Posts filed under ‘photography’


the kids have been extra specially naggy this year about getting christmas decorations up, and my house is the most festive that it has ever been! we actually have four different types of advent calendars on the go this year, and we even started them on time, which is kind of a big deal for us.

one of the advent calendars is a small wooden house with numbered doors, and behind each door is a small piece of paper with an activity written on it.   so far we’ve had:

  • buy a toy for a child in need
  • make the house smell like christmas
  • write letters to santa
  • take photos for christmas cards

i found a ton of ideas on pinterest and by googling “advent calendar activities”.  it’s super-easy to find 25 that’ll work for your family, and we’re spending time together enjoying the holidays in a small way each day.

here are my kids posing for their christmas pictures!  messy haired and a little juice-moustachey, but completely loveable and excited about the christmas season.

christmas anne

elliot moose

December 4, 2012 at 13:33 Leave a comment

lynde shores

being part of a group means that you’re not doing it alone.  the “it” that i was doing alone, was homeschooling.   joining a group was one of those cases where you think everything is great, but then something changes and suddenly “great” is so much greater.  y’know?

this past week, the kids and i had a chance to go to lynde shores conservation area, twice!

once as a photo gig, and the second as a field trip with the homeschool group.    i’d never been to the conservation area before, but within one week it’s moved into one of our top places to visit.

check it out!

October 26, 2012 at 19:50 Leave a comment

pintrest, and photographing toddlers

i had the privilege of photographing my little sister and her family again, just a few weekends ago.   like hundreds of others, my sister had seen adorable family poses all over pintrest, and had expectations of duplicating those shots.  i’ll be the first person to throw my hand into the air when someone asks “who loves pintrest?”, but really, it’s a horrible place for getting one’s expectations up!

after several somewhat unsuccessful poses, i eventually got my unconfrontational self to offer this advice:  stop posing.  smiling for the camera is always a great idea, but choreographing shots with toddlers who are bursting with curiousity and the desire to explore, is never NEVER never going to work!

let the kids explore, let their smiles be genuine smiles of wonder and excitement.

capture their goofy smiling stage

let every moment of their childhood be captured accurately, not in imitation of someone else’s.

there is value in arranging and framing shots, to be sure, but what this amateur photographer has found best for capturing the moments with little ones, is to simply let them be.

ps> location: botanical gardens in niagara falls
pps> more photo shoots with this family are here and here.

October 21, 2012 at 21:06 Leave a comment

Anne’s compelling argument

when i was a kid, one of my aunts married some sort of international ambassador who was rumoured to be a prince of a small african country.  my sisters and i thought it was soooo glamorous and instantly told all of our friends that we were really princesses.
the aforementioned marriage fell apart, and the rumours of royalty were never actually confirmed.  why then, did i even mention the lebrun legend to my children?

apparently i was hoping to have a recurring argument with the children who can’t be convinced that they’re not really princes and princesses.   we’ve had many discussions about it, and the only thing that gets me out of the “no we’re not, yes we are” banter, is to distract the midgets and hope (in vain) that they never bring it up again.

today anne’s argument took on more power when she paired logic with bits and pieces of facts that she’s learned in school:

“mommy, just look.  i have to be a princess because i have golden hair like rapunzel (punctuated with a tug on the braid i was attempting to finish while she listed off princessy criteria), i have my own chapstick, i have blood flowing in my body, and i have lots of pretty dresses (twirl).


