also allows you to create a budget and a wish list so that you can get exactly what you want, even if it is a gift card to your favourite store. Easy peasy! Another idea that we are excited to start this year for my daughter is the idea of four gifts. Something you want, need, to wear, and to read. I have seen so many kids get incredibly spoiled (i know i once was, maybe stil...) and they don't even really appreciate what they got. I want the idea of spending time with loved ones to be whats important during the holidays, not the newest plastic toy that she'll forget about in the near future. But i also do love giving gifts and I am very excited for her to open something on christmas morning. I found these cute tags to help label the gifts.
[ Celebrations ]
I love all the holiday celebrations in the city this time of year. There are so many to choose from, but I always enjoy the Vancouver Christmas Market, Bright Nights at Stanley Park, the Christmas parade, and of course getting a picture with Santa!!
I hope some of these ideas have inspired you for this holiday season. I'd also love to hear of your family traditions.
We just recently came back from a quick trip to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was kind of a spontaneous trip (well as spontaneous as we get, we planned this a month in advance :p) because we wanted to show Mara off to our friends and family. It was great to get away and also have family to help with Mara so that we could relax. Thanks fam! This was Mara's first plane trip, and she did awesome! I was so worried that the pressure would hurt her ears, but she was full of smiles and giggles. Other passengers kept commenting on what a happy baby she is. Hopefully this lasts! Westjet was also a huge help, from guidance on baby packing to their wonderful flight attendants. We decided to keep things simple with packing, so all three of us fit our stuff into one suitcase, then B and I each had a small carry-on, and of course the diaper bag. We checked Mara's stroller and car seat all the way through so we didn't have to bother with it in the airport, so my Solly wrap came in handy. Bonus: she always seems to fall asleep once she's on me in the wrap :)
Summer in the prairies means lots of heat, unfortunately this also means forest fires. Due to poor air quality from all the smoke, we had to be house-bound for a few days. Thankfully we had a few great days to go outside and play, including Canada day which we celebrated by having a potluck picnic with family and friends. We also had a chance to have a quick photo session with my best friend, Juli Labrecque, who just happens to be a kickass photographer. I'll share those later. Seriously if you live in Saskatoon or are visiting, you should check her out. She's wonderful, and she'd probably invite you to tea :)
Saskatoon has been undergoing a mini boom in recent years. Whenever we go back its always interesting to see all the new construction going on, and all the new shops etc as new people and ideas move to the city. The downtown area by the river and 20th street is undergoing lots of cool changes. From the farmers market, river landing area (great for kids) to unique boutiques and cafes. I would recommend checking out Hardpressed Studio and Anthology to name just a few.
We had a great trip. Here are some pics from our getaway. Until next time Toon Town.
Meet Imogen.Isn't she the sweetest?! I love this family. You can see the Maternity session we did last year, here. The Ali family is awesome, they are so much fun, and i must say that they make pretty darn cute kids! I had so much fun photographing them again, and hanging out with little Imogen and her big brother Enzo. Here are some of the pics. Enjoy :)
Wow Berlin is a big city! We did a good amount of walking around.Berlin has soo much history that I think we forget to stop and see the new city that is constantly changing and growing. Two days is definitely a quick stop over, but I think we did the best we could. So for now it's good bye home of the currywurst and hello long plane ride home.
After a very long day of trains...also comes with a story...we arrived in Munich. Within the first few min we knew we were going to like this city.We found our apartment with ease and it was nice to have a little home to ourselves. Brennan still wasn't feeling well so we took that night easy and relaxed. The next two days we explored Munich by foot. It is such a great city - very clean, polite people, very good English, and of course great food! I got to fill my love for pretzels :) Today we're on our last train ride for the trip - on our way to Berlin on a high speed German train.
Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland is like a fairy tale village tucked away in a valley of waterfalls. We arrived in Lauterbrunnen after a long day of train switches and rainy weather. The weather during our stay hadn't been the greatest and really we've figured out that we are about 3 weeks to early for a stay in Laterbrunnen. However, we have made the most of our 2 day stay by taking a train ride to the top of Europe and hiking on a snowy trail. Lauterbrunnen has truly been something special. Now we're looking forward to Munich, Germany!
We rolled into Annecy at around 3pm on Thursday. We met our lovely hosts, settled in, and then hit the town. Simply put, Annecy is beautiful! I could go on and on, but I'll let the photos do the talking :) To kick off our first full day, we biked around the entire lake. That's a 40km bike ride, and we did it in about 3hrs. Then, we relaxed and wandered around town to do some shopping :)
On our second full day, we hiked Mont Veyrier. It was difficult, but rewarding - the views were simply stunning!
Next stop is Lauterbrunnen! See you in a few days!
We arrived in Paris mid afternoon on Monday after a ride through the Chunnel. As the saying goes "Paris is always a good idea". I had planned to take it easy the first night, however we were both too excited and immediately started to explore and cross things off the list for Paris. Time in Paris will never be enough. Our two days were full of amazing sites with lots of wonderful memories. Although we're sad to leave, we are also looking forward to Annecy, and we are already looking forward to next time. Au Revoir Paris!
First of all, I'll be posting a sneak peak from every place we are visiting on our Europe trip. Once we are home and have some time, I'll put together a proper post on each city. We arrived in London on May 2nd after a long flight. After settling in & freshening up, we headed out to the pub around the corner and then off exploring.
Today, we woke up bright and early, after a jet-lagged sleep and headed out for a full day of walking. We left the apartment around 9:30am and got back at about 6:30pm. We are tired! We are also feeling very confident in our ability to navigate the underground, minding the gap, and knowing when to look left or look right :)
In January, I flew off to Montego Bay, Jamaica to photograph the beautiful wedding of Nicole & Charlie. The wedding was gorgeous. It rained during part of the ceremony, I stood in the rain for most of it! but right after the hot sun came out and it was beautiful. Nicole and Charlie, I had so much fun capturing your wedding, and thank you so much for including me in all of your celebrations.