Mommy And Me Photography Sessions

photshoot with mom

Mommy and Me Photography Sessions

I love taking photos of moms and their children as I get to capture one of the purest emotions between two people. Mommy and me sessions are regular family sessions with a focus on mother’s day.

Get an updated photo with your mom

When was the last time you had your photo taken with your mom? Months ago? Years ago? Let this one be a special photoshoot performed by a professional photographer. So many of my clients tell me that it was their first ever photo session with their family.

When we become a mom or dad, we get lost in the busy pace of parent life and forget about the connection with our own moms. We are still their babies, and they are still our moms. They have a place in our hearts that can never be filled by anything else. Sometimes we can’t express our love in words. A special gift can be full of precious messages that warms their heart.

Mother’s day gift certificates

With mother’s day coming up, most of us are thinking of a different present to give them this year. Not like fulfilling your annual duty. Something special that you just don’t gift a random person. If you are in Calgary, I got you covered! A surprise gift of photo session together would be a great mother’s day gift. A photograph to remind them how much they mean to you. A gift that would be kept forever. Besides it is a two-way gift. A gift for your mom and yourself.

Alpina Photography-Mother's day gift certificate

Choose your location, customize your session!

Be it an outdoor shoot at a park, at your house or senior’s place, we can accommodate your mommy and me session wherever possible. If there is any special bond, a shared interest or thing between you and your mom, we can make it a themed session using that special “thing” as part of our session.

We can even do this in the form of 3 generations (grandma, mom, child) or include other family members in some of the photos.

Being a forever-gift that you can customize and personalize, photography is one of the best gifts for Mother’s day. Besides digital copies to share on social media, you also have an option to order prints to frame or put in an album.

You can book your mommy and me session online from “family sessions” page of Alpina Photography website:

www.alpinaphotography.com/family-sessions

 

Here is a little gallery of mom-children photos.

Tips on what to wear for your maternity shoot

what to wear for maternity photo shoot

Tips on What to Wear For Your Maternity Photo Shoot

 

What to wear for your maternity photo session is an important point that needs to be decided beforehand. No panic! This can be a pleasant and fun experience for you!
You can start with your maternity photographer. If they have some outfits to your liking, you don’t have to go through the whole outfit decision process.
Inquire with your photographer if they have a maternity closet available for clients. If they do, you can ask them to share some pictures of the outfits. I have recently added a little section on my maternity photos page to give an idea about what style of clothing is available at Alpina Photography

Alpina Photography-Maternity wardrobe

 

In our maternity wardrobe, it is possible to find formal or casual dress options.  Even tutus! There is no strict rule about what to wear for a maternity session. You can decide it based on what style or look white lace maternity dressyou want for your maternity photos. For studio photo shoots, we usually recommend formal gowns. They in fact work in any setting from natural outdoor shoots to formal studio sessions. If it is an outdoor shoot in a natural setting, you can go with the casual styles too.

In my studio photo shoots, I like using loose fabrics to get a more artistic look. It is so versatile that you can get a few different impressions using the same cut of fabric. When it comes to loose fabric, I love laces, chiffons and tulles. They look very elegant and poetic in maternity pictures.

You can check out this video of Kelly Brown on Youtube:  DIY Maternity Dress with Kelly Brown    This gives an idea on how we drape fabrics on models as an alternative to sewn outfits.

Split open dresses gives you the option to show or hide your belly.

Flower headbands complement lacy outfits so well like an “angel” or a “fairy”. That innocence and purity of “childbearing” cannot be expressed better in pictures.

If you have a very specific style that you are after, you can either buy it online or have it sewn for you. Fabricland has a variety of amazing fabrics that you can buy in Calgary.

As for sizes, maternity dresses are easy to fit different body types, as they are mostly made of stretchy fabrics or adjustable straps. We have sizes from small to extra-large. If you are on the smaller side, you can choose any dress from small to large. We will make sure to make it look good on you during your photo shoot. If you are on the larger side, dresses from medium to extra-large should fit you nicely.

