It is a privilege and gift to have healthy, devoted grandparents in our lives and in the lives of our children. This fall, the Howell family took me up on my offer to include Grandma and Grandpa in their fall family session, honouring two individuals who unconditionally support their children and grandchildren at home and at a distance. The connections are real, the love, respect and admiration genuine. Thank-you, Howell Family, for allowing me to capture one slice of the family pie that makes up your support network. xox
Easton was just a newborn when I first photographed Lisa, Ken, Emilia and Easton. Since then it has been a yearly tradition for us to get together in the fall to capture the changes and development in this little family. The sessions keep getting funner, the images more amazing as Emilia and Easton play to me with their vibrant personalities and characters. Thank-you, Lisa and Ken, for your continued trust in me to photograph your family. It is an honour. xox
It's that time of year: the weather starts to get cooler, the kids - big and little - are going off to school or work and thoughts begin to turn inward to getting the family back together again. The Boivins said enough is enough and put time aside in their busy schedules to "get the kids together" for photos outside of weddings or special events. The "kids" showed up at the family homestead, shared a few laughs, humoured me with my antics and mom and dad - both senior and junior ;) - now have a few keepsakes of their growing family. Thank-you, Boivin Family, for allowing me to capture your family circa 2016. xox
This time last year, newlyweds Jessica and Ron were enjoying their first summer as a married couple. This year, they are enjoying it as new parents. They have slid into their new roles with apparent ease, calm and joy - and it is clearly reflected in baby Ross and big "sister", Nalla. (See the full slideshow of their lifestyle session below some chosen favourites.) A million congratulations, Jessica and Ron, as you embark on this new adventure in your lives! I am honoured to have been included in this milestone. xox
It's been 3 years since I had the honour of photographing Tara and David as they exchanged their wedding vows. In those 3 years they added to their family, bought a home and are easing into a life of proud parentdom. Tara knew she wanted bright, cheerful images of her family and her own backyard did not disappoint. Thwarted by poor weather a few times, we finally made it to the mark with literally a day of perfect weather and light. Thank-you, David and Tara for entrusting me once again to photograph key moments in your life. xox
Busy parents Samantha and Jeff have a keen sense that time is flying. It's been a quick year since they welcomed their youngest into the fold -- and recognize how quickly their teen is changing and looking to leave the fold. They knew they wanted to mark their family's progress with a family shoot to coincide with Jordan's first birthday, booking their day months in advance for certainty. They came to their shoot ready to laugh, hug and squeeze just a little longer than usual. Thank-you, Stevensons, for sharing a bit of your family with me. xox
Although I have put a newborn or two into a basket, there is something warm, comforting and natural about a newborn and parents at home in their own environment. Welcome to the world, Mackenzie - and thank-you to Momma Marie and Dad Graham who continue to put their trust in me to capture their milestones. xox
An alternative to the studio newborn session: lifestyle newborn sessions in the comfort of babe's home. Life unscripted. Welcome to the world, Leti. xox
Marie + Graham celebrated their marriage in 2015 and will soon be celebrating the arrival of Baby Hill in a few short weeks. I was able to convince Marie to document her gorgeous state with a few bare belly, intimate shots indoors before moving outdoors -- I think we were at -20C! on this particular day -- to take advantage of a rare day of sunshine and fresh white snow. Below are a few of my favourite highlights. The light on Marie was glowing - just like her. Thank-you, Marie + Graham for allowing me to bear witness to two of the key milestones in your life; it is an honour to have your continued trust and to share in these special days. I so look forward to meeting Baby Hill. xox
Those of us who are fortunate to have furry four-legged friends in our lives, know we are on borrowed time with these particular friends -- that in the natural order of things, they will ultimately leave us before our own time is up. Gentle Kea has been Aynsley's companion through many of life's adventures, at her side, unconditionally and steadfastly offering love and warmth. A medical scare had Aynsley questioning whether their time together was drawing to an end, but Kea breathed through her procedure, showing up for her shoot a mere two days later, ready to create some long-lasting images with her Alpha. It was an honour, dear friend, Aynsley, to freeze some time for you and Kea. May your images ever be warm reminders of unconditional love and friendship. xox
Oh, the joy and fun photographing Max! I cannot help but laugh and smile at these images, knowing what a character this BOY is. Full. Of. Charm. xox Thank-you, Monique and Mark for continuing to share your beautiful boy with me!
