Category : Family

Fun in the Forest

What better way is there to celebrate turning one than having fun in the forest?  River dressed for the part in his plaid.  He had a great time discovering trees, ferns, and moss.  So many textures to feel and stuff to learn.  However, not everything was to his liking as modeling can be a hard job!  It is exhausting to be charming all the time especially when you’d rather explore.  Next time he’s just going to bring Mom and his dogs.  There is still so much fun in the forest to discover.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford maternity photographer based in BC, Canada. If you are interested in booking a maternity photo session or any other photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

Winter Sunsets

The winter sun was out in full force for this family photo session. So were the smiles and the sweetness. It was all I could ask for to capture some magical family memories. All the better when it’s a lovely lady I’ve know since high school. She is truly beautiful inside and out and photographing her and her family is such a pleasure. As a mom I know how fleeting these moments with our little ones can be. Time goes so quickly and I’m always reminiscing over all photographs. I’m so grateful to share a little in these ones.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family photographer based in BC, Canada. If you are interested in booking a family photo session or any other photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

Why Candid Family Photography Isn’t Really Candid

I love relaxed and fun photography and many of my clients want this candid look for their photos, too. In reality, candid family photos sessions are not exactly candid at all. Technically speaking, candid means to “take a photo informally, especially without the subject’s knowledge”. But, I’m guessing that when you’re at your photo session, you know you’re getting your photo taken! So, how do I get my photos to look candid?  I actually have to spend some time directing the subjects of my shot.  I know, then it’s not a truly candid moment but unless you’d like me to follow you around, hiding in bushes and taking your photos, it’s what I have to do!

To get that candid look, I might say, “Have a seat on that log”.  Once you’re seated, I say something funny (or really, ridiculous) and I snap a photo of the subject laughing (at me).  Or I say, “Hold hands, walk towards me and look at each other”.  And when the couple says something funny to each other trying to get rid of the awkwardness, I snap the photo of them laughing.  The candid moments are there but they are in the unpredictably of how each person will act or react to my direction. These are the magic moments I’ve mentioned in other posts. I love these moments.  You may have thought I bring the expertise and do the hard work, but actually,  it’s really you!  You and your family bring the magically candid moments and those moments are the best.

Here are some photos that highlight a fun and relaxed family who gave me many delightful “candid” moments.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

5 Ways to Have a Fun Family Photo Session

You’ve contacted your photographer, booked your session, changed the date due to rainstorms, bought clothes, returned clothes, bought new clothes, changed your husband’s work schedule, cried when the three year old got a giant bruise on his head and now, it’s finally here, family photo day!  Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about the work that goes into a family session!  If you’re anything like me, you really, really love great photos but you don’t love the work that goes into them. Thanks to my many failing moments as a mom in FRONT of the camera (as well as behind) I’ve come up a short list of things I think will help almost any parent navigate the wonderful world of family photo sessions.  From one hard working parent to another, we got this!

1. Prep your family – Have them fed, watered and clothed (okay, that’s a given).  But really, I also suggest to prepare them mentally. I’m sure most of you do this but just in case here it is – tell them about it. Like, a million times! Even the husbands (especially the husbands!). Give them a shorthand, age appropriate list of what to expect. Okay, don’t type the list. Just a quick verbal one will do 🙂

2. Just Relax – Let’s face it, it takes so much work to wrangle all your troops and get them to the location, by the time you get there, most people are tired and stressed. But, to get those fun, relaxed and magical moments, being stressed isn’t the best way to start. Just remember, you’re not just taking photos, you’re making memories. If little Joey doesn’t want to smile it won’t change the fact that little Joey is adorable and lovable all the same. Pick your battles and try to enjoy the ride. The kids will likely enjoy it all the more if their parents are laughing through the process too.

3. Let the Magic Happen – My favourite photos are often the ones that aren’t really perfect but the emotion captured makes them magical.  Such as the third photo below of the the child kissing his brother’s head while his sister reaches down to pull the hair of her other brother. These are the candid moments that capture the magic of childhood. And, this can happen when you let yourselves just go with the flow.

4.  You don’t Have to be the Boss – As a photographer, it’s nice to have parents give their kids a little warm guidance. And, it’s best when it’s just that; little and warm. I love to engage and play with kids so that they feel comfortable and then gently guide them in posing.  Most kids can only handle one boss at a time so let me take over for a while and give yourself a break.