 

If you are planning a DIY maternity shoot 

The most important aspect of a maternity shoot outfit is revealing the maternity belly. Whether it is made of stretchy fabrics or have a split open skirt under the bust, it must do a good job on showing your belly in a flattering way.

Decide whether you want a casual or a formal style. Then you can narrow it down by browsing maternity photos on the Internet and photographers’ websites.

Avoid stripes on your dress as it would make you look wider. Try to choose solid colours as opposed to busy patterns to draw the focus on you. Remember this photo shoot is not about fashion, but your pregnancy belly.

You can use your regular jeans for maternity shoot, just leaving buttons or zipper open. Maternity jeans are not a good fit for photography as it is hard to hide the bulky elastic section on the belly.

For ready-made maternity dresses, I can recommend two online stores: www.asosmaternity.com and www.pinkblushmaternity.com they have both formal and casual styles.

Here is a few maternity clothing ideas for you:

Boho style dresses are perfect for outdoor shoots in a nature setting.

Bandeau bralette and tutu skirt fitted under the belly can be a cute option.

Long sleeve stretchy crop top showing off belly goes perfect with jeans or stretchy tube skirts

For an elegant style, you can consider dresses with deep v neck and rich skirts.

Lacy dresses with long sleeve or cold shoulder.

To be on the safe side, choose solid colours whatever style you decide. Black, white, pink, red, blue. Any colour, just solids! There can be some exceptions where a floral print can be beautiful on a casual dress, depending on its model.

 

Dos and Don’ts when coming to your maternity session

Most maternity outfits that are used in photoshoots have transparent sections like lace or chiffon, so it is best to avoid black, white or colour underwear. Skin colour underwear is the best bet to hide it under the garment. If it is seamless, even better. If you have a tube or bandeau bra, bring it with you; it may come in handy for strapless dresses or loose fabric draping.

Prior to your maternity session, make sure to wear loose underwear so there is no marks on the skin from elastics.

If you need a hair cut or a touch up on your hair roots, get it done before your maternity session.

If your partner will be in the pictures, they should dress the same style as you. If you are wearing a fancy gown, they should choose a dress pants and shirt. If you are going with a casual style, your partner should match it too.

Don’t miss this deal expiring on March 31, 2022Alpina Photography-maternity promotion

Alpina Photography is currently offering a promotion in Calgary, Alberta where you can get $100 off on your maternity sessions. You can save instantly at the time of online booking. All you need is to enter the promo code SPECIAL100 during check out. Your session can be booked for months later but booking needs to be done until March 31, 2022. Don’t miss it, book it today: www.alpinaphotography.com/maternity-sessions

 Contact Alpina Photography:

email: pinar@alpinaphotography.com

Phone: (403) 926-4832

9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

9 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Professional Photographer

We all take photos with our cameras or cell phones daily. Especially with social media becoming an important part of our lives and the development of smart phones equipped with cameras pretty much shaped our habit of taking photos so, one can ask why I would hire a photographer after all.

During the point and shoot era, dreadful photos filled our photo albums. We kept them for the sake of “memories”.  After many years of struggling with terrible picture quality and blurry images we took with our point and shoot cameras, finally we have cell phones that can take some fine photos as long as we have no problem with “image resolution” or “composition”.

Let me tell you about an anecdote from a few years ago:

We were at a restaurant, dining together with old friends first time after many years. I wanted to take a group photo as a memory from our get-together. My friend said, let’s ask the waiter to do it, so all of us would be in the picture. When the waiter took the photo, my friend wanted to see it before letting him go. I found it kind of offensive and unkind, thinking “who can fail to take a simple cell phone photo” My friend checked her phone and she burst into a laughter saying “our heads are missing”  I was both shocked and embarrassed for both the waiter failing to take a simple photo, and us being such jerks making fun of this, but I couldn’t stop myself laughing either 😊

Paying attention to including all important human parts in the frame, the second photo was much better with some lighting issues.

