January 2012

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. πŸ™‚


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.


Oops, has it really been a week since I’ve put up a new blog post? That has to be a new record for me. Sorry about that, I’ve been knocked on my keister by a cold and a migraine and kindergarten registrations and the preparations for birthday season, which begins here this weekend.

I did still manage to keep taking pictures, though! The absolute highlight of my week was spending some time with the kind and talented Ottawa photographer Christine Denis, assisting while she took portraits of these nine-day-old twin boys. *melt*


Isn’t it almost enough to make you want to have more babies? They were so calm and docile and delicious, and I learned so much about newborn posing and portraiture from Christine. Wow, is it ever a lot of work, but oh my goodness, how adorable is this?

Babes in arms

I’ve got a few more I hope to share later in the week, but I think those were my two favourites from the session. From warm and fresh to old and cold — I was delighted to find what I think is a pretty unique view of the Peace Tower when I was out on a walk downtown. This is the ruins of the former carbide mill on Victoria Island, build in 1892 by Thomas “Carbide” Wilson. I noticed the windows and shifted my perspective back and forth a bit (“zoomed with my feet” as they say) until I had the Peace Tower lined up in one of the windows.

Peace tower through the Carbide Mill ruins on Victoria Island

We visited friends who foster reptiles on the weekend, and they introduced us to Edgar, the Florida King Snake. Tristan, Lucas and I thought he was pretty cool, but Beloved feels about snakes pretty much the same way Indiana Jones does. (“Snakes? Why does it have to be snakes?”)

Snakes are cool

The rest of the week was all-iPhone, all the time. You know I love my vintage typewriter, and I finally got a Hipstamatic print of it that I like.

Vintage typewriter Hipstalove

This was one of the days I was home sick. It was literally the easiest shot I could compose, short of lying on the couch and shooting a picture of the ceiling. Lucas draws at least half a dozen or so pictures each day, lately almost always of characters from Club Penguin (which he is not, ironically, allowed to play.)


I’ve had these silk daisies as a centrepiece on the table for nearly a year and taken quite a few pictures of them, but never any I liked enough to keep and none that capture what I like about the colours and the glass vase and the bits of sea glass in the bottom of it. The late-afternoon light was hitting it just right, though, and I’m really happy with how this one came out.

Hipstaflowers in primary colours

And finally, a shot from the snowy, blustery drive home yesterday. I don’t know why I am so fascinated with rural mailboxes, but I am. Maybe I was a country girl in a former life? I called this one “mailbox minimalism”. I don’t ordinarily like the dark frame film on Hipstamatic but I think it works well for this one.

Mailbox minimalism

I promise to be a little more diligent about getting you some fresh content for next week!


My friend Heather thinks I owe you a retraction. Remember this post, where I congratulated myself for my level-headedness and maturity in managing to pull myself out of a frenzy of consumeristic covetousness and NOT impulse-buy a new iPhone 4S? She thinks I owe you a retraction because I went out and actually did buy the new iPhone four days later. I think I deserve a medal for waiting for four whole days. And pro haggler that I am, I managed to wrangle a deal on my data plan so that I’m actually paying less per month for wireless than I was for our ancient non-data-plan Krazr, so we’ll save the price of the new iPhone in about a year and a half. Yay!

And oh my sweet lord, what a treat is the new iPhone 4S! I have only barely begun to figure out the voice-activated Siri stuff, but the camera? Wow! Well here, don’t let me tell you — let me show you!

“Hey, look Willie! Mom got a new iPhone!”

Hey look Willie, mom got a new iPhone!

I went out for a drive on Sunday to take some pictures and started playing with Hipstamatic, an app I’ve had on my iPhone for more than a year but never warmed to. I’m kinda digging it now! (Do you like the digital sticky tape holding the collage together? I added that in Photoshop.)

Vignettes of Manotick on a really cold but pretty winter afternoon

This was the view from my office window when the sun hit an icy tree on Sussex Drive, also via Hipstamatic.

Ice ice baby

And this one is straight-up out of the iPhone, no app required. (I have been coveting a wide-angle lens for my Nikon so I can do this kind of big-nose distortion, but the iPhone’s angle of view is just wide enough to satisfy my creative urge for now!)


And speaking of the Nikon, I didn’t abandon it entirely this week. I’m glad I had it with me on Monday when this spectacular sunrise lit up the sky over the Byward Market. No colour enhancement on this one, I just pointed my camera and clicked.

Urban sunrise

You might have seen this one in my post yesterday. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but only recently had enough skill to be able to make it come out like I planned in my head. The text is actually added after the fact in Photoshop, which means I can put up just about any message I want. I’m thinking it might make a fun new blog header one of these days.


As I said on Flickr, stand by for the “I am so much more than just a mom with a camera” version. πŸ˜‰ Speaking of which, I’ve made a few allusions recently to Internet drama. I thought you guys would get a kick out of this. I got tangled up in a war of words on a Flickr forum recently with Ottawa photographer Paul Couvrette, who called me a “mamarazzi” and criticized me for (among other things) undercharging for prints and making my pictures available online. While the criticism stung at the time, especially since it was more or less unprovoked and definitely overly vicious and personal, the apology he later posted was laugh-out-loud funny. I had no idea at the time, but apparently he had “personified [Dani] as an icon of the ill direction towards which I believe photography may well be headed.” Nice, eh? I’ve never been called an icon of anything, let alone the downfall of an entire industry. And I thought I was just taking pictures because it made me happy. So if I hike my prices next year, you can blame Paul Couvrette. πŸ˜‰

Mostly, though? I still just love taking pictures.

