Project 52 – Weeks 13-19 | Guelph photographer

Week 13 – Solitude

My youngest waiting for her brother and sister to arrive home from school.

guelph child photographer
Week 14 – Love

My own.  I love them with everything in me, and it warms my heart so see the love and adoration that they have for one another.

sunset
Week 15 – Quiet Moments

My boy. Freshly turned 7.

Guelph children's photographer
Week 16 – Freedom

One windy day just Owen and I headed to a nearby field to fly our kite.  We both enjoyed ourselves and shared a few laughs.  He loves running free…
kite flying

Week 17 – Freelensing

Freelensing is a technique whereby you photograph an image without your lens actually being attached to your camera body.  Early one morning I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the dew looked on the grass in the sunlight.  It took a bit of playing around before I was able to capture an image that I really liked using this method, but I’m happy with how this one turned out.

morning dew
Week 18 – Floral

Tulips are my favourite flower…
tulip
Week 19 – Sunset

I took this image of my daughter Reagan while we were camping during the Victoria Day long weekend.  The sunsets over Lake Huron are simply stunning.
Guelph photographer
Week 20 – Double Exposure/Growth

So the photographers that are a part of the Project 52 group that I belong to decided to change-up some of the themes so that we could work on some technical skills without having to shoot specific subjects.  The new theme was Double Exposure, which is essentially taking a photograph, and then taking a second photograph that overlaps the first frame.  Unfortunately my camera doesn’t have this feature, so I tried to create a similar effect in Photoshop.  I hated it.  So I decided to go back to the original theme which was Growth.
double exposure in photoshopspring blossoms

A Personal Post: My Tiny Dancer | Guelph Child Photographer

This past weekend my daughter Reagan participated in her first ever dance recital with The Guelph Academy of Dance. It was an incredible performance, and I so enjoyed watching the various classes and age groups perform in the different genres of dance, including ballet, tap, hip hop and creative movement. I never did dance as a child, and never really had any interest in it…but after seeing the amazing young talent up on the stage, I wished I had have taken it up as a child. This was Reagan’s first year taking dance classes. I wasn’t sure if she would like it, but so far it seems like she enjoys it. Her class performed to the ukele version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and of course when you have a group of little 4 and 5-year-old girls all dressed up in sparkly costumes, it literally was the cutest thing ever! Watching my little girl up on the big stage without any nerves showing, just doing her thing, made me so proud! Before heading to the show, I took the opportunity to take a few shots at home while she was all dressed up and ready to go!  My little rainbow…

child photographer in Guelph

ballet class, little dancer, tutu, photographer in Guelph

head shots,  performer head shots, dance head shots, child photographer
tutu, whimsy
child photographer, ballet, dance class photos
dance recital, child photographer, children's photography, ballet, ballerina, portrait session
head shots, child photographer, dance recital, performer head shots, dance class, portrait studio in Guelph
2015-05-11_0005.jpg

New Arrival: Baby Blake | Newborn photographer in Guelph

I was so excited when this mama contacted me in the Fall to let me know that she was expecting, and wanted me to photograph her new addition in the spring. Becky and I met in 2007 when I started working as an Instructor Therapist for KidsAbility in Guelph. Although each of us has since taken different paths in terms of our careers, we have kept in touch via social media and often bumped into one another at various extra-curricular activities that our kids were involved in. I had the pleasure of photographing big brother Ben, back when he was just a baby himself, and it was wonderful to be able to photograph their newest addition, Blake at 16 days new. This handsome babe did not want to miss a thing and gave us plenty of wide-eyed shots and cute facial expressions…but eventually we tired him out and were able to get some posed, sleepy shots too. B + C – Thank you so much for choosing me to capture this special time in your lives! You have created a beautiful family and I am sure that as parents of two little boys, your future will be filled with much fun, adventures and wonderful memories!guelph newborn photographer
baby boysiblings
ontario baby photographer
newborn session
guelph newborn session
www.definingmomentsphotography.ca
photo session in Guelph
mom & baby

 

