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In August I had the opportunity to join a group of photographers in a workshop with the wonderfully warm and very talented Michele Anderson of Pinkle Toes Photography from Austin, TX. When I heard she was coming up to Toronto how could I pass it up?! We spent 2 days immersed in her universe, doing 3 full sessions on the Friday- a newborn in the morning, a family session in the afternoon and an urban maternity session in the evening- and a full day of Behind-the-Scenes work on Saturday. I came away from the workshop feeling refreshed, challenged, and full of ideas!

Ottawa Newborn Photographer

Michele is one of those rare people who make you feel comfortable and welcome right from the word go. She and her mum, the amazing MeeMaw, felt like my old friends. Despite the craziness that they went through to get here, arriving a day late and not having the prep time they had banked on (travel horror stories? They’ve got ’em!) they both were bright and funny and a lot of fun to be around.

Ottawa Family Photographer

Michele’s work is full of colour and life. You can see the fun and feel the pull of the love between the people in her photographs. During the workshop we learned about her process, how she runs her sessions, and how she runs her business, but I think it’s the more intangible things that I’ll remember most.

Ottawa Maternity Photographer

Thank you, Michele, for sharing your passion and your knowledge with us! I look forward to following your work and putting into practice the many many ideas I have swirling around in my head. I hope we meet again! xo

‘Till next time…

You can see Michele’s post about the workshop here. Go on and check it out! And be sure to have a look at the other attendees’ websites. We had an amazing group of photographers…

Also, a BIG thank you to Melissa of Simply Said Photography for working so hard to host our workshop!! Muah! xo

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One Year Old Family Session

It’s catch-up time on the blog! Hooray! What better place to start than with a recent family session?

I’ve been lucky enough to count these guys among my good friends for years and years now, so of course I jumped at the chance to spend a morning with them to do a family session to mark their little guy’s 1st birthday. The weather didn’t cooperate but they were real troopers. Despite the threat of a huge storm and the dull cloudy day we had so much fun! There is so much love in this family, and their little dude is a growing into a really neat little man. Happy birthday J!

1 year old photo session

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Dear Chublet,

Ohmygod you’re changing SO. MUCH. Where did my scowly, grumpy, pick-me-up, put-me-down, hug-me, don’t-touch-me, pay-attention-to-me, don’t-look-at-me little girl go? She’s still in there, to be sure (we still see glimpses…), but now you’re letting on that you’re also a great big softie! Over the last month or so you’ve started to throw your arms around our necks and really hug tight. You interrupt me while I’m singing to you at bed time so that you can hold me by the ears and pull my face to yours, then shake my head side to side so that we can rub noses! You plant big sloppy drooly kisses right on my mouth, and you’ll hold my face in your hands while I’m holding you and grin at me- your little pursed mouth, scrunched nose, shoulders up grin that says I Love You. You’ve discovered the comfort and security of a favourite blankie- the beautiful beautiful quilt that Nanny made for you goes to bed with you for naps and nights, and you look so sweet all rolled up in it. Nanny will be thrilled when she sees it for herself! That’s one photograph that I have to be *sure* to take. You with your quilt. I must not forget.

Now as I said, there’s no doubt that you’re still my Thunder Baby, with a mind of her own and definite ideas of how the world should run, and how your staff should look after you. Diaper changes are still a fight (what? Stay on my back? Are you CRAZY??), and meals can be trying for all involved (if you could just tell me what you will eat I’ll make it for you. I promise! No need to pitch the food on the floor if you don’t like the look of it…). I know you don’t like to be bored, but didn’t some parenting expert somewhere say that it’s good for kids to learn to entertain themselves? No…?

For quite some time now you’ve shown your appreciation of and aptitude for music, and over the last couple of months I’ve so loved watching you find different ways to express it. You regularly sing, with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the La La Song topping the charts for you. The thing that amazes me is what precise pitch you have! You even sing in the same key as I sing to you. Anyone who hears you knows exactly what you’re singing, even though the words are replaced with Da Das, Nu Nus and La Las. It’s so cool! We’ve been having fun the last couple of weeks watching So You Think You Can Dance, too. You’re mesmerised by the dancers and the way they move. You bop in time with the music, and if it’s a dancer you really like you’ll get your wiggle going too! It’s clear that you love to sing and dance since applause from your fans makes you break out into the biggest grin. It’s so sweet!

