I’ve had a lot of inquiries about when this years’ Mommy & Me Mini Event would happen, and I now have all of the details ready to go!
The Mini Event this year will run from Monday April 11 – Friday April 15, 2016.
There will be three timeslots per day, at 10am, 11am, and 1pm.
Creative Fee ($125+HST) and booking contract will be required within 24 hours of booking in order to hold the timeslot.
Please click HERE to fill out the Pre-Registration Form if you are interested in snagging one of these timeslots!
I know I had this contest open for a ridiculously long amount of time this year… I really wanted to make sure that as many people as possible had the opportunity to enter, but I also wanted to hold the draw today in particular for two reasons. Reason number 1 – It is my 5 year anniversary of being in business! Yay me! *Insert little celebration dance here* 😛 🙂 And reason number 2, today is my partner in crime (aka my husband’s) birthday, which gives me a pretty good reason to give away a bonus prize (because I love giving away surprises!) 😀
So without any further delay, here is what you’ve all been waiting for. The WINNERS of the 2015 Client Appreciation Contest! Thank you to everyone who participated, and to all of my amazing clients!
GRAND PRIZE WINNER – Contestant No. 17 – Dakota Moncada
Dakota has won an All Inclusive Creative Portrait session (worth $791), which includes her portrait session, all high resolution digital files (between 35-60) on USB with print release in both colour and black and white as well as 4×6 colour reference prints in an adorable 4×6″ Heirloom Keepsake Box. Congratulations Dakota!!!
SECONDARY PRIZE 1 – Contestant No. 8 – Jay Meredith
This prize was chosen by our Grand Prize winner. Dakota chose Jay’s adorable photo of Arwyn in the tree because it jumped out at her right away. Jay has won a $200 Gift Certificate to use towards her next portrait session. Congratulations Jay!
Secondary Prize 2 – Contestant No. 18 – Jessi Madaire
This prize was determined by the number of Facebook votes received on their entry. Jessi’s photo of her two little munchkin’s received a grand total of 263 votes! She has won an 11×14″ Gallery Wrap Canvas of her entry. Congratulations Jessi!
Secondary Prize 3 – Contestant No. 6 – Sydney Wheatley
This prize was also determined by the number of Facebook votes received on their entry. Sydney’s photo received a total number of 167 votes. She has won an 11×14 Mounted Wall print of her entry. Congratulations Sydney!
Secondary Prize 4 – Contestant No. 13 – Stephanie Chivers
Also determined by the number of Facebook votes received on their entry, Stephanie’s photo of her adorable twin daughter’s received a total of 122 votes, winning her a $100 Gift Certificate to use towards her next session! Congrats Stephanie!
SURPRISE BONUS PRIZE! – Contestant No. 12 – Shanlee Stoutt
This prize was chosen in honour of my 5th Business Anniversary today by none other than the Raindance Birthday Boy (aka my husband)! 😛 He chose Shanlee’s entry out of a raffle. She wins an 11×4″ framed print of her entry inside a gorgeous Sawyer Wallflower Frame! Congratulations Shanlee!
Thanks again to everyone, without all of you, I would be pretty lonely! 😀 Congrats to all the winners!
I have been waiting for a very long time to do this blog post! Back in 2014, one of my awesome clients contacted me to reserve a date for a newborn session and gender reveal for this year. She had just learned that she was pregnant, and because she was due in the summer time, she knew how quickly I booked up and wanted to make sure she was on my calendar. I was SO excited! I KNEW that this was going to be an epic gender reveal/newborn session, and not for the reasons I thought at the time… I have been watching this particular family grow ever since the birth of their 5th child, so to have the opportunity to photograph a NEW baby with 5 siblings was pretty exciting for me!
