Claudia & Diem | Toronto Mommy & Me Lifestyle Photographer

This was a special shoot and I was so looking forward to it. My first Motherhood session and it was with a radiant, gorgeous mother who I did maternity pictures for. 

The timing of this session could not have been more perfect too. After unseasonably cold Spring weather and anxiously waiting for things to start blooming, we hit the jackpot and got 25 degree weather and tons of gorgeous trees and bushes in full bloom. 

This was also an afternoon session as opposed to the usual evening shoot and I absolutely loved the change in light. The full sun was a welcomed challenge and we were able to successfully get some amazing shadows. I also have to give a huge shout out and thanks to my gorgeous model for her incredible outfit selection. The dress and the hat added such a sophisticated and classy yet sexy feel. When I was editing I often felt like I was looking at a Monet painting!

Here's some gorgeous Spring mom and baby love to send you into the weekend. 

 

 

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Sue & Kevin | Toronto Family Lifestyle Photographer

Out with April, in with May! I kicked off my Spring sessions with this gorgeous family during the last weekend of April. Every year after a long, cold northern winter, I always think by April it will actually feel like Spring when in reality it rarely does. As the end of April approached, I was a bit worried nothing would be blooming in time for my first outdoor session of the year, but Mother Nature pulled through and gave me some beautiful greens and yellows to work with. 

Here's where the magic of photography steps in...it was actually quite cold the evening of this session and in between pictures and location changes we were all bundling up to stay warm. This family was absolute rockstars though and did not complain once. 

If this is what I have to look forward to for the rest of the Spring, then I'm super excited! 

 

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Sarah & Chris | Toronto Family Photographer

This was a very special session for me. I had the pleasure of being this little girl's teacher and caretaker when she was just a little peanut. Now she is a big 3 year old and one of the most adorable kids I've ever seen. This family will always have a special place in my heart, so it was pure joy being able to capture some memories for them. This girl's smile is electric! 

 

 

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A Love Letter to Fall | Toronto Nature Photographer

How can you not go outside this time of year and just fall head over heals in love with your surroundings? It's like instant peace and tranquility whether you're standing in the country or in the city. Similar to last year, we have been lucky to have some unseasonably warm temps lately making it easier for me to venture out with the little one. Yesterday she had her first experience playing in the leaves...an activity that was a favourite of mine as a child. :) 

Here are some images from yesterday. Some eye candy for your Friday, and a lot of it, so get cozy and enjoy! 

 

 

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Abby & Bryan | Toronto Maternity Photographer

These two were serious troopers for their shoot. It was a ridiculously windy evening which I was super excited about, and I'm so grateful to them for trusting my vision and ideas in my head of what I wanted to create. They did amazing and one of my very favourite images thus far came out of this shoot. 

I'm so lucky to have families and couples that make my job so effortless! 

 

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Kristen & Mike | Toronto Maternity Photographer

It was such an honour to photograph this expectant couple. Everyone has their own unique story of how or why they got to where they are and their story was one of patience and perseverance. After quite a wait, their prayers were answered and I was blessed to be able to capture this special moment in time for them. This is one example of why I'm so passionate about being able to work in this field. :)

 

 

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Morning on the Balcony | Toronto Nature Photographer

I noticed this spiderweb this morning on the balcony with the soft, orange light of the sunrise streaming through it and couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture it! I find spiderwebs rather challenging to shoot and edit, but I was a little happier with my result this time. 

 

 

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Kerrie & Jeff | Toronto Family Photographer

This soon-to-be family of four was the sweetest family and so much fun to work with! I love the preschool age. They're so inquisitive, always looking to explore and full of energy and life. It's rare to hold on to that beyond childhood, so that's an aspect of childhood I really am passionate about capturing both personally and professionally. 

 

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Website Relaunch Special! | Toronto Family Photographer

Dearest friends,

I am excited to announce that in honour of my recent launch of this website, I will be offering a discount of $100 off of all sessions booked this week only! This discount applies to all session types listed on the website. With the holidays quickly making their way upon us, it's the perfect opportunity and time to finally get those pictures taken that you've been thinking about doing all summer.

Please fill out the contact form located on the "Connect" page of the website to book your session today!

 

*Sessions are subject to limited availability and are first come, first serve. Sessions must be booked within the 2016 calendar year for discount to apply. Only one discount per family. 

