Wall art...how to use your images - a collage of custom frames


Are you using and enjoying your images everyday? I hope so! It is one of the favourite parts of my job - collaborating with clients and cool art vendors to create beautiful pieces for you to enjoy in your home.

This client has been with me for over 7 years and in that time we have been constantly expanding the family walls in her home. There’s a wall for each of her boys and the memories that we have captured of each of them and the special people in their lives. These walls have been built over the years, a couple pieces at a time.

As you can see various sizes have been used in these displays but the consistency runs through the simple black framing and that the pictures are black and white images. This helps draw your eye to what’s going on in the images…the expressions, the relationships,…without the distraction of colour or a variation in frame.

This client has a design background and a wonderful creative eye so she’s had the vision for most of the art in her home. She also has a friend that’s a custom framer so they get most of the credit for these walls. I helped with images;).

If you are a client and would like to share how you have used your images, I would love to showcase it here. Please send me a note and I will come out and photograph it.


Wall art...how to use images from your session - part 2 - canvas


Canvas is still one of the most popular ways for clients to use their images. I will come back around to them a few times.

This is a 40x60 wrapped canvas piece…it has to be the right image to go this big and be something important for you to want to look at it for years to come. In this case, it is for us…it was our first trip to the beach when we moved to California…my daughter did this without being told and it totally captures the feeling that my family has about the beach. Although this was printed for a specific space in our California home, I am so glad that I was able to find a spot (and a prominent one at that) in my Calgary home. I often work at the dining room table rather than in the studio just so I can stare at this:).

Many clients have done similar pieces of various sizes focusing on the environment rather than who is actually in the image. This can help you transcend back to a place that is special to your family…the lake, the mountains or fields.

As I mentioned, canvas is still very popular so I will have a few more examples coming up.

Wall art...how to use the images from your session? - part 1 - classic frame

I have been working on a number of art projects for clients over the last little while with the weather being so unusual for this time of year. 

Upon working on these projects, I realized that I don’t have an area on my blog to refer clients to for inspiration anymore as it was blown away this year with the transfer. So I have decided to recreate the series on wall art. I will be sure to update links on Pinterest and will have a board there with my projects specifically. I will also have a category here (“wall art”) so that it is easy to find.

For those of you that have been with me for awhile, you know I love art…and particularly different ways to display photos. The studio has a number of pieces that I have sourced that offer unique media (metal and acrylic and wall clings) as well as the classics (frames and canvas).  

Although I love art, I still have a minimalist perspective.  I don’t think that you should fill all of your walls with just one session. Images from one chapter won’t truly capture your story so I love to build over time to tell the whole story.

Also I really feel that the art purchased should be functional for you and your lifestyle. The last thing that I want is for pieces to end up in a landfill.  So consideration’s given to how often you move (and if they will work in a variety of spaces) or if you are in your forever home (and we can do very specific designed pieces). Whether or not you have a lot of wall space or if you need a classic frame where images can be easily changed out.

As I go through and share projects from my house and client’s houses, I will be showcasing art done through me and DIY projects. I know that many of my clients have an eye and an interest in doing their own…whereas others do not have the time or interest so I get to help them. I support both types of projects because I just want you to use and enjoy your images:).

I placed these frames in a client’s house earlier this year. She had originally been thinking of canvas for this space but as we got talking realized that she would probably want to change them out so frames would allow this to happen easily (and without waste). This is not always the case as there are times that pieces could be moved to another location but in this case we were not able to do that so a classic frame was a much more timeless choice. Although this is just an iphone picture of this arrangement, you will notice that I use anti-glare glass when framing. I feel this is extremely important and if you are going with custom framing is worth the additional expense. It will allow you to see the images from all angles.


Flossing...and not the dance move

I have to share this post here (even though it is a post from my other business). We have been going to Citizen Dental Hygiene since we returned to Calgary. I’ve been so impressed by their staff and particularly Lace, one of the co-owners. Her passion for her job came through immediately as she started to talk about the importance of flossing. It had both of my children's attention as well as I learned something new. To help their business, we decided to video her flossing talk. It’s educational and entertaining…and might I add, Lace did this on the first take:).

I have attached the full blog post...in case you’re interested in the business part of the story. But I will also include a link to the flossing video that Lace did on the first take. I think there is great value there for everyone:). Also, try to spot her tooth tattoo:).