A few months after booking the session, we began planning the gender reveal. While we were talking about how we wanted everything to go, she told me how different this pregnancy felt from all of her others. She was sicker, more tired, bigger… I jokingly suggested that she must be having twins and I’m pretty sure at that point she spewed out some profanity at me and told me that I wasn’t being funny. lol
The week of her gender reveal came around and influenza was tearing through my house like wildfire. I had been so sick I couldn’t get out of bed for about 4 straight days, so I suggested to her that we postpone the reveal to the next week, which she graciously agreed to. The morning of her ultrasound, I was sound asleep in bed (still not feeling 100%, but getting much better!) when my phone rang. I answered, and Christina was on the other end telling me that it didn’t matter how sick I was, the gender reveal HAD to happen the next day, and when she told me why, I JUMPED out of bed and started planning! No amount of sickness could keep me from helping her tell her husband that they were expecting babies number six AND SEVEN, AND capture it all on camera!
The next day went something like this:
I was on a high for at least a week after that, it was SO amazing to witness that crazy moment! A few months later, mom came in for some belly photos, it’s still hard to believe that there were TWO in there!
Then, a few months later, when she was just 33 weeks 5 days pregnant, the most unbelievable birth story I’ve ever heard unfolded. In the very early morning hours, she woke up with sharp pains and knew that something was wrong. She went straight to the hospital, where they discovered that one of the baby’s placenta’s had ruptured. For a twin birth, the hospital had planned to have her deliver in the Operating Room, with a team of nurses (two for each twin) and a nurse and doctor for mom. Well, birth plans never REALLY go according to plan, right? Because as mom was trying to have an epidural, before even making it to the OR, in the presence of one single nurse, her husband, and the anaesthetist, little baby Oliver made a spectacular appearance into the world! He was born very quickly, before anyone was even prepared to catch him, landing on the hospital bed at 1:54 a.m. A mere three minutes later, his sister Olivia followed him into the world, at 1:57 a.m. safely into the hands of a doctor, who had just run into the room in the nick of time! I’m told that there was a lot of screaming, a lot of panic, and a great deal of blood involved…
The part of the story that gets me the most, though, is that dad’s father (the twin’s grandfather) passed away mere hours beforehand. While mourning the loss of his own father, this dad watched this whole crazy story unfold before his eyes, and welcomed his new son and daughter safely into the world under the watchful eye of his own father. Both twins were born healthy, spending only 10 days and 14 days in the NICU before getting to go home.
These little miracles were 3 weeks old when I got to meet them, they were so amazing to work with and slept the entire time. I have thoroughly enjoyed helping this family document these huge moments in their life, to have been allowed to witness much of it has truly been an honour!
Congratulations to this entire family on the safe arrival of Oliver and Olivia, and thank you again for including me! I look forward to continuing to watch your little ones grow over the years!
Photographing newborns safely is a HUGE passion of mine, and every so often you’ll see me write a blog on the topic. You can see my last one by clicking HERE.
I recently photographed a set of super squishy and absolutely ADORABLE twins, Olivia and Oliver. Whenever I have a twin session, it’s absolutely necessary for me to have a trained set of extra hands to help me with posing and safety while I have the camera in my hands. When I posted the teaser of the twins in a little bike prop that I have here in studio, someone asked a REALLY GREAT question about safety (they wondered whether I stood behind the baby while the picture was taken and then was “Photoshopped” out later.) I LOVE when people ask questions about newborn safety, because then I have the opportunity to show you how the image was really made (which is pretty cool, I think!)
The “twins in the bike” image was actually created using three separate unique images. I knew I wanted a straight-on shot of the bike, so I first took a picture of the bike on it’s own. Then, I needed a shot of the tops of their heads without a hand in behind, so my lovely Assistant, Jenn, held the bottoms of the babies faces for me while I took another picture. Finally, I wanted their faces just perfect, so we arranged their little faces the way we liked them, and Jenn held the backs of their heads while I took another image. Later on, all three images were merged together to create one final piece of art.
And that’s that! The making of a piece of art that showcases two 4.5(ish) lb newborns in a bike prop. Enjoy!
