The Cottage | Kitchener Family Photographer

I am probably the luckiest human on the planet.  Since my parents bought the little piece of paradise known as Island View Cottage in 1997, I have spent at least part of my summer each year in beautiful Tobermory, straddling Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. Since my kids were babies, we trucked them up north, the three hour journey not always peaceful but worth it nonetheless.  We all find peace, relaxation and freedom at the cottage, a space to unwind like nowhere else on Earth.  It is with great glee that we countdown each year to our first cottage weekend, chiding those who miss out on the first few trips (usually me) and willing the days to go faster so we can GET THERE.

Each year, just the four of us get a week or two at the cottage during our holidays, a time to make memories, adventure along the Peninsula and just be together as a family.  Last year I was unexpectedly forced documented our trip on my "big" camera after my phone died a watery death in the lake.  We cherised those pictures so much and we look at the album I made so often that I knew that this year I wanted to do the same.  Because as much as I LOVE my iPhone, some things are better in full living colour, know what I mean? Of course, I still took a ton of underwater photos on my phone, which may just end up in another post, because really we are part fish so all these photos of us dry are only half the story. Okay, well three of us dry, since my hubby reserves swimming for water temps above 80 degrees, a feat not likely to be seen this millenium in Georgian Bay.

For now, here is a little glimpse into our getaway, our haven, our home on the Bruce.  Island View, you are a damn good little cottage and you fill our hearts and minds with more joyful memories than I could have ever imagined in this lifetime.

M xo

P.S, Our old dog Charlie is a saint for putting up with all the hugs he gets from his loving girls and I dare you to guess which of my children is the biggest ham and camera hog EVER.Blake Summer_0120Blake Summer_0001Blake Summer_0261Blake Summer_0258Blake Summer_0212Blake Summer_0107Blake Summer_0376Blake Summer_0356Blake Summer_0211Blake Summer_0216Blake Summer_0175Blake Summer_0125Blake Summer_0180Blake Summer_0127Blake Summer_0131Blake Summer_0136Blake Summer_0223Blake Summer_0052Blake Summer_0826Blake Summer_0035Blake Summer_0241Blake Summer_0830Blake Summer_0089Blake Summer_0274Blake Summer_0283Blake Summer_0276Blake Summer_0208Blake Summer_0604Blake Summer_0379Blake Summer_0383Blake Summer_0396Blake Summer_0327Blake Summer_0884Blake Summer_0920Blake Summer_0791Blake Summer_1003Blake Summer_1018Blake Summer_1030Blake Summer_1039Blake Summer_1062Blake Summer_0408Blake Summer_0553Blake Summer_0556Blake Summer_0564Blake Summer_0446Blake Summer_0485Blake Summer_0530Blake Summer_0508Blake Summer_0515Blake Summer_0547Blake Summer_1065Blake Summer_1084Blake Summer_1119Blake Summer_0742Blake Summer_0750Blake Summer_0756Blake Summer_0759Blake Summer_0772Blake Summer_1173Blake Summer_1202Blake Summer_1196Blake Summer_1241Blake Summer_1230Blake Summer_1284Blake Summer_1288Blake Summer_1295Blake Summer_1280Blake Summer_1296Blake Summer_1333Blake Summer_1341Blake Summer_1353Blake Summer_1369Blake Summer_1396Blake Summer_1384Blake Summer_1408Blake Summer_0346

An Hour With My Girls... | Kitchener Family Photographer

It is not very often anymore that I photograph my own girls.  They are at ages where they are willing to stand still for a moment here and there for an iPhone photo, but tend to rebel a little bit when the "big camera" finds its way out of the bag.  But on this sunny late-spring evening, we hopped in the car to check out a little spot I found on a drive one afternoon, to splash in the creek, dig in the mud and just have fun together. They quickly got wet, muddy and silly, found a hiding toad and poked some sort of weird web-nest.  They threw stones, had a flip-flop "boat" race and generally played hard in the sunshine and water.  After they were tired of bumming around the creek, we sat in the meadow above, soaking up the sun and laughing at each other's silliness.  They tried hard to make a piggy back work, even though they are exactly same weight and while Emery munched on clover flowers like a rabbit, Brielle executed some of the wildest cartwheels I have seen.  And then I took a few photos of them together. Sisters, friends, bickering partners, protectors. Two-thirds of my heart.