As we thought in Arizona, you most certainly are a Sun Baby! As the weather has warmed up over the spring we’ve had lots of opportunity to get out in the garden, dig in the dirt, draw with the sidewalk chalk (“T! T!!”) and even go for a paddle in the canoe. Yay! (Oh how I love the water- I really hope it’s a love we can share as you grow older.) We’ve discovered that you’re very fond of drawing, and we can never leave the house without you making at least one good scribble with the chalk on the front steps. You’ve also been going to town with crayons on the drawing easel we have in the house, though I do wish you’d keep it to the easel and not decorate the walls, floors, furniture and the papers from my office! I can’t get over how far and how high you can reach! It’s pretty cool, too, that at 18 months you picked up a pen and held it “properly”, and have done ever since. You’re very precise. I wonder if you are holding back on using words until you know for sure you’ll have them right? I wouldn’t be surprised!

I think every parent of a toddler watches the emerging personality traits of their littles and wonders what the future will hold for them. Watching you, you could be a singer or a dancer, or you could use your stubborn and persistent streak to carry you through law school or med school, or you could run your own small business… Maybe you’ll fight for the rights of the little guy, or maybe you’ll be the classic “Starving Artist” type, too committed to your work to give up on your dreams to make a living off art. Who knows what the future holds for you? Just know that whatever it is my Love, we’ve got your back. Your dad and I will love you and support you no matter what you do. We just hope you listen to your heart. I have this quote up in my office, and I feel like I’m living it through photography. I think you (and your brother, too) should keep it in mind as you go:

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Harold Thurman Whitman

I’m having so much fun watching you come alive, Sweet Pea. For sure, there are days I want to hide in the pantry and not come out, but there are also days of absolute wonder and delight. Days of discovery, and days of snuggles, cuddles and nose rubs. And when it all comes out in the wash, those days more than make up for the hide under the covers and pretend I’m not here days. Like that photograph up at the top of this post. That photograph makes my heart swell and puts a lump in my throat. It was taken on one of the really great days. We had had a lovely afternoon playing in the garden, and lots of kisses. You were quietly watching the birds at the feeder, or maybe a squirrel, and I was finally able to capture your curls. Those soft baby curls. That photograph reminds me of the smell of you, and the warmth of you, and that perfect afternoon. And my girl, it reminds me of how much I absolutely love you to pieces. You’re one of a kind, and I’m so glad you’re ours.

Love you love you love you my Sweet Pea. Always and forever,

Mum xoxo

I invite you to click through to Susie’s blog to read what she has written to her son. Thanks for stopping by!

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Another month has come and gone, and it’s time for the Photo Challenge round up for April! This time we challenged ourselves to a month of self-portraits. We all know how much I love self-portraits…!! Although it was a great challenge, and I’m sure it would be a good one for me to visit again, I can’t say that I ended up falling in love. I kind of wish I had, to tell the truth. Maybe I didn’t give it enough time? Perhaps selfies are an acquired taste, like oysters. At least I can say that I prefer taking self-portraits to eating oysters! 😉

I think the neatest thing about being part of this great group of photographers doing these challenges is that we get to see how others interpret the themes. I have to say, without a single hesitation, that some of the images this month blew my mind! I definitely encourage you to take a stroll around our circle if you have a few minutes. The link to the next stop is at the end of this post.

Here are a few favourites from my own work in April.


Quiet Time


The Editing Face


Laundry Overload


The Water Cycle


Love

On second thought, that last one makes the effort all seem worth it. Why not try to get yourself into a few pictures? You might be surprised by what you come up with… Let me know how it goes!

Next stop on the self portrait tour is my friend Catherine’s blog. She’s a wonderful photographer who lives with her family in Alberta. Go on and check her out!

‘Till next time…

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With Mothers’ Day just around the corner, May is all about Mums here at Closely Knit Photography.

During the month of May, book a Maternity, Newborn or Family session and save 50% off the session fee! The session doesn’t need to take place in May, so even if you’re not too far along in your pregnancy now’s a great time to book. You’ll be glad you did!

I look forward to creating beautiful images with you and your family. Happy Mothers’ Month!

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