The Secrets of Baby Happiness

Marianne was comfortable, beautiful and having a great time, but the look on her face when Carter and her boys arrived to join her at her pregnancy session here in the studio was sheer happiness. She is so gentle and kind, and yes, this new baby is going to bring a little more chaos to their lives, but also whole lot more happiness.

To you, maybe happiness is when all your kids are at home, the laundry is done and you can finally curl up with that good book. Maybe it's when you’re sitting with your husband on the couch after a long day. Perhaps happiness is a good conversation, or doing something you love. Maybe it is long walks, homemade cookies and snuggles. To you, maybe happiness is silence. Maybe it is the roaring of laughter or the sweet melody of music. Maybe it is something just in between.

To babies, happiness is when you walk into their rooms after the sun comes up, in the middle of the night or just after their nap. To babies, happiness is seeing your face and knowing that you’ll always come back and that you’ve never stopped.

To babies, happiness is bright colours and interesting noises. It is the way you scrunch your nose at them and sometimes they catch you singing and it makes them giggle. Happiness is knowing that when you look at them, they feel your love before you even say those three syllables.

To babies, happiness is getting to see and feel and discover new things. Every single thing and every single moment feels like such an adventure where the treasure just doesn’t stop. Happiness is feeling like it is just waiting for them to find it, to play with it, to see it. 

Happiness is the look on your face. Happiness is the way you hold your child. Happiness is knowing that when he or she gets a little bigger, you'll cheer for them. Happiness is that you’re here.

I can't wait until Marianne & Carter's little bundle arrives; until Ryder & Aidan get to hold him or her gently for the first time.

To babies, happiness is these moments.

"We have worked with Karen on several occasions and have yet to be disappointed. Karen has done an amazing job capturing our family as we are-we love how there are no artificial poses, just candid moments of our connections to one another. We have trusted Karen with newborn and one year photography collections of our children and family, as well as a recent maternity session. We are in love with every picture she has taken for us. We look forward to our upcoming newborn session with Karen- we know that we are going to cherish these pictures forever, like we do the others she has taken for us." -Marianne Dumont


Expecting a baby?  Visit Your Guide To Hiring The Right Newborn Photographer.

If you'd like to reserve your session with me, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region pregnancy photographer located in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby portraits for clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Toronto and surrounding areas.

Your Guide To Hiring The Right Newborn Photographer

Your Guide To Hiring The Right Newborn Photographer

In today’s fast paced world, I have more and more mommies wanting to slow things down, to enjoy their newborns and the lives they’re living.  My professional newborn photography in done a natural, organic style.  I adore this, as it means your images are going to be a true reflection of your child.  It’s my preferred style of photography.  This organic way of looking at your baby’s images will give you a window into their little lives, and will be even more treasured as they transition into adulthood and have babies of their own.  As a Niagara newborn photographer, I’ve compiled a quick list of links to help you guide you through the process of creating natural newborn portraits, how to choose the best photographer for you, how they’re created and some suggestions on what to do with your finished pieces.

1. Choosing A Newborn Photographer

Aren’t you incredibly excited for that moment when you first meet your baby?  When you’ll finally get to hold her in your arms?  For me, it was like all of my insides had been hugged, like all the empty spaces got filled, like I found the answer to the questions my soul had been asking.  The love that we have in our hearts for our children is special and powerful. It is a beautiful treasure when we are able to have that photographed and preserved for forever.
Newborn photography is a once in a lifetime thing.  I’ve had clients call my studio when they’ve had a bad experience with another photographer and by the time they know the images aren’t any good, it’s too late to truly capture that newness.  Even at three weeks your newborn is going to look so different, and they won’t curl up as they did when they first entered the world.  If that was your vision, you can’t go back again.  Please read over and follow this handy list of qualities a professional should have when choosing a newborn baby photographer.

2. Why Lifestyle Newborn Photography?

My preferred type of photography is a blend of styles, with my main goal to document the life of a brand new little person. It is about capturing the personality of each baby and celebrating their uniqueness. It is about the feelings between two parents as they realize the future years of their life have been forever changed for the better.  Through newborn lifestyle photography, I get to immerse myself in their life even for just a couple hours and enjoy and capture the love that is naturally surrounding them.  In order to capture these feelings, an environment needs to be created that facilitates connection. Lifestyle photographers often need to be able to photograph their subjects as if there is no camera in the room. It takes time for parents to feel completely comfortable, so these sessions can never be rushed. With newborns, I always follow their cues, their position likes and dislikes, and if they should move their arm, stretch out those tiny feet, give me a great big yawn, I photograph it. Those moments are just as, if not more important. Being able to capture the personality of a newborn baby in images is something new parents are sure to treasure completely. You can read more about lifestyle photography here.

