From the category archives:

Mothership Photography

Oh dear, I am falling further and further behind. At this rate, I’ll be posting my Chrismas photos next July! When I say “photo of the day” one can no longer assume I’m talking about *this* day!

This fun family came for porch portraits this past weekend. The boys, ages 3 and 6, were full of monkey business, which made them an absolute delight to work with. I love families with a great sense of humour who are willing to have a bit of fun with the photo session. Aren’t they a gorgeous family?

Two boys in a wagon

And that warm autumn light – so lovely. It may be true that I have just a wee bit of a bias in favour of families with boys. ;)

Speaking of boys, I put mine to work not long after this photo session raking up those lovely leaves in the background. Just a few days later, I’ve got a studio full of leaves again!


I‘ve had a rush of babies on the porch for portraits this month. Lucky me!! Babies are a lot more work when it comes to portraits: they are terrible at listening to directions, I have to get down on my belly to see them eye to eye, and they have the disconcerting habit of suddenly giving over to gravity and tipping over. No other age group has quite so many drool marks to photoshop out, and I don’t generally have to jump up and down and make animal noises to maintain the attention of teens and pre-teens. Babies don’t even laugh at my knock knock jokes! However, they are truly delightful to work with, because when you get that shy smile you feel like you’ve really earned it.

All the babies I’ve had the joy of meeting this month have been of the girly kind, and then this handsome fellow showed up yesterday. You KNOW I have a soft spot for boys!

Photograph of a baby boy on a wagon in the leaves

Isn’t he just about the definition of autumn adorable? He’s a perfect match for my wagon and that hair!!! *love*


Some babies are jolly and full of chortles and some babies are more reserved. And then you have babies like this little charmer who came to the porch for portraits yesterday. She watched me and my camera with careful contemplation for most of the morning, neither smiling nor crying. In the vast majority of the photos, she is regarding me with a thoughtful, pondering gaze, which is why I love this photo so much. That hint of a smile that says “I own them!” to me.

And baby makes three

Don’t they look like they should be in a magazine, or maybe in the dictionary under the definition of “happy family of three”? And one more, because there were just so many cute shots – how’s this for a fun way to illustrate the idea of a family without actually showing their faces?

Boots and booties

I seriously love the mom’s boots in this, and the light, and the saturated colours, and how this tells such a fun story with such a simple pose.

If you wanted to tell a story about YOUR family without showing your faces, what do you think that would look like? Bicycle tires and running shoes or piano keys and high heels or iPhones and matching flip flops?


You might remember this beauty from her Hollywood-style portraits on the porch this summer. Those portraits were in preparation for this weekend’s big event, Rachel’s Bat Mitzvah at Stonebridge.

Rachel's Bat Mitzvah family photograph

I’d never been to a Bat Mitzvah before, and I really enjoyed researching the traditions behind the event. The ceremony and party were warm and full of affection from family and friends. Here’s a taste of the day:

Candid photographs and family portraits from Rachel's Bat Mitzvah

It was a little bit of Hollywood, a lot of family and friends, a whole lot of smiles, and at the centre of the fuss one lovely girl, beautiful inside and out. It was an honour to be a part of your day, Rachel – thank you! :)


Another book cover!

by DaniGirl on September 20, 2014 · 1 comment

in Mothership Photography

You might remember I was pretty excited earlier this year when I found out that one of my photos of Lucas was being used on the cover of a book by author Brando Skyhorse. That came about through Getty Images.

Around the same time, I was contacted by a tiny independent press in Tennessee. They had found one of my photos of Manotick’s famous mill on Flickr and wanted to use it on a cover of a book of poetry. It took a while, but the book is now for sale on and How fun is that?

Book cover!

Here’s the original photo, taken way back on New Year’s Day 2011.

Watson's Mill in the fog photograph

Funny, it’s not even my favourite image of Watson’s Mill. I offered them several others, but the publisher felt this photo was just the right evocative image to go with the collection of poetry. From around the corner in Manotick to a publisher in Tennessee for a book of poems written in New England. How can you not love the Internet?

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It’s not every family that would let you pull out the silly props on a stick for their family photo shoot. But when it IS that sort of family, it makes for a REALLY fun family photo session!

Silly prop family portrait fun by Danielle Donders

It wasn’t all silliness, but laughter comprised a good part of the morning. That and a truly lovely family made for a whole lot of great photos.

Adult outdoor family portrait by Danielle Donders

My first love will always be taking portraits of kids at play, but it turns out playful grownups can be just as much fun — and maybe even a whole lot less work!

Thanks to Kerry and your sweet family for a lovely Sunday morning out! :)

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Photo of the day: Sitting pretty

14 September 2014 Mothership Photography

Bright blue eyes, adorable blonde pigtails and a sassy attitude? Check, check, check! This lovely little miss came with her big brother and big sister for porch portraits early on Saturday morning, and we squeezed in some photos just before the rain started. Isn’t she adorable? Sometimes, the hardest part of taking photos of two [...]

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Photo of the day: First birthday portraits on the porch

8 September 2014 Mothership Photography

Steady yourself. This photo has dangerous levels of adorable in it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! This lovely little lady came to the porch on the weekend for portraits for her first birthday. Is she not the most precious thing? But oh, if you think THIS photo is cute, you should see some of [...]

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Photo of the day: Family reunion

16 August 2014 Mothership Photography

Sometimes, no matter how carefully you plan a photo session, you have to throw out all your research and ideas and just go with the flow. That was the name of the game yesterday when this big family came together from locations across Canada and overseas for a family portrait. Because there were to be [...]

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Photo of the day: Brothers and sister on the porch

27 July 2014 Mothership Photography

This sweet family came for portraits on the porch today. Aren’t they lovely – erm, I mean lovely and handsome. I am so used to chasing toddlers and preschoolers lately, it was a bit of a relief to work with people who actually sit still for more than three seconds at a time. Sadly, they [...]

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