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Karen & Mike | Toronto Couples Photographer

When I had a vision in mind of a couple's scene I wanted to photograph, I immediately thought of our good friends, Mike and Karen. I wanted to create something intimate, classic and sophisticated, and boy did they deliver! Even though said afterwards that they were pretty sure they screwed the whole thing up, that couldn't have been farther from the truth. The results from their shoot was everything I wanted and more! I'm so grateful for them and friends that are up for anything! Definitely plan on doing many more shoots like this in the future. 

AND I was even lucky enough to have a fellow photographer friend tag along to help bounce ideas off of each other, and she was wonderful! Looking forward to seeing her interpretation of the shoot as well!

 

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Claudia & Shaun | Toronto Maternity Photographer

Still catching up on blogging last weekends shoots. I had the pleasure of photographing this amazing couple and mama-to-be thanks to a friend of mine helping me get the word out that I was looking for some maternity models. They were effortless. So much love between these two that their shoot felt so natural to capture. I can't wait to see that sweet baby make it's grand entrance, because I know these two will make such a loving home. 

 

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Courtney & Andrew | Toronto Family Photographer

Last weekend I had a wonderful session with this beautiful family. We completely lucked out as it was raining on and off all day and there were thunderstorm warnings for the evening. Somehow the rain gods managed to hold off just long enough for our shoot and the results were amazing! I had so much fun shooting them, and the HARDEST time narrowing down their gallery. Here are some of my favs.

 

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Welcome to my Crib | Toronto Family Photographer

Life is ironic in many ways. For example, when you are a child you tend to not particularly care for naps or going to bed, but when you are an adult you spend 90% of your day dreaming of the next time you'll be able to sleep. 

I think Sofia has hit her 9 month sleep regression a few weeks early as she's not been a fan of bedtime lately...or napping for that matter. The irony is anytime she's in her crib that doesn't involve sleep, she loves it. So here's to embracing what is and repeating to myself "this too shall pass" at all missed or challenging sleep opportunities. 

I mean, she does look awfully cute peeking over those crib rails after all. :)

 

 

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Soaking Up the Last of Summer | Toronto Family Photographer

Now that the "ber" months are upon us, I'm in a race against time to enjoy all the unseasonably warm days I can before they are gone. The other day we went down to the lake and just sat and played in the water and let the waves crash over us. Before we know it, these waters will be frozen and we'll be in disbelief that it was once warm enough to go in. Life gets so hectic and busy at times, especially during these final four months of the year, that I try to spend at least a half hour everyday getting outside and just embracing the moment I'm in with my little. 

I hope everyone has a chance to do the same this weekend. Happy Friday, everyone!! 

 

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baby-playing-in-lake-ontario-at-humber-bay-in-the-summer-by-jenny-diaz-toronto-family-photographer

Photography Weaknesses | Toronto Family Photographer

Let's face it, fellow photographers. There's always at least one thing that you absolutely cannot pass up the opportunity to capture when they occur. I have a few of those, but one of my major obsessions is sun flare. It's a common one to many, but it's eternally my weakness.

Every night when the sun starts to set I think that I'll give my family a break and just watch it with my eyes instead of my camera, but then light like this happens and I fall victim to trying to document it with my camera once again. Can you really blame me though?! I mean just look at that light! I think fellow photogs and non-photons alike can all agree golden hour provides some serious eye candy. 

And so the cycle continues, and I'm sure the story will repeat itself again tonight. I'm curious what subjects do you just have to photograph when you see them?

 

 

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Colour vs Black and White | Toronto Fine Art Photographer

Oh the never ending dilemma among photographers...the age old question...colour or black and white?

Sometimes the choice is simple, but sometimes it's just not that easy. This is especially true for me when shooting nature photography. I wrote a similar post on my old blog, but thought enjoyed writing it so much that I thought I'd share it over here as well and maybe make it a monthly occurrence so you can help me decide! 

When you think about nature images, I bet your first inclination is to keep everything colour. You're probably thinking, "Duh, Jenny! Why would you convert something so vibrant and beautiful to black and white? You will lose the essence of the image!" Well I beg to differ. 

What I love about converting a colour nature image to black and white is because the colour is no longer the first characteristic of the image you are drawn to, therefor leading your eye to the other elements instead such as composition, shapes, textures (oh the textures!) and depth. Aside from those elements I have always been a sucker for black and white because of it's emotion and timelessness. 

So with that being said, I'm going to post a few images in both colour and black and white for you to see which you prefer. While looking at these, I challenge you to see what qualities of the black and white image jump out at you first now that the element of colour has ben taken out of the equation. And for a further challenge, I would love for you to find some of your own favourite colour images in your portfolio and see if you might enjoy them just as much, but for different reasons once converting them to black and white. 