3. How To Reduce Stress During and After Your Photo Session

This article is wonderful, but you may want to bookmark it and read it again a few days before your session.  Imagine, you have waited nine months, your new baby is finally in your arms and newborn portraits are happening tomorrow morning. You are excited to have your family documented, celebrated and to leave your children with beautiful images that include you.  At the same time, balancing a brand new baby, and all the things that come along with that responsibility, plus making sure you have everything in order can be stressful.  I have put together some helpful hints that will make it not only stress free, but oh, so enjoyable.  Reading these over and following them will be sure to help you feel completely informed, and to reduce stress before and during your photo session.  From clothing choices to rest, communication to relaxation, this will help you feel like you have a good handle on what a wonderful experience this will be.

4. The Best Way To Order Your Newborn Portraits

Choosing your finished pieces is a very important piece of the puzzle.  I’ll request images of your chosen wall(s) in your home and use them to determine how I’ll compose the session images, and also to decide on the colours I’ll incorporate during our time together.  Approximately one week after your photo session with me, you’ll be invited back into the studio for your ordering appointment, where I’ll unveil everything to you on the studio projection screen.  Using specialized software and the image(s) of their wall, I show you the wall collections I’ve pre-designed. These are images of the portraits from your session that I think work best together and are the correct size for your space. During your Ordering and Design Session, we select your favourite images together, comparing images side by side or in groups. We also decide on the appropriate portrait sizes for the walls we have chosen. We play with the pre-designed wall collection images until you’re completely in love with them. This creates an environment that allows you to have increased input into your finished pieces, quickly and easily, with minimal frustration.

5. A Tangible Photographic Experience

During our time in the studio, you’ll be able to hold our products in your hands, and to envision your images within them.  When I create newborn imagery, isn’t created for viewing on any old computer screen. It’s made to be touched; to be held; to tell a story you can feel, and to be remembered. A linen album tells your story so much better than a folder on a computer ever will, and it’s so much more valuable.  I believe in a tangible photography experience, encouraging you to have your artwork printed, whether it be in an album, image box or as wall portraits.  Life is just too short to let those digital files sit in a drawer, corrupt, or become an obsolete file type.  Your baby and your relationships are worth more that that.  They’re worth preserving.  Your newborn baby is beautiful in every way, the way their lips curve just slightly they’re happy. And you, in how you soothe your little ones just against your heartbeat. In that way you look at your children like you’ve just stumbled upon treasure. In how you lay down your life to see them cared for as if you’re writing a song to them with your life that they are loved beyond measure. You are a glimpse of heaven on earth.  Having tangible products to showcase that love is just the beginning of your story together.

Taking The Time To Be Genuine

How many images do you have of yourself and your family where you're all just sitting there, side by side, attempting smiles on your faces but your heart isn't really in it? One of the hardest parts of being a photographer is getting everyone in the right frame of mind, educating clients like you on what to expect when you get to the studio, and then helping you to forget the camera is there and just having a great time together as a family.

There was no sit still and smile in this natural light baby session, but more of a "let's have a seat here and see what happens." It wasn't rushed, but also it didn't take long, as I know just how to lead families in the direction we need to go. In my professional experience as a photographer, that's when the best images are taken.

That's not to say there isn't a lot of preparation done on my both of our parts, of course. Weeks prior to my photography appointments, we're planning wardrobe, make up, discovering your true vision for your session so that I can be sure to provide you with images that you love beyond measure. We're talking about printed products, where they're going to hang in your home, and feeling the soft pages of the album that will grace your coffee table.

It was a beautiful, sunny day here in the Grimsby, Ontario studio when I photographed this family. Little Emmett was completely in love with my camera, as you can see, or maybe it was me  :) It was rare that he wasn't looking in my direction. but with children it's so different. It's actually really hard for children to be fake, as they're naturally honest, and you can see everything they're feeling written on their little faces. And there is so much joy in these!

This was my second session with Kimberley and Emmett, and he's grown a whole lot since he was a newborn. One thing that hasn't changed is his sweet, calm nature though. He just loves to absorb everything about the world around him, taking it all in.

"Karen did an amazing job with our images. We decided to do a photo session to show how much my son had grown in a year, as Karen was his first photographer when he was first born. When we arrived my son didn't want to get photographed by himself right away, so we quickly moved to doing family pictures while he was comfortable. Later moving back to solo photographs once he became comfortable with his surroundings. She really takes her time with everyone to get the best image possible of everyone. You can really feel the love through the images." - Kimberley Young


Wouldn't you love to have your own baby or family photographed like this? Click these links for more information on having your pregnancynewbornbaby or family portraits made. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara baby photographer specializing in natural light pregnancy, newborn, baby and family photography.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara baby photographer located in the Niagara Region of Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Mississauga, Oakville and Toronto.

Ordering Your Portrait Artwork

So, what happens after your portraits are taken?

