Mothership Photography

You might remember back in October when I had the great honour of being the photographer for Mat and Jasmine’s wedding. It was a perfect autumn day, and their adorable toddler Jack stole the show. We’ve been trying for a few weeks now to get out to the park to celebrate their growing family (new and improved with a baby daughter!) for a few weeks now, but we’ve been foiled by cold, windy spring days.

We finally got a break with the weather, and we met on Father’s Day to make some beautiful family memories. Well, that was the grownups’ plan. Jack might have had other ideas. Oh toddlers, you are both the delight and the bane of my photography business! We tried a few posed portraits, but when you have one who doesn’t want his picture taken and one who doesn’t sit up on her own yet, you have to be creative. We ended up with this:

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

But first we had to get through this (I have to admit, I love this photo; I often love the outtakes as much as I love the successes):

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

I have to take a moment here to say how amazing it is to work with laid-back, easy going families. We’d had to cancel twice for poor weather, and we’d barely arrived when both parents had been well-christened with baby spit up. Jack had zero interest in actually sitting still to have his photo taken (hello! awesome park to explore!) and would pretty much run the other way when he noticed me and my camera nearby. Posed, perfect family portraits were not going to happen. When we decided to go for a little walkabout to visit the frog pond, things improved greatly. Posing for photos? Jack says no thanks. Going on an adventure? Jack was all over that!

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

And while we were on the move, I might have managed to sneak in a few portraits of a happy, beautiful (and busy!) family on the go.

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

Candid, fun portraits of families and children by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

I loved taking these photos because I felt when I looked at them that I could really see the family’s personality in them – patient, funny, affectionate and kind. What a gorgeous family, right?


{ 1 comment }

We were still in the clutches of winter’s miserable chill when we set up this photo session, and we simply could not have imagined a more perfectly sunshiny, warm early summer morning at the park. Blue skies, happy kids, warm sun… any time you come home from a photo session with sandy knees and grass in your hair and sore cheeks from smiling, you know the photos are going to be wonderful!

I’m sure the family thought I was a little odd when I asked them to go play with the dandelions on a little knoll immediately behind some port-a-potties. The light was amazing, though, and I love the wee girl’s expression on this!

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

Her brother was a handsome fella, too!

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

We took some photos in colour, too. Again, a whole gorgeous park and I am practically standing on the port-a-potties here. But that light tho!

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

Just a beautiful family on a walk in the park on a perfect early-summer morning:

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

There was something about this easy-going family that made me think they’d welcome some non-traditional story-telling photos. These are my hands-down favourite kind of photos. He’s too close to be in focus and he’s on the move, but I just love the affection on mom and dad’s faces, and the energy of the kids.

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

I laugh out loud every time I see this photo, I love it so much. I love the mischief from the boy, the laugh from the dad, the girl turning around to see what’s going on behind her, and oh how much do I love that exasperated, affectionate “are you kidding me?” expression on mom’s face? As mom to three boys, I think I wear that expression for a large part of every single day.

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

And this? Oh be still my heart, the cuteness! My one job for this session was to get a photo of this Little Miss without her thumb in her mouth or her blankie covering her face. I think we more than succeeded. She told me herself that’s she is a diva – you can totally see that here, can’t you?

Portraits at the Park by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

I think I had as much fun playing with these kids as I did taking photographs of them. Once you earn a kid’s trust, it’s easy to capture their personality in a photo. Kids are awesome that way!

These storytelling sessions are my absolute favourites. If you’d like to invite me along to document your family adventure (a day at the park, a picnic, a walk in the woods, or something else) please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’d love to work with you and your family to make beautiful memories!


{ 0 comments }

What’s that old saying about never working with kids and dogs? It’s no problem when the kids are good-natured and sweet and the family tells you that the secret keyword to get the dog to look at you is “walk”!

Family pictures by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

Adorable, right? Worked like a charm! I know this fun family from the community, and when they booked me for family portraits on their porch, which I have to admit is even MORE lovely and large than mine(!), I knew it would be a blast.

