Downtown Family Day fun in Ottawa

Looking for a great way to spend next Monday, Family Day, in Ottawa? Head downtown and make your way through these three fun events!

Start out on ice and join Mayor Jim Watson for a Family Day skating party from 11 am to 2 pm at the city’s new Rink of Dreams in front of city hall. It’s free, and there will be hot chocolate too!

Then warm up at the National Art Centre with an afternoon of fun “for children age five and up and the people who love them.”

The National Arts Centre English Theatre is proud to present its second annual celebration of family on Monday, February 20, 2012. This special family day event, launched in 2011, features a cornucopia of hands-on activities for children and the people who love them…and it’s all free!

Join us for a memorable day of stories, games, interactive displays, homemade treats and special workshops throughout the NAC lobby. The NAC English Theatre family day event is proud to be a part of Winterlude 2012 festivities.

Come and be part of the NAC Family on February 20.

Join us for:

theatre and dance workshops
large-scale interactive games
activities with themes of creativity and environmentalism
arts and crafts
ArtsAlive website demonstration
face-painting … and much more!

Monday, February 20, 2012 from 12 – 4 p.m. in the NAC Lobby

See the NAC website for more details!

And finally, drop by Old Navy in the Rideau Centre for the Funnovation Imaginarium.

Kids from all over the Ottawa area are invited to this special in-store event to experience the Funnovation Imaginarium, a place where you have insane amounts of fun while being crazy creative. Highlights include:

A Crazy Cookie Bar!
A Funky Floor where kids can show off their dance moves
An accessory creation station
A Funnovation Catwalk to model their wacky accessories
A Funnovation Lab to create crazy creatures and monster machines; and
A free gift with purchase

Disclosure: Smile for the camera while you’re there — I’ve been hired to photograph the Funnovation Imaginarum event! 🙂

Do you have any ideas to share for Family Day fun?

Portraits for your loved ones?

You know what would make a really great Valentine’s Day gift? A gift certificate for a family portrait!

Porch mini-sessions: M Family

To celebrate love and families, I’m happy to offer this time-limited deal: a custom porch-portrait mini-session at last year’s price of just $100. (Yes, prices will be going up this spring.)

So what’s a mini-session? Here’s what you can expect:

  • a 30-minute session on location outside at my place in Manotick, on the porch and in the yard.
  • 10 – 15 custom edited proofs to choose from in an online gallery.
  • one 8 x 10 or two 5 x 7 prints.
  • high-resolution digital negatives of the prints you choose.

Porch Portraits with energetic Everitt and his parents

If you’re interested in purchasing a gift certificate or booking your custom family photography session, please e-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com or use my contact form. There’s a lot more information and more samples of my family portrait work on my portfolio site, Mothership Photography.

The porch portrait sessions were a HUGE success last year, and I’m so excited to be able to offer them again. 🙂

Is there anything more adorable than newborn twins?

As I mentioned earlier, I had the chance last week to help out during a portrait session for adorable nine-day-old twin baby boys with Ottawa photographer Christine Denis. I finally had the time to sort through my pictures and pick out a few more favourites.

One of the best parts of working with Christine (aside from the simple pleasure of her company!) was learning how to set up some of the classic newborn poses. I’ve worked with babies a few times now, but never as young as nine days (!) old. If you’re working with newborns, it’s really ideal to take the pictures in the first ten to fourteen days if you want to pose them like this.


(I swear, even after looking at these pictures for days, I can’t help but sigh every time I look at that one. Maybe Beloved will let me have just one — or two! — more babies?)

The boys were so calm and docile. They slept agreeably for most of the session, allowing Christine to shift and settle them with nary a complaint. In fact, they seemed quite happy to be the centre of attention.

happy baby

I continue to be a fan of wee feet and itsy-bitsy fingers. 🙂


I’d posted a version of this shot earlier, but I think I like this one better. The other one was a very tight crop, but I think this one works better to show how tiny the boys are, safely cradled in their parents’ arms.

Babes in arms 2

Don’t you wish you looked this radiant nine days after the birth of your child(ren)?!

Mom and babies

I think this one might be my favourite. So peaceful…


It was a genuine pleasure to take photographs of this sweet family, and I learned so much working with Christine. If you’re interested in booking a family or newborn portrait session, I’d love to hear from you. I’m now booking sessions for winter and spring 2012! You can get more information about sessions and prices on my Mothership Photography site.

Most incredibly photogenic Thanksgiving weekend EVER!!!

My laptop now makes a bit of a clunking, whirring noise each time I open a new program or window, because I uploaded nine gigabytes (!!) of pictures this weekend. (On top of the 8GB+ from the wedding last weekend. Eek!) But OMG, was that not the most gorgeous, sunny, colourful Thanksgiving weekend ever?

