Mothership Photography

I‘ve been thinking a lot about identity lately and this idea came to me when I was literally cleaning the mirror. “What if you could erase your reflection?”

The actual erasing was pretty easy to achieve, and the texture made it a little easier to express it as a more abstract concept rather than something to be taken literally. Sharing it is still more than a little scary, though, partly because it’s me (ugh, hate self-portraits) and partly because it’s a little more conceptual than where I usually go.

Out damn spot

What does it say to you? Do you see the story I’m telling? What do you think?


I was at a conference this week and I brought my camera along, thinking of maybe a lunchtime walk on the Canal. Although I am really, really happy with my new job, and I really love my newly shortened commute, I do miss my lunchtime wanders downtown! I didn’t make it out for a lunchtime wander, but prowling around the Shaw Centre before the conference led me to this spectacular view out over the Rideau Canal, the Parliament Buildings and downtown Ottawa on a frosty winter morning. I think the red chairs are part of Parks Canada’s #ShareTheChair program.

Red chairs overlooking downtown Ottawa

I love the geometric shapes, and wretchedly pulled a muscle in my leg trying to get a stance just right that centred the Peace Tower in one of those triangles. #photographerproblems

Funny that I’ve walked by and photographed this area so many times, but didn’t realize that this awesome view was accessible to the public! I guess it just goes to prove what I’ve been learning all these years – beautiful photos are always lurking in the most unexpected situations.


Thanks to Facebook’s “On this day” feature, I was reminded that it was seven years ago today that I started my first Project 365. Yes, you read that right: SEVEN YEARS ago. Wow. Among other things, it serves as an awesome cautionary tale: you never know where your capricious whims might lead you. In my case, it led to a second career in photography to compliment my day job. Did not see THAT one coming seven years ago!

That serves as an excellent segue to what I wanted to share with you today: some of the fun and funny ways I’ve found my photos being used all around the world in the last few months. All of these have been licensed through Getty Images, where I now have nearly 800 images available for license.

There’s a couple of different ways I find these. Every now and then I just do a Google search on my credit line, and that turns up some. When I get my monthly sales statement from Getty, I do a reverse image search. That’s how I found most of these.

Country Time Lemonade used my photo of skaters on the Rideau Canal on their website:

Found Country time lemonade

Beloved and the boys ended up in the Wall Street Journal. (This was our Christmas tree quest from a snowier Christmas than the one that just passed.)

Found Christmas WSJ

The UK Telegraph used this iPhone shot of Parliament Hill on a travel supplement called “Discover Canada”:

Found UK Telegraph Discover Canada

Bella visted a website in Norway, with an article about pets and the holidays:

Found Bella Christmas Germany

Tristan and our former treehouse made it to Germany:

Found Norwegian wood

Did you know Woman’s Day magazine publishes a version in Russia? Me neither, but they liked Lucas feeding the chickadees!

Found Woman's Day Russia

And Willie (and my stripey socks!) made it all the way to Taiwan on HSBC’s site!

Found - Willie HSBC

Fun, right? Since I’ve started licensing my photos through Getty, they’ve been licensed more than 500 times, bringing me more than $15K – in $USD, no less! And that’s not even counting the other side of my little photography business, with all the charming people and wonderful adventures I’ve had doing portraits of families, and the occasional wedding, baptism and other special events. I laugh trying imagine what me in 2009, picking up the camera to take that first photo in that first Project 365, might have thought of all this.

So the moral of today’s story is this: follow your heart. You will never be able to guess where it might take you, but wherever that might be, it will be awesome!


Sometimes on a Saturday afternoon, you don’t have enough time to get the gang out to the local sledding hill, but you need to get the kids out of the house. They’re not great about finding their own entertainment, but once I pulled down a few sleds, there was fun to be had.

The drainage ditch at the foot of the yard isn’t huge, but when you’re seven, you don’t really need much!

driveway sliding-2

driveway sliding-3

driveway sliding-4

driveway sliding

When you’re almost 14, you might need something a little more adventurous.

driveway sliding-5

driveway sliding-7

And where big brother goes, little brother soon follows.

driveway sliding-6

Sliding on the driveway has not heretofore been an officially sanctioned activity, primarily because the cedar hedge prevents you from seeing oncoming traffic that tends to come rather quickly over a hill just down the road, and because we have enough trouble getting the cars up the driveway without encouraging an ice ramp.