Let’s say you’re sitting on your chair, looking lovingly at the images of your brand new baby wrapped up cozy and beautiful on your computer screen from home. There are 25-30 images, and each one seems to be even more gorgeous than the next. You want to take these from a screen and put them on your walls, but many questions are going through your mind. Which wall in your home were you thinking of? What colours can be incorporated into that room? What size should it be? What frame colour? How will the images look together, side by side? Suddenly, the sweet new babe needs your attention and once again you need to figure this out another time.

Printing photographs can be quite overwhelming for all of us. There are many decisions to be made, and many possibilities. Luckily, professional photographers now have the software needed to view wall galleries before you even purchase them. It’s much easier to review and choose your favourite portraits with help from a professional and here are some reasons why:

Ten Reasons Why Ordering & Design Appointments Will Benefit You

1 – You can relax, have a beverage and know that you have professional help in selecting the right images, sizes and layouts
2 – Receive help paring down to your ultimate favourites, seeing them side by side or in groupings to help you compare
3 – They can show you different cropping options to choose the best size to suit your space
4 – They provide assistance in choosing the best walls in your home to feature your new artwork
5 – If you provide images of the walls in your home, they can show you your portraits in actual size on those walls
6 – They will give you advice based on room size, face size and viewing distance
7 – Professionals can show you samples of high quality artwork finishes to find one that works best for your home
8 – The whole ordering and design process is faster than trying to do it alone
9 – Your photographer will take care of ensuring your portraits are perfect before you receive them
10 – Some professional photographers even offer the service of hanging your finished pieces

Every photographer does things a little differently, but upon booking a photography session with Reflections of Life, I touch base with clients regarding where they envision their artwork in their home. My clients love to select high impact or statement portraits that showcase their family and can be displayed in an area of their home where they can enjoy seeing it every day. I always advise them to choose areas in their homes where they ‘live’ the most, but also where others will see their portraits.

Images are then taken of their chosen wall(s) and used to determine how I’ll compose the session images, and also to decide on the colours I’ll incorporate during our time together.

About a week after photography is complete, we meet for an in person ordering and design appointment. Using specialized software and the image(s) of their wall, I show them the wall collections I’ve pre-designed. These are images of the portraits from their sessions that I think work best together and are the correct size for their space. During your Ordering and Design Session, we select your favourite images together, comparing images side by side or in groups. We also decide on the appropriate portrait sizes for the walls we have chosen. We play with the pre-designed wall collection images until you’re completely in love with them. This creates an environment that allows you to have increased input into your finished pieces, quickly and easily, with minimal frustration.

When choosing your photographer, it’s important to discuss how you will go about ordering the images afterward. Since each photographer does things a little differently, ensure this is one of the questions you ask. If you’re a very visual person, you may not need this type of help in choosing the correct portraits and finishes for your space. It’s necessary to make this clear before you book with your photographer so you both know what to expect during each step of the process. These newborn photographs capture a moment in your life, and in the life of your new babe that is so fleeting. Re-live it every day by walking into a room filled with portraits of the memories captured during your session.  You’ll be so pleased you did.


Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara baby photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara baby photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Oh What Fun! | Grimsby Family Photographer

If you are not having fun during your annual family portrait sessions, then, my friends, you are not doing it right! Fun is a must have during all Reflections of Life sessions. Fun brings out real emotion and expression, smiles and laughs. Fun creates the memories that we want to last a lifetime.

Those who know me well realize I'm all about being real. I've curated your family session experiences so they're full of fun games to play, no matter the age of your child. Whether it be through making up silly stories or pretending we're superheros, we simply play and capture real expressions because we're actually having a great time. Reviewing the images below I am still in awe of all the emotion we captured. I'm so happy we got together at the beach that fall day.

I have been photographing Jessica and Peter's family since John Andrew was a tiny newborn. Together we celebrated his first birthday and welcomed his baby sister into the family.

Most recently, I met up with them at the beach for a family session, and oh what fun we had! One of the favorite games we played was a story game. Each person would make up a line to a story and then pass it to the next person. John Andrew is an imaginative and funny little boy. We were all laughing from his little stories, and how he kept playfully saying "Get out of hear!" Sweet Nicholina took all of it in, and I am sure just waiting for her turn to join in the fun!

I look forward to seeing this sweet family again to capture more fun memories!


Love this Grimsby beach location? Check out another session I've photographed there.

Are you expecting a baby?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Grimsby family photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Grimsby family photographer located in the Niagara Region, in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Planning Your Baby's Room

You’re expecting a little one and all the pieces are coming together for his or her room. Whether you’re still in the dreaming stage or you’re out there searching for the perfect pieces online and in stores, I’ve collected a variety of amazing nursery examples for you and you’ll find them on my Pinterest board called “For The Nursery“.

As you’re designing, I do have one request.  Please leave space on at least one wall for his or her newborn portraits.  As the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short and this time will soar by quick as lightening.  Let’s create a space that allows you to remember.

