Fall Family Photography in Ottawa – Best locations

Fall is such a beautiful time of year. It’s my favourite time of year to do family photos in. The colours are just so pretty and I love being able to accessorize my outfits with scarves and other fun layers. We’re so very lucky to live in Ottawa as the colours here are spectacular this time of year. On top of that, we have so many beautiful places to take family photos in. Below is a list of some of my favourites:

1 – Gatineau Park – Gatineau park is by far one of the best spots to visit in Fall. There are so many beautiful backdrops to use for family photos and you can take advantage of many locations during Fall Rhapsody. The park is about 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa and you can visit trails, lakes and and many scenic lookouts.

2 – Eagle’s Nest Lookout – Located in Calabogie, Eagle’s Nest Lookout will amaze you with its beautiful view once you reach the top. You do need to hike to this spot so come prepared! And be prepared to take some beautiful photos as the Fall colours won’t disappoint.

3 – Arboretum – This is one of my favourite spots to photograph families all year round. Although the Arboretum doesn’t turn as colourful as some other parts of the city, the Arboretum is home to more than 2,000 varieties of trees and shrubs that make for some beautiful backdrops no matter the time of the year.

4 – Mer Bleue Bog – There are about 20 kms of trails to enjoy at this spot. You can also stroll the 1-km boardwalk to take some lovely Fall family photos. There are so many rare plants and bird life at this location that it’s just another reason to visit this beautiful place.

5 – Hog’s Back Falls – One of the prettiest waterfalls in Ottawa… and how beautiful will those family photos look with charming waterfalls, rocks and trees behind you? Make sure you walk around the area to enjoy various vantage points.

If you’re looking for a Photographer to help you capture those beautiful family shots, make sure to take a peek at my packages. Every year I offer Fall Mini Sessions and this year is no different! Spots fill up quick so make sure you reserve your booking soon. 🙂

Whether you are looking to get some professional photos done or whether you’re just looking to enjoy the Fall season on your own, all of the locations above will be worth a visit and definitely won’t disappoint. 😉

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How to take better photos of your children

Ever wander why it seems so hard to take photos of your little ones? I’ve heard many parents tell me that as soon as they get the camera out, their children flee the scene. There are lots of little tricks that I’ve learned over the years as a professional Photographer that have helped me capture beautiful photos of newborns, babies and kids. While I 100% recommend getting professional newborn photos for optimum results (trust me, it has taken me many years to get to where I am), I do think there are many ways to get great everyday photos of your kids while at home.

1 – Keep it fun! There is nothing worse for a toddler than having to smile while the parent is getting upset at them for not listening or not smiling. Keeping a fun, light-hearted atmosphere will keep your children in a good mood, making it more likely for them to smile and have fun with you.

2 – Pick the right time to photograph. You know your children’s schedule best! Make sure that you select a time time to take photos that won’t interfere with their meal or nap time. I usually find that babies and little ones are quite happy first thing in the morning or after their nap time.

3 – Get down to their level. That’s right! Get down to the floor and make sure you’re eye level with them. This will instantly help you connect with your child more and get some beautiful photographs.

3 – Lighting. Lighting is key when taking beautiful photos. When photographing babies indoors, use a large window as your source of light. Turn off indoor lights and try to use a room with light walls to give you a more even appearance.

4 – Go outdoors. One of the easiest places to photograph children is outside. Pick a beautiful park and try to avoid the time of day when the sun is very high in the sky (that usually creates harsh shadows and squinty eyes). Cloudy days are wonderful but if it’s a very bright day, look out for a shady spot.

5 – Let them play. Sometimes people get so fixated about having children look straight into the camera that they forget to photograph all those special little moments of them doing everyday things. Follow them around, ask them questions and just photograph the simplicity of everyday living and playing. By the way, bath-time and sleeping time are also wonderful times to capture some magical moments of your babies. 😉

6 – Be silly! Whenever I am photographing children, I completely forget about my ego. I use funny voices, make animal sounds, ask silly questions and definitely use some bathroom humor with boys. You name it… I’ll do it all for some laughter! And that should be the same for you. Peekaboo goes a long way when photographing babies but don’t be afraid to get ridiculous with your kids. They’ll give you real laughter, which turn out to be the best photos.

