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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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!


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!



Weston’s First Birthday | York Region Children’s Photographer

Happy Birthday Weston!

first-birthday-portraitOne of my sweetest 2014 newborn clients came to visit me for his first birthday portrait and smash cake.  It’s lovely to see him so grown up!  Such a quiet, tender and curious little one, with a hint of mischief in his eyes.  You should have seen him light up when he saw that cake!   That cake made the whole studio smell sooooo good!  I wanted to tell the story of this cake as Weston’s mom told it to me that day- but instead I asked one of the most eloquent writers I know to tell it herself.

“I pride myself on being – for the most part – a very healthy eater. Now that I’m a mom, I’ve become even more aware of what I consume, and even more so what I feed our son. Leading up to his first birthday I did a lot of research about ‘Healthy Birthday Cakes’, hoping to find something I could make for his cake smash photo shoot that wouldn’t be ‘bad’ for him. I narrowed the options down to one, from many (supposedly) successful options, and being a procrastinator to the core, made it at midnight the night before.
There wasn’t enough batter. It didn’t rise. It didn’t come out of the pans easily. It was heavy and dense. I knew very quickly that it wasn’t going to crumble the way it needed to for the sake of the photos, and I panicked. I was exhausted, and felt defeated, but then I did what I should have done in the first place; I made my Mom’s famous carrot cake.”


“It’s a classic fan favourite I can make with my eyes closed, and I’ve never met a person who hasn’t loved it. I even made it as our wedding cake, as my Mom passed away the previous year (and I’d always warned her she’d have to make it when I got married). I didn’t get to bed until 2am that night but it didn’t matter. It was perfect, and he loved it. Maybe a little too much.
Lesson learned? Balance is key. The carrot cake will always win. It’s tradition, and I shouldn’t have ever overthought it in the first place. Kids should eat cake, especially on their birthday, even if it isn’t ‘good’ for them!
The icing on the cake? My Dad and father-in-law even split the mess that remained, as they didn’t want to see it go to waste. It’s that good!”

1st-birthday-photosWild-West-birthday-themeAnd now the fun part- clean up!  Actually, it’s not fun.  And sometimes, like Weston, 1 year old’s get a tad grumpy when you take their cake away.  Who wouldn’t?  But most kids also like baths.  So, a last minute decision was made to include a tub and some bubbles in the session.  It worked!  Sort of.  At least he got clean?cake-smash-clean-up-bubbles


Kelly Rawlinson | York Region Newborn Photographer

Why Newborn Photography?

The birth of my daughter, and becoming a mom, was an incredible experience.  I became insanely passionate about this time in a woman’s life; the excitement, the fears, the joy- it’s nothing short of miraculous.  And as a photographer, it naturally became my desire to create memories of this time for others.

I am a portrait photographer specializing in modern, fresh and natural newborn photography.  Based in Willow Beach, Ontario, I service Georgina and the surrounding areas- GTA, York Region, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick, Sutton, Beaverton, Barrie, Innisfil, Bradford, and Orillia.
My focus is on simple, beautiful newborn portraits with a contemporary look and posing.  Maternity, baby milestone, cake smash, birthday and family sessions are also available.  To view my work, please see recent blog posts or view my porfolio galleries.