Cell phone cameras are terrific tools as an aid in our everyday life. We use them often when we are shopping, when we want to document visible health issues to share with the doctor, collecting inspirations for our art project, file sharing and so on.

On the other hand, photography is a form of art, just like painting or music; not only a tool to document what there is out there. When taking a landscape photo or a portrait, no matter what camera we are using, the purpose is capturing our subject in a visual order that is pleasing to the eye, expressing the emotions in the moment, reflecting the mood of the environment.  For a good photograph we need to melt technique and aesthetics in the same pot. If one of them is lacking, the photo ends up being a dull, lifeless picture. It may be ok for capturing everyday life and sharing only on the social media platforms. If you want some beautiful photos that you would like to display in an album or hang on your walls, then you need a professional photographer.

Let’s take a closer look at the 9 reasons why you should hire a professional photographer.

1. Artistically composed images

When it comes to composition, it takes more than capturing smiling faces with all body parts included in the frame.  If you are looking for more than quick snapshots, you can take advantage of a professional photographer’s expertise, knowledge and experience. A professional photographer has a trained eye to identify the best positions and angles in each situation. They assess the current conditions and location to decide where and how to position the subject to get the best light and a meaningful composition. Good composition is a vital element for artistic images, making it interesting, attractive and unique.

2. Editing that is worth every penny

In most cases Images do not come out perfect straight out of the camera. We do a post processing to make them look their best. Sometimes the weather or current conditions at the photography location may not cooperate with the type of photos we want to attain. High-end editing tools like Photoshop enables us to turn a gloomy photo into a bright happy one, or vice versa. Cleaning up the photo off the bad looks such as a garbage bin, or a car parked on the side of the road makes a huge change on the photo.

 

 

Detailed skin retouch is another aspect of professional photo editing especially for portraits and professional head shots. When you hire a photographer, photo editing is part of the package. You can have outstanding images that you will be proud to share or display.

 

3. Professional Equipment for excellent results

Professional photographers utilize high-end specialty equipment to get the best results for their genre of photography. At Alpina Photography we have top-of-the-line studio equipment for portrait photography. Our most popular studio sessions are newborn, headshots, maternity, family and children’s photos. We also bring our equipment on site for on-location business portraits, couples and headshot sessions.

4. Strike a pose like a magazine cover

I often hear people say, I am not photogenic”. I believe there is a right angle for everyone in which they look great. It is the photographer’s job to find it out and guide you through your photo session on posing to get the best shots. Portrait photographers are experienced photographing all body types and ages, so they know how to make you look slimmer, taller, younger or smaller. They steer you away from frequently done posing mistakes.  Your photographer can advise on how to dress or make up for specific styles and looks.

They can also point you out the best possible time of the day to ensure the best lighting therefore greatest portraits. In Calgary, for outdoor portraits, I advise my clients the exact time and place for golden hour photos, for blacked out silhouette photos and so on. This little girl in the below photo in the below photo is not a model, but her mom was 😊

 

5. You can be in the photos too

You don’t need to sacrifice anyone from your family to take photos. When you have a professional photographer, everyone will be in the photos, looking their best.

I wasn’t aware of how important it is until I realized I was missing from every single photo I took through the years, except for only a few, which were strictly posed and taken quickly. It’s a matter of passion. Not everyone volunteers to take photos.

 

6. Easy access to the best photography locations

Photographers know all the best places in your city to take certain type of photos. As a professional photographer, I am always in search of new places for outdoor photography. In Calgary, I have a list of places for family photos, couples’ photos, business head shots or cake smash photos. To get the best results, I do pre-session excursions to the target location and make sure if it will look pretty on the session date. In Calgary, spring comes late, summers and falls are short, so we need to be on the lookout all the time and check the weather and if necessary, reschedule the session. After a strong windstorm, in place of a beautiful park, you can find a post-apocalyptic movie setting for your family photos. It always pays off to scout the place beforehand. 