Although I personally love getting professional photos of my family done, I do think it’s super important to capture everyday photos of your little ones. As they grow older, those photos will help you remember those moments and put a smile on your face. I hope some of these tips help you! And for any questions, please feel free to contact me here. 🙂

Photography safety procedures during Coronavirus

The last few months have been very trying for many due to Covid-19. As businesses start to re-open, I want to assure you that Little Wagon Photography will be taking all possible measures to maintain the safety of your family (and ours) during your family photo session. While Photographers are once again open for business, here are some of the things that I’ll be doing on my end to prevent the spread of the virus:

1 – Maintaining social distance. At this time, Little Wagon Photography will only be offering outdoor photography sessions in the Ottawa area. This will help me ensure that I can keep a distance of of 6 feet (or 2 meters) from your family at all times.

2 – Choosing the location wisely. While there are many beautiful spots in Ottawa to photograph at, I will be choosing photo locations that offer plenty of space for us to photograph at without being crowded by people around us.

3 – Bringing a sanitizer. Yes, sanitizers are finally available again! And I will be bringing one along for myself and any clients that would like to use it before/after our session.

4 – Wearing a mask. I’m lucky that my mom made some very cute masks for my family to wear. So I’ll be wearing a fashionable pink mask when you see me for your family photo session. 🙂

5 – Making sure we’re all healthy prior to our photo session. Prior to our photography photo-shoot, I will contact all clients to make sure everyone is feeling healthy and have no symptoms of Coronavirus (cough, fever, cold-like symptoms, etc). I will definitely let you know the same about me.

6 – Following local guidelines. At this time, Photographers in Ottawa are allowed to photograph outdoors as long as we keep 6 feet away from our clients and as long as we don’t exceed a group of 10 people. If these guidelines change, I will be letting all of my clients know ahead of our photo session.

My goal is to provide a safe environment and fun experience for all who are entrusting me with their photo session. If you have any questions about the above, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m looking forward to helping your family capture some beautiful photos for you to cherish!

Tips on what to wear for an outdoor family photo session in Ottawa

Considering what to wear for an outdoor family photography session in Ottawa can be a stressful thing for some but it really doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips on how to make this part of the planning fun and stress-free.

  1. Allow plenty of time to plan for this occasion. The more time you have, the less stressed you’ll feel.
  2. Take some time to go through your Photographer’s website and Pinterest to get some ideas. This will give you lots of inspiration and samples of colours, textures, etc that could work for you. It will also help you decide the styles that you like and the styles that you don’t like to make it easier for you.
  3. Consider the season you’ll be doing your family photos in. The time of year you take your family photos definitely affects what you wear, especially when living in a city with all four seasons such as Ottawa. For example: in Spring, skirts, dresses, bright colours are all great choices. For Fall, you’ll be looking at deeper tones as well as more texture; adding vests, scarves, etc to your look.
  4. Choose colours that go well together but that are not matching. Long are the days where everyone wore a black shirt and jeans for their family photo shoot. By choosing a colour scheme that you like and adding hues that go well with one another you will achieve a more natural look. A good rule of thumb is to choose two main colours and add softer tones to compliment your colour choice.
  5. Keep the location of your Ottawa photo session in mind. Are you going to be surrounded by green trees (if so, avoid wearing green)? Will you be surrounded by pink blossoms (softer tones such as white and blue might look beautiful here), will there be fall leaves all over the ground? Choose a colour scheme that will go well with your background and not compete with it. If you’re unsure of your location, contact your Photographer so she can give you some feedback.
  6. Avoid large patterns or logos. Your 2 year-old might want to wear his favourite t-shirt that has a large dinosaur on it while your 18 year-old might want to wear his favourite sweater with a huge logo written across it. In both situations, those could be quite distracting and take the attention away from your faces.
  7. Make sure you’re all comfortable with the outfits you choose for your photography session. If your toddler is unhappy, you’ll all be unhappy… 😉
  8. Consider your home decor. Since you might want to print some of these photos and display them throughout your home, make sure that you select clothes that you think would look good with the colour and decor of your home.
  9. Accessories, accessories, accessories… a vest, a scarf, a hat… those are all cute pieces that can be easily included in your family photography session. Want a different look for a couple of photos? Just remove that scarf/vest/hat. They’re fun and easy to bring along so why not try?
  10. Lay each family member’s outfit together to see what they look like as a group. This will give you a great final look to see if they’re working well together or if something needs to be changed before the photo session.
  11. Timeless portrait. If you’re short in time or if coordinating colours is not your thing, opt for soft, neutral tones. Staying classic will ensure that you have timeless photos, regardless of what is in style or not.
  12. Enjoy the process! This should be fun and the most important thing is that everyone is comfortable with what they’re wearing so that they can enjoy their time during the photo shoot. Ottawa is a beautiful place with wonderful scenery and a great Photographer will guide you with any help that you might need with the process. 🙂
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Planning the Perfect Outfits for Your Maternity Photo Shoot