I may have cried more than once putting this post together.  I am just a big sap when it comes to these two little blondies.  They drive me crazy - with equal parts frustration and love. It is these moments that I put in my heart for those days that aren't as sunny and smiley.

Love you, girlies.  More than you can ever know.

I also made a little video of our adventures but my blog is being difficult about the file size, so if you want to check it out, I posted it on my Facebook page! It made me cry just a little bit more...

M xo

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A Road Trip with Scribsy + My iPhone | Kitchener iPhoneographer

A road trip.  That thing that to some is daunting, to others boring, to many, an absolutely amazing adventure.  Hours in the car with no one for company but your chosen travel companion, nights in hotels and ever-changing scenery. It can make or break a friendship and can spawn both irritability and inside jokes. When Scribsy (aka Hilary) and I set out on our journey to Nashville, Atlanta and Orlando, we knew that at the very least, we would survive this trip as friends, having done a similar excursion only two years ago.  We set off early and only had one slight detour 45 minutes in the wrong direction before getting in the groove for the long haul.  Before we even reached our border crossing, we were laughing hysterically at our own silliness and officially named our trip the "Shake-a-Deuce Road Trip."

The first day we powered through all the way to Nashville, wondering how long Ohio could possibly go on while counting deer carcasses left on the roadside (okay, that might have just been me.  There was a exceptional amount of roadkill). We tried hard to predict the next lyrics of the country songs on the radio and nearly lost one flip-flop at a gas stop.  Before we knew it, the temperature was climbing and we opened the sunroof to soak in the sunshine.  Scribs loved keeping close tabs on the dashboard thermometer, letting me know every time it rose even a degree.

We rolled into Nashville late in the evening and tiredly but excitedly tumbpled out of the car and into a magnificent hotel called The Hermitage.  The lobby was expansive and elegant and we couldn't wait to get to our room, which it turns our, was equally fabulous.

For the next couple of days, we explored downtown Nashville, visited friends and checked out some of the cultural sights.  It was during this time that I decided that I would do an iPhone "Art Series" of Hil during our trip.  Sure, my big camera had been lugged along, but I felt like my phone images would be more interesting and immediate.  Scribs was a very cooperative "muse", leaping on cement barriers and sitting in narrow window ledges at my request.  I am sure some of the locals thought we were slightly unhinged, me with our collected array of bags and purses at my feet, shouting to Scribsy across a distance to move her head or arms as directed, sometimes mimicking the actions if she couldn't hear me.

After taking Nashville by storm and getting a bunch of fun "art series" shots under our belts, we set out for our next destination: Atlanta.  It was an absolute whirlwind of friends and fun, a late night and early morning, but we had a blast.  It is amazing the amount of visiting you can squeeze in in less than 18 hours!

We set off from Atlanta under a bright, white sun and were en route to sunny Orlando.  Along the way, we realized that our original estimate of 6 hours to our destination was somewhere around 2 hours off base but we resolutely kept on, stopping for emergency Dairy Queen and laughing at the mysteries of Google Maps.  Soon we were seeing the trees and flowers along the freeway turning deep green and bursting with life, the temperature climbing again after cooler temperatures in Tennessee and Georgia.  We scrambled for toll money and held up the line with our lack of US coinage but eventually made it to my hotel.

This was the end of our journey together, but we were not yet finished travelling.  Scribs was heading to meet her awaiting family for a much-deserved vacation while I would be boarding a flight home in the morning.  But we had done it. Five days, three cities, twenty-one hours on the road.  And still laughing.

After taking a few last frames for the "art series", we parted ways sadly, even though we knew we would talk on the phone every day until she was back and we would see one another in a week.  But somehow, the was a magic being broken, let go, from our road trip.  Memories that were being cemented and archived.  I waved to her as she drove away, happy and tired, ready for a quick dip in the pool before re-packing to head home the next day.

Once I was home, I decided that I would share some of my favourite iPhoneography from the trip, partly to share with family and friends who were not following along on Instagram, but mostly as a way to relive it for a few moments.

