After being a wedding photographer for seven years, I realized that women (and men!) should be photographed professionally well beyond their wedding day. Unfortunately, the last professional photo we girls take is sometimes at our wedding or when our baby was just born. I started The Giving Portrait in hopes of changing that. I believe that every season of life is beautiful in its own way and needs to be documented.
I am happiest curled up with a good book or having lunch on the top of the mountain. I love honest conversations over tea and genuine people. I can live on French toast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I am on a mission to try every brunch spot in the city. I believe that the time with our loved ones is the greatest gift we are given, and it should never be taken for granted.
A few years ago, I lost my grandmother, who I was very close to, and it got me to rethink the value of photography in general and family photography in particular. When your loved one is gone, photos of them become treasures. You can’t put a price tag on that.
I do have old images of my grandma when she was young—thank God they printed photos back then!—but the last professional photo we took together though was when I was only six months old. It’s me, my mom, and my grandma. These are the women who brought me up, those I owe everything to. This one image is my most valued possession, but looking back, I wish we had gone to a studio and had gotten a recent portrait done, One of all of us and one of my grandmother, the older, wiser, and beautiful woman I remember her to be in the last years.
The value of family photos is not something we are capable of defining. It lasts beyond our lifetime. Obviously, we don’t have to be moved by dramatic events to take photos. But we owe it to ourselves and to those who love us to document our lives, to give the gift of memories.
Another thing we believe in is justice and freedom for all. We gain by giving. We partner with an organization called Loved Does, in particular, their Uganda Savehouses project. Click here to learn more.
Length: 2–3 hours depending on the number of people + makeup and hair time (about 1–1.5 hours per person).
Mood: This is your time to take a break from the day-to-day and treat yourself!
Who It Is Best For: Women by themselves or with children five years old and up. Come in alone or with your kids, mom, sister(s), or significant other.
Length: 2–3 hours.
Mood: Relaxed, homey, and candid, the goal of this shoot is to document your family’s day-to-day life in a meaningful way. The flow of the session will vary based on your family’s favourite activities. We can start the shoot day by baking cookies and end playing in a backyard.
Who It Is Best For: Families with small children and babies or expecting mothers and their husbands.
E.g., a beach, a park, etc.
If you don’t want your shoot to take place at home, you can take your kids for fun day outside.
A once in a lifetime experience or a yearly treat. We work together on a concept, mood, and location of the session. If needed, prop and fashion stylists are available.
These sessions are more elaborate and are usually planned well ahead. If you want your photos to be epic and make you gasp, this option is for you. Currently available all over Canada (travel and planning fees apply).
Our natural light studio is conveniently located midtown Toronto.
We are hnored to be able to partner with Love Does ograniztion Uganda Savehouses project.
"In 2012, with the help of some wonderful friends, we started a safe house in the capital of Uganda. We opened this home in response to a need to care for at-risk, abused, and sexually exploited underage girls. The goal was to provide a safe, caring environment for them to leave the sex trade or other dangerous environments and get care, counseling and safety. In addition, our goal is to re-acclimate these girls into a structured, healthy lifestyle where they may heal from physical and emotional trauma and learn to take ownership of their lives, their futures, educations, and vocational opportunities.
The home is staffed with mentors and counselors who visit the surrounding neighborhoods and identify minors being sexually exploited or otherwise abused. The mentors then approach the minors and offer them a place to live." - Love Does