There’s no better way to celebrate your unborn than by having a maternity photo shoot. The only problem is: what to wear?

It’s easy to get stressed out (especially with pregnancy hormones!) but there are many ways to make choosing an outfit fun and a photoshoot to be proud of. Still worried? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered.

1. Tight Clothing

Not sure what to wear for a maternity photo shoot?

A top tip is to wear tight clothing to accentuate your bump. Choose a tight t-shirt or a bodycon dress as it will show your curves and remind you of the special months leading up to your little one’s arrival.  

2. Solid Colors

Like the first point, you want nothing to detract from your bump. So when you’re brainstorming maternity photo shoot ideas, ensure you don’t pick a patterned dress anything that will detract from your pregnancy.

But if prefer patterns, have your partner wear patterned clothing instead. And if you find solid colors boring then add fun, bold accessories like necklaces and scarves to bring the outfit to life. 

3. Consider a Maxi Dress

Pregnant or not, maxi dresses are a must-have in any woman’s wardrobe. There are two major advantages to wearing a maxi dress to your shoot: comfortable and stylish.

Comfort takes top priority when you’re pregnant if you want your maternity photographer to take a variety of photos. Maxi dresses also look incredible on a pregnant body because it’s so flattering.

It covers anything you don’t want to be shown but can also be pulled taut to show off your bump. If you’re shooting outside, a maxi dress can add a dramatic touch as it flows in the wind, creating movement in the photo.  

4. Seasonal or Styled Photos

Before you Google “maternity photographer near me”, decide what time of the year you want the photos taken.

In winter months, you’ll want cozy jumpers and a snug setting whereas you’ll want bright and comfortable clothes in the summer. Knowing when you’re shooting gives you a great starting point for picking which colors to wear for your shoot. 

You can even pick a style or theme by incorporating your favorite hobbies or interests. For example, if you and your partner love the outdoors then why not shoot at your favorite camping spot

5. Pick Two Outfits

Narrowing down to two outfits is a struggle especially if you’re not sure if you want casual or dressed up. So why not switch it up?

Not only does it give you options when choosing which photos to display in your home but it gives you some variety in the photos too. The best maternity photographers will welcome this as long as you inform them. 

Are You Ready for Your Maternity Photo Shoot?

There are many factors to consider when you’re planning a maternity photo shoot. From deciding your outfit to infusing your own style into the photos, this is the perfect time to celebrate your pregnancy and the wonderful things that await you. Happy shooting!

Are you a Mom-to-be looking to do a maternity photoshoot? We’d love to help. Contact us here for more details. 

Get Holiday Ready: 5 Creative Family Christmas Photo Ideas

Over 2 billion Christmas cards get sent each year. Do the family Christmas photos you send with your cards blend in with the crowd or stand out for their creativity?

Break free from the rut of sitting in front of a tree to try something a little more creative this year. Getting creative with your Christmas photo ideas makes your holiday cards more memorable for your recipients and makes them less likely to end up in the trash.

Choosing a professional photographer helps you make your Christmas family picture ideas a reality. Your photographer may have some tried and true photo ideas. But you can come prepared with these fun and creative photo ideas.

