September 7, 2014
by Mommy Gearest
So my grandma is 93. But, bless her, she still lives completely independently up in a little apartment that looks down on the church she goes to every Sunday.
At a family gathering about this time last year, I was watching Miss Q interact with her great-grandma and had flashbacks of doing the same when I was about her age. I’ve been one of those lucky kids who managed to know all four of her grandparents and even three of her great-grandparents. And as I watched them, I said to my brother, “I should really do a photo shoot with all four generations.” And he agreed, adding, morbidly: “You’d better do it soon. Just in case.”
Well, as it does, life got busy and I put off the idea. Until a couple of months ago when a photographer posted her information in one of my local “mom groups” on Facebook. And before the week was out, we’d scheduled a photo shoot with Shannon Nicole Photography.
My grandma (93), my mom (65), yours truly (39) and Miss Q (3). Four generations of women:
Obviously, I had to style everyone or Grandma would have shown up in a windbreaker from 1982 and Velcro sneakers. I was thrilled with the way the palette worked with the lush greenery around us.
If there’s one tip I can give those of you planning family photo shoots, it’s this: find some kind of common colour tone in your clothes, but don’t get too match-matchy. And be yourself. If you’re never without stilettos, wear ‘em! (Just don’t book a shoot in a park with only grass, perhaps.) We’re a pretty casual bunch overall, so I opted for classic white with different shades of blue. It was the middle of summer and it felt perfectly beach-y, despite the fact we were nowhere near a beach.
Actually, we did the whole shoot at the stunning Oshawa Botanical Gardens. It’s spectacularly beautiful down there, with plenty of trees, oodles of colourful flowers, a very architectural-looking bridge (if one can describe a bridge in such a way) and even a little fountain among some big rocks.
It all sits on either side of a creek that I played near often as a child. When we first moved to “the Shwa,” we lived just five minutes away from here — but it never looked like this. It’s incredibly peaceful and you’d be hard-pressed to get a bad shot anywhere there.
I was really impressed with Shannon, who managed to give us gentle direction while sort of disappearing a lot of the time so we could capture more candid moments, which I always thinks makes the most naturally beautiful photography. She shot for a little more than an hour and had dozens of stunning shots back to us within a couple of weeks. I’m VERY particular, and I have to say that I didn’t just like most of the photos…I loved them.
It turned out that she managed to capture us as a group and sometimes just two or three of us together. There were also some darling shots of Miss Q in the bunch, all on her own.
I treasure these pictures now, and I know that one day, when my last grandparent on earth is no longer here, I’ll be so glad that we worked with Shannon Nicole Photography to freeze this moment in time.
Shannon is based in the Greater Toronto Area and does all kinds of photography, ranging from maternity and newborn shoots to family photography and weddings. And if you’re looking for a pet photographer, she does that, too! And let’s not forget boudoir photography for those of you brave enough.
Lucky for you, if you live in or are willing to travel to the GTA, you can enter to win a photo shoot with Shannon Nicole. You’ll get an outdoor photo shoot along with five fully edited and printable digital images (plus a 20 per cent discount for any additional photographs that speak to you). You can choose from portrait, family, engagement, pet, newborn or maternity shoots. Note that this is not a “mini-session.” It’s worth a whopping $350!