The gorgeous thing about having your newborn captured and leaving space for their portraits as you design their room is that you are celebrating their life. And as they grow older, they will look back and they will see how incredibly loved and valued they were in the anticipation of and their sweet arrival. That is such a beautiful gift we can give to our kids.

Enjoy every moment.  xo

In This Moment | Niagara ON Family Photographer

niagara-on-family-photographer

My hope, my goal, for every family that I photograph is that I capture moments. Real moments. The kind of moments that when you look at the image, you can feel the emotional connection. The moments where they forget that my camera and I are even there. Beautiful, tender moments to the full of life, active moments. Each one the perfect reflection of your family, your love and your life.

A family portrait session with Reflections of Life Photography is much different than what most people envision when they think of family photos. It is fun, and filled with games and laughter. It is a time to connect with your loved ones without the worry of a To Do list and jam packed schedule. My hope is that it is something every member of the family walks away from with a smile on their face and a favorite memory. 

I, too, leave every session with memories and a full heart. Sarah and her boys, Ben, Landon and Jeremy, were a joy to photograph. Sarah is a small business owner, and the heart behind SD Designs. I love to support local small businesses whenever I am able, and Sarah creates all of my client gifts. Her teethers are not only perfect for little ones looking for something to soothe their gums but are absolutely darling.

I look forward to photographing the beautiful connection between this sweet family again in the future.

And this is a must see - their adorable short film.

Are you expecting a baby?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON family photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca to reserve your session while you’re still pregnant.  This ensures a place for you in my schedule, allows you plenty of time to review your photographic options, and gives you peace of mind to know that it’s all taken care of.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON family photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Tangible Photography Products

We all have things that we cover our walls, bookshelves and coffee tables with. Maybe it is paintings that make us swoon or words that remind us of what we want for our future. Maybe it's magazines, novels or favourite movies. The most amazing thing that we get to fill our homes with are images captured when we’ve spent time with the ones we love the most.

There is this beautiful look that happens on the face of a person when they see someone they love. It is almost like there is fire hidden in their cheeks and behind their eyes, as if their entire being lights up with love and enthusiasm. That look is something that needs to be framed and celebrated and put on canvases and looked at every single day.

See the thing about covering walls in captured images of our families isn’t just that they are lovely to look at. But it is a celebration of who we are. It is a reminder of our love for one another. It is creating legacy that what we do in our home is connection.

It's also about increasing our children's confidence, reminding them of how proud we are of them, and feeling like our arms are wrapped around them in a hug, even when we may not all be there together at the same time. It's about feeling close to one another.

Just like the time you spend with your little ones, the quality artwork I create is made with a great deal of love and care.

Choose legacy. Choose connection. Choose celebration.

Meet My Littles

Meet my youngest three little ones. To some, they may not be so small, but to me, no matter how old my kids are, they will always be my babies.

I asked them some questions for this blog post, and here are their adorable, and somewhat questionable answers.

1. If you could change one rule that your family has, what would you change?
Hudson-"I would make it so we aren't allowed to make dumb choices."
Lily-"I would change the "no screens" rule."
Henry-"I would make it so that we could ALWAYS have playdates."

2. What is something that makes your family special?
Hudson-"We have the same amount of boys as girls in our family."
Lily-"That we love each other a lot."
Henry-"Dad always gets Christmas Day off of work so we can spend it together."

3. Are you a good friend? Why do you think so?
Hudson-"Yes, I share lots of things."
Lily-"Yes, I do whatever my friends like if we are allowed to."
Henry-"No, my friends think I'm annoying." (We'll have to get to the bottom of this one)

4. If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Hudson-"Normal things."
Lily-"I wouldn't want to be invisible."
Henry-"Steal money from my mom's purse and buy something at the store." (also-this clearly needs to be addressed)

5. What is the best gift you have ever given? Why was it so special?
Hudson-"I gave...I don't know."
Lily-"The pony I made. I gave them something unique."
Henry-"I gave Gavin a Lego set and it was special because I got Elijah the same one."

6. What is the hardest thing about being a kid?
Hudson-"Mom and Dad boss me around."
Lily-"I need to listen to my mom and dad."
Henry-"Babysitting other kids, especially when they don't listen."

7. If you were a teacher, and the kids in your class wouldn't listen to you, what would you do?
Hudson-"I would turn off the lights."
Lily-"I would turn off the lights."
Henry-"I would teach them that when I say "macaroni and cheese" they'd have to stop and say "everybody freeze."

8. Where is your favourite place in the world?
Hudson-"Great Wolf Lodge."
Lily-"USA."
Henry-"Mateo's house."

9. If you could give one gift to every single child in the world, what gift would you give?
Hudson-"A Christmas card that was translated into all the different languages."
Lily-"Money."
Henry-"The best gift in the world, L-O-V-E."

10. What five words do you think most describe you?
Hudson-"Huggable, loveable, Christian, strong, child."
Lily-"Funny, smart, child, Christian, artist."
Henry-"Happy, caring, helpful, kind, huggable."