Holiday Action Shots

Instead of trying to get kids to sit still and look at the camera, let them have a little holiday fun by doing a fun activity. Have your photographer snap action shots while you enjoy the holiday activity as a family.

Baking Christmas cookies is an option that looks cute in photos. Grab holiday aprons for everyone, and add some fun sprinkles and holiday decorations on the counter. If possible, frame the shot so the Christmas tree or strands of holiday lights appear behind you as you make your cookies.

Decorating the tree is another option. Prep the tree with lights, then let the kids grab ornaments and decorate while your photographer goes to work.

These holiday photo shoots often produce unique, candid moments. Your kids get to move around and do something, which makes it easier to keep them happy.

Matching PJ Party

Instead of coordinating outfits for family photos, go casual and cozy with matching family pajamas. Pick a theme, and grab a pair of pajamas for every family member. Add Santa hats or slippers for a fun accessory.

One adorable location for this photo shoot is in your bed with a white comforter to create a neutral background. Another option is to gather on the couch and read a Christmas book together for the photo.

Tree Farm Shoot

Head to a local Christmas tree farm for unique family photo ideas. The trees make a pretty, natural backdrop, whether your photographer takes pictures of you walking down the rows, cutting down a tree, or posing next to trees.

Bring along a vintage sled for a creative prop. You can load up a tree on the sled, or pull the kids on it through the rows of pine trees.

Family Reflection

Instead of having your photographer take your photo directly, capture a reflection of the family. One option is to get a large, shiny ball ornament that’s large enough to show all of your faces. Have everyone look at the ornament, and have your photographer snap a shot of the ornament.

Another option is to use a mirror. You might have the family decorating the tree or doing something else near a large mirror. Snap a shot of the mirror with all of your faces showing in it.

Snowy Scenes

Pick a snowy day to capture creative family photos. Snow falling around you while you cuddle under a cozy blanket is a simple option. Hold cute Christmas mugs to pretend like you’re sipping hot cocoa while you pose. 

If you’ve already had plenty of snowfall, let the kids have fun playing in it. Take pictures of you having a family snowball fight, making a snowman, or making snow angels.

Pick Your Christmas Photo Ideas

The best Christmas photo ideas for your family are the ones that let your personality shine. No matter which option you choose, focus on having fun and making the experience relaxing and memorable.

Are you ready to make your holiday photo ideas a reality? Contact us to schedule your family photo session.

Taking Maternity Photos: What are the Top Benefits?

maternity photos

Over 300,000 babies are born every year in Canada. That’s a lot of newborns and a lot of pregnant women.

If you’re currently among this number of expectant mothers, you may be wondering if you should take maternity photos.

With so many other questions pregnancy will bring, this one has an easy answer: yes! There are numerous benefits to having a maternity photoshoot done. Keep reading to learn about just a few of them.

1. Celebrate Baby

Most of the biggest events in our lives are captured with professional photographers from weddings to graduations. Having a baby is a big deal so why not celebrate it with pregnancy photos?

2. Embrace the Beauty of Pregnancy

You may not feel beautiful as your belly grows, but pregnancy truly is a beautiful and amazing thing that your body is doing. Having a maternity photoshoot is the best way to capture just how incredible your body really is.

3. Have Fun

It’s no secret that pregnancy is stressful. One of the ways you can relieve that stress is to get outside and have your photos taken. Relax and enjoy the session and you’ll find that some of that stress will melt away.

4. Get Creative

Part of what makes photoshoots so much fun is how much creativity is involved. If you want to pick a certain theme for your pictures, you can really let the creative juices flow to come up with awesome ideas.

If you’re not naturally creative, don’t worry. Your photographer will help you decide what types of photos you want to be taken so your pictures are exactly what you want them to be.

5. Meet a Newborn Photographer

If you want to capture breathtaking photos of your baby after he or she is born, then you’ll need the help of a newborn photographer.

There’s no better way to get to know a photographer than to have a photoshoot with them. Get to know your photographer during your maternity shoot and you’ll know if you want to use them for baby pictures, too.

