Category Archives: Photography

Photo tips for a family weekend

by Anna

Another fabulous Fall weekend is upon us and if you are anything like me you take advantage of all the wonderful things that Fall has in store for us. Are you going to a Fair this weekend, Pumpkin picking or just a walk in the forest? All of these things give us wonderful opportunities for photos.

Carp Fair

If you are close to Ottawa then you know that the leaves are starting to change and the colours that are out there are amazing. This is a fabulous time to bring your camera with you and capture some of what you see.

Carp Fair

Here are a few tips to help you capture your weekend.

  1. Not every picture has to include people. Sometimes we tend to bring the camera out and only take photos of the children or the family. But, after you take one of those shots turn around and take a picture of what they are looking at. Capture the surroundings as well as the family. This not only allows you to remember what a fabulous place you were visiting, but gives you options for creating a photo collage or album later.
  2. Capture the colours. Fall is like the last hurrah before the trees are bare and the snow arrives (at least up here in the North). Ensure that you get all of the wonderful colours that are out there for us to see. Make a point of getting the reds, yellows and greens.
  3. Fallen leaves. We have had our share of rain up here, but this weekend is calling for some drier weather. Don’t be shy to gather up the leaves into a pile and jump in. Have the family throw and gather leaves together and capture all the fun.
  4. And this may be the most important tip I have to offer, hand off that camera! Make sure you there are pictures of you as well as everyone else. Far to often those of us behind the camera get left behind.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Anna is a photographer and is offering a “Rock Your Camera” class this November. Love your DSLR but are having trouble getting just the right pictures from it? You are not alone. Join us and learn how to get the best out of your camera. Anna also blogs about her life and family at Life is Good…At the Beach.


Filed under Photography

ABC Challenge : we’re done!!

by Lara

Did anyone notice I missed last week’s post? Sorry…  my house has been infested with sick and teething for a month and it just couldn’t happen.

But this week is a big week!!  It’s the final week!  I completed the entire challenge and I know a few others did as well, and several others are close behind.  I am so thrilled that people enjoyed the challenge!

Now we need to figure out what next? A few of us are interested in continuing on with some photo challenges.  Are you interested? Let me know what you’d like to see with regards to photography!

Blog out Loud is tonight! I’ll be there with a scrapbook of ABC challenge photos. Will you be there?

Photography tip

One of  the things that I learned most about during the course of this challenge was about Flickr.  It’s a great tool for challenges like this. We were able to share photos, discuss all kinds of things and even make new friends! I got to meet a bunch of the abc challenge participants in person which is one of the things we want Kids in the Capital to be about – community!

But now that my ABC challenge is done I still plan to use flickr daily.  I’ve joined other challenges and communities – like Positively Ottawa (run by Angela and Dani) and 365 community (I’m on day 36 of my 365 project and really enjoying the challenge!)

So I challenge you to explore Flickr. There are so many great places to get inspiration for new and different photos, to learn more, and to share your fabulous photos with others who really appreciate photography.  Please add me as a contact if you’re there, I’d love to keep exploring photography with you!

My last 4 photos!

V is for vehicles – doesn’t he look like such a big boy here?

V is for vehicle

K is for kissing –  Kiernan loves his babies and gives them hugs and kisses multiple times a day. Most of the time they tolerate him 🙂

K is for kissing.

B is for books – books at bedtime are a big thing around here.

B is for books

L is for laughing – Quinn is one of the smiliest and laughiest (both words, I swear) kids ever. This is one of my favourite photos of the challenge.

26: 365 L is for laughing

Participants’ photos

<a href=”; title=”V is for vehicle by GlidingLara, on Flickr”><img src=”; width=”333″ height=”500″ alt=”V is for vehicle”></a>

E is for eating by Dani – ice cream screams summer and with this heat wave isn’t it refreshing just to even look at it?
Mmmm, ice cream!

U is for umbrella by Sara – Peek!
71:365, Umbrella June 30 2010

J is for jumping by Stella – great jump and great shirt!
J is for Jumping

E is for eating by Angela – more summer snacks, yumm!

Please take the time to let me know how you enjoyed the challenge, if you found the tips useful and if you’d be interested in participating in more photography challenges.  Other ideas I’ve had include photography get togethers and maybe even trying to set up some photography workshops.  Thanks for following along!! (But if you aren’t done and want to finish getting all your ABC photos – please keep adding them to our group, there will still be people checking out what’s there!)

