This guide is to help give you tips and tricks to get the best photos out of your session along with have the best experience getting your photos taken.

Ottawa Family Photographer, Ottawa Family Photographer, Constance Bay

I suggest you arrive 5-10 minutes early to find a spot to park. Please remove anything on your wrists that don't match your outfit. (Fitbits, Apple Watches, hair elastics etc). Cell phones out of your pockets or leave it in the car.


A gentle reminder your session time is your start time not your arrival time. 


Where to meet/poor weather:

Because Ottawa is unpredictable with the weather, I only reschedule session if severe weather is predicted. If there is more than 80% chance of a lot of rain I will reschedule the session. I will text around 1.5-2 hours before your session, letting you know if we are going ahead with the session or if we will need to reschedule. A little bit of rain can clear up quickly and make for a fun photo shoot.

Ottawa Family Photographer, Ottawa Family Photographer, Kanata, Old Quarry Trail

Things to remember:

Please ensure you have researched the location and you are familiar with where you are going!


Mini sessions are back-to-back, meaning everyone’s start time relies on the people ahead of them! If you are running late, it will cut into your session time.

Always be touching, be sure that you’re always touching someone. Whether it's a hug or snuggle, or just a tender hand on the shoulder. Make contact with your family. This shows connections and love.

Ottawa Family Photographer, Ottawa Family Photographer, Kanata, Old Quarry Trail

Have fun! This is so important that you and your kids enjoy this experience because it will show up in your photos if someone just isn't having it. Relax and love on your family.


Photos will include the whole family unit, individual shots of children, children in a group on their own, parents on their own, etc. 

Don't stress: if your kids are nervous or acting a little wild, that's totally OK! I embrace children in every aspect of them. We're focusing on moments, so a shy kiddo can get extra snuggles and a wild one can have extra run time. It's all about your family in this season! Remember that.


Ottawa Family Photographer, Ottawa Family Photographer, Rockcliffe Park

8 tips for a smooth session


Minis are short sessions with very little flexibility for tardiness. As mentioned, any delays will take away from your session time.



We’ll set a general game plan before the session, but please be prepared to be flexible once we start shooting. Just look at it as an adventure, and we’ll have fun!



A lollipop, favorite toy, or trip for ice cream can make a huge difference in attitude! Just save it until after the session; once the bribe comes out, it’s hard to put it away without tears.



Although most of the session is more candid in nature, I usually photograph one quick round of family photos where everyone is looking at the camera. For those, please keep your eyes on me so we’re ready for the split second the kids flash me their smiles! Avoid pointing at the camera, during the photoshoot.



I know it’s tempting to ask your child to smile, but this can often lead to confusion about where to look and who to listen to. If your child isn’t smiling right away, don’t worry! I have tons of patience and tricks up my sleeve, and we’ll get those natural smiles in no time.



The best thing you can do if your child isn’t feeling it is to stay positive. Be a model of positivity and let me interact with them naturally. A great image only takes a millisecond to capture, so there’s typically more great images captured than you think! In fact, that image of your toddler running away from you is one of my favorites to photograph!



Do not drive to the session with sunglasses or a baseball hat on (DAD!!) There is nothing worse than a client showing up with a baseball cap one and then them taking it off only to have a giant red line on their forehead.



Saying the word “cheese” creates a very fake smile, so I ask that you do not encourage your family to say it. I will “perform” and sometimes do some crazy things behind the camera to get authentic smiles & genuine laughter out of your kids, so just leave the direction to me!

Ottawa Family Photographer, Ottawa Family Photographer, Sheila Mckee Trail



Be in the moment and don’t stress about the result. We will get some beautiful photos; you do not need to worry. You will be more emotionally attached to the images if you have FUN while taking them. If you are worried about how your children are smiling, or if Dad is irritated (they usually are, and it’s ok!), then you will think of that every time you look at your photos. Relax, enjoy the time spent with your family, and I will catch some amazing moments for you that you can cherish forever!

Hopefully this has been helpful, and please don't hesitate to message me if you require more help. 

Ottawa Branding Photographer