Thank you, my dear Scribs, for being the best road trip partner-in-crime a girl could ask for.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.   Shake-a-Deuce Road Trip FOREVER, baby.

M xo

Tennessee sun and clouds.


Visiting our dear friend Mandy Johnson at her phenomenal studio in Franklin.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-5

At Belle Meade Plantation.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-6

The Hermitage Hotel had this cool window in the stairwell that I was kind of obsessed with...kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-9The infamous Scribsy top knot.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-11Her favourite.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-10My favourite.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-7Downtown Nashville.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-8Last Starbucks of the night.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-1

Hotel morning light falling on "command central".kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-2She makes me take the stairs. I love her for it.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-13Our dear friend Elizabeth opened her home to us in Smyrna.  Isn't it just the most adorable little slice of Americana?kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-14

Love wins.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-16

The last light together in Orlando.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-15

My view of New York City as I flew into Newark on my journey home.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-4

The shores of Lake Ontario call me home at last.kitchener-iphoneography-mandy-blake-road-trip-3

Snow Fort | KW Documentary Lifestyle Photographer

After one of the first snowfalls of the year, my girls were determined to build a snow fort in the back yard, despite the fact that each shovelful bared green grass beneath.  They made their own little sections, each with a bed, sofa and toilet (ugh, when will potty humour stop being hilarious?!), working both together and independently to construct exactly what they envisioned.  This fort has long since been buried in about 3 feet of snow, but you can still see the outline of the walls and beds, like a secret acheological disovery just waiting to be found.  Maybe when this cold nspa ends they will get out there and rebuild. I ran out in the late afternoon sun to watch them work and capture a few moments of their building project.

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Ten | Kitchener Family Photographer

Well, double digits.  Little did I know a decade ago how my life would be changed and made better by this beautiful, sassy, willful, kind girl who made me a mother for the first time. She is not a morning person.  Never has been.  She is a night-hawk like her Mama, preferring to finish the last few pages of the book than give in to heavy eyes.  She loves makeup and fashion and hair - not exactly like her Mama in that regard.  She is equal parts loving and mean to her little sister, but in the end is always the first one to jump to her defense when the going gets tough.  She is a drama queen with a flair for spectacular meltdowns, but also a soft-hearted friend who writes surprise notes to cheer people up and donates her carefully saved money at every opportunity.

She likes to sing in the shower, sometimes forgetting the whole purpose is to wash and finds prat falls and physical comedy exceptionally hilarious.  She is obsessed with preganacy and birth but panics in an emergency so maternity care is not likely in her future.  She counts to ten and gives herself pep talks to get through struggles and has conquered her fear of public speaking (well, mostly).  She is easily distracted by reflective surfaces and yet can be so focused on getting what she wants.  She is the first one on my bed, pouring out her heart when there is an issue and the first to offer a cool cloth for my headache. She is the last to pitch in when it is time to do dishes or yard work.

I love her to pieces.  Sometimes I want to scream, she drives me so crazy.  She is already slamming doors and getting embarrassed by us - oh, pre-teen years, here we come.  But deep down, under all the silly, the crazy, the slow-poking and the attitude, she is the little girl who turned our lives upside down forever and I wouldn't change a single thing about her.  Okay, well maybe the meltdowns.

Brielle, we love you more than you can ever know and we adore watching you grow each year into a more beautiful, kind and unique person.


Mom, Dad, Emery & Charlie xoxoxoxo

Here a couple of portraits of my girl to commemorate her tenth birthday.Brielle-10-Web

Personal iPhoneography 2014 | Kitchener Family Photography

Looking back through 2014, a few things come to mind.  Adventures in the woods.  Swimming, lots of swimming.  Skateboards and scooters. And family. This year was one where I put down the "big" camera and just brought my phone.  My phone, that I can slip into my pocket after the not-so-perfect-but-memory-capturing photo is taken and then engage in the moment.  Play with my girls. Kiss my husband. Pet my old dog.  These moments are what can get lost when my big camera comes around, as I struggle to get just the right frame rather than just the right moment.  That split second where my kids laugh a true laugh, or hit the water after a huge cannon-ball or stick out their tongues playfully.