Lara is the mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.


Filed under Parenting tips, Photography

ABC Challenge : week 11

Only two weeks left!! I can’t believe I only need to take four more photos and we will have completed the challenge!!

I’m excited to announce that we are going to be featuring some of the ABC Challenge photos at Blog Out Loud this year.  Read my discussion group post on FLICKR to let me know if I can use any of your photos and to recommend which photos we should use!

Photography Tip

Wednesday got here way too fast this week and I didn’t make it to the MacKenzie King Estate in time to take photos.  So we’re going with a fall back/discussion tip this week.

What do you do with your photos when you take them out of your camera? I posted in the first week about how I use Picasa.  I know a lot of you use other programs like Photoshop (and/or Photoshop Elements) and LightRoom.  It would be fabulous if people would share what they do.

– Do you tweak your photos or always just live them as they were when you took them?

– How do you sort/store your photos?

– Do you have any tips or links to web sites with tips that would be good to share?

Let us know!

My two photos

M is for mealtime
M is for mealtime

Z is for zoom
Z is for zoom

Participants’ posts

uh oh-1
Can you even imagine finding your 18 month old like this!? B is for books or C is for climbing (you choose! 🙂 by Muddyboots

F is for Friends
F is for friends by Stella – so sweet.

monday evening
N is for night by jhscrapmom. Such neat lighting!

Lara is the mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.


Filed under Photography

ABC Challenge: week 10

Photography tip


I thought it would be great to share some great spots to go to get really great family pictures. I put the question out on facebook and Danielle suggested the Arboretum.  I am embarrassed to say I’d never been!  So Sara and I decided to check it out.   Trees, shade, open spaces, river, flowers – what a gorgeous gorgeous spot!  And even without particularly cooperative subjects I got some great photos!! (I also would recommend this is a great spot to bring your kids just to run around and explore and run off energy 🙂

She looks sad, but it kind of makes the photo I think 🙂

Down by the river

No kids, but I love this.

So much room to run and run!

I could have done an entire post on just this place – we may have to eventually. I didn’t even tell you about squirrel town!

Next week – Mackenzie King Estate

My two picks for this week

H is for hugging – these are the moments that make it all worthwhile…. until the strangling and hitting starts 😉

H is for hugging

N is for night. – I was so excited to get a sleeping photo of him. I used to be jealous of sleeping photos because I would never risk waking my kids by taking one. And now he’s an awesome sleeper and didn’t budge when I took half a dozen photos of him 🙂

11 : 365 N is for night
Participants’ photos

480:1000 Lucas reflected
Z is for zoom by Dani. I love the lighting and the creativity of this shot. So fun!

49:365, Swinging
S is for swinging by Sara. I SO need to figure out how to shoot on manual. Very cool effect.

H is for hug
H is for hugging by Lilypilly.  My oh my that’s a cute puppy!

Lara is the mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.


Filed under Free, Photography

ABC Challenge : Week 9

Next week is the meetup at Parliament Hill – are you coming?

Photography Tip

Thanks to everyone who answered my call out for ideas for this week’s tip. I’m also looking for your favourite spot to take photos still, let me know so I can do a bit of a round up.


An easy way to make a photo more interesting is to pay attention to colour.

Vibrant colours pop and make people pay attention. Different colours give photos different feels.  This article talks about the different colours and what they do for your composition.

Sometimes it’s just a bold colour that jumps out that makes the photo. I think a lot of the photos in our green and yellow category in the challenge have demonstrated how much fun people can have with colour as well as how many different things you can do.

Here’s another simple colour tip, and it’s accompanied by 9 other simple photography tips – worth checking out.

I’d love to see some of your favourite examples of how photos can make the photo.  Anyone got anything for me? 🙂

My two picks this week

A is for art…. on paper…. on faces….

6:365 A is for Art

J is for jumping – they really enjoyed helping me stage this particular shot 🙂8 : 365 J is for jumping

Participants’ photos

These photos SCREAM summer. I love it!  And they all use the rule of thirds!! 🙂
365:27 Wet
W is for wet by Sara

O is for outside
O is for outside by Julie

Perfectly Summer
Another w is for wet by Tiana

As always, it’s never to late too join the challenge. We hope you’ll play along! And I hope to see you next Wednesday!

