In the beginning of the new year Shauna and I started a new project 52. For those that don’t know, this project consists of taking and picking a photo or photos once a week for a set theme. Week four is already hard on my heels. It’s generally a bad sign when it seems I am playing catch-up from the outset. In reality though, I am firmly in the game, trying to shoot on a regular basis capturing life around us. I have not posted much as yet because I am also making a concerted effort with screen time and being involved rather than taking pictures from the Sidelines.
Week one started with “In the Beginning”.
Having children makes you infinitely more conscious of the passing of time so it only seems right to start the year with looking to our boys. What they play with and how they play is a constant revolving door. With this in mind I thought to capture what their interest is at the years outset. Christmas of course has a massive effect on where their play begins because anything new has a certain novelty value. In our house the train set is once again the favourite thanks to two new motorised trains – Diesel and Salty.
Keep an eye out for Shauna’s pics for each category.
This is what is coming up in the next couple of weeks:
03. Close to your heart
Winter in Edmonton can get us down pretty easily, but this winter a lot of our clients are choosing to do photos in the snow. It’s the best way to embrace this beautiful but harsh season, and it really is spectacular. I met Katelynn and her family just before Christmas, and when Katelynn pulled out the red dress for her Edmonton maternity session, I knew we were going to make some magic. Red against the stark white of the snow is such a stunning combination!
Family photos come first in most maternity sessions, let’s start there! The girls were happy to play in the snow, and that made for a fun portion to the session! We had to be quick! No jackets in the winter look adorable, but it gets cold fast. Not to worry, I work quickly! If you’ve worked with us before, we know kids lose their attention span anyway, so we’re used to getting the kids finished as soon as we can.
The girls finished up, so we sent them with Grandma. It’s always a good idea to bring someone with you to help with the kids, and it’s a great reason to have some grandparent time.
The red dress. Katelynn pulled that one and she just radiated beauty. That dress is magic against the snow, and it’s so perfect for photos around Christmastime. The sun obviously agreed, as it flooded all around us just as we started shooting with the red dress.
What a stunning end to the session. Katelynn is barefoot in these photos, so we were quick! Katelynn, thank you for such a stunning session. You said you wanted to feel beautiful in these photos, and I truly hope you do, because girl you look amazing!
I can’t wait for your Fresh 48 session, and your newborn photos!
“We have been planning…and hoping…and dreaming for a long time now. And things have finally become 100% official.
On December 8, 2010, Gareth and I are setting out on a little adventure. We are going to be away from Canada for at least a year with many stops on the way. The first stop is the UK for Christmas with Gareth’s family. Our longest stay will be in New Zealand, for one year.
Yep, you heard me. We get to spend a year in the amazing, beautiful, irresistible Kiwi country. Just writing this is making me grin and sets my heart racing – we are SO excited!”
On 26 September 2010 Shauna used these words to announce to the world we were leaving. We had been married only a year. I’d had Canadian residency less than six months. We were about to head off on a new adventure.
By December the first leg of our travels was underway. We left Canada bound for Gatwick airport. The flight alone takes almost 9 hours. Add the seven hour jolt to the clocks and we were leaving the plane early in the morning UK time, still the middle of the night in Alberta. Tired, but keen we ventured forth to the train into central London where we would be meeting our dear friend Rob.
The train delivered us to Victoria station and a seething mass of people moving with purpose to their destinations. Bags gripped tightly we joined the throng heading for the tube. As much as I love the London underground system for seeing the city it can get tiresome very quickly under the strain of large backpacks. Rush hour is the worst of all. Shauna and I had set a precedent several years before that we both know exactly where we have to get off the train just in case we get split up. On this day, squeezing into train carriages tighter than cattle trucks it was particularly important. Needless to say after twenty minutes we were glad to be able to escape its confines.
Three Days in London
I vaguely remember the first time I visited London at Christmas. It was over thirty years ago. My mum and dad were taking my sister and I to see the Christmas lights followed by a pantomime at The London Palladium. The whole experience was unbelievably exciting. Returning to spend three days in London at Christmas with Shauna, who had never experienced it before, rekindled these old memories. My anticipation was brimming.
We had three days in London. Three days to fit in as much as possible before moving west to Wales. Thankfully this was not our first time in the capital, so many of the major landmarks had already been ticked off. This time was for Christmas markets on the South Bank under the watchful gaze of the London Eye. Jumping in front of Buckingham Palace and sipping delicious real ales in pubs down narrow lanes. Shauna tasted fresh mulled wine whilst we admired tasty treats in Covent Garden. I laid in a remarkably trafficless Westminster Bridge to take a picture of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The National Gallery provided a welcome break to warm our hands whilst viewing the worlds great art. To top it all we enjoyed numerous London walks that kept our minds reeling with information and discoveries of hidden gems.
We walked for hours admiring the architecture, browsing shop windows and open air markets. There is something reassuring about being surrounded by so many landmarks that are instantly recognisable. To this day London remains my favourite city. There is a wealth of things to see and do for every age at every time of the year.
Come back next week for the next leg of our journey to West Wales where pristine beaches stretch on for miles.
Top London Tips
The underground, despite its flaws, is an amazing, simple system for getting around central London. Whenever we are there we use Oyster cards (pay as you go payment cards), so that we can hop on and hop off of buses and pass quickly through tube stations. Transport For London has lots of information to help with trip planning, as well as tube maps and fare rates. I would also now recommend the London Pass. It gives access to multiple sites at a discounted rate, as well as the hop on hop off bus. In some cases you can even skip the waiting queues of people.
Booking in advance is the best way to find the best deals. This is especially true of train travel away from London. Commuter times attract premium prices so flexibility is beneficial. Aside from taking the train coach services run nationwide, and again great deals starting at $3 can be found. On our last UK trip we rented a car straight from the airport. This is hugely beneficially for visiting out of the way places like Wales or Scotland.