Now don't get me wrong, lots of these images were taken with a vision or because the light was pretty or because I love me some Instagram and like participating in that community, but underneath all of that, this is our life.  And I love our life.  That is what I take away from these images as I reflect on the past year.

I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination.  And these photos are the proof.

M xo

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Friends | Kitchener Family Photographer

Often as adults, we don't make many new friends.  We tend to tighten down our little circles - school friends, work friends, social acquaintances.  But sometimes, you get the chance to make new, real friends.  Such is the case with this awesome family. We first met when our oldest daughters attended the same Sparks group.  Claire and I attended a couple of events with the group and chatted a little bit. Our girls also went to the same school, we later realized, but on opposite kindergarten days.

Then my youngest daughter and their son started in the same kindergarten class.  They became fast friends and were mostly inseparable.  In fact, they were more like siblings than friends - rough-housing and plotting sneak scare attacks in whispers, laughing like loons when their plans worked.  Our eldest daughters also had class together and bickered and loved like sisters too.  I would often chat with Steve or Claire as we waited for the final school bell to ring and a friendship was born.  With our kids in the same classes, we kept each other up on the in-class dramas of our oldest girls and commiserated over the younger ones' lack of desire to learn to read.  And all the while, their littlest, a social butterfly, would be merrily sharing lots of stories with me about her day.  Fast forward through several field trips, backyard barbeques and more than a few beers, wine and coolers while playing Dutch Blitz you see a couple of families who can spend a few hours together with no fighting kids (okay, well maybe a few arguments here and there - they are like siblings, I tell ya!) and crack each other up on those early breakfast club volunteer mornings.

We planned a little session together way back in June but I was waiting to blog these until their Christmas cards were sent, since I knew she was planning on using a few from the session as a surprise for long-distance relatives.  It is amazing how looking at these now, a few months later, you can almost forget the swarm of mosquitoes that was eating us all alive before the bug spray arrived, or the sensation of my hand coming up wet out of a fresh puddle of dog urine...almost.

I have to say, my very favourite part of this session was when we headed back to their house near the end, to capture some images in their backyard and on their front porch.  I think this has to happen for EVERY session from now on.  The home is where the heart is and to have those memories of the life they are creating together in that home are so precious.  Get ready for me to come to your house, people! ;)

Our family is so lucky to have found such wonderful, kind and hilarious friends and we look forward to many more years of laughter and friendship.  And chili with lots of corn.


M xo



Seven | Kitchener Photographer

Seven years ago today, I was welcoming my second child.  The one who had given me heartburn and ceaseless rib kicks and whom I was convinced was a boy. But then she arrived.  Another daughter, with a thick head of dark hair and the chubbiest cheeks.  And also immediately starving.  Little did I know that this was neither the first nor the last time that I would be meeting her never-ending nourishment needs...

She is the comedian - always being silly and saying things that crack us up - but quick to tears if she didn't intend to be funny.  She has the kindest, gentlest heart, the first to help you if you are injured or sick.  Thank goodness she keeps a calm head, effectively balancing her sister's tendency to overreact dramatically.  She is grounded and laid-back, much more her father's daughter in that regard.  Her smile is infectious and seen often, and when she laughs hysterically it is a sound that is indescribably happy.  She is fearless and tends to leap before looking, always the first one down the hill on her snowboard, laughing wildly as she showers me with snow at the bottom.  She is a klutz and is well-known in the school office, with an ice pack ever-at-the-ready in case she should happen to smack head-first into a wall, since she prefers to walk forward while looking backwards.  She hates ketchup and loves pickles, is always STARVING at bedtime and has been known to polish off two quarts of raspberries and half a cantaloupe as a light snack.  She loves to draw and paint and can play for hours on her own, living in her imagination.  She is the worst person to watch TV with, since she cannot sit still for a minute unless it is Animal Planet.  She rocks her own stye and couldn't care less if you think that stripes, flowers and paisley don't go together - she is wearing that outfit!  She taunts me with her hot-dog tongue and has never managed to control the impulse to stick it out at me when she is annoyed. Quick to apologize for any wrongs and the first to stick up for her sister (even if her sister is getting in trouble for bugging her), she is friends with everyone.  She has a scowl that would melt stone and a pouty lip that she can quiver just perfectly to melt her Daddy.  She brings laughter, comic relief and joy into our home and to our family each and every day.  And even at seven, she is a tiny anchor who can bring us all back down when we lose sight of the humor of daily life.

