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Make up tips for family pictures

Hi! I am on a roll, I made this as a quick reference guide for your next family pictures. We are going for natural daytime makeup with emphasis on eyes and a bit of colour on cheeks :)
And brave person that I am posting my mug everywhere, I took the pics and didn't retouch them.  But wanted to show you what a little make up does, even if you have some of age spots freckles.

The main trick here is to use a little bit and blend! Even when you feel you are a bit too rosy, the photos tend to wash you out. You want to look like you just ran a block to get the bus (the only running I ever do)

And here it is so it can go viral on pinterest. wink wink.

yeah that is a wonder woman mirror :)

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Wedding season

I am not sure how this happened - since I really don't advertise for weddings. There are waaaaaay too many wedding photographers out there, just google Wedding photographer Toronto and you get close to 2,400,000 results. HA!  I tried finding my site through that and after page 30 I gave up. who has the time to compete with that. I ain't paying those bleep SEO people a penny, ever, I refuse- stop calling me. I focus on boudoir really so a lot of my non-boudoir clients stumble upon my other work, weddings and family by pure luck. Which I don't mind.

Thanks for the couples that trusted me to be part of their day!
I have to update my wedding gallery that is for sure.
In the meantime, here is one and a reason why I haven't posted in a while, besides the boudoir and baby Lily that is keeping me busy.

Karina and David

To view more highlight samples click here
Group portraits: Queen St. and Augusta Ave. (graffiti alley)
Couple portraits: Lakeshore and Kipling area park
Reception: Mississauga Grand Banquet Hall 

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Tips for your family pictures at the beaches or park

With Lily and Ander around, and almost being nice outside, it comes naturally to go back to do a lot more family pictures. For the beaches area or Woodbine park ( in Toronto ) there is no travel fee! so have a nice day at the beach and book your session.
Do not worry though, I still do sexy shots, but when you hire me you have the advantage that I am looking out for you and making you look good. It's not just about the kids. All though they are cute.

My bat babies - indoor shoot since it was crappy out

STYLE: We are going for casual dressy - or depending on the season to match.

1- Just bring your individual taste to the picture. A good rule is parents neutral and kids can go crazy. Avoid the typical jeans and the exact same white t-shirt. A nice one is for boys to wear jeans and girls dresses.
2- DO NOT WEAR BUSY PATTERNS. I can date a picture from a pattern. Keep it simple. Also, avoid big trendy logos on boys shirts. Except Batman. ( I love Batman- or any superhero motif for that matter ). Boys look great with a shirt with a collar, even if it's a golf shirt.
3- Wear something that you've tried and tested. It has to be comfortable, it has to fit, it has to boost your confidence. It shows in the picture.
4- Makeup. For this one put on some mascara, blush and lip tint as a minimum. Foundation and eyeliner are a bonus, and undereye concelear is needed most times :) . Lips stains are the way to go to have a natural reddish pout that lasts through the shoot.

For guys: brush your eyebrows, if you have dark eyes circles you can even wear a dab on concealer. Be careful when you shave to avoid nicks and do wear lip balm for a smooth pout.
5- Hair. Natural is best, hats... only if you really want to and you wear it every day. Style your hair the day before, it looks more natural and less done. Spray fly-aways.
6- Shoes- slip on shoes so we can go in the sand. Heels for mom look great but have an extra pair of flats so we can walk around grassy areas without sinking

- A baby or picnic blanket to avoid grass stains and sand travelling other places.
- A favourite toy for me to hold to keep baby/kids attention.

- Your home is easier for the smaller members of your family. Clear a room of toys and  that is it! We will venture outside weather permitting.
- The beaches! Where I mostly shoot. it has everything, a park area, a dock area with water and the sandy beach.


Best time to shoot outside is before 10 am or before sunset ( spring and summer around 6:30 - 7 pm )
Indoor shoots - around your babies nap time - babies have a good mood window - usually mornings.


We are aiming for natural and casual but have some things in consideration.
Keep it touchy-feely, look into each other, tickle - play and interact.
For group shots inspiration: will keep posting!
Toddlers are especially tricky and buzzfeed agrees: It makes me giggle. The thing is to keep them occupied, that's where the park comes in handy. And the action shots are sometimes my favourites.

Keep your face expressions happy but not too exaggerated. Watch out for the double chin ( I do that a lot) and the wrinkly forehead - don't worry I will remind you with a: neck up or smooth the forehead.

feel free to share with me your inspiration boards!
And the most important one smile! smile tons! 


