Oshawa Family Portraits | Whitby Family Photographer

Fall is such a busy time of year for photographers, the weather is nice, the scenery is beautiful, and it’s the perfect time for some family photos. This particular family have been in front of my camera several times now and it’s always such a pleasure. The oldest boy is so much fun, and has quickly become my little buddy! Mom went into this session super open-minded, now that we’ve worked together a few times, she just said do your thing, whatever you want! So, I took them to one of my favourite fall places, and we just hung out for about an hour. We played lots of fun little games with the kids, had some tickle time, and even threw rocks into the water. I think everyone had fun!

So many great images came out of this session, but here are a handful of my favourites! In fact, I loved this session so much, I used it to create a new studio sample album to show how great a 10×10 family album looks! Take a peek at the end of the images to see the album!

family on beach in fall family cuddled up on blanket brothers hugging family tickling family of 4 walking young boy smiling young boy giving his mom and brother a picked flower boy hugging mom boy laughing with dad boy high fiving dad family of 4 baby boy at beach with parents in fall brothers throwing rocks in pond with dad young brothers picking rocks with dad boys snuggling mom on beach in fall husband and wife hugging

Like I mentioned, I put together a beautiful album from this session, here are some snapshots of that:

Collage of a 10"x10" premium album from a family photography session

Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns and families each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!

8 Christmases

I recently read an article that informed me that the average age that kids generally lose that certain Christmas magic (you know what I mean), is now 8 years old. 8. My son is 4, it hit me like the polar express that we are half way done. Maybe less, maybe a little more, but likely about half way. In fact, the article showed a huge drop off after the age of 5. OMG, that’s next year!

Now, I know, I know, Christmas will still be fun, Christmas will still be special, and most importantly we will still have the special time together as a family, but there is something that just fills my heart in those years when kids still fully believe in all that is Christmas magic. I am not ready to even think about letting this go!

So what did I do? I thought about all of the traditions and magical memories I loved as a child, and set out to provide the same kinds of memories for my son. And of course, being who I am, I photographed everything! Whether I pulled out “the big camera” or used my cell phone, I made sure to document these days, as they are so fleeting. We only get 8 Christmases on average before things change just a little bit.

So here is my list of traditions or things you might like to do with your child to help create those memories, and enjoy some special bonding time as Christmas comes! I’ve linked to specific events happening in and around Durham Region where possible, and while some have passed (save them for next year!) some are still on-going!

    1. Santa Claus Parade. This year we attended 2 Santa Claus Parades. One in the day time and one at night. It was a lot of fun and we loved the night parade with all of the lights! I believe all of the Parades in Durham Region are finished for the year, but Durham Region is host to so many parades, so plan early next year and make sure to attend one!
    2. Photos with Santa. My one regret this year was not booking a professional photography experience with Santa himself. Many local photographers now offer this truly unique experience, and I had intended to book with one, but being so busy with my own Christmas sessions, it just got away from me. I hope to get a session like this booked next year, but in the mean time, and because our years with Santa are limited, I booked this pretty cool Santa Experience at Scarborough Town Center, called Santa’s Secret Workshop. It’s a 15 minute private visit with Santa, where I believe they will chat, do a little activity together, and an Elf takes all the photos of our time together! It sounds and looks great! We go on Saturday and there are still appointments available!
    3. Go for a drive to see the Christmas lights. For 3 years now, we have drove out to Old Scugog Rd. to view the most spectacular light displays put on my the residents of the area. Most of the homes are fabulously decorated and it’s definitely worth a drive out there. Every year prior my son has fallen a sleep in the car on the way, because obviously we have to wait until dark to view the lights, but this year, he managed to stay awake, and he was in awe! With comments like “wow, that house really knows how to rock!” and ” I declare the winner, the house with Santa in the window!” it was a really fun drive around viewing some amazing light displays. Go make the trip! There’s also a few other homes around Durham region worth taking a drive past. This one in Whitby, and this one in Pickering, and 559 & 563 Labrador Drive Oshawa. If you know of any other good home displays, post them in the comments!
    4. Visit a festival of Lights. Growing up in the London, On area, most years my family took a trip into Victoria Park to view the lights and displays around the park and do some skating. It was one of my favourite things to do as a kid at Christmas. So last year, when I heard about the Uxbridge Fantasy of Lights, I was very eager to go, and was not disappointed! We will be going again this year, most likely this weekend! This is a real community event, where businesses and community organizations put together their own displays through out the park, creating a variety of displays all utilizing lights in different ways. There’s a horse drawn wagon to take you around the park after you’ve driven in, or you can walk. It’s on every night starting a 6 pm into the new year! Visit their Facebook page to see some photos and videos of the lights!
    5. The Whitby Christmas Market. This one too has passed, but hopefully becomes a longstanding tradition in the town of Whitby. This past weekend we headed into downtown Whitby to visit the market, and had such a great time. With free skating for the kids, cookie decorating hosted by M & R cakes, free holiday photos sponsored by 360 Insights, free hot cocoa, Christmas decoration crafts, and my favourite DJ, Shawn from Step by Step in the beer tent, it was lots of fun for my husband and I , and our son! I was able to do a little shopping from some of the amazing local vendors, while my son kept busy making cookies, decorations, and dancing! Make sure this one’s on your list next year!

Whatever you do this holiday season, make sure to make it count. Take time to set aside all the hustle and bustle and really make time to create memories with your kids, laugh together, love one another, and enjoy the magic of Christmas together. Because remember, we only get about 8, before things start to change.

son on dad's shoulders watching Christmas Parade

Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!

