A peek behind the lens

Embracing the Perfectly Imperfect

I’m all about capturing the messy, the beautiful, and everything in between. No need for crazy props or poses. Just genuine moments and emotions that you'll treasure for a lifetime. 


About Gillian McColl Photography

about gillian

A Flip Through My Life’s Album

Chapter 1: The Beginning

Growing up, my mom's photo albums were a source of fascination and joy for me because they captured memories that I still cherish to this day. This influenced me to create the same kinds of treasured moments for my clients — moments that will not only be cherished by them but can also be passed down to their children and future generations, just like my mom did for me.

Chapter 2: The Discovery

When I became a wife and the mother of three beautiful daughters, I discovered the value of capturing life's fleeting moments. Watching my girls grow up made me realize how quickly childhood passes by, and it encouraged me to pick up my camera and start documenting their lives. I wondered what it would be like to capture those same precious moments for other families, so they too can have a rare moment to hit the pause button on life.

Chapter 3: The Heart

When my youngest child was born with special needs, it opened my eyes to a whole new world of beauty and struggle. I realized that many families with special needs children don't book photo sessions due to the challenges involved. As someone who intimately understands these unique joys and struggles, I am passionate about providing a safe, supportive, and stress-free photography experience for all families. 

Chapter 4: The Inspiration

I attended an orchestra performance of Beethoven's 5th in my city. During intermission, the musicians talked about their passion for music and how they practiced for 8 hours a day. Their dedication left me feeling inspired and motivated to follow my passion!

Chapter 5: The Realization

As the years have gone on, I’ve realized I have a special place in my heart for mothers and their newborns. I’ve come to love my role as an Ottawa newborn photographer because a mother’s life is forever changed during this time, and I feel honored to capture the incredible transition from pregnancy to motherhood.

Chapter 6: The Present

Today, I'm passionate about showcasing the amazing work that moms do every day. Whether it's running the show or creating those special moments that make each family unique, I want to capture it all. Having been in the same position, I know how rare it is to have Mom in the photos but how important it is for the family to have those memories. That's why I make it a priority to give moms the time to shine with their families during sessions.

Chapter 7: The Future

I have specialized in family and newborn photography for 5 years now, and it's been a joy to capture beautiful moments for each family I work with. I've invested in dozens of photography courses and continue to do so every year to make sure I'm constantly improving and providing unique sessions.


Beautiful Ottawa, Ontario with my husband and 3 beautiful daughters!

Where I live:


Babies laughing!

Looking at old videos and pictures of when my kids were little.

Something that never fails to make me cry:

Something that never fails to make me laugh:

Coffee by day, gin and tonic by night.

My drink of choice:

My favorite place to go on vacation:

Chocolate. So much chocolate.

My guilty pleasure:


How I Make Your Family Session a Breeze


A pampered experience

My mission is to support and uplift Moms, who often prioritize their families over themselves. I’m here to change this narrative by ensuring that each Mama I work with feels pampered and excited about their photo session. 


Stress-free styling

You'll have access to a client closet filled with beautiful, flattering dresses for all sizes, as well as soft, neutral-colored outfits for newborns. To make things even easier, I also provide a styling guide, so you can have peace of mind when planning family outfits.


Comfortable, private locations

I have carefully selected a couple of outdoor locations that offer a private environment and stunning backdrop. I also offer the option of photographing your newborn in the comfort of your own home.


Candid and classic

I aim to capture both traditional posed photos and candid moments that showcase your family's bond. Through prompts and activities, we’ll bring out natural emotions and playfulness to create a memorable experience for you and your children.


Timeless keepsakes

Nothing brings me more joy than helping families preserve their memories through high-quality products they can be proud of displaying in their homes. 


Safety-conscious sessions

As a mother of three, I understand the importance of safety when it comes to newborn photography. That's why I have taken several newborn safety courses to ensure that your baby is in good hands during the session.

read more reviews


"I LOVED working with Gillian for our fall maternity and at-home newborn photoshoot."

She was amazing — from bringing props to prepping dresses for me for both shoots to organizing outfits for my daughter when she was born. She was so calm, accommodating, and gentle with our baby girl. We are so grateful to have such precious memories from my pregnancy and when our baby was tiny and new. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


"This was our second photoshoot with Gillian and just like the last time, we were blown away with the quality of the experience. "

Gillian is such a warm person and sets you at ease immediately. She is efficient (which is a must when there is a baby involved!) but doesn’t ever make you feel rushed. She gives great direction but also lets you and your family just “be” for those amazing candid shots. We love every single photo and will be back for more!


"Gillian was our Ottawa newborn photographer and maternity photographer, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the photos.

She is talented in knowing the most flattering angles for both me and my husband and was willing to do our maternity shoot in cold temperatures outdoors. She even allowed us to have our dog for both photoshoots as we really wanted to have him there.

For the newborn photoshoot, she was great at finding the perfect light in our home and was very comfortable and natural holding and posing our precious babe. Thankfully she is also talented in calming a fussy newborn as well. She also brought outfits for myself and my daughter for the photoshoots from her client closet. I will forever be recommending Gillian!


As hard as we try to hold on to them forever, memories fade. But a photograph preserves those special moments for a lifetime.

Let's work together to tell your unique story and preserve it for generations to come.


heirloom albums & framed prints

tangible, stunning memories that you'll treasure for years to come

All of my sessions come with print credits towards the album and print options of your choosing. From fine art heirloom albums to framed prints and keepsake boxes, you're sure to receive something elegant and timeless.


treasured keepsakes