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
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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







Beach sessions announced! | Guelph family photographer

I am pleased to announce that this summer Defining Moments Photography will be taking to the road to offer  fun and memorable portrait experiences at several beaches within Southwestern Ontario.   This is a wonderful opportunity to have me come to a spot that is special to you, or create some extra-special memories your summer vacation at your home away from home.  These sessions are full sessions (not mini sessions) and would be ideal for maternity and/or family portraits.  The sessions are limited to just TWO time slots per location and will take place in the evening hours (exact start time to be determined closer to the date).   The creative fee for these sessions is $225 +hst and includes a pre-consultation and assistance with wardrobe planning. Prints, products, and collections may be purchased separately following the session.  Contact Dana at 519-824-1459 or for more details or to book your session.


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2015 Beach Sessions! | Guelph family photographer

Although we are in the dead of winter here in Ontario, I am dreaming of warmer temperatures and sunny days in the months ahead!  I am pleased to announce that this summer Defining Moments Photography will be taking to the road to offer a limited number of beach sessions throughout Southwestern Ontario!  This is a wonderful opportunity to have some wonderful memories captured at a beautiful location that may be close to your heart!  So, where would YOU like to see me?  Leave a comment below or send me an email ( to share your favourite beach location with me, and perhaps your pick will make the short list!   Confirmed locations and dates will be announced in the next week or so, so stay tuned to this page for more info!


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At Home: Millie | Guelph newborn photographer

I recently had the opportunity to photograph this beautiful baby girl and her lovely parents in the comfort of their own home, here in Guelph. At the time of our session, Millie was 3 weeks-old. I just love her name, and couldn’t get over her beautiful head of hair! A big thank you to Millie’s parents for being so warm and welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, and I hope you love the resulting images!
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Lights, Camera, Sparkle in NYC | Guelph Portrait Photographer

This past November, I took a leap and attended a workshop in the U.S with a photographer and artist whose work I have admired for quite some time — Meg Bitton.  Taking this workshop had been on my bucket list for a couple of years, and last December when it was announced, I quickly grabbed my spot.   I had given myself enough time to prepare — 10+ months to save up and budget for the trip, and to prepare myself for the actual time away from my family.  You see, this was an epic step for me, not just for myself as photographer and business owner, but as a mom; up until this point I had never left my three young kids for more than just an evening away…so the thought of leaving them for 3 nights was a bit daunting.  Also add to the mix that I had never traveled or stepped foot on a plane by myself.  Needless to say, I had a bit of anxiety built up and a few butterflies in my stomach upon my departure to New Jersey.

Once on my way, I realized that traveling solo wasn’t as scary as I thought it might be, and although the quiet and solitude was a bit uncomfortable at times (especially on the first night when I arrived at the hotel), it gave me the chance to reflect on why it was important that I pushed myself to take this journey.  I had several reasons for wanting to take this particular workshop.  Within my own business, I  focus on maternity, child and family photography, but I wanted to learn a different approach to carrying out these types of sessions.  Meg’s images always draw me in.  They are interesting, soft, sometimes moody, and always evoke an emotion and tell a story.  I wanted to learn how to better incorporate these facets into my own style of work.  I also hoped to learn how to nail the connection with the subject being photographed…particularly a young child who may have their own agenda at the time of the session.  Finally, I hoped that this experience would help me feel more confident about my own work.  Confidence is a challenge for me, period.  Both in myself, and in my work. For me it really is a daily struggle.  I know that confidence cannot be learned, or gained simply from attending a workshop, but I am hoping that as I continue to grow and learn (enter ‘continuing education opportunities’), my work will get better too.  I eventually hope to have the confidence to just put myself and my work out there, without doubting and second-guessing myself, or worrying about what others may think.  I truly admire Meg’s ability to do this and wish it came more naturally to me.