Sometimes the most gorgeous locations and lighting can be found in our own backyards -- and when you least expect it. "Fall" can mean bare trees, crisp air and golden lighting even if you typically envision red, yellow and green to be the colours of the day. Thank-you, Howells, for following my lead as soon as we entered the space and for being so open-minded about what "fall" can look like. xox
When two sisters marry two brothers, the resulting families can be closer than just "in-laws" and "cousins". Sisters, Kelly and Karen, married brothers, Ernie and Robert, and look at what they've created. This particular family session was about bringing siblings and children together and focusing a bit on the matriarch that started it all: Grandma Marilyn. Thank-you, Angel and Gagnon families for sharing your bit of history with me and allowing me to capture your connections, both individually and together. xox
What a GREAT spirit in this family! The O'Connors came to their session with an openness and flexibility to trust in me, have fun and get out of their comfort zone. Their images are a result of that: they smiled, laughed, hugged and danced their way through their session, keeping true to themselves, their personalities and family connections. I will admit: my face hurt at the end from all the smiling I did. Thank-you, O'Connor family, for the trust you so willingly gave to me to capture your family in ways you would enjoy. xox
A few moons ago, Tiffany and her husband, Andy, were rained out of their chosen outdoor wedding portrait locations. Never forgotten, Tiffany knew she wanted to revisit those locations, this time to be photographed with her husband and two sons. As Murphy's Law would have it, she was rained out yet again, but with some patience and persistence, we made it happen -- with blue skies, bright sunshine and lots of smiles. With time, some things can come full-circle.
My girls are typically quiet observers of my work: they watch me prep for shoots, wish me well just before I hit the shutter and hug me hard on my return, always asking how things unfolded. One, in particular, will ask to see the final results -- and her critique is typically bang-on. They have become two of my greatest supporters so it is only fitting they have a turn in front of the lens instead of behind it. This is how I see them at this point in time: two unfettered little spirits, radiating light and love (except when they're holding their own against their older brothers). xox
The laughter, the smiles, the connection ... all sincere and easygoing in this extended family session with The Gaws. I love how all the pieces of the puzzle are individual and unique, but fit together so perfectly to form a whole. Thank-you, Debbie and Paul, for sharing the love of your family with me (and Nicole for ensuring your family did this). Such a good feeling in this one, Peeps. xox
It's Time! Outdoor sessions are here! Plus: One of my Favourite Outdoor Family Sessions Ever -- Diana Leeson Fisher + Family ...
It's here! The arrival of warm temperatures (finally!) and golden light herald the beginning of family sessions outdoors! An image on Facebook this morning prompted me to remember one of my all-time favourite outdoor extended family sessions ever: the time Diana Leeson Fisher contacted me to photograph her family in honour of her mother's birthday. If I could write the script for my clients wanting family sessions outdoors, this is what I would want for them: a simple, naturally textured backdrop with fabulous light, a willingness to touch, engage -- LAUGH -- and your trust given over to me that I will photograph you and all your loved ones in their best light, and bring out your true connections regardless of past, present or future. It can be magic -- and it's all in there in Diana's session. xox I look forward to working with all my 2015 families! Sunshine, here we come!
