Mothership Photography

I have just finished my fifth (!) year in business as a photographer, and if you’ve been around for a while, you know that the origins of the photography business are right here on the blog. Those of you who have followed along through the years have seen me go from a photo-a-day project to tentatively selling prints to stock photography and finally finding my true love in taking candid, playful portraits of people and families.

If you know me, you also know that I love free, and I love Ottawa, and I love PEI, and I love the bloggy peeps who make this blog such a fun place to come and play. So this year, I’ve wrapped all of those things up and put a 2017 bow on them to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you with a small token of my appreciation. I’ve created five downloadable 8×10 calendars that you can print out at home or through your favourite print lab. I tried to choose photos that were iconic for Ottawa folks, but also some that would be appealing to those of you coming from a little further away.

calendars-for-blog

You can download them from my client galleries on Pixieset. Scroll down and click on the version you like, then click the download icon. It will ask you for your email address but I promise that I’ll never use the info to spam you. If you’re so inclined, you can also share the calendars on various channels with the share icon.

If you’re printing at home, they should fit nicely on a regular 8.5 x 11 page, or choose 8×10 photo paper.

Thank you for your attention, your insight, your participation and your affection through the years. Here’s to a blissful, bountiful 2017 for all of us!


{ 4 comments }

I‘d mentioned in an earlier post that I’d fallen behind on sharing some of the photo sessions from this crazy busy autumn. When I looked at these together, I couldn’t help but notice that it illustrates the wide variety of family shapes and sizes that come to me seeking family photographs.

When Maureen called me (on the telephone!) to book a session with her family, I imagined grandchildren. Silly me, I should have been more open-minded. Families come in a delightful range of shapes and sizes. She wanted pictures with her adult children and their partners, and I have to tell you that it was a refreshing change of pace to have no toddlers to manage!

Ottawa family photography

Of course, sometimes you want a traditional family portrait: just mom and dad and the kids with a warm backdrop of autumn leaves. The leaves were warm, but the wind was cool and gusty on this late October afternoon – we had a pile of coats that kept coming off for photos and then back on in between shots!

Family photography in Ottawa

Sometimes, you want photos with the extended family: in this case, grandparents, adult siblings and their partners, and a couple of sweet kiddies to amp up the adorableness. We had so much fun at the Lime Kiln Trail on a lovely autumn Sunday. Although I love this extended family portrait, some of my favourites from this session were more candid moments we captured later when everyone relaxed and just played together.

Ottawa family photographer

And speaking of extended families, how’s this for a big group? I’m fascinated by large families because growing up I had only one brother, one cousin, one aunt and uncle and two sets of grandparents. I love the affectionate chaos of a big group like this one!

Extended family portraits in ottawa outdoors

Sharing this big extended family photo reminded me that there’s one other session I forgot to share, this one going waaaay back to July, just before we left for PEI. There were lots of planning hurdles to overcome here, not least of which were out of town guests and location challenges and then a rainy forecast. Sometimes it seems like the more challenges we face in setting up a photo session, the better the final photos seem to turn out. Big groups can be tough, but I loved working with this fun, funny gang.

Family portrait photography in Ottawa

On one hand, sharing only the posed family portraits doesn’t do these photo sessions justice, as it’s often the in-between moments that end up being my favourites. I think that’s why I find myself favouring a more documentary style instead of posed formal photos. I like to think that even these more posed photos can still tell you a little bit about the each family’s unique character and dynamics, though. I love that “family” is such a big word, subject to so many different definitions!


{ 0 comments }

Oh hey bloggy friends – long time, no see! Sorry I’ve been a little lazy with the blog updates this season. I’m just coming to the end of the most amazingly fun and busy photo season ever: I’ve had bookings, sometimes double and triple, almost every weekend since Labour Day. I’ve been so busy trying to keep things moving that I just didn’t have time to keep up my “photos of the day” habit. There have been lots of fun families and great stories, though, so as we settle in to the relatively calmer holiday insanity season (!) I thought I’d do some catching up.

I really enjoyed working with this fun local family, and we’ve since become friends. They moved just this year to Manotick, returning to Canada after a stint in Los Angeles, so we based our photos around Watson’s Mill.

Family photos at the Mill-6

Beautiful family, right? The light was soft and delicious on this day as late summer gave way to autumn’s colour, but it was the black and white that carried the moment here.

Family photos at the Mill

I like how the colours and style of their clothes are complemented by the industrial feel of the Mill and the weir.

Family photos at the Mill-5

This was my favourite shot of the day, and I have to admit, it wasn’t even my idea! She was actually taking a photo of the dad and kids and I was trying to catch it, and the dad was encouraging her to turn on the selfie camera as a joke. It didn’t quite work, but with a little photoshop magic I was able to make the shot.

Family photos at the Mill-2

Fun, right? If I haven’t made the families I work with laugh at some point during our photo sessions, I haven’t done my job right. I love this sort of playfulness! Add “sense of humour” and “court jester” to the ever-lengthening set of skills required to run a family photography business. Lucky for me, both of those come pretty easily to me. Now asking me to be serious for a minute – that one’s a bit more of a challenge. šŸ˜‰


{ 0 comments }

October was a rough month for outdoor portrait photographers. At least one day of every weekend in October was rainy and cold, and I had to reschedule more sessions this year than ever before due to poor weather conditions. In fact, this lovely family and I had to reschedule not once, not twice, but three times between late September and early November. And when they did finally make it out to the porch on a day that wasn’t raining, the wind was fierce and cold. Lucky for me, they were happy to try to make things work with the help of a couple of blankets and the bit of shelter from the wind that the porch provides.

