Edmonton & Area Family Photographer {Choosing the right season for your family session}

I’m back! After taking a much needed break over the holidays and adjusting the the back to school routine I am finally ready to dive back into what I hope will be an amazing 2019. 2018 was my busiest year as a maternity, newborn and family photographer - I photographed 50 amazing family and 32 sweet newborns, plus some specialty minis, Fresh 48s and maternity sessions. To be honest I was a little burnt out by the time December rolled around! This year I am striving to bring a little bit of balance back to my life, so I will be offering a very limited amount of newborn and family sessions each month, about 2-5 of each max. Not only is balance one of my goals, but giving the families I photograph the best experience possible from the time they inquire to the delivery of their photos and beyond is also at the top of my priority list for 2019.

There are some exciting new changes coming to my family sessions in 2019 and I am so happy to finally share some details with you. You can see my updated pricing here, but what I am most excited to share are some of my additional offerings this year. First, all 2019 family session dates from February to December will be released for online booking starting February 1st; I wanted to make choosing a date that works for your family as easy as possible. This year I am happy to also offer payment plans that can be structured to fit your family’s budget and make investing in your families memories possible. High resolutions images with print release will still be delivered via an online gallery and USB, but I also wanted to give everyone the best opportunity to print their photos via their online gallery; your memories belong on your wall or your coffee table, not on a USB in the junk drawer! This year each session will include the option to pre-purchase a custom designed album of your session images at a discounted rate of $250. When you pre-purchase an album you will also receive an $100 print credit to use towards additional professional quality prints from your session. Album not in your budget? No problem, all families will receive a $25 print credit to use towards beautiful professional prints. Photos are printed at a local professional lab and will give you quality printed photos that just don’t compare to the prints you can get at the local drug store (watch for a side by side print comparison on the blog soon!) Lastly, your feedback is so important to me as I am always striving to deliver the best family photography experience; so following the delivery of each session I will be sending a short survey that I hope everyone will take the time to complete and share with me what they loved about their session or what they think I could do better.

Choosing when to book your family session can be difficult. I am happy to share some of my favorite shots of 2018 as well as some helpful information that I hope makes choosing the season for your 2019 family session easy. We live in a very interesting climate and choosing the right season for your session will include many factors such as temperature, sunset times and some pros and cons of each season.

Winter Family Sessions

Winter Family Sessions

Winter family sessions take place between late November and March. The average temperature ranges between 0 and -6℃. The lighting or sunset times in the winter range between 4pm in November (after day lights savings) to 7pm in late March which can be convenient for families with little ones who can’t handle staying up too late. All of my family sessions are within 1-2 hours of sunset and in winter we can get that beautiful golden light as early as 3pm in November or 6 pm in March. Temperature is usually the main reason for rescheduling as I tend to reschedule if it is really windy or if the temperature is below -8. Some of the reasons I love winter family sessions are the adorable array of touques I see on little ones or when families bring hot chocolate to share with each other during the session. There are also some amazing winter events in YEG that I would be happy to photograph your family at including the beautiful Ice Castles; or we could hit up an Edmonton area rink for some skating or hockey themed family photos. In home sessions are also available this time of year, I’d be more than happy to come photograph your family baking Christmas cookies or snuggling up in front of the fire place. Snuggles to keep warm are what I love most and your kids will be more than happy to get nice and close during a winter family session.

Spring Family Sessions

Spring Family Sessions

Spring family sessions take place between late March and May. Weather can be fairly unpredictable (who still remembers our April snow storms last year!) but the average temperature ranges between 11-18℃. The days get a bit longer but no too long for little ones. Sessions will take place between 7pm in April to 8:30pm in late May. Some of the reasons I love spring family sessions is the light - I always seem to catch the most beautiful light this time of year. Plus- no bugs! The mosquitos don’t come around until summer, but spring brings the beauty of summer with green grass and cherry blossoms by mid to late May. Spring is also the perfect time for grad sessions; I can capture the new grad the afternoon of graduation between the ceremony and banquet or the week or two before or after. Book your graduation session today by contacting me directly, spots are already booking up.