Some rules were made to be broken, I suppose. And the third child always seems to be the beneficiary.

driveway sliding-8

I’m really starting to love the idea of lifestyle photography like this for families. If you’d like to invite me along to capture your family adventure, whether it is sledding or skating or building a snowman, get in touch!


The end of the year is the perfect time to look back and see both what I did well, and what I could have done better, with my camera. Here’s a collection of the photos I most love from all parts of the year: the photos I took to tell a story, the photos I took for business, the photos I took simply to entertain myself. Some of them I love because of the moment they evoke, some because I nailed them from a technical perspective, and some just because when I look at them I can’t help but smile.

In loosely chronological order, my favourite photos of 2015:

Pups in a pile

Catching snowflakes

Hockey day in Canada

Hockey day in Canada-13

Lessons on a grand piano

Ottawa Family Fun: Artissimo at the National Gallery

The grey wolves of Parc Omega

tiny flowers

SMHS walkathon

Apple blossom petals, stamen, stigma and style

dandelion seed head

Nature's paintbrush

Saying goodbye

Family photos at the farm

Todds planes-2


defense detail

East Point and Basin Head-8

East Point and Basin Head-10

East Point and Basin Head-2

Exploring Thunder Cove

Exploring Thunder Cove

French River, PEI

Fun at Brackley Beach, PEI National Park

Covehead Lighthouse, PEI

St Peter's Harbour, PEI

Playground at the beach

A dozen sunny faces

A #ParksCanada employee cranks the locks by hand at the #Ottawa lock station. Never get tired of watching them do this! #RideauCanal #CanadianCreatives

Chapman Mills walk-5

End of summer jump

happy family on the porch

Watson's Mill

Thanksgiving trio

M and J got married!-8

Pumpkin picking 2015-2

Photo 2015-10-24, 2 30 55 PM

Cousins in a tree


family in the leaves

Christmas portraits

Jedi family Christmas ;)


Christmas tree and reindeer

I have an inkling that 2016 will be a great year of growth and learning for me, from a photographic perspective. I’ve got new tools, I’m registered for a spring workshop, and the idea of picking up my camera to chase an adventure or idea still makes my heart sing.

Here’s to finding wonder and telling stories and sharing new perspectives in 2016!


A fine (art) idea for Christmas

by DaniGirl on December 5, 2015 · 0 comments

in Mothership Photography

Are you looking for a unique holiday gift this year? How about locally-grown fine art photographic prints? Over the years, I’ve produced quite a few of these on a one-off basis, but I finally got around to making a gallery of some shots that have been given as prints or that I think would make excellent gifts.

Here’s a few of them:

Chapman mills

Library and river

Playground at the beach

Fine art print for sale

There are more ideas in a gallery on my photography site, but just about any photo you’ve seen here is available. They’re great for retirement and thank you gifts, and of course as Christmas gifts. I can provide just the print, or a framed and matted print, or even a canvas. We’re only limited by my proofs and your imagination! Well, that and holiday print deadlines – so I’d suggest getting in touch sooner rather than later if you’re thinking about Christmas gifts!


Photos of the day: Reindeers and Christmas Jedi

1 December 2015 Happy holidays

How do you torture a photographer? Send her two exquisitely cute families for Christmas portraits on the porch, and then make her choose just ONE for the photo of the day. I seriously couldn’t do it! First, these two dropped by. Little Miss was a little bit shy, and a lot three years old. Sometimes, […]

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Photo of the day: Family in the leaves

7 November 2015 Mothership Photography

When this family mentioned they had a beautiful carpet of yellow leaves in their backyard, I wanted to make sure I included them in at least some of the portraits. I love this time of year! The leaves were a gorgeous golden yellow that served as a lovely backdrop for a truly adorable family. It […]

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Photo of the day: Cousins in a tree!

1 November 2015 Mothership Photography

We had a great time today out at the Lime Kiln Trail with not one, not two, not three but four parts of an extended family for portraits – seventeen people in all. We were all a little worried about the weather, but with a little flexibility, a little luck and a lot of good […]

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Photo(s) of the day: Matt and Jasmine got married!

18 October 2015 Mothership Photography

Even though I’m a hopeless romantic and love everything about weddings, I don’t photograph too many of them. Weddings, especially big weddings, are terribly intimitading – long, elaborate and stressful affairs that tend to go on long into the night. However, when Matt and Jasmine asked me to take pictures at their courthouse wedding, I […]

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