We started out at the Manotick Harvest Festival on Saturday. Pumpkin painting, horse-drawn wagon rides, and the last ice cream of the year from the Hodge Podge Shoppe. Perfect Saturday out!

288:365 Manotick Harvest Festival

On Sunday, we headed out to the Antrim Flea Market, where I found a great deal on a little Kodak Brownie Super 27 from the early 1960s that I simply could not resist for $5. Instead of hopping back on to the 417 back home again, we went up the road to find the five-arch stone bridge in Pakenham that I’d been hearing about for years. Have you ever been to Pakenham? What a perfectly gorgeous little village! If you go, stop in for an old fashioned family restraurant experience at the Centennial restaurant, and then go frolic on the rocks under the bridge. (You might want to wait until next spring if you want to get the full “take off your shoes and splash in the water” experience that the boys had — but they highly recommend it!) It’s a perfect afternoon outing! I can’t believe I’ve lived in Ottawa all these years and never seen this perfect gem.

One autumn day in Pakenham

There were no photographs of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner at Granny’s house, but there is nothing like a warm, colourful day with your family to give you a list as long as your arm of things to be thankful for – not to mention working up an appetite!

And then on Monday there was not one but TWO family photo sessions with two sweet families as different as can be.

This little guy is my first-ever repeat customer as a photography client! Everitt was a four-week old newborn when I first met him on Easter weekend in 2010, and now he’s a bright, friendly, energetic toddler.

Porch Portraits

And then I headed out to one of my favourite of Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures, the Lime Kiln Trail, to meet a wonderfully exhuberant family of six for a photo session in the delicious autumn afternoon light.

Lime Kiln Trail portraits

Kids are an easy target, but I try to always capture a picture of just mom and dad, too. I love love love how this one turned out!

Heather Ann and Sam

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much during a portrait session as I did with these guys. And I seriously thought about stealing all four kids to keep for myself. I don’t think Beloved could have said no to such cuteness.

By the end of the day, I simply couldn’t choose one session or even one particular photo over the other as the official photo of the day, so I put these two together. I think they represent perfectly what I will remember best about the gift that was Thanksgiving Weekend 2011.

Thanksgiving families

These are the things that truly matter in life: sunshine, laughter, warmth and family. The essential ingredients in a perfect Thanksgiving weekend!

IHF Challenge: Best of Summer 2011

When I saw that this week’s theme on the I Heart Faces photography challenge was “your best picture of Summer 2011” I knew exactly which picture I would submit. I must admit, I took a lot (no, really? A LOT!) of pictures that I truly adore this summer, but this one is my very favourite.

264:365 Traveling Man

I think I love it partly because it turned out so well, and partly because it is *exactly* what I set out to do. No more happy accidents – this one was intentional, from tone to set-up to colour choices to lighting. Definitely my favourite photo from what was truly an incredibly photogenic summer! (I’ve got some adorable pictures to share with you later this week from a session this weekend with twin 21-month-old boys and their four-year-old brother, and on Saturday I’m shooting a wedding — I can hardly wait!!)

To see some really amazing contributions, as well as some great tips and tutorials – or to play along yourself! – check them out:

Mothership Photography newborn sneak-peek: Adorable Baby Lucas

I had the wonderful pleasure this weekend of meeting Luke (great name, eh?) and his folks to take some newborn portraits. It was one of those afternoons when everything seemed to click, from the shutter to the conversation between the grownups.

And Luke’s mom has the most amazing taste in funky vintage finds, like this terrific Coca Cola cooler. How cute is this?

red storyboard

And the cooler is pretty cute, too, eh? 😉 Lookit that little guy, all of four weeks old and holding his head up already. He was such a fun baby to work with!

From warm reds to cool blues – how about this vintage sleigh? I totally loved working with the Moffatt family, their easy-going nature and their great sense of fun!

blue storyboard

Luke’s daddy (you may know him as Ottawa councillor Scott Moffatt) is quite the golfer, so the name Ben Hogan means a lot more to him than it does to me. (Recognize that ‘thousand mile stare’? Little guy drifted off to sleep right there in the golf bag!)


Of course, I couldn’t imagine making portraits of a newborn without capturing those soft, sweet cheeks and delicious baby toes!

254:365 Baby bits

Finally, the poor guy had had enough of me and my camera, and I had to call it a day…


Thank you to the Moffatt family for supporting local business in our community and letting me come over and play with Luke for the afternoon! It was a pleasure to work with all of you, and now I’ll be scouring the flea markets and junk shops for my own vintage coke cooler! 😉 The full gallery will be up in another day or so — but I couldn’t resist sharing a few favourites right away!

I’m almost completely booked up for the fall, so if you’re looking for a family photography session with a particular date in mind, be sure to get in touch sooner rather than later!