Lara is the mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.

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Filed under Photography

ABC Challenge : week 8

by Lara

Congratulations to Stella who won my contest for participating in this week’s challenge!!!  I’ll be in touch! Now, everybody keep up the good work! Be creative, set new stages, see what you can come up with. We’re more than halfway through the challenge!! 🙂

We’re having a weekday meetup, (which I know won’t work for everyone but we’ll have another one at the end on a weekend, I promise) on June 16 at Parliament Hill at 9:30am. If you want to join us we’d love to see you! There’s a bit more discussion going on about it on flickr.

Photography tip

This is anything but rocket science, but I think sometimes we need a reminder.

Print your photos!

I realized at one point that I hadn’t printed any new photos in something like 15 months! You’re taking lovely photos, print them, put them on your walls, give them to the people you love!

This last week I made a point to print some of my latest favourites and put them up on the wall. I’m thrilled every time I look at them. SO much better than just having them in my computer.

Which leads to another question. Where do you have your photos printed? I generally either order mine through Kodak Gallery (where I’ve stored my photos for something like 7 years) or at Costco (who is having a 10 cents a print sale until June 6).  I know some people use more professional places to print their photos. Do you find a big difference? Discuss!! 🙂

Also, I want to post about some great spots in Ottawa to take photos of (your) kids.  Email me (lara.wellman(at)gmail(dot)com) if you have a great spot (and maybe include a photo) and I’ll post them over the next couple of weeks as part of my photography tips.

My two picks for this week

(brought to you by our new playstructure 😉

T is for trees
T is for trees

I is for inside
I is for inside

Participants’ photos
X for excited
X is for Xcited by Bluebeanz Aww. She really does look Xcited 😉

Q for Quiet
Q is for Quiet by somekindofmom. I miss these sweet moments. My guys are a mile a minute lately.

Y is for Yellow-Mellow

Y is for yellow by lillypilly. I love this. Great punch of colour!

As always, it’s never to late too join the challenge. We hope you’ll play along!

Lara is the mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.


Filed under Photography

ABC Challenge: week 7

I think our challenge needs a bit of a kickstart… it’s hot, it’s been 7 weeks, and people are losing their steam.

I admit that in the beginning I just took lots of pictures and tried to fit them into a category. That isn’t going to continue working so now I’m trying to set shots up… with limited success, but it’s a work in progress.  Be creative and try new things! 🙂

To help get people’s creative juices flowing I am going to offer a prize (from my own pocket unless someone feels like sponsoring us 😉 for a $20 gift card to Henry’s or Vistek or another photography related business. You get one entry for each photo you submit this week, up to a maximum of two entries. I’ll announce the winner in my post next week.

Photography tip

Several times since the twins were born I’ve been asked if I make a point of taking photos of the kids separately so they will feel like individuals instead of always a set. Ha! I’m lucky if I have 10 nice pictures of the two of them together. They don’t smile at the same time, they don’t look at the camera at the same time – it’s chaos.

So I gave up trying to pose them. And that’s the tip. Just try to take photos of kids doing the things that they love. They’ll be happy and you can get some great candid shots. And you might even get them to happily pose for you if they don’t feel they’re being forced into anything or are feeling bored.

It works for the kids that over pose too. I zoomed in and grabbed a photo of a smile that has been eluding me for months from this kid when we were playing at the park yesterday 😉 I’m not sure what my nephew was looking at here, but I know it wasn’t me.

Thanks to Danielle who helped me figure out my tip this morning when I saw her at the grocery store 🙂

My two picks this week

G is for green
G is for green

R is for riding
R is for riding

Participants’ photos

A selection of participants’ photos that jumped out at me this week.

happy victoria day!!

A is for art by jhscrapmom

464:1000 Wheeee, bubbles!

P is for playing by danigirl

T is for Trees

T is for trees by Stella

As always, it’s never to late too join the challenge. We hope you’ll play along!

Lara is the mom to 3.5 year old Kiernan and 1 year old twins Quinn and Juliette. You can find her at her blog Gliding Through Motherhood.


Filed under Photography