 

7. Getting high quality prints

Professional photographers usually work with high end photography print labs that only work with photography companies. The quick photo prints you will get from a local London Drugs or Walmart store will not please you as for quality, colour accuracy or sharpness as their printers are set for “low ink consumption” The bigger problem is, if your photos are taken in a different colour space than sRGB their printers will not recognize it and you may end up with lifeless photos with cold colours, unwanted tints or low contrast.

Another issue with prints is that most cameras take photos in 3×4 ratio. If you print your photos in different sizes such as square, 5×7, or 8×10, you will lose some of the image to fit in that size. Sometimes it is part of your arm or ear in a portrait that you must give up when you print it yourself.  When you order your prints through your photographer, they take care of such cropping issues. As a professional photographer, I never order prints as is, but check them and see how they look in the desired ratio and make that photo fit nicely into that size. To be able to do this sometimes I have to go back to photoshop and re-edit the photo or add a section to make it look meaningful or centered.

Professional labs also offer better quality archival paper and variety of print papers such as metallic, fine art giclee or cotton paper.

 

8. Variety of photography props

You don’t need to worry about props or backdrops when you hire a professional photographer. At Alpina Photography, we have an abundance of photography props from umbrellas to wooden crates, from flower headbands to Christmas decors and newborn size beds. We maintain a big inventory of photo props and backdrops to make your photo project successful, whether it is family photography, kids photography, cake smash or newborn photography we have you covered.  If you have a specific theme on your mind, you can also communicate it during pre-session phone meeting.  We do our best to accommodate custom themes at www.alpinaphotography.com

 

9. Convenience

You don’t need to go through the process of planning, scheduling, choosing a location, deciding what to wear or how to pose, editing photos afterwards, finding a good lab to print them out. These are all your photographer’s job.

 

Hire a Professional Photographer!

If you’re in Calgary Alberta and looking for professional quality photos for your family album, for your website, or for the baby coming into your life soon, give me a call at (403) 926-4832 to discuss what you are looking for and how we can make it happen for you.

www.alpinaphotography.com

pinar@alpinaphotography.com

Photo Shoot in the Snow

 When the white snow covers the earth, everything looks purer, cleaner and dreamier. While it is actually snowing, probably most of you noticed that magical silence fills the air as if you are in Narnia! Not a few blocks away from Trans Canada highway.

This is a precious opportunity for us photographers to go out and create something beautiful about winter season. New year comes with snow just like a new white page in our lives, ready to start filling it with colourful memories.

When I have an outdoor session in the snow, I always tell my clients to wear colourful clothings or accessories to stand out in that whiteness. With low depth of field, it is easy to blend background noises into the snow’s whiteness and I think portraits appear more distinct with a creamy white background that snow provides. Another advantage of winter shoots is that the sun is always low in the sky, shining in low power, giving us the perfect light. So there is not a narrow window for winter outdoor sessions unlike summer time. (we usually chase golden hour in summer days) We can do it any time of the day before it gets dark.

Of course it has challenges to take photos in the winter. First, it’s cold. The coldest weather that I had a family session was  -10 ֯ C . It was difficult for little kids as they tend to get cranky in the cold, so I go to those sessions well prepared not to lose any time on choosing a good spot or thinking of poses or putting together a theme using props. So I do all these beforehand and when we meet for the photoshoot we start it immediately. Keeping little ones toasty is the most important thing. I recommend putting kids in snowsuits before going in the car, so they can get warm on the way and keep their body heat for a longer time. Those tiny handwarmers come in handy for winter sessions. You can slide the them in your gloves or boots, it keeps warm up to 8 hours.  They are available in most stores from Canadian Tire to Costco. It’s a good idea to keep some in the car, you can never know when you would need them.