‘Inspired’ series: Reaching for the Stars | Guelph photographer

guelph photographer

A couple of months ago I came across a story about two girls, Alexis (14) and Maria (17)  via a mutual friend on Facebook.  I was completely awed and inspired by what they had done and the outcome that came of it.  At the time I was also contemplating doing a personal project that I could tie in with my photography business, and after reading their story it was at that point that I decided to launch a regular feature on my blog that would recognize, highlight, and celebrate youth, or other individuals in our community that are doing amazing things.  I wanted to participate in a project that would not only benefit the featured person, but it was important to me that I as a photographer be able to push my own limits and try new things in order to grow and improve upon my skills.  This first session did just that:  I was able to photograph an age-group that I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph, and I did so in an {urban} environment that I don’t typically shoot in.   It was a fun experience and I am grateful to both Alexis and Maria for inspiring this idea of mine, and for being such willing and cooperative subjects.

So now onto their story.  It is one that involves friendship, the power of  social media and Shawn Mendes.  Yes, you read right.  Shawn Mendes.  The insanely popular teenage singer/songwriter that is topping the Billboard Charts with his current album titled “Handwritten.”   You are likely familiar with his big hits “Something Big”, “Life of the Party”, and my personal favourite “Never Be Alone.”  Both Maria and Alexis are huge fans and actually connected online with one another via Instagram, because of their mutual love for Shawn Mendes and his music.  Soon after connecting online, they realized that they actually lived in close proximity to each other and thus their friendship advanced from a virtual one to an in-person one.

After meeting the girls myself, it’s easy to see that they share a really special friendship and have a lot of fun together.   A couple of months ago just for fun, Maria and Alexis decided that would create a short animation outlining Shawn Mendes’ career to date.  You can view the finished product here.  Awesome right?  After finishing the video late at night, they posted it to YouTube, and shared it via Instagram. Within minutes of posting it to Instagram, Shawn Mendes himself shared it with all of his fans and followers via Facebook and Twitter.  You can imagine their utter surprise and excitement when within just a few hours  they were contacted by Shawn Mendes’ management offering them the opportunity to work on another project for the release of one of his new songs.  Insane, right?!  At this point, their original video has been viewed 25,019 times on YouTube!  Incredible!  I have no idea how they went about creating it, but the thought, effort and skills that went into making it is so very impressive.  Let me just remind you again that these girls are 14 and 17!!

Once contacted by Shawn Mendes’ team, Maria and Alexis gladly took on the challenge of creating a new animation that would be released in snippets for the anticipation of the release of the song “Never Be Alone.”  Maria, the graphic artist behind the animations guesses that the project took approximately 20 hours to complete, which was done within a tight 3-day deadline that they were required to meet.  Again, the outcome was so well done!  You can watch here.

What I love about this story is that the girls decided to use their imagination, skills, talent and time to do something for the sheer fun and enjoyment of it…without even expecting anything to come of it.  But the fact that something did come of it is so amazing and they definitely deserve all the credit in the world for it.  I also admire that they have zero inhibitions.  As an artist, sometimes it’s difficult to put yourself and your art out there.  You need to have confidence in yourself and your craft, and sometimes that doesn’t come easily.  It is something that I personally struggle with quite a bit.  I love that they did their thing and shared it on social media for all to enjoy.  That in itself inspires me.  I admit that I am also extremely fascinated by the power of social media.  When I was a teen (which really wasn’t that long ago) there was no social media.  If I had wanted to reach out to the Backstreet Boys or New Kids On The Block (bands I admired at the time!), I would have had to write a letter using snail mail.  Not to say that I ever did write to said boy bands…but that’s pretty much the only option that was available at the time.  And even if the letter was received, it is not likely that any confirmation would have been granted.  The fact that this day in age you can connect personally with whomever you want…celebrity or not, in just a matter of minutes is mind-boggling to me.  From the sharing of these videos alone, Alexis and Maria have gained hundreds of new followers on various social media sites.  I’m so excited to see what lies ahead for these girls.  In the words of Shawn Mendes, I’m sure it will be “Something Big.”  ;)