Milestone Babies: One of the greatest pleasures I have as a photographer is watching newborns I have worked with from birth grow and develop into amazing older infants, toddlers and then children. It is an even greater pleasure and honour to create a record of these milestones as they hit each key stage at roughly 3, 6 and 12 months. A special relationship is formed as many times my first "contact" with these little ones is actually "prebirth" in the maternity session where I learn about the personal stories and dreams wrapped up in this little being about to enter the world. Such is the case with Max: I love his story, love that he is here and love the miracles that are reflected in each of his growing stages and development. Thank-you, Max's mum and dad, for valuing how fleeting Max's moments are and for entrusting me to stop time for a bit before this baby can no longer be called one. xox
I am often asked, "Does 'J E M M A N' stand for something? What does it mean?" or, as often, it is unwittingly misspelled, capitalizing only the "J" as if the word is a first name like "Bob" or "Mary". Few know, however, that it is actually an acronym (an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word, ie. NASA) for the names of the key people in my life -- my husband and children -- who have led me to be where I am today and who help foster and sustain my passion for photography. "J" is for my Julian. I wryly refer to him as my "firecracker", my "changeling child". Born with red hair (yes, I raised a few eyebrows with that one) and a personality to match, he keeps us on our toes with a million questions, comments and actions. When he's funny, he's really funny -- and I love hearing his laugh and how his face lights up and radiates everything good when it is happening. "E" is for me, Elenora. If you're reading this, you either know me well or are getting to know me. I am thankful to have you in my life, in whatever form that may be. You, too, are instrumental and have a role to play in my photography that is less work and more passion. One "M" is for Marcus, the other for Milana, the quietest children in my lot -- and the most patient. They are watchers, evaluators, taking everything in. They are emerging as quiet leaders, seldom motivated by the spotlight or attention. One is slowly becoming a man allowing me to glimpse a bit into his future; the other still keeps me wondering what will embolden her. "A" is for Antonio, who recognized my passion for photography long before I was ready to take the leap and who constantly sets the bar high for me -- and for the rest of us -- to work towards. "N" is for my Natalia: a strong, determined spirit is held in that sensitive, big heart. She'll at once cut you down to size and put you back together again. These are the forces who have taught me patience, motivated me to exercise my determination and have shown me support in my passion -- and continue to do so. They are J E M M A N | photography. What's in a name? Sometimes a rose by any other name would NOT smell as sweet.
Looking for pictures of me? Remember, I'm the one behind the lens, rarely in front of it. And, Tony, well ... Tony is rumoured to be the man behind the scenes no one sees. Some wonder if he even exists ... ;) Thanks for looking. xox
It completely amazes me how the human body knows what to do when it is creating life. For that reason, I relish maternity sessions, idolizing the human form in its gorgeous changes, knowing what is going on within. Newborn sessions give me pause to then think and admire: Looking at these little beings, all their little parts and pores, I am truly reminded of the miracle of life -- and know that mom and dad are, too. Welcome to the world, Max. I look forward to watching you grow and change, the little miracle that you are.
This girl makes me smile, from the inside, out. Oh, I could squish this baby. Just look at her. Perfect in every way. A temporary gift to me as a photographer; a precious, precious forever-gift to Momma. She is special. xox
This time last year Brianna and Luke were making final preparations for their wedding (click here for their wedding images), the thought of starting a family a sparkle and twinkle in their eye. The last 9 months have seen them preparing for the arrival of Hanna Elizabeth Lee a dearly welcome addition to their partnership. It was my absolute pleasure seeing this young couple transition from excited young bride and groom to doting and loving mother and father. These parents are true naturals in their care and devotion to their child. So beautiful to witness. It is an honour, Brianna and Luke, to be selected to share in and capture these key moments in your life together. Thank-you. xox
Kim knew it was a crucial time to do a family session when her oldest daughter was home visiting from B.C. All accomplished young women, Kim recognized this was a time she needed to seize upon before her daughters go off to actively pursue the next stage of their lives. Lots of laughter and smiles in this session: faces were sore from the constant smiling and outbursts of cheer -- including my own. xox Thank-you, Kim and Family, for the honour of selecting me to capture your connections.
I have had the honour of photographing Miss Ava since she was in utero with mom's maternity session. ;) Ava is also one of my Milestone Babies: I am photographing this little nugget in her first year as she hits her key milestones (3 months, 6 months and 1 year). She's currently sitting pretty and completely edible. Stay tuned as Ava comes up to one year and I can showcase how she has clearly grown and developed in a particularly special series of combined images for mom and dad. xox
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