Ottawa Family Photographer|Ottawa Family Session

I wanted to share a recent Family photography session I did at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa. Spring was slow to start in Ottawa this year, so there were some rescheduling that needed to happen for my family photography sessions in Ottawa in order to take advantage of the late-to-bloom cherry blossoms. Not to mention all the rain! I was very lucky to have such flexible clients who were able to move their sessions (in some cases, multiple times!). In the end though, I was able to get everyone in before the blooms ended and the results were amazing. There is something pretty amazing about having flowers in photos which is why I think it is my most popular mini sessions. I had the pleasure of meeting 16 amazing families in 2 days of sessions and met the most adorable kiddos. This family was certainly no exception. Their little guy has the most stunning eyes. The whole family followed my style guide which made the photos even more beautiful. 

I wanted to talk about my typical work flow in a family photography session so you can get an idea of the variety of photos you would get in a session. I always start off with the standard posed family photo with everyone looking at the camera. I find kids usually need some time to warm up to me so keeping them close to their parents is the best bet. They are also curious about me and my camera so are more likely to look at the camera.

Next up is my movement part of the session. The kids, especially the young ones, want to explore at this point, and I embrace that. I take candids of them exploring their surroundings with their parents interacting with them and showing them new things. I also typically do a walking shot of the whole family together.

Next up is the individual child’s portraits. I will take the kids away from the rest of the family and just chat with them a bit and get some portraits of them. I don’t demand smiles; I just let them be themselves. I always find this results in the best portraits as your kiddos act themselves and you can really see their personalities!

From there I move on to sibling shots. I give them some fun games to play to get them to interact, whether it be telling each other jokes or encouraging them to give each other big hugs. By this point in the session I have a pretty good idea of the personality of the kiddos and will give them prompts based off that. I also do parents with each kiddo, Mom with all kids, and Dad with all kids. Following this I usually give the kids a break from posing and put the whole family on a blanket and ask them to interact with each other. I encourage them to cuddle and talk. This is usually the kids’ favourite part as they have the complete attention of the parents and love the cuddles and games.

Last but not least is photos of the couples. Often the parents haven’t had photos together since their wedding day and I really think this part is so important. Your kiddos will want to have these memories of the love their parents had when they were young. I also do these photos right at the end as I find the parents also need time to warm up to me and I give silly prompts to make things a bit more comfortable. 

That is my typical work flow but the beauty of family photography sessions is that every family is different and therefore every session is different which is what I love so much about it. The most important part for both myself and the parents is to go with the flow. If the kids aren’t feeling a certain pose then I just move on.  I know within an hour session I will get more than enough beautiful images to really capture the unique connection in your family and more importantly I will capture this important stage in your life and that is why I love it so much. 

Ottawa Newborn Photographer, Ottawa Family Photographer

*Gillian is a Ottawa Newborn Photographer and Ottawa Family Photographer serving Ottawa and just outside of Ottawa. I live in Kanata with my husband and two young daughters who are the light of my life. I am a stay at home mom/mom photographer who  specializes in Ottawa Baby Photography and all things Family. I offer both Studio Newborn Photography and well as Lifestyle Newborn Photography in Ottawa. My goal is to capture the unique and beautiful connection of your family so you will have these memories to pass down to your children and grandchildren*


  1. Amy says:

    So gorgeous! The colors are beautiful!

  2. Jennifer Sitter says:

    The personalization of sessions is so important, I love that you got mom and dad together alone. These are all so gorgeous!!

  3. Brooke says:

    Great breakdown of your sessions! The images are beautiful!

  4. Sara says:

    Great way to prepare families for the session!

  5. Katelyn says:

    Beautiful!! The florals are gorgeous! ❤️

  6. Courtney says:

    Love the colors! Lovely session!

  7. Tania says:

    Absolutely love those blossoms!!

  8. Courtney says:

    These are seriously stunning! Those flowers are unreal!

  9. Tasha says:

    Such great family photos! Those colors are so vibrant!!

  10. Mandy says:

    Such a helpful post educating your families on what to expect and what beautiful images!! That little guy is just gorgeous!…As are those Cherry blossoms

  11. Kayla says:

    Oh my word, how picturesque! You perfectly captured this beautiful family enjoying the cherry tree blossoms!

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