6. Show Love to Baby

What better way to show your child you loved them from before they were born than to have pregnancy photos on hand? They make a great addition to baby books and family photo collections to show just how much your child was loved.

7. Create Memories

Although right now you may feel as though you’ll remember these moments forever, in 15 years when you have a mouthy teenager, it’s going to be hard to imagine them curled up quietly in your stomach.

One of the best ways to capture these moments is by taking maternity photos. Then it’s easy to look back and remember how things were during your pregnancy.

Ready to Have Your Maternity Photos Taken?

Now you know some of the reasons you should get maternity photos taken at some point during your pregnancy. Taking just a few hours of your pregnancy will provide you and your future child with a lifetime of memories.

If you’re ready to schedule a pregnancy photoshoot, contact us today. We specialize in maternity, newborn, and family photography so you can rest assured that your photos will come out great!

5 Key Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Newborn Photographer

Your precious newborn is just the cutest! You can’t wait to commemorate their beginning with a baby photoshoot.

There’s no way you can settle for the first baby photographer you find or the nearest one. For your child’s protection and the highest quality photos, you have to sit down and talk with each possible photographer. Don’t be afraid to ask a million questions.

Here are the 5 most important questions to ask a newborn photographer.

1. Do You Have a Portfolio?

The first thing you should do is look at their portfolio. A portfolio will show how professional they are. Pay attention to how they present their work and the quality of their work.

Look at the color balance, exposure, focus, headspace, etc. Don’t hesitate to do some online research about photography.

The babies should look happy and comfortable if they do well with newborns. A lot of pictures of different clients means they have experienced and are probably great with clients.

Check their website; it should have a portfolio. Their site should be updated, have contact information, and have a personality. Client quotes and ratings are a plus.

Look for another photographer if you’re not impressed with their photos.

2. Where Makes Up the Final Cost?

Make sure you understand where the final cost is coming from. The session fee includes a set number of edited photos. You can, however, pay for additional photos you like.

The photographer may automatically charge you for photos you choose that have the parents or siblings with the newborn. You could have to pay extra for travel time if you don’t go to their studio.

Deposits are paid sometime before the session and could be 30% or 50% of the full session price. Depending on how much the session is, installments may be an option.

If they don’t tell you about their cancellation and rescheduling policies, ask them. Many photographers will have you forfeit your deposit or pay for the full session if you cancel or reschedule less than 48 hours or 24 hours before the date. Some even ask that you reschedule or cancel the session weeks prior.

3. What Will the Session Be Like?

Does the photographer have an assistant or two that help out during the shoot? Can you help with props and poses? Ask how many people are allowed to attend the session – parents, siblings, or others.

The photographer may let parents and siblings be in the newborn session. If you’re looking for a photoshoot with a lot of prop options, be sure to ask the photographer what kinds of props they have. They should have the same props in different sizes as babies come in a range of sizes.

4. Do You Have Insurance – and Do Composites When Needed?

You’ll know if the photographer is an actual professional if they have insurance and a business license. They should also have you sign a terms-and-conditions document that clearly states the most important terms and conditions. You have to be sure your newborn will be safe with the photographer.

Ask if they do composites for difficult poses. Don’t hire the photographer if they don’t know what composites are.

Composites are made using Photoshop. Multiple photos are edited and merged together to make the final photo, which is your newborn in a pose that is dangerous to do in real life. In actuality, someone (you or an assistant) is holding the baby in place the whole time!

Props such as chairs and hammocks, high places, and anything it looks like the baby is hanging from are times you’d want the photographer to do a composite. You can’t just place your newborn in a hammock above the ground.

If the photographer says they don’t do composites, it’s a red flag, but that could mean that they don’t do any poses that require a composite. Ask them about this.

5. How Much Experience and Training Do You Have?

With many people building photography websites, it’s hard to tell who are the real professionals. Anyone can buy a camera and look up how to pose newborns. However, professionals research and train so they can properly pose and handle newborns.

Ask them to talk about their experience in newborn photography. The more experience the better. Not all newborns behave the same. A professional will know this and an experienced professional will be able to handle however your baby behaves.