In Calgary, we are blessed with Chinook winds that gives us a break from cold winter. It is such a privilege in our cold country. We are lucky to have snow on the ground and wearing no jackets. I even remember one day we went tobogganing with kids and it was so warm and the sun was shining bright, we took off all our clothing layers down to a t-shirt!  As well as -10 ֯ C we have a chance to do a photo session in the snow at +10 ֯ C temperature in this city.

Maternity sessions in the snow would also be great but it is best to do it on a warm Chinook day, so you can pose in a fancy dress instead of big winter coats.

During sessions, I don’t like carrying heavy camera bag on my back so I bring a sled to the sessions to carry my equipment and some props (such as blankets, lantern, garlands) in it and drag along. It also serves as a photography prop and keep little ones entertained.

If you are interested in booking a winter family session at one of our beautiful parks, all you need to do is to choose a date and book it on the Alpina website: www.alpinaphotography.com

Here is a few frames from recent shoots in Montalban Park (Montgomery), Edworthy Park and Confederation Park.

 

Ballerina Photoshoot in Downtown Calgary

 

Couple days ago, I had a special outdoor photo session with a young and talented ballerina. It was such a fulfilling experience that I didn’t want it to end. A sweet combination of my favourite photography genres: Street photography, lifestyle, Portrait and Dance Photography

We planned it together with our dancer’s mom. The locations, poses, outfits and props.

Our first stop was Memorial Park Library. It is the first public library in Alberta, built in 1910.

This beautiful Victorian style sandstone building was a perfect place for ballerina photos with its strongly articulated entrance with ionic columns and lamp posts symbolizing enlightenment. I have always been fascinated with the classical portrayal of a ballerina lacing up her dance shoes. So I took some of those portraits on the stairs with balconies in the back.

Our second stop was Stephen Avenue Walk. My favourite photography location in downtown. The old Hudson’s Bay building would be a perfect place for some dance poses. This building is noted for its elegant arcade which wraps around the east and south facades. Us, photographers cannot resist when we see arches and pillars. That is why we choose it for many occasions from wedding portraits to architectural photography. It was a little difficult to find moments with no people in the background or Calgary transit bus or train passing by, but we made it.

The middle of Stephen Avenue Walk was where we took our next set of dance photos. This was an interesting experience for our young model as she never danced in the middle of a street before. She was very confident under the admiring gaze of people passing by. She was like a live art piece that brings beauty to downtown streets walking around on pointe, twirling and doing relevés, and assembles.

I love to use street furnishings and structures in my portraits, such as benches, lamp posts, hanging flower pots, stairs and bridges. The red dress worked great with red flowers at Olympic Plaza. We even improvised and used a broom as a prop that city workers left on site. 😊

Then we headed to Eau Claire for our waterside, bridge and bench poses. Some shoe lacing and stretching poses went very well and the time of the day was just perfect. 5pm.

I have tons of street dance portrait ideas in my head for fall, winter and indoor.  I can’t wait for my next dance shoot.

A sunday walk at Bowmont Park

 

I love Calgary for offering beautiful nature walks just 5 min drive away. This Sunday we went to Silver Springs Boardwalk which is the upper side of Bowmont Natural Environment Park. Summer months are like a party in the nature areas. Flowers from all colors can be seen on the side of the pathways. I love the wild Alberta rose the best as it smells like heaven. The happiest flower of all is daisies. Symbol of youth and innocence. It’s not a flower known for its scent, but I love daisy’s wild scent. It takes me to my childhood.

The wooden walkway all the way to the river is so cute and joy to walk on. The little streams come together and flow down to the river through a rocky path along with a small waterfall. The soothing sound of the flowing water is like a music to your ears. At the end of the boardwalk, you arrive a nice look out by the river. This is where we take our first break watching the birds bathing in the water and the people rafting on the river. From there we took a steep climb which wasn’t long and we were on the top of a hill overlooking Bow River, Paskapoo Slops, bridges and railroads. This is my favourite spot to take photos. The view is amazing, sky is beautiful. I never did a family session here as there is some hiking and climbing involved, but I would love to if anyone is interested. From here you have a nice long pathway to enjoy the view of the beautiful valley and Bowmont Park. When the pathway forks you can either go down to the Bowmont park and little lagoon or continue to a high deck sitting on top of another hill. It is a nice deck with benches where you can enjoy the beautiful view and have some rest.