I love you my Emery and I am proud of the girl you are growing into each and every day.  Thank you for always bringing me a cool cloth when I have a headache and telling me to go to bed when I am tired.

Happy 7th birthday!


Mommy, Daddy, Brielle + Charlie xoxo

And of course, a photo for each of her last 7 years.

Birth. Our first family photo, taken minutes after her birth at home.


Newborn goodness.0

One. Piggy tails and a toothy grin.1

Two.  She never sat still long enough to get a focused photo.2

Three. That smile.3

Four. That crazy tongue makes an appearance.

Five. She is just pure sweetness most of the time...4

Six. She CRACKS me up!6

Seven. I am in awe of her.  I can see her maturing every day and I feel so fortunate to be her mother.7

Nine | Kitchener Child Photographer

Nine years ago, I underwent a transformation that was equally scary and exciting.  I became a mother. As I sit and reflect on the past nine years, I can't believe how fortunate I am to have this beautiful girl in my life.  She is so much like me, in so many ways, and while sometimes that means she pushes my buttons (big time), I also take pride in knowing that she is MINE. My heart, my soul, my sorrow, my joy.

She is passionate, sometimes to the degree of Grand Supreme Drama Queen.  She is sensitive and easily bruised by unkindness.  She has a smile that melts my heart.  And an eye roll that makes every muscle in my body fight not to get angry.  She loves to stay up late, hiding under the covers so we don't see her.  She reads more than one book at a time, never losing the thread of the story.  She is an amazing big sister and a compassionate friend.  She loves to hug and snuggle and sing at the top of her lungs.  She dances in the shower and wears makeup that would put the 80's to shame.  She doesn't like math and laughs at her own miserable attempts at art. She gets distracted by shiny things... well, she gets distracted by anything really. She loves ketchup - especially on pizza.

I am so thankful and full of love for this girl.  She brings me happiness, pain, laughter and worry of the kind I never thought possible before I became a mother.  I love you, Brielle.  Even when you don't like me. ;)

Happy 9th birthday!


Mommy, Daddy, Emery + Charlie xoxo

Here are portraits of my girl, one for each year since her birth.  Sigh.  Why can't she stay little forever?

Just home from the hospital on day one.

One.  I thought her hair would never grow...

Two. Baby curls and pearly whites.

Three. With Grizzy and Special.  She still sleeps with both every night.

Four.  Forced grin and a blond bob.

Five. That smile gets me every time.

Six.  Rocking her own style, finding her independence.

Seven.  Those teeth are the BEST.

Eight.  Seriously, when did she get so mature?

Nine.  I m starting to see glimpses of a teen.  Makeup, jewelry, boys, frenemies.  I wish I could freeze her right at this moment.



Personal Images 2013 | Kitchener Family Photography

  Reflecting on 2013, I can't help but smile.  My family brings me such joy and happiness on a daily basis.  I am so grateful to be surrounded by the people I love, having the chance to enjoy their company in the places I love and making memories along the way.

We travelled frequently to the cottage this year, a family haven in beautiful Tobermory.  My girls are free to explore and discover, swim and play, build fires and catch minnows.  I read, nap and swim when the water is not bone-chillingly cold. My hubby works through crosswords, soaks up the sun and takes long walks to clear his mind.  I  think each of us feels at home, at ease and perfectly relaxed in this space.  We live the cottage life to the fullest.

We also had the chance to go home this year to Twillingate, Newfoundland, a place of rugged beauty where amazing family and friends welcome us with open arms.  I love the fact that my girls are able to wander off to climb the hills, catch crabs in a bucket, get a slushie at the store and pick wild berries, all without ever worrying about where they are or whom they are with.  It brings me back to my own childhood and it makes my heart happy that they have the chance to enjoy that carefree childhood, even for a short time.  Hubby and I often take off, leaving the girls with their doting Nan & Pop, to check out the local hiking trails or drive to his youthful haunts.  On the plus side for me, there are no snakes on the island, which makes my hikes much less anxiety-ridden, however, the nippers is some bad!  Bonfires at the beach, fresh meat soup and toutons with partridge berry jam are some of my favourite things about going home. :)

When we were not on the road or in the air, we spent our summer nights in good ol' Kitchener with friends and neighbours, the kids playing late into the warm nights on their bikes or on the trampoline.  The girls begged every day to go to the skate park down the street or for an ice cream cone at Dairy Queen.  I cleaned scraped knees, administered AfterBite and slathered the sunscreen. Ahhh, summer.

