What I Bring To A Lifestyle Portrait Session | Montreal Portrait Photographer

You may be curious about your photographer’s process and the equipment and props they will use, especially when you’ve invited them into your home.

My clientele can expect me to show up with my camera bag containing about three or four of my favourite lenses and my trusted Canon 5D Mk II. That’s right, I have not upgraded to the Mark III yet because I’m a firm believer that for the few differences it has it wasn’t worth the expense just yet. So I will wait patiently for the next release. I also consider myself an eco-conscious photographer and truly despise how we always feel we need the latest and greatest to succeed. I love my camera, it produces quality images and I intend to make it last. And as they always say (which is completely true), it ain’t the camera but the photographer who produces the image.

View More: http://ellaphotography.pass.us/gwylan

In addition to bringing along those obvious basics, I usually bring some reflector discs. These are to aid with bouncing light into the shadow areas of my subject’s faces. Often times I won’t need these if we’re shooting outside depending on the lighting conditions, but I do find them especially useful when photographing inside people’s homes at times. I’ll use them to reflect window light back onto the subject when the ambient light in the room isn’t quite bright enough.

For children and families I typically tell them that if they want specific props the best ones are personal to them. Sometimes kids will want to hold their favourite blanket or toy to keep them feeling comfortable, and it has the added benefit of distracting them a little so they don’t get too anxious.




Newly-engaged couples will sometimes like to incorporate a prop that states their wedding date or part of their love story for the sake of save-the-date cards.  Of course I’ll typically get a photo of the engagement ring as well. Otherwise these shoots are all about the love, and you won’t catch me bringing anything along other than my equipment, an open mind and a sense of humour.



For newborns, I will bring along very basic props for layering and wrapping the baby. Because my style is more loose and organic I do not bring along bowls, baskets, suitcases and the like when I arrive at your home. I’m a firm believer in using items in the images that will be special to that child as they grow older, not items that I’ve brought along that they will never see again. If a client is looking for more posed studio-type newborn shots, we can still accomplish these but with a more natural edge: baby in his/her environment. I bring knit blankets to lay the baby on as well as some delicate wraps to create a cocoon around them. If the parents want little hats & boots in the image I like them to be ones they already own. I will showcase the nursery and the baby’s personal items as part of the overall story. In some cases, these are in fact photographed during the maternity session in preparation for baby’s arrival.




If you have any questions or comments about my process, please let me know below. If there’s something you think I missed… I’d love to know that, too!

My First Fall Minis – A Review

This fall I started something new – portrait minis, a simplified take on my regular portrait sessions to allow accessibility for all. This is something I will only offer a couple of times a year. Standard photo shoots still allow for a more customized experience which is why they make up a larger part of my business. But for those of you who do not have the budget for such an experience, or have already done so at some point and now just want some updated shots (of the kids, professional head shots, the whole family, or otherwise) this provides a great low-cost option.

Mini sessions are organized in time slots all on the same day in the same location, with a small time commitment of only 20-30 minutes. The session includes files that you can print from yourself,  but fine art prints, custom greeting cards and other keepsake items are also available to add before or after the shoot.

Here are some of the ones I photographed in October. Starting with Christian, a writer and actor who needed some new head shots and was super charming and lovely to work with;


Followed by Julia & Tony, who each wanted their own separate shoot as well as some shots together. Julia, a fantasy writer, was looking for an author portrait. Tony wanted something for a professional presence online and some images with his amazing car that he rebuilt, his pride & joy. I had a blast with these two, they showed up looking so classy on this rainy day and I was very happy with the resulting images.

tonyjuliaAnd lastly, Corey and Tracy who wanted some couple photos that weren’t taken on their wedding day.

tracycoreyTo find out more about portrait mini sessions, click the image below to see the details & FAQs on my website.


The Woods in the Fall

This has been the most beautiful September weekend! Yesterday we went to visit family in the Eastern Townships. The skies were so blue, and the woods were glowing with the warmth of the sun and the changing leaves. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and this seemed like a good opportunity! It was so warm we were able to eat outside. We had delicious harvest soup garnished beautifully with nasturtiums from the garden which echoed the fall colours.







It was so nice to enjoy time with family and extended family, and to whip out my camera for something other than work! I love to be able to make time for personal shooting.




The next two weekends will be busy with my new fall mini sessions which I’m offering for the first time, and a Thanksgiving weekend wedding. If the mini shoots go well I may be offering a second date before November, so if you missed out on the October 6th date, follow me on facebook or sign up for my newsletter to receive updates about the next date!







I hope all you fellow Canadians enjoy a beautiful Thanksgiving with family…until next time. xo