oakville family photographer

Meet Toren...Toronto Family Photographer

They're back!
My beautiful friend with her family from New Zealand to meet the newest addition to their family...Toren. Another amazing surrogacy story, this would be their second! 
For their first, Kairo, you can see our shoot and read some back story, HERE.

As you can see below, one of the images from that shoot made it to the cover of her book which is now published! I encourage you to BUY the book to read more about her amazing journey...

I feel beyond blessed that I can be a part of documenting something so miraculous! 
A true reminder that anything is possible ...xo

As for the goal for these photos below? Obviously to document Toren's arrival into the family...AND Amira wanted something very casual and fun -- which I always agree with, because...Toddlers and life work better that way :)

Rosedale Toronto Family Photographer

Photographing the same families for years and years, watching as kids grow...
I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of something so memorable.
Don't underestimate the value of having photographs of your loved ones...xo

"......realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have."
   Eckhart Tolle

The Johnston Family...Kitchener Family Photographer

There is still time, and this is the BEST time for photos.
The weather and light Ah-mazing!
Don't let the kiddies grow up without some beautiful photos with YOU in them.
These moments go too fast.

Thanks beautiful Johnston family for an amazing afternoon...xo

The Picken Family...Kitchener Family Photographer

I've been slacking and just getting around to posting these images from last year.
SO...that the NEW photos will be in order of events...(because there's more to come!)

I've already introduced you to the Picken's HERE.
And every time I see these guys, I fall in love with their photos...until the next time.
Maybe it gets better and better as this family keeps growing!
Actually...I know it does.

And a majority of what makes their photos so magic and memorable?
It's infused with their being.
They just show up, as themselves...bringing healthy snacks and smoothies.
Brock even brought a book he'd owned when he was a little boy! (...not a fan of props unless they make sense and are meaningful to YOU) So this was so special.

It's that simple, and think about the significance...
Great photos tell a story, and the only one that matters?
Is the one you're living.


An inconceivable journey...

I met Amira years ago at a wedding I was photographing in Toronto.
She was a bridesmaid, we hit it off...becoming the best of penpals since she lived in New Zealand.

I knew of her struggles with endometriosis however we'd lost touch for awhile and I wasn't aware of her efforts to have a baby. How surprised was I, while pregnant myself, hearing from an old friend that she would be in Canada August of 2014...to pick up her baby!
Would I be around to take photos? Amazing, and yes!

This is a story about hope. As the years went on with my battle to become a mother, my friends and family supported and championed me. The more I talked about what I was going through – the fibroids, the medical misadventures, the endometriosis, the miscarriage and the surrogacies – the more women came out of the woodwork with their own stories. They were enduring their own infertility battles and they wanted to talk to someone who had been there and had come out on the other side - happy, pain-free, a mother.

My name is Amira and I, like many of you, battle with infertility. For many years I wondered if I’d ever be lucky enough to hold my own baby. After nearly 2 decades of perseverance, I finally heard those little cries as our son was passed from another woman’s body into my waiting arms...

I have written a book about my journey and I need your help to get it published.
— Amira Mikhail

To read more about Amira's story and support her in bringing this book to life, please visit and donate HERE.

And the beautiful ending to this story? Have a look through the photos below :)

Brock and Marta...Kitchener Maternity Photography

I've had the pleasure of photographing Brock and Marta for years. And just over a year ago they came to Kitchener where we photographed the start of a new chapter...
Thought I'd share these before I show the updated one year photos because you'll definitely want to see this face!

Making Memories | Kitchener Family Photography

Thinking they're immortal beings until that day...that day, you realize they're not.
Hands and hearts that gave you life, and so much love.
Without them, you wouldn't be here...

You can take all the selfies, and photographs of your friends, and children.
And nothing will be more valuable then having a photograph of your parents, your mom and dad.

So when Ivana contacted me, the request was for natural and beautiful photographs of her family.
Her father having been diagnosed with ALS, it was important to have memories of this moment with her dad, that they could treasure for always.

With her permission, you can read a bit of her story and see their beautiful photos below.
I feel so blessed to have been a part of this...xo


"Life always has a way of throwing you a curve ball when you least expect it. Shortly after I moved back from Australia, we started feeling something wasn’t quite right with my dad. Six months later, he was diagnosed with FTD (Frontal Lobe Dementia) and bulbar ALS. 15% of people who get FTD will also get ALS - he’s one of the unlucky ones. I was just like everyone else watching the bucket challenge and wondering what ALS was 2 years ago. It does not run in our family and something I thought couldn’t happen to me or my family. I was wrong. Life works in funny ways and we can’t control a lot of the outcomes, all we can do is cherish each moment we have.