It is hard to believe that the fall saw both my girls in school full-time, me alone to work in my too-quiet house with the snoring dog.  Sigh.  I knew they would grow, but why does it have to be so fast?  I am so glad that I am able to capture them, as I see them, nearly every day, so that I can look back each year and remember. Just remember.

We finished the year with a beautiful Christmas and New Year, surrounded by family and full of love.  The perfect way to complete a heart-filling, wonderful year.

Before I get too sappy, below are a selection of some of my favourite images from this past year, divided into Colour, Black & White and iPhone images.  Bring on 2014!

M xo


Intensely Carefree


Body Art

Straw Gazer

Cottage Life

Granny Face

Rock Hoppers

Six with Attitude

The Old Man

Favourite Red Hoodie



Black & White


Sisterly Love

Up the Creek

Fashion Show

Puddle Inspector

Summer Braid

Piggy Back!

The Woods


Charleston View

Summer Beach Sunset

Skate Park Gang

Weathered Pines

Smoke Signals

In Pop's Store

Tuckered Out

Hair Echoing Bush

Back Harbour Swell

Through the Sprinkler

Late Summer Garden

The Chase

Calling to Friends


Strike a Pose

Morning Kiss

Incognito Attitude

Summer Clouds

Weird Light, Big Eyes

Winter's Bones

Little Mister Turns One | Kitchener Family Photography

Just over a year ago, we were waiting for my friends Mike and Kelly to let us know when their baby had arrived.  When I got the text that he was here, I was overjoyed for them.  One year ago today, he came into their lives, a healthy  baby boy who was thankfully weighed not nearly as much as anticipated! ;)

Over the past year, this little man has given his parents a few grey hairs with an early hospital stay and a couple of mysterious rashes, but he is one tough little cookie!  Surrounded by love, it is no wonder he bounced back stronger than ever after each little fall.  I have had the chance to snuggle him when we have our monthly breakfast dates with my CCMH ladies and trust me, he gets more kisses in that hour than may be safe for the average baby.   He puts up (mostly) with our non-stop chatter while trying to swipe food from Mom's plate, until we push him past nap time and then he lets us know just what he thinks of our conversation!

It has been so wonderful to watch my friends blossom into such amazing parents!  It is hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since I held him, a tiny bundle in my arms.  He has grown into such an adorable, sweet little man.  I could just squeeze him!  But really, the thing I look the most forward to is the day that he chooses his favourite hockey team.  Senators or Maple Leafs?  Maybe he will create a panic and choose THE HABS! ;)

A special thanks to Michelle from Miche L Photography for hanging out with me at this session too!

Love you little mister!

M xo

Six | Kitchener Children's Photographer

My youngest turned six this week.  Holy moly!  She came whirling into our lives early on an warm late-summer morning, hungry and full of energy.  She is still a morning person, still hungry and the energy has only grown six-fold. I love her because she talks to herself, makes silly faces to crack us up, says hilarious things,asks constantly for snacks, goes to sleep within 2 seconds of closing her eyes, loves to paint, is a kind friend who gets along with everyone, knows how to get what she wants from her "boyfriend" by making it sound like it was her idea, loves her sister and will share her last piece of gum with her,  has the craziest hair EVER, rides her training wheels at the skate park like she owns the place, is quick to forgive and apologize, sings when she wakes up, can work an attitude pose like nobody's business and is always laughing.