And hey, don’t the blankets make them look extra snuggly and cuddly?

autumn on the porch (1 of 5)

A couple of well-placed kisses helped warm things up, too.

autumn on the porch (3 of 5)

autumn on the porch (5 of 5)

autumn on the porch (4 of 5)

It was late summer and lovely when we first planned to meet for photos, and there were snow crystals in the feisty wind when we finally managed to meet, but I think this family’s sunny warmth and playfulness would shine in any sort of weather.

autumn on the porch (2 of 5)

It’s been such a busy portrait season that I haven’t had a chance to share any of the dozens of lovely families I’ve met this autumn – not only my busiest but my most weather-challenged season ever as well! I’m hoping to catch up now that the season for outdoor portraits, like the daylight, is waning. Stay tuned, I have lots of happy families and beautiful portraits to share!


{ 1 comment }

I had heard about Pianos in the Park, but didn’t realize until this week that they had installed a piano right around the corner from us at our favourite place. The Ottawa version of Pianos in the Park (apparently it’s an international movement) is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing pianos to local parks. They’ve got them downtown, in Carp, Barrhaven, Riverside South, and about a dozen other location, including one right here in Manotick. This is in the gazebo at AY Jackson park.

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

As soon as Tristan heard about it, he wanted to check it out. He’s been teaching himself to play piano from YouTube videos using Synthesia (not unlike Rock Band or Guitar Hero) on our electronic keyboard, but he doesn’t get a chance to play on a real piano very often.

Safe to say, he quite enjoyed it!

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

And so did Lucas, though he was more inclined to discordant banging than any actual harmonies.

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

I was intrigued, so I did a little digging to find out more about the project. Founder Nicholas Pope launched Ottawa’s Pianos in the Park in 2014, modeling it on Play Me, Iā€™m Yours, a project started in Britain that now has more than 1,300 pianos in 45 cities around the world. In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen, Pope said all the local pianos will be painted with Ottawa-specific themes, and that they take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours to finish. So the Manotick piano is in place but not yet painted – although I did notice it smells of fresh varnish.

Amazing, right? I love this so much that I joined the Pianos in the Park group on Facebook, and found out about THIS amazing project being cooked up as a tribute to Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, a traveling piano set to go on tour across Canada this October.

Piano in the Park at the Manotick Mill

Have you been to any of the other pianos in Ottawa parks? I’m thinking it would make a fun adventure to tour them all before they’re packed away until next spring.


{ 4 comments }

I have a special affection for Everitt and Eileen and their parents. Not only was Everitt the subject of my first-ever family portrait session, but they are the stars of one of my favourite photos of all time.

When I met with Everitt and Eileen and their parents on a sunny Sunday morning at their favourite Centretown Park, however, Everitt wasn’t overly interested in our shared history. He was more interested in being a typical six year old boy, which means he was not particularly interested in sitting nicely for the camera. I’m pretty sure his mom had something a little bit like this in mind:

Family photography at the park with E and E

Everitt and Eileen were more on board for a little bit of chaos disguised as family playtime:

Family photos at the park with E and E

I don’t know about your family, but this second one looks a LOT more like our reality! šŸ˜‰ In the end, I think I won him over.

Candid photos at the park with E and E

At the park with E and E

Remember this photo? It’s is from two-and-a-half years ago, and I still laugh when I look at it. So much story about being the big brother to a new baby sister here, isn’t there?

family photography at the park

To my delight, the family loves this photo as much as I do, so much so that we thought we might try to do a “then and now” version — and IMHO it turned out as unpredictably adorable as the first one.

Photos at the park with E and E

My marching orders with Everitt and Eileen are clear. Photos of climbing and cartwheeling and running and laughing? No problem! Photos while sitting still and posing pleasantly with your sibling? Not so much. Noted! šŸ˜‰


{ 0 comments }

Photos of the day: Making squares

31 August 2016 Mothership Photography

Didn’t everyone learn to make dessert by starting with Rice Krispie squares? I tried to stay out of the way so they could do it themselves, but I did want a few photos of the action. Part of my new “day in the life” series. (He’s not glaring at me, I swear!) Looking at them […]

0 comments Read the full article ā†’

Photos of the day: At home in Hintonburg

28 August 2016 Mothership Photography

What better way to save and remember a fleeting moment in time than photos? This family is leaving behind a home they loved for a new adventure, and wanted a custom photography session to document their affectionate memories of the home where they were married and started raising their young family. The morning was grey […]

0 comments Read the full article ā†’

Photo(s) of the day: Backyard shenanigans

13 August 2016 Mothership Photography

When Liz got in touch to book for family portraits, I knew we’d have fun working together. She had been looking at her backyard to see which time of day had the best light. Yay! The only thing photographers love more than fun, friendly subjects is fun, friendly subjects in awesome light. There may have […]

3 comments Read the full article ā†’

Photos of the day: Ben and Melanie at the park

6 August 2016 Mothership Photography

When people ask me if I photograph weddings, the answer is usually a tentative “sort of.” I love love love the idea of weddings, but I find them a dizzying mixture of touching, terrifying, inspiring, exhausting and amazing. It’s such a huge honour to be invited to document such an important day, but I fret […]

2 comments Read the full article ā†’