The Armstrong Family | Whitby Family Photographer

As the summer days turn to fall, the days start to get a bit shorter and the gorgeous fall sunset casts beautiful golden light over our town. When we get these perfect golden hour evenings, it makes from some gorgeous family photos! This evening in September was no exception! Little man Mavic is no stranger to my camera, this was our 6th session together, and a great way to capture him as he turns the big 2!

When planning this session, we decided to keep it simple and take Mavic down to the water and let him throw rocks, climb on a log, and just play with his family. The perfect plan for a busy, outdoorsy 2 year old, and it made for some adorable photos!

photo collage of 2 year old with parents at the beach photo collage of 2 year old with parents at the beach

Mom and dad decided to preserve this time in their lives by creating a gorgeous heirloom quality album and a 7 photo, float mount wall collage. Here is a snap shot of the float mount wall cluster, still wrapped in plastic, before I delivered it to the family!

float mount cluster for wall hanging

Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!

The Uncommon Creative Image Competition | Whitby newborn and family photographer

I recently had the privilege of attending the Uncommon Creative Collective, a 3 day conference geared towards family and newborn photographers. The conference hosted some of the most incredible speakers, most talented photographers, and brilliant business minds known to the Canadian photography world. It was an incredible experience for me to attend and learn from some of these talented people, as well as meet so many peers from across Canada.

One of the highlights for me, that I specifically wanted to write about was the Image Competition, sponsored by GTA Imaging. I was honoured to have 2 of my images place in 2 categories! The image on the left placed third in the category titled “laugh” and the image on the right placed first in the category titled “love”.

me holding my placing images

 

 

Mom always did know what was important

Recently a friend’s mother passed away. He shared this story in Facebook, and it brought tears to my eyes. He and his dad had gone to the bank to clean out his moms safety deposit box. The went expecting to find some paperwork, maybe some documents, a birth certificate perhaps. As Scotiabank describes it, “Know the things you value most are in one safe, easily accessible place.” But what they found was so much more meaningful, and although unexpected, not surprising. This woman loved her family, time with them was worth more than anything to her, I could tell this from the first time I had met her, and this story just reaffirmed it for me.

When they opened the safety deposit box, they found family photos documenting her sons’ first few years. These photos were not professional, they were not perfect, but they showed this family during the most precious years of their lives. And that, was what this mom never wanted to lose. The memories of her babies. As her youngest son said while sharing this story, “Mom always did know what was important.”

3 photos from 1980s
(photos from my own childhood)

In today’s digital age we have a false sense of security with our photos sometimes. The importance of backups is stronger than ever before! I can’t count how many people I hear say they lost their phone and so many photos with it, or their hard drive crashed and they lost their newborn photos. It makes me so sad. And while we are also a generation that probably indulges in a few too many photos at times, you never know what you might loose at any time. This is why printing photos is equally important to me as having digital images saved, stored, and backed up. Print at least a few photos from every stage in your child’s life. These are moment’s you can;t get back, and while some of these moment’s may seem small or insignificant, they are our history, and the documentation of years passed.

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Elle Marie Photography specializes in newborn, family and lifestyle photography. If you are interested in booking a session please contact me! My studio is located in Whitby, ON and I photograph families all over the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Whitby, Oshawa, Bowmanville, Ajax, Pickering, Markham, Toronto, and Mississauga. I book a limited number of newborns each month so please get in touch and we can discuss your session!

Your belonging, your history: Why it’s important to print your images | Whitby Family Photographer

Last week we celebrated my son’s 4th birthday. As you could imagine, in those four years I’ve snapped an uncountable number of photos of him. Sometimes these photos are capturing a quick moment on my phone, sometimes I haul out the “big camera”, and sometimes I even bring him into the studio to capture him and his personality at any particular moment in time.

4 year old boy

As you could also imagine, I have photos of my son, and our family, all over the house. In fact, sometimes I wonder if it’s a little too shrine-like and I should be looking into other forms of art, but I’ve been assured I’m not there yet! Printing photos is so important to me. These photos hang on our walls, and fill up albums. They remind me of the day he was born, the moment we became a family of 3, the way he fell asleep that one time in his jolly jumper, the way the dog would lay like a guard in front of his crib, how he laughed until he drooled at his second birthday party, how he looked after his first (and so far only) haircut, the list goes on and on.

The funny thing is, I thought I was printing our photos for myself, but now I know it is for him. There’s barely a day that goes by that he doesn’t refer to the pictures on the walls, or want to look through one of his albums, as we sit and I tell him the story that goes along with the photo staring back at us. His favourite photos are the ones of himself of course, but he asks about mommy and daddy, talks about “when he was a baby”, points out how happy our dog looks, and remembers our cat who has since passed. This is his family he proudly declares! These photos that are hung on our walls, and displayed on our shelves give him a sense of belonging, and love, deep rooted in family. He knows just how important he is to us, and as a part of this family.

Family of 3 with dog

Family Photo credit: Ashley Eve Photography

Sometimes the days are long, but this time goes quickly. Don’t hide away these photos, don’t risk the chance of loosing them forever on a cd (which is now obsolete) or when your computer crashes. Create meaningful, and beautiful art and albums. One day your little one won’t be so little anymore. One day they may have a family of their own. Make sure your history has been documented in a way that can be shared with generations to come.

playing in puddles

Now is the time, let’s get some pictures on your wall or create a cherished family album.

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