11. If you could invent something that would make life easier for people, what would you invent?
Hudson-"A teleporter."
Lily-"A teleporter."
Henry-"A tube system that makes you travel around the world faster."

12. If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow, what rule would you make?
Hudson-"Be a Christian!!!!!"
Lily-"Never jump, or push of cliffs."
Henry-"A really weird one, not to believe in Santa because he is a fake guy in a fat suit."

And that's a snapshot into the minds of my 6, 8 and 9 year olds.  <3

Would you like your children photographed like this in my Grimsby, Ontario studio?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara, ON photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.  Call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca for more details.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON newborn photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Why Asking For Help Is So Powerful

Recently my family went through a very difficult time. We've been torn apart, and I don't know if we'll ever be able to rebuild what we've lost. At first I kept most of it to myself, but now I realize that being able to talk to my close friends, and asking for help, has made a huge impact on how I'm dealing with it all.

Every day as moms we make decisions based on what we believe is best and what we feel God is leading us to do. Often we don't know if what we said or did was the right thing, only time will tell, and we can spend a lot of sleepless nights trying to figure it out. 

The reality is that none of us are perfect. We get that, we know that. We aren’t perfect women, we aren’t perfect moms, we aren’t perfect friends.

But yet sometimes, we really wrestle with asking for help because, to us, it almost seems like we are admitting that we aren’t perfect.

You know that moment when you bring your baby home for the first time? It is blissful and sleepless all in one. There is so much that needs to happen that stays like a weight upon you and help from those around you would be the biggest gift if you just got the courage to ask for it.

For me, I've now experienced what it's like to walk into an empty room where my daughter used to live. She's out on her own now, and I'm feeling that worry of whether or not I've prepared her enough for what her future holds.

I wonder what would change if we saw asking for help as less of a statement of weakness and more of an invitation; an invitation to bring people into our lives, to allow them to fill the spaces and to truly see us and the little one who is now in our care? That maybe asking for help is a way of reaching out and the way that we respond to people who truly bring that ask are how we embrace people and how we allow them in.

Asking help isn’t a weak thing, asking for help is powerful. It is powerful because it involves people.

When we are sleep-deprived and overwhelmed and our house is a mess, we can ask for something from other people that we could never give to ourselves. And there is something about that level of connection that is healing and full of hope for our hearts.

Asking for help is an invitation. One we all ought to give and also respond to.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also like this article, When The Baby Brings Sadness.

Grimsby Newborn Photographer | Windows to the Soul

grimsby-newborn-photographer

They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. When working with newborns, you don't always get a calm, awake baby. Even more so, you are not always able to capture awake images with eye contact. In those chance moments that you do, the results are always captivating. They are usually among the parents' favorite images in the gallery. They stop a viewer in his or her tracks, and elicit a reaction.

Lendrick has a beautiful, old soul. He opened his eyes to let us see during most of the session. His eye contact felt as though it was made with purpose and intent rather than chance. He seems wise and far beyond his mere moments on this planet. He was awake, but still very content, and you'll see a lot of that in the short film at the bottom of this post.

I do believe there are great things in store for little Lendrick. I look forward to watching him grow and achieve great things. I know for certain that he is surrounded by love, and in love all things flourish. Welcome to this world, sweet Lendrick.

And of course I had to share his gorgeous short film. I had the camera rolling in the back of the studio and pieced the moments of his newborn session together to create something adorable.

And a sweet newborn birth announcement design for little Lendrick.

Are you expecting a baby?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Grimsby newborn photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca to reserve your session while you’re still pregnant.  This ensures a place for you in my schedule, allows you plenty of time to review your photographic options, and gives you peace of mind to know that it’s all taken care of.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Grimsby newborn photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Niagara ON Newborn Photographer | Those Eyes

Niagara ON Newborn Photographer

This little peanut is a true gift, as she's the daughter of a cousin of my husband's.  Stephanie brought her brand new, lovely daughter to our Grimsby, Ontario studio to create some natural, organic images of little Violet.  We took our time with her, allowing for baby-led posing and simple timeless portraits.  My make up artist, Christine, assisted and she just adored being a part of something so pure.  Of course, the result was so incredibly beautiful, soft and a true reflection of Violet.

Stephanie had to hold back her tears as she looked down at her gorgeous new baby, who was wide awake.  Even at just a couple of weeks old, Violet is very strong, holding her tiny head up and making excellent eye contact.  I could tell she was born a little late as I mistook her for a 3-4 week old baby.  Those eyes, they're just so pretty and wide, so intelligent.

Have you ever looked down at a brand new baby and felt like they could really see you?  That's rare for me, as most of the babies I photograph are still cross-eyed, have a hard time focusing and are just 5-7 days new.  Violet sees everything.  She's curious already and I kept referring to her as "firecracker".  It's obvious that she's going to be someone awesome.