5. Bring Treats – If you’re coming to me for photos, don’t worry, I’m fully stocked with treats at all times. See below!  I’m shameless and never above bribery and it’s  the main thing one thing I rely on to get good photos of children;)   I hope your kids are okay with sugar!!

 

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

Behind the Scenes – Editing Photos Before & After

Who out there doesn’t love a good before and after?! I admit, I love them. I mean, love, love, love them! There is something so utterly satisfying about seeing something not so fabulous turned into something amazing. I especially love renovation before and afters so I hope to post some for the new studio soon – just waiting for everything to be 100% complete. For now, I’ll have a little fun with a session I did last fall.

On average, a family photo session takes between 8-12 hours. Yes. You read that correctly! 8-12 hours of time!  But how?!  You ask. Here’s a list to give you an idea of a typical session:

  • 1 hour emails and/or phone calls booking and prepping for session
  • .5 hour data entry, invoice, payment collection, receipt, contract
  • .5 hour location scouting before the session. I usually arrive early or visit the place before hand.
  • .5 hour clean and prep equipment. Choose blankets and props. Most importantly, fill Pez dispensers for children 🙂
  • .5 hour drive to and from location
  • 1-1.5 hours actually taking the photos
  • 1-2 hours upload the images and choose the best ones
  • 4-5 hours Lightroom Edit, Photoshop Edit, Rename files and turn each image into Black&White copy
  • .5 hour upload images to the online gallery, email the client and follow up with a thank-you

As you can see, a big chunk of that time is choosing and editing the photos I give.  I will admit, I shoot loads of images! If I’m giving you between 60-80 photos I’ve probably shot about 400 to get those best ones. I used to feel terrible about this until I went to a talk given by a famous National Geographic photographer who shoots about 30,000 and narrows them down to about 8 for the magazine!  Okay, my numbers aren’t so bad 😉 Needless to say,  there is a lot of time and care put into each photo before my clients ever sees them. It’s a huge part of the creative process and I love it.

The photos below show the image straight out of the camera and after editing.  These clients were so kind and sweet. They just immigrated to Canada too! It was fun to capture their first family photos in their new home. Welcome Pedersen family!  I hope you love this country as much as I do.

 

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

Secret, Secret, I got a Secret.

I have a little secret I never tell my clients. I stress out about photo sessions. Full truth, I worry. I worry about the weather, I worry about the location, I worry about the children, I worry about the colour of the leaves, I worry about the length of the grass…okay, I just worry. I want my client’s sessions to be lovely and stress free. I don’t unload my own worry on them. But, it’s true, deep down inside, I worry. I’m sure it has something (okay, a lot) to do with my perfectionist side. Or, something to do with my (some might say a tad controlling) Type A personality type. Either way it’s there and I have to balance it with logic, reason, and solutions. The logic and reason says, no Anita, you can’t control the weather. No, you can’t control what kids do. No, you can’t make grass grow faster. That is a good first step. But, the solution part is where I jump in and shine. Control the controllable, so to speak. To appease my anxiety, I scout locations and measure grass. Okay, I don’t measure grass but I do look at the leaves…and the grass.

 

Below is an example of how much things can change in a short time and why I can often be found craning out my truck window for a glance at a trail beside the road. If you are asking for a colourful fall session, I will know where and when to find it. It can change so quickly though. These first few photos are just one week apart and you’ll see the difference a week makes. The last two images were done when fall had waved its final goodbye and the leaves were scarce.  If I’m photographing a session, I will think about all these things and decide if the place we are headed to will properly lend itself to good photography. I will think about clouds and sunshine, back-lighting and glare, the slipperiness of a boardwalk, the chance of fallen trees (those are everywhere now!), the way the wind is blowing and oh, so many other things.  Some (aka my husband) might say, I’m taking all this too seriously!  But, it matters to me. I want to produce beautiful images for my clients along with beautiful memories to go along with them. So, I will continue to worry and measure grass look at leaves.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

What’s the Best Time of Day for Photos?

I get this question ALL THE TIME and it’s  an easy  a complicated answer.  So here’s my attempt to answer it, once and for all. What’s more fun than answering a question with a question?!  How about more questions?!  Here are THREE questions you can ask yourself before your next photo session. Yes, they are in order of importance!

1. What is the happiest time of day for your kids?  Happy kids are the most important so if bedtime is at 7:30pm let’s not book your sunset session for 8pm. If your kids are teenagers and their happiest time is between 11pm and 2am, I’m sorry, you’re out of luck. It’s dark outside and I will be sleeping. But perhaps an 8pm session will work for you:)

2. What Month is it?  The best time for soft lighting is often the hour or two after sunrise and before sunset. Here are the approximate times for each month.