March 7, 2012 at 15:03 3 comments

software i like

since i got into the mac scene a year and a half ago, i’ve been missing my photo-editing software quite a bit.  i tried out several trials of the big name programs, but they were SOOO expensive!   picnik premium became my go-to,  and lately i’ve been discovering some impressive tools inside iphoto itself.

last week i was wasting time that i didn’t have, and perusing the mac app store.  i found a photo-editing program with impressive reviews!  people were saying things like “it’s just like adobe, but without the several hundred dollar price tag.”  it was $30 though, and i wasn’t willing to drop money on a program just because of it’s hype.  i found a link for a free trial listed, and i’ve been using it off and on over the last few days.  i’m not familiar with adobe so i can’t back up the previous claim, but WOW!  Pixelmater’s really good!

so any mac users out there who are looking for photo-editing software, i encourage you to give Pixelmater a try.  here’s a link to the 30 day trial.   there are tutorial and youtube videos to help you get through, so don’t give up if you get stuck.

here’s what i’ve been playing with tonight:

original photo:

after playing with textures, layers & curves (and the clone tool to get that weird protruding fence bit out of the right edge):

resource guide for you:

November 14, 2011 at 22:54 2 comments


i recently had the opportunity to take some fall pictures of our friends stephan & jenn (and marley).  it was a fun day, and the weather was absolutely perfect and cooperative.

derek was at work, so the midgets came along to be the “junior photographers”, and elliot especially took his job very seriously.  in fact, he suggested a pose for the couple and then told me to “get out of his shot”!

anne & elliot rotated between using my ipod touch and the adventure cam while i stuck with my trusty T1i.  i loved getting all of the different perspectives onto my computer later that day, because although the kids knew we were photographing stephan & jenn, they took advantage of capturing the beauty all around them, and i found several photos of rocks, streams, and autumn leaves.

and although i knew who the subject of my lens was to be that day, i could not resist capturing this shot of my little girl photographing the autumn colours.

thanks for a great day, jenn!

November 11, 2011 at 00:49 Leave a comment


October 11, 2011 at 00:04 1 comment

baby pictures

i am unofficially my sister desiree’s official photographer.  while i have absolutely no intention of going professional with my hobby,  i have enjoyed being the photographer for her wedding:

maternity/family shots (blogged about here):

and the most recently, here new son’s baby photos:

i took the shots in my parents sunroom, at the end of a crazy day just as the natural light was about to fade.  desiree brought a blanket and stuffed animal props, but we were über short on time and sunlight, so we didn’t go too crazy with the set-up.   i used the prime 50 lens exclusively and did minimal post-editing in picnik.   when i’m framing a shot of my kids or like the above wedding photo, i like to include beautiful surroundings to compliment the subject of the photo and to help tell the story.  taking a picture of a baby sends me in the opposite direction, because the child is so beautiful on his/her own that absolutely nothing else is required.

what i love most about being my sister’s official unofficial photographer is seeing pictures like her maternity belly shot juxtaposed with the baby that was once hidden from my camera.  there’s an inexplicable thrill that i can’t seem to put into words to think that when i was taking pictures of her belly just a few months ago, i was taking pictures of my precious new nephew.   and that when i was taking her wedding photos, i was documenting the beginnings of a new family, a new generation.

i am a story-teller.  i write when i’m overwhelmed and need to sort it out,  i make up stories to tell my children and have goals of writing them down one day along with the true and crazy story of growing up with 6 siblings.  when my appendix was exploding and i was being prepped for surgery (forever ago) i remember constantly murmuring “this is going to make a great story” over and over.  and i take pictures to tell stories.  these pictures of my sister and her family are bookmarks in the chapters of her life, and THAT, is exactly the appeal of photography for me.

May 17, 2011 at 21:11 4 comments

niagara visit #898304958439

this past weekend i had my second opportunity to take photos of my youngest sister and her little family while i was in niagara for one of our sorta-monthly sister knitting parties.  the first time was a couple summers ago on her wedding day, and this time it was to celebrate her family while they wait for baby #2 to come along.  basically i just followed them around and told them where to stand when a neat spot came along.  they took me to the short hills in font hill (a lot of hills) and once again i realize that i lived in niagara most of my life and didn’t know about any of the great stuff there!  there’s so much more than just clifton hill and the gorge!    here are some of the edits:

November 21, 2010 at 23:34 1 comment

my life in pics