London Ontario Family Photographer | Early Morning Downtown Session

When Jennifer told me she wanted an urban location for her family session, I couldn’t be more excited. I love fields and woods and rustic buildings, but there’s just something so fun and fresh about the colours, textures and lines that downtown has to offer. We had fun exploring alleys and parking lots, even though it was a rather chilly October morning! Here are some favourites from our session.

London Ontario Family Photographer | Mette, Hubert & Family

I first met Mette in 2008 when I worked in childcare. Her eldest daughter Chloe was starting in my class, and I was immediately smitten with their sweet little family. I met Chloe’s sister, Sydney, soon after and continued to see these beauties on a daily basis for a few years before we both left the world of childcare. I am so blessed to still have Mette and her girls in my life and to be able to photograph them as they grow. This year I met Hubert and his lovely girls as well, and had the privilege of photographing two beautiful, kind, fun loving families coming together. Here are some favourites from our session.

London Ontario Family Photographer | The Fox Family

After rescheduling due to rain and almost being rained out a second time, we all breathed a big sigh of relief after this session! October weather can be so unpredictable – sunny and warm on one day, then cold and rainy for the following week. I’m so glad the rain held off for us and we were able to spend some time exploring Gibbons Park. These children are some of the brightest, smartest and friendliest children I’ve ever met. They had so much to talk about, and thoroughly impressed me with their vast vocabulary! Not to mention, they are absolutely adorable – as is the entire family! Here are some favourites from their session. :)

London Ontario Engagement Photographer | Jessica and Phil

Usually by the time an engagement session rolls around, I’ve already met with the couple in question. But this time around, I met Jessica and Phil for the very first time on the evening of the shoot. It was an unseasonably warm and sunny October evening sandwiched between a bunch of gloomy, rainy days, and the light was just gorgeous! This is one seriously sweet and good looking couple. They were so much fun and so photogenic, and I loved getting to know them as we explored the natural trails of Gibbons Park before heading downtown for the second half of our split session. I really enjoy using more than one location, it really adds variety and character to a session.  Take a look at my favourites from our session. Jessica and Phil, I am so excited about photographing your wedding this summer! -xo

London Ontario Family Photographer | The Roselle Family

For the most part, October was a dreary, rainy month. But we were still treated to a handful of mild, sunny evenings where the golden sun flooded everything in sight. The Roselle family’s session was on one of these nights, and the light was just beautiful. They are such a sweet, fun-loving family, and I loved meeting and photographing them. Here are some favourites from their sunkissed October session!

London Ontario Photography | I Heart Faces Photo Challenge (Orange)

Today is the last day of the I Heart Faces photo challenge for the “orange” theme. I scoured my recent photos and didn’t find anything that jumped out at me, but yesterday evening I had the pleasure of photographing this beautiful, fun-loving little guy, and I knew I had my “orange” photo… just in time! Such a sweetie. :)

Photo Challenge Submission

London Ontario Family Photographer | The Cornwell Familly

I first met the Cornwells when I worked in childcare and had the pleasure of spending each day with their youngest son. I’ve since worked with Megan on various photography projects and am so blessed to continue to have her and her lovely family in my life even now that we’ve both left the childcare world! Her boys are full of sweetness and personality, and their whole family exudes a love of laughter and life. We had to reschedule this session twice due to rain, but we finally got a beautiful and sunny Fall evening that was definitely worth the wait!

Behind the Lens | When Everything Goes Wrong

A couple of weeks ago was supposed to be my family session with the talented Natalie of Mint Photography. We did a photo swap (you can see her session here) and I was excited to bring my little family in front of her lens. And then it rained, so we cancelled. Ugh. Outfits picked out, schedules arranged, haircut just a few days prior, nails manicured, and the rain completely messed up our plans. So we rescheduled for the following Sunday.

On our reschedule date, it was freezing cold with zero sun. But, it wasn’t raining. So we looked on the bright side and prepared for our session.

I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a bit of tension and stress as my husband and I attempted to get ourselves and our tired, teething 15 month old ready for a 7:45am session. It was a flurry of ironing shirts, spooning yogurt into my daughter’s mouth, trying to blow dry my hair (something that doesn’t happen too often these days!) while applying mascara and not losing balance as my aforementioned daughter tugged at my waist… you get the idea. But we made it out the door only 15 minutes late (ha!) and our very gracious photographer was waiting with a smile.

When I got in the car, I realized I’d had no coffee (not a good situation), no breakfast and forgot to put a belt on those jeans that always seem to slowly inch down until I need to annoyingly tug at them in a very unattractive way to bring them back up to my waist. Great. But again, we looked on the bright side. We made it into the car, tired baby and hyper dog and all, and it still wasn’t raining.

Once at the field we choose for our session, the real fun began.

It’s kind of all a blur after this point. A few minutes into our session, our lab Lexi rolled in some wild animal’s green poo, and got totally covered. Goody. Needless to say, we tried to include her in a handful of pics before the grossness of the whole situation forced us to tie her to a nearby tree, which she loved. The rest of our session took place to the soundtrack of a very unhappy dog barking. Nonstop.