Maria + Alexis — I hope you know just how beautiful, intelligent and uber-talented you are.  You both have bright futures ahead of you.  Keep reaching for the stars!  Thank you again for sharing your experience with me and for spending an evening with me downtown Guelph.  I enjoyed our time together and love the resulting images from our session.  I’m sharing some of my favourites here…

– Dana
2015-04-22_0001.jpg
2015-04-22_0002.jpg
2015-04-22_0003.jpg

2015-04-22_0007.jpg
2015-04-22_0004.jpg
2015-04-22_0005.jpg
2015-04-22_0006.jpg
2015-04-22_0009.jpg
2015-04-22_0008.jpg
2015-04-22_0010.jpg
2015-04-22_0011.jpg
2015-04-22_0012.jpg
2015-04-22_0013.jpg

Do you know someone in our community who is doing great, inspiring things?  It could be anything from doing volunteer work in the community, achieving a notable accomplishment, or just simply working hard to be the best person they can be.  The chosen (and willing) participant will receive a complimentary portrait session + images, as well as have their story featured on my blog.  Contact me at info@definingmomentsphotography.ca with your nominations, as I would love to hear from you!

Project 52: Weeks 9-12 | Photographer in Guelph

I am still plugging away at my personal Project 52, though I must admit that I have found the past few weeks to be challenging. I was stumped by a couple of the weekly themes, and that paired with other pressing priorities (such as preparing my income taxes! blah!) and feeling somewhat uninspired…it left my project on the back-burner, though it was never far from my thoughts. I really don’t want to fail at this!  Sometimes I think I “over think” the themes, trying to come up with something really awesome. I finally got to the point where I just decided to get back at it and shot a few images just for the sake of taking them so that I could move on. Here are my images for month 3…

Week 9:  Shapes

full moon

Week 10:  Mirrors/Reflectionsspring thaw Week 10_edited-1
Week 11: Night

I really wanted to do something amazing with this theme.  I wanted to shoot in an urban setting at night, but with time constraints it just didn’t happen.  Also, with the recent time change, darkness really doesn’t fall until much later in the evening. I snapped this shot just to say that I had one for the theme that week…as night was beginning to fall.

 

dusk

Week 12:  Break the Rules

Again, I was stumped this week and decided to “break my own rules” in post-processing, by using different sliders and functions that I don’t normally fiddle with in Photoshop.  I like the end result.   I am including the icicle shot because I was going to use it initially for my one shot this week and am happy with how it turned out.  Mother nature gave us frigid temperatures and freezing rain on this day in April…so my interpretation was that SHE was breaking the rules ;)   Hopefully that was the last blast of winter-like weather until next year.

raindropsicicles macro

Interested in seeing my images from the last two installments of my Project 52?  My past weeks can be found here and here

New Arrival: Baby Jordan | Guelph newborn photographer

It may sound redundant, but I just love watching my client’s families continue to grow. Twenty-one months ago I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing this family at their first son’s newborn session. I was thrilled to hear from them again recently as they were awaiting the arrival of their second baby boy…Baby Jordan. He looked identical to how his older brother looked as a newborn, and had the most perfect lashes and beautiful head of dark hair! M & I — Thank you so much for entrusting me to capture these special milestones in your lives. You have such a beautiful family, and I thoroughly enjoyed our time together!

Without further ado, meet Jordan, at 12 days new…
2015-03-17_0001.jpg
2015-03-17_0002.jpg
2015-03-17_0003.jpg
2015-03-17_0004.jpg
2015-03-17_0005.jpg
2015-03-17_0006.jpg
2015-03-17_0007.jpg

Mama Love: Limited Edition Mother’s Day Sessions | Guelph family photographer

I am over-the-moon excited to be offering something a bit different for mamas this Mother’s Day.  In the past I have offered Mommy + Me mini sessions which were a lot of fun, but I always felt that the sessions were too rushed and they didn’t offer the full experience that I feel that moms truly deserve.  This year I wanted to offer moms an unhurried, relaxing, and unique experience.  One where she can be pampered prior to the session, and have beautiful portraits captured with her littlest loves while looking and feeling her very best!  These very special session offerings are taking place on Mother’s Day here in Guelph and are limited to only 5 sessions…and I expect them to sell out quickly!  This Mother’s Day, show her just how special and beautiful she really is, and gift her an experience she will never forget!