On our way back there was a crazy wind which later turned to a rain storm. It was like a natural attraction for the kids as they were walking against the wind gusts with hair flying in the air.

I enjoyed taking photos of my favourite people playing with the wind, laughing like crazy!

Seriously, does anyone want a family session at upper Bowmont Park? 😊

Love is All Around

 

Love, innocence, wisdom, humor… a few of the things I enjoy photographing. Several days ago I had a photo shoot where I got to capture “love”. This young couple are engaged and wanted some photos captured before their wedding. As soon as the session was booked, my creative juices started flowing. This is the perfect season to capture love with all the spring blossoms creating a beautiful backdrop. I envisioned those old movie scenes where two lovers ride a bike and fool around. I would be a perfect engagement photography theme.

To turn the vision on my head into reality, I needed a vintage bike with a basket, a treed pathway with spring blossoms, a good weather with no clouds and sunset time. As my couple has been working from home since the Covid 19 outbreak, date and time wasn’t a problem. The most difficult part was the Cherry blossoms. So we went with their timing avoiding stormy weather. Checking the blossoms and the weather everyday. On the other hand, I started looking for a vintage bike to borrow and I was lucky enough to find one in my neighbourhood just a block away. It’s nice to be surrounded with people who generously offer their help.  The bike was exactly what I was looking for. It even had a basket in the front!

On our day of shooting, we decided to do it just a couple hours before, based on the weather and blossom status. It requires a lot of effort and cooperation to put everything together for a fine photograph. I have plenty of passion that fuels me to go through all those due diligence and preparations.

Working with people who listens to you and cooperate during posing, makes a world of difference. As a photographer, you get to focus better on your job, pay more attention to little details and be more creative. My style is not imposing my ideas, but rather share them with my clients and see if they like it too. I do this during the planning stage of the session, way before the shooting day. In addition to the theme we agreed on, I also listen to their requests during the photo shoot and let them lead the way when we’re done with staged poses. I like that the bride-to-be brought a pair of high heels for some specific poses as it looks much more flattering with high heels. If we didn’t discuss the theme, mood and style before, she wouldn’t think of bringing a spare pair of shoes.

As we started our photo shoot right before sunset, we had opportunity to get some shots with the most beautiful light of the day making your skin glove with a warm hue. In the end, it was a fun session for everyone.

Here is some of the shots from that day. Click on images to view in high resolution.

Cake Smash In The Park

 

 

After a 2-month Corona virus lock down in Calgary, I had my first regular photography session last Friday. It was also my first outdoor cake smash session. Little McKenzie just turned 1 and her family wanted to celebrate this big milestone with a fun cake-smash. Since it is the most beautiful season of all, with the weather warmed up and trees turned to green, I wanted to give it a try and use the nature as my backdrop instead of paper or fabric backdrop and the sun as my main light instead of studio strobes. I was so excited. I started working with the color scheme based on the outfit mom wanted to use for cake smash. I prepared matching banners and made a whole new flower hoop which would go perfect with spring theme. I put together some other settings for different looks during the session. Even though it is a photo shoot with a focus on baby smashing and eating cake, to make it more versatile I always add different props to the scene before introducing the cake to the baby. In a park setting it is easier to change background by simply moving from one place to another. For an outdoor birthday session, I chose Edworthy Park and set up my studio at the meeting place before the clients arrive, so we could start as soon as they come. Babies at this age don’t stay up too long and get tired easily, so I don’t want to waste any of this valuable awake time.

I brought different outfits for each different settings.

First a fairy dress with a matching headband to go with the flower hoop. I used a big wooden bowl and some fluffy layer in it for baby to sit.