Summer Family Sessions

Summer Family Sessions

Summer family sessions take place between June and August. This short and sweet season can see temperatures between an average of 21-23℃ with spikes a lot warmer. Thunderstorms are the main reason for rescheduling. Summer days are long! On the longest day of the year in late June the sun doesn’t set until after 10pm. Session times will range between 8:30pm in June down to 7:30pm in late August. This can seem alarming to some families who’s kids are in bed by 7 (like mine!) but trust me, our session will be so fun and action packed that any kid can handle one later than usual bedtime - Don’t worry! I will also be sure to prepare you for this later session with my family prep guide that I send to every family when they book a session. I love summer family sessions! Everything is green, flowers are bloomed and we can dip our toes in the water in some locations. I find dressing for a summer family session a bit more laid back too (not as many layers and kids can even go bare feet!). I would love to go berry picking with your family ( I know a couple good wild spots) or even photograph you amongst the big blue sky and canola fields in mid to late July. The main con - mosquitos! I carry a good supply of repellent to every session and tend to avoid areas where they are particularly bad; you can definitely prepare for mosquitos but it is something to keep in mind if you have little ones who are really bothered by them. Overall summer is a very popular season for family photography for good reason, book early to avoid missing out!

Fall Family Sessions

Fall Family Sessions

Last but definitely not least - Fall. The ever popular fall family sessions take place between very late August to early November (if we are lucky - as we saw in 2018 fall can turn to winter very fast!). Temperatures are sweater weather nice with an average temperature that trends down from 17 to 0℃. Days start to get shorter which means earlier session times ranging between 7pm in late August to 5pm in November (prior to day lights savings), perfect for little ones. Cancellations are generally rare except for very cold days. The beautiful fall colors are the main draw, but they are honestly fairly unpredictable. My suggestion would be early to book between mid-September until early October - that would be the best bet in an average year. These session dates book up fast! In 2018 my fall was fully booked by July. What don’t I love about fall sessions! Bugs are generally gone, weather is fair and the warm tones really suit my editing style the best; mostly I love that I usually get to see the same beautiful families year after year.

I hope that this helps you decide when the best time is for your 2019 family session! It’s going to be an amazing year, I hope you will join me! Watch for dates and online booking on February 1st!

Much love {K}

Edmonton & Area CrossFit Photographer {Heather} Sneak Peek

Inspiration/inspired/inspirational are not words that I use lightly, so when I had a student in my photography class come up to me and tell me that I was an inspiration to them, I couldn't help but feel an enormous well of confidence and pride. It got me thinking a lot the last few weeks about how I got where I am today, running a successful photography business, teaching photography classes, supporting my family financially and really doing a job that I love. The truth is that I used to be the most introverted, shy, unconfident, self doubting person, someone who would never take chances, never try anything new, never take risks, always letting the fear of failure hold me back. It took me 30 years to figure out that sometimes, taking risks, stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that you never thought you could do is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. 

For me it started 3 years ago when after thinking about starting a photography business for the better part of 5 years, but always letting fear get in the way, I took a risk and booked my first clients. My whole first year in business was full of sleepless nights, self doubt and constant fear that I wasn't good enough. I constantly compared myself to others, and I greatly under valued my time and talent and basically worked for free. I honestly don't know why or when my attitude changed, but in the past year I have gotten to a place where I am more confident in myself and my business than I ever was before. I raised my prices to a sustainable level and now I book families who aren't just concerned about price, but who love and value my work too. And I took a huge step out of my comfort zone and started teaching photography classes, something that I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do; And wow it is so rewarding being able to share my skills with others, something that I will keep doing whether it's through teaching or eventually mentoring other photographers, I have found another love and purpose. This year I am taking on the risk of opening a new home studio in my small town, and just last week I made my first huge financial decision on my own purchasing and financing a new vehicle as a business owner, something that I worked so hard for, but really never believed would happen. The point I want to make is that doing things that scare you, that take you completely out of your comfort zone, are so worth it, it really helps you grow as a person. I saw a quote this week that summed it up perfectly - "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will'' ~Karim Seddiki

I couldn't think of a more appropriate session to share with you all that ties right into the topic of inspiration, hard work and doing something that you never thought possible. My dear friend Heather, who I have only had the pleasure of knowing for the past year, approached me in the fall to photograph her at her gym - Leduc CrossFit. I have only known the Heather that you see in these photos, a strong, beautiful, hardworking mom of three. What I learned when I did this session earlier this month was that Heather had been working incredibly hard with her trainer for the past several months to not only become incredibly fit and strong but also for a normalized relationship with food and with herself. I encourage to read more about her incredible journey on her blog. Heather, you are truly an inspiration, thank you so much for having me capture this special time for you. I hope you can look at these photos and feel a great sense of pride in how far you have come. Enjoy. {K}

Edmonton Family Photographer {What to Wear for Fall Family Photos}

School is in full swing, the days are getting cooler, fall is almost here; which means the busiest time of the year for me, photographing your beautiful families. I often get several emails leading up to fall mini sessions asking for advice on what to wear. I generally refer you to Pinterest where there are thousands of pins on what to wear. This year, since my family is prepping for family photos ourselves, I thought I would share the fool proof way I dress our family for photos as well as some dos and don'ts that always apply.