Mama – if you happen to be the one reading this and are interested in participating in this exclusive Mother’s Day event, perhaps link the details to your hubby, or go ahead and treat yourself !  Or perhaps you would like to gift a session to  your own Mom.  Even though I referred to children  as “littlest loves”, there is no age limit.  These sessions could be a great opportunity to have a three generations portrait completed as well… what a special gift for Grandma that would be!

Contact me via email to book, or call 519-824-1459.  The balance is due in full at the time of booking to secure the makeover and portrait experience.

Mothers Day Sessions

“Mothers hold their children’s hands for awhile, but their hearts forever.”

– Unknown

family photographer in Guelph

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Personal Post: Project 52 – Weeks 4-8 | Guelph photographer

 

Eight weeks in, and I am happy to report that I am still devoted to shooting my one themed image per week for my Project 52.  I must admit though, I found the past couple of weeks to be challenging to find the time to fit in my project for a few different reasons… first with the passing of a friend, and my family (and myself) being hit with the flu etc. I found myself leaving my project until the very last minute of each week, and then was scrambling to figure out something to shoot for the given theme.    Although what I am shooting at times is quite different than what I normally photograph, I am enjoying shooting for a purpose, and being forced to step outside of my comfort zone, and plan to continue to step outside of the box in future weeks — either in the interpretation of the theme, or just embracing a different way of shooting than I normally would.  Here are my images from the past four weeks:

Week 5:  Low Light

This image was inspired by a friend.  She passed away during this week {of the project} after a long and courageous battle with cancer.  You can read about her story here.

Week 5 - Low Light

Week 6:  Abandoned

In my mind, I had something awesome planned out for this week…but alas, due to the frigid cold temperatures we have been experiencing, and the fact that life with three littles can often be hectic, I settled for shooting something quickly last-minute.   Hopefully I’ll get to photography my original vision for a future theme.  I drive by this property almost every day and wonder about the story behind it.  I’ve always been fascinated by abandoned barns and buildings.

Week 6 - Abandoned web

Week 7:  Black & White

My boy.  I call this one “Freckles & Lashes.”

Week 7 - BW web

Week 8:  Same but Different

Initially I struggled with what to shoot for this week’s theme, and then while watching big, fluffy snowflakes fall outside my kitchen window one morning, it hit me.  Although at first glance snow looks all the same, each snowflake is actually different and unique.  I really enjoyed getting some use out of my macro lens, and actually have a few favourite shots…but I like the soft, whimsy and artistic processing of this image, so that’s why I chose it to share.

snowflake

Just Baby. | Guelph Baby Photographer

I love photographing all stages of childhood, but I especially love capturing babies within their first year. This time is such a fleeting one, filled with tremendous growth, emerging personalities, and learning some independent skills, such as sitting. Little babes at this stage are so happy, and often look at the world with such innocence, curiosity, and wonder…and I just adore capturing that through my lens!  Toothless smiles, eyes full of wonder, finding their toes, and that squishy baby chub — the joy in watching a babe at this developmental stage never gets old for me! I thoroughly enjoyed photographing little Vivian at my in-home studio here in Guelph, just one week shy of her 7 month milestone. Isn’t she darling?!

2015-02-20_0004.jpg2015-02-20_0001.jpg
2015-02-20_0002.jpg
2015-02-20_0005.jpg
2015-02-20_0003.jpg
2015-02-20_0006.jpg

Baby Milestone Sessions are offered as part of the Baby’s First Year Package, and are available to book separately to take place anytime between 3-12 months of age as well.  A few occasions during the year “Just Baby” mini sessions are offered also.  There are a few spaces remaining for this event taking place on March 10th (for babies between 6-12 months). Connect for more details by contacting me at info@definingmomentsphotography.ca, or 519-824-1459