7 day old Maren | Newborn Portraits

Aside from creating beautiful imagery, my favourite thing about my job is meeting new parents.  It’s even better when those new parents are old friends!  I had not seen Maren’s mom and dad in nearly 10 years.  I attended high school with her Dad, and met her Mom some years later at some party’s and get togethers with friends.  They had since moved from town, so I was super excited to hear from them and book their first baby’s photo session!newmarket-newborn-photographybest-newmarket-baby-picturesnewmarket-photographerbradford-newborn-pictures

We had discussed maybe purple as an accent colour for the session, but I kept being drawn by the aqua blue blankets and props.  Maren’s name means “of the sea”, and her parents were married by the ocean.  I had no idea that the aqua teal colour I had chosen for their session was also their wedding colour!  (I pulled out the purple items too, just in case, but they loved the blue!).  So fitting to use it for their baby girl’s first photography shoot as well.Bradford-family

It was a pleasure to reconnect with you two again, and meet sweet Maren.  Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!

 

Studio Maternity | Natalie’s Pregnancy

December in Ontario is not the best time to photograph an outdoor maternity.  Luckily, I have a studio to work in during the winter and early spring months.  Natalie was looking forward to a more creative studio session, with dramatic lighting to show off her pregnancy.  The dresses that she brought with her were incredibly gorgeous!  What a beautiful way to flatter her growing baby bump.  Tip: Not all maternity wear needs to come from the maternity clothing store!  These dresses were found in the regular women’s department.  Look for stretchy fabrics, and size up to fit.gorgeous-pregnancybeautiful-maternity-photosartistic-pregnancy-picturescreative-maternity-photos

Sometimes the baby’s father is not interested in being a part of the maternity session- and that’s totally OK!  About half of the time I photograph only the expecting mother, and older children (if there are any).  Thank you Natalie for allowing me the opportunity to photograph your pregnancy.  You are such a beautiful mom-to-be…. I can’t wait to meet your little baby soon!

Sweet baby Rowan | Rustic Newborn Photography Session

I met Claire and Mike in the forest, on a crisp fall day at sunset.  They chose to do their maternity photoshoot there – the land in the local area means a great deal to them, and they enjoy walking their dogs in the trails.  It was late in the season, but luckily the leaves held on a bit longer this past year.pregnancy, maternity, pictures, photographs, photographer

A few weeks later their baby Rowan arrived, and we carried that outdoor woodsy theme into their newborn session, using a very natural colour theme of browns, greens, and wooden props.  The hollowed out tree prop was kindly supplied by Rowan’s parents!  This piece fits my style so well and I am so thankful for the gift!natural newbornFirst family photo

Rowan was a dream baby to photograph- a content, sleepy and beautiful boy!  I’m loving how the colours in this session came together.  Classic black and white photos on a black background really appeal to me, and I’ve started using them again since this session.  A baby posed in his dad’s hands really emphasizes just how small a newborn baby is.Classic newborn portraitorganic newborn, natural stylebest newborn photographer

I offer free consultations to anyone wanting to know more about my newborn photography.  Did you know I work with each family to customize the styling of the session?  Make an appointment to visit my studio, and we’ll discuss what your baby’s photos could look like!

5 Tips for Photographing your Kids

Some of my fondest memories with my own children are of our little ‘photo sessions’.  My goal wasn’t just to photograph them, but to play and make it fun, too.   I wouldn’t try to pose them, or get them to look a certain way….. I just took photos.   The images you’ll see in this article were all taken before I was shooting professionally.

Whether you’re using a DSLR, a point and shoot camera, or an iPhone, you can benefit from these tips.  Try some out and let me know how it goes- I’d love to see your results!  Though you won’t find any technical information here- using your camera on manual settings, depth of field or colour balance etc,  if you have any specific questions feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to respond.

TIP #1 : FIND GOOD LIGHT

Soft, natural lighting is best. Try using window light (with no direct sun on your subject).  If outside, stay out of direct sunlight and instead choose a shady spot near trees or buildings.  Overcast days work great too!

Try this:  Put your child directly next to the window!

photography-tip-nice-light

On the left, my daughter sits next to a south facing window in my home. We rarely get direct sunlight coming in this window, due to an overhang and trees that provide some shade. On the right, my son is beside a north facing window- generally the best side of the house for nice soft, diffused light.

 TIP #2 : SIMPLIFY THE BACKGROUND

Remove messes and distracting elements from your scene.  I’ve been known to move furniture to create a backdrop that is simple and clutter free.  That said- do not follow this tip for every situation!  Don’t ever miss a moment because your house is untidy, or the background looks cluttered!!!  Save this one for those times when you really want to explore your child’s personality in photos.

Try this: Photograph your children in a doorway- they will be nicely lit but the indoors and clutter behind them will disappear in the darkness.

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On the left, my son is inside looking out the screen door. On the right I am sitting in the patio doorway, looking in- notice the clutter in the background that has nearly disappeared in the darkness.

TIP #3 : GET DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL

Shooting from standing looking down can be an interesting perspective- showing how small your child is.  But if you want some really great interaction and direct eye contact, try sitting, or even laying down.  Get close, and engage with your child and you’ll get some wonderful expressions that show their personality.

Try this:  When working with babies who don’t walk, lay down with them to photograph them for an interesting perspective.

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In both cases here I was laying down on my belly to get real close to the action.

TIP #4 : CAPTURE QUIET MOMENTS

Try to begin photographing your kids while they are quietly playing, immersed in a game, book, their sibling, or even their own thoughts.  Eventually they will turn their attention to you and the camera, but these images of quiet moments may become your most cherished.

Try this:  Have your camera accessible- you never know when you need it!  Having it ready means you can get to it before your subject notices.

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Some of my favourite images are quiet moments that my children are having with each other.

TIP #5 : TAKE MORE THAN A COUPLE

Taking many shots of your subject will increase the chance of getting some winning images.  It is not uncommon that I take 20 images of my child, keeping only the 3-5 best.  You will get some great variety this way- different facial expressions, laughs, cries- all things that you will want to remember about your child’s personality.

Try this:  Take a series of images of your child – spend a few minutes exhausting the possibilities; changing the angle, interacting, peek-a-boo from behind the camera.  See how many amazing pictures you can get!

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The picture above came from this series of images taken. There are 3 that I love and printed out of 18 frames.

Most importantly, please please please back up the pictures you take of your family!  Better yet, have them printed.  Cell phones, memories cards, hardrives and CD and DVD’s fail ALL THE TIME.  I know this from experience that you will be heartbroken to lose any of your precious memories.  I lost a good chunk of photos from my son’s babyhood when he knocked over my back-up hard drive.  Luckily I had my favourites printed, or I would have lost them all.  Please learn from my mistake, get your photos printed, and the digital copies backed up on an back-up service or multiple drives.

That was a different kind of blog post for me, I hope you enjoyed it!  Feedback in the comment section most welcome!