Oh my goodness! Mom contacted me like, the day she found out she was pregnant to book her newborn session and I was SO excited, I KNEW I had to do their gender reveal too! They are long time clients of mine, I’ve known them for probably 3 years now. They already have 5 beautiful children, 1 boy, and 4 girls so I knew that this would be a great gender reveal.
I didn’t know just HOW great until yesterday. Mom called me, fresh from her ultrasound appointment, practically hyperventilating. Her 20 week ultrasound was her VERY FIRST ultrasound for this pregnancy. So imagine her SHOCK when the ultrasound tech said to her “Oh, I wish I would have known this was a TWIN pregnancy, I would have scheduled in more time!” So after I determined that she was NOT joking with me, she told me that she wanted to tell her husband and her kids at the gender reveal!
I could hardly SLEEP last night I was so excited! Dad’s reaction was everything I imagined it would be. If you want to see a man with a complete look of sheer terror on his face, just keep scrolling! For a split second I was actually worried he was going to throw up, but he’s a trooper, and he didn’t. lol!
I am THRILLED that I will get to photograph these twins (a boy and a girl) for this family in the summer! CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!!
Lately I’ve had a few images that other photographers have asked me “How did you get that shot!?” and I realized, that some of them might look risky, and so I wanted to show everyone how they were done, and what they REALLY look like when they come straight out of my camera, before the magic of Photoshop happens!
If ever you see something in my portfolio (and in many many other experienced photographers portfolios) that looks a little on the risky side, you can rest assured that it’s what’s called a “composite” image. Generally, there are at least two images combined (or a lot of “cloning”) to make the one final work of art that we share with the world. For example…
“Heart Baby” is probably one of my favourite newborn images to date. In the final product, it appears that dad is balancing the baby upright in his hands. Nope! I personally feel like that’s too risky, so this particular shot, for me, was accomplished by making a big well in my jumbo high rise bean bag and positioning baby safely on his side while moulding dads hands around him. The rest was done in photoshop. Baby was safe the entire time, never at risk of falling. Also, by the time I managed to get this little guy into position, I was a sweaty, out-of-breath mess (seriously anyone who thinks this is easy should come and watch a session one day! lol!) So I missed that his boy parts were playing peekaboo with my shot. In an effort to maintain his dignity, I’ve edited them out.
When I’m working with a basket or bucket, sometimes baby will settle in nicely and their little heads will just naturally lay where I want them to go without any need for hands holding them up. In this case, he kept pulling his little chin in towards his chest, plus he was a little unsettled and I had positioned him off a little farther to the one side of the basket than I wanted to. I didn’t want to attempt repositioning him since we didn’t want to wake him up again, so I needed mom’s help to just prop his head where I wanted it to get my shot. I should also mention that this basket had 10 lbs. of weight in the bottom to counteract the baby’s weight in the top. I always have a spotter no more than arms length away from a prop at all times.
Sometimes I will flip a box or flat bottomed basket upside down for a different look to a prop shot. In this case, even if baby is nice and settled into a pose, there is always someone no more than arms length away from them in case they startle.
Working with siblings can be especially precarious. They’re still little too, baby usually isn’t wearing a diaper, and if the sibling gets scared or peed on, they’re apt to forget about baby and bolt. All of my favourite sibling shots had dads hands on or very near baby at all times for safety.
Whether it’s a police hat, fire helmet, cowboy hat, or Uncle Joe’s favourite beanie – babies do not balance on top of these things on their own like this.
Sometimes, the shot you see never even really happened! In this case, it was right after a tornado literally devastated the street that this little guy lives on. His dad was part of the volunteer fire team that was assisting in putting everything back together afterwards. It was really important to him that we got this shot, but no way, no how was that baby going to let us put him into that bucket. Try as we did, he just wasn’t having it. Not all babies will do all poses, and that’s perfectly fine. In this case though, since it was so important to dad, I took a picture of the set up, and then arranged another pose on my comfy beanbag that baby was happy in with the intent to merge the two together later on. Dad never even knew the difference!