You bring joy, laughter, energy and serenity into our lives every day, Emery.  We love you <3

Mom, Dad, Sissy and Charlie Boy xo

Red Hoodies | Ontario Children's Photographer

Nothing is better than spending the long days of summer at a cottage. I am so fortunate that my parents have a cottage that we can use as a family, set in picturesque Tobermory, Ontario.  An old log building with a planked interior, it is filled with a mish-mash of eclectic furniture and decor, the perfect summer retreat.  It is the kind of place where you don't think twice about coming in straight from the lake and dripping puddles through the living room on your journey to find your haphazardly-shucked clothing.  Or letting the kids dissect owl pellets right on the dining table, gross little rodent bones and all. The thing about Tobermory is that the weather tends to be highly unpredictable, warm and sunny one minute, a raging thunderstorm with a temperatures plummeting the next.  Each year I buy each of my girls a new warm hoodie to wear while cozied up in front of the camp fire or to break the wind that blows in off Georgian Bay. Though nearly three years apart, they are often mistaken for twins, a misconception that is undoubtedly is perpetuated by my zest for buying them matching outerwear...

This year I was looking for red hoodies, which are very difficult to find, believe it or not. On the hunt, I finally tracked some down (in the boys' section, but don't tell my girls) for only 8$ a piece! Steal!  Why red you ask?  Why not a lovely purple or pink?  Well, the answer is two-fold.

  1. I am so sick of purple and pink I could scream.  GAH!  Even the blue, green, yellow and orange clothing tends to have some sort of pink or purple graphic to clearly define and demonstrate GIRL.
  2. Red is the most amazing colour to photograph.  So yes, this purchase was rather self-serving, but practical nonetheless.  What can I say, I am a photographer...

Of course, I just had to bust out the red hoodies on our most recent cottage adventure...  You have to admit they look spectacular, right?

M xo

Biker Babe | Kitchener Photographer

It took her so long to have the confidence to learn to ride on two wheels. She is cautious by nature and is sometimes reluctant to try new things.  But in this case, once she started riding a couple of years ago she never looked back.  As soon as the snow melted from the sidewalk, she was begging to get her bike out and go for a ride. I took her up to the empty parking lot at the end of our street and let her ride as fast as she could.  Of course, being an eight-year-old, she headed straight for the puddles and whizzed through them, splashing dirty water onto her boots, leaving a splattered, muddy line right up to her pony tail. And she was absolutely radiant.  The only time I saw a serious expression is when I made her stop for a quick snap.

I hope she never loses the joy of riding as fast as she can through puddles...



24 Frames | Kitchener Photographer

This year I have set a few challenges for myself.  The biggest and most daunting is a Project 365, a photo a day for every day of 2013.  I am posting those image over on my Facebook Page, so pop on over and take a look at my already-needing-bribery girlies, each and every day! The other challenge I have set for myself is to push my work technically and creatively, exploring new and different ways to express myself through my images.  This is not one specific project, but rather an overarching theme to my work this year.  Do more, try more, think more, feel more with my images.  I have a bunch of ideas rolling around in my brain, battling for the attention of my imagination, but many of them are not easily accomplished in the dead of the Canadian winter.

That being said, there is one project that has no limitations, except my own healthy fear of failure:  24 Frames.  Essentially, I want to go back to a film mentality (without going back to ACTUAL film, because it is getting crazy expensive to develop film now, if you can even find a lab that still does developing).  So I am doing my own sort of homage to film by embarking on a journey to create images that will not be edited, retouched or altered in any way, save to size and sharpen appropriately for web. Gulp.  I just broke out in a cold sweat even typing that.

As some of you may know, I am also a photo editor and Photoshop mentor, which means Photoshop and I are tight. I spend more time with Photoshop than I do my husband many days.  So for me to have to create and display an image that has no retouching is a BIG deal.  But I am going to be brave and push myself to slow down, think and create images with more technical and creative precision.  Just don't tell Photoshop that we are on a break.

And with that, here is the first of 24 Frames.  I am pleased with the way it turned out overall, although it is a little dark for my personal preference.  Something to think about the next time!

Best Face of 2012 | I Heart Faces Photo Challenge | Kitchener Children's Photographer

Here is my submission for the I Heart Faces Photo Challenge: Best Face of 2012, entitled Pout. I see this pout quite often, as it is her adorable yet not-so-effective way to try to get what she wants, which was, on this day, to roller skate before swimming lessons.  We didn't have time, but she tried to work the pout on me anyway just to see if I was bluffing.

Thank you I Heart Faces for another fabulous Photo Challenge!

M xo


Photo Challenge Submission