Second outfit was pink jumper to use with the pink-yellow decorated balloon basket. Third one was baby’s own cake smash outfit with a fluffy pink tutu skirt and a onesie that to be used with birthday garlands and cake.

I even prepared a fourth setting as a bonus if baby endures all three stages and still doing good, McKenzie succeeded to reach this bonus stage. Main prop for this setting was a white toddler size rocking chair with blue wool layer staged with some white/blue flowers in the back and a mini white lace umbrella attached to the chair.

Since this is a photo shoot conducted with Covid safety measures it was a touchless photo session, wearing a face mask.

As communicated with before, mom was going to be the main person to pose the child. So she followed my directions on where and how to place the baby, which way she should be looking, propping the feet so this cutest part of the baby can be seen in the photos.

The cake was made by grandma and brought to the site. As always, we started with non-cake poses. After the flower hoop and the balloon basket we switched to the most exciting stage of the session: Smashing the cake. 3 year old brother helped a lot at this stage, showing his sister how to smash the cake and letting her feed him cake and make her laugh so hard! After some rather serious looks, we finally were getting some big smiles and laughs. Cake’s sweet taste may have helped too.

At the end, we did some family poses and the bonus setting. Baby McKenzie did great throughout the session.

It was a very fun photoshoot for everyone. . Instead of sitting in the studio, we were enjoying outdoors in a picnic mood. Those cute 1 year old hands covered with cake icing will always be remembered with these photographs.

I loved this outdoor cake smash idea soo much that I want to do all my summer time cake smashes in the park as long as mom wants it too.

 

Here is some shots from this session. Click on images to view higher resolution.

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Porch-raits / A Novel Trend In Pandemic Times

What the heck is a porch-rait? It’s basically a portrait of the porch people tongue-out

During Coronavirus lock-down, a creative photographer came up with the idea of taking friends’ portraits from a distance, at their porches, windows or balconies. It has spread all around the world faster than the Corona virus itself. In this isolation time where we stop meeting with people, porch-raits has been a way of spreading positivity and cheer. Connecting with people through a fun photography project was a great idea that has gotten photographers out of their homes and put a smile on people’s faces. At the beginning I didn’t feel like doing it as it was still cold and snowy in Calgary but, when it started to get warmer, it turned into an attractive and fun thing to do.

I was drawn into the porch photo idea, also because I LOVE PORCHES.  Seriously, I love everything about porches. Doors, windows, stairs, pots, railings, plank floors and everything that goes along with it. When I’m walking on the streets the front porches of the houses always catch my eye. That pretty “home sweet home” feeling! When you add your family to this view, it completes the cozy home picture where we live, be loved and belong. There is no place like home!

So the last couple of weeks, I’m enjoying the spring in the air, going to different neighbourhoods, capturing beautiful smiles. Families cuddled on the front steps, giggling kids, pets, babies…♥♥♥

One of the lovely people I photographed told me that they just bought and moved in their new house right before the lock- down and this porch-rait of their family will be a beautiful memory of their first days in their new house.

I actually started thinking of making these sessions permenant minis especially for people who just bought their new house!

 

 

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Corona Days: 9 Things You Can Do While You’re Stuck At Home

Ok, it wasn’t a happy start for a new year, thanks to Coronavirus. We can’t do our jobs, we can’t socialize or travel. We are all confined to our homes.

As a photographer, I had to cancel all my newborn sessions and studio shoots. It hurts not being able to do your job especially if it is also your passion. Cancelling everything when you are planning various photography projects, getting new props and ideas. cry

Anyway, it is real and it is here. We have to accept the situation and start working on “how to make the best use of this depressed lockdown time and get things done. I want to share a bunch of ideas that I come up with and start doing myself during this dormant period.

 

1. Start your garden!

Spring is here, it’s a good time to start flower and garden veggie seeds indoors as well as garden/yard clean-up. We have planted some tomatoes, sunflowers, basil and daisies in tiny starter kits. Looking forward to transplanting them to the community garden a few blocks away. It’s also a healthy leisure activity for kids to visit the garden once in a while to water and weed.

