September 2014

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?


I remember getting Kinder eggs from my grandparents when I was a kid, just about the same time they first became available in Canada in the early 1980s. (Did you know the brand is 40 years old?) I was fascinated by the exotic milky white insides of the chocolate eggs, aside from loving the wee surprise inside. Though I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, the kids know when they have a Kinder egg they always have to save a bite of that light/milk chocolate combo for me. They’ve always been one of my favourite treats to give and to get.

That’s why I am happy to tell you that for the next year I’ll be working with Kinder Canada – I’m a Kinder Mom! The boys are, of course, absolutely delighted with the news.

I’m pretty happy about it too. Although I’ve bought a lot (seriously, a LOT!) of Kinder Surprise treats through the years, I had no idea about some of the fun things they’ve been up to. For instance, just last month they set an official Guiness World Record in Toronto for the most people unwrapping chocolate at the same time. And starting this month, you’ll find a whole new set of Kinder Surprise toys: there are eight different Transformers toys and ten Disney Fairies toys available in specially marked Kinder Surprise eggs, for a limited time only. Let me know if you see them in Ottawa – we’ve been hunting high and low for them!

The folks at Kinder Canada are all about the family fun, which seemed like another wonderful reason to partner with them on this year’s campaign. Feeling like a little online fun? Try the Kinder Smile booth app on the Kinder Canada Facebook page. You can take photos using your smartphone or webcam, or upload existing photos, and turn them into a #kindersmiles photobooth strip, like the one above! (I’m pretty sure some cities have actual Kinder Photo Booth locations where you can do this in real life, but I don’t think there is one here in Ottawa.)

For a little more tactile fun, Kinder has partnered with Curiosity Box and they’re offering a limited edition Kinder SmileBox including crafts, activity ideas and more. I got a sample pack to play with and we are having a LOT of fun with the photo booth props. Just ask Kerry’s family! 😉

So, TL;DR: smiles, chocolate, family activities, chocolate, silly photo fun, chocolate, happy boys (and Beloved!) and chocolate. You can see why I didn’t hesitate to join the Kinder Canada family, right? 🙂 More Kinder fun, and maybe even some treats to share, coming up soon – stay tuned!

DISCLOSURE: I’m a #KinderMom/Maman/Dad who is part of the KINDER® Canada influencer team. As part of my affiliation with KINDER® Canada, I am provided with special perks and products. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Did you see the forecast for this weekend? It’s like the summer we forgot to have! There’s no excuse to stay inside, so here’s an idea – get out and enjoy Culture Days with free admission at one of Ottawa’s museums.

At the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, they’re exploring “vintage social media” (ha!): “Experience the days of radio and movie magic! In the days before television, iPads, and texting, the family radio and the weekly movie screening were the social media of the day. Everyone gathered around radio sets in family homes to listen to weekly broadcasts of their favourite shows like Little Orphan Annie. Have fun as a modern family learning how to build a radio set transmitter, listening to authentic historic radio broadcasts, watching silent films, and having fun with our film crew activity to learn about gaffers, grips, sound artists, producers, and directors. If you have a future Steven Spielberg at home, this is the event for you! On Sunday, local producers and artisans from the Cumberland Farmers’ Market will be selling their goods – locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, pastries, alongside artisanal products – at their first Harvest Market.” Free admission!

Cumberland Heritage Museum

The Billings Estate National Historic Site is also offering free admission for culture days. The museum will be open for self-guided tours to learn about the history of the site, settlement in Billings Bridge, and the trades that helped them prosper. Admission to the exhibition, use of family-friendly Experience Backpacks, and access to the activity room in Sally’s Kitchen are included. Free!

I’m thinking the fall colours will be lovely out at Pinhey’s Point Historical Site this weekend! Explore the site with a self-guided tour and scavenger hunt that will encourage you to find details about the site that you never knew before. Free!!

If you’re all booked up with fun this weekend, make sure you make room on your calendar next Sunday, October 5, for the hilarious and popular Smashing Pumpkins event at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum! One of their most popular events, you definitely don’t want to miss the chance to watch your pumpkin launched by a trebuchet across the west field towards a giant bulls-eye target! Aside from the absolute fun of launching things across a field, this event teaches about flight technology in the 1920s and 1930s. Make a model airship, play with model trebuchets, and take in some storytelling before decorating your pumpkin for its flight. If you planted a pumpkin in the fall, now’s the time to harvest it! Regular museum admission charges apply.

Pumpkin heads

Check the links above for specific information about locations, hours and programming.

Disclosure: The City of Ottawa is a sponsor of this blog and has provided some of this information. However, all opinions are always my own.


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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Photo of the day: Writer’s Block

by DaniGirl on September 17, 2014 · 5 comments

in Photo of the Day

Oh the photos! Oh the cuteness! Oh the fun!

It has been a really spectacular week in photos for me. From meeting new neighbours and working with old friends on the weekend to photographing my first-ever Bat Mizvah this coming weekend, with a quick stop for mid-week adorable today, it’s an insanely busy week but oh so much fun!

You might remember this young lady from the spring session I did with her family. Mom wanted a photo of her showing off her newly acquired habit of sitting up, so we did a few traditional portraits on the porch (I’ll share those soon!) but then she let me have a bit of a creative play. I had originally conceived an idea that involved giant colourful balloons and a basket and a ladder – but maybe it’s best that I never did get organized enough to execute that one. (See aforementioned reference to crazy busy!) Instead, we came up with this:

Writer's Block

I call it “Writer’s Block.” 🙂

Stay tuned, more unbearable cuteness to share soon!


Photo of the day: Apple box (before and after)

16 September 2014 Photo of the Day

When it comes to editing portraits, I tend to prefer a “clean edit” – tweaks for contrast, exposure, and vibrance (I love saturated colours!), but not too much more. Well, I also have a hopeless addiction to vignettes. But sometimes I see something that just cries out for a more artistic play, like this crate […]

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Photo(s) of the day: Kerry’s family

15 September 2014 Mothership Photography

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! It wasn’t all silliness, but laughter comprised a good part of the morning. That and a truly […]

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In which she discusses allergic reactions to red tattoo ink with the Universe

11 September 2014 It IS all about me

It went something like this: **ring ring** Hello? DaniGirl! It’s the Universe calling. It’s been a while, so I thought I’d check up on you. Hey Universe! Great to hear from you. How’s that supernova in Betelgeuse 5? Shining bright, DaniGirl! Hey, speaking of “shine” – I see you got a tattoo a couple of […]

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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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