oakville 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

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!

Our First Family Vacation | Riviera Maya Mexico


I was exhausted, ready and anxious.
Our first flight with babe to an All Inclusive in Mexico.
I was worried about the flight, so much sun, the food?
And I laugh now when I think of all the people who told me just to go away and 'relax'.
What is that with a 1.5 year old at the beach? Definitely a different kind of vacation than I'm used too, and it was still amazing to have the sun and water at our disposal. I think the best part was seeing bub's face light up when we mentioned the beach or the pool.
He absolutely loved the water!

I know their needs change as they get older and I thought I'd share what worked at this stage for us and definitely became necessities for this trip.

5 Beach Vacay Baby Necessities:

  • Gap has a baby/toddler rash guard with long sleeves and a hood. Bought two for a good price and loved them.
  • Babybanz UV sun hat and glasses with 100% UV protection. They are annoying until they realize the harsh sun is the alternative then keeping these on isn't a problem.
  • Crocs! easy on and off for the beach, withstanding the elements of water and sand.
  • Sunscreen was the biggie for me and I have two personal fav's for baby, and myself as I actually used the Matter sun creme on my own face: Badger Baby Sunscreen Creme, and Matter, Mom and Baby, Baby Sun Care Creme.

Oh! there is one item I forgot to add.
We borrowed an ipad from a friend and to say it was a lifesaver is an understatement. I'm not an advocate for kids, especially babies being introduced to these things so early however it provided a good distraction on the plane at times, and we had no idea how handy it would be while at the resort. There is so much noise that's out of your control with the other suites, maintenance doing renovations, the lawn mower going off, dinner carts coming with room service...weird, random noises through the night...anyways, Thank God for YouTube and 4 hour loops of white noise sounds. Ironically we used the crashing wave sounds, I believe it was this one.

A little on the fence about an All Inclusive with an 18 month old. I think if the babes were smaller it might be easier, and our little guy has an early bedtime.
Unless you have a suite with two rooms vs. the one room or maybe if you can bring a Nana along, it gets tough to do anything other than room service for dinner. The long days full of fresh air made bed time even more critical and even if we hit up the buffet, I found it rushed and pushing it for the little guy.

Also the noise is out of your control. Funny enough, EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I went to put Colin down for his nap, the renovation orchestra would start up it's symphony right behind the headboard, I mean I was waiting for a Mexican to come crashing through the wall at times. So like any frustrated and wanting your baby to sleep effortlessly without the sounds of wall demolition, I called the front desk, and nicely asked for a cease fire. I swear I was nice, and remember I was a frustrated mom -- so that should tell you how nice I was.

I think there are resorts that cater more to families.
Or renting a condo/house somewhere and forgetting the All Inclusive is usually a great idea when our dollar isn't bombing.
Where are you favourite places to travel with the family?

Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Facebook. I would love to hear from you!

jodi renée

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.