What to Wear?

“What should we wear for our photoshoot?” is the most frequent question I get from families before their shoot. I always advise to coordinate without being matchy-matchy but how do you do that without going down the rabbit-hole of Pinterest boards and Google image searches? I’ll be sharing the real life experiences of different families over the next few weeks so keep checking the blog for great advice.

Meet Veronica, a working mom who spent many years in fashion retail sales before making the transition after kids to sales in a more predictable office environment. While working in fashion she appeared regularly on local television shows (The Mom Show, CityLine, BT, eTalk) and shared style and fashion advice. So it was only natural that I ask her how she managed to not only show up on time and looking great in a coordinated wardrobe of her choosing.

Even though we were shooting in the summer when the weather was more predictable, Veronica wanted the look to be classic and not seasonally specific. That meant no tank tops, shorts or sandals and also no glitter, loud prints or super-heroes. Her goal was to look natural and together without looking cliche or contrived by keeping it simple with elements of colour.

Ok, easy for a fashion professional to say right? Here are the actual steps of her thought process:

1) Start with the “toughest customer”.
Veronica knew that the classic striped shirt was the only non-super-hero tee her two and a half year old son would wear without a fuss. That shirt became the jumping off point for the rest of the family’s wardrobe.

2) Add some colour! The second toughest customer was her six year old daughter who luckily loved the stylish and comfy dress as much as mom did. It was the pop of colour and also fit all of Veronica’s criteria.

3) Denim goes with everything. Veronica’s denim shirt dress was selected next. She wanted to keep the parents in relatively muted colours so that the kids would stand out. Dad was the easiest and was agreeable to anything.

Veronica is a big fan of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) rule and advises to not over-accessorize. If you look in the mirror and suspect it’s too much then take it a down a notch.

I’m a big fan of this look — let me know in the comments if this advice is useful!

Family portraits with Andrea, Adam, Jayden and Ethan!

I’m thrilled to welcome the Janickis to the imaJing family! They come to me by way of mutual friend (and chef extraordinaire) Vanessa Yeung and I travelled to their home in Mississauga to take on a challenge I relish: convincing a pre-school aged boy to sit still while simultaneously keeping a two-month-old baby relatively happy. (This is where I’m tempted to insert a happy face emoticon). Moms, you know what I’m talking about. It’s tough as a mom to capture that fleeting smile and near impossible to make sure you are also in the photo.

Even though it may be tempting to cull out the ‘imperfect’ photos, I love keeping a few of the kids when they aren’t looking perfectly into the camera – that’s when you catch that mischievous glint! Even baby Ethan joined in with some of his own ‘blue steel’. Here’s a peek at a few favourites for now. Enjoy!

Family portraits with Shazeen, Navaz, Noah and Maya!

It’s always a treat to be invited back each year to photograph a growing family. Here’s a little peek at the K family’s recent photo session at their north Toronto home. As you can see little Maya does not suffer fools so catching this innocent and winsome expression was even more rewarding. Noah is an excellent big brother.

I should mention that Shazeen does a great job each year picking out the family wardrobe and I should really compile a retrospective of this and a couple other families who could help with the frequently asked question of “what should we wear for our family photo shoot?”.

Michele & Maizy – mother and daughter photo session

Michele and Maizy came to me as winners of a silent auction fundraiser for King Edward public school.  Michele bid on portrait package not knowing much about me and based solely on the sample album I had on display at the event – so thank you!

Michele and Maizy also brought their dog Taz to the session and he was a great addition to the session.  He also served as an ice breaker.  I had a feeling that Maizy was a bit dubious about the whole process of a photo shoot when she first arrived, but after I asked her to tell me about Taz and to pose with him, she completely warmed up.  Soon after she was showing her creative side and was up the task of coming up with some fun setups with me.

It was a treat for me to have such a small group to work with and I had a hard time culling the photos to a reasonable number for them to review.  It was obvious in each photo what a strong bond they had and I look forward to being able to hang out the same way with my own daughter as she gets older.  Enjoy!

Galberg family portrait | Imajing | Oakville family portraits

I’ve already ruminated in a previous post about the privileged point of view us photographers have into the lives of others. My story with Katia goes way back to before I considered or realized that photography could be more than just a weekend hobby. We’re talking about first year at the University of Toronto Innis College Residence. Five girls, total strangers, assigned to the same suite simply because (as we later discovered at our first frosh pub night) we had each answered in our questionnaire that we listened to ‘anything but country’. Fifteen years later the roomies (this also includes Heather, another story) still gets together every Christmas and the six of us have added spouses and children and grown to nineteen.

Along with Colin, another photographer they are friends with, I’ve had the pleasure of adding to Katia and Mark’s family visual history. Last time I shot them Perun had just turned one, you can see some of the photos on my old blog. Katia called me to capture some images of the entire Galberg family as they gathered to celebrate their parents 40th wedding anniversary! With an infant, a toddler and a preschooler amongst the group I had to keep the session moving at a whirlwind pace and was almost a bit disappointed when I managed to get all the combinations of people done in 45 minutes! But even then, I was pushing the limits of the kids. As you can see little Odin decided that it was a good time for a nap.