Update: I created this infographic with this information for easy reference. And it looks cool :P
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Back to Boudoir

Hi web world, I am back in business. Thanks everybody for your patience while I gave birth and recuperated from my vagina trauma, I am back!

Lily Marlen was born January 30th at 9:29pm. After the water broke around 6 pm. Not bad. And to continue with the bragging she is the dream baby, sleeps a lot, and no colic at all, not like her brother that cried all day when he was a newborn. She still parties from 2 to 4 am - the same time she used to kick me awake, now she wakes and stretches and won't go back to sleep till she is done.

Anyway now I am back full time, still shooting mostly weekends but now available for those who have different schedules or want to play hooky from a day at work during the week.

I started my end of maternity leave with a wide range  a sexy couples shoot, a maternity session, and a boudoir one of course. I really appreciate the clients that booked a while ago and where waiting for me to feel "normal" - as normal as I get anyway.

In my delusion that I was going to have all this free time to edit and write awesome blog posts and a book with a baby, I appreciate the patience waiting on me to edit, and I think we have a better deal now, and I am learning to edit with one hand. ha

I will have time eventually to update my gallery and write a whole bunch of posts I am cooking, but in the meantime here is the boudoir gallery screen shot of the women (and couple) that I had the pleasure meeting when I was about to burst and while I get the hang of stuff again.

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Tips for your outdoor couples shoot - update 2013

Indoor- well you can do whatever you want... but for engagement shoots, anniversary, or darn "we need good pics done to send to Grandma" here are some tips...

1- Color coordinate your outfits. Ok, for this one, don't dress exactly the same. But keep in in the same family of colors. Blues, greys, blacks and whites go well. Browns, beige, white, and blues go well. Also a pop of color looks good on her. Something really pink, red or yellow as long as the rest is neutral. For more ideas look at pinterest- so addictive.
2- DO NOT WEAR BUSY PATTERNS! yes I am shouting this one. I can date a picture from a pattern. keep it simple. Specially really thin stripes on guys shirts photograph funny. Guy shirt must be plain.
3- Wear something that you've tried and tested. I has to be comfortable, it has to fit, it has to boost your confidence. It shows in the picture.
4- Makeup.  For this one put on some mascara, some eyeliner and blush. Lipstick is not really good for the kissing pics, he ends up wearing most of it. Not all kiss proof stuff is really kiss proof especially when his lips are dry. For colour use a lip tint. It enhances your colour and lasts through out a whole session.  Or just do a make up session before the pic, that works too. Also for the glamour divas remember we are outside and its daylight, keep the vampy down. And for emphasis: Mascara!
For guys: brush your eyebrows, if you have dark eyes circles you can even wear a dab on concealer. Be careful when you shave to avoid nicks and do wear lip balm for a smooth pout. If lips are specially dry and cracked brush them with your toothbrush first and then apply balm.
For both: if you are prone to shine, keep those matting papers handy, specially in warmer weather.
5- Hair. Natural is best, hats... depends on the weather. Style your hair the day before, I love next day hair, it looks more natural and less done. Spray fly aways.
Oh and don't for get your manicure! Of course I have to take a picture of your ring.

6- Location. I tend to stick around the beaches, of Ashbridges bay I know a couple of spots that work well for outdoors. Where he proposed...sure! Where you met... sure! Around your neighborhood, your favourite park, ffee shop, store, restaurant, back of the car... hey, I do not judge. Commando style, my motto is better to ask for forgiveness than for permission, my parents really hated it :)
7- Time. I encourage every couple to play hookie on a weekday to do this. Weekdays everything is less busy and less people staring. Choose a early morning (before 11) or a later evening (after 5 during summer 6:30 pm) the light is the most flattering. We should aim to spend a max an hour.

We are aiming for natural and casual but have some things in consideration.
When kissing ( I will bark a: now kiss! often, you've been warned) go pg-13. Church tongue. Just a bit. Do not squash your face against each other, keep it light and playful. Who ever has the best profile gets to have their nose on the camera side. This will make sense in the pictures, trust me.
Also a good one, leaning into each other, one person looking at the camera, the other smelling the temple. Sounds so weird but it works.
Keep it touchy-feely, look into each other, remove strands of hair... all the corny stuff :)
And the most important one smile! smile tons! If there is one thing I like retouching on all my pictures is to brighten the smile for those of us with off-white-almost-beige toothies.
My board that I am slowly getting together is here:

I think that is it, I imparted my wisdom. Have a great time!

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