So it should go without saying that a newborn should never be left without a spotter throughout their session, but what about older babies? They’re sitting on their own, they should be cool, right? Not if they’re in a prop. I never ever ever leave a baby without a spotter within arms length if they’re in a prop.
This little guy was just barely sitting on his own, so put him into a wobbly prop and there was no safe way that he could safely balance by himself. I just had mom help him out a bit.
So the moral of the story? If you’re a photographer, always have a spotter. If you’re a parent and have hired a photographer to make portraits of your child, always ensure their safety. If a photographer puts your baby in a prop and then steps back more than an arms length away from your baby, speak up. No shot is ever worth sacrificing the safety of a baby.
Thanks for reading!
What an amazing experience! Stephanie was super comfortable to work with and exceeded all expectations!
Steph did my son’s cake smash pictures for his first birthday & they were AMAZING. My family absolutely loved them all! We had a wonderful experience too, very professional, friendly & outgoing. We got the best smiles out of my little …
Stephanie is an amazing photographer who is very friendly and professional. We have always enjoyed ourselves and have felt comfortable and relaxed during our photo sessions with her. She is the type of person you feel like you’ve known…
Stephanie made our newborn session a special experience! Her studio is clean, organized, and professional. She totally takes control by helping sooth the baby. She definitely has the most care and patience I’ve seen and a special vi…
Stephanie from Raindance Photography did our amazing family photos, she was absolutely fantastic. My family “may” have been at each other’s throats mere seconds before arriving at her studio, but with her friendly, easy-going nature, …
I just wanted to take a minute to express how grateful we were to work with you! You are a very talented, patient, and sweet person and I’m so happy you are pursuing what you love… it’s very clearly what you’re meant to be doing! Yo…
I am a firm believer in the importance of recommendation. I think that when someone, or a company (big or small) goes above and beyond your expectations you should not only tell them, but tell others! My husband and I had such a diff…
Stephanie did our Newborn and mommy and me photos this year and did such an amazing job! The way she handled our daughter during the newborn session had my husband and I in awe.. she was so calm/gentle and so professional. I Highly rec…
Stephanie has been taking our family photos for years and they never disappoint! She’s amazing with the kids and always gets so many great shots that I have a hard time making decisions on which to get. Pro tip – get the package that i…
Words can’t express the amount of admiration I have for this photographer. She is capturing all of the biggest moments of my familys life. She has a natural talent that you cannot teach anyone. Her pictures are beautiful and she is so …
Amazing photographer, some of our best family photos are from Stephanie.
Stephanie, The pictures are absolutely beautiful! Everyone is so happy! You did an awesome job and made our bachelorette party very memorable. You are an extremely talented photographer. 🙂
Just wanted to say thank you for the GREAT experience! I was so disappointed at the hospital when the nurses were too busy to get a family picture of the 3 of us. After having our photo session with you, I felt a lot better. You …
Stephanie from Raindance Photography was very professional, and was able to capture the personalities of all three of our young boys. We were extremely happy with her friendiness, photography skill and editing talent. We absolutely…
From boudoir to kids to family – this lady will amaze you with her ability to capture your moment! The kids photos are so life-like, real… showing the personality, the age, innocence, and mischievousness! Family portraits are fun, r…
Great with my baby and offers lots of choice!
We have had the pleasure of using Stephanie at Raindance Photography for at least 3 extended family photo shoots. Her work is lovely, she is friendly, great at communication and so adaptive when working with our family with ages baby t…
Absolutely fantastic! Stephanie was so great with our daughter, Ellie! She had beautiful props and backdrops and the pictures were stunning!!! Number one photo studio! We absolutely loved Ellie’s photos and couldn’t ask for anythin…
I just loved doing our gender reveal photoshoot. It was so much fun and I just love the pictures. I can’t stop looking at the blog!! I can’t believe I am having another girl! It is so awesome to have that moment captured forever.…
My husband and I have had the pleasure of working with Stephanie 3 times now and it was always a wonderful experience. She makes you feel very comfortable in front of the camera and she was also just amazing with my son when he was onl…