This is Violet's first professional session, but I hope to see her in the studio again as she learns to sit on her own, stand, walk, and even run.  She's such a blessing to the world. xo

Would you like your family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created.  Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON newborn photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.  Call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON newborn photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Niagara ON Newborn Photographer | All Is Calm

niagara-on-newborn-photographer

During pregnancy and leading up to the birth of your child, your life is filled with excitement, preparation, planning, anxiousness, and usually anything but calm. For first time parents, these emotions can be magnified even more because every step of the journey is unknown.

All of these emotions build up to that moment when your new baby is placed in your arms and suddenly a peace and calm washes over you. In an instant your heart is full. You are no longer anxious or worried about planning. You are 100%, completely in love. You are whole.

Nicole and Blaine recently welcomed their first child into their lives. Finnigan is already the center of their whole world. He is a dream baby, and his sessions flowed perfectly. The calm Nicole and Blaine felt in those first moments carried over into Finnigan's newborn session. The session was filled with gentle and loving moments between the new family of three, and there were plenty of smiles by all three. May the calm continue through their first holiday season as a family of three.

White swaddle blanket by the Little Unicorn.


Would you like your family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON newborn photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.  Call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON newborn photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Niagara ON Baby Photographer | The Story of Love

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The story of love is one with many different main characters, settings and languages. But the central theme in every variation is love, sweet love. Each version is filled with laughter and smiles, kisses and snuggles. It is the story that warms your heart and touches your soul.  

This family is so full of love for one another. Jen and Darryl introduced beautiful baby Leah into their love story about 9 months ago. I was honoured to document their anxious wait for her during their maternity session. I was also able to capture all the feelings of a love so new when Leah was a newborn. They came back to the Reflections of Life studio to record the next chapter. The chapter where Leah still needs her mama and daddy to help her stand and to take those wobbly steps. In the blink of an eye she will be off. But for now, in this moment, Leah is her parents' baby in every sense of the word.

Leah is reserved, watching everything that is going on around her. She was interested in just what was going on with the woman behind the camera. Leah loves her parents deeply, and it is a love that is mutual. I look forward to documenting upcoming chapters in this lovely family's story of love.


Would you like your family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON baby photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.  Call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON baby photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

How to Reduce Stress Before And During A Newborn Portrait Session

HOW TO REDUCE STRESS BEFORE AND DURING A NEWBORN PORTRAIT SESSION

The day is here.

You have waited nine long months, your new baby is finally in your arms and you just realized you haven't scheduled your newborn portrait session. You are excited to have your family documented, celebrated and to leave your children with beautiful images that include you.  Now what's the best way to go about doing it?  I have put together some helpful hints that will make it not only stress free, but oh, so enjoyable.

HOW TO REDUCE STRESS BEFORE AND DURING A NEWBORN PORTRAIT SESSION

{FIND THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER}
Choosing the right photographer for you makes a big difference in how stressed you will feel during a photo session. I encourage my clients to meet with me beforehand, or have a really good telephone conversation about their vision for the session and all those little details.  I enjoy getting to know you and ensuring our visions for the session are compatible.

{CLOTHING CHOICES}
I send my clients a list of clothing options that work well here in the studio.  Although I do have options for baby and mom on hand, wearing your own clothing can make your portraits feel a little more personal.  It’s a wise idea to choose the outfits you’ll be wearing a few days before your session, just in case you’re in need of something.  Iron and hang/lay them out the night before to take out the stress of remembering, and so your husband can assist you with dressing everyone with ease.

{DO YOUR BEST TO REST}
Sleep when your baby sleeps.  Seriously.  If you’re coming to a studio anyway, the dishes can wait.  Do your best to ensure that everyone in the family gets a proper amount of sleep the night before a photo session.  You will feel so much better if you are well rested and you will be better able to handle the little stressers that are sure to occur.

HOW TO REDUCE STRESS BEFORE AND DURING A NEWBORN PORTRAIT SESSION

{COMMUNICATE ANY CONCERNS}
If there are special circumstances that I (or the photographer you choose) should be aware of, make sure to communicate that ahead of time. If I know your child has special needs, I can plan ahead and I’ll be more likely to achieve the images you will love so dearly.

{RELAX}
You just had a baby, so I assume you are not going to be on time for your session.  Just do your best.  I am completely okay with that.  We are creating beautiful images of your family, but we’re also having a special day together and making memories. Embrace the idea of me documenting your children interacting with you or each other. That’s exactly how we’ll get the great images where everyone looks like themselves.

In all of the chaos and the conversations, you know who you are. You know you would like these moments documented in the most wonderful of ways.  In the beauty and in the light of God’s goodness, you know who you are. Woven through His words, scripture, promises with your name on it is the very description of exactly who you are. You are a treasure. You are on purpose. You are loved. You are powerful. You are a mouthpiece of grace.  Now let’s begin this adventure together.

