Posts By Shannen

First Peek of Spring – Ottawa Family Photographer

April in Ottawa brings with it hope.  Hope that winter is finally over and hope that warm temperatures are on their way.  This year though winter dragged on and on and on.  And on.  In fact, a session booked weeks earlier had to be cancelled and rescheduled because it just wasn’t warm enough to be outside without winter coats.

Fast forward a few weeks and the thermometer started to rise and we all happily met outside for a couple of hours.  Don’t get me wrong, it still wasn’t warm.  In between photos, kids were wrapping themselves in blankets to try to stave off the chill a little.  But the snow was long gone and the sun was shining.  For the first outdoor session of 2014, this one was hard to beat.  And thankfully, this family was ready to get the job done.  This session was a gift to mom-in-law and I have no doubt that she was elated to see these gorgeous faces looking back at her when she opened it.

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The whole crew – Ottawa Family Photographer

The recipe for a perfect family photo shoot:  A pinch of afternoon sunlight.  A dash of adorable kids.  A heaping spoonful of grandparent adoration.  A splash of laughter.

I photographed Jodie a few months earlier and when she asked if I could capture her extended family, I jumped at the chance.  Jodie, and it turns out her whole family are a dream to photograph.  Seriously.  And they were all gorgeous to boot.  They even sweetened the deal we sealed the deal by choosing my most favourite spot for the session – Pinhey’s Point.  It doesn’t get better than this:

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All in the Family: The Cyrs

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The last time we visited with this party of five, their newest member was brand, spanking new.  Now, here he is at 6 months old, a strong, sturdy and very serious little man that just melts me every time we are together.  I love watching his sisters love on him.  He is one very lucky little dude.

He wasn’t ready to smile for me this time, but at the risk of spoiling the surprise, i was eventually able to crack him. ;) Stay tuned!

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Baby Love: Stephanie and Duncan

The baby in that belly is my niece.  At the time, only a few of us knew it was a girl, and the only reason I knew is because I am VERY convincing and promised too keep the secret, cross my heart and hope to die.  And I did.  Beautiful Elianna was born a few weeks later and we were all elated and surprised!

But prior to her arrival, we took the very last minute opportunity to capture her beautiful mama and her adorable dad.  Little Baby Elianna is a very lucky little lady.

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Just Because: Beautiful Girls (and a boy before he ran off to explore)

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Danielle and James: The Day

It’s funny.  I find that when people reminisce about weddings, the weather pops up first.  It plays in to the feel of the day and puts guests back into their seats feeling it all over again.

As the photographer, I look at weather differently.  It’s about limitations and opportunities. Rain keeps you inside, look for the light from a window.  Sun has you scouting for shaded locations.  Swampy forests, though beautiful in pictures, have you running from hungry mosquitos.  (unfortunately, on this day, there was nowhere to run!)

As I mentioned before, Danielle and James got married in the exact same spot I did.  Well, not the exact same spot.  My wedding day, in May was too cold to be held outside, so the fine folks at Beantown Ranch made the last minute decision to hold the ceremony indoors.  So Danielle and James got married in the exact same spot that I was supposed to be married on.

But on their wedding day, in June, the weather was spectacular.  The sun was shining.  A few pretty cods dotted the sky.  A faint breeze kept us cool.

And the Bride and Groom?  I couldn’t have asked for better.  So relaxed.  So funny.  And so in love.  My face hurt from laughing all day, and I was not the only one.  It was truly picture perfect.

Thanks to Danielle and James for taking awesome up a to the next level.  I feel honoured to have been there and to have captured these moments for you.

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12 Days New in South Ottawa

If you read my last post, you know what it meant to me to have been able to photograph a super sweet ‘baby on the way’ announcement.  If possible, I was even more excited to get to meet the new arrival.

I love stepping into a house and experiencing the enormous changes that come with adding a tiny member to the family.  I especially love when there is a sense of calm like there was with this family.  Baby R was the sweetest little guy who very quietly stayed awake for almost the entire session.  We were gifted a short nap at the very end, but otherwise, he was alert and very much awake.  Luckily, big sister kept us hopping as she hammed it up for the camera while we waited.


A future superhero?  I’d put money on it.

Thanks again for asking me to be part of this journey, Friends.  I will never forget it.

A Winter Visit and a surprise in South Ottawa!

This is going to sound a little corny, but I take a little bit away from each family I photograph.  I feel like I really get to connect with people when they ask me to capture their families at that moment in time.  I might be a story we shared, or a smile that I had to to work overtime for or an exchange of numbers and a promise to keep in touch.

This session though, there was a little something extra.  It was not the first time I met this family.  It was, in fact, our second meeting and I was asked to capture some special moments with Grandma in town.  I jumped at the chance.  My own mother lives far away and I can truly appreciate how special each and every visit with our extended family is.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that I was walking into what would be one of the most amazing experiences I may ever have as a photographer.  Halfway through, Phillip took me aside and told me to get ready and to keep my eyes on Grandma.

What happened next had us all in tears.  Me included.

I feel so incredibly lucky that I was able to capture this amazing day.  They thanked me as I packed up and headed back to my own family that afternoon, but truth be told, it was me that was thankful.

It’s been awhile…

I’m a little embarrassed.  I’ve been gone a long while.  Too long.  But it only really occured to me how long it’s been since I’ve updated when someone asked me for my website the other day.  I suddenly felt myself apologizing for not having any recent work up.

So now I start to play the all too familiar game of catch up.  I have some amazing goodies to post, including this gem from the second of two shoots I had with this amazing family.

Come back soon!  I’ll put on some coffee.  We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

With the Frenettes at the MacKenzie King Estate

I can’t believe 6 months have passed since this little lady was born. Last time we met she was tiny and new and bundled up in a wee Santa suit.  And now, here she is, sitting up, moving around and still a little unsure of my camera.  I worked hard to get these smiles but that just made each one that much sweeter.

As always, it was such a pleasure spending the afternoon with these three.  If it weren’t for an impending nap and the ferocious mosquitos, we could have spent all day.

Until next time, my friends!