Pear love

And hey, this made me feel a lot better. I got my Getty Images sales statement at the end of the week, and this picture from October apparently ran in the Wall Street Journal during December.

304:365 Antique books

And this picture of Willie was bought by a company that makes greeting cards and calendars with titles like “Napping Cats of 2012.”

262:365 Wake me when it's over

Hmmm, can you guess which one I’ll be adding to my “as seen in” portfolio? I mean, the WSJ is great, but the Napping Cats of 2012 calendar? Does it get more prestigious than that?!


Mommyblogger by Dani_Girl
Mommyblogger, a photo by Dani_Girl on Flickr.

Cuz yanno, sometimes a picture does say it so much better than a thousand words could.


I read somewhere in the Ottawa media recently that today, January 19, is the official “dead of winter.” Today is the date with the lowest average daily temperature of the entire year, and the average daily temperature creeps upward from here. So now we can officially say that winter is more than half behind us.

I was trying to pacify myself with that thought as I scraped that merciless ice off my windows at sparrow’s first fart yesterday morning in the rampaging wind. Summer is coming!!

Since winter is on it’s last legs (heh, maybe a little too optimistic?) you might as well get out and enjoy it during Manotick’s official winter carnival, Shiverfest! It runs next weekend, January 27 through 29.

Snowman sledding

There will be horse-drawn sleigh rides, a chili-cookoff, a photography contest, a trivia night, bands, reptiles, a kids’ play area and more! You can check out this PDF for details on the full weekend of activities.


It’s a snow day here in Ottawa today. The buses have been cancelled and while the schools are still open, we’ve decided to let the boys stay home. I usually ship ’em off as even in the most treacherous conditions I think they’re better off for a few hours at school than at home, but by a fluke of scheduling both Beloved and I were home anyway, so we let them stay home for a treat.

Now that the kids are older, they’re better at entertaining themselves even on a long day at home. They like to play board games, and we’ve always got a craft of some sort on the go. And of course, there are the ubiquitous video games.

Snow days are such a break from routine that it’s fun to find something unique to do. Just a few days ago, I blogged a few more of my favourite indoor activities, including bead crafts and scavenger hunts. If you’re feeling like comfort food, how about baking up some rainbow cupcakes? Or maybe just whipping up a batch of home-made playdoh?

It’s pretty easy to pass the day with older kids, but sometimes not so much with babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Conveniently, my friends at Fisher-Price just shared this awesome new tool for inspiring playtime with your kids. I remember how hard it was coming up with ideas on how to play with a baby, especially when Tristan was a newborn, but there are dozens – maybe even hundreds – of great suggestions here on games to play with kids from newborn to school age.

From the simple idea of tummy talking for babies under 3 mos to the classic “red light, green light” for toddlers to storybook theatre for older kids, there are tonnes of great ideas. I like how each game also has information about which learning skill you’re stimulating and even some basic safety cautions. Wouldn’t this be a great tool for a young babysitter looking for ways to interact with kids as well? I really wish I’d had access to this when I was a new mom!

As I’m writing this post, I’m remembering how long those early days could seem, home with a baby who couldn’t entertain himself with Super Mario Bros or endless episodes of Max and Ruby. Isn’t it funny how while you’re in them, it seems like those days will never end and suddenly you realize that they’re long behind you?

If you could make one suggestion to help another parent pass a long winter day at home with the kids, what would it be?

(Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Panel and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.)


Oh Tim Hortons, how you vex me

16 January 2012 Canadianisms

I am crazy busy this week. I don’t have time for Internet drama (but oh, there is drama) and I don’t have time for the forecasted 30+ cm of snow between now and Friday (seriously!) and I really don’t have time to talk at any length about coffee. But as we discussed on Twitter this […]

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This week in pictures: Winter and other diversions

14 January 2012 Photo of the Day

After a notable absence, winter has arrived with a vengeance in Ottawa recently. I can’t wait to get out and start taking pictures of the great snow dump we got yesterday — but I might wait until the temperatures warm up a bit beyond the current minus 30 with the wind chill. Brrrr! But heck, […]

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The triumph of reason of impetuousness

12 January 2012 It IS all about me

I think I might actually be a grown-up now. This is such an astonishing revelation that it bears sharing here on the blog. It started, as it usually does, with a fit of covetousness. I have an iPhone 3GS. I’ve had it for about a year and a half, since the eve of the release […]

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This week in pictures: after the holidays

8 January 2012 Photo of the Day

I‘m still on the fence as to whether this is another 365 project, but I did take a picture (or five) each day this week. How can I stop taking pictures when there’s cuteness like this is my life? Isn’t he so lovely? Oh my, but that boy will break hearts some day. This last […]

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