HOW TO REDUCE STRESS BEFORE AND DURING A NEWBORN PORTRAIT SESSION

Are you expecting a baby?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region maternity photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca to reserve your session while you’re still pregnant.  This ensures a place for you in my schedule, allows you plenty of time to review your photographic options, and gives you peace of mind to know that it’s all taken care of.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region maternity photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Niagara ON Family Photographer | Together

There are so many reasons why I love photographing families. Togetherness is one of them. Families go through life together. The ups, the downs, the in betweens. Families help one another together. Families love each other, together. Families spend time together. 

At Reflections of Life, family sessions are about being together. They are about spending time together and creating memories. Together as a family, you grow taller, wiser, and older through the years. It is my privilege and honour to preserve your time together, year after year. My hope is that you will enjoy the images together for a lifetime.

This family is wonderful together. I have been lucky enough to get to know Titus and Joyce along with their three children, Jesse, Bradyn and Brooklyn through church. Together we did a family session last year, and I was thrilled to carry the tradition into this year. The children have grown a inches in height.

Jesse, the eldest, is independent and energetic.  He's always thinking of what he can do next.  Bradyn is funny and was able to bring out natural smiles from his family members. Brooklyn, the youngest and only girl, has a contagious smile, the sweetest voice you could imagine, and dances wherever she goes. Together, Titus, Joyce, Jesse, Bradyn and Brooklyn laughed and loved, and had a beautiful family session filled with a little chaos and a lot of memories.


Would you like your family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON family photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON family photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Grimsby Newborn Photographer | In Daddy's Arms

There is nothing that makes a newborn baby look smaller than being cradled in her daddy's arms. In daddy's arms, she is protected and safe. 

Darling Hannah recently came to the Reflections of Life studio for her newborn session. Her parents, Leslie and Jeff, are so ecstatic to have her in their arms. Throughout the session, Jeff could not stop beaming over his baby girl. He is so happy, proud and completely in love with his newborn daughter. He was at ease in front of the camera. In fact, I think he forgot it was there as he just held his daughter, loved her, and marveled at her. Beautiful memories and images were created as Jeff and Hannah enjoyed each other's company. Of course, the beautiful mama, Leslie is equally in love with their miracle. This family of three shares such a deep connection and love already. 

Swaddling blanket by The Little Unicorn

And of course I cannot forget their incredible short film below, click it to view:


Would you like your newborn & family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Grimsby newborn photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Grimsby newborn photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Niagara Region Baby Photographer | MAMA and Me

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If you are a mama, you understand. You understand the pure, fierce, undying love for your children. If you are not yet a mother, I promise you this, the moment you hold your precious baby in your arms for the first time, you will understand. One of my greatest joys as a photographer is capturing the love between a mama and her babies. My hope for every mother is that she at least once has the chance to do a portrait session with her babies, no matter their age. They are images that will be forever cherished by not only you but your children.

As mothers, we do not always get to see the love between ourselves and our children. We feel the embrace, their little hands on either side of our face as they go in for a kiss. We feel the connection with every piece of our heart. But we do not get to see the look of content and peace in our children as they rest their head upon our chest. We do not get to see how beautiful we are as we hold our babies close and soak in the feeling.

A mama and baby session is the perfect way to capture the love and connection. Time spent bonding and playing with your child, making them comfortable in a new surrounding and just loving one another. Sabrina and Venus spent their session enjoying the one on one time together. Venus absolutely adores her beautiful mother, and quickly became acclimated with her new surroundings. She enjoyed the rocks and water, and taking in all the new sights. Venus is gorgeous like her mama with captivating big, blue eyes. Capturing Sabrina and Venus' connection and love was an absolute joy.  A big thank you to the Happy Baby Shop for sponsoring the gift of this session.

And their super cute short film is below. I just love the movement and connection between mama and baby in this video. Little Venus was quite shy in the beginning, but by the end of our session together she was having such a wonderful time. Truly a remarkable little person.

Would you like your family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region baby photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.  Call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region baby photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Niagara ON Family Photographer | Squeeze

niagara-on-family-photographer

Squeeze. We squeeze our ways through life constantly. Squeezing in last minute appointments, squeezing through a closing elevator door, squeezing the ones you love. The squeeze of a hand is a silent "I love you" to the one who's hand is in yours. The squeeze of a shoulder tells the person, "I am right here by your side." The squeeze of an embrace brings instant comfort.

I was able to squeeze this beautiful family in for a last minute family session. Dad, Jason, requested having water in the images. Mom, Renee, left the vision up to me as long as the images reflected to love in her family. Without prompting, Renee hugged and held her children, Nate and Grace. Nate and Grace, despite being 12 and 10, happily received and returned each embrace, making it obvious that this is a family full of squeezes. Renee is at her most beautiful when she is embracing the ones she loves the most.