Going into the workshop, I tried not to have any expectations.  I simply hoped that it would be a fun and valuable learning experience, and it was.  I learned some new things about myself too. I did come away with some really great tips that I think will help me with my overall workflow, while also enabling me to better enhance my images in post-processing as well.  An added bonus was that I made some inspiring and talented new friends during the process and have enjoyed re-connecting with them online since returning home!

Our models were wonderful and despite the very cold temperatures (I’m Canadian, so you know if I say it was cold, it was REALLY cold!), they rocked their sessions.  And we did get to see how one may deal with a child who wants to do anything but stand and smile in front of the camera…so although it may have been a “hiccup” at the time, I am glad that the situation presented itself so that we could learn from it.  My favourite sessions were the ones shot in NYC.  I had never been to New York City before, so for me just being there was an experience in itself!  I had never done an urban shoot prior to the workshop either, and I loved having the opportunity to try something new, and get outside of my comfort zone.   I enjoyed it so much that I hope to do some more urban sessions in the future with my own clients here in Guelph, or in surrounding areas such as the GTA.

I had a lot of fun shooting and editing this collection of my favourite images from the workshop.  I enjoyed trying some new techniques in Photoshop, and even let my creativity run free by adding some magic and whimsy to a few of the images.  Although I can’t take credit for the pre-planning, styling, directing,  and concepts behind the photos, I can say (with confidence!) that I am happy with how these images turned out.   Looking through them truly make my heart happy.  Coming away from the workshop made me realize that I need to shoot more for myself, both personally and professionally.  I need to seek out and shoot the type of sessions that I want to shoot, and in the way that I envision them from start to finish.  Going forward, I want to continue to create images like these in my own way…depicting smiles, details, quiet moments, beauty, and most importantly, images that speak to me.  I have so many ideas running through my mind about some things I’d like to try, so stay tuned to see what unfolds ;)

Without further ado, my favourite images from my time in New Jersey & NYC…
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A Look Back at 2014 | Guelph Family Photographer

The New Year will be upon us in just a few more hours, and I am so excited to see what 2015 has in store!  I am looking forward to introducing some new changes and session offerings in the coming months, and am anxious to work with some repeat clients and meet some new faces as well.  Thank you to all of my family, friends, clients, supporters and photography friends for making 2014 a memorable one.  Here is a look back at some of the wonderful families that I had the chance to work with this past year!

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An Early Christmas Gift: Baby Sienna | Guelph Newborn Photographer

My adorable baby niece Sienna Jasmine (pronounced ‘Jasmeen’) made her grand entrance into the world on December 6th, a bit earlier than anticipated as her actual due date was set for Christmas Eve.  Though she was received with no less excitement or love!  Her older siblings adore her, and I am a proud auntie once again!  My sister and her family made the trek from their home in Niagara Falls, Ontario to mine in Guelph, so that I could photograph her newborn session at 7 days new.  This little princess really made me work.  She was so cute and calm for most of the session, giving me lots of opportunities for beautiful awake shots, but after almost 3 hours of being wide awake, she finally caved and let her auntie play a bit while getting some sleepy shots too.  The waiting was worth it…I think so anyways.  A big thank-you to my lovely sister for all of her help, and most of all, patience!  It was a very long session, but I didn’t want to miss any opportunity to shoot her while she was sleeping, because it literally took FOREVER to get her into that state.  I’m sure you will be seeing more of this beauty on my blog in the future.

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2014 Client Appreciation Giveaway | Guelph portrait photographer


In the spirit of giving and the holidays, and to show my appreciation to my clients for making 2014 such a memorable year, I am giving away a $250 gift certificate and an 11×14 canvas to one lucky winner!

To enter: Email me your favourite image from our session together this past year, and tell me what makes this photo special to you. Please send your entry to Entries will be received until December 20th. The winner will be selected by random draw on December 21st.

**If you did not purchase the digital file of your favourite image, feel free to send me a quick snapshot of your photo…even if it’s up on the wall. I love seeing how my clients display their images.

Good luck to everyone, and thank you again for making 2014 a wonderful year for myself, and my little business!


XO  Dana
guelph child photographer