Porch Mini-Sessions: The M Family

July was an amazing month for Mothership Photography, and it will take me the rest of the summer just to get around to blogging about the terrific fun we had at a handful of portrait sessions!

Seems like a hundred years ago now, but it was only a couple of weeks ago when the M family came out to Manotick for a mini-session on the porch. It was a lovely summer afternoon, and we couldn’t have asked for a better day for portraits. I also couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more photogenic family!

M Storyboard 2

I was warned that the six year old son had a habit of making that squinty non-smile that boys of that age seem to make, and so I took it as a personal challenge to bring a genuine smile to his face. Little did he know, I’ve had lots and lots and LOTS of practice battling that boy non-smile thing. Bwhahaha, I won!

M family kids

M Family portrait

(I’m trying something new with the storyboards – what do you think?)

M storyboard 1

It was a lovely afternoon spent with a lovely family — not a bad way to pass the time on a summer day! Thank you, M Family!

Now that the summer is coming to a close, I’ll have far fewer spots available for custom photo sessions. If you’d like to book your family’s portrait session, you should get in touch soon!

Porch portraits: the T family

My Mothership Photography porch portrait mini-sessions have been a huge success, and I’m just thrilled with all the results. I wanted to share some of the best pictures of each session with you.

The first session of the day was with the T family. When I saw this lovely head of blond curls, it was all I could do to contain myself — isn’t she adorable? She’s just as sweet and charming as she looks, and her parents are equally charming. They claim neither one of them like having their pictures taken, but I would have never guessed.

Tyers storyboard 1

Tyers storyboard 2

Tyers 7

When the session was over, I was hoping maybe they’d forget to bring their daughter home and I could keep her for my own, but I was out of luck.

Thank you, T family! I truly enjoyed working with you!

I don’t have too many spaces left for summer bookings, so if you would like to book a porch session, please contact me soon!

Porch Portrait Mini-Sessions: Sneak Peek!

If you’ve been around here long enough, you know I can hold a secret like a colander holds water. Um, not very well at all!

So while I’d like to put up a blog post featuring each of the fun, fabulous and photogenic families that dropped by last weekend for Manotick porch portrait mini-sessions, I just had to put up a quick sneak peek so you could see how well they turned out.

And? If you’re going to do your first-ever portrait mini-sessions, I highly suggest you find yourself a set of families just like these ones. 🙂

The T family dropped by first. Mom, Dad, and a curly-haired beauty I wanted to keep for my own by the end of the session.

Sneak Peek T family

Next up was the M family. I’d been warned ahead of time that their sweet young son was a purveyor of that tight-lipped non-grin that all boys of this age seem to make when you point a camera at them. Luckily, I’ve had LOTS of practice overcoming that one, and these kids had gorgeous, genuine and warm smiles to share.

Porch mini-sessions: M Family

And last but not least, the F family had me jumping up and down and shouting “boo” to make little Miss M smile for the camera. No doubt, these two are monkeys and kept me on my toes (and in the air!) but I think the final product was worth every crazy leap.

Sneak Peek F family

I’ll have a few more pictures from each session posted in the next couple of weeks, but I was so pleased with the results that I had to share a few sneak peeks with you!

Mothership Photography: Perfect Porch Manotick Mini-Sessions!!

I am so excited about this!!

I’ve been wanting to offer summer mini-sessions, but I have been waffling over the location. I wanted a location that was unique, accessible, interesting from a photographic perspective and most of all, filled with delicious light. It was my friend Christine who suggested the porch, after I posted my pictures of it last week.

Of course! The porch!! It’s big, it’s got great photogenic furniture, it’s covered in case of inclement weather, and the light is magnificent. See?

185:365 Porch party

So what’s a mini-session? Here’s what you can expect:

  • a 30-minute session on the porch and in the garden
  • 10 – 15 custom edited proofs to choose from
  • one 8 x 10 or two 5 x 7 prints
  • three high-resolution digital negatives
  • Cost is $100 (more than 50 per cent off my lowest portrait package!)

This is a great package for families, kids, teens, grads, or even engagement photos. Sessions are available the afternoon of Saturday July 9 or Sunday July 24. However, they are limited (the best light of the day is actually a pretty small window!) and it’s first come-first served! Contact me or send an e-mail to danicanada(@)gmail(dot)com to book your appointment today!

186:365 Porch week continues!

And! Since you’ve made the trip to Manotick, you might as well take a look around while you’re here. I’ll throw in a complimentary $5 gift card to Manotick’s My Toy Shop, snuggled down on Tighe Street between the Gingerbread Man and the HodgePodge Shoppe (with ice cream, coffee and antiques!!) That’s just a few steps down from Watson’s Mill and the used book sale in the carriage house, not to mention all the other fun and interesting things Manotick has to offer!

Don’t wait, book your Mothership Photography Perfect Porch Mini-Session in Manotick today! 🙂