This family was a joy to photograph. There is so much love for one another, including their adorable pups. The connection between them was so natural, making my job a breeze. I am so thrilled with how their gallery turned out, and I hope to see them again in the future.  


Would you like your family photographed like this?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON family photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

CONNECT WITH ME
 

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara ON family photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.

Choosing A Newborn Baby Photographer

Do you know the moment when you first met your baby?  When you finally got to hold her in your arms?  Like all of your insides had been hugged, like all the empty spaces got filled, like you found the answer to the questions your soul had been asking.

The love that we have in our hearts for our children is special and powerful. It is a beautiful treasure when we are able to have that photographed and preserved for forever.

Newborn photography is a once in a lifetime thing.  I’ve had clients call my studio when they’ve had a bad experience with another photographer and by the time they know the images aren’t any good, it’s too late to truly capture that newness.  Even at three weeks, your newborn is going to look so different, and they won’t curl up as they did when they first entered the world.  If that was your vision, you can’t go back again.  Here are some questions to ask a photographer before reserving your session with them.

1. How much experience do you have photographing newborns?

The answer to this question doesn’t have to be a specific length of time, but how many newborns they’ve photographed. You can also tell if a photographer has a great deal of experience by their posing. You want to see that newborn expressions are not strained and that their hands and feet look comfortable and cozy.

2. Have you taken courses in baby posing or newborn photography?

Reputable newborn workshops contain information about newborn safety. The approximate weight of a newborn’s head is 25% of their body weight, meaning that newborn babies are quite top heavy. When photographing, professional newborn photographers use weights in the bottom of their buckets or bowls, counteracting the weight of your new baby’s head to reduce any possibility of injury.

If you see images on a photographer’s website that you’re questioning the safety of, politely ask them how they were done. Many are composites and a professional newborn photographer will be happy to put your minds at ease.

3. How long do your newborn sessions typically last?

It’s very important not to be rushed during your newborn session. If the room is quiet and calm, your baby will be more likely to sleep and be calm as well. You must have time to listen to the cues your baby gives during your session. For example, rooting. Rooting is when your baby will turn his or her head and open their mouth searching for food. If your baby is doing this, you will need time to feed him or her.

Also, not every baby will do every pose you’d like. Every newborn is different and comfortable in different positions. A professional understands the cues babies will give and will encourage and help you to care for your newborn during your session. Professional photographers range in the amount of time they need to photograph, but I typically need 1.5 hours to achieve 25-30 unique images.  This includes family members and light, baby-led posing. Professional photographers may ask you not to schedule appointments immediately following their session, so if they need more time, they have it.

4. Do they provide digital files only?

I believe in a tangible photography experience. Every client I service receives a wooden box of proofs, their digital image files, and two 5x7 deep matte prints, matted and ready to frame.  I realize the value of high quality, printed pieces, and the fact that our portraits can't live forever on a USB.  There's no way to guarantee a digital file, it's as simple as that.  They can corrupt at any time.  The only way we can ensure that your baby sees these images many years from now is to print them.  Giving you just the digital image files is a dis-service to you, so I you won't find that option in my product menu.

5. Do you have references?

Many professional newborn photographers have testimonials on their website, but feel free to ask for references from parents of other babies they’ve photographed. When it comes to professional newborn photography, there are no official guidelines or skills required to start up a business. To ensure you’re working with someone who is committed to proper business practices, I suggest asking the photographer you’re considering if they’re an active member of the Professional Photographers of Canada.

You want to work with a photographer that will provide a space that is safe and calm for your newborn. By asking the right questions, it helps you get to know who you’ll be working with and whether they are a good fit for you. It matters that you are comfortable and at ease.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Ask away.

When choosing a newborn baby photographer, please consider the professionalism and experience they have above all else.  Style is important too, but without professionalism, you won’t look back at the experience fondly.

When you hand your newborn over to someone you don’t know, you want to feel confident that they have your whole world in their hands, and that they’re going to treat it with the ultimate kindness and care as they soothe, care for, and photograph your precious baby.

Choose someone who will be professional, who you can trust and who will carry out your vision.

As a trained professional, I put your baby first, above all else, achieving images of the highest quality and they’re yours to cherish, from that day forward.  I want to create you beautiful images that capture this precious time in your life as a parent and their lives in as they enter their first few weeks in this world.

Are you expecting a baby?  Click these links for more information on having your own maternitynewbornbaby or family portraits created. Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region maternity photographer specializing in natural light maternity, newborn, baby and family photography.

For best results, call 905 309 5000 or email karen@rolphoto.ca to reserve your session while you’re still pregnant.  This ensures a place for you in my schedule, allows you plenty of time to review your photographic options, and gives you peace of mind to know that it’s all taken care of.

Karen of Reflections of Life Photography is a Niagara Region maternity photographer located in Southern Ontario, also specializing in family, newborn and baby photography in Oakville and Toronto.