Walk in any store, or browse any store online and it won't take to long to find pieces for the whole family that coordinate nicely together. So step one is decide where to shop. Some of my favorites for the whole family - Old Navy, H&M, Zara, Target, Joe Fresh, Gap. 

Everyone is generally afraid of patterns, but I'm telling you right now, a simple pattern is ok as long as not everyone is wearing it. I like to limit it to two patterns in my family of five, and luckily I was able to find a pretty feminine blouse for myself that coordinated well with the bolder pattern I chose for two of my girls. Here are the patterns.

Now this is where  coordinating the rest of the family gets easy. If you look at both patters you can easily pull out four colors that coordinate beautifully. Maroon, Navy, Mustard and White.

Color scheme nbyw.jpg

Now it is time to shop for the rest of the family using the colors pulled from your pattern as your color guide - easy, right?

Some things I am looking for when shopping for my girls are clothes that are comfortable and that have some detail or movement to them. Dresses are great options for younger girls for some candid spinning photos. For boys, look for shirts with collars or pocket but avoid any logos or wording. Again a simple pattern, like plaids for boys or florals for girls are great options. My husband usually gets the color that is left over, which in this case was navy. While collard shirts are great options for guys, my husband is almost always in a t-shirt so I got him a navy tee with some button and pocket detail. Pair your top with well fitted jeans and some accessories and you are ready to go.

Here is what we ended up with, all from Old Navy. Dresses for my two littlest, a blouse for my oldest and tops for my husband and I. I actually ended up with a tunic style top with some detail that I may wear instead of the blouse. I just love the pops of mustard yellow, perfect for fall.

kelsie kelly photographer_style guide1.jpg

What I love most about these clothes are that they are so us, clothes that we could easily find in our every day wardrobe. I know we will be comfortable in them and in turn be more relaxed in front of the camera. 

Accessories will really pull your look together. Jewellery, scraves, and belts are great options for ladies.  Belts, watches and fun socks are great for the guys. You can never go wrong with a brown boot for fall, but any scuff free shoes will work and can add some personality to your photos. 

Some do's and don'ts to always remember. Logos and any wording on clothing is a big don't. Avoid wearing white alone, and definitely don't try to be matchy matchy. Do choose timeless pieces - scarves, blazers, cardigans, simple outfits for baby. Patterns are ok, just keep them on a smaller scale.

I hope this proves helpful to you as you prepare for your family photos. I am so looking forward to seeing so many return families from last year and meeting some new families too. Thank you to everyone for all of your amazing support year after year. {K}

Edmonton Newborn & family photographer {New Referral rewards}

I'll tell you a secret, running a business is scary. Two and half years ago I left a well paying stable job to become a full time photographer and business owner, and it is the scariest thing I have ever done. While I am so lucky to have an amazing husband that supports our family, we have three girls to take care of and that means I need to help provide for them. Those first six months of my photography business being my sole source of income were racked with sleepless nights and the constant worry no one would ever book me again! Yet every time I worried my email would bing and another family would come calling.  Now almost 2.5 years into my business I can finally sleep a little easier, because of all of the amazing families who not only keep coming back to me year after year, but who always pass my name on to their friends and family. You have all turned my fear into optimism, and I am so thankful to all of the amazing families who trust me to capture their precious memories while giving me the gift of always being there to create memories of my own with my family.

I am happy to announce that beginning April 1, 2017 I will be offering special referral rewards to all of the families who recommend me to their friends and family. For every family you recommend to me after April 1, 2017 that results in a booking you will receive 10% off your next session fee, or a free mini session or mini album for every 6 families that you recommend that result in a booking. So tell your friends about me and make sure they tell me that you sent them! 

My family is getting ready to move to a new home in just over a week, so I have spent the past few weeks trying to capture as much as I can of them in the house we are in now. Here is a little snap shot of the time I get to spend with my girls thanks to all of you. 

{K}

Edmonton Lifestyle Family Photographer {Click Away 2016} Renewed and Inspired

This past weekend I travelled to Seattle to take in my first Click Away, an amazing conference that celebrates women, and for the most part mom photographers, and provides three days of immense knowledge from some of the most talented photographers from around the world. To say I came away inspired would be an understatement. I learned so many technical things that I can't wait to incorporate into my sessions, but most of all I left with a renewed focus on my photography business and what I need to do make sure that I can continue to do this job I love and deliver the best experience to all the families I am lucky to meet.