About this time, our daughter Neve started getting cold, but kept insisting to take her hat off. The tired crankiness set in, and coupled with her freezing discomfort, caused some very sad toddler tears off and on (mostly on) for the rest of our shoot. I am that mom who tries to avoid candy and obsessively brushes her kid’s teeth several times per day… but let me tell you, I was popping smarties into her mouth like they were going out of style. Thank goodness for smarties.

By the end of our session, Neve was screaming. Not an angry, defiant tantrum. But a devastatingly sad cry that said I’m cold, I’m confused, I’m tired, my teeth hurt, and where the heck are we?

At about this time I also realized that I forgot to take my glasses off for the pictures (I prefer contact lenses but am out at the moment). sigh.

We attempted warming up in the car and trying again. Total fail. Finally we packed it up and parted ways. I must have apologized about 30 times to Natalie, who was so patient, gracious, good humoured and creative throughout our entire session. She assured me that it was ok, that this happens all the time. And suddenly I could hear myself through her. How many times have I reassured clients in similar situations? We had to laugh at the irony. The tables had turned. And while the whole experience was exhausting and a little disappointing in the sense that you just want everything to go perfectly because you’ve prepared so much, it was such a huge learning experience.

I’ve always strived to be patient and understanding with clients and their children, but there’s nothing like experiencing the total loss of control when a child doesn’t follow “the plan” firsthand to really understand. And my poor girl, she just needed a nap and some warmth and she was as happy as can be for the rest of the day… figures.

We can plan outfits and locations and have all kinds of creative ideas, but at the end of the day, we simply can’t control how a session goes. We have to just roll with it and make the best of it. Children are people too, with real needs, and sometimes those needs trump the photo session.

My point is this. Clients, I’ve been there. So when I say I understand, I really do. 

I’ve felt that sinking feeling when your child is miserable and impatient and refuses to cooperate and there’s nothing you can do about it. Tears, poo, incessant barking, this session had it all. We arrived late. Most of our ideas didn’t come to fruition. Did I mention lots of tears? I walked away from this session thinking : As amazing as Natalie is (and she is!),  there’s no way we’ll have any decent photos out of this.

The good news is that we have tons of lovely keepsakes from this disaster of a session.

Natalie captured my daughter’s sweet expressions, and even though they aren’t all smiles, I love them. They are her. She captured us reading Neve her all-time favourite story book and snuggling her close. I haven’t seen all the photos yet, but I love what I’ve seen. You can check out the blog post with a sampling of pictures here.

Natalie, thank you so much for being patient with us and capturing some sweet memories despite the chaos! I’m amazed at your talent and so glad you could do this for us!

And clients, I cannot stress this enough. Don’t feel bad if nothing goes as planned. I have lots of experience with this from a photographer’s point of view, and now I have some experience on the client’s side, too! :)

London Ontario Family Photographer | Mike, Sara and Family

When I worked in childcare, I had the opportunity of teaching Charlotte and Bronwen, two sweet and adorable twins that couldn’t be more different one from the other. I’m so blessed to be able to continue my relationship with their  lovely family even now that we’ve both left the childcare scene. This is the third Fall family session I’ve photographed for them, and the first one since the birth of beautiful Abby. I love these girls, and we had such a blast exploring the forest! Here’s a peek at our session.

Behind the Lens | What to Wear to Your Fall/Winter Session

I can’t believe October is behind us. Boy, what a crazy busy wonderful October it has been! My busiest month to date, although November will have it beat. And let me tell you, the October families rocked it. I have such amazingly beautiful, fashionable clients, and they really brought it in the coordinated wardrobe department. I get asked this question all the time - what should we wear? And while I do touch on this with a few tips and examples in my welcome package, I thought this would be a good time to dig a bit deeper and show you what works. Courtesy of my super stylin’ October families, of course.

Now, a few things.

Disclaimer #1: Your own personal style and what you feel comfortable in is the most important thing to consider when planning your wardrobe for a session. If you are uncomfortable, it will show. If you dress in a way that doesn’t represent you, then your photos won’t represent you. These are just examples, not meant to be an explicit list of “do”s and “don’t”s.

Disclaimer #2: October was packed with sessions. I’m going to showcase a few examples, but I’d need a ten part series to showcase them all. If you don’t see your photos here, it doesn’t mean you didn’t totally nail your family’s wardrobe. Promise. :)

Ok, here we go!

#1. COLOUR – Gone are the days of jeans and white t-shirts on everyone. There’s nothing like a punch of colour to really bring some life to your portraits. Now, this doesn’t mean put everyone in jeans and red t-shirts. I’m talking complimentary colours, coordinating neutrals with an accent. A mix of tones that works.

#2. PATTERNS – Stripes and spots and plaid, oh my! Patterns are good, but you want to be careful about really bold patterns that might be too busy and take the focus off your lovely faces. You also want to avoid putting everyone in patterns. A pop of pattern can have the same effect as an accent colour – it can inject a ton of personality and really bring together everyone’s wardrobe.