My Mini Session Perspective

I participated in the This Girl Can Expo this weekend. I was really honoured to get to represent family photography there. The objective of the show in a nutshell was to help empower girls to be who they are, to highlight what makes them unique and to have confidence in who that is. It was a fantastic show with amazing speakers doing just that. And with this being the backbone of my business/es…highlighting what makes you (and your relationships) special and show it back to you…I felt that it was a good show for me.

The topic of mini session came up with a few people at the show so thought I would share my perspective.

I’ve done them. And even 30 min ones...usually run into an hour with me. It’s not how I shoot. And it’s not the experience I want to give your family. Running you through like cattle is not the pace I like to go.

I believe that your memories need more care than that. And with my style being capturing your family’s personality and relationships, it is pretty tough to get there in 15/30min sessions. We need time to settle in together - even if you have been coming to me for years...and actually especially if you have been coming to me for years… I want to know what is going on with your family.

Yes, if you are just looking for a line them up, everyone looking at the camera, perfect picture for Grandma...then we can definitely get that in the first 15... but if that is all you are looking for...I am not the photographer for you. I am shooting for the squeezy hugs and the in between moments that only happen when everyone feels comfortable which can take time.

I did some market research this year and realized that people need shorter sessions and fewer images to wade through so that you can come more often and capture all the moments. So I did listen and created the “Keep It Simple” package both in and out of the studio. This hour long session is as mini as I am willing to go to still be able to deliver the images that I am proud of and so that I’m not worried about watching the clock during your session.

And for those who still like to hang out with me at a slower pace or like to do art with me, there is still the “classic” session. I will go through and describe more about each of the offerings and really who they are best for in the next post.

Here is a few images from a recent Keep it Simple session that would not have happened in a 15min session.

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WAHOO!!!! It's finally up and running!! I've been wanting to update and add an online booking calendar to my website for awhile...it's finally all come together. Unfortunately it did mean losing 10 years of blog history but seems worth it to make it easier for everyone to book. 

I know how busy all of us are and the going back and forth with me to check calendars seemed really archaic...the new booking page (HERE), will allow you to choose the type of session that you would like, choose the date and time, deal with the contract and pay the deposit (which I've standardized for simplicity). 

Now, you might be panicking because you don't have your hockey schedule for September yet...as before, this does not mean that you can't reschedule. However, it does make sure that you get a spot...and it allows me to make sure that everyone's sessions get edited (I'll adjust behind the scenes if a month is starting to get too busy).

Thank you to everyone for your patience with all of this!! Please let me know if something is not working right and I will get it fixed ASAP. 

There will be things added and adjusted over the next little while...some of the copy and I will be adding how to use the pictures more. Also let me know, if there is anything else you would like to know about.



We love Nicaragua! We headed back there this February as I knew my family would be having a tough time with our first winter back in Canada. Seriously, what a winter back to re-introduce them to. Anyway, we headed back for some surf, sun and relaxing...as much relaxing as I do anyway:). We got the opportunity to be introduced to an amazing charity (CREA) through friends of ours. Long story short, we took a bunch of supplies down on their behalf to a local library that they are connected to. It was so cool to see all of the kids enjoying this library and the services that went along with it...I learned from the Director that as they were doing research in the area to see what the local needs were, of the 200 households that were canvassed only 7 books were found. The stats then went on from there in regards to education. Needless to say, there were a huge need in the area for this and it is so amazing to see the effect that it is having on the community. 

As we were leaving the library, my son mentioned that he noticed one of the boys in a soccer jersey so he wanted to bring some soccer balls down next time for them. I let the director know and she thought that was awesome and mentioned that they also needed ball pumps. So my son is on a mission this summer to raise money mowing lawns to purchase balls and pumps.

I then decided that I would also take a portion of my revenue to donate to CREA Nica as well since they are already outgrowing the space that they just opened last summer and have plans to expand. So Tot Shots will be donating 10% of all session fees in 2018 to this cause. I love that despite my contribution being small, it will have more of an effect there and my children will be able to see some progression with our donations.

Here are a few of the pictures from CREA and of the local kids that it is helping:).



I am so far behind sharing sessions! I wanted to share this session as I would love to see a bunch more babies this yearJ. This is my cousin’s family...aren’t they adorable! I was so excited to get them in the studio in January…yes, January. I was not able to take a lot of newborns while I was living in California because I couldn’t get back on their timing. I’m so excited to now be back and available for more babies. It really is such a special time to capture as they are not small for long…and now with a 13 year old who is as tall as I am…it really does go so quickly!

Here’s a few favourites from this session. If you know any expectant mamas, please send them my way!!