 

 

 

2. Online learning

This is a great opportunity for online learning on subjects related to your job or any skill you want to learn. Calgary Public library provides its members with free access to Lynda.com with tons of learning videos with exercise files you can download from their site. Here is the link to access Lynda.com through your library membership: https://calgarylibrary.ca/read-learn-and-explore/digital-library/lynda-com/ I use Lynda though our Roku device from the comfort of our living room couch, sipping my tea. Learning has never been this easy! 🙂

Calgary public library has lots of other online resources for kids and adults, I highly recommend to check it out.

 

3. Crafts

Yes, crafts that you always wanted to do but didn’t have time. It can be anything from watercolors to knitting, from wood working to robotics. YouTube is a great resource where you can find very specific how-to videos on almost any subject.

The last few weeks, I have been knitting like crazy and making newborn hat-wrap sets and cute headbands which comes in handy to stock some newborn photography props. I can’t wait to try them on my littlest models!

 

4. Basement clean-up

This is a perfect time to get rid of the clutter and turn your basement into a space you can use for different purposes. People are still using Kijiji to sell stuff, practicing social distancing when pick up stuff or just do porch pick up. I’ve been working on organizing my photography equipment and props in an IKEA Pax wardrobe in the basement and try to get rid of the items we don’t really use to make more space for my studio.

 

 5. Quality time with kids

It is a difficult time for everyone, especially for kids. You can set a time everyday to do something with kids, like boardgames, home schooling, outdoor play, crafts. Our favourite family board game was “Pandemic” until recently. It’s scary now!

 

6. Daily walks or biking around the neighbourhood

As a result of the Coronavirus lock-down or social distancing, we all became much more inactive. When you add eating out of boredom to it, it is not going anywhere good. It is fortunate that this pandemic coincided with good weather, so we can at least go out for fresh air and some activity. As a family we are walking around the neighbourhood everyday after breakfast. As the weather gets better, we will add more rounds to these short walks and biking.

 

 

 7. Organizing old photos

Organizing old photos and putting together family photo books is another thing we tend to procrastinate. After switching to digital world, we all compiled thousands of photos in our discs without revisiting, arranging or printing them with the comfort of knowing that we “have” them. It is as much difficult to browse through so many similar photos as it is easy to take them. Lock-down time is perfect to go back to old photos, delete the bad ones and organize the good ones in separate albums. On top of that getting a few photo books to share on the coffee table would be great! Online print places are still servicing.

 

 8. Small repairs around the house

Is the bathroom faucet leaking? is bedroom door squeaking? Are the felt pads under the furniture worn out and chairs are rubbing against the floor? Little malfunctions that annoy you everyday but never have time to fix. I accept It’s not fun, but this is the time!

 

 

 

 

 9. Free entertainment at home

It cannot be all about work of course. For entertainment and feeding our soul, we need music and arts. Here is a few online resource where you can access free concerts and shows:

For live music performances, you can go to https://nac-cna.ca/en/canadaperforms where Canadian musicians perform live on Facebook.

For theatre plays, UK’s National Theatre records their live plays at high definition quality and put on youtube which stays there for a week. A play for each week. You can find their schedule here: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home

For musical plays, check out Youtube channel The Shows Must Go On!  When they post a new video, it stays available for 48 hrs because of the rights restrictions. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdmPjhKMaXNNeCr1FjuMvag

For opera, you can go to New York Metropolitan Opera website as they are streaming HD video recordings of their live performances on their website with each performance available for a period of 23 hours. https://www.metopera.org/user-information/nightly-met-opera-streams/

If you are using Apple, Amazon, Roku devices or Samsung Smart TV you can watch the videos through the Met Opera on Demand app. To access them without logging in, click “Browse and Preview” in the apps for connected TV and you will see some of the videos are marked “free preview” on the corner.

Dim the lights and enjoy it!

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