For Christmas this year, I bought my family a photography session. I’ve always been a very visual person and wanted these memories to be captured naturally.
Life passes so quickly and it’s rare that we stop and truly appreciate the magic around us.
Take all the pictures you can to capture moments and make memories.
Spend more time with loved ones.
Appreciate the little things.
Thanks jodi renée for capturing this particular day ♥..."

7 Tips on Creating a Gorgeous Gallery Wall


Dusting off some inspiration from the archives that I never got around to sharing. And this has to be a favourite because it's the reason I do what I do.
Family photos off your computer and up on the walls.
A gallery wall that is both beautiful and personal.

Yasmine did an incredible job pulling this together and I was blown away when I finally saw the finished product up in her home, in Oakville. The photos were taken in 2009, and like any art piece, these become an investment that stand the test of time. Both beautiful and personal, it's something that everyone in the family will always enjoy because -- it's YOU.

As much as everyone loves the idea of a gallery wall, it is a bit of a daunting task.
I've put together 7 tips that might make things easier for you.

  1. Trust your instinct and choose the images you keep gravitating towards. The 'right' images to frame are the ones that are most meaningful for you.
  2. Use photos from various years and/or leave wall space to add future photos
  3. Don't be afraid to go big -- trust me an 8x10 looks like a postage stamp on a big wall
  4. Use the whole wall space
  5. Go the custom framing route -- an investment yes, and it's worth it.
  6. Print with your photographers professional lab -- there's really no comparing and you get what you pay for. Chances are your photographer offers printing and it makes no sense to invest the time/money into these photos only to go cheap on the final, most important piece -- the end product.
  7. Mix up frames and/or mat sizes -- there really are no rules and you can mix and match frame styles, sizes and mat sizes!

Does that help? Still have questions? Can't decide how to display your family photos?
I'd love to hear from you -- leave a comment below or on Facebook and I'd be happy to chat.

Happy 2016!


It took me years (and years and years) to get a new website up and launched because I work towards the 'end' perfection vs. progress. The interesting thing about that is nothing is ever complete...and yet everything is complete just the way it is.

Then I fell off the blogging wagon because life intervened and the less I wrote the more I felt like I didn't have much to say. To be honest I probably have too much to say because I don't get out enough, and then it just becomes a broken dam of words barreling at you, not making much sense and your best bet is probably to come prepared with a dingy or life jacket if we ever get a chance to talk.

So in my offline hiatus, I hadn't blogged anything about my baby boy.
At first it was really hard for me to share him with the cyber world, and then it just became another thing 'to do'.

And honestly? I have a hard time with this online world, torn between wanting to be a very private person, to being inspired by those who are very transparent. It's the real and vulnerable that move me, literally. People's honest stories are what we connect with. And yet I find myself scrolling through Instagram at times, envious of the accounts where mamas are so pretty and perfect. Is that really how they enjoy their coffee? I think to myself, I wonder how many retakes they just put their toddler through? The envy quickly is replaced by...not a whole lot. Because there's nothing there to relate too. I have always loved honesty, the kind that is raw and shines a light on the shit that no one wants to see. Weird? I know right, and yet that shit is exactly what I need to see to get my ass into gear.

There's nothing inspiring about seeing only one side to every life, every person, every situation. There's nothing we connect to as people when everything appears perfect. We are bound by the whole, the dark and the light, the perfect and not so perfect, the beauty and the chaos.
And although it's super challenging for me to accept this at times, it's something I will continually try to embrace.

So, in an effort to be part of the inspiring and brave, I have this new shiny space to write and share...And as much as I fear, why bother, who's going to read this, does anyone even have time anymore, what could I possibly have to say? Well, it's more for me -- to challenge myself to continue doing something that I love (writing), maybe even getting better at it. Also to become more consistent at this business thing by sharing the beautiful stories and projects of the people I work with. I'll make it a little more personal with a whole lot of stuff I love.
Who knows, maybe a small following will find it's way through all of this, it's something I could definitely use more of in my life...

Please don't be afraid to reach out, comment or share. I'd love to hear from you!

Here's to a brand New Year!
May you have a year full of abundant everything! Making all your dreams come true.
From our little family to yours...xo

jodi renée

Source: jodirenee.com