Over the past year Shauna and I have worked hard at defining our style and approach to photography. We want our work to show the connection between the new and growing families we meet. This is something that we feel is very important. In particular with our newborn sessions we always include family photos in a setting that is comfortable for everyone. We know that with older siblings it can be a challenge to get the perfect family photo, but we truly understand how important it is. This in part is why we now offer an in home lifestyle newborn session.
Lets be honest, sometimes the idea of getting out of the house with your newborn and a toddler in tow is a daunting task. An in home lifestyle newborn session offers flexibility to take the guess work out of fitting in nap time. The hangry toddler can have a snack because they are right there in your kitchen. That’s not to say having older siblings is the only reason to have an in home lifestyle session; there is a difference in style between our studio and lifestyle work. We keep our studio warm (30 degrees), and control the light. We make the environment suit the baby. This is not always easily achieved in your home, so the style is a bit different to accommodate the different setting.
Having any kind of photo session in your home is a very special experience. The pictures we make are a reflection of your life because they are filled with everything you know and love. The intimate moments that take place in your home every day are important, and we want to capture them so that they will last a lifetime. We will always help you to look your best. We always aim to capture all of the tiny details that are so fleeting. I would also like to add that in coming to your home I will still bring blankets, hats and headbands. The period of time that babies are small is short. We are equipped with props to suit so that you don’t have to purchase things that will only last a week.
Earlier this year I photographed a beautiful in home newborn session in Edson. Laurie and Everett welcomed me into their home to photograph their growing, vibrant family. I couldn’t be happier that I made the drive to be part of one day of their amazing life.
For more information about our newborn and first year packages you can contact us here.
One year sessions are SO special. So, so special. Reaching your child’s first birthday should involved some high fiving between parents just to celebrate that YOU DID IT! All those sleepless nights, every decision, all the uncertainty and worry and anxiety. You got through and here you are! What an incredible milestone. Yes, it’s their birthday and it’s about them, but it’s a pretty huge celebration for mom and dad too. Most of our one year sessions have included food – we’ve done cake smashes and donut smashes, timbits and macraoons. They’ve all been so much fun! For Jacob’s first year session we decided to do something a little different. We decided to have Jacob create something they would have forever, so we got out the brushes and the canvas, and it was time to paint!
Jacob’s parents booked our First Year package, so we have had the pleasure of seeing these three a lot in the past year. Stephanie’s maternity session was just stunning (check it out here). Their newborn session was a big one for Gareth, as he tried out a new lighting technique that we now use on a regular basis in our newborn sessions (their newborn session is here). Jacob’s six month shoot was ALL about his big, beautiful eyes (check that one out here).
And now we’re here! They chose to add on family photos to this session, and I’m so happy they did! Our family photos in the studio have evolved into such comfortable, casual, natural photos that I love when parents add them on to a child’s session.
The paint worked out better than we could have planned. Jacob was inquisitive and and happy and he was focused! They’ll have it forever to remember his first birthday, and how cool is that!
It has been pretty incredible seeing Jacob grow this past year. Thank you so much you guys!
Shauna and I love to travel. If you read our About Us Page you will know that I am from England and Shauna is from Canada where we now live. We met in Australia a lifetime ago and have traveled ever since. One of our greatest adventures so far happened in New Zealand in 2011. We lived in a van for a year!
Our trip to New Zealand provided a massive turning point in our lives, both personal and professional. I love looking back at the many photos we took, remembering how different life was. I thought it would be fun to share some of our stories here, soI’m going to get some of our story up here soon. Please check back in from time to time to read more.
Handsome little Micah came to see us just before Christmas. How he has grown! His newborn session was a fun one for us, (check it out here) so I was excited to see them again! Now here he is – Micah is 6 months old.
Thank you so much for having us document Micah as he grows, I can’t wait to see him for his 1 year session!
Here we go again, a new year, a new project! This year we’re doing a Project 52 again (Gareth and I did it 2 years ago if you remember!) Every week in 2018, we have a different prompt to get our brains working. So here it is – Project 52 – Week 1 – At the Beginning.
I took this portrait of the boys the first day of 2018. This is them at this moment in time. Callum age 4 3/4, Max age 2 3/4 (This is what they tell everyone when asked how old they are).
Callum with his gap toothed smile, that sweet look on his face.
Max with those beautiful eyes which seem to change colour every other day, always a bit of mischief on his face.
They’re never going to be the same. Everyday changing and growing and developing into who they’re meant to be.
Here’s to a new year my friends!
Spiky haired Rhys and his parents came to see us in the studio when Rys was just days old – how adorable is this little man! His porcelain skin, his thick dark hair and his sleepy demeanor made this such a good newborn session.
Rhys cuddled up with both mom and dad, making the family photos so sweet. His nursery is baseball themed and dad plays the sport, so they brought along some equipment to use in the session. We love to use items that bring meaning to a newborn session. The rest of the session was true to our style, focusing on this brand new beautiful life.
I really hope to see this family again, they are all sorts of wonderful.
Four kids, the studio vibrating with energy, the promise of Christmas dreams bouncing in all of their heads. There is no other way to describe this session other than Christmas fun!
Gareth and I knew with four kids we would have to shoot this Christmas session a bit different than the rest of our Christmas sessions, so we decided to try using the bed, and it worked so well! Definitely in the plans for next year’s holiday season.
Mom and joined in some of the photos as well. They’re getting married next year (we photographed their engagement session this fall which is GORGEOUS, check it out here). It was so fun to hang out with the whole family this time, get to know the kids a bit before the wedding day.
Their Christmas session was so fun. I absolutely loved hanging out with these guys!