My renewed focus really has me thinking what is it I love to do, and what am I best at? I have always loved capturing the authentic - connections, love, the real you and your real family. When I go back and look at all of the photos I have taken the ones that I love the most aren't the posed, smile at the camera moments, but ones like a mother breathing in her sweet baby, families smiling and laughing together, the candid moments that are truly a moment in time. I love coming into your homes and seeing how your family ticks and acting as a keeper of memories for you, not just the smiles, but all the in betweens. I love seeing a way a mother holds her child close, or how a dad makes his kids laugh. The photos I take should never be about me and my vision, it should all be you, the real you, your family, not me.

Will I continue to guide you through sessions, absolutely, but will I take a step back and let your family shine for who they really are and in turn give you photos that aren't just pretty but that make you feel something? Truly do my job as a keeper of your precious memories? The answer is yes and I can't wait to dive into my sessions with this renewed sense of focus and purpose and give you photos that will truly mean something to you. 

I'll end with some of my favorite moments in Seattle. 

{K}

Year One

One year ago I embarked on my dream of becoming a full time photographer. Photography was always a passion of mine and I had been avidly practising for more than ten years, so I didn't ever question my ability to be a photographer, but putting yourself out there as a business is a huge step and a scary one. Luckily I started out with an incredible support system that included my amazing husband who always encourages me and so many friends and family who were willing to be the very first families that I captured as Kelsie Kelly {Photographer}. 

At the time I had a four month old baby girl (keeping me up all night) along with two older daughters, so juggling a new business and family definitely took some time to get used to. In the end though, I get to spend more time with my girls than I ever did before, and I can always put them first which makes all the hard work and late nights so worth it. 

One year later and I can happily say my business is thriving thanks to so many amazing families who have trusted me to capture their precious memories. I feel so lucky to get to do something I love and am passionate about everyday and it is all thanks to you. Thank you for your amazing support. I look forward to capturing your beautiful families for many more years to come. 

Love {K}

Edmonton Fitness Photographer {Candice} Sneak Peek

I've known Candice for several years now, and am proud to call her a dear friend. We both had to step a bit out of our comfort zones for this session, but in the end Candice totally rocked her session and looked amazing! She has become a true inspiration to myself and so many others that are striving to live a healthier life. You can see what she is all about and let her inspire you at www.facebook.com/candicerowbotham .

{K}

Edmonton Newborn Photographer {Now offering Fresh 48 Sessions}

As a mom to three beautiful girls, some of my most precious memories are of the day they were born. After a very long 9 months of anticipation the moment I met each of my girls was one of pure love and emotion and one that I will never forget. The days and weeks that followed though, those emotional, tiring weeks, are a blur. The days that I became a new mom, a mom to two, and a mom to three, the sweetness of my baby girls when they were brand new. What I would give to go back and have some of that time captured.

I am happy to announce that I will now be offering {Fresh 48} Sessions exclusively to my maternity & newborn clients. What is a {Fresh 48} session? Fresh 48 photography is a special session for those new families who want the first few hours of their newborn’s life captured. Held within the first 24-48 hours of your baby’s life, these lifestyle sessions are perfect for remembering that first day forever. Shots of your little one’s tiny toes, first yawns, sweet details and those quiet moments between you and your new little one. I will come to your place of birth within 48 hours.  Not meant to replace a traditional newborn session, no props or posing, it will just be me capturing your baby’s sweet new moments in a fresh natural way.

{Fresh 48} are offered alone or to clients that book a maternity &/or newborn package for an additional $250

. The sessions are 30-60 minutes at your place of birth and include 15-20 fully edited high resolution images.

Due to the fact that I will be on call for these sessions, I can only offer a very limited number of bookings per month, so it is best to contact me and book early. 

Here is a snapshot of a {Fresh 48} session I was honoured to photograph this spring. Enjoy. {K}

Edmonton & Area Family Photographer {Sisters Family Session} Sneak Peek

Last fall I got to photograph the sweetest baby boy so I was thrilled when his mama contacted me to do some photos of her, her little guy, and her sisters this past weekend. The relationship between sisters is so special, I can say so because I am blessed to have two sisters myself, so having the opportunity to capture these gorgeous ladies really having fun together was a blast. And little Crosby was as chill as he was the first time we met. These sisters live on opposite sides of the country from one another so I hope that they can look back and cherish this visit together with these photos. I was so excited to shoot on the first evening of daylights savings, and as you can see we sure lucked out with the golden light on this night. Enjoy. {K}