  • January – Between 8:30am-11:30am and 2:00pm-4:30pm
  • February – 7:30am-10:30am and 3:00pm-5:30pm
  • March – Before Time Change (second Sunday of the month) 7:30am-10:00am and 3:30-6:00pm
  • March After Time Change 8:00am – 10:30am & 5:00pm – 7:30pm
  • April – 6:30am – 9am & 5:30pm – 8:00pm
  • May – 6:00am – 9:30am & 6:00pm – 8:30pm
  • June – 5am – 7:30am & 6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • July – 5:30am- 8:00am & 6:30pm – 9:00pm
  • Aug – 6:00am – 8:30am & 6:00pm – 8:30pm
  • Sept – 7:00am – 10:00am & 5:00pm – 7:30pm
  • October – 7:30am – 10:30am & 4:00pm – 6:30pm
  • November (Time Change first Sunday of the month) 8:00am – 11:00am & 2:00pm – 4:30pm
  • December 8:30am – 11:30am &  1:30pm-4:00pm

3. What do I do if these times don’t work for my family?

Don’t worry. I know most people don’t want to get up for a 6:30am session. And, most little kids aren’t at their happiest at 8pm. Here are some ideas to make almost any time of day work for your family.

  • If you have to book your session at times that are probably going to be sunny (such as July at 1pm or even October at 11:30am) make sure you choose a location that has plenty of shade. This ensures you won’t have squinty eyes and unattractive shadows.
  • If you’re booking your session in a typically cloudy season (such as November) go ahead and book during the middle of the day. Again, just be sure there are shady places if we are lucky enough to get some sunshine.

That was easy, right?!  Okay, not that easy but hopefully this will make scheduling your next session just a little simpler for you. And, because no post is complete without photos, here are some photos showing different seasons and times.

Sunrise fall session. Fog, an added bonus!!

The sunset glow late one fall day.

Cloudy day late fall photos.

A very sunny, late spring day so we choose a place with loads of shade for this precious little lady.

There were high winds for this hot, summer session.  It was late morning so again, we found a place with lots of shade and a little shelter from the wind. As you can see, the wind still got us sometimes 🙂

The golden hour for photography. Summer sunset around 8-9pm

Winter – These next two sessions were in December when the leaves were officially gone. I count this session as winter although it was Dec 1st. It looks like winter so I’m calling it that! The light was low on the horizon at 2:30pm when we did these.

Winter golden hour between 3-4pm.

Now it’s your turn to decide. What’s your favourite season and time of day for a session?  Remember it the next time you plan your family photo session.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you.

New Studio Specials

There’s nothing like a new year to give me the feeling of a fresh start…well…almost nothing. The new studio is really doing that too!

To celebrate I’ve decided to offer some amazing deals this winter.
* 20 minute sessions on weekdays
* Include your best 10 images, fully edited and delivered to you digitally.
* If you’d like to add another family member to the sibling or family photos it’s just $20 and includes an additional 5 minutes.
* The portrait session is good for a mini maternity or corporate head shots too!
* Sorry, newborn sessions aren’t included with these deals. They need more time and attention.:)

Contact us today for your booking!

 

My friends & Sunset on the Farm – The Peter’s Family

I adore photographing at sunset. It illuminates the shadows and allows an opportunity to see heightened colour in the world around us.  Add in this adorable family and there is an explosion of vibrant colour.  The deep red of the turning leaves reflected the reds of their hair.  And the bright green of the tall grass echoed its complement. It was even more special because this lovely little family is also near and dear to my heart.  They are kind beyond measure, generous and are truly joyful.  Enjoying these moments in the sun with them truly warmed my heart.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford family, maternity, and newborn photographer. I am based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking an outdoor photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!

The Adlam Family – Sunset Fall Photo Session

Friendships, like the one I have with this family, are sunshine for the soul.  No matter the struggle, no matter the grief, these folks shine, brightly.  So it was appropriate that they chose to have their session at sunset.  As you can see, they love to laugh and they know how to have fun.  Smiles and joy abound.  Sunshine every time we meet.

Thanks for visiting my page! I am an Abbotsford outdoor photographer based in beautiful British Columbia. If you are interested in booking a sunset photography session please contact me at perfectmoments@shaw.ca. I look forward to hearing from you!