Ask a Newborn Photographer These Questions

Questioning someone like this may feel like an interrogation, but it’s vital that you choose the right photographer. You’re paying for amazing photos of your newborn child, so they should turn out amazing!

You also have to be positive that the newborn photographer understands how to properly deal with newborns and that your baby will be safe with them.

Feel free to contact us by filling out a form, emailing us, or calling us at 613-266-8934.

How to get real baby smiles during a baby photography session in Ottawa

cute baby, ottawa newborn photographer
Playing peekaboo behind the camera is one of the easiest ways to get baby to smile back at you. Most babies love a little peekaboo game and will go along with that for quite a few takes!
newborn photography ottawa, baby wearing a hat
Another way to get baby’s attention and get them to smile is by making funny sounds! Animal sounds also work wonderfully.
happy baby, ottawa baby photography
Baby tickles! Babies love little tickles on their bodies and this works pretty much every time!
baby looking up, newborn photographer ottawa
Get mom and dad to help make baby smile too! Parents know just what makes them giggle.
best baby photographer ottawa, baby on his belly
Here’s another example where mom and dad where helping baby smile. 🙂
baby with mom and dad, baby photography
Play with baby! I love including mom and dad in the photos and getting some real, organic smiles as they interact. 🙂

How to Find the Best Professional Photographer in Ottawa, Canada

Googling “Photographers in Ottawa?” You’re in for an overwhelming number of search results. There are over 2,500 photographers in the Ontario area. 

Picking the first photographer in the search results isn’t always the best idea. 

Are you looking for a professional photographer in Ottawa? If so, read on and learn how to find the best one for your photography needs.

Narrow Your Search

Be clear about the type of photo shoot for which you’re hiring a professional photographer. When it comes to photography, there are many specializations. A few categories include:

  • Landscape
  • Wildlife, and outdoor
  • Wedding
  • Newborn and baby
  • Fashion
  • Portrait
  • Sports
  • Pets
  • Events
  • Photojournalist
  • Real estate/architecture
  • Food

When searching for a photographer, look for one that shoots the type of photos you want. If you want photos of your newborn, use a photographer specializing in newborns. 

Ask for Referrals

Ask your friends if they’ve used a professional photographer in the last few months to a year. A good photographer works well with clients and gets the right photos. She’ll deliver the photos on time in a way that works for the client.

If your friends had a great experience, they’ll love to share. Likewise, if the experience was bad, you’ll avoid making the same mistake they did. 

Look at the Portfolio

Take a look at the photographer’s website. Make sure the site is up to date. If it’s not, chances are the photographer isn’t a professional. 

Make sure there are lots of examples in the portfolio. Is the color balance good? How about the exposure? If all the photos are from one event, it’s likely the photographer lacks experience. 

Inexperienced doesn’t mean bad, but an experienced photographer can handle unexpected situations better. 

Style Matters

Does the photographer’s style resonate with you? If not, move on to another photographer. Every photographer has his own style. Not everyone’s style meshes with yours. 

Make sure you like the samples in the portfolio. Look for consistency. Do the photos seem too bright or too dark? Does it look like a style issue or a technical one? Keep looking for another photographer if the photos don’t “wow” you.  

What’s in the Package

With the advent of digital photography, there are many ways a photographer delivers photos. Are they printing the photos for you? Are they sending digital files? What is included in their packages?

A professional photographer doesn’t have hidden fees and charges. Ask for all the costs up front so you’re not surprised later.

Deposit and Cancellation Policy

A photographer puts in many hours getting your photos. There’s the photo session, post-production editing, viewing, and more. Most photographers have a cancellation policy and most ask for a deposit.

Be aware of the cancellation policies before you pay a deposit. 

Hiring a Professional Photographer

Hiring a professional photographer seems daunting. But take your time and do some research. Define your project and look for a photographer who understands your needs.

Is it a baby? Family photos? Use a baby or portrait photographer. Ask your friends for referrals. That’s often a great way to narrow the field.

Look at the photographer’s portfolio. Make sure you like the photographer’s style. Ask what’s in the package and the method of delivery. Make sure you’re comfortable with the deposit and cancellation policy. 

Now you’re ready for professional photos! Book your appointment today

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