I will also note, that when I convert to black and white, I also fix my white balance first, as that makes a big difference, believe it or not, in how your end image will look once converted. I find it equally as important to adjust with black and white and with colour. Also, I tend to process black and whites slightly heavier as it's just my personal preference to have a deeper, moodier black and white image, but I also find many less contrasted black and whites equally as beautiful when looking at other's work. 

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macro-fall leaves-in-black-and-white-by-Jenny-Diaz-Toronto-fine-art-nature-photographer

Shorter Summer Days | Toronto Family Photographer

Well, I have noticed lately as September creeps in, that the days have been getting a little shorter now. The sun is coming up a little later and setting a little earlier, which normally makes me a little sad to think about. However, there's always a silver lining and when the seasons hand you lemons, you must make lemonade. For me the silver lining is actually being able to see more sunrises and Sofia being awake during that eternally sought after time of day by photographers known as "golden hour". 

Just the other day she was playing in her room before bed and reading (as well as rearranging) books with her Daddy when the sunset stopped me in my tracks. I suppose it's also an added bonus living in a condo sometimes so there are no obstructions by us prohibiting that gorgeous, warm sunlight from pouring in through the windows.

So while it saddens me to know that shorter, cooler days are ahead, I will try and refer back to images like these that make my heart happy. Hopefully many more to come as the Fall unfolds. 

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Before and After Macros | Toronto Fine Art Photographer

Good Morning and Happy Saturday! 

Every Saturday morning since May we have kicked off our weekends with a trip to the local Farmer's Market. It's so perfect because it's just a 5 minute walk away to the park at the end of our street, and we get breakfast, a flower bouquet for the week and fresh air all in one! 

Something else I also do every Saturday is document the gorgeous farmer's market flowers that we bring home. Usually I take pictures of the bouquet as a whole as well as some freelensed macro shots so I thought this week I'd share some before and after shots with you. 

I love moody edits on nature/macro images, so I have fun trying to challenge myself to create something a little deeper and darker when editing lately which means underexposing, bring down highlights and shadows a little and usually adding a little vignette to bring more attention to the subject. Also, on a side note, I've only been using Lightroom for about the past 2 years. Very rarely do I use Photoshop anymore, unless absolutely necessary. 

Here are my before and afters for this week. Enjoy!

 

 Before (SOOC)

Before (SOOC)

 After

After

 Before (SOOC)

Before (SOOC)

 After

After

What Makes a Good Prop? | Toronto Family Photographer

While I'm not the type of photographer who enjoys using props, I do enjoy and strive on capturing the most important and intimate details of my client's lives. I often like to know if there are any particularly special items that my clients might want to include in their shoot. Here are just a few examples of what I mean:

  • A favourite toy or stuffed animal that your child always plays with
  • A family heirloom handed down (such as engagement ring or clothing item)
  • A handmade gift of significant importance

In this post I thought I'd show an example of how I've incorporated the last one into my own personal family photos. 

In this series of images I've included a very special prop of my own...a quilt that my mom so kindly and carefully made for my daughter when she was born. This quilt is not just special in the sense that it was handmade by my mom, but that she made it by sewing together some pieces of my dad's old clothing with matching fabrics she picked out from the store. Since my dad passed away several years ago and my daughter has not had the chance to physically meet him here on earth, this was a particularly special and emotional gift that I knew I absolutely wanted to document in my photos of daughter. 

We usually hang the blanket from the side of her crib during the day, so one day while she was playing in her crib after getting dressed, I decided to snap a few shots as it was a great way to display the blanket.

These are the details that I want to remember forever, which is why it is always a question of mine to my clients whether or not they would like to include a special, sentimental item in their photographs. So, next time you are preparing to have a session done, take a moment to think about something special you might want to be frozen in time long after the item may be gone.

 

 

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baby-in-ikea-crib-with-handmade-blanket-by-Jenny-Diaz-Toronto-Family-Photographer

Trip to the CNE | Toronto Photography

What's summer without a carnival?! Every year the end of summer is marked here in Toronto by the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and last year was the first time we decided to see what it was all about. We decided to try and beat the crowds by going the opening day and as an added bonus it is half price. Even though we didn't ride any rides last year (because I was pregnant), or play any games (because they're so expensive!), we still had a great time! We ate some very-bad-for-you carnival food, enjoyed browsing through the craft/handmade tent and especially enjoyed checking out all merchandise at the world tents. 

This year was pretty much the same routine since Sofia is still small, but she seemed to really enjoy looking at the lights and all the people, and Hubby and I really enjoyed photographing them. I think we'll be making this a family tradition from now on. :)