#3. FOOTWEAR – I remind all of my clients of this in their welcome package. Shoes matter! We do see your shoes in at least some of the photos, and it’s important to not only wear something comfortable and practical for you location, but stylish and aesthetically appealing, too. Now, this doesn’t mean to wear stilettos for your forest trail session (eek!). But it does mean your footwear is a part of your outfit. So if you throw on some old runners with your skinny jeans, leather jacket and patterned scarf thinking no one will notice…. well, we will. And you will. You’ll see it in your photos and you’ll think “ahh, why oh why did I wear those shoes? I love everything about this photo except for the shoes!”. So you want to think comfortable and coordinated.

#4. ACCESSORIES – Love them. Scarves, hats, jewelry, headbands. And the cooler weather is the perfect excuse to go buy a special accessory that is at once stylish and functional, like a warm scarf or a cute wool hat. Accessories help to tie different outfits together and give some personality and colour to your wardrobe. Especially in a season when your outfit options are limited by the cold weather, accessories allow your own personal style to shine no matter what you’re wearing.

#5. COLD WEATHER – There’s no escaping the cold. It’s here to stay for awhile, but that doesn’t mean we all need to retreat to our indoor havens. Coats can be super stylish and fun, and you can actually build your wardrobes around your jackets. Now, I don’t mean for you to wear your fluorescent ski jacket with reflectors and 85 zippers. I’m talking about your snazzy wool coat, your sharp leather jacket. You know, your “going out to dinner” outerwear. Pair that with a fun patterned scarf or a brightly coloured knitted cowl and you’ve got yourself an amazing “outfit” for your outdoor session. If you want to leave the jacket out of the photos, no worries. My suggestion is to dress in layers, and bring your coats along just in case. I’ve often paused for warm-up breaks in a session so that everyone can slip back into their jackets and mittens for a few minutes before resuming the picture taking.

The moral of the story is this. Be yourself. Be comfortable. But be CREATIVE! These photos will (hopefully) be framed on your wall, given as gifts to relatives and used for holiday cards. You want them to represent you, but you also want them to have personality and style.

On that note… Here are just some of my stylin’ October families who really raised the bar with their wardrobe choices!!

Meet Phil and Jessica. They came to their engagement session with two locations and two outfits in mind. And they totally nailed both. On the left, we have a great striped shirt paired with a coordinating solid colour, and adorable shoes that really add personality to the outfit (LOVE me some TOMS!). On the right, we have a bold red solid paired with a coordinating navy solid and great boots that really complete the look. Not to mention… the accessories! I LOVED Jessica’s fun patterned scarf (that tied in with Phil’s navy) and the cute leg warmers peeking out above the boots. Personality and comfort. BOOM.

Ahhh, the Kelly Family. I loved their mix of blues and greys. You can barely tell, but the little guy on the left actually has an argyle pattern on his navy sweater, which added a nice punch of personality. I loved mama’s boots and lovely blue scarf in a lighter, bolder blue, as well as the girls’ blue hair accessories. Lots of warm layers and fun accessories meant they stayed warm AND looked amazing.

For her maternity shoot, Teresa came sporting a GORGEOUS handmade shawl. I loved the rich green. It really added a colour pop to their black and white wardrobe.

The Babineau girls were adorable in their coordinating reversible jackets. They stayed warm and didn’t even need to take their coats off, because they were so cute! They also added a fun pop of colour and pattern to mom and dad’s neutral palette.

Mette, Hubert and their girls did such a fantastic job mixing and matching. This is the difference between “matchy matchy” and perfectly coordinated. We’ve got a pattern on the far right that ties in the white, blue and fushia present throughout the whole family’s wardrobe. Throw in different shades of grey, varying denim styles, bright colour pops and awesome accessories (see girls’ headbands, jewelry and scarf), and you’ve got a fun, interesting, totally coordinated combination.

I love the pink rubber boots (how could you not, right?)!! Mom knew we’d be trekking through the muddy woods, so she came prepared. The matching boots added a punch of colour and tons of personality, and I love how little sister ties everyone together with pink, blue and white in her cute little outfit!

Natalie and Ron did such an amazing job coordinating by using a neutral palette of navy, grey and white and throwing in a fun pop of teal and great accessories to add visual interest and tons of character!

The Kucharski Family coordinated blacks, browns and whites and used Anya’s gorgeous handmade mustard sweater for a pop of colour. I love how mama’s sweater (left)  ties all the colours into its beautiful pattern.

Finally, the Friyia family. They came with a great combination of blue, cream, grey and fushia for a fun pop of colour. I love little Jillian’s bright cowl – a fun accessory that kept her warm, too!

Hopefully these tips and examples have been helpful and inspiring as you prepare for your upcoming session. If you have any questions or need a second opinion, feel free to ask!

Now it’s my turn to go put together outfits for our upcoming family session… wish me luck! :)