It was even more fun because we were able to include their visiting grandmother, so there’s three generation of sweet, funny people in this one. Don’t you love how strong the family resemblances are?

Family pictures by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

I have to tell you, though, as a mom of boys, this one was my favourite.

LFamily pictures by Ottawa family photographer Danielle Donders

We’re so lucky to live in a community with great families and great friends like this!

And with that, our spring and summer portrait season is officially underway!


{ 0 comments }

Nothing says summer like road trip, family, nine hour car ride, and then watching the sun set into the Great Lakes on a warm evening.

Barefoot on the beach

Hello, summer, how I have missed you!


{ 1 comment }

When I heard that a neighbour had a mama dog that was about to give birth to a litter of puppies, I reached out and said I’d love to trade my mad portrait photographer skillz for the opportunity to take photos of the newborn pups. On Easter weekend, we watched with awe and delight as Facebook status updates revealed a healthy litter of TEN Cane Corso puppies. TEN! Can you imagine?

Even when you’re prepared for maximum cuteness, there’s no way you can anticipate how adorable ten mewling 12 day old puppies can be. Take a look!

Puppies!

Puppies!

Puppies!

I was pretty sure at one point that I wasn’t going to get “Grey” out of Simon’s arms.

Puppies!

I’ve taken pictures of every age from newborn to centenarian. I’ve taken headshots, family portraits, weddings, baptisms, mitzvahs, celebrations and extended groups. Had you asked, I would have said the most challenging (and, my most favourite) age to wrangle is the toddler years — but they had nothing on these puppies. I have to admit, I suffered a lot of delusions about how easy it would be to line these guys up for a portrait. I mean, they’re barely mobile, and I had four helpers. You can see how well that worked out!

Puppies!

Adorable, yes, but exhausting! And because that wasn’t challenging enough, we decided each pup needed to be the star of his or her own portrait.

Puppies!

TEN puppies! Can you imagine how crazy that’s going to be once they get their feet underneath them? And in case you were wondering, yes, they did all have that delightful and unmistakable new-puppy smell. I checked each one!

Hmmm, maybe it’s time for me to expand the business to include pet portraits as well? Or maybe we just need a puppy or three of our own. For the photography, of course. Strictly for the photos.


{ 1 comment }

You might remember just about a year ago, I was commissioned to work with Ottawa Corporate Yoga on a really neat project. Glenda Rodriguez was inspired to create a set of cards to help families incorporate yoga into bedtime routines, to help kids get to sleep and stay asleep. I took the photos that were eventually printed on the cards.

Glenda got in touch again recently for a new project. She’s working with Ausome Ottawa on a new set of cards with a specific focus on helping kids with Autism. Here are a few of the photos from our session with Mia and Leo performing the asanas.

Photo cards for Ausome Ottawa yoga

Photo cards for Ausome Ottawa yoga

Photo cards for Ausome Ottawa yoga

Photo cards for Ausome Ottawa yoga

Adorable, right? And such an “ausome” idea. Here’s the best part, though: I finally got to see how the bedtime yoga cards from last year’s photo session turned out!

Bedtime yoga cards

I’m so pleased – they look AMAZING! If you’re interested in learning more, or in seeing a few cards up close, you can check out the Bedtime Yoga page on Ottawa Corporate Yoga’s site.


{ 4 comments }

Photos of the day: Family portraits in the snow!

28 February 2016 Mothership Photography

I have always wanted to offer more family portrait sessions in the winter. The snow makes a lovely natural reflector, bouncing flattering light up and all around, and winter outfits are often brightly coloured and pop against a snowy background. Some of my favourite pictures of my own kids are from our wintertime adventures, and […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Photo of the day: Out, out damn spot!

30 January 2016 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 […]

2 comments Read the full article →

Photo of the day: Red chairs overlooking downtown

22 January 2016 Mothership Photography

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 […]

0 comments Read the full article →

In which her photos travel to Norway, Germany, the UK, Russia and Taiwan, among other places

20